Category: DIY

11 truly wonderful 4th of July crafts and activities for kids (and hey, maybe you too)

Since I’ve had kids, the 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. I like to keep it really simple with 4th of July crafts, lots of great summer food and treats to eat, maybe letting the kids run around while the grownups hang out at the pool or in the backyard. And of course, watching the fireworks when it gets dark. Since a few, fun patriotic activities can make the day even a little more special, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite 4th of July crafts and activities that you and the kids can make ahead of time to share with guests. Or, set out supplies...

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Renegade Made helps kids create random acts of kindness through crafting.

Over the years, we’ve featured loads of great craft kits for kids that flex our children’s creative muscles as they try their hand at making cool new works of art. But I’ve never seen anything quite like the brand new craft kits for kids by Renegade Made that aim to turn crafting into a larger social movement for good. The idea is that these clever craft kits for kids are designed to deliver random acts of kindness around town, through one of four kits, and kids as young as 8 (though likely younger with an adult’s help) can find one that keeps them busily entertained, all while...

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8 of the best teacher appreciation printables to help your kids say thanks

When we asked teachers what they thought made the best teacher gifts a couple of years ago, an overwhelming number of them said a personal note from their students was the one thing that really made their day. Yes, gift cards, classroom books, and handmade gifts are nice (and always appreciated!), but getting a handwritten note of thanks takes very little work and goes a very long way in showing appreciation to teachers after a long year. However, I think we can all agree that getting all kids to sit down a write a thoughtful note isn’t always so easy, so we’ve...

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10 absolutely charming storybook birthday party ideas for kids

Looking for some inspiration for your child’s next birthday party that goes beyond animated movies? You may not have to look any farther than one of the well-worn storybooks your child lovingly keeps by their bedside. In fact, we love the idea of a storybook themed birthday party so much! Not only do classic picture books provide tons of ideas and inspiration, but they have the added benefit creating themes that parents can be really excited to bring to life. (With all due respect to Dora and friends.) To help you get started thinking about some fantastic party ideas that will make your child’s celebration memorable, we’ve...

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7 of the coolest craft kits for kids

As much as my older kids love their electronics, good old-fashioned crafts still hold some appeal for them, especially if the finished product is something really worth making. And with summer vacation fast-approaching, I really want to find smart, interactive projects for them that don’t require a battery life. So, I’ve rounded up 7 of the coolest craft kits for kids ages 10 and older that are sure to impress. Related: 3 brand new nature-themed activity books will keep kids busy…without screens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate If your kids already get basic origami, they’re probably love this adorable Origami Playhouse by illustrator, author, and teacher of...

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10 really cool activity books for kids. For summer travel, or for regular boredom, which knows no season.

From books full of creative DIY projects to endless coloring pages, I have tracked down some of the absolute coolest activity books for kids, that I think your kids are sure to love as much as mine this summer. After all, I adore the warm weather and the break from routines, but I am admittedly not ready for summer vacation. With just 3 weeks left until school lets, I’m hoping these kids’ activity books will keep my brood entertained — and off screens — from the minute they wake up. Which is well before I’m able to crawl out of bed, because what is it about...

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9 sweet, easy handmade Mother’s Day cards your kids can make (with maybe just a little help)

While there are tons of amazing, store-bought Mother’s Day cards these days, I love when my kids take the time to create a handmade Mother’s Day card for me. It gives them an opportunity to be creative, and feel that pride that comes with having made something special by themselves. It’s a money saver too. But beyond that, you can pretty much guarantee that any handmade cards created just for Mom or Grandma will be the kinds of special keepsakes you save even after the flowers and the chocolates are long gone. top image: I Heart Crafty Things I hope you enjoy some of these neat handmade...

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10 DIY teacher gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week to remind them how much they’re helping our children grow

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we definitely want to recognize all the VITs (Very Important Teachers) who help nurture our kids’ love of learning. So, along with a handwritten note of our gratitude, we like the idea of giving a DIY teacher gift that grows. While of course there are tons of cool teacher gift ideas that we’ve recommended here, there’s something special about a hand-potted plant that can be kept on a windowsill in the classroom or brought home to plant outside. So we’ve got 10 neat ideas that are definitely worth a peek. It’s a sweet gesture that can serve as...

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An edible Passover craft idea. How’s that for easy clean-up?

It’s just a few days until Passover, and this awesomely clever craft idea offers one fun way to get the kids excited for the holiday. Besides promising them matzoh sandwiches in their lunch for a week. We love this DIY Passover Matzoh House found at Epicurious. An inventive take on the non-denominational and universally beloved gingerbread house, it’s not all that hard to make. And, it’s as Kosher for Passover as you want to be. You pretty much just need five sheets of matzoh (I’d say more because we tend to break ours in the process), peanut butter if that’s cool by your...

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The adult coloring book that’s perfect for Mother’s Day

Just when you think you’ve seen every adult coloring book concept on the planet, along comes another made just for moms — or those who love them. My Mother, My Heart: A Joyful Book to Color is so much more beautifully designed than I, admittedly, was expecting from the title alone. As a typography geek, I appreciate Eleri Fowler’s exquisite hand-lettering that she uses throughout the book to bring to life inspirational quotes and poetic messages of love for mothers, from the likes of Robert Browning, Louisa May Alcott, and Marcel Proust. But of course the star of the show are the fabulous, intricate illustrations that cover 96 pages....

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Tweed wolf: Gorgeous custom photo books with someone else taking care of the customizing.

Have you ever wished someone else would just take your camera roll and turn it into a gorgeous custom photo album? Me too. And, we’re in luck. The relatively new service, Tweed Wolf does it all and beautifully — and just in time for Mother’s Day gifts, too. Related: A comparison of our 11 favorite custom photo book services. Even though I have developed a pretty good habit of going through my camera roll every week or so to delete all those whoops-wrong-angle, child-scowling-not-smiling photos, I still have nearly a thousand keepers just from the last year alone. I presume I’m not the only one who gets...

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The coolest Easter Peeps diorama contest entries, FTW!

Easter traditions, in no particular order: 1. Dye eggs. 2. Find eggs. 3. Open baskets. 4. Steal all the Reese’s eggs from the kids. 5. Look at all the winners of all the Peeps art contests. Related: Fun ideas for what to do with Easter Peeps (besides eat them all)   I always head to the annual Washington Post Peeps Diorama winners first, followed by the excellent Seattle Times Peeps Contest. And then there’s also the WashPo’s dedicated Kids’ Peep Contest that your kids will love, featuring sugary homages to Inside Out, DC area sports teams, fairy tales, and Peep Steve Harvey whiffing the Miss Universe Peepgeant...

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Adorable, free last-minute Easter printables for the finishing touch on those baskets

We’re always grateful to the designers who create cute free printables, like these fun printable Easter basket gift tags.  Melanie has designed them in five fun colors, all of which should go perfectly with jelly beans, chocolate eggs, and and unnaturally colored Peeps of every kind. Just add an optional bunny tail (or “bunny butt,” as she calls it) and the Easter Bunny’s basket is ready to go. Related: The ultimate last-minute Easter idea guide, newly updated for 2017 You’ll find them at the wonderfully named Reasons to Skip the Housework, ready for printing. And hey, for more fun last minute crafts and...

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15 pretty Easter flower crafts for kids of every age, from easy to whoa!

There’s nothing quite like bright bursts of color dotting the landscape to wake me up and out of winter’s hibernation. And you can bring all the colors of spring into your home with these 15 pretty flower crafts you can make with the kids,even if the real ones aren’t blooming in your neck of the woods just yet. From easy fingerprint projects to more advanced crafting like weaving and stamp making, we’ve found some amazing DIY crafts that are getting us all excited about the warmer weather and good things to come. And don’t miss our newly updated post with 11 more fun, easy flower craft ideas for kids....

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How to create an organized craft space for kids: 7 expert tips to change your world

If you’ve ever wanted to create an organized craft space for kids, whether it’s a whole room or just a small area where they can get their creative on, well we’ve got some fabulous tips for you. After all, I think that as parents, we’re all praying we don’t have an Olivia on our hands who thinks it’s a brilliant idea to Jackson Pollock our dining room walls — we want the artist, not the mess, am I right? Enter Megan Schiller of The Art Pantry, an ace at creating kid-friendly craft spaces for homes and schools. She’s also the author of...

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Making natural Easter egg dyes perfectly: 2 expert methods and step-by-step tips

My kids have shown more of an interest in making natural easter egg dyes this year. It’s like part science experiment, part craft project, and there’s something kind of cool about not entirely knowing how the results will come out. So as much as we’re fans of finding creative ways to decorate Easter eggs without dyeing them, we have a few die-hard dyers (or dye-hards?) in my family who will be excited to check out this cool, easy step-by-step DIY for making natural Easter egg dye, using colors from actual food, courtesy of Chris McLaughlin. She’s a long-time garden columnist and home agriculture magazine editor, as...

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How to make the most awesome tie-dye Easter eggs: A tutorial in 4 easy steps

Tie-dye Easter eggs? Oh, heck yeah! Didn’t you know? We’re parenting in the Pinterest era, which means now Easter egg dyeing ideas are so much more than plain pastels or primary colors. We’re seeing amazing pop-culture characters, foil-wrapped eggs, and elaborate decoupage. And we’re very inspired. But if advanced egg decorating is not in your wheelhouse, that’s why we love these tie-dye Easter eggs, that let you get super creative without a whole lot of work. I know, tie-dye Easter eggs sounded overwhelming to me too, at first, but they’re actually really simple and you probably already have all the supplies you...

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24 pop culture Easter eggs featuring your kids’ favorite characters: Parenting win!

If your kids are looking for their Easter eggs to have a little more personality this year, we’ve found tons of ways to make some fabulous pop culture Easter eggs, all representing some of kids’ favorite characters. While it’s always fun just to dunk eggs in dye or color them with markers, these ideas just might keep your kids decorating the entire day. Or…us. (If we’re honest about it.) However while some of these pop culture Easter eggs require a steady hand and some pro skills to make them come out just like the photos, you can also use these ideas as a jumping-off...

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15 of the cutest and free-est Easter printables for our kids

We’ve been hopping all over the internet to find our favorite free Easter printables to help you get ready for Easter Sunday. Our hunt turned up some of the cutest printable Easter coloring pages, decorations, and DIY treat boxes that you can just click and print in time for the 27th. (Yes, it’s coming soon!) Bunny bandit masks and playdough mats? Yes, found them too. And since they’re all free, you can go ahead and splurge on some fancy chocolate bunnies for yourself. And we hope you do. Related: 14 easy Easter crafts for kids, hold the glitter.   Printable Easter Bunny Treat Cones | We...

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Easter eggs so natural, they come with their own Easter grass

Along with eating an entire bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs (ugh), I’ve kicked off the Easter season by dyeing dozens of Easter eggs with my kids. And since our family consumes a ton of hardboiled eggs, I like to use natural dyes on them whenever possible. I’ve used the eco-kids eco egg coloring kit before and this year it has gone even more green, so to speak, with the inclusion of a grass-growing kit that is way more eco-friendly and educational than packages of neon-colored synthetic grass. Related: How to dye Easter eggs naturally: Step-by-step instructions and inspiration I have to admit I was a bit skeptical that anything more...

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9 fun, easy Easter crafts you can make with everyday household objects.

Spring is in the air and our kids are clamoring to make some easy Easter crafts — the holiday will be here before you know it!  So this year, I’m looking for some fun, realistic (ahem) craft ideas for Easter that incorporate things I have at home already. These easy Easter crafts I found are made with everyday supplies, hopefully to save you some money and a trip to the arts & crafts store (you’re welcome) — take a look at what kids can do with things as basic as plastic spoons, empty paper towel rolls,  drinking straws and egg cartons. Oh, and their imagination. Which isn’t basic at all....

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Sharpie Easter eggs! 19 of the coolest no-mess ideas that make Easter egg decorating easy.

For the last few years, we’ve been finding more and more Easter egg decorating ideas that skip the traditional dip and dye, and go straight to Sharpies. What’s cool for us as parents is that not only is there less mess, but what kids don’t jump at the chance to get a Sharpie in their hands? So, I’ve sought out 19 of the coolest Sharpie Easter egg ideas to try out. For what it’s worth, we don’t suggest you use Sharpies on the shells of hard-boiled eggs you actually plan to eat. But if you’re worried your kids won’t be able to resist devouring your...

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The Ruth Bader Ginsburg coloring pages. Free, printable, and making history.

You can’t have a conversation about Women’s History Month without including second female Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She’s fought tirelessly for women her whole career, and following the success of the best-selling Notorious RBG by Irene Carmon and Shana Knizhnik, SheKnows has put out a series of printable Ruth Bader Ginsburg coloring pages. You’ll find 10 pages of RBG riding a unicorn past a rainbow, posing in her own superhero outfit, sporting a tattoo, and taking a selfie on a phone. There are also the less blatantly hipster ironic images of her giving the thumbs up, or just posing like her badass,...

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11 creative painting projects for kids. Get out the brushes! Or…bubble wrap?

We admit that sometimes we avoid the really fun painting and craft projects that include supplies other than the box of nice, neat, perfectly sharpened colored pencils we know will minimize cleanup time. (The glitter glue, that’s a whole other story.) But then we think, aw, the kids always have the best time painting.  Maybe it’s time to get out the brushes? That’s when we toss some newspaper or a drop cloth over the table, stick an apron or giant t-shirt over the kids, and let them get messy. And you know? We’re always glad we did. The truth is, cleanup is never as awful...

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We heart this free printable Valentine’s Day gift wrap!

Once you’ve found a special gift for your Valentine — perhaps from our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide? — you’ll probably want to wrap it in something other than leftover holiday gift wrap. Got nothing at home but yesterday’s newspaper and arts-and-crafts scraps? You’re in luck. At Design is Yay, you can download two free printable Valentine’s Day gift wrap options that will make whatever you wrap up look like you put in whole lot of TLC. Isn’t it awesome when great designers create beautiful free things just for us?   Click over to choose between a super sweet pink little heart matchstick design or a blue love you...

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30 super cool printable Valentine’s Day cards for the classroom, all free or close to it.

Each year, we search high and low for the best printable Valentine’s Day cards for the classroom, to make is so much easier for kids (or, ahem, their parents)  to get all those heartfelt wishes ready for friends, families and classmates. By now, our readers know that we’re wildly picky about the designs we choose, and yet this year, we’re thrilled to be able to share 30 free or inexpensive printable Valentine’s Day cards, all wonderful, and all ready to download, print, cut and sign, right from the comfort of your home. As Kristen and Liz shared on their recent episode of Spawned, we are definitely pro-Valentine’s...

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17 wonderful DIY Valentine’s Day gifts that the kids can make | Valentine’s Day Gifts 2016

I love looking for crafty DIY Valentine’s Day gifts that my kids can make, and I hope you like when I look for them for you. Because my criteria, I think, are fairly straightforward, and ones I bet a lot of you can relate to as well: 1) Do I own any of that stuff? 2) If I don’t own any of that stuff can I easily get it? 3) Can my kids actually do most of the work and if not, will I complain about it? 4) Will the end result look anything like the photos? Even a little?...

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11 easy Valentine’s Day crafts for preschoolers and younger kids, most with supplies you already have at home.

While I’m not sure I’m ready for my house to look like it exploded in hearts, Valentine’s Day is coming sooner than you think. And since my kids’ own language of love is craft projects, I’ve been looking for some easy Valentine’s Day crafts for younger kids that preschoolers and even toddlers can make, that still have a fun, cool vibe. And most of all, that have supplies I already own or are pretty easy to find locally or through Amazon. In other words, no professional equipment needed. I bet even your older kids will want to help out —  well, maybe if you have cookies and pink...

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Festive Roots: Very cool craft kits for kids that help them be smarter global citizens too.

My kids can easily spend an hour at the kitchen table working on a good DIY project, so I’m always on the lookout for cool crafts kits that will pique their interest. Lately, it’s been the globally-minded kits from Festive Roots, which helps teach kids about cultural celebrations all across the world through crafting. Which is such a fantastic idea! Each kit includes three crafts inspired by a holiday from countries like China, India, and Mexico. The trunks come straight to your mailbox with everything — and I mean, everything — you’ll need to complete the craft. There’s no dreaded, Mom, where’s our glue stick? halfway through. The kit we...

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Great family craft project for MLK Day: Come together to create this Martin Luther King Jr. mural

Over the years, we have shared our favorite books, videos and websites that help our kids learn about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. And now, along with learning about his life, we can add an interesting art project that our kids can do with their friends or in class next week to remember this important person in history. Related: Terrific ways to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the kids With 36 full-sheet coloring pages, art teacher Kathy Barbro’s Martin Luther King Coloring Mural is a brilliant group project that comes together to form a 48″x60″ mural for the wall. (Of course,...

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