Category: DIY

11 messy projects for preschoolers that let you be The Fun Parent

If you find yourself saying Don’t make a mess! to your curious, imaginative, and, yeah, messy preschooler more times than you care to count, we’re going to challenge you to say Let’s make a mess for a change. Wait til you see how good that feels. Oh sure, we couldn’t do this every day, but sometimes it’s fun to let loose and be the fun parent who doesn’t really care how dirty, sticky, painty, or glittery our kids get during no-holds-barred play. Especially as the weather gets warmer, and sending them to hose off outside is one viable option.     Remember, clean-up time...

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5 gorgeous photo gifts for Mother’s Day that are worthy of the photos

We’ve always said that some of our favorite Mother’s Day gifts are personalized, and well, you can’t get more personalized than photos of your own kids and family. Of course, not all photo gifts are created equal. (Sorry, badly printed photo mugs.) That’s where Artifact Uprising comes in, a wonderful small company that we — and our readers! — have truly loved even before they became our newest sponsor. And we are so thrilled to continue to support them. These are folks who are driven by the belief that everyone has a story to tell, and we couldn’t agree...

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The most fun printable Haggadah for kids we’ve ever seen

While mostly what kids look forward to in a Passover Seder is finding the matzoh, reading the four questions and stuffing their faces with as many macaroons or chocolate-covered Matzoh as possible, a few years back we discovered a clever Passover Haggadah for kids that I think gives them one more reason to look forward to the holiday. And now, what’s better, it’s been turned into a printable Haggadah so it’s even easier to get your hands on it. Equal parts conversation starter and interactive activity book in the style of Taro Gomi, My Haggadah: Made it Myself by Francine Hermelin Levite is a remarkably...

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10 cool free printable Easter coloring pages for kids who’ve moved past fat washable markers

If you’re looking for some last minute Easter crafts for your kids, and making your own hand-stitched Easter bunny doll from vintage fabrics you scavenged from estate sales isn’t quite on the agenda, printable coloring pages are always a hit. At least in my home. (See also: My front door. Any time of year.) Unfortunately, most of the Easter printables I see are kind of cutesie for my own kids, who have outgrown the whole connect-the-dots to make an egg and chick. So taking a cue from the coloring mandalas that they love, I found some more intricate, advanced, free printable Easter coloring pages that will...

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How to dye Easter eggs with food coloring and get just the right shade? Ask the experts.

I am imagining that the McCormick’s website must get more traffic this time of year than any other, considering that it’s pretty much homebase for anyone wanting to know just how to dye Easter eggs with food coloring, and just which exact combo of those teeny little drops will yield the perfect hues. While we’ve shared some cool natural ways to dye your Easter eggs, I also understand that when it comes to kids, sometimes a pale kinda-yellow-brown isn’t going to cut it when what they really want is bright neon orange. And that a kid like mine who loves turquoise (this year) will probably...

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17 of the coolest bunny crafts for Easter we can’t resist. Oh, the kids too, of course.

Many of us are going to turn the calendar over to April and realize, with a start, that Easter is a blink away on April 5. Or today, it’s a week away. So use this last week to decorate eggs, make Eastery treats, and finish shopping for those baskets. And if you need to keep your little bunnies’ hands busy too, we’ve pulled together 17sweet bunny crafts for Easter that your kids and you can make, eat, or play with while you jump around getting everything done. Related: 15 easy Easter crafts for kids and fun printables. No glitter required!   Easter Bunny...

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17 of the most incredibly clever pop culture Easter eggs, from Star Wars to Frozen to Minecraft and beyond.

Looking for your Easter eggs to have a little more personality this year? We’ve got lots of amazingly creative ideas for pop culture Easter eggs that give a nod to those characters and creatures we all know and love, like our favorite superheroes, more than a few Star Wars characters, and of course, Minecraft. While some of these ideas are so spectacular, only the most artistic among us should attempt, several ideas are totally doable. In fact, good luck to those of you who are about to end up with two dozen Minecraft Creeper eggs. Related: 17 super cool Easter egg decorating ideas that...

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6 easy St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids that look pretty darn cute.

As we all know, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so even my family dons the green and plays some jigs on March 17th. And though we don’t go crazy decorating our house with shamrocks or setting up leprechaun traps, there are plenty of easy, kid-friendly crafts we can do to celebrate the Emerald Isles on this day. I pared it down to six cool craft ideas that go beyond sticking shamrock stickers on green plastic hats. (Not that that can’t be fun for kids too!) DIY Green Clay Bead Necklace (tutorial, Tuts+) Okay so this definitely is the least easy...

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17 super cool Easter egg decorating ideas that are all about the color.

Every year, my family looks for cool ways to decorate Easter eggs that doesn’t require crafting skills far beyond what I have myself — which is not much. That said, my kids adore the tradition and love experimenting with new ways to play around with decorating eggs. As for me, I like them to look pretty when we’re done. (I’ve never been one for all those stickers that come in the egg-dyeing kits.) So I’ve tracked down 17 really great tutorials that are all about color and pattern, but that the kids can still have fun with on Easter Sunday without getting too...

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The Easter Bunny is coming to town. And he’s naked. For now.

This is the time we start thinking Easter for you all, and as always, we love finding special little treats for the Easter baskets that aren’t necessarily your typical drugstore-shelf chocolate bunny. So I think this Easter Bunny painting kit is just perfect, especially considering it’s under $15. It’s not only a great craft in itself, but makes a cool keepsake that kids will proudly display when they’re done. And while it’s recommended for kids 6 and up, I’d imagine that preschoolers would do just fine with a little parental supervision. Coloring in the lines is overrated anyway. Related: 14 easy Easter crafts...

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We are all Grinning Face about these cute DIY emoji Easter eggs

Considering emoji are like the new Angry Birds (or Minecraft creepers, or Anna and Elsa, or name your favorite humongo pop culture icon here), I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the emoji Easter egg DIY craft from Studio DIY. Your text-happy kids will get a huge kick out of the various smiley faces. I know mine will. I do think because eggs are not round, the ones that work best to sell the emoji face idea are designs like “Smiling Face with Heart-Shaped Eyes,”  “Face Throwing a Kiss,” and “Face with Tears of Joy.” (And yes, they all have actual names like that.) Related: 9...

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Paint inspiration for 4 cool DIY home decor projects. Color nerds, we have you covered.

Where do you go for design inspiration now that the Pinterest feed changes have totally screwed up your experience? If you’re looking for paint inspiration to freshen up your home decor, you need to visit the blog of Colorhouse Paint, a brand that’s a favorite of designers, architects, and eco-conscious parents for its odor-free, low-VOC  paint colors, its eco-friendly manufacturing processes, and even a paint recycling program. I went to the blog to look for some home decor inspiration, then fell down the rabbit hole with so many DIYs and color trend blog posts that I immediately wanted to pin to my boards. What can I say, old habits die hard....

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Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday this week by taking him to lunch

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! Over the years, we have celebrated the many magical Dr. Seuss books you’ve given us and our children with delicious and easy treats to eat, great Seuss-related gifts, and even ways to carry around a little Seuss to all the places we go with the coolest phone cases. But today, we’re sharing something totally free: A cute set of 6 free printable Dr. Seuss lunch box notes  that will allow you to tuck a little Seussian wisdom into your kids’ lunchboxes the rest of this week. Related: Free printable lunch box nots that let you be That Mom....

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The coolest free printable Year of the Goat coloring page to ring in the Chinese New Year

For a little Chinese New Year celebration this evening, I’ll be tracking down some delicious take-out dumplings at my local Chinese food joint (in lieu of my Chinese mom’s amazing cooking, sniffle), and printing out a few copies of this free Year of the Goat printable coloring page that I know my kids will love. What a cool, modern design to bring the Chinese Zodiac to life–which trust me, is pretty hard to find, if you’ve ever searched for free Chinese New Year printables. All you need is your printer, some crayons, and you’ve got a fun, simple way to share a cultural experience with your kids....

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A monster t-shirt kids are guaranteed to love. Because they design it.

It’s hard to find a kid who doesn’t love customizing things to make them their own, from a blank notebook to their bedroom walls. And while I’d rather not have the interior of my car “customized” with stickers, I do want to foster my kids’ love for artistic expression. So, I kind of geeked out over the customizable t-shirt kits by Creatures & Features. And I think they will too. Each kit includes an organic, US-made t-shirt with a monster outline on it and a set of features you iron-on to create a design that’s all your own. They call them a “boy kit” and “girl kit,” but...

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Free printable lunch box notes that let you be That Mom. Yes, you!

I always envisioned being That Mom who sends my kids off to school with cute little lunch box notes each day scribbled with heartfelt words of encouragement and love. Ha! Alas, I am the mom who is usually scrambling just to remember to pack a spoon to go with the yogurt. But recently, I started keeping a set of printable lunchbox notes in a drawer in the kitchen (wisely next to the spoons), and every so often, for no reason at all, I pop one in to surprise the kids. They love it, and it takes no time at all. Related: 8 of...

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The motherlode of free printable paper dolls for pop culture junkies

Several years ago, my youngest daughter fell in love with paper dolls, so I scoured the Internet for tons of free printable paper dolls for her, then shared my favorite ones with you all. Well now she’s gone through them all–multiple times. She’s insatiable, I tell you. In looking for more for her, I found the most remarkable artist in Cory Jensen and I am officially obsessed. Also known as Cor104 on Deviant Art where I originally found him, Cory is seriously a master of illustration. I adore his style so much, and his clear devotion to the fan art he creates. The fact that he’s made so many (many,...

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3 adorable free Valentine’s printables that let kids make their own Valentine’s gifts.

I’ve noticed that old school “Cootie Catchers” have been making a comeback lately, but I particularly like the rebranding of them as Chatterboxes. After all, that’s a little more palatable than the idea of picking bugs off of your friends, right? (Ew.) If your kids adore them them like mine, check out the sweet new printable just out from our talented friend Lonela of Tiny Me, who’s always whipping up something adorably crafty and cool and generously offering it up for free download.   The free printable Chatterboxes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, with fortunes like You have a heart of...

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12 of the most fun, easy Valentine’s crafts for kids that we’d like doing too.

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, I’m going to take advantage of this weekend with the kids to finish up their printable Valentine’s Day cards and make a few yummy Valentine’s food gifts to hand out to all our favorite people. We’re also going to keep our hands busy and out of the bowl of candy hearts by doing some of these awesomely unique, fun, and easy Valentine’s crafts for kids. I hope you’ll agree they’re all pretty simple, and definitely kid-friendly, with supplies you already own or are fairly easy to find. No need for buzz saws. Yet.   Recycled Valentine’s treat bag...

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Share the love: 19 of the best printable valentines for your (very thoughtful) kids.

Yes, parenting in the digital age comes with the hassle of monitoring screen time and wondering if our kids are using social media for good. But there are also printable valentines, so we never have to comb through boxes of Dora and SpongeBob cards in a last-minute rush again. Instead, I’m letting my kids shop from some of the best printable valentines online. These cards will stand out from the crowd and score your kid major cool points with their friends. Plus, you don’t have to make them choose just one because almost all of them are free. So stock up on ink, because life just got way...

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Happy Handmade: The super-fun, super doable new craft e-book for kids.

Sometimes I see the same crafts in crafting books for kids over and over again, but the ideas in the new e-book Happy Handmade, are fresh and fun, with diverse perspectives from 17 creative contributors. We’re talking respected craft and DIY bloggers like Mari Richards at Small for Big, Eva Monleón at Misako Mimoko, and Ana at Babble Dabble Do. From scented orange-peel candles to a braided belt to sock puppets and doll houses made from shoe boxes, there’s something for every crafty kid here.  And fear not crafting newbies; these are mostly simple, 101-level craft projects you can make with materials you likely already have at home, like toilet...

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10 easy Valentine’s Day crafts that make cool DIY gifts: Valentines Day Gift Guide

We love homemade gifts, and have always had a heart for Valentine’s Day crafts that make truly thoughtful gifts. But then we look around, and…eek! Unless you have your own woodworking shop and an MFA in jewelry design, not all the ideas floating around will come looking like those gorgeous Pinterest photos. (You know what we mean.) So we searched high and low, and put together some of our favorite Valentine’s Day crafts that look amazing, but that regular people can reasonably do. We hope one of them is just right for your kids, your sweetheart, your BFF, or anyone else who needs to feel the...

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21 interesting, educational indoor activities to keep kids happy when you’re stuck indoors

If you have young ones, we recently shared 23 fun, educational activities for preschoolers and young kids. But as your kids get older, it can even more challenging to find cool, educational indoor activities when they’re clamoring to play with the XBox. So we’ve put together 21 fantastic ideas early grade schoolers, to help grow their minds and muscles, whether you’re snowed in, watching a cold rainfall outside, or live in Southern California and just need to get out of the balmy 73-degree weather for an hour or two. (Oh, the problems.) These are the ideas that we put to use...

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6 wooden blocks crafts to make those old toddler toys new and fun again

I’ve been cleaning up and paring down lately, and that includes some of the wooden blocks my kids got as gifts when they were young. So I started thinking about upcycled wooden blocks craft ideas that might breathe some new life into them. While a fresh coat of paint (with a non-toxic finish!) is an easy fix, there are so many neat ideas out there from talented crafters to help you take those basic wooden blocks your child may have gotten as a baby, and repurpose them to make them fun for toddlers, kindergarteners, or even puzzle-solving big kids.  ...

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How to make loom bands with your fingers: 10 awesome patterns and video tutorials

The Rainbow Loom band bracelets (and necklaces, charms, rings, headbands, oh my) we’ve shared here are just as popular as ever, as kids find new ways to put them to use. Now, the trend is to ditch the looms entirely and learn how to make loom bands with your fingers. Our kids have been doing it, and they’re making the coolest crafts during playdates, on long car rides, or while watching TV. I still have bands scattered all over my house, and our loom band tutorial roundup (and our advanced loom band tutorials) continue to be some of the most popular posts on our site. But if...

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23 ideas for fun, educational indoor activities for preschoolers and young kids. Because we need all the ideas we can get!

After the initial “yay, snow!” cheers comes the realization that you now have to come up with educational activities for your preschoolers or kindergarteners, to help keep them busy–and ideally, learning–all day long. And while I totally understand letting PBS air a few more shows than you might normally allow, I also think an unexpected day stuck indoors is a great way to try out new activities that give their brains a workout and help reinforce important skills. It’s the kind of stuff you may not have time to do together on a regular old day.   That’s why I’m so pleased...

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6 easy kids dresser label tricks. A.K.A. how to keep your kids from wearing swimsuits in a snowstorm. Maybe.

I have come across a few little design hack ideas to help keep my kids’ overflowing drawers a little less so–and hopefully, in the process, keep the seven year-old from grabbing the tye-died tank top and gym shorts when it’s 10-degrees and snowing outside. 1. For kids of reading age, you can order custom drawer labels like these nice ones from 3rd Ave Shore on Etsy, shown above. You can of course name them by clothing category, or give them labels like cold weather, warm weather, socks and undies. Depending on how many clothes you have, of course. Around here, we need...

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13 of the coolest, prettiest, and most fun printable 2015 calendars. Lots of them free!

Like shopping for new school supplies in the fall, I absolutely love getting a beautiful new calendar each January. It’s a blank slate spread out before me for the coming year, with so much opportunity. While I’ll definitely buy a printed calendar with space to fill in family activities, I also spent time weeding through all those ho-hum printable calendar templates out there, and tracking down some of the best printable 2015 calendars. I love each of these cool calendars so much, I just may have one in my kitchen, in the office,  on my bedside table…can you tell I’m obsessed?   Sometimes I need a good pep talk to conquer...

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Adorable, free printable holiday gift tags from illustrators you may already know and love

If you’re like me, you have yet to take all those parcels and toys out of their hiding places and start hunching over the gift wrap and ribbon to get them all gift-ready. One of my plans is to make use of some of the truly gorgeous printable gift tags  that our intrepid writers scope out for you each year.  And then at the last minute, I found one last source for free printable holiday gift tags: The Zutano Blog. Like so many parents, for years we’ve loved Zutano baby clothes in part for their fun original prints. So how perfect that their...

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Deck the halls with printable Christmas ornaments from Smallful

I’ve woken up a few times over the last couple weeks to the sound of ornaments falling from my tree and crashing to the floor. Not good. I’ve got a few gaps in my tree now, but with just a couple days until school is out and the kids are home, I don’t have time to make a run to the store for more ornaments. Our editor Liz forwarded me these cool printable Christmas ornaments from Smallful the other day, and now I don’t need to go anywhere. I love tradition and vintage and classic at Christmas, but these fresh, modern designs...

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