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. ...Read More
Tag: crafts for kids
The Mini Life: When you feel like you’ve seen every baby and kid gift out there, here’s where to go.
I’m always happy to introduce you to beautifully-curated independent web boutiques and here’s one more new one that’s caught my attention since its launch just a few weeks ago. Mini Life is an exquisite children’s lifestyle boutique packed full of gorgeous toys, decor, home items and more, all cultivated from around the world. It’s definitely not the kinds of gifts you see in every shop in the mall. Founder Athena Rotolo has a modern sensibility I just love, and if you’ve got little ones to shop for–or maybe, splurge on–then you must look around this exquisite site. Here are just...Read More
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...Read More
As we say goodbye to 2014 and remember to start typing 2015 on all our correspondence, we wanted to take one last look back at our posts. Specifically, the top posts written in 2014 that caught the attention and imagination of our readers–aside from our our very popular 2014 holiday gift guide and Mother’s Day gift guide. Some of these are surprising, some, not so much. Let’s just say you guys sure like to make things, you sure like to eat, and you sure like to party. Three traits we like in our friends! 10. 8 easy donut recipes so...Read More
If you have a curious, crafty, smart, and creative tween, we have a cool new gift idea that isn’t a craft kit or art supplies, but a brand new magazine that will fill her head with things to make, projects to do, and fun ways to spend her time in the upcoming year. Curious Jane Magazine is the newly-launched magazine from the creators of the Curious Jane summer camps and after-school programs for girls 6-11. Like the camps, which our editor Liz’s daughter has attended and loved, the magazine is designed to give young girls their own space to create, think, and imagine. We’ve...Read More
You’ve heard us singing the praises of Kiwi Crate’s monthly subscription crates full of projects for kids ages 3-8 for years, but if your kids fall outside of those age ranges, tough luck, right? Not anymore. Their three new crates will help you cross off even more kids on your holiday list. Doesn’t that make you feel merry? Older, artistic-minded kids who enjoy making things with their hands will dig Doodle Crate, with a new DIY idea packed inside each month for kids ages 9-16+. My two tweens loved making geometric canvas pouches inside the crate they tried. I appreciated that everything was...Read More
We are always pinning DIY projects that kids can actually do (with maybe just a little help here and there, of course) on our Printables+DIY Pinterest board. When it comes to getting gifts from my kids, I always love the handmade ones the best. It doesn’t matter if it’s imperfect or inexpensive, as long as it comes from their heart. And hey, even our kids’ teachers agree. So, if your kids are starting to wonder what to get you–or your partner, their siblings, their grandparents, or their coaches–take an hour to hang out and help them make some of these fun handmade gifts designed just...Read More
If you’ve got big kids like mine who love to DIY, then you need to snatch up one of these KidKnits craft kits for kids that help give back to people in need. Founded by 9-year old (yes, 9!) and avid knitter Ellie, KidKnits is a non-profit organization that helps families in Chile and Rwanda through the sale of hat craft kits. Each kit features everything you’ll need to make your own hat, including your color choice of hand-dyed yarn from the artisans in both countries the charity supports, as well as a round loom, hook, needle, and instructions, all...Read More
I never think we can have enough coloring books around the house–or stashed in the travel bags for road trips and plane rides. As much as I love handing my kids plain sheets of paper for open-ended creativity, there’s something about coloring in the lines and having a jumping-off point for coloring that’s still really engaging for them. So I love that there are two new coloring books out for older kids too, that make really thoughtful, affordable gifts under $10. Especially because both were written by independent artists we know and love. Coloring Animal Mandalas, by Wendy Piersall is a pretty awesome take on...Read More
I may not allow Elf on a Shelf in my house, and Peter Pan is definitely not welcome to fly through my kids’ bedroom window, but having some magical fairy visitors would be just fine. Especially if it means my kids go eagerly to bed in the hopes that one will stop by while they are sleeping. The Dreamland Fairy Kit is just the kind of place a fairy may want to visit and would make an awesome fairy gift for kids who believe that fairies are real. Developed by moms Cassie Slane and Ami Van Dine after their six-year-old daughters proposed the...Read More
Web coolness: Holiday gift help, ideas for kids who don’t need toys, TIME person of the year, and a hilarious takedown of a top gift catalog
Here are our favorite links around the web this week. Hope you like them too. With less than 2 weeks to Christmas and only a few days to Hanukkah (eek!), check out more than 200 gift ideas on our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. Plus there’s still time to enter that awesome giveaway filled with luxury goodies for you and the kids. Emoji gifts. Love it. Great ideas for kids who don’t need more toys. (Even if they think they do.) Helpful source for free toy, craft, and stocking stuffer ideas. What happens when boys want princess toys? Must-read post for Etsy sellers and...Read More
We are always on the lookout for the best teacher gift ideas every year, and it may in fact be one of the top gift questions we get from readers every year about this time. (Then again in May.) And hey, I get it; if there are any people on my holiday shopping list that I’m most grateful for, it’s my kids’ teachers. They’re with my kids all day every day, and go above and beyond the job description, from purchasing supplies for the classroom from their own wallets to sending personal emails and notes home to let me know how my kids are doing....Read More
15 of the most gorgeous printable holiday crafts for kids and families. Better get those printers warmed up!
Each year, I love rounding up the best printable holiday crafts that so many amazing designers, artists, and all-around crafty people develop so that people like me can create beautiful things with our kids. In fact, they make it so easy for me to print out not only holiday paper crafts, but also beautiful gift tags and vibrant wrapping paper, I never have to make a night-before-Christmas run for those things anymore. (If only I could print tape.) So I’ve put together 15 of my favorite printable holiday crafts to do with the kids this season. And with three kids, you...Read More
Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then find cool pins like these from our site and beyond, just in time for holiday help. 1. Free printable holiday gift tags and labels–with a sense of humor. 2. Awesome STEM gift for crafty kids. 3. Free printable coupons that make terrific stocking stuffers. 4. A holiday cocktail recipe that gets us very excited for babysitter night. 5. Best Hanukkah gift ever? Possibly. 6. Now that’s a cool holiday card idea! For more holiday ideas and inspiration, check out these Pinterest Boards: •Holiday Fabulosity •Printables + DIY •Cool Toys •Hostess Gifts...Read More
Compared to last year (holy Thanksgivukkah!), it may seem like we have tons of time to prep for Hanukkah, but I have a feeling that the time will fly. Quickly. Before we know it, we’ll be on the hook for eight crazy nights of festivities and, probably Hanukkah gifts for your kids, too. Of course, all of the toys and gifts in this year’s Cool Mom Picks gift guide make great options, especially our ideas for Baby’s First Hanukkah if you have a new baby or toddler. But for older kids, I’ve tracked down these great Hanukkah gifts for kids...Read More
Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then find cool pins like these daily, from our site and beyond. Can you tell we’ve got holidays on our brains? 1. A very cute free printable Advent calendar for kids. 2. Creative holiday photo card idea that anyone can do. 3. Great list of easy, homemade holiday food gifts. 4. One designer tech accessory we’re all coveting for our stockings. 5. Wine glasses that are cracking us up. Great Pinterest boards to follow for holiday help and inspiration: •Holiday Fabulosity •Printables + DIY •Cool Toys •Hostess Gifts •Kids’ Holiday Style...Read More
12 free (or mostly free) Thanksgiving printables from place cards to gift tags to coloring pages for the kids.
We’ve given you some delicious turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, and cranberry sauce recipes, now let us help you finish up your planning with some easy Thanksgiving printables for gift tags, decor, even coloring pages and craft projects for the kids that will have your guests wondering “however did she find the time?” We’ll never tell how easy it was. Recently, Liz talked about making holiday tables fun for kids, and I agree! In fact, you can set your entire table with a family-friendly Thanksgiving printable set including a table covering, coloring pages, placemats, and napkin pouches all designed by our friends Mike and Alma Loveland...Read More
One of our great joys with this site is supporting small businesses and fellow indie publishers. (Hey, we still have a blogroll. Remember those?) And now one of our favorite bloggers and friends, Mari Richards of the fantastic design site Small for Big, falls squarely into both camps with her new shop Smallful, which is all about printable toys and other playthings for kids. Mari is a toy designer and graphics artist by trade–with phenomenal taste, I might add–so it’s no surprise that the printable toys in her shop are exquisite. Right now she’s transitioning from Halloween (though masks are good for any...Read More
Dia de los Muertos may sound ominous, but this holiday recognized in Mexico and throughout Latin America is traditionally a sweet time for families to come together to pray for and to celebrate their loved ones who have died. Those who follow the tradition devoutly will build an altar and honor their deceased with popular symbols like sugar skulls and skeletons, marigolds, and the favorite foods of the loved one. My kids and I are planning join in this year by completing these gorgeous sugar skull coloring pages. This instantly downloadable 21-page sugar skull coloring pages for Dia de los Muertos from Etsy shop...Read More
Happy Friday everyone! Here are our favorite posts we’ve been reading around the web this week. Sense a theme? Hope you enjoy them too, and Happy Halloween! Looking for last-minute Halloween ideas? Still? No prob, we’ve got you covered with hundreds. For real. Literally. As in, the literal literally. Beautiful Halloween reflections from our friend, blogger Rebecca Wolf, plus 4 outrageous pumpkin recipes from her mom, should you need to dig into those pretty, uncarved pumpkins Saturday. (Isn’t her daughter, up top, so lovely?) There’s still time to decorate your door (or keep little ones busy) with...Read More