Tag: crafts

First day of school photos: 9 ideas for easy printables and props to make posing a little more fun.

My family was in the middle of moving halfway across the country last year when my son’s preschool started, so I missed the opportunity to take those official first day of school photos every parent loves. I’d like to think I snapped a picture of him wearing his backpack when he finally joined the class a few weeks late, but with all the chaos surrounding our move, I actually may have forgotten. So I vowed to be more prepared this year, and have actually spent some time researching first day of school photo ideas and fun props and printables in time for the beginning of...

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Getting your kids to practice their handwriting: 16 fun tips, tricks and ideas

Call us the handwriting brigade. Seriously. From day one, even with the advent of technology and the slow decline of handwriting instruction (let alone cursive, gah!) in schools, we’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids not to lose the art of handwriting. And if it’s not asking too much, we’d like it to be as legible as possible, considering we all know at least one relative, co-worker, friend or yes, doctor,  whose handwriting is like some secret code requiring a decipher key. After a season of writing actual letters to our kids at sleepaway camp — and receiving them — it really...

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12 awesome DIY back to school crafts your kids can actually do: Back to school shopping guide 2015.

We are not the parents who are going to put together a list of back to school crafts that require 6 kinds of sandpaper and a drawer full of spare x-rays to turn into DIY stencils. (Seriously. We’ve seen this.) Like most of you, we’re looking for the kinds of crafts we can actually do with our kids, that only require some basic supplies. Or okay, maybe a very few not-so-basic supplies if you count Modge Podge. We think all of these cool DIY projects and back to school craft ideas give you the opportunity to spend a fun hour or afternoon with your family, to help get kids of...

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7 cool playroom ideas for kids that let you reclaim your living room

I’ve definitely been looking for cool playroom ideas lately for my own son. Because between the art supplies in the kitchen, the Play-Doh in the dining room, and the pretend workbench and kitchen in the basement, my preschooler is quickly laying claim to our entire new house. I know you can’t really contain a kid to just one room, but I feel like what he really needs is a dedicated playroom or playspace where most of his toys can live, because, let’s be honest, I want my living room back. And my dining room table. And my kitchen floor. To get the design...

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9 fun, easy crafts using shells to remind the kids of your summer vacation

With temps in the high 90s and crazy humidity here, I’m really, really looking forward to the beach trip we have planned later this summer. So I’ve sought out lots of fun, easy DIY crafts using shells,which are an easy way for the kids to get creative and use up the collection they’ll be gathering in the morning down at the shore. And hopefully I can tackle my summer reading list while they’re at it. Related: 13 fun summery crafts for kids that can keep the boredom away. If you aren’t heading to the ocean, you’re not out of luck. You can still channel the...

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Free printables for happy campers.

With my girls heading off to sleepaway camp in a few weeks, getting everything together has been definitely consuming many brain cells. And with a few of our writers in the same boat, that explains why you’ve been seeing recent posts here for awesome care package treats, camp labels, and cool camp stationery. Now here’s one more — and it’s free! Our friends at Tiny Me have created this super cute new updated 2015 free printable, personalized camp journal that I totally love. Related: 6 cool sets of summer camp labels for kids There are two beautifully designed cover options, each...

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Enjoy safer sparklers with 6 fun Fourth of July crafts for kids

We expect to hear plenty of  ooh’s and ahh’s to accompany all the bright and sparkly things we’ll see on the Fourth of July, but I hope to eliminate any ow’s with these safera alternatives to sparklers that they can enjoy on Independence Day. Or heck, all summer long. I hope these 6 fun Fourth of July crafts for kids help create a safer holiday for all. Related: Free printable Fourth of July temporary tattoos   Pipe Cleaner Sparkler Craft for Fourth of July (tutorial, Kix Cereal) Metallic pipe cleaners make great faux sparklers, especially in red, white, and blue colors. Follow the easy Pipe Cleaner Sparklers tutorial at...

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Free Fourth of July temporary tattoos! Because you may not want those stars and stripes forever.

Before you go to the Fourth of July parade, fire up the grill, or lay out the blanket to watch the fireworks fall from the sky, I like the idea of getting inked up with some beautifully designed DIY Fourth of July tattoos. Just like fireworks, these tattoos are temporary, but sure look pretty while they’re around. Created by crafter, creator, and talented handwriting illustrator Alexis of Persia Lou, her Watercolor Fourth of July Tattoos are so nicely designed, I want to wear them just as much as the children do.   Related: 9 fun, easy, no-bake 4th of July party treats...

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Fight boredom with the huge, and hugely fun, coloring poster from Pirasta

I’ve been fighting boredom this summer with a bunch of magic markers and one really huge (like, seriously huge) and cleverly illustrated coloring poster for kids from a new company called Pirasta. And the beauty of these posters is that there’s room for everyone to get in on the action. The recycled-content paper is sturdy enough to let it take over the dining room table for a while, spread it out at a birthday party, or hang it on the wall. And at a whopping 63″ x 36″there is plenty of room for multiple people to color together. We’ve even rolled up...

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Tons of beautifully designed, free printable bookmarks to get kids just a little more excited about cracking a book.

We’re always looking for ways to keep kids reading, especially once the school year ends and those 20 or 30 or 45 minutes a day aren’t exactly “required” any more. (Well, depending on your house rules.)  Plus, that lure of all that extra daylight after dinner can be pretty tempting. So hey, why not use it get a little more reading time in before bedtime? Related: 14 smart ways to get your young kids excited about reading this summer One of the most simple things I’ve done to get my kids excited about books is giving them their own bookmarks. No...

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Fab free Father’s Day printables for fans of great design. And making him cry.

We just keep finding more and more fun, free Father’s Day printables for you all. Which is good news whether you’re looking for a token that’s sweet but not spendy, or even if you already have some big splurgy gift, but really want something a little personal to go along with it. In this case, this free printable Father’s Day survey comes from our friend Lonela at the Tiny Me blog, who we can always count on for just gorgeous, thoughtfully designed printables that she is kind enough to offer up free to her readers. No comic sans here, my friends. This is the good stuff....

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13 great ideas for last minute Father’s Day gifts | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015

Well we’ve officially hit that time we start talking last minute Father’s Day gifts. Fear not, we have plenty of ideas for you! From ones you make yourself, to those you can still get shipped, to some you can actually get at an actual store near you. (Hey, stores! Remember those?) We’re so pleased to welcome back Dove Men+Care as our awesome sponsor for the last post in our Father’s Day Gift Guide series. We love supporting them, because they’ve consistently supported great dads in such meaningful authentic ways. Especially this time of year. In fact, they’re even giving away tens of...

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7 Father’s Day photo shoot ideas of the kids that you can totally do.

If you missed the boat on photo gifts…no, wait! You didn’t! We all live in the land of the Smartphone Camera, after all, and if you’ve got a camera and a place to print a photo, you’ve got the makings of a wonderful surprise Father’s Day gift. Here are just a few Father’s Day photo shoot ideas I’ve found from crafty parents around the web that don’t require a $6000 camera or any crazy skills. Which is just how I like it. Hey, I love that photo within a photo within a photo multi-generation portrait as much as anyone, but...

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Turn your kids into toymakers this summer

Wow, is our email box and social media feed getting packed with parents stressing out about what to do with kids during downtime this summer. Seeing as how we can’t let kids play in the park by themselves without 8 “concerned” neighbors calling 911 (grrr…but that’s another post for another time), we’ve been actively seeking out fun crafts, projects, and educational activities that keep them busy until you can get out with them. Or even just let them have a little fun time indoor on a rainy or zillion percent humidity day. Related: summer fun Now our friends at Cate +...

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A clever, very simple reward system to keep kids reading this summer.

We just finished putting together a ton of great educational activities for kids to keep them sharp over the summer, and now of course I find one more I’d love to add to the list. This free printable paper chain reading log from Eighteen25 is so brilliant! It combines so many of the things my kids love most: reading, crafts, hanging random stuff on their walls, and reward systems. Related: The year’s best children’s books: all the lists, all in one place The idea is really simple: Print out these cute reading log strips, fill them out, and tape them...

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Educational activities for children this summer? Reader Q & A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! Any suggestions for workbooks or activities to help prepare my child–and keep them out of my hair (ha)–for the summer between kindergarten and first grade? -Chaitali   Ahhhh, summer! No school lunches to pack, no buses to catch, and yet, now you have a curious, energetic, and sometimes b-o-r-e-d child to entertain for weeks on end. We love that you want to keep your child busy and engaged with educational activities that will help them get ready for the next year of school. We’re all big believers in tucking in some fun learning activities in between beach...

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20 fantastic ideas for DIY Father’s Day gifts, cards, and printables from the kids: Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015

For those of us with young kids, we know that one of the best parts about Father’s Day is letting the kids participate in making DIY Father’s Day gifts for their dads and grandpas. And because we don’t expect them to be hand-stitching an eyeglass case, forging their own iron tools in 112 easy steps, or drawing his name in perfect calligraphy (can you tell we’ve looked through Pinterest?), we’ve put together tons of ideas for realistic DIY gifts for Father’s Day from the kids. Related: Don’t miss our updated 2017 guide to fantastic DIY Father’s Day gifts kids can make...

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7 of the coolest printable birthday crowns for the true ruler of the household

We’ve got a lot of summer birthdays for the kids in my family, so party planning is definitely top of mind for me these days. But I realized, as I’ve looked around the web, that while there are lots of gorgeous handmade birthday crowns on Etsy or instructions for making your own out of felt if you’re super crafty, it’s really hard to find printable paper birthday crowns that are fun, modern and well-designed. In other words, Crafting Lite™. So, I kept looking. And behold! some great options, from free to just a little bit extra. But totally worth it. Related:...

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A paper block city that’s ready to travel with your kids

If your kids like building blocks as much as mine, you’ll want to check out Paper Punk’s new Urban Fold paper blocks which allow kids 6 and up to build a sprawling metropolis without the bulk and weight of traditional blocks. This is such a great toy to toss in the car when you’re headed out for a few days at the beach, or to keep on hand for one of those hot summer days when just dragging out heavier wooden blocks is more work than anyone can imagine doing. Related: A creative activity book that could make your kid a future Duchamps or Dali Instead...

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DoodleLit by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver: Because, Mr. Darcy coloring pages.

Every once in a while I come across a kids’ book I love as much (or more) than my kids do. It’s even more rare with board books, but the brilliantly creative BabyLit board books by Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver are definitely on that list. I have to admit, the English major in me swells just a little bit when I get to read my children playful interpretation of books like Pride and Prejudice or Moby Dick, only for babies.  So I was intrigued when I heard about their newest creation: the clever DoodleLit guided coloring book designed for BabyLit readers’ older siblings. It features nearly 300 pages of coloring...

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