DIY Cardinal Craft

    Lately I have been up to my ears in projects for my sons' classes.  It seems like every week there is some new assignment to complete that requires some creativity or forces us to purchase expensive art supplies.  This has gotten me to thinking that there is a real need out there for DIY activities that don't cost a lot of money to make and that you can use inexpensive materials to create.     As you guys all know, red is my favorite color so it stands to reason that I would come up with a project that includes it.  So what better way to get imaginative and experiment with the color red than by making a DIY Cardinal Craft?  Not only are these a ton of fun to make, but they also don't cost a lot of money in terms of supplies.  I hope you will love making them as much as we did and that you will share photos of the finished products on our social media channels. DIY Cardinal Craft Materials: Red cupcake liners … [Read more...]

DIY Easy Spring Snow Globe

    I'm pretty sure that I am trying to will Spring to arrive sooner, especially since we had snow today here in New York City.  Mother Nature has really been temperamental lately and it really makes you wonder how some people can say that global warming does not exist with all the fluctuating temperatures.     Since I'm starting to get cabin here on the weekends, I have been keeping myself busy with some arts and crafts.  I've always been a huge fan of snow globes so I fell in love with the idea of making one at home using some household items and art supplies.  It turned out adorable and I plan on making more to give as gifts for Easter!   DIY Easy Spring Snow Globe Supplies needed: Mason jar Mini white pebbles or fairy garden filler Mini chenille chicks Spring themed bottle brush trees (sold at Michael’s Craft Store) Ribbon of choice Directions: 1. Begin by filling the mason jar with about 1 inch of filler. You … [Read more...]

Hashtag Soaps

    I've been blogging since 2009 and my children have always been a part of my blog and have listened to me talking about blogging over the years.  One day, my mother was explaining to my younger son what the pound symbol is on the telephone keypad when he quickly corrected her and told her she was wrong because that was a "hashtag."     That pretty much opened my eyes to the fact that my kids were paying a lot of attention to my blogging than I gave them credit for.  Not only did my mother and I have a good laugh about it, but my son thought it was incredibly funny too when I explained to him that both he and grandma were right!  This funny encounter was the inspiration for these hashtag soaps. Hashtag Soaps  1 Cup white melt and pour soap block Yellow and blue soap colorant 1/2 teaspoon soap scent 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil Clear glass measuring cup Craft stick Small spray bottle of rubbing … [Read more...]

Dollar Store DIY: Heart Plate Wall Hanging

    Valentine's Day is right around the corner and couples are getting ready to celebrate their love for one another.  Now that I am a mom, I like to include my sons in all of our holiday celebrations.  Some of the ways that I express how much I love them is by making little sweetheart packages for them every year that contain some of their favorite chocolates and sweets.       I also like to create personalized gifts for them without spending a lot of money.  This year, I spent some time in our local Dollar Store and shopped around for some affordable arts and crafts.  Since we just bought them a new bedroom set and are redecorating their bedroom, I thought making a heart plate wall hanging would be the perfect gift for this Valentine's Day.  Not only can they hang it up in their room, but every time they look at it they will be reminded of how much I love both of them. Dollar Store DIY: Heart Plate Wall … [Read more...]

Chinese New Year Broom Craft

    Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival in China and falls on Saturday, January 28th this year.  It is the year of the Rooster and Chinese families will be gathering on New Year's Eve to eat dinner together and to clean their homes to sweep away bad fortune before New Year's Day.       Chinese children love this celebration and are excited to receive red envelopes which are stuffed with "lucky money" and well wishes from their loved ones on New Year's Day.  Due to modern technology, some teens even have apps on their smartphones to receive their "lucky money" electronically which demonstrates how even this ancient tradition has caught up with modern times.     Since this is the most important traditional holiday in China and signals the start of spring there, it is a public holiday in mainland China for seven days from Chinese New Year's Eve to day 6 of the lunar calendar new year (January 27 – February 2, 2017). … [Read more...]

Snowman Earrings

    I am way behind this year on Christmas shopping.  Normally, I would have already finished buying all presents by mid November.  I'm trying cut down on my spending budget and making sure I give some personalized gifts that will show my loved ones just how much they mean to me.  My godmother loves to wear themed costume jewelry so I thought it would be a great idea if I made her some earrings.       Since it is winter and she has been rocking her winter accessories, I came up with a plan to make her some snowman earrings using supplies that I could purchase right at our local art supply store.  You'd be surprised how many great gifts you could make with just a few items that you could buy locally and are pretty inexpensive. Snowman Earrings Materials Needed: Tools (small wire cutter, round nose pliers, and chain nose pliers) 22mm Fishhook earwire 3″ Head pins Glass snowman beads Tiny silver … [Read more...]

Trolls Puppet Craft

    I've always loved to get artistic inspiration from the films we watch and the music that we listen to as a family.  Growing up, my siblings and I loved playing with what we called our "Treasure Trolls."  This is what we called these dolls we had that were a type of plastic doll with furry up-combed hair depicting a troll, also known as a Dam doll after their creator Danish woodcutter Thomas Dam.  Some people also referred to them as good luck trolls, or alternatively gonk trolls in the United Kingdom.     They became a a toy craze in North America during the early 60's and again during the 90's when I was a teenager.  Thomas Dam actually carved his first troll doll as a gift for his daughter.  Later, he began selling the dolls locally after his daughter's friends started asking for them.  I'm sure he never imagined that his troll dolls would become such symbols of pop culture.  Now that the Trolls movie has come … [Read more...]

Felt Candy Corn Puppet Craft

    Can you guys believe that Halloween is just two days away?  I normally have all of my costume and decor preparations taken care of way in advance but this year I am way behind schedule.  I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that I just started a new teaching position this past September and I have been completely swamped with work and everything else.     This weekend I am taking advantage to spend some quality time with my boys getting ready for Halloween.  They have always enjoyed all of the festivities around this holiday and, despite their being older, they still enjoy helping me get everything ready.  Since my younger nephews are coming over too, I have some fun arts and crafts planned including the one below: Felt Candy Corn Puppet Craft

 Supplies needed:
 White, black, orange, yellow craft felt 
Hot glue, glue gun 
Scissors

 Directions:
 1. Begin by cutting out the two base pieces of your … [Read more...]

The Very Hungry Paint Chip Caterpillar Craft

    It's no surprise that I totally geek out over books since I am a Literacy Specialist.  I love to take advantage of any opportunity to get kids and young people excited about reading.  After all, good readers use their skills in just about every facet of their lives and it's important to impart these abilities to children early on.     One of my favorite books of all time is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Most kids can remember reading this book when they were younger because it is a classic picture book that has been enjoyed by generation after generation.  The book depicts a very hungry caterpillar literally eating his way through all the pages of the book.     Not only are the illustrations in this book bright and colorful, but they are a beautiful representation of the stages of butterfly metamorphosis.  It's a great way to introduce these science concepts to kids through beautiful and entertaining images.  I … [Read more...]

DIY Pokemon Bookmark And Pointer

    Since the majority of people over 5 and under 50 have begun playing Pokemon Go, Pokemon©, has suddenly jumped in popularity again, despite that they have now been around for 20 years.  We love to include Pokemon© everywhere we can and I figured out a great way to get the kids off the App and into reading more. I created these Pokemon© Bookmarks that can also be used as pointers.     They are perfect for holding their place, tracking words as they read, or even as a pointer for whiteboards, blackboards, and posters. They can also used as puppets, in play dough or sensory bins.  All you have to do is follow these basic steps to create any of your favorite Pokemon© characters. I kept it simple with a Pokeball and a Pikachu to capture the kids' attention and wanted to share how we did it with all of you. You will need: Wide craft sticks  Yellow, Red, White, and Black Craft foam Yellow paint Red and black markers School glue Single hole … [Read more...]