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 EarringsMaterials 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...]

Make Your Own Easter Bunny Bar Soap!

    Lately I have been on a DIY kick and have been researching different ways to make some of our favorite products, or items we use every single day, right here at home.  I was very excited to learn how easy it is to make bars of soap from scratch and how much money it can save you at the supermarket.  The best part is that you can customize them to contain your favorite scents, designs and colors which can really help to bring our your creative and artistic side.    Since Easter is right around the corner, I thought it would be a great idea to create some decorative Easter soaps to really get everyone in our home into the spirit of the season.  You too can make these adorable soaps and I think you will be surprised at how easy they are to make and how little they put a dent in your budget!Easter Bunny Bar SoapMaterials-2 clean empty soup cans 1 clear glass Pyrex measuring cup Clear glycerin soap block Food coloring or soap … [Read more...]

7 Creative Uses For Paper Towels

    When you have a spill, the first thing you might do is run for paper towels. Sure paper towels are perfect for cleaning up spills and drips, but did you know that they are capable of so much more? You may never look at paper towels the same again after reading these 7 creative uses for paper towels below. It turns out, they are pretty practical to keep around the home, and by that I mean in more than just the kitchen. Here are some uses to get you started. 1. Make herbs last longer.
If you want your fresh herbs to last longer, wrap them in a damp paper towel and set them in a cool place like the refrigerator. This will help keep them moist and prevent any drying out or wilting until you are ready to use them.2. Feed your compost bin.
Paper towels are perfect for your compost bin since they contain carbon. When you are done using a paper towel, rinse it out well to remove any of the product that was on it, shred it, and toss it into your compost bin. It will … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Poker Chip Heart Wreath

    I've always loved Valentine's Day.  Not only is it a special holiday for demonstrating your love for your sweetheart, but it is a lot of fun to get the kids involved and show them how important it is to tell their loved ones how they feel about them.       One of the ways that I have always gotten our boys involved during this sweet time of the year is by spending time doing arts and crafts with them.  Not only do they love creating things with their hands, but they also adore being able to spend this quality time with my husband and I.  This year, we decided that we wanted to come up with a unique Valentine's Day activity so we got really creative!Valentine's Day Poker Chip Heart WreathMake this easy and inexpensive Valentine’ Day poker chip heart wreath in just minutes and with minimal supplies. Here is how you can get started.

Supplies needed:
Red and white poker chips (check your local dollar store)Hot glue, glue … [Read more...]

DIY Star Wars Hair Bow

    My family and I had the pleasure of going to see the new Star Wars film in 3D.  It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce both of our sons to the movie franchise and a nostalgic experience for my husband and I.  Not only did we love the film, but we began to look for anything and everything that was Star Wars themed.    I've always loved adorning my hair with fabulous accessories.  Although I don't have any daughters, I am able to spoil my Sister in Law's niece during the holidays and for her birthday.  That is where the inspiration came up to create a Star Wars hair bow for her to wear.DIY Star Wars Hair Bow:Materials-1/4 yard Star Wars fabric Needle and thread Hot glue/hot glue gun Iron/ironing board Alligator clip 7/8" ribbon (any color) ScissorsDirections-Cut out three pieces of fabric: -6"x4" -5"x3.5" -1"x3"  Iron the long sides of your fabric over about 1/2" Using your largest … [Read more...]