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    Crafts, Parenting

    Easter Potato Stamp

    Who doesn’t love a good Easter egg project?? In this household, Holidays and Art go hand in hand. It’s only natural that I give my kids a project that is far too difficult for them and they turn it into something wonderful. Keep reading to find out how we make our Easter Egg Potato Stamps.

    I can’t even remember where I saw this wonderful idea to make egg stamps out of potatoes. It was so cute, creative and I thought in my head would be incredibly simple, “of course my kids can cut a potato and paint perfect little squiggly lines”.  Boy was I wrong but what they did create was even better.  In the end art is all about going outside the box and pushing your creativity.  

    Don’t be fooled by how simple these look. Cutting a potato in half is a difficult task, the tutorial I had found wanted zig zag and lines cut into it but I knew right away that wasn’t going to happen. So I simplified it, I cut the potato in half and let the kids color and paint away. For an older child, I would let them expand on this project by adding detail before stamping and even after. You could turn this into eggs in a basket or an egg garland. 

    Austin thought this was the best activity we had ever done. He had so much fun painting and stamping. He loved mixing the colors. Then he painted his feet and made foot prints with his eggs.  Charlotte had fun painting the entire potato and rolling it around. She liked eating the paint and then licking the paper.  I thought they did an impressive job for two crazy little toddlers. 

    Overall this project ended up being pretty easy after we simplified it.  It will be fun to try this next year when they are a little older and able to create other things with the egg stamps. What is a craft you would love to see us try? Let me know in the comments below! 

    Crafts, Crafts, House and Home, Parenting

    Holiday Crafts

    We love to craft! And this Christmas is a little more exciting because Austin is finally old enough to craft with me! Not to mention Charlotte loves to make a mess. 

    Our favorite crafts are ones that are simple and require very few supplies. With two toddlers, I look for crafts that allow the kids to be creative and not restricted to specific instructions or guidelines. I decided to share a couple that we loved and at the bottom I included a round up. Happy Crafting 🙂

    Santa Handprint Ornaments

    Paper, red paint, white paint, black pen (or paint) and a cute little hand!

     1. Paint toddler’s hand- Paint the thumb and palm red for Santa's hat. Paint the rest of the hand white. 

    2. Stamp hand on paper.

    3. Add details! I added two little eyes and a red nose. 

    4. Cut your ideal size for an ornament and add yarn to hang! 

    So easy, so fun, and after I got their perfect little handprints they got to finger-paint! 

    Christmas Tree Frames

    Popsicles sticks, paint, glitter glue, hot glue, pasta wheels or other knick knacks for ornaments

    1. Paint popsicles sticks. We cheated and bought color popsicles sticks! 

    2. PARENT- hot glue sticks in triangle to represent tree. You may add sticks across or leave empty like we did. 

    3. Decorate! We used glitter glue, pasta wheels and glitter pipe cleaners. Other great items - beads, cereal, puff balls.

    4. Hot glue picture and add pipe cleaner to hang. 

    We had so much fun making these simple ornament gifts.  It helped to have a tray out to hold the mess and glue!

    For other wonderful Toddler approved Christmas Crafts check out my round up list below: 

    This one may have to wait till next Christmas, but it was too good not to share. It’s so fun and it’s not in a box. I see lots of cookie cutter Gingerbread houses these days, but for this one the kids get to be super creative.

    The perfect craft for toddlers! My kids are obsessed with stickers. All you need for these construction trees are paper and stickers.

    These are beautiful! Snowy pinecone garlands that bring a rustic feel to any room.

    Check out these DIY Mugs. My sweet sister in law made something similar to these for the all of us a few years ago and we still use them. They are so simple and gorgeous. The secret is to bake them to keep the decor.

    This is a mom adventure craft! I love this Anthropology - inspired garland and can’t wait to make it one of these nights.

    A round up of 7 personalized ornaments. I love these for my son’s teachers and our friends!

    Toddler craft that can be made with your kitchen utensils! Austin loved stamping the spatula and Charlotte had fun decorating.

    I love wreathes! This rustic wreath made by Little Mama Jama gets you into the Christmas mood and needs very little supplies.

    I fell in love with these simple wreaths the minute I saw them. Any project that the kids get to paint and decorate are our favorite.

    A collection of sweet little handprint crafts! I especially love the reindeer platter. The perfect piece to save for every Christmas to come.

    What’s your favorite Holiday craft? Let me know in the comments below! 

    Adventures, Crafts, Family Adventures, Parenting

    Leaf Art

    Leaf art didn’t start as leaf art and that is the best part about most of our crafts in this house! We usually start with one project in mind and end up with something else even better in the end. One thing is guaranteed and that is a big mess along the way. I’m talking glue on the walls, leaves stuck to your butt and paint in the kid’s hair kind of mess. We love to make messes in this house.

    For a quick minute I forgot how young my kids were and I decided we were going to make these super crafty pumpkins for the Thanksgiving table. I had all my supplies ready and told the kids to dip the string into the glue and wrap it around a balloon. I handed my husband my camera and told him this is going to be amazing you have to document this! FAIL!!! with a big F. This is a project I will save for a night alone with a BIG glass of beer or wine. This is a 100% mom only project. One kid ended up in the sink covered in glue while the other was focused on gluing leaves to the wall. 

    Austin, being the artist in the house, immediately found something new to do with all our supplies and it ended up being so unbelievably gorgeous that I HAD to share it. It is the perfect Thanksgiving project for a one and a three year old. 

    First you must go on the most incredible Fall walk and find the best leaves possible! We found so many gorgeous colorful leaves (meant to be used for a different project) and we had a blast talking about the colors and being explorers.

    Next break out the paint and paper. Let your little one paint away. When they are finished paint the leaves with a little glue and let them stick to their painting. You can paint the leaves or you can paint around the leaves and then peel them off.  Now for the best part. Lay the leaf art on your porch on a rainy day. Accidentally let it blow off the porch a few times. And then, only then will you discover this most beautiful piece of art. 

    Beautiful fall colors with the most perfect little splatters of rain. I can’t wait to frame it and hang it up in our house. I adore this piece of art and the story that goes along with it. Most importantly I love that we had fun out of a “sticky” situation!!

    Crafts, House and Home, Parenting, Recipe

    Gummy Bear Slime

    Austin has been asking everyday to make play dough again. You can find my post here for Edible Play dough. He loved making it and eating it. It was by far one of my favorite crafts that we have ever done and occupied him for a couple days. Anything that can keep his attention and help him be creative is worth my time! 

    I was so excited about our play dough venture that I thought we would try some slime. I’ve seen the obsession with slime. It’s so fun and slippery and some how doesn’t stick to your fingers. If you haven’t seen slime Instagram videos you must, they are absolutely addicting.

    I showed Austin a few different “recipes” I found and he immediately was drawn to the Gummy Bear recipe. Who wouldn’t be?! The original recipe that we tried was FAR too sticky and was meant for older kids. Austin got tangled in it and we ended up tossing it. So this is our altered version of Gummy Bear Slime! 

    The slime is messy and gooey! Ours lasted maybe an hour and then it went in the trash. It’s a fun rainy day craft, but requires more hands on help than the marshmallow playdough. 

    I don’t make these crafts for my kids to eat, but it is definitely a peace of mind knowing that if they do eat it they won’t get sick.

    Do you have a favorite slime or play dough recipe? Let me know in the comments below! 

    Crafts, House and Home, Parenting, Recipe

    DIY Marshmallow Play Dough

    Today I stumbled upon the perfect rainy day activity. It wasn’t rainy but the Nor Cal fires have been keeping us indoors for most of the week. I have been pulling out old toys, puzzles with a million pieces and lots of pots & pans to keep them entertained. Somehow the days spent inside always seem to last forever, naps never happen, and we all get cranky. But today we made something sweet to keep our spirits up!! 

    Marshmallow play dough!!! It was the perfect mix of creativity and endless play. The best part was they could eat it! It was almost too simple to make (somehow we still messed it up) and super easy to clean up.

    Marshmallows, ​coconut oil corn starch and food coloring - super simple and convenient ingredients, all of which we had in the cupboard.  We found a few recipes online, but decided to create our own little mix. It’s almost impossible to mess up, but we still did! 

    The first batch we made was PINK play dough. We added 12 large Marshmallows, 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of ​corn starch. Heat this mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds then add in as much food coloring as you want. We started with 4 drops and stirred it all up. You may need to knead with your hands to get it mixed really well. Our mistake was TOO much coconut oil. We had a bowl full of oil! So much so that after we mixed a good ball we could squeeze out the oil. To save this batch I had to add an extra 1/4 cup of corn starch to soak up the rest of the oil.

    We balanced out our ingredients in our second batch. Our BLUE play dough turned out perfect!! Here is the combo we found worked out best.

    Austin loved rolling it out on his silicon playmate placemat and using his play dough toys to cut out different shapes! He is becoming a professional play dough man! Do I see baking in his future? Yes please!

    Things to remember for next time? Start with less oil, add corn starch throughout play to make sure it doesn’t get too sticky, and don’t eat so much you get a belly ache!! 

    Crafts, Crafts, House and Home

    DIY Fall Wreath

    Happy Fall!! The windy weather reminded me of all the fun crafts I started to do last year. I have been dying to make a rustic Fall Wreath. I always seem to start these projects but never have time to finish them. I made sure to find supplies that would make the job a little easier with two toddlers running around. There are very few supplies you need to make this super simple DIY wreath! 

    STEP ONE: I started with a green wire frame and twig garland. I wrapped the garland around the frame and used thick twine to tie it to the frame. The twine was a lot easier then using wire, as it matched the frame colors and was easy to trim. 

    STEP TWO: Trim ties and add in your decorative straw. I tied mine off at an angle and trimmed the straw.  Decorate with your premade Fall bouquets! Cut out your favorites and mix them in. 

    STEP THREE: I finished mine off with a burlap bow. A good tutorial can be found here

    I love the rustic look of this wreath and I especially love that it works from early fall all the way to Thanksgiving! Happy Crafting!