Archive for the ‘ Crafts ’ Category

Drip-Painted Pots: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

 

My kids are finally getting to the age when a lazy beach vacation needs planned activities—no more naps on mommy’s chest under the beach umbrella and no more satisfaction with simply sitting on the floor swatting at some random toys. We need outings, games, activities…crafts! And seriously, I couldn’t be happier with this turn of events.

But crafting on the fly isn’t always so easy—do you bring materials with you and if not, where do you buy them? How can you keep it simple and engaging at the same time? (I see a future FamilyFun magazine story here!)

Today I thrilled my kids with this really fun, painted pot project from the August issue of FamilyFun. They loved helping me buy the materials and then making a big mess of themselves!

What you’ll need:

  • Paint (tempera or acrylic)
  • Ceramic pots
  • Tape
  • Paper
  1. Cover the bottom hole inside the pot with tape so that the paint doesn’t come through.
  2. Turn pot upside down and squeeze away, letting the paint drip down the sides. 
  3. Let it dry for about 24 hours before turning it over.

You can use either tempera or acrylic paint—it all depends on what’s important to you. If washing clothes is important, go with tempera. If using the pot to plant in is important, go with acrylic, just know that it’s not as washable as tempera when dry. 

And then they wanted to paint everything in site…so we painted an egg carton, a Pringles can, sticks, our feet…it was endless fun!

Add a Comment

Decorating Their Lunch Sacks

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is a post from Jamie Reimer of Hands On As We Grow provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

We don’t do home packed lunches very often. Usually only for field trip days. And on those days, my kids are so excited to pack and take their lunch.

I’m very honored and excited to be partnering with Del Monte fruits and vegetables to share with you a creative way to get kids excited about eating their fruits and veggies in their lunches during school.

To make these sack lunch days extra special and even more exciting for my kids, we’ve decided to add their own little touch to their lunch sacks.

This time we made a lunch sack that’s also to get them excited for back to school (we always have fun getting the kids excited to go back to school!).

We did some apple printing!

Its really simple to do and its kind of magical to the kids.

Apple Painting

I simply cut an apple in half [top to bottom]. With half of an apple, the kids dipped it in some red paint [though green would work great too!].

Its best if they stamp the apple somewhere before stamping it onto their lunch sack. That gets the excess paint off so there’s no globs.

They can stamp an apple on a paper lunch sack a couple of times until the print becomes faded and then just dip in the paint again.

Apple Painting

Apple printing is a quick and simple process. We made up several lunch bags in a matter of minutes!

Apple Painting

We let the sacks dry for the afternoon and I came back later to add in finishing touches of the stem, leaf and seeds using permanent markers.

All that’s left is to pack them with healthy snacks and food for lunch. I always drop in a fruit pouch like Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezer.

At home, we always have Del Monte plastic fruit cups. But for packed lunches, I always prefer the mess-free and spoon-free Squeezers. And the Fruit Burst Squeezers offer the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables, with no artificial flavors.

Apple Painting Lunchbox

Through the back to school season, Del Monte would love to have you share a photo of your kids’ favorite Del Monte snack. What do you prefer – to squeeze or spoon? The Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups?

There’s a contest on the Del Monte Facebook page through all of August [August 1 to September 1] for you to share and have a chance to win!

Add a Comment

Tags: | Categories: Crafts, Everyday Fun, Family, Food

Plastic Bottle Bug House: FamilyFun Test Drive

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Last Sunday night at 6:30pm, my cousin-in-law Jane took Oliver and Sommer on an “adventure” walk. Which, in Brooklyn and at that hour, meant a stroll down the block. Oliver walked slowly back into the apartment 20 minutes later with his hands cupped, saying “Mommy, look, look!” He pried open his clam-shelled fingers to reveal a furry, yellow caterpillar. “His name is Kinini,” Oliver beamed.

So we poked some holes in a jar lid to make him a little make-shift hotel room to hang out in for a few hours and then took him back after the kids went to bed. (We, of course, warned them of this in advance.) So what better FamilyFun summer craft to test out this month than the Bug Inn—an easy-to-make observation station that gives kids a closer look at their insect friends.

What you’ll need:

  • Clear drink bottle
  • Craft knife
  • Window screen repair material
  • Duct tape
  • Adhesive-backed Velcro

First, cut an opening with the craft knife in the side of the bottle. If your screen is a certain size, make this hole a bit smaller than that piece of screen. This is definitely a job for an adult!

Then, cover the edges of the opening by folding over a 1-inch wide piece of duct tape. It’s okay if it’s a bit messy, it will eventually be covered up.

Next, create a duct-tape border around the piece of screen, using the same size duct-tape strip.

Then, tape one side of the window to the bottle over the opening, and put the velcro on the other side so the door stays closed. (I cut my Velcro dots in half to fit on the width of my tape frame.)

Now, it’s time to take it outside and collect sticks and leaves to make a comfy stay for our bug friends.

They each took their turn filling the bottle bug house, and then it was time to find Kinini’s brother, Shippy. I told Oliver that it would be hard to find Kinini again, but that we might run into his brother; Oliver told me his name is Shippy.

After no caterpillars were found, we settled on Kinini’s cousin, a roly poly. (He’s a little shy and hasn’t told us his name yet.) I told Oliver that Kinini and his brothers were probably napping after their lunch, so we’d come back later for a visit.

This little Bottle Bug Hotel is going to be the most desired hot-spot in the neighborhood. I might have to start charging these bugs rent!

Footnote: We talked a lot about returning our bug tenants to their homes after a few hours. I think both Sommer and Oliver understand that everyone, even bugs, likes to go home eventually!

Add a Comment

Homemade Photo Memory Game: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Raise your hand if you have hundreds, possibly thousands, of digital photos buried in digital devices. Yes, that’s what I thought. All of you!

We take more pictures than ever, share them on social media, yet our kids have little experience of holding prints in their hands. This DIY photo memory game is a great way to relive the best moments of the summer while playing a classic, boredom-buster game with kids as young as two!

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Since I needed to use square images, I just went to my Instagram and printed out 8 of my faves twice as 3-inch squares (After all, if I shared it on Instagram, it has to be good, right?). 
  2. I cut out the photos, not to the edges, but roughly leaving white space and, using a glue stick, I mounted them to the back of a patterned scrapbook paper. 
  3. After smoothing the glue-backed images onto the paper, I cut out the photos to the edges, now fully adhered to the scrapbook paper.
  4. At first I wasn’t going to take the advice of the June/July issue of FamilyFun magazine and get them laminated, but then I saw how cute they were and I just couldn’t resist! (I highly recommend this step for the longevity of your homemade memory game. Since I made them, they have been tossed through the air multiple times and survived beautifully.)

When we play, Oliver and Sommer will hunt for Sommer with ice cream, Oliver on the beach, or Mommy and Sommer making kissy faces. You can take a sweet trip down memory lane, while playing a game with your kids. Talk about spending meaningful time together! Two thumbs up, right? 

Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes

Add a Comment

Painter’s Tape Stenciled Tshirt: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

What do you do with your kids’ T-shirts that have impossible stains? Throw them out? Turn them into rags? I have a way better idea for you—paint them! I know it seems like a stenciled T-shirt is a pain-in-the-you-know-what, but today’s FamilyFun Test Drive proves otherwise. I swear. And you know what? This project is so much fun (and easy) to do, that you don’t even have to save it for a stained tee.

When I saw this cute shirt in the June/July issue of Family Fun, I was excited to try it. It uses 2 things that I have a ton of—paint and tape. Because I know my son and his fashion preferences (yes, a 4-year-old has fashion preferences), I knew that he wouldn’t necessarily get excited about an abstract pattern. So I taped-out this little character, what we are calling a Robot Bunny. Oliver’s color of choice these days is green, so we went with that (and the green tape was just an added bonus). It’s best to use fabric paint because it stays soft and washes well. You can buy the Tulip brand at Michaels.com.

First I put a piece of cardboard inside the T-shirt to avoid any bleed-through. I used a thin painter’s tape and taped off the body of the Robot Bunny. I really just eyeballed the design and pressed down really hard on the inside edges of the tape.

Then, with a sponge brush, I let Oliver dab on the paint. (Dab is the key technique here; you don’t want to brush or else you might find yourself with some blurred lines.) Of course the waiting to peel the tape was the hardest part! We waited about 2 hours (a bit shy of the bottle’s instructions but things dry faster in the summer!) and then pulled the tape!

Now Oliver just needs to practice is Robotic Bunny Hop moves.

Add a Comment