Ok, it’s time for a moment of shameless self-promotion! My craft book, Project Kid, hit the shelves this week, and I couldn’t be more proud! It’s a book for kids ages 3 and up (I don’t like to put an end cap because even adults tell me they want to make my projects!) with over 100 unique (and awesome, if I do say so myself) projects.
I really tried to look at the world through the eyes of a child, seeing juice boxes as the bodies of owls and paper towel tubes as freight trains. My trips to the grocery store were spent staring at oatmeal containers and cereal boxes, trying to invent new ways to transform them. The rocket on the cover? That’s a Dove body wash bottle covered in a sock! Scroll down for a how-to of one of my favorite projects in the book, but first, check out this fun video that my publisher, Artisan Books produced to really capture the whimsy and playfulness of the book.
And now, let’s get crafting! Visit my website ProjectKid.com for information about craft events and book signings in your area! You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates and fun pics!
Painted Feather Peacock Fan
What you’ll need:
8 to 10 white feathers
Acrylic paint in blue, yellow, green, and turquoise
Gold glitter glue
Blue and yellow craft paper
Paint the feathers as shown or in your own design. Let dry.
Add glitter glue embellishments—tiny dots or thin stripes are best. Let dry.
To create the peacock’s body, draw a 2-inch tall figure eight on the back of the blue craft paper; make the top oval about half the size of the bottom one. Cut along the outside edge of the figure eight, leaving about 1⁄8 inch of space around it.
For the beak, cut a tiny triangle from the yellow craft paper and glue it, pointing down, to the small end of the figure eight.
To create your fan, cut a 1-inch square from either color of craft paper and glue the bottom points of your feathers to it close together in a fan shape.
Finish by gluing the large side of the figure eight on top of the junction of the feathers.
Both of my little ones, ages 2 and 3 1/2, are obsessed with letters. It’s becoming clear that my older child, Oliver, is really starting to understand that letters make up words and words make up sentences and we read sentences in order to recite stories at bedtime. Sommer, my younger, is just getting into the habit of pointing out the letters that she knows when we read her favorite color book. Now that Oliver is beginning to get the whole letter/word thing, I want to start making it super-fun and creative to learn letters. These 4 alphabet games make me want to play too!
In addition to the love of letters, Oliver and Sommer are also obsessed with our spray bottle. It has become a favorite tub toy of late. Dirt and Boogers came up with this super fun way of identifying letters. Write letters with washable markers on a piece of paper, hang it outdoors, call out a letter and have the kids spray that letter with water until it runs down the paper. I’m thinking I might recreate this as a long paper line so the water doesn’t obscure the letters below it. (Or you can try it with chalk on the sidewalk.)
The Imagination Tree came up with this fun ping-pong ball and cardboard-tube letter game. Write letters on the balls and also on the tubes and have the kids pair the corresponding letters. You can write the lower case on the ball and the upper case on the tube to teach them which is which. You can buy ping-pong balls very affordably at Oriental Trading.
Clothespins are one of my favorite things to have around the house…both for crafts and for use as mini-clamps. Write letters on the bottom ends of the clothespins and write the corresponding words on paper. Have your kids clip the letters to match the paper. Once they complete a word, have them draw a picture on the paper next to the letters. Found via Pinterest.
Especially appropriate for this time of year, this plastic egg game is another great way to teach how to match lower and upper case letters. Stick letter stickers to either side of eggs and have the kids match them up to complete the egg. Found on Playing House in Maryland.
I am all about getting my kids interested in the characters and movies of my youth…Annie, Mary Poppins, Charlie Brown and the beloved little orange bear with the soft voice named Winnie the Pooh. Tomorrow is A.A. Milne’s birthday, Winnie’s creator, (January 18th is officially Winnie the Pooh Day) so let’s take a moment to celebrate a man who made it okay to talk to stuffed animals. The characters from the book—Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, and Roo—were the real life lovies of Milne’s real life son, Christopher Robin. Interested in celebrating Winnie or introducing your child to Winnie and his friends? Here are a 5 ways…
1. Read a classic Winnie tale. To introduce the youngest set to Pooh, try starting with Winnie-the-Pooh ABC. For ages 7 and up, tackle a classic story book like The House at Pooh Corner. Play up the different voices so your kids really get into it.
2. Make a recipe from the Winnie the Pooh Cookbook. Whip up delicious recipes like Apricot Honey Bread or Popovers for Piglet.
3. Imagine with your kids what their house in the woods would be. All of the characters live in tree trunks except for Tigger and Owl, so where would your little ones live? In a splatter-painted treehouse? Under a canopy of leaves and flowers? At the end of a long branch? Draw pictures and then explore your backyard for where you would build your Hundred Acre Woods home.
4. Watch a Winnie the Pooh DVD. Take the theme one step further by serving popcorn in one of these free printable boxes and wearing a headband with the ears of your favorite characters. Free adorable downloads from Merriment Design.
5. Make a cute Winnie the Pooh craft with simple materials and a paper plate. Found via Surf & Sunshine.
Winnie the Pooh is not only enjoyable for young children, but we adults might learn a few lessons, thoughts, or morals from him too.
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Case in point. (More wise quotes can be found here.)
The September issue of FamilyFun is very special to me because my book, Show Me a Story, is featured, along with my sweet pies and my pregnant self! I am so honored to have the chance to share some of my projects with FF readers, and thrilled that it is during the back-to-school storytelling season.
The pages feature some inspiring projects for encouraging storytelling, some more shots of my kiddos, and extra details about my book.
In the above photo, my girls and I are playing with Story Stones, one of my favorite projects from Show Me a Story.
Since we are on the topic of DIY book covers, I thought I’d share another technique that my family loves to do, both for back-to-school preparation and for personal journals.
Because I love the look of a handmade journal, but don’t want to bind one of my own, I bought this $1.09 marbled, hard covered composition notebook (the kind you can find in any office or school supply shop) and covered it with beautiful paper and punchy book binding tape. I offer detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to make these colorful beauties here, on my blog. It requires only a few supplies, most of which you probably already have on your craft supply shelf. Simple and satisfying! (I promise)
In addition to making the contents of your children’s backpacks feel more personalized, these also make nice gifts for giving to teachers and friends. I love using them for my household journals where I keep track of menus, moments of parenting brilliance, things my children have said (quotable moments) , etc.