Archive for the ‘ Outdoors ’ Category

5 Bright Spots: Toy Boat Crafts for Kids

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

 

In celebration of moving into the second full month of summer, I’ve collected some lovely boat crafts for you to make and play with. Build them and set them free on your favorite creek, pond, stream, or puddle. Surely, the boats will lead your kids on wild, summer adventures! And, while you’re sailing the high seas with an imaginary crew,  consider reading The Wind in The Willows together.  The pages are filled with woodland critters on boats, which is part of why it is one of my favorite story books!

1. This Twig Boat (pictured above)  is magical and fun!

2. A Cork Boat! Brilliant!

3. Nutshell Sailboats.  Ariana makes her sweet boats with hickory nuts.  I’ve seen them made with walnut shells as well.

4. These Milkweek Pod Boats that my daughter made in the spring!

5. Traditional Origami Boats  with a how-to video in the post!

Ahoy, captain!

-Emily

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5 Bright Spots: Family Vacation Memory Crafts

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

1. What do you do with the sand, shells, dried seaweed pods, and memorabilia that you and your kids brought home from the shore?  Mandy featured these nifty Vacation Memory Jars (above photograph) on her blog. Fun and charming!

2. Jessica wove her seaweed and beach findings in a mini embroidery hoop to make a Memory Catcher.  I love this idea!

3. I posted these Memory Tags on my blog many years ago and then include them in my book as Memory Cards.  They are a wonderful way for children to create a record of their time away.  The project helps children organize and order events while giving them the opportunity to highlight their favorite moments.

4.  Map Coasters!  This is such a great way to reuse all of those special maps that were collected during your time away.

5. Make a beautiful Memory Box to preserve special moments, treasures, and scraps from your adventure.  The glass window on this particular memory box makes is a display piece rather than just storage.

Happy vacationing!  And, happy memory preserving when you return!

-Emily

 

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Pirate Party

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Two weekends ago, we were at our friends’ house for a barbeque/party to celebrate their new baby on-the-way.   The party was indoors and outdoors with lots of little ones running about.  My dear friend Kelly offered face paints to the children and asked if they’d like to decorate their friends’ faces.  This was particularly fun for my youngest who loves face paint, but rarely gets to apply it to a friend’s face.  We collectively surrendered to the mess and decided that the evening would end with baths.  Within minutes a few stars and whiskers were added to faces, but then the party moved outside and the paints were left behind.

Once outside the children found our friend’s canoe, which was parked on the grass .  They hopped inside and were instantly paddling through uncharted waters,  encountering aquatic friends and foes, and setting off for far away adventures.  All of the adults looked away for a moment or two, and when we refocused our attention, the children were making telescopes, painting eye patches on their eyes and one was even wearing a pirate costume that he had brought from home. Random, but true!  Oh my!  It was just amazing!  They had turned an ordinary play session into a pirate adventure…..eye patches and all.

This was a reminder to me that a simple prop — in this case, the canoe– can transform a play space and spark the imagination.  And, that letting children lead the way is magical.  Oh, and it also makes me think that a DIY pirate party would be a fabulous summer birthday idea.

Cheers!

Emily

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Sidewalk Chalk Art. Just Add Water.

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Pick a warm summer afternoon,  break out the sidewalk chalk and offer your kids a bucket of water as well.  When the chalk mixes with water, the chalky pastels turn to rich, deep pigmented colors.  The color transformation is truly addictive.

If your children are interested, encourage them to use their feet and hands to mix and blend colors.

Make prints!

Or, hearts

And, when the art project winds down, let them run through the sprinkler to clean off.

Summer fun at its best!

Cheers,

Emily

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Summertime Party Garland

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Now that it is summer and we find ourselves celebrating outdoors, I am reminded of how much I love to make party garlands. When we break out the shade structure, I love to decorate it with a colorful, paper pendant garland.  It makes the yard look happy and inviting.

The best part about this project is that most of it is actually kid made. I enlist my two and ask them to paint bright colors onto brown paper bags.  Then, we cut out triangles and I slowly sew them using a straight stitch on my machine.  You can also punch holes and thread with yarn or string.

Hang it wherever the party is!

Happy July weekending, my friends.

-Emily

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