Friday, July 26, 2013

DIY Music Instruments

The other day as I sang our morning routine to the kids I realized that we sing just about everything we do in this house. Then, I realized that my siblings are all the same. While my neices were visiting a few months back they sang this one my brother had taught them--
 "My Daddy is great! He gives us chocolate cake!" -My wise brother, Tom.
 And of course my brother Jeff has written several songs dedicated to Emma that are now in her baby book and she loves to sing them.
Yes, my family is silly, very silly and that is why I simply adore them.
 Music makes us all happy. It is always playing in our home and of course the kids love to make music of their own. Here are a few ways kids can make their own music instruments and bring beautiful melodies into their day.
Above, our Pie Tin Cymbals made with pie tins, chop sticks, duct tape and a few pretty add-ons. 
We made this Paper Plate Tambourine by threading two paper plates together along with a few bells.

 It brought out some fun dance moves!

 A Salt Shaker Noise Maker is perfect for any toddler. First they can practice those fine motor skills by adding beans to the container and then the gross motor skills get some work with all the dancing and shaking! Fun!

 Another way to shake some sounds (and perfect for a summer band!) The Watermelon Maracas!

Lastly, for the vocalist in your life, make a Rock Star Microphone with a paper roll, balloon and foil.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”


Saturday, July 20, 2013

DIY Lemonade Stand

I seriously think Emma may have actual dreams about lemonade stands. It's one of those things that makes her eyes light up and gives her the biggest smile on her face. We have had a few in our time with just a simple kiddie table and a few plastic glasses, but on the first day of summer this year I decided we should finally do it right!

 We had this large box that delivered recently and I knew it would be the perfect base for our lemonade stand. Along with a couple PVC pipes, markers, paint, easel paper, X-Acto knife and tape we were ready to get building.

I made 2 "x" cuts on top of our box to hold the PVC pipes. These pipes are really inexpensive and at every hardware store. You can buy one and ask the store to cut it in half for you. Ours were each about 4 ft long.

We made the top banner with a long sheet of easel paper cut in half (the other half went around the box.) The kids had a blast painting and drawing all over it to turn our box into a lemonade stand.

While our paint dried we made some simple strawberry lemonade using a store bought lemonade and strawberries that the kids happily mashed up.

Our lemonade stand was now open for business! We never actually made it to the front yard, but we had a ton of fun selling and drinking lemonade with each other.

When we were done we moved our stand to the play room where it continue to get used for all sorts of imaginative play scenes.

I shared this full tutorial over at Kiwi Crate. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ocean Sensory Tray

It's amazing what a little colored water and a few toy sea animals can spark in children. Em and G played with this for hours and had an entire story line happening.

 I used a large Rubbermaid storage container and added liquid watercolors to turn our water ocean blue!

 The kids loved to help get this set up. It only takes a few drops of the paint to get that great blue color.

The fun started when the animals started getting names! I love listening to the little stories that a 5 and 2 year-old can come up with. Imaginations are the best toy a child has. What a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!
More details on this and more summer crafts over at Kiwi Crate.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Car Window Sticker Scene

 Have you ever spent an afternoon scraping stickers off your car window? If you have kids you have probably done this (and cursed those stickers all along the way.) At the same time how tempting can it be to toss a pack of stickers in the back to your squirmy little ones on a long car ride??

 I wanted to find a way to allow the kids to have this fun activity, but not have to pay for it later with all the window scraping. Contact paper! Of course! It was super easy for me to set up a fun sticker scene in the car for my kids and after our long car ride I can just peel it right off and the kids can save it, toss it or even re-stick it to their bedroom window. Ahhh....a mama dilemma solved, now onto the teenage years.

 So, all I did to make this happen was cut a sheet of contact paper to fit in the backseat window. I used Sharpie's to create a fun scene (this is a great way to get the kids excited about the destination they are headed to, as well.) We were off to the beach on this day!

 Once my scene was done I just peeled off the paper backing and stuck it to the window.

Emma had her stickers in hand and we were off! Car sanity saved!

For more details on this check out my full tutorial over at Kiwi Crate.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Beach Crafts

 A walk along the river or a trip to the beach has become so much more for me since having children. Watching precious memories be made is a beautiful experience. I have these sweet memories that I hold special from my childhood. Knowing these are the days that Emma and Grayson will think back to as adults is an amazing feeling and I love being a part of it all. It's one of those unexpected cool feelings that you never thought of before becoming a parent.

 To add to the magic of the beach we usually make a few crafty things to keep as treasures, because we all know wherever children go they will find treasures.
Our Summer Treasures are simply shells we found on the beach and decorated sea side with markers. They came out lovely and were pretty fun to make while listening to the waves.

 While we are talking shells these fun Seashell Friends are super silly. With a few simple glued on additions our shells got names, homes and became little ocean found pets to the kids.

 Is this guy cute or what?! Although, we made our Starfish Friend at home, I wanted to add him to the mix. We used craft sand, but it would be fun to create this star guy on the beach with real sand. Some air dry clay, a star cookie cutter, sand and googly eyes is all you need for this.

Lastly, as a way to keep all of our findings and memories we made these cool Vacation Jars. A retired pickle jar will do. Just fill it with anything special from your trip. This works for any kind of vacation. We used some washi tape to date and title our jar.

Here's wishing you and yours some wonderful summer memories.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bread Tag Charms

Emma is a charm collector and I completely get it! I can remember having a pretty large charm collection of my own at her age. We decided to make a few special charms together and I must say I may have enjoyed making these more than her!
 First step was to collect A LOT of bread tags, which happened faster than I expected. I guess we eat way too much bread.
 We used acrylic paints to decorate our charms. This is a great craft to do together. It was fun to brainstorm charm ideas together.
 After spending all morning painting we set our charms out to dry. They dry pretty quick.
 Emma chose rainbow chord to become our charm holder. Perfect!
 All that was left was to add them to the necklace.
 She loved wearing these out and explaining to friends what each charm meant to her.

For more details I shared this tutorial over at Kiwi Crate.