Crafts: Household Items

Beanbag Balls

Use this activity to make totally awesome squishable balls. They are great for beanbag games or a good old game of catch. 1. Stretch the first balloon by inflating it halfway, holding it closed for about 30 seconds, and then deflating it. 2. Place a funnel in the balloon's neck and gradually pour in 3/4 cup of lentils, pushing them in as you go. Balloon should be firm but squeezable. ...(read more)

Homemade Ukelele

Begin by painting palm trees or gluing tropical pictures onto the empty tissue box. After it dries, show your child how to stretch the rubber bands over the hole. (If needed, cut the hole into a larger oval shape.) Place a pencil under the rubber bands and perpendicular to them at one end of the hole in the box. Tape the paper towel tube to one ...(read more)

Making Play Binoculars

Tape or glue two clean toilet tissue cardboard tolls together and then tape some string to each roll so that the child can put it around his/her neck. To make it extra fun, paint, color or add stickers before or after taping/gluing the rolls.(read more)

Masking Tape Bracelets

Let your child create his own "jewelry" with this activity! Simply take a length of masking tape, and make a bracelet for your child. Be sure to put the sticky side out. Let him affix whatever tiny treasures he can find on the bracelet -- beads, buttons, small pasta, cereal, leaves, feathers, etc.(read more)

Life Size Paper Doll

Take a long piece of butcher paper and have your child lie down on top of it (his or her entire body needs to fit within the edges with a good margin around the sides). Trace around your child's body with a Sharpie. When your child stands up, you will have an outline that you and your child can dress and decorate however you wish. My daughter ...(read more)

Cotton Ball Snowman

Find different size cups or mugs for preschoolers to trace (no glass ones). If you don't have different size cups to use, try small round containers, lids, or unopened cans. You'll need three different sizes. On paper have preschoolers trace three circles in stacking order with the biggest on the bottom. Have them fill in the circles with cotton balls and a little bit of glue. You can simplify the ...(read more)

Face Collage

Take a stack of old magazines and cut out eyes, noses, mouths, ears, and hair. Then, draw an oval on a piece of drawing paper or construction paper. Give your child the cut-out facial features and the blank oval for a face, and let him or her create a face. Younger children think it's fun to create a silly face. Older children enjoy the task of ...(read more)

Thank You Tins

In order to thank the postman for all of his hard work, you can have your child write with a permanent marker on a small tin 'Postman's Tin: We appreciate your hard work, so we are leaving a treat for you. Take this along and enjoy! Return the tin for some more thank you goodies!' It's nice to see the tin being returned; the kids love making ...(read more)

Wind Spinners

To get ready for the activity, begin by cutting the top and bottom off an empty and clean two-liter bottle. Then, help your child to paint bright slanted stripes in alternating colors. Allow paint to dry. Once the paint has dried, cut the painted plastic tube into a spiral. Trim the end so that is squared, then use a hole punch to make a hole for ...(read more)

Dinosaur Sock Puppets

Have your child stuff an old sock with cloth or paper scraps. While he's doing that, cut a wide oval out of cardboard. Fold the cardboard oval in half and help your child glue it to the instep of the sock. Next, decide what kind of dinosaur your child wishes to make. Then cut those dinosaur's features out of felt. For example, you might ...(read more)

Making Puppets

Puppets are fun to make and great to play with, especially when acting out stories. Silly dog -- An old sock can be quickly transformed into a "silly dog" puppet. Make a dog from a sock by cutting out two ears from some felt -- or any sort of fabric scraps you may have -- and sewing them on either side of the heel. Sew on two ...(read more)


Personalizing Placemats

With your child, cut out pictures from magazines of your child's favorite things - foods, toys, colors, etc. Give your child a glue stick and then help your child paste pictures onto a large sheet of construction paper, card stock, or poster board. Laminate your finished product and voila! - your very own customized placemat. A few other options: * Instead of using ...(read more)

Collage Cards

After spending time with family, my daughter (5 years old) and I chose one image to turn into a card to send to one family member who lives far away. In this case, my daughter chose her second cousin (2 year old girl) who lives across the country. During their visit, the two of them spent time trying on everyone's shoes. I gave her construction paper and ...(read more)

Paper Chef's Hat

Make a paper chef hat for your preschooler using a large piece of paper and tape. Begin by sizing the piece of paper to your child's head, and then let them decorate the paper. Once they've finished decorating, tape the paper to the right size and place it upon your little chef's head. Voila! Dinner is served!(read more)

Homemade Bubble Bath

If you're looking for a great homemade gift you can make with the kids, try making bubble bath. You will probably have everything you need already in the house. To get started, pour 1/2 cup clear or light-colored shampoo and 3/4 cup water into a medium bowl and combine with a spoon. Then add 1/4 teaspoon salt and wait until the mixture thickens. Next, sprinkle a ...(read more)

Paper Bag Sports Jersey

Use a brown paper grocery bag to make a team jersey with your preschooler. Cut off the bottom of the bag, cut holes in the sides for arms, and then cut the bag up the front so that it looks like a vest . Then, let your child decorate the back of the paper "vest" with the name, number and colors of his or her favorite team and ...(read more)

Presidential Coin Rubbings

This a great activity for President's Day, if your children have the day off or have been talking about the presidents in school: Place a coin "heads-up" under thin white printing or drawing paper and let your child color over it until a rubbing appears. Do this with every denomination, discussing each president as you go: Lincoln for the penny; Jefferson for the nickel, Franklin D. Roosevelt ...(read more)


Creating Collages

Gather a stack of old magazines and catalogs. Choose a theme with your child and go on a hunt for pictures connected to the theme (food, farm, family, animals, ocean, etc...). Cut out any pictures you find related to theme. You can then spend time classifying and sorting the pictures (for example, for food, sort by food groups or by veggies and meats or by meals); counting the ...(read more)

Advanced Shaving Cream Snowmen

This activity is a more advanced rendition of the "spray shaving cream on a table and let the kids create their own snowman" idea. For this version, first have the kids draw a snowman on dark-colored construction paper. Then combine 2 parts REGULAR (not menthol or gel) shaving cream with 1 part Elmer's liquid glue in a plastic container. Depending on how much mess you're prepared to ...(read more)


Letter Learning

Start by drawing a big outline of a letter on a piece of paper and let your child color or paint inside the lines. Then cut it out and stick it up or you can join it to other letters in an alphabet garland or a special word or name.(read more)


Let your little ones create their very own Kaleidoscope and see the wonders of their own work! Paint an empty toilet paper roll with water paints. Cut up several different colors of tissue papers into very small pieces. Glue these pieces of tissue paper onto a piece of wax paper that is approx. two inches by two inches. Once the tissue paper has dried, glue the ...(read more)

Butterfly Magnet

Begin by painting a coffee filter with water colors and allow it to dry completely. Once dry, glue the coffee filter to one side of a clothes pin, and glue a small magnet (1/2 inch by 1/4 inch) to the other side of the clothes pin. Next glue a twist-tie to the top of the clothes pin. Lastly, scrunch up the coffee filter to make the wings. ...(read more)

Tissue Puppets

Scrunch a tissue into a ball, and drape another tissue over it. Twist the top tissue below the ball to make a floaty body. (You can tie it on with a rubberband to make it tighter.) Draw a face on one side of the ball and stick your tissue puppet on a pen or your finger and do a puppet show. Toddlers love holding them and playing with them--especially if ...(read more)

Making a Frog Bank

Give your child a small box such as a pound sugar box. Have him or her cover it with green construction paper and lay the box flat. Your child can now cut out four legs from the construction paper and glue them onto the sides and front. Now, remove two compartments from an egg carton to be used for eyes. Your child should first paint them green and then ...(read more)

Everlasting snowballs

This is a great way to "recycle" those plastic grocery store shopping bags. You'll have to do this first part yourself: use scissors to cut plastic bags into very thin (1/4") strips - 2 or 3 bags should be plenty. It should look almost shredded. Place these in a large bowl and set aside. Take another plastic bag and scrunch it into a fist-sized ball, wrapping ...(read more)

Making a Piggy Bank

Make a piggy bank out of an empty coffee can. Begin by gluing pink felt around the can. Then, help your child to add googly eyes to the front -- or draw eyes on with a marker -- and glue two small felt triangles to the top of the can to serve as ears. Cut a slit in the plastic top for the coins to be inserted. ...(read more)

Say Cheese: Homemade Photo Albums

Help your toddler remember friends and relatives whom they do not get to see often. Choose or take a photograph of each person you wish to include in the book. Using colored markers, let your child help write the name of that person on a piece of paper. Draw on the name or embellish with stickers & stamps and then tape it to the photograph (do not ...(read more)

Neighborhood Map

This is a good activity for kids who are starting to learn their city, state, and address. Print up a map of your neighborhood or town with your child; if you're a pretty good artist, you can create a map yourself. The map doesn't need to include all of the streets -- just a general idea of where things are (schools, post office, library, bank, grocery store, friend's ...(read more)

Being Savvy Today

Ten Toys for Your Outdoor Play Toolchest


As glad as we are that you are reading this post, we really want you to go outside. Because unless it's 12 degrees, raining or 4:00 in the morning, there's no reason for you and the kids not to be outside. So bag the laundry; forget the cleaning; turn

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