Holiday Bingo

This year my eldest daughter wanted to try her hand at some holiday crafts.  I figured it would be fun to try some more creative and challenging crafts so we looked at pinterest and I let her choose what to do.  She ended up wanting to make a holiday bingo game as a gift for her 2-year old cousin.  It was very sweet, although explaining to a 5-year old why bingo may not be an age appropriate gift seemed beyond her.  She just looked at me with wide eyes and said “It’s okay mommy, she can just use it when she’s older!”  (Shrug and sigh).

Most DIY bingo sets were printed from a computer,  but since I don’t own a printer I figured we could draw them by hand. My daughter got to choose all the icons and colors.  She actually drew each one for me and colored them so I knew what she wanted,  then I transcribed them to each board in random orders. The bingo pieces ended up being pennies we painted with nail polish and the dice we made were little wooden craft blocks that we drew the icons onto and colored.

I think this set is really cute and thoughtful, and it was a lot of fun for my daughter and me to put together. Hopefully her cousin will really enjoy the set when she gets older! Did you make anything special for yhe holidays?  Happy holidays to all! 

DIY Color-Me-Mine

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So birthday season upon us and I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ideas suitable for kids, especially as I was planning my daughter’s birthday party.  I had seen, a while back, an article about ceramic sharpie markers that could be used on an everyday lamp, plate, cup, etc. that would spice up an otherwise ordinary piece into something more unique or extraordinary.  In doing a little research, I learned that you could use these markers, bake said piece in an oven, and they would become a permanent part of the ceramic piece in question.  Wouldn’t this be a perfect craft for kids?

Obviously I had to test it out.  I started by purchasing a small box of these enamel sharpie markers:

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I found these to work really nicely.  If you didn’t push the tip in while you were drawing, the paint flowed smoothly and fairly evenly across the surface.  I would probably get a finer tip in the future for my own use, but for kids I think this is the perfect size.  Next, I took an Ikea mug that I had no particular affinity to and started doodling.  This was the result:

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Once I finished doodling, I set the design by baking it in the oven set at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  This was actually really fun and when my daughter saw what I had drawn, we ended up having a little craft party where she and daddy also got to decorate mugs.  So, now we all have our own personalized mugs and we found the perfect activity for seven little girls.  Win all around!

What to Do With a Gazillion Art Projects?

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My daughter’s daycare has begun a great pre-k program which teaches them all sorts of fun stuff. Each month they have a theme and each week focuses on a different aspect of his theme. For example, the first month was family. So, they all made family trees and learned all about their family and each other’s families. In conjunction with these themed weeks, there are lots of different art projects to help teach them about these aspect. One day they drew a picture of mommy. One day they made a craft project of daddy. They learned the difference between girls and boys and had projects that defined the different genders, etc. etc. Well, we’re now 4 months into the curriculum and almost every day my daughter comes back with a new craft project. There are so many, which are great, but I’m having difficulty finding places to put them!

When I was growing up, I had done a lot of craft projects myself. I didn’t know what my mom had done with all of them. One day, a couple of years back, before any of my brothers or I had kids, we were all home for the holidays and reminiscing about our childhood. All of a sudden, my mom tells us that she has all of our old craft projects stored away in boxes! What!??!! So we pulled the boxes down and spent the afternoon perusing all of our different forays. Some of them were pretty hilarious. Young kids are so honest and open that when you read some of the things we wrote, it was shocking yet funny at the same time!

This moment flashes before my eyes each time my daughter brings home a new craft. I have diligently been labeling each project with a date and what it is (if it is not recognizable to me) or if there is something of note (such as – she glued all of the items on herself) and put them in a stack on top of our refrigerator. I found that if I leave them in an easy to reach place, she often wants to take them and re-purpose the craft into something else.  So, the pile grew and grew.  I, being a little bit of a neat freak, started to get a little agitated with the growing stack of disorganization above our fridge.  I finally had a bright idea to display all the art and reclaim some of the space above my fridge.  Also, it was a great project I could do with my daughter!

IMG_6316Since her room has a little table for her to do her arts and crafts, I had previously decorated with two simple framed pieces of her artwork.  However, I realized I could put this wall to better use and display even more.  I thought that having two strings with clothespins holding up her various art pieces would be a fun way to display all her crafts.  As she made more crafts, we could shuffle things around and pin more up.  My daughter got very excited with this idea.  I taught her how to use the clothespins and she helped me pin up all of her projects.  I let her decide, for the most part, what order to put them up.  The final result is what you see above!  I think that I’m going to need to think of another idea for displaying these crafts as there is no more room for other crafts and the pile continues to grow on top of my fridge.  Sometimes you just can’t win 🙂