November 3, 2017
Activities, Decor, DIY Home, Family Bonding, Furniture, Kids Rooms, Organization, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time, Upcycled, Wall Decor, Yarn & Fabric
This is the second post in a new Project Kid series that provides ideas for family bonding. Our goal is to inspire you to make time for activities you forgot you loved and that your kids will learn to love with you! Last week our topic was Snail Mail and this week we’re talking about Treasure Hunting.
by Clare Yaghjian
Bargain hunters aren’t born, they’re raised! With yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and lucky curbsides, there are so many opportunities to hunt for treasure, but kids won’t know where to look unless you show them first. When you teach your kids to keep an open mind about where to find value, it will help them learn a lot more than just how to save money.
Treasure hunting can be a great opportunity to:
- Show your kids that what was old can be new again. When one person is done with something it doesn’t mean it’s no longer useful.
- Teach them that when you buy something that has been used before it’s recycling and is more environmentally friendly than buying something new.
- Get your kids interested in items from the past and share a history lesson. The Tidewater Family suggests helping your kids start a collection of inexpensive items like tiny bottles, costume jewelry, or vintage toys that they can slowly add to their collections over the years, while practicing patience and selectivity.
Hunting treasures is only half the fun though. Even more bonding time can be spent transforming the treasures. Everyone loves a good before-and-after (hello, Fixer Upper!), even kids, and especially if they are part of the magic. Contributing to the home decor will give your kids a sense of pride and accomplishment, and you can’t put a price on that!
Below we’ve collected inspiration for fun ways to makeover common items you can find at any treasure hunting spot. They’re easy introductions to thrifting that have plenty of space for personality and almost no need for power tools.
Don’t let their small stature deceive you, stools can have a big impact! Block ears and a coat of paint are all you need to craft these cute animal stools Project Kid made last year. Let your child help choose a patterned paper or even découpage cut outs to brighten up a bland step stool like This Little Street did. Or create a cozy reading nook your kid won’t want to leave by following Lia Griffith’s how to for a faux fur stool.
BASKETSBaskets make great projects for beginning thrifters. To mimic this yellow and blue basket from Brit + Co , make tape stencils that your little ones can help paint in. Don’t limit a basket to bikes, scooters look super with one too! (via Paper Mama). Design Improvised’s yarn embroidered baskets (bottom left) look great whether you use them to hold things or hang them on the wall.
Though children and china don’t usually go together, when you pick up pieces for cheap, it doesn’t matter if they get chipped! Glowing cups and saucers have a fairy tale feel that your kids will love. Bring beauty to your table (without the beast) by following directions from Dans le Lakehouse to make cup candles (top left). An eclectic collection of cups looks cohesive when they’re filled with cactuses (via Dcoracao). Even if your kid doesn’t have any genuine jewels yet, having a special place for tiny trinkets teaches them to take care of their things. Let them pick the pieces to make this charming tchotchke dish (bottom left) from My So Called Crafty Life.
Have suitcase, will travel. Whether its through the imagination, to the park, or off to dreamland – a suitcase has the power to transport its owner. Find how-tos for the mouse living room from Handmade Charlotte, the dino box from The Craft Train, Picnic Basket from Home Talk, and pet bed from My So Called Crafty Life.
Dressers are usually more about function than fun, but their size makes them the perfect canvas for bold ideas. Get graphic with paint by adding ombre drawers (via decor8) or using whimsical stencils (top right) like the ones from Royal Design Studio. Apartment Therapy shows you how to make drawer pulls from mismatched yard sale toys – which look great together when they’re gilded. And for a more magical option, take out top drawers and install a pole to create a costume closet (via Rambling Renovators).
Shelving units have the potential to truly be transformed into all sorts of kid sized spaces. Barley and Birch added wallpaper behind a bookshelf and a little washi tape on the wall to make a perfectly proportioned dollhouse. To create a workbench like DIY Network’s, add a piece of plywood and a pegboard to set of shelves. For those for a few more carpentry skills, like Duck Egg Blue, an old cabinet can become a tiny kitchen set.
And finally one more item to keep an eye out for when treasure hunting is dollhouses. As Thoughts from Alice demonstrates, a mini dollhouse renovation can be a great project for the whole family. Get the satisfaction of redoing every room of the house – on a small scale.
Of all the holidays with fun food ideas, Halloween definitely takes the cake. The internet is full of so many creative, and creepy, ideas that it’s easy to make a full day’s worth of haunted meals. We’re sharing our favorite festive ways to fill your kids up – before they dive into a mountain of candy. A balanced meal is the best way to ward off a sugar crash!
Don’t be scared away by these spider webs (above), they are deceptively simple! Mama.Papa.Bubba uses a wholewheat flax recipe to make their webs extra healthy but a box mix would work too – the only necessity is a squeeze bottle!
(image via Food Network)
Tell your kids a vampire beat them to breakfast! Corn muffins turn creepy when you fill them with jam and puncture the top. Follow this recipe from Leanne Bakes, and then poke holes with a straw to let the “blood” bubble up.
Acai bowls may be a trend but Monster bowls are a treat. Make a kid friendly version of the fashionable breakfast by following the Food Network’s recipe. Your kids will be smiling too much to realize they’re eating spinach!
We have to confess that we find some of those pinterest bento boxes truly frightening. This Bitey Bagel Bento on the other hand doesn’t require you to rise before dawn to pack a lunch that earns points. All you need are some fake teeth and a few sets of eyes to give your kid a silly surprise.
It doesn’t get more classic than pumpkins and ghosts, or easier than oranges and bananas. Pre-peel oranges and stick a sliver of celery on top to make a pumpkin and add mini chocolate chips to a banana for a friendly ghost. Via I heart naptime.
For a sandwich that could cause shrieking, this skull from Sugar,Spice and Glitter is the way to go. Cut your kid’s favorite sandwich with a skull cookie cutter, draw on features with a food writer marker, and don’t forget to add the gummy worm!
What kid wouldn’t want to make a mummy with their mommy? The whole family can get involved to make suppertime spooky. After an adult slices tortillas with a pizza cutter, kids can layer strips on top of their favorite quesadilla fillings. Kids Activities Blog shares the step by step.
Your little monsters will have plenty of energy to do the mash after eating these potatoes, which are as healthy as they are halloweeny! They’re made with purple sweet potatoes, so no food dye required. Follow Handmade Charlotte’s easy recipe.
Traditional recipe + tentacles = a new family favorite. Instead of your typical pot pie topping, follow Megan Reardon’s lead and add legs. Just be sure to gobble it up before it gets away from you!
October 25, 2017
Activities, Age, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time
At Project Kid, we love bringing you fun crafts with easy steps for holidays, birthdays, and every day. Sometimes though even simple steps can feel overwhelming when your goal is quality family time (not prep time). And while we pride ourselves on offering new ideas, there’s something to be said for unplugged activities that are classic. There’s a reason after all, that “Throwback Thursday” and “Flashback Friday” are some of the most popular tags on social media. Instead of showing kids your memories through a screen, share in person the things you used to love. This is the first post in an ongoing series where we’ll talk about ways to slow down, as a family….
Around the Project Kid household, letter-writing has become a very popular pastime. Oliver has been slowly working his way through his birthday thank-you notes (two months and counting!), and since starting kindergarten, Sommer can’t put down the pen and paper, drawing pictures and sounding out words.
Living in an age of instant gratification where communication is sent and received within an instant, it can be hard to convince kids that some things are worth waiting for, and that anticipation itself can be part of the fun! Before your kids are old enough to dread email, engage them in letter writing.
A few ways to get the ball (-point pen) rolling:
1. Make Postcards
Print out this blank postcard design from Kate’s Creative Space, complete with address lines and a square for the stamp, and let your child create a masterpiece on the front. Or, we love this idea by Yesterday on Tuesday of whipping up a stack of postcards from scratch by reusing cereal box cardboard.
(image via Kate’s Creative Space)
2. Learn about Pen Pals
It might be hard for your child to imagine that there was a time before skype, or even phones, when to talk with a far-away friend you had to send a letter. Pen Pals originally referred to people from different backgrounds writing to each other to learn about other cultures, countries, and even languages (via Albert Flynn DeSilver). Pen pals don’t have to be international though! One famous pair of pen pals was President Ronald Reagan and six year old Rudy Hines from Washington DC who exchanged letters for five years. The picture below shows the President and First Lady eating with Rudy at his home in 1984.
(image via Reagan Library)
Your kids can be pen pals with relatives, friends who’ve moved away, or even friends who live down the block—hand delivered mail still counts! If they are feeling a little more adventurous, sign them up for Mr. Boddington’s Secret Society of Letter Writers. Can we join too?
Here are a few easy pen pal prompts from Making Mondays to help your kids introduce themselves (or update relatives about evolving tastes)…
3. Send Something Unconventional
Getting personal mail you weren’t expecting is always a treat, getting personal mail that is actually surprising is even more fun! After exploring 2D options, blow your kids’ minds by showing them how to send some extra special snail mail. As long as the item is under 13 oz you can use first class stamps. Frisbees, flip flops, plastic eggs, or plastic bottles filled with art supplies – there are so many possibilities. For bigger items (i.e. coconuts, pinatas – yes it’s possible) you’ll need to have a postage label printed.
(egg and art supplies via improvised life) (frisbee and flipflop via allwomenstalk)
Fun Fact: For nine years Wired magazine held a “Return to Sender” contest during which they asked readers to send in the strangest “permissible objects of postability” they could get through the mail.
One of the things I love about Halloween is how widely interpretive it is. You can go gruesome, silly, imaginative, and even the harvest look can compete. This year Woman’s Day asked me to interpret the holiday in three different ways…Classic, Monster, and Country.
While I loved them all, the classic really has my heart. Here are the projects from that story, and you can visit Woman’s Day to get the how-to’s and templates!
(Above) If you have any pool noodles laying around your garage, shape them into legs with duct tape and throw on some tights and shoes to make these hilarious witch legs!
To make this wreath, paint a square boxwood wreath black, and turn leaves into ghosts.
Do you have a black lamp in your living room? If yes, you can turn yours into a Day of the Dead inspired skull.