April 2018 archive

10 Mother’s Day Crafts

| Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Mother's Day, Older Elementary, STEM, Tween to Teen

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, May 13th, and at Project Kid we are obviously fans of handmade gifts! But while moms will always love anything their child makes for them, some things are more, er, loveable than others. Rather than presents that will only take up space, we’ve collected ideas for fun and functional crafts. For all the dads out there who want to help their kids make something that mom will not only love but use too, this post’s for you.


When jewelry is stashed away, it’s easy to forget it exists! Kids can help form and decorate clay dishes to keep mom’s trinkets in sight and organized. Follow directions from the Project Kid blog to craft a colorful set, like the one above.


Miniature Hanging Planters, Clay Planters, DIY Planters, DIY mothers day gifts

Bouquets are beautiful but house plants will last long after mother’s day. These tiny clay cones from Frankie will add cheer to whichever corner they’re hung in.


mothers day mini vase necklace, mothers day gifts, mothers day crafts for kids

For the mom who loves flowers too much to leave them behind, turn the above vase idea into a mini-vase necklace! She’ll smell sweetness everywhere she goes. Via Hello Wonderful


Potato Stamp Tea Towels, Potato Stamp Cactus Print, DIY Mothers Day Gifts

Dish duty should be shared by all, but when it’s mom’s turn, make it a little more enjoyable with this cute cactus print tea towel from SAY YES. The secret stamping tool is fingerling potatoes on solid white tea towels! A printed scarf could be a cute option too, don’t you think?


DIY painted utensils, colorful cooking utensils, gifts for mom, diy crafts for mom

Another way to bring brightness to the kitchen is by color-blocking cooking utensils. Mom will surely smile when using a painted set, like these from Earnest Home Co, which couldn’t be easier to craft.

6. DIY cardboard tube speakers, DIY gifts, Cardboard gifts

Little STEM experts will have as much fun making these speakers as mom will have using them. Your kids will be amazed when you show them how cardboard and cups can amplify sound, then let them personalize with paint to add patterns and colors mom will love. Follow instructions from Pink Stripey Socks.


DIY Camera Strap with Scarf, DIY gifts for Mom, Mothers Day Crafts

Moms who are shutterbugs deserve a camera strap as stylish as they are. The House That Lars Built shares instructions for swapping the standard strap with a scarf. For double DIY points, try stamping a plain scarf – perhaps with a cactus pattern?


diy sunglasses case, easy sew sunglasses case, heart sunglasses case

Protect mom’s favorite sunglasses from scratches with this soft case from I SPY DIY. Beginning sewers can practice their blanket stitch around the sweet shape which will show mom love every time she uses it.


DIY natural perfume, DIY Mothers day gifts, essential oil perfume

Cut out the chemicals and make mom a custom scent with DIY perfume. Flowers, water and essential oil will look as pretty as they smell in clear bottles with handmade tags. Via Hello Wonderful


DIY Bath Salts, Mothers Day Gifts, Relaxing Mothers Day Gifts, DIY bath salts

Even moms who are bad at taking “me time”, will slow down to use a DIY bath soak. The Kitchy Kitchen shares recipes for Soothing Lavender Oatmeal and Rosy Coconut Sea Salt Soaks, which both work as natural exfoliants.

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Welcoming Spring!

| Decor, Early Elementary, Family Bonding, Grown-Up, Kids Rooms, Older Elementary, Organization, Preschool, Spring, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time

March 20th was the official first day of spring, though it certainly doesn’t feel that way! But even if you’re seeing more snowflakes than flowers right now, you don’t have to wait till it’s warm to embrace the new season. This year, try thinking about spring cleaning less as a to-do list item and more as a self care strategy for the whole family. Starting from the inside and working out, changes the way you experience the world. Help your home feel fresh and make space for new things to blossom.

1.Mental Spring Cleaning, Mind de-clutteringStart with Mental Spring Cleaning 

Before you get to work on your house, spend some time on yourself! After long winter months cobwebs can form in your mind as well as your closets. As Darling Magazine says, “In the same way we fall into messy physical habits that need to be cleaned up, we can just as easily fall into habits of thought that leave our mental well-being neglected and in need of some extra care.” To find new focus, first take inventory of your mental blocks so that you can move past them.


Make De-cluttering a Family Affair 

You’re not the only one with excess stuff. Rather than trying to sneak old items out of your kids room, introduce your kids to the KonMari method. Cleaning guru Marie Kondo suggests helping them purge by thinking in reverse.

“Don’t decide what to get rid of, only decide what to keep. You and your family should only save items that spark joy. Children as young as 3 years old can decide what gives them joy and the key principle is that each person should be making the decisions for themselves. If a parent or a spouse ever tries to ‘force’ another family member to tidy, not only will it not work, it could even have a negative effect.”


Organize Kids Books, Spring Cleaning Kids Books, Favorite Kids BooksImage Source: Small Shop Studio

Kondo recommends creating a “Hall of Fame” for favorite books that you return to again and again. “When we are overloaded with books or other objects, our ability to receive and appreciate new information is dulled. The space in your home that you create after you tidy your books allows more information to come to you at just the right time”.


Clothes Purge Pile, Donated ClothesImage Source: Gaijin Pot

Entice your kids to clean out their closets by making an event out of it. Education.com recommends encouraging your kids to put on a fashion show. They’ll have a blast modeling their favorite pieces and will have no trouble deciding which ones are “so last season”.  


White floor, Rug-less room, bright kids room, nordic kids room

Roll up the Rugs

It’s a simple idea that can make a big impact. When it’s cold there’s nothing cozier than warm rugs but as Houzz points outs “Bare floors can be a treat to toes after the heavy socks and woolen carpets of winter.” Plus, carpet-less floors are much easier to keep clean! 


DIY Natural Cleaner, Organic Cleaner, Homemade Cleaning Supplies

DIY Cleaning Products

Once you’ve decluttered and cleared surfaces, keep things fresh with chemical-free cleaners. Live Simply has experimented with all types of homemade recipes and shares her favorites for vinegar and castile soap all purpose cleaners. You can whip up both in much less time than a grocery store run.


Make Cleaning Fun

If you do it right, family cleaning night doesn’t have to feel so different from family game night! Try out a few of these ideas and watch your kids act much more cheerful about chores.

Go Skating for Dust Bunnies: Have your children wear old pairs of socks and “skate” around the house collecting dust bunnies with their feet. See who can accumulate the largest dust bunny. Be sure to collect all of your dust bunnies in a trash bag as you go along so they don’t hop back onto the floor! Kids love this silly and energizing game that gets their hearts pumping and promotes agility and muscle fitness. (via Education.com)  To really get in the game, buy a family set of mop slippers, above.

Musical Chores: Give your kids a specific task to get done by the end of a song. If they finish beforehand they can use the extra time to dance! (via Parents)

Follow the Leader: Give each child an apron and tuck an old rag or towel and a squirt bottle filled with a non-toxic cleaning fluid into the pockets. The designated leader must walk through the house and make multiple stops to clean or put away an object and the rest of the group must follow suit. Switch leaders every five minutes. (via Education.com)


Cute Baskets, Spring Cleaning Tools, Spring Bins

Organize with Matching Bins 

After clearing and cleaning, bring visual coherence to your space with a set of cute containers. Each kid can have their own pattern and each room it’s own type to make clear where items live. Practice what you preach by returning things to their rightful place and your kids will learn to do the same.

Clockwise from top left, Basket – Joss and Main, Quilted Bin – Target, Forest Etiquette Cube Bins – Crate & Barrel 


Spring Candle, Jar Candle, Spring Scents

Add a Springy Scent

Wake up your senses with a fresh fragrance. A coconut candle is all you need to make winter will feel like forever ago. Candles from Target

8. Tin can herb garden, diy herb garden, herb garden for kids

Bring Greenery Indoors

Flowers are always nice but planting an herb garden with your kids is a real growth opportunity. Reann Kelly’s tin can herb garden is stylish yet simple to make and you can easily add to it if your kids want to expand their plant collection. Once the herbs get going, you can teach your little ones how to use them in simple recipes, or even about their medicinal values. Check out Learning Herbs for lots of great info.


upcycled bird feeder, homemade bird feeder, diy bird feeder

Do Some Birdwatching 

Offer a feast to feathered friends by hanging a bird feeder outside of your kitchen window. Your kids can practice their observation skills and learn about seasonal migration by keeping an eye on which birds visit. A cleaned nut can is easily upcycled with the addition of a twig and some twine. Find the how to in our book, Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun.


Make Space to Daydream

Designate an area for new ideas to enter by building an A-frame tent. This sweet design from Cakies functions indoors and out. You’ll be ready for the first “real” day of spring, and in the meantime your kids can enjoy some living room camping.

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Animal House Craft

| ad, Age, Animals, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Nature, Older Elementary, Preschool

This fun craft project was sponsored by Kid Made Modern.

It’s totally old news that we are big fans of mixing elements of nature into crafts with kids—sticks, rocks, pinecones…they are so sturdy, beautiful, and free! As a kid I used to explore the woods behind my house and pretend I was building nature’s fantasy world to shelter my toy animals and dolls.

When I saw this beautiful Animal Menagerie Craft Kit from Kid Made Modern, I knew I was destined to give it a home. Once your kids have finished coloring in the beautifully designed wood pieces, they can easily assemble the menagerie and start collecting Mother Nature’s craft supplies for the house.  We mixed in some fun colored supplies from the Bright Bundle Craft Kit to add a little pop!

You can build this in so many different ways, but here’s a little detailed exploration of what we did here at Project Kid:

What you’ll need:

1. Use the fuzzy sticks in the Bright Bundle Craft Kit to bind the corners of the house together. You can add a dab of hot glue underneath for extra security if your sticks are on the wonky side. Carefully remove the caps from acorns and glue pom-poms in place of the nut. We used ours to top the main legs of the party house.

2. The pinecone is now nature’s chandelier! Glue the beads from the Bright Bundle Craft Kit to the ends of the pinecone’s scales. Use the colorful string to hang it from criss-crossed sticks above.

3. Cut leaf shapes out of the neon stickers sheets and attach them to the bottoms of the four side posts. We wrapped skinny duct tape around the base of the legs, and set some painted rocks around.

5. It’s always a party with this animal menagerie, so we folded the duct tape around the nylon cord and cut it into flag shapes.

6. No animal can resist a party hat. Make some for this crew out of duct tape and pom-poms.

Thanks to Kid Made Modern for sponsoring this post!

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Goody Bag Upgrade

| Age, Baby, Birthdays, Early Elementary, Favors, Older Elementary, Parties, Preschool, Toddler

Photo by Tara Donne for Parents

I truly love planning my kids’ birthday parties—taking their theme of choice and running with it. But then it comes to the favor part and I am confronted with a personal conundrum—to give plastic junk or to not give plastic junk. I want to be known as the mom who gives killer goody bags, but I hate the idea of sending kids home with junk that’s bound for the land fill.  I’ve tried so many work arounds (such that I could write a weekly column on this topic) and I feel there’s an economical, valuable solution for every single party.

We did some brainstorming and googling to find these ten goody bag alternatives that will thrill beyond the car ride home.

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1. goody bag alternatives, craft favor bag, creative goody bag

Art Bar knows how to keep the fun going after a crafty birthday with a bag full of supplies. Include materials to make a specific project, or a random assortment to encourage creativity. For an added bonus, give the supplies in a muslin bag that can be decorated too!


goody bag soaps, alternative party favors, soap favors, toy soaps

Kids may not be excited about soap but they’ll be eager to reach the prize inside! Homemade soap is a great way to incentivize hand washing, plus you can include toys to match any party theme. Follow the easy how to from Super Make It.



kids cooking party favors, cookie in a jar kit, kids apron

For a cooking birthday buy kid sized aprons in bulk that can be used during and after the party. You can also send guests home with a  jar of ingredients for a favorite treat – just don’t forget to tie on a recipe card! Image via Today’s Parent


birthday party photo booth, birthday party favors, good bag alternatives

photo frame set, party photo frame set

Though we take photos all the time, a printed picture feels likes a prize. Set up a silly photo booth, like this one from Mood Kids, and use a mini printer, such as an instax, for photos. For a more finished feel, slip photos into colorful frames, or have guests decorate frames as a craft activity.



music birthday party favors, kids instruments, kids music birthday

Form a twelve piece orchestra by giving each guest their own instrument. It may take a while before they make beautiful music together, but they’ll have a lot of fun trying! These instruments can be bought as a set from Amazon.


birthday book party favors, alternatives to goody bags, book favors

No matter the theme of the party, a book is a favor both kids and parents will appreciate. To find affordable options, check the discount bin of your local bookstore, buy a set of classics and break them up, or browse bookoutlet.com


seedling party favor, silly plant party favor, goody bag alternatives

Encourage growing green thumbs with a plant kit – the opposite of a throw-away favor! These hairy examples from Today’s Parent include a mini pot, seedlings, a bag of soil, and of course eye stickers.


bird watching scavenger hunt, scavenger hunt goody bag, nature party favor

A scavenger hunt is the perfect pick for a nature themed party. A treasure hunt, like this one from Nellie Design, doesn’t have to involve toys, kids can use a checklist to mark observations and collect outdoor items.



All mini magicians should be equipped with their own deck of cards. Or split a big box of classic tricks, like these from Becky and Me Toys, and let the party goers practice on each other.


For a truly favor free birthday, share the money you would have spent on goody bags with a charity instead. Let the birthday kid choose a cause they feel strongly about, like a local animal shelter, or consider an organization like The Birthday Party Project, which throws parties for homeless youth. All the party guests can sign a card together.


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