August 2020 archive

STEAM Projects for Kids

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, STEM, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time

There it is again…that buzzword, STEAM. Or STEM. In case you haven’t heard of this term, it stands for Science Technology Engineering Art and Math. It basically encompasses all the things that parents want their kids to excel in academically, minus the humanities (still waiting for that acronym).

I crafted these STEAM-inspired projects, invented by some of my fave STEAM experts out there, for Family Fun magazine. For the most part, you’ll likely have most of the materials, but for anything that you don’t have, I’ve included links below!

(Above) This Balance Sculpture by Babble Dabble Do is as beautiful as it is educational. Design yours with lots of colors or keep it monochromatic like this green one.

The fact that Play-doh functions as a conductor of electricity (you’ll need to get this battery pack with leads and LED lights) ranks up there with one of the top five things I’ve learned as a parent. Learn how to make this Electric Play-doh Lightening Bug by Left-Brain Craft Brain

circuits lights bug craft steam stem kids

This Juice Pouch Stomp Rocket by Babble Dabble Do reuses something that I never thought I’d reuse…a juice pouch!

steam stem diy stomp rocket

Your kids will learn words like energy, payload, and catapult when they make this cool Pom-Pom Launcher by Curious Jane.

diy catapult craft project steam stem

These projects are all great at-home STEM projects to engage, entertain, and educate kids all at once!

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Upcycled Lighthouse Craft

| Decor, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Kids Rooms, Older Elementary, Styling, Upcycled

Generally, if I can use one upcycled material per craft, it’s a win. When I can nail down three upcycled materials, I feel like a magician! This upcycled lighthouse that doubles both as a nightlight and a bookend is one of the projects. All of the recycled materials are used relatively in tact, and they piece together beautifully to make this multi-purpose, satisfying craft.

If you have a kid that dreams of the ocean. loves boats, or has a thing for lighthouses of course, then this is your project.

What you’ll need:


  • One 10-ounce plastic bottle, empty and dry (mine was a Method Home hand-soap bottle, but you could also use a vegetable oil bottle)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1 tennis ball can lid
  • Red and white sand
  • Funnel
  • Black electrical tape
  • One 4-ounce baby food jar
  • 1 battery-powered votive
  • Black permanent marker
  • Permanent glue dots


Make It:

  1. To create the lighthouse’s gallery ledge, center the opening of the empty bottle on the tennis ball can lid and trace. Cut a slit into the plastic and cut out the circle. Set this aside.
  2. Use the funnel to pour alternating layers of red and white sand into the bottle. (You can measure out even stripes or just eyeball it.) Fill all the way to the top and seal the opening with electrical tape.
  3. Wrap electrical tape around the threaded part of the baby food jar, and color the bottom of the outside of the jar with the black permanent marker. Slip the gallery ledge around the mouth of the bottle.
  4. To create the lighthouse’s lantern room, stand a tea light on top of the bottle and cover it with the baby food jar. (My jar lid sat perfectly atop the bottle and tea light, but if you find yours is less steady, use glue dots to keep it in place.)



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Let’s Save the USPS!

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, Upcycled

The USPS is something that most of us have never questioned. It just exists and that’s the end of it. We all have a love/hate relationship with the mailbox…it brings holiday cards and party invitations, but also bills, IRS statements, and junk mail. But in all seriousness, we have to remember that the Post Office delivers medicine, food, stimulus checks, tax refunds, and, of course, mail-in ballots. The fact that this institution has existed since 1775 (Did you know that Ben Franklin was the first Postmaster General?) and serves every citizen equally and equitably, we need to do all that we can to make sure that it exists for all people, and for all reasons.

So here are some action items you can take to help keep the USPS alive and well!
  1. Buy stamps! They say if just half the US bought a sheet of stamps ($11), the USPS would raise $1.5 billion immediately.  Amazing.
  2. Email, call or tweet your representatives! Ask them to speak out publicly on the issue and why the USPS is important.
  3. Text USPS to 50409. After texting this number, Resistbot will send letters to your senators in support of the postal service. (I did it. So quick and easy!)
  4. Teach your kids about Snail Mail...we did a post about it! Make postcards and send them to your friends and relatives!
  5. Diversify your lemonade stand offerings and sell stamps like these kids in San Francisco!
  6. Make a dental floss mailbox (instructions below) for your kids’ dollhouse! Ok, maybe it won’t do anything to help but it’s dang cute!
how to make a dollhouse mailbox
How to make your dollhouse mailbox: Just pull out and discard the empty floss wheel, paint the outer box blue, and attach small white letter stickers to the front. Use glue dots to attach to the side of the dollhouse.

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DIY Crafty S’more

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, Summer, Tween to Teen, Upcycled, Yarn & Fabric

Summer camp memories are full of loud cheers, splashing in the lake, and, let’s not forget…s’mores! The love of s’mores is timeless…I love making them as much today as I did when I was a kid.

cardboard and felt s'more craft for kids

My daughter and I did a fun little DIY Instagram Live last night, showing friends how to make these happy little s’mores. Check it out!

And if you LOVE camp crafts as much as we do, head over to the Project Kid shop page and take a look at Camp Wannabee…it’s a crafty summer camp that comes home to you!

Here are the materials that you need to make your s’more:

s'more craft materials

  1. Cut two cardboard squares, about 2 1/2 inches square. Cut one 2-by-2-inch cardboard square.
  2. Use a pencil to poke holes on the top of one piece of cardboard to resemble graham crackers. Draw a line down the center. (If you want to make it into a hanging ornament, poke a hole up through the center of the “graham cracker” and make a little loop.)
  3. Thread needle and knot the end. Stitch eyes and mouth onto felt (or other white fabric). To make the eyes, we made tiny asterisk shapes (*) and we did the backstitch to create the mouth.
  4. Wrap white fabric around the pom-pom (or cotton balls), and glue it in the back.
  5. Wrap brown thread or yarn around the small piece of cardboard to make the chocolate. If you don’t have brown thread or yarn, you can cover it with brown felt, or even just paint it brown.
  6. Glue the chocolate to the bottom cardboard, then the marshmallow on top, and finally the top graham cracker.

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DIY Ferris Wheel Craft

| Activities, Everyday Crafts, Older Elementary, STEM, Summer, Toys, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time

As part of Project Kid’s collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, we focused on fun “Summer in the City” craft activities that would keep kids busy with materials that they could find around the house.

The fourth and final video in this series will go live on August 5, 2020, celebrating the 100th birthday of Brooklyn’s most famous ferris wheel…Deno’s Wonder Wheel! Using upcycled materials kids can learn to make their very own model of the Wonder Wheel and also learn about its interesting history.

how to make a ferris wheel upcycled materials

Click here to register for the streaming event, and don’t forget to post your final projects on Instagram, tagging #ProjectKid!

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