Author Archive

Easy Hanukkah Menorah Craft

| Early Elementary, Hanukkah, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler

It is Hanukkah time! Admittedly, we are kind of limited with the crafts that we make on this holiday (where are the partridges, drummer-boys and gingerbread houses?), but the variations on the classics are endless! Menorahs, dreidels, and lots of Jewish stars.

I always like to start the holiday with a menorah craft that invites kids of all ages to light their own menorah. I know my kids love to have their own menorah set-up, and if you have little ones that are too young to strike a match, this is a great flameless menorah craft that allows them to feel a part of the holiday.

You can find all of the steps and materials below— feel free to use whatever you have on hand for the flames! I used yellow pom-poms, but you can use felt, tissue, paper, construction paper, buttons,… The options are endless!

diy menorah craft

Materials: You can find a link to all of the materials here.

  • 8 medium clothespins, 1 large clothespin
  • thin wash tape
  • hot-glue gun
  • wooden tongue depressor
  • 2-inch wooden block
  • yellow pom-poms


diy menorah craft for kids1. Adhere thin washi tape strips to the front of 9 wooden clothespins (8 medium sized and 1 larger).

diy menorah craft for kids2. Add stripes of matching tape to a 2-inch wooden block to make a stand for the “candles”.

diy menorah craft for kids3. Use hot-glue to attach the backs of the wooden clothespins to a wooden tongue depressor. You can glue the tallest clothespin as the shamash either in the center or on either end. You can glue the two parts together but it’s kind of convenient to keep them separate.

4. Each day of Hanukkah, clip a yellow pom-pom, a teardrop cut from yellow felt, or a tuft of yellow tissue paper first onto the tall candle, and then on each candle corresponding to the day of the holiday.

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How to Celebrate Yom Kippur with Kids

| Activities, Early Elementary, Family Bonding, Holidays, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that yearly, I post about our family Yom Kippur ritual with my kids.

Having grown up in a conservative synagogue, I’ve always taken this holiday seriously—fasting (even before I was 13), asking others for forgiveness, and thumping my fist over my heart (IYKYK). Yom Kippur felt so tangible to me…I understood what was being asked of me and I did the rituals. I liked the inter-personal nature of it, and if it got me forgiveness for crashing the car, then sign me up!

But the one person I never asked forgiveness from was myself, then and actually, even now. My therapist often reflects back how I *talk* to myself, asking me if my child came to me with the same troubles and feelings, would I speak to them the same way I *speak* to myself? Never. It’s so enlightening every dang time, and I want my kids to start valuing the building opportunities from mistakes and offering themselves grace and kindness NOW!

In the early days, we used to go to the park on Yom Kippur, discuss what it meant to be a part of this family unit and then write down our goals for the year. Last year I shared a fun fill-in-the-blank worksheet that I made for my family, but now, as my kids are entering their teen years and have a pretty good grasp on our family values and goals, I wanted to steer this year’s message a bit more inward. I did some reading (mostly on my favorite Jewish media sites like Hey Alma, Tablet, and Kveller) to put together this *equally* fun, and I hope meaningful, exercise.

yom kippur tshuvah worksheet for kids and teens

Every year we look back at the Yom Kippurs past and the kids get so much entertainment seeing their handwriting and adorable spelling mistakes!

To end on a high, happy note, I always add a drawing prompt at the bottom (last year it was to draw Hugg McHuggster—see our drawings below!). You’ll have to download this year’s to see who you get to create!

yom kippur for kids

I say this every year…this exercise is rather agnostic—there is a little mention of the holiday but it’s useful for anyone of any belief set.


Some of the things I read and listened to:

  • This article by Helen Plotkin on Tablet.
  • This article by Shelly Jay Shore on Hey Alma. (TW: there is talk of disordered eating.)
  • This podcast episode from Unorthodox. If you listen to the conversation with Rabbi David Bashevkin, you’ll hear the origin story of my new worksheet, The Beauty of Broken Pieces. In a nutshell, he talks about how the Ark of the Covenant held both the broken tablets and the second “do-over” set. The broken set became a reminder of Moses’ mistake—how he smashed the 10 Commandments in anger over the Jewish people’s worshipping of the Golden Calf. In order to grow and learn, we can’t erase or hide the mistakes, but rather find a place for them to exist and teach in our own lived experiences.


Until next year…Rabbi Kingloff out!

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A Dozen Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts

| Gifts, Holidays, Mother's Day, Uncategorized

To commemorate my 12 years celebrating Mother’s Day as a mother, here are 12 gifts that I wouldn’t be mad about. In full transparency, I made the declaration when Oliver was born that I didn’t need anything to happen FOR me on Mother’s Day…I just got to decide what I wanted to do for that day. So if I wanted to spend the day picnicking in the park with my husband and kids, they had to join me. And if I wanted to be alone with my dog, well, they had to honor that too.

And even though I don’t expect gifts, these last minute treats would make me quite happy. And for you last minute gift buyers, if you order NOW, these will all arrive on your doorstep before Sunday. You’re welcome

1. My love for colored glass rivals my obsession with the coup-champagne style drink ware. Sometimes I pour my Spindrift in one just to feel a little fancy as I WFH in my sweats. This set is just beyond and will add that touch of joy to any shelf or bar cart.

2. I have been searching for the perfect sleep mask and this silk, cushioned one by Lunya might be the one.


3. I never used to care about pajamas, but now I’m all about them. And bonus points for a set of pajamas that I can wear with my Birks when I take the trash out. This Eberje set is a splurge, but I swear she’ll never want to take them off.


4. I spend a lot of time with my mugs. They are the first object I want to interact with every morning and they stay by my side until at least noon. I fell in love with this chubby mug and saucer set that would also welcome a tasty scone into the picture.


5. I saw these Sherpani fanny packs in a store recently and fell head over fanny for them!


PORTER Ceramic Mug Terrazzo by W&P - 355ml and 480ml – My Green Stuff

6. You can’t convince me that all portable mugs are the same. The hand-feel, the weight, the design, and the thickness of the lip (yes, I’m that picky) all matter. And with a terrazzo design, these Porter mugs kill it in all departments.

7. I’m a total sucker for a good neckerchief, and this selection from the Japanese company Topdrawer is perfection. Wear it around your neck or in your hair…in which case, you can go ahead and call it a hair-kerchief.


8. Even before the lock-down pandemic puzzle craze, I was crazy for puzzles. This delightful sticker design puzzle by Pipsticks for Workman is just the right combo of challenge and fun.

9. The cheekiness of these balloon letter initial charms just send me…up up and away. A perfect accessory that says mom without saying mom. Wear your initial or get one for each kid.

10. I never buy myself candlesticks, which is why I think they make the perfect gift. Serene and neutral, they go with any room, anywhere.

11. My kids gave me this flower LEGO bouquet a few years ago, and I relished in the assembly of every petal. I allowed them each to make one flower, but it was my turn to throw a tantrum when I swore up and down that I was missing a piece!

12. Sometimes as a mother, you just don’t want to be the one to make the decisions. Thank goodness for relaxing, art projects like this Paint by Number set by Pink Picasso that will give you the satisfaction of making a piece of art without the worry of getting it right! Moms deserve some arts and crafts time too!

This post contains affiliate links.


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Make DIY Mini Photo Dioramas

| Decor, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Paper, Tween to Teen, Upcycled, Wall Decor

When I started this mini-diorama craft, I pulled out plastic animals, twine, and little pebbles. I’m thrilled with a miniature landscape any day, really, but I guess my more sentimental chords got the best of me.

These easy photo dioramas are made using upcycled box lids, cheese wheel lids, thick jar caps, and even a sardine can! They are so fun to plan out and easy to make. You can get super creative by adding extra elements, like moss underfoot or maybe a moon hanging above. And glitter, much to most people’s dismay, is always a good idea!

Here are the instructions for making these DIY mini photo dioramas…I swear, you will want to fill a wall with these cuties!

What you’ll need:


1.Cut out your photo.


2. Trace your box onto the decorative paper and cut out. You’ll likely need to trim it down to make it fit inside since you are tracing the outside! (Just a little craft geometry!)

3. Glue the paper to the inside of the back with your tacky glue stick.

4. Cut small pieces of cardboard from a box making sure that they are small enough to not be seen behind the photo. Glue them into the box, and then glue the photo on top.

diy photo dioramas

5. Now hang or stand your little dioramas on a wall or shelf!

DIY photo dioramas are a great activity to do with a group of people (as long as they either come with a printed photo or they send you one in advance). Think family reunion activity, birthday party, office ice breaker…you name it!

diy mini photo diorama craft

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Inkblot Tote Bags

| ad, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Gift Wrap, Gifts, Grown-Up, Jewelry and Fashion, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time

This post is sponsored by our friends JOANN Stores

In my gazillion years of spreading the joy of crafting, the one statement I hear all the time is I’M NOT CREATIVE. (This is usually from adults, mind you. Not kids.) But if you define the word CREATIVE, it literally means having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.

inkblot rorschach totes

If you are feeling stuck, whether it’s creatively, emotionally, or even in a challenging work or school project, sometimes the best way to get unstuck is to simply just MAKE SOMETHING. Easier said than done, but if you take away the pressure to be perfect, you might discover something surprising in the process. These easy-to-make inkblot tote bags are the perfect project to help you create something beautiful with super low stakes. 

Rorschach inkblot prints

Our friends at JOANN sell all the materials you need to make these beautiful bags. I suggest buying a few bags and an assortment of paint…you won’t want to stop at just one!


What you’ll need:

Make it:

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

1. First put a piece of scrap cardboard inside tote bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

2. Place your plastic sheet, file folder, or cardboard on top of the tote bag. If you are using plastic or cardboard, make a crease in the center. Make a mark on the top edge to show the boundary of where your paint should go. Remember that it will bleed out a little bit once you fold it.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

3. Squirt paint onto one side of the folder or board. Have fun and make a mess! You can be generous with your paint squirts.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag craft steps diy how-to

4. Fold over and press so that the paint transfers to the other side. Open up to see your Rorschach, or inkblot, design!

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

5. Flip the design over and lay it on your tote bag. Smooth out to transfer the paint to the bag.

Peel the folder or board off the tote bag and let it dry!

Fun, right? Now you want to make another, don’t you? These prints would look great on t-shirts and aprons too!

Thanks again to JOANN Stores for supporting our creative projects!

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Cute DIY Desk Organizer

| ad, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Grown-Up, Kids Rooms, Nature, Older Elementary, Organization, Paper, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield

I’m one of those people that LOVES shopping for school supplies. I love the fresh pencils (even when we rarely need to buy new ones), the crisp, spiral notebook covers, and the perfectly pink, trapezoidal erasers. Now that everything is bought and the backpacks are well broken-in, there’s a little room for some creativity for how to arrange and organize the materials at home on your kids’ desks.

When Stonyfield asked me to make a back-to-school craft by upcycling one of their sturdy yogurt tubs, the only question was…Ok, how will I make this into a desk accessory? There are SO many ways to give these Stonyfield quart-size containers a stylish makeover, but here at ProjectKid, we like to try to think outside the container.

Introducing…the Cute as a Button (Mushroom) Desk Accessory. (Do you think I can trademark that?) I batted around lots of ideas of what materials to use from fabric to pom-poms, but I landed on something that is so basic and accessible: paper. I used some newsprint sheets left over from our last move, but you can also buy a pad of newsprint for not a lot of moolah (or just use some scrap copy paper). It’s also a nice material to have on-hand as a quick solution to throw down on your table before the kids start painting and crafting.

Here is what you’ll need to make this cute mushroom pen holder:

  • Quart-size Stonyfield yogurt tub
  • Newsprint paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Paper cake plate
  • Paper bowl
  • Red paint
  • Paint brush

Here’s how you make it!

Mushroom stem:

1.Cut strips of newsprint about 1-inch wide, and slightly taller than the tub. You’ll need approximately 20 strips. (If you are doing this with kids in the 4 to 7 age range, you may want to cut or rip smaller, chunky pieces, as they are less fussy to handle.)

2. Coat a section of the tub with Mod Podge, and place a strip on top. Paint Mod Podge on top of the paper and repeat to cover the entire tub. Trim off any excess ends, and while the Mod Podge is drying, set the tub aside.

Mushroom cap:

3. Flip your paper bowl upside down and tape it to the plate.

4. Crumple up some extra newsprint paper to round out the top; use masking tape to stick it down.

5. Wrap a piece of newsprint around the whole mushroom cap and tape underneath.

6. Paint the cap red and let it dry.

7. While the paint is drying, cut circles in varying sizes from newsprint paper. Attach circles to the red cap with Mod Podge, and then coat the entire mushroom cap in Mod Podge to give it an even sheen. Let it dry.

8. Hot glue the original lid of the Stonyfield yogurt tub to the underside of the mushroom cap.

Of course I had to make a baby mushroom too…I used a Stonyfield yogurt single-serve cup and flipped it over. For the cap of this ‘shroom, I used an extra lid from another quart that I had recycled.

Many thanks to our friends at Stonyfield for continuing to challenge us with fun ways to craft with their packaging!

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DIY Birthday Name Garland

| ad, Birthdays, Decor, Decor, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Parties, Preschool, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time

This post is sponsored by KiwiCo.

SPOILER ALERT: Discount offer below…but you have to keep reading!

How familiar does this sound…your kid’s birthday is approaching and you’ve planned the party, wrapped the gifts, but you haven’t bought any special decorations for the home celebration! The next few days are jam-packed with soccer games, zoom meetings, and dance classes, with no shopping time to spare. You are left with no choice…you have to raid their crafts supplies! 

diy birthday name garland

Or, if your child likes to join in on their own decoration making (perhaps you wrangle the sibling to help), you have a win-win scenario of a bespoke DIY birthday craft plus a screen-free activity you can enjoy together! 


Now…what to make? Let’s be real…do not sweat over trying to draw their favorite cartoon character or attempt a life-size cut out of their Roblox avatar. Keep it simple and make it special with an easy-to-craft DIY birthday name garland that you can repurpose with a quick edit year after year. Use your kids’ favorite colors or swirl some together to make a marble look…experiment and play!

diy birthday name garland clay swirl

Kid and parent favorite, KiwiCo, has expanded beyond their amazing kit line to craft supplies for kids (and people that used to be kids) to explore freely. From air-dry clay to vibrant paint markers, their high quality materials are bound to encourage your kids’ creativity and innovation. They sent me a bunch of goodies to play with, and the quality is just what you’d expect from them.


So whether you are sneaking into the craft stash when your kids are asleep or you are bonding together in the fun, the opportunities that the KiwiCo line of crafts offers is endless!

diy birthday name garland

And wait! Click this KiwiCo link and you will get 20% off your order of $50 or more, or enter PROJECTKID at checkout! Go stock up for the kids and get a few things for you too! We won’t tell!

What you’ll need:

KiwiCo Embroidery Floss Set

KiwiCo Wood Bead Set

KiwiCo Rainbow Air-Dry Clay

KiwiCo Letter and Number Cutter Set

Parchment paper

Sewing needle


diy birthday name garland

Make It:

1. Cover your work surface with parchment paper. 

2. Make a pancake with clay and flatten onto the parchment paper. 

3. Press letter or number cutter into the clay and wiggle to release. Set excess clay aside.

4. Grab a pinch of white clay and mix it into the original color (in this case, blue) to make a lighter shade. Adjust with white or blue clay as needed. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each letter. 

5. To make a striped letter or number, roll three to four pieces of clay into a stick and line them up. Press down, joining the colors, but not mixing them. Make a pancake and repeat step 3. 

6. Let clay dry overnight.

7. To make the garland, thread a needle and embroidery floss through the top of the letter—this air-dry clay dries with a spongy feel, so it’s easy to pierce. 

8. Thread wooden beads in between words and on either end to finish! Get a head start on next year by making the next number so you can swap out your child’s age!


diy birthday name garland

Remember, get 20% with code PROJECTKID at checkout with carts over $50!

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Funny DIY Teacher Gift

| ad, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen

As with any gift-giving efforts, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to end-of-the-year teacher gifts. Some teachers like apples, some don’t. Some like pencil-patterned zipper pouches, most don’t. This year, Sommer and I are coming up with funny book titles for her favorite 4th grade teachers to make little notebooks.

What I love about this project is that it’s SO easy to draw a book spine! It’s just a rectangle with a curved top edge. Add some details to the spine and write the titles in playful handwriting styles! Plus you can draw these onto tote bags, notebooks, or even just make a cute thank-you card. This year was a real doozy for teachers and any nod of gratitude is going to go a long way!

Here are the materials and very basic steps:

  • Notebook or journal with blank cover
  • Paint markers
  • Ruler and pencil


Draw your book spines using the ruler and pencil.

Color in the spines with paint pens. Let the paint dry.

Add little details to the spines like lines, swirls, or whirly-gigs.

Use a black permanent marker to write the titles.

As this school year comes to a close and the gratitude for these hardworking teachers swells around me, we have another practice of gratitude that you can try out: Thank with Google. I’m excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. Thank with Google is a new experimental feature that you’ll see here on my website (see that little floating blue button below?). You can click on it and send me a little wink of encouragement via a virtual sticker.

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Upcycled Flowers for Mother’s Day

| ad, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Holidays, Mother's Day, Older Elementary, Spring, Tween to Teen, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield.

Sometimes it can feel like “Flowers for Mom” is a little cliche as a Mother’s Day gift, but for me, a lover of all things nature and color, I simply will never tire of them. And when you are given flowers that will live forever, it seriously does not get any better than that.

upcycled flower craft mother's day

These upcycled, DIY flowers are made from a plastic Stonyfield yogurt tub. Yes, you heard right…they are plastic! If you hate tossing these as much as I do, then this is the project for you and your littles. This a great project to make for mom, grandma, or another mother in your life, plus it reuses something that might otherwise end up in a landfill. They can live on your mantle all season long, and, bonus: they’ll never wilt. 


diy homemade flowers spring mothers day tulips

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield.

Please note: I use hot-glue in the video and photos, but these can also be made with tacky glue…perfectly safe for little hands!


  • Stonyfield yogurt quart
  • White and colored acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Green straws, skewers or floral wire
  • Pom-poms
  • Hot-glue gun or tacky glue


  1. Paint Stonyfield yogurt quart white. Let dry.
  2. Cut 4 petal shapes from the white-painted Stonyfield quart. They should be about 2 inches tall and about an inch wide. Cut long leaf shapes.
  3. Glue pom-pom to the end of the straw. (If you don’t have straws, you can paint a skewer green or use floral wire.)
  4. Glue 4 petals around the pom-pom; glue the leaf to the stem. Gluing the unpainted petals and leaves to the stem first make it easier to hold for painting.
  5. Paint the petals in the color of your choice and the leaves green. Stand them up in a glass to dry.

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Striped Easter Eggs

| Early Elementary, Easter, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool

I have forever been a fan of Pysanka, Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated with a wax-resist method. The intricate, delicate designs are so detailed, and for anyone that has attempted to turn an egg into artwork, you too will be amazed. Pysanka artists often use a tool called a lathe, which allows the artist to rotate the egg, keeping the egg level and off the surface of the table.

I was thinking of the lathe when I made these eggs, using a basic lazy susan.  Really the only similarity is the spinning action, and while these eggs are not at all intricate like Pysanka, they are super fun to make!


I used wooden eggs from Oriental Trading that had a flat bottom. If you use real, blown-out eggs, just rest the egg in a lifesaver candy, using glue dots to hold it in place.

Here’s how I made these:

  1. Before you get started, mix a little water into your paint so that it’s about the consistency of a milkshake. If the paint is too thick, it won’t distribute around the egg evenly.
  2. Paint the wooden egg. I painted mine white so that the stripes would be vibrant, but you can choose any color you’d like (or leave them natural).
  3. Glue-dot the wooden egg to the center of the lazy susan and spin!
  4. As it spins touch the side of the egg with a brush loaded with paint. Repeat with different colors to make as many stripes as you’d like. You want to keep you hand as steady as possible so that the line remains straight.
  5. After they dry, you can add this optional touch! If you want a more mod design, take a black marker and move the marker around the surface of the egg as it spins. Experiment and try lots of things!


Here’s a before and after comparison of how these eggs looked with and without the black. I appreciate both versions!


diy striped easter egg ukrainian

Here’s something fun for you (and me)! We are one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program! Thank with Google is a new experimental feature that you’ll see on my website (see that little floating blue button down below?). You can click on it and send me a little high-five of encouragement.

I can’t speak for all content creators, but I share these ideas because (A) I love to craft and (B) I love to encourage folks to get creative with their kids. Sometimes I’m paid for the content that I make—maybe by a magazine or a brand that has sponsored the post, but so much that I share is just because I believe encouraging kids to take risks, experiment, and create is so vital to their futures as confident, self-directed humans.

By clicking the Thank with Google button, you can just send me a sticker as a sign of appreciation, and some of the stickers translate into direct revenue that support our work and allow us to serve up more clever craft ideas!

If you try it out, let us know what you think! Thanks, as always, for your support.

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