I am really excited to share this project with you because I think it will be incredibly useful for families , not to mention really fun. Camp Mom is the result of the Top 20 Moms of Pinterest getting together and saying ” We should do something collaborative for the summer. ” When you say that to a bunch of creative and driven women stuff gets done. What Camp Mom Summer Activities Pack is all about is simplifying summer planning for you by putting over 80 ideas, tips & tricks and even some book recommendations together in one easy download for $14.99.
We don’t have everyday planned out for you because we know that in the summer things aren’t always easy to fit into a schedule. What we do have are 80 wonderful activities perfect for kids 2-9 years old. Some are structured, some are free and open and all can be done easily. So when you do want to do something fun and engaging you have all you need to whip something together your kids will love.
The themes are Water: Splash and Play , Art: The Earth Without art is just “Eh” , and Nature: Explorers in Your Own Back Yard . There is also a great list of sensory ideas for simple everyday explorations.
From May 15th – 31st we are offering extra special offers for anyone who buys Camp Mom. You will get exclusive discount codes for :
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By Jean Van’t Hul
Do you wonder what to do with all of the art that your kids produce? If your children are anything like mine, they draw and paint a lot. I’m often trying to think of ways to use or display their many masterpieces.
While I have a whole chapter on displaying, reusing, and storing art in my new book, The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity, I’m still always seeking out or thinking up new ideas. This spring, for my husband’s birthday, my daughters and I created t-shirts for him, using transfers of some of their recent drawings.
These T-shirts make great gifts and my kids were literally beaming with pride when they presented theirs.
Here’s how to make them…
Transfer a Child’s Drawing to a T-Shirt
- Children’s drawings
- Fabric transfer paper (This is widely available at craft stores, office supply stores, and online. If you have a white or yellow t-shirt, make sure to get the kind that says for light-colored shirts. And ditto for dark-colored shirts. You’ll need the packet that specifies dark colored shirts if you’re working with blue or black…)
- Ink-jet printer/copier
1. Copy your children’s drawing onto the fabric transfer paper following the instructions on the packet.
2. Cut out the image, rounding corners as you go as much as possible.
3. Match the drawings up with the T-shirts.
4. Iron your shirt to remove any wrinkles and then then position the drawings as desired.
5. Next, follow the packet instructions to iron the drawings onto the shirts. This will vary depending on whether you are transfering onto light shirts or dark shirts. It may even vary from brand to brand so make sure to read the instructions provided.
Here’s what we did:
For light-colored shirt transfers: Turn the transfer paper image side down. Iron the paper to the shirt. Let cool, then peel off the paper backing.
For dark-colored shirt transfers: Peel off the paper backing first and then arrange the image right side up. Cover image with ironing paper provided then iron the image onto the shirt. Let cool then remove the ironing paper.
Here’s my older daughter, Maia, pulling the paper backing off to reveal her owl drawings.
And here’s my three-year-old Daphne’s very first person drawing transferred onto an oatmeal-colored shirt after we (um, I) botched the first attempt onto the navy shirt by not reading the instructions properly. Ahem. So learn from my mistakes, folks!
This is not a difficult process at all, but the iron-on instructions are different depending on whether you’re doing the light or dark T-shirt transfers.
The girls wrapped the shirts with birthday paper and lots (and lots!) of tape and ribbon. They were SO excited to present their Daddy with the shirts they had made with their own drawings.
We’ve since made several more T-shirts using fabric transfers of their drawings. They each made a shirt for themselves. And I’ve heard rumblings that one or two might be in the works for me as a Mother’s Day present…
Jean Van’t Hul writes about easy and fun arts and crafts ideas at The Artful Parent and has a new book out, The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity, that combines the whys and how-tos of children’s art with 60 all-time favorite activities.
The flowers are starting to bloom on our apple trees and bugs are everywhere so it’s the perfect time to make a few not so slimy versions of the bugs we see outside. I had planned for her to just make one snail but when I gave her the pile of construction paper she asked to make a whole family so we did.
- Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, coffee filters , markers, glue, double stick tape , googly eyes, some water and an eye dropper. If you want glitter (she REALLY wanted glitter ) grab some glitter glue. We love these little tubes of glitter craftprojectideas.com sent us.
- Start by coloring your coffee filters. While she colored we chatted about colors and the different marks she was making . Dots were her favorite.
- Add the water! She started with the eye dropper but quickly asked if she could pour. If you are going to let your child pour you will want to have two small cups on hand so you can give them small amounts of water to pour and then refill.
- Let the filters dry and go play outside or in my daughter’s case raid your brother’s closet and get dressed in his clothes. If you need to speed up drying time use a hair drier on low.
- Cut out the snail frames. Use a coffee filter as a guide for the center circle. Make sure it’s smaller than the coffee filter so you can tape it in.
- Using double stick tape tape the coffee filters on the back.
- Time to add eyes. I love the 3 eyed snail . I was shocked when she insisted on doing all the eyes. I was prepared to do most of them.
- Add glitter if you wish. One thing I can say about my little girl is she is determined and she was determined not to let me help after I showed her how to add the glitter. She eventually got it out ( this color was almost all used up… when they are full they are super easy to squeeze).
- While she did that I cut out easy antennas from the scrap paper and taped them on.
- A family of glittery snails !
- Add it to a window and see all the colors shine!
Books About Bugs !
Check out our 19 favorite books about bugs. These aren’t just some good bug books, they are some of our all time favorites!
Making a mural is a great opportunity for learning, especially cooperative learning. When I was teaching PreK I had a very spirited class and although I made many missteps as a new teacher one thing I did well was to encourage cooperative art projects when bad behaviors started popping up. Murals aren’t only great for making kids work together they are also wonderful for long term projects, getting up from the table to learn and encouraging kids to use proper hand form for writing while writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Each of these mural projects have other more specific learning goals like shape recognition, counting and fine motor skills but the emphasis is always on fun.
Spring Garden Mural
Math Around The House Mural
Flower Petal Sticky Wall
Heart Rainbow Mural
Letter Flowers Sticky Wall
Jar Lid Match Mural
Peel & Pick Apple Tree
Alphabet Wall Mural
Ocean Shapes Mural
Christmas Tree Sticky Wall
This painting with sound activity was too brilliant to not share. It’s a perfect addition to a 5 senses theme. I can’t claim any credit for this other than choosing a great preschool for my kids. This came directly from my daughter’s teachers and when I saw it Wednesday I gasped because it’s pretty rare when I see something new to me. The only thing I changed was to put it on a vertical surface but that was because I was duplicating the activity only a few hours after my daughter did it at school and wanted to change it a little for her. I love using my doors as makeshift easels.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paintbrushes ( these were sent to me from craftprojectideas.com and worked well! ) , jingle bells, pipe cleaners, paper, and paint. If you are doing this on a window like we did you will want some painter’s tape to keep the paper up without leaving crud on your window.
- Start by threading the bells on the pipe cleaners. I put different numbers of bells on each to create slightly different sounds.
- Wrap around the end of the paint brushes.
- Let your little one explore the brushes and shake before they get covered in paint . She shook them as hard as she could before they were covered in paint.
- Grab some paint and paper.
- Add your artist. She really liked this and loved hearing the jiggle bells as she painting. We talked about which ones made the prettiest sound and she decided she only liked 3 out of the 4 and refused to use the largest one at all. Using the vertical surface seemed to encourage her to make big strokes which really made the bells jingle. We ended up learning all about color mixing too. She wanted to make red so we tried all the combinations to discover how close we could come to it. Don’t shy away from lessons like color mixing that emerge from other ones. Yes the plan was to talk about sound but there is always room for more or different lessons.
- I even managed to step away and start dinner while she painted and made beautiful tinkling sounds.