Bedroom Door Sign

Ransom Note
Room Sign

The last ransom note I got was from my sister and made out of my New Kids On The Block posters, I was crushed but it was payback for ruining her Barbie lipstick years earlier. There is something so fun and visually interesting about the ransom note style, and it’s a great activity for school age kids . They can add their own messages, or keep it simple. This was always a hit with the after school kids I worked with. It’s time consuming too ( a plus on rainy summer days).

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few magazines or old catalogs,a marker, scissors, glue , and some construction paper. I like using 2 colors for contrast but one is fine.
  2. Start by writing out your name and what else will go on the sign. It is really helpful to be able to simply lay the cut out letter on the written on to see what you need to search for in the magazines/catalogs.
  3. Cut out all the letters
  4. Glue them onto one sheet of construction paper. Do not worry about the paper dimpling it all adds to the overall effect.
  5. Make a box around each one, no need to be perfect, irregular looks better I think.
  6. Cut out.
  7. Glue onto the 2nd piece of paper. It will be strong enough to be a sign to let everyone know who’s room it is ( and probably to keep out, knock or no girls allowed…).
Also even little guys can get in on the fun, my son got up from nap and adopted this as his own pretending it was a menu and playing restaurant with it. “I have a lowercase a to eat, please” seriously I am pleased as punch! If your child isn’t old enough to cut alone sit down with them and let them find the letters while you do the cutting. If you get to the gluing step cool, if all you do is point out letters that is awesome too!

Dragonfly Craft

spring craft for kids

I made this ages ago, and with all the holiday crafts it has been bumped. It couldn’t wait any longer. I love , no adore how this turned out and wish I had a reason to make more! The stenciling will probably be very frustrating for toddlers and most preschoolers but my son loved playing with the finished product.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a few doilies, a marker, a piece of construction paper,a few pieces of white paper scissors, tape and a art dauber or a bingo dauber.
  2. Start by drawing 1 large and 1 smaller wing on your white paper.
  3. Layer a second piece under it and cut out.
  4. Lay your doily on the wing and stencil. Simply paint on it by going straight up and down, it’s pretty forgiving but you may want a few doilies on hand in case it gets soggy.
  5. Let wings dry.
  6. Draw a body and head on the construction paper.
  7. Paint
  8. Cut out and let dry.
  9. Tape the wings onto the unpainted side of the body and you are done.
Is your child too young for this project?
Try this ladybug project or maybe this fun butterfly one.

Easy Beaded Bracelet

summer camp crafts
I made these all the time as a preteen and with the school year coming to a close I thought I better share some more “big kid” projects for all the older kids of my regular readers. Beading offers a great lesson in patience, fine motor control and patterning. This is easy to do but is adorable, I have been wearing this bracelet around town .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some seed beads, beading wire, a magnetic or latch clasp, and a small plate or am old yogurt lid works great.
  2. Start by cutting off two pieces of wire, about 2 feet long each. Tie together.
  3. Next secure that to one clasp. I don’t have a set way of doing this, I just tie it on- tug and make a few more knots if it’s loose. trim the ends but not too short because we will be hiding them in the first few beads.
  4. Start adding beads to both strings- so one bead goes over both wires. Carefully thread the end bits of the wires through as well. Repeat with as many beads as needed to cover the end bits.
  5. String 8-12 beads on one wire.
  6. Repeat on the other wire
  7. Now thread both wires through 1 bead. This will make the loop.
  8. Continue until you have enough for a full bracelet. I re did mine 4 times before I liked my pattern, make sure you let your child know that the best part of making something themselves is that there is no right way, if they don’t like the pattern, start again.
  9. Tie on your other clasp and you are good to go. I tucked the wires into the last few beads , so if you want to do that you need to keep the ends a little long so you can handle them.
Naptime Books!I am looking for some guest reviewers for chapter books. If your school age child and you would like to review a book you’ve read please email me with the title, the author , your review , first name and age. The review should be a paragraph or two long .I will be doing 2-3 of these special posts throughout the summer.

[email protected]


Totem Pole Craft

native american crafts

Just because the summer is coming doesn’t mean that learning needs to be put on pause. Learning about other cultures doesn’t mean you have to go across an ocean, there are so many cultures to explore close to home. Totem poles make me think of home because I grew up seeing them in Vancouver it wasn’t until I moved away that I fully appreciated their beauty. For information about Totem Poles click here .

1. Gather your materials. Before starting gather some pictures of totem poles, explain that totem poles were used for all different reasons, to tell legends, record history and sometimes just for art. You will need many colors of construction paper, scrap paper is great, although you will need one large piece for the wings. A piece of plain white paper, paper towel roll, glue, scissors, a marker, a paper punch, and some colorful markers. You may also want some tape to keep things in place while glue dries.

2. Start by coloring the white paper, older children can do patterns , younger ones can just go for it. Other than playing with the final product, this was the only step my little man helped me with.

3.While they color, cut out eyes, long strips for faces, noses- the sky is the limit. We cut out 3 pairs of eyes, some eyebrows a few noses and mouths.

4.Cut out some wings set aside

5. Cut small feathers from the scrap paper. Set aside.

6. When they are done coloring, wrap the white paper around the paper towel roll. Trim if needed. Set aside.

7. Start gluing on the totem animals faces, although we didn’t decide exactly what animals we were making, as we glued them on we decided on a raven, a frog and a seagull. Not sure there are many seagulls on real totem poles but that’s OK.

8. Glue the feathers on the wings.

9. Glue the wings on the pole and let dry.


Abstract Art Activity

abstract art activity for kids

Kids get so hung up on drawing sometimes and this abstract art can be really liberating. It also helps learn how to color in the lines if you are working on fine motor control. I don’t know what to call this, this is what I used to do in math class, which explains why my grades were so horrible. It is really relaxing, great for a rainy day or even to keep your antsy kids busy while watching a movie or traveling! And they look really cool too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some markers and paper. Yes that’s it!
  2. Start by drawing loops and squiggles that criss cross all over your paper.
  3. Next using your colored markers fill in the closed shapes however you like.
  4. Keep going until you either fill the whole thing or just feel like it’s done!