Baby Dress Up – Easy No Sew Tutu!

I have made many a tutu in my day, but this is the first for my daughter. There are tutorials all over the place and they may use other methods but this was how I learned years ago and it’s fast , easy and worth sharing.  I love the silly fun frills that come with girls and know that once she can voice her opinion about clothes, hair clips and tutus my reign supreme will be done.  She loved feeling the texture of the tutu but really it’s a fun prop for pictures at this age, in a year or so it will be good for play. The nice thing about these easy tie tutus is that you can add or remove tulle as needed as long as the ribbon is long enough. As with any object with string/rope/ribbon these are NOT to be used unsupervised, slept in or any other activity that isn’t directly supervised.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need tulle ( I used a roll of  6″  wedding tulle from Wal-mart), ribbon for the waistband, thinner ribbon for contrast and scissors.
  2. Measure your child’s waist with the ribbon, double it and cut.
  3. I am not one to measure mostly because I am impatient with everything other than small kids but also because my son turned my yard stick into a lance to go with his Knight’s Shield. So instead I use my arms. For the tulle I did 2 arms lengths and cut. I like longer pieces because once you pop them on the ribbon they will be poofy. Tutus should be poofy!  I did 30 of these. Not all at once.
  4. Then I folded the tulle 4, made a loop around the waistband ribbon, pulled it through and tightened. At the bottom you will see a loop , just snip it. 
  5. Keep going after 9 I popped on a contrasting ribbon in gold. These were only one arms length and I added it on the same way.
  6. Once all the tulle is on ( test it on your child a few times) make a spot in the front middle and using the same ribbon as the waistband is made from tie a bow on. This gives the illusion that the tutu is tied in the front but stops your child from being able to untie it themselves.
  7. Tie it on and take pictures 😉 I am saving this for when she is a little older although she had fun practicing pulling up in it.

Pretend Play Camping and Campfire Craft

camping for kids

We love to pretend and camping is a perfect thing to role play with. Dramatic play isn’t just practice for future actors it’s practice for future adults. It gives children a chance to play out scenarios , engage in cooperative play and even problem solve. It also gives the imagination and kid’s natural creativity a great outlet !  This camping pretend play is so easy and offers lots of  situations to act out, from traveling to the camp ground, hiking, fishing for dinner and telling bedtime stories. Of course those were just our ideas your child will come up with their own.The campfire craft is a great opportunity to drive home fire safety rules and procedures  too !

Campfire Craft

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a long paper roll or a few shorter ones. We used a roll from wrapping paper. Also some orange , red and yellow tissue paper, some double stick  tape , scissors and a brown marker. You may also want some clothes pins.
  2. Start by coloring the roll.
  3. Next cut in 3
  4. Rip your paper. Random ripping works best. We were out of red so I cut some red cellophane that I had.
  5. Add tape to your rolls in the middle and have your child add the paper. This is why I like using double stick, that way I can place the tape and it’s sticky and ready for him to add the flames.
  6. Next tape the rolls together. This is where I used the clothes pins. I used double stick tape then held it together with the clothes pins for 30 minutes before playing.

While that sat we made some snacks for the camping trip!

We made some trail mix ( cereal, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds)

Then we packed some other favorites into our “cooler” aka my son’s lunch box.

We popped a sheet in a back pack, grabbed a lantern and made a car out of the kitchen chairs.  Packed our stuff in the trunk and got buckled in. Then drove for 51 hours to the campsite.

Unpacked.

Got settled with a snack

Then told ghost stories by the fire.

Time for bed!

It took 5 minutes of gathering items to have a fun morning of pretend!

What is your child’s favorite pretend play activity?

Toy Parachute Craft

kids craft

“This is the best craft EVER.” I wasn’t even sure it was going to be a post until he said that. But let’s be honest when your child declares that and then stays busy playing with it, it’s got to be shared.  This was really fun and helps clean out my art closet that is in a sad sad state. I will be doing crafts inspired by my “Spring Cleaning” ( really cleaning before listing our house for sale) on my other blog so check them out! Also please remember any crafts with ribbons. yarn and strings should be closely supervised and only played with while supervised.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a dinner sized napkin, clear tape, a hole punch, yarn, scissors and a wee paratrooper ( we used our playmobil ambulance driver).
  2. Start by cutting 4 pieces of yarn all the same length ( we did about a foot).
  3. Next open your napkin all the way.
  4. Reinforce the corners with clear tape. I did the front and the back. This will make it sturdy and resist ripping.
  5. Punch holes in about the same place in each corner.
  6. Tie the yarn to the holes. I also taped the ends down.
  7. Now tie two strands on each side together.
  8. Make two more knots close together, these will be the arm holes.
  9. Pop them in it.
  10. Drop!

Alien Dress Up

Aliens are super cool and combining a craft with pretend play is even cooler. We love dress up at our house ( and preschool) and this alien headband craft was created to use as a pretend play prop. I suggested my son glue eyes on the band but he was very adamant that they needed to be up high on antennae. Even though I have directions you can follow this is the sort of craft that is best used as inspiration for your own unique creation.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, paint, glue, sparkly pipe cleaners, sticky back sparkly foam, googly eyes, tape and glitter!
  2. Start by having your child paint the paper. This will be cut in two strips to make the headband. Tell your child you will be cutting it, this can really upset young kids if they aren’t warned. I like using either a foam paint brush or paint markers like these when we want the paint to dry fast.
  3. While they paint, trace a circle 6 times on the backing of the sparkly foam.
  4. Cut out.
  5. Glue the googly eyes on.  Let dry.
  6. Next cut the paper in half.
  7. Add glue and glitter. You want to do it after your cut  not before so that you aren’t cutting into glue and glitter. Trust me glitter is messy enough, but cleaning it out of scissors is no fun. Let dry.
  8. Cut your pipe cleaners into different heights.
  9. When eyes are dry ( or at least dry enough not to slide, peel off the backing of the 3 foam circles that do not have googly eyes on them. Press the pipe cleaners into them.
  10. Peel the back off the circles with eyes , press into the circles with the pipe cleaners so they are sandwiched.
  11. When the glitter is dry tape the pipe cleaners with eyes on the front of  one strip. You will want it near the end because you are going to tape the other strip on top to sandwich them.
  12. Size it to your child’s noggin’ and secure the two ends with tape. I like using tape for 2 reasons. It’s forgiving and it’s fast, so kids can play right away.

Books


The Way Back Home
by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotion he manages to convey is amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the emotion. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!

Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk is a quirky updated version of the classic lullaby. So many bedtime books are super sugary but this one is funky and bright! I love the space theme and the illustrations are great! The rhymes are funny and kept my son interested in the lullaby much longer than the traditional one which he deems a “baby song”.

Moon Man by Tomi Ungerer is an odd, heartwarming, entertaining story. My son loves this story about the man on the moon who wants to be a part of the action on earth and decides to visit himself. Of course as is the custom on earth we are afraid of outsiders and he is thrown in jail. Luckily as he goes through the phases he manages to slip out through the bars.He finds someone to help him return home where he belongs, even though he is sad to go. I couldn’t help but think of ET… but that’s just me.

Knight’s Shield Craft

My son has been pretending he is knight for a few weeks. In all that time he’s been using a cutting board as his shield, it was high time we made him one! When we had a playdate scheduled with a friend who loves art and knights it was a done deal. Now you will notice that my directions and pictures don’t match perfectly, follow the directions because if I did this craft again I’d do a few things differently to make it easier . Oh and crafts while chatting to a girlfriend and holding a baby… just have extra things on hand in case you miss a step or 3.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard, foil, colored and scotch tape, paint/crayons/markers, scissors, paper and a toilet paper roll.
  2. Start by cutting out your shield from the cardboard.
  3. Next cut the white paper so it fits into the middle of the cardboard. This is where your child will draw their coat of arms!
  4. Time to paint and color your shield. We started with colored pencils
  5. Then added paint.
  6. Next we taped them on the cardboard. DON”T  Instead cover the whole shield with foil. Tape it on the back.
  7. Then add your white paper when it’s dry . Tape it on with colored tape ( painters tape works great).
  8. Cut a toilet paper roll in two and secure it with tape. This picture was taken 4 days after the craft was made . What was it I said about skipping steps while chatting, holding a baby and making crafts?
  9. Time to play – our boys played for 1.5 hours and amazingly no foil came off, ripped or otherwise needed repair.

Book

Imagine You’re a Knight! (Imagine This!) by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in tis series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits , reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3 year olds might find it to be too much.