Shell Picture Frame

One of the best parts of creating with your child is the time you spend together. Parent and tot projects like this Beach Shell Picture Frame  are a special time to not only work together on something but also to practice taking turns something that can never be done too much . Ironically I did this without my son, he was at summer camp all week hopefully practicing taking turns with other kids, and exhausted when he got home. I will be doing this with him when we get back from our beach getaway next week though!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard ( 2x as large as you want the frame to be) , a large magnet , crayons, shells, hot glue gun and glue, scissors , tape and a picture.
  2. Start by cutting your cardboard in half, then cutting an opening in one piece for the frame.
  3. Tape your picture ( I trimmed mine) on the other half  of the cardboard. Trim the cardboard so that it’s no larger than the frame piece , you don’t want it peeking out from underneath.
  4. Have your child decorate the frame with crayons.
  5. Heat up the glue gun. When I do crafts that require the glue gun but I want my son’s input of where to place things like these shells I will ask him before I add the glue where I should add it and what I should put on it. At the very least have them choose the shells to add.
  6. Glue the shells on.
  7. Glue the magnet on the back of the piece with the picture.
  8. Glue the two pieces together and let cool.

More Shell Activities

Shell Sorting

Beach Sensory Tub

Truck Themed Kids Crafts

Over the years we have done many truck themed kids crafts and used them to learn about shapes, practice fine motor skills, pretend play and more! We are off on a road trip soon so I thought I would share some of my favorites with you today.

Shape Garbage Truck

Road r

Straw and Cap Truck

Traffic Light

Shape Fire Truck

Custom Roadway

School Bus

Paper Plate Animal Crafts

Paper plates are a must have for any summer camp, preschool or even home craft supply closet. The endless possibilities of fun and educational crafts are well, endless. Here are some paper plate kids crafts we have done over the years. I hope that the extra plates from summer BBQ, church picnics and cookouts can be used to make something fun.

Paper Plate Tree Frogs

Paper Plate Pig

Paper Plate Jelly Fish

Paper Plate Tiger

Paper Plate Spider

Paper Plate Turkey

Paper Plate Crab

Paper Plate Tadpole

Bird House Garland

I love pretty paper and before I started blogging I used to make greeting cards and sell them on Etsy.com I still have many supplies and I decided to make this garland to add some more color to my daughter’s nursery, but it would be a cute craft for any kids room, just adjust the colors to match the decor.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cards stock in a plain color, and various sheets of patterned card stock, scissors, a circle paper punch ( ours in 1″) , glue, ribbon, and a hole punch.
  2. Start by cutting your plain paper into squares. I purposefully made mine imperfect. There is something about birdhouses that suggest that imperfections are the way to go.
  3. Next cut the patterned paper into triangles for roofs.
  4. Punch the holes.
  5. Glue the roofs and circles on. Let dry.
  6. Punch a hole at the top of each house.
  7. Thread onto your ribbon, either randomly or in a pattern.
  8. Hang up!

This too sophisticated a craft for your little one? Try Feather Painting!

Bird Books

Birds by Kevin Henkes , illustrated by Laura Dronzek is stunning. I love this author but this book is absolutely about the pictures. The cover is beautiful but there are pages that I just wanted to look at the way I look at paintings at a museum. The book is perfect for toddlers and young preschooler, it’s non fiction , simple and has a great flow. The colors are so vibrant I would bet that infants would dig it too! Awesome awesome awesome!

Bird Talk by Ann Jonas was enjoyable but I didn’t get it at first. I thought that the book was what the author imagined the birds would be saying while observing humans daily lives. In actuality what the birds are saying are the “memory phrases” that bird watchers use to remember the bird calls. The author has matched these up with scenes where they fit. My son laughed at the Common Night Hawk who’s saying was “Pork and Beans” and kept repeating that after we read the book. There is a full guide in the back of the book of all the birds included.


A Poet’s Bird Garden by Laura Nyman Montenegro is an enjoyable book about a little bird who escaped his cage and the poets and little girl who try and try to catch him. The poets come to help bring Chirpie back and each have lovely but unsuccessful ideas to bring him out of the tree. Finally Claude the cat comes out of the tree and then Chirpie and many other birds enjoy all the poet’s efforts ( seeds, yarn for nests , etc… ).

Recycled Alphabet Craft

Scrap paper , magazines and catalogs all crowd my recycle bin. So today I put them all to work for me and made this recycled alphabet craft using only one piece of paper that hadn’t been rescued from the bin. It’s fun, bright and makes a great long term cooperative art project for young kids. Pull it out when it’s rainy and search for a few letters in a magazine, glue them on and add some more another day. I like projects like these because they teach young kids how be committed to something over more than 20 minutes. Also in classrooms these long term cooperative projects always seemed to be the greatest sources of pride for my students.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one large piece of paper, some construction paper scraps, glue, a pen, some magazines/catalogs and scissors.
  2. Start by cutting your construction paper into squares ( or any other shape)- this just makes a fun frame, you can skip this and simply glue the letters onto the paper too.
  3. Glue them on. This is a fun way to get your child counting to 26, as well as figuring out how to fit all on one page. If your child is really young I would probably do this before bringing them into the activity, just so their energy is on the letters, not the set up.
  4. Write the alphabet on the construction paper squares.
  5. Cut some letters out of the magazines for your child if they need help. I did this for every age group I worked with up until school age.  They are still challenged looking for the individual letters but not frustrated by looking for them in magazines that may or may not have what they need. * Tip … auto magazines are great for these activities, because of the abundance of car makes with Z, Q and X  letters that are usually a pain to find.
  6. Start adding the letters on. Go for as long as your child wants.  This does not need be be done in one sitting!
  7. To make it more challenging for older kids have them find only upper or only lowercase letters.

Alphabet Books

ABC of Canada by Kim Bellefontaine is a cute little book that is a perfect little introduction about Canada for toddlers and preschoolers. The text is short, the colors are bright and the illustrations are both fun and accurate. I was happy to see things like the northern lights, Calgary Stampede and of course Z is for Zamboni ! Even if you have never been to Canada it’s never too early to learn about your neighbor to the north!

The Alphabet Tree is a stunning book. The book is all about letters that come together to make words and then after a caterpillar informs them that they need to say something they join together to make sentences. Up to this point the book is a brilliant teaching tool , but for me the best part is yet to come. When the words get together they decide to say ” Peace on earth goodwill toward all men” and then the caterpillar asks them to jump on his back so he can take the words to the president . Considering it was written in 1968 it’s quite the statement. A fantastic activity to do with your child after reading this would be to ask them what they would write to the president ? For younger children using letters on leaves you could spell out easy 3 letter words like they do early on in the story. All in all a brilliant book.

The Graphic Alphabet by David Pelletier is a fun book to share with a child who has already mastered the alphabet, because this book is challenging. Each letter is shown in it’s own illustration, but you aren’t sure exactly what the picture is of, this is the challenge. As you can see on the cover it has an avalanche, the hardest one for me was N no matter how I looked at the picture I thought it was of magnets! Turns out it was noodles! Very fun book for kids that already know their letters and are up for a challenge.

Want more Alphabet Crafts? Check out my Alphabet Crafts eBook and you will have a craft for every letter!