crafting

10 Fun and Free Activities to Do With Your Child This Summer

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  1.  Go to the library and check out books. Then come home and have your child make a bookmark using paper, crayons, ribbon, stickers, paint, markers, etc.
  2. Check with local libraries to see what free children’s programming they are offering and attend one or more
  3. Bake cookies or a cake
  4. Go on a hike. Check your state website for trail listings
  5. Have a picnic lunch in your backyard or at a local park
  6. Get active! Have a dance party, jump rope or hula hoop contest, or play tag
  7. Take your kids outside with paper and paint and have them sit on the grass and paint a nature sceneIMG_0946   IMG_0941   IMG_0939   IMG_0948
  8. Collect acorns, sticks, flower petals, etc. and make a sign, story or press flowersIMG_0173
    My daughter collected extra nature, created a scene and then wrote a story about herself and two friends on a camping trip
    My daughter collected extra nature, created a scene and then wrote a story about herself and two friends on a camping trip
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    After picking a bunch of flowers from the garden, we pressed and framed them

    9. Go to the beach, collect shells and make shell art

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    My son made this shell collage using sand as an extra decoration
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    My daughter made an underwater 2-in-1 scene with a mermaid, but it is also a smily face. On the back she wrote a story.IMG_1633

    10. Set up an obstacle course or scavenger hunt

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This is a great summer scavenger hunt! Click on the picture or link to print a copy for free

End-of-the-Year Teacher Gifts

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It’s that time of the year- again- when the school year is wrapping up. This year it was important for me to get my kids’ teachers a special gift because after homeschooling for a year and a half, my kids started a new school mid-year and their teachers have been phenomenal! They were so welcoming and caring and helped my kids transition almost seemlessly and helped to create a wonderful environment where they are happy and thriving!

For my daughter’s teachers, I wanted to buy them a children’s book that touched upon teaching or thank you teacher, but couldn’t find exactly what I wanted so my daughter is going to make them a book in her own words about her experience with them, which I think will be more special. She also made a card for them. I found this printable on Pinterest that was pinned from www.weheartedu.com.

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I resized it and printed it in the center of the page and then had my daughter paint on her handprint, a book and a heart. She will sign her name in the heart.

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My son, on the other hand, is a Lego fanatic and he is in fifth grade, and I think he has outgrown the crafting stage. So for his teacher, he made a gift card holder out of Legos. He used a blonde minifigure to look like her and the minifigure is holding an apple. Then he made a slot to fit the gift card in.

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Baby Quilt

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My friend had a beautiful bouncing boy this past February. I wanted to make her a quilt for her baby shower which was held in December. (If you read my other quilt post, you will see I do have good intentions regardless the outcome of the quilt).

Her room theme was nautical, but it is very hard to find a “cute” nautical fabric pattern. I went online and explored and came up with some fabrics I liked, pieced them together and came out with the first row seen in the screen shot below. Perfect! I tried to figure out the quilt size I wanted and ordered the fabrics. Wouldn’t you know when I got the fabrics and cut all the squares and started to lay them out, I realized how stupid I was! Of course it would not look very much like a patchwork quilt because it would all line up with the same piece in every row. So, I went back on the computer and played around to come up with the second row seen below in the screen shot. Very good, now it will be mixed up and look better.

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Ok, everything was cut and it was time to put together. Do you think I laid everything out? Nope. Just the two rows and then sewed an even amount of rows in the two patterns. Then laid it out to find out it looks like a quilt split down the middle. Ugh! Oh well, I was running out of time. In my defense, it had been a long time since I made a quilt. So I sewed the front together and got the back together and was time to sew the whole thing including the batting. I layered it up, sewed the whole quilt and OMG! When I pulled it out the batting was on the outside. I had to sit down and undo every single machine stitch and then re-sew the whole thing. I finally finished! If you look closely though, you will see that even though I had a nice template, the squares are not all the same size and don’t match up evenly. At least they match up unevenly! Two lessons learned here: 1. Don’t attempt to take on a quilting project if you don’t have the time and focus for it. 2. I taught my kids how to use a sewing machine, they made the pillows in the picture to match the quilt seen below.

I told my friend that the intention anyway was to use this on the floor for playtime and it looks like that’s what they are doing!        

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The Star Quilt

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A really good friend of mine celebrated her birthday this past January. I wanted to do something extra special for her so in between homeschooling, mothering, etc., I decided to make her what turned out to be the most complicated quilt on Earth. I do have some experience with quilting, but I do not like to follow a pattern, I should’ve been the poster child for the “Crazy Quilt” phase. I am not very good at cutting or measuring, or sewing for that matter. Unfortunately, these are the skills one needs to possess in order to make a Country Fair Award Winning Quilt. Who cares, I did it anyway! Here was my inspiration:

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Perfectly easy right? I decided I wouldn’t add those red banners and flower baskets and then it would be simple. Plus the colors and patterns would look awesome in her home which is an old farmhouse with a rustic appeal. I went to the fabric store with the picture, bought the fabric, a book on how to make the stars and I was ready to go. Twenty hours and a lot of frustration later, here is what my quilt front looked like:

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Not so bad in the first picture, right? Check out the stars in the second! How could that be? I cut them all out of templates that I measured perfectly. And, oh no, I sewed the longer side border wrong. Didn’t matter, I was determined to finish and from experience, I know that it always looks better when filled and finished. So onward to the finished product. At least the cat liked it! And the bottom picture is on her couch. You can also find a video of her opening it below:

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Sock Snowmen

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In December, it was time to start creating holiday crafts with the kids. I couldn’t wait! We have a holiday open house each year and we always give something to our guests as a small gift for the holidays. This year I came across Sock Snowmen on Pinterest. It looked easy enough and was using materials we had at home so we decided to try it. I had just cleaned through my son’s sock drawer and he had sixteen socks all with a hole in the same spot on the bottom of the foot. I decided to use these, but although they were clean, I had to try to get them whiter. I soaked them in warm water with a mix of three tablespoons hydrogen peroxide, two small squirts of dawn dish detergent and a tablespoon of baking soda. They soaked for well over an hour and the water was brown! Success…well almost. After stuffing the socks with rice and creating the snowmen, they still looked like, well, used socks.

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I decided these were not going to be given out to my guests. Instead, we gave made pine cone ornaments decorated with glitter glue and ribbon.

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Props to tinybitzofme.blogspot.com. Her sock snowmen were beautiful and were what inspired me. She had the right idea to use unused socks. They look much better! Visit her blog on how to make them look like the snowmen below. Good Luck!

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The Imperfect Crafter

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I love crafting! I am easily inspired by others and come up with great ideas on my own. The only problem is that sometimes things that I envisioned perfectly in my head don’t always come out as planned. So, I decided to name myself the Imperfect Crafter. I have accepted that I will not be able to recreate every craft idea in my head or that I love on Pinterest into reality, but I will keep on crafting because I enjoy it! Under this category you will find some of my “fails”.