Crafting with kids doesn’t have to be extravagent or require a lot of supplies, it can be as simple as glue, magazines and construction paper. I’d have to say most of us have magazines/old books and glue on hand, the construction paper might not be a staple in some homes, but it’s easy to find at the store and it might be something you want to keep on hand (you can do so much with construction paper).  Anyways, with these three supplies you can do so many projects.

 Two projects that we’ve come to enjoy and I remember doing when I was little (and still have fun doing today) are collages and paper chains.
I have stacks of magazines that we go through and cut pictures out of (all kids love cutting) and if you aren’t sure about letting your little ones use scissors you can tear the pictures out (which I kinda like the torn edges when I’m making a collage). I will either have Ryder just pick out whatever images he wants or sometimes we’ll come up with a theme, like animals, and we’ll find all the pictures of animals and then some elmers glue and contstruction paper and you’re done. You can find kids books at garage sales or thrift stores for $0.25 and these are great for finding pictures for collages. I’ve found that I’m enjoying making collages for myself. I use it as inspiration. I recently made a spring collage and it gives me inspiration on a rainy day or when I’m sewing. Great to pull colors from or patterns.
The second use for the construction paper and glue is paper chains. I’m sure you all remember making those in grammer school. I love them. They are so colorful and fun to hang in the kids room. Just an added splash of color. We just made a “spring” chain with springy/easter colors. So we’ll keep that up while we wait for springs arrival.

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We never really got too crazy with Valentine’s Day around here, until we had kids.  I think once Doug and I went out for dinner and it was such a hoax that we never did it again- it was overpriced, not so good and way too crowded.  Everyone who never goes out, goes out on that night (kinda like New Year’s Eve).  I know I sound like a bah humbug but I don’t need a specific day to tell Doug how much I love him – that happens everyday (well most days !). 

But then we had Ryder and Ryder started school and I remembered how much fun it was to hand out valentine cards and have a little party and eat candy, etc.  So last year was our first year for this at his preschool.  We are discourage in bringing candy/cookies/sweets and I didn’t want to buy junk made in China – it was a big delimma.  So I had this recipe for homemade playdough I had been looking at for months so I thought this would be a perfect present for the kids, it  was homemade and it wasn’t toxic.  Perfect.  So Ryder and I went to work on the playdough.  Then we had to figure out a pretty package for it- so we stamped red hearts on little brown lunch bags.  I was very happy with the end result and we had tons of fun working on it.

I do remember, though, we did it the night before and it was a bit stressful towards the end (I don’t like feeling rushed with something like that).  So I had been thinking about this years Valentine’s gifts for his classmates and I am borrowing from a party favor my friend received at a birthday party.  I couldn’t resist – I thought it was brilliant.  We gave compostible plant containers with a bag of organic potting soil and a seed (Ryder has decided on sunflower seeds) .  It helps that I work at a home improvement center, but I thought that was so cute and clever.  Ryder has made some paintings and went heart crazy- we cut out hearts from the paintings and glued them on to hearts we cut out of construction paper.

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I love the idea of getting children involved in gardening and not everyone has a garden-but this is something that will get their hands in the dirt

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and give them something of their own to be proud of as they watch it grow.  Plus – how cool will it be when these sunflowers grow to be bigger than the kids!  I remember my best friends Dad growing sunflowers and they were HUGE and I always thought they were so rad!  And how can you not smile when you see a sunflower- it’s like looking at a big smiling face.

We had so much fun putting them together and passing them out to all of Ryder’s friends and teachers at his party.  I hope they enjoy watching their sunflowers grow.

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Hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day and I would love to hear what type of crafts you and your little ones did for Valentines.

Our craft project for the month is pine cone bird feeders.  I’m sure you might remember doing these when you were little, and it’s still just as fun. 

The first part is finding the pine cones.  We are always looking for fun nature items to bring home to put on our table or in our basket.  So for us, we’ve always got pine cones on hand.  So get out there with your little ones and gather up the pine cones and whatever else looks fun.

Now all you need is peanut butter or honey, birdseed and twine.  We tied the twine on all the pine cones leaving a tail long enough to tie to a tree branch.  Now the fun sticky part begins,

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slather the pine cone with peanut butter or honey.  Pour the bird seed into a shallow bowl or pan and then roll the peanut butter or honey slathered pine cones into the bird seed and viola! 

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You’ve got yummy bird feeders that every bird in your neighborhood will flock to.

So just hang it and sit back and watch those birds come flying …. you might want to get an Audubon book so you and your kids can identify the birds that have come to feed.