Category Archives: art & music

DIY Lite Brite Board

Ever since I made a light box (read more about it here) I knew I wanted to do something with all the lite brite pegs we have all over the playroom floor. I have been thinking HARD about how exactly to pull it off when inspiration hit me. OK, more like a piece of cardboard….

We went to Ikea today to get some bookcases. After my husband opened up the box to start putting them together, I noticed that encased in all the plywood was a beautiful, thick piece of corrugated cardboard. Perfect for a Lite Brite board- something we could add our pegs to and easily take on/off our light box. It was as if Destiny knew that we would buy bookcases and threw in a future lite brite scrap just for us. ūüôā

Once I realized it was the perfect material for us to use, I set to work playing with lite brites. I made some mistakes¬†(ginormous holes)¬†as you will see in the pictures below… but I was just experimenting to find the best way to make a lite brite board!

Materials:
Light Table/ Light Box (read here for more details)
Lite Brite pegs
Corrugated Cardboard (can be found in packaging stores or Ikea!)

To Make the Lite Brite Board:
Mark one side of the cardboard with a “B”. This will be the back. It is important to remember which side is the back, since the holes made in the front are different.
Take a lite brite peg. On the backside push the peg all the way through the cardboard until it makes a little hole on the other side. For us, we just had to push it until the peg was flush with the cardboard but the thickness of your cardboard may be different.

Back of Lite Brite Board

Once you have made several holes, turn the cardboard over to the front side. Find the small holes and push in just the tip of the peg, so the top part is sticking out (just like in a real Lite Brite).

Front of the Lite Brite Board

Once I made a few random holes and saw how cool it was, I set to work making this semi-educational for my daughter. I wrote her nickname mirrored on the back and marked spots where I wanted to put the pegs.

Back of Lite Brite board getting ready to add Lite Brites.

Turn the board over to see the word “Boo” marked by tiny holes (not big enough for a Lite Brite peg yet).

 Insert just the tips of the pegs into the tiny holes.

Pretty soon you will see something like this… your very own Lite Brite creation. Boo will have a great time writing her name with these colorful pegs!

While I initially just played with it on top of the light box, you could also lay it against the side of the box. I also added another piece of cardboard on top to dampen the light in the room a bit.

One of the coolest thing about having a Lite Brite board (as opposed to the actual manufactured toy) is that you can turn it around and see the back. It was more cool than the front! The picture just doesn’t do it justice…. it was like little pits of color. Can you imagine the fun Christmas displays you can make with these in your window?¬†

 Here is a pic of just the holes- without the pegs its still pretty neat!

Our light box has been so much fun- there are so many different ways of playing with light. So if you happen to have lots of Lite Brite pegs laying around- consider making a board and using them on your light box!
Happy Teaching!

Dollar Store St. Patrick’s Day Handprint Plate

Boo and I recently created our third Dollar Store plate- this time with a St. Patrick’s Day flair! I tried making a shamrock plate, but as soon as I saw this adorable handprint leprechaun from Meet the Dubiens I was in love.

Materials for the Leprechaun:

  • Orange and peach paint
  • 2 brushes
  • black, yellow, and green paper for hat
  • marker

Materials for the plate:

  • Variety of colored tissue paper cut into squares
  • Glass plate from the dollar store
  • mod podge/foam brush
Make the handprint leprechaun. (for complete step by step directions on making the leprechaun , head over to Meet the Dubiens!)
Turn the plate over (so the back is facing you). Put the¬†leprechaun¬†facedown on the back of the plate. Then modpodge it on until the leprechaun sticks on the plate. Don’t worry if he looks a little gluey- it won’t stay this way!
Modpodge the tissue paper squares on to the back of the plate to fill in the gaps. Be careful not to rip or tear the tissue paper during this process. 

Turn the plate over and admire your work. Preferrably in front of a large window- I just love how the light shines through the paper!

And it is such a great addition to our St. Patricks Day mantle. (We just rolled up green glitter foam paper and stuck it inside our apothecary jars- simple, yet goes well with our green theme!)

We are having such a great time making these holiday handprint plates! For similar art ideas, follow our hand and footprint pinterest board.

Happy Crafting with your kids- and Happy Teaching!

DIY Embroidery Floss Easter Eggs

Easter is soon approaching (can you believe it? i am not even ready for st patricks day!) I thought it would be fun to post a quick (and messy) tutorial on how to make some embroidery floss eggs. This would be a fun craft for kiddos (this particular set was completely mommy made however- Boo was not in a crafting mood!)

Materials:
Embroidery Floss (one small skein per egg)
Vaseline
Mod Podge
Balloons (picked these up at the good old Dollar Tree)
Blow up a small balloon until its about the size of an egg. Then coat that balloon with Vaseline. This prevents the Mod Podge from sticking directly to the balloon. 
Cut the embroidery floss into several long strands. Do this before you begin gluing, since your hands will be super sticky. Then dip the floss into your Mod Podge and wrap it around your balloon.

Helpful hint: I covered my table with old sheet protectors. They not only kept my table clean, but the Mod Podge didn’t stick to it. And then, of course, the clean up was fast!

Hang balloons to dry. I just tied a simple knot at the ends of the balloons with white string and hung them in the bathroom on the shower curtain rod.

After a day or so, take the balloons down. The balloons should be shrinking- but the embroidery floss should have kept its original shape. Pop the balloons and take them carefully out of the egg.

And voila! You are finished! And not only would these be fun for Easter, but they make a great addition to Christmas lights (how fun to hang on the deck in the Summer!) and I love the color they add to my home decor!

Have fun crafting with your kiddos- and as always, Happy Teaching!

Last Minute Valentine Card Ideas

My daughter and I spent the evening making some easy Valentines for family and friends. I thought I would share the ideas with you!

¬†A fun way to showcase your child’s artistic abilities! Trace your child on large butcher paper. I saved all my packing paper from online Christmas shopping- it works perfectly. After cutting out the body shape, have your child draw themselves! It was fun enough for my anti-arts-and-crafts daughter to do. After she was done coloring, I folded up the body and wrote this message:
From the top of my head all the way to my toes I ‚ô• you!
Found this on Pinterest from¬†Brown Paper Packages: Simply have your child make thumbprints (I used a pink stamp pad). Turn the thumbprints into little people and write¬†“Thumb-body loves you“.
I loved this idea I saw on Pinterest and now for the life of me I can’t find where I pinned it…. that’s what happens when you have 2000+ pins! It’s a handprint hug card. Trace your child’s hands and cut. Cut construction paper (or a bright green party streamer- you use what you have on hand!) the length of your child’s arm span. Tape hands and streamer together and you have an instant paper hug. On the top hand I wrote¬†“I love you…” and on the streamer “this much!“This is a perfect card for grandparents that live far away!

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Teaching!

Paper Bag Bird Nest

It recently came to my attention that Rachelle over at TinkerLab was hosting a special kid-directed linky party/contest using paper bags. Well I just happen to have a gazillion paper bags lying around, so I was super excited to get on board with this challenge!

We chose to make a nest because, well, that is what Boo wanted to make! She has a baby golden eagle stuffed animal (doesn’t every 4 year old? The things our kids love!) who has been in need of a nest for awhile now. Keep in mind that this girl is smart as a whip but arts and crafts are just not her thing. I was extremely elated that she actually chose to make something! And she did the ENTIRE project all by her little old self!! Granted, it isn’t anything eloborate or difficult…but to me this challenge was a success because it got Boo CREATING. And I just adore her glammed up birds nest.

¬†Boo painting and glitzing up her birds nest. Yes, we craft on the floor :). ¬†She also cut raffia for branches, stuck in some feathers, and added plastic easter eggs. On a side note, one of the golden eagle’s eggs contained a small plastic elephant. Love the creativity!

Finished product next to Boo’s baby golden eagle. See the angry birds on the upper right? They are getting ready for a special blog post!

Happy Teaching!

Tinkerlab

Dollar Store Valentine Handprint Plate

I am really excited for Valentines Day! My daughter and I recently made a handprint heart plate. It is super easy, cheap, and I think it looks pretty darn cute!

Materials:

  • red paint
  • white paper
  • pink tissue paper squares
  • glass plate from the dollar store
  • modpodge/ foam brush

Using red paint, have your child stamp their handprints in a heart shape. Then cut out the paper in the shape of a heart.

Turn the plate over (so the back is facing you). Put the heart facedown on the back of the plate. Then modpodge it on until the heart sticks to the plate.

Modpodge the tissue paper squares on to the back of the plate to fill in the gaps. Be careful not to rip or tear the tissue paper during this process.

After the plate was covered in tissue paper squares, I modpodged a paper on the back of the heart that has my daughter’s name and age.

Follow my handprint art board on Pinterest for more ideas:
It is always so fun to craft with my Boo and make something that will always remind me of her. ūüôā
Happy Teaching!

Dollar Store Turkey Handprint Plate

I LOVE the dollar store. Sadly, it is probably my favorite place to shop. I am a sucker for a good deal! I wanted to make a Thanksgiving craft with my daughter, and this is what we came up with:

This was so easy and inexpensive to make!
Materials:

  • Dollar store glass plate
  • Colored paper (I used construction paper without thinking about the fade factor- if I were to do this over, I would¬†definitely¬†use scrapbook paper!)
  • Tissue paper cut into small squares (I happened to use an old sewing paper, but any tissue paper will work!)
  • Mod Podge¬†
  • Foam Brush
  • Scissors¬†
1. First, trace your child’s hand on 5 different papers. These will be the turkey’s feathers.

¬†2. Cut out a brown oval, orange triangle, and white and black circles for the turkey’s body. And cut a red squigly shape for the wattle (is this the right word?) Wattle not shown in picture- I forgot about it until a later step :). Glue the face together.

 3. Your turkey parts are complete! Glue the little guy together. Wattle shown.

4. Now for the fun Mod Podge part. I am seriously impaired when it comes to this gluey stuff! Turn the plate over so you are working on the back. Flip the turkey over and place on the plate. Mod Podge like crazy to get the turkey to stick to the plate. 
Once the turkey is on, add your tissue paper squares to fill in the gaps. I would add a layer of Mod Podge, then stick on the tissue paper.
My mind is spinning with the possibilities of plate projects- you could make one for every holiday using different handprint art. These would be fabulous christmas presents for the grandparents! Heck, I even like them for myself!
Happy crafting with your kiddos!

Our Fall Apothecary Jars

I love this time of year! I decorated my apothecary jars with some fun fall items- this is a wonderful way to display all those autumn treasures you and your child find on walks! I have to be honest… my items were all found at craft stores… BUT ¬†I love the thought of a happy mother/daughter harvest nature walk versus walking up and down the aisle with a screaming child at Michaels! ūüôā

Happy Holidays!

DIY Christmas Ideas: Reposts

As I am starting to compile my list of homemade Christmas gifts to make this year, I thought I would share some of our favorite gifts we have made from the past. Just click on the name of each item to be redirected to the instructional post! Have fun!

We LOVE these blocks!
 Second set had the bible and book of mormon nativity blocks
Enjoy!

my BOO apothecary jars

Decorating for the holidays is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. I saw THIS idea from Uncommon on Pinterest (I seriously am¬†obsessed¬†with this site). Once I saw this project, I fell in love!!¬†I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to get the materials. I grabbed some jars and letters… but needed the candlestick bases and finials. My father in law was SO kind to make some for me. The initial plan was to paint all the wood black… but after seeing the beauty of the natural wood, I changed my mind. Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL!!! He did such an incredible job and I am so thankful for his help. I just love the way they look!¬†¬†I painted the letters, filled the jars with candy corn, added the ribbon, and they were done!¬†I found the cool orange glitter ribbon to hang the letters at Michaels… so sparkly!

Although you might have seen these jars around the web, here are some additional creative tips for this project (thanks again to my father in law and his wife!!).

~In order to use less candy corn, I put cans of tomato paste in the center of each jar. It’s our hidden stash of food storage :).

~I didn’t want the jar to break and then have to somehow remove broken pieces of glass glued to the candlestick base. To solve this problem, the base has grooves designed specifically to keep the jar in place without the glue. So cool!

~My husband wanted the ability to remove the finial- in case we wanted to use the jars for another project. The finials have magnet inserts so it easily will stick to the magnetic top of the hobby lobby jar. These magnetic finials have already come in handy when I attached the ribbon… I was able to place it right under the magnet! Love it!

There are two things that I love the most, however- first is the incredible service provided by my father in law, and second is that I can use these jars for every season! Pinecones or nuts in the fall, ornaments in December, red heart candy in February, plastic easter eggs in the spring…the list goes on!

I know this is completely unrelated to teaching- but I just had to share! We have had a little lesson on cavities after nibbling away at the candy corn….

Happy Teaching!

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