Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

kiwi crate

kiwi crate review

Kiwi Crate contacted me a few weeks ago and asked me if I’d like to review one of their crates. How could I say no? Kiwi Crate is a company that delivers a box full of crafts to your door! Could there anything better than that? My kids were so excited when the little green box arrived, I couldn’t even get a photo before they started tearing into it!

kiwi crate

Each box contains the makings for two projects and some extra treats as well. We received the Nature Explorer crate, which is part of their Summer Discovery Series.  The crate had the makings for a nature box and a lantern. In addition to all the supplies for those two crafts, there was also a deck of cards, little kiwi birds to cut out and color, and a lovely little book about constellations.

kiwi crate

I have three kids and there is only one of each project. You might be thinking we just got a big fight delivered in the mail, but not to worry Kiwi Crate has thought of everything! They have an option to tack on extra supplies for each sibling, which not only makes for less fighting but more fun in the end.

kiwi crate

I decided to see how my kids would do with just one. And they did great! Even though projects are simple, there are lots of different parts. So everyone gets a turn doing bit of the project. My kids picked the nature box to work on first. They put the box together, colored the stickers, and decorated the outside of the box.

kiwi crate

Then they added one of the many different scavenger hunt boards to go in the bottom of the box. The one above is a for color scavenger hunt, but there is one for shapes and one for actual things (leaf, twig, etc) too. Best of all, there is a blank one to make up your own scavenger hunt.  Every project in the Kiwi Crate has an activity that goes along with it. Not only do you get to spend a lovely morning with your kids making things, but then they can go off and play a game for the rest of the afternoon! I wasn’t kidding when I said they thought of everything!

kiwi crate

After a few backyard scavenger hunts, the lantern making project was up next. This kit came with a super fun (and very sturdy) star punch and my three year old went crazy for it! Many loud karate chops later we had a table full of colorful stars. And not too long after a working lantern!

kiwi crate

The activity suggested for the lantern was to build a dark fort and take it inside. My children ran upstairs, intent on making the darkest fort in the world! There they created not only a fort, but a whole world.

Kiwi Crate makes projects that are simple and beautiful, spark the imagination, inspire you to learn and play and make more! Not only that, but they are delivered right to you door. I knew I was going to like getting a project kit in the mail, but I didn’t expect such a thoughtfully designed experience to be waiting for me and my children.


diy summer passport

diy summer passport

I mentioned last week that I was thinking about making a summer passport. And would you look at that: I did! It was super easy and I’m going to tell you how to do it.

small moleskine

diy summer passport


  • a small moleskine plain journal with a kraft paper cover. They are called Cahiers and are sold in sets of three (for 7 bucks).
  • crayons, markers, pencils, whatever
  • a list of activities (see below)
  • stickers, or a date stamper

summer passport diy


1. Make your cover. We went with the basic, Summer Passport 2013. You could get a little more exciting, like THIS IS GOING TO BE THE JONES’ BEST SUMMER EVAR!

summer passport diy

2. Write something fun to do on every right hand page. This ends up being about 30 activities, which I think is doable for summer. It also leaves the left page open for writing about when you did that activity (optional, obviously).

summer passport diy

3. Draw a box under the activity. This is where you will put the stickers (or stamp the date) when you do that activity. If you plan to do something often, make sure to draw a big box. My daughter seems to think we will be going to the pool a lot this summer. :)

summer passport diy

4. Go do something! Here’s a list of 40 things to get you started:

list of summer activities

  1. run through the sprinkler
  2. blow bubbles (last year, we made super big bubbles!)
  3. eat watermelon (in star form maybe?)
  4. make a giant fort
  5. make grape sculptures
  6. eat corn on the cob (and make your own awesome holders!)
  7. buy a treat from the ice cream truck
  8. go to the farmer’s market
  9. sign up for your library’s summer reading program
  10. play in the rain
  11. write a letter to Grandma
  12. make your own gummy treats
  13. wash the car
  14. find a new park in your town
  15. go swimming!
  16. make paper airplanes
  17. learn cats cradle
  18. paint with chalk paint
  19. build a fairy house
  20. feed the ducks
  21. get your face painted
  22. watch fireworks
  23. play sidewalk simon
  24. catch fireflies
  25. play badmiton
  26. sail boats down a tin foil river
  27. water balloon fight!
  28. be a super spy–make invisible ink
  29. make ice cream or popsicles
  30. make your own stickers
  31. exploding paint bombs!
  32. go to a local fair
  33. have a magic potion lab
  34. make saltwater taffy
  35. have a lemonade stand (or a tattoo stand!)
  36. camp in the backyard
  37. go fishing
  38. go bowling
  39. see a concert in the park
  40. pick strawberries


What are you doing this summer? Add your ideas in the comments!


summer camp adventure club!

A few days ago my daughter said, wistfully, “Remember last summer when we did a craft project every day?”. My first thought was, wooo hoo! I made an actual memory for my kid! and it was a good one. Parenting win! My second thought was, dammit, how am I going to do that again?  Then I got an email from Beth (of Sew Mama Sew fame) telling me about an online summer crafts camp called the Summer Camp Adventure Club. Problem solved.

What is the Summer Camp Adventure Club? I’ll let Beth describe it:

Summer Camp Adventure Club is a subscription-based, online “camp” (an eCourse/online class) where Pre-K through 3-4 grade campers get fun, new ideas every day throughout the summer. There’s a new theme every week in June, July and August. Each weekly theme includes tons of inspiring projects, activities, journal prompts, downloads, recipes and more. Kids get the inspiration and guidance they need to work more independently to create projects they love.

Full disclosure: I was given a free month of club membership in exchange for spreading the word, but honestly I’m going to purchase subscriptions for July and August. I could be my normal cheapskate self and do it all myself (with the help of my pinterest boards), but with three little kids running and screaming around the house day in and day out, I don’t always have the brain power to think up, organize, and get a project going for the kids.  Summer Camp Adventure Club to the rescue! Come on, join the club!

advent activities

pompom garland and my christmas tree

Today is the first day of advent! Did you make your advent calendar yet? We are still using the string of lights advent calendar I made a few years ago. I put activities in each of the little bulbs and I love it. I write up the activity the night before (surprise your kids, not yourself!) and all the projects keep me on task for christmas.  If cookies need to be made, or christmas cards written, or gifts wrapped it’s going to happen if it is in the advent calendar–the 4 and 6 year olds will demand it!

A friend of mine (hi Ellen!) asked me to write up a little list of activities she could use, so here they are! I divided them into effort needed, because sometimes you really need to drink some (spiked) eggnog while the kids watch a movie.

meringue snowmen

big projects

gingerbread mobile

little projects


if it’s cold and snowy projects


snowman coloring page

phoning it in projects

  • hot chocolate with marshmallows
  • call grandma and grandpa
  • dress up like an elf/santa/wise man/christmas tree
  • dance to christmas music
  • camp out under the tree (this may or may not be an easy one)
  • color christmasy pictures–oh look I have a bunch right here
  • look at pictures from christmases past
  • I think one year I actually wrote down “eat christmas cookies” for an activity

our little christmas tree

for the whole family

  • drive around looking at chrismtas lights
  • dress up in your fanciest for dinner
  • make popcorn and watch a christmas movie
  • go see the nutcracker/christmas carol/holiday concert
  • cut down a christmas tree/ put up your christmas tree
  • decorate the tree!
  • put up lights outside
  • go for a evening walk

string of lights advent calendar

This list is my no means exhaustive. Some of these we do every year, some are new ones I’d like to try. Do you have any christmas activities or projects for advent? I’m always on the look out for good ones.

the end of summer

Here are a few bits from our summer I never got around telling you about:

animal parade

waking up to a parade of animals

muffin tin lunch

living on muffin tin lunches

giant bubbles

making giant bubbles

chalk paint

painting with chalk

popsicle stick sculpture

making popsicle stick sculptures with pompoms and mama’s hot glue gun.

monkey cupcakes

eating monkey cupcakes


and staying up too late to watch people dance in the trees.

There were of course many trips to the beach and weekend festivals and backyard sprinkler days and huddled by the air conditioner watching movies days. And I think it was a pretty good summer all and all. All three kids were home with me full time and managed not to lose my mind until the last week or so. I tried to have at least one project a day–here is my kid craft board on pinterest that I used a bunch–sometimes just as simple as cutting up some fruit for lunch, but it helped give our days some structure.  I hope your summer was wonderful! Now bring on fall.