Life is going to feel really weird starting next month – with Little C going to grade one and Little A going to preschool a couple of days a week, our home is going to feel so empty! While we’re still enjoying summer to its fullest, we’re also starting to get ready for school time. I’ve just finished sewing the cutest art smock for Little A’s preschool, and I thought I’d share it with you today. I even drew out the free preschool art smock pattern so that you can make one for your preschooler too! Also, scroll to the bottom of this post for more adorable back to school DIY ideas from my Canadian blogging friends. Continue reading
Yesterday was really fun day. I had the absolute pleasure of crafting with a wonderful group of mamas and their babies with Modern Mama at Java Mama in St. Albert. We all made a craft together upstairs, and then toddled down for a time of lattes (for the moms) and playing (for the kids) in this wonderful coffee shop/playplace. What a treat! Continue reading
Last Friday, I packed up my kidlets and headed off to our local McDonald’s to meet up with a group of moms & toddlers for a Toddler “Busy Bag” Swap party! The party was the brain child of my friend Jenni who got the initial idea from this blog post. It was an absolute blast and we came home with a bag full of fun little handmade activities that both my girls (aged 4 and 1) loved!
Here’s the idea: a group of moms (we had 11 and I wouldn’t go with any more than that) each picked a different type of busy bag to make (from ideas on the web) and made 11 of the same one. A busy bag is a self-contained activity for a toddler or pre-schooler that’s easy to transport, inexpensive to make, and re-usable. Jenni set our cost limit at $20 for the 11 bags (so it was completely affordable for everyone) and we chatted over Facebook to make sure we didn’t make the same ones.
We met for coffee and a playdate at McDonald’s (who graciously supplied us with free beverages and reserved tables in their newly renovated and cleaned Playplace area – thank you!), laid the bags out on tables, and then we each grabbed one of each of the different busy bags. I was amazed at all of the hard work and creativity that went into these activities – they were all just fantastic.
The result? A super-fun playdate and a whole bunch of unique, new games to play that were made with such thought and attention to detail.
I’d definitely recommend organizing this with a group of your own crafty friends. What a cool idea!
Here are the busy bags we were so happy to come home with (and the links to their tutorials so that you can make them yourself):
Tamara and Heather made these amazing Eye Spy Fish (they partnered on this one since it was more complex).
Candace made this adorable animal matching puzzle with foam sheets, foam stickers and velcro.
Aren’t these all so fun? My girls have already spent several hours playing with these over the weekend, and the best part was that there were activities that were suitable for both of them.
I encourage you to host your own Busy Bag Swap with your crafty mommy friends and see how much fun you (and your kids) will have! Thanks again to my friend Jenni and to McDonald’s in Spruce Grove for making this such a great success!
If you’re looking for a fun little Christmas holiday craft for your toddler or preschooler, these candy cane mice are really easy and cute!
My Little C (she’s 3 going on 4 in January) made these today and they were quick. She picked out the colours of felt that each mouse needed to be, I cut out the pieces and did the gluing (but if you had regular white glue, a child could easily do that part too) and then she inserted the candy cane.
She gave them all names and played with them for a while – I believe the purple one is “Desmerella”.
What’s better than doing crafts? Doing them with your children!
My little three year old had seen some snow globes over the weekend and was fascinated by them. When I told her that we could make them ourselves, her eyes widened with delight!
With a few inexpensive supplies and some old baby food jars, we made these cute little DIY snow globes together. It was such a fun, simple craft and my girlie is really excited to give them as Christmas gifts to her friends. Continue reading
Dressing up is SUPER fun… especially when you can be a SUPER hero! We just had Thanksgiving this weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving!) and on holiday Monday, I made this simple and quick little monogrammed cape for my little girl. Afterwards, she took it for a spin by flying around our little acreage! I monogrammed the cape with her first initial to make it extra special.
The cape is reversible, and the monogram is optional. The neck fastens with velcro, so it’s easy for little fingers to put on and off. This is an excellent beginner’s sewing project and a fun dress-up box costume essential for any little boy or girl!
1 yard quilting cotton in pattern A
1 1/4 yard quilting cotton in pattern B
applique adhesive paper
Cut 1/4 yard of the 1 1/4 yard piece of fabric off and save for the monogram.
With each yard of fabric folded in half lengthwise, lay one on top of the other with the folds on the same side. Place an ice cream pail lid over the corner of the fabrics closest to the fold, with about 1/4 of the lid over the corner. Trace the curve and cut (for the neckline of the cape).
On the opposite side, cut a gentle curve going up from the center fold so that it ends about 4″ above the centre fold on the opposite side (see picture above). You could also use the bottom of a skirt or dress pattern as a guide for this curve if you don’t want to free-hand it. Then, draw a straight line from the end of this curve on a diagonally up to about 4″ from the neck hole (as shown above) and cut.
If you want to add a monogrammed initial to the cape, print out a large letter on paper from your computer, and use it as a pattern to cut the letter out of the remaining fabric and the adhesive paper.
Following the instructions on the adhesive paper’s label, iron the paper onto the letter, and then the letter onto the center back cape piece of the opposite pattern of fabric. I put my letter a little closer to the top of the cape. Satin stitch around the entire edge of the letter by machine, as shown above.
Pin the front and back cape pieces together, right sides facing one another. Sew all the way around (I used a serger, but you could use a regular machine with a 1/2″ seam allowance) leaving a 2″ opening for turning.
Turn the cape right side out, making sure the corners are pushed out fully, and topstitch the bottom curve to sew the opening shut (you can also topstitch the entire cape, but I thought just doing the bottom edge worked fine).
Cut the velcro into two 1″ squares, and sew onto the tops of the neckline “straps”. Sew on opposite sides, as shown above.
Now, gift this special cape to your little superhero and teach them to fly!
My little girl is going to preschool in a couple of weeks. She is going to school. School! I’m half over-the-moon excited to have a few hours with just me and my littlest baby girl every week, and I’m half sad that little C is growing up.
I’ve been feverishly researching some ideas for back-to-school photos and I’ve found some brilliant ideas on Pinterest. My favourite ones are when the child holds a sign that says “First Day of School” (I love chalkboard signs!) and the parent collects little facts about their favourite things (like this adorable example) and writes them on the photo afterwards. This is repeated on the last day of school with a “Last Day of School” sign and a new list of favourite things from the child. What a cute way to see how your little guy/girlie has grown – outwardly and inwardly!
I’ve designed these little faux chalkboard signs that I’m going to be using for my wee preschooler soon (ack – I’m still in shock!) and would love to share them with you. You can print off the PDF’s by following the links below: