Friday, February 27, 2015

11 Easy Recycled Crafts and Activities for Kids

11 easy crafts and activities for kids using recycled materials, plus the 60 day junk play challenge blog hop!

I love crafts and activities that reuse things that I normally throw away. I keep a stash of paper rolls, bubble wrap, egg cartons, etc. in my craft storage bin at all times because you never know what fun things they may become!

I've pulled together my favorite recycled crafts and activities for kids that I've shared here. Take a look, be inspired, and get creative!

11 easy crafts and activities for kids using recycled materials, plus the 60 day junk play challenge blog hop!

We reused packing material to Make a Bubble Wrap Road.

An egg carton and branches from the yard became part of our DIY Dinosaur Playset.

We found 10 Things to Do with Cookie Cutters.

Broken crayons helped us Learn Colors with Play Dough & Crayons.

And had a fun sensory art experience with Bubble Wrap Painting.

And 5 Ways to Play with Balloons left over from a party.

We turned a K-cup and a styrofoam cup into a Snowman.

We turned a baby wipes box into a Valentine Mailbox with printable cards.

And into Santa's Mailbox for Christmas letters.

We also turned a baby wipes box into a fun Halloween game called Feed the Pumpkin.

Cardboard paper rolls became a Stacking & Counting Activity.

Want even more? Click here for all our activities and craft ideas!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Frugal Family Linky - February 26

Welcome to this week's Frugal Family linky! Thank you to everyone that shared a money or time saving idea with us - I love to read them. I've picked two of my favorites to feature this week.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids: Book Review

50 Animal Crafts for Kids book review and a look at our first craft project from the book!

I was recently given a copy of 50 Animal Crafts for Little Kids by the wonderful Georgina Bomer of Craftulate. I want to try all 50 crafts with my animal loving boys (and I'm sure we will!). I thought I'd show off our first project so I can share how much I love this book.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shamrock Stamps: St. Patrick's Day Craft

Shamrock Stamps! St. Patrick's Day craft for kids using pipe cleaners and paint.

I have recently become a contributor to the amazing Pre-K Pages and my first post was a really fun St. Patrick's Day Fine Motor Activity.  We had a lot of pipe cleaner shamrocks that we used in the activity, and I thought we could repurpose them into an equally fun St. Patrick's Day craft!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Learning Letters with Magnets

Alphabet learning activity for toddlers & preschoolers using magnets! Easy and engaging way to learn letters.

I've started working on teaching the alphabet to my almost preschoolers, and have been trying to find a letter activity that would grab their attention.  They love their magnet doodlers, so I picked up a set of letter magnets and thought we could put the two together for a fun alphabet learning activity.

The set up for this could not be easier. I put out the magnet doodlers and the box of magnets and invited the boys to play.

I let them explore and they quickly found that they could stamp the letter magnets onto the board and make letter shapes.

As they stamped we talked about which letters we were making and what starts with those letters.

I did a few and let them try to guess which letter it was. E is for elephant!

We have been having a lot of fun with these and I think they are starting to get the hang of which letters are which. The magnet set that I bought also includes numbers, so we are going to try that next!

Want to try this at home? Here's what you need! (affiliate links)

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Frugal Family Linky February 19

Welcome to this week's Frugal Family linky! Thank you to everyone that shared a money or time saving idea with us - I love to read them. I've picked two of my favorites to feature this week.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Learning Colors with Play Dough and Crayons

Learning colors with play dough and crayons! Fun color matching game for toddlers & preschoolers

My boys have been learning colors and they want to talk about the colors of everything they see! They are also big on drawing and coloring, so of course we have a lot of broken crayon pieces around the house. I was gathering them up to throw them away when I got an idea for a fun color matching game.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

DIY Dinosaur Habitat Toy Your Kids Will Love

Make a DIY dinosaur habitat toy for plastic dinosaurs that your kids will love!

My twins are dinosaur obsessed. I think it's a phase all kids go through and we are firmly in the middle of it. On any given moment in our house, we are reading dinosaur books or playing with dinosaur toys. And since I have recently discovered that stepping on a tiny plastic dinosaur is second only to a LEGO on the pain meter, I needed a way to get all those little toys up off the ground. I came up with a super fun idea that would entertain my dinosaur loving boys for hours while also becoming a handy storage spot for all their figures. Our DIY dinosaur habitat toy has been a favorite for a while now and it is so easy to put together!

This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

Make a DIY dinosaur habitat in a box! This super fun dinosaur activity for kids is easy to put together and provides hours of fun - and it uses natural materials so it's inexpensive too. The perfect place to play and store your toy dinosaurs - makes a great gift too!

DIY Dinosaur Habitat Toy

Here's what you need to get started with your own DIY Dinosaur Habitat, though you can get creative by finding natural & recycled materials all around you.
To make your dinosaur habitat, start with an under bed sized storage box. This is the perfect size for kids to play, and I love the fact that it has a lid so I can put it away when we are not playing with it.  It makes the perfect spot to store all those little dinosaurs!

Cut your green felt to fit and use the glue to adhere it to the inside of the box. Allow to dry. Once dried, you can begin to add the elements to your habitat. We used a small bowl to be our watering hole, and cut up a cardboard egg carton to make caves.

We also headed on a nature walk to get some rocks, leaves, sticks, and other food for our herbivores! The boys even grabbed some extra parsley from the refrigerator (I guess our dinosaurs will have fresh breath). Be creative and add your own natural and recycled elements to your habitat. This is a great opportunity to talk with your kids about how the dinosaurs lived, as well as what types of food they would have eaten. Though if your kids are like mine, they are the ones who are teaching you all about dinosaurs!

Once your habitat is complete, your kids can add their dinosaurs for hours of pretend play. My boys love to spend time in their "dinosaur world" and I love that I can close it up when it's all finished!

Dinosaur Play Essentials


Friday, February 13, 2015

Free Healthy Eating for Kids Workshop

I am so happy to have my friend,  fellow twin mom, and blogger Dr. Orlena Kerek writing this guest post today. Like many moms, I struggle with making sure my kids are eating a healthy diet, especially since I have one very picky eater. I attended Dr. Orlena's free healthy eating for kids online workshop last month and loved her ideas and attitude on the subject. She is hosting another workshop on February 24 and I asked her to share her insights here on Sunny Day Family.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Frugal Family Linky - February 12

Frugal Family Linky

Welcome back to the Frugal Family Linky! This week I'm featuring two of my favorite posts from last week's link party.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Matching & Learning Activity

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site Learning and Matching Activity.

My boys are in love with Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site right now. We read it before every nap and bed time, and one of my twins can often be heard reciting it to himself! Since they enjoy it so much, I thought we'd come up with a way to incorporate the book into our play, and do some learning too.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Portable Dry Erase Drawing Kit

Make a Portable Dry Erase Drawing Kit for Kids using a Thirty One Beauty Bag!

My boys love the DIY Coloring Book we made earlier this week and they are always asking to play with it! We had a doctor's appointment and they wanted to take it along, but it's a little big and cumbersome for travel. I decided we needed a portable solution that will let them draw and color when we are away from home. I made this kit from a Thirty One Beauty Bag and it is the best thing to take when we need a quiet, screen free activity on the go!

This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

Our portable dry erase drawing kit is made from a Timeless Beauty Bag, and it took just a couple of minutes to put together. 

There are 2 large PVC pockets on either end. I cut a piece of card stock (paper is fine too, I prefer card stock to give it a little strength) to fit - 6.5 inches by 9.5 inches - and slipped it inside each pocket.  You can also use pages from a favorite coloring book or printable coloring pages. You can find links to over 100 free printable pages here.

In the center, there is a small pocket which is a perfect fit for dry erase crayons.  

There are also elastic loops which hold our markers. I included a small marker with an eraser tip too (though my kids love to erase with their hands, which is why I buy the washable dry erase markers).

Now they are ready to color! The dry erase markers and crayons work perfectly on the PVC windows, so they can draw, erase, and start again.

And the best part, it folds neatly and snaps shut to make it easy to carry and travel. We take it to doctor appointments, restaurants, anywhere that we need some quiet, screen free entertainment. We even use it at home for quiet time!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Frugal Family Linky - February 5

Frugal Family Linky

Welcome to my first week as co-host of the Frugal Family Linky! I am so excited to be co-hosting this link party, where bloggers from all over the world share tips and ideas for frugal living. I can't wait to see all the great ideas out there and I'll be featuring my favorites every week, as well as pinning and sharing on social media all week long.


Monday, February 2, 2015

DIY Reusable Coloring Book Plus 100+ Free Coloring Pages

Make your own reusable coloring book! Save money with this easy DIY project that kids love!

My boys love to color. But they are still pretty little, so sometimes "coloring" means drawing a few squiggles and then asking for a new page. Those coloring books can add up! I love using free printable pages (and will share some favorites at the end of this post) but paper and ink can get pricey too. I found a great way to keep my boys happy and save some money by making our own reusable coloring book!

This post contains affiliate links. See my Disclosure Policy for details.

This project is so easy - you might have everything you need at home already! All you need is:

Put your coloring pages or plain paper in the sheet protectors. You can print free coloring pages online (keep reading for links to some of my favorites) or tear them out of a coloring book. You can put them in the sheet protectors back to back or I like to do a single sheet in each protector so that you have a mix of pre-printed pictures and blank pages.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that you can totally customize it to your kids' favorite characters, holidays, whatever they like!

Once your pages are loaded just place them in your 3 ring binder. Make it as large or small as you'd like! 

I love binders that you can slip your own cover into. If that's what you have, I've made you a free printable cover too:
CLICK HERE to download your free cover.

Once everything is assembled you are ready to go. Give your kids some washable dry erase markers or crayons and let them color!

One of my boys LOVES to erase his art - it wipes off with a paper towel but you may need to give it a good cleaning with water (or a baby wipe!) every now and then to keep it totally clean.

Ready for more coloring!

Again, you can fill your book with anything that your kids will enjoy. I've pulled together some of my favorite free coloring page resources to give you a head start:

90+ Coloring Pages from Kids Activities Blog

70 Coloring Pages from My Life & Kids

Huge Coloring Page Collection (great holiday sets!) from What Do We Do All Day?

Coloring & Activities Collection from Every Star is Different

Horse Coloring Page from Arts & Crackers

Apple Coloring Pages from The Good Long Road

Space Coloring Pages from In the Playroom

Snowflake Coloring Pages from In the Playroom

Dinosaur Coloring Pages from Red Ted Art

Penguin Coloring Pages from Kid's Creative Chaos

Design Your Own Monster Truck from School Time Snippets

Number Coloring Pages from 3 Dinosaurs

Dolphin Coloring Pages from Itsy Bitsy Fun

And you can find your favorite character sets here:

Take your coloring everywhere you go with our PORTABLE Dry Erase Drawing Kit - perfect for travel, waiting rooms, and restaurants - anywhere you need quiet time!

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