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Celebrate Summer — Free Printable Nature Hunt

June 21, 2013 - Filed under Children, Free Printables

I’ve been getting a lot of requests to share my Children’s Nature Hunt, so I thought what better way to celebrate the first day of summer than to release the new printable version! I hope you all enjoy!

Free Printable Nature Hunt

Click here to download the free printable

Posted by: kelly

Children’s Nature Hunt

June 7, 2012 - Filed under Children, How-to, Paper goods

– – – UPDATED! You can now download the printable version here. – – –

Summer is just around the corner, and with the weather warming up, thoughts turn to picnics in the park, lazy days at the beach and all sorts of outdoor activities. To kick off the season I headed off on a weekend camping trip with my family. I was looking for something fun to do with my nephew and thought that a scavenger hunt would be a great way to spend some time together and enjoy the outdoors.

He’s only three, so I wanted to keep it picture based, with simple items we could easily find. I decided to laminate it so he could use it again either in his own back yard, or a trip to the park with friends. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and we had a great time exploring nature together.

DIY Nature Hunt

How to:

  1. Draw out your items – I did mine in Adobe Illustrator, but you could just as easily draw them by hand.
  2. Print, Cut, Glue – I printed 6 items to a standard 8.5×11″ page. And cut them out with an exacto knife. I found some really fun nature themed paper at my local craft store and cut them into slightly larger squares so you could see the fun pattern.
  3. Laminate – I wanted this to be something that would last, so I took it to a copy shop to get laminated, and then recut the squares.
  4. Put it together – I punched a hole in each of the cards and srung them together with some rustic twine and added a few beads for fun.
  5. Enjoy – Head out into your local woods and see how many items you can find.

– – – UPDATED! You can now download the printable version here. – – –

 

Nature Hunt

Posted by: kelly

Handmade Gift Ideas: For Kids

December 13, 2011 - Filed under Children, Christmas, How-to, Patterns

Why not skip the expensive, battery operated, mass-produced plastic toys this year, in favor of something more unique and personal. Handmade toys are a great way to encourage creativity and activate your children’s imagination. These great ideas are inexpensive and easy to make, plus they’re sure to provide hours of entertainment.

Handmade Gifts For Kids

1. Felt Alphabet Letters: Help your little ones learn there ABCs with some cute felt letters.

2. Homemade Play Dough: Create a rainbow of colors and watch your children’s imagination run wild with this easy to make play dough. This is also an easy project to do with young kids and would make a great gift for their little friends.

3. Crayon Art Folio: Perfect for that budding artist on the go!

4. Car Caddy: Another great gift for little one’s on the go, that also helps encourage them to pick up their toys so you’re not stepping on them.

5. Felt Tool Box: Put your little helper to work on the home repairs with their very own tool set.

6. Molded Crayons: These fun crayons can been made is any shape or size, all you need are some fun molds and a bunch of crayons. How about spacemen & rockets or ballerinas and zoo animals.

7. Felt Stuffed Animals: Who wouldn’t love a cute and cuddly little friend for the holidays?

8. Snowman Kit: This is such a cute idea for little ones who love to play in the snow.

9. Painted Wooden Blocks: Build em up and knock em down. Your kids will have endless hours of fun, and may even learn to spell.

10. Fort Kit: I love this idea. This kit includes everything you need to build a fort, like sheets, close pegs, suction cups, rope and even a flashlight for when it’s all built. Perfect rainy day fun!

11. Buttoned Baby Boots: Help keep those little toes warm this winter, with this adorable little baby boot pattern.

Posted by: kelly

Happy Sew Lucky – DIY Sewing Kits

December 13, 2010 - Filed under Children, Patterns, Sewing

I’m so excited to finally be able to tell you all about Happy Sew Lucky, a new Vancouver business, run by local designer and friend Berene Campbell. Launched a little over a month ago, Happy Sew Lucky is a labour of love that’s been in the making for the past year. These adorable DIY kits are all designed by Berene herself, hand cut, and packed with the help of some very supportive friends and family.

Due to my crazy travel schedule these days, I wasn’t able to try out one of the kits myself, but instead I enlisted the help of one of my good friends, who also happens to be a new mom, and has just gotten her first sewing machine. Laura graciously agreed to give one of these kits a go and document her experience.

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I was both excited and nervous to have the project of making Happy Sew Lucky’s Minky Cat. Excited because it’s a super cute design made from soft 100% organic cotton and nervous because my sewing expertise to date involved hemming some curtains and inventing a Halloween costume for my daughter. I had never used a pattern before. Fortunately the instructions were very well written and easy to follow. I made sure I had everything in order, took a deep breath and began.

It was confidence building to start with the section of the project I was pretty sure I couldn’t mess up – ironing part of the pattern onto the fusable batting. Then once I had all of the small pieces cut out it was time to sew them together. For me this was the trickiest part because of the tight corners. What was nice about the instructions is that they very honestly mentioned this part is tricky and offered some advice. I found that even though my corners weren’t the most perfect the design of Minky is quite forgiving. Once I had all the pieces sewn together and the right way out, any slightly off course stitching didn’t seem too obvious!

Attaching Minky’s ears, legs, arms and tail was a little more complicated but once again the instructions helped keep me on track. I did manage to sew Minky’s ears on back to front (sorry Minky!) but I am going to put that down to sleep deprivation because the instructions and diagram really were excellent.

The final part of hand sewing Minky’s head to her body was a little finicky but even with my limited sewing experience I triumphed. The end result was a Minky Cat that I proudly compared to the photo on the packaging and found a close likeness (minus the back to front ears!).

*        *        *        *        *        *        

– For more information on Happy Sew Lucky Kits, including where to buy, check out the website!

Posted by: kelly

Printable Sewing Cards for Kids

September 22, 2010 - Filed under Children, How-to, Sewing

Looking for a way to get your little ones excited about sewing? These cute printable sewing cards are a great way to teach your kids how to sew, without worrying about small sharp needles. You can download these templates and print them from your own computer. Then simply cut them out, punch some holes and your kids will be learning to sew in no time.

– Download the PDF here

Posted by: kelly

How to Build a Kite – an illustrated tutorial

August 9, 2010 - Filed under Children, How-to

Step 1: Gather materials

  • 2 wooden dowels (one about 1/4 smaller)
  • large piece of paper or fabric
  • tape
  • thread
  • lightweight string, twine, or fishing line
  • craft knife
  • ruler
  • pencil, pen, or marker
  • scissors
  • ribbon

Step 2: With the craft knife, carve a notch into both ends of each wooden dowel.

Step 3: Place the shorter stick crosswise over the longer stick, 1/4 of the way down. When the sticks are laying down, all the notches should run parallel to the ground. Take the string and wrap it tightly around the center of your sticks, making an “X” shape, binding them together. Double check that the notches remain parallel to the ground.

Step 4: Thread the string through the notches, creating a diamond shape. Wrap it around a couple times, making sure the string is taut. This is will be the frame of your kite. Tie the string back towards the center of your kite and tie it off with a knot.

Step 5: Cut your paper or fabric so that it is slightly larger than the kite frame.

Step 6: Fold the paper or fabric over the string frame, and either tape it down if using paper or sew it if using fabric.

Step 7: Reinforce the top and bottom ends of your kite with strong tape. Then, punch a hole through these reinforced ends.

Step 8: Cut a of string, and knot one end of the through the top hole and the other end through bottom hole. This will form the bridle of your kite. Take the remainder of your string, and tie one end of it to the bridle, about 1/3 of the way down. This will be your flying string.

Step 9: Using string and ribbon create a tail for your kite, about 2 meters long. This will help stabilize your kite when flying.

Step 10: Fly and have fun!

Posted by: kelly

Children’s Teepee Tent

August 4, 2010 - Filed under Children, How-to, Sewing

I know, I know… it’s August…. it’s hot… and no one wants to be inside anymore than they have to. But, here’s a fun summer project, for you and your kids, that’ll get you back outside enjoying the weather before you know it.

Check out the full tutorial here

Posted by: kelly

Bicycle Bucket & Fun Stuff for Those ‘On-the-Go’

July 5, 2010 - Filed under Children, Patterns, Sewing

Bike Bucket Tutorial

If you’re kids enjoy spending all day riding around on bikes then this is the project for you. A cute little fabric bicycle bucket for their handle bars. They can use it to store all their favorite treats and treasures as they spend their summer days exploring the neighborhood.

And while you’re at it… why not make a few cute things to help fill the bucket?

Summer Toys

You could pack them a picnic lunch with a reusable sandwich wrap, snack bag and water bottle holder. Or how about some fun things to play with? Make your own sidewalk chalk, or some fun travel games like checkers or memory. If you’ve got a budding artist on your hands, try this drawing case, or crayon roll. And last but not least… try a picnic without the mess. This felt food is fun to play with and can be used over and over again for endless picnic fun.

Posted by: kelly

Edible Crayons

January 11, 2010 - Filed under Children, How-to

crayons

These handmade crayons are completely edible. Made from nuts, berries, dried fruits, marshmallows and fruity pebbles, then pressed into a crayon mold. Click here to see all the photos of how they were made.

Posted by: kelly

Going Batty

October 2, 2009 - Filed under Children, Felt, Halloween, Holidays, How-to, Sewing

Soto Softies Bat Pattern

More Halloween goodness coming your way. Maritza from Soto Softies, has a fantastic bat pattern for sale on her Etsy store. A bunch of these strung from the ceiling would make fantastic Halloween decorations.

Not sure you’re ready to take on a whole softie? Why not take a start with Maritza’s free batty finger puppet pattern here.

Posted by: kelly

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