Halloween toilet paper roll crafts for kids

Halloween toilet paper craftsPaper roll crafts are very popular these days, and there are a few reasons for it: they are easy to make, most of the materials needed for paper roll craft projects are readily available at home, and you get to re-purpose items that would otherwise be discarded. Since it is almost September and some of us are already starting to prepare and decorate for Halloween, I figured that now would be a good time to post about Halloween toilet paper roll crafts for kids.

toilet paper roll crafts kids

For this project, you will need toilet paper rolls, construction or craft paper, glue, scissors, and paint. Markers or oil pastels for decoration are optional. Get all the supplies ready, fold the tops of toilet paper rolls as shown in the photo collage below, and have kids paint all paper rolls different colors (Crayola washable kids paint is perfect for the project). Let the paper rolls dry, then let kids decorate the paper rolls in any way they like: a witch, a bat, a spider, an owl, a vampire, a monster, a pumpkin – just a few Halloween characters them may want to make. Craft paper can be used for wings, vampire cap, or facial features. Create a Halloween display out of your child’s paper roll crafts – great way to add free/ inexpensive holiday decor to your home, and kids will be so proud to show off their creations to friends and family 🙂

Halloween Toilet paper crafts for kids

You may also like these creative ways to re-purpose paper rolls:

Fun Halloween characters made out of toilet paper rolls

Recycled pillow box favors for a Halloween party

Hanging bats out of paper rolls – cool Halloween decoration for your home, with very little help from adults

Pumpkin garland – fun project for a family craft night

Paper Roll painting – easy DIY picture frame

Where I party: Get Crafty Fridays

Window Drawing

Do you have a set of Crayola Crystal Effects window drawing for kidsWindow markers yet? If your children enjoy arts and crafts, window drawing will be a big hit. Not sure why the manufacturer recommends these markers for children ages 8 and up, as they are washable and nontoxic, and preschoolers enjoy these markers just as much as the big kids do. Drawing on a window (or any other glass surface) is only part of the fun. What kids enjoy the most is watching the colors crystallize like ice. The crystallizing effect is similar to window frosting in action.

We noticed that the markers work best when it’s warm or hot outside and the glass surface is slightly warm. On a cooler day or when the air is humid, it may take a while for the colors to crystallize – as long as a few hours.

These markers are very affordable. A set of these will cost you between $3.50 and $5 at Target, Wal-Mart, or on Amazon. They are very eco-friendly as they were manufactured using a renewable energy source – solar energy. Crayola Solar Farm provides enough energy to produce 1 billion Crayola crayons and 500 million markers a year. To learn more about Crayola Solar farm, visit Green Initiatives page on Crayola website and watch an educational video made for kids.

If you would like to see Window Drawing in action, be sure to watch the video below. In the beginning of the video, you can barely see the colors, but the crystallizing effect really starts showing up about half way through the video. Also note how easy it is to wipe off the drawing with a paper towel:

Ocean Play Dough Collage

ocean play dough collageI tend to favorite open-ended projects.  They are very beneficial to children because they allow kids to use imagination and express creativity and THEIR view of the world without any limitations of step-by-step instructions. The ocean play dough collage featured here is a vivid example of an open-ended project that started with a sheet of construction paper, play dough in four different colors, and a few sea shells. There were no instructions to follow – just craft supplies and a theme. We simply added one object at a time to create the ocean play dough collage, and it turned out beautiful. We started out with a mermaid and a castle, then added some sand and sea weed. We wanted to put sea shells to good use, so we used them to decorate the castle, and then added a creature to the cone-shaped shell and connected two sea shells with play dough to display a precious pearl.

As the brainstorming session for this open-ended project continued, sea turtles, fish, a sea horse, starfish, and a jellyfish also joined our Ocean Life Aquarium. Play dough is the perfect art medium that can be used to create multi-dimensional projects. I also love the fact that you can use play dough as clay or clue to hold different objects in place – kids can incorporate a variety of objects like sticks, stones, sea shells and cardboard into their artwork. Here’s an example of how we used play dough to build a fairy house out of natural materials.

An ocean play dough collage is easy enough to be completed by a preschooler. Although it may be a good idea for an adult and a child to work on the project as a team – collaboration can produce some outstanding results 🙂 If you do decide to try out the ocean-themed project, please do shoot us an Email at info@parenting-today.com. We would love to feature your child’s artwork on our website.

And here’s a bigger image of the collage for you to get a better look:

ocean play dough collage

Father’s Day gift ideas from kids

Father's Day gift ideas from kids

Have you already started thinking about Father’s Day gift ideas from kids? In the US, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, and in 2013, the third Sunday in June falls on June 16th.

Father’s Day is a very important holiday for children  to show their love and appreciation for a very special person – Dad. And the best gift a child can give Dad is a handmade gift from the heart. By creating a handmade gift, children not only get an opportunity to express their creativity but they also get to experience the joy of gift giving that comes from making a loved one happy. Raising a child who gives with joy is fundamental to raising a child who cares.

Parents have a great appreciation for handmade gifts made by children. They proudly display them at home and at work and hold on to them for many years. Some even start keepsake boxes to keep all the handmade gifts they received throughout the years.

Today I am sharing this photo tutorial for turning cardboard box into canvas for kids art. Once canvas are ready, kids can decorate it with glitter glue, paint, or construction paper and write “I love Dad” or “Happy Father’s Day” on it. The artwork can be given as a gift for Father’s Day and then displayed on Dad’s desk or a wall (to hang, simply make a small hole on the back side of the canvas).

Father's Day gift ideas from kids

“I love Dad” picture on cardboard canvas – Father’s day gift from kids

The photo tutorial should be easy to follow, but if you need further explanation, please comment on the post, and I will do my best to explain how to put the canvas together.

Please also check out these great Father’s Day gift ideas from kids on the web:

Photo book filled with pictures and Q&As about Dad – you can order a softcover photo book for only $3 

Scratch off Father’s Day card 

Tackle box for Dad – box filled with sweet treats

Dad Rocks paperweight

Football pen holder

Candy bar letter for Dad – what an awesome idea!

My Pinterest board: Father’s Day gift ideas from kids


4th of July craft ideas for preschoolers


4th of July craft ideas for preschoolers

American flag craft

Since 4th of July is just around the corner, you may be already looking for 4th of July craft ideas for preschoolers. Last weekend we completed this American flag wall hanging – a fun DIY project for preschoolers that does require parental involvement. First, we collected sticks and broke them into shorter 14 inch pieces. Since there are 13 stripes on the American flag, we needed 13 sticks of equal length for the project. Ideally, you would want the sticks to be as straight as possible to simplify the project assembly. As you can see in the pictures, our sticks were a bit too crooked, so it was a bit of a task to tie them together. We painted the sticks with the same Crayola washable paint we used for the Cardboard fairy house. Children can paint the sticks completely on their own after you separate the sticks into 4 groups: 3 sticks to be painted red, 3 sticks to be painted white, 3 sticks to be painted white and blue, and 4 sticks to be painted red and blue. I suggest working with one color at a time. For the two-colored sticks, have your child paint two thirds of three sticks white and two thirds of four sticks red, then finish all seven sticks with blue. Let the sticks dry, then tie them together with twine or metal wire: alternate the white and red sticks to form the American flag with red and white stripes and a blue rectangle. We used simple knots to tie the sticks together – first tie the twine around the first stick, than tie 3-4 additional knots before tying the next stick into the flag. If your sticks are pretty straight, the additional knots may be unnecessary. The final step of the project is to draw 50 white dots or stars on the blue rectangle. If you use washable paint, display the finished wall hanging indoors or on a covered porch to prevent paint from washing off.

4th of July crafts for preschoolers

American flag craft project

Not ready to take on the American flag wall hanging project, here are a few other  4th of July craft ideas for preschoolers on the Web:

4th of July rockets

4th of July rock painting

4th of July flag banner

4th of July paper lanterns

Sparkling fireworks

American flag out of popsicle sticks

Also, if you have enough red, white, and blue LEGO blocks in your Lego collection, kids can make an American flag out of LEGOs. Unfortunately, we did not have enough Lego pieces to do all 13 stripes and 50 stars, but, other than that, our mini flag turned out pretty good 🙂

4th of July craft ideas for preschoolers

And if your preschooler enjoys coloring, here’s a link to American Flag coloring pages. A colored “USA with coloring key” page is featured below:

4th of July coloring sheet

USA flag coloring page



This week we are participating in these awesome link-up parties:

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Cardboard Fairy House

Cardboard Fairy House

Cardboard Fairy House

Do you have a cardboard box you would like to re-purpose into a cardboard fairy house? It’s a fun and creative project that kids and parents can work on together as a team. An older child can cut out the cardboard and construction paper pieces needed for the project and help glue them together. Both, younger and older children, will enjoy the opportunity to express their artistic talents when decorating the fairy house.

Before I go into detailed instructions for the project, I would like to thank Lorraine at “IkatBag” blog for the inspiration – here’s a link to the cylindrical cardboard houses featured on her blog.

Cardboard fairy house 

Materials needed: medium sized cardboard box, construction paper, a pencil, a pair of scissors, school glue (or a stronger adhesive), paint (we used Crayola washable paint) and paint brushes, a ruler, a pencil compass or a plate, 8.25 inches in diameter.

Instructions – how we did it: First, cut out a cardboard circle, 8.25 inches in diameter, to be used as fairy house base. Then, cut out a rectangular, 7 inches by 18.5 inches for the house walls (the dimensions include allowance needed to attach the roof to the house walls, the house to the base, and the two sides of the cardboard rectangular together). Gradually bend the cardboard rectangular to shape it into a cylinder, as shown in photo #3 in the photo collage below.

Cardboard Fairy House DIY

Out of construction paper, cut out another circle, at least 8.25 inches in diameter, for the roof (you can make it slightly larger, if you would like).

cut a quadrant out of a circle

Cut a quadrant out, leaving a tab for gluing the roof together, as shown in the photo above.

glue the roof together into a cone

Form the circle into a cone and glue it in place to form a roof.

Form the cardboard rectangular into a cylinder

Before gluing rectangular sides together, cut out windows and a door and, in order to attach the roof and the base, make small cuts all around the perimeter of the cylinder, both top and bottom.

Form the cardboard rectangular into a cylinder and glue or tape it in place

Form the cardboard rectangular into a cylinder and glue it together. School glue alone may not be strong enough to keep the walls attached.  If you have a hot glue gun, I recommend using it instead. We ended up using staples and tape (on the inside), in addition to the glue.

make a fairy house out of cardboard

We painted our cardboard fairy house base green to make it look like grass. We also cut out a smaller circle out of brown construction paper for a stronger bond between the base and the house walls. We glued the cardboard cylinder on to the brown circle, and the brown circle on to the green base.

attach roof on to cardboard house

Finally, attach the roof on to the cardboard cylinder, using a combination of glue and tape.

cardboard fairy house

Once the cardboard fairy house construction is complete, I recommend letting the house dry at least 30 minutes before decorating. As I mentioned earlier, we used Crayola washable paint to decorate the fairy house.

paint cardboard fairy house

Decorating is the best part of the project – kids get to help turn a plain and boring cardboard structure into a bright and colorful house for fairies or dolls.

cardboard fairy house DIY

If you decide to try out the project, please leave a comment on this blog post. We would love to hear from you. Also, if you would like to use one of our photos for your blog, please be sure to link back to the post 🙂

This week we are participating in this party:

Pin It Tuesdays

Stamping for kids

stamping for kidsToday I am sharing a fun and easy creative project for toddlers and preschoolers – stamping for kids. It’s an open-ended art project that will help your child develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Most likely, you already have all the materials required for the art activity. All you need is a few pencils with eraser tops, an ink pad, and a few sheets of copy paper, craft paper, or cardstock. Show your child how to make a simple picture using the eraser tops as stampers. Here are a few ideas of what you and your child can stamp together: a flower, a tree, a house, a boat, a rainbow, a robot, a butterfly, a rocket, a truck, or you may just want to create a colorful page of confetti. Once your child grasps the concept, suggest that he or she completes a picture completely on his or her own. Open-ended art projects work wonders for developing creativity. Remind your child to use a different pencil for each one of the colors on the ink pad to keep your ink pad clean for future use.

art project for kids

Using this stamping technique, your child can create thank you and special occasion cards or frameable artwork you can put up on the wall in kids room. Instead of paper, consider using fabric for this activity. Stamping for kids is perfect for keeping kids occupied and away from TV while you are getting things done around the house.

Looking for more creative projects and craft materials? Stop by Kiwi Crate Arts & Crafts Shop for cool projects and art & craft supplies delivered to your door. Unlike some of the other monthly subscription boxes for kids, Kiwi Crate boxes can be purchased individually, so that you can choose projects your child is more likely to enjoy. Art and craft supplies, creative projects, tools, project packs, party favors, additional supplies for siblings ($7.95 per child) – Kiwi Crate is a one-stop shop for creative families. Oh, and their blog is a wealth of information for anyone looking for art and craft projects for preschoolers.

Single Crates now on Sale at Kiwi Crate! shop now ››


Easy to make Easter garland

Easy to make Easter garland

Easy to make Easter garland

This Easter, add festive decor to your home with this easy to make Easter garland.  This project will only take an hour or two to complete, depending on the desired length of the garland. Make it a family project, with kids and adults decorating their own Easter garland egg pieces. If you are expecting family and friends to visit you this Easter, the garland will be a great conversation piece, and your kids will be proud to show off their creation. For this project, you will need construction paper or heavy stock rainbow colored paper (we used Wausau cardstock paper), scissors, twine or ribbon, and pencils, crayons, markers, or stickers for decorating. A hole puncher would come handy, if you have one. First, cut out an Easter egg shape – you can either draw your own or use the  Easter egg template from Marin Mommies (look for “get it here” link in the second paragraph). If you decide to draw your own template, you will then need to trace it to make all Easter egg garland pieces the same size. If you use the template from Marin Mommies, you can print it directly on the construction paper. You will need an egg per 3 inches of the length of your garland (for example 24 pieces per 75 inch long garland – 24 x 3 + 3 additional inches for garland ties). Once you cut out the egg shapes with scissors (this is something that kids will probably be more than happy to help you with),  punch a hole in the top of each egg (at least quarter of an inch down from the top edge).

Easter Egg garland pieces

Easter egg garland pieces

Now divide the egg shapes between your family members and have them decorate their own garland pieces. Encourage creativity, so that each and every piece of your Easter garland is unique.  Once everyone is finished, tie the eggs on a ribbon, securing each egg in place with a knot.

Make Easter egg garland with kids

Make Easter egg garland with kids

Now hang the garland up and enjoy the festive Easter decoration! Happy Easter to you and your family!

This week we are participating in this link party:


Make Fairy House from natural materials

Make Fairy house kidsA fairy house is a fun and very easy project kids can make with your help or even on their own. Most of the supplies for making a fairy house can be found outdoors. Building a fairy house is a great family activity that brings out imagination and creativity. And with warm weather rolling in, we all could use an extra excuse to spend an hour or two outside. Although younger kids will probably need some help from Mom and Dad, kids ages 6 and up are capable of making unique creations all on their own. Siblings can choose to work on the project together or independently. There are no set guidelines for constructing a fairy house. Leaves, sticks, stones, moss, pine straw, pine cones, flowers, grass – any natural materials will do. We do suggest using Play-doh to make the fairy house more sturdy and a piece of cardboard for base, but you may want to go 100% natural, and that’s fine too. The fairy house featured here was built by a preschooler and a 9-year old, with a little help from an adult.

Below is a photo of all supplies used for this project, including sticks, leaves, pine straw, pine cones, a flower, play-doh, shells, cardboard, and kids jewelry making supplies for decoration. Hunting for natural supplies is quite an adventure – you just never know what you are going to find in your yard!


Fairy House supplies

Supplies needed to make a fairy house

Fairy House Assembly – work in progress:

Fairy house instructions

Here’s a photo of the completed fairy house – view from the back.

Fairy House DIY

Move-in Ready Fairy house

 Don’t forget to add some furniture and plant some trees!

Fairy House furniture

Fairies will appreciate all the hard work your kids put into making a fairy house!

Make Fairy house kids

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