The Fort Magic Fort Kit for Kids (+GIVEAWAY)

Fort Magic Fort Kit for Kids I wrote about Fort Magic a few weeks ago.

About a fort kit for kids that has turned our house into a creative construction zone—in such a good way. It has added a new level of family interaction and collaboration during the building phase and has inspired all kinds of imaginative play afterward.

This fort kit for kids has just been announced as a winner of the Dr. Toy’s Best Classic 2014 Toy Award! Plus they will be featured on the ABC.com TV show Shark Tank tomorrow (Friday, April 18th) at 9pm EST.

If I had a blog post for every time we built something new with Fort Magic, you would be reading about nothing but construction on The Artful Parent.

We’ve made a:

  • Castle
  • Fort
  • Submarine
  • House
  • Teepee (in the backyard)
  • Series of tunnels (in the front yard)

Here are a few photos of various things we’ve built with this fort kit:

Fort Magic Fort Kit for Kids Artful Parent… 

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Two Great Easter Art Activities for Kids

2 Easter Art Activities for Kids - Easy and Beautiful!We’ve been doing lots of Easter arts and crafts these past couple of weeks!

Here are two more Easter art activities that we’ve been working on this week:

styrofoam printed Easter eggs

& painted wooden eggs

They are both easy and quick, so you still have time to do them with your kiddos!

Two Easter Art Activities for Kids

1. Painted Wooden Eggs

These painted wooden eggs will long outlast the hard-boiled kind and are so much nicer than plastic eggs. They can be brought out Easter after Easter, given as gifts, and join the play kitchen for some pretend play.

Thanks to Asia from Fun at Home with Kids for inspiring us with her tutorial on DIY watercolor wooden eggs over at Modern Parents Messy Kids! She also has a fun post on games to play with painted eggs…. 

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25 Creative Easter Basket Ideas for Kids

25 Last Minute Easter Basket Ideas for Kids - Lots of creative ideas!It’s only a week until Easter!

Do you know what’s going into your children’s Easter baskets?

If you need a little help, here are 25 creative Easter basket ideas…

No candy in the bunch!

(But if you wanted to add a chocolate bunny or a few chocolate eggs, I’m sure your kiddos won’t object.)

This selection will promote creativity, imagination, and active play long after the Easter candy is gone.

Last minute Easter basket ideas for kids

Note: These items are all sold through Amazon.com. If you have Prime membership, as we do (love it!), you’re receive your Easter goodies super quickly. If you don’t have Prime, you can likely pay a little extra to get them in time for Easter. Or sign up for a free trial membership…. 

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The Artful Parent Book Birthday & Giveaway Celebration

The Artful Parent Book Birthday Celebration and GiveawayMy baby is one!

It’s been a year since The Artful Parent book was released into the world… And, since I try not to miss a chance for a celebration, I am baking a cherry pie in honor of the occasion and am running a big book giveaway!

I also wanted to thank you again for making the book what it is.

I’ve said this before, but without readers a book is simply some printed words between covers. But, thanks to you, The Artful Parent book has been given life. It’s been read, used, loved, dog-eared, and passed along. It’s also been awarded and blogged about.

I treasure the e-mails I receive saying that my book has transformed how a family creates together. And I love the reviews left on Amazon. (Thank you so much for helping me pass 100 reviews!)

As a thank you, I am partnering with my publisher, Roost Books, to to offer 10 copies of The Artful Parent book.

And if you already own the book, feel free to enter the giveaway anyway… You can always give the extra copy as a mother’s day gift or teacher gift!

Giveaway

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity… 

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How to Make Peanut Butter Cups in Silicone Molds

How to Make Peanut Butter Cups in Silicone MoldsGiven our love of peanut butter playdough, peanut butter nest snacks, and peanut butter cups, I thought we ought to try to make an Easter version of the divine combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

Maia and I first planned to make peanut butter cups in egg shapes.

I saw a few posts on Pinterest, and because I get inspired by pictures, but am not great about reading instructions, I assumed they used an egg-shaped mold to make them.*

After searching in vain for such a mold, and wondering if I could rig up some plastic Easter eggs to work as a mold, I came across a silicone mold that I liked even better at World Market. This one has butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and bees—lovely and much more versatile than an egg-shaped mold!

*They actually rolled out the peanut butter filling, cut it out with egg-shaped cookie cutters, then dipped the eggs in melted chocolate. (I went back and read a couple posts after I struck out on the silicone egg mold hunt.)

This recipe is super easy and fun for kids to help make. We modified our regular peanut butter cup recipe by adding more powdered sugar to the filling and a little coconut oil to the chocolate…. 

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A Personalized Childrens Growth Chart

A Personalized Childrens Growth Chart by I See Me

Personalized products are meaningful for anyone, but I think they are extra special for a child who is just learning the power of letters and words.

GIVEAWAY note: You’ll have a chance to win a personalized childrens growth chart of your choice at the end of this post…

At age 4 1/2 there is one word that Daphne can read and write.

Her name.

So anything with those 6 letters is extra special for more than just the fact that it means her.

She writes her name on every piece of art she makes. And she gets excited if she gets a letter through the mail with her name on it.

There is so much power in a name.

Daphne received a package in the mail recently. And when she opened the box, her name was right there!

… 

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Easter Gifts for Kids (+ Spring Arts & Crafts Products)

Easter Gifts for Kids and Spring Arts and Crafts ProductsWith Easter around the corner and all the Easter and spring crafting going on around us, I decided to focus on Easter gifts for kids in this month’s sponsor welcome post.

And spring arts and crafts products

And, for those planning ahead, some unique Mother’s Day gift ideas

So… Please welcome my blog sponsors for the month of April!

They help make this blog possible and I am very grateful for their support. I hope you will take a moment to visit their sites and see what they have to offer.

These businesses can be great resources for artful families like yours and mine. I’m highlighting one of each of their products and including a link to it beside the business listed below.

Explore and enjoy!

Easter Gifts for Kids

(By Artful Parent Sponsors; Selection curated by Jean Van’t Hul)… 

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Easter Egg Suncatcher Craft with Flower Petals

Easter Egg Suncatcher Craft for Kids with Spring FlowersIf you follow me on facebook or via Instagram, you may have seen a sneak preview of this Easter egg suncatcher craft yesterday.

These suncatchers seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the floral explosion going on around us.

Daphne’s already picking flowers for us several times a day and delivering them to us at desks, tables, or in our pockets. I usually transfer these sweet gifts to water, but decided it was time we made suncatchers with flowers.

This Easter egg suncatcher craft combines two of our favorite spring suncatchers…

Flower mandala suncatchers &
Easter egg suncatchers (with ribbon, lace, & tissue paper)… 

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Body Tracing Activity for Kids

Body Tracing Activity for KidsWe’ve had a lot of fun with a body tracing activity over the past week or so.

What started as a simple invitation to work big turned into a week-long exploration of self portraits, working large, and even quilting (on paper).

I taped large sheets of butcher paper to the floor in the living room, added a tray of art supplies, and then went to pick up Daphne and her friend Julianna from preschool.

They opted for body tracing self portraits and I decided to do the same and work beside them (they collaborated to trace my body).

Here are some photos, instructions, and the finished (totally awesome!) artworks decorating our walls:

Body Tracing Activity for Kids… 

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Toothpick Sculptures for Kids :: 13 Fun Toothpick Construction Ideas!

Toothpick Sculptures for Kids - 17 Fun Construction Ideas to TryThe kids and I made extra colorful toothpick sculptures yesterday, using spring-colored marshmallows, colored toothpicks, and translucent pony beads.

I shared a couple of photos on Instagram, but wanted to follow up with a proper blog post, more pictures, and a round up of kids toothpick sculpture ideas.

First of all, if you haven’t tried toothpick sculptures with your kids, definitely give it a try!

It’s a construction project that can be as simple as poking a bunch of toothpicks in playdough for young children or as challenging as building a geodesic dome or tower for older kids and adults.

And with all the different great ways to build toothpick sculptures, everything from traditional marshmallows to Model Magic to sculpture as snack, you’re sure to find one to suit your family…. 

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