A DIY Fishing Game and Pretend Play with Fort Magic (+GIVEAWAY!)

A DIY Fishing Game with a Fort Magic Canoe

The Fort Magic kit and pretend play go hand in hand in our household.

We usually build something—a submarine, airplane, fort, igloo—that then encourages all kinds of imaginative play over the next few days.

This time the kids started with a pretend play idea (a diy fishing game ) and decided to make something with the Fort Magic kit to go with it.

Note :: Check out the Fort Magic giveaway at the end of this post for a chance to win one of your own.

It all started when Maia and Daphne were sitting on top of the washer “fishing” with a piece of yarn…. 

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Shadow Tracing with Grape Sculptures

Shadow Tracing Art for Kids

We combined two of our favorite simple art activities this summer :: kids’ shadow art and grape sculptures.

This is one of the many activities from this summer that I shared on Instagram briefly but didn’t get around to writing a blog post about. Perhaps now that school has started back up, I’ll have more time to write up some of the others as well.

Or maybe we should just all go camp out on Instagram and share our creative ideas there via photos and a sentence or two and skip the whole blog writing thing…

Just kidding.

Sort of…. 

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10 Autumn Leaf Crafts for Kids

10 Autumn Leaf Crafts for Kids Celebrate Autumn in all its glory with leaf crafts for kids!

We all like to create with the seasonal colors and images around us, and what better way to create this fall than with Autumn leaves?

Some of these leaf crafts use the leaves as is, straight off the tree or, more likely, ground. (See numbers 2, 8, 9 and 10 below.)

Some of them require leaves that have been pressed and dried first. So before we dive into this list of leaf crafts for kids, here are a few methods for preserving your leaves:

5 Ways to Preserve Fall Leaves for Crafting

Okay, now that you have some leaves pressed or preserved, it’s time to dive into the list of leaf crafts!

10 Autumn Leaf Crafts for Kids


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14 Great DIY Fall Garlands

Easy Fall Garlands to Make with KidsYou know how much we love our seasonal arts and crafts around here, right?

Despite a few years there at the beginning when I thought that children’s art needed to be pure and sacred and completely untainted by holiday crafts and decorations, I’ve long since dived wholeheartedly into the fun of seasonal and fall crafting.

And autumn leaf arts and crafts? My goodness. I love, love, love my Autumn leaf crafting!

I’ve started pressing a few of the first fall leaves and looking through a few of my autumn craft posts over the last few days, getting in the mood for fall.

As I’ve done so, I’ve noticed quite a few fall garlands in the mix and decided to pull them together into a round up post of leaf garlands, Halloween buntings, and Thanksgiving banners. Some of these are from The Artful Parent, some from other blogs.

I hope you find some inspiration here as you and your family start your own fall crafting and decorating.

Easy Fall Garlands To Make

Fall Leaf Garlands :: 7 Ideas


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Drawing Faces for Kids (plus a FREE printable guide)

Drawing Faces with Kids - plus a free printable guide to drawing the human face

We’ve been drawing a lot of faces around here. Self portraits in the traditional style as well as body tracing self portraits and collage self portraits. Drawing faces remains one of our family’s favorite ways to express our creativity. And not just our family. The human face is one of the subjects that many children draw repeatedly over the years, beginning with the most basic circle and eyes around 3.

Drawing faces for kids


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The Best Kids Science Experiments to Try at Home

The Best Kids Science Experiments to Try at HomeI started writing this yesterday with the idea of sharing the best kids science experiments to do at home. For you, of course. But also partly as a reminder for myself since Maia has a birthday coming up and has requested a Mad Scientist party with lots of fun science experiments. Basically these are our favorites out of all the science experiments we’ve tried so far. The ones we absolutely loved and the ones we’ve repeated (and repeated and repeated).

Most of these are pretty dang simple. The few that are a tad more involved or require materials you need to track down are included because they are well worth it.

At the end of this post, I’ll share a few more that were suggested by readers on Facebook yesterday.

The Best Kids Science Experiments to Try at Home

Here are more than 14 awesome science experiments for children!

Explosions, Eruptions & Immediate Reactions


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My Favorite Stubby Pencil Studio Kids Art Supplies

Our Favorite Kids Art Supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio

As you know, I buy our art supplies from a variety of places, both locally and online. One place I return to again and again is Stubby Pencil Studio, for the quality of the art supplies offered and because of the eco-friendly focus. I’ve also worked with Kate, Stubby Pencil’s owner, as a blog sponsor for years in the past and I consider her a friend (although we haven’t met in person yet!).

I’ve been wanting to write a post of my favorites from Stubby Pencil for a while now, and as I just received my most recent order of art and school supplies in the mail, I decided now would be a good time!

Some things I buy from Stubby Pencil Studio, year after year


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On the While She Naps Podcast

While She Naps Podcast Episode 28 on Kids Arts and CraftsAs I mentioned briefly in my blog post about our Folly Beach trip, I participated in my first podcast during our vacation. There was some drama about how it would work when the internet went out island-wide, but luckily it was back up just in time!

The podcast is While She Naps with Abby Glassenberg and the episode is number 28.

I listened to the podcast today (I had to listen to it before sharing it with you to make sure I didn’t make too big of a fool of myself!) and while I wish I could erase all the “umms” I suppose I will share the link with you. :)

Lucky me, I was paired with Amie Plumley, author of Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids will Love to Make! I had heard great things about her book on sewing with kids and was excited to hear more from the author herself… (And I’ve since bought her book!)

Abby talks with both of us about:

  • children’s arts and crafts
  • favorite materials and tools
  • encouraging creativity
  • getting over perfectionism
  • and more!


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A Flower Suncatcher Craft for Kids

One of our favorite suncatchers to create is the flower suncatcher with contact paper and flower petals and leaves. And this is coming from someone who has a well-documented obsession with suncatchers and stained glass art projects!

Recently, we made our favorite flower suncatchers again, using paper plates as the frames (it just works so well!) and strung them into a garland to hang across the window.


Butterfly flower suncatcher craftBut the best part was what we did differently this time. We used the flowers and leaves to create faces, birds, butterflies, and more.

After Maia made a flower fairy on one of the Easter egg suncatchers this past spring, it was only natural that we’d want to revisit the idea.

We all thoroughly enjoyed using the colors, patterns, and shapes of the flower petals and leaves to make fun images to hang in the window. And I’m thinking we’ll have to try our hand at these again soon with Autumn leaves and flowers.

I wrote up a whole tutorial for you on how to make this flower suncatcher craft and garland (with lots of photos!) over on Let’s Lasso the Moon, my friend Zina’s site.

Click here to check it out.


Painting Activities for Preschoolers :: 11 Favorites

Great list of the best painting activities for preschoolers!Looking for painting activities for your preschoolers?

Here are 11 of our all-time favorites that are process-oriented and developmentally appropriate yet super fun. Everything from spin painting and puffy paint to watercolor resist and shaving cream marbling.

And, bonus! The results are usually pretty cool, too.

First, a quick note about paints.

We use and love a variety of paints, but our favorites for the preschool age are:

Painting Activities for Preschoolers :: 11 Favorites


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