Category Archives: Easy kid art and crafts ideas

Parenting magazine is looking for craft ideas

Hey crafters!

Parenting magazine is looking for fun, modern kid crafts to feature in our Halloween and Christmas issues. Got a never-been-published, original holiday craft? We want to see it! Send a snapshot of it to If your craft is selected, we’ll print it in the magazine and give you and your blog (if you have one) credit. Be sure to include your name, hometown and phone number in your e-mail to us so we can contact you about the instructions. The deadline is May 2nd.


Party garland that wows …


We’re having an intimate birthday party for Kai this weekend with some of his best friends. For the past month, we have been working on garland and streamers for the party almost nightly – basically all you have to do is string things together – we have a rainbow star, Backyardigans theme – so easy and so festive! Check out some of my inspiration. (Stay tuned to see pics of the party next week.) I also think I’m going to use some of these ideas for a new art project for my home, but I can’t work on it until after the party – so much to do!

An easy, creative and fun way to decorate a child’s birthday present …


All day Saturday, Kai and I worked on art projects. He made colorful construction paper chains and I made a three art pieces for our wall. (Come back tomorrow to check it out – I don’t want to give it away yet.)

Kai made so many chains. His goal was to decorate the entire house in them. Oh boy! Instead, I hung them all over his room. A nice compromise!

As he made them, I thought of the birthday party that we were attending the next day (Sunday) and how we could decorate his buddy Gage’s birthday present with them instead of using ribbon. Kai wasn’t sure at first – he didn’t want to give up his chains. I tried to explain that they could be apart of Gage’s gift. But, Kai wasn’t having it. So, we made some specifically for Gage and just laid them on top present, threading them through each other and taping them down. Super easy and super cute!!

Wedding present art + an Etch A Sketch drawing …


I finally gave my brother Kevin and new sister-in-law Marti their wedding present yesterday. (They were married in November!) It’s not like I was a slacker. I painted something a few months ago, but it was terrible. So, I hid the hideous art piece under my guest bed until inspiration struck me. And a few weeks ago, it finally did.

What I like about this piece, which I call “Connections,” is the big background squares/rectangles are separated monochromatically. The overlay colors are one step clockwise from the background colors implying an unifying connection. To me, this represents Kevin, Marti and their two kids (and my new niece and nephew) Maggie and John.

Here is a pic of Kevin and Marti during the big reveal.

Also, Alex was inspired on Kai’s Etch A Sketch. Check out this awesome piece. (I’m totally impressed because all I create on this thing is stairs.)







Hole punch love: kid art project …


While on our Seattle trip (SEE PART 1 and PART 2), Alex and I missed Kai. He spent the week at my parents’ house, but didn’t care to talk to us much. He was having so much fun playing pirates and going to the beach. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

But when we saw each other yesterday, he was a chatterbox – telling us about crabs at the beach and showing us the treasure box he and Grandpa made together.

So, we spent all day yesterday catching up – snuggling, reading books, playing Memory, and arts and crafts. Here is what he made. (Stay tuned, I’m currently making a grown-up version of something similar.)

What we used:

1. A heart hole puncher
2. Construction paper
3. Glue

Rock on, baby …


In honor of Earth day on Thursday, Kai, Alex and I painted a rock yesterday for our garden. I thought we could paint the planet or some other type of nature scene on it. Nope. Kai, being the silly little boy that he is, wanted to paint hairy feet on it. (I told you he was silly.) But, art is all about expressing yourself and I’m not about to stifle his creativity or imagination … check it our latest (albeit weird) art project.

Check out more of Kai’s art:

Gingerbread pirates

Kai’s photos

Shell streamers

Kai vision …


This weekend we gave Kai the camera and let him snap away. Here is the world according to Kai …

Eco art and crafts for kids …


Here are three eco-friendly art supplies and projects that I’d love to add to Kai’s art box. Because in my world, as you know:
art + earth-friendly + Kai = awesome.


I’m lovin’ the fact that Mary’s Softdough is made with simple ingredients such as flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, soybean oil, food coloring and sodium benzoate (a food preservative) – perfect when Kai inevitably eats it. Plus, it also comes in glitter – and as most of you know, I’m a sucker for anything that sparkles. $18.50 for a playset.

This rocks

Sure you may not have fuzzy wuzzy brown and jazzberry jam in the color palette, but these Crayon Rocks, all-natural soy wax crayons colored with natural mineral powders, aren’t just great for the environment, they also strengthen your child’s tripod grip muscles, 
preparing little fingers for handwriting. 64 crayons for $27.

Color their world

A perfect gift idea for everyone in the weekend birthday party circuit, the ColorMeUp Marine Turtle is two in one: a puzzle and an art project. Hand-crafted from managed forest Basswood, the puzzle also comes with a set of water-based paints. $14.99.

Check out more kid art projects:
Hangin’ in the backyard …

Gingerbread pirates …

Hangin’ in the backyard …


As we searched for a house last year, a nice, big, shaded back yard was on top of my family’s requirement list. Alex and I thought it was important that Kai had a safe place to play and discover nature. I want him to feel like it’s his space, so I’ve placed fun and colorful artwork that we made together around the yard to encourage his creative exploration.

A few months ago, Kai and I invited our friend Jessica over to help us paint seashells that I once used as tablecloth weights for my wedding. (We drilled holes in them for the wedding, so they were ready to be strung.) I had been saving these shells for years (seven to be exact), knowing one day they would come in handy.

Originally I was going to string the shells along the fence, but Jess had the great idea of hanging them from the limbs of a tree. I love that if you look at the avocado tree just right, you’ll see a surprise splash of color peeking through the large leaves.

What do you think?


What you need:

1. Seashells
2. Acrylic paint
3. String
4. Dremel drill
5. Tree


1. Use a dremel drill to cut holes into the shell.
2. Paint the shells in an array of colors and designs.
3. Hang about seven or eight on a string.
4. Tie them onto a tree branch.

It’s that easy!

Check out more of our back yard art and our veggie garden.

Yo ho, yo ho (and a rum and Diet Coke for Mommy) …


It’s a pirate’s life for Kai – from his birthday cake to his weekly sword fights with his grandpa. To help feed his buccaneer mania, we made little pirate puppets recently to mimic the little pirate gingerbread men in Kai’s favorite book, The Gingerbread Pirates, by Kristen Kladstrup (ps. When you have a three-year-old a book’s seasonality doesn’t matter.)

We used toothpicks for peg legs, popsicle sticks as the swords, pipe cleaners for the hooks and googley eyes for, well, the eyes. Kai had a blast making these, except when he realized he couldn’t eat them.

How to make gingerbread pirate puppets:

You’ll need:
construction paper
popsicle sticks
pipe cleaners
googley eyes
gingerbread man cookie cutter
hole puncher
pirate flag (optional)

1. Trace your gingerbread man cookie cutter.
2. Cut him out.
3. Decorate: tape toothpicks on the back for peg legs, paste hole-punched circles, cut out little shorts and belts and paste them on.

Voila! Your very own gingerbread pirate! Argh!