Category Archives: Creative Kids

Making stuff, being creative.

Let the Races Begin!

We went to the park this morning.  I knew it would be hot today, so we went early to beat the heat.  Maybe we went a little too early, because I think a few of my kids were still half asleep—but after a day of cleaning yesterday, I wanted to do something outside.  The kids were still a little too tired to play tag.  We took some art supplies to sketch with and things like that,  but they weren’t in the mood for sketching.   So this is what happened next…It’s a home-made genuine Roly Poly Race Track!  *I love it!*


The kids spent some time searching for bugs and spent the next hour playing with them and racing them on the “track.”

I loved this idea, so of course I came home and made a printable Roly Poly Race Track just for fun.  Here you go!  Hope your kiddos enjoy being outside with Roly Poly’s today.

(Just click on the image to open the full-size version for printing)



This is the track all printed out, and in the beginning stages of my daughter coloring it.



This is how the folds should look.  There are dotted lines on the printable to indicate where to make the folds, so just make sure the bug stadium stands are folded like this—kinda like upside down V’s.  Happy racing!

Dinosaur Territory


The leftover glass stones and rocks from our paper flower project have made a great little habitat for our dinosaurs and plastic bugs.  Yes, the kids are in heaven.



I won’t be surprised if some fairies show up later.


It’s days like these when I get inspiration to write books like this.  If your child likes digging, dinosaurs, and mysteries, they will definitely enjoy this book!

Super Easy Paper Flower Pens


This is a great gift for Mother’s Day or for Teacher Appreciation Week.  These flowers look beautiful, and you will be surprised at how easy they are to make!

Basic RGB

First, start by printing out this template (click HERE, or on the image for the printable version).  Each sheet will make ONE flower, so print as many sheets as flowers that you want.  Don’t worry about printing on any special paper, regular printer paper is what I used and it works great…just part of what makes this SO easy.


Use watercolor paint and have your child paint to their heart’s content, right onto the template.  The paper will get buckled and the paints will smear—and that’s perfect!  (Tip:  the finished flower looks really great if you paint the largest and smallest shapes one color, and the medium shapes a contrasting color)


When the paint is dry, just cut the flower shapes out, then cut cross-hair slits in the center of each shape, right where the small circle is.


Push the shapes onto the top of a pen, from largest to smallest.  (Note:  I used black pens with lids.  I took the lids off and stuck them on the top of the pen, then attached the flowers.  This way, the pen is ready to be used, and adds a little height to the flower as well)


When all the pieces are on, I wrapped a little florist tape around the top of the pen lid, as well as underneath the flower.  This will hold the flower in place so the pieces don’t slide off (you could also add a little hot glue onto the pen tip before wrapping the tape, if you want).  Squish the upper pieces together  so they kind of form up, then squish the bottom piece down just a tad—this will make it look very flower-like.  20140508_121011

For the flower leaves, I used 1/2” green ribbon, cut to about 5 inches in length.  Just tie once, then secure it with a little hot glue under the knot.


I found these cute glass jars, and filled them with rocks and green glass stones.  Won’t these cute pen flowers look cute on the teacher’s desk, or maybe next to Mom’s computer, or by the kitchen phone?

The best part is that it is truly hand-painted, and any child will feel so proud of the end product.

The hand-painted bloom is perfect for adding the child’s touch to a beautiful gift for anyone…and it’s SO easy!


Kids Creations – Happy Earth Day!

My kids have an Earth Day art contest at school today!  These are their beautiful entries that they submitted yesterday. These paintings are each created on the backs of cereal box cardboard, in honor of recycling and preserving this beautiful place where we all live.


Congratulations to Eliza!  Her class already voted yesterday and she won the art award in her class!


I love all the details the kids put into these, and the textures are beautiful.


Anne and Mary’s classes will vote today on their class art winners, so we’ll see how they do as far as the prize goes.  As far as I’m concerned, these paintings are SO beautiful and I’m so proud of their work and creativity!

Outdoor fun in a tiny, boring, backyard

Right now, our backyard is pretty boring.  At least that’s what my kids say almost everyday.  I agree with them though.  Our new backyard is very small and there’s no room for a playset or trampoline or anything.  There’s also a whole lot of wildlife, which makes planting anything interesting near impossible.  We make enormous efforts to go to fun parks and places that are more fun…but sometimes mommy needs to do those boring mommy jobs (laundry, dishes, cleaning…more laundry) and the kids have to settle with playing in the boring backyard.  Anyway, lately we’ve tried to make the boring backyard a little more fun.  Here’s what we’ve come up with.


Non-messy, cool-offy water painting! 

Yes, paint on the cement with water.  It’s brilliant, don’t you think?  No stains, no mess, get cooled off and the kids feel like they are painting.  They can make cute drawings, and then the drawing just dries up.  I really like this activity . Smile


Fun with cars!

Sometimes we’ve made car cities on the patio with masking tape.  You could use sidewalk chalk too, but this is less messy.  They can crawl all over the city, driving the cars around, and not get chalk all over their clothes.


They even made a ramp for car races, and used a tub of water for a “car wash.”  I put a shade tent up to keep them out of the sun.  They thought that was pretty cool too.



The “car wash” tub soon turned into a mini splash pool.


Any room in there for me too?  This little yard and mini pool is pretty fun, but I have to say, I’m pretty excited for the big pools to open soon!  Smile

Mermaid Wall Decals

I StickUp just shared this cute video they made of my Mermaid Decal designs.  Carmen is so cute and she did a great job decorating her room.


Click this link to see the video and get more information about the decals.


Enjoy your beautiful room Carmen!

NEW! Thanksgiving eBook by Angel Street!

Whew, not a moment too soon!  My new Thanksgiving eBook is now available online at Barnes and Noble.  This little preschool book is a simple, preschool-appropriate explanation about the very first Thanksgiving. (Click the pic to see more on B&N!)


This book tells about the Pilgrims’ voyage, their hardships and making new friends.  Your preschooler will learn about the Pilgrims, Captain Standish, Chief Massasoit, and Squanto in the new land they named Plymouth Rock.  Hope you and your kids enjoy this eBook!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peep & the Big Wide World Inspired Costumes

WGBH asked me if I had some ideas on how to make Peep and the Big Wide World Costumes.  This is my solution.  These are the easiest costumes you’ll ever make!  No sewing involved.


What you’ll need:

-Generic long sleeve shirt: purple, red, or yellow—depending on which character you are making  (Can usually be found at any craft store)

-Black leggings or straight leg sweat pants

-Light (for Peep) or dark (for Quack and Chirp) colored generic baseball cap (Can usually be found at any craft store)

-Fabric paints to paint the cap and name on the shirt.  Get the coordinating colors to paint the crown, brim, and shirt of your character.

-Felt pieces:  White and black for the eyes, red for Peep’s chicken comb, and extra white if you are making Quack’s hat.

-Black pipe cleaners for Chirps head

-Large plastic disposable cup if you are making Quack’s hat.


-Hot glue gun

-Optional:  You can use the name patterns at the end of this post to cut and make templates for painting the names on your character, OR print the patterns on iron-on transfers through an ink-jet printer.  Be sure to get the appropriate kind for dark or light shirts. Use the black filled name template and THIS product if you want the name to be black.  Use the white outlined name template and THIS product if you want the name to be white.

-Optional:  You could also use batting or something soft to puff the shirt out a little and make it more rounded.

*Another idea:  If Halloween night gets really cold in your area, you could use an oversized shirt and put it right over a child’s coat—it would make the shape looker rounder, just like the characters.



The directions for all the costumes are pretty much the same, with just a few variations in the hats.



For Peep’s costume, you’ll need a yellow long-sleeve shirt, black leggings/sweat pants, and pieces of white, black and red felt.  You’ll also need black and yellow fabric paint.

Start with a white or light colored cap.  Use the fabric paints to paint the crown yellow and then paint the brim black.  Let dry.  Use the patterns below to make white felt ovals, and small black circles for the eyes.  Use red felt and the pattern below to make the chicken comb.  Attach felt pieces to cap with hot glue.

Use the name pattern to print an iron-on transfer of the name for the shirt OR just use the pattern as a template and paint the name on with black fabric paint.



For Chirp’s costume, you’ll need a red long-sleeve shirt, black leggings/sweat pants, and pieces of white and black felt. You’ll also need red, orange, and black fabric paint.

Start with a medium dark or dark colored cap. Use the fabric paints to paint the crown red, and then paint the brim orange. Let dry. Use the patterns below to make white felt circles, and smaller black circles for the eyes. Use thick black pipe cleaners to make the spikey tufts on top of Chirp’s head.  Attach felt pieces and pipe cleaners to cap with hot glue.

Use the name pattern to print an iron-on transfer of the name for the shirt OR just use the pattern as a template and paint the name on with black fabric paint.



For Quack’s costume, you’ll need a purple long-sleeve shirt, black leggings/sweat pants, and pieces of white and black felt. You’ll also need purple and black fabric paint (and white if you are using fabric paint for the name on the shirt)

Start with a medium dark or dark colored cap. Use the fabric paints to paint the crown purple, and then paint the brim black. Let dry. Use the patterns below to make white felt circles, and smaller black circles for the eyes.


Use a large plastic disposable cup for Quack’s hat.  Cut the cup down to about 1.25” high (shown above).  Glue a strip of white felt around it.  Attach felt pieces and felt-covered hat to cap with hot glue.

Use the name pattern to print an iron-on transfer of the name for the shirt OR just use the pattern as a template and paint the name on with white fabric paint.

Patterns for Features:




Martha Speaks About Animal Shelters

PBS KIDS’ Martha Speaks is partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to celebrate the great work done by animal shelters around the country.


To celebrate this partnership, PBS will be airing a special week of shelter dog episodes, beginning Monday, October 3, 2011 on PBS KIDS (check your local listings).

Previewing the Martha Speaks episodes this week has led to many conversations and questions from my kids.  We’ve been exploring and learning a lot this week about animal shelters and the Humane Society.  Check out what we’ve learned on our video!

My kids and I have celebrated Martha’s great cause this entire week.  We got a sneak peak of the new episode, “Carolina Picks a Lily,” and loved it.  This new episode will premier on TV this Monday, so check your local listings!  There will be special episodes every day to celebrate shelter animals.  You won’t want to miss it!  This is such a great opportunity to teach your kids in a really fun way about the great work of the Humane Society.

It’s a great thing to adopt an animal from an animal shelter.  You never know what fun things will happen.  I found it inspiring when I discovered that Susan Meddaugh, the author of the original “Martha Speaks” book series, was inspired to write the books because of a stray dog she adopted and named Martha.  “[The real-life] Martha has given me more than I could have ever imagined,” Susan explains. “What if we hadn’t adopted her? We would have missed so much. And it makes me sad to think of all the dogs in shelters, and all the love and surprises they could bring to a forever home of their own.”

When you adopt an animal and bring them into a “forever home,” it surely is a cause for celebration!  It’s like welcoming a new family member!  Here are some ideas to help you celebrate . . .


These tasty dog bone cookie snacks are a sure crowd pleaser.  Make extra for the party goers, they will definitely want to take home a doggy-bag.


We made these tasty treats the easy way!  We made brownies from a mix and sugar cookies from a mix.  Just get your favorite frostings, sprinkles and a dog bone cookie cutter and you will be set.  I like how the little dog bone sits on top of the brownie.


By the way, these are just people treats.  You should never EVER feed a dog chocolate.


Unless it’s this kind of dog.  Then it’s okay.

Make some tasty treats that Martha and your own dog would love.  Here’s a recipe for some great doggy-safe treats:

More fun with Animal Shelter Printables!

I thought it would be fun to have some printables for the upcoming week, so I created these for the great celebration.  Just click the pics below to view the full-size PDFs and print!  These are great for a fun activity to color while watching the Shelter Dog Adoption episodes of Martha Speaks this week!  Also, find a fun Martha Speaks bone bracelet activity printout at

To find out more about helping animals and for more activity ideas, visit






Spool Knitting


My oldest daughter got together with some friends for something called “Activity Days.”  “Activity Days” is just a planned day where the girls do something fun and oftentimes, educational.  This particular day, the girls got together for spool knitting.


I for one had never even heard of this before.  I’ve done some loom hats before with a bigger loom, but it never crossed my mind to make a mini loom out of a wooden spool and 4 little nails.  It’s brilliant.

It’s also classic.

Apparently this has been around forever, and after looking online, I’ve discovered that there are some beautiful little antique spool looms out there.


Anyway, my friend introduced Anne to this so I’m really not the teacher here, but I can tell you how it basically works.  Just nail 4 smooth nails into a wooden spool (or round wooden block with a hole in the center).  Get some yarn, or crochet thread and stick the string down the center of the spool hole.

Loop the string around each nail once from the inside, then do it again.  Once each nail has two loops, you just get a blunt needle (or my daughter used a bent paper clip) to lift the lower loop over the top of the nail.  Do this to each nail so there is only one loop left on each nail.  Then wrap a loop around each nail again and repeat the process until you have a nice little woven braid coming out of the bottom end of the spool hole.  It’s easy and fun.


Once Anne started spool knitting, she couldn’t put it down.


It was fun to see her so interesting in a project.   When she finished she had made a nice little friendship bracelet that she is very proud of.  Good job Anne!

If you’d like to try this and my instructions are way too confusing, just look up “How to Spool Knit” on YouTube.  There are some good tutorials by other people who have been doing this for a lot longer than me.  :)