rock painting crafts!

rock painting, crafts, kids crafts,

i love using items from the natural world for our craft projects. it’s a wonderful opportunity to get out for a hike or explore some hidden corner in our backyard, but mostly it’s a great way to connect my boys with their outside environment.

 
i have always collected rocks and now i watch my kids stuff their pockets or buckets with all sorts of rocks! bear and i have already discussed packing a few small bottles of paint for our summer road trip so that the kids can paint during our vacation. it’ll be a great a way to calm their beans and get them focused on something for a bit.so, i of course had to scour the interweb for some inspiration…. check out these beautiful rocks! i chose examples from a variety of different skill levels, styles and sizes, because i wanted to get your and my creative juices flowing!

 
realistic animals by lin wellford

 

decorated pebbles by maria mercedes truijil at designspiration
rock painted critters by emelisa mudle of heart art
painted rocks by red bow studios
doodling on rocks by creative jewish mom
rock magnets by coastal inspired creations
colourful rocks by one perfect day blog
rock eggs by the crafty crow
animal rocks by tightwad

 

modge podge painted rocks by blooming on bainbridge

 

painted rocks by inspire bohemia
 
rock painting, hearts
heart rocks by color me katie

 

larger painted rocks by funnelcloud the blog

which one is your favourite?
do you think you’ll be painting any rocks soon?

can’t wait to share what we make on the road!

xo, mama lola

make a paper mache pinata!

pinata, birthday craft, lion head

my lion turned 3 and i decided it would be fun to have a lion head pinata at his birthday party. i did some research on pinterest on how to make the perfect pinata, but decided that we would just do our own thing… i mean, how difficult could a paper mache lion head really be???

well, as with most of our projects things didn’t go as smoothly as i hoped. but, the end result was surprisingly marvellous, dontcha think?

  • i wanted it to be big, and a regular latex balloon just didn’t seem to be the right size or shape. so we used a clear garbage bag instead; filled it with air and shaped it a little by taping the corners down.
  • and off it started… lots of news paper ripped into various sized strips. dear hubby was in charge of the messy part, so he made a big ol’ bowl with flour and water mixed together (no recipe required).  just make sure you don’t make it too think and depending on the project lumps don’t really matter either. especially in a pinata as the end result is that it is damaged badly, and quickly!
the kids got in on the action too! it was soooooooooo messy, but luckily the paste is super easy to wash up!
  • where the bag was knotted became the opening and the bottom of the lion’s head. this made it easier in the end for painting as i was able to prop the head up with my easel inside it. a broom or stool leg would work just as well.
  • for the ears i took a toilet paper roll, cut it half, made a cone shape, stapled it once i had it  at the desired size. then the guys attached my paper macheing them on.
paper mache, pinata, lion head
  • before you start painting make sure your paper mache is thoroughly dried first. the paint will adhere better and it will just be much easier.
  • to paint the lion head i just mixed a few different acrylic paints together; reds, yellows, oranges. the tone was more red than i had hoped. i painted it very haphazardly, intentionally trying to create uneven textures and colours. i used straight black paint for the detailing of the facial features.
  • the lion’s mane is made of various colours of tissue paper; gold, yellow, orange, violet, burgundy and black to give it depth and vibrancy. the pieces were all randomly cut with pinking sheers to create texture. i glued them on individually, which initially felt daunting, but went much faster than i anticipated. i just used kids white glue.
paper mache, pinata, lion head, birthday activity

i will post pics later this week from the actual party and the kids hitting in, but it was a total hit!

i discovered this amazing paper mache website for tons of info on different paste recipes and more at the ultimate paper mache.
and, here’s papaD getting his lion groove on while wearing the lion head after the kids got the loot! it was totally creepy and weird seeing him dance with that head! but, i’ll save it for halloween, i think! might be fun the! haha!

this was such a fun project! good luck with yours!

xo, mama lola

themed thursday: road trip activities & games! (part 3)

keeping kids content, quite and busy is an important part of the SANITY piece for parents road tripping with kids. it is super important to plan ahead a bit and to know what kinds of activities will keep your kids happy, especially for those long hauls!

we don’t have DVD players in our car (by choice) and don’t have tablets, so we rely on the kids to entertain themselves and each other.


FELT GAMES: 

  • felt boards are super fun and a wonderful way to get the kids’ imaginations going. they are basically story boards for kids to create worlds with, where all sorts of adventures can take place.


MAGNET BOARDS:

  • last year i used cookie sheets as the board, this year i stumbled upon these adorable magnet boards at chapters. they come with magnets, but we will bring along our super, awesome 3D dinosaur magnets, which you can learn how to make HERE.
  • i also found a bag of magnet letters at value village for 99 cents.

these are the magnets i made last year for a road trip. kids LOVED them and they are still in circulation!
we made other magnets as well, which are still in use on our fridge! CLICK HERE and it will take you to how to make these awesome toys!


SCAVENGER HUNT:

  • i love the idea of pictorial scavenger hunts. since my kids will be 3 and 5 years old, they won’t be able to read a long list of words. but, one with pictures is right up their alley! here’s one by the bird feed NYC, which is great, so i will use their concept, but will gear the lists towards our trip more, using specific road signs i know we will see, wildlife, sites and things. the kids can work together, which i love!
[ source ]


SONGS:

  • what’s a road trip without family sing-a-longs? here’s a few that my boys really love, “old mcdonald had a farm“, “ABC“, “the wheels on the bus“, “the ants go marching“, “
  • we do also have a stack of CD’s, MP3’s and sirius radio to choose from for when we need to give our vocal chords a rest. i love to mix it up as well, playing classical, bluegrass or top 40, but sometimes it’s also good to just drive in silence.


GAMES:

  • my kids, especially bear, loves to play eye-spy when in the car. we still play the colour instead of the spelling version of the game! counting games are also great! sometimes we just count all the red cars we see, or all the transport trucks and so on.
  • other classic faves are (found HERE at MSN): 20 questions, license plate bingo, word chain and more!
  • older kids may like mad-libs.

TOYS TO PACK:
  • each boy brings his fave stuffed animal.
  • we bring about 10 books and just cycle through them. sometimes along the way i will buy a new book as a souvenir for the kids. 
  • markers, paper, colouring books, activity books and a few stickers.
  • small toys like cars, animals, people so the kids can create little imaginary worlds.
  • buckets n’ shovels.
  • deck of cards, UNO, other small travel sized games.


here’s what our dudes looked like last summer on our trip to the canadian maritimes. each had a plastic basket for toys at arms reach, a bin of books in the middle and it worked great. 

OTHER TIPS:

  • and parents, don’t forget to pack some extra creativity, flexibility and patience. keeping kids peaceful in the back can be tricky at times, and sometimes when the volume of the screaming increases, it’s worth it to stop and get out for a bit. i realize this makes the trip longer, but that’s where being flexible comes into play.
  • on our longer stretches of driving, we actually would start after dinner. kids would play, have stories and would eventually fall asleep and we would drive until midnight or so. until we found a motel. it was a great way to make good time!
  • before getting in the car to drive we made sure the kids had a chance to run some beans out. whether at a motel or camp site. and we made sure the first leg of driving was short, as it’s not a very fun way to start the day. but, truth be told, maintaining any real schedule was impossible. all bedtimes and nap times flew out the window and we just had to let the kids sleep when they were tired!

SAFE DRIVING! SAFE TRAVELLING! HAVE FUN!
what are some of your family’s favourite songs and games to play?


xo, mama lola

father’s day craft ideas!

mother’s day has come and gone, and now it’s time to celebrate the DAD’s! i know dear hubby is a tricky guy to get gifts for, but i’m sure the kids and i will come up with a great plan! last year we bough him a baseball hat and had it embroiderer with ” #1 DAD”. it was a huge hit and he still gets a ton of compliments on it. the kids also made some awesome paper weights!
here is a round-up of DIY craft projects any dad would love!
SOURCES:
1. necktie key chains from positively splendid
2. mosaic coasters from naturally educational
3. gone fishing vest from my lovely inspirations
4. golf tee porcupine from reading confetti
5. giant cookie from hungry happenings
6. grill apron from whimsical kids canvas
7. pencil cube from styrofoam crafts
8. popsickle stick pencil holder from art projects for kids
9. nuts n’ bolts frame from i love to create
10. dad & me mug from craft kaboose
xo, mama lola

how to build fairy houses!

fairies are wonderful, magical creatures that live in the corners of gardens, under the roots of trees and through-out the woods. they rarely come out when us humans are around, but many children have shared stories of sightings.

there is no right way to build a fairy house.it’s all about exploring the land and environment surrounding you, using interesting pieces of nature to build the fairies safe, cozy places to rest. it is vital to remember not to kill anything living when making a fairy house; so do not break branches off of living trees or tear living moss from a rock. use items that are already dead.

fairy house from make happy
fairy and gnome house by my garden diaries
home for the faeries by juise
fairy house kit from mom fluential
fairy house from make happy
miniature gardening is a real trend from mr. brown thumb 
list of things you need to build a fairy house from list plan it

which one is your favourite?
enjoy your fairy house building projects! they are a great way to connect with the natural world and children

xo, mama lola

wind catcher craft!

look at this fantastic wind catcher dear hubby received from lion for his earth day birthday back in april!

wind catcher, nature crafts

here’s how we made it!
i found the idea HERE at inspiration laboratories. first, the kids and i went on a nature hike by the river in search of natural treasure we could use on the catchers. i let lion pick and choose his own items and we gathered lots, because i figured more was funner and it gave us room to make mistakes or get even more creative!

at home we let the treasures dry out a bit before we set to work.

i tied up two sticks in the middle to make the X for hanging the other items from. lion painted his natural objects as carefully as any almost three year old would! even poppy wanted in on the painting action!

wind catcher, nature crafts, painting bark

then i tied up the painted treasures to the  X with string and voila!
dude could not have been prouder and dear hubby was quite impressed with this beautiful gift!

happy crafting and wind catching!

xo, mama lola

10 mother’s day craft ideas!

 
my boys love to get crafty for special occasions and mother’s day isn’t any different. i don’t actually sit with them to make me something (cuz that would be weird, right?), but i do help them get creative for gifts for their mummo and grandma. i will not be revealing our plans for may 12th, just in case one of them reads this post.
 
1. i love you this much card from a day in my life
2. hand print apron from little page turners
3. mama portraits from inchmark
4. decorate pots with fabric from shelterness.com
5. mother’s day silhouette’s from happy home fairy
6. hand print wall art from babble
7. garden stepping stone from a learning experience
8. flower bouquet from balancing home
9.  butterfly candle holder from etcetorize
10. picked, felt flowers from my plum garden
xo, mama lola

~ earth day ~

earth day crafts, kids crafts, earth day

earth day around the corner.

how will you discuss this important day with your kids?below, i have compiled 10 fun projects you can do with the kids. projects that will hopefully initiate some kind of dialogue about planet earth, how we must care for and why. some of the links i included are from adult artists (like the painter rocks and sticks), but kids can have a blast looking for the materials and then decorating them. this list is just a starting point, like a brainstorming session.

 
earth day, crafts, earth day crafts, kids crafts, natural ctafts

1. stained glass earth [ mom on time out]
2. tree craft fro toddlers [momma rambles]
3. glitter earth handprint [apples and abc’s]
4. painter sticks [molly goldberg]
5. stick wreath [sf girl by bay]
6. painted rocks [sand between my toes]
7. living centre piece [live renewed]
8. gnome house [the gardeners anonymous blog]
9. terranium tutorial [pieced pastimes]

 
jenny, over at the jenny evolution has compiled a fantastic collection of books  (HERE) to get the discussion about earth day rolling with your kids. “the giving tree” is on her list; it’s a book i can’t read to the kids without crying! gets me every time!
 

 

 
 
 
to me, earth day is not just about the planet, but also focussing on the details that make up our beautiful round home. the trees, the soil, the sticks, the worms, the varying weather and so on. 

EVERY DAY SHOULD BE EARTH DAY!

 

 

feel free to add links in the comment section to your earth day themed projects! 
i would love to see what you have been or will be up to!

xo, mama lola

salt cookies for all occasions!

a few years ago the kids were hooked on baking and painting salt cookies. after the millionth batch, i kinda went on a salt cookie strike, and we discovered lots of other projects to get excited about. 


the other day i decided to quickly whip up some salt cookies and re-introduce the fun of them to the boys. salt cookies are ridiculously easy to make. (i found a recipe here at fly though our window.)

INGREDIENTS/ INSTRUCTIONS: 
1. preheat you over to 200F.

 
2. mix the ingredients together and roll out onto to a clean surface. make sure you add some flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your surface or rolling pin.
 



3. bake cookies on parchment paper for about an hour to two hours. let them cool thoroughly before painting. also, make sure if you want to be able to hang your salt cookies that you make holes in them BEFORE you bake them. 


this activity kept the kids very focused for a long time. bear was very meticulous with his painting and would paint one side, let it dry and then paint the other side, so as not to smudge any of the paint. it was pretty sweet.

salt cookies are the perfect craft for any occasion, for a gift any person and a wonderful activity for anyone at any age!



xo, mama lola

easter garland.

well, easter is around the corner, so it’s time to get some pastel decorations going!


my kids had a small window of time in the day, so i pulled out some card stock, some cookie cutters, scissors, markers and some string and we got to work on our easter garland. this is so easy and simple, and a perfect craft for those small moments when the kids need a structured activity.


i traced the cookie cutters, cut out the easter themed shapes, then the kids decorated and coloured them and then i quickly sewed some thread through. we hung up our garland in front of a mirror, as the kids decorated both sides.


whatcha think?
pretty cute, eh?

xo, mama lola
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