At the beginning of this summer, we spent a day at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA. If you’ve never been there, it is such a fun experience with tons of hands on exhibits. One of my daughter’s favorites was a wall with plastic magnetic tubes to create a “marble track” and little balls to test it out on. She spent quite awhile rearranging the tubes to make different tracks and trying them out. As I watched her, I started thinking about how I could make something similar at home, and this idea was born.
I began saving toilet paper and paper towel rolls and waiting for just the right time to create our DIY Magnetic Marble Track. This Saturday was the perfect day! My oldest was away at camp with his youth group and my two younger kids were having a pajama day. My husband was taking a nap and the kids were getting “bored,” so together we created this super fun “boredom buster!”
Check out my daughter’s “Craft Time With Karis” video tutorial (above) to learn how to make these with your own kids. It took some trial and error, but we figured out the best way to keep the tracks up and the best balls to use. Here are a couple of tips:
- make sure your magnets are strong enough…we tried some at first that would not hold
- use light weight balls: we found my son’s Nerf Rival Bullet Balls to be the perfect balls for this project. Small bouncy balls were a close second. Marbles were too heavy and knocked the tracks right off. Experimenting with different options is part of the fun!
- even though we used magnets that were sticky on one side, it is best to hot glue them as well for a stronger hold
For more “Craft Time With Karis” videos click on the following:
DIY Kids Magnetic Puzzles
Colored (RAINBOW) Rice
Tricky Hopscotch (with a twist)
Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint
Coloring pages, painting, and puzzles…three things my girl loves, all combined into one project. This is a super simple craft that your kids can do at home and you only need a couple of items, most of which you probably already have.
To make DIY Magnetic Puzzles, you will need:
- adhesive magnetic tape
- white card stock
- paint, crayons, or markers
- scissors or a paper cutter
Your child can print a coloring page from the computer or create their own art. The possibilities for unique puzzles are endless! This activity can be modified for very young children by cutting fewer puzzle pieces, and can be made challenging for older children by cutting a variety of shapes.
Watch my daughter’s “Craft Time With Karis” tutorial (above) to learn how to make some DIY Magnetic Puzzles of your own.
For more “Craft Time With Karis” fun, check out these other blog posts:
Colored (Rainbow) Rice
Tricky Hopscotch (With A Twist)
Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint
My Little Pony Capes Template
This week I finally made the time to create a tutorial for the My Little Pony Capes that I make for my daughter’s ponies. While she was in school the other day, I made 3 new capes and when she came home she was thrilled! Just a couple of scraps of material, some pretty embellishments, and a little bit of my time has led to hours of imaginary play with ponies the past 2 days. Definitely time well spent!
To see more ideas for “My Little Pony” Capes, you can read my original post here. To learn how to make some of these tiny capes for your child’s own My Little Ponies, watch my tutorial above.
This past Monday was the first day of Spring, and boy am I ready for some sunshine! This weekend, in anticipation of the arrival of the new season, I made this simple “Book Page Banner” and I absolutely love the way it turned out! Book Page Banners are great, because they are so inexpensive to make and you can modify them to fit any occasion.
For this Bunny Rabbit and Carrot Banner you will need…
- pages out of an old book (I got mine from the dollar store)
- bunny & carrot template (google bunny silhouette & carrot silhouette to find ones you like and size them to fit your book pages)
- white, orange, and green card stock
- paper cutter
- glue stick
- scotch tape
Watch my tutorial above to make your own Spring Book Page Banner.
My son Micah is that kid who is always trying to figure out “how things work.” He absorbs information like no one I know and often amuses us with the most off the wall, interesting facts that he “read somewhere in a book.” He also loves science and technology. We always say that he’s going to be a famous inventor someday!
For the last couple of years, Micah would often say, “Mom, I wish I had a workshop of my very own! I wish I had a place that I could just go and build stuff.” Whenever he said this, I was left feeling like I didn’t even know where to begin, so I’d look up a project on Pinterest or try to get him engaged in a creative activity. I never really thought it would be possible to make his dream a reality.
Recently, I started talking to Micah about what he wanted for his 11th birthday. He didn’t have a specific gift in mind. Then inspiration struck! I started dreaming about how we could make a special workshop just for Micah in our house. We have this random, small utility room between our living room and garage that had basically become a storage space for all kinds of random things. I realized that this could become a perfect tinkering space for Micah.
I knew that I wanted to start with large pegboard on one wall, so we took a trip to Lowe’s to see what we could find. In a matter of days, Micah’s workshop came together, and I was very pleased that we were able to keep the cost down to under $60 by using a bunch of thing we already had in our garage and in our house.
I put together this little video (below) of “The Making of Micah’s Tinkering Workshop” which includes a cost breakdown and a few fun moments with Micah too! Micah is thoroughly enjoying his “place to go build stuff.” The first day it was finished, he spent over 4 hours in there working on building a robotic arm that was given to him by a friend.
We would love to hear from you! If you know of any cool building projects for kids or ideas of what Micah could do in his workshop, leave us a comment and let us know!
I have had this huge stack of cork tiles in my son’s room for several years… just sitting there… taking up space! So this week, I finally decided to do something fun with them! I created a geometric bulletin board for my 10 year old son’s bedroom wall and I am so happy with the way it turned out. It was a bit tricky getting the right cut to create the octagons, but with a little help from my husband, (who measured and cut the template for me) I was on my way. A couple of coats of paint and some command strips later, and these cork tiles became a really cool memo board for my son to pin up a “few of his favorite things.”
Watch my tutorial on how to create your own Octagon Memo Board. This would be perfect in a bedroom, a dorm room, or an office.
Here are a couple of tips:
Use different textures of paint for contrast
Paint at least 2 coats on each octagon
Leave some octagons unpainted
Lay out your tiles on the ground and play around with different configurations before hanging them up
Use command strips to hang each tile on the wall
Also featured in this video is a collection of my son’s amazing origami creations, strung up across the top of the Octagon Bulletin Board. He has spent hours making these incredible creations, one intricate fold after another. I love seeing them all on display in his bedroom. For those of you who love origami, check out MicahsToyReviews to learn how to make some origami creations of your own.
My daughter loves art! She will sit for hours drawing, writing stories, and coloring pictures. I have several areas set up around our house with art supplies, but I recently decided to put together a more intentional art space for her.
Michael’s was having a huge sale one day, so I headed over (with my coupons of course) and picked up these metal A R T letters, the chalkboard box for crayons, and the off white tray for paper. The rest, I already had around my house.
These adorable chairs were made for me by my brother when I was a child. They were in my childhood room, painted light pink, with dark pink carpet covering the seats. My mom gave them to me several years ago and I repainted and recovered them for my daughter. The wicker table belonged to my mom, who passed away a year and a half ago, so it means a lot for my daughter to have something so special to remind her of her sweet Grandma.
I bought the metal bucket years ago at the dollar store and it has held colored pencils in various locations around our house. Now it has a permanent home. I had used the mini white shutters last year for my Christmas mantle, but realized they were the perfect addition to this little art corner. The finishing touch was this bright and cheerful pennant banner. I had already cut the triangles for another project, so it only took me a few minutes to thread them through a piece of twine.
I absolutely love when I can use what I already have to create an inviting space for my children to enjoy. This little art corner has already gotten a lot of use in our home and is the perfect setting for inspiration to take place!