DIY Visual Schedule For Kids

School starts next week and we are so not ready!  Summer seems like it has flown by and we are savoring these precious last days of sleeping in, staying in pajamas well into the afternoon, swimming, and staying up late.  This really is the first summer that all of my kids have slept in…and by sleeping in, I mean, not getting up until after 7:30.  I am a night owl, so that extra hour and a half in the morning is glorious for this mama!

The last couple of weeks, I have been taking little steps to prepare for the upcoming school year, cleaning out clothes that are too small and shopping for new clothes and shoes.  But I know that the hardest part for my kids will be the transition from lazy summer mornings to the “get up and go” school morning routine.  So this week, I created this simple and inexpensive visual schedule to help my 7 year old daughter adjust to the new norm.

Watch my tutorial to learn how to create one of your own.  I’m including the template that I used with the morning routine icons and the words that go with each.  The video gives you step by step instructions.  Here’s a list of what you will need…

  • one 12×12 piece of card stock
  • SCHOOL MORNING ICONS pdf 
  • 16  2″ squares of colored card stock
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • magnets (I used magnetic tape)
  • letter stickers

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I would love to hear some of your best tips for helping your kids transition from summer to a new school year.

 

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DIY Magnetic Marble Track

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

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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

 

DIY “My Little Pony” Capes Tutorial

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.

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3 Simple St. Patrick’s Day Treats

If you are planning on making some St. Patrick’s Day treats, here are 3 simple options for you…  Pretzel Shamrocks, Shamrock Oreo Cookie Pops, and Shamrock Marshmallow Pops.  All of these treats use Wilton’s Candy Melts, which you can find at crafts stores like Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics.  Watch my tutorial to learn how to make these tasty treats!

SHAMROCK TEMPLATE

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Click on these links for more St. Patrick’s Day fun…

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Make a Rainbow of Color: Skittles Science Experiment

Rainbow Fruit Kabobs 

How to Make a Real Portal Cake

Portal and Portal 2 are popular video games.  Truthfully, I’ve never played either of them, but according to my son they are the “best video games ever!”  Here’s a bit about the games according to my son Micah…”In Portal, you are a test subject in a huge underground facility called Aperture Science that is supposedly under Michigan.  You go through the tests (which are puzzles), solving them, and they get harder and harder along the way.  At a certain point in the game, you acquire a tool which makes portals that objects and you yourself can pass through.  This tool is official called the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, but is more commonly referred to as the Portal Gun.”

Micah’s 11 birthday was March 3rd and he wanted a Portal Themed Birthday Party!  Micah chose to have his party at a Fun Center in our city so that we could play laser tag and ride go carts, so the cake became the main thing that represented the Portal Theme.

In Portal there is a gigantic robot named GLaDOS at the center of the facility.  GLaDOS runs everything and she promises you cake at the end of the test, but it turns out that she’s lying.  She actually puts you on a platform headed towards a fire pit.  In the game, there is a message written on a wall in a secret room, written by a scientist that says, “the cake is a lie!”   Here are a couple of images from the actual game.

This was a super fun cake to create!  You can watch my tutorial to learn how to make one of your own.  This cake is definitely NOT a lie!

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DIY Tablecloth Curtains

A couple of years ago we rented the cutest little house in an older neighborhood.  The street was lined with big trees, the neighbors were friendly, and the backyard was filled with a variety of fruit trees.  The house itself had a lot of character, including a wall covered in shiplap, a large window with a view of a train trestle, glass doorknobs, and old light fixtures.  The master bedroom, however, needed a bit of help.  Because we were renting, I didn’t want to invest a ton of money into bedroom decor, as we knew we wouldn’t be living there very long.

One afternoon my husband decided to take the kids to see a movie and he left me with a couple of glorious hours home alone.  I had purchased two rectangular tablecloths at Target a couple of days before, so I went right to work on creating some curtains to brighten up my bedroom.  The windows truly were the best feature of that room, so I wanted to highlight them.

I can’t believe how easy it was to sew these simple curtains!  By the time my family came home, I was finished and my bedroom had a completely new look.   Here’s my tutorial on how to make simple curtains out of a rectangular table cloth.

I would love to hear from you.  Leave me a comment and tell me about your favorite DIY project and of course show me a picture if you make some tablecloth curtains of your own!

 

Valentine Marshmallow Pops

If you are looking for a cute and simple, no bake, Valentine Treat…look no further.  These Valentine Marshmallow Pops are quick and easy to make and they taste delicious!  They are perfect for taking to class parties or passing out to friends.  You can even hole punch a small Valentine card or paper heart on the top and bottom, and weave it through the top of the lollipop stick, for personalized treats.

One bag of Wilton’s candy melts makes about 26 pops and the decorating possibilities are endless.  Let your kids help you make these for a fun family activity and an opportunity for them to express their creativity.

For more helpful tips on making these adorable Valentine Pops, watch my tutorial!    Happy Valentine’s Day!

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