Easy Fall Tree Craft

easy fall tree craft!The trees here in South Florida stay pretty much the same all year round.

So when the season of fall hits, I have to find other ways to make up for this dilemma.

My little 2-year-olds had a lot of fun with this craft and it brought a real spirit of autumn to our classroom!

easy fall tree craftFor this craft you will need some construction paper (brown, yellow, red, and orange), some scissors, and a glue stick.

We cut out the tree trunks and had the kids glue them to a large sheet of construction paper.

We let the kids rip pieces of various colored paper to make the leaves (good for those fine motor skills!).

Next we drew a light circle with pencil over the trunk to indicate where the children should put the leaves.

Then we let them glue and stick leaves inside the circle.

We encouraged a few leaves to ‘fall’ outside the circle for an authentic seasonal effect.

easy fall tree craft!!Don’t you love them?!

Happy Easy Fall Tree Craft-ing! :-)

*See more super easy and super cute Fall Tree Crafts HERE!*

Craft – Knuckle Pumpkins

knuckle pumpkins - SUCH a cute and simple little craft for fall!

This little craft has definitely become my favorite so far this season!

And it couldn’t be easier.

Simply gather up some orange paint, a piece of paper and a paintbrush.

knuckle pumpkins 1Then have your Happy Buddy make a fist with her hand.  Paint the four fingers in the fist (not including the thumb) from one knuckle to the other.

knuckle pumpkins 2knuckle pumpkins 3Gently press your Happy Buddy’s fist on to the paper.  You may need to gently roll it back and forth to make sure the paint transfers well.

knuckle pumpkins 4knuckle pumpkins 5We cut our Knuckle Pumpkins out and made a little patch of them for our bulletin board in the hallway.

The craft really caught on and we started seeing Knuckle Pumpkins cropping up on other classroom bulletin boards.

knuckle pumpkins 6I like how this class added their own stems and vines.

What a sweet keepsake or little something to send to the grandparents this month!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Happy Knuckle Pumpkin-ing! :-)

**Thanks to Early Activities and Projects for this great idea!**

The Calm Down Glitter Jar

the calm down glitter jar - a neat way to help an emotional child calm down!

So I am not going to lie, my firstborn is kind of an emotional roller coaster.

One second he is frolicking around the house singing worship songs, the next second he is flat out on the ground weeping that I forgot to call him by the name of his alter ego.

Or he’s flipping out because he can’t get his arms through the shirt holes.

Or he found out that I am serving strawberries with his beloved Saturday morning pancakes and now the. whole. day. is. ruined.

I’ve seen this idea around so many blogs and thought we would give it a try.

The idea is to make this Calm Down Glitter Jar, shake it up, and hand it to your Happy Buddy when he is having a meltdown feeling emotionally troubled.

You want to get your Happy Buddies so distracted by looking at all the pretty, swirling glitter that they forget what they were fussing about.

Genius, right?

I mean, glitter therapy?!  Yes, please.

Here is how to make one…

calm down glitter jar suppliesSupplies:

Clear jar (I used an old jar that used to have mushrooms in it)

CLEAR Elmer’s Glue (it is SO important that you buy the clear stuff and not the white stuff or else it will be milky.  Also, I hear the Elmer’s glitter glue works absolutely beautiful.)

HOT water (this helps the glue melt)

Ultra fine glitter (the finer the better – mine came from a Michael’s Arts and Crafts store)

You will also need a little hot glue (not pictured here because my glue gun looks like someone ran over it with a bulldozer and then threw some mud on it).

calm down glitter jar step 1Step 1 – Fill your jar with HOT water and then pour some glue into the water.

I probably used about 1/4 of the bottle of glue.  The more glue you put it in, the slower the glitter will move.

calm down glitter jar step 2Step 2 – Pour the glitter in and mix it around (I mixed mine using one of our table knives).  I literally dumped almost the entire vial of glitter into my jar.

You seriously can’t go wrong on this step.

Add more glue if you want.  You kind of just need to play with it until you see the glitter moving the way you want it to.  If you pour in too much glue, then your Happy Buddy will be waiting and staring at the jar for an unbelievably long time.

Mine settles after about 5 minutes.

calm down glitter jar - such a cute idea!!!Step 3 – Hot glue the lid to the jar so that you don’t have any accidents.

Speaking of accidents, if you are using a glass jar, may I suggest not thrusting it into the hands of a child who is so angry he just might hurl the thing across the room.


calm down glitter jarThe idea is to quietly embrace an emotional little friend and engage them with the jar before leaving them alone to calm down (hopefully entranced and not irrational).

That’s it!

the calm down glitter jar!Pretty cool, huh?

And I will let you in on a little secret – It works great on stressed out Happy Hubbies, too. ;-)

Happy Calm Down Glitter Jar-ing!

The Family Prayer Jar

Family Prayer Jar - cut out photos of family members, tape to popsicle sticks, put in jar and have your child choose one or two each night at prayer time! This is ADORABLE!After the success of our Back to School Prayer Paper Chain Countdown, I have been on a mission to find ways to encourage the Happy Buddy to continue to be mindful of others while praying.

I saw this amazing idea over at Simply Alicia and decided it had to be done.

family prayer jar1First I printed out a bunch of family photos and laminated them.

family prayer jar4family prayer jar5I cut out the faces (the bigger the face, the better it looked) and the Happy Baby helped me tape them onto some extra large popsicle sticks.

family prayer jar2family prayer jar3I took an old formula can and carefully ripped the label off so that I could use it as a guide for cutting out a new label with cute scrapbook paper.

I wrapped the scrapbook paper around the can and secured it with tape.

Family Prayer Jar - cut out photos of family members, tape to popsicle sticks, put in jar and have your child choose one or two each night at prayer time! This is so ADORABLE!I taped on a simple label and we put all of the popsicle sticks into the can.

I am so excited about our new Family Prayer Jar!

We could keep it by the Happy Buddy’s bed and choose 1 or 2 sticks at prayer time.

Or we could put it on the dining room table to add to our prayers at mealtime.

family prayer jar6This is such a neat, tangible idea for inspiring our children to pray for others and I loved that it was really easy to put together.

If you don’t have time to gather, print, and cut out photos, simply grab some popsicle sticks and write the names of family members (one on each stick) and pop them into a jar.

You could even add the names of other people in your community as prayer needs arise.

Family Prayer Jar - cut out photos of family members, tape to popsicle sticks, put in jar and have your child choose one or two each night at prayer time! This is ADORABLE!The possibilities are endless!

Happy Family Prayer Jar-ing! :-)

“First of all, I ask that you pray for all people.  Ask God to bless them and give them what they need…” 1 Timothy 2:1

Dear Lightning Bugs, I Miss You.

such cute lightning bug craft ideas for summertime!One of the best things about summertime in the small New Jersey town I grew up in was catching fireflies.

My brothers and I would find a jar and fill it up so fast!

Some of my first babysitting jobs were in the summer of 1995.  I was so nervous and I remember asking my mom what in the world would I do with my new little clients before their bedtime?!

She responded cheerfully, “Catch fireflies!”

It was a terrible realization when my family relocated to Florida a few years later and we found that there were no. lightning bugs. anywhere.

I am now coping by putting together a fun little post that celebrates those blinky, happy little buggies.

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Summertime usually means more booboos (all that outdoor play!) and more booboos means more bandaids in your medicine cabinet.

If you have fun colored bandaids on hand you can whip up this creative Bandage Lightning Bug Craft from No Time for Flashcards.

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Do you find it hard to tell your Happy Buddies that they can’t bring their jar of fireflies inside for the night?

Come Together Kids has the perfect solution for a Glow In the Dark Firefly Jar using just 3 supplies.  So cute!

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How Does She? featured this great Lightning Bug Craft made from up-cycling a plastic bottle.

Toss in a glow stick and voila!

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I love this simple Glowing Lightning Bug from All Kids Network using a bit of glow-in-the-dark paint for an authentic look.

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I found one more way to use those leftover Easter eggs!

Apartment Therapy featured some stinkin’ cute Easter Egg Lightning Bugs that are so easy to make.

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Finally, Amy, via Tatertots and Jello, made this Lightning Bug Jar Printable for you to attach to a mason jar and give as a neat mid-summer gift.

I am feeling so nostalgic for some fireflies!

If you have them in your area, please catch a few for me, will yah?


Happy Lightning Bug Craft-ing!

10 Creative Ways to Have Fun With Foil

fun with foil - so many easy activities using foil!

We are slowly checking things off our Summer Bucket List!

One thing that I am really looking forward to doing is a Tin Foil River (see below) in our front yard!

But it has been pretty gloomy and rainy most of the week, so we haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Having a big roll of aluminum foil on hand has got me to thinking (and googling) – what are some other awesome ways we could use this shiny stuff?

Here is a compilation of several really creative ideas that I found to help beat summer boredom with foil in the coming days.

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This is the Tin Foil River from I Can Teach My Child that we are definitely trying.

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I Am Momma Hear Me Roar had her Happy Buddies make Aluminum Foil Boats that were tested to see how many marbles or pennies they could hold.

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My amazing friend, Bern, from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, froze some paint and had her preschoolers Paint on Aluminum Foil.

Such a great sensory experience!

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I love this Drawing on Foil with Sharpies activity from Picklebums.

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Same idea, but ikat bag took it a step further and made Aluminum Foil Crowns and Scepters.

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Make and Takes featured these fun Foil Pendants.

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Use up your recyclables with these hilarious Aluminum Foil Robots from Filth Wizardry.

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Kids Activities Blog handed a few Happy Buddies a roll of aluminum foil and they sculpted some really cool creations as well as wrapped a bunch of random things in foil and then guessed what each wrapped object was.

What a cool game idea!

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With the steamy temperatures right now, this homemade Solar Oven from Spoonful is the most clever way to cook up a batch of S’mores using foil, an empty pizza box, and the sun.

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Finally, Making Boys Men has an amazing list of foil fun ideas, but this was the one that just screamed BRILLIANT to me –

Wrap foil around your Happy Buddies over and over so that their arms are tucked in.  Then on the count of 3, they explode out.

She appropriately named this The Superhero Escape.

Are you running to the pantry to check for foil?? :-)

Happy Fun with Foil-ing!

Nature Bracelets

wrap duct tape around your child's wrist, send them outside and let them decorate their 'bracelet' with items they find in nature! I LOVE THIS!

I was poking around through the Happy Buddy’s Happy Activity Bag the other day and we came across this idea to make Nature Bracelets.

nature bracelets1All you need is a giant roll of masking tape.

*Pardon the bucket on the Happy Buddy’s head.  He insisted that it was critical to the success of this blog post.*

nature bracelets2Wrap a piece of tape around your Happy Buddy’s wrist.

nature bracelets3nature bracelets4Then head outside to collect items from nature and stick them to the tape!

The Happy Buddy added leaves, pieces of grass, broken sticks, and those furry pine needly things to his bracelet.

He wanted to put an entire tree on there, but we had to be realistic.  I have no idea how to uproot a tree. :-)

nature bracelets5This was a really fun little activity that required hardly any effort or materials!

It was just what we needed to pass a lazy summer afternoon.

Happy Nature Bracelet-ing! :-)

*Adorable Boy’s Tie Shirt from HERE*