DIY Drinking Glass for Kids using Repurposed Glass Jars

We have been using glass cups, bowls, and plates for a few years now to limit our use of plastics in the home.  I try to get our dishes from thrift stores or clearance but things DO break with kids using them, so you really can never have enough!  Recently, my mother gave me quite a few of these cute little jars that she had saved for us, because they are the perfect size for little hands.  (They are great for portion control for juice and keeping spills small, too.)  I had seen a great idea to decorate coffee mugs with oil based paint markers and thought it would be fun for the boys to personalize their repurposed glass jars.  We dedicated about an hour to decorate our clean glasses and let them dry for about 24 hours.  I think they turned out super cute!  They've made it through one dishwashing without chipping, but really should be hand washed to avoid chipping.

DIY Drinking Glasses for Kids Using Repurposed Glass Jars

Supplies needed:

  • clean glass jars
  • oil based paint markers
  • clothes that can get messy (because as much as you tell a three year old "don't get it on your clothes…it's not going to work ;)
  • imagination!

DIY Drinking Glass for Kids using Repurposed Glass Jars

DIY Drinking Glass for Kids using Repurposed Glass Jars

Directions:

  1. Follow directions on markers to get them ready for drawing.
  2. Draw, write, create with the markers on your glass jars.  I wouldn't recommend drawing inside of the glasses because I'm thinking that would leech chemicals into your beverages..which is the whole point of using glass jars anyway.  :)
  3. Let jars dry for about 24 hours.
  4. Place decorated jars into a cold oven.
  5. Turn on oven to 350º.
  6. Leave the glasses in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Warning: you will smell the paint "cooking," so definitely open up a few windows or do like we did and head outdoors during this time.
  7. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven but feel free to leave the glasses inside to cool….then they're ready!

This was so much fun for the boys and they just went to town, asking for more jars to decorate.  It all cost about $12, which was the price of the markers…the jars were F-R-E-E!  So now, all of my glass jars that I use for food storage are pretty and decorated! 

We also made a fun Father's Day gift for Daddy to drink his favorite juice:

DIY father's day Drinking Glass using Repurposed Glass Jars

(The jars I used were from this product, in case you wondered.)

 

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Start your Garden Indoors with DIY Seed Pots! Great Earth Day Craft, too!

This DIY seed pots post has been brought to you by Oriental Trading.  All opinions are mine.  This post contains affiliate links.

Earth Day is April 22nd and a great day to teach about recycling, gardening, and just being kind to the Earth we all live on.  Now is the time to start thinking about our Spring Garden, however, and I wanted to start some seeds indoors with the boys, so they will be ready to plant by Earth Day, or sooner.  

craft

I received these seed pots from Oriental Trading and we were excited to decorate them.  I gave the boys some markers, eco-friendly glue, googly eyes, tissue paper, eggshells, and old cooked spaghetti noodles, just for fun.  I was curious as to what they would come up with.  (The googly eyes and other items that aren't biodegradable should be removed before planting.)

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We had a blast decorating the biodegradable seed pots.   The Captain tried to make a pot that looked like Daddy.  We made a smiley face out of eggshells that we had put in the compost bucket.  We used the cooked spaghetti noodles to spell "BP" for bell pepper.  D made a four-eyed monster that he was quite proud of:

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After we were done decorating, we filled the pots with potting soil and planted a few seeds in each.  We planted herbs, tomatoes, and bell peppers, then wrote on the back of the seed pots the name of the type of seed that was planted in them, so we wouldn't forget.IMG_0142

Our seed pots have sprouted and will be all ready to transfer to our garden when Spring comes!  The boys are excited and I am, too!  We love gardening!  Most of the googly eyes have fallen off with water, and watering does change the appearance of the pots over time.  

diy seed pots

These DIY Watch It Grow Medium Seed Pots can be purchased at Oriental Trading  for only $8.25 for 24.  They are made of biodegradable peat fiber, so you can plant them right into the garden without worrying about disrupting the roots.  As I noted before, however, you should remove all plastic decorations before planting them, although most fall off with watering.

 

Happy Spring and Happy Earth Day, too!

 

Stained Glass Fall Leaf Craft

fall craft

The boys love talking about the changing seasons and looking at all of the magnificent colors of the fall leaves.  We wanted to decorate the house a little with the beautiful colors of fall, so we made a stained glass fall leaf craft!  It was a bit more difficult than I had prepared for, but they were each able to participate and do what they could, with help.

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Okra Painting {Crafts for Kids}

crafts for kids

Our summer garden is coming to an end, but the okra is still holding on.  It has been so hot here, I just don't want to go pick the okra some days, so, when I finally make it out there, there are a few pieces that are overgrown and hard.  I had been throwing some into the composter, but the other day we tried okra painting.  The boys had a blast.  

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Easy, Fun Crafts for Kids from Oriental Trading

This post about crafts for kids was brought to you by Oriental Trading.  All opinions are mine.

As a stay-at-home mom of two boys who loves crafts, as well as a volunteer teacher for Children's Worship at church, I'm always looking for fun crafts for kids that are easy to do and worth hanging on to after they're all done.  When I browsed the Oriental Trading website, I was pleasantly surprised with their selection!  I picked out a few things to review and I'm so happy with what we got.  

First up, we received the Color Your Own Knight Mask.  My boys LOVE knights and pretending to be knights, so I knew this would be a hit.  We were scheduled to teach Children's Worship at church, too, so I thought, what better way to use this awesome craft with the them of "I'm in the Lord's Army!"  The kit came with 12 masks that were very easy to assemble, all for only $5.25!  (The masks are currently out of stock, but keep checking back!)  Oriental Trading also has color your own shields, swords, and more, to coordinate with the knight masks.  

Here are the boys, coloring their masks:

oriental trading

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Turtle With Shell Craft

Turtle with Shell Craft for Kids

This turtle with shell craft is one of my favorite crafts from my kindergarten teaching days!  I have been waiting to do this craft with the Captain, and figured he was old enough and had enough attention span to complete it, and I was right.  He loved it!  I let D make a Turtle, too, but he did have to have a lot more assistance, of course.  This cute craft can go along with many lessons and there can be many variations, depending on the turtle you would like to make or the skill you would like your kids to practice.  

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Eco Friendly Mother’s Day Crafting with Elmer’s Naturals

I participated in this Elmer's Naturals campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Elmer's. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Both of the boys are really into crafts right now.  It doesn't matter what it is, if it involves any kind of paint, makers, glue, etc, they're super excited.  That's why when we received our box of Elmer's Naturals eco friendly glue, this was the genuine expression on the Captain's face:

glue

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“Corduroy” the Bear Craft

The Captain and Baby D's current favorite book is "Corduroy" by Don Freeman.  I loved this book as a child, so it makes it even more special that the boys love it so much!  My mother, the boys' Grammy, was the one who introduced Corduroy to the boys, by reading them books when we have visits together.  

Corduroy the Bear

"Corduroy" is about a little stuff bear in a department store who has lost one of the buttons on his green corduroy overalls.  One night, he goes searching for the button and has many adventures!  The end  has a nice surprise, as well!  It really is a cute, fun, exciting book.

We had some old wooden buttons and I thought it would be fun to make our own Corduroy craft.  I went online to see what I could find and as luck would have it, I found a plain Corduroy printable at Twisty Noodle.  The Captain wanted to paint and he, of course, didn't want ANY help:

corduroy the bear

Baby D is just learning how water colors work.  Paint, water, paper?  Water, paint, water, paper?

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After we finished, we glued the wooden buttons onto our Corduroy.  This the Captain's:

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And this is Baby D's, who got a little help from me because it was just fun to paint our favorite bear!

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There are many books in the "Corduroy" series, so check them out.  Did you love this book as a child?

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St. Patrick’s Day Craft for Kids: The Green Four Leaf Clover

I scoured the internet and some books for the perfect St. Patrick's Day craft to make with the Captain the other day and I just couldn't find any that were easy and engaging enough for him to do by himself.  And let me tell you, this kid and his brother LOVE to do things by themselves and I am totally okay with that!  So, I decided to do something simple and it's what I like to call the Green Four Leaf Clover.  

I printed off two copies of a four leaf clover coloring page I found online.  I had inteded for Baby D to participate, too, but Daddy was home and he wanted to play with him instead, so this became Mommy & Son crafting time, which is perfectly okay!

I had the Captain cut out his four leaf clover.  He loves cutting and it's great practice!

craft

Before I had all of my thoughts together, he had cut out his four leaf clover:

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Next, I instructed him to "go outside and find GREEN things that we can glue on your clover."  Well, as luck would have it, we have these clover-ish weeds that grow abundantly in our yard so he filled his little bowl full of them:  

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But, then he tripped and they fell everywhere.  So we had to start over.  This was great because then he moved on to other green things in the yard and it became another lesson:  sorting!!!  I had him sort his green things when we got inside:

craft

Then I told him that we were going to put glue all over the clover and glue the green things to the clover, to make it look completely green and beautiful. 

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I decided to make a clover alongside him and as I was tearing my green things and daintily adding them to my little dots of glue, he announced he was finished.  Oh yes, I forgot about the patience of a four year old boy.  OH well, it was fun and we learned some things along the way.  And once again, crafting doesn't have to be perfect!

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And even Baby D came from playing with Daddy and was excited about our craft!  This is the first time I've ever seen him excitedly pick up something green off of a plate and proceed to eat it.  Whoops.  Glad it wasn't poisonous…

eating

 

Crafting with the Captain: Making a Police Badge

The Captain LOVES to do artsy and crafty things and while I was a kindergarten teacher, I am NOT as crafty as the typical kindergarten teacher.  Lately he has been coming up with ideas of things he'd like to make and I've been assisting him as much as I can.  And lately he's had the idea that we  need to "sew" things.  I DO know how to sew, but I do not have a sewing machine, so, alas, I cannot sew him a police costume like he wants.  So, we settled on a police badge.  This is FAR from Pinterest worthy, but my friend Janet isn't scared to show her crazy crafts for kids and neither am I! 

1.  Get an old cardboard box.  We seem to have a TON of these to spare lately:

badge craft

2.  Draw or trace your badge design.  I started with a star, as you can see, but the Captain didn't like that.  This looks more like a shield but the beauty of working with a 4 and 2 year old is…..they're 4 and 2 and don't care!!!  :)

badge craft

3.  Cut out badge.  I learned back in my teaching days that cutting out two or three at once is the fun, easy (lazy) way to do it.  Just stack two pieces together and cut!

badge craft

4.  Cover the badges with foil – something a four year old can do!  We used a small piece of packing tape on the back to secure the foil.

badge craft

5. I cut D's to sort of curve on top.  Yes, it looks like a tulip.  The Captain didn't like that and wanted to leave it the way it was:

badge craft

6.  Next up, decorate.  The Captain wanted an eagle on his and instead of figuring out how in the world I'm going to draw an eagle, I let him practice his drawing skills:

badge craft

7.  Eagle:

badge craft

Time out.  It really bothers me when "kid" crafts I see on Pinterest are *SO* perfect.  Like….I honestly see some that claim their 3 year old made them and it's obviously not true.  It's OKAY for crafts to look like crap. (sorry I said the "c" word, Mom!)  They don't have to be perfect and they don't have to be framed and chances are, you can throw them in the trash in a week anyway!  So stop trying to make them perfect and let the kid do it!  Honestly.  I know a few kids off the top of my head who are OCD about their work because *someone* implied to them that their work wasn't *perfect.*  Stop it!  Okay, rant over…let's continue…

8.  With that said…D wanted nothing to do with drawing on his, so I just drew this for him.  (ironic after what I just said, I know, but he's 2!)

badge craft

9.  Hot glue safety pin on the back.  This part is obviously only for parents:

badge craft

10.  Baby D was BEYOND proud of his new badge.  You would've thought I just sewed him a new costume!

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11.  And the Captain was beyond thrilled with his badge as well.  This is him being a stern policeman:

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After this picture was taken, however, he went to his room and got out a blue outfit to wear.  Then he wanted to make a police hat out of cardboard.  Seriously, he is the mouse from "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie."  I should've named this post "If You Give the Captain a Homemade Police Badge…"  But, it's cute, and he's four, and he has an active imagination.  I let him try to make his police hat and it was cute how his little mind was racing, trying to figure out what he could use to make it.  

A few notes about our project….Sharpie rubs off of foil eventually so maybe next time we should use something else OR just keep rewriting over it.  Also, the hot glue doesn't hold forever, either, but it's not bad.  If your kid wears it all day, you'll just have to reapply hot glue at night.