Monday, May 30, 2011

* Easy Kid Craft: Homemade Magnets

"E" needed some magnets to go with her 
fancy fashion design magnetic display boards 
in her room so we decided to make some!

Tutorials for this project can be found 
EVERYwhere on the web!

First she looked through our scrapbook paper stash and picked out some favorite designs. 

Then, she traced flat glass beads from the Dollar Tree store with a pencil on each paper she liked. 
Carefully cut out the shape with scissors. 

We used Mod-Podge to stick each piece of paper to the back of each glass "stone"
(glue the paper to the flat backside)
Let it dry overnight.

It will start out white and cloudy then, dry clear.

We used a blob (super stinky!) E600 glue
to stick a magnet to the back of each
glass stone and magnet. 

She made some plain "blue" magnets with these blue glass stones
and below you'll see some more of her finished magnets. 

Perfectly easy, kid-friendly craft.
Useful too, she loves using them to hold up 
her art work in her room!

pink and green mama, MaryLea

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

* Toilet Paper Tube Craft: Target Practice!

The girls invited a neighborhood friend over for  an after-school play date this week. 
It was super hot outside so, after popsicles... 
we needed some water play!

I suggested that they make some "targets" 
for their water guns out of toilet paper tubes.

We got out our "water shooters" (Thank You dollar bin at Target),
buckets of water, and made targets
out of empty toilet paper tubes, 
colored masking tape
and Sharpie brand permanent markers!


The toilet paper tube targets worked like a charm. 
The girls made a score board chart (hello math!)  and kept track of their "HIT"s. 
I think they'd be fun to shoot with those Nerf foam guns too!

It was great hand-eye co-ordination practice and all three girls had a blast!

We'll be doing this a lot this summer!
pink and green mama

Friday, May 20, 2011

* Children's Backyard Fairy Garden

My girls love fairies and we have our share 
of Fairy Gardens and "lands" to play with.
I've gotten several emails lately 
asking for more details about our Fairy Gardens 
so I hope this post can answer some questions!

You'll need a container or a special secret corner 
of your yard/garden for your Fairy Garden.
If you're planning to plant one indoors, 
you can use a shallow dish/pan/flower pot. 
We've planted fairy gardens in our yard and indoors. 

Outdoor Fairy Gardens:

My dad built a fairy garden in 2009
in a large planter box on his deck for my girls. 
It is still going strong and a favorite play spot
at Grammy and Grandpa's house. 
I posted about it here if you want to go back and take a little tour! 

Our local plant nursery has a wonderful 
area devoted to fairy gardens, miniature plants, 
and tiny "steppable plants" 
Whenever we need to replace a tiny plant or tree,
we head over there for inspiration and supplies. 

We try to pay attention and pick plants 
that can handle the light and climate 
for wherever we're planting them. 

Tiny buildings, castles, and houses
can be found on line (search for Fairy Garden Supplies)
and in home decor discount stores like Home Goods or Marshalls. 
I also have had success finding cute bridges and mini pagodas
in the fish aisle at our local pet store. 

Rocks, pebbles, glass stones, and gravel 
work well for pathways, dry river beds, and add
interest to your garden. 

Mini benches can be found at Christmas time 
near those tiny seasonal villages. 
You can also make your own with twigs and glue. 

For the Fairy Container Garden pictured (above) 
and in my Backyard Makeover post
We used an outdoor wooden planter box
 (on locking wheels/casters)

My mom and dad planted it with the girls 
while my sweet hubby and I were on a trip last fall. 

They filled up the empty space in the bottom of the planter
with upside down (empty) plastic cat little buckets 
(with holes drilled for drainage)

Then, a piece of particle board was cut to size
to make a "floor" for the fairy garden box. 

They placed weed-block garden fabric
on top of the particle board base and filled it with potting soil mix. 

Smooth it all out then start to plant!

Thanks Grandpa! That was really fun : )

They still play in it daily with their tiny plastic 
Schleich Fairies and Animals.

We've also just painted little houses from the craft store
and set up mini-fairy lands in our backyard garden
with stone walkways and tiny washing lines. 

Indoor Fairy Gardens
We've also made our share of indoor fairy gardens...

Fairy Garden Bowls
As end of the year teacher gifts

Indoor Cat Fairy Garden
As mini-cat grass gardens (here's the post!)

Homemade Fabric Tree Stump House

Happy Fairy Land Making!

pink and green mama, MaryLea

I recommend:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

* Cereal Box Weaving: Homemade Looms!

While playing with ideas for the 
Tinkerlab Cardboard challenge,
the girls and I made some 
homemade cardboard looms
out of empty cereal and granola bar boxes. 

"C" has always wanted to try weaving like her big sister,
she covets her big sister's "real" loom. 

So, we made her a few little cardboard looms
and set her up with a basket of ribbons, 
scissors, and some pre-threaded looms
to practice her "under, over, under, over" weaving. 

I marked off some evenly spaced lines on each piece of cardboard
and snipped them with scissors. 

Then, we wrapped our "looms" with 

Tied the excess yarn on the back. 

Another little loom. 

"C" trying her first piece of yarn. 

Under, Over. 
Under, Over. 
Under, Over. 

She was a natural - this kid has killer fine motor skills!

Then, I got done my "ribbon box" 
and let her pick out whichever ribbons she liked.

I think this was her favorite part!

"C" working on her little loom with Tiger. 

The finished masterpiece!

I also made a skinny loom
with the side flap from a box. 

(Mama wanted to weave too!)

Should have cut more slits,
only had 4 pieces of yarn to work with!

(That's what I get for not counting or measuring 
and just eye-balling it!)

Oh was still fun to weave 
a Super-Skinny, Itty Bitty Bookmark, 
Barbie Scarf, 
Stuffed animal collar....

Happy Weaving!

pink and green mama, MaryLea

Monday, May 2, 2011

* Teacher Appreciation Gift: Fairy Garden Bowls

This week is Teacher Appreciation week at my daughters' schools
so the girls and I got to work this afternoon 
making Fairy Garden Bowls to give to their teachers
to say thank you for all of their hard work. 

These are the same little gardens we made for their teachers last year (see photo below).
But , (good news!) they have different teachers this year
AND.... they were a huge hit last year
so... why not recycle the project and make new ones?! 

We started with little red (plastic) salad bowls I found at Walmart
(just like the ones I found last year)! 

Then, (because they don't have drainage holes)
we put fish gravel in the bottom of the bowls.

Followed by a layer of sphagnum moss.
Then, some potting soil from our yard
with a mixture of little herbs 
(Lemon Balm, Boxwood Basil, and Marigold)

The girls painted mini wooden houses
from our craft store with acrylic craft paint and
 sealed with clear acrylic spray.

They also made little branch gnomes 
like the ones in my 

The girls wrote little notes to their teachers 
with Sharpie (permanent) markers on stones near the houses. 
"C" chose "I Love You!" for her two teachers
and "E" chose "Welcome To My Garden" for hers.

The girls used pebbles and gravel to make mini pathways in their gardens.

They also added pine cones, bits of dried moss
mini feather butterflies and birds (from our craft store stash)

These little fairy gardens would also be super cute
as little Terrariums for your favorite teacher
(or as a Mother's Day Gift!)

Here is an older post, from the archives
of the terrariums I made with the girls two years ago.

While I'm doing our mini garden show-and-tell,
here is our latest Mini Kitty Garden:

The girls also planted a little cat garden with me a few weeks ago
for our two elderly, indoor kitties,"Daisy" and "Elly."

The cat grass they planted has grown in well from seed
and the cats are enjoying little "cat grass" snacks
while they look out the window at the
squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies in our backyard! 

Here's a link to the post for our old 

Happy Mini Gardening!

pink and green mama

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