The 10 best handprint crafts for kids: Friday fun day

I am a huge sucker for handprint crafts for kids, but even I think some of the ideas circulating on Pinterest are, well, a bit of a stretch. Hey, it’s a handprint, but it’s also a walrus! Or a leprechaun! Or a tank!

So when I went looking for arts and crafts ideas to memorialize my kids’ hands, it took a lot of scrolling to find ones I actually want to do. I have saved you some of the searching and picked out 10 handprint crafts for kids that are adorable.

You’ll want to keep ’em forever, if only to remind yourself that yes, once your kid’s hand was that tiny.

The 10 best handprint crafts for kids and families - Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Camping crafts: Kids let their creativity go wild!

Back before we had kids, Eric and I camped regularly—and spontaneously. We’d throw the tent, sleeping bags and a cooler in our 1985 Volvo station wagon and head into the woods. These days, camping with kids requires a bit more preparation—including figuring out some kids activities that will keep them happy in the camp site. Since the girls love art so much, it made sense to come up with some camping crafts so they could create in nature.

Camping crafts like this nature collage art project keep kids happy when you're family camping—and require almost no prep or supplies! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

We haven’t gone camping with the kids yet this year, but we camped for Father’s Day last year—and the girls loved doing this camping craft. They did it one morning when they needed a little out-of-the-sun quiet time after hiking, sprinting around the campground, making friends and walking over hot coals. (Just kidding! We’re waiting until they’re at least 6 to walk on the camp fire.)

Camping crafts like this nature collage are a wonderful way to incorporate art into your family camping this summer. Read more

10 fun egg carton crafts for kids: Friday Funday

Easter is coming up faster than I can hide the foil wrappers from all those chocolate eggs I’ve been eating. And if you’re anything like me, you make a lot of egg-heavy dishes—from deviled eggs to dyed Easter eggs to yummy breads and rolls—and end up with a lot of egg cartons. Lucky you: Now you have lots of recycled art supplies to make upcycled egg carton crafts with your kids!

I love that egg cartons are so easy to turn into a million different things. They can be used for sorting pom poms or can be turned into a no-mess paint pallet, or they can be turned into masks or butterflies.

Your kids will have a blast making these fun egg carton crafts! Here are 10 that are my favorites—or ones that I can’t wait to try.

Now, on to using up those eggs so I have more upcycled supplies!

10 upcycled egg carton crafts for kids // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Egg carton faces craft: An upcycling kids project

Upcycled kid art // Egg carton faces // Recycling project // Ten Thousand Hour Mama

One thing being a mother of two kids teaches me—repeatedly—is that just because they’re both mine doesn’t mean they’re the same. Or even similar. For example, Peeper could paint, glue, color and craft forever. Kiwi, on the other hand, will eat paint for a moment then splatter it everywhere before getting down from her chair, leaving a trail of purple and orange in her wake.

So the other day during Kiwi’s nap, I suggested Peeper and I do a craft together. We opted for something new and different—after all, when you have so few uninterrupted opportunities to do a kids craft project, you want to make it count! So we brought all our upcycled supplies onto the deck and made egg carton faces in the rare Oregon springtime sun.

Egg carton faces craft // Upcycled art // Recycle art // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

10 easy yarn projects for kids: Friday Funday roundup

When I was a freshman in college, I learned how to knit from another gal in my dorm. A whole bunch of us would pile onto one of our teeny-tiny beds in the University of Oregon’s notoriously dungeon-like dorm rooms, and together we’d knit one, purl one for hours—instead of studying (or binge drinking!). I gave the resulting scarf to my sister for Christmas. I was so excited for her to open it. When she did, she oohed, held it up—and burst into laughter. The thing was enormous, more of a shawl than a scarf, and hilariously wonky.

I’ve gotten much better at knitting since then, though these days most of my yarn projects are of the arts and crafts kind, not the follow-an-intricate-sweater-pattern variety. That’s ok, though! Yarn is good for more than just cable-knit caps. These 10 easy yarn projects for kids are super fun anytime, no matter if it’s sunny or sweater weather.

Easy yarn projects for kids // arts and crafts // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Do you want to build a snowman? Marshmallow snowman topper

If you live around Portland like we do, chances are you just got dumped on. I woke up this morning to about 7 inches of thick, packable snow—the kind that makes an awesome snowball and doubles over tree branches. So naturally, we pulled an Anna and asked, Do you want to build a snowman? I answered YES! and made both the regular kind out of snow and a marshmallow snowman topper.

When it snows (or you just want an edible craft), this marshmallow snowman topper is perfect to set on a cupcake! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Fall art exploration: Painting with chestnuts

When I was little, I walked with my dad across the University of Oregon campus just before school started. I held his hand as we meandered under the centuries-old trees and kicked the crackling fallen leaves. I often stooped to pick up acorns and chestnuts.

I’d find them in my pocket all fall and winter long—little treasures squirreled away.

Even now I can’t resist picking them up. I run my thumb over the smooth shell like a worry stone and remember those crisp autumn walks with my dad.

The other day, on one of those cold but bright fall mornings, my girls and I took a walk. It was just chilly enough for me to be grateful for the furnace baby strapped to my chest, and Peeper stopped every few steps to investigate something or other while Finn waited impatiently.

We approached a chestnut tree and the mess of nuts, shells and leaves surrounding it. Squirrels scolded us overhead while Peeper picked up a handful of chestnuts and talked about how pokey the burst-open shells were.

We brought a bunch home and started a “special project,” as she has taken to calling her art endeavors. We incorporated the treasures into our fall art crafting—take a look and you and your little may love painting with chestnuts, too!

Process art with autumn treasures and painting with chestnuts: a fun way to celebrate fall! Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more