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

Family activism: Make protest signs with kids

Activism for the whole family: Make protest signs with kids - Ten Thousand Hour Mama

A post was recently circulating on Facebook that said, basically—and I’m summarizing here—that President Trump really is making America great again. After all, community involvement and participation is the highest I’ve ever seen, citizens are educated and vocal about our government, and nonprofits are receiving record support. What’s more, it’s not only grown-ups standing up for justice. Family activism seems to be growing, too.

My girls are definitely accompanying me on my journey becoming a more active and outspoken citizen. So it felt natural to make protest signs with my kids.

Family activism // make protest signs with kids // resist - 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.

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Rainy day things to do in Portland with kids

The other day, as my kids were scream-fighting over a bouncy ball and I was hiding behind the kitchen island/taking a lie-down on the floor, I realized I had not been beyond a one-block radius of my house in seven days. Here I was, getting a very close-up view of all the crumbs along the baseboards, because I hadn’t done anything outside the home in a week. I know I’m not the only rainy day stir-crazy mom out there, so for all y’all desperate parents, I thought I’d put together a resource list of indoor kids activities in Portland, Oregon and the Portland metro area.

Many of these places we have tried; others I can’t wait to visit. And there are indoor kids activities in this overflowing-with-fun list for just about every flavor: activities for toddlers, preschoolers, big kids—and even parents who may or may not want a mimosa on a weekday. (Hey-o!)

Arts studios that will clean up mashed clay for you? Check.

Restaurants that include play places (and aren’t McDonald’s)? Check.

Gyms that encourage your kids to literally climb the walls? Check.

These indoor kids activities in Portland equal your sanity-saving plan for all the rainy, snowy, sleety weather we still have to endure. Winter, eat your heart out, ’cause this family is now prepared with plenty of indoor family activities that don’t include lying facedown on the floor.

55 of the best ideas of indoor kids activities in Portland, Oregon, including restaurants, museums, play gyms, arts and crafts studios and more! 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