When Eric’s parents were visiting Oregon this summer, we took a camping trip at Milo McIver State Park. It was the girls’ first camping trip of the year, and I wanted to help make it special. (Yes, I know the very fact of spending all day outside and roasting marshmallows make camping special without any extras. But still.) I pulled inspiration from one of our favorite books, Lulu & Pip, and made camping dolls for the girls.
The camping dolls were an instant hit. The dolls went with us everywhere, from a hike to the camp chairs beside the fire. They got dirty. They got chewed on. They earned their title of camping dolls.
And my hope was realized: The camping dolls helped make our camping trip unforgettable.
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.
Forget roses and prix fixe dinners. This February 14, I just want a few handmade Valentine’s Day cards.
Because always chocolate.
Ever since I was a kid, Valentine’s Day has always meant friendship and platonic love. When I was in maybe 3rd grade, my younger sister lost all her valentines. All the tiny packs of candy, the Disney-themed cards, the hand-signed doilies—gone. She was heartbroken.
Later that night, I went through my own haul. I crossed off “Catherine” on every darn card and wrote in my sister’s name instead.
I then gave her a paper sack filled with cards from my classmates to cheer her up.
It should be no surprise, then, that when I think of Valentine’s Day, I don’t get goo-goo over the romantic aspects of the holiday. Instead, I melt at the memory of mailboxes made out of Kleenex boxes, carefully writing friends’ names on Ariel the Little Mermaid cards and the chalky taste of Sweethearts I choked down in the interest of reading the messages.
Now that I have kids, I get to relive the sweet, innocent side of the holiday—partly through crafting handmade Valentine’s Day cards.
Last week Peeper received a package from her Aunt Bootsie, and the book inside was one of the most touching gifts she’s ever gotten. Each page contained one piece of advice for my daughter, and as you can see, Peeper—and anyone else lucky enough to read it—will definitely be the wiser from it.
Each page contains a snippet of wise (and sometimes wise ass but true) advice from her sage aunt. In fact, the pearls are timeless enough that I found myself nodding along. (Was some of the advice secretly for me, too?)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a toddler-painted photo frame is worth a thousand hugs.
That’s why Peeper and I crafted this gift for her Grandma and Grandpa this Christmas.
When Eric and I were discussing what to give his parents this holiday, he mentioned that what they’d really want was a photo of Peeper. Eric’s mom is big into family lineage, and her walls are lined with pictures dating back to Great-great-great Uncle Obediah. (Seriously.)
So I dug out some cheapie Ikea frames that had been sitting empty for too long for me to admit here, and we got to work. This is a fantastic last-minute gift and would work well for any occasion (or, heck, a project for a kid’s birthday party!).
Really, the project is simple. I just took the white mats out of the frame, poured paint and let Peeper go all Picasso on them. If your kids are a little older, the craft will be a lit less messy. If you have toddlers, too, then here are a few tips: Read more →