Water Gun Art

Water gun art is SO fun and SO easy and takes very little effort. We used washable paint so that anywhere it dripped we could easily clean up, especially since it is so watered down. Ready for how easy this is?!

Mix equal part of paint and water. I mixed it in plastic cups I could throw away after and used a craft stick to mix it up.

Use a funnel (or a very steady hand) to pour the paint into the water gun. We used $1 store water guns and they worked great!

Now, you have fun squirting your canvas! This would be a great project to put a picture, letter, or design on the canvas with tape first and then after the paint is dry, peel it off to reveal your masterpiece design.

We kept our colors to red and blue this time since we were going a 4th of July craft. We also left it simple with just using the gun and not taping anything on it first. This is a perfect project for kids who love to do crafts but have a hard time focusing or sitting still for too long.

Hope your kiddos have as much fun with this project as ours did!

xoxo,
Jenny

DIY stress balls

Who doesn’t love a good stress ball? Ok, so our kids may not have much stress in their lives but we do have a couple of kids who struggle to focus and these help them out quite a bit. They are so easy and cheap to make so if you lose one it’s not a biggie, you just make another one! I also love these because I appreciate a fun craft that is also useful AND shows off the child’s creativity which this one does. Look how cute each of their stress balls turned out and displays what they are currently into.

Ok, are you ready for how easy these are?! You need: balloons, flour, funnel, a dry plastic water bottle, permanent marker and yarn. (the last two items being optional)

First, get an empty, dry, water bottle and use a funnel to pour about 1 cup of flour into it.

Next, blow up the balloon a little and then stretch it over the water bottle. After blowing up the balloon I had my daughter hold it closed while I stretched it over the water bottle so that the air didn’t come out while I was doing it. When you tip the water bottle upside down it should fall into the balloon pretty easily but a little shaking is necessary.

You need to let the air out next but you can’t just let go too much or flour will explode everywhere so pull the balloon tight to make that squeaking noise while you let the air slowly leak out. A little flour will come out at the end when all the air is out so don’t worry about it, that’s normal.

The easiest step is next, tie it off! Quickly followed by the fun part, decorating.

Enjoy the FREE printable version of instructions above.

As always, have fun with it and use your creativity!

xoxo,
Jenny

DIY night lights/glowing jars

There are so many fun fairy jars you can do out there. Some involve using glow in the dark sticks you can open and use the liquid to pour in your jar, others involve cutting out outlines of fairies and pasting them in your jar so that when they glow at night it looks like a fairy is in your jar…the list goes on of creative ways people make these fun jars.

If you have been to my blog before though, you know that I am a simple diy-er. I like doing crafts, science experiments, cooking and throwing parties with my kids but I also am also not a mom to go over the top with any of those. Instead, try to find the balance of a good diy craft/party/recipe/experiment while keeping it simple. Enter these extremely easy glow in the dark jars or better known as “fairy jars”.

All you need is 1 mason jar/kid, some paint brushes and glow in the dark paint. (We tried glow in the dark glue and it didn’t work nearly as well so I wouldn’t recommend it) Glitter is optional. I think the glitter works best when you do the version with the glow in the dark sticks or any of the versions where you put actual lights inside your jar to turn on at nights. We experimented with the glitter which is why it’s in the picture but we only tried it on 2 jars before realizing it wasn’t worth it. Definitely look up the glow in the dark stick version if you want something looking colorful and more like a galaxy jar. They are super cool.

What we liked best was using the glow in the dark paint and just doing tiny dots all over the inside. It can be time consuming or a very fast project depending on what design you do inside. Most of the kids did a bunch of dots, some did a mixture of dots and letters, some did zig zags, stripes…the possibilities are endless. I wish I got a picture of all of the jars but the kids ran off with them pretty fast and they aren’t the easiest thing to photograph with my phone so I’m going to just roll with the three I did get to photograph.

The nice thing about these is there is no replacing batteries in lights, no need to plug in anywhere and they fade. So the kids put them in their window sill during the day and then at night they stare at them while they drift off to sleep and they fade and leave the room really dark throughout the night.

Are they fancy? No. Did they still have fun while making them? Yes! So we count that as a win and move on to the next task. 🤗 Happy crafting!

xoxo,
Jenny

thinking of you sweet treats

A little something to let our primary class know we are thinking of them. These are also great for kids to give to friends to let them know they miss them. You can drop them off at their house and get a face to face conversation for a few minutes, just like the good old days.

Doing acts of kindness like this is what keeps us going in our house. We feel so much better when we are still connecting with people outside of our house. Hope this inspires you to do something nice for the important people in your life too.

xoxo,
Jenny

Floating Ink Experiment

This is such a fun experiment for kids. Ok, maybe even I had a blast with this one. Part of what makes it so fun is that you aren’t just following directions, you do A LOT of experimenting with this one.

First we talked about the difference between dry erase markers, pens, pencils and permanent markers. Ink is liquid base so it seeps into porous paper where as pencil is graphite that sits on top which is why you can then erase it away. Glass isn’t porous which dry erase markers are meant to draw on, and dry erase markers (unlike wet erase markers) are alcohol based making it easy to wipe away.

Now for the experimenting. Some blogs talked about using ceramic, some plastic plates and some used glass. We chose to experiment with a 9×13 pan and a plastic plate bought at the dollar store. Although the plastic plate did work, our favorite was the 9×13 dish, both because of the glass and since it had higher sides it made it easier when pouring the water.

First up was the plastic dish. We used expo dry erase markers and drew different shapes, pictures and letters. Then you pour water on the plate (not directly on the art) and watch it slowly peel up off the plate and move around.

See how the heart and circle that were below the triangle and smiley face are now moving across the plate?! SO cool, right?! Something else we learned was the thickness of the lines you draw. If it’s too thin, it came up and immediately broke. If it’s too thick, it has a hard time coming up at all. The black rectangle is permanent marker to show the kids the difference between dry erase and permanent markers. We ALSO learned that the purple dry erase marker never worked as well as the black. I have no idea why that’s the case but it always struggled or wouldn’t even budge. We also used a blue one and it would sometimes come up but never as easily as the black.

We also had a fun time playing with blowing them around the water and picking them up. If you pick it up it turns into a small shriveled line and then when you put it back in and gently rock the dish back and forth it opens back up. Pretty neat!

I will say of all the shapes and drawings, the stick man is definitely the most successful. This was really a fun experiment with the kids. Trying different dishes, markers, colors, drawings, picking up, blowing the art around with a straw…it’s a true experiment and learning opportunity. Hope you have as much fun with it as we do.

Tape Art

I’m not sure what it is about kids and paint but they are obsessed and I’m THE COOLEST mom when I let them do it. Maybe it’s just our kids and maybe because I don’t let them do it all that often 🤔

We use canvas boards frequently with out arts and crafts so I buy them in bundles on Amazon so we are always stocked. Since we always have a house project we are working on, we also always have painters tape on hand as well. Some kids used the painters tape as is, some tore it in half to have some thinner pieces and some chunkier. Some did letters and then lines all around and some kept it simple. That is part of the fun of this craft, so many different ways of doing it and its fun to see their creativity flow and individual personalities come out in their art.

We had a couple different brands of paint we used. In the future I would pull out my nicer paints or even my chalk paints. You don’t need anything expensive but some of the super cheap paint we had on hand was a little too watery and it bled under the tape. Luckily the kids were good sports about it.

Don’t they look great?! The kids did such a good job playing around with different ideas and not trying to follow what the person next to them was doing and it shows in their finished products. I didn’t give them very many colors to choose from this go around yet they all look so unique.

They had fun and we made memories. THAT’S why I love doing these crafts with our kids….it’s not because it’s my job to entertain them but because the memories we make while doing them will last a lifetime. I sure love spending time with these crazy rascals!

xoxo,
Jenny

Quarantine Succs

I miss my friends. I miss our girls night out, I miss the long chats sitting on the couch catching up while the kids play and I miss never hesitating to give a hug or inviting someone in. I wanted to do something to let them know that I’m thinking of them, and missing them, and hopefully give them a little something that will allow them to find some quiet time to themselves to grow during these challenging times.

Inside the goodie bags: a succulent, candle (that smells like clean laundry so they can pretend that it’s all done and they are all caught up 😊), matches, chocolate, the book The Power of Stillness (cannot recommend this book enough. LOVE it), and then of course a little card.

I wrapped the small box of matches because look how much cuter it is. 🤗 If you do that, just don’t forget to not wrap it all the way around so you can still strike the match. Also, make sure you have the paper back a little ways from the scratch pad for extra safety.

Then it’s just a matter putting it all together. I can’t get enough of using the tiny clothes pins to hang your card (or in this case, cards). Why are things just so much cuter when they are so tiny?!

I hope this little goodie bag helps some friends feel extra loved and special because they sure are! I can’t wait to get together soon and discuss the book, such a good read!

I hope everyone is getting through these times reprioritizing and appreciating all that we do have. I hope doing a little something special for some friends brings you as much relief and joy as it did for me!

xoxo,
Jenny

Summer Fun

Summer can be overwhelming with kids. You want to make sure they have fun but you also don’t want them to think they have to be entertained at all times. The following is how I have learned to have a blast with kids, love having them home for the summer and not get overwhelmed.

To keep things organized this summer, especially during my recovery from a hysterectomy, we decided to implement a little bit of structure into our summer plans. I knew I didn’t want it to be too structured because that drives my hippie soul crazy so we came up with a theme or each day of the week. Make it Monday (arts and crafts), Tasty Tuesday (trying a variety of recipes), Water Wednesday (pretty self explanatory), Thoughtful Thursday (this is much less structured but I do check in with them on Thursdays to hear what they’re doing, and Fun Friday (which is actually science experiments because, well, those are fun).

So far this has worked out great for us. The kids are excited each morning to look at the list for the day and decide which one we’re going to do that day. Sometimes we have these done in 15 minutes and other times it takes us a couple of hours but either way, it feels great to have done something fun with your kids and then send them on their way to entertain themselves.

I had everything bought, sorted, organized and stored before summer break started. It was a lot of work to get this all together the final week of school but it was well worth it. If you are having a baby soon, surgery or going into a busy time with work I highly suggest doing all this prep work. No matter what they choose for that day, I know I have it on hand and can take some time to grab it out and get them started OR I know that whoever I put in charge of doing that task with them will have everything they need right there.

As for how we spend the rest of our summer days, we stick to the above schedule. As usual, we have structure without too much structure. We put caps on their Lego time and technology time but there is A LOT of free time. We do our daily themed activity at some point during one of the free time slots, it differs from day to day. I rarely hear the kids say “I’m bored” because they know if they say that to me I will respond with “Go look at the Free Time Activity list”. 😋

Here are the documents ready to be printed. More than anything don’t forget to have fun and be willing to adapt to what works for your family. Summer really can be so much fun with kids, just don’t forget your job is not to entertain them at all times. It’s to provide them with fun here and there, teach them responsibility and give them the chance to be creative and independent. You’ve got this!

xoxo,
Jenny B

Driving Scavenger Hunt

I’m gonna be honest, the hardest part of this quarantine has been never having a moment alone. Not really. Even when the kids are leaving you alone for a few minutes, or more accurate you have locked yourself in your room for a few minutes, you can still hear them and you’re wondering how long until they get to your door. Or they are banging on the door. Or shoving their adorable little hands under the door that both makes you want to cry and melts your heart at how cute it is. I have CRAVED those moments where kids are at school and baby is down for a nap and you are left with SILENCE. Complete silence. Also, the ability to go about your home freely and get your list done without being interrupted constantly or feeling trapped in a room because you can’t let the kids see you. Can you tell I’ve been struggling? 😆

So I came up with this Scavenger Hunt and I sent my adorable kids out the door with their dad (for those with teenagers maybe you can bribe them to do this for you) and I gave them the very simple rules: you can’t start until you are out of our neighborhood and take your time but have fun. Tyson was a champ and definitely didn’t rush it. Good man! 👏🏻

Zoey was so excited that she got to do some of the crossing out/checking off

I was very excited to have the house to myself for the first time in months and enjoy some much needed silence followed by an uninterrupted tv show. I HIGHLY recommend finding ways to make this happen. I love our kids and we have had a lot of fun during this quarantine but it was so nice to get some real, true, ME TIME again.

👆🏻 Here is a copy you can download and print for FREE to give yourself some magical YOU time. You deserve it!

Sunday Activities

Our kids are good about treating the sabbath day different from the rest of the week. They don’t ask to do activities they know we avoid on Sundays, they have a great attitude and enjoy their day. With that being said, we felt like we could all use a sabbath day revamp. Something that would really help us refocus on what is more important and use the day to our greatest advantage. Enter our new Sunday Activities program.

Each Sunday they have to do at least 3 things on the “Top Priority” list before moving on to the “2nd Best” side. They can choose to take their time or do the bare minimum, totally up to them. Once they are on the “2nd Best” side we ask them to do at least 4 things. We are hoping this encourages them to broaden their horizons and work on developing new talents.

We’ve only done this one Sunday so far but it was a very successful first attempt. We spent even more time together as a family and the Spirit was extra strong as we continued to stay focused on what is most important throughout the day. I’ll have to do an update in the months to come on how this pans out long term.

Here is a downloadable version if you want to print it for your family. Or come up with your own “Top Priorities” and “2nd Best” activities based on your family’s wants/needs.