Ever since my eldest son was young, he LOVED cars. Is your child that way too? Then you'll understand why we've done a ton of car crafts over here on the blog. And boy are you in for a treat with today'd post. Tada! My husband and son designed and built their very own wooden car... for free!
Let's Build A Wooden Car!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for the grocery money! For my full disclosure policy, click here.
When we moved to our new place, one of the first things I bought for Chuck's new "big boy" room was a large world map.
I intended to teach him about all the different places and people in the world. Well.... lots of other things came up and that dream never quite panned out. That's why I was excited for this week's preschool collaborator challenge. It's all about map learning! Yup. This challenge gave me a swift kick to the bum to think of an easy and fun way to help preschoolers learn about maps.
I came up with this idea to travel the globe with the Planes and Cars characters!
Let's Learn Geography with Disney's Planes and Cars characters!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
So keep reading to see how I (and 4 other bloggers) taught our preschoolers all about maps!
As a child, I LOVED watching Disney Movies. I watched Little Mermaid and Beauty, Beast and the Beast a million times (no kidding). In fact, to this day I know 80% of the lyrics by heart. (But ask me any question about US history and I'll totally draw a blank. Crazy how the mind works, right?)
Why all the Disney talk? Well, today 7 other kid bloggers and I challenged ourselves to come up with easy, Disney Inspired Crafts. But wait, there's a catch... we have to make the crafts with... kitchen items! (Duh, duh, duuuuuh!) So stick around to the end of the post to see the other ladies' great ideas!
I thought it would be fun to make Chuck some Disney Character Snack Bags. They took a couple of minutes to make, and really make the bags special for kids.
DIY Disney Character Snack Bags!
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!
With the nights still being quite long, we often find ourselves stuck inside twiddling our thumbs... and going kinda bonkers. :) So one day we took matters into our own hands, and our family worked together to tinker and turn a long, narrow box into a DIY Toy Launcher!
DIY Cardboard Toy Launcher
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!
Do you have a plane, train, helicopter, truck, boat, car, or spaceship loving kid? While looking through the archives, I realized that we've done quite a few transportation-related crafts here. 18 to be specific! (Whoa. Kinda cray-cray and kinda cool...) So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane and share this compilation of all 18 crafts that "go" here!
18 Awesome Transportation Related Crafts!
Ok. I gotta admit something to you. I was originally going to call this post, "Crafts for Boys" (that's why it's in the permalink) but then totally decided against that name. Girls can like cars, trains, planes, boats, trucks, and bikes too! Right? Right. Ack! Sometimes it's so easy to fall into gender stereotyping. (Do you ever feel the same way?) So anyway, that's why I changed the name to Transportation crafts.
We have a TON of toy cars, trains, and trucks over here. (Chuck's kinda got a thing for transportation toys.) And lots of them have open windows. I was staring at them the other day and realized... wouldn't they make fun (and cheap) ornaments?
I love painting things with Chuck, but sometimes I yearn to make things that actually move or do things. So when a mommy friend suggested that we build cardboard toy cars that actually move, wowzers, I had to say yes. She found the directions in an old kids' science book (that I don't remember the name of... sorry). And that's how we spent an awesome play date with five kids- eating pizza and then building and racing some cardboard racing cars.
Kid Science: Let's Build a Car that Moves!
Today's craft is awesome for 2 reasons:
1. The cars really move. Really. You just twist the tin can and then let go. Bam. The rubber bands store the potential energy and then once released, they turn the can... and your car moves by itself!
2. You don't need any expensive materials. In fact, you probably have most of the items already at home.
Have I whet your appetite enough? Ok. Let's build! Vroooom!
We bought an Ikea train set awhile back and Chuck loves it. The only problem is that our poor Thomas train is too big and doesn't fit under the train set's tunnel. So I poked through my trusty cardboard stash and made him a cardboard mountain bridge.
Cardboard Bridge for Trains and Cars
Aha! Problem solved.
Now all the trains can fit underneath the mountain while his cars drive over the train track. Yay!
Wanna make a bridge too? Well then keep on reading!
How was your Halloween? Ours was pretty jam packed. We entertained some out-of-town guests, carved pumpkins, attended a couple of kids' parties, and went trick-or-treating. I was loving most of it until the very end. I was definitely burned out by the last Halloween party. Phew. Too much candy and partying for this mama.
Here are some photos from our Halloween adventures:
Several pieces of felt and dozens of hot glue sticks later.... I finally finished both Mack and Lightening McQueen costumes. Chuck and I wore them out when we trick-or-treated around our neighborhood. (Click here to see how I made the costume and click here to see how I made his matching Lightening McQueen shoes, Or, click here to see Chuck's previous Thing 1 Costume and his Mr. Potato Head Costume.)
In addition to trick-or-treating, we attended two Halloween parties at the library. It was uber-cute seeing dozens of toddlers dressed up in costumes. I also couldn't help but ooh and ahh over the cute treats that some moms made. Check out these marshmallow monsters. Too. Darn. Adorable.
Here's a fun fact- In the past couple of months, I've watched the movie Cars probably twenty or so times. By now, I know all the characters' names and I could probably recite 50 to 75 % of the movies' lines from memory.
Why this sudden and intense interest in cartoon vehicles? Well, it's Chuck. We're a Cars household because he just loves the movie. If you ever visit our home, you'll probably find him either (1) racing around on his bike, pretending to be Lightening McQueen, or (2) playing with his toy cars.
This Halloween, Chuck's going to dress up as Lightening McQueen. I thought it would be fun to try painting him some shoes to go along with his costume. It was my first time painting shoes. Here's how they came out:
At first I wanted to get white or red canvas shoes, but they only had black ones at Walmart. Overall I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. They're super cute. But, I'm not sure how long (or how well) the paint will last.... so the jury's still up about that. I'll probably update this post in a couple of weeks to include some notes about wear and tear.... but for now here are some photos of my process in case you wanted to see what I did.
Thin paint brushes
Jar with water
Tray to hold paint
1. First I placed a piece of paper on top of my shoe and traced the top of the shoe to see how big to draw my images. Then, I drew and cut out my Lightening Mcqueen.
2. I briefly lamented not having white canvas shoes because I wasn't sure how to transfer my image to the shoes. (Seasoned crafters out there- do you know of a good way to do this?) I ended up just tracing my image onto my shoe with sidewalk chalk (way too big, I know... but this was the smallest chalk I had) and sketching out the details. (There's gotta be a better way, right?)
3. I pulled out my paint and started painting my images. After I filled in all the colors (see right shoe), I outlined my images using a pencil dipped into my black paint. The black outline made my images much sharper and nicer to look at (see left shoe.) Then, I just cleaned off my chalk marks with a wet q-tip.
And that's all! Ka-chow!
Chuck's really enjoyed wearing these bad boys around town and I'm just glad that I got to craft something useful and cute.
How are you getting ready for Halloween? Happy crafting!
Ok, the title of the post pretty much says it all.
1. Get some toys.
2. Dip them in paint.
3. Watch your kid go to town.
4. Remind your child to not paint the floor... or wall... or you... or...
5. Pat yourself on the back for entertaining your child.
6. Wash toys and child in bathtub.
7. Watch your kid go to town cleaning the toys.
8. Pat yourself on the back for keeping the fun going.
What can I say? Entertained child = happy child = happy mama