Saturday, March 15, 2014

Recipes for Frugal Homemade Fun

Photo by Mark Evans.
I've collected together a list of great do-it-yourself recipes for art and activity supplies, which I plan to use to keep the kids entertained this summer.  The activities enabled by these recipes aren't quite free due to the cost of materials, of course, but almost. Thanks to the sharing of knowledge that is the internet, we can now easily make lots of fun things for kids to do for a mere fraction of what it used to cost to buy the stuff.

Not only that, but making the homemade craft supplies can be a fun activity all of its own. I can see making up different batches of craft supplies engaging my two older kids before they run out to try whatever recipe we've whipped up. Back in to make some more, and before we know it, we've spent a happy day full of science and sunshine.

On my Do-It-Yourself list this summer, I have:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Enlightening Children's Books by Jon J. Muth


If you're not familiar with the work of Jon J. Muth, you're missing a treat! He has been an artist and illustrator for many years, using haunting watercolor and bright colors to bring stories alive. His children's books are unique, enchanting experiences.

My kids love how animals tell the story in these gentle, beautiful scenes. I love the traces of philosophy and the introductions to zen which can be found hidden within the tales.

Here's a list of our favorites:

Monday, June 10, 2013

4 Awesome Bubble Toys

It's that time of year again.  The weather's warmed up and kids are looking for something to do.  It's a great time for bubbles.


Whether they're old enough to do it all on their own, or need Mom and Dad to blow the bubbles, kids love blowing bubbles.  Just head out into the yard with bubble solution, and they're enchanted.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Making Your Own Dress Up Trunk

Little ones LOVE pretend play.  It's good for them, too - it's a wonderful way to nurture exploration of self expression, and problem solving.  While there are a few dress up trunks on the market, I'm convinced making your own is much better.  You can find higher quality costume pieces for your child by savvy thrift or sales shopping.  It also gives you the chance to put together something truly unique and memorable, customized for your family.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Why Every Child Needs A Digital Camera

I used to be a mom who was always behind the camera - never in the photos.  Hiding from the camera was a habit I started as a child, and continued as a parent.  In pictures from my childhood, I see my mother and grandmother act shy of the camera when they happen to be caught by one, too.

And yet, the rare photo that captured my grandma and mother are some of my most treasured photos.  When I see them, I'm not thinking of my grandmother's round face and strong frame; I'm thinking of how she loved me, and how much I take after her.  I don't see the nose that was the bane of my mother's existence, I see an uncertain young mother rarely caught on film because she preferred to keep a camera between herself and the world.

I've come to understand that what is most important to our children is that we are MUM. How sad if they don't have pictures of us because we were always hiding in self doubt, strictly behind the camera. Now imagine how priceless it would be to an adult child to have photos of us as seen through their own eyes.