Have a few hours of the day that you’d like to keep your younger kids’ hands busy? No worries — just get them started on a craft project… or two… or three. Guest blogger Vicki DeLuzio shares her top 6 crafting ideas, tips and tricks below. They’re something every Military Mom will be able to appreciate!
1) Re-use your containers.
You know how your grandmother saved all those containers-coffee containers, snack containers, margarine tubs, and peanut butter jars? Well, she wasn’t crazy or a hoarder — she knew how to effectively reuse and recycle what she had. In our house, we use snack containers for markers, crayons (especially broken ones we melt down into new ones), homemade playdough, craft gems and beads, and lots of other items.
2) You can make your own craft supplies for a fraction of the price.
For example, here is our family’s favorite playdough recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon food coloring
Mix water, oil and food coloring together in a bowl. Combine all dry ingredients in a large saucepan. Gradually stir the food coloring mixture into the dry ingredients. Cook over medium to high heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat, let cool, and knead dough on wax paper until smooth. Use the playdough to make mini statues, holiday ornaments and other unique shapes. If you want your project to last a long time, I strongly suggest using an acrylic spray on the playdough.
You can also make your own:
Just click through for the recipes.
3) Stock up on a variety of miscellaneous items during the year.
Even though my family homeschools, we buy lots and lots of crayons, markers and paper at back-to-school time. We can find 24-count crayons for as little as 25 cents per pack during back-to-school shopping, where any other time of the year the pack costs about $2.00 or more. Be on the lookout for these kinds of shopping opportunity, as well as sales. You can save these items to give as birthday presents, Christmas presents and traveling items. In fact, after any holiday, we swoop into stores and shop online to find discount craft items for the next year. And, if we want a special treat we might get half-priced candy as well!
4) Libraries are your friend!
Not only are there story times, but there are also craft times, music classes and so much more available there. And, they are free! By attending those activities, you’ll be building the love of learning in your community, which is priceless!
5) Blogs and Pinterest.
I get a little lost (in a good way) in Pinterest (for hours at a time) which has helped me find a few blogs I really like. I’ve started following Toddler Approved and Quirky Momma on Facebook for fresh ideas. I encourage you to find similar sources that appeal to you and your DIY sensibilities.
6) Simple is better!
Kids enjoy the things they can manipulate the most, such as empty boxes, plain paper bags, paper, tape, stickers and glue sticks. I also will give my kids something as simple as dried pasta, a few measuring cups and a bowl. That keeps them busy with themselves for an hour, easily!
About Vicki DeLuzio
Vicki is a mom of three kids. After graduating college in Connecticut with a major in Psychology and minors in Early Childhood Education and Communication, she tried her hand at retail management at Target. Then, while working at the Juvenile Court, she met her web designing (and Army Vet) husband through mutual friends. Wanting a change of pace, cheaper taxes and warmer temperatures, they sold their home and relocated across the country in Surprise, Arizona. Vicki now blogs about all the places they go with reviews about the amenities in Surprise. She is also a licensed Real Estate Agent and loves helping people find homes in the area.
Have any other ideas you’d like to share with us? Comment below.
More Ways to Get Crafty with Your Military Family: