BUY + DIY: Quiet Time Games

This has been an element to Small Fry for years, but I am finally giving it a name! Essentially this series is all about tackling a need we have as parents and offering the best of both worlds: buying and/or DIYing. Because there’s some things you can’t buy or find the way you might like them and there’s some things that aren’t worth DIYing when you can buy them for such a great price. SO! Today is all about QUIET TIME. But like, TRULY quiet time. Church style. If this toy or game fell onto a gym floor it wouldn’t make war time level noise and give you stares from the front of the church all the way back. (I’ve been there, many times.)

DIY:

I did these as DIY because I couldn’t find anything quiet as genius as just making it. These sponges will allow them to “build” but won’t crash. I might make them use these at home too, so quiet! Quiet GamesJust grab sponges and cut on up!Quiet Block DIY

Another 3D building DIY where you can get crazy and make whatever shape moves you. You just need velcro dots, tongue depressors or popsicle sticks and you’re good to go!Quiet Blocks No need to paint, but I couldn’t help it! The silver paint gives major robot vibes too if your kids are into that!Quiet Blocks

And this one I found from Twist Me Pretty – matching colors!Quiet Games

BUY:Quiet Games

Crayola Activity Center — We have this and it’s awesome for my older boys. Filled with dry erase activities and it has its own firm base so you can take it on the road or wherever you need it! // Puzzle Sticks, quiet, comes with several puzzles to do so you won’t get bored but you also can finish them in the span of 30 minutes. // Wooly Willy. A classic. // Magnetic Faces — another well-loved item over here. The magnets aren’t strong enough to make that snap sound when it meets the board so it’s truly quiet. // More from the same company – all about the body. Teaches loads while they play! // Magnets but US of A! Another great one for learning. // How to Draw. Coloring of any kind is a must for quiet time play but this will teach them how to draw their favorite items so they aren’t bugging you to do it. // Tic Tac Toe rubberized and quiet. // Need to teach a kid how to tie? Bring this toy to a boring meeting and watch the magic. It’s easier to learn when you don’t have to bend over and stretch! // Another darling lacing game with more of a creative element than the others you’ll find. // These soft bendable building straws are the next fidget spinner. Bendy bright and so much fun for hours. // Magnet Robots!

This one is a freaking labor of love but I played with these when I was a kid and am determined to get them all cut out for my boys! Anyone else use these? Find the felt dolls here.

feltbous

around the house

This post is brought to you by the Quaker Oats Company! All opinions are our own.

How is everyone feeling since the back-to-school rush? We’re finally settling into a more easy-going speed and have found that the more prep we do the night before the smoother the day goes in the morning! These  Quaker Chewy Granola Bars have been heavy in the rotation as we pack lunches for our kids for school or when we all need to grab quick snacks on-the-go! These bars mix 100% whole grains (that us moms love) and tasty ingredients like chocolate chips (that the kids love) come in over 15 flavors now so there’s truly a snack everyone can enjoy!quakerWhen we were conceptualizing this post Mr. Sunny said he wanted granola bar blocks, so that is exactly what he got! That is one of our favorite parts of parenting, and in turn running the blog. Seeing our kids’ brains at work, giving them the right environrment to be creative and we’re always blown away by what they come up with. It doesn’t have to stop at snack time either, we’re sharing our favorite DIYs made from unexpected materials below! Besides having fund with food of course, our favorite mediums would have to be cardboard, tape and different types of paper. quaker1Paper (tissue paper and bright colored craft paper to be precise!)paperAnd a few more mediums, too! quaker3

Confetti Art out of tissue paper // Superhero Cuffs from toilet paper rolls + duct tape // Lunchtime Food art // Make your own graphic tee DIY // Monster Clothespin Puppets // Toilet Roll Binoculars // Paper Bag Puppets // Rainstick DIY

What will you make?ncc_7378

 

bomb valentine

We had a couple different readers write in asking for last minute Valentine’s Ideas! When you don’t have a printer and you don’t have time to swing to the nearest Print Shop, here is something you can make with household items (at least household items for us, you know, a kid’s craft blog, ha!)bomb valentine

You’ll need red paper, tape or glue, and pipe cleaners! If you’ve bought pipe cleaners once, you will still have these for 20 years, so go digging through that craft box! They’re never-ending!
Bomb Valentine Then just wrap the paper around the pipe cleaner and your favorite stacked round candies – Sweet Tarts, Mentos, Rolos, and tape or glue in place! Get your kiddos on writing up a quick note “You are the bomb!” and you’re done! Just repeat 20+ more times. 😉Bomb ValentineWe’re also loving this idea from Minted, where with scrap fabric and a few designs you have a custom treat bag! Their step by step is here.Last Minute Valentine's

santa hat kisses garland

The Christmas waiting game is torture for our kids so we’ve been trying to come up with things for them to do each day to help them help us get ready for the Holidays. This is a super easy project they can do, and fast too! We made a few extra to take to friends, too. Here’s what you’ll need:Hersey Santa HatsHERSHEY’S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates (exclusively at Target, so head there! Or buy now!)

-Mini Marshmallows

-Red string or twine

Edible glue Hersey Santa HatsNow all you need to do is let your kids dab a dot of glue onto the bottom of the HERSHEY’S KISSES Santa Hat Chocolates, and a dab of glue onto the mini marshmallow, sandwich the string between the two and let it dry!  A perfectly sweet treat to share, and a memory made.How cute is that “HO! HO! HO!” plume?Santa Hat KissesIf you need more DIY ideas for these darling Santa Hats check for #SantaHatKisses around the web!

This post brought to you by The Hershey Company. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Small Fry .

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confetti art

By Emily.

My 5 year old Hayes is “project” obsessed. He loves working on things together whether it’s making cookies, folding towels, or art projects. It brings him so much joy I am always brainstorming fun and easy projects he can handle and we can tackle together. Cal usually ends up joining too, and I feel like the best mom in the world for a few minutes. Here’s an easy one we whipped up recently, confetti art!

Confetti Art Here’s what you’ll do:

First, you can always buy circular tissue confetti online. As usual I didn’t plan ahead so we ended up cutting out our own circles. Fold up your tissue a few times and you’ll get lots of circles per punch. We used a 1 inch circle punch and it was a great scale.Confetti ArtThen once you have your circles, let your kiddo arrange the circles on the page. They’re floaty little guys so avoid air vents and fans. 😉Confetti Art

Then once they’re arranged how you like, take a spray bottle of water and mist over the pieces soaking them to the page.

Confetti Art Let it dry just a bit, but not totally. They should all stick pretty good so you can transport your page to a frame!Confetti Art

Place it in a frame of your choice and make sure you secure it tightly so it’s right up against the glass.

Confetti Art Then you’re done! You’ve got a beautiful and graphic piece of art for your wall and it was made 100% by your sidekick and partner in crafting crime.Confetti ArtFind all our kid art ideas right here.

 

unplugged week: bi plane

unplugged

TGIF! Have we ever meant that more than today? We hope that Unplugged Week has been as amazing for you as it was for us. It’s always so refreshing to reframe our environment and see our kids flourish. For the last day of Unplugged here’s one more craft that you can do together witch stuff you have lying around the house: a Bi-Plane!Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

Use our favorite paint pots, a paintbrush, a clothes-pin, two large tongue depressors and regular popsicle stick.

Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

To make this use the clothespin as the center of the plane, then glue a popsicle stick onto the back, and a tongue depressor on the top and bottom of the front. Let it dry completely and you’re ready to fly!

Unplugged Week: Bi-Plane

 

Easy enough! But such a cute craft that we’re happy to keep out on the shelf. Happy happy weekend! We’ll be talking things over as a family to decide how best to incorporate the screens back into our lives, got any tips or ideas for us? Leave a comment!

shamrock potato stamp DIY

By Nicole.

How’s that for an Irish sounding post title? Here’s how you can make everything a little luckier with a simple potato. Ready?Shamrock Potato StampJust grab a standard potato, the larger the better so you have plenty of room, and a sharp paring knife. shamrock4Cut the potato in half and decide your shape size. You will want to cut down around the general area of the stamp so that there’s a raised image for the paint to grab onto. For this one I did a four leaf clover by etching out four heart shapes and then a stem.shamrock3Using acrylic paint cover the raised stamp design and get stamping! I covered this sweet onesie but it would be so cool on a boys T, girls skirt, or even just one single stamp on a pocket. You don’t need any luck for this one, it’s super easy and the possibilities are endless with one potato!Shamrock Potato StampRainbow blocks by Clifford and Sons MFG. 

Pixelated Valentine’s Box

Just in the nick of time for our kids’ classroom Valentine’s Day parties! Valentine’s boxes are tricky for boys, so here’s a colorful and cool option that avoids all that yucky love stuff. Their words, not ours.

You’ll need colorful squares in a small color palette:
Pixelated Valentine's BoxGlue or glue stick and a cardboard box. Cut your envelope hole and then start glueing on the squares.Pixelated Valentine's BoxCover the box overlapping only slightly and trimming squares when you hit corners and slots. (Card via Paper Bandit Press)Pixelated Valentine's BoxBest of all, the boys could do it basically from start to finish (except for cutting the slot) and they love being able to be involved, so this one wins!Pixelated Valentine's BoxWould it be the week of Valentine’s Day if we didn’t dust this baby off? It’s our pride and joy and it never gets old!

DIY baby headband

You all know how we love an easy repurposed DIY for our kids, so now that we have a little Small Fry lady on board we’re excited to add DIYs for her, too! This one is a super easy headband you can make from an old t-shirt!DIY headband

 

Grab a t-shirt:

 

 

DIY headband

 

Cut a 14″x3″ strip, straight as can be lines, and raw edges are great!DIY-headband-3

 

Tie the knot, if you don’t have a baby on hand you can use a ball or bowl as a measurement.

 

DIY headband

This one is such a great quick project, makes a great gift and we love being able to choose the fabric’s pattern and feel.

DIY Baby Headband

 

Find more repurposed DIYs: Leggings & Knotted Beanies!

nativity puppets

The Nativity is for sure the most loved (and touched) element to our holiday decor each year. We’ve found poor baby Jesus in some pretty precarious places. As much as we love having beautiful set, we always find ourselves needing something more durable that the kids can love on. Here’s this year’s, Popsicle Stick Puppets!
Nativity Puppets Start with tongue-depressor size popsicle sticks. You can get these at the grocery store — no need for an extra craft store trip! Our boys are on the younger side so we had them paint the majority of the stick and then we finished off the details: presents for the three wise men, a shepherd hook, a halo for the angel, a belt for Mary and a beard for Joseph. Nativity Puppets These details not only make them cuter, but it makes teaching the story — and asking questions — that much easier. Nativity Puppets

It has been such a loved set that it literally goes everywhere. We stuck a little washi tape manger up on the window (with a star too) to keep the story rolling.Nativity Puppets With multiple stick characters this is a great activity for siblings in the back seat. The conversations are entertaining to say the least!Nativity Puppets This quick little craft has proven to be a tender and sweet opportunity to teach more about the origins of Christmas. We’ve been watching this quick film (find it on our sidebar, too!) with them and the craft made it easy to remind our kids how loved they are, and that they can be good and important to the world, no matter their circumstances.

Here’s a few kid friendly nativity sets we found around the web if you’re looking!

kid friendly nativity

Left to Right: 1. These wood pyramid nativities are so gorgeous! Solid wood and they come in lots of different varieties. // 2. Melissa and Doug pulls through for a sturdy, detailed set.  // 3. This modern Alessi sculpture makes us smile. It’s so happy and bright! // 4. This peg doll set is so gorgeous in person. The round animals are so darling, too! // 5. This hand-drawn wood block set is perfect for young kids. // 6. A handmade felt set that are soft enough to sleep with, since we know someone’s going to ask. // 7. A giant bamboo set that the whole family can get a piece of.