paper bag puppets

Today’s post was made out of necessity. When your kid starts preschool they come home with all sorts of notions and experiences they want to recreate. This week it was paper bag puppets. Turns out paper bag puppets are a really cost-effective way to create imaginative playtime based on whatever favorite character or animal your kids are into that week. Whether it’s pirates and mermaids, superheroes and princesses, cats and dogs, these puppets don’t take too long and they cost you less than a couple dollars.

home made paper bag puppets

We’d tell you how these were made but that’s the great thing about paper bag puppets, do whatever you like! We had a loose Valentine’s Day theme, so hearts abound, but other than that everything was done without much thought.

home made paper bag puppets

 

We’ve been trying to think of some good names for these guys, something nice and punny. Princess Lavender, Shelly Sharkbait, Captain L’amour. We know you can do better, help us out!

More imaginary play posts: Cereal Box Jet Packs, Animal Masks & Tails, and a Cardboard Airplane company created by 13 year old Noah called Paper Box Pilots.

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Also, we are excited to be apart of this project with Davina Fear! 25 parents sharing the simple ways they connect and show love to their kids throughout the day. Nothing fancy, just you and your child. Sign up to receive the PDF here.

How Do I Love You? 25 Parents Give Ideas

 

cupid’s bow and arrow

We’ve been pacing ourselves on the Valentine’s Day ideas, but then we keep adding things we want to make with/for the boys so we’re going to get it all out of our systems this week! Brace yourself. Today is a super easy make-it-yourself bow and arrow. Made with sponge tips and zero elasticity, so also super safe, too!Cupid's Bow & Arrow Here’s what you’ll need:

Those terrible bargain bin sponges that don’t work for dishes? They work great for this! Then a set of long skewers or dowels, a kid’s size hula hoop, rope (or a thick elastic if you want the arrows to travel farther.)
Bow & Arrow Tutorial

 

For the bow:

1. Cut the kid’s size hula hoop in half (Yay, you can make two, no sad little brothers needed!) Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut a 1/2 inch slit on either side of the hoop.

2. Measure rope or elastic and leave a couple extra inches on each side of the hoop. Tie knots in the elastic or rope (use a match or lighter to burn the edges of the knots so they don’t loosen or fray) and slide the rope through the slit, with the knot going into the tube. Do this on both sides and your bow is ready!

Cupid's Bow & Arrow

For the arrows:

1. Cut the sponge into arrowheads.

2. Use the dowel to puncture the sponge a little bit and then take it out and add some hot glue to the end. Stick the dowel back in and let it dry for extra security. Done!

Looking for more activities to get you through a case of the Mondays? A work of art that double as lunch, all-fruit popsicles with a special ingredient for teething babies, and bundle up for a gorgeous Winter picnic!

Also!

We finally settled on a hash tag for our DIY projects! It’s originality and cleverness may just blow you away: #smallfryDIY. We know, right? Don’t hurt ourselves. If you make any of the DIY projects you see on Small Fry, use that hash and we’ll be reposting your pictures!

glam blocks

We’ve got another super easy handmade gift idea for you all today. Keeping with the theme of gifts coming from the kids, but with a touch of class: Glam Blocks! Thanks to Carousel NY for teaming up with us on this post! Here’s what you’ll do:

glam christmas blocks

To start you’ll need unfinished wood blocks. There’s a few ways to accomplish this task:  you can buy them at the craft store, or have wood cut at the hardware store! Just make sure you sand the blocks before using them if you have them cut. From this point we painted them by taping off the down the diagonal, using acrylic paint. Let the blocks dry completely and then grab the Modge Podge (or mix Elmer’s glue with half the amount of glue in ounces of water, 6 ounce bottle of glue = 3 ounces of water. Cover the painted triangle with Modge Podge and then here’s where the kiddos can help!

glam christmas blocks

We used silver and then gold glitter and had the boys cover the Modge-Podged area. Shake off the excess and let it dry completely! Once its dry you can layer on another coat of Modge Podge to seal the glitter a bit better.

Like we mentioned earlier, we teamed up with the new online kids boutique, Carousel NY for today’s craft. We really can’t get enough of their site, it’s filled with fashion forward brands we’ve come to love like Shampoodle, the Brand, yporque, and Loud Apparel.

Here’s some items we’re loving for the boys!

Carousel NY

 

Leather Sleeve Jacket || Woo Sweater ||| Shampoodle Street Pants || Gorilla Sweater 

Dash is in the Bob & Blossom Breton Stripe Tee and don’t miss this The Brand jeans. Too cute.

Connect with Carousel NY for flawless fashion via Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

wūka!

A couple of years ago we got knee deep in a Quiet Book making party. Basically 10 of our friends were to bring 10 identical pages they handmade and then we’d all swap leaving us each with a 10 page handmade quiet book. Dimensions and felt selections were sent out, page ideas were thrown around, and month after month the proposed D-Day came and went. We’d like to blame it on a natural disaster of some sort, but in all reality, hand-making 10 felt Quiet Book pages is hard. And time consuming. And frustrating. Our time is worth more than that, and so is yours!

pre made quiet books wuka

We’ve, along with several of our other blog-friends, tried out Wūka and you’ve probably already heard, but they’re awesome. Each square covers a basic skill like tying, buttoning, braiding and more! Each page has layers of activity and our boys have loved playing with theirs at home and out and about when we need them to be quiet.

pre made quiet books wuka

Wūka has patented their binding system as well, which is so innovative! Each square is placed on a Link, and Links can hold as many or as few pages as you like!

wuka pre made quiet books

Shop Wūka Here // Follow Wūka on Facebook and Pinterest for more awesome ways to entertain your kids this Winter!

WHERE TO SHOP:

The boys are rocking t-shirts and sweatshirts by Kira Kids. We’re loving the Boombox bear  sweatshirt, super soft Super Bears Raglan, and we can’t keep this Batman Mask tee clean!

DIY gifts for Miracle Children

Today we have a very special post dedicated to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Jenna’s sweetest baby cousin Brewer was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and spent a full month in a CMN Hospital. Here’s what she recalls about that time:

“I remember thinking, here is this cosmic event in our lives, that seemed to stop time, but these nurses see this or something similarly devastating everyday! Because of this I assumed that the staff would be hardened and disconnected to Brewer’s condition. It was so the opposite. They were Brewer’s biggest cheerleaders who triumphed at every success and who shed tears along with us at his set backs. The halls of this hospital represent such a wonderful community drawn together by one purpose, which is to cure children. I truly felt angels walk those halls all the time I spent there, it’s an amazing place!”

Primary Children's

It is almost heartbreaking to share, but did you know that a million children will spend this Christmas holiday in the hospital? Every single minute, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provides $6500 in care to those children – they call them all a “Miracle Child” – totaling $4.7 billion dollars since they founded in 1983. Most of those funds were raised just one dollar at a time. We are so lucky to have a CMN Hospital locally and any funds we donate will help children right in our own community.

In honor of CMN Hospitals and the wonderful work they do, we wanted to create a DIY for those Miracle Children! Those of you who have spent time in hospitals know that there are strict rules for the types of gifts you can bring inside, like no fresh flowers, no balloons, no stuffed animals,  etc. So, we wanted to come up with an inexpensive gift, made with love, to bring to those kids. Here’s what we came up with!

You can purchase a pretty great train set at Ikea for about $10, and then with a little trimming and craft foam you can make it extra special. Grabbing some mini trees, plastic animals, and these foam skylines and they can create a whole city scape!

handmade holiday gifts that are hospital approved

For the doll-lovers, we whipped up a foam “paper doll” set. Using a paper doll template, (this one is great) cut out your basic doll. Then add pieces of clothing, shoes, accessories and hair styles! We used a roll of double sided tape to hold the pieces on while playing.

handmade holiday gifts that are hospital approved

This post is brought to you by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. We’ll be back later this month with an update on a special project we collaborated on for our local CMN Hospital, in the meantime if you have any room in your holiday budget, donate $5 and give a miracle to a child in the hospital this Christmas! CMNH Logo

cozy indoor play

flatout frankie cardboard toys & skylar luna pjsA couple of months ago we sent Jenna to Las Vegas for the ABC Kids Expo. It’s one of the largest collections of brands for kids in the world and we were so excited for the chance to go! Jenna kept us up to speed with pictures and when she sent an image of the Flat Out Frankie booth, we were all drooling. Based in New Zealand, and all constructed out of 100% recyclable materials, they are all about promoting creative and active play. Now, before you ask why not DIY it, let us tell you: we’ve tried! Handling and manipulating cardboard in this detailed of a manner is no cake-walk, and we were thrilled to see Flat Out Frankie had done all the work for us. They have such an awesome collection of play things from ride-on horses, to kitchens and dollhouses, shelving and of course, transportation! You can buy them blank to get creative and color yourself, or with their cute detailing as seen below.

flatout frankie cardboard toys & skylar luna pjs

Flat Out Frankie‘s pieces are great for indoor imaginative activity. As the temperatures drop and the chances to play outside decrease, we start really relying on these types of toys!

flatout frankie cardboard toys & skylar luna pjsWe’ve been loving pulling the toys out on cold weather days when we want to stay extra cozy indoors! All the boys are wearing their Skylar Luna pajamas because there’s really no cozier attire we can think of!

flatout frankie cardboard toys & skylar luna pjsWe love Skylar Luna for their super soft organic fabrics, they leave off those stiff flame-retardant chemicals that turn soft jammies into something in the burlap family.

https://www.facebook.com/BlickenstaffsDash is in Red/Silver Stars // Quinn is in Forest/Silver Stripe // Hayes is in Gray/Cream Stripe

Local Utah residents can find Flatout Frankie toys now at Blickenstaff’s!

ghost terrarium

We’re always entertained by the information our boys report after playing with friends. Hearing the wind pick up outside and asking “Is it gale force, mom?”, begging to be Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween when they’ve never seen a Pirates movie, etc…So, when one of our little ones came home with twenty questions about ghosts, we figured it was time to take the spook out of this holiday…why not have a ghost for a pet?

Here’s what you’ll need:
Ghost Terrarium | Small Fry

A little floral moss cut to fit the jar’s base, a jar, parchment paper and a marker for the ghost and whatever foliage fit for your new pet. Then we sent them on a daytime ghost hunt, and hid this little guy for them to find. Snatch it up with a net, and introduce it to its new home! So far we’ve learned that ghosts love wheat thins and juice boxes.

ghostupdate

Have you had any luck convincing your kids that Halloween really isn’t all that scary? We’d love to hear what’s worked for you!

More Halloween Posts you might’ve missed:

One Non-Spooky Fall Harvest Party // Graveyard Party Dip // 2 Step (store bought) Witch Hat Cookies

halloween garlands

Happy October everyone! We have shaped this month’s line-up around easy crafts, activities and recipes. We’re all about cutting the Halloween corners so we can better enjoy all this season has to offer! First up, quick decor to make your house feel a little bit more festive.

Here’s what you’ll need:
halloween felt garlands

Maypole felt balls in black and green, String, paper, and scissors. That’s it! For the flying bat garland, string the row of black felt balls and then simply cut out a proportionate rectangle out of the black cardstock. Then take your scissors and cut out the wave pattern for the winged look and hot glue the paper on!

halloween felt garlands

For the witch hat garland, this will change depending on what you want to use it for. If it will be seen 3D, you can cut out a circle for the witch’s hat’s brim, and glue it to the top of the felt balls. Or, if it will be laying flat against a wall, this will make it look a little funky, so you can ditch the brim as we’ve done below, or cut out a half circle for the brim, leaving the back open to lay flat against whatever surface it is up against. We ditched the brim so that it would look great no matter if it was moved from wall to doorway. For the witch’s pointy hat, picture your card stock like a clock. You’ll want the shape to be as if the clock’s hands pointed to 9 and 4 o’clock. So a little less than a half circle, a little more than a quarter.

halloween felt garlands

Have you seen any super easy Halloween decor around lately? We’d love to see!

More Halloween posts you might’ve missed:

Chalkboard Pumpkins // Footprint Ghost art project // Candy Corn Suckers

blue bird costume DIY

We’re so excited to share our second post using Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape! They challenged us to make a Halloween costume and we decided on a Bluebird, here’s how we did it:
kids costume: duct tape

For supplies you’ll need:

✔ Cardboard

✔ A plain plastic mask, you can buy at most craft stores or Amazon has one for cheap here.

✔ Ribbon

✔ Hot Glue gun

✔Scissors

Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape – we used Aqua and Royal blue for the wings and face, and then orange for the beak and talons.

kids costume: duct tape

WINGS // First, start by making the wings. Emily started with two pieces of cardboard cut out at 18 x 6 inches each. Then round the edges, cutting diagonally. Once you have the shape of the cardboard, you’ll cover both sides with thetape. Using a contrasting color of tape we cut out “feathers” and placed them randomly over the fronts of the wings.

kids costume: duct tape

To keep the wings from falling off we hot glued ribbon on the underside the wings connecting the shoulders together so the wings don’t slide down, and then three six inch pieces at the top, and bottom of each wing.

MASK // The mask is a cinch. Start by covering the mask in the royal blue tape. Then glue a triangular scrap of cardboard over the bridge of the mask’s nose. The will create the “beak.” Once that is dry, you can cover the beak piece with the orange tape.

kids costume: duct tape

TALONS // To create the look of the claw feet, we took more scraps of cardboard: 4 pieces that are 4 inches long and 1 inch wide, and then 2 more that are 5 inches long and one inch wide. Cover those pieces in the orange tape with a little overhang. We cut that overhang into a point to really give it that claw look. Then we simply hot glued the talon pieces to strips of ribbon for an easy tie on.

kids costume: duct tape

To help add to the costume we put Hayes in a blue t-shirt and yellow leggings, all items we had lying around. So when it’s all added up this costume would cost less than $20 and you will have extra tape for months! We made this costume back in April and it has gotten A LOT of wear. The best part about Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape is that it’s so incredibly durable. Even after hours of flapping and squawking it looks as good as new. Since the tape is weather-proof you can wear with confidence no matter what weather Halloween brings you!

See all our  Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape DIYs here.

This post is a collaboration with Scotch® Color & Pattern Duct Tape, but words and opinions are our own. Join the community on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest and visit scotchducttape.com to learn more.

cloud guide

Once school started one mini-series we were sad to see go was the Summertime School posts. So if you don’t mind, we’ll keep these educational based ideas coming! Today’s cloud guide project couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, we had the most insane storm yesterday roll in, flooding homes, ripping roofs, tearing trees from the roots. This is the perfect stormy weather indoor activity, and also a free download below! Of course we had to do a little research to actually be able to teach the boys, starting first with where clouds come from (basically just water vapors from streams, lakes, and oceans that attach themselves to particles in the air which create clouds!)

Here’s what we learned together about these four types of clouds:
cloud type handout

Cumulus // The “fair weather” cloud. Puffy cotton ball looking clouds, sometimes with flat bottoms, these clouds are a good sign!

Cumulonimbus // A vertically built cloud that usually brings lighting, storms and snow blizzards in the Winter!

Nimbostratus // The rain cloud! Gray and and cotton candy like, this one carries rain wherever it goes.

Stratocumulus // Another dark grey cloud that travels in bunches. It usually comes at the beginning of a storm and is the “sprinkle” cloud, where you’ll only feel little droplets of water.

cloud type handout

 

For this project we simply gathered a bowl of cotton balls and stretched them out be able to manipulate them. Then using Elmer’s glue we had the boys attach them to the clouds on the download. The next time we play the “What do you see in the clouds?” game we’ll let you know if the usual “Elephant! Dragon!” responses are switched for a more accurate “Cumulus! Nimbostratus!” One can dream.