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Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Beach Crafts: Painting Shells, Driftwood and Postcards

Beach Crafts: Painting Shells, Driftwood and Postcards

We always try to have a few crafts planned when we go out of town. On our recent beach trip, we decorated shells and driftwood and painted handmade postcards to send to friends at home. For the painted shells and driftwood, all we needed was some paint and brushes. My mom is an artist so she always has these around, but you can use any acrylic or craft paint available at a variety or art store. We found shells on the beach that were big enough to give the kids enough surface area to work. We put a few drops of paint on paper plates and then got to work. Calvin made a turtle. Jack went the patriotic route. My mom went beachy. And I painted stripes on a piece of driftwood. Not sure what I will do with it but for now it just rests on a window ledge. After the paint dried, we applied a layer of Mod Podge to give the shells and wood a glossy sheen. My...

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Woodworking 101

DIY Kids: Woodworking 101

Last week when it was my turn to host Camp Del Ray (our 5-day, 5-family summer camp co-op), I wanted one big activity that would take a lot of time and not require buying extra stuff. So when I found a pile of wood scraps at a friend’s house and in my basement, I thought a woodworking activity would be a lot of fun. After all, it was something I would have loved to do when I was a kid. I explained to the campers that they would be making wood boxes or shapes that they could paint and use for whatever they wanted — a storage box for desk supplies, a house for a small stuffed toy, etc. However, when I told them they had to start from scratch, the blank stares I got made me realize they didn’t all have the advanced spacial reasoning skills needed for this project. With a little help from me and my husband, they started to understand. I encouraged them to start...

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Posted by on Jun 25, 2013 | 0 comments

Homemade Bubbles and Beaded Bubble Wands

Homemade Bubbles and Beaded Bubble Wands

This week, Katie and I and three other Del Ray families are participating in a week-long summer camp co-op, which we’re calling Camp Del Ray. Each day of the week, one family hosts everyone else’s kids for the day. I started out the week yesterday with six kids piled into my living room at 8 a.m. ready for an entire day of fun and games. Needless to say, my personal goal was to have several crafts, outings, and cooking activities up my sleeve so not one single kid (boys and girls, age 5-9) would ever utter, “I’m bored.” Here was one activity that worked out well: We made personalized bubble wands with alphabet, glass, and wooden beads, and we used a DIY giant bubble wand and homemade bubbles. Easy DIY Bubble Solution You can find various recipes on the Web, but the basic idea is to mix dish soap (Joy, Dawn, for example, or in my case, Palmolive) with corn syrup (or glycerin), and water. The ratios differ based...

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Posted by on Jun 12, 2013 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Making Finger Paints

DIY Kids: Making Finger Paints

When I learned how easy it is to make finger paints at home, I swore I’d never buy a set from a store again. A box of food coloring costs less than $5, and you probably already have the other ingredients in your pantry: corn starch, salt, and sugar. Other than that, the recipe calls for water. And it only takes 20 minutes or so to make a batch. We made some on a rainy weekend morning recently. In a sauce pan, mix a 1/2 cup of corn starch… Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt… Stir in 3 cups of warm water and stir over medium heat constantly until the mixture thickens. This took about 4-5 minutes. Distribute among containers… Mix in as much or as little of the food coloring, in any color combinations you like… This is a nice opportunity for kids to practice color mixing….see how blue and red make purple. Let the finger paints cool… And let the kids have...

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Posted by on Jun 5, 2013 | 0 comments

The Del Ray Farmers’ Market: A Child’s Photo Essay

The Del Ray Farmers’ Market: A Child’s Photo Essay

Nadja, my 5-year-old daughter and I, arrived at the Del Ray farmers’ market early enough on Saturday morning to beat the crowds. We started off with donuts and then I taught her the phrase “getting the lay of the land” as we strolled from vendor to vendor to decide what to bring home for the week and what to put in a fruit salad for an afternoon potluck. I gave Nadja my smartphone for a little while so she could wander around and take some photos herself. The results are this photo essay showing what’s in season at our neighborhood market, shot from her unique vantage point. What are you enjoying at the farmers’ market these days?...

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