Happy Hanukkah and More

If you are looking for some kid friendly activities, crafts, recipes and coloring pages celebrating Hanukkah, check out this web site: Best Blog For Kids Who Hate To Read hosted by Gail Terp.  I’ve mentioned her site before, but it can’t be beat when it comes to age appropriate activities for children, especially during the holidays.  http://www.gailterp.com

brainygymdublin.com  is a great site for kids with disabilities.  It offers many activities and games using simple props such as bean bags.

Have a safe and healthy Holiday season and enjoy these wonderful websites.



Make these fun fashion blankets, scarves and pillows for yourself or to give away as gifts. You don’t need to sew or glue them. All you need is some fleece, a ruler and a pair of fabric scissors. You will also need some stuffing to make the pillow. Fabric scraps, old nylons, or polyester fill work well.

To make a scarf or blanket:  1. Cut fleece to the desired size using a ruler to make sure your line is straight.

2. Fringe the edges as shown, and you’re done! (photo A)                             

To make a pillow:  1. Cut two pieces of fleece the same size. Holding both pieces together, cut fringe on all four sides as shown, discarding the corner pieces. (photo B)

Figure B

2. Tie the front and back together by knotting each fringe strip on three sides to make a pocket.

3. Stuff with fabric scraps or polyester fill. (photo C)

Figure C


4. Tie remaining side and Voila! Instant pillow. (photos D and E)

Figure D


Make them for dolls, or for decorating throughout the house.    It’s an easy, fun way to add color to a room.  You can also glue on felt shapes or letters to personalize each one.

Figure E

Felt Star Ornament

If you’re looking for a simple craft for the classroom, Scout group, or church youth activity, this star can’t be beat.  All that is required is:  a piece of card stock, black Sharpie marker or pen, felt scraps of various colors, fabric glue, scissors, and a needle and thread for hanging.


1.  Draw some triangle templates on the card stock to use as tracers.  Cut them out.

2.  Trace the triangles onto the felt and cut out.  You will need FIVE triangles for each star.

3.  Arrange the triangles so that points overlap as shown in the photo.

4. Glue the corners and let it dry.

5.  Attach thread to one point by pushing it through the felt with a needle as if you were sewing.  OR you can poke a wire ornament hanger into the fabric and hang it that way.

Use them to decorate a tree, window (gold ones look especially pretty here), or to embellish a gift.You can make a mobile of hanging stars by tying them onto a wire coat hanger or “clothesline”.  Don’t have felt scraps?  Make the stars from card stock or construction paper.

They are so quick and easy to make, you’ll want to give them away to everyone you know.

Got Pumpkin?…Make Smoothies!

Pumpkin is one of the traditional tastes of the holiday season.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin soup this time of year. If you love the taste of pumpkin, but are tired of the regular ways to serve it, try this simple and tasty recipe for PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE.  You will need a blender and the following ingredients:

1/2 C plain or vanilla yogurt,  a splash or orange or apple juice, 1/4 C pumpkin puree, 1 small banana or half a large one,  a dash of cinnamon.

Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.  Add more juice if the mixture is too thick. While I prefer my smoothies less sweet, you could add a bit of honey or maple syrup for added sweetness.

Great Site for Kids Who Hate to Read

I have been fortunate to discover a wonderful blog full of all kinds of links to crafts, recipes, puzzles, games, riddles, books  and more for children who might otherwise not be looking for these kinds of activities.  The site: Best Blog for Kids Who Hate to Read   http://www.gailterp.com   has so much to offer I wanted to pass it along.  Please check out all of Gail’s postings.  There are so many wonderful activities, you will be sure to find something for any child. This week had lots of crafts and child friendly recipes for Thanksgiving.

Beginning next week, I will be posting recipes, crafts and simple gifts your child can make to give for the holidays.  Stay tuned.

May you and yours have a Thanksgiving Day filled with blessings.

Got Too Many Leftover Halloween Treats?

If you’re left with an abundance of Halloween Candy, you can send it to Veterans and Active Duty Troops stationed overseas.  There are other things you can also send. Knitted scarves, handwritten letters, or pictures drawn by a child are always welcome by service members. OPERATION GRATITUDE is collecting these items and more to fill care packages for veterans and those in active service. Visit the website to find a list of what to donate.  Help make the holidays a little nicer for these unsung heroes.


Holiday Crafts and More.

There are numerous websites with fun, easy and creative activities and crafts for children of all ages.  Here are three I’ve recently visited.

1. ehow.com:  This site lists crafts by category and has something for just about any interest or occasion.  The directions are clear and easy to follow.

2. enchantedlearning.com:  This site has plenty of free Thanksgiving Craft ideas for table decorations and also offers printable Activity Books for every occasion for a small yearly membership fee.

3. kaboose.com:  If you’re looking for simple, fun-filled craft projects that require few materials and time, this is a great place to explore. Two Thanksgiving projects – Turkey Note Holder and Spoon Pilgrims – are colorful and easy for children as young as 5 or 6 to make.

If you’re looking to add a homemade festive touch to the holidays, and get your children involved as well, spend a few minutes browsing these sites and you’ll walk away inspired and ready to create.

Origami 101

The art of paper folding – also known as Origami – has a long history and following. There is even a national organization devoted to the art where you can get patterns, connect with fellow paper folding enthusiasts, and even attend conventions to learn different techniques. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at paper folding, here is a simple and satisfying project for beginners.


Take a 6” square sheet of origami paper or copy paper cut to size and follow the steps below:

  1. Colored side up – fold corner to corner in both directions, crease and unfold. (See figure A)

    figure A

  2. White side up – fold side to side, crease and open. (figure B)

Figure B

  1. Hold onto horizontal crease.  Push toward center until it collapses into a square on existing creases.    (Figure C)

    Figure C

Hold model so open edges are at top.

figure D

  1. Take top edge nearest you and fold down into square

    figure E

    exposing white sails.   Repeat on other side.  (figure E)

  2. Fold bottom colored point up to allow boat to stand.   (figure F)

<—-(figure F)

You can glue this to a card, use it as a placeholder for a party or to decorate party bags, etc.  Or hang them from strings across a coat hanger to make a mobile of floating boats.  For many more ideas on paper folding, visit origamiusa.org     Send me photos of your saiboats, and I’ll post some of them here.    Happy Folding!         

Fall and Holiday Crafts

There is a great sight that I’ve mentioned before for parents who want ideas for holiday and seasonal crafts.  It’s called makeplaydoh.com and it is filled with simple crafts for kids of all ages. Some  that are especially great for fall include: apple prints, Thanksgiving necklaces, pinecone turkeys, ideas for the decorating the dinner table, and many more.  The sight also includes recipes for the holidays. Be sure to check out this kid friendly website.

Children Who Love to Write

If you know any child who enjoys creating stories, here are two websites that allow him or her to see a story in print and get feedback from peers.

1. Storybird.com lets children build illustrated stories by dragging and dropping artwork and adding your own text. Electronic stories are free.  Print options cost money depending on what you want.

2. youngwritersonline.net allows writers in their teens and twenties to post, discuss and critique work online from an active community of peers.

Don’t let your child’s creativity go to waste.  Check out these sites and let imaginations soar.   Happy Writing!