Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crafting with Kids

So Norman Rockwell! Photo by Seán.

NEWSFLASH: Winter's here!!! You know what that means, right? Kids stuck indoors. With you. Now, don't panic! I said DON'T PANIC!!! There's things that you can do to make this season more...I dunno, enjoyable? Here are a few cheap and easy ideas for cheap and easy things to do with your kiddos.

1. Bake

This weekend we baked butterscotch chocolate chip cookies. Zara was excellent at mixing and adding in pre-measured ingredients. It's a great way to work on math skills and hand-eye coordination.

The Mixing Queen hard at work. Photo by Seán.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 36 - about 160 calories each
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream the sugars and eggs. 
  3. Melt the butter and mix into the sugar and egg mixture. Add vanilla. 
  4. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Add it to the mixture. 
  5. Mix in chocolate and butterscotch chips. 
  6. Using a (heaping) teaspoon, drop balls of dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. An average sheet will take about 6 cookies.
  7. Bake 5-7 minutes, until the bottoms become golden brown.
  8. Let the cookies set for a few minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer to cooling racks.
  9. Nom. Nom. Nom.

2. Make Your Own Crayons

The Frugal Homemaker sent me this photo. They're so adorable I want to eat them. But, I won't. Obviously. They're crayons for goodness' sake!

Skull Crayons by The Frugal Homemaker

She used the same (Well, not the same one. She bought her own.) silicone ice cube tray from the Dollar Tree that I used to make ice cubes and white chocolate skull cupcake toppers for my last Halloween party. You could easily have crayons for every occasion. If the occasion called for crayons. And, really, don't they all?

3. Decorate Clothespins

I know at first this one might seem strange, but hear me out. Spring-type clothespins make fabulous kitchen clips. And if there's one thing you can never have too many of, it's, kitchen clips. They're great for closing bags of anything and everything and can be used in the freezer.

Clothespins: Not for just clothes anymore.

These were decorated with bits of scrapbook paper and sealed with Mod Podge. If that's too much for your little one to handle, these would be great painted, colored with markers, covered in stickers, glittered, or decorated with ribbons. Really, the sky's the limit. Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything has a great tutorial on stamped clothespins. They're adorable and practical.

4. Salt Dough Sculptures

Yes, more salt dough! I love the stuff. It's easy, kid-friendly, and practically free. Once again, Zara busted out her mad mixing skillz and helped me make a batch of dough.

I've been informed by Miss Zara that the following sculptures are (clockwise from the top) a rock, a cloud, a clue (she's a Blue's Clues fan), a Daddy heart, and a Mommy heart, and in the center, a baby cloud and a baby heart.

Zara's sculptures

On this heart she drew a picture of a kangaroo and a monkey. Squint and tilt your head to the left. You can see it. She's a very talented child. And I may be a very biased mother.

A kangaroo and a monkey walk into a bar...

You'll just have to check back in to see exactly what I have planned for my little sculptures. I'm really not trying to be mysterious. I just didn't have time to paint today.

My sculptures are currently a work in progress.

Stay tuned to see my chubby little owl get a makeover.

Salt Dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Bake until hard. Check often. Cover with aluminum foil if it starts to brown
  3. Or do nothing and let it air dry. 
  4. Seal it or watch it go moldy. Your choice.

These are just a few things you can do to combat cabin fever. Good luck and pray for spring.


  1. Oooh, is that a salt dough hand print? Why didn't I think of that? How do you dry something so thick?

  2. Why, yes it is! This is our second year doing it. I baked it for hours. Seriously. Hours. It works, though. The one from last year held up fantastically well.


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