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Kids Love Noise: 5 Easy DIY Instruments

My girls love noise! Making noise, playing music, experimenting with sound. It’s fun and a total kid thing. I find the noise makes me feel less crazy when I’ve had some hand in its creation and it is more organized. Ways I do that are to pretending we are in a band, playing their instruments along to music I actually like, and making our own  instruments…here are 5 DIY music instrument projects for kids 🙂

1. Celebration Cymbal


Celebration Cymbals craft

Get ready to march in a band! Lead the beat with your own colorful, fun cymbals.

Using Gel markers or permanent ones, doodle and design patterns and shapes, swirls and curls on both sides of two aluminum pie pans. Create a look as striking as the sounds you’ll make!

Hold the pans by their rims and clap them together.  (If you are feeling really creative you can hot glue pipe cleaners as handles on to the outside middle of the plate).

2. Paper Plate Maraca

This Paper Plate Maraca is an easy homemade instrument. Fill it with what ever you have around the house and you’re ready to make some music! These also make great noise makers for special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need…

• 2 Paper plates
• Glue or stapler
• Dried beans, unpopped popcorn or small rocks
• Paint and brush, markers or crayons

Here’s how you make it…

1. Paint your paper plates any color and design you choose – eating side down.

2. Once the paint is dry fill one paper plate with dried beans, popcorn, rocks or anything you have around the house that will make noise. Glue the paper plates together, and you’re done!


3. Water Bottle Maraca

Dig through the recycling bin and make this Water Bottle Maraca, a great homemade musical instrument for children of all ages! These also make great noise makers for New Years, birthdays or other special occasions!

Here’s what you’ll need

• Empty water bottle with lid
• Masking tape
• Paint/markers
• Popcorn/dried beans

Here’s how you make it…

1. Wrap your water bottle from top to bottom with masking tape.

2. Decorate your maraca by drawing or painting a unique design on the masking tape.

3. Fill your water bottle up with popcorn or dried beans, put the lid back on, and then shake, shake, shake!

You could also wrap your maraca in different colored duct tape if you have it lying around the house!



This is an easy way to make a guitar using an old shoe box or tissue box, rubber bands, scissors, a paper-towel tube, and a pencil.

  • Find an old shoe box, tissue box, or other cardboard box (cereal boxes work great!)
  • Have an adult cut an oval-shaped hole in the top.
Stretch a few rubber bands around the box and over the hole.
Put a pencil under the rubber bands on one side.
Optional steps. Tape on a paper-towel tube and decorate the box.


5. Rainstick

 Supplies needed:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (like lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta.
  • Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
Trace around the end of your tube onto a piece of brown paper (or construction paper). Draw a bigger circle around that circle and then draw a lot of spokes between the two circles.
Cut along the spokes.
Put glue on the spokes and glue the cap onto one end of your tube.
Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide.
Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes. Then twist each one into a spring shape.
Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube. Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full. You can experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.
Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first three steps) and cap your tube.


Optional: Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers). Rainforest designs are nice, especially brightly-colored butterflies, frogs, and flowers. Tiny construction paper butterflies (like the one on the right) are nice glued onto the rainstick.

Have fun and make some noise!!!


5 Fun Fall Crafts!! In 10 Steps or Less :)

image credit: pinterest

Project 1: Fall Pumpkins!!  Re-use those paper grocery bags hanging around with this easy project 🙂

Step One: Get a brown paper grocery bag

Step Two: Draw a pumpkin shape on the outside, write over any logo or writing it won’t matter

Step Three: Cut out your “pumpkin”, you will end up with two identical pumpkin cut outs.

Step Four: Place the pumpkin cutouts together with the logo or writing on the inside!

Step Five: Staple or hole punch along the edge of the pumpkins holding them together. If you use the hole punch option use yarn to “sew” the sides together leaving a little space at the bottom.

Step Six: Use all most all of the rest ( save a small piece for a stem and leaf) of the paper bag to stuff your pumpkin. tear into large pieces and crumple those and push into the opening you left.

Step Seven: Either staple or finish “sewing” you pumpkin closed.

Step Eight: Use the last piece of the bag to cut out a leaf and a stem for your pumpkin. either glue or staple on.

Step Nine: Paint the pumpkin any colors you wish. Can be made with a face as a jack o lantern or fall colors.

Step Ten: Hang and enjoy!!




photo credit:

 Project 2: Hand Print Trees!! Easy Treesy 🙂

Step One: Lay out a large piece of art paper

Step Two: Paint your childs hand, wrist to mid forearm with brown paint.

Step Three: Press the painted arm on the art paper. This is the tree 🙂

Step Four: On a paper plate or art tray put the colors of paint you want for leaves.

Step Five: Let the child use their fingers to make the tree leaves. Dip finger tips into the paint and press around the hand print top of the tree.



image credit: pinterest (original not found)

Project Three: Leaf Drawings: a study in leaf composition

Step One: Collect some fall leaves

Step Two: Cut the leaves in half

Step three: Glue the leaf halves onto a piece of art paper

Step Four: Using colored pencils or crayons have your child try to draw the rest of the leaf matching shape and color of the real leaf


image credit: pinterst (original

Project Four: Fall Apple Prints (great use for oldish apples)

Step One: Apples, cut in half (either length or width)

Step Two: Set out art paper or a long strip of newsprint

Step Three: Paper plates of paint

Step Four: Dip the apples into the paint and press on the paper

Step Five: Voila! Apple prints! If you print on large enough paper pieces they make great wrapping paper 🙂



image credit:

Project 5: Leaf People or animals or monsters or???

Step One: Gather various leaves

Step Two: Glue leaves to paper to create whatever your heart desires!!

Step Three: Let dry and add googly eyes and any other facial features 🙂




Happy Fall!!




6 DIY Activities for Outside Summer Fun!

6 Easy Outdoor DIY Ideas for Summer Fun!!

String Web: Take string or yarn and wind it all around your yard.. swing set, trees, patio furniture…then have the kids climb through!

Balance Beam Maze: Use boards to make a balance beam maze to follow around the yard! Easy to change the shape, add other challanges like buckets to step over.

tin can stilts: Easy, peasy!! tin cans, peel the wrapper off, use a nail and poke a hole in each side tie string or ribbon through and voila! Tin-can stilts!! Kids can paint these or add stickers for extra fun!


Hoola Hoop Hide-out: This looks awesome!! I can already picture my girls reading in these, relaxing, maybe even napping! (Well, I can dream…) Our dollar store sells hoola hoops and if you don’t have an extra old sheet, head to the Good-Will or similar second-hand shop for a cheap one. I plan to do that and buy two white ones. I’m going to let them use fabric paint and stamp the sheets to personalize their hide-outs 🙂


Hammer and Some Nails: Easy as it sounds! My girls love to just hammer…it is amazing how careful they are.

Nora hammering


Magic Ice Blocks: Fun for those hot summer days. Fill a Tupperware round or rectangle container with water, add marbles, plastic figurines and animals, shells, coins, glass jewels….then freeze! Kids can either pour water in the ice block or wait for it to melt in the sun to get to the ‘treasure’. You can also make mini ice cube treasures using your ice-cube tray and hiding small items in each one 🙂



 Have Fun!!

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6 Super Easy & Practically Free: Summer Crafts for Kids!

Summer is here! For school age kids and their parents that means that there can never be too many ideas for how to occupy those little minds and hands (and for those like me with little ones around ALL the time, I know I’m always looking for easy craft ideas). Here are 6 activities which are easy, fun and practically FREE!!


Sensory Bottles! Empty plastic bottle, miscellaneous small objects ( beads, rings, rubber snakes, sequins…) glitter, water or oil water combo (use oil for waves) Stick objects in bottle, fill with water and/or oil, add some glitter and seal with super glue, hot glue, or duct tape. Then shake away 🙂 sensory bottles


Colorful Wax Rocks! Heat rocks in the oven or in the sun (not too hot, just warm to the touch). Color them with crayons and watch the colors swirl. Beautiful and fun! I plan to use ours to decorate our garden. I bet you could even color the rocks first and then set them in the sun if you live in a hotter climate.wax rocks


Stained Glass Candle Jars: Kid style! Reuse any glass jar by turning it into a beautiful candle holder for those outdoor summer picnics. Wash the jar and remove the label. Cut pieces of tissue paper (we use the tissue I save from gifts) into squares or shapes. Tearing it into bits works too. Paint the glass jar with liquid white glue (Elmer’s type) and stick the tissue onto the outside of the jar. If you want to make these last longer you can spray the outside with a spray fixative but it is not necessary.

  • stained glass jars


Toilet paper/Paper towel Roll Crafts! My girls love these tubes for spy glasses, instruments (they love to blow into them making noise) and we have cut out characters, people or animals from magazines and glue them to the tubes to make a version of a stand up paper doll. Last Christmas we even made a paper roll advent tree to hide the activity & treat surprises for each day leading up to Christmas! Here are 20 other ways to use these paper rollers.

advent tree


Magic Wands: My kids love sticks! I know they can be mildly dangerous but if they aren’t sharp and are used in positive creative way, they are great fun! You’ll need lots of glitter glue (we use the tubes from the dollar store) paint the stick with the glue, then add ribbons, leaves, sequins, stickers….you get the idea, and voila…MAGIC!


Egg Carton Crafts! My girls also love egg cartons. We have made flowers, caterpillars, sorting trays…They are fun to paint, color with markers, crayons, add some glitter…the sky is the limit.

egg carton








Easy Father’s Day Craft Ideas to do with Children

Father’s Day is Sunday June 15th. At my house it’s usually at the very last-minute my daughters say they want to “make a craft for Daddy”, and then we are scrambling to pull something together from a rag-tag box of art supply leftovers. They get their “last minuteness” from me, I’m afraid, along with their penchant for crafts. I can’t say I mind. I do kind of revel in the creative panic that sets in and just going for it. Everything usually turns out just fine. BUT…I did think that this year, being my year of meaningfulness and this blog, that I would attempt to be ahead of the game and have some Father’s Day craft ideas in my back pocket, so to speak.

Here are a few I found from various sources which I tried to attach the links. Hopefully I have given credit where credit is due, since NONE of these crafts ideas are originally mine.

This Dad paperweight looks easy and fun. My girls love most any salt dough creations. The recipe we use is equal amounts salt and flour with water as needed. Start with 1 cup salt & 1 cup flour 1/2 cup water…then go from there depending on how much dough you need. If you want smoother less grainy dough use more flour and less salt. You want the dough to be a good consistency. Not too sticky and not too dry. Then it looks like you could use rocks, shells, beads, sticks…to write the message in the dough. If it’s a paper weight then shorter works would be best, but it could be a wall hanging or a desk sign which could be longer. Be creative!

Here is an example:

This next craft looks really cute. All you need is a shoe of dad’s and the a shoe of your child, and either a canvas or paper. You would want to use acrylic paint if you want to print on a canvas (most arts/craft stores such as JoAnn’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby have pre-stretched canvases) or any type of paint for a paper print which could be framed. paint the bottom of the dads shoe and print. Let this dry, then paint the child’s shoe and print inside the dads shoe print. choose colors that are a good contrast so the smaller shoe will show up inside the bigger one.

The “About Dad” printables are fun to do each year. Candidly ask your child the questions and write down their often hilarious answers. Always good for a laugh!

This is a “About Dad” printable is formatted to be a card which is really great! could be printed on cardstock to be more durable.

Click to access dad-card.pdf

Download the card

I plan to do all of these with my girls since I’m planning so far ahead 😉 I will post pics after we do the crafts (although I’m warning you it might be day before the big day)… 😉


A fun day by day list of May holidays and activities to do with your child.

May Holidays to learn about, share a laugh, and have fun with your children 🙂

May 1- May Day : Make flower baskets and leave them on your neighbors porches, an oldie but a goodie. It’s also Save the Rhino Day: Rhino’s are being hunted into extinction. Be aware, support rhino conservation efforts. You could look on you-tube at some Rhino video, or head to the zoo, or the library and check out a book about rhino facts.

May 2- International Tuba Day: Tuba’s are awesome! Again you-tube is a great place to see some tuba playing action. There are also many interesting facts about tubas. Did you know they can weigh between 12-50 pounds?! It’s also Baby Day, take some extra time to snuggle your precious babies and dig out the baby photos. Kids love to see themselves as babies!!

May 3- Lumpy Rug Day: If you have an area rug, hide some rubber bugs or toys under making a “lumpy rug”. Children will love to try to figure out what is under there. And World Press Freedom Day created by the United Nations celebrating what journalists have sacrificed for freedom of press and expression. Read your kiddoes a non-fiction book of some sort today.

May 4- Star Wars Day: Because of the quote “May the force (fourth) be with you”. If your kids are old enough watch a Star Wars movie or build a Star Wars Lego set. It’s also Renewal Day, a day to start over. Remind yourself and your kids that mistakes are learning opportunities. We all need a do-over.

May 5- Cinco de Mayo: Celebrate Spanish or Mexican heritage or celebrate Oyster Day. You could make homemade tortillas and read a book about some amazing cultural heritage. To celebrate oyster day you could string some beads making a pearl necklace.

May 6- Teachers Appreciation Day. Have your child make a thank you card for their teacher!

May 7- School Nurses Day, again homemade kid cards are the best!

May 8- No Sock Day, Your kids will love this. No Socks Allowed! It’s also National Red Cross Day. There are many books that recognize their humanitarian and disaster relief efforts all over the world. Seriously awesome! Kids also love globes. Take a minute to address that some children are not as fortunate as we are.

May 9- Lost Sock Memorial Day. Again, your kids will think this is great. Maybe take all the single socks (if you keep them) and say a final goodbye. Turn them into hand puppets 😉

May 10- Clean Up Your Room Day. Woohoo! The kiddoes may not like this as much, but help them clean their room. They can help you clean yours too, if needed….

May 11- Mother’s Day, ah, celebrate all the mothers in your life! Grandmas, Mommy figures, etc. Cards and pictures are a great way to say I love you! Free print-ables

May 12- Limerick Day. Read some funny limericks. Maybe create one yourself. A five-line poem, where the 1st, 2nd,and 5th line all have between 7-10 syllables and rhyme, and lines 3 and 4 have between 5-7 syllables and also rhyme. So funny! Learn how here

May 13- Frog Jumping Day. So fun! Have frog races, hop like a frog around town (you kids especially) Look for frogs, read about frogs…if is frog related, do it! Most kids love frogs!!

May 14- Dance Like a Chicken Day. Oh, the Chicken Dance, a childhood favorite. Teach this dance to your children. It will be a great family laugh! Click here to learn the Chicken Dance!

May 15- National Chocolate Chip Day. This will be fun. Add choc chips to any and everything possible. Choc chip pancakes, peanut and choc chip sandwiches, make trail mix and add choc chips. It’s just one day and your kids will love the treats!

May 16- National Bike to Work Day, your kids aren’t going to work, but maybe bike to school or to the store or just around the neighborhood. And of course honor National Sea Monkey Day. It is always fun to buy the ‘grow your own creatures’ in water. They are pretty inexpensive and kids love these!

May 17-Armed Forces Day, say a thank you to all the men and woman who serve our country. If you have a family member who is or was in the service, maybe call and give them a special thanks!

May 18- International Museum Day & No Dirty Dishes Day. Go on a local field trip to the nearest museum. And maybe try to eat all finger food, using no dishes.

May 19- Boy’s Club Day, let’s call it Boys & Girl’s club day since it is to honor the importance of these groups in our community.

May 20- Pick Strawberries Day. Kids love to pick strawberries. If your area has them, find a field to go visit. If strawberries are not in your area. Maybe find another berry or fruit to pick. Kids love to pick berries!

May 21- National Memo Day. Kids love post-it notes. Have them write down what their tasks are for the day. Or play office 🙂

May 22- Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Dollar and discount stores have inexpensive instruments. Go instrument shopping and make a band. Also do some real instrument research online or in books. And if you play an instrument. Have a family concert!

May 23- Lucky Penny Day. Look for pennies on the ground and if anyone finds one be sure to yell, “you found a lucky penny”. You could also take a few pennies to a local fountain and have your kids throw them in making a wish.

May 24- National Escargot Day. talk to your kids about all the creatures that people eat that may seem strange to them. Kids love to hear about interesting things to eat!

May 25- National Missing Children’s Day, this one is important. Make sure you teach your children safety awareness. Create a ‘code word’ with your child that only safe people you know are privy to. Talk to your children about ‘stranger danger’. Click this link for tips

May 26- Memorial Day is a great day to see a parade and to remember loved ones who have passed away in any way that helps you feel comfort. Sally Ride Day honoring the first American woman to go into space. Building a cardboard box rocket is always fun! books by Sally Ride

May 27- Sun Screen Day. Talk to your children about the dangers of the sun and why sunscreen is important. Explain that we don’t just put it on them to torture them.

May 28- Amnesty International Day. Recognize the need to protect human rights around the world. Yes, we are all in this together. Discuss children in other parts of the world. There are organizations where you can adopt a third world country child on paper and feel connected to helping a less fortunate child.

May 29- Learn About Composting Day. Composting is really pretty cool and kids will love to make homemade dirt. Discuss landfill and ways to reduce waste. Easy do-it yourself project attached on building a composter

May 30- Water a Flower Day. Kids love to water. Get them out there watering all the plants. Again around here the dollar stores, and discount stores, even Targets dollar bins have kid watering cans. These are awesome!

May 31- World No Tobacco Day. discuss the dangers of smoking and tobacco use with your child. It’s very important to talk about this when kids are young. Before they make they hear about it from someone else, like a peer in school….How to talk to your kids about not smoking

Have Fun & Enjoy May!!

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