Friday, February 28, 2014

10 Arts and Crafts for Kids

Hailey loves to do arts and crafts. I really enjoy doing it with her too. Here are some arts and crafts projects we've done together.

As much as we enjoy making a crafty mess together, I just don't do it often enough. I'm out to change that. Hopefully we can get our hands messy more often and have fun doing it together. I have spent some time scouring Pinterest and the internet for some fun ideas. From that, I have compiled a list of 10 activities to do with toddlers and preschoolers.

hillmade | 10 arts and crafts for kids

Don't these crafts look so fun!? I have created a Pinterest board dedicated to crafts for kids where I pinned these crafts and more. If you like these, follow me on Pinterest to see what other fun crafts I discover!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kids | Magic Crayon Resist Art

One of Hailey's favorite activities is to paint with watercolors. I can give her paper, a cup of water, a set of watercolors and she is set for a good half hour of fun. I know half an hour doesn't sound all that long, but if you have kids, you understand that an activity that keeps a small child's attention for that long is golden.

Today we spiced things up a bit. We used a white crayon to draw out a design, and then painted over it with watercolor and watched the design appear. I've seen this done many times elsewhere online, but we've never tried it. Today was the day!
Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

I call it magic crayon art, and of course it really isn't magic. I totally wish I could perform actual magic, just like Harry Potter. (Don't we all?) It is a simple illusion, that seems so magical to children. As you paint over the crayon with the watercolor, the crayon resists the watercolor and becomes noticeable as the color fills up the paper around the crayon mark. 

Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

Start with a white crayon and a white piece of paper. Draw your design.

Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

Can you see it in the picture below? I know, it's hard to see white on white. I thought I'd try.

Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

Now wet your brush, grab some color, paint away and watch the design pop out.

Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

Magic Crayon Resist Art | | Draw a picture with white crayon and watch it appear with watercolor!

Hailey had fun painting. She didn't completely get the idea of painting all over and seeing the white pop out. She was concerned with tracing over what she had drawn with crayon. She enjoyed herself, that's what really matters.

I love using thick paper for painting and watercolor. It holds up so much better. For this project, Hailey used a sketch pad that we pull out occasionally. Usually, when we paint we pull out our big coloring book from Melissa and Doug. The paper is nice and thick and the pictures are big, so even the smallest kids can color in detail. I also like that it has a spot on each page for the child's name to encourage writing.

 Melissa and Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad- Blue  Melissa and Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad- Animals Melissa and Doug Jumbo Coloring Pad- Pink

I love that this art project is so quick and easy to prepare! Spur of the moment, I wanted something fun to do with Hailey. I remembered seeing this idea, so we grabbed our supplies from the closet and just a couple of minutes later off we were creating! No real preparation needed, besides filling up a cup with water for the brush. Clean up is easy too.

Give it a try. I plan on making my own artwork with it too. :)

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Printable | Survival Bracelet Thank You Cards

Kyle and I keep Valentine's Day pretty simple. I still wanted to do something small for him. Just a little something to say, I was thinking about you. I love you... Happy Valentine's Day. Kyle has mentioned a few times that he would like a paracord bracelet. So, that is what I gave him.   

Survival bracelet thank you cards |

But, wait! What is paracord? Ok, so maybe you are awesome and know exactly what paracord is. Or maybe you are still awesome, but are more like me and have no idea what it is. I didn't know until Kyle pointed it out to me a few months ago. Paracord is nylon cord used in parachutes. It is durable cord that can be used for many purposes. The paracord bracelet is cord wrapped around itself, fastened by a buckle. When unwound it provides for cord to be used when you really need it. It's a way to have some cord on you at all times, like when you are outdoors hiking or camping or whatever. Clever, eh?

After making Hailey's dinosaur Valentine cards, I was in a punny mood. I created a punny Valentine's card to go along with my gift. But, since Valentine's Day is gone for another year, I decided to slightly change it up to be a thank you card. And of course, I'm sharing it with you!

Click on the image below to download a set of paracord thank you cards.

There are four pages in the file, one for each color, with four cards per page. Print the cards out on cardstock, cut them out, and then using an X-acto knife cut along the dotted lines to cut out the holes to slip the bracelet through.

Recent Posts: | American flag made using recycled wood Mini Pizzas | | A fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen Quick and Easy Pizza Dough | | You can freeze it too! Par bake the crust and freeze it for an even quicker meal!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

From Deck to Flag

Happy President's Day! To celebrate, how about an American themed post for today?

When we moved into our house we knew our deck needed some love. Nails were popping up and the wood was splintering. Well, it turns out the deck needed a whole lot of love. After Kyle's foot nearly went through the wood when he stepped on it, we decided it was best to tear it down and build new. When Kyle tore it apart and we discovered all sorts of rot.

Not all of the wood was rotten. A good part of it was, but there was still some that was usable. So, of course, Kyle got to work reusing the wood. He had an idea to make an American flag. It is similar to pallet art, but instead it's tear-down-your-old-deck art

We opted to use a brighter red and blue color than an actual American flag. We did this because it sticks with the color scheme we have going on elsewhere in the house. We used the red for our front door, and the blue on the tree painting that is hanging in our living room.

After he assembled the wood, Kyle taped off the stripes and rolled the red paint on. To do the stars, we cut them out of cardstock, taped them into place, and Kyle rolled the blue paint on right over the top. It actually worked great! I was worried the paint might leak through, but the stars came out nice and crisp.

Here is the finished product. This thing is big. Like 6.5 feet wide big. It's pretty awesome.  It sure makes quite the statement, doesn't it?

It seems that Kyle and I have a tendency to take on a lot at one time. There is typically some sort of project in progress around here.. When Kyle was working on the flag, there were two other projects that we were also working on. Kyle used the deck wood to make a frame for his tree painting in our living room, and we bought and reupholstered an old couch which we also placed in our living room. Here is what our garage looked like with three projects in progress at the same time:

I think we need a shop... :)

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For more repurposing ideas, follow my repurposing board on pinterest!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cook: Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Like most Americans, we love pizza at our house. We enjoy ordering pizza on occasion, but we really love making our own pizza. Ordering out is good, but sometimes homemade pizza just tastes better.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough // // You can freeze it too! Par bake the crust and then freeze it for an even quicker meal.

On Monday I shared our fun make-your-own mini pizza lunch. Today I am sharing the pizza dough recipe we use. It is so easy. And it's quick. It doesn't have to rise all day, just two quick 10 minute rises. That's it. That means you don't have to plan way ahead to make pizza. It can be a last minute decision. I like that.

The pizza crust process is pretty simple. Mix your dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes. (Hailey has totally picked up on letting the dough rest. She told me the other day she needed to let whatever she was cooking up in her play kitchen "rest".) Separate the dough into either half (for regular pizzas) or into 8 balls (for mini pizzas). Roll each ball into a circle. It doesn't have to be perfect- it's going to be eaten and then no one will see it.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Place the dough onto your baking sheet/pizza stone. Prick the dough all over with a fork and sprinkle on some Mozzarella cheese.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Par bake those puppies for 5-ish minutes, until the cheese is melted. Make sure you do this so the pizza sauce doesn't make your crust soggy!

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

After the crust has par baked you can then either top your pizza with goodness and bake it a little longer, or if you aren't going to use the crust immediately, you can wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

I love to freeze the par-baked crust. I just started doing this a few months ago. It is so handy! Next time you want to make pizza, pull out your crust, let it thaw at room temperature for a little bit, dress it up with sauce and toppings and bake it like normal. Or, if you're impatient like I was the other day, put the crust in the preheated oven for a minute to thaw it quick!

Ok, now that I've blabbed...moving on to the recipe.

Pizza Dough
Makes 2 (12") pizzas, or 8 mini pizzas

1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups flour

Mozzarella cheese
pizza sauce
pizza toppings

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour. Mix to form a slightly sticky dough. If more flour is needed add up to 1 cup more. 

3. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

4. Separate the dough in half, making two balls (or eight balls for mini pizzas). Using a rolling pin, roll each ball out into a large circle. Let the dough rest for another 10 minutes.

5. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Lightly sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the dough. Par-bake the crust for 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is close to beginning to brown.

6. Once the crust is par-baked, add toppings and bake it again for another 6-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly brown.
[You can make this recipe in the bread machine. (My recent new best friend.) Add the ingredients into the breadmaker wet then dry. I add the yeast last, just because that is what my breadmaker recommends. Set the dough cycle and let it run.

Pizza Sauce
Makes enough for 2 (12") pizzas, or 8 mini pizzas

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic salt

Stir all ingredients together. Spread on par baked pizza crust.

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