Thanksgiving Cookies: An Edible Craft

The following post was written by contributor Rae Grant and originally appeared November 2010.

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, home is a busy place. Thanksgiving Day is always a good time to offer kids a craft focus and it is the perfect opportunity to make new traditions.

Over the years, we have made pinecone turkeys, turkey handprints, wreaths, and nature centerpieces for the children’s table. I’ve found it is always a good idea to have a simple, seasonal craft project in mind when you have a group of kids for a holiday. It brings them together and adds an element of tradition to the festivities. It will also give them things to remember years later.

I recall one Thanksgiving when my brother was dive-bombing his small green plastic toy soldier directly into the mashed potatoes and gravy on his plate. No adults were watching and we kids were highly amused. We should have been crafting!

This year, I’ve decided to do something a little different to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving Day. After watching all the lovely changes in the leaves, making hand-cut sugar cookies in the shape of an autumn leaf seems like the perfect ending to a beautiful season.

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At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Forever Blowing Bubbles

The following is a post written by author and Crafts Contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.  This post originally appeared June 2010.

Some people say that kids will only be inventive if they are allowed to experience boredom. Although it was soap maker Andrew Pears who popularized bubble blowing in the late 1800’s, I have no doubt that it was probably a child who came up with the idea of making homemade bubbles one hot summer day in July.

Perfect Boredom Buster

With summer coming as fast as it can, so is the need to have a few activities for your kids to do when they have some down time. Making bubbles is one of the more simple and fanciful ways to spend a warm sunny afternoon. They work well on a grassy lawn, outside on the steps, under the  shade of a tree, and even in the kitchen.

When it comes to kids, bubbles have everything going for them; they fascinate, they float, have rainbow colors, and require some skill to blow a good bubble. They can be treated as a scientific experiment or as a past time. Best of all, they are inexpensive to make.

Bubbles are, indeed, the perfect boredom buster for a summer day.

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Mother’s Day Reminders

The following is by contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.

I‘ve been thinking about how I want to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. I’ve been a mom now for over a decade. While I love it, and it ranks as one of the best choices I ever made in life besides marrying my husband, I do sometimes feel that I am on the merry-go-round of life. Sometimes it’s dizzying, twirling and endlessly busy. Staying at home or going to a job, making a nice dinner or ordering take out, cleaning the house or hanging out and going for a quiet walk. No matter what walk of life we are on, we moms have so many demands and choices to make!

Celebrating Mother’s Day is a great opportunity step off the merry-go-round. It’s a chance to relax and regroup about our role as caregivers and how we choose to take care of ourselves.

Moms are on the job a 24/7. This time commitment lasts for years and for some, a lifetime. As a mom, one quickly learns that our kids take top priority and many of our own personal and long-term decisions and choices end up revolving around the needs of other people. That giving is what makes women good mothers, yet it is can also be what takes the life and fire out of motherhood.

Quite frankly, it can make a soul tired.

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Buttons, Buttons

The following is by Crafts contributor Rae Grant.

We all know our kids are really part chipmunk up until a certain age, so why not tap into that tendency to collect and create an heirloom button collection?

Buttons are some of the cutest DIY craft items a family can have around. When you get your kids involved with buttons, they will find that sewing it to a piece of fabric isn’t the only way to use these handy, colorful objects. Buttons can also be used for a number of craft projects outside their current purpose, which is to latch up a buttonhole.

Buttons are as old as modern civilization and were first used as seals, stamps, and ornaments long before they took their place with the buttonhole. So, pull out the clay and start stamping some fascinating patterns.

Let your kids start their very own collection, something they can create and keep during their childhood. Most families have a few buttons around, and of course, the craftiest of families probably have buckets around. Buttons are easy to find and easy to store.

Here are a few tips for getting your kids (and maybe yourself) into buttons: [Read more...]

At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Recycled Cardboard Summer Scrapbook

The following was written by contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.

With summer travel and lots of outdoors adventures still happening, what better way to have your kids preserve these memories than in a scrapbook made from recycled cardboard and paper?

Making and keeping a scrapbook can be a creative entry point for kids into collecting  postcards, letters, or plant specimens. They can also get experience documenting their adventures creatively. Even the youngest can hand and finger print pictures, draw pictures, and collect summer material such as leaves, flowers, feathers, to place in their journal.

Gathering recycled materials for this project is easy and it can show kids  just how much stuff we have around the house to use again! Depending on the materials you have on hand, and how your kids like to put pages together, each journal scrapbook will be unique (which of course can be very cool!)

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