A Gift is Something You Make: 3 Easy Presents

The greatest gifts cost next to nothing, are infused with love, and require only a little hands-on time. Save an afternoon for your family to create the best kind of gifts–the ones made and given straight from the heart. Clothespin Vase What you will need: I package of peg clothespins Duct tape Large tuna can […]

The Importance of Clean-Up: 10 Ways to Boost Help

Our young son was building tanks and trucks from a gigantic plastic bin filled with Legos. It was a multi-day process that required experimental crashes down the stairs, and head-on collisions between vehicles to see which design was stronger. On day three I surveyed the mess, the wrecks, the scattered bricks of plastic. I was […]

Top Toddler Activity: Cotton on a Contact Sheet

This is an easy activity that takes only a few moments to set up. Toddlers love to set and re-set the cotton balls into free form art! Tape the contact sheet in a window or French door near where the action is—a kitchen or a family room for example. What you will need: Tape Clear […]

Building Better Brains: Kool-Aid Play Dough

This is a multi-sensory activity perfect for rainy days when there is nothing to do!  Playing with  dough also is good for small motor skills.  Pull out old kitchen utensils (rolling pin, cookie cutters, etc) to add to the fun. What you will need: 4 packages Kool Aid 3 cups white flour 1 cup salt […]

Edible Art: Gorgeous Holiday Cookies

The trouble with doing kids’ projects on a Mudpie Mama deadline means the family may or may not be in the mood to participate, but I have no choice. I crack the whip, order them to the table where the project supplies are laid out and I command them to have fun and create something. […]

Edible Peanut Butter Play Dough

What better project than one you can not only play with, but also eat? This is a multi-sensory project that kids of all ages enjoy. Bring out the cookie cutters, scissors, a garlic press, spoons and bread knives. Your child can make pretend pancakes or cookies laid on a cookie sheet. What you will need: […]

Boredom Buster: Prop Boxes!

By Paula Solis Krock A Prop Box is a plastic square box you fill full of pretend play props to encourage your child’s imaginative play, vocabulary, pre-literacy skills and social and emotional development. A Prop Box is labeled, and stored away for use when your child needs an imagination boost! Don’t leave these out for […]

Finding Love and Magic at a Rummage Sale

It was my idea of a great rummage sale. I skipped the tables with crowds around them and headed for the empty corners where creative possibilities were disguised as junk. I found old transistor radios and alarm clocks to take apart, horn rim glasses and a long blonde wig for the dress up box, a […]

Outdoor Art: The Best Foot Paint Ever

My favorite projects in the whole world are those that send kids outdoors, armed with color and imagination and energy. There is no better place to make art!  Outside is a mess-forgiving place that absorbs the drips and spills of budding Van Goghs of all ages and allows their imaginations full rein. The Best Foot […]

Sand Castle Clay

Bring home some sand next visit to the beach, or buy some at the hardware store and make sand sculptures tides and time won’t touch! Make a small sand castle using tiny cups and boxes as forms, or triple the recipe for a king size castle. What you will need: 2 cups sand 1/3 cup […]

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