Thursday, July 22, 2010

Configure Your Own Cardboard Castle

We made this cardboard castle set, and it kept the girls happy and busy for a large part of this afternoon. For something as frugal as cardboard, it was a big hit!

Not only did they spend a lot of time immersed in pretend play, but they also really enjoyed getting to decorate the castle exactly the way they wanted. We did a sort of assembly-line style production. I cut the cardboard, Clara did some scribbling.....

.... then Emily took over to put on the finishing touches of flower drawings and glue on bits of colorful tissue paper!

With the help of a bit of wire, I was able to make a working drawbridge! The girls LOVED that!!

I enjoyed watching them come up with all sorts of different configurations for their castle.

The peg dolls seemed right at home here.... Hello, peg doll!

It was starting to get dark outside, and they were still having so much fun!

Finally, it was time to get dinner started, but I have a feeling we'll be enjoying a lot more play time with this castle for the next couple of days.... (or weeks)! 

I have some exciting things planned for our little bloggy-blog: Mark and I have been hard at work on a new layout that will make finding activities by theme, age, holiday, etc. SO much easier! There's even a section for "quick and easy" activities, and you can upload photos of your versions of our projects to share!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Simple Farm Take-Along Toy

I had a bit of red and white wool felt leftover from the fold up kitchen set I made last week, which worked out perfectly to make this sweet travel farm set! It was an easy, quick and very frugal sewing project that gave the girls hours of imaginative play!

The animals are the free figurines that come with boxes of Red Rose Tea, and now they finally have a home. The girls loved this set so much, I couldn't keep them away from it!

The felt play mat folds up to fit inside the barn too. I added a handle to the barn so they can carry it with them wherever they go -- picnics, Grandma's house, the garden. The poor dog kept knocking on the barn door, but no one would let him in.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quick Craft -- Colorful Window Display

I thought our front door needed a bit more..... color.

So we broke out the paints and markers.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Super-Easy Cool Comets

Faced with yet another hot afternoon, we made up some comets, dipped them in a bucket of water, and the girls had a blast hurling them at each other until they were soaked!

It started off innocently enough with Emily tossing a comet at Clara.....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday Snapshot -- You MUST Try This!

If you do only ONE thing this Summer, you MUST do this!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

WOW!!! Summer Prize Pack Giveaway from CSN Stores

WOW!!! Here's a SUPER FUN Summer Prize Pack Giveaway from our very generous sponsor, CSN Stores!

CSN Stores is made up of more than 200 online stores, and offers an incredible array of products ranging from everything you need for your dining room to fantastic toys. They offer quick shipping and friendly customer service.

One VERY lucky Frugal Family Fun Blog reader will win a SUPER FUN Summer Prize Pack consisting of the following items (giveaway open to all US and Canadian residents only):

The kiddos will never be bored in one of these Super Duper Kid Play Tent by Pacific Tents!!

If they ever decide to come out of the tent, they might want to cool off with one of these Penguin Splash Slip 'N Slide Junior......

.... or maybe the entire family would like some frozen treats made with these Volcano Fillable Ice Pop Molds?

Of course, we do what we can to promote pretend play here at Frugal Family Fun Blog, so I thought it would be nice to include this Pretend Ice Cream Play Set by Melissa and Doug....

..... and we also encourage lots of craft time! So how about a Pack of 100 Sheets of Bleeding Art Tissue Paper by Pacon Creative Products?

Finally, what Summer Prize Pack would be complete without a box of 52 Pieces of Jumbo Stick Sidewalk Chalk by Creativity Street?

Isn't it FANTASTIC?? The entire prize package has a retail value of just over $98.00!!! Woo Hoo!!!

To enter for your chance to win this amazing Summer Fun Prize Pack, leave a comment on this post telling us about one thing that makes you happy! Be sure to leave your email address in the comments field! You may enter as many times as you like.

For extra entries, you can also follow FFFB on Twitter, or subscribe to our feed. Blog/Facebook/Tweet about this fabulous giveaway. (Just leave a comment for each.)

Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 21st @ 6:30pm EST and winner will be chosen by

Good luck, and a BIG thank you to CSN Stores for this FUN giveaway opportunity!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DIY: Travel Play Kitchen Set

This travel play kitchen set was super-frugal to make, and is perfect for small living spaces since the entire set folds up!

I'm thinking we'll take it with us for trips to the garden plot, visits with grandparents, or just playing outside in the backyard like we did this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fun with Music -- Ribbon Dancing!

We had rain all day, and the girls needed to burn off some energy. So we tied some ribbon onto some canning lids, cranked up some Latin music, and had a DANCING fiesta in our living room!!

Woo hoo!! Both of the girls had so much fun!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mini Paper Doll Travel Set

This was a late night crafting project, but it started when I was thinking of ways to keep Emily occupied while waiting at a restaurant or doctor's office. These mini paper dolls are perfect because they fit in my purse, and I cannot wait to give them to her the next time we're stuck waiting somewhere. They cost practically nothing to make!

To make your own, start with an empty mint tin:

Remember those discontinued wallpaper sample books I've mentioned before? The ones you can pick up for free?? They work so well for this project! Cut out scenery for your dolls. I used an adhesive magnet strip to keep the scenery in place.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dear Tooth Fairy (and a Giveaway!)

There has been much tooth fairy excitement in this household today! This morning, Emily lost her first tooth!!

Think she was a little excited?

To celebrate, she wrote a short note to the tooth fairy during Clara's nap time.

Dear Tooth Fairy,
    Here is my 1st tooth! No cavities!!! 
Please bring 2 cans of tuna fish. 
<3, Emily

Seriously??? Two cans of tuna fish?? Hey, whatever makes you happy, kiddo. The Easter Bunny snuck a can of tuna in her Easter basket last year, and she said it was her favorite! Even more so than candy!! I think it's because we ration it out. Those two cans will be spread out over the course of a couple of months, so I guess tuna has become a treat.

Coincidently, if you're looking for sustainably caught tuna, check out Wild Planet -- it has the highest Omega 3's and low mercury content. Added bonus, it's on sale at Amazon

I stitched up a cute tooth fairy pillow earlier this morning -- it was a big hit! The pockets are big enough to hold a tooth and a little note. It is made with soft flannel, and the tooth is appliquéd on the outside pocket.

Isn't it so cute? The tooth fairy better appreciate it, I tell you! Emily thought it would be fun to give one away on the blog, and I completely agreed!!

Now the fun part -- one lucky reader will win a tooth fairy pillow similar to this one! Just leave a comment on this post telling us the craziest thing you or your kids ever asked for from the tooth fairy, and be sure to leave your email address in the comments field. Giveaway is open to all US and Canadian residents!

Giveaway ends Friday, July 16th @ 6:30pm EST. Good luck!!

Giveaway is now closed, and the winner is Abbie! Congratulations, and a big thank you to everyone who entered this fun giveaway! Be sure to check back -- another SUPER fun giveaway starts soon!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Watermelon Wrapping Paper

We have some special packages to mail out to friends, and I thought it would be fun to dress them up a bit. Emily had so much fun making this watermelon wrapping paper!! With just a bit of grown-up help, toddlers can have a go at this one too!

We used a potato to make the prints on long sheets of freezer paper using pink washable paint. I think it's kind of weird that we used a potato to make a watermelon print, but whatever! It worked well!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Funny Friday -- Have some free laughs!

Here are some videos that always make me smile!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

DIY: Summer Party Invites

After the girls were in bed, I sat down with some color coding labels (one of my fave art supplies, since they are sooooo frugal) and drew up some cute watermelons!

They are so EASY to do:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Solar-Powered Lunch!

We had a scorcher of an afternoon today -- prime conditions to make our own solar oven! We recycled a pizza box and a clear plastic lid from a disposable cake pan. Add a little aluminum foil, and voilá... a super eco-friendly and frugal solar oven!!

We even made our own sun tea, just to harness the power of the sun a bit more. I love that it's made from a tea called "Children's Tea". Mark and I often joke that it is "made from only the most well-behaved real children".

It's actually a caffeine free berry/honey tea, and it's quite delicious! 

Emily LOVED helping out with the solar oven! We made our own pizzas using spinach tortillas, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and oregano... yum!

Adjust the reflector to get as much sun as possible directed into the solar oven. You can use a stick or wooden dowel to prop it up, but we found a little more foil worked well too.

After a few minutes, the pizza was done and baked to perfection!!

Now it's time to stuff yo' face!!!

Nom, nom, nom!!

I love that we were able to bake while keeping the house cool, and without using any electricity! We had so much fun, that we may even try baking some cookies for dessert!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Painted Orange Slices

The girls loved painting these cute orange slices, and they were so simple to make! Just cut a paper plate in half, and use some masking tape to mark off the segments of the orange. Invite the kiddos over to paint!!

Emily will take any excuse to paint, plus her favorite color is orange, so this craft was an instant hit!

It didn't take long for Clara to get in on the painting action too!

Orange slices always make me think of Summer!

Allow the paint to dry completely, then peel off the masking tape and outline with black marker. Beautiful and super-frugal!!

Have fun!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Snapshot -- Home again, home again!!

Wishing everyone a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quick Craft -- Tie Dyed Sunshine Ornaments

You won't believe how quick, easy and frugal this project is!!

For a crafty fun time, fold a coffee filter in half 3 times, and cut the outer edge as shown.

Open up the coffee filter to make a sun, and invite the kiddos over to paint with yellow, orange, and pink/red water colors on it!!

Since Clara is so young, I gave her markers to use instead (which kept the mess to a minimum), and then she painted with water over top.

She loved all the bright yellow and orange!

...and she especially loved using the paintbrush with some water to blend the colors together!

Emily thought the colors blended so well that it looked a bit like tie-dye!

Groovy, man!

Allow the coffee filters to dry, and display proudly in a sunny window!

They make me smile every time I see them!! Have fun!!!

Emily and I will be on NBC's The 10! Show this Tuesday to demo quick (and frugal) Summer crafts for kids -- if you would like free tickets to the show, click here! We would LOVE to meet you!!
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