Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick and Easy Easter Crafts

Here are 3 easy Easter crafts you still have time for!


Painted wooden spoons are cute, fun and very easy to make. Pick up some spoons at your local craft store and paint them with acrylic paint. Add felt and rhinestones for finishing touches.


Head out into your backyard and look for some rocks to paint. 


These Hoppy Easter bags couldn't be easier to make. All you need are muslin bags, felt, glue and white pompoms. For a special touch, personalize with hand stamped names. 


Hope this helps get your creative juices flowing. Follow me on Instagram for more easy craft ideas. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Story Stones and Painted Rocks

I love that something as natural as a rock can been turned into something magical with just a little paint. Story stones and painted rocks are a great way to foster storytelling, creative play and conversations with your child.


I started my stone painting with a set just like this rainbow train set. My son was just starting to learn his colors and I decided to combine his two favorite things at the time...rocks and trains. These trains went with us everywhere. They were especially perfect as entertainment while we were at restaurants.


There's no exact way to use story stones. The idea is to help your child with imaginative play or encourage storytelling prompted by the images. For children who are just developing their vocabulary, have them select a stone and then incorporate it into a story you are telling. You can also ask them simple questions about the stones and what may happen next in the story. 


In addition to storytelling, painted rocks are wonderful for igniting ideas for creative drawings. Have your child select one or several stones to use as prompts to begin their drawing. 


For the story stones and painted rocks that I create I love using bright acrylic paints. And I love finding multiple uses for them. I often paint the back of the stones a solid color so that they can be used for additional play and even color recognition and matching. Since the rocks I use are smaller in size, I tend to use very small paint brushes for details. 


There's an endless amount of themes and possibilities when it comes to story stones. If you have some ideas in mind, but you're not sure if you're up for painting them yourself, I love to create custom sets for customers. You can message me directly from my ETSY shop


Here are a few more ways I've used painted rocks and story stones:




Come visit the Thrive 360 Living ETSY shop for more ideas or to purchase a set of your own. If it's just smooth flat stones that you need to create your own, I have those as well!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Valentines for Preschoolers

(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience.)

Jake is in love with hot wheels so for his preschool class I put together these fun valentines. All you need are hot wheels, toilet paper rolls, colored paper, strong double sided tape and stamps.

If you want to add something sweet, how about Smarties? They look just like little wheels.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Treasure Chest Box and Gems


Doesn't every little kid need a treasure box? I was so excited to make Jake one after Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores asked if I wanted to participate in their Cape Discovery Summer Crafting Challenge. As I browsed their catalog of kid crafts, the project that immediately jumped out at me was the treasure box

The great thing about treasure chests is that you can let your imagination run wild. As you can see, my finished treasure box is a bit different than the Jo-Ann's example. The possibilities are endless. 

To start, I took my treasure box kit and painted the box one of my favorite colors. You don't need a fancy paintbrush, I just used a foam brush and then a smaller brush for the edges. To give the box an aged look, I added a few streaks of brown once I finished my base coat. 


Decorating the box was the best part. In addition to small rhinestones, I used my own DIY glitter gems. You can find the tutorial here



The smaller glitter gems were perfect for decorating the outside of the box and the larger glitter gems made great treasures for inside the box. 


I thought that letter gems would be a fun way to put Jake's name on the top of the treasure chest. They are easy to make using clear glass stones that are rounded on one side and flat on the other. 


Here's how to make letter gems:

1. Cut scrapbook paper to fit the back of each gem.
2. Use a marker to draw a letter on each piece of paper.
3. Apply Mod Podge to the letter-side of the paper using a foam brush. Attach the paper to the flat side of the gem. Add another layer of Mod Podge over the back of the paper to make sure it is sealed. 


Of course you can't have a treasure chest and gems without a map and treasure hunt. For the map I drew a clue to where I hid each gem throughout the front and backyard of our house. To make the map a little more authentic, I burned the edges of the paper. I have to admit, burning the paper edges was not the easiest thing to do, and my hair as well as the bathroom sink smelled like a bonfire afterwards, but I do think the map looks cool. The map can also be used as a color matching game even after the treasure hunt is over. 

So, are you inspired to make a treasure box of your own now? If so, make sure you become a Jo-Ann preferred customer here and receive a 20% off coupon when you sign up. 


Don't go yet . . . there might be more projects you'd enjoy from Thrive 360 Living. See all of my Kid Crafts & Activities here and all of my DIY Crafts & Projects here. And don't forget to like Thrive 360 Living on Facebook
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