Tag Archives: DIY

Heart Stamping Valentine

Buddy’s school asked every student to make a Valentine for his or her classroom. I decided that we would do the heart stamping activity from last Valentine’s Day (read about it here). Once Buddy finished his painting, we made it into a valentine.

*Disclaimer – this blog contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you choose to purchase an item through a link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting my family.*

I started by pulling out a sheet of painting paper, which I taped down with painters tape. Then I pulled out a couple of paper plates, washable kids’ paint, a heart cookie cutter from the dollar store, and two toilet paper rolls. I poured paint on the plates, and I creased the toilet paper rolls to look like hearts. Finally I pulled out Buddy’s smock to keep the paint off of his clothes.

Buddy started with the cookie cutter. I liked using this in addition to the toilet paper hearts because it gave us a different size of heart. 

Once Buddy was done with the cookie cutter, we switched to the toilet paper hearts. We did these in two different colors. 

We let the picture dry for a couple hours. During that time, I asked Buddy about all of the things he loves about school. Once the picture was dry, I wrote his responses into some of the hearts with a black felt tip pen. Then we added a Happy Valentine’s Day and Buddy’s name at the bottom. 

I’m really happy with how this turned out! It was a lot of fun and very easy.

Toddler Quiet Book Pages

Last year, I created a quiet book for our family trip to Utah and California. (Read more about it here.) I was really happy with how it turned out. Since then, I’ve brought the quiet book with us to sporting events, plane trips, and road trips. It’s a great way to keep Buddy entertained on the go.

This summer, I decided I wanted to make a couple more pages for the quiet book. Now that Buddy is two, he can do more challenging quiet book activities. I chose two different designs to create.

For this shapes page, I used some large buttons that I had lying around the house. I traced them with chalk and then outlined them with puffy paint. I used hot glue to attach velcro and ribbon to the buttons. Then, I cut out the pocket for the buttons and sewed it to the other end of the strings. Buddy is very into shapes and colors, and he enjoyed solving this puzzle.

Recently, Buddy has been interested in helping me buckle his car seat. I looked at a lot of different buckle quiet pages, and I came across this dog design that I loved. Buddy loves dogs, and I knew the buckle would be extra fun. I found a picture I liked online and used freezer paper to trace it and make a pattern. I sewed together the parts of the dog and used fabric glue to put down the ears. (The fake fur is a mess, but Buddy really liked it.) Then, I sewed the ribbon onto the buckle and the leash clasp. I also added velcro to a dog bone and the dog’s tongue. Buddy was really excited about the dog, but the buckle and leash were a little hard for him. I’m sure this will be a page he grows into and will entertain him as he gets older.

I’m really pleased with how these pages turned out! It was a lot of work to make them, but a lot of fun too. I hope Buddy continues to enjoy them for a long time.

DIY Rock Box

I am always looking for new, fun play spaces for Buddy. After seeing many great outdoor play areas on Pinterest, I wanted to make something similar. There is a small, unused garden bed next to our deck that seemed perfect. Originally, I wanted to make a sand box. However, I couldn’t find a way to cover it that seemed appealing. I didn’t want to look at a tarp, and a custom wood lid is too much work. Then I came across the idea of a rock box on Two Twenty One’s blog. I knew a rock box would be perfect. 

Hubby, Buddy, and I went to Home Depot together to buy rocks. I had planned to buy pea gravel and large river rocks. However, Hubby pointed out that it would be hard to pick the pea gravel out of the grass. When he mows the lawn, he needs to know it’s rock free. We ended up buying white marble chips and Mexican beach stones. Both of these are easy to see in the grass.

I scooped out the mulch and relocated it to another flower bed. Then, I got rid of the weeds. After I did that, it looked like this. I had a pretty butterfly that stopped to visit my flower bed. 

Next, I dug down a bit to get rid of the last mulch shards. It also gave me more space for the rocks. I laid down some landscaping fabric on the bed to block weeds. Then I poured the rocks on top. I sprayed the rocks with the hose to get rid of the dust.  I’m really happy with how the rock box turned out. To make it extra fun, I set out some construction trucks and sand toys in the rocks. Buddy was so excited when he saw it. After spending a week playing with his construction site sensory bin, he could finally play with real rocks! We’ve played with it several times since I made it, and it’s so much fun!




DIY Portable Road Strips

Buddy and I started our summer break with a road trip to see my family. Before our trip, I looked for new toys to keep Buddy occupied at his Granddad’s house. I wanted to find or make things that were small enough to travel with us. Since Buddy loves cars and trains, I decided to make portable road strips.

To make the road strips, I cut strips of black felt that were 2.5 inches wide. I decided to make them this width in order to be wide enough for Buddy’s Smart Wheels Cars (affiliate link). Some of them are straight, and some have corners. I wanted a variety of road strips so Buddy could set up the road in many different ways. I used white puffy fabric paint to make a dashed line in the middle of each road strip. 

We played with the portable road strips several times on our trip. Every time, Buddy was really excited to see the road and help set it up. He figured out quickly how to fix it by patting it flat when it got scrunched up a little. 

Buddy also really enjoyed mixing up the layout of the road. He needed a little help to get everything put together, but he could do a lot of it himself. Buddy tried his road strips on both the floor and the couch. 

After awhile, Buddy wanted to put other things on the road besides his cars. He walked his stuffed bunny up and down the road. He also put some of his Melissa and Doug Alphabet Train Lacing Beads (affiliate link) on the road. 

This was such an easy DIY project. It took me less than 20 minutes to put together, and it kept Buddy entertained for a long time. I will definitely bring these road strips with us on future trips. I’m sure we’ll also play with them often at home.

DIY I Spy Bottle

Earlier this week, my family traveled to a friend’s lake house. There were three families that stayed there and a total of four kids. I wanted to bring an activity that would be interesting for everyone. The two older girls (ages 4 and 6) were willing to make something for the babies (ages 14 months and 10 months). After looking through my Pinterest board, I decided to do I Spy bottles. I thought they’d be fun for the older girls to make, and that everyone would enjoy playing with them.

Before our trip, I gathered all the supplies needed for the bottles. I bought a six pack of Voss water bottles at Target, some rice from the grocery store, and a bunch of small items and a pack of funnels at the dollar store. I also searched my house for other small objects and Gorilla Glue.

i spy bottle

I laid out all of the materials for our bottles out on a table for the older girls to access. I told them to pick out things to put in each bottle. Once they had chosen their items, we laid them out and I took a picture. That picture will be laminated and used to play the I Spy game. (Can you find the bell?) I didn’t give the girls a number of objects to select, but I wish I had. If I were to do it again, I would put in more objects to make the bottle a little more difficult to solve.

i spy bottle 3

After we took the picture, all of the items were put in each bottle. Then we used the funnel to fill it with rice. I left extra space at the top so that the contents have room to roll around. I used Gorilla Glue to make sure the bottles stay sealed and the contents stay inside. I also used a permanent marker to write each child’s initial on the bottom of each bottle.i spy bottle 2Both girls had a lot of fun making the bottles, and everyone enjoyed playing with them. Buddy has pulled his out several times since we’ve come home. He loves the sound it makes! As he gets older, I’m sure he’ll enjoy finding the different items as well.

I spy bottle 4

I would love to hear other ideas for activities for multiple ages for our next gathering with kid friends!

Father’s Day DIY Photo Card

Since we are going to be traveling on Father’s Day, we celebrated Father’s Day a week early. I bought my husband a Father’s Day card from me, but I wanted Buddy to be able to give his dad a homemade card. There’s just something extra special about a homemade card, especially when it’s from a child.

I’m including a copy of our template in case you want to make your own Father’s Day photo card.

Dad photo card template

Here is what you’ll need:

  • A printed copy of our template
  • Two 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of cardstock
  • Three 4″ x 6″ photos
  • Scotch tape
  • Double sided tape
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • *Optional * – paint and paintbrush


  1. Print the template and cut it out.
  2. Trace the template on one piece of cardstock. (I did this with permanent marker.) Dad card trace template
  3. Cut out the design on the cardstock.
  4. Use scotch tape to tape the photos in place and trim to fit.
  5. Fold the second piece of cardstock in half vertically (hot dog style).
  6. Place the folded cardstock behind the DAD photo card. Line up the bottoms of both pieces of cardstock. Trace the DAD card on the folded card.
  7. Cut the folded card so that the extra parts of the card won’t show behind the DAD card.
  8. Use double sided tape to tape the DAD card to the folded cardstock.
  9. *Optional* Paint the child’s hand and put inside card. (I actually did this first before I folded and cut the cardstock, but if I did it again, I would do it last.)
  10. Use permanent marker to write a message inside card.

Here’s what the final product looked like:

Inside of card

Inside of card

Final card

Final card

I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day celebrating the important fathers and father figures in your life. Hubby loved his card, and I hope your dad will too. If you make this card, I’d love to see a picture!