Bug Stamps DIY

Monday, August 31, 2020

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These are a DIY version of this adorable Bug Stamp Set you can get from Moon Picnic. Using simple supplies and an afternoon of work I created my own set with all sorts of options for making creative and sweet little bugs!

Supplies:
Sticky Back Foam Sheets
Scissors
Pencil
Cardboard
Ink Pad


Step one: Stick your foam together.
You want your stamp to be at least two pieces of foam thick, so you will need to take the back off of one piece, line it up, and carefully press it on top of another piece.


Step two: Draw your bug parts.
On the paper side of your foam pile draw various bug shapes including bodies, heads, wings, legs, and antennae! Print the picture above and cut out the shapes you like if you need a pattern!


Step three: Cut out your stamps and place them on the cardboard.
Make sure you place the pieces far enough apart that you have room to cut them out. When you're putting on the legs or antennae remember to leave enough room for the body and head! If you want on one of the stamps to have texture use a sharp pencil to draw or poke your pattern. For stripes, you want to make sure there is space between every line.


Step four: Cut out your stamps!
I tried to follow the shape of the piece so placement would be easier when you are stamping!

Mixing and matching these little stamps give you endless possibilities for bug creations! For the bugs here we just used a black stamp pad. The layering of ink made some really neat designs! Ro and I both had a lot of fun creating our very own insects. It's easy to store, and a great toy for rainy days.


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Flashlight Book Basket

Monday, August 24, 2020

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This book basket is perfect for a late summer night, with crickets chirping and fireflies shining. We brought our basket outside, laid out a blanket, and had our storytime as late as we could, right before bedtime.



I used the flashlight theme for this basket, and I found some really cute books to include! You can find a complete list at the bottom of the page, but I will tell you right now that my two favorites were Flashlight by Liz Boyd and Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine.



For our activity I grabbed some clear plastic packaging out of our recycling bin attached it to shapes I had cut out of paper. We used the flashlight to make shadows on the side of our garage. Ro loved it!






Here's the list of books I included in this basket. The interactive ones were amazing, and I think Ro would have played with them all night if I had let him!



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DIY Geometic Camping Puzzle

Monday, August 17, 2020

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This puzzle makes me think of crisp mornings with fire-heated drinks and birdsongs to relax you. Using recycled materials and color scheme inspired by vintage national parks posters really make this activity something that you want to pack into your camping bag and take with you on your next trip!


Supplies:
Cardboard
Ruler
Pencil
Exacto or Scissors
Paint
Template (optional)


Step one: Draw a grid.
This step is only necessary if you do not plan on using the template. I measured out my squares to be 1 in. by 1 in.


Step 2: Draw your ground and your tent.
Using a ruler and your grid as a guide, draw your lines for the ground and the tent. Try to keep everything as symmetrical as possible.


Step three: Add the trees.



Step four: Add the sun rays.


Step five: Label your pieces by color.
This step is so important because after you get everything cut out it's nearly impossible to tell which is which! My labels were Y=Yellow, W=Coral (changed my mind after labeling, oops!), DG=Dark Green, G=Green, Bl=Blue, and B=Brown. You can see that I had a few mess ups on my labeling (the tree on the left should just be G), but because the lower pieces are symmetrical I could just look at the similar piece to see what color I needed! 


Step six: Cut out your pieces.
If you are using an Exacto knife, use multiple cuts to cut through the layers of cardboard smoothly. You can use scissors, but an Exacto knife will give you a better finished puzzle.

 

Step seven: Paint your pieces.
This might take several coats. I painted both sides, but it's not necessary. Wait for your pieces to dry completely before putting it back together! You don't want to have your pieces stick together!



I took a picture of the completed puzzle and put it into the bag with the pieces so I could put it together again later. I have to be honest, this puzzle is one of my favorite things I've ever made. Besides, like, my kid. And this lemonade I made this one time. But definitely in my top ten!

And if you want to make your life a little easier, I've included a template below that you can use as a guide for making your own, or just cut up to use as the puzzle itself! Enjoy!


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Tent Structure DIY

Sunday, August 9, 2020

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This DIY is one that is really fun with your children around. It's a cute craft project when it's all finished, but I created this with the idea that Ro could learn about structures and framework through play. Making it is as fun as playing with the finished tent!


Supplies:
Straws
Pipe Cleaners
Paper
Tape
Scissors


Step one: Cut your pipe cleaners and straws.
You'll need 3 longer straws (6 inches), 4 medium straws (5 inches), and 2 shorter straws (4.5 inches). You will also need at least 13 (2 inch) pipe cleaner pieces.


Step 2: Make the sides of your tent.
Bend a pipe cleaner and put through one side of your 5 in. straw, then through another. The pipe cleaners will act as joints for you structure. Repeat the process attaching two 5 in. pieces to one 4.5 in. piece. You should end up with 2 triangles.

  

Step 3: Make your triangles into a tent!
Add pipe cleaners to all three joints and then bend them at a 90-degree angle. This will give you something to attach the long sides to. Do this on all three points, then again to the other triangle, attaching everything together.  

  

Step 4: Trace the front, back, and sides of your tent.
Make sure to leave space around the edge of the straws. You want the shape you cut out to be a bit larger than the straw frame. Decide which triangle piece you want to be your front and cut a slit about 3/4 up to make the door.


Step 5: Tape together your tent.
Tape naturally has more give than paper so you will be using the tape for the folding part of your structure. To do this you want to lay out your tape strip, then put the two paper pieces onto the tape strip about 1/4 of an inch apart. Lay another piece of tape over the paper and tape to secure it and to cover up the sticky part. When all of your folds are all secured trim the tape to be even with the edge of the paper. For the fold that was going to be the top of the tent, I used two pieces of tape on each side (four total) to give myself more wiggle room.


The most difficult to tape is obviously the last side. I put tape on one piece of paper on the inside, then lined it up and pressed the second piece of paper down the second side. Then put tape over the layers and trim, and voila! You have a tent top!


Step 6: Add your decorations.
If you want to add a flag cut out a long triangle, add some decorations, and  tape it to a short straw. Once you've put the tent onto the frame attach your flag to the top front straw using another pipe cleaner.


In the grand scheme of things making a tent was pretty easy. I think so many other cool things could be made with this method. I would love to see a big top tent, or maybe a two-story mega fort for a  hamster!



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