5 Summer Upcycled & Recycled Crafts for Kids

I remember growing up, and celebrating Earth Day once a year. Now, I'm always thinking about ways to reduce, recycle and upcycle. There are three reasons why I think upcycled kid crafts are ideal for busy moms.

1) It's cheaper. I could spend so much money on really amazing craft supplies.  But, sticking with the basics and supplementing with recycled materials can save a lot of money.

2) It's convenient. It's much easier to grab something from the recycle bin vs. dragging the kids to the craft store. I love  going to the craft store alone, but with kids, it's a whole other story.

3) It's earth friendly. Obviously, it's better for the environment to make use of something we already have instead of buying new material. We are leaving this planet to our children, and I want to leave it the best it can be.


So, with summer approaching, I wanted to share some of my favorite upcycled and recycled crafts for kids.  Here they are:

One thing we always have in our recycle bin is thin cardboard boxes and they seem to accumulate. My son came home from preschool one day with this really cute recycled robot craft. I have always been impressed with some of the art projects my son does at preschool.  This one is really easy and I love the results.

I love these upcycled bright summer flowers. They almost look so good you would never know they were made with old plastic water bottles. 

This is an easy one!  Just take an empty cardboard toilet paper tube. Spread on some peanut butter. Cover it in bird seed. Easy as 1,2,3! You don't need any string because you just slip it on a branch and let the birds enjoy.

Did you ever think of upcycling a mustard bottle for a Bumble Bee Garden Stake?  I didn't, but it's a great way to re-use those bright yellow bottles. 

My kids love butterflies and these egg carton caterpillars that turn into butterflies teach kids about metamorphosis and upcycling at the same time. This simple craft easily shows kids how we can recycle and re-use items that would otherwise be thrown away (cardboard egg cartons and paper bags) and teaches a bit of science as well!

If you want to see more fun upcycling crafts and summer fun activities for kids, check out my Pinterest boards!

Follow Heather @ LocalFunforKids's board Summer Crafts & Activities for Kids on Pinterest.

Follow Heather @ LocalFunforKids's board Upcycling Ideas on Pinterest.

Monsters University FREE Kids Activity Sheets #MonstersU

A couple of weeks ago, my kids, husband and I went to the movies for the FIRST time ever as a family. My kids are 5 & 7 years old, so I feel like we're a little behind the curve with this one.  But, they say "good things come to those who wait", and in this case, it was certainly the truth.

This past month was officially the rainiest June, ever, in the Philadelphia area.  One rainy Friday night, we decided to head over to our local theatre and see Monsters University.  The movie was even better than I expected.  I don't think my 5-year-old took his eyes off the screen for even a second during the movie. My husband and I enjoyed this movie as much as the kids did.  I was cheering for Sully and Mike the whole time, and, even though this was a kid's movie, it was the best film I've seen in a long time!

My friends at Disney.Pixar sent me some Monsters University activity sheets and I'm excited to share them with to you.  There's a coloring sheet, design sheets, spot the difference image, and more! 

If you want to download or print these for your kids, just click the name under the image for each activity.

Design a Monsters University ID Card

Monsters University Coloring Sheet

Spot The Difference

Design your own Monsters University Crest

Monsters Memory Game

Whether you need a quick activity for a rainy afternoon, or you have a child in love with Monsters University my mine, these are really cute activities to keep them busy for a while!

Have you seen this movie yet?  Did you love it too?

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Top 10 Cinco de Mayo Crafts and Activities for Kids

 Do you ever find yourself looking for something on the internet and not find what you're looking for? That was how I felt while looking for easy kid's crafts and activities for Cinco de Mayo. I kept finding the same crafts over and over, but most of them were too difficult for kids or required too many materials. So, I did some research and searched for Cinco de Mayo crafts and activities for kids that were: fairly easy, good for a group, and didn't require too many materials.

Here are the Top 10 Cinco de Mayo Crafts and Activities for Kids:


1. Footprint Chili Pepper Cinco de Mayo Craft.

2. Easter Egg Maracas  made with plastic easter eggs and spoons.

3. Pinanta Garland made with recycled toilet paper rolls. I love these!!!

4. Mexican Flag Drinking Straw - You need red, green and write staws and a print out of the Mexican flag for this craft.

5. Printable Cinco de Mayo Activities for Kids - Lots of great Mexican themed printables here.

6. Saguaro Cacti Kid's Art  All you need is construction paper, rice, and some tissue paper.

7. Cinco de Mayo Mariachi Guitar Craft - These bright and colorful guitars would be ideal for 1st grade and up.

8. Chili Pepper Craft Just grab some red beads and a green pipe cleaner for this one!

9. Mexican Flag Cinco de Mayo Project - This simple craft will help teach kids about the Mexican Flag and would go great with a social studies lesson.

10. DIY Crepe Paper Flowers. You could modify this to make it easier for the age group you're working with.  For instance, let the kids color coffee filters and make your own DIY fiesta flowers. 

Do you have any Cinco de Mayo family traditions?

Kids Can Make A Bird Feeder At Home Depot


This Saturday, April 6th, at Home Depot, your kids ages 5 - 12 can participate in a FREE hands-on workshop. The workshop takes places between 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m and you will need to register here.

All kids get to keep their bird feeder craft and receive a FREE Kids Workshop Apron, pin and certificate. Paint will be provided at the workshop for children to personalize their bird feeder craft!

If you can't make it to this workshop, your kids can also make a bird feeder at home.  Here are some of my past blog posts that show you how:

Easy Recycled Bird Feeder

Easy Bird Feeder Craft for Kids

How to Make 5 Easy Bird Feeder Crafts for Kids

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Easy Ways to Welcome Spring With Kids

Most of today was wet and dreary so I'm doing a happy, spring-themed post to lift my spirits. To my family, spring brings lots of sports and outside activities. Chatting with friends beside the soccer field. Cheering on the kids as they hit a ball past second base. Chasing the kids around the neighborhood as they run from one activity to another. Enjoying walks with friends.

I have 5 easy ways to welcome spring and I want to share them with you.

St. Patrick's Day & Spring Are On Their Way!

The sun is shining and I am looking forward to a new week! Let's kick off a new weekend with another great round-up of fabulous kid's activities at the Kid's Co-op!

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1. Feel free to browse all of the creative ideas and if you have one to add, just link it up!

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Easy Kid's Craft: Valentine Paint Chip Bookmarks

Is it just me, or do all the things in your house seem to break at the same time. We've been spending way too much time at Home Depot recently, but, luckily, it gave me a chance to pick up a few paint chips for a quick little Valentine craft.

I got the idea for this craft when I saw Valentine bookmarks on Pinterest. I decided to change them up a bit and make heart shape bookmarks instead.  This is how to make them:

Choose a paint chip in whatever color you like.  Since we're so close to Valentine's Day, I chose pretty shades of pink.

Take a heart cookie cutter or stencil and trace out your hearts.

Cut out your heart. Punch a hole in the corner.  I prefer to use a hole punch that makes a smaller circle, because it's a little more discrete. Then, cut a piece of ribbon and pull it through.

This project is really easy, inexpensive and I think the results are super cute. Mel, the Crafty Scientist has an amazing Pinterest board full of very creative Paint Chip Crafts.  Are you getting crafty this Valentine's day or making it simple and using store bought cards?

Snowman Crafts for Kids & More

Thanks for stopping by to check out this week's Kid's Co-op!  As I look outside at the snow covered ground, it's no surprise that Snowman Crafts and Activities were popular this week.  Here are a few easy snowman themed kid crafts that I want to highlight: Shredded Paper Snowmen, Hole Punch Math Snowman, Roll a Monster Snowman and Cotton Swab Snowman Painting .

If you've never been to the Kid's Co-op, here's how it works:

1. Feel free to browse all of the creative ideas and if you have one to add, just link it up!

2. Please grab a button so every one can see where you like to party. It doesn't matter where you put our button, it's just nice to put it somewhere. If you don't like buttons simply link back with text.

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Kid's Co-op: January 19, 2013

Welcome to this week's Kid's Co-op!  This week, there were 3 new activities that caught my eye: Snowstorm in a Bag by JDaniel4's Mom, Controlled Fizz by Life with Moore Babies and Crystalized Snowflakes by Gift of Curiosity. These are fun ways to introduce simple science concepts to your child and have fun too.

Do you have any other ideas for simple science projects or easy activities for kids?  If so, link them up or leave a comment below! 

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ABC's of Valentine's Day: Kid Crafts, Recipes and Activities

It's funny how things change in life. Before the kiddos came along, I'm sure I thought Valentine's day was all about me. What little surprise will I get? Where will we go to dinner? What will I wear? But, now that I'm a mom, it's about the giving vs. the getting.  Don't get me wrong, I would love a beautiful bouquet of flowers on Valentine's Day, but it has definitely become a family celebration - and that's okay. 

This week, I'll be focusing on the ABC's of Valentine's Day. What does that mean? Throughout the week, I'll be highlighting different kid-friendly ideas for Valentine's Day from A-Z. I will be including crafts, recipes and activities for toddlers, preschool and elementary school age kids - with a few ideas for moms mixed in as well.

Let's get started!

A is for Art - Everyone knows the traditional ways to use crayons for art, but for a unique new twist, try this Melted Crayon Art using crayon shavings.

B is for Bag - You've probably heard about 'Sensory Bins' before, but you have to check out this  Valentine sensory bag craft.

C is for Chocolate - This Chocolate Milk Bath Recipe is the perfect cure for the winter blues.  If you can't get to the Hershey Spa to experience the real deal, this is a nice, calorie free treat for a hard-working mom. Continue here to read: Chocolate Milk Bath Recipe

D is for Doily - I truly love being the mom of boys, but every now and then, I see a blog post which makes me wish I had a little girl to craft with. This is one of them! Check out this blog post to see how to use a pre-washed t-shirt, a doily, and some fabric paint into a totally adorable t-shirt for your little girl. Read more about these DIY Valentine's shirts here.

E is for Eyes - Recycle those old toilet paper rolls and make these adorable Heart Shaped Binoculars.

F is for Filter - If you want a completely unique Valentine for your kids to hand out at school, take a look at these Heart Coffee Filer Zipper Pulls. They are fun, fashionable and functional!

G is for Glitter - Grab your glitter, contact paper and construction paper to make this Glitter Window Heart Craft with your Preschooler!

H is for Holder - Kid's typically come home from school with a bunch of little Valentine Cards from their classmates. This Valentine Card Holder is really easy to make, and it helps to keep all of those little cards organized too! Continue here to read: Kid Valentine Holder Craft

I is for I Love You - Beth from Living Life Intentionally shares a simple idea so that everyone in the house feels loved. Read more about her 'Why I love you doors' here

J is for Just let them lead the way - Isn't there a famous saying about the best intentions that seem to go astray?  When it comes to Kid's Valentine Cards, maybe it's just best to let your child lead the way! Read more about this with B-inspired Mama.

Check out my other posts for more Valentine craft ideas:

Day 2: More Valentine's Crafts & Activities for Kids

Day 3: Valentine's Recipes for Kids

Day 4: Love & Vintage Valentine Printables

Day 5: Valentines Wall, XOXO, Yummy Pastries, and Wild Zebras!

Be sure to check out some of the other bloggers participating in ABC's week too.

Art Education / Krissy at B-Inspired Mama, Cardboard Box Creations / Here Come the Girls

Children’s Music with Art / Debbie at Rainbows within Reach, Coffee Filters / Adrienne at The Iowa Farmers Wife, Crafts & Art / Maggy at Red Ted Art, Crafting on a Budget / Tammy at Housing a Forest, Paper Plates / Kelly at Domestic Goddesque, Toddler Crafts / Cerys at Rainy Day Mum, Upcycled & Recycled Crafts / Esther at Craft To Art


Tons of Holiday Kid Crafts & Activities

This is such a fun time of year! Check out all of the new crafts, recipes and kids' activities with this week's edition of the Kid's Co-op.

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8 Easy Christmas Paper Roll Crafts for Kids

The holidays can definitely be a hectic time of year, but it's also a time when the kids have more time off school.  When you need a quick winter boredom buster, nothing is better than using recycled materials from around the house to whip up a holiday craft to keep the kids entertained.

Pipe cleaners, construction paper, googly eyes and ribbon are a few of the craft staples that I always have on hand. Recently, I've added another item to my craft stash: empty toilet paper tubes and other paper tubes from paper towels, tin foil, etc.

Here are 8 easy Christmas crafts for kids using recycled paper rolls:

1) These toilet roll Snowman Ornaments are so precious! I'm definitely going to make these with my kids.

2) I think these simple Reindeer ornaments are perfect for preschoolers.

3) Kids will love tearing apart these traditional Christmas Crackers just as much as they'll enjoy making them!

4) Here's how to make a simple model Christmas Village and cotton ball snowman.

5) You can also try this recycled Nativity Scene and baby to go with your Christmas village.

6) I love this Santa's bushy beard in this paper roll Santa Craft.

7) Reindeer Candy Boxes - made with long paper tubes and a new brown sock

Try these out and let me know what you think!

5 Thanksgiving Paper Roll Kid Crafts


When it comes to kid crafts, there are a few things that really appeal to me. Obviously, they have to be fun for kids, but my favorite crafts are easy, made with recycled materials, and inexpensive.  It's always a win/win if I have all of the materials at my house, and don't need to buy anything special.
All 5 of these crafts are fun, colorful and perfect last minute crafts for Thanksgiving!
1) A Gratitude Tree is an easy way to teach your children what Thanksgiving is all about. 
2) Want to dress up your Thanksgiving dinner table with some Colorful Turkey Place-markers? This easy Turkey Craft is bright and cheery and I'm always a sucker for googly eyes!
3)  This Thanksgiving Collage Corn craft is great because you only need a few things to make it, and they double as napkin holders for your thanksgiving feast! 
4) For toddlers who haven't quite mastered their fine motor skills, here is another version of the Easy Indian Corn craft that is super simple and great for little hands. 
5) No matter how crafty you are, anyone can make this Turkey craft for preschoolers with a paper roll and paper plate. 
Do you have any other cool paper roll crafts for Thanksgiving?  Comment below with a link!
Want to see more? Here are 8 Christmas Crafts made with Paper Rolls.

10 Easy St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Toddlers, Preschoolers & Older Kids too!

We're hopping from one holiday to another, and, with each new holiday comes fun kid's crafts. So, I've done a little searching and put together a collection of 10 Easy St. Patrick's Day Kid's Crafts that you can do with the at home or in the classroom!  If you know of other good crafts or activities that I didn't list, leave me a comment below or link up with Fun for Kid's Friday and I'll check it out!

1. Learn how to build a Leprechaun trap.

2. Make a Leprechaun Beard with orange felt.

3. This Rainbow Collage Craft is perfect for little hands and you can even add your own pot o' gold!

4. Recycle toilet paper rolls and turn them into shamrocks as shown here.

5. Make a Lucky Charm Necklace with shamrocks and noodles.

6. Create colorful Pot of Gold Collage Art.

7. Make some Coffee Filter Shamrocks as shown here.

8. Sweet and Lovely crafts shows you how to make make Thumbprint Leprechaun Book Marks here.

9. The Seven Year Cottage shows us how to make a sweet and salty St. Patty's Day Party Mix. It's Magically Delicious!

10. Make a Handprint Leprechaun as seen on Meet the Dubiens.

Don't forget to leave some evidence that a leprechaun was in your house. I did this last year and my kids thought it was so funny.

Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions?

Holiday Toilet Paper Roll Craft Ideas

When you need a quick winter boredom buster, nothing is better than using recycled materials from around the house to whip up a cute holiday craft. 

There are a few craft staples that I always have on hand, such as pipe cleaners, construction paper, googly eyes and ribbon. And, recently, I've added another item to my craft stash: empty toilet paper tubes and other paper tubes from paper towels, tin foil, etc.

Continue here to my new post: 10 Holiday Crafts made with Toilet Paper Rolls (updated November 2012)

Also, did you know you could give toilet paper in leiu of a Christmas Card this year? Don't ask me where, but it has been done.  Just smack a ribbon or bow on your favorite roll of TP and include the following note:

“Money is scarce and times are hard. So we’re giving you this instead of a card. Something to use and something to share. . . so ‘bottoms up’ just ’cause we care.”

I can just imagine the look on my brother in laws face if I were to show up on Christmas Eve and hand this over to him.  I might do it just for a good laugh! What do you think?

Fun for Kids Friday - Activities, Crafts, Recipes & More!

It's Fun for Kids Friday 

 with co-host, Smile Monsters

I hope you're having a great week! Welcome to Fun for Kids Friday.  Feel free to browse all of the creative ideas and if you have one to add, just link it up!

1. Link directly to your best kid crafts, activities, kid related projects or family friendly recipes. 

2. Become a follower of  Local Fun for Kids and Smile Monsters if you want to be extra sweet.

3. Please grab a button so every one can see where you like to party. It doesn't matter where you put our button, it's just nice to put it somewhere. If you don't like buttons simply link back with text.

Here is the code for the button: 

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 By entering your link, you are giving Smile Monsters & Local Fun for Kids permission to highlight any part of your post including pictures in a Fun For Kids Finds feature with proper credit going to you, all you.

A big *Thank You* to everybody who participates. Now get to linking! : )

Weekly Blog Round Up of 'Local Fun' Moms

A day in the life of a SuperMom - by The Ohana Mama - We've all been there.  You know... the days when you forget show-and-tell, left the diaper bag at home, or your kid got soaked sliding on a wet slide at the playground and the only thing you have in the car is a pair of snowpants (well, maybe that last one is just me...)  but these things happen to the best of us! Ohana Mama can relate.  Read all about it here. 

Things to Make - Salty Watercolors & Water Painting - by No Monsters in My Bed, DC-  This is an easy activity you can do with your kids at home.  All you need is watercolor paint or food coloring, white glue, table salt, a pan or platter, and thick paper or cardboard. Here are all of the details on how to make Salty Watercolor paintings with your kids. 

Home Made Mac & Cheese - by The Big Binder, MI-  I was watching a little bit of the Biggest Loser last night and Macaroni and Cheese was one of contestants' favorite food.  As I was watching, I was thinking how the boxed mac and cheese didn't look tasty enough to tempt me.  However, this mac & cheese recipe on The Big Binder sounds amazing!  There is even a word of warning that "It is dangerous" and "Do not plan on left overs!"  If you're on a diet, please forget you ever read this.  But, if not... here is the recipe.

4 Easy Ways to Save on Children’s Clothing - by Atlanta with Kid- A lot of moms use clearance and consignment shopping to save on kids clothes.  But, this post from Atlanta with Kid shares a couple other ideas that I've never heard of such as and Thred Up Clothes Swapping website.  Check out the details here.

Homemade French Bread Recipe by Iowa Moms - Before I had kids, going to the store to buy a loaf of French bread was easy.  But, once you have a kids, things change.  There have been so many times I didn't make it to the grocery store because my kids were napping, sick, just plain cranky, or all of the above!  So, the thought of staying home and making bread might actually be an easier alternative than running to the store. Here is Iowa Mom's easy recipe for making French bread at home.

Photo by Tina Phillips @

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