Welcome to 2017! The holiday season is over (finally...) and it's time to settle into a new year. I don't know if you guys knew this or not, but our two boys are home schooled. This school year, they wanted to have a secret agent theme going on, so they created their own code names: My fourth grader is called Titanium Falcon, and my first grader is called Drake Steel. So from now on, I will refer to them in this way. Of course, I was told that I had to participate, so they decided to call me Ultraviolet. I dig it, actually.
This craft serves two purposes...I am not one for New Year's resolutions simply because I can't keep them, but I do like the idea of having my dreams in front of me, reminding me of what my heart is truly craving. So not only did I think that a vision board would be a good idea for me, but for my two secret agents as well. Having them realize that short and long term goals also take time and are not an instant pleasure, was an important lesson for them to experience.
Secondly, I wanted to do a craft to honor Martin Luther King Jr's birthday (January 15). This year my secret agents watched a clip of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. After we discussed its meaning, I asked them, "What dreams do you have"? Thus the I Have A Dream Vision Board was born. I found a good explanation about vision boards here. After a quick discussion, the boys wrote down their goals and dreams and created their masterpiece.
I hope that you will enjoy doing this craft with your kids as much as I did. Please share what your family created. I would love to post their awesome creations on our home page! (You can send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is what you will need:
-Crafty Brown templates (1/3) (2&3/3)
-Magazines or online clip art
Step 1: Have your kids (and you too if you are doing one...) discuss and write down their goals and dreams. For my secret agents, at least two of our goals had to be about helping someone else. Find pictures in magazines, books, or online that represent them well. Print or cut them out and place them aside.
Step 2: Take your poster board, fold it in half and cut as shown below. You should now have two long pieces.
Step 3: If you want to make your poster boards glittery and shiny, this is the time to do it. You can just buy poster board this way, I think... but of course I had to do things the complicated way... I just got a bottle of glitter shimmer spray paint by krylon and sprayed our poster boards for just a little bling affect.
Step 4: Print and cut out all three templates. For some of the clouds, I traced the image on different patterns of scrapbook paper to add some color and variety. Arrange them and glue them in place. Its best to print them out on cardstock as liquid glue will go straight through regular paper.
Step 5: Attach pictures to your vision board that best reminds you of what your goals and dreams are. Hang your vision board in a place where you can see it daily...where it can remind you of what really makes your heart sing. Please send me a pic of how your creation came to be. Happy MLK Day!
This is our last ornament for this season - angels! Very cute and simple for the kiddos to make. You can make one, or several for your entire tree. This is what you will need:
Brown colored beads of any size (Hobby Lobby or Walmart)
Heavy duty string (for the legs and head)
Small bead embellishments for decoration
Hot glue gun
Glitter card stock
Angel wing stencil
Step 1: Make the head of your angel.
#1: Take a long piece of string, double it and feed it through your bead. Keep a loop at the top. This will be your "hook" for your ornament.
#2: Take both ends and feed it through the loop.
#3: Take the ends and feed it back through the bead and pull. Make sure to have enough string left out for your loop.
#4: Tie a knot around your loop. This is a side view.
#5: This is how your loop looks towards the front.
Step 2: Assemble your angel together.
#1: Cut out the body of your angel with felt pieces. I created "boy" and "girl" angels. Glue the back side first, then adjust your string for the feet.
#2: Next, glue the top side, then tie an knot at the bottom of your string for feet.
#3: Embellish your angel and use a stencil to cut out your angel wings (you can also find a shape on google images and trace it). Glue your angel wings on the back of your angel.
#4. You are done! Hang your angels on your Christmas tree, or share as gifts to your loved ones. As always send us a picture of your creations. We would love to praise and post your flow!
This ornament has a little more detail to it. You can also use this ornament as a stand alone feature on your table or shelf. Lets get to the steps.
This is what you will need:
35 Popsicle sticks (give or take)
Hot glue gun
2 wooden figurines (I got mine from the craft and wood section at Hobby Lobby)
Round wooden balls (also Hobby Lobby)
Acrylic paint (color of your choice)
Paint or felt brush
Ivory or White colored felt
Burlap type material or color of your choice
Glitter card stock
Twine or string
Step 1: Paint all of the pieces for your stable and your figurines. Let dry.
Step 2: Start to build your 3D stable.
-Start by placing one flat stick horizontally on a flat surface.
-At the corners, where the sticks meet, glue two sticks vertically on each end.
-Continue to glue on top of each other until you have seven layers (#3).
Now for the roof:
- Between each of the seven layers, glue 2 sticks in a diagonal form as shown in picture 4. Your completed stable should look something like this:
Excuse my hot glue cobwebs!
Step 3: Dress up your figurines. Use whatever materials that you would like to use in order to get the look that you want. Also, glue your star in place..
Step 4: Glue your figurines into the stable and your done! Hang your ornament on your tree by looping and tying twine/string together, or just let it stand alone. Send us your pics of your creations. We would love to praise and post your flow! Merry Christmas!
It's Christmas time again! The kiddos are out of school this week, so I have put together three Christmas ornament crafts that they can make and enjoy. This one is a quick and easy stable ornament that your kiddos can add to your Christmas Tree or wreath. This is what you will need:
8 Popsicle sticks
Acrylic Paint of your choice (I chose a burnt brown color)
Paint or felt brush
Twine or string
Hot glue gun
Star stencil or tracing paper to create a stencil
Card stock for star
Step 1: Paint your popsicle sticks. You will need 8 to create this ornament.
Step 2: Create a star stencil. Choose a star shape of your liking. ( I found a shape on google images). Trace using copy or tracing paper. Next, use the stencil to cut out your star shape from your card stock paper.
Step 3: Assemble your popsicle sticks together with a hot glue gun to create the stable in the order shown. Next, tie a loop of twine together, and with your hot glue gun, attach to the back of the stable. Finally, trim the excess edges (#7) with scissors. Now, you are done! Make sure to send in your kiddos ornaments. We want to Post N' Praise your flow!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I put together a quick craft/game for the kiddos to do this year. Its called Old McDonald's Clever Turkeys.
Those clever turkeys have escaped, and it's up to your little ones to find them! Print out this quick printable, cut out the turkeys, hide them around your home, and let your kiddos find those clever turkey's. Don't forget to reward them for their hard work when they are done. As always, send us a picture of your game at play. We want to Praise N' Post Your Flow! Have a great Thanksgiving, remember the blessings that you have received this year, be kind to others, and enjoy your friends and family!
Hey ladies and gents! Let's get right to it. I think this project is fun, but it is going to take a little time... like you have to do this during the weekend time. But don't let that discourage you...it's really not that bad. It will give you an opportunity to upcycle and put some of your scraps to good use. PLUS, when your little ones see it, on their wall, they will be so proud and uplifted, and that is the whole point, right? So here we go...
These are some of the things that you will need. But to be honest, you can use just about anything that you have around your house...or your sistas house...Just let your flow glow....
Things that I used:
-A recycled canvas board. (I reused one I already had from a previous project.)
-Acrylic paint for your canvass. I chose turquoise by Apple Barrel. (Walmart, I think)
'-Hot Air Balloon Wall Art Printables
(Printable 1: Boy with quote) (Printable 2: Boy w/o quote)
(Printable 3: Templates)
(Printable 4: Girl with quote) (Printable 4: Girl w/o quote)
-Cardstock and scrapbook paper
-String, ribbon, twine, etc...
-Hot glue gun
-Honeycomb balls ($1 and some change at Michael's)
Step 1: Paint your canvass. You can also use wood, card stock, whatever you have that will give you the size that you need. I let mine dry a little bit then brushed faint curvy lines in the paint so that some of the Ivory color beneath could come through.
Step 2: Cut out your balloon basket. Use this template or create your own. Cut the shape out of scrapbook paper or any type of material and set it aside. Card stock type paper is best... it's heavier.
Step 3: Position and cut your string. I am using twine. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole on the top two corners of your basket. Cut your twine long enough to tie two knots at the end. Set aside.
Step 4: Position and paste your 'person' under the basket. Some other options are to use a picture of your little one, use the template provided, or a bit of both...the body of the template and just the head portion of your picture....totally up to you. Tie a knot at the top of your twine and cut off the access.
Step 5: Start pasting your basket in place in sections on canvass. Don't worry if you get glue here or there. At the end you can coat the whole project with a layer of Mod Podge. Secure your balloon strings in place with tape. Once set, you can paste your balloon on top of your strings. I would suggest using a hot glue gun for this part. Mod Podge did not secure it the best.
Step 6: Now for the fun part! Gather all of your scraps and make this your own. I am using clouds cut out of card stock, an airplane cut out and some scrap shapes for simple decoration. Make sure to Mod Podge your project after completion.
Memory is one of my kiddos' favorite games. My youngest was playing memory since he was about three. It's safe to say that he has mastered this simple game...I don't even want to play against him! What would give this game an upgrade? A Superhero boost. Oh yeah.
This is what you will need:
-Superhero Memory Game Printables
(Click here for printable 1) (Click here for printable 2)
-Printing Source ( Kinkos, Office Max, home printer)
-Heavy duty scissors
-Really good glue (Mod Podge)
-Sponge or Paint brush
-Recycled cereal boxes
-Scrapbook paper of your choice (the size of a regular sheet of paper: 8.5x11)
-Heavy books or flat objects
-Rolling pin or a can for smoothing
Step 1: Print out Superhero Memory Game Printables. It's best to print on card stock to improve the thickness of your memory game cards.
Step 2: Break down your cereal box into two flat panels.
Step 3: Paste one memory game printable to one side of your recycled cereal box. Do not over saturate with glue,(or the cardboard will start to bow) but make sure the surface is evenly coated all the way to the ends. If you are using a liquid glue, I would suggest using a sponge or paint brush to spread it evenly. You can also use a rolling pin or a heavy can to assist in making a flat, adhesive surface and to smooth out the wrinkles if necessary. Once you are satisfied, place printable under a heavy flat book or object to set. Repeat with the second printable.
Step 4: Once dry, trim the outer access, turn your printable over, and evenly paste your scrapbook paper to the other side. Smooth it out well. No excess glue should be hanging off of the sides (you don't want your project sticking to your heavy object!). Once you are satisfied, place under a heavy flat object to dry completely. Check on your printables periodically. You may have to smooth them out a time or two to make sure wrinkles are not forming. No worries though...when it is dry it will be awesome!
Step 5: You should now have two stiff memory card panels. Coat both sides with a layer of Mod Podge. Don't place under a heavy object! Once completely dry, cut out your Superhero Memory Cards. If you want, you can add another layer of Mod Podge for extra durability. Make sure you get the edges and corners!
Step 6: You're done! It's now time to play! Have fun watching or playing with your kiddos. Come up with new and creative ways to play this game. As always, send pics of your superheroes at play... we want to praise n 'post them saving the day!
(yeah, that was a terrible rhyme attempt...I couldn't come up with anything else...)
Does your precious one have a healthy view of themselves? Let's be real...in the world we live in today negativity is all around us, and it is difficult to dodge. How much more important is it that we flood our precious ones with all things positive? Not only from our mouths, but in our time, actions, and expressions. I earnestly pray that my children will have a healthy self esteem. That they will be confident in who they are and whose they are. That they will "fix their thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and [what's] admirable" about themselves (Philippians 4:8). I also pray that my voice, as powerful as it is in this season of their lives, will do the same.
Pinterest (one of my favorite websites of all time...) has tons of positive quotes that I plan to customize for my boys...whenever I get like 10 and a half minutes of free time. Here are some of my favorites.
This craft is just one of my attempts to foster positive thinking in my home. It's pretty simple to put together.
You will need:
-Wheel of Positivity Printable Set
(Printable 1 click here) (Printable 2 click here) (Printable 2 blank click here)
-A small picture of your kiddos
-Tape and scissors
-A brad or brass fastener
Step 1: Print and cut out the Wheel of Positivity Printable Set. Don't forget to cut out the circle frame (where the picture of your child will go) and the 'pie slice' in printable one.
Step 2: Position and tape your picture under the circle frame. I am going to use a media picture of actor Miles Brown* for an example.
Step 3: Trim the edges of both pieces so that they are flush. Connect together with a brad or brass fastener and your done!
Want to customize your own words of positivity? Just in case you missed it, a blank template is available under the 'what you will need' section. Some ideas you may want to use are scriptures, talents or skills, quotes, or whatever you can come up with. Make sure you send us some pics of your crafty brown project. We want to praise n' post your flow!
*July 14, 2014 - Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America
Old McDonald is a classic song that has been enjoyed by children for ages. The variety of Old McDonald songs usually focus' on varieties of animals, but I am pretty sure that he and the Mrs. had a nice little garden growing in the backyard. Since African American "Old McDonald's" are slim, I decided to come up with something myself. In the process I was able to gain a little knowledge about African American farmers, which I found fascinating.
Eddie Cotton, 82, Hermanville,©Robin Nelson/ZUMA
Don't you love this picture? It reminds me of my granddaddy! Good memories. Check out more information about African American Farmers. Some resources that I have found are listed at the end of this post. Hey! Here is another idea! If you are in an area where a farm is not too far, grab a group and go visit! Great field trip for the kiddies (don't forget to send us pics!). Who knows what you may find!
-Joseph Schell Photography
Getting back to the labels...It's planting time, and I wanted to add a little flair in our "grow seeds in a plain cup and watch it grow" season. I also wanted to create a little something to celebrate African American farmers. Garden cup labels seemed to be the perfect fit for this project. Very simple to make.
You will need:
-A printer or a printing source (Kinkos, Library, etc...)
-Old McDonald's Garden Cup Label Printable
(Colored copy click here) (B&W copy click here)
-Plastic or Styrofoam cups (choose any size, but remember the bigger the cup the more soil you will need to fill it)
-Flower or vegetable seeds of your choice
-Plastic spoon or small garden shovel
-Crayons, markers, etc...
Step 1: Fill your cup with soil. Plant your seeds according to seed label directions. Water with a small amount of lukewarm water; just enough to get the soil moist.
Step 2: Cut a piece a saran wrap to size. Place over the cup and fasten with a rubber band. Do not take off until you see a sprout pop up through the soil.
Step 3: Print and cut out garden cup labels . Make sure that you do not cut off the "arms". Write what you are planting on the line provided. For extra durability, laminate printable or coat cutouts with a layer of Mod Podge.
Step 4: Tape the 'arms' around the cup, put in a warm place, and watch your plants grow!
Let us know how your garden in a cup is growing. Send us pics of your green thumbs at work. We want to praise n 'post your flow!
My 4 year old is a kinesthetic learner all the way. His hands have to be active and touching something most of the time. Naturally, puzzles are one of his favorite activities. Puzzles can become pricey and can be hard to find, especially if you are looking for everyday puzzles that celebrate your child . As with most of his activities, my main goal is to look for entertaining and challenging items that celebrate who he his, what he likes, and offer opportunities for him to grow and explore. I ran across this great inexpensive puzzle idea on ohamanda.com, and I wanted to pass it along to you guys. I think this is a great community project for your kiddos or classroom (yeah teachers!). Your little ones will enjoy the opportunity to take pictures , create puzzles of their favorite things and /or people, and take pride in the highlights of their community.
This is what you will need:
-Printer or photo store (kinkos, walgreens, etc..)
-Popsicle sticks (of the large variety)
-Favorite photos of your community
Step 1: Take you kids out for a walk in your community and let them snap away! Anything or anyone that is special to them would be great for this puzzle project. Some examples may be a picture of your community park, a favorite bike, a group of friends or family members, a tree house, the ice cream truck, their school, or your own home. The sky is the limit!
Step 2: Print out your pictures. If you chose to print from a home printer,I would suggest using photo paper. Your pictures are going to need some durability!
Step 3: Lay out as many popsicle sticks that you need for the width of your picture. I used nine. Make sure they are even on the sides as well as the top. Secure the popsicle sticks with two rows of tape. Now, turn them over.
Step 4: On the side without tape, thoroughly glue your photo onto the bed of popsicle sticks. It's easier if you use a paint brush to apply your adhesive. Now, place your picture on top of it to dry. Let it dry a bit first, then place a heavy object on top until photo is completely dry. Afterwards, coat your photo with an additional layer of Mod Podge.
Step 5: Using a popsicle stick or a ruler as a guide, carefully cut your photo puzzle. This will take a little bit of elbow grease. Color code each puzzle piece on the back in each set to aide in keeping the puzzle set together.
Step 6: All done! Create as many puzzles as your kiddos desire! We store each puzzle set within a rubber band, and keep our collection in a pencil box for easy storage. (last thing I need is popsicle sticks everywhere!) This project is a great idea for car trips as well. Let us know how this project worked for you. We want to praise n' post your flow!
Growing up, I remember how excited I used to get when a package or letter was in the mailbox with my name on it. Now a days, there's email, skype, text, facebook,,, so many instant ways of keeping in contact with others. Technology is booming! That's all well and good, but there is just something about receiving a letter in the mail that lifts your spirits and connects you to others. It's a classic way of showing someone that you care. Nothing makes your heart smile louder than receiving a 'handmade special' from a child. It's something you can preserve and look back at time and time again.
My kiddos and I were at the post office one day doing just that, and I saw these words on a card display:
Got me to thinking..how cool would it be to create our own personalized envelopes for our loved ones and pen pals? And yes, pen pals still do exist. So, this is what I have come up with. I am sure that your kiddos will bring a smile to a grandparent, uncle, friend or neighbor's face with one of these in their mailbox.
You will need:
-Superhero Postcard Printable
(colored copy click here) (b&w click here)
-A printer or a printing source (Kinko's, library, etc...)
-Coloring pencils, markers, crayons, stickers, etc...
Step 1: Print and cut out postcard.
Step 2: Have your kiddos write or draw a creative, warmhearted letter to someone in your family or community. If there is a elderly neighbor in your community or church, get their mailing info and send them something special. It would really make their day. Make it snazzy...add stickers or any other bling that will make their postcard shine!
One of the best ways to get a child to complete a task is by creating some type of a consistent reward system. This system has helped my children to be more:
-Conscious of their behavior, and how it impacts them
- Aware that most things in life are not instant. You have to work for them over a period of time.
I have tried several reward systems for my children. This is one of my favorites. It's simple, my children are able to see their immediate progress as they work towards a long-term goal, and there's a little bit of healthy competition. Get your kids involved with this project as you complete it!
You will need:
-Printer or printing source (Office Depot, Library, etc...)
-Card stock or any type of paper that you choose
-Stars in a Jar Printable
(for girls click here) (for boys click here)
-Magnet or tape
-Star stickers of any variety
Step 1: Print out Stars in a Jar printout. Since I have two boys, I printed out two and just used different colors. I chose colored card stock that I purchased from Hobby Lobby, but you can choose any type of paper that suits your needs.
Step 2: Cut out printable. Discuss your specific goal/reward system with your kiddos, and place jar in a designated area where they can see it and add to their progress daily. Whenever my kiddos come when they are called, share, peacefully work out conflicts with each other, and complete their chores, they receive stars.
Step 3: When the entire jar is full, reward time! This go round, we took a trip to Air Walk Trampoline Park. Fun! Let me know if this method is helpful for you and your kiddos. Feel free to send pics! We want to praise n' post your flow!
Firefighters are one of the first groups of superheros that kids are introduced to in life. The sirens and lights, water hoses and super cool fire trucks....all of it is awesome! I smile when my little one gets all excited when he sees a fire truck whizzing by, or gets to climb into one at a fair or outside event every now and then. And what does he want for his birthday? Of course, a fire engine. And not just any fire engine. It has to have lights and sirens that work...or its not of any use at all, right? At least this is what he told me. All of this got me to thinking...I probably need to brush up on our fire safety plan. A fire is a real danger, and I want my children to be able to know what to do - especially if they are separated from my hubby and I in a house fire, or any other fire for that matter.
(our community fire station)
I found some aids on-line to assist me in dusting off our fire safety plan. The originals can be found at www.orlandfire.org and www.safekids.org.
So happy I came across these! I wanted to customize them for my children, so this is what I came up with. I love the cards by safekids.org, but they were a little difficult to print out. So with a little bit of copying and pasting, I came up with this...
This is a simple and fun activity to do with your kids. This is what you will need:
-Fire Safety Plan Memory Card Printable Set
(Printable 1-click here) (Printable 2-click here) (Printable 3-click here)
-Printer or a print source (Office Depot, library, etc...)
-Card stock or paper of your choice
-Pencils, coloring pencils, crayons, etc
-Hole puncher, scissors, or a paper cutter
-Brass prongs (fasteners), string/ribbon, or a key ring
Step 1: Print and cut the first two pages of the Fire Safety Plan Printable Set into squares.
Step 2: Have a discussion about each step with your kids. Make it fun and review with a memory game. Mix the cards, turn them over, and have your child match each step with each picture. When done, fasten with a brass prong, string, ribbon or a key ring and make plans to review periodically.
Step 3: Let your kiddos complete the floor plan. Directions are listed on printout. Set up a permanent location where your kiddos can see your plan regularly.
Step 4: Act it out! My kids and I went through multiple scenarios of what to do in case of a fire. We discussed crawling towards exits, how to open windows, our meeting place if we were separated, and which neighbors to contact in case of an emergency.
You never know when an emergency can occur, so prepare your children. They are never to young to learn! Here is a list of some other helpful resources:
-sparky.org (interactive games and learning materials for kids)
-ready.gov/kids (animated info and other related materials for older kids)
Let me know if this has been helpful to you and your kiddos. Feel free to send pics of your plan or your fire drill in action. We want to praise n' post your flow!
I first learned about Kelvin Doe while browsing on you tube looking for inspirational stories that would inspire my kids. For those of you who are not familiar with his story, check out the video below. Kelvin, a proud citizen of Sierra Leone, and happens to have a natural knack with all things electronic. He is an inventor. He is mostly known for building an am/fm radio, a generator, and a battery mechanism which provided a light source in homes throughout his community. All of his inventions were originally created with scrap parts.
David Sengeh, a 27-year-old Harvard graduate and PhD Candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), met Kelvin through a non profit organization called Global Minimum Inc., where he serves as president. Global Minimum (GMin) is a international organization that encourages young innovators and leaders in Africa to tackle challenges that are affecting their communities. GMin provides enabling tools,workshops, mentorships, and resources that equip young people in Africa to take their future into their own hands. David is currently designing wearable mechanical interfaces that improve comfort for amputees.
This is an awesome story! Check it out in detail and share with your kiddos when you can!
In 2007 Barrington Irving set a Guinness World record by becoming the youngest person to fly solo around the world. He was 23 years old. Pretty impressive, I must say. But actually building your own plane from donated parts? Well that's a whole other category of awesome! Even after putting his mark on the world, he continues to reach back and provide opportunities for others who have an interest in aviation. He founded Experience Aviation, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering minority youth to pursue careers in aviation. Check out Parts 1 and 2 of his story:
Experience Aviation's focus is not only on building airplanes - they have also built super cars.
Scholastic Action Magazine has a free 4-page lesson study featuring Barrington Irving. You can access it here.