Category Archives: Activities for Kids

Shamrock Stacks

Here’s a great way to start off St. Paddy’s Day.

Add green food dye to  your regular pancake batter until you get the green color you want. We like Trader Joe’s Multi-grain Pancake Mix. Make pancakes per instructions.

 

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Once made, use shamrock cookie cutter. If you want, use tube icing to outline the shamrock pancake. BPFK Pancake Shamrock_3

Plate with gold coins and enjoy. Lucky kids!BPFK Shamrock Stacks_4

 

 

Recycling Leprechaun Craft

Of course “green” is our favorite color! Here’s a fun St. Patrick’s Day craft you can do with your wee ones. We are going to repurpose a paper towel roll and a leftover white cup from our Ice Cream Social party into a leprechaun beard and hat.

HOW TO MAKE A LEPRECHAUN BEARD AND HAT

Supplies needed: Empty paper towel roll, green construction paper, orange and green ribbon or string, scissors, hole punch, glue, paint brush and orange paint.

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Step 1:
Cut paper towel in half lengthwise and then again to open it up. Cut several vertical strips to create a beard shape. Next, cut a mouth opening and punch two holes at each corner for the ribbon.

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Step 2: Paint cardboard tube/beard orange and set aside to dry.

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Step 3:
Next, cut green construction paper into one strip and a circle for the top of the leprechaun hat. Glue paper onto white recycled cup.

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Step 4: Punch two holes at the top of the cup for string.

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Tip: After orange paint dries on paper towel roll, we wrapped it around a rolling pin to get the beard to re-curl.

Box Play for Kids St Pat Craft 2014

Praise the young and they will flourish.”
-Irish Proverb

Presidents’ Day Milk Carton Craft

Four score and seven years ago…Abe Lincoln would have never guessed he would become a milk carton bird feeder. That’s right…we’re kicking off Presidents’ Day with a themed craft that your little ones (and the birds) will love. 

Supplies: two recycled milk cartons, scrap construction paper (black, blue, red), one lace doily, cotton balls, scissors and/or a utility knife, hot glue gun, permanent marker, paint brush, neutral paint color (you can mix white with a dab of each of the primary colors to get the skin tone as shown below), clear twine (for hanging the finished product). Yeah, yeah, yeah…sounds like lots of stuff…BUT you probably already have most of it.

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Step 1: Cut a square out of the side of each milk carton using scissors or a utility knife. pres.day.carton_2

Step 2: Lay down some newsprint or scrap paper and let the kids go to town painting each milk carton. Don’t worry too much about the inside triangles at the top of each carton as they will be covered with construction paper.pres.day.carton_3

Step 3: As the paint is drying, cut out some basic shapes from the construction paper. Abe needs a hat and a beard. George Washington needs a hat, some rosy cheeks, a bow tie, and a lace doily collar. And both presidents need some eyebrows. Once the paint is dry, apply the construction paper cutouts with glue. pres.day.carton_4

Step 4: Use a glue gun to give George some white, cotton ball hair. Adding finishing touches like eyes and a nose with a permanent marker. pres.day.carton_5

Step 5: Using scissors or a utility knife, cut a slit at the top of the carton, opposite the cap. Thread a piece of clear twine through the slit and the spout and secure with a knot to form a loop for hanging. Dangle from your favorite tree, fill with birdseeds, and enjoy your Presidents’ Day.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Craft: Nature Love

Nothing gets easier than this sweet and simple Valentine’s Day project.

1. Find a heart shaped rock on your morning walk or weekend hike.

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2. Use pen to draw a heart shape.

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3. Add short note and you’re done! These lovely heart rocks can be used as a paper weight or displayed somewhere prominently for a daily reminder.

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“Moo-lah” Milk Carton Piggy Bank

Who doesn’t want to kick off the new year with a resolution to be more fiscally responsible?? And what better time than right now to teach your kiddos about saving money. With this upcycled, DIY milk carton piggy bank, you (and the kids) can save your “moo-lah” in style.

Supplies: clean empty milk carton, utility/x-actio knife, and our BPFK piggy sticker pack.

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Step 1: Apply piggy sticker panels to the milk carton per the directions on the package. piggy_2

Step 2: Using a utility knife, cut a small money slot in the carton as shown.

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Step 3: Start saving! This is the perfect way to save holiday gift money, allowance money, and tooth fairy money.BPFK Piggy Bank Save 2014_FB

Zoppé: An Italian Family Circus since 1842

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The much awaited Zoppé Family Circus at the Chandler Center for the Arts is here! This is our third year in a row. What made this year super special is our 5-year old daughter was really, really into it (baton, popcorn, cotton candy and all). In fact, after the show, she said the only thing that could’ve made it better for her is if she was on stage too. I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if one day she ran off and joined the circus!

Our very dear friends Orlene, her husband Carlo and their three little kids Gianluca (7), Giulia (5) and Gioia (2 1/2) are part of this authentic, intimate and fun-filled performance. I grew up with Orlene and I’m so proud to see her talent (and family) grow. She is an antipodist (foot-juggler) who appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and is most definitely a Supermom! When we visited their trailer last week she had a homemade veggie quiche waiting for me (she even made the crust from scratch). Ridiculous.zoppe gentile family

My favorite circus family - the Gentiles!

My favorite circus family – the Gentiles!

Photo: Frank Ferrante

Photo: Frank Ferrante

Zoppe Family Circus

The Zoppé Family Circus welcomes guests into the 500-seat tent for a one-ring circus that honors the best history of the old-world Italian tradition. Starring Nino the clown, the circus features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, cainine capers, clowning, foot-juggling and plenty of audience participation. Nino is not like any other clown (the opposite of scary). He is an immediate crowd favorite with his funny and heart-warming delivery. You will laugh and adore him as much as we did.

Giovanni Zoppè, the sixth-generation circus performer who plays Nino, says the show aims higher than what passes for circuses these days. “We try to touch every emotion during the show,” he says. “They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and they’ll feel for the characters. It’s more of an event than a show.”

Zoppe Family Circus Tent

Nino dolls

Nino dolls

Check out their website for tour dates.

 

DIY New Year’s Party Poppers

Are you hoarding tissue paper from your holiday gifts? Let’s put it to use with a New Year’s craft your family will love. Get your Dustbuster ready because we’re poppin’ off the New Year with some fun, DIY, confetti poppers. Trust us…the kids will have a blast with these upcycled, toilet paper roll creations when the clock strikes midnight. {And if you’re brave enough to clean up confetti again…these poppers work great for birthday parties too}

Supplies: scrap tissue paper, an old magazine, two toilet paper rolls (per popper), scissors, a glue stick, a glue gun, and a plastic bottle cap (approximately the same diameter as your toilet paper roll…Gatorade or Snapple caps work well).

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Step 1: Cut a slit down the middle of one of the toilet paper rolls. 
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Step 2: Using a glue gun, adhere one end of the toilet paper roll to the inside of the bottle cap, as shown below. Overlap the seam and seal the edge with a glue gun. Note: Make sure your bottle cap/toilet paper roll tube fits snuggly inside the 2nd toilet paper roll. If not, you may need to find a different sized bottle cap. 
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Step 3: Cover the toilet paper roll/bottle cap with tissue paper. A glue stick works well for adhering. Excess tissue paper at the open end of the the tube can be tucked and glued inside.

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Step 4: Cover the uncut toilet paper roll with tissue paper and adhere with a glue stick. Tuck the excess inside on both ends and glue to the inside edges. IMG_4882

Step 5: Cut out a tissue paper circle to fit over one end of the uncut toilet paper roll and secure with a glue stick. 

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Step 6: The kiddos will love this step. Give them an old magazine and a pair of scissors and let them cut up pages into little confetti squares. This could get messy…but it’s totally worth it! 
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Step 7: Drop confetti into the uncut toilet paper roll (the one with the tissue paper cap) and insert the bottle cap-toilet paper roll inside. 
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3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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Sparkley Pipe Cleaner Snowflake Craft

Add some sparkle to your holiday table with these beautiful (and super easy) snowflakes.

Supplies: Gold, silver or white spakley pipe cleaners and scissors.

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Step 1: Cut 12 pieces of pipe cleaner the same length. We did large medium and small snowflakes.BPFK_Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes 2Step 2: Bundle 11 pipe cleaners and twist one around them.

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Step 3: Pull the ends apart to form a 3D star shape.

Box Play for Kids Pink House Sparkle

Once you have all of your snowflakes completed you can incorporate them into a table centerpiece design. We used our Pink House stickers that repurpose milk cartons as the focal point and surrounded it with mini pine trees, pink and green ornaments and, of course, added some bling with our snowflakes.

Happy Holidays from our home to yours!

 

Festive DIY Luminarias

Looking to illuminate your home with a little extra sparkle this season? These fun and festive DIY luminarias will add the perfect pizzaz inside or out. We’ll show you how to take some basic brown paper bags {the ones you’re not using for school lunches this holiday} and transform them into some mind-blowing little holiday lanterns.

Supplies: scissors, writing utensil, glue stick, ruler, x-acto knife, brown paper bags, wax paper, scrap cardboard (to use as a cutting board), tea lights (we used LED ones from Michael’s for safety).

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Step 1: Using a ruler and a pen/pencil, measure out a medium sized window on one side of the bag. Our window is approximately 3.5″ x 4″ and sits slightly below center. Hint: Draw the window on the side without the seam.

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Step 2: Cut down the scrap cardboard if necessary and slip inside the bag. Use a ruler and an x-acto knife to carefully cut out the window. (Only adults should handle x-acto knife.)

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Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 for as many bags as you like. Then cut out wax paper rectangles slightly larger than the size of your windows. These can be rough.  lumina_4

Step 4: Run a glue stick around the edges of your wax paper cut-out. Then carefully tuck inside the window and use your fingers to secure around the edges. This step can be a bit tricky but you’ll get the hang of it once you do a couple of bags. lumina_5

Step 5: Grab the kids because you made it to the fun part…no more knifes involved. Take the brown paper rectangles you carefully cut out earlier and sketch your favorite winter/holiday shapes. Keep them simple so you can easily cut them out with scissors. You can even fold up the rectangles to cut out snowflakes.

lumina_6 Step 6: Glue your seasonal cut-outs to the wax paper window using the glue stick. In daylight, these lanterns might be easy to miss, BUT when the sun goes down and the tea lights turn on…lumina_7…prepare to be amazed at yourself. {Note: if you live in Arizona, it’s totally okay to include a cactus in your winter menagerie. Clearly a cactus symbolizes all four seasons here}.

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Repurposed Stocking

Who says a holiday stocking needs to look like a giant sock? Here at BPFK we like to think out of the “box” (<–haha), so here’s an eco-friendly, cardboard twist on tradition. With just a few supplies from around the house, we’ll show you how we repurposed an empty oatmeal container into the perfect “stocking” for those little holiday surprises.

Repurposed Stocking

Supplies: large empty oatmeal container, washable glue, scissors, construction paper, holiday ribbon (1-2 varieties).

BPFK Stocking Supplies

Step 1: Cut construction paper to size and glue around your oatmeal container. We enlisted the help of our favorite little crafter for this step.

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Step 2: Glue your favorite holiday ribbon around the top and bottom rim of the container

BPFK_step 3_ribbonStep 3: Using scissors (or an x-acto knife), poke 4 holes, equidistant, at the top and bottom of the container face. Make two sets of  X’s using four pieces of ribbon. Thread ribbon through diagonally opposite holes and knot from inside the container to secure (see image below).

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Enjoy filling this fun little drum stocking with Christmas treats and fun surprises!