Kids Summer Crafts on Sale at Joann’s!

If you are looking for some small craft kits for your kids to do this summer, stop in at your nearest Joann craft store! They have some great prices on some fun looking kits!

These are a few items included in the 60% off sale:

#1.) Melty Bead Kits. There were at least 3 designs to choose from. (Yep, they look very similar to the Perler beads.)

#2.) Scratch Art Kits. There are 6 in this package and it includes the utensil used to do the scratching.

#3.) Color-in Puzzle Kit. There are 2 sets in the package plus some markers for coloring.

#4.) Plaster Magnet Kit which includes a brush and paints. There were a few designs to choose from.

#5.) Wood Coloring Kit. These sets includes 3 markers and a few little gems.

I also saw a couple different types of terrarium grow kits that were 70% off! Normally they would sell for $29.99, but are on sale for $8.99! Wow!

If you like the Makit & Bakit kits, they have some cute ones on clearance for $2.47.

Hop on over to your nearest Joann’s for some great summer bargains that will keep your kids entertained! πŸ™‚

Storms + Wind = No Electricity. Now What to do With the Kids??

We had some strong storms roll through our state on Monday evening this week and a LOT of people have been without electricity. (Including us…for about 44 hours.) Some are still out. That means no TV, no Xbox and soon all the electronics run out of battery. And the kids are home…and they are BORED! Now what??! Here are a few suggestions that might entertain the kids for a while so you don’t pull all your hair out during the first hour of no power. πŸ˜‰

#1.) Coloring pictures. Yep, drag out the boxes of crayons and coloring books and color some pictures. Maybe you “need” some new pictures to hang on the refrigerator or maybe Grandma and Grandpa need some pictures in the mail. πŸ™‚

#2.) Play some card or board games. The more people that play the more fun it will be.

#3.) Read some books. Let the kids pick out their favorite book and read it together. Or read a story to them that they haven’t quite mastered reading for themselves.

#4.) Do some simple crafts. Maybe not painting, if you don’t have water available for cleanup. πŸ˜‰

#5.) Draw some crazy monsters. All you need is paper and markers or crayons. Some wiggly eyes can add to the fun.

#6.) Play with Lego!

#7.) Give your pets some extra love and attention. Maybe play tug-of-war with your dog or trail a piece of yarn for your cat to chase.

Or maybe play Qwirkle with your cat! Lol πŸ˜‰

#8.) Play the “connect the dots” game…only need paper and pencils or pens. Make 100 dots on the paper. Each person draws one line and then it’s the next person’s turn. If you complete the 4th side of a box, that becomes your box and you write your initial in the box. Complete the most boxes and you win.

#9.) Play with Dominoes. You can play the actual game of Dominoes or just have fun building with them and/or knocking them down again.

#11.) Make your own board game. Let the kids design their own board game, even if the rules are a bit wonky and constantly changing. πŸ˜‰ They will feel 10 feet tall when you play their game with them.

#12.) Matching game. Find several pairs of items and mix them up for your kids to match up the pairs.

So the next time your electricity goes out, don’t despair! You can definitely find things to keep the kids occupied with no electricity needed! If you are currently without power, I feel your pain! Hang in there!

Let’s Make Super Soft Cloud Dough

Sorry to be away for a few days. I was feeling under the weather and we also lost a close friend to leukemia. So not the best days recently, but today let’s do something fun and make some amazing cloud dough! This was my first time to make cloud dough and I will say that I like it better than regular homemade play dough. Cloud dough is so soft! Best part is, there is no cooking!! πŸ™‚

And it is so super easy to make and you only need 2-3 ingredients. You’ll need some lotion and some cornstarch and if you want to add some color to it, you will also need food coloring.

Grab a bowl, a spatula, some measuring cups and some wax paper or parchment paper and let’s get started!

All the recipes that I looked at called for using twice the amount of cornstarch as you use for lotion. For example, 1/3 cup of lotion to 2/3 cup of cornstarch or 1/2 cup of lotion to 1 cup of cornstarch. Pour the lotion into the measuring cup (I used the 1/2 cup size) and then put it into your mixing bowl. Use your spatula to get all the lotion out of the cup and into the bowl.

Next add a few drops of food coloring, in the color of your choice. I went with blue.

Using your spatula, mix the 2 ingredients together.

Add the measured cornstarch to the bowl next and stir slowly so the cornstarch doesn’t “poof” all over everything. πŸ˜‰

When your cloud dough is mostly mixed together, dump it out onto a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and knead it together.

If it seems a little too sticky, you can add a little more cornstarch. Keep kneading until it is smooth and soft.

That’s all there is too it! Now the fun really begins!

You can break it into smaller pieces and roll them into balls. (No, I don’t think you should throw these balls in the house!)

Pinch off a piece and roll it between your hands to make a long thin piece. One thing you can do with long skinny pieces is to make a smiley face.

Use an old rolling pin to roll your cloud dough flat and then use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes.

I think you’ll be glad you tried this easy recipe for cloud dough! If you made enough dough, I bet your kids will let you play too! πŸ˜‰

Store in an airtight container. Since this is my first time making cloud dough, I’m not sure how long it will keep. One person said, if it starts to feel dry, add a little more lotion and work it into the cloud dough and it will be good as new.

Hope you have a ton of fun! πŸ™‚

Yes, I Went to Dollar Tree Again…

Ok, I have a confession to make. I’m hooked on finding fun things for kids at the Dollar Tree stores! I met a lady today that was buying items for a vacation trip to the Outer Banks and she had a cart load of stuff! What a great way to save some money!

So let’s look at my find for today…a sticker book, but a different kind of sticker book. Sticker book puzzles.

In this book you use the numbered stickers to make 4 pictures.

You pick a numbered page and a page of numbered stickers. Sticker #1 goes on the #1 spot on the numbered page, then #2, etc.

This book is all about Mermaids but there was at least one other type about Carnivals. Check your nearest Dollar Tree store for what’s available close to you! πŸ˜ƒ

Fun Crayola Felt Flowers Kit

Welcome back to The Kids Niche! So glad you’re here! πŸ™‚

Today I want to share a super fun felt flowers craft kit that I found at the Dollar Tree store. I thought it was a nicely done kit, especially for $1.25!

You can make 4 felt flowers from each kit. Here is what is included in the kit:

To get started, a few of the parts need to be punched out. They came apart easily for me.

I would like to suggest that before you go any farther that you take a couple of minutes to trace around all the flower parts on a piece of paper so you will have patterns to make your own flowers later.

Now for the fun part! πŸ™‚ Each flower needs a set of matching flower pieces. 1 plain solid color piece and 1 plain solid color piece that has adhesive on the back side with a piece of white paper covering it.

Sort the pieces into 4 groups so you know which pieces you want to put together into 1 flower.

I started by putting the smaller flower piece with the face on it onto the front of a larger flower piece that has the white paper backing on it. Remove the paper backing from the face piece and press the piece onto the bigger flower piece.

Take the other matching big flower piece (the one without the paper backing) and lay it down on the table. Take 1 pipe cleaner and lay it on top of the flower piece for the stem of the flower.

Carefully remove the paper backing from the large flower piece that has the face on it, line the 2 big flower pieces up and press together. Once the adhesive touches something else, it doesn’t come back off very easily.

Last step is to remove the paper backing from one leaf and fold it in half around the stem to form a leaf.

That’s all that goes into making 1 flower. πŸ™‚ Repeat the process for the other 3 flowers and you’ve finished the kit!

Aren’t they so cute?! I just love them! Find a small vase or glass to display them in around your house. πŸ™‚ These would be cute flowers to help the kids make for mom or grandma, etc.

I hope these kits are available at your local Dollar Tree store! Happy flower making! πŸ™‚

Keeping Your Sanity With Kids in the Car

Summer is almost here and school is almost done for this year! Are you planning to take a vacation with your family this summer? Do you dread the long rides in the car with a bunch of kiddos? If so, I saw something at a Dollar Tree store today that might make your ride a bit easier! Bingo Games! There were 3 styles available that I saw.

#1.) Vehicle Bingo

#2.) Roadside Bingo

#3.) Road Sign Bingo

Each set includes 2 dry erase Bingo boards and 2 markers with an eraser on the end. My guess is you cross off each item as you see it while you are traveling. First one to get all items in a row marked off is the winner! Could be a great way to get the kids looking out the windows instead of at which sibling might have β€œtouched” them or breathed on them or done some equally annoying thing. πŸ˜‰ I think it’s easily worth the $1.25 for a little more sanity on your trips in the car!

Crafting an Easy Octopus

Let’s talk about octopus today and then I’ll show you how to make one with a few craft supplies. I bet you know quite a bit about an octopus already. Like do you know how many “arms” an octopus has? Yes, eight! Wow, do you think it would be cool to have 8 arms?! Is the body of an octopus soft or hard? It’s soft, so soft in fact that they can alter their shape so that they can squeeze through small spaces. How many eyes does an octopus have? It has 2 just like we do and they have excellent eyesight! Octopus are actually quite intelligent too. How do octopus protect themselves from predators? One way is to camouflage themselves into their surroundings so its hard for their enemy to see them. Another way is by expelling “ink” which is a dark colored substance and that gives them some time to swim quickly away. Did you know that when an octopus swims, it’s “arms” extend behind them? So, what do you think? Are octopus pretty cool? I think so too! Now let’s craft an octopus! πŸ™‚

You will need 2 pipe cleaners (or chenille stems), 1 pom-pom, 2 wiggly eyes, a pair of wire cutters or strong scissors and some glue.

To begin, use the wire cutters to cut the 2 pipe cleaners in half so you have 4 pieces.

Arrange the pipe cleaners into a star pattern like in the picture below.

Wrap 1 of the pipe cleaners once around the group to hold them all together.

Curl each end of the pipe cleaners up a little bit for the octopus’s arms.

Put some glue in the center of the pipe cleaners…

…and place the pom-pom in the center. Push it firmly down into the glue and hold it in place for a few seconds.

Glue the 2 wiggly eyes to the pom-pom and your octopus is complete!

Find a fun place to display your octopus. Hmm, do you suppose an octopus would be good at playing the piano since it has so many arms? Haha! Yes, we are just being silly now but it’s fun to think about an octopus playing a piano! πŸ˜‰

I hope you had fun learning a few facts about octopus and that you will have fun making your own! πŸ™‚

Easter Chicks Made From Fruit Cups

Hello again! The grandkids have gone back home with their mom and dad and it’s very quiet at our house again. We had a wonderful week of fun and just enjoying being together. πŸ™‚ But now it’s time to share some more fun with you! One thing we made while the grandkids were here was some Easter chicks.

You will need some fruit cups, some orange construction paper, some fake feathers, some wiggly eyes, a pencil, scissors and glue. We found out by trial and error that using a glue gun works the best and keeps everything in place better than regular Elmer’s glue.

We used peach cups but mandarin oranges would be about the same color.

Applesauce cups work fine too and we did use a couple of those.

Fold a small piece of orange construction paper in half. Draw a triangle on the paper with one side of the triangle being on the fold. Cut out the triangle. This will be the chick’s beak.

Draw and cut out from the orange paper 2 chicken feet for each chick.

Glue the beak on the side of the fruit cup. And glue the 2 feet onto what is usually the top of the fruit cup. For this project, we’ll use the fruit cup upside down.

Glue on 2 wiggly eyes just above the beak. Glue a feather on each side of the fruit cup. You will definitely need to use a glue gun for the feathers.

That’s it! Your Easter chick is finished! πŸ™‚

Whether you make one or a whole flock of chicks, I hope you will have fun making them! And have fun eating them! πŸ˜‰

We’re Busy Having Fun!

You might not see many posts from me this week because we are busy having fun!! πŸ˜ƒ Some of our grandkids are staying with us this week so we are seeing what we can get up to together! We built a dinosaur…

Played Play-doh…

We’re watching some water beads grow.

There was a lot of laughing going on while playing some games on the Switch.

Played with some dominoes…

A late leprechaun left some gold pieces hidden around the house for the kids to find.

Some of us (ok, all of us!) were tired after staying up late last night. Lol

This fella put together a mini blocks set. Boy, the pieces are tiny!! 😳

It looks pretty cool now!

And that was all just today! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‚ Hope you are having a great week too!

Another Pipe Cleaner Flower

How about an easy, super quick pipe cleaner flower to cheer us up on this gloomy day? This little project takes 2 pipe cleaners the color you would like your flower to be and half of a green pipe cleaner for the flower stem. I chose pink for my flower.

Cross the 2 pink pipe cleaners in an “X” and use one end of the green pipe cleaner to wrap tightly around the spot where the 2 pink pipe cleaners meet.

Starting at the end of one of the pink pieces, roll up the pipe cleaner to the center where they all meet. It kind of reminds me of the way a snail’s body might look.

Do the same rolling with the second pink piece…

And then again with the 3rd and 4th pink pieces.

Finally you can bend each flower “petal” that you just rolled up to make it look more like a 3 dimensional flower.

You can make several flowers like this and have a bouquet of flowers or you can wrap the stem part around your wrist for a fun flower bracelet. I used one to hold the 2 handles of a bag together.

It’s a quick, easy, fun and looks great when you are done project! πŸ™‚ Have fun making flowers!