Winter Tree Cotton Swab Painting

Right now, it is freezing in Ohio. Mr. Not So Crafty has been braving the cold to go to work, but the rest of us have not left the house in several days. It is a perfect day to make art!

Materials Needed

  • Blue Construction Paper
  • Brown Construction Paper
  • White Paint
  • Cotton Swabs (Between four and six work great)
  • A Rubber Band
  • Glue
  • Scissors

This art activity has very little prep work involved. Use the brown paper to cut a base of the tree and some rectangles for the branches. Next, wrap the rubbing band around the cotton swabs. After that, you will be ready to start creating with your little one!

Start by letting them glue the tree onto the blue paper. The older your child is, the less help they will need with this.

After the tree is assembled, it will be helpful to let it dry a bit before you let your little one start painting. However, our toddler has no patience, so we had to start painting right away. It turned out fine that way.

When your little one is done, they will have a beautiful winter tree scene!

Perfect Book Picks for Preschoolers

Before we became parents, the not so crafty momma was a not so crafty preschool educator! We have previously posted our picks for must have books for newborns and terrific books for toddlers. Tonight, we want to share some books that we feel are perfect for preschool aged children. Because we know most parents are on a budget, all the books on our list are under $12.

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, from purchases made using our links. All opinions expressed are our own. All prices are under $12 as of the time that this post in published. Prices could change at any time.**

The Wonky Donkey became a home library essential when
the video of the grandmother laughing hysterically while reading the book surfaced online. It is a silly story that will make everyone giggle.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be is beautifully written and illustrated. The story is simple and very sweet.

Dragons Love Tacos does not contain any deep life lessons or fancy story line, but it will make most preschoolers (and their parents) giggle. It is a silly, but adorable, story that is really well illustrated.

On the Night You Were Born hold’s a special place in our hearts. We bought it for our toddler while she was still in the NICU as an infant. It is also a great story for preschoolers though! Preschoolers are often very curious about the parts of their lives that they do not remember, so this book is the perfect way to help open up conversation on that topic.

We hope you enjoyed our book list! We would love to hear from you! What is your favorite book to read to a preschool aged child?

Heart Wreath

After every holiday, we go shopping for clearance goodies. Last year, one of the goodies we found were foam hearts. Those hearts inspired today’s craft.

Materials Needed

  • Paper Plate
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Foam Heart Stickers

Start by cutting the center out of the paper plate.

Next, peal the paper off of the back of the foam hearts and let your little one put them on. This could be done with foam hearts (or paper hearts) that do not have a sticky back as well by putting glue on each heart. We like the sticky style foam because it is less of a mess!

When your little one is finished, just turn it around and tape on the ribbon. After that, your wreath is finished!

Terrific Books For Toddlers

Last week, we shared a list of great books for newborns. This week, we want to share some terrific book choices for toddlers! We know toddlers can be rough on books, so every book on the list is under $12.

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, from purchases made using our links. All opinions expressed are our own. All prices are under $12 as of the time that this post in published. Prices could change at any time.**

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a must have classic! We love Eric Carle in our house and have many of his books. This story is colorful and very easy for toddlers to follow along with!

Press Here is a fun and very interactive book. Most toddlers have short attention spans, so books like this that really get them involved are so important!

I fell in love with Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus when I was doing my student teaching “a few” years ago! It is just so fun! This is a great book for not just home, but for a toddler day care setting as well.

Baby Faces lets toddlers explore a variety of faces and words.
Most toddlers love looking at pictures of other babies and toddlers!

Mess Free Painted Heart

Today, we did another heart themed craft! This time, we painted.

Materials Needed

  • Paint (We used three colors, but the amount is up to you)
  • White Paper
  • Scissors
  • Gallon Sized Plastic Food Bag

Start by cutting out a heart from the paper. Next, put paint in drops around the paper. Our toddler loves mixing colors together, so we did multiple colors. You can just do one color if you’d like as well.

Next, put it in the gallon bag and let your little one move the paint around.

Once your child is finished, just take out the heart and throw away the bag! The clean up is super easy.

Tissue Paper Heart

So we know Valentines day is still almost a month away, but today we want to share a simple craft that is perfect for little ones between one and four! This tissue paper heart is great for both home and classroom art time.

Materials Needed

  • White Paper
  • Tissue Paper Cut Into Squares
  • A Pen or Marker
  • Glue

We started by drawing a heart on the white paper.

Next, we covered the heart in glue. We put a bit of extra glue on the outline of the heart.If you are working with a child who is three or four, you can let them put on the glue themselves to keep them interested in the process.

After that, we let our little one put the tissue paper on. We handed her one piece at a time.

The finished project is simple but adorable! It only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, so it is perfect for a busy day!

Great Books for Your Newborn

When you are expecting to add a baby to your household, there are so many things to buy! One of our favorite things to prepare was our future child’s library. We want to share a few must have baby books with you! We know that babies can require a lot of expensive stuff, so the books on our list can be purchased for under $10 each!

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, from purchases made using our links. All opinions expressed are our own. All prices are under $10 as of the time that this post in published. Prices could change at any time.**

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon is a classic! The story has a comforting tone that is great for setting a sleepy mood at bedtime.

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals

Baby Touch and Feel: Animals offers a wonderful sensory experience. There are parts that are sparkly, so that catches even the youngest readers attention.

Look, Look!

Look, Look! offers simplicity that is perfect for babies developing eyes!

My Very First Book of Colors

We could not share a list without an Eric Carle book! His books are so colorful and perfect for not just babies, but toddlers and small children as well.

We hope our list is helpful when starting a home children’s library! What is your favorite book for newborns?

Painted Snow Man Face

Today is it finally starting to look like winter in north east Ohio. We are not huge fans of going out in the cold, but it was the perfect day to break out some paint.


  • Blue Construction Paper
  • Paint (We used white, orange, and black)
  • Paint Brush

This art project has a bit of a sip and paint feel to it, but sometimes we like to take a break from learning based crafts and just have a bit of painting fun!

Start by putting some dots of white paint on the blue paper and let your little one spread it around. This will be your snowman face. It might be round, it might be square, or it might cover the whole paper. All these are perfect!

After this step, you may want to let your paper dry a little bit. This is optional, but if you have time, it will be much less messy this way! After that, use the orange paint to help your little one make a nose and the black paint for the mouth. We did have to guide our toddlers hand a bit with this, but older children should be able to do it on their own!

The finished project will be an adorable piece of winter art!

Five Family Vacation Spots

There are so many amazing places to travel as a family in the United Sates. We prioritize family travel because we want our little one to have memories of as many amazing travel experiences as possible. We have made a list of five places that we think make for amazing family vacations!

Tucson, Arizona may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning a vacation, but it is a great choice! Our last trip to Tucson we did not do a lot of exploring, but we have several family fun spots on our list for our next visit! Mr. Not So Crafty is excited to visit Tombstone and The Reid Park Zoo. We also can not wait to drive back up to Mount Lemmon. It is such a unique and beautiful experience!

Virginia Beach, Virginia was a childhood favorite! The beaches are beautiful, there are a lot of affordable family friendly hotels, and so much delicious food! Mount Trashmore is a must visit park for families. We also often took a day to drive to Bush Gardens.

Seattle, Washington is a wonderful city with so much to do! The Seattle Aquarium is a lot of fun and so is a visit to Pike Place Market.

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a popular family destination. Hershey Park is the most popular attraction, but there are a lot of family campgrounds and hotels that have a lot to offer! You can also visit Hershey Gardens.

This last one is our favorite! We will be heading to Walt Disney World is just over 50 days. It is a magical experience that every family should do at least every few years! We are not doing any other attractions this time, but Universal Studios is also an amazing place to visit as a family.

We would love to hear from you! What is your favorite family travel destination? What do you love most about traveling with children?