Open Ended Ocean Art

Yesterday, I wanted to find something that would encourage my daughter to be creative, but we did not have a lot of time. I came up with this open ended art that has limitless possibilities for creativity. I am writing this blog post with the intention of sharing what we used for this activity, but you can use whatever you have around the house to help your kids create a beautiful ocean scene that is unique to them.

**This post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional charge to you, for purchases made through our links. All opinions expressed are our own**

What We Used

  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Googly Eyes
  • Plastic Easter Grass

I started by cutting rock like shapes from the brown construction paper and cutting fish shapes out of several other colors of construction paper. I left the blue paper whole so we could use it as a background.

Next, I helped my toddler glue the Easter grass near the bottom of the paper.

After that, I handed her the rock like shapes one by one. She put them where she wanted them. When she was done with the rocks, I gave her the fish to glue on. We did this art project in the evening, so I wanted to keep it simple, but you can add as many elements as you would like.

After my toddler had everything glued down, I helped her put a googly eye on each fish. The finished art project gave us a beautiful ocean scene that showcased my little one’s creativity.

Book Suggestions

Small children learn best when you pair up books with related art projects or learning activities. Here are some books that would go great with this ocean art.

For more ocean fun, please check out our Painted Sea Turtle and our Open Ended Shape Fish.

Painted Sea Turtle

My toddler loves anything to do with the ocean! Today, we made a painted sea turtle.

**This post may contain affiliate links. We may get a small commission, at no additional cost to you, for any purchases made from these links. All opinions expressed are our own**

Materials Needed

  • White Paper (I used paper from a large roll)
  • Green Construction Paper
  • Googly Eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Green Paint
  • Pen or Pencil (Optional. I draw out shapes before I cut them)

I started by drawing then cutting out an oval from the white paper. After that, I cut a head, two front flippers, and two back flippers from the green paper. If your child is old enough to cut out the shapes themselves, you can let them do so. It is great fine motor skill practice.

Next, I let my toddler paint the white paper. She used her hands, but you can also have your little one use a paint brush or a sponge.

We had to wait awhile for the paper to dry, but once that happened, I helped her glue the green construction paper parts onto the back of the painted paper.

Lastly, I helped her glue on the googly eyes.

Our finished product was an adorable sea turtle that looks like it is ready to swim away.

Book Suggestions

Children often learn best when books are paired with arts or activities. Here are some book suggestions to go with this cute craft!

We hope you and your little one enjoy making this fun sea turtle! If your little one is also ocean obsessed, we will be publishing several more ocean and fish related crafts and activities in the near future! If you can not wait for more crafty fun, check out the crab craft we did last summer!

Great Disney Gifts for Adults

We have written a lot about our love of all things Disney. Mr. Not So Crafty and I got married in Disney World over ten years ago and it has been such a huge part of our life ever since. Many people view Disney and Disney related merchandise as something just for kids, but today, we are sharing our favorite Disney related gifts for adults!

**The following post contains affiliate links. We may get a small commission for purchases made from our links, at no additional charge to you. All opinions are expressed are our own.**

This lamp will delight Star Wars fans!

Give the Gift of Mickey Waffles.

This little pouch is great to take to Disney or for any occasion.

This cup is perfect for coffee loving Disney Fans.

This sock set is just too cute to pass up!

This bag is functional and fun.

I hope you enjoy these gift ideas! We would love to hear from you! What do you think of our list? Do you have a Disney addiction? What kind of Disney related products will you never outgrow?

Ten Birthday Party Themes We Love

When it comes time to start planning a birthday party for your little one, it can be so hard to decide what theme to pick. Tonight, we want to share ten birthday party themes we love. To see more ideas for each theme, please click on the links below the pictures!

Baby Shark

See more at Life Anchored
See more at Life Anchored
See more at Mighty Mrs.

Trucks And Transportation

See more at Life Anchored

Pool Party

See more at Life Anchored
See more at Life Anchored

Mickey Mouse

See more at This Ole Mom
See more at Mommy’s Fabulous Finds


See more at Honey & Lime
See more at Honey & Lime
See more at Creative Green Living


See more at Splendry
See more at The Gifted Gabber
See more at The Gifted Gabber


See more at Lucky Mojito


See more at Natural Beach Living
See more at Creative Green Living

Harry Potter

See more at Natural Beach Living
See more at Little Bins for Little Hands
See more at My Poppet Makes

Peppa Pig

See more at Cutefetti
See more at The Purple Pumpkin Blog
See more at The Purple Pumpkin Blog

We hope you enjoyed our list of birthday party themes! We would love to hear from you. What themes have you used in the past? Do you love to throw parties or is it more of a chore for you?

Simple Tissue Paper Star

This summer is already going way too fast! In less than a week, the 4th of July will be here. Today, we made a simple tissue paper star that is perfect for the upcoming holiday.

Materials Needed

  • White Paper
  • Cut up Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • A Marker/Pen/Crayon
  • Glue

I started by drawing a star on the white paper and cutting it out. We already keep cut up tissue paper in a bag. If you do not have any already cut up, you will need to cut some before you start. I decided to use blue and red because the 4th of July is next week. You could also use yellow, silver, or really any color you want. My star is a bit wonky because I drew it freehand. If you are not a good artist and want a perfect star, you may want to print one out online and trace it.

Next, I covered the star in glue and let my toddler put on the pieces of tissue paper one by one. This is wonderful fine motor skill practice.

This craft only took about ten minutes to do. It is quick and easy, but a lot of fun!

The Best Gluten Free Dessert Recipes

When I found out I was allergic to wheat, I think I was most upset about the fact that I could no longer eat cake and other yummy sweet treats. Today, I am going to share a collection of desserts that are so good, you might not even notice they are gluten free! As a bonus, many of these recipes are also vegan as well!

No Bake Tricolor Mini Cheesecakes

Photo Credit: Claudia Canu

Healthy Smash Cake

Photo Credit: The Artisan Life

Chocolate, Beetroot & Raspberry Cupcakes

Photo Credit: Attachment Mummy

Peanut Butter Cookies

Photo Credit: Christina’s Cucina

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Tarts

Photo Credit: Shivani Loves Food

Grasshopper Pie

Photo Credit: The Banana Diaries

Vegan Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Photo Credit: Veg Annie

Rice Flour Snickerdoodles

Photo Credit: This Mama Cooks

I hope you enjoyed this collection of gluten free sweets! We would love to hear from you! What is the hardest part about a gluten free diet for you? Which one of these desserts would you most like to try?

“What is On My Plate Today?” Activity

Today, we worked on critical thinking skills, healthy decision making skills, and fine motor skills with this easy activity.

Materials Needed

  • A Paper Plate
  • Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • Pictures of Food (Cut out from magazines)
  • A Crayon/ Marker/ Colored Pencil
  • Tape

First, I wrote “What is on my plate today?” on the piece of construction paper. I left plenty of room to later tape on the plate.

Next, I showed our toddler all her food options and let her pick some. I encouraged her to pick items one by one. I asked her to name each picture as she glued it on. We talked about balancing healthy foods with foods that should be saved as treats. To finish, I taped the plate onto the bottom of the construction paper.

This activity can be done in a home or classroom setting. It is great for kids from 2 1/2 to 5. Smaller children will need more guidance, but this is a wonderful activity to increase language skills and help little ones learn to make good decisions.

Simple Shape Sorter

Today, we want to share a super simple activity that teaches important skills. This simple shape sorter activity will help toddlers learn shapes as well as encourage critical thinking skills as they sort them.

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue
  • A Marker, Colored Pencil, or Crayon
  • Scissors

We started by drawing three shapes on one of the pieces of paper.

Next, we cut out shapes in several colors. We ended up having way more than we needed. You probably only need about three of each shape.

Finally, we put glue inside the drawn shapes and started handing paper shapes to our toddler. We encouraged her to name each shape and then match it to the shape on the paper.

This activity took about five minutes. It is a quick way to build cognitive skills.

Five Tips for a Great Visit to Kings Island

Yesterday, we got to visit Kings Island in Ohio. We had a great time. Today, we want to share five tips for you to get the most of our your visit!

**We were provided tickets by Kings Island so that we could share our experience with you. All opinions expressed are ours.**

If You Have a Special Need or Dietary Concern, Stop Into Guest Services

You will find guest services right before you enter the park. If you have food allergies or dietary limitations, they have a wonderful very detailed print out of where you can eat what with different allergies or limitations. It was extremely helpful. They also offer a Boarding Pass program for those with special mobility needs or Autism. Most of the lines are not wheelchair accessible, so if you need to use the handicap entrance to rides, you will need to stop and get this pass. They will ask a few questions to determine if you are eligible and then give you a piece of paper to present at the designated area. You can read more about this program and other important accessibility information here.

Always Dress for The Weather

Ohio weather can be a bit unpredictable. On the day we visited, it was very cold for a summer day with some light rain. We were still able to enjoy the park, but we wished we had brought a few extra layers of clothing! They have lockers throughout the park that are very affordable, so it is better to be over prepared than under prepared.

Eat Small Amounts

There is so much food to choose from in Kings Island! If you eat too much at once, you will not get to sample nearly enough of it! This year, you can visit the brand new Miami River Brewhouse.

All Rides May Not Accommodate All People

Kings Island offers more than 100 rides, shows and attractions. There is something for people of all ages, sizes, and ability levels. However, if you are a coaster enthusiast and happen to be a bigger person, you should be aware that you may struggle to fit in some coasters. Before you leave, make sure you read this guide that lists the height requirements as well as other safety information for each ride. Many thrill rides and coasters restraint systems will not safely fit if you are on the fluffy side. Mr. Not So Crafty was a bit disappointed that his thrill ride selection was limited, but he did still find plenty of things to enjoy. I am also a bigger person and I fit into everything that I tried but one very old wooden coaster, so I think it has more to do with how you are shaped than it does your actual weight. Since only a few rides have test seats, you may just have to try out each ride if you really want to try to go on it.

Don’t Forget to Take Time to Shop

With so much to do, it may be easy to forget to take time to browse the many gift shops. This would be a mistake. They offer a large variety of items with super reasonable prices. We got the cutest little Charlie Brown dress for our daughter for around $25.

Kings Island offers the perfect combination of thrill rides and family attractions. The park has an impressive 15 roller coasters. You will not want to miss The Beast or Mystic Timbers. We visited Kings Island as part of an adult only trip, but families can spend the day together in Planet Snoopy kids’ area. Admission to Kings Island also includes Soak City Water Park! We did not get to visit the water park because it was cold, but it looked wonderful! For more information about visiting Kings Island, call (513) 754-5700 or visit the website.

We would love to hear from you! Have you ever visited Kings Island? If not, what is your favorite part about amusement parks?

I Love You Berry Much Father’s Day Card

Father’s Day is coming soon, so yesterday, we created a hand print based Father’s Day card. This can be adapted for grandpa or any special male figure in your little ones life!

Materials Needed

  • Paper (We used a white paper, but you can use construction paper as well)
  • Red, Black, and Green Paint
  • A Crayon, Marker, or Colored Pencil
  • Cotton Swabs or Paint Brush

I started by folding the paper in half and writing “Daddy I Love You” on the front half. If your child is old enough to copy something you write, then you can write it on a separate piece of paper and let them write it on the card.

Next, I dipped my little one’s hand into red paint and helped her put it into the inside of the card.

After it dried a bit, we used a cotton swab to put little black dots around the hand print. Next, we used a new cotton swab to make the top of the strawberry. You can also use a paint brush. I like cotton swabs because they are easy for a toddler to use.

Once everything we dry, I wrote “Berry Much” to finish off the card. You can also sign your little ones name and put the year near the hand print.

This easy card will bring back memories for years to come!