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.

Materials

  • 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?

Open Ended Melted Snowman

We recently took a little unplanned blogging break for the holidays, but today we are back with an adorable open ended melted snowman. We do not have a lot of snow this year, so it has been the only snowman made by our family so far!

Materials Needed

  • Construction Paper (We used blue, White, Black, Brown, Orange)
  • Glue
  • Scissors

We started by cutting out shapes for our melted snowman. We cut out white squares for the snowman, black circles of various sizes for the eyes and buttons, orange triangles for the nose and brown rectangles for the arms. We always cut more shapes than needed so our little one can make the project her own. You can add more shapes if you’d like, but we decided to keep it simple.

After we did all the prep work, we let the little one place everything where she wanted it. We try to offer as little guidance as possible when doing open ended activities.

The end result will be as unique as your child!

Easy Ways to Save Money Every Month

We are totally not crafty people, but we are fairly proud of being thrifty people. Today, we thought we’d share a few ways you can save money every month!

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

Use Coupons and Shop Sales

We spend about two hours each week getting ready for grocery shopping. We make our list according to what we can get on sale and try to combine sales with coupons. This saves us between $120 and $150 each month.

Get Rid of Cable or Satellite Services

We started by just downgrading our satellite services, but once our daughter was born, we needed the $80 a month we were still paying to put towards other things, so we cut it out all together. We have a Roku, Netflix, Amazon Prime (it comes with lots of movies and TV shows), and a huge collection of DVDs. We really do not even miss having a large bill for our TV entertainment.

Limit Take out and Dining Out

We rarely eat out. Even if we are going away for the day, we will try to take a lunch with us or try to plan around meal times. Mr.Not So Crafty also packs a lunch each day at work, which saves at least $40 a week since he usually works 6 days.

Buy Second Hand Items

We buy so many things used. We get a lot of clothing second hand, as well as some household items. As a bonus, there are many thrift clothing stores that will offer to buy your gently used clothing or items and then you can get something else you need.

Do you have a favorite money saving tip? Please share it below!

Paper Plate Christmas Bauble

Our Christmas tree is a hot mess full of love and personality. The only thing  missing was some hand made toddler art! Today, we had this paper plate bauble to fix that problem! 

Materials Needed

  • Paper Plate
  • Cut Up Tissue Paper 
  • Scissors
  • Glue 
  • Ribbon 
  • Tape 

We started by cutting out the center of the paper plate. If you wanted to use the whole paper plate you could do that, but it would be a bit large for most trees. 

Next, we put glue on the paper plate and let the little one glue on the tissue paper.  This part got  a bit messy. 

After the paper plate circle was covered, we let it dry. Once it was dry, we flipped it over and taped the ribbon on the back of the  circle.  You could use glue for this, but it would probably be super messy. 

Now this little bauble is hanging proudly on our tree. 

Super Simple Paper Tree

Christmas is just over two weeks away, so it is a busy time in our household. We still have wrapping to do. On top of that, we are under 80 days away from our next trip to Walt Disney World (Check out our guide to visiting Disney on a budget here), so we are in trip planning mode as well. Today, we wanted to do something that would entertain our little one for a bit, but also wasn’t complicated. This is probably one of the most simple craft projects we have done so far!

Materials

Green Paint

Paint Brush

White Paper

Green Construction Paper

Brown Construction Paper

Scissors 

Glue 

We started out by cutting out a triangle from both the green and white paper, and a rectangle from the brown paper. The green triangle should be slightly larger than the white one. We made just a small tree, but you can make a bigger one if you’d like. 

Next, we had our little one paint the white paper green.

After what she painted dried, we helped her glue it onto the green paper. If your child is preschool aged, they can likely do this all by themselves with a glue stick. 

After that, we flipped it over and helped her glue on the brown rectangle. 



This cute little tree did not take much time at all. The most time consuming part was letting it dry! 

Family Christmas Fun at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

In our family, we absolutely love the Christmas season. We love fall as well, but there is just something about all the happiness and family time Christmas brings. Since I was a child, it has been a Christmas tradition to go look at Christmas lights. When I came across the website for Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, I knew we had to visit!

**We were given a free admission pass and in exchange, we are sharing our experience. The following post contains our honest opinion about our experience at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland** 

We live about an hour away from the area where Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is located, so mid afternoon Saturday, we headed out. Mr. Not So Crafty works on weekends, but my mom and step father (A.K.A Grammy and Grumpy) accompanied my toddler and I for some holiday fun. Before we left, our sweet toddler had to do a little pre-gaming by checking out Grammy’s holiday decorations. 

After stopping for an early dinner, we got into the area of the Christmas Wonderland at about 6:30. If you are going on a weekend, we highly recommend getting there much earlier. It is a very popular seasonal event and they get very busy on the weekends. If you can go during the week, there may be less wait time involved.  Once we got into the fairgrounds, it was certainly easy to see why so many people were willing to wait! It is just an amazing family experience. At just $25 per car (up to 8 people), it is a great deal as well! 

The very first thing we all noticed, even before we got to the admission both, was how perfectly the music synced up with the lights. The lights put on an amazing show.  

After riding through the beautiful lights that were programmed to move with music, we entered Santa’s Safari. This part of the light display had an adorable jungle animal theme! 

At the end of the displays, we stopped at Santa’s Village. Santa’s Village offered refreshments,a visit with Santa, rides, and shopping! It was really a lot of fun. It was decorated inside and out. Santa had a real beard and the packages started at just $19.95. The three indoor rides offered are just $2 each. 

We highly enjoyed ourselves and can not wait to go next year again! If you do not live near this particular location, you may still be able to get in on the Shadrack’s Christmas fun! There are also locations in Sevierville, TNJackson, TNBirmingham, ALCharlotte, NC, and Gonzalez, LA.

We would love to hear from you! Have you ever been to a Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland? What is your favorite family Christmas tradition? 

Open Ended Shape Snowman

Open ended shape crafts are a favorite in our house! Crafts like this encourage creativity and help with both color and shape recognition! 

Materials Needed

  • Blue or Black Construction Paper
  • Construction Paper Cut into a Variety of Shapes 
  • Glue

The aim of his craft is to encourage creativity, so we offered as little guidance as possible. We put glue on the paper and let our toddler pick shapes one by one. When she picked one, we would say things like “that is a white circle”.  If your child is preschool or early grade school age, you can give them a glue stick and let them do the gluing themselves. Our toddler is too young for that, so we did put the glue where we wanted it on the paper. 

The end product will be as unique as your little one! One of our favorite things about these open ended projects is how much the end result reflects who our toddler as a little person currently!