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Family Craft Ideas

with Leah

I'm Leah--wife, mother, editor, writer, photographer, and rickrack apologist. There's craftiness in my DNA, but between the kids and my work and the house and the television and my blogs (http://www.agirlandaboy and http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workingonmotherhood, among others), I have to keep my projects quick and easy if I hope to finish them before my boys (born December 2008 and July 2012) graduate from college. You're a working mom and you're busy too, but if you still want to get your craft on, join me here for some fun projects!

Kids Crafts: Pet Rocks in Pretty Boxes

Categories: activity, fabric, felt, glitter, markers, no-sew, paper

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How often do your kids come home with stones in their pockets? My four-year-old does every day. You’d think I sent him off to the quarry instead of preschool. Of course, he refuses to let me throw any of his precious treasures out the window, and if that argument sounds familiar to you too, this could be the project to save your sanity.

Let’s turn that pile of stones into a family of old-school pet rocks and then fancy up some wee boxes for them to live in, shall we?

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What you’ll need:

–rocks
–googly eyes (assorted sizes will be the most fun)
–small boxes (I found mine in the paper mache section of the craft store)
–craft glue (for the rocks)
–school glue (for the boxes)
–random craft supplies and tools

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When we threw my younger son’s first birthday party last month, there were enough bigger kids on the guest list that I knew we needed a craft table. The party theme was “Stayin’ Alive” (get it?), so I wracked my brain for a super-seventies project that wouldn’t be too complicated or expensive or need much supervision. BOOM: pet rocks.

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I knew the kids would dig the rocks–especially with the crazy neon googly eyes–but I felt we needed something…more.

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Since there’s nothing too exciting about gluing plastic eyeballs onto a rock, I upped the craft factor by letting the kids (and a surprising number of adults, actually) decorate little chipboard boxes for their new pets to call home. I bought the boxes for $1 each at the craft store, and because I didn’t dare disperse my older son’s carefully curated rock collection, I bought a two-pound bag of river rocks for less than $5. For the trimmings, I arranged a wire basket with odds-and-ends art supplies and tools like the following:

  • pompoms
  • yarn and string
  • rickrack (my favorite!)
  • ribbon
  • glitter
  • sequins
  • buttons
  • feathers
  • felt
  • faux fur
  • fabric scraps
  • paper scraps
  • wrapping paper
  • crepe paper
  • colored tape
  • stickers
  • markers

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This is a good project if you need to clean out your craft drawer to make room for new back-to-school stock.

Verdict from the kids: This craft rocks! (Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.) It was adorable to watch how much thought they put into selecting juuuuust the right stone for their pet, and it was inspiring to see how creative they were with the supplies. There were cyclops rocks and rocks with a dozen eyes, there were rocks with rickrack mouths and feathers on their heads, there were boxes with faces and wings and cozy blankets and room for several small pets to cuddle together. So much fun.

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Cute, right? If this is something you end up doing with your kids, I’d of course love to see how yours turn out! Leave a comment here or email me at leah [at] agirlandaboy [dot] com.

Rock on! *ducks*



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