Lilypie / Free Birthday Tickers

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker

I use the Lilypie birthday ticker as my email signature. You can also add a photo. Very cute and free! Pick out our design and plug in your info. You can use it for a count down to a special event (birth, adoption, birthday...)

Start Thinking Spring! Lanterns

Beautiful, easy to make spring lanterns. This is a great activity for preteen and older. Obviously, you can make your designs as simple or complex as you like.


Paper Lantern*

Mod Podge with a little water to thin it out

Foam or Craft Brush

Tissue Paper (The better the quality the less likely to fade)



*You can buy a white lantern (they come in all different shapes & sizes!) from Ikea, Pier 1, or your craft store (I just saw mini ones at Michael's in the $1 bin.) You do not have to buy a white lantern -- the pink lantern (see picture) came pink. If you choose a colored lantern remember that light colored tissue will show through the base color. It is a very nice effect. I used tissue to make the blue globe blue. It was originally a white lantern.

It helps to have a clear idea of what you want to do before you start! Be creative! Please send me photos of your finished lanterns!

The technique is very simple.
Paint a little glue on lantern
Gently apply your piece without getting glue on your fingers
Using your brush paint some more glue over top to flatten
Layer the tissue for depth and interest
(Notice the butterfly is made up of several layered pieces on the Cherry Blossom Lantern)
Don't forget your lantern will be viewed from all sides
When your lantern is dry paint a thin layer of glue over to protect your work
Hang & Enjoy
Exposure to intense sunlight may fade your lantern over time (that's why buying high quality tissue helps)

Note: I used a stencil for the lettering on the globe. I printed out the boys name in the font & size that I wanted. I traced the letters onto tissue and cut then out. You can also purchase electrical kits at Ikea so you can hang a light inside the lantern.

Valentine Paper Heart

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If you can make a paper heart out of a strip of paper then you can make this heart wreath. I know I saw this idea some where...probably Martha Stewart. Here is my version.

Construction Paper cut into 1" or wider strips
paper clips or clothes pins
small hole punch or awl & string to hang it

Leave a comment if you don't understand. I'll try to clarify for you. Now I skipped most these steps after the first few hearts. Once you get the hang of it you can just go ahead and fold, glue attach & clip as you build your chain.

Fold strip in half / glue outsides together

run a glue line across each edge / pinch top to base of heart and paper clip together until dry

Glue the base of each heart into the top of the next heart / paper clip / make 2 equal length chains.

Glue together at base / paper clip. Glue together at top to form heart. Glue one final heart to top / paper clip. Punch hanging holes in outer hearts ( I punched them in the top white hearts.) String floss or ribbon to desired length & hang.

Valentine's Day Hanging Hearts

An easy and adorable Valentine's Day Craft. Great for toddlers practicing their fine motor skills. An added bonus, Lulu spent 10 minutes just sorting the beads by color and which ones she liked.

4 Pipe Cleaners (3 for the larger hearts / 1 cut in half for the 2 smaller hearts)
String to hang your masterpiece

Fold pipe cleaner in half & twist to make loop
Have child place beads on each side of the pipe cleaner (leaving a 1/4 at end to close heart)
Don't worry about forming heart shape until you've twisted off the bottom
Twist and wrap loose end around pipe cleaner / cover by sliding bead over twisted part
Shape into a heart (Don't be afraid to go at it)
Repeat 2 more times
Form smaller hearts / make sure you connect 2 larger hearts together
Hang string at top

Craft Kit Exchange Moms: This is part of my kit for you -- so don't make this yet!

I just discovered the Wonder Years Blog. It has a lot of Montessori-Based ideas. I want to try several of them with Emme & Lulu. Check it out. I especially want to try the Sink & Float experiments and the Balance Board.

Robbie Burns Night

Let me preface this by saying we are on day 7 of the girls being sick. The morning is a blur of whining, runny noses and Mama mumbling to herself like a crazy woman. So I decided to fill the afternoon with an activity that would make the time fly. My husband is Scottish/Irish and is very proud of his heritage so I thought why not surprise him with a Robbie Burns night (3 days late...oops!)

We went to

There were all sorts of ideas and printables for the occasion. It is a great resource for coloring pages and craft ideas. Their specialty seems to be holidays. Making the Scottish Flag banner was fun and Lulu got to glue (her favorite activity.) We printed out some Robbie Burns poems and a blessing. We made tartan sashes out of paper and crayons. We borrowed some excellent traditional Scottish music from our friend. Lulu also colored the map and flag of Scotland. Needless to say the afternoon flew by!

For the Squirrels!

We got quite the show the other day. This squirrel was determined to get to the popcorn garland. She tried everything! The girls and I got a kick out of some the squirrel's acrobatics. She finally got it down and we all cheered for the squirrel.

For the birds...

Ordinary Life Magic has very cute heart shaped bird popcorn bird feeders. As we have been house bound with a virus for going on 5 days now...I improvised. I used thread instead of floral wire and we just made a garland of popcorn. Lulu (Emme was napping) and I made popcorn the old fashioned way. Which was a fun activity in itself. She measured out the oil and popcorn and helped me put the lid on our heavy pot. Then we waited for the sounds of popcorn popping. She got so excited! "I can hear it! I can hear it!" she chanted. When the threat of oil splashing out was over I lifted the lid a bit and popcorn came flying out. This sent her over the edge. She squealed with delight. Then the threading of popcorn & cranberries began. I placed the item on the needle and Lulu eased it down to the end. I thought she might get bored of this quickly but she did not. I wanted to tie it off much sooner than she did! She had a clear idea of how she wanted it to look too! Cranberries on the ends with popcorn in the middle.

If you find yourself housebound and stir crazy try this activity it was fun, easy, and cheap.

Sol-Nal / Happy Lunar New Year

Happy New Year! Here is my offering to you...a free kids coloring page in honor of the Lunar New Year. Download the picture and print!

There is very little offered on the web currently in terms of children's activities and crafts for the Korean New Year. There is a tremendous amount of fun ideas and activities for kids to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I am a Korean adoptee and have very little knowledge of many Korean traditions and customs. I grew up thinking anything Chinese was interchangeable with Korean. I don't want my daughters to make the same mistake! My youngest daughter is also a Korean adoptee and my eldest daughter (biological) is part Korean and Scottish. As they grow up, I plan on exposing them to the beautiful and unique Korean culture and traditions. I am happy that we will be learning much of it together. You can imagine how frustrated and disappointed I was when I could only find some really bad clip art and a few paragraphs about the Korean New Year. I suspect there are a lot of adoptive parents like myself in a similar situation. I decided that It is my mission to use this blog as a resource for adoptive parents as well as crafty folks. I will try to pull together the best of the web and some of my own ideas, crafts and artwork especially for kids. So check back occasionally for recommendations and ideas!

Back to Sol-nal

Lulu will be wearing her Han-bok to school to celebrate the New Year. She is bringing sweet rice cakes for snack. (These are yummy and fun to eat as they are about the size of your head!) I bought a children's book about the Korean New Year for her to share with the class (New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyun-joo Bae). She will also be bringing in copies of this drawing (which I did very quickly because I couldn't find anything halfway decent on line!) for the children to color.

Here are just a few sites I found.

Child's Apron Pattern

If you sew this is a very simple and cute apron. I love the kid friendly design. It has an elastic neck strap & Velcro side closure...genius! I am also a beginner when it comes to sewing let alone threading my machine. I had no difficulty at all with understanding the directions. So give it a try!

Valentine's Collage

In December, we made winter solstice lanterns. We used tissue paper, glitter, sequins, Modge Podge and a balloon. We placed a tea light inside the lanterns and they glowed beautifully. After a month or so of being looked at and carried around they were starting to look a bit beat up so I decided to cut them up for a valentines collage. The tissue paper was beautiful with all the glitter Lulu had added. I did't want to see it go in the trash. We used cardboard as a base, added more sequins and homemade confetti. I showed Lulu how to use the hole punch and she went to town punching holes in the tissue. Afterwards I showed her the confetti stored inside the hole punch. She loved that. I let her pour on the glue and have fun. After she glued the pieces down I let her squeeze more glue on and then sprinkle on sequins and confetti. We punched a hole at the top and added a ribbon for hanging. I think we may do a heart later this week. So here we have a L for Love & Lulu.


Lulu got a playdough (or claydough as she calls it) extruder for Christmas. It entertains her for long stretches of time. I am amazed. Here is some of her work.

Notice that I limit Lulu to colors that make other colors. When using clay or paint I try to limit her palette so she will discover what happens when you mix primary colors together. If you give them too many colors they end up making mud. Even very young children know when something turns from beautiful bright colors to yucky greenish brown. They get frustrated. So limit them to 2-3 colors for now.

Magnetic Doll Clothes

Lulu & Emme got Magnetic wooden dolls for Christmas. Lulu, esp. loves playing with them. Unfortunately, they come with only so many outfits. Lulu wanted more outfits and that got me thinking... I created a skirt and bow for Princess Elise using a magnetic frame backing (which is sticky on one side) and some ribbon, paper and iridescent tissue paper. I used one the skirts as a template and two seconds later...Princess Elise had a new outfit. Fabric scraps would work well.

Ice Sculptures

Very messy but fun!! Lulu & I had food coloring under our finger nails for a while. Building with the ice cubes didn't work so well but Lulu had fun just playing with the cubes and when we were done we threw them outside. The next day it had snowed again so while I shoveled the driveway Lulu hunted for "Gems" in the snow. It got me thinking that instead of trying to build with the cubes they would make great eyes & mouth for a snow man. Lulu would love using them as decoration for a snow princess. So next time it snows we are going to try this again. Another fun snowy day activity is the squirt bottle filled with colored water. Lulu makes painting in the snow. This keeps her busy while I shovel.

These are the paper projects we completed from the TOYMAKER website. Lulu colored them and I cut them out and assembled them. The little bag was the perfect size for her homemade soap.

Treasure Soap

Inspired by Snow Globe Soap on Alpha Mom site. This was so easy, quick and fun. My 3yr. old loved helping add the color, scent, sparkles, soap shavings & of course the treasure. It also helped that it was pretty quick to set up so she could see the results soon after the project was done & cleaned up. She is very proud of her creations and wants to make more. We have already given away most of the bars. GREAT TEACHER GIFTS!! We plan on making Valentines soaps. The initial investment was about $25 for mold, coloring, glitter, scent, glycerin, and treasures. I had the ribbon & bags. This was definitely a fun project and my sister's 8 year old daughter wanted to make some after she saw Lulu' great for all ages.

Lulu's first ballet class!

Great Site / Free Printable Paper Projects

I already printed out the Fairy Box, The Bear wagon, and the Habitat for Humanity House (Which I am going to have the girls color then I will assemble. I love this site!! I'll post pictures later.

Boo Boo Socks

Easy Activity / Boo Boo Sock
We filled some out grown socks with rice, sewed them shut, and placed the matching sock over as a cover. Store in freezer bag and in the freezer for bumps and bruises. Great because they are soft and don't feel too cold so Lulu & Emme love holding them. Thought it would be cute to do with mittens. Mis matched sock would work well too. Lulu helped fill the socks. We used a homemade funnel (a paper plate, made into a cone, taped, with the end snipped off.)

New Years Time Capsule...thought it would be a fun tradition to place favorite moments from the year, accomplishments and hopes for the coming year(s). Lulu had fun sticking foam shapes to the outside of an old plastic container some toys had come in. As the girls get older I think they will look forward to contributing to the time capsule. We set the open date for 2018 when Lulu is 15 and Emme is 13.


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