Tag Archives: frugal fun

Colored Water Busywork

Here’s a simple way I keep my boys happy when they’re bored and I need a few minutes to finish supper.  Fill an ice cube tray or muffin tin with water (half full) and add a few drops of food coloring to about half of the cups (put a towel underneath for little ones who are prone to spills).  Then give them eye droppers or medicine droppers to mix and match the colors.

This is surprisingly fun for kids and very calming for my boys.  They love to make a rainbow of colors and shades.

They can also drop the colors onto coffee filters, newspaper, light colored construction paper or other absorbent paper to make patterns with the colors.

It’s simple fun, with a little color theory tossed in!

Want to add to the fun?  Tint white vinegar instead, and then give them each a little bowl of baking soda with a baby spoon afterwards.  They can add a tiny scoop of baking soda to each cup and see what happens!  In color! 🙂


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A Door to Anywhere

Daryl has been on the lookout for an old fashioned screen door for a play he’s putting on in September.  Last week, he spotted one by the street for trash pick-up and snagged it.  When he got it home, he realized it seemed to be made for very tiny people (!) and would not work at all.

A door made for very tiny people?  I immediately seized on it and asked Daryl to hang it up for us.

Three hinges and ten minutes later, we had a door to nowhere.  Or the back yard.  Or anywhere.

Daryl added a hook and eye screw so the door can be fastened against the garage when out of use.

We discovered that it made a perfect stage for puppet shows!

Or just make believe.  🙂

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that often the most magical things are things that other people would consider rubbish.  Whether it’s scrap wood painted bright colors and used as giant outdoor building blocks or old doors that lead to nowhere, there’s often pretty nifty stuff out there waiting to be imagined — for free!   🙂


Filed under happy stuff

Driveway Graffiti

I love this idea from No Time for Flashcards!  Brilliant!  We’ve mixed up sidewalk paint before and it hasn’t been the biggest hit with any of us, but using balls with it?  I love the sounds of it!

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Rock Cuties

I just stumbled onto these pictures that Victoria took last summer when she was staying with Magical Mama Tiffany and her family.  How’s this for cheap, easy and delightful fun?  🙂

She and her friend Judith, who was visiting from Texas, made all of these little folks…

Now if it would only stop raining long enough for us to go find some rocks of our own……

Happy Tuesday!

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Five Fun Links

Here’s five fun things we’ve done or want to do soon!

1.  This fun alien laundry hamper…

2.  Deviled eggboats

3.  Ice cube tray color mixing

4.  Recycled promotional magnets as fridge art from Creative Jewish Mom

5.  These sweet “why I love you” Valentine pillows (or my lazy version!)…

What has inspired you lately?

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Can You Hear Me Now?

My children love to talk on the phone. 

They also love to pretend that toys, pieces of wood and various other things are cell phones.  It makes them feel sophisticated and important. 

I’ve been told that all of their friends have cell phones.  I’ve been told that it would be so fantastic to have cell phones of their own.  I’ve told them that they don’t really need them.  They’re almost always with us!  And when they’re not, they borrow mine.

Friday, my Mother-in-law and I happened upon a garage sale in a ritzy part of her town.  It was being run by two teenaged girls.

They were selling 4 cell phones for .25 a piece.  I bought all four.

My kids are in heaven.

It turns out the phones still work (though they don’t have service) and our battery charger works with them.  They even take pictures and will calculate how much of a tip you should leave on a $20 tab split three ways.  They let you choose ring tones and send pretend texts.

Victoria told me yesterday what time it was in Rome.

We disabled Alex’s, since we can’t trust him not to accidentally call 911.  Knowing him, he’d figure out a way to call Rome.

My kids have been playing with their new phones for two days straight.

Best dollar spent ever.  🙂



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101 Things To Do With an Old T-shirt!

I love some of the ideas from Hide Your Armsabout all the ways you can customize and repurpose an old T-shirt!  Make a cloth diaper, a cool scarf, a dog tee, a bracelet, yoga pants… What a great way to spend a rainy day with kiddos.  🙂


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Flower Petal Backpacks

I’m in love with this darling project that transforms an old/cheap backpack with some flower petals (or cut fabric) and hot glue.  What a fun, frugal, adorable craft!  Hop on over to UCreate for the tutorial, courtesy of Happy Together.

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A New Twist on Recycled Crayons

We’ve been making recycled crayons for years with mini muffin tins (ours is heart shaped) and I’ve seen them made in little candy molds but I had never thought of doing it this way from Danny Seo.  What fun!  They’re so pretty and we have so many cookie cutters in the playdough drawer….  

These would make great gifts, too, either to give children or for them to make up for friends or younger family members.

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Tie Dye with Tissue Paper!

Now this is my kind of craft!  It’s cheap, it’s kid friendly, it’s easy and the results are gorgeous!  I can’t wait to try this fabulous idea from Dollar Store Crafts.

In light of the fact that she said the original squirting (with a squirt gun, even more fun for kiddos!) didn’t have an effect, I’d go ahead and douse it with vinegar right off the bat.  I wonder if I could trust the kids not to accidentally spray a sibling in the eye with vinegar?  Probably not!  I’ll have to brainstorm on that one.  🙂

One of the commenters also recommended trying crepe paper streamers for this.  I think I may have some in the pantry and I know I have tissue paper…. We’re always low on any white clothes around here though because we tend to use those for art projects.  White shirts are doomed at our house!

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Anybody want to join us?

Happy Tuesday!


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