Rainbow Fish Ornament

The Rainbow Fish is a simple story about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions–his sparkly scales. While Rainbow Fish starts out prideful, he learns a lesson in giving and friendship. It’s one of my favorite books for talking about how to be a good friend and sharing. The Rainbow Fish isn’t a Christmas book, however, we were inspired to make a Rainbow Fish Ornament to remind us to give freely and as a kid-made gift for little friends. {This post contains affiliate links.}

The Rainbow Fish book inspired Kid-made ornament #kidmadeornaments #kidsmadechristmas

Rainbow Fish Ornament Supplies

  • Perler Beads {affiliate}–Perler beads are very small beads that are placed on small pegboards. After making a design, you use an iron to melt the beads and fuse the design together. My kids are addicted to these “melty beads”.
  • Perler Bead Fish Pegboard {affiliate}
  • Perler Bead Ironing Paper (comes in the Perler Bead kit)
  • Iron {affiliate}
  • Googly Eye {affiliate}
  • Hot Glue Gun {affiliate}
  • Small, shiny rhinestone or sequin {affiliate}

How to Make a Rainbow Fish Ornament

  1. Using the fish shaped pegboard, place the perler beads in your desired pattern. We tried to mimic the Rainbow Fish illustrations with the light blue face and the blue, green and purple scales, but the great part about this project is that kids get to fill up the pegboard however they want.
    Perler Bead Rainbow Fish inspired ornament
    Rainbow Fish Inspired Perler Bead Ornament
  2. Once the pegboard is full of beads, very carefully transfer the pegboard to a towel. Place the ironing paper on top of the beads and iron with a medium iron setting until the beads are melted and fused together. {Please Note: This is a grown-up job! You will see my child’s hand on the iron in the photo below, but the iron was not plugged in and was only for the tutorial photo.}
    Rainbow Fish Perler Bead Ornament
    perler bead ornament inspired by The Rainbow Fish children's book
  3. Allow to cool completely. Then, peel the ironing paper off the top.
    perler bead fish ornament
  4. Remove the cooled perler bead shape from the pegboard.
    perler bead fish
  5. Hot glue the googly eye and the small rhinestone on the fish. Poke an ornament hanger through the top of the ornament (what I did) or you can hot glue a piece of ribbon to the back.
    rainbow fish perler bead ornament
    rainbow fish inspired perler beads
  6. Hang on the tree or give as a gift to a friend!
    Rainbow Fish Ornament made from perler beads
    Rainbow Fish Ornament gift for a friend

70+ Kid-Made Ornaments Inspired By Children’s Books

A bunch of my blogging friends have gotten together to make kid-book inspired ornaments and I bet your favorite book is in the list!  It’s a 10 day long party of gorgeous kid-made art and Melissa over at Mama Miss is hosting the big party for us.  So go on over and check it out.

10 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas featuring 70+ ornaments inspired by children's books

Here are the rest of today’s Kid-Made Ornament bloggers, so stop on by and start pinning:

Stained Glass Gingerbread Man Ornament | The Educators’ Spin On It

 Sugar Plum Fairies Ornament | Made with Happy

Legend of the Pointsettia Ornament| Growing Book by Book

Stickman Ornament | One Time Through

Russell’s Christmas Magic Ornament | Adventures of Adam

Want to see them all in one place? Check out the 10 Days of Kid-Made Christmas page!

Viking Ship Craft for Kids

While learning about Vikings during our Viking Unit Study, the kids wanted to make a Viking boat. Using some common household materials and some recycled materials, we came up with a viking boat that has been played with over and over and extended their learning through small world play. I often find the kids, mainly Jonah, pretending Lego men are Erik the Red on a voyage or Leif Erickson on his way to North America.

Viking Ship Craft for Kids: how to make a Viking Boat using recycled household items.

To make the base of our viking boat, we recycled an orange juice carton. Using a box cutter, I cut the orange juice carton in half.

Make a viking boat out of a recycled orange juice carton

Using brown paint, the kids painted the orange juice carton half.

Make a viking boat from a recycled orange juice carton

While the paint was drying, Jonah was in charge of measuring lines with a ruler on a piece of cardstock and coloring the red stripes on the viking boat sail. (See how I snuck that math measurement skill in there?) When he was finished, I cut the paper in half and trimmed the sail to 7 inches tall and 5 1/2 inches wide. Using hot glue along the top and bottom edges, I reinforced the viking sail with barbeque skewers.

Making a red striped viking boat sail for a viking boat craft for kids.

Once the edges were reinforced, I used my scissors to poke a hole through the top and bottom in the center of the sail. I used a skinny, but sturdy cardboard tube that was recycled from a package of glow sticks. It was the perfect size for the mast.

Making a viking boat for kids with recycled materials

Using the skinny cardboard tube, I threaded the tube through both holes in the paper sail. Then, I hot glued the mast in the center of the boat.

viking ship craft for kids mast assembly

To make the oars, I used a single hole punch to punch three holes in each side of the boat.

How to make a viking ship for kids

Next, we threaded three barbeque skewers into the holes and used some brown craft foam hot glued to each end to form the paddle on the oar.

how to make a viking boat craft for kids

The craft foam was wrapped around both sides of the skewer and hot glued together.

viking ship craft for kids

To make the dragon head on the front of the viking boat, I folded a piece of brown craft foam in half and roughly cut a dragon profile. Using hot glue, I attached the dragon head to the front of the boat. The picture below shows the dragon head unfolded.

how to make a viking boat for kids

And that’s it! A Viking Boat Craft for Kids to pretend and engage in small world play.

Viking Ship Craft for Kids

Viking Ship Craft for Kids

Other Viking Activities for Kids

Enjoy a Viking Lunch during your Viking Unit Study and snuggle up with some Viking Books!

Read This Make That (Viking Snack Edition)

*Affiliate links are present

 Voyage with the Vikings (Imagination Station Series)Voyage with the Vikings (Imagination Station Series)

vikingViking (DK Eyewitness Books)

Leif the LuckLeif the Lucky

Are you following me on Pinterest? I like pretty things and fun kids activities.

Visit Sara @ Happy Brown House’s profile on Pinterest.

Kid Crafts with Kiwi Crate

Kid Crafts with Kiwi Crate-perfect for busy moms!

Disclosure: I received this product for free. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are honest and I was not required to post a positive review.

What is Kiwi Crate?

Kiwi Crate is a monthly kid crafts subscription. They deliver hands-on fun right to your mailbox. Designed for ages 3-8, projects can include arts and crafts, science activities, imaginative play, and more. Everything for 2-3 projects is included in the crate, and there are a variety of Kiwi Crate themes to choose from.

Opening our Kiwi Crate Box

Our Kiwi Crate Experience

We received the “Around the World” Kiwi Crate. (I can’t find a direct link for you on their site since their available themes rotate.) The kids were so excited to get a package just for them and immediately wanted to open it.

Around the World Kiwi Crate

The main craft was a World Flag Banner and the main game was a World Map Game. We chose to make the flag banner on the back porch during a cool morning and waited to play the map game later that evening with daddy.The kids followed the directions for making the flag banner (written and picture directions) without much assistance from me.

Kiwi Crate World Flag Banner Craft

The flag banner was cute and we will hang it in our homeschool room above our world map. We looked at our map to find all the countries represented in our banner. Kiwi Crate Flag Craft

The World Map Game was a great introduction to continents and famous landmarks with a bingo twist. It was perfect for a family game night after dinner! The game was easy enough for our youngest to participate thanks to the color-coded cards, but it was still educational for our oldest who is reading well. He was able to read the quick facts about the landmarks for us. And yes, Asher is walking around saying “Machu Pichu” now. What 2 year old does that?

Kiwi Crate World Map Game

What I Thought of Kiwi Crate

As a naturally crafty mom, I was a bit skeptical of a kid crafts subscription. I wondered if it would be something I could’ve come up with on my own using materials I already had at home. However, Kiwi Crate totally knocked my socks off. Yes, I could’ve made up the craft with materials we already had, but the Kiwi Crate was so much more than just a craft. Our particular Kiwi Crate came with a craft, a game, and an activity book/magazine for further learning exploration, craft ideas, and games.

Kiwi Crate Activities Collage

With three kids, homeschool, extracurricular activities, and just an overall crazy schedule, I appreciated the time Kiwi Crate gave back to me. All I had to do was open the box for the kids and interact. I didn’t have to come up with an idea. I didn’t have to gather or prepare materials. (Let’s face it, that is half the battle!) Kiwi Crate was truly open and go. I was glad to put the time saved in gathering materials to use in other important areas, like prepping dinner.

On a personal note, I haven’t had the time or the energy during the adoption attachment period to put together things like this, so I was excited to have an activity for the kids to do that didn’t require much of me. I’m stretched too thin right now and Kiwi Crate was a lifesaver this month!

Some things I was really impressed with about Kiwi Crate

They thought of everything. Seriously. I was so impressed with everything: peel-and-stick felt, providing scissors, and even a special sticker to wrap around the end of the rope to make threading the rope through the flags easier.

Kiwi Crate thinks of everything!

The activities were fun, engaging, and educational. You know how much that impresses this homeschool momma!

The packaging. Y’all, their packaging is so cute and creative! For example, you can even cut the box down and use it for play with the puppets printed on the packaging. They really pack a lot of fun into one little green box!

Kiwi Crate packaging is even designed for kid crafts and activities

Some things I wish were a little different about Kiwi Crate

We had one meltdown over who was going to make a particular flag and I immediately wished we had more materials so the kids could each make their own flag buntings. After looking on the Kiwi Crate website, I found out there is an option to add-on a sibling set of materials for an extra fee. I am glad for that option, although I probably wouldn’t spend an extra $10 on that option just to avoid a tantrum driven by selfishness.

I loved the clever world map game and wanted to use it over and over. I wish the game pieces were made of cardstock or thicker paper. The game cards were very thin and wouldn’t handle a lot of wear and tear from children. I will laminate these to use in the future and modify the game pieces if needed.

What My Kids Thought of Kiwi Crate

Ultimately, the kids’ opinions are what counts here since it was for them. I asked my kids to talk to me about Kiwi Crate.

What was your favorite thing about Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): I liked all of the activities. I can’t pick a favorite!
Lily (5): I liked making the flags.
Asher (a week from 3): I like making da fwags, Momma.

What didn’t you like about Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): I had to share it with the others.
Lily (5): I looooved everything! (insert dramatics and jazz hands here)
Asher (a week from 3): Huh? What momma?

Would you like to get another Kiwi Crate?
Jonah (7): YES! Can I have my own this time?
Lily (5): YES! Do they have a princess one?
Asher (a week from 3): YES! Again!

Is a Kiwi Crate Subscription worth it?

Is a Kiwi Crate Subscription Worth It?

I think Kiwi Crate is worth it. I really surprised myself with that statement since I’m such a DIY and frugal girl, but I think boxed craft/activity sets can be beneficial, too. Kiwi Crate is perfect for busy moms or moms that feel planning kid crafts is not their strength. The activities were top-notch and fun for my three kids. I think Kiwi Crate would make a perfect gift! If you like to give “experience gifts” instead of toys, Kiwi Crate would be a hit!

Want to try them yourself?

Use code BTS25 for 25% off 1st month subscription to Kiwi Crate. New subscribers also receive free shipping PLUS a bonus welcome kit.

Kiwi Crate is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+. Be sure to follow them! They share great kid crafts ideas on their social media accounts and their newsletter.

Caterpillar/Butterfly Finger Puppets {Flip Dolls Pattern Hop & Giveaway}

I first “met” Laura while I was pregnant with Asher. If you were a reader during that time, you’ll remember I was SO sick with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and the entire house was a little down in the dumps. During that time, Laura sent us a package with hand-drawn artwork from her daughter and a homemade crown for Jonah. It was a slice of sunshine during a rather rough time in our lives and we were touched by her kindness.

homemade crown

While the crown was a nice surprise, I was also drawn to Laura’s fabulously creative blog. She comes up with some of the most clever patterns that just beg to be replicated.

And then she gathered all of those clever projects into a book! A real book! It’s the most delightful thing to flip through.

When Flip Dolls & Other Toys That Zip, Stack, Hide, Grab & Go arrived on my doorstep, my boys piled up on my lap. As we flipped through every page, they made a list of sewing projects for me….pretty much every project from the book!

Flip Dolls Pattern Hop & Giveaway

Laura asked if I’d join in the Flip Dolls Pattern Hop and I couldn’t resist! I knew immediately I wanted to master the art of flip dolls, but honestly, the flip dolls intimidated me a little. I decided to start small.

Caterpillar/Butterfly Flip Doll

Caterpillar Flip Doll finger puppet reversible finger puppet

For my first attempt at flip dolls, I chose the Caterpillar/Butterfly pattern. With adorable pom-pom trim for the legs and a simple handstitched smile, I’m somewhat smitten.

Tucked inside, there is a small surprise…

Caterpillar Butterfly Reversible Finger Puppets Flip Doll

An adorable butterfly–perfect for little ones to use as a finger puppet!

Butterfly flip doll finger puppet

I’ll be honest, the butterfly pictured in this post was my second attempt. It took me a little while to picture how things were supposed to work and I was a little too sloppy on my 1/4 inch seams. It made for a tight squeeze! Another thing that I think contributed to the tight fight inside was that I added another layer of felt on the underside of the wings to hide my stitches from the wing details.

After completing the Caterpillar & Butterfly flip doll, I immediately started on another!

Flip Dolls & Other Toys that Zip, Stack,  Hide, Grab and Go Review and Giveaway. These adorable dolls are reversible and can be used as puppets!

Giveaway

Would you like to win your own book and give sewing flip dolls a try? Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Then, visit the first 5 links in the blog hop below for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you made a Flip Doll? Use the linkup below to show off your creations! The first five links are part of the Flip Dolls Pattern Hop and each have book giveaways! Visit them for more chances to win!

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Torn Paper Nest Craft

We love torn paper crafts at our house. They are easy to make and strengthen fine motor skills for little fingers.

Torn Paper Nest Craft from happybrownhouse.com @happybrownhouse #nest #spring #finemotorskills

One of my favorite spring time art pieces is the Torn Paper Nest we made during Nn-Nest week in My Father’s World Kindergarten last year. Although we made it last year, I realized I never posted about it! It is perfect for Spring Kid Crafts.

Tearing paper develops Fine Motor Skills @happybrownhouse www.happybrownhouse.com

Using our collage box, Jonah found some light blue paper. I helped him trace an egg shape and then he cut the eggs out. He drew the outline of a nest shape on a piece of paper. Next, he glued the eggs down so they looked like they would be sitting in the nest. Finally, he tore pieces of brown paper and glued them in the nest shape. For the final touch, he added a feather. Easy-peasy!

Torn Paper Nest Craft from @happybrownhouse www.happybrownhouse.com

How to Make a Superhero Comic Strip Invitation with your iPhone or iPad

Y’all, I totally amazed myself with this one. While I’m crafty, I can’t get over how awesome Jonah’s Superhero Comic Strip Birthday Invitations turned out using a comic strip app on my iPhone. Did you hear me? I made this on my phone! Not one piece of scrapbook paper was used during this project!

Superhero Invitation Tutorial

Superhero Comic Strip Invitation Tutorial

Before you do anything, you will need to download the Strip Designer App. At the time of writing this, the app is $2.99. While I’m more of a free app girl, I realized that buying the app was cheaper than paying someone from Etsy to make a custom invitation for me.

You’ll also need a cute picture of your little Superhero. I dressed my son in his Superman t-shirt under a white dress shirt. We poked the lenses out of some 3D glasses left over from a movie and he wore just the frames. He instantly looked like Clark Kent. With some posing, it was perfect! I totally snapped this in Instagram and added my favorite filter.

Superman Costume

Once I started playing around in the Strip Designer App, I realized I wanted a colored background for parts of the invitation. There wasn’t a way for me to do that within the app. I was only able to use photos. To solve that, I made a blank page in “Paint” on my computer. I changed the color of the entire background to my desired color and saved it. I sent it to upload to my phone through my Photo Stream. Voila! Rinse & Repeat. I did three colors—yellow, green, and blue.

color blocks

Now, you’re ready to play in the Strip Designer app!

I chose a layout that would give me enough room for party information in speech bubbles and highlight the picture of my son. Place the color images that you uploaded to your phone into the template as if they were photos.

comic strip layout

Choose speech bubbles and sound effect words to place on top of the colors. I used the speech bubbles to hold party information.

comic strip words

Basically, I played with things until it looked good.

*Personally, it was a little hard to make on my iPhone’s small screen. I definitely think it would be easier to use on the iPad, if you have one.

When I was pleased with how the invitation looked, I was happy to realize there were options to share the invitation or print directly in the app. I chose to save it to my Photo Stream and print from my computer. I printed it out on some photo paper at home, stuck them in envelopes and mailed them. Easy-peasy. Here’s a copy of the final invitation with our personal information removed.

Superman Invitation


Once I got the hang of the Strip Designer app and figured out I needed the colored background images, it was EASY! The best part? My little guy loved it!

Tomorrow, I’m posting about the rest of the Superhero Party details. Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing!

Disclosure: I have no affiliation with the makers of the Strip Designer App mentioned in this post. I’m just sharing what worked for me. The link to the app is an affiliate link. If you found this tutorial helpful, I’d love it if you went through my link. Thanks! All affiliate earnings go toward our adoption.

Roll-a-Monster Game {Free Printable}

Roll-a-Monster Game by Happy Brown House

Using the book If You’re A Monster And You Know It as our starting point, we played a Roll-A-Monster to review body parts and build our own silly monsters. It’s a fun little book that grabbed Jonah’s attention.

If You're a Monster and You Know It

Monster Body Parts Prep

Using craft felt, I made some simple shaped body parts for the monster.

Roll-a-Monster Game from Happy Brown House

I free-handed my monster shapes and cut them out of inexpensive felt from the craft store.

felt

Roll-A-Monster Game Printable

Once the felt monster pieces were ready, I created a printable to go along with the game. I’m offering the Roll-A-Monster Game and the directions to you so you can spend some time giggling with your own “Little Monster.”

Roll-a-Monster Game {Free Printable} from Happy Brown House

Download Roll-a-Monster Game (2863)

How to play the Roll-a-Monster Game:

  1. Roll the dice.
  2. Count the dots.
  3. Look at the chart to see what monster body part to add to your monster (Download below)
  4. Place the correct body part on your monster.
  5. Now, it is the other person’s turn.
  6. If you roll a number that you’ve already used the body part (like feet), roll again. If you roll a number the second time, and you still can’t go, then your turn is over.

Enjoy!

Happy Monster

Other Favorite Monster Books:

go away big green monsterGo Away, Big Green Monster!

there was an old monsterThere Was An Old Monster!

glad monster, sad monsterGlad Monster, Sad Monster

Bye-bye big bad bullybugBye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug!

Monsters don't eat broccoliMonsters Don’t Eat Broccoli

tickle monsterTickle Monster

nighty night, little green monsterNighty Night, Little Green Monster