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.

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

Dog’s Colorful Day

Dog’s Colorful Day is a fun book for young children. The book naturally leads to learning activities focusing on colors and numbers. It’s a favorite around our house.

Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story About Colors and Counting

About the book:

Dog starts off the day with one black spot on his ear. But it seems that wherever he goes, he runs, rolls, and trots right into colors. As he wanders around town, Dog collects spots made of red jam, blue paint, pink ice cream, and more. When he finally arrives back home, Dog has ten different colored spots. And then it’s bath time for this colorful canine, who makes learning colors and numbers easy, messy, and fun!

Dog's Colorful Day Activity www.happybrownhouse.com

Asher has finally started to join in the learning fun! While his attention span is still very short at this point, he definitely has a desire to join us at the table for activities he can do. At 22 months, he can count to ten with minimal assistance. One of the skills we have been focusing on is color recognition.

Combining the need to work on colors, his interest in dogs, and his counting skills, we spent some time enjoying Dog’s Colorful Day. After we were finished reading and pointing to all the colors on Dog, Asher used the dot markers to make dots on a Dog printable from Making Learning Fun. He loves dot markers, so this was a perfect activity for him.

When he finished, we hung his masterpiece on the refrigerator and cleaned up. Asher didn’t think he was clean enough and helped himself to a bath like Dog. Ahem…

bathtub silliness after Dog's Colorful Day activity

Jonah wanted in on the learning fun, too, so I made some printable activities of our own to focus on more advanced skills like, identifying tallies,  reading color/number words, and reading a “key” using color-by-number. I thought I’d share it with you and your little one.

Dog's Colorful Day Kindergarten Pack

This pack is full of cards for matching games, color-by-number pages, and more! Download it free today! (Link below)

Dog's Colorful Day Kindergarten Pack (2856)

Reminder: When sharing, please link to this blog post, not to the download url. For personal use only. These files may not be uploaded to any other site. A book and a Big Idea from iHomeschool Network

Looking for more picture book fun? Be sure to visit the iHomeschool Network for A Book and a Big Idea, a blog hop where iHn bloggers share some of their favorite picture books and coordinating enrichment activities!

Ultimate Guide to Christmas Crafts for Kids

When I was a little girl, the days before Christmas were full of crafts and baking projects. Now that I’m a mom, I’m trying to make the same memories with my boys. As I’ve been searching for crafts to go along with some of our favorite Christmas books, I’ve found a few gems that I just had to share with you.

Ultimate Guide to Christmas Crafts for Kids


Truth in the Tinsel is an absolute favorite at our house. There are 24 crafts, one for each day, to help your little one learn the story of Jesus’ birth and countdown to Christmas. (It isn’t too late to start! There are alternative schedules for you.)


Baby Jesus Softie Playset | Grace Covers Me Using pantyhose, make a soft Baby Jesus with a manger and swaddling cloth to play with and act out the Nativity Story~Perfect for toddler play!

Baby Jesus in a Manger | Crafty Mama Using craft sticks and common household items, this craft is simple enough for even young tots

Popsicle Stick Manger Scene | Casa Camacho Similar to the one above, but different. Super Cute!

Nativity Craft | Confessions of a Homeschooler Make a permanent nativity display with flowerpots

Stained Glass Jesus Craft | Confessions of a Homeschooler  Use up your old crayons and make a beautiful stained glass display.

J is for Jesus Craft | Muffin Tin Mom An adorable reminder that Jesus is the reason for the season. Ties in very well with the book,  The Legend of the Candy Cane .

Coffee Filter Angel


Coffee Filter Angel | Motherhood on a Dime Using simple materials you probably already have in your kitchen, children can make an adorable ornament or present topper

Sparkly Paper Plate Angel | Crafty Journal Use a paper plate to make an angel

Angel Ornament Craft | Amazing Moms Buy a pack of paper doilies to make this adorable angel and save the rest of the doilies for Valentine’s Day.

Handprint and Footprint Angel | Tots and Me Preserve those precious handprints and footprints with this simple angel craft

Christmas Angel Egg Carton Craft | Meaningful Mama Super cute way to recycle egg cartons and decorate the tree!

Canning Lid Angel Ornament | Kix Cereal Blog Bet you have everything you need for this super easy angel ornament!

Christmas Trees & Wreaths~

Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments | Fireflies & Mudpies Ribbon and a twig–so simple!

Coffee Filter Christmas Tree | I Can Teach My Child

Pinecone Christmas Trees Ornaments | Mama Jenn Turn this craft an entire memory-making experience by taking a nature walk to gather the pinecones.

Birthday Hat Christmas Tree | JDaniel4’s Mom Use a leftover birthday hat and some felt to create a mini Christmas tree kids can decorate (without Mom rearranging the ornaments!)

Paper Plate Christmas Wreaths | With or Without Nap Using a simple paper plate and whatever you can find in your craft supplies, the kids can make a wreath for their bedroom door

Paper Strip Christmas Trees | Whatever Paper and glue…easy.

Fork Printing Christmas Trees | House of Baby Piranha We love printing with household objects dipped in paint. I love the textures from the fork on this craft!

Printing Holiday Trees | Creativity First Printing with toilet paper rolls to make a tree. Kids will love this!

16 Christmas Tree Crafts | NurtureStore  A collection of Christmas Tree crafts

Bubble Wrap Trees | No Time For Flashcards Who doesn’t love bubble wrap?

Christmas Tree Sewing Lesson | Pink and Green Mama

Easy Christmas Tree Ornament | Ginger Snap Crafts It doesn’t get any easier than popsicle sticks and buttons.

Lacing Tree Ornaments | Happy Hooligans Great way to practice lacing for a fine motor Christmas craft double whammy.

Paper Bag Gingerbread House

image credit: Motherhood on a Dime; used with permission


Simple Paper Bag Gingerbread House | Motherhood on a Dime   Sugar-free way to decorate gingerbread houses and let your tot’s creative juices flow. This craft could be used in imaginative play or the sensory box after it is finished.

Paper Bag Gingerbread House Craft | Little Wonders’ Days Different than the one above, and oh, so cute!

Marble Paint Gingerbread Man | Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas This is like two craft activities in one! Let your little one enjoy marble painting, then turn it into a gingerbread man.

Gingerbread House Greeting Card | Hands On: As We Grow (guest post by Red Ted Art) Make as a card or a stand alone project. No matter what you decide, you’ll love this gingerbread house that will stand the test of time. The best part? Less mess!

Paper Bag Gingerbread Ornament | The Educators’ Spin On It So simple, but so cute!

Candy Canes & Peppermints~

Christmas Marble Painting Candy Cane | Crafts and Art for Children Let the kids marble paint and then turn it into a peppermint or candy cane

Candy Cane Crafts | Crafts and Art for Children A collection of links to Candy Cane Crafts

Puzzle Piece Candy Cane Ornament | Anders Ruff Use a puzzle that’s missing pieces and turn it into an adorable candy cane ornament


Handprint Snowmen Ornament


Handprint Snowmen Ornament | Happy Brown House

Plastic Plate Snowman Snow Globe | Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational  Kids can make and preserve their own snow globe scene with a simple clear plastic plate

Jingle Bell Snowman Ornament | Ramblings of a Crazy Woman I love this simply adorable craft. The snowman in his pom-pom earmuffs is too cute!

Puff Paint Snowman | House of Baby Piranha Kids will love messy crafting with the puffy paint! We’ve done this before, and Jonah loved it!

Easy Peanut Butter Jar Snowman | Mama Jenn Even tiny tots can help with this one by stuffing the jar with the fiberfill or cotton balls! I think my youngest would love this one.

Glue Snowman Ornament |Pink and Green Mama Kids love to mess with glue. This looks so easy and fun!

Quick & Easy Snowman Ornament for Kids | Crazy Little Projects So stinkin’ easy. I knew I saved baby food jars for a reason!



Coffee Filter Snowflakes | Happy Brown House No need for fancy folding techniques, use a coffee filter instead!

Puzzle Piece Snowflake Ornament | Lisa’s Craft Blog Use an older puzzle that is missing a few pieces to make an adorable ornament.

Snow Globe | Vanilla Joy  Kids + Glitter…need I say more?

Beaded Snowflake Ornament | Confessions of a Homeschooler This one is better suited for older kids that can handle a sharp pin.


Other Crafts~

Pine Cone Elves | Pink and Green Mama These are adorable! Dare you to only make one.

Drinking Straw and Bead Stars |Pink and Green Mama

Toy Soldier Ornament | Fireflies & Mudpies How many times can I say adorable in this list? ADORABLE.

Clay Christmas Owls | Paging Fun Mums Owl lovers will think this is a hoot! (I couldn’t resist.)

Egg Carton Jingle Bell Flowers | The Crafty Crow Gotta love egg cartons. Who knew there were so many things to make with them?

Candle Ornament | Silly Eagle Books Perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!



Our family does not celebrate Santa, but I know most people will be expecting to see him on this list. I found a link to a round-up of Santa & Reindeer crafts to help get you started.

15 Santa Crafts for Kids | Life in Texas

15 Reindeer Crafts for Kids Life in Texas

Toilet Roll Reindeer | Happy Hooligans Two words: googly eyes.

 Bottle Cap Reindeer | The Country Chic Cottage We may not “do” Santa, but these would be on my tree if we did.

Craft Supplies

Want more Christmas Crafts for Kids? I’ve set up a Pinterest board for them and will continue to add to it. Feel free to follow!

Follow Sara @ Happy Brown House’s board Christmas Crafts for Kids on Pinterest.

Happy Crafting!

This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network’s 25 Days of Christmas – Ultimate Blog Hop. Be sure to click on the calendar to see all the other Ultimate Christmas links!


B is for Bugs {Printable}

Our life has been full of creepy, crawly bugs lately.

We’ve watched caterpillars grow and change into butterflies. We’ve stopped to watch a parade of ants and then watched them problem-solve when the sidewalk chalk paint interrupted their procession…And don’t even get me started about the war the Mr. has been waging with the wasps around Happy Brown House!

We’ve made Stained Glass Butterfly Art and Spider Web Snacks.

And just when I thought I couldn’t handle anymore bugs….we did some more.

Bug Fingerprint ArtTo be honest, I’m so glad we did. I love that I have his fingerprint drawings from his last night as a four-year-old…forever.

B is for Bugs Fingerprint Art Printable

Since we’re celebrating a birthday around here, I thought I’d share a little present with you!

Free Download: Bb is for Bugs Fingerprint Art Printable


This printable is FREE of charge and you are welcome to download it for you personal and/or classroom use only. However, free or purchased printables are NOT to be reproduced, hosted, sold, or stored on any other website or electronic retrieval system (such as Scribd or Google docs). My printables are copyright protected and I appreciate your help in keeping them that way. :)