Back to School I Spy Craft



Wow!  July just flew by and it’s already back to school time!  Today I’ve got a super easy Back to School Craft for you!


Back to School Craft -- Create your own I Spy Collage!


We’ve been having fun using recycled magazines lately.  (Did you see our butterfly craft?)

This time around I decided we’d recycle all those back to school ads!

Once we had cut school supply pictures from all the ads, we had plenty to choose from!

I arranged a variety of supplies that both my kindergartner and first grader would be able to identify onto a piece of card stock paper.  (Already using some of those new glue sticks!)


My idea was that the collage could become an “I Spy” game for them. Back to School "I Spy" Craft


My daughter had fun looking for the objects I asked her to search for.  That third box of crayons was tricky!


Then I challenged them to create their own Back to School collage.

My youngest found a Lightning McQueen backpack to put on his, a box of markers, and a pair of scissors and decided that was all he needed for school.

The first grader almost jumped for joy when she saw the girl with the cheetah print pants in one of our ads.  (My baby girl has a thing for cheetah print!)

Simple Back to School craft



She had loads of fun picking things to add to her collage.


Looking for an easy craft to get them excited for back to school?

Grab those ads and have them create their own I Spy game/collage!


Happy crafting!




Summer Game: Water Wing Fishing Relay



Looking for a fun and silly game to play with the kids these last days of summer before school starts back up?  This summer game is perfect for groups of 4 or more kids, and guarantees a lot of laughs!

Water Wing Relay -- fun summer game for kids


Directions for Water Wing Fishing Relay summer game:


This game is meant to be a relay between 2 or more teams and is particularly fun with teams of 4 or more kids. (Although with a few tweaks you could play it with as little as 2 children.)

To play, you will need a set of water wings for each team, lots of plastic sea animals (check the dollar store or your own bathtub toys), and a large plastic spoon and bowl for each team.


playing kids summer relya game


Scatter the plastic sea animals out in the yard or driveway.

Place your large plastic bowls about 20 feet away from the plastic animals.  (For younger kids you may want to put the bowls closer, for older kids make it more of a challenge and put them further away.)

To play:  kids will take turns putting on the water wings and then using the spoon they will scoop up sea animals and bring them back to their team’s bowl.

The team with the most animals in the bowl after each child has had a turn wins!


kids summer game idea



I loved watching the kids use team work to help their teammates get into the water wings faster.

At then end of each game we pulled the sea animals out of the bowl to count them together — reinforcing counting skills for those younger ones!


End summer with a bang and throw an end of summer/start of the school year party for the kids!  Invite a few friends over and play your own round of Water Wing Fishing Relay!

Enjoy those last few days!

Butterfly Craft from Magazine Pages



Do the magazines and junk mail pile up at your house?  (They do here!)  This week we are having fun using some of that junk to craft!

This simple butterfly craft made from magazine pages is sure to brighten up any room, while leaving a few less pages in the magazine waiting to hit the recycle box.

butterfly craft from magazine pages -- simple butterfly craft from recycled materials

We actually discovered this craft at the nature center today, and we couldn’t wait to get home and make a few more butterflies to decorate the doors with.

To create your own butterfly from magazine pages:

You will need 2 magazine pages for each butterfly, plus one pipe cleaner.

Choose pages that are full of color, not just black and white text.

For the top wing you need to fold the paper diagonally and cut off the extra to create a square.

folding magazine pages to make butterfly craft



Then, starting at one corner of the square, fold the paper accordion-style.  (Children under 5 may need help with this part!)


accordion folded butterfly craft


For the bottom wing, fold the magazine page in half and round off the corners with a pair of scissors.

using magazine pages to make a butterfly


Once you are finished it should look like the picture below.  You will then fold this page accordion-style to create the bottom wing.

recycled magazine page to make butterfly


The final step is to wrap a pipe cleaner around both wings, twisting it tightly to hold them together.  The top portion of the pipe cleaner will become antennae!

simple butterfly craft from magazine pages

Psst!  Did you enter the VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch giveaway yet?


This post was inspired by Project: Recycle & Create.

recycled paper craft link up


 Check out more great ideas from these Project: Recycle & Create co-hosts:

P is for Preschooler  Powerful Mothering   Afterschool for Smarty Pants

Still Playing School    Lemon Lime Adventures    Creative World of Varya

Letter Z Activities



We finally made it to the end of our vehicle alphabet series, with Z for Zeppelin!

preschooler activities for Z


We started off our letter Z activities with this Zeppelin Coloring Page.

preschooler letter z activity



They both enjoyed decorating their very own zeppelins, just the way they wanted.  While they colored they had lots of questions about zeppelins!

My vehicle-enthusiast reminded us that zeppelins are a type of dirigible, or lighter than air aircraft.  (Yep, he has actually known what a dirigible was since he was 3, thanks to his LeapFrog LeapReader Book: Let’s Explore Things That Go!)

I explained that zeppelins are made with metal, unlike the more commonly seen blimp.  Of course, then we had to go look at pictures on Mommy’s computer!


After a while we moved on to practice writing the letter Z.

We have been in a shaving cream mood lately.  This time we used it to write zig-zag letter Z’s over and over.


writing letter z in shaving cream


Shaving cream is great for letter and spelling word practice.  You can have the child use their finger tip to write the letter, or use the end of a pencil or a paintbrush like we did!


Finally, we took our zeppelin pictures and flew them around to search for letters!


letter scavenger hunt



I taped lower-case letters around the kitchen and living room ahead of time.

Sometimes I have them just hunt for the right letter.

This time around I asked them to hunt for letters based on the sounds they make.

They zoomed off in search of the letter that made the “mmm” sound and tried to find it before the puppy, who was also trying to tear all the letters down.  (Hence, no pics this time around!)

It was a great refresher for both the 5 and 6 year-old, a perfect activity before school starts!


Both my kids have some fun ideas to continue our vehicle alphabet fun.  I’m looking forward to sharing them here with you!


Until then, you may want to check out my vehicle pinterest board, which is full of vehicle crafts, snacks, and more!