Altoids Tin Craft

Sometimes when we visit Mamaw and Papaw’s house, the kids get a little Altoids tin full of pennies to take home for their piggy banks.   Usually the tins go back to Mamaw and Papaw’s to get filled again, but I’ve always thought there had to be something fun we could do with them….

Then I found this mini Lalaloopsy doll in the checkout line at my dear Target store, and I started thinking about upcycling one of those Altoid tins into a little house.  I figured it would be a neat surprise  to keep in my purse for Peanut for places like restaurants, doctor’s offices, or even traveling in the car.

So, when the kids went to sleep, I searched my bead drawers, scrap material, and other little trinkets.  A piece of foam wrapped in pretty purple cloth became a bed, with another scrap of cloth as the blanket.  A Chapstick lid became a little table.  For a stove and sink I used a Lego block with a concave button hot glued to one half and filled with a little hot glue “water.”  A little permanent marker on the other half made “burners” for the stove.  I added felt carpet, wall paper made from a gift bag, and a couple small items I left loose for play value — like a little wood bottle and a magnet bear.

The result? things to do with Altoids tins

When I gave it to her while we were traveling to Peoria this weekend, she was ecstatic!  In fact, it has quickly become her favorite thing to play with in the hotel room.

Of course I couldn’t leave  little brother.

He is obsessed with all things vehicular, but I didn’t have any itty-bitty cars…  I did, however, have one Lego man.

I made another little foam bed, wrapped in black felt.  Added carpet and wall paper and a glue stick lid for a table.  We have foam cars in the craft stuff, so I grabbed one to stick in the tin for the Lego guy to “drive” and stuck a magnet dinosaur as a “pet.” Altoids tin uses

Little man liked his special Lego man house, too.  He is super proud he has his own Lego guy; just wait until we start getting Lego sets!


Have you done something creative with Altoids tins?


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Our Christmas in July

*  If you haven’t entered our Christmas in July giveaway yet, be sure to enter today!!


Since my husband is working nights this week, we decided to celebrate our Christmas in July a few days early – opting for Sunday so he could be there for all the festivities.

Saturday night I wrapped a few gifts to put under our little paper tree.  I even stuck a couple little candy canes to it.  (Yes,we  still had some left over!)

Our daughter was so excited when she saw the presents under the tree the next morning that she did her “happy dance.”  (Wish I had a video of that!)

Once little brother had woken up, they wasted no time opening gifts.  Seriously, it was much faster than I’d ever seen them open gifts before… See that doll in the picture?  That’s Dream Glow Barbie – from the 80’s.  Yes, she was mine…  No one said Christmas gifts have to be brand new – already gently loved toys are just as special!  And honestly, I bet Barbie is just glad to be out of the storage box she’s been in for the past 20+ years.

Little guy also got one gently used gift – a Matchbox playset that folds up for travel.  He was pretty excited with the 2 Hotwheels he got, too.

Once they opened all their gifts, and played for a bit, Daddy read them each their new books (I love giving new books for gifts) while I made our traditional Christmas breakfast – goetta! (I’ll have to post the recipe for this yummy German breakfast food when it gets a little closer to fall — traditionally it is eaten in colder months.)

The rest of the day we spent playing with the kids – no Internet, Mommy took a little break from cleaning, just good ol’ family time.  Priceless.

Celebrate Christmas in July with a Party Works Giveaway!


Not something I usually think about this time of year, especially with the hot temps we’ve been having.

But this year we have decided to celebrate Christmas in July!

Christmas craft

After breakfast we will be coloring our tree and decorating it!

And I want to share the festivities with you, my fabulous readers!

To help you prepare for your next party, There’s Just One Mommy is hosting a giveaway from The Party Works.

The Party Works has a wide variety (17 pages worth) of themes to choose from, including The Little Mermaid, The Smurfs, Diego,  John Deere Tractors, and many more!   The winner of this giveaway will be able to choose one Standard Party Pack for 8.  (Packs range from approximately $16-$29 in value.)

Want to check out all your choices?  Click here to view The Party Works Standard Party Packs for 8 that are available.

The giveaway starts Tuesday, July 17, 2012 and ends at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.  Sorry, this giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only.



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Sea Animals Day!

Last week we had so much fun with our Pirate Day that I’ve decided to do a theme day each week this summer.

This week our theme day was based on sea animals and the following books: sea animal activities (Yes, that first book is a BIG book, divided up by habitats.  We focussed on the animals that live in the ocean – some of which weren’t mentioned in our second book, like octopuses.)

We started our day by reading our books and reviewing the facts about our favorite sea animals.


I decided the pond would be a great place to start our day – after all, we could practice swimming like fish and even see a few real ones!

We practiced moving like sea animals as we walked to the pond.

First we started as a school of fish.  We wiggled our hands together in front of us while making sure we all went the same speed and changed directions at the same time, just like a real school of fish.  Then we were octopuses – turning backwards and blowing through a straw to push ourselves through the “water.” ocean animal activity After that we were crabs, walking sideways and snapping our claws.  Finally, we had to be sharks!  Hands together and held up for dorsal fins.

We had a blast at the pond, and even caught sight of the elusive SW Ohio dog fish… shepsky lab

After fun at the pond we headed home for a tasty treat.  ocean animal snack

I tried using Jello molds for the first time, but they didn’t come out looking as nice as I’d hoped.  Thankfully, the kids didn’t care and had fun fishing for gummy sharks in the Jello.

Once we were refreshed, it was time for a quick craft.  I had a pack of sea animal sponges that I had found at Target.  I pulled them out to try some sponge painting.  ocean animal craft

They had fun painting animals on their mini ocean scenes.  (Looking for a more challenging craft having to do with sea animals?  How about a toilet paper tube octopus?)

Afterwards they took the sponge animals to the tub to do a little more swimming and get cleaned up!


I think they are hoping for another great sea day soon because when we went to the library this week we came back with 3 more sea animal books…  Or maybe my son just wants a shark day – that’s what all the new books are about.


What’s your child’s favorite sea animal?


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