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The little book with BIG resources!

Inspiring Creativity at Home: Dimensional Art

Are you struggling to come up with fun, inspiring activities for your kiddos this summer break? Becky, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team shares a great dimensional art project that you can do with your kids at home this week. Take a look…

dimensional art

Craft:  Dimensional Art dimensional art

Time: Approximately 30 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • Large sheet of paper
  • Strips of construction paper (variety of colors)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wax Paper

What they’ll need to do:

Pour a shallow pool of glue on the wax paper.

After selecting their favorite colors of construction paper, have kids measure .5” strips with the ruler and pencil then cut the strips.

dimensional art

Form the strips of paper into shapes like circles, petals and hearts.

Dip the edges of the shapes into the glue and stick on the large paper.

dimensional art

Continue to add strips in different shapes and colors.

dimensional art

For curly strips, wrap one strip of colored paper at a time around the pencil to curl it.

dimensional art

Why I like this craft:

This isn’t just a good craft to flex little ones’ creative muscle, but with all the measuring and cutting, their motor skills get a great workout, too.

Pro Tip:  Center the art work on the right side of the paper, fold and create a very artistic card for grandma or a favorite neighbor.

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three, and blogs at Party Box KC.

From iFamily to Yours,


Countdown to Thanksgiving: Create a Blessings Box

Happy Monday, Kansas City! I’m about to boggle your minds — Thanksgiving is NEXT week! Can you even believe it? 2016 is flying by and there has been so much to be thankful for. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has a few ideas of how to store those “blessings,” including an awesome Blessings Box she made with her own family. Check it out…

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Create a Blessings Box

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Create a Blessings Box


Several years ago I received an amazing gift from a dear friend of mine. She made me a beautiful “Blessings Box” for me to store my blessings in.

The idea was for me to write down my blessings every night and store them in the box.

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Create a Blessings Box

Then whenever I felt down I could pull them out and read them out loud. This was to serve as a reminder of my blessings. It was such a thoughtful gift. I still use this box four years later.

One day as I was writing down several of my blessings my son asked what I was doing.

Next thing I knew he joined in. We had so much fun writing down things we were blessed/ thankful for. My son then turned into a weekly event. Once a week we would write down things we loved about eachother. We also included things we were grateful for about one another. We did not show one another what we wrote. We stuck them in an envelope then placed them into our “Blessings Box”. Then on Sunday evening we would read them to each other. This was such a beautiful refresher for the both of us. There are many times in life where we forget to tell each other what we love the most about them. It was such a beautiful blessing to have them in writing as well.

I highly encourage you this November to sit down as a family and create a “Blessings box” or a “Blessings jar”. Who doesn’t love hearing what people love about them?

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Create a Blessings Box


Family Blessing Jar


No special paper needed. Any scrap will do! We then go around the table and one by one open the slips of paper, seeing the blessings of our lives laid before us. As we read from the past year we are always reminded of the ways God has taken the good and bad times and turned them into family memories, a tangible picture of God’s love for us.

I cannot begin to tell you how we look forward to this time. As our family ages and changes we welcome new members and treasure those to come in future years. Our culture of family traditions didn’t start overnight but are the culmination of years living life together.

Where do you start? Take one day at a time and try these tips for instilling gratitude in your children.

  1. Start young. Even small children can be taught to say thank you to God through their prayers, songs and words.
  2. Point out to your children the many ways you are thankful to God for His provision, His love and your family.
  3. Model a thankful heart. Tell your children and spouse thank you for the gift of their lives each day.
  4. Encourage your children to say thank you and “catch” each other doing acts of service.
  5. As the children get older, have them look up scriptures on thanksgiving and write the verses out. Use them in art projects or special presents for friends and family members.


Today I am Thankful Jar


I decided to make inspire my whole family to participate in this challenge to look for the good things and finding things to be grateful for every day. I had a nice glass jar already on hand and simply wrote on it with a black Sharpie Marker. In case we decide to use the jar for something else, the Sharpie will easily come off with some rubbing alcohol. But, I did not trust my handwriting. Instead of trying to write with freehand on the jar, I printed off what I wanted to write on the jar with a couple different handwriting fonts, put it inside the jar and simply traced it. I put the jar on the kitchen counter with a stack of pre-cut paper strips and a marker to make it easy.

It is wonderful to watch the little pile of notes slowly grow inside. I noticed I often pause during the day when I feel grateful for something – a kind word from brother to brother- and write it down. It has made sometimes stressful episodes more bearable throughout the day. I reflect more on what I am thankful for instead of what annoys me.  I also asked my family to write down at least 1 thing they are grateful for every day. We intend to read the notes on Thanksgiving Day.


If you would like to read more blogs or posts from Leah please follow me at http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul


From iFamily to Yours,









Join us for the Greatest Show & Tell On Earth: Maker Faire Kansas City

The Maker Faire is back in town and is bound to be tons of fun for you and your family. It’s a weekend filled with crafts, inventions, and more running June 25th-26th at the Historic Union Station. Ticket prices vary and can be found here (Take note of the $7 day pass price for Union Station Members!) Get your tickets now and join for us for some interactive fun.

Join Us For The Greatest Show & Tell on the Earth : Maker Faire Kansas City

Join Us at the 6th Annual
Maker Faire Kansas City
The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth!
June 25th & 26th at Historic Union Station
Don’t miss out on this family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Maker Faire Kansas City celebrates the Maker Movement and we encourage YOU to join us! Enjoy educational presentations, inspiring performances, engaging demonstrations and hands-on workshops all weekend long!
  • NEW – Opening Louisiana-Style Parade featuring exhibiting Makers
  • NEW – The Bike Zoo combines puppetry with bikes to create interactive, playful creatures including an 80 ft. long Rattlesnake, 10 ft. tall Butterfly, a Carousel and more!
  • NEW – A 30 ft. Egg Drop Competition
  • NEW – “Maker Couture” Fashion Show
  • NEW – Maker Inspired, Educator Workship focused on inspiring the next generation of Makers
  • Kid Friendly Interactives featuring inflatables, Nerdy Derby, Micro Reality Race Cars, Learn to Solder and Build a Robot Workshops
  • FIRST Robots Demonstrations and Competition
  • Power Wheels Racing
  • Lowrider Car Show and Competition
  • Human Foosball
  • Community Art Project with Belger Arts Center
  • Realistic Iron Man Suits, R2D2s and other awesome cosplayers
  • Fashion
  • Favorite Kansas City Food Trucks
  • More than 350 of Kansas City’s most inventive Makers and Crafters
For more information and ticket pricing, visitwww.makerfairekc.com 
*Admission to Kansas City’s International Award-Winning Science Center, Science City,and the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium are included in your ticket purchase. The Planetarium requires separate reservation. Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life is not included and will require separate ticket purchase.


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Homemade Ornaments

There is something that is just extra special about making Christmas tree homemade ornaments yourself. You can include your children or just do them yourself. You can make them for your personal tree or give them as a gift. Making them is just half the fun. The other half…..the memories of the time you spent making them.

Natural Ornament

Natural Ornament

Look to your own backyard to add nature-inspired elements to your tree. Michelle Edwards of Sweet Something Designs harvested acorns during fall and used the caps to create acorn ball ornaments. “Paint a Styrofoam ball brown and push the caps in with a dab of hot glue,” she says. Add some glue to the caps, embellish them with any color glitter to match your tree and top them off with ribbon and twine for hanging. Add glittered pinecones and greenery for a truly nature-inspired Christmas tree. Reuse the ornaments by placing them in a clear bowl for the perfect fall centerpiece. Courtesy of HGTV.com

Lighted Tree Ornament

Homemade Lighted Tree Ornament

Trace a cookie cutter onto felt, then punch multiple holes. Glue plastic beads over holes and hang in a window. Courtesy of Parent.com

O’ Christmas Tree Topper

O' Christmas Tree Topper Homemade Ornament

Marian Parsons of Mustard Seed Interiors gives new purpose to sheet music by transforming it into an unconventional tree topper. She simply twisted sheet music into cone shapes and hot-glued them to a cardboard circle backing. Glue the cone-shaped pieces to a doughnut-shaped cardboard backing for a matching wreath to welcome guests.  Courtesy of HGTV.com

Chime Ornament

Chime Ornament Homemade

  • Paper or plastic cup
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Jingle bell (available at tohoshoji-ny.com)
  • Paintbrush
  • White glue
  • Tinsel garland

1. Poke a small hole in the bottom of the cup.

2. Cut ribbon to a length that is about four times the height of the cup. Thread a jingle bell halfway onto the ribbon and double it. Knot the doubled ribbon together about halfway, making sure that the bell will hang just below the opening of the cup.

3. Push the ends of the ribbon through the hole in the cup and tie at the top to hang.

4. Spread glue on the outside of the cup and wrap tinsel garland around until covered completely; let dry.

Courtesy of Parent.com and Originally published in the December 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

Great Christmas Gifts Older Children Can Make

Charming Magnet Necklaces

What you’ll need:

  • 20-inch length of 1/8-inch braided elastic
  • 1-inch metal washer
  • Strong nontoxic glue such as Weldbond Universal
  • Small strong craft magnet ($3 at craft stores)
  • Clear packing tape
  • Artwork or photos on card stock
  • 1-inch-circle hole punch (or a quarter, a pencil, and scissors)
  • Metal bottle caps
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic glaze ($6 at craft stores or plaidonline.com)
  • Fine glitter (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Make the necklace base by looping the elastic cord around the washer as shown, then gluing the magnet to the washer.
  2. To prevent bleeding or fading, apply a layer of packing tape to the front and back of your artwork or photos. Next, cut the images into circles with the hole punch (or trace a quarter over the image, then trim along the line with scissors).

Squeeze a thin layer of glaze into a bottle cap and press one of the cutout images into it. Let it dry, then fill the cap the rest of the way with glaze (adding a sprinkle of glitter first, if you like). Repeat to create a set, then let them dry overnight.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine


Bowling Boys

What you’ll need:

  • Grosgrain ribbon
  • 10 wooden “boy” game pieces (available at craft stores or caseyswood.com)
  • Double-sided carpet tape
  • Ultra-fine permanent marker
  • Small rubber ball
  • Small plastic bag
  • Paper

How to make it:

  1. For each bowling boy, wrap the ribbon around the body and trim it to fit. Trim a length of tape to the same size as the ribbon, then use it to secure the ribbon to the game piece. Repeat with the remaining game pieces.
  2. With the marker, draw a face and hair on each piece. Package the boys with the ball in the small plastic bag. Staple on a paper tag with instructions to set the pieces on a tabletop, then use the ball to bowl them over.                  Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine

Family Story Comic Book

What you’ll need:

  • 3 to 5 sheets of 8 1/2- by 11-inch white
  • card stock
  • 9 1/2- by 6-inch piece of colored card stock
  • 3- by 2-inch piece of cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Colored pencils

How to make it:

  1. Fold a sheet of white card stock in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again, short side to short side, and cut along this fold. Repeat with the other sheets to make as many pages as you like.
  2. For the cover, fold the colored card stock in half, short side to short side. Insert the white pages between the covers and staple them along the spine.
  3. Use the cardboard to trace 2 illustration panels per page. Have your child draw in the panels, then title and decorate the front of the book.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine

Great Christmas Gifts Older Children Can Make
Submitted by Keri Nichol


Great Christmas Gifts Preschoolers Can Make

No-Sew Sachet

What you’ll need:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Fabric glue
  • Potpourri, such as lavender flowers or balsam fir needles

How to make it:

  1. For each sachet, place 2 matching 5-inch fabric squares back-to-back and glue the edges together on 3 sides. Spread the glue close to the edges to prevent fraying.
  2. Once the glue is dry, fill the sachet with about 1/2 cup of potpourri. Then glue together the open edges and again let the glue dry.
  3. Arrange the finished sachets in multicolored stacks and tie them together with a festive ribbon or yarn.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine


Baking Soda Christmas Ornaments

Items You  Need:

  • Newspaper
  • Apron
  • 2 c baking soda
  • 1 c cornstarch
  • 1 ¼ c water
  • Sauce pan
  • Food coloring
  • Rolling pan
  • Cookie cutters
  • Straw
  • Yarn or string

How to make it:

  1. Lay several sheets of newspaper over your workspace area.
  2. Pass out one apron for each child who is making an ornament. If you don’t have extra aprons, use some old T-shirts.
  3. Instruct the kids to measure and pour 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cornstarch and 1 1/4 cups of water in a saucepan.
  4. Heat the ingredients over medium heat on the stove until they become the consistency of dough, stirring continuously. This is your job, Mom.
  5. Remove the dough from the heat and set it aside to cool
  6. Separate the dough so that each child has his own ball of dough to work with. Allow the children to choose a vile of food coloring to color their ball of dough. Drip five drops of food coloring into each ball and gently fold into the dough until the dough is one solid color.
  7. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to a thickness of 1/2 an inch.
  8. Cut out the ornaments with cookie cutters, pressing each one firmly into the dough.
  9. Stick a straw through the center tip of the ornament. Remove the dough from the straw. Set the ornaments aside to dry out. This may take several days.
  10. Thread an 8-inch piece of yarn or string through the hole you created in the ornament. Tie a knot at the end. Hang your ornament around the house, or wrap it up as a gift.

Courtesy of  www.TheBump.com


Cookie Cutter Candles

What you’ll need:

  • Cookie cutters (choose shapes that can stand up)
  • Honeycomb wax sheets in various colors (available at craft stores or at candlewic.com; an 8- by 16-inch sheet will make 1 or 2 candles)
  • Wicks
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  1. For each candle, use a cookie cutter to make 10 identical shapes from the wax sheets. Divide the shapes into two stacks of 5.
  2. Sandwich a wick between the two stacks, starting at the bottom and extending it beyond the top by at least an inch. Press the sheets together gently. If they don’t stick together, take the wax layers apart and use a hair dryer to gently warm each one before restacking them, adding the wick as instructed above.
  3. Trim the wick to about a half-inch. Stand your candle up, shaping the base as needed to make it sit securely.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine


Beautiful Bottle Prints

What you’ll need:

  • Acrylic or fabric paint
  • Disposable plates
  • Paintbrush
  • Small plastic bottles (we like Aquapods and 1-liter Polar Seltzer bottles), partially filled with water, and the caps on
  • Scrap paper
  • Item to be stamped (see suggestions below)

Helpful Tip:

For easier dipping and more defined prints, use a brush to smooth the paint on the plate after every few stamps.

How to make it:

  1. To start, pour a thin layer of paint onto a plate; use a separate plate for each color. Smooth the paint with the paintbrush, then have your child press the bottom of a bottle into the paint and practice printing on a piece of scrap paper. You may need to help him press the bottle down to get a defined print.
  2. Once he gets the hang of it, have him print designs on the object he wants to decorate (put a piece of cardboard or thick paper inside anything made of cloth to prevent the paint from bleeding through). Then with his fingertip or the top of a bottle cap, he can make the flower centers. Let the paint dry completely.

Courtesy of  www.Spoonful.com and Family Fun Magazine

Great  Christmas Gifts Preschoolers Can Make
Submitted by Keri Nichol