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Category Archives: Holidays

Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Costumes


Artist and Masterpiece Sibling Halloween Costumes

I am lazy. I don’t sew and I refuse to spend $30 on a child’s costume that is ugly and will fall apart. My 4 year old daughter kept changing her mind about her costume from ghost to kitty to my personal favorite, “I just want to be a regular little girl”. My daughter loves, loves, LOVES to draw and paint and so I suggested that she be an artist. She loved the idea. She loved the idea even more when I said that her little brother could be her work of art and that she could (pretend to) paint him. So simple and easy!

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The costume was a huge hit! We got a lot of compliments on how cute and creative the concept was. It was mostly laziness rather than creativity, but hey, I’ll take it!

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ARTIST/PAINTER COSTUME
-Art Smock / Art Apron / Old button down shirt
-Beret
-Artist’s Palette
-Paint Brush
-Paint smudges on face and smock
-Pencil mustache (optional)

My daughter already had this art smock from Ikea. I wanted to have paint splatters all over her, but that smock wipes up so nicely that nothing will really dry on it 😦 I found the beret on Amazon and I had a Swagbucks giftcard, so it was free! I got the artist’s palette and paint brushes at Michael’s. We have paintbrushes at home but I wanted something a little bigger. There was a less expensive plain white palette but I let Adaline choose which one to get. She chose the watercolor palette which was fine because she would definitely use the watercolors and now I didn’t have to add paint to the white palette for her costume.
If you don’t have an art smock you can use an old white button down shirt as a smock. Be sure to smear it with lots of paint…artists are never clean! If you don’t have a palette and don’t want to buy one you can always make one by cutting the shape into cardboard or cardstock and coloring in the paint. That was more work than I wanted to do (remember the keyword today is “lazy“), so the $4 I spent on the palette was worth it to me.
I also think it would be cute to draw a curly mustache on your artist, but my daughter was having none of that!

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MASTERPIECE/WORK OF ART COSTUME
-Long-sleeved white shirt (a few sizes bigger)
-Painted Canvas
-Picture Frame (optional)
-Hot Glue Gun (to glue the canvas to the shirt)

My original idea for the masterpiece was to use larger canvases and have my son wear them hanging over his shoulders sandwich board style. He’s 20 months old and falls over for no reason at all sometimes, so when I saw the smaller 9×12 canvas panels I got the idea to hot glue it directly to his shirt instead. I also thought it would be really cute to glue a frame from the dollar store around the canvas, but I didn’t think that sounded too comfortable or safe for my little boy. Instead I just added the little sign that said “Masterpiece” so that I didn’t have to keep explaining the costume to people. It worked brilliantly and we got a lot of compliments 🙂

It’s important to note that I got my son’s shirt a little larger (he wears 18-24m and this shirt is a 3T) because you need the extra room once the canvas is glued to the shirt. If the shirt were any smaller I wouldn’t have been able to fit it over his head.

The canvas panels I used were a set of 5 from Michael’s. You can get single canvases as well, but they didn’t have any at Michael’s and I knew that my daughter would use all of them.

Instead of using a canvas you could use card stock, card board, poster board, a pillowcase, just about anything that you can paint/draw on and then attach to or hang from a shirt. You can even just draw/paint directly onto the shirt itself. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

Adaline actually painted the canvas herself. After it dried I hot glued the canvas onto a long sleeved tee.
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Here’s the list of actual items that I used:
(None of these are affiliate links)
SMOCK: Ikea MÅLA Long sleeve apron, green $3.99
PALETTE: Michael’s Creatology Watercolor Palette $3.99
PAINT BRUSH: Michael’s Creatology Brushes (Set of 3) $1.99
BERET: Classic Black Wool Beret Cap $5.91 Sold by Accessory World on Amazon.com
TEE: Garanimals Long Sleeve Basic Tee $3.88
CANVAS: Michael’s Artist’s Loft 9×12 Canvas Panel Value Pack (5 pack) $7.99

Did your kids dress up for Halloween this year?
What is your favorite “lazy” Halloween costume?
Let me know in the comments!

This post is linked to: Skip To My Lou: Made by You Monday / Clumsy Crafter: Costume Link Up / Kids Activities Blog: It’s Playtime / SITS Saturday Sharefest / The Mom Creative: Halloween Costumes Link Up

*If you’d like a laugh (or nightmares) read about 1984 Creepy Costumes on my other blog.

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Read my personal blog www.imakemyselfthequeen.com.

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Easter Tradition: Easter Bunny Paw Print Trail (2013)


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For the third year in a row the Easter Bunny left white paw print tracks all over our family room (which is now the playroom).

(Watch video here)

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The kids had to follow the bunny trail to find their Easter baskets.

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The Easter bunny hopped in through the window just like he did in 2011 and 2012.

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This year he hid Jonathan’s Easter basket inside of the play kitchen.

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The Easter bunny hopped all over the playroom leaving his footprints behind.

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He even hopped onto the table to get a closer look at Adaline’s stuffed bunny.

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Then the Easter Bunny hid Adaline’s Easter Basket under the art table.

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

Adaline searched for both Easter baskets since Jon is 14 months old and was not very interested in the whole thing.

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

Adaline was so excited about the Easter Bunny’s footprints being everywhere, she just kept running around in circles pretending she was bunny!

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

The kids enjoyed inspecting the Easter Bunny paw prints closely.

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

Yet another fun visit from the Easter Bunny…that rascally rabbit! 🙂

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

diy Easter bunny paw print trail tradition

Does the Easter Bunny leave paw prints at your house? Does he hide the Easter basket?
Let me know in the comments!

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Half Birthday Celebrations


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Yesterday was Adaline’s Half Birthday!
She turned 3.5 🙂

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I’ve always wanted to celebrate her half birthday but never have before. When she was younger I didn’t really want her to have the extra cake…and without the half-cake it seems kinda pointless to celebrate the half birthday. Last year I was super pregnant so we skipped it again.

This year seemed like the right time to start. Jonathan’s first birthday is a few days away (can you believe he’s already a year old?!) and Adaline was a little jealous and having a hard time understanding that this is not her birthday, or party, or cake. Giving her a little half-birthday celebration was something special for her before all of the focus shifts to Jonathan.

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We celebrated with half of a cake, 3 and a half candles, and half plates.
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We also sang Adaline “Halfie Birthday”.
It still sounds like “happy”. Oh well.

(Email and feed readers click here to watch the video.)

At the end of the video she’s running away from the candle smoke. She told us to “Get that stinky thing outta here!”

Adaline received half of a birthday card and a small present from the dollar store. We gave her the whole present. Only giving half of a present to a 3.5 year old would be a little cruel since she doesn’t quite understand it yet.

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She was happy with her little celebration but she did get upset because there weren’t any balloons and she asked, “Where are all the people?”. All of those big birthday parties are coming back to haunt me.

In addition to measuring height on their birthday each year it has also been our tradition to measure height on each half birthday. Now I know why none of her clothes fit anymore!
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Look how grown up she looks after just 6 months!
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This half-birthday took me less than a half hour to plan 😉 All it took was a trip to the dollar store and making/buying a small cake.
(The cake looks deceiving big in the photos…it was very small.)
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The scary part is that I only have 6 more months to plan her 4th birthday party!

Do you celebrate half birthdays in your family?
Let me know in the comments!



BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

How to Make Shadow Puppets (Links)


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If you’d like to learn to make shadow puppets with your hands, shadow puppets with paper, or a shadow puppet theater…try one of the many links below. Shadow puppets are a great activity for Groundhog Day or Halloween and kids love them!

Click here for more Groundhog Day ideas

If you need to get your room completely dark during the day, check out my review for the awesome room darkening shades Blackout EZ Window Covers!
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Hand Shadow Puppets*Shadow-Puppets.com
The most difficult hand puppet subject may be accomplished after only a few minutes.

*Fun with Shadows for Home Entertainers (Jan, 1930) @ Modern Mechanix
This feature explains how anyone can cast the shadows of sixteen different figures, an accomplishment which will provide many full evenings of entertainment for either children or adults.
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*How to Make Shadow Puppets @ About.com/familycrafts
Teach your kids to have fun without their toys by bringing shadows to life. See how to make a dog, swan, and bunny rabbit with nothing but your hands, light, and a little imagination.

*Shadowy Days @ Little Page Turners
I stretched a sheet between two chairs, placed a naked lamp on the ground, and voila! We had ourselves a shadow puppet stage.
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*Hand Shadows @ Apples 4 the Teacher
What a delightful way to expand on the concept of the Groundhog’s shadow – teach children how to make their own shadow characters! These can be made in front of an overhead projector or behind a hanging sheet with a light source.
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*Showy Shadow Puppets @ Disney Family.com
Animal Hand Shadow Tips: Puppy Face, Spider, Goose, Elephant Head
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Paper Shadow Puppets*Kid Craft: Make a Groundhog Shadow Puppet
by Modern Parents Messy Kids @ Momtastic
Here’s a fun kid craft that’s part art project, part puppet show
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*Shadow Puppets for Kids @ Drawing Mom
Video
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*Winter Shadow Puppets @ Little Wonders Days
They played with making the shadows bigger, smaller, and disappear altogether by moving their flashlight or the puppet.
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*Shadow Shapes Craft @ Crayola.com
Regardless of whether the ground hog sees his shadow or not on February 2, kids can create their own Shadow Shapes—and make them all year ’round.

*Shadow Puppets @ Spoonful.com (formerly FamilyFun)
Your kids can cast a shadowy show of their own with just a few of these simplified paper puppets and a tabletop stage.
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*Shadow Puppets (Free Printable) @ MarthaStewart.com
This craft is easy and fun plus it’s a great way to entertain young children! (Free printable polar bear or muskox puppet template.)

*How to Make a Shadow Puppet (Free Printable) @ Frolic Blog
The template for an octopus, a shark, a wolf eel and a ship.
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*Halloween Shadow Makers (Free Printable) @ Mini Eco
The best thing is that they are very easy to make – all you need is some black paper, a craft knife, sticky tape and some wooden sticks.
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*Shocking Silhouettes (Free Printables) @ Martha Stewart
As day turns to night, call on candles to cast an eerie glow throughout your home. When fierce silhouettes are propped above them, spectacular shadows dance across the walls.
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*Shadow Puppets @ While Wearing Heels
The possibilities for making your own shadow puppets are endless and the cost involved is next to nothing.
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*Shadow Puppets and Their Presentation
@ MagicalMoonshine.org
In shadow puppetry you are limited only by your imagination! Go make some fun puppets!

*Shadow Puppets @ Martha Stewart
More elaborate shapes require some supplementary materials, such as our templates for a shark, sea horse, angelfish, tuna, crab, and mermaid.
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*How to Make Shadow Puppet @ The Organic Lemon
They are easy to make, affordable and provide hours of entertainment for little ones!
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*Glow-in-the-Dark Star Shadow Puppets
by willowday @ The Crafty Crow
The shadow puppet can be used for: 1) a window shadow puppet 2) a flashlight shadow puppet (Something for summer nights in tents) and 3) a glow-in-the-dark toy or decoration.
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*Make a Shadow Puppet Play @ Acorn Pies (also found here)
”For the theater, you could stretch a white sheet across a doorway, glue vellum to a wooden canvas stretcher, or like me, tape one-ply white paper to an old metal frame from the attic.”
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*Shadow Puppets (Free Template) @ Education
Make the most of some ordinary household supplies to create this fun puppet craft that hails from Indonesia.
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*Shadow Puppet Cutouts @ hvanrossum.com
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*Shadow Puppets (free printable) @ National Wildlife Federation
Dolphin, fish, starfish, octopus, squirrel, rabbit, turtle, butterfly
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*Easy Shadow Puppet Show @ Rhythm of the Home
”We stretched a sheet over two chairs in our living room. We attached the sheet to the chairs using clothespins, and stretched it all tight by using the weight of the chairs themselves.”
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*Make Bedtime (even more) Theatrical with Shadow Puppets
@ Canadian Family
”We just lay down with our puppets close to the wall and shone a flashlight right on them.”
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*Make Shadow Puppets @ Squidoo
Illustrated step by step directions how you can make your own shadow puppets, set up your stage, and put on a shadow puppet play.
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*Kid Craft: Shadow Puppets @ Gardening without Skills
We got two barstools and stretched out a piece of freezer paper in between the stools and taped it in place. We put a halogen desk lamp behind the stools and turned off the lights in the room.
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*Shadow Puppets @ Nuture Store
Puppets are a wonderful way for children to work out real-life relationships and develop their language – and so much fun to make!
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Shadow Puppet Theaters
Make a Shadow Puppet Theater

*Cereal Box Shadow Theater @ Mini-Eco
This cereal box shadow theater makes a great project for an older child. It’s really simple to make, and can be made from household scraps.
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*Shadow Puppet Theater Tutorial @ Givers Log
Supplies: Freezer paper, Elmer’s Glue, Masking tape, permanent fabric paint (like textile paint or acrylic), sponge brayer for applying paint, Fabric that will let a little light through, Tulle (optional)
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*DIY Shadow Puppet Theater @ Givers Log
”Tie a piece of string between two chairs and clothespin your theatre to the string. All you need is a flashlight and a puppeteer or two and you’re ready for a performance.”
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*Little Light Theatre @ Home Adventurer
”At home we simply transformed our little entrance hall into the theatre; using a floor lamp for illumination, and a small table covered with a large sheet of baking parchment* as a screen.”
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*Table Top Shadow Puppet Theater
@ Spoonful.com (formerly FamilyFun)
Your kids can cast a shadowy show of their own with just a few of these simplified paper puppets and a tabletop stage.

*How to Build a Simple Shadow Puppet Theater
@ Inner Child Fun
Shadow puppet theater was made from an empty cardboard box with the bottom cut out, and replaced with two sheets of white tissue paper held in place with packaging tape.
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*Shadow Puppet Theater @ Make Monthly
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*DIY Shadow Puppet Theatre @ Salsa Pie
Here’s an easy way you can turn a cardboard box and some freezer paper into a shadow puppet theatre!
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*Shadow Puppets Cereal Box Theatre @ Red Ted Art
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*Shadow Puppet Theatre @ Kirsten Rickert
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*Shadow Puppet Theater @ Squidoo
Making a shadow puppet theater is an inexpensive family time activity that will build memories. All you need is a cardboard box (a cereal box works very well), scissors, tape, thin white paper or wax paper, and either straws, craft sticks, or skewers.
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RELATED POSTS:
Fun Ideas for Groundhog Day / Groundhog Day Goodies / ”I Love You” Shadow Groundhog Day / Valentine’s Day Tradition
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Product Review: Blackout EZ Window Covers
The easy way to darken a room!
Product Review Blackout EZ Window Covers


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Merry Christmas 2012


Merry Christmas!

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Love,
The Cool Family

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Adaline (3y) and Jonathan (10m)
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Rocking our Ugly Christmas Sweaters!

I’ve been taking a long blogging break. Things have been really busy here in the real world and the family is my priority. I’ll be back eventually, but I’m not sure when. Until then check out my archives for great family fun ideas.

This post is linked to…
Christmas2012LinkUp

Related Posts:
*Merry Christmas 2011
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*Merry Christmas 2010
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Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Happy Thanksgiving 2012


The Cool Family would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving

I didn’t really take that many photos this year so there wasn’t anything worth showing you other than this family photo. Adaline’s making a crazy face but it was still the best one of all of us together. If you’re very observant you’ll notice that Adaline and Cool Daddy are wearing the same shirts they wore in the 2011 Thanksgiving photo while Jonathan (wearing Adaline’s jammies) and I are sporting the same threads as the 2010 Thanksgiving photo. It’s all very exciting.

Thank you for being a loyal reader of my blog 🙂

Related Posts
*Happy Thanksgiving 2011

*Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!