Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Creating with... well, what do we have?

Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


It seems like a lot of my friends (all over the world) are moving lately. Moving can be a tricky time to keep kids entertained. We moved back in early March and one evening Sasha and I were particularly bored. Whatever could we do?

I grabbed some straws and started putting them together. In case you've never done this, you just fold one end of the straw, kind of like a little taco. That makes it small enough to fit into the end of another straw.

We started with a square and a triangle. These shapes were quickly assigned to be Spongebob and Patrick. I guess I was inspired because then I made an actual star. That one was fun. Sasha didn't do much of the putting-together, but she did most of the taking apart and added lots of imagination. We wore them as hats and I became Daddy while she was Mommy.

What unconventional art supplies do you have in your home right now?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children of all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don't always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking... Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen's family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she's sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things ... And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children's Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children's artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father's Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It's a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with... well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura's Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


  1. Love this!! I'm putting it on my to do list for the next hot day we have.

    1. Straws are also fun for blowing around paint... I remember that from my days in elementary school!

  2. It doesn't take anything fancy, does it? Love the SpongeBob theme you came up with!

    Isn't it always the case that kids do more of the taking apart? :)

    1. Spongebob was all her doing. She is a big fan.

      They definitely love to take things apart over and over again!

  3. What a great idea! That star is pretty cool, too...I might just have to make one for Daniel. =) I'm always amazed at what toys and games end up being the most interesting to Daniel (hint: not usually anything expensive or complex) and that inspires me to be more open to discovering play in unlikely places. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. The straws are really a lot of fun. I also made a 6-pointed star. I was all impressed with myself. ;-)

  4. Yes - many of our art projects resemble this. Let's take whatever we have and put it together and see what we get. I love it. One of my favorite things is that often the most basic or simple creations (like your triangle and square) become the most "played with" creations. My theory is that they all for more imagination - as they can be nearly anything. Great post.

  5. Fantastic! What a great way to make a game out of something so simple as straws!!! You sure are one creative momma! :)

  6. Excellent activity! It's nice to look beyond the frilly toys to lesser used (and less expensive and more pliable) objects for play! I like that they were SpongeBob and Patrick, too! Definitely some Bikini Bottom love exuding from our direction, also : ) Thanks for sharing! (And I Loooooooooooooove how your dreds are turing out, Mama!)

    1. Thank you! I was tempted to post video because she was at this stage where she was concentrating and putting up a lot of effort to say PAT-RICK. SO cute!

  7. I love that having children around means that it's easier to see that everything has multiple purposes. My children found some pipe cleaners around the house and now we have several pairs of pipe cleaner glasses! Bring on the straws!

    1. I'm thinking the possibilities with pipe cleaners are endless!! Gotta make spiders! :-D


Who doesn't love comments? Please let me know you stopped by and share your thoughts on the topic at hand.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...