DIY: Lego Table


My children have just recently started to play legos.  Paddy got some duplo blocks for his birthday and in September I discovered a box of Patrick’s legos from when he was a boy and the kids immediately started to play with them.  Like most moms, I have a love/hate relationship with legos.  I love the time and creativity children use when playing with them, but I hate “the dump.”  I got very tired of constantly picking up and stepping on legos in Bridget’s room so I decided we should move them to the basement playroom, so if they get dumped, I don’t need to pick them up immediately.

Our neighbors have this really cool lego table.  It is now $120, but when I priced it out a month ago it was$160, and I just did not want to spend that much on a lego table because while my kids enjoy playing legos, they are not lego crazy.  I figured there must be some sort of DIY table out there, given that it is just more or less baseplates glued to a table.  I found this great one from skip to my lou.  We bought the kritter table instead of the lack from Ikea, and used liquid nails instead of spray adhesive, which also was much easier.

We did a slightly different layout too, making roads down the middle, which neatly divides the table into four different building areas, so everyone can have their own space with boundaries.

The final cost of the project was $60.  The baseplates are pretty expensive and they were $35 alone.  We bought a more”expensive” table by Ikea standards, which upped the cost and the liquid nails was $5.  The big downside is it does not have the nifty storage that the other table had.  It wasn’t that difficult to make if you are a marginally crafty person, but again is it worth another $60 to get the drawers and not have to do it yourself – maybe.  Paddy totally noticed it did not have the drawers and asked where they were.  I think I may make or buy some mesh drawstring bags that I could attach to the side of the table for storage, but for now we have the bin that dumps.

 

For those we love that live far away, my children in their Halloween costumes:


BTW- Paddy refused to wear his adorable rocket ship costume on Halloween so we put an Argentina soccer jersey on him and went with it.
Bridget lost her ninja mask at zooboo because she kept taking it on and off and refused to wear her ninja weapons on Halloween, she was a peace loving ninja.

 

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not a box


It is NOT A  Box, it is a choo choo train

 

My children love to play in boxes, today we made a train out of diaper boxes that I have saved.

 

Happy news, three dearest cousins no longer live 5000 miles away!

We celebrated their arrival back to the States with a hot tub party and lemonade!

 

animal friend (or lizard) carrier


There is a great new sewing shop in town call The French Seam.  They carry lovely designer fabric that you can’t get at Joanne’s.  I picked up this book by Oliver + S there and it is full of adorable things to sew for children.  My first project was the animal friend carrier.  I made one for Bridget and Paddy, but Paddy only wore his for a minute because he has no interest in stuffed toys.  He would probably wear it if I put a digger in it.

Notice the lizard in the carrier along with her zebra friend. My children both love (but especially Bridget) the rubbery, squishy reptiles and dinosaurs.  Target had all of them on clearance for $0.83 so we came home with several yesterday.  After I finished sewing her carrier, she wanted to carry her lizard around in it.  She also gave it about six baths yesterday.

Every time I went into a bathroom, the water was on and lizard was getting soaped up, he also went swimming in the pool and had sunscreen and lip gloss applied.  Most little girls would want to carry their dolls around, and I her put her American Girl doll in her carrier, but that lasted about 30 seconds. . .

 

Fairy House


I came across this idea for a fairy house in the publication “MomSense” that I receive by being part of a MOPs group.

The short instructions are:  Hot glue bark to an empty oatmeal container.

Step 1 is to collect the bark.  It is really fun to take walks with your kids and look for “signs of spring” such as crocuses, daffodils or new green growth anywhere.  Don’t take bark off of trees as that damages them, but collect bark that has already fallen off.  We let our bark dry out inside for several days.

Step 2 is to cut an opening for a door in your container.  We used an oatmeal canister, but any box would work fine.

Step 3 is to hot glue the bark onto the container.  It takes some finesse to find the right pieces to fit your container, especially if it is round, so collect more bark than you will need and collect different kinds of bark.

The hilarious thing that happened when we were making ours is that we found a pill bug on a piece of our bark (we call them roly-poly bugs).  Bridget got so interested in her bug, that she did not want to help glue the bark on the container.  She went and found her bug box and then busied herself making a home for her “new pet.”.  She looked over at me working on the fairy house and said, “you are doing a great job, mom.”

After I was satisfied with the amount of bark on our house, I let Bridget brush glue onto the bark and sprinkle it with glitter (fairy dust) so that a fairy might come and live in our home.

The next day while she was at school.  I got out a playmobil fairy that I had gotten for a few dollars at Tuesday Morning for my gift stash, and she moved in.


The plastic tree and mushroom sticking out of the house are just random cupcake toppers we had lying around.

shoebox dollhouse


We have fallen for Calico Critters.  I had a few when I was little and we bought Bridget a few for Christmas.  I was very tempted to buy a house for them, but we really don’t need one and so I decided to make a shoebox dollhouse for them to live in. This is a very old idea and there are many ways to do it.  I used two books for inspiration, Green Crafts for Children and Homemade Fun.

  1. We selected four shoe boxes that had similar height and width (you can use as many as you like, or only one, depending on the number of rooms you would like to have)
  2. We painted the insides of the boxes
  3. We glued them together with  hot glue and used clothespins to hold the boxes together as the glue dried
  4. I used mod podge to cover the boxes in paper to make the outside a little prettier
  5. I used a piece of cardboard to make the roof, I also modged poged paper on it and hot glued it in place
  6. We have not done too much else, but you can cut out windows, make furniture, curtains, etc.

 


 

 

 

Bridget has enjoyed playing with it and it has made a cute place for her hedgehog family to live.

As this is another girl craft, I will share a picture of my chubby cheeked boy.  Let’s just say he LOVES trucks (or frucks as he calls them.)

 

cooped up fun


I find being cooped up in our home without a schedule to be a great hindrance to my creative juices.  I thrive on structure and schedules, and flounder when every activity is canceled for four days in a row.

I do, however, think it is good for me and the kids to slow down and enjoy going a little crazy within the walls of our home. We have stayed in our pajamas all day, made forts, had indoor picnics and watched hours of Super Friends

We love tea parties.  We have at least five different tea sets.  I have to say that the one pictured above is our favorite.  It was  birthday a 2nd birthday gift from dear friends.  It is enamel coated so the kids can really but tea (or lemonade or water) in it.  They pretend with it too, it may be one of our most played with toys.

I love paper dolls. When my mom was in labor with my sister she sat on the couch and cut out paper dolls for me.  Bridget was recently introduced to paper dolls because her aunt gave her this really beautiful book for Christmas.

While you can cut the book up, I chose to make copies of the dolls and clothes so that we can keep the book intact. The book also includes beautiful scenes to use as backdrops for play.  Paper dolls are one of those lovely, timeless toys that are perfect for quiet winter play.

When Bridget gets older I would love to get her some of these custom paper dolls, which I think would be a lovely gift for any little girl.

A  note about our crafting:

I started really crafting with Bridget when she was 2-1/2. She will be 4 in a few weeks.  In general it seems that more girly crafts  exist. Given this and that my oldest is a girl, most crafts on this blog while be girlish. My son is 19 months and shows interest in what we do, but is not quite old enough to really participate.  I hope as Paddy grows that we will discover cool boyish crafts that we can all enjoy together.

My son however, looks like he may grow up to be baller.  He already shoots hoops, and they actually go in. . .

Another cooped up activity: lots of time playing in the basement where we keep the basketball or  “baball” as Paddy calls it.

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