Getting Crafty at Home: Frugally!

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 8.04.54 AMHenry loves Animals- All Kinds. So a few months ago we decided to do a craft that focused on his love of sea life. I try to do a craft with him 3-4 days a week in the morning after breakfast. And we do it on a budget. I spend no more than $10/month of craft supplies. I’ve posted my money saving tips for crafting at the bottom of this post.
Making our Aquarium took a few steps.
  1. Gather supplies: Construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. We also use a lot of glitter glue.
  2. Cut out “water” and glue/paste it to large piece of craft paper.
  3. Then we selected 4-5 sea animals the he likes, made them out of construction paper (and pipe cleaners for the crab!), drew faces on each animal based on what the animals do (mean face for crab because he pinches, big open mouth for the hungry piranhas). We made a few of the sea animals 3-d (anemones and jellyfish and crabs legs and pinchers).
  4. If you aren’t sure what kinds of sea creatures to make, check out Octonauts (they are on YouTube), or other nature shows for kids (we also like Wild Kratts). There are tons of cool books about undersea creatures aimed at kids at your local library.
 If your kids aren’t into undersea animals, here are a few other fun crafts with animals:
Make a goldfish bowl: Start by pasting goldfish to fishbowl shaped paper and use water colors to paint the water in the fish bowl.
We also love to make what Henry calls “Going to the zoo”: Draw animal cages on paper or make them out of pipe cleaners or stick pretzels and put different animal crackers in the cages. We do this before a zoo trip. I try to keep 2-3 zoo maps with our craft stuff too, so we try to find the animal cracker animals on the zoo map too.
10918948_10153024113906061_2463789217471650233_oCaterpillars: I cut out wiggly caterpillars from green construction paper. Then we glue pom poms to his body (because caterpillars are fuzzy), add googily eyes and draw a mouth. Sometimes we add antennae.
To make our crafts more educations, during our craft time, we talk about the sounds that the animals make, where they live (habitat), what do they eat (meat, plants, both?).
Sometimes we make Monsters. This is a great opportunity to talk about different body parts, and how people and animals are all different. Here is a photo of out Monster assembly line:
We try to do a craft each day: drawing, painting, cutting paper into shapes. These activities help foster his creativity and imagination, and they help hone his motor skills. To keep Henry engaged, I select crafts and activities based on subjects that are of his interest.
Tips to keep daily/weekly crafting frugal: 
  • We re-use all kinds of stuff: paper towel or toilet paper rolls for kaleidoscopes or pirate spyglasses, magazines for pictures in collages, cardboard egg cartons make caterpillars, clamshells, baby chickens, or spiders.
  • Dollar tree and 99 cents only have great selection of craft supplies like construction paper, glue and glue sticks, googly eyes, jingle bells, pipe cleaners.
  • I try to make a batch of playdoh each month. I use glitter and food coloring to make the playdoh a little more fun. We use playdoh to crafts and creative play. I’ll post my Fool Proof Play dough recipe later this weekend.
  • Stuff around the house that isn’t strictly a craft supply can be used: cupcake liners make flowers or butterfly wings, q-tips, sponges (cut them up to paint), potatoes (stamping or painting).
  • Using stuff from nature: Henry loves the little “pokey balls” from the Chinese elms. Right now they are porcupine puffer fish, but in the past they’ve been all kinds of fun stuff. Paint leaves, use cat tails as paint brushes, gather small sticks and use them to make houses, stack them up, or paint them to use another time.


Score a free Mug from Tiny Prints (Today Only)!

(This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via on of the links I post, I may receive a small commission).

I love picking up these mugs (and really any photo related gift item) when they are free or pay shipping only. I try to buy a few throughout the year and stash them in our gift closet. I just use photos we’ve taken over the past few months to make cute keepsakes. They make great holiday gifts for grandparents.

Through today only, you can score a free 11 ounce customizable photo coffee mug (pay shipping and any applicable sales tax only- about $7) when you spend at least $1.00 at TinyPrints. Not sure what to buy? Tiny Prints has great Address Labels (I am a huge fan of address labels- I go through a lot of them!). These are the Address labels Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 7.57.06 AMHenry just helped me pick out.

To take advantage of this great deal, remember to use coupon code TPFREEMUG at checkout. This deal is only valid through 11:59 Pacific time tonight!

Now for the boring fine print:

Offer expires 3/7/2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Use code TPFREEMUG at checkout to enjoy one (1) free mug. There is a $1 minimum purchase required for this promotion. This offer is not applicable to previously placed orders or toward the purchase of calendars, photo books, gift certificates, personalized postage stamps and Erin Condren weekly planners. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account, household and/or billing address. This particular offer code can only be redeemed once. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable to third party or partner websites. To prevent fraud or abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer or cancel any order.