Category Archives: kids

How to Braid a Hair Wreath

Wreath Tutorial

I woke up on Solstice morning with the idea of braiding a wreath into Quinn’s hair. I didn’t look for any directions and just went for it. It was a little messier than I would have liked, but it think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt.  This is a great hairstyle for Christmas or Solstice celebrations.


View from the side.

1. Be sure to have your kiddo standing or sitting in a place that you can walk all the way around them.
2. I pulled her bangs back into a ponytail at the spot where I wanted the top of the wreath.
3. I split the ponytail in half and used the 2 sections as two of the 3 starting parts of my braid.
4. I picked up the third braid part from her head to lock in the top there.
5. Visualizing where I wanted the wreath to be, I did a regular French braid down the left side of the wreath, following the curve that I wanted. (a lefty may want to go the other way) I picked up hair on both sides like a regular braid.
6. Once you get to the bottom, only pick up hair from the outside of the wreath (one side). This will keep the unbraided hair in the middle smooth. You can see in the pictures that I didn’t figure this out until I was halfway across.
7. Once you are across the bottom, you will need to braid UP the other side. It’s not really hard, but it feels awkward.
8. Once you get back up to where you started, braid the hair out the rest of the way and put a holder on it.
9. Tuck the braid through the braid in the top to lock it in there. Follow the wreath and tuck it through the braid a few more times until you run out of hair. I think I did a total of three tucks and ran out at the very bottom.
10. When you run out, hide the end with a bobby pin.
11. I finished the bottom with a vertical barrette with a piece of ribbon.
12. As with anything like this, a good shellacking with hairspray will make it last longer.  Her braid lasted through package opening, an hour car ride and 4+ hours of romping with cousins.

If you are feeling extra festive, you can chalk the hair with some green chalk or wire in some holly berries.





Simple Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz for Kids


My daughter is having a Harry Potter party for her 8th birthday. Of course she wants to sort everyone into houses. I was unsuccessful at finding a quiz that met our needs. It needed to have simple questions. I’m pretty sure most kids don’t know if they want to be chivalrous, cunning or witty or not. It also needed to be fast to do. Most importantly, it had to help kids who “knew their stuff” get what they want, while being approachable to kids at the party who do not know much about Harry Potter.

Bonus features – They can pick more than one choice per question, if they have a tough time choosing. You learn what they would be content with getting, so nobody has a big breakdown in the middle of the birthday party.

I just tried it with my (almost) 8 year old and my 4.5 year old. They were both pleased with their answers.

Could you please give it a try with your kiddos (or yourself) and see if you run into any issues?

Here is the link to the PDF of the file

When you hear this sound (bing), turn the page

snow white

Jude loves the books on CD that he can listen to.  They are just like the ones we listened to as kids, only we did it with records and cassette tapes.  He will sit still and listen and it is just amazing.  Sadly, we don’t have that many of them.

So, I got this idea.  What if I recorded myself reading a book.  I could even get out the xylophone for the page-turn ding.  I could do this for some of his favorite books — especially the ones that there don’t already seem to be recordings of.

THEN, I got an even bigger idea.  What if there are some of you who would also want to do this.  We could each record ourselves reading one of our favorite children’s books and upload the mp3 of it to a dropbox or something and then we could not only have recordings of an assortment of children’s books, but we could also have them done by an assortment of people and not just boring Mommy all the time.

So, if I figure out a way to do this, is there anyone interested?

Update: I started a facebook group to work on this.  If you would like to join, it is here:  <a href=””>When you hear the (BING!), turn the page</a>

Halloween Events in Central Ohio


Places to take costumed children to get free candy have a fun Halloween experience:

Thursday OCTOBER 25
Dublin Community Recreation Center
5600 Post Rd.
3:30-8:30 p.m. Rain or Shine
• Pumpkin carving demonstration
• Fortune Tellers
•Haunted Trail
•COSI Demonstrations
•Trunk-or-Treat Trail Local businesses and groups distribute candy
•Bug Man
• Entertainment Magicians, Dancers, and more
•Pumpkin Carving Contest
•Monster Mash Middle School Student Dance


Trunk or Treat
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Village Green parking lot – 47 Hall Street
The Village Green parking lot will again be transformed into a trick-or-treater’s treasure chest as local businesses and organizations will set up booths and car trunks filled with candy, toys and other Halloween goodies. Hundreds of young costumed characters are invited to fill their bags with treats!

Sunday, October 28 – Halloween at the Conservatory
Franklin Park Conservatory
1-4pm Come in costume and enjoy this afternoon of fun! Free with admission
• Visit seven trick-or-treat stations throughout the Conservatory
• Get a Halloween temporary tattoo
• Scary storytelling with James Flanagan at 2 & 3pm

Crazy hair day!

Kids at Quinn’s school have been bribed to come to school this week with a fun week. Today is crazy hair day


Mail Bag for a Junior Postal Worker

finished bag smaller


My son’s school just got a mail box last week, complete with mail bag and letters.  The kids loved it, but I heard that there was going to be a knock-down, drag-out over the mail bag.

Megan asked if I could make another bag for the room.  I was told that the only requirement was that it said MAIL on it in big letters.  I decided to do the label in felt, as I have a TON of it (shocking, huh?) and because I am pretty comfortable working with it.  I was going to write out MAIL in Word in a big font, print it, cut it out and use the letters as a template…but I got lazy and just free-handed it with chalk on the felt and cut it out.

I sketched out the front as a half oval and the back/flap as a full oval.   The picture is of the full oval.











I decided to do the handle and sides/bottom in one continuous loop.  I didn’t do any measuring.  I just know I wanted it about 3 inches wide, so I sewed a tube and flipped it inside out to hide the seam allowance.

Speaking of sewing, I used both my sewing machine and my serger.  If you don’t have a serger, you could use a zig zag stitch.  The fabric I selected was some green canvas that I already had around the house.  I chose it because it was stiff enough to hold its shape.



Here are the pieces cut out and laid out  without the edge piece.  It gives you an idea of the shape.

Ignore my chalk note.  I just wanted to make sure that I got the bottoms to line up together.

When I started sewing, I started with the half oval and the tube and just serged all the way around the curved part.  Once the front was done, I attached the back the same way.  I attached the bottom part to the other side of the side strap and just serged the top flap part to keep it from fraying.

As you can see, I used some wacky colors, but since it was going to be exposed anyway, I thought I’d go for “I knew you were going to look, so I made it pretty.”









Once the front and back were on, I cut the handle to the right length and sewed the start to the finish, thereby making the edge a complete circle.  I then serged any remaining unfinished edges and went over stress points again.

I was hoping that I could just be done then, but the strap was kind of wimpy-feeling, so I did a row of stitching with the regular machine down each side of it to make it stronger.

Once I was done, I flipped it to put the sewing on the inside and sewed the MAIL sign on (although I seriously considered leaving all of the seams on the outside since the colors were so cute).  I used the machine to sew it on so that it would be neater on the inside.







Here is Jude with the bag that he is taking to school tomorrow.

Mermaid Costume


20120918-140624.jpgMy kids were invited to a mermaid party and so we decided to put a costume together.  My son wanted to be a crab.  That was a lot easier and I hopefully will get that put together soon to show you,too.  This took about 4ish hours in total to get done.







I searched the web and pinterest for some tutorials and settled on this one at ikatbag as my favorite:

I took my daughter shopping and we were thrilled to find that JoAnn’s had the exact same fishy fabric.  We decided to go with a sparkly tail fin fabric that had more substance to it than the original called for.  For the accents, Quinn picked pink and gold lame.  The green, pink and gold are all the same fabric.  It is a stretch knit that has been painted.  The downside of this fabric is that when it stretches, it gets the appearance of a “run” like in panty hose.  A little disappointing, but you can’t tell from a distance.

Here are the pieces cut out.  I followed the instructions pretty closely, but I made the fish hips so that they curved out more.  It seemed fishier and I thought it would give her more mobility.


I took the picture below after she went to the party.  You can see on the waistband a couple of the “runs.”  They really aren’t runs, the fabric is fine, it’s just the fabric’s paint/coating cracks along the stretch lines.



For the bottom fabric, I doubled it in half and sewed through the two cut edges and left the folded part at the bottom to give more poofiness.


The original plan was that she was going to wear a tank top that we already owned that had fish on it.  Once this tail was all done and sparkly, the shirt looked drab.  I decided that I had enough of a remnant left to make a little shirt to match.

I traced around a tank that she already had.  I didn’t want it to be skin-tight or showing her midriff like most of the typical mermaid costumes.  I was going to have it tuck straight in, but  I ended up liking it bloused out a bit.

I sewed a little elastic in the top and just let the shirt hand down from there.  I used a remnant of the pink to make the straps.  This was a terrible idea.  My sewing machine was crying with multiple layers of that sticky fabric.  After breaking thread and getting loop monsters on the back for the zillionth time, I managed to get something held together enough to make straps.


She loved it!


I’m really hoping that she wants to be a mermaid for Halloween.

Places Offering Art Classes for Kids in Columbus, Ohio

Our daughter is obsessed with art and we are trying to find some classes for her that are “good” (whatever that means), but not astonishingly expensive.  If you are doing the same thing, I thought I’d save you some time by putting the ones that I have found in the Columbus area here.  You may find this useful or helpful, but honestly I just wanted to have a place to keep all of this in one place.

Perhaps I will add some notes once I know more about each program.  Please leave a comment if you have any details or if you know of something that I missed.




Columbus Music and Art Academy – Upper Arlington


The pARTy Studio – Worthington




Creative Minds in Westerville


Creation Nation


King Arts Complex


Children’s Art Studio

Dinosaur felt board

Dinosaur felt board by hopeandmegan
Dinosaur felt board, a photo by hopeandmegan on Flickr.

I glued the base felt to a tri-fold greeting card. The dinosaurs I just free-handed, but there are tons of patterns if you google “dinosaur shapes.”

I hope this is fun for more than 6 minutes in the car. I’ll let you know.

Maps, pirate stickers and eye patches for our car trip

The map is of our yard. The rest are leftovers from a birthday party.  I am sealing them in an envelope.

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