Kids Craft Club {test}

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I might be starting a Kid's Craft Club, and I received a lot of interest.  My boys love crafting and love getting mail addressed to them... so, the plan is to put together simple craft kits and send them out via mail (addressed to the special little one in your life). 

I have decided to do a little test before I do a full launch.  It will help me to fine tune the process.  Here is the first craft -- a bunny puppet

Here is how it is going to work:

1)  There are 25 kits available, and they will be mailed out (with a personalized letter and few stickers) on a first come, first serve basis.  The cost of each kit is $5 (including shipping and handling).  The crafts will be simple (taking less than 30 minutes to complete), and you will get everything you need to complete the project (with the exception of scissors, glue, and crayons).

2)  Payment (via Paypal or email money transfer only*) must be received before a kit is sent out.  Payments can be sent to

3)  I will send out the kits on or before March 8, and I will post a full tutorial on the blog.

Note:  For this test, I am limiting orders to Canada {sorry my international friends} -- I definitely plan to expand this going forward.

If you are interested, please send payment to  I will also need your child's name, age, and full mailing address.

I think this is going to be a lot of fun!  Thank you for being a part of it.  :-)

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Email money transfers need to be at least $10, so if you are only ordering one kit/letter, you will need to use Paypal.  If you don't have a Paypal account, email me, and you can send a cheque.  Shipping will be slower in this case, as the cheque will need to clear before a kit is sent out.

Homemade Butter

Last summer, we visited a farm, and my boys were amazed to see how milk is made.  Since then, I have been planning to show them how to turn cream into butter.  I remember doing it when I was a kid, and I knew they would love it. Today, I am sharing all the details of the SIMPLE process.
All you need is some whipping cream (we used 250ml) and a jar or container with a tight lid.

Here's how we did it:

First, we poured the cream into a container and made sure the lid was on tight.  (It works better/quicker if the cream is at room temperature.)

Then, we started shaking.  The boys all took turns, but they tired easily.  {Be prepared to do most of the shaking yourself!  lol}

We kept shaking and shaking -- seriously, I think shook it for about 20 minutes.  First it turned to cream, and then, when I was close to giving up, it magically turned to a clump of butter.

Finally, we drained off all the liquid.  (I put it in a strainer, rinsed it with cold water, and squeezed it in some paper towel.)

My six year old thought it was an amazing magic trick, and he immediately went to get his magic wand and hat.  (He cracks me up!)

I hope you try making butter with your little magician.  Let me know how it goes.  :-)

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Catching a Leprechaun... with free printable {leprechaun bait} bag topper

My boys love sharing little "treats" with their friends and classmates on special occasions, and St. Patrick's Day is no exception.  One of our favorite gifts to share on March 17 is Leprechaun Bait.  

To make Magic Leprechaun Bait, just fill little bags with "Lucky Charms" cereal, and attach a cute little note. (Click here for a "pdf" version of the one I designed. There are two on a page, and they can be cut to fit on top of a snack/sandwich baggie.) Easy, right?

Our note said:
On St.Patrick's Day, I am going to try and catch a leprechaun. I am using this "Lucky Charms" cereal for bait, and thought you might like to try catching one too.
But..... you should know..... Leprechauns are very tricky! They have been known to steal the bait without getting caught. Keep a lookout though... sometimes they leave footprints, play tricks, or drop some of their treasure. Good luck! 

Then... on the Eve of St. Patrick's Day, the kids can build a trap to try and catch a Leprechaun. Last year, we made ours out of a diaper box. We covered the box with green paper and decorated it with rainbows and pots of gold. {See below.}

In the morning, we didn't find a Leprechaun, but we did find some shiny pennies and gold bars (Caramilk bars).

This idea is simple and fun, and I guarantee the kids will love it!  Let me know if you catch one.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

Valentines Day 2012

Happy Valentines Day!  Such a fun day to share with my boys.  We are celebrating with balloons, milk in wine glasses, heart-shaped food, and special treats.

..... and, in case you missed any of the fun we have been having, here is a quick recap {with links}of some of the things we have done to prepare for Valentines Day 2012.

1)  Our 2012 "Kiss" Countdown to Valentines Day.

2)  My Felt Rosette Wreath {both versions}.

3)  The treats we made for classmatesrecycled crayons, bookmarks, heart-shaped graham cracker cookies, and sucker/picture Valentines.

4)  Adorable Love Bugs made of yarn and egg cartons.

Wishing you lots of hugs and kisses today!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

Valentines Bookmarks {for classmates}

My son is not allowed to have candy or sweets at his Preschool, so I thought a bookmark would be a cute Valentine "treat" he could take to his little friends.  It was so simple to make that we were able to assemble enough for his whole class in no time.  :-)

First, we printed some bookmarks on our computer (you could hand write them too), and cut the paper into strips.  (I used a paper cutter but scissors would be fine.)

The bookmarks say, "I ♥ having a friend like you".

For the "heart", I used a heart-shaped picture of my four year old.  I printed them on my computer, and used a heart-shaped punch to cut them out.  (Again... scissors would work too.)

Finally, I punched a hole at the top of the bookmark and added a little ribbon.

Easy, inexpensive, and a great alternative to candy and chocolate!  Happy Valentines Day!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Our FIRST Lost Tooth

We had a big event in our house this weekend -- my six year old lost his first tooth!  Luckily, I had a Tooth Fairy Bag already made for him.  (You can find the tutorial here).

We put the tooth in the bag, and in the morning, the tooth was replaced with money.  Amazing!  {wink}

The tooth fairy also left a certificate and a trail of fairy dust/gold glitter.  (I found this adorable "First Lost Tooth" certificate here.)  You can also get a free "Smile Certificate" from the Canadian Dental Association here.

The fact he is losing his baby teeth doesn't mean he isn't going to be my "baby" anymore, RIGHT??????

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple is Better {Winter Fun}

My boys teach me a lot of things -- the most recent lesson being -- "often, simple is better".  Today, I want to share two REALLY simple and super-fun things you can do with your kids.

1)  Snow Painting -  All you need is a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of food coloring.  The kids will have a ball using the snow as their canvas.  {I know mine did.}

2)  Glow in the Dark Bathtime - All you need to do is throw a bunch of glow sticks into the bathtub.  Does it get any easier than that?  We did this last night, and my boys thought it was awesome!  {Seriously awesome!}

So... this weekend, give one of these activities a try.  It takes very little effort, and your kids will have a ball... guaranteed.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Sucker Valentines

I am not a huge fan of suckers, but I couldn't resist making this adorable Valentine for my six year old to share with his classmates.  (I guess a sucker on Valentines Day isn't going to hurt.  :-)

The original concept for this idea, wasn't mine -- there are tons of versions on Pinterest.  For my simple version, I got my husband to hold up a dollar store tablecloth behind my six year old.  Then, I got him to pose like this.....

Next, I used an Exacto knife to cut two slits in the picture -- one on top of his fist and one on the bottom.  I inserted a sucker and "ta da", a super cute valentine.  My six year old can't wait to pass out these Valentines to his first grade friends!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Sharing the fun with:
For the Kids Friday Tip Junkie handmade projects

The Hungry Caterpillar

I love to cuddle up and read with my boys.  I think a love of books is a great gift you can give your children.  We have a lot of favorites around here, but "The Hungry Caterpillar" is definitely one of our staples.

While we were reading it the other day, I was reminded of a craft I made when I was a kid.... caterpillars out of egg cartons.  {Don't you just love nostalgic crafts?}

It is a simple craft, but the kids loved it!

I just gave the kids an empty egg carton, and let them color it with markersThen, they added some googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae.  

You can also help your caterpillar "turn into a butterfly" by adding some wings made of cardstock.

What are some of your favorite books to read with your children?  I am always looking for new stories {aka "excuses to cuddle up on the couch with the boys"}.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” 
E Buchwald.

Don't miss any of the fun....