Books for the LEGO enthusiast in your home

Note: I was given these books (at no cost) by DK books in exchange for my truthful review. I have also included Amazon links in this post. If you purchase one of these books using my link, I will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Thank you!

My 12 year old is currently studying at home due to Covid 19. He has been assigned work from his teachers, but we are also trying to include some fun educational activities in our schedule (like baking, doing crafts, and building with LEGO). His current science curriculum is focused on structures, so I gave him some great LEGO books, and put him to work.

The three books he tested out were:

LEGO Harry Potter Build Your Own Adventure: With LEGO Harry Potter Minifigure and Exclusive 2 in 1 Model

365 Things to Do with LEGO Bricks: Lego Fun Every Day of the Year

The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination

His favourite of the three books was LEGO Harry Potter Build Your Own Adventure. He loved that it came with instructions and the pieces he needed to make a 2 in 1 model. (You can read more about it here.)

The other two books provide excellent inspiration for LEGO fans, but detailed instructions to build models are not included, and you need a large variety of LEGO pieces to build many of the items. If you have an extensive LEGO collection, the last two books would be fantastic for you.

LEGO is such a great toy, don't you think? I love that LEGO helps kids learn about structures, AND it encourages them to use their imaginations.

Happy reading, and happy building!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

DIY Mother's Day Canvas

When it comes to Mother's Day, there is nothing better than receiving gifts and cards crafted by little hands. I always love getting homemade goodies from my boys on Mother's Day, and today I am sharing a wonderful DIY Mother's Day art project you are going to have your kids make for you.

Start with an inexpensive canvas. (I got this one at the dollar store.)

Place a paper or sticker heart in the middle of the canvas.

Use paint to cover the canvas with bright and beautiful colours. I used straight lines, but the canvas can be painted any way the artists likes.

Keep painting until the entire canvas is covered.

Then, remove the heart from the centre of the canvas.

At this point, the canvas can be left as it is, or the child can write "mom" (or something else) in the centre of the heart.

Isn't it cute?

This is such a lovely art project for kids, and it makes a great gift for kids to share with their moms.

What is your favourite way to celebrate Mother's Day? If you love simple homemade gifts and treats, I hope you give this little project a try!

Gina Bell
(aka East Coast Mommy)

Find more simple ways to celebrate Mother's Day here.

5 Tips for Organizing Summer Clothes with Kids... and a Little Online Shopping with my Boys

*Disclosure - I was given GONGSHOW clothing for free in exchange for my honest review of the products. As always, the views expressed on this blog are 100% my own... and my boys genuinely love these items... and you are genuinely going to love these ideas for organizing kids' clothes.

Switching seasons can be a pain when it comes to kids' clothes. There are always tons of things that no longer fit, and there are often many new things to buy. Sorting through clothes and getting organized can take a lot of time and money, but I have 5 tips for organizing clothes that you are going to love!

1) Get rid of what you don't need - It's can be a painful process, but you need to take everything out of your kids' drawers, try things on, and only put back things that still fit... and that they will wear. Anything left over can be donated or sold on a "buy and sell". (I always find it easier to sell things in groups. You may not get as much money, but it all gets taken away at once, and it's a lot less work.)

2) Use what you have - Don't just pack away all the winter clothes. You may be able to make some things work for summer. For example, I always buy inexpensive t-shirts to wear as "cooler" tops with winter PJ bottoms.

3) Buy second hand - If you are looking for summer clothes for kids, make sure to check out consignment shops and "buy and sell" sites. There are many opportunities to buy quality clothes at reduced prices.

4) Organize drawers - If drawers are organized, it is easier for kids to see what you have, and they are more likely to wear more than just a few of their favourites. I always fold my clothes this way (see below) so that my kids can see what they have without ripping everything out.

5) Buy what they like - There is no point spending money on clothes that kids are not going to wear. Get them involved in the buying process, and let them pick out the things they like. I prefer shopping online with my kids. It is much easier... and if they take a long time to make a decision, I don't go crazy! lol

Gongshow recently gave my boys the opportunity to check out their new Spring/Summer 2020 line, and my boys LOVE the items they received.

My oldest son picked out the "stay classy polo" golf shirt, "beach view visey", and the "natty hatty strapback".

My middle son picked the "mesh missile" hat and the "off season go-2" t-shirt.

And my youngest son (who is a goalie) picked a goalie hat and a "roof daddy explosion" t-shirt.

I have a few things left to get my boys for summer, but we are well on our way to getting organized. I hope you find my tips helpful. How do you get your kids organized for summer?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Things to Make With Pom Poms... including a pom pom tutorial

Yarn is the perfect crafting material. It is inexpensive and comes in a variety of fantastic textures and colours. It also has an innate "cozy" quality. Today, I am sharing one of my favourite things to make with yarn... pom poms. I'm showing you how to make pom poms, and I'm giving you a few ideas for simple and fun DIY projects you can make using pom poms.

To make simple pom poms. Wrap yarn around your fingers approximately 60-80 times (not too tightly)... or a piece of cardboard, slip the yarn off your fingers and tie it in the middle, cut the loops, and trim to shape. It's that easy!

You can also check out the "how to" video I made with my boys here.

Once you finish making your pom poms, you can use them for to play "catch", or you use them in other crafts and DIY projects.

Currently, I am loving pom pom flowers. To make a pom pom flower, you take a dowel or stick and hot glue a pom pom to the top. They look adorable in a vase or mason jar... so bright and cheerful! 

Another fun idea for using pom poms is to turn them into little animals. Kids love this!

You can google "pom pom" animals to find some cute options.

I absolutely love this little chick I made with my boys. To make a pom pom chick: make two yellow pom poms, use hot glue to attach the pom poms together, tie a ribbon around it's neck, and use hot glue to attach a head feather, googly eyes, a felt nose, and feet made from an orange pipe cleaner.

These pom pom gnomes are adorable too. This one was made for Valentine's Days, but you could change the colours and make them for St.Patrick's Day, Christmas, and more! Cute, right? Find the full tutorial here.

Pom pom wreaths are also easy and inexpensive to make. I love this one I made for winter using fluffy white yarn. You can find the tutorial for this pom pom wreath here.

I have plans to get some different colours of yarn and make wreaths for all the seasons.

And you could add a pom pom bunny tail to a cute burlap Easter bunny wreath.

And how adorable is this Valentine's Day pom pom wreath?

And how adorable is this Spring boho yarn wreath? You can find the step-by-step instructions here.

And you can find the instructions for this Fall boho yarn wreath here.

And this pom pom cupcake garland is perfect for celebrations big and small... and it's super easy to make. Find the full step by step instructions here.

Aren't pom poms and pom pom crafts whimsical and fun? They really are easy to make. Which pom pom crafts are your favourite?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

20+ SIMPLE Earth Day Activities for Kids and Families

Earth Day (on April 22) provides a wonderful opportunity to teach children about recycling, respecting our planet, and enjoying nature. It is also a wonderful excuse to get outside. Today I am sharing a fantastic collection of 20+ {easy and inexpensive} Earth Day crafts and activities that are fun for children of all ages.

Here is a list of some of my favourite Earth Day crafts and activities. Click on the links / titles for more information and full tutorials.

1)  Make a cereal box notebook.

2)  Recycle an old jar into an earth day tealight.

3)  Decorate with a DIY earth day banner.

4)  Transform an old box into a beautiful tree full of butterflies.

5)  Read The Lorax, and enjoy a "tree-themed" snack.

6)  Use an empty egg carton to learn about how caterpillars turn into butterflies.

7)  Use empty jars and cans to create some adorable "grass-haired" friends.

8)  Enjoy some backyard bird-watching.

9)  Raid the recycling bin, and try creating some homemade toy boats.

10)  Craft some paper bag kites and head outside.

11) Make a matching game by recycling milk jug lids.

12) Make a tooth taxi out of an old film canister... or another amsll container.

13) Plant something.

15) Make homemade birdfeeders.

16) Make a bird house from a milk carton.

17) Craft a bucket from recycled materials to take on a nature walk.

18) Make a nature collage.

19) Build an outdoor obstacle course.

20) Make (and play with) eco-friendly sidewalk paint.

21) Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt.

How are you planning on celebrating Earth Day with your little ones?  I hope you take some time to craft, play, and get outside with kids to enjoy everything that nature has to offer. Happy Earth Day!!!


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

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