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  • DIY & Recipes

    Printable Inspiration Bookmarks to Color

    Booksmarks to color inspirational

    Hello, bookworms! If you’re looking for an easy, fun craft to do with your kiddo, simply print, color, and paint your very own free inspiration bookmarks today! You may even want to add a hole punch and some ribbon for some extra pizzazz.

    Tip: If you’re looking to make these bookmarks really last, use a heavy paper like cardstock and self-laminating sheets like these!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links” which does not cost you anything, but assists in running this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Read Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here. Thank you for your support.

  • DIY & Recipes

    DIY: Valentine’s Day Heart and Bead Garland

    diy wooden heart bead garland on mantle

    DIY crafts are a fun way to create sustainable decor as you channel your inner creative genius! This simple Valentine’s Day garland is not only a cute craft to create with your little, but also helps improve his or her fine motor skills!

    Here’s what you’ll need:


    • Wooden Hearts
      You have three options when it comes to the main focus of your project! 1.) Purchase pre-painted hearts 2.) Purchase unfinished wooden hearts and paint them yourself, or 3.) Upcycle some previously owned hearts! For this garland, I chose #Upcycling for the win and reused wooden hearts I already had at home.
    • Wooden Beads
      When it comes to wooden beads and DIY projects, the possibilities are endless. I used this set of wooden balls and they worked OK, but some of the holes weren’t perfectly round or cut through completely which made it difficult to thread the bead at times, but I was able to manage! Typically, I purchase wooden pieces from my favorite brand, Woodpeckers, due to their unmatched quality. Woodpeckers crafts beautiful wooden beads, peg dolls, cutouts, blocks and more, making them the perfect choice for a variety of DIY projects. Plus, Woodpecker sustainably sources their materials and most products are made in the USA. We especially love their wooden peg dolls (just $13 for 40) and dowels!
    • Cotton String or Natural Jute
      The wooden bead set I purchased came with jute (hence the reason I chose that set – I thought it’d be easy as 1, 2, 3) so I tried to use that; but as I mentioned above, I ended up making jute tassels and tying them to the ends of a cotton string (which was much easier to thread). FYI The jute did work much better with my Woodpecker beads.


    1. Cut string to desired length. I always leave the string a bit longer than desired – just in case!
    2. Layout your pattern. Originally, I didn’t do this and had to re-string all of my beads. Make sure you have enough materials to cover the desired string length. Repeat as many times as necessary. Here is the pattern I chose: small bead, medium bead, large bead, medium, small, heart.
    3. Add the beads and hearts to your string. Yay!
    4. Make tassels for the ends (optional). Here are easy instructions for tassel-making. For my tassels, I used jute and wrapped the string around the entire top portion of the tassel. Then, tucked it in.
    5. Hang and enjoy!
    diywooden heart bead garland on mantle

    P.S. Don’t forget to ‘share the love’ with your friends and family, juuuust in case they are looking for some V-Day inspo too!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Crafts & Projects, DIY & Recipes

    DIY: Salt-Dough Fruit

    salt dough fruit recipe

    Let’s get creative with salt-dough! You’ll have a blast with your little ones as you create colorful fruits and veggies that harden once baked. Not only is this project inexpensive and eco-friendly, but you most likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen cabinet!

    This recipe was adapted from Green Crafts for Children.



    1. Mix the flour, salt, oil, and water together in a stainless mixing bowl. Mix with your hands. Too watery? Add more water. Too sticky? Add more flour.
    2. Create shapes that resemble your favorite fruits and vegetables by molding the dough with your hands. When making the cherries and strawberries poke a small hole on top (later, you will insert a pipe cleaner as the “stem”).
    3. Place all fruits and veggies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Reshape if necessary.
    4. Bake in the oven for 1.5 – 3.5 hours at 210°F (depending on the thickness of the fruits and veggies).
    5. IMPORTANT: Turn off the oven and let cool prior to removal. This will prevent cracking.
    6. Once cooled, begin painting!
    7. When the base layer has dried you may want to add a second layer or additional details.
    8. Optional: Paint a layer of glue onto each piece. We skipped this step.

    Now, enjoy!

    EVEN MORE SALT DOUGH IDEAS! Get creative and try making letters, shapes, ornaments, beads, cups, dolls, and so much more with this recipe!! Check out one of my favorite books for eco-friendly craft fun, Green Crafts for Children.

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.”
    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes, Healthy Home

    DIY: Natural Snowy Pine Cones!

    diy pine cones easy natural nontoxic

    A sprinkling of winter magic, anyone?! These fun DIY natural, biodegradable pine cones are the perfect way to add holiday cheer this year! In under 10 minutes, you can create snowy pinecones with just 4 simple ‘ingredients’!



    1. This first step is optional. If you’d like to add a bit of color to your cones simply follow the directions for step 2, but use paint instead of glue. Then, follow step 2 & step 3 to create a snowy effect once the paint has dried. The middle pine cone in my photo is an example of one I painted with a very pale pink.
    2. Coat the outer edges of the pine cones with glue using your sponge or brush. For the look we created, I used a sponge dipped in Mod Podge. Gently brush upward from the bottom of the pine cone. Next, flip the cone right-side up and paint a light coat on the top side of the cone.
    3. Lastly, I created the natural snowy effect with a salty sprinkling! We poured about a cup of salt into a small bowl before we sprinkled the pine cones. You can also gently roll the coated pine cones, but be very gentle when doing so.
    4. Easy, peasy! Now, it’s time to decorate your home for the holidays with your natural, homemade pine cones!!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    Easy Homemade Bath Paint Recipe!

    diy bath paint nontoxic easy

    Unleash your inner artist with this easy-peasy homemade bath paint recipe! Soon, you’ll be on your way to creating a beautiful bathtub masterpiece – and best of all, clean-up will be a breeze (you’re welcome, mamas and dadas)!



    1. In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch, water, and soap together until it dissolves and appears pasty.
    2. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly to ensure a smooth consistency.
    3. Lower the heat and continue to stir until the mixture becomes gel-like.
    4. Scoop mixture into airtight containers. Then, add desired food coloring to each and stir. Baby food jars work great – we used these by OXO. If you’d like to make just 1 paint color, you can add the food coloring directly to the saucepan.

    Store any leftover paint in an airtight container and stir well prior to each use as the paint will separate a bit. Happy Painting!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” Regardless, we only recommend products or services that have extensively researched; and products that we use personally, have used and would use in the future. We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    100 Fun (& Free) Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer

    Are you looking for a dose of inspirational fun this summer? Make the most of the season by cycling these creative activities into your routine!

    1. Plant your own vegetable garden and flowers!
    2. Go on a nature scavenger hunt.
    3. Fill a pool with water balloons or have a water balloon toss competition.
    4. Create a ‘mud kitchen’.
    5. Wash the car.
    6. Create your own ‘Twister’ game using chalk or paint.
    7. Build a garden tee-pee or willow fort.
    8. Camp in the backyard. We love this ‘flame retardant-free’ tent option!
    9. Build a sandcastle (with the best sand toys ever!)
    10. Host a tea party.
    11. Use paint to stamp your family’s hand prints on a canvas board!
    12. Draw with chalk. And write inspirational messages for all to see!
    13. Write your own storybook and create your own illustrations.
    14. Host a campfire & snack on s’mores.
    15. Play with Walking Cups and flip them over for more open-ended uses.
    16. Ride a scooter – my kiddo loves zipping around on this one.
    17. Create a giant sized memory matching game with paper plates.
    18. Decorate your bike & parade down the street.
    19. Bury a time capsule.
    20. Decorate rocks and hide them around your yard.
    21. Fly a kite! This is our favorite brand.
    22. Play mini golf in the yard.
    23. Play croquet.
    24. Complete a puzzle.
    25. Build with magnetic Tegu Blocks.
    26. Make your own fairy garden.
    27. Make a bird feeder. Don’t forget to paint it!
    28. Paddle a canoe or kayak.
    29. Curl up with a new book in your favorite hammock!
    30. Clean out your closets and see what cool things you’ll find!
    31. Try yoga or a DIY fitness class. Take turns being the ‘instructor’.
    32. Play badminton.
    33. Play with bubbles. Best bubbles for only $2 and they’re non-toxic!
    34. Make your own slime.
    35. Picnic at a local park or in your backyard.
    36. Light up the night and go on a flashlight adventure!
    37. Make homemade popsicles. These molds will last a lifetime and are a great non-toxic, eco-friendly version!
    38. Bake homemade cookies (on stainless steel trays, of course!)
    39. Make edible ‘Dirt Pudding’ or simply bake a cake and decorate it!
    40. Go bike riding or rollerblading.
    41. Host a luau! Think: Hawaiian food, dress, and music!
    42. Jump in puddles! We love these boots for rain or snow – they’re ACTUALLY natural rubber unlike many other brands.
    43. Enjoy an at-home spa day! Let your little one do a ‘makeover’ using non-toxic nail polish like this one!
    44. Play in the sprinkler.
    45. Swim in the pool. Add freshly picked flowers for some natural fun.
    46. See how many creative uses you can come up with using open-ended silks.
    47. Create an obstacle course – indoors or out.
    48. Make your own wind chime using items from your home.
    49. Reuse cardboard boxes – create a marble run, fort, or play furniture!
    50. Create homemade musical instruments.
    51. Sing karaoke.
    52. Adopt a pet.
    53. Dye a t-shirt.
    54. Play ‘I-Spy’!
    55. Catch fireflies.
    56. Try a new sport.
    57. Use a water table for sensory fun! Try adding pebbles, sand, dirt, oatmeal, rice, beans, coffee, or pasta!
    58. Paint outside – easy clean-up!
    59. Pick berries at a local orchard or grow your own!
    60. Visit the beach.
    61. Explore a park.
    62. Go on a treasure hunt.
    63. Go horseback riding.
    64. Shop the local Farmer’s Market.
    65. Explore a local forest or pond.
    66. Build a fort.
    67. Visit a zoo.
    68. Gaze at stars!
    69. Go fishing.
    70. Visit a farm.
    71. Volunteer.
    72. Watch a movie outdoors.
    73. Photography Day! Let your kiddo take ‘instant pictures’ of your fun-filled day with this camera. Create a memory box or collage.
    74. Make your own pizza. Yum.
    75. Squeeze your own lemonade and setup a lemonade stand.
    76. Go on a nature walk. Collect the most unique rocks, leaves, and flowers you can find.
    77. See how many creative uses you can find for a jump rope (Example: tent building, pulley, etc.)
    78. Make your own window art.
    79. Create DIY play dough.
    80. Make a DIY swing for the outdoors – customize it to your liking!
    81. Create your own scrapbook.
    82. Create a DIY dream catcher.
    83. Make your own friendship bracelets.
    84. Make a ribbon twirler wand.
    85. Press flowers and create a collage.
    86. Host your own puppet show.
    87. Conduct your own science experiments.
    88. Make your own rock candy.
    89. Create DIY edible finger paint.
    90. Create your own ‘Family Olympics’ Day.
    91. Host a bean bag toss competition.
    92. Make your own paper beads.
    93. Create personalized jewelry using noodles, string, and paint.
    94. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner outside to change up the scenery! Choose a different theme for each meal and dress the part!
    95. Play ‘ghost-in-the-grave-yard’.
    96. Visit your local library.
    97. Freeze toys in a bucket or Legos in ice cube trays.
    98. Host a dance party.
    99. Create a ‘naturescape’ in your backyard!
    100. Use your imagination and get creative!!!!

    Most of all enjoy time with those you love! Happy Summer!

    Looking for outdoor favorites? Check out our favorite non-toxic toys on our Amazon Storefront!

    This post contains some affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    Best DIY Edible Play Dough

    My daughter LOVES playing with play dough so naturally we’ve gone through quite a bit of dough over the last year. While our usual go-to’s are natural, preservative-free Eco-Kids Dough and Green Toys Dough, one afternoon we were feeling “crafty” and decided to make our own! Not only was it super easy and fun, but in a little over 5 minutes later we had soft, flexible play dough!


    • 1 Cup of Flour
    • 1 Cup of Lukewarm Water
    • 1 TBS of Coconut Oil (or Olive Oil will work too)
    • 6 TBS of Salt
    • 2 TSP Cream of Tartar (this makes the dough soft!)
    • Optional: Food Coloring – we used India Tree Natural Vegetable Based Decorating Color (no corn syrup or synthetic dyes and preservative free!)


    Mix all of the ingredients into a pot. On medium heat, stir until a thicker consistency forms – it will basically LOOK like play dough. Place on a glass plate or parchment paper to cool. Then, add food coloring. Enjoy!

    P.S. I used our old Eco-Kids Dough containers for storage (eco-friendly upcycling!), but a re-usable air tight bag or container will work great too!

    Why purchase (or make) alternatives to the well-known “Play-Doh” brand? Isn’t it “non-toxic” as advertised?

    According to the Play-Doh website, the exact ingredients are proprietary (or what is also called, a “trade secret”). They do mention the main ingredients are water, salt, and flour and the compound does contain wheat. A 2004 patent revealed, that Play-Doh also contains a retrogradation inhibitor, mineral oil, a surfactant, preservatives, a hardener, a humectant, fragrance, coloring, a petroleum additive and borax. In my opinion, since we know kids are curious and love to put things in their mouths, these are not exactly “non-toxic” ingredients that I would be OK with my child ingesting. #FoodForThought

    *All organic ingredients were used in this recipe.

    Full Disclosure and Disclaimer here.

  • Babies & Kids, DIY & Recipes

    DIY: IKEA Play Kitchen Hack

    ikea kitchen diy play

    After searching high and low for a “cute, actually non-toxic, less-than-$1000-Play-Kitchen”, I decided to get CrEaTiVe and try my hand at an “IKEA Play Kitchen Hack”.

    After a quick internet search, I realized all of the “hacks” I found used the same materials with toxic chemicals: spray paint, PVC backsplash, foam board, and more spray paint. I wanted something different… something better… so I started to brainstorm cute and creative non-toxic solutions. And here’s what I came up with…



    Paint knobs, handles, and kitchen prior to assembly.
    I was so excited to get started on my project that I had my husband put the whole kitchen together prior to painting, and even though it turned out perfectly, I recommend painting BEFORE you assemble. This will save you time taping.

    Tape & Paint
    After assembly, I used this Painter’s Tape to tape the areas I did not want painted. Then, painted the remaining areas with 2 coats of ECOS Paint in Eggshell. For this project, I did not use a primer and so far, after 2 years of daily play, the kitchen still looks just as good. But, you may want to use a primer just in case!

    Drill Hole & Attach Knobs
    After the paint was dry, I removed the tape and created “knobs for the burner” by drilling four holes, slightly larger than the size of the screw, into the base of the kitchen. By making the holes slightly larger, you are allowing the wooden knobs to turn once they are attached. Then, attach the knobs. Pro-Tip: If you are going to paint the knobs like I did, painting prior to attaching will save you time.

    Attach Handles
    Next, I attached the unfinished beech wood handles, to the microwave and lower cabinets. Smaller screws may be purchased or simply add a couple washers to the back like we did. Another alternative may be these wooden handles, but they do have a finish so you may want to sand it off. Pro Tip: If you want the handles to fit perfectly in the pre-drilled IKEA Kitchen holes, look for handles that have a 5″ Hole-to-Hole Distance.

    Attach “back-splash” and create matching towel!
    I pinned a piece of 12.5″ X 26.5″ 100% cotton fabric to the back of the IKEA kitchen using a regular push-pins. Then, I cut a 20″ X 32″ piece of fabric, folded it in half, and sewed the seams together to form a matching towel! The nice thing about using fabric is there are so many options! Plus, should your little one get bored, you can easily switch them to a new theme or color. Pro-Tip: While you can use other backings, this is the least toxic, I option I found. The problem I had with many of the “super cute” IKEA play kitchen hacks was they often use PVC (vinyl) and other toxic backings that may contain lead, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and who knows what else!

    Insert the stainless steel pan into the “sink” hole! And voilà! There you have your non-toxic IKEA Play Kitchen Hack!

    Now onto the really fun part…
    Must-Have Kitchen Accessories!

    1. Plan Toys Wooden Fruit & Vegetable Cutting Set
      This is my daughter’s favorite. Excellent quality, wooden fruits and veggies are attached with velco and able to be sliced. plays with it everyday! I highly recommend it!
    2. Tender Leaf Ice Cream Cart
      Another favorite that is used daily! Love the magnetic ice-cream and cones.
    3. IKEA Stainless 10-Piece Cookware and Utensil Set
      Kitchen Must-Have for the little chef in your home!
    4. Green Toys Tea Set
      Perfect accessories for this cute, little kitchen.
    5. Green Toys Cupcake Set
      One of the most popular items in our “kitchen”.
    6. Plan Toys Food & Beverage Set
      Adorable set with lids that come off the jam and honey!
    7. Plan Toys Breakfast Menu
      Eggs, bacon, salt and pepper with a “shake”! Love, love, love!
    8. Plan Toys Baking Utensils
      Great for the “kitchen” or play dough fun! P.S. Looking to make your own natural dough at home? Check out my DIY Play Dough post.

    Looking for more imaginative play ideas?
    Shop our Amazon storefront faves!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” We only recommend products or services that we use personally and have extensively researched as we pride ourselves on honesty and integrity to our readers.

    Full Disclaimer and Disclosure here.