Tag Archives: Gift

DIY Art Kits

Here is a fun and affordable DIY Art Kit for travel, hiking, art classes, or to use around the house.

We have two birthdays coming up and both birthday kids have requested a set of Thin Stix paints for their birthdays.  We recently reviewed these fun tempera art sticks and the kids had a lot of fun.   Be sure to read about our experience reviewing Thin Stix.

So in addition to adding these to our art supplies at home for art classes and crafts we make, I have also ordered additional sets for both birthday kids.  I ordered the Neon Colors pack for my daughter and the Creative Colors pack for my son.  I am hoping they arrive in time to add into their art kits I made for their birthdays.

These Thin Stix tempera paints are “take anywhere” and “mess free” so they are perfect to take on the go in the car, or to a game, to sit outside and paint a scene from nature, or if they want they can even color in bed.

DIY Art Kits are portable, can be easily carried, and are light weight so the kids, or mom (I want to make a kit for me too) can sit anywhere and have the basic art supplies they need to create something beautiful.

Watch this short video about using Thin Stix tempera paint sticks from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to see why these are such a great addtion to your art kits.

DIY Art Kits:

For these kits, I used a re-purposed container. I saved a see through zippered plastic pouch from a bed sheet set. This container is the perfect holder for their kits, they can see everything in it at a glance, and they will fit nicely in a shoulder bag or backpack.

DIY Art Kits we made include: Thin Stix tempera paints, Mixed Media Sketch Paint Pad, Charcoal Pencils, Graphite Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Ruler, Gel Pens, and a small Watercolor Kit, various Paint Brushes (not pictured) and a sponge.

You can add crayons and oil pastels, a protractor, origami papers, colored tape, glue, various colored tissue papers, and and exacto knife if desired to this kit still and a fold-able easel if desired.

These costs will vary in making these kits.  Two of the kits I made cost about Art Kits $30 +/- and a larger kit I made for my older son that included more Thin Stix colors cost about $40 to include everything.

Some of the individual costs of items to put this together for example included:  Sketch Pad $8, Colored Pencils $8, Thin Stix 6pk of Neon Colors $7 and the other kit included Thin Stix 24pk of Creative Colors.  Some of the other items came from the Dollar Store and the outer case was repurposed for free.

The outer case is a zippered plastic cover that came on a couple of sheet sets we purchased a while back and I saved the covers thinking I might use them some day.  Sure enough, they are great for holding these art supplies.   Some items will cost a little more if you purchase them online from e-bay or a lot more if purchased from an art supply store.  It is up to you what you include, and the ages and needs of your kids, so costs will vary.

The paint brushes for the DIY Art Kit are back-ordered, and I am hopeful they will arrive in time for their birthdays. I wanted to keep these kits mess free and easy to use. Thin Stix are wonderful for keeping them mess free, but sometimes you want to use watercolors too. These brushes will help watercolor paints to be less messy because they hold water in the handle of the paint brush. For the watercolor brushes all you do is squeeze the brush then dab the brush onto the dry watercolor and use it.   Then to clean it just squeeze the brush again so water reaches the brush and wipe off on the sponge before you get your next color.

I think my kids will really enjoy using these homemade portable DIY Art Kits. I am thankful for the opportunity to try out the Thin Stix 6k Classic Colors tempera paints and we are excited to include them in our portable travel kits and our art supplies in our home.Stay tuned for pictures of other projects we make with our Thin Stix! They are a lot of fun, mess free, and so easy to use!

I found a cute method for downsizing all of this into one small bag that is taped (using cute paterned duck tape) to the art pad so you can hold all of this on your lap without loosing anything.  I don’t have my kit finished yet. But check out this video by Coloring Pages Bliss so you can see how to attach your zippered pouch of supplies right to your art pad and an extremely light weight easy access portable art kit.

I made two of these kits for birthdays we are celebrating next month.  I liked them so much that I made one for myself too.  And now the other four kids have requested them too.  So that is a future project.

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Cold Winter and Blankets

It has been a very cold winter here in Indiana so far with several nights of single digit and zero degree temperatures.

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We have had some nights with wind chills as low as  -19 degrees.  That is just too cold!

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I have been usually starting most days with a hot bowl of oatmeal and a mocha (hot drink for me, though the kids still ask for smoothies too, brrrr)  to help us get warmed up in the mornings.  It is really hard for me to drink something cold when I am cold.  So my stove has been working overtime to keep warm beverages and food ready throughout the day!

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A precious lady we met at church a couple of years ago stopped by this winter with some beautiful homemade blankets for our family.  This is one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever shared with our family.  She grew up in a farm house out in the countryside and she remembers how chilly it can get in the winter.

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It must have taken her many long hours of her time to make a special blanket for each child.

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I am so touched by her kindness and generosity to my family.

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She also made one for my husband and I to share.

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All these lovely colors were patiently put together by loving hands and given to us.  We are keeping warm, even in this cold winter, with these beautiful homemade blankets and I am grateful.

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Snake Oil Review

Have you ever watched the old time movies, and someone has come to town and is standing on their wagon and talking to a crowd full of people trying to sell them a bottle of potion that is supposed to cure every single problem they have ever encountered? Well by golly, if you bought his bottle of “Fix what ails ya” potion, then you got yourself a real genuine bottle of Snake Oil!

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We had the privilege to play a hilarious game with the same name called Snake Oil by Out of the Box Publishing Inc.

Snake Oil Game box

Snake Oil

Ages 10 to Adult
3-10 players
5 Minutes to learn
20-30 minutes per game
Suggested Retail $19.99

This game is hilarious as well as educational. It’s educational because it has my kids reading and coming up with funny compound word combinations they can “sell” as a “fix what ails ya” potion to some unsuspecting stranger.

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But the twist is,… they have to come up with a sales pitch for whatever random customer is drawn from the card deck.  The customer could end up being a super hero, one green alien, a bride, a sorority girl, or a nerdy geek, etc.

We played the game with 5 players.  So each round of the game had one customer and four venders.  Each vender was given a hand of seven random snake oil cards.  For the customer’s turn, that person drew a random card from the customer card pile.

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It is up the kids to find a way to sell their Snake Oil product while using the various word cards in their hand. They get to pick two of the word cards out of their handful of seven cards and make a compound word to name their product.  Their product is an imaginary special fix all potion that will solve the customer’s problems.

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After they create the product name, they must come up with a sales pitch.  This is the super duper funny part.  How to make a sales pitch to an off the wall customer with your compound word you created from your random cards.

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The “vender” with the best product name and most convincing sales pitch and wins the approval of the “customer”.  When the customer chooses his or her favorite product the “vender” gets to collect the customer’s name card. The player with the most customer name cards at the end wins the game.

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There are so many random word combinations and then put them in perspective to the potential customer needs, it is absolutely hilarious.  Perhaps a geek needs a beach lamp or muscle gum, or maybe an alien needs pony spit or an energy ball, or maybe the super hero needs  and all you have to do is to convince them they need it and to buy it from you.

Youtube Video about How to play Snake Oil

My kids really enjoyed playing this game. This would make a great holiday or birthday gift and to use for family game nights. It would also be a lot of fun to use during a youth group, club meeting, or homeschool coop get together. I can guarantee you it will bring a whole lot of laughs and you just might feel better and perhaps have less ailments after playing, ha ha!!

Social Media Follow
FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/OutoftheBoxGames
TWITTER https://twitter.com/OTBgames
YOUTUBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYAQiV5S9ZQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUTEAg1uDVwq0LNxFAwM7N5Q

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Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about using this game with their families.

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If He Had Not Come Review

If you are looking for Christmas stories to read with your children or grandchildren, If He Had Not Come by David Nicholson is one you will want to add to your book list.

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If He Had Not Come

Hard back book.
40 pages
Retails $18.95

This book is beautifully written and brightly illustrated.  It is written for kids ages 6 and older but it is very relatable for both kids and adults of ages.

David Nicholson has re-written a classic story for his children and grandchildren, and for children everywhere to contemplate the Christian message of Christ’s birth.   David is an author, teacher, and missionary from St. Paul Minnesota.   Many years ago, he heard the story written by author  Jan Week’s during a class at church, and began telling it too his children.  One day he decided to re-write the story with full illustrations to retell it to his grandchildren and future generations of children, and decided to write this wonderful book.

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This book is about a young boy named Bobby and his journey to understand the impact Christ’s birth has in his life.  The journey to discover this truth begins when Bobby lays in bed one night and wonders what life would be like if Jesus had not come to the earth.  He had read John 15:22 with his family and the words Jesus had spoken to his friends in that passage would not leave his mind.  “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have no excuse for their sin.” John 15:22

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He falls asleep and dreams about his life in a parallel universe absent of Jesus.  People are mean to each other, and life is dark without light, and there is no joy. Everything he knew before had changed, people, places, and there was no charity in people any more and no hope.  Even his church and the charity organizations like the homeless shelter and the local orphanage was gone.  In his dream he went home and picked up his bible, but it was blank and only read “if he had not come”.  When he wakes from his dream, he understands the impact Jesus has had in the earth and in his own life.  He prays to God for forgiveness and asks Jesus into his heart and dedicates his life to God.

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We had a great time reading this book.  There are discussion questions and a bible study in the back of the book that is helpful for Sunday School classes as well as for the home setting.   The book also lists the steps to salvation through Jesus.  The message of our life with Christ and what it would be like without him is one everyone needs to hear.   Reading this book aloud at Christmas will be a new holiday tradition for us as we prepare to enjoy and understand the reason we celebrate Christmas.

We give gifts to one another because we love each other.  But God loved us first.  God gave us Jesus.  Jesus is the best gift of all in this life.  He can live in your heart if you will believe he is the son of God sent into this world by God to redeem you from sin and eternal separation from God, to a right relationship with God both in this life, and in eternity.

Be sure to follow David Nicholson’s social media links for If He Had Not Come for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/If-He-Had-Not-Come/1543755249189773?ref=tn_tnmn

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Check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using this book in their home with their family.

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Fall Tile Art At Homeschool Coop

Creating personalized seasonal art is a great activity to do as a homeschool project. We participated in this project for homeschool coop. My kids had a blast learning how to make Fall Tile Art and will treasure these creations for many years to come.

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To make the Fall Tile Art project, you will need to cut out pictures with a fall theme. This is fun for kids to do and gives the project a personal touch because they chose their own special pictures. We cut out our pictures from fall themed paper bags, but you could also use magazines, wrapping paper, or print them off the internet, etc. You will also need ceramic tiles, modpoge, small felt cushions that stick on one side and are soft on the other, and a sealant.

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Next have the kids place a rough draft of their pictures on their tile so they can see where they want to place them or if they want to change the arrangement. Once it is stuck in place, they won’t be able to change their mind, so now is the time to decide where they want to place their pictures.

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Next have the kids remove the pictures from the tile and place them in the same arrangement on the table. Then have the kids brush modpodge all over the tile. Next place the pictures back in place. Then they need to brush the tiles again a second time, with modpodge and gently brush over the top of the pictures. Set the tiles somewhere to dry. It took our tiles about an hour for the modpodge to dry. We let the kids play games in the gym and exercise while the tiles dried.

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When the tiles were dry, we added small cushions to the four corners of the back side. The cushions are made of felt and are very soft.  If you don’t have cushions, you could glue or stick on a piece of felt too.  Finally we applied a clear spray sealant over the tile. For safety (breathing, etc), the sealant was sprayed onto the tiles by an adult outside in an open area. The sealant will help these masterpieces resist moisture and last a long time.

The tiles are lovely to display, and could be given away as wonderful homemade gifts too.   They can be used to decorate your home for whatever season you chose as your theme.  You can display them flat, or hung up.  The cushions on the bottom should help protect your furniture from scratches, or you could display these in a picture easle, plate display holder, or hang them on the wall.  To hang them on the wall you will need to ad a picture mount of some kind.  If you wanted to keep your expenses down, you could hotglue on a soda can tab as a picture mount and it wouldn’t cost but a few pennies for the hot glue you use.

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