Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Easy Father's Day Craft for Toddlers and Young Kids

Last year I had Lucas make a cute craft for Dan for Father's Day. (I'm going to assume that you all know that "had Lucas make a craft" actually translates to "I mostly made the craft with Lucas doing a few elements of it with lots of help because, come on people, he was two years old last year. I mean, he's smart, but he doesn't know how to do woodworking yet or anything. Though, to be fair, I don't know how to do woodworking either. And I'm 32.")

Moving on... I was going to post this craft last year, but I wanted to wait until I (I mean Lucas) had actually given it to Dan first, which wasn't until Father's Day evening. And then I kind of forgot to post it. Then I remembered to post it this year because my phone started blowing up with Pinterest notifications that people were pinning this Father's Day craft from two years ago, and I was like, "Oh, shoot! Is it that time already??" (What are the chances that I could just repeat one of the two crafts that Lucas already did and Dan wouldn't notice??)

Anyway, here it is:

Ta DA!! Like that clever "hands down" phrase with the hands actually pointing down?? Well, I did not even think of that at all. I told my friend Courtney what Lucas was making Dan for Father's Day, and I was like, "It will say 'Best Daddy Ever, Hands Down' and it will have his hand prints on it! Cute, right?" And she was like, "So cute! And the hand prints will be pointing down?" And I was like, "....huh. That kind of makes more sense than the way I was going to do it." (Also, this is why you cannot feel intimidated by projects that you see on Pinterest where they look all amazing and you think, "These people are more creative than I could ever be in my entire life." Because it's entirely possible that originally they were going to accompany the phrase "hands down" with a picture of hands facing up before someone else pointed out that it didn't make any sense that way.)

I had Lucas paint several pages (I like using Crayola Color Wonder paper* and paints* because they don't change colors until the paint is on the special paper. Which majorly cuts down on mess. That's what I used here.) Then we picked the best one, and used it as a background. For the hand prints, we used a washable ink pad and some card stock, and Lucas made about 50 prints (it's a pretty good time-waster.)

Then I cut two out, glued them on the paper, mounted the whole thing on a larger piece of card stock with some decorative tape, and added letter stickers. I was going to frame it, but I realized that if I have both kids make wall art for Dan every year for Father's Day, we will very rapidly run out of wall space. So we gave it to him as a card, and then put it in a book I made to store Lucas's art.

The beauty of this craft is that you can even do it with a baby, assuming you can get a fairly recognizable hand print from them. (Good luck. It's hard. But possible.)

So there you have it, an easy Father's Day craft your kids can do by themselves (maybe)! Hopefully I'll think of another cute one for this year. If I do, I'll be sure to share it with you all... a year from now. I'm sure you'll all be on the edge of your seats until then.

*Affiliate links - If you buy these after clicking the link, I'll get something awesome like 4% of the $6 you spend. I'll try not to spend my 24 cents all in one place. For more info on affiliate links, click here

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

The one in which I GOT PUBLISHED ON THE HUFFINGTON POST!!!!!! (Part 2)

If you haven't yet read part 1, you should read it here.

As I was waiting to see if my post was actually going to be published on HuffPost, (and by "waiting," I obviously mean "alternating between staring obsessively at my phone and staring obsessively at my laptop to see if I'd gotten an email saying that it had been posted") I happened to notice an article from a local news station about a pregnant meteorologist who had been getting nasty comments and letters about her appearance from viewers. And I thought, "well that's just mean! Why do people feel like it's... AUGH! A NEW EMAIL!! MY POST MUST BE UP!! Oh, shoot, nevermind... appropriate to make rude comments about pregnant women's bodies??"

When I got my HuffPost Blogger log in information, the guidelines said "Post if and when you want; you are the boss," so I wrote a post about how it would be nice if people would maybe stop criticizing the bodies of pregnant women who they don't even know, and I uploaded that one to HuffPost, too. (Which meant that then I was freaking out about whether two posts would be published, instead of just one. So that was maybe not so bright.)

Then finally, I got the email. My first post was live!! (You can read it here. It's pretty much identical to how I submitted it to them, except for that they edited out the phrase "bodily fluids." Which was probably a smart move, but which also cracked me up for some reason.) I literally jumped up and down screaming in my kitchen, which my three-year-old thought was awesome, so he kept asking me to do it again. (He and I spent a good fifteen minutes jumping up and down and screaming; me because I was excited to be on HuffPost, him because he likes screaming.) And then I posted it on Facebook, and screamed some more. It got 18 comments (17 of which were from people I knew) and was visible towards the bottom of the main HuffPost Parents page, so I was pretty pleased.

Then two days later, they published the piece I wrote about critiquing pregnant women's bodies. And started promoting it at the bottom of their other pieces. And it got 30-something comments in like 30 minutes. And I FREAKED OUT. Then they posted it on the HuffPost Parents Facebook page. (It ultimately got over 4,500 likes.) And I freaked out some more! (Although, side note, I meant for that picture to be a stock photo of a pregnant woman's belly, not my face. But technology is hard.)

Then half an hour after they posted my post on their Facebook page, they posted a piece by Nigel Barker.

Source: HuffPost Parents Facebook Page

And I was like, OH MY GOSH, NIGEL BARKER AND I WRITE FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST TOGETHER!! (Except, disclaimer, Nigel Barker has no idea who I am. But Nigel, if you're reading this, and you want to collaborate on a piece on, say, the art of the diaper change, give me a call. Loved you on America's Next Top Model. I used to watch it while eating cheese dip from Sam's Club, so as you can see, our lives are equally glamorous.)

I've published three posts on HuffPost, and the excitement still hasn't gone away. Some of you have asked how much new traffic I've gotten for my blog: so far, I've gotten 45 new likes for my blog's page and a spike in traffic each time I post (the biggest spike came after my pregnancy post.) I've also gotten one whole mean Tweet! The guy told me I should've "learned to use logic and reasoning before becoming a writer," which really made no sense in context of any of my posts, but I was like, "Sweet! Some guy called me a writer!!" Plus now when people ask me my hobbies, I can be like, "Oh, you know, I write for The Huffington Post. No big deal." Then they'll be like "Oh, cool! How much do they pay you?" And I'll be like, "Um, nothing." And then they'll be like "Can I have some of your cheese dip?" And that's when I'll know I've arrived.

If you want to follow me on HuffPost to be notified any time I post something new there, go here. And if you're not already following me on Facebook, you should do it here. Sometimes I say funny things.

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