My business, TLB Music, is hosting a mini-camp summer series for NYC kids 18 months – 5 years and this patriotic windsock project is one of our campers’ activities of the week!  This craft is perfect for young children and the end result looks great as a decoration for the Fourth of July.  Follow these easy instructions to create your own and scroll to the bottom of this post to see the craft supplies I used!

Student Materials:
blue paper, white paper stars, red and white crepe paper streamer strips, glue stick, string

Teacher Materials: star hole punch, small circle hole punch, scissors

Teacher Prep: cut 8 1/2 x 11 blue paper into 7 x 11 pieces (2 per child)
punch white stars (12 per student)
cut strips of crepe paper streamer into strips  (8 per student, 4 red, 4 white)

*If students are older, they can help with the “teacher prep” section!

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Last weekend, I made this adorable gingerbread house with Ryan, one of my best friends.  We sipped Silk nog and apple cider and decorated for hours.  It was exhausting and messy but so much fun to make!  It was the perfect way to spend a snowy Saturday.  For the house and royal icing, I followed this vegan recipe.

Instead of cutting the house’s pieces out by hand, I used a mold. Here is the mold I used.  It worked really well except that I put way too much dough in the mold. The pieces of the roof came out very thick and felt like a brick!  We were worried the house wouldn’t stand.  So… I’d recommend filling your molds about half way with your gingerbread dough and pushing it down by hand.

In the end, our gingerbread house is standing and holding tons of candy thanks to the super tacky royal icing. Here’s how we constructed the house:

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(click here to enlarge image)

These gift ideas are perfect if you’re looking for a way to give to charity while giving to your loved ones!

1. Superfruit Lip Balm by Peacekeeper Cause-Metics  (view online) “Peacekeeper Cause-Metics is the first cosmetics line to donate all of its after-tax, distributable profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues.”
2.  Youth Hoot Beanie by Krochet Kids Intl.  (view online) “With every product you purchase, you are helping Krochet Kids provide women in Uganda or Peru with fair and consistent income, skills training and mentorship.”
3. Beech Wood Troubadour Headphones by LSTN (view online) “For every pair sold, LSTN helps restore hearing to a person in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.”
4. Species Adoption by World Wildlife Fun (view online) “Your symbolic adoption supports WWF’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats.”  Choose from over 100 species to adopt! For a $50 donation, you’ll receive a plush animal, adoption certificate, photo, and species info card!
5.  Hope Soy Candle by Juara (view online) “10% of proceeds from this candle will be donated to Walubi charity relief organization dedicated to aiding Indonesian disaster relief efforts.”
6. Gold + Silver Dust Set by SAME SKY (view online) “SAME SKY provides jobs globally for women struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. Instead of a handout, we believe in giving a hand-up and the tools to become self-sufficient. Trained as artisans, SAME SKY women earn 15 to 20 times the average wage in Sub Saharan Africa. 100% of net proceeds are reinvested to train and employ more artisans in need.”
7. Navy Navia Throw by JADEtribe (view online) “With every item you purchase, you are helping JADETribe provide financial opportunity for women in Southeast Asia and support the artisitic and cultural tradition of textile weaving.”
8. Just Like You by the Just Like You Foundation (view online) 100% of the profits of this amazing book go to charity. You can choose which charity you would like to donate to at checkout!
9. Charity Pot Hand & Body Lotion by LUSH Cosmetics (view online) “Every penny (yes, every single penny) that you pay for a pot, excluding the tax, goes to fund and support grassroots charities all around the world.”
10. Earthwise Rust Men’s Vegan Classics by TOMS (view online) “With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.”
11. Grey Ikat Women’s Vegan Classics by TOMS (view online)
12. Earthwise Cranberry Bimini Tiny Vegan Classics by TOMS (view online)

This Halloween, make your own bats with your kids! This free, printable template is perfect for practicing fine motor skills while creating adorable decorations for the holiday. Crafty parents: these cute creatures can double as a wine bottle topper.  See pictures below!

What you’ll need:

  • Printer and paper for printing template (click PDF link below)
  • Scissors (tip: cut out pieces for young kids new to scissors)
  • Removable double stick tape or glue stick
  • Fishing line, monofilament line, or string for hanging

Printable Halloween Activity for Kids- Create Your Own Bat PDF

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Today is National Lasagna Day! This is one of my favorite recipes from my Vegan Recipes & Foods Pinterest board. Doesn’t it look delicious?  It is the Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze from Oh She Glows, photographed and reviewed by 86 Lemons.  Basil cashew cheese is one of the best vegan foods I’ve been introduced to in the last couple years!  It is so diverse:  you can spread it on bread and crackers, bake it on pizza, make creamy sauce with it, or cover it with breadcrumbs and pan fry!  Make your own following the recipe above or buy a pre-made version, like the amazing basil cashew spread called Basilcotta from Regal Vegan.

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to begin holiday crafting! To get started on your American flag, simply print out the sheet below. All you need is a red and blue crayon or colored pencil, a stick to create your flagpole, and double-sided tape.

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Tomorrow is the first day of Winter! To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite winter-themed songs for chilly days indoors. Of course, there are many that we couldn’t fit in our top 10. Feel free to add your personal favorites in the comments box below!
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