Having two boys with nearly five years between them makes it tricky to find activities to keep them busy during the summer months. There are only a handful of possibilities that will entertain them both, but crafts are at the top of their list… and naturally, getting them out of the house is at the top of mine. I’m pretty excited to tell you that Michaels is offering a kids’ summer crafting program, Passport to Imagination, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am – noon from June 14-July 31 at every Michaels location across the U.S.
Maybe this little mama can get some peaceful and uninterrupted craft supply shopping done, while they are entertained with something that I know they will love. Though I’m fairly certain this little face has trouble written all over it, so of course it’s questionable…
We spent a virtual day at the fair and crafted the most adorable race cars and go karts from Perler beads. Now these aren’t really meant for your little ones under the age of 6, since they are the perfect size to stick in little ears and noses… if you get my drift. I’m happy to report that no children were harmed during this process and Penn was under constant supervision during our imaginary expedition to the fairgrounds. His job was mainly to play with the finished product and make a mess with the beads while Blake got to play the role of actually making the creations. Though there is nothing like a mess making adventure to keep an almost three year old happy, am I right? Penn can play that game for hours… or at least a good 7 minutes. Blake on the other hand, was basically on Cloud 9 once he realized these beads were a way for his ideas to become real objects. He made 37 things in a matter of 37 minutes and couldn’t wait to make more!
It was pretty special to see the wheels turning in his creative mind. Maybe he will take after me, who knows… The only thing that is certain on that front is that Passport to Imagination takes kids on an imaginary seven-week summer road trip from the beach to the country fair and more! The Michaels classroom will teach different crafts each session and next week your kiddos will be heading to the fairgrounds too, so get your engines ready racers and put this on your calendar! The crafts are adorable so if you need something fun to keep your kiddos busy, this is perfect!
My boys have a need for speed, so they wanted to create race cars and go karts, but I couldn’t help myself from trying to tempt them with sweet treats and candy… you know, of the pretend kind. When I think of the fair, my mind takes me there, but for them it’s all about the rides and the car rides are their faves.
To make this craft all you really need are a supply of Perler beads, a pegboard to create your designs on, some ironing papers and a household iron. They sell some adorable pattern books to help guide you or give you design ideas and several specialty packages and themed activity kits. We did indeed make it home with a few different options to work with, but aside from our basic supplies the one they actually used for this project was a package that happened to have a couple of car shaped trays. Naturally when I say that we used the car trays, I mainly mean that Penn played with the car trays as if they were literal toy cars, while Blake made a few of the race cars on square trays. It goes to show that you can create your own race cars or go carts by using basic supplies and the ready made package isn’t necessary. He did find it helpful when he made his first race car, since it gave him an example to look at and a shape to work from. They nearly an entire aisle just for these crafts and we went more than a little crazy on the supply side, but I knew this would be a huge hit in my house!
Making the designs is relatively simple and there are dozens of patterns to give you inspiration. If you are attempting to recreate a specific design with specific colors (like ours), I recommend counting the beads, it makes the job so much easier! Blake placed the beads in a variety of shapes, with different colors and even added little men inside the cars. Once you have a design you like, it's time for the kiddos to let an adult take over and put that iron to good use. My iron got more of a workout with this craft project than it has ever seen… ever.
While your kiddos are trying to do circus tricks on their scooters, you are going to cover their designs with the special ironing papers and with your iron on a medium setting, carefully solidify the designs by running your iron in a circular motion for about 20 seconds. You can generally tell when you are done if you can see each bead touching the ironing sheet. This sounds funny, but when you are making your go karts or ice cream cone designs, you will see what I mean as you heat them up.
Once you iron on one side, let it cool, then flip that baby over and iron in just the same way on the other side. Once it has cooled, it is ready for fun! My boys particularly enjoyed pretending theirs were bumper cars – because they are boys and apparently that is how they roll!
Wondering why my boys look so cute? it’s because I bribed them with cool clothes. It is the strangest thing to me since they are young boys, but both care about what they wear so very much. As it turns out, Penn, the littlest of my two prefers his woven shirts buttoned to the top, thank you very much… Their outfits are from Gymboree and I love offer cute, coordinated looks that help your little ones enjoy the little and big moments this summer—from craft time to fair time – no amount of buttons or lack thereof will get in the way of their happiness or fun!
Since 1976, Gymboree has proudly watched kids learn and grow through the power of play and seen firsthand the desire from Mom for cute, comfortable, coordinated style at an everyday great price.
If you want to get in on the action too, join me over on Instagram…
#CraftInStyle Instagram Weekly Sweepstakes
Michaels and Gymboree have teamed up for a 7-week, weekly Instagram sweepstakes, encouraging Moms to share a photo of her family getting crafty and inspired by each week’s summer destination. The weekly winner will receive a $100 Gymboree gift card, a $100 Michaels gift card and craft supplies!
All you have to do is:
· Post a picture of how your family crafts in style
· Tag your photo with #CraftInStyleSweeps
This project was created in partnership with Gymboree and Michaels! Thank you for supporting the awesome folks who help me spend time with my kiddos. Having a crafty day with them at our virtual county fair was fabulous and worth every moment of crazy for this proof of their youth and some creative fun for them this summer. Join in at your nearest Michaels store and have some crafty fun too!