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Mini Bow and Arrow Craft…….Craft Sticks, Floss, and Q-tips




Any form of weaponry is a huge hit in my household.  Don’t judge.  I gave up that fight around the age of 18 months. 

When I saw mini bows and arrows on pinterest, I knew that my boys would love it.   

The appeal?  It satisfies their deep desire to shoot one another (and the dog) without maiming or massacre.   Everyone is happy. 


You will need:

-craft sticks (I used jumbo, but the regular ones work, also.) 

-dental floss

-a pocket knife




The original author, Brooding Hen, has a great photo tutorial on making mini bow and arrows.  Check out her easy-to-follow instructions!   



Our Bow and Arrows






Note to boy:  These will shoot further than you think!  Please warn your mother to cover her coffee cup before firing.  Thank you. 

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How to Make Origami Christmas Stockings….in Five Minutes!


Every year I have grand plans to create all kinds of amazing Christmas crafts with my children. Generally, I get derailed by all of the fancy supplies needed to complete the projects!  Usually, everything is too expensive or the craft is too time-intensive.  So, when my son picked out the book, Making Origami Christmas Decorations Step by Step, I jumped on board!  You see, before I started homeschooling, I was an avid scrapbooker.  I have a huge variety of scrapbooking tools, paper packs, stickers, and embellishments.  Then came homeschooling.  Well….let’s just say…..according to “scrapbooking years”….my five-year-old hasn’t even left the hospital from his delivery!  My scrapbooking gear waits for me….ever so patiently….to find a morsel of time.  So…origami?  Yes!  I have so much paper!!  (At least someone can use it!) 

So, would you like to know how to make a Christmas stocking?  My boys and I are making one stocking for each person that will be attending our Christmas get-together…..about twenty-five in all.  Since each stocking only takes about 5 minutes to make, (less once you get the hang of it), this was a reasonable craft to mass produce.  We are using stickers to put our guests’ names on each stocking.  We will fill the stocking with a candy cane and chocolate.  The stocking will be used as name cards at the tables.  Our guests will find their names and have a seat….and sample Hershey’s Kisses while they visit.

Here we go……

You will need 12×12 paper, tape, and scissors (or a paper cutter if you are a former scrap-a-holic.) You need one piece of paper for each stocking.  Optional: letter stickers for the names, a hole punch and ribbon to make it into an ornament, and candy or trinkets to place inside the stocking).   Choose paper that is lightweight (not cardstock). Also, choose paper that is white on one side and colored on the other side. 

Optional: Cut off two inches on each side. The book says that you should start with a 10×10 square, but we have kept it 12×12 as well. It still works fine, but the stocking will be a little bigger.

Place your paper on the table, white side down and colored side up. Fold up the bottom edge (about 2 inches.)

Flip your paper over so that the white side is up.

Rotate your paper so that the folded edge is now on the top, but still underneath.

Fold it in half.


Fold in the two bottom corners to make a point.

From the left side, fold the paper into the middle crease.   (You will be folding the paper over three times.  This is the first fold.)

Fold it again. (the middle edge to the the middle of the right side.  This is the second fold.)

Fold it a third time. Are you starting to see the stocking?

Fold up the bottom point so it touches the white paper. Crease it at the bottom.

Fold down the top half of the point to make the foot.

You are done! But, we like to tape down all of the folds to make it sleek.

Our finished product!

We filled our stockings with treats for our guests.

We used letter stickers to put names on each stocking.

While our stocking will be placed on our tables as name cards, I wanted everyone to have the option to hang them on the tree when they get home. So, we punched holes in the top and strung ribbon through the top.

When our guests leave, they can place it on their tree at home!


Our Other Origami Creations

The book had lots of ideas for various Christmas decorations.  Here are some of our other projects:   

We made a Christmas star. It is about 1/4 the size of my Christmas tree…..gone are the days of a well-manicured Christmas tree!

We made origami Christmas trees. We are going to line the backdrop of the food table with a row of these Christmas trees.

My son made an origami candle flame. He was afraid people wouldn’t know what it was, so he labeled it! :)

And….an origami wreath for my front door…..they took down my beautiful berry wreath and replaced it with this lovely creation. I had two inner voices screaming at me. One pleaded, “Really! Please give me my berry wreath back!” The other voice assured me, “Martha Stewart isn’t going to be here! It’s fine! Don’t wreck their self-esteem because of your people-pleasing nature!” The reasonable me won…this is my front door. :)

Are you creating with your kids? Please share your craft and recipe ideas in the comments!


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How to Build a Catapult Out of Popsicle Sticks



When I looked over our Classical Conversations presentation schedule, I noticed that next week’s presentation is “How to Make/Do Something.” This was our favorite one last year! My boys love to build and create….and show their projects to others! At first, I was tempted to keep it simple… how to make a pbj sandwich or how to clean a toilet. (They could use a refresher course on that! …….hmmmm….Maybe their presentation could be on how to aim and hit the toilet……..probably not on the “CC-approved” list…. :) ) But, since I am terrible about doing crafty type things with my kids, I decided to put a little more effort into this presentation.

So….I went to my pinterest boards looking for ideas that related to our study of Rome. I came across an idea that I had pinned about how to build a catapult from Creekside Learning. As soon as I mentioned the idea of flinging objects across the house, my boys began grunting and hollering in a caveman-like manner. I guess that is a yes?

So….here it is… to build a catapult…….

The Supplies: popsicle sticks, rubber bands, a command adhesive tab, and a water bottle lid


Step 1


Step 2


Step 3


Step 4 (Be careful with this step. If you secure the rubber band too tight, then it won’t shoot very far. If you secure the rubber band too loose, then the catapult will fall apart. My older boys used ribbon on this step, instead of a rubber band. They thought it shot better with tied ribbon. I think that the rubber band was easier! You decide!


Step 5 (Make sure the tab hangs off the end of the popsicle stick. You will pull on this to fire the catapult.)

Step 6

Step 7…..Load and FIRE!

During our study of Ancient Rome, we learned that the Romans would travel the countryside looking for villages to conquer. They would build catapults and shoot rocks or flaming rags into the city walls. So, we decided to build a village to conquer….Roman Style! Their catapults are ready….

Can you see the fiery rag (AKA…lego) shooting towards the town? Watch out, villagers! Incoming flames! Make it easy and surrender your land to the Roman army….

After awhile we began to get creative with our projectile objects…….my oldest decided to test out a feather on his lego.

I decided that flying chocolate might help me cope with all of the mess that they created…..


See why I needed chocolate?


I might need some coffee, also……


If you want to read more about Ancient Rome, check out the See Inside Ancient Rome book published by Usborne. Because we loved the See Inside Ancient Egypt book during our Egypt unit, I knew that we needed to check out the one on Rome!

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