Author: Annika Harper

Educational Games in the Classroom – Pixy Cubes

Educational Games in the Classroom – Pixy Cubes

When using educational games as learning tools in and out of the classroom, we encourage teachers and parents to break the rules! With a little creativity, you can turn existing games into a classroom or homework activity that targets the lesson at hand.

Last year, we were fortunate to have  a teacher in Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in elementary school education design lesson plans using our educational games. As a part of an ongoing series of posts, today we will be covering our creative storytelling game Tell Tale.

See previous post on Tell Tale

Pattern Building with Pixy Cubes

About the game:
Pixy Cubes is a versatile game that involves memory, speed and creativity, depending on how you play. The game contains 16 cubes with green, red, yellow, and blue sides—either as solids, half and half, or crescent shapes. Players use the cubes to complete patterns on the challenge and design cards, either in a race or by memory. It’s similar to Tangrams, but in 3D!


Pixy Cubes Educational pattern game

Grade Level Application:  Kindergarten

Skills: Math concepts, such as patterning, and attention to detail

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterns
Divide up the cubes so all players receive one of each cube pictured below. On a worksheet, there are 4 lines of patterns each with an outline of the next cube. They have to rotate their cubes to find which one fits the pattern and place it on the outline.

Practice Cooperative Play
Divide up the cubes so all players receive one of each cube (see picture above). Then have the students decide on a 16 cube Design Card to recreate the pattern of. Together they have to recreate the pattern using their cubes.

Grade Level Application:  4th

Skills:  Math concepts, such as repeated patterns

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 2 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterning With Mirror Images
Another activity for one student similar to Design Games is to use mirror images to extend the pattern. This pattern is two cubes high and eight cubes long. Students could use four Pixy Cubes to create one of the challenge card patterns. Then they are to extend the pattern with the second set of four cubes being a mirror image of the first four cubes.  The third set of four cubes will be a mirror image of the second set.  The fourth set will be a mirror image of the third set.

(Sets one and three are the same, and sets two and four are the same.)

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 4 children
# Of Games Required: 4 per group
Noise level: Low

Practice Patterning Using Tessellations
Another activity for one student similar to Design Games is to use mirror images to create a tessellation that is a 4×4 square using all 16 cubes.  Students could use four Pixy Cubes to create one of the challenge card patterns. Then they are to extend the pattern with the second set of four cubes being a mirror image of the first four cubes either to the left or the right. Then they are to place the remaining eight cubes below in a mirror image of the first eight cubes.  This will make a 4×4 cube square.


Grade Level Application:  3rd


Skills:  Math concepts, such as repeated patterns

Lesson Plan Suggestions:
Small Group: 6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Attention To Detail
Speed Game with 6 players: Divide students into two groups of three students in each so there will be two games being played at the same time.  Each group gets six of the Challenge Cards and two sets of cubes as explained in the Speed Game.  Play begins in each group with two players and one observer who will rotate into the game in each of the rounds of play.  As soon as one of the players completes the pattern, the observer checks to see that it is correct.  If correct, the observer trades places with the first winner, scrambles the four cubes, and tries to beat the other player for second place.

  • 1st winner gets 3 points
  • 2nd winner gets 2 points
  • 3rd (last one to finish) gets 1 point

Play continues with the winner of the first round being the new observer, who will reenter the game when the second round has a winner. Players keep track of points. Play continues with winner of each round being the observer and re-entering the game as new winners happen. At the end of six rounds the one with the most points is the winner.

Get a sneak peak at our 2014 NEW games!

Get a sneak peak at our 2014 NEW games!

We cannot contain our excitement anymore and are ready to officially announce our new product lineup premiering at The American International Toy Fair on February 16-19, 2014. Joining our collection of over 40 products are eight new games that showcase what Blue Orange is all about: easy to learn, fast playing games that are irresistibly fun for kids and adults alike. This year we explored different game formats, new components, and unexpected merchandise designs, while diversifying our collection and winning over new audiences.

The 2014 new games are due to hit stores in late Spring, and we have even more surprises in store for later in the year. It’s going to be a good one!


2014 New Games from Blue Orange Games

Kids’ Favorites

DoodleQuest_pack_thumbnailDoodle Quest

Ages 6 & Up / 1 to 4 Players

This unique drawing game takes kids on a deep sea adventure to fulfill underwater quests with the power of their pens. Each quest card has a detailed illustration and drawing instructions. On their separate transparent sheets, players complete the drawing and must trust their eyes in order to meet targets and avoid obstacles. The sheets are then placed over the card to score their sketches’ success. With 36 quests and two levels, the bait of the challenge hooks kids for hours of fun!



Ages 6 & Up / 2 to 4 Players

Enter the wacky world of WuzzIts and watch to see what monster they will morph into next! Clever choices and matching skills are rewarded in this charismatic card game. The WuzzIt population is divided in five families, but the mischievous WuzzIts like to combine with each other to create a confusing cast of characters. To unscramble them, players strategically exchange bottom cards and top cards to match up a monster and earn points. Playing is easy, but victory is tricky. Round up the most WuzzIts to win!


Family Fun


Ages 7 to Adult / 2 to 4 Players

Aztack dares players to stack up to the great Aztecs and build a temple following divine laws. The high quality playing pieces or “stones” are inscribed with two colored Aztec glyphs. Every added stone must bridge two underneath and match them by color or glyph.  Strategic moves like blocking your opponents’ next move will help a player stack the most stones to win!





Battle Sheep

Ages 7 to Adult / 2 to 4 Players

Rivaling sheep herds go to head to fluffy head in this quick moving strategy game. The goal is to have your sheep occupy the most pastures. On each turn, players split their stack of sheep and move a portion as far is it can go in a straight line to a new pasture. The winner will be watchful of sneaky sheep and successful at fencing out the foe. A different playing board is assembled before every game, so Battle Sheep is full of new challenges every time you play!


spotit_freeze_thumbnailSpot it! Freeze

Ages 8 to Adult / 2 to 8 Players

Everyone’s favorite card game has gone sub-zero! Spot it! Freeze pits players against an electric timer and heats up the match fueled frenzy with three new games. Players race against the clock as they search for matches between temperature-charged symbols, all while looking for their chance to freeze their opponents. Depending on the game, the clock can grant an advantage or cause a hair-pulling drawback. Beat the freeze to win! The handy timer opens up to store the playing cards.


SpotItSplash_Packaging_thumbnailSpot it! Splash

Ages 7 to Adult / 2 to 8 Players

The new waterproof version of the family favorite makes a splash wherever your adventures take you! Surf and sand are no match for these plastic cards, so you can play all five game variations any time, any place. Spot the single match between the most card combinations to win. Rain or shine, the summery symbols will put everyone in the mood for fun in the sun. Stash the cards in the waterproof travel bag and soak up the excitement on the go!


Simply Strategy


Ages 8 to Adult / 2 Players

Set in the Imperial Garden of Classical Japan, Niya centers on a dark political conspiracy among two influential clans. On every turn, players replace a garden tile with one of their clan tokens. The next player can only exchange a token for a garden tile that has an element in common with the previously chosen tile. The first to position their clan in a row, square, or blockade will win control of the garden…and power at court! A simple yet sophisticated strategy game, Niya captivates players young and old.





Ages 8 to Adult / 2 Players

In the Highlands of Medieval Scotland, an epic battle is taking place underfoot! Rivaling rat clans clash in a bid for the throne in this two player strategy game. Both players have a hand of eight cards, numbered 0 to 7, with each character on the card possessing a special power. Cards are revealed in a calculated duel with the victory going to the higher number, unless the special power overrules. The first player to win four rounds claims the kingdom for their clan. This minimalist wonder plays in just minutes but packs rich game play and plenty of suspense.



Educational Games in the Classroom – Tell Tale

Educational Games in the Classroom – Tell Tale

When using games as learning tools, we encourage teachers and parents to break the rules! With a little creativity, you can turn existing games into a classroom or homework activity that targets the lesson at hand.

Last year, we were fortunate to have  a teacher in Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in elementary school education design lesson plans using our educational games. As a part of an ongoing series of posts, today we will be covering our creative storytelling game Tell Tale.

See the previous post in the series on Sumoku


Practicing Language Arts with Tell Tale

About the game:
Tell Tale is a storytelling tool consisting of 60 double-sided illustrated cards. Illustrations include characters, settings, objects and emotions. Players use the cards as prompts to build stories, either individually or collectively. Players may improvise and let chance lead their story, or plan it out.

 Educational Games Tell Tale

Grade Level Application:  Kindergarten

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by thinking in sentences and using a variety of descriptive words, observing details especially facial expressions of emotions in people pictures.

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Language and Vocabulary development
Everyone is dealt 4 cards then after looking them over picks 2 to use. Using a story paper worksheet, draw a picture using those 2 images and then write or tell a sentence about what’s happening.

Practice Observing Details
Place 4 cards with facial expressions face-up in the center of the group. Have the students draw a picture with someone making one of those faces then write or tell a sentence about how that person feels and why.

Grade Level Application:  1st

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by writing descriptive paragraphs

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Writing Descriptive Paragraphs
Each student takes a card and then chooses one side to write about. Using three or more sentences, they should describe what they see. Encourage them to be creative with this, i.e. “Who or what is in the picture?” “Where is this person/object?” “What is happening?”


Grade Level Application:  3rd

Skills:  Language and vocabulary development by creating stories (with a beginning, middle, and end) and using a variety of descriptive words, writing skills such as handwriting and using sequenced events in stories

Lesson Plan Suggestions
Classroom activity or Small Group: 4-6 children
# Of Games Required: 1 per group
Noise level: Moderate to low

Practice Writing Stories With Beginning, Middle, and End
Write a story.  Write a story by taking the top six cards from the stack.  Using either side of the cards, line them up in the order you want to use them in your story.  Write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

Practice Writing a Cooperative Story
Continue a story.  Each child draws one card and uses it to begin a story.   As each child completes writing about the first card they place the story on top of a stack of stories to be continued.  They take the bottom story from the stack, get a new picture card, read what has been written, and continue the story by using ideas from their new picture card.  Several stories could be in progress at the same time.   A child may draw the same story at a later time.  This is alright as long as someone else has written on it since their earlier writing.


Adventure Toys – January Store of the Month!

Adventure Toys – January Store of the Month!

Blue Orange Games is lucky to partner with a fantastic bunch of retailers who are passionate about their businesses and supportive of our games. We want to do more to recognize the stores and individuals that make our mission possible. That’s how our new monthly spotlight on an outstanding Blue Orange Games retailer came about!

Adventure Toys in beautiful Los Altos is one of the stand out stores that make up our supportive network of local Bay Area toy stores. Charmingly Situated on tree lined Main Street next to a mix of other small business, Adventure Toys has been providing personalized customer service and a unique selection of playthings since 1986.

Our regional sales manager, Xavier nominated Adventure Toys for our first Store of the Month of 2014 for their strong community values and commitment to promoting our games. The store owner, Leslie always calls us when she organizes an event, and since it’s just a hop, skip and a jump down the freeway, we always are happy to join!

I had a great conversation with Leslie, who gave me some interesting insight on what it takes to run a toy store, gender issues in toys, and the importance of knowing your customers and market.

adventure toys store frontLeslie’s coming to own a Toy Store doesn’t seem unusual, taking into consideration her professional background. She had worked in retail since her college days (when she also studied retail business), completing a manager’s training course at Macy’s corporate and then going on to work for Niemen Marcus in women’s ready to wear. She was with American Express when her son was born, but decided to leave the corporate world to spend more time with her baby. When he was entering 1st grade, Leslie’s mother found a listing for a toy store business coincidentally being sold by a mother and daughter team. Leslie and her mom took over the store in 1999, and it has been going strong ever since, although her mom isn’t involved any more. It’s easy to see how the store has prospered, as Leslie’s motivated personality and business savvy was very apparent in our conversation. She works well over the standard 40 hours a week, and chooses to personally handle all aspects of her business from payroll, to marketing and buying. She told me that she enjoys having more control and could never go back to working in the corporate environment. I asked her what advice she would give to someone who wanted to open a toy store and she replied cautiously that it would depend on the person’s background and business knowledge. It’s not all fun and games, owning a toy store. Leslie is well acquainted with the complexities of owning a small business, especially retail, in which margins are low and staff turnover can be high. That’s her biggest challenge, she told me, maintaining high quality store associates. She has found success employing bubbly and competent high school and college students, as well as local moms who want to work part time.

But it’s clear that Leslie is passionate about her chosen path and her community. She is very involved in the Los Altos merchants’ organization, and has even served on the board. The group is always organizing events for the community that help local merchants boost their business, such as Halloween trick or treating, Easter egg hunts, and holiday strolls. Every year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the organization puts on a Festival of Lights inspired by the Disney Land spectacle to entertain local families and of course, Adventure Toys always has a float.

I tried to get her to divulge what was the most interesting or unusual thing to happen at her store, hoping she would tell me about the time Mark Zuckerburg strolled in looking for the latest Lego set or the like. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley and a neighbor to Stanford University, Adventure Toys sees it’s “fair amount of famous people,” Leslie admitted, but she insisted that she and her staff don’t treat them any different. Everyone that walks in receives the same amount of attentive and personalized service to ensure that they find that special gift and leave with a positive lasting impression. Adventure Toy’s strong customer service orientation and curation of unique and high quality products gives the shop a boutique feel that the discerning customers of Los Altos appreciate.

Adventure toys inside

Leslie seems to have mastered the art of knowing your customer and market. Because her store is located in an affluent area where a considerable percentage of the population has advanced university degrees, she has noticed that certain items, such as games are particularly popular, so she makes it a point to stock a large selection of the best brands. Leslie explained that a lot of the parents in her area are very concerned with the amount of their kids’ digital interaction and time spent with screens, and they look to games as a way to help instill important values and skills in their kids. Jigsaw puzzles are another popular option for family time, especially the “family puzzles” category that has big and little pieces, allowing young and old to play. Leslie is wary of buying into fads too much and told me that despite their continued popularity, she foresees the burning out of the Rainbow Loom craze and doesn’t want to stock them anymore. Instead she focuses on offer what she knows works, such as games, puzzles, craft kits and science sets…notice a theme?

At the mention of science sets, I brought up a breakout star of 2013, GoldieBlox, and asked her how she felt about the construction toys made to inspire STEM interest in young girls. Debbie Sterling, the young woman who invented GoldieBlox is a Stanford grad and the incredible amount of local press she received in the early days made the sets sell like hot cakes at Adventure Toys.

“Some people argue that by using girly colors and typically female themes, GoldieBlox perpetuates gender roles, rather than going against them which the company claims to do,” I said, wanting to know Leslie’s take on the issue.

“As a toy store owner, I’ve noticed that no matter what you do, there are gender differences. Little girls, I don’t care what you put in front of them, they are still attracted to pink. Debbie did her market research…I don’t have any criticisms at all. She was still trying to get the engineering principals in there,” Leslie replied. In her opinion, Debbie is successful in the goal of GoldieBlox. The pink and “girly” presentation just makes it easier for girls to get it in their hands. As Leslie explained to me, you just have to have the right teacher presenting something properly for a child to latch onto something or explore a particular skill. Not everything has to be gender neutral. “We are the type of store that when a little boy goes to a doll stroller or a girl toy we encourage the parents. It helps the boys learn to nurture.” I was impressed with her approach. With over a decade’s experience in the business, Leslie comes across as someone customers can really trust to help them choose toys that are not only fun but add value to children’s lives. She makes it a point to be knowledgeable about her products and customers’ needs, and certainly has never turned down a staff training session with Blue Orange!

The whole team at Blue Orange Games would like to thank Leslie and the entire team at Adventure Toys for believing in our games and for fostering a warm, open-door relationship over all these years. Congrats!

Free Parenting Webinar

Free Parenting Webinar

Is practicing better parenting strategies one of your New Year’s Resolutions? Well you’re in luck! We found out about this upcoming parenting webinar presented by Positive Parenting Solutions from one of our favorite bloggers at Lasso The Moon.

Parenting expert and TODAY Show contributor, Amy McCready will teach you why you need to ditch the strategies that are fundamentally flawed and what you can do instead.

Parents of toddlers to teens will learn… 

  • why kids really misbehave – it’s probably not what you think!
  • how your personality may actually fuel misbehavior
  • the 5 R’s of Fair & Effective Consequences so kids listen the first time you ask
  • training resources to reduce your parenting stress so you can stop nagging, reminding & yelling

You’ll walk away with concrete tools you can use immediately
to get your kids to cooperate without the slightest hint of whining, fussing or

NOTE: You can view the webinar on your iPad & iPhone with an app
called: Puffin Web Browser in the App store.  It is free for 14 days.

RSVP for the 1 hour parenting webinar on January 9, 9:00 pm EST

Parenting Webinar Positive Parenting Solutions


Taking the values of Cards Against Humanity into the New Year

Taking the values of Cards Against Humanity into the New Year

We are proud of the fact that for the past three years, Spot it! is often ranked #1 in the Toys & Games category on However, some interesting competition emerged in the last year. In an understated black box with simple white font that most likely is Helvetica (a typographical choice loaded with connotation), Cards Against Humanity made a night in with a card game suddenly the hip thing to do. Not only does it give people something fun to do while hanging out with their friends, but playing the game is like having a boundary-pushing comedian  put on a show in your living room.

It is a little strange having Spot it! in the same category as this very adult card game in which the naughty factor depends on the crass ingenuity of the players. For those who don’t know, Cards Against Humanity is pretty much Apple To Apples but with hilariously un-PC, so-wrong-it’s-right humor, and people, particularly college students through thirty-somethings can’t get enough. To be honest, the team at Blue Orange thinks the game is a riot. I’ve played it so many times I know all the cards in the original deck plus the 1st expansion pack.

So why I am bringing all this up? Because I recently came across this talk by the man behind the game, Max Temkin at the XOXO Festival a few months ago. Only in its second year, XOXO is an experimental arts and technology conference held in Portland, Oregon. The four day Tech & Art festival is packed with talks, indie game arcades, tabletop tournaments, workshops, genre-bending live music, indie film screenings, and parties, all with the intention of celebrating creativity that is considered alternative to media’s status quo (1).

Max’s talk got me thinking how the the story of Cards Against Humanity and its runaway success is such a product of the times and the current intersection of culture, tech and society.

The DIY (Do It Yourself) culture that we recognize today has been popular since the 1960’s. One philosopher, Alan Watts explained its emergence as a response to our country’s educational system that teaches ideas and how to think, rather than “material competence,” or in other words, the “doing” that is essential to our lives (2). The philosophy behind DIY empowers the individual to shed dependence on the tradition channels of consumerism. It can be understood simply as “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” Home improvement projects, self published books, “upcycled” clothes, crafts, indie record labels are all considered part of the DIY movement.  The introduction of 21st century technology into our lives has made even more DIY fields possible with innovations such as open source coding and 3D printing. Furthermore, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and the democratized media space of the internet has put the power of financing and publicity into the Regular Joe’s hands.

Both the video game industry and tabletop game industry has benefitted from DIY, with the development of independently designed and manufactured games into a increasingly mainstream genre. Cards Against Humanity is a great example. The game was born in the basement out of Max’s and his buddies’ quest to provide some New Year’s Eve entertainment. The guys thought they had something good going and wanted to share it with as many people as possible, so they released it online as a free PDF. To get your own game, you just had to print and cut out the cards. The download was met with a flurry of enthusiasm, prompting the founders to take the game to Kickstarter with the hopes of raising enough money to have the game professionally manufactured. They surpassed their funding goals by $11,000 and pretty soon were filling their parents’ garages with thousands of copies from the US based indie game printer Ad Magic. Quickly, and without much promotional work on the founders’ part, Cards Against Humanity became the #1 best seller of toys & games on In the office, we were perplexed by the ouster of Spot It, especially since we didn’t understand this new game’s rapid rise to fame or where the heck it came from. But after we finally played it, we realized that the two games were like apples and oranges.

Max admits to the XOXO audience that the eight founders of CAH had no experience as comedy writers, nor experience designing and manufacturing products, let alone the fact that they lacked pertinent skills and business experience. But he explains that they did have one crucial asset that guided them: their good sense of their values and goals, which helped them make good business decisions despite not knowing exactly what they were doing. So what was this value? To be as funny as possible and to share the fun with as many people as possible.

They knew they had to maintain strict independence and limit external dependencies so no other entity could dictate what they could or couldn’t do. This strategy in turn, informed their tactics. The major one being to decision to license the game under Creative Commons, so it could be distributed without limitation. Although it spawned a string of regrettable knock offs, the CC license is very much a part of the spirit of the game.

And here is where Max gets a bit mushy in the video. It’s true, people have formed a peculiarly strong connection to the game, some going as far as using the cards for wedding proposals or creating custom memorial packs for funerals. Max sees this phenomenon as a “celebration of the radical act of sharing.” People bring the game into their lives and in a sense, bring the founding values into their lives, which has “elevated a stupid game into something that means a lot more to people.”

Hmm…okay, you could argue that. I also think that people are most impressed by things that strike a strong and often buried emotional chord. I’m of the opinion that the appeal of CAH lies in the combination of our craving for refreshingly no-tech interaction that’s as amusing as Youtube cat videos coupled with the shocking disturbance to our society’s hyper politically correct sensibility. With CAH, you are given permission to say things you would never utter on your own (well one would hope…) and find the non sequitur humor and potential lightness in even the darkest of subjects. Plus, like any good party game, it sparks interesting conversation and dopamine-raising belly laughter without doing much more than opening a box.

Anyway, I digress. Max sums up his talk by bringing his story back to the indie game scene and upholds that he and the other founders never looked at their project as a “zero sum proposition.” In other words, they never looked at their success as offset by someone else’s failure. He believes that indie game designers rise a fall as a group. If one game becomes a big hit, the entire genre profits with more credibility and more room for success for other projects.

Max’s recent contribution to the indie gaming community is an independent game design contest called Tabletop Deathmatch. Nearly 500 unpublished games were submitted and a panel of industry expert judges selected 16 finalists who presented their games at Gen Con last summer. The stories of the 16 games in the running are set to be told in a 16 part web series that was supposed to air end of 2013 but I can’t find them online yet. The winning game will receive a first printing courtesy of CAH. The winner will also have the privilege of joining CAH booth at Gen Con 2014 for its official debut.

Max leaves us with an important message of integrity and craftiness that I think is important to consider in all matters of life. He says knowing what you are doing is not nearly as important as knowing what your values are and understanding how to translate them into the decisions you have to make. I believe these are fine guiding words to take with us as we segue way into 2014.

And on that note, on behalf of your friends at Blue Orange Games, we wish our fans and customers a very Happy New Year.






Additional Reading:

Wired Magazine’s 2011 cover story on the rise of DIY

Interview with Matt Temkin


10 Holiday Crafts To Do As a Family

10 Holiday Crafts To Do As a Family

Doing crafts around the holidays is as old a tradition as stuffing a Douglas Fir in your living room. Popcorn string tree garlands and cut out stars were all what most had to make the season festive, and even many gifts were hand-made. The hobby of craft projects has suddenly become stylish in the past few years, no doubt spurred on by the popularity of Pinterest and DIY blogs. And I think after decades of mass manufacturing and consumer culture, people are more charmed than ever by creative handiwork!

We’re jumping on the craft wagon and hunted the internet  to give you our favorite holiday crafts to do as a family.


Snowflake Table Runner

holiday crafts table runner

This project seems pretty fool-proof and will be a real conversation starter with your holiday guests! Use felt and cut out diamonds to arrange them into snowflakes. The How To even includes a template.

Source & How To


Animal Christmas Ornaments

holiday crafts animal ornaments

Turn your tree into a menagerie with repurposed plastic animal toys. Sometimes they have packs of these at dollar stores or look online to buy in bulk. Glittery gem toned paint turns the critters into unique holiday ornaments.

Source & How To


Poinsettia Garland from Recycled Bottles

holiday crafts Poinsettia plastic bottles

Can you believe these beautiful flowers were once water bottles? Any craft that recycles materials is a winner in our book!

Source & How To


Fabric Light Garland

holiday crafts fabric garland

Even younger kids can get in on the action with this simple yet statement making garland. Use a string of lights or even just a long ribbon and tie gorgeous strips of fabric. Try to keep a color theme or make a pattern for maximum impact.

Source & How To


Elf Holiday Card

holiday crafts card

Put the “elf” in selfie with these irresistible handmade greetings.  Have your kid draw an elf’s jacket, pants,  hat, shoes and hands on different colored construction paper. Cut out the pieces and glue on a card to make up the elf’s body. Draw additional elements like buttons and a shirt collar. Cut out the face from a front-facing photograph and paste it on the body.   The result may end up being pretty hilarious!

Source & How To


Button Holiday Card

holiday crafts button card

If you are going to send out hand made holiday cards this year, you are better off keeping it simple as you will likely have to make many. This design doesn’t take a lot of effort but the result is stunning. And buttons are easy on the wallet too!

Source & How To


Personalized Mugs

holiday crafts mug

I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many mugs! To make this handmade gift, buy inexpensive white mugs at IKEA and use sharpies or those glue paint pens to decorate the mug with your holiday themed doodles. This is another good one for grade school kids.

Source & How To


Chocolate Mouse Ornament

holiday crafts chocolate mouse

“Not a creature was stirring….”

I can’t get enough of this ingenious use of Hershey’s kisses. You don’t even need instructions to make this; it looks so easy. One thing I’d add is a little pink pom pom for a nose!

Source & How To


Snow Globes

holiday crafts snow globe

Yes! Another amazing use for mason jars! Kids will get a big kick out of making their own snow globe and picking the items to include in the scene. I also saw an awesome idea on My Sweet Greens for presenting a gift card. Glue the (plastic!) gift card to the lid and fill the jar with water, tiny ornaments and sparkly confetti to make a snow globe card holder! Sure beats an envelope.

Source & How To


Pine Cone Characters

holiday crafts pine cones

The little guys in the picture require an advanced level of crafting but you don’t have to be a pro to decorate pine cones! Collect pipe cleaners, little pom poms, glitter, yarn, buttons and felt and bust out the glue gun! How adorable are these little skiers?! I think their heads are ping pong balls.

Source & How To


Happy Crafting!