Santa Claus Toilet Paper Tube Christmas Craft for Kids

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Santa Claus Toilet Paper Tube craft for kids

This adorable Santa Claus Toilet Paper Tube Christmas craft for kids is great for preschool and older kids! All you’ll need is a recycled toilet paper tube (or cut paper towel roll), red, black and white paint, and a red piece of card stock or construction paper (I used card stock).

Begin by simply painting your toilet paper tube red (You can of course always use construction paper instead). While it’s drying you can cut out a pair of Santa’s legs – I didn’t use any kind of template, I just began cutting and formed it to fit my toilet paper tube. You’ll want to cut is so that the legs can just sit down inside the toilet paper tube. To finish up the “legs” I painted a small white strip near each of Santa’s “boots” and then painted the rest of his boots black as you see in the photo above.

Lastly, on the red toilet paper tube using a Sharpie marker or black paint draw lines around the toilet paper tube and then connecting them to look like a brick pattern like I did above! Depending on your materials, age group, and number of children you are working with you can adjust this craft to meet your group’s needs!

This craft is fun to pair with the book “How Santa Got His Job” or “I Spy Santa Claus“!

FREE Wildlife & Animal Conservation Printables, Lesson Plans, & Resources

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Disclosure: This post brought to you in collaboration by IFAW & WeAreTeachers. All opinions are my own.Free Wildlife Conservation Classroom MaterialsMy kids are HUGE animal lovers and that’s no secret to anyone who knows us! Most kids connect to wildlife in such a special way that using animal related topics in the classroom is such an important way to help kids connect with animals all over the world and motivate them academically. Whether it’s exploring environmental issues or story telling, animals seem to find their way into many aspects of our lives. The IFAW has some pretty fabulous resources at WeAreTeachers including animal preservation lesson plans, printables, teaching resources and SO much more! In fact there’s even an animal action art & writing contest going on right now!

Wildlife Conservation with Kids

Although students probably won’t have the opportunity to see firsthand the threats to wildlife that humans have caused they can certainly learn about it in the classroom through lesson plans, videos, and other targeted curriculum. And not only is habitat destruction from pollution and development a threat but the commercial wildlife trade is too! It is a chain reaction that can be felt around the world. Environmental education helps improve critical thinking skills, is a good motivator for students to become more engaged, and promotes academic achievement. It also helps to instill a greater sense of responsibility in kids.

More than 5 MILLION students, teachers, and families in over 24 countries are learning about animals through education programs from the IFAW’s (International Fun for Animal Welfare) Animal Action Education. Below are some great resources for use in your classroom and at home with your children! (PSSST – it’s not ALL wild animals – there are also domestic pets too!) They cover areas in math, science and ELA skills.

Wildlife Animal Resources for Classroom Curriculum

Grades K-2:

*Introduced to the concepts of what makes an animal “wild” and how people can observe and appreciate wildlife responsibly.

Grades 3-5:

*Learn about wildlife trade, how it is relevant to them today and how they can take action to help protect wild animals from wildlife trade.

Grades 6-8

*Learn about wildlife trade and it’s relevance to them in their world.


Check out ALL the resources available for FREE at WeAreTeachers here! 



Taking Technology Outdoors: Nature in Screen Time

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Taking Technology Outdoors: Nature in Screen Time

Times are changing and kids noses are glued to digital screens but with a few resources and creativity you can turn that little technology guru into an explorer. By taking technology outdoors you can open them up to a wider more tactile world. I do put a limit on my kids screen time but I love turning their love of technology into something more – a tool to explore the world around them off screen. Here are a few resources and tools & apps to help you do just that.

Zoomy Handheld Microscope

Zoomy Handheld Microscope 

My kids are OBSESSED with their Zoomy Handheld Microscope and for under $40 it’s a MUST buy for every household. MUST. We have had our Zoomy for almost 3 years now (we reviewed it then here), we use it with all age groups of kids and all sorts of different computers and software systems and it’s still running strong. It has held up really well both in a home and school setting. There are SO many options with Zoomy and we’ve had outdoor scavenger hunts, learning time, art time based on what we saw, etc. with our Zoomy. If it’s not on your wish list it is NOW – buy it on Amazon – you won’t regret it!

Audubon Society Apps Audubon Guides Apps –

The Audubon Society is just phenomenal in it’s wealth of information and offers apps on everything from birds, mammals, trees, butterflies, fish, insects, owls, reptiles, mushrooms, wildflowers and MORE. They also have geographic apps (California, Desert, Florida, Pacific, etc.) as well as international apps too. (Audubon Android options here.)

Project Noah

Project Noah-

Project Noah is a fabulous way for kids and classrooms to interact outdoors and share their experiences with wildlife. Observe and contribute to missions, complete challenges and investigations and record your wildlife observations so others can learn from them too.

iNaturalist app

iNaturalist –

iNaturalist is another great app for cataloging your wildlife experiences and learning from others as an alternative to Project Noah.

Google Sky Map

Sky Map – 

Google Sky Map is awesome for your star and constellation lovers. Just point your mobile device towards the sky and it highlights where the constellations are in front of you. I highly recommend using it only while standing still however as even a slow moving car is far too fast!

Geocaching GPS handheld unitGeocaching-

Geocaching is perhaps the greatest treasure hunt of all times and it’s worldwide! There are several ways you can geocache including the Geocaching app (Android, App Store) or I personally prefer using a handheld GPS unit (although we have the app too to log our caches). Essentially you use either to find a specific set of latitude and longitude coordinates and search for a log book (or tiny scroll of paper) or box! If you really get into geocaching look into Travel Bugs – metal dog tags with serial numbers to track where in the world it moves!

Journey North migration app

Journey North –

Journey North is another classification app you can record and monitor species that are migrating!

Nature Tracks appMy  Nature Animal Tracks –

My Nature Animal Tracks app is fabulous for identifying tracks and scat – both of which you can find plenty of hiking! Includes a built in ruler and tips – no need for wi-fi!

Fantastic Outdoor Educational Products

Other Fantastic Nature Related Educational Apps

DIY NO Sew Fall Felt Play Toys

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NO SEW Fall Felt Toys DIYBeing a part of the Ellison Education Blog Team has really pushed my creativity to new levels and I have so much fun creating new things for them each month! This month we have featured some no sew felt toys that I think came out amazing if I do say so myself! After I completed them I pretty much wanted to design all things felt! They are SO SO SO easy to make! You can check out our entire tutorial over on the Ellison blog here.

DIY NO SEW Fall Felt Toys

Easy Pinecone Lantern Festive Holiday Home Decor

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Easy Pinecone Lantern Festive Holiday Home Decor Idea

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with Oriental Trading company a few times a year and when I spotted their stunning lanterns I knew they would be PERFECT for year-round festive holiday decor!! I chose these black lanterns but you can see all of their available colors and styles of metal lanterns here. They fit just about any thing from rustic to modern and you can fill the inside of the lantern with everything from tea lights to candles or pinecones! I am head over heels for these gorgeous beauties – for the size and price these are a steal! They came VERY well wrapped up. All I had to do was pull them out, insert the glass panels, and place the top on!

Easy Pinecone Lantern Festive Holiday Home Decor Idea

Right now I have them filled for fall decor. Oriental Trading sent me this bag of small pine cones which I LOVED because they are small mini-sized pine cones. Not the HUGE ones you get in the store. I did buy some large pine cones to mix into the lantern but the small ones filled up the rest of the space perfectly. I also dropped in some colorful leaves, a handful of colored acorns, and a small potpourri mix to add some extra color.

Fall Home Decor

For Christmas I am going to take out the fall colors and add in silver glittered pine cones with some red decorative berries for a pop of color. I’ll have to add a picture in when I end up switching out my decor throughout the year! It’s going to look so gorgeous on my mantle of “snow”!

Check out all of Oriental Trading’s Christmas beauties here!

Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

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Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

It’s funny how ADORABLE these preschool turkey crafts are this time of year when turkeys, well, they just aren’t that cute! I LOVE toilet paper tube crafts so it only made sense to turn one into a turkey! If you’re a teacher and concerned about the cleanliness of where your recycled TP Tubes are coming from collect paper towel rolls and cut them in half.

Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

You’ll need 4-6 clothespins per turkey, 1 toilet paper tube roll, 2 googly eyes, 1 orange triangle (felt or construction paper), glue, and a paintbrush with paints or markers depending on the age group you are working with and the mess involved. To make my “feathers” brightly colored I recommend acrylics or markers.

Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

Paint or color each clothespin a different color. Try to cover all of the wood color taking the clothespin apart if you have a smaller group (since you’ll need the time to put them all back together again!). Paint (or color) the TP tube brown!

Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

Have the kids clip their clothespins onto the top of the “turkey” once the paint has dried.

Creative Turkey Toilet Paper Tube Preschool Craft

Glue on your googly eyes and orange “beak” triangle! When working with little ones Glue Dots are awesome to use because they work well and don’t leave a sticky mess!

Preschool Turkey Craft

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Kid’s Bedroom Paint Tutorial

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DIY Castle Dungeon Kid's Bedroom Tutorial

Since my kids are SO into Minecraft and I figured they are only young once we decided to go all out this year and do an entire Minecraft themed Christmas that they won’t forget – and that includes a complete room makeover! Of course we’re on a budget and I did NOT want to spend a lot of money on these projects so my main cost is strictly the cost of basic supplies. And paint for the room which we combined with a sale and a rebate at Home Depot. We’re still working on it but I wanted to show you guys how insanely simple it was to paint castle dungeon walls in a room!

1. Paint the wall(s) completely grey – the darker the better. I promise it will lighten up!  (NOTE – you will need to accent the walls with a color DARKER than the walls so do not choose the absolute darkest grey you can find – just a really dark one. Personally I use Frog Tape to help trim around baseboards, doors and ceilings when painting since I’m messy.

2. Cut a square or rectangle out of cardboard. Just one! This will be your “base” template for your bricks. I chose a rectangle instead of a cube shape even though we’re basing it on a Minecraft room simply because I figured if the kids outgrew Minecraft as they got older they could turn it into a cool dungeon. You do NOT want your “brick” to have nice clean edges – I incorporated some crooked cutting into mine to make it look more natural as you can see below!

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Kid's Bedroom Paint Tutorial

3. Trace your brick template with chalk – directly onto the wall! Make sure to stagger the brick rows as you go like I did above. I’m not going to lie – this is ridiculously EASY but time consuming! I’m completing the whole room over a period of months since I blog (mostly) full time and have a baby at home I can’t keep in a room with wet paint but you could easily knock it out in a week or so if you stay on top of it.

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Kid's Bedroom Paint Tutorial

4. Using an artist craft paintbrush DAB, don’t streak, a DARKER color grey than your walls to form an “L” shape that outlines the left and bottom of each and every brick like I did above. DAB DAB DAB DAB DAB. LOTS of DABBING! It gives a more textured appeal to the brick. It does NOT need to be perfectly neat or fancy or the same on each brick. You can see that from a distance you’re definitely being able to recognize a castle wall now! When I say artist paintbrush I mean something like this or this, not a regular wall painting brush.

NOTE – for the 2 other grey colors you need (darker and lighter colors) I didn’t want to spend the money to buy whole gallons of them so I purchased the small “sample” cans for about $3 or so each and had them colored to what I wanted them to be. HUGE money saver! 

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Kid's Bedroom Paint Tutorial

5. Using an artist craft paintbrush DAB some more – but this time with a LIGHTER grey than the wall on the top and right side of each brick as you see above.  DAB DAB DAB – lots more dabbing! It’s a labor of love! You can see my textured dabbing above, NOT streaking! I painting right over all the outlets and everything.

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Kid's Bedroom Paint Tutorial6. LOTS MORE DABBING! This is ALMOST the final step!! NOW grab your brushes and DAB the dark grey and light grey colors everywhere inside the brick! I did the wall all in dark grey and then all in light grey so I didn’t have to go back and forth between my paints. VOILA! Pretty amazing huh?!

7. Wipe OFF the chalk with a wet washcloth and you’re done! Don’t forget to pull your tape off the borders!

DIY Castle Dungeon Minecraft Bedroom Paint Tutorial

We did invest in some good cubed bookshelves and fabric drawers which I’ll eventually be decorating as Minecraft characters since my boys have absolutely NO sense of order in the SLIGHTEST! Hopefully these will help control the madness! And as you can see above once I finished a section of the wall I was able to place all the furniture back and work around it easily which was awesome. I’d LOVE to add these Minecraft Torches or these COOL Wall Torches all around the room but it’s just not in the budget yet!

DIY Minecraft Tutorial Ideas

I’ve been working on DIY Minecraft gifts for my boys for the holidays so if you’re into Minecraft you simply MUST check out our easy NO SEW tutorials:

DIY NO SEW Pillows
DIY Creeper T-Shirt
DIY NO Sew Blankets
DIY NO Sew Pig Plush
DIY NO Sew TNT Plush
DIY NO Sew Sword
DIY NO SEW Torch Plush
FREE Printable Minecraft Gift Tags
FREE Minecraft eBooks

And just because I can I wanted to show off a few creative photos I took of my kids to go along with the whole castle theme! While on a road trip I came across Clark Tower in Winterset, Iowa that we would be passing and I KNEW that I absolutely had to get some photos of my kids there!! SO I included a few of those below to spur even more ideas for you!

Kid's Castle Photo ShootKid's Castle Photo Shoot

JUST for the record – this is ABSOLUTELY my favorite picture of my oldest & youngest!!!!!!!

FREE Thanksgiving Printable Memory Match Number Game

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Free Printable Thanksgiving Memory Matching Number Game

With Halloween and Christmas all smack dab at the end of the year Thanksgiving can easily get left out so this year I am creating as much Thanksgiving related content and printables as possible! I LOVE this simple themed Thanksgiving Printable Memory Match Number card game. Just print the below PDF on card stock, laminate if desired (we use a small home laminator that cost us under $20), cut out and flip face down so you can’t see the images. Then play memory! The kids can try to match by images, numbers, or by counting! This makes a great math center activity too!

PRINT HERE: Thanksgiving Memory Match Number Game Printable PDF

Sugar Cone Teepee Kid’s Thanksgiving Party Recipe

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Sugar Cone Teepee Kid's Thanksgiving Party Recipe


Want a delicious recipe to keep your kids busy creating something fun on the weekends or during Thanksgiving break? Let them try out these awesome Sugar Cone Teepees for a sweet treat! They turn out stunning and aren’t nearly as complicated as you would think!  This recipe will yield 6 hand-dipped chocolate sugar cone tepees.

INGREDIENTS for Sugar Cone Teepees

6 sugar ice cream cones
1/2 cup Wilton white chocolate melts
1/2 cup Wilton brown chocolate melts
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
12-15 pretzel sticks
For decorating: waffle pretzels, green and red Airhead candies, Sixlet candies

Sugar Cone Teepee Kid's Thanksgiving Party Recipe

DIRECTIONS for Sugar Cone Teepees

1.   In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate melts for 40 seconds. Stir. If not completely melted, microwave in 10 second increments and stir until melted. Be careful not to overcook.
2.   Add the peanut butter and stir until well combined. Let set for one minute to thicken.
3.   Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
4.   Using a spoon, coat 3 of the sugar cones with the melted chocolate and peanut butter mixture. Place upright on the wax paper.

Sugar Cone Teepee Kid's Thanksgiving Party Recipe

5.    In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the brown chocolate melts for 40 seconds. Stir. If not completely melted, microwave in 10 second increments and stir until melted. Let set for two minutes to thicken.
6.    Using a spoon, coat 3 of the sugar cones with the melted brown chocolate.  Place upright on the wax paper.
7.  Unwrap the airhead candies and cut horizontal strips and triangle shapes to decorate each tepee.
8.   Before the cones are completely dry, firmly press waffle pretzels/ Airhead triangles into the cone to resemble a door/entryway.

Sugar Cone Teepee Kid's Thanksgiving Party Recipe

9.  Wrap the airhead horizontal strips around the teepees for decoration. If needed, apply additional melted chocolate to insure it sticks.
10.   Using a toothpick, apply melted chocolate onto the sixlets and attach to the teepees for additional decoration.
11.   Once the tepees are completely dried, snip off the top of the cones with a scissors-leaving enough room for two pretzel sticks to fit.

You can substitute out anything you need for speciality allergies which makes it a great choice for all sizes of groups! My kids would have LOVED doing this in school and at home! Check out our easy Turkey Grams recipe, Turkey Juice Box tutorial and our FREE printable Thanksgiving (multicultural!) diorama play set!

FREE Thanksgiving Printable Diorama Playset

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Free Thanksgiving Printable Diorama Playset

My 4th grader LOVES creating dioramas and to be honest my younger kids love playing with them so I thought it would be great to create a Thanksgiving printable diorama playset. It can be used as a pre-made diorama set up or as a child’s playset. Kids can use these characters to act out their own stories! Simply cut out the characters and paste them onto a craft stick for a puppet production or tape a pom pom ball onto the back so that they stand sturdy in the diorama box.

PRINT IT HERE: Thanksgiving Printable Diorama Playset PDF

Check out our easy Turkey Grams recipe, Turkey Juice Box tutorial, Sugar Cone Teepees and our FREE printable Thanksgiving (multicultural!) diorama play set!