Play At Home Catalog

  • STEM 
    Delve into the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math and enjoy hands-on STEM challenges your kids will love!
    STEM Potion Experiment

    Supplies Needed:

    • Chopped red cabbage
    • A pan
    • Water
    • A stove
    • Strainer
    • Different jugs, jars, and/or beakers
    • Vinegar
    • Dish soap

    To begin, place the chopped red cabbage into a pan, cover with water, and heat until the water turns purple. (Adults will want to help with this step.)

    Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the cabbage and collect the solution in a container. Next, pour the solution into small jars or beakers. Fill them about half way up. Add different amounts of baking soda or vinegar to each one.

    Challenge: How many different colors can you make? Want to see a fizzy reaction? Add vinegar to a beaker with baking soda and vice versa! What does this do to the colors?

    For the science behind this activity and helpful pictures, visit Science Sparks!!

    Balloon Monster Science Activity

    Supplies Needed:

    • Baking soda
    • Vinegar
    • Pipe Cleaner
    • Food Coloring
    • Balloon
    • Plastic Bottle
    • Markers

    Start by making your monster balloon. To do this, blow up your balloon and secure them with a pipe cleaner so your air can easily be let out. Then, grab an empty water bottle (this example uses a 1L bottle) and pour in half a cup of vinegar. Add a few drops of food coloring and 2-4 teaspoons of baking soda. Secure your balloon around the mouth of the bottle and watch as the balloon blows up!

    Thanks to Artsy Momma for this fun, festive idea!

    Five Little Pumpkins STEM Challenge

    Before completing this challenge, head to our Story Time section to read Five Little Pumpkins by Tiger Tales!

    Supplies Needed:

    • 5 little pumpkins
    • Recycled building materials (cardboard, popsicle sticks, paper tubes, clothespins, yogurt cups, Styrofoam trays, etc.)
    • Glue, tape, etc.
    • Printable STEM Worksheets (these can be found at Little Bins for Little Hands


    Challenge your kids to build a gate using recycled materials that their five pumpkins can sit on. Use the printable STEM worksheets to record their designs and the results. (For picture steps/inspiration, click here. The weight of the pumpkins can cause some difficultly while building. If their project fails at first, encourage your kids to analyze the situation more critically to find a solution. (For solutions, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.)

    Toothpaste and Brushing Experiment

    Do your kids like going to the dentist? Do they love or hate brushing their teeth twice a day? This experiment is perfect to teach kiddos why dental health is important and is super fun for any kids who want to become a dentist some day!

    You will need:

    • toothpaste
    • toothbrush
    • hard boiled egg
    • cup
    • dark soda or juice

    Eggs and teeth both have hard outer shells that protect what is inside. This experiment will show you what happens to that shell when it is exposed to sugary soda or juice. Start by hard boiling your egg. Fill a glass with juice or soda and submerge your egg. You could also do this experiment with one of each and have your kids compare the juice egg to the soda egg. Leave the eggs to soak overnight and have your kids make predictions about what will happen to the shells overnight. 

    In the morning you should see that the eggshells are stained with black and brown colors and not as strong! Talk to our kids about how when we drink sugary drinks, bacteria like to feed on the leftover sugar on our teeth. When that happens, acid is made, and that’s what causes cavities in the hard outer shells on our teeth. Observe how the juice/soda ate away at the hard outer shell, making it weaker and also staining it. 

    Then have your kids their toothpaste to a toothbrush and scrub away at the shell. See if the toothpaste can help brush away the stains!

    Follow this link to Play Teach Repeat for steps, helpful tips, and pictures. 

    Harry Potter STEM Wands

    With this project, kids can create their very own Harry Potter wand that lights up! Please, note it is very important that this activity be done with an adult. Batteries can be dangerous and little ones will require supervision to keep supplies out of their mouths.

    You will need:

    • 3 craft sticks (colorful or natural)
    • copper tape
    • LED light bulb
    • CR2032 battery
    • electrical tape
    • scissors

    Start by wrapping a strip of copper tape around the craft stick about where you want your on/off switch. Leave about 1cm of space (a child’s finger width is great) and wrap another strip of copper tape all the way around the craft stick. On one side run a strip of copper tape from the bottom ring to the end of the stick. Repeat from the top ring to the other end of the stick. Make sure you leave the finger width space between the rings with no copper tape. This is your circuit break. On the other outer craft stick run a strip of copper tape along the entire length.

    Before you place your LED light make sure you test it! Do this by sliding the battery between the legs. If it doesn’t work flip the battery around and try again. Still doesn’t work? Grab a different LED and test that one. Still not working? Try another battery. Make sure everything works before you start the next step.

    Using copper tape attach the LED light to the end of outer craft stick with tape running the entire length. You want to tape the LED leg to the copper tape. Repeat on the other outer craft stick, making sure to tape the other LED leg to the copper tape on the craft stick. Secure those legs well with copper tape to ensure your circuits will work.

    Using scissors cut about an inch off the end of your middle craft stick. You want to cut off just enough that your battery will fit in.

    Add a piece of copper tape to one side of the small piece of craft stick you just cut off the middle piece. Using your electrical tape create a hinge and attach the piece so it will cover the gap between the rings on the outside of your craft stick. Slide your battery in. Test to make sure it is the correct way and your wand works.

    Add a piece of tape to the top to secure the three craft sticks together. Then add more tape at the bottom starting at the bottom of the on/off switch all the way to the end securing the battery in place.

    To turn on your wand simply close the flap securely with your thumb.

    Follow this link to STEAM Powered Family for steps, helpful tips, step-by-step pictures, and supply images. 

    Ready For Takeoff

    It’s easy to do science at home! Try this activity that’s part of our Force & Freefall lesson. Print the templates below (or trace ours) and make your paper helicopters. Once you’re done, throw it in the air and watch which way it spins. You can switch the direction the A and B wings are folded to change the direction the helicopter spins on its way down.

    Larger Helicopter

    1. Cut on all dotted lines. (Make sure not to cut all the way through on the middle lines.)
    2. Fold sections C and D in toward each other following the solid line.
    3. Fold section A backward so that A faces the top. Only fold until the solid line.
    4. Fold section B forward so the B faces down, again only until the solid line.
    5. Done!

    Small Helicopter

    Follow steps 1-4 from the large helicopter directions.

    1. Add a small paper clip to the bottom of the helicopter where sections C and D are folded
    2. Done!

    Buoyant Boats

    We love science and we really love that we can do science right at home! Create your own boat using aluminum foil and see how much weight it can hold when placed in water. You can use our suggested objects and test others from your own home. Let us know how strong your boat is by tagging us on Facebook and Instagram.

    Don’t Get the Paper Wet

    Looking for some simple science activities to keep your kids occupied and engaged at home? Try out this fun water and air experiment with some items you should already have. All you need is a wide-mouthed glass, a facial tissue, a bowl filled 3/4 with water, and a towel for clean cup.

    1. Place the tissue in the bottom of the glass. (When you turn the glass upside down, the glass should remain in the bottom.)
    2. Turn the glass upside down and hold it at shoulder height. Make sure the glass is filled with air and gently push it into the bowl of water. Notice how the water reacts.
    3. The water should move around the glass, leaving the inside dry.

    Let us know what you think and if this experiment works for you! For an instructional video, click here

    Can Water Lift Air?

    Did you like our last water and air experiment? Want to try another one? For this experiment, you need even less materials and it should be just as fun. Grab a wide-mouthed glass and a fill a large bowl 3/4 up with water. Insert your glass at an angle into the bowl and watch as it begins to fill with water. Fill it 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full. Put your glass fully into the water. Notice how there is both water and air in the glass. Pull the glass upward but be careful not to break its seal in the water. The rim of the glass should still be in the water. You should notice that the water has stayed at the same level in the glass. Why? Air pressure! If you pull the glass fully out of the water, you’ll notice that the water splashes everywhere because there is no air pressure keeping it in the glass. For an instructional video, click here.

    Tall Tower Challenge

    Know any kiddos that dream of being an engineer or an architect? Have them try to build an index card tower! Add to the challenge by making a height requirement or saying it needs to hold up one of their toys for 15 seconds. Have fun building together!

    For some tips and tricks, visit Teachers are Terrific!

    Planet Earth Eco Exploration

    Welcome to Planet Earth Eco Exploration! These activities will teach you about how we can help our Earth. Our first activity involves our spinning eco wheel. What animals you can name on the wheel? Do you know what they eat? This activity helps us explore the food chain. Who do you think is at the top?

    Thyme to turnip the beet! Plant your own garden at home by creating an egg carton seed planter. You can use any seeds you might already have. Take your learning further by reading about how plants grow with one of these stories!

    Our next activity helps see what plants, animals, and humans need to survive! Print and cut out the first image into squares. Then, have the kids place the objects in the category they think they belong. Don’t have a printer? You can use some blank paper and draw your own images using ours as an example.

    Do you know what happens when bees land on flowers or when it rains outside? Maybe your kids do! Print out the pages and have your kids match the cause with the effect. Together you can understand how our Earth works. You can also do this activity using just a notebook and pencil! Use our images to guide you if you don’t have a printer of your own.

    Earth is made up of many biomes but there are six major agreed upon biomes. These are the tundra, desert, grassland, forest, freshwater, and marine biomes. See if you can find all of them in this word search. You can also make your own grassland biome in a bag that you won’t have to water. All it takes is the bottom of a bottle, a ziplock bag, dirt, and grass seeds! If you give this activity a try, share with us in the comments below.

    So Lost Without You

    Do you have magnets hanging out on your refrigerator? Use them to go on a magnetic investigation! What objects in your home stick to your magnets? Try making your own magnetic compass and see if it points north. All you need is a sewing needle (about 1-2 inches long), a small refrigerator magnet, a small piece of cork, and a small glass or cup of water to float the cork and needle.

    1. Magnetize your needle by stroking it in the same direction across the magnet (rather than back and forth) using steady, even strokes. After 30-40 strokes, the needle will be magnetized.
    2. Push the needled through the cork. Insert it horizontally into the edge of the coin-sized piece of cork so that the needle pierces through the cork and comes out the other side. Push the needle through until the same amount of needle shows on both sides of the cork. 
    3. Fill your glass with a few inches of water. 
    4. Float the compass you just made in the water. Watch as your compass aligns itself with the Earth’s magnetic field and points north!
    Rock Candy Science

    Do you think you can make rock candy out of Kool-Aid? Follow these steps from our friends at Growing a Jeweled Rose to find out. At the bottom of this link, you can dive into the science behind rock candy. The best part? This science experiment doubles as a tasty snack once its complete. We can’t wait to see if this works for you.

    Marshmallow Madness

    Have you been loving our engineering challenges? Challenge your kids to make the tallest tower using only noodles and marshmallows. You can make this even more challenging by giving them a time limit.

    Shoutout to the Tinker Lab for the idea!

    Corn Kernel Dance

    Feeling restless? Want to dance? Why not make some corn kernels dance with you? All it takes is dried corn kernels, baking soda, white vinegar, and a clear glass.

    1. Put your favorite song to dance to. 
    2. Add 1 cup of kernels to the glass.
    3. Pour 2 cups on vinegar in.
    4. Add 1/4 cup of baking soda, watch the reaction, and get your groove on!

    Thanks Green Kid Crafts for the great idea!

    Disappearing Egg

    Want to try another chemical reaction that is safe for your home? Act as a science magician and make an egg shell disappear!

    1. Place one fresh egg into a mason jar and fill with white vinegar. (Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space at the top.)
    2. Loosely put the lid on.
    3. Wait two days, remove from the jar, rinse off with water, and see the result!

    Thanks Premeditated Leftovers for this fun experiment!

    How Do Lungs Breathe?

    Do you miss playing in our Insides Out gallery? Make a cool lung model that shows how our lungs inflate and deflate! Not only will your kids get to see how our lungs works, but they’ll also be able to exercise their fine motor kills while building it.

    Model 1: For the model shown in the first image you will need long straws, scissors, tape, two plastic bags, and tape or glue. Click here for step by step instructions and a video of the model at work.

    Model 2: For the model shown in the second photo you will need a plastic bottle, three small balloons, a straw, construction paper, tape, and scissors. For full instructions and a video demonstration, click here.

    How To Filter Water

    While most of us live in places that already have filtered water available, some people aren’t so lucky. Try this experiment to see how the earth naturally filters water through layers and how people can use this process too! You will need 2 glass jars or cups, sand or dirt, gravel/small stones, 3-4 coffee filters, dirty water, and a plastic cup with a small hole cut in the bottom. For step-by-step instructions, visit Teach Beside MeTeach Beside Me.

    Turn Water Into Energy!

    Last week we showed you how to filter water, now let’s see if you can make energy from it! This activity show you how you can make your own water wheel like the one in our Water, Water Everywhere Gallery. Try making this into an experiment by testing different materials. Do plastic, paper, or styrofoam cups work better? What about tape versus glue?

    For step-by-step instructions, visit There’s Just One Mommy.

    Why Do I Need Sunscreen?

    With lots of sunny days ahead, we wanted to provided you with some fun science activities that use the sun as a resource! In this experiment, we learn about the effects of the sun. Take a dark colored piece of paper and dab some sunscreen on part of it. Leave the paper out in the sun and check what happens after a few hours. (Make sure you weigh it down with a rock or other heavy object if it is windy outside.)

    The sun can have the same effect on our skin and that’s why we need sunscreen when we go outside to play!

    Thanks I Can Teach My Child for this idea!

    Build A Bird’s Nest

    Have you seen a lot of birds so far this spring? Maybe you have even seen them build a nest! This STEM challenge wants you to build your own bird nest! Pretend you are your favorite bird and go on a walk around your yard or neighborhood to collect supplies. Grab items like leaves, twigs, bird feathers, grass, branches, and more. You want to grab materials that you think a bird would pick and that will hold up. When you’re done, try putting it outside and see if a bird will use it!

    For more steps, visit Views From A Step Stool.

    Pencil Tower

    Pencils are a staple in most classrooms and homes and there are lots of fun yet challenging STEM activities you and your kids can do with them! ✏️✏️✏️  Try making a tower using only pencils! You can increase the difficulty by adding a height requirement or limit how many pencils your kids can use.

    For more steps, visit Teaching With Jennifer Findley.

    Balloon in a Bottle

    Can you blow up a balloon in a bottle? 🎈 For this experiment, you will need a balloon, an empty bottle, and a thumbtack or a nail.

    Start by dangling the balloon in the bottle and stretch it around the mouth of the bottle. Try to blow it up? Does it work? Now try poking a hole in the bottom of your bottle using a thumbtack/nail. Try again! Blow up the balloon as much as you can so it fills the bottle. Place your finger on the hole on the bottle before you finish blowing up the balloon. Take your mouth away from the balloon. Remove your finger from the hole. Watch what happens!

    For more steps, visit I Can Teach My Child. 

    Can You Crush a Bottle Without Your Hands?

    We know an experiment that can teach you how!

    1. Fill an empty bottle with 1/2 cup of boiling water and let it set for two minutes.
    2. Seal the bottle with the cap and place it on its side in a bucket or bowl of ice.
    3. Slowly pour ice water over the bottle and watch as it crumples before your eyes.

    This experiment might seem magical but it actually works because of air pressure. Air is all around us and though we usually can’t see or feel it, it’s pushing against every surface.

    For more steps and explanation, visit Cool Science Experiments Headquarters.

    Straw Tower Challenge

    We’ve given you a new tower challenge every month since our closure. This June, we challenge you to make a tower using only two items – plastic straws and tape.

    Using scissors, cut the straws to your desired lengths. Tape the straws together to make the tallest tower you can without it falling over. Add difficulty by requiring it hold something or give a time limit of how long your kids can build for. Experiment with different kinds of tape and see which works best for you. For example, you can try scotch, masking, and duct tape.

    Thanks, Jimmie’s Collage!

    Toilet Paper Roll Architecture

    Still saving your toilet paper tubes? Use them to make a building! See if you can build a house for a toy or a garage for a play car. Use your imagination to create architecture for hours! Share your creations with us! We love to see what you make.

    Visit Kids Activities Blog for more ideas and steps.

    Paper Clip STEM Challenge

    Do you think paper clips are boring? Maybe they would be more fun to use if they had a cool design? In this STEM challenge, you can design your own paper clip!

    You will need wire, wire cutters, and paper. Kids can make any design they want! We suggest sketching your idea first.

    Test your paper clips and see if they pass. If not, try to redesign them.

    • Can their paper clips hold paper?
    • How many pieces of paper can the paper clip hold?
    • Can the paper clips be removed and refastened easily?
    • Do the paper clips cause damage to the papers?

    Visit for instructions and design ideas!

    Masking Tape Speedway

    This activity is great for kiddos of all ages. Try creating a masking tape race track! You can race cars, horses, or whatever toys you have at home. Let the kids make the path and see how creative they get!

    Visit Kids Activities Blog for more track ideas and more steps. 

    The Science Behind Hockey

    Have you ever wondered what slides the best on ice or why hockey players wear ice skates? You can find out with this experiment!

    Freeze a sheet pan with a little bit of water in it to make a mini-ice rink. Next gather any objects you might have at home like, plastic or metal bottle caps, fabric, and paper. Make a sheet to write down your predictions of what will slide the easiest and farthest! Slide your items on the ice and record the results. Why do you think some worked better than others?

    Visit Creative Family Fun for more. 

    Javelin Toss

    Javelin throwing might not be the most common sport but it can be used for a super fun science experiment where you become an engineer and practice measuring distance! 

    You will need a meter stick, tape, paper towel tubes, and items to add weight. Create your javelin and get throwing! What items around your house will make your javelin go the farthest? How will you attach them? The sky is the limit for this experiment.

    Visit You’ve Got This Math for more steps, helpful tips, and demonstration videos.  

    Balloon Powered LEGO Car

    We had so much fun planned for our LEGO camp and we’re sad we can’t be building creations right here in our museum this summer. Try this challenge to build a car out of LEGOs and then add a balloon to make it move!

    1. Build a LEGO car with a hole to stick your balloon through.
    2. Blow up your balloon and hold the end closed while you set it on the floor. 
    3. Let the balloon go and see how far your car travels!

    Don’t forget, you can purchase our Builder PAL kit online at and bring LEGO camp home!

    Visit Mom Brite for full steps, and to learn the science behind balloon powered cars!

    Rocket Launcher

    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an astronaut? With this super cool space activity, you can create your own rocket and launch it into the sky! How far will yours go?

    You will need an empty water bottle with a sports cap, cardboard, straws (one wider than the other), scissors, glue, and some adhesive putty. 

    Visit Rainy Day Mum to see all the steps and learn how to build your own rocket. 

    Don’t forget, you can purchase our Explorer PAL kit online at and bring space camp home!

    Cup Phones

    You will need two plastic cups, yarn, and something to poke a hole with. 

    1. Push a nail or something sharp through the bottom of your cups to make a hole. 
    2. Thread the yarn through and tie a knot inside each cup to hold the string. 

    Grab a pal and stand far enough apart that your yarn is pulled taut. Take turns speaking into a cup while the other listens!

    For the science behind why this works, visit Scientific American and Raising Lifelong Learners.

    Erupting Soap

    You will need a bar of Ivory soap, a large microwave bowl or plate, and a microwave! Please note that you MUST use Ivory soap. Other brands will not work for this experiment. 

    1. Place your soap in your bowl or on a plate and put it in the microwave. 
    2. Set your microwave for 90 seconds and observe your soap as it runs. (You may not need to run it for the full 90 seconds.)
    3. Watch as your soap completely changes its form! If it stops growing before your 90 seconds are up, you can stop the microwave and remove your soap. (The bowl/plate may be hot so make sure a grown-up handles this step.)

    The whole “sculpture” can be picked up and admired, although it may be fragile. The “sculpture” can still be used as soap when this experiment is all done!

    For the science behind why this reaction takes place, visit!

    Extending Grabber

    Materials Needed: 8 craft sticks, two plastic straws, 2 skewers, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, two plastic cups. 

    1. Assemble and reinforce the beams: Create four beams by inserting the craft sticks into the pieces of straws. Leave a small gap (about 1mm) between the ends of the craft sticks. Break off a 3-4″ piece of skewer. Get a piece of masking tape. Use both hands to hold the tape and stick it onto the skewer. Without letting go of the tape, apply it to the straw piece. Fold the other half of the tape over the skewer. This will reinforce the connection between the sticks. Without it, the straws might bend and cause the grabber to be inoperable. Grown-ups may need to help with this step. Repeat with all four beams.
    2. Connect the beams: Use the pointed end of the skewer to carefully pierce the center of the straw. Pierce another straw piece with the same skewer. Pull the skewer most of the way through, then break off the skewer, leaving a 2-3″ piece connecting the two straw pieces. By pulling the skewer all the way through, the pointed tip can be reused. Repeat for the other two beams to create two ‘X’ shapes. Repeat this process to connect the two ‘X’ shapes together.
    3. Design the Grabber: Use pieces of craft sticks, pipe cleaners, and/or rubber bands to improve the grabber’s grip. This part of the project is more open-ended.
    4. Test your grabber!

    For helpful tips, tricks, troubleshooting, and step-by-step pictures, visit

    How Do Fish Breathe Underwater?

    Have your kids ever wondered how fish use their gills to breathe? For this experiment, you will need two cups, coffee filter, rubber band, and water with coffee or sand in it. The filter is going to act like fish gills. Pretend the coffee is oxygen in the water. Fish need oxygen to breathe so when the water goes through the fish gills, oxygen is caught!

    1. Fill one cup with water and coffee grounds (or sand) and set aside.
    2. Place the coffee filter over the second cup and rubber band it in place.
    3. Pour the water mixture over the filter and observe as the water filters through and the coffee gets stuck on top!

    For more, visit True Aim Education.

    Arts & Crafts
    Who doesn’t love arts and crafts? Creating art allows your children to interact with the world around them and teaches them new communication skills. Check out these fun crafts that are mostly made using items you can find around your house!
    Black Cat Paper Craft

    Black cats are purrfect all year round but they are especially festive during Halloween!

    You will need:

    • Colored paper (black, white, green, pink) (You could use just black and white paper and color the nose and eyes in with a marker.)
    • Elmer’s glue or a glue gun
    • Scissors
    • String

    Start by folding one piece of black paper like an accordion. Fold it in half and tie with a string. Glue the edges together. Repeat this with another piece of black paper and glue them both together. At this point, you should have a paper pinwheel.

    Next, cut two black triangles for the cat ears, strips of white paper for whiskers, a small pink triangle for the nose, and two green ellipses for the eyes. You will need to cut or draw black stripes to make pupils for your cat’­­s eyes.

    Use white glue or hot glue to put your cat together.

    Visit Easy, Peasy, and Fun for helpful pictures. 

    Egg Carton Pumpkin Wreath

    Challenge your kiddos to design some super silly monsters with crazy faces, spiky hair, tentacles, and more! This project using any craft supplies you can find at your house! Try to upcycle and use egg cartons, cardboard rolls, and plastic cups. You can also use paint, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, pom poms, and more! You will need hot glue or tacky glue to put your monsters together.

    For inspiration, visit Frugal Fun 4 Boys (and girls).  

    Egg Carton Pumpkin Wreath

    Are you egg-cited for the holiday season? This egg carton craft will help you recycle AND decorate your home at the same time.

    Supplies Needed:

    • Egg carton(s) – 13 cups were used in total for this project
    • Paper plate
    • Orange and green paint
    • Scissors
    • Glue
    • Green pipe cleaner (optional)


    1. Cut your egg cartons into individual egg cups and cut the center of your paper plate out.
    2. Paint 12 of the egg cups orange and one green. (You only need to paint the outside since you won’t see the inside once they are glued to the plates.
    3. Paint the paper plate rim orange and let dry. (You can use the top of the egg carton as a drying rack!
    4. Once dry, glue the orange egg cups upside down around the paper plate rim and glue the green cup right side up to act as the stem.
    5. (Optional) Use the green pipe cleaner and bend into leaves. Glue into the stem.

    For step by step pictures, visit Manda Panda

    Fall Paper Twirler

    This craft will turn an ordinary paper plate into an awesome fall-themed twirler!

    Supplies Needed:

    • Paper plates (one per twirler)
    • Brown paint and a paintbrush (You could buy brown paper plates to skip this step.)
    • Red, yellow, and orange colored paper
    • Scissors
    • Glue Stick
    • Stapler
    • Pens or markers
    • Single hole punch
    • Twine or string


    1. Paint your plate brown and let dry. Paint the other side and let it dry too.
    2. Cut a swirl into your plate. It should look like a snail shell. (Visit Red Ted for a directional picture.) []
    3. Cut your leaves into the colored paper. These can be freehanded or you can go on a nature walk and trace the leaves you find outside. Fold your paper before tracing or cutting to create several at once.
    4. Add detail to the leaves (or special notes) with a pen or marker.
    5. Glue the leaves on with a glue stick. Alternate the leaves on each side of the plate. (Again, visit Red Ted Art for a helpful picture.)
    6. Take your string and tie a knot on one end. Staple, tape, or make a hole in the top of your paper plate to attach the string.
    7. Hang from the ceiling and watch it spin!

    Head to Red Ted Art for helpful pictures and more!

    MMCM Pumpkin Pie Play-Dough

    DIY Play Dough is an incredible craft for your kids! It’s inexpensive, takes about 5 minutes to make, and lasts for months. Enjoy this special recipe for Pumpkin Pie scented play dough. Optional: You can also add glitter to your dough to give it some sparkle.

    **Please remember, this play dough might smell yummy but you shouldn’t eat it.

    Egg Carton Helicopter

    You will need:

    • an egg carton
    • card stock
    • brad clips
    • paint and paint brush
    • craft glue of your choice (hot glue, tacky glue, etc.)
    • scissors
    • ruler

    To create your helicopters, start by cutting out the pieces from the egg carton. You will need a round cup for the body, triangle for the tail, and small rounded pieces to attach the blades. (Visit The Craft Train for step-by-step pictures.) Paint all the pieces and be sure to add a white windshield to the rounded piece.

    While the pieces are drying, create your blades. Use a ruler to measure some strips of cardstock. (In the example photo, the blades measure about 1/3 X 2 1/3.) Glue the blades into a cross shape and cut a tiny slit in the top. Poke a hole into the egg carton and secure the blades with a brad clip. Glue the tail to the body and you are ready for play!

    Duct Tape Pencil Pouches

    You will need:

    • Quart sized Ziploc bags with the slider
    • Duct tape in various colors or patterns
    • Scissors
    • Ruler or craft mat
    • Sharpie
    • Small electrical tape (optional)

    To start, measure two inches from the bottom of bag and draw a line across the bag with a Sharpie. Using the line as a guide, cut your bag with scissors. Start from the top and cover bag with a strip of tape a little longer than bag and fold over ends. Overlap the next piece of tape about 1/8 of an inch. The 3rd strip you can fold over the bottom of the bag, and finish with two more strips up the back of bag. If you want, you can add another color and/or stickers to personalize your pencil case!

    Optional Student ID Holder: Use electrical tape on the sides of the bag to created a clear side pouch for a student I.D or name card. To do this, cut out a credit card sized piece of plastic from another plastic bag, fold a piece of tape around one edge of the plastic, and then tape down the sides and bottom to the side of the pouch.

    For step-by-step pictures and inspiration, visit Hip 2 Save!

    Gross Motor Dice

    You will need:

    • square box (ex: tissue box)
    • white paper 
    • scissors
    • tape
    • markers

    To start, cut your paper to size and tape it over the sides of the box. Decide on some fun, active movements and write them on each side of the box. Roll your dice and have your child/children act out the activities. 

    Some activities might include: hop like a frog, jump 5 times, spin in a circle, fly like a bird, stomp like a dinosaur, and wiggle wiggle. 

    This activity is great for practicing gross motor skills that use large muscles to move the whole body.Ask your kids what muscles and body parts they are using to do the work. Are their legs jumping or their arms flapping? What other part of their body are they using that they might not think of? When you spin in a circle are you also using your arms for balance?  

    Thanks Rainy Day Fun for this idea!

    Chef’s Hat Craft

    You will need:

    • Bristol board or thick paper
    • 2 large sheets of white tissue paper
    • hot glue gun
    • tape
    • stickers, markers, decorations (optional)

    First you’ll need to measure the diameter of your child’s head. Cut a piece of Bristol board to that length and three inches high. Use hot glue to attach the ends. 

    Next, take two large pieces of white tissue paper and tape the edges along the inside of the top of the rim of the hat.

    Shape the tissue paper to your liking and decorate the base with stickers or markers. 

    Click here to visit Today’s Parent for helpful step-by-step photos. 

    Golden Snitch Fidget Spinner

    You will need:

    • hot glue gun
    • two straws of different thickness (one must fit inside the other)
    • gold paint and a paintbrush
    • metal spoon
    • cooling oil
    • plastic tray or cookie sheet

    First, to shape the ball (center) of your golden snitch, grease a metal teaspoon with a bit of cooking oil to prevent sticking. Cut a small length of your bigger straw to fit the inside of the top of the teaspoon the fill it most of the way with hot glue and insert the straw. Let dry.

    While that is drying, make your wings by freehand drawing them with the hot glue onto a plastic tray or cookie sheet. It is easier to remove if you grease the tray first with cooking oil, but it can make shaping the wings a bit more difficult.

    Once the half-ball is dry, pop it out of the teaspoon and fill the teaspoon up again with hot glue. Gently press the half ball flat-side down into the teaspoon to form a ball with the straw in the center. You can leave a small gap for the wings to slot into, or just cut that into the ball later. Let dry.

    When the ball and wings are fully dry, you want to attach the wings to the ball. If you have left slots between the two ball halves, insert the wings and secure with hot glue. If not, decide where you want the wings to go and then cut into the ball using scissors or a knife. Insert the wings and secure with hot glue. Let dry completely.

    Cut away any glue that is blocking the openings of the straw. Insert the smaller straw and cut to size based on how far you want your fingers from the fidget spinner when spinning (the wing length will affect this). Paint the dry fidget spinner with golden paint. Let dry.

    Cut the wings down to size, if needed, to ensure that you can properly spin it.

    Head to Sugar Spice and Glitter for full instructions and a helpful video!

    What Are Germs

    Germs can be scary for kids. Why not make them fun and educational? We love the book, “What are Germs” from Usborn. Next time you visit the museum, check it out in our galleries! While you’re home, try making this fun germ craft using paper, glue, googly eyes, popsicle sticks, and markers! If you’re missing some of these supplies at home, try improvising with recyclable materials like we do in our Scrap Studio. Share your creations with us on Facebook!

    Thanks to I Heart Crafty Things for this instructions. 

    That’s So Sweet

    Want to make some yummy treats to eat while the kids are home? Why not start with a good book and a paper cupcake before the real thing? You can use supplies you have right at home like a paper plate, colorful paper, and cotton craft balls as sprinkles. Yum!

    Thank you to The Simple Parent for the great idea!

    The Blue Whale Blues

    Do you have the blue whale blues because you’re stuck at home? Make a happy whale out of an old egg carton, pipe cleaners, and paper to brighten your day! If you give this craft a try, share it with us below in the comments section.

    Shoutout to I Heart Crafty Things for the fun craft idea!

    The Lorax

    Have you checked out our storytime readings? One of our favorite authors is Dr. Seuss. He brought us some of the most well-known and loved children’s stories of our time. The Lorax reminds us to care about our planet. Make your own Lorax using a toilet paper tube, paper, and colored pencils or markers. Make sure you share your creations with us!

    Wilbur the Pig

    Wilbur is quite the pig in Charlotte’s Web. Make your own little piggy that is pig-ture perfect. There are many different ways you can make a pig using items you have at home! Share you craft with us on our social media and let us know what items you used to make your pig.

    Tweet Tweet

    Use your recyclables and make a bird feeder! Whether you live in the city or the country, there are likely to be some birds around! You can attract them with some wild bird seed in a feeder just like this one. Try to snap a picture of the birds you see at your house and share them with us in the comments.

    Bunny Sock Hop

    Bunnies are a sign of spring! Decorate your house with this cute bunny made from recycled materials. All it takes is a sock, fabric, ribbon, rubber bands, and googly eyes! You can also use markers or paint to make your bunny’s face.

    Check out A Pumpkin and a Princess for a tutorial. 

    Bouncin’ Bouncin’

    Looking for a craft that can turn into hours of fun? Try out this recipe for a homemade bouncy ball! All it takes is 1/2 cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of Borax, and 1-2 tablespoons of clear Elmer’s glue.

    1. Make Borax solution: Mix 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of borax until it is completely dissolved. (Add more water if it doesn’t dissolve.) We recommend adults do this step.  
    2. Add your desired amount of glue into the Borax solution. (Try using glitter glue to give your bouncy ball a fun color. You could also add your own glitter and food coloring to clear glue for color and sparkle.)
    3. Squish and squeeze! As soon as the glue hits the solution it will start to harden. Gently squeeze and squish until the glue ball is no longer squishy. 
    4. Remove from the Borax solution and roll between your hands to make it ball shaped. 

    Note: Please be careful when using Borax. Make sure your kiddos wash their hands afterwards and keep their hands and bouncy balls out of their mouths. After some time your bouncy ball may flatten into a disc shape. If this happens, roll your ball between your hands and it will return to its original shape!

    Thanks for the fun craft idea, Life’s Carousel.

    The Very Crafty Caterpillar

    Did you watch our storytelling of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle? Here is a craft inspired by the book that actually wiggles and moves!

    1. Print or trace the template. You can print or trace on colored paper or color your own caterpillar once it is traced. 
    2. Cut the square out and fold along the dotted line.
    3. Cut, cut cut! Cut along all of the dashed lines. 
    4. Once all the strips are cut, fold them along the non-dashed line. 
    5. Crease and unfold all. 
    6. Make the loop by gluing each strip down. 
    7. Cut and glue the face and antennae to the body. 

    Thanks to Easy Peasy and Fun for this craft inspo. 

    Gnome Place Like Home

    Have you been saving your toilet paper rolls? Use them to create your own gnome home! You can put them in the garden or leave them in the house but be careful – we hear gnomes steal your socks!

    Plastic Fashion

    Have you been saving plastic containers for recycling? Turn those containers into cute charms for a bracelet, necklace, or keychain! Use the flat part of the container to draw the shapes, color them with permanent markers, and then bake them in the oven for 3 minutes at 330 degrees.

    Thanks Cleverly for the great idea!

    Earth Day is Every Day

    Make this simple craft to appreciate the outdoors while you are indoors. All you need is a paper plate, a baking sheet, shaving cream, paint, toothpick, and popsicle stick.

    1. Squirt white shaving cream onto your baking sheet in the shape of a circle. 
    2. Drop blue and green paint into the shaving cream. 
    3. Use a toothpick to swirl the paint.
    4. Place the bottom of your paper plate in the paint and make sure to cover all the edges. 
    5. Remove and take a straight edge (like a popsicle stick) to remove any excess shaving cream. 
    6. Let dry and admire your Earth like you are in outer space. 

    Thanks to Crafty Morning for this Earth Day inspiration. 

    Plant Pets

    Did you plant any plants on Earth Day? For today’s craft, recycle your plastic bottles and use them as a cute planter! Not only does this help keep plastic out of our oceans, but also brings new plants to life! Here’s what you need: an empty plastic bottle, googly eyes, buttons or other decorations, glue, a plant, soil, paint, markers, and scissors. 

    1. Decide how tall you want your planter to be. Draw a line to mark this spot.
    2. Trace your animal outline onto the bottle. To make a dinosaur, you will need to draw the neck above your line. For a cat, draw ears that attach to your line.
    3. Poke a hole in the bottle and cut out your shape. (After the top of the bottle is removed, you can go back and clean up your lines.)
    4. If you have sandpaper at home, use some to roughen the outside of the bottle to help the paint stick. 
    5. Paint your planter whatever color you want! It may take several coats of paint. 
    6. Attach googly eyes and other decorations and draw details on your planter once it has dried. 
    7. Fill with soil and plant your plant!

    Thanks to Super Simple for this idea!

    Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy

    Looking for some spring inspiration? Make a bright and colorful flower and a happy hoppy frog! You can use a paper plate as a lily pad, your hand to create the shape of a frog, and paper or old magazines to create the flower.

    1. Cut a pie shaped piece our of your paper plate and paint it green to make it look like a lily pad. 
    2. Make your water lilies. Draw a six-petal flower and use it for a template. You will need to stack four flowers to make a lily. 
    3. Glue the flowers together, alternating where the petals fall to fill in the gaps. (Like the picture shows.)
    4. Bend the petals upwards on each flower but the bottom one. 
    5. Cut small squares from tissue paper.
    6. Using one square at a time, place a piece of tissue paper around the end of a pencil, dip it in glue, and stick to the center of the flower. Repeat this process until you have a full center. 
    7. Glue the flower to the lily pad.
    8. Now make your frog! Trace your hand onto paper, cut out shapes for eyes, and a tongue.
    9. Glue to your handprint, draw a mouth, and glue your frog onto the lily pad. 

    Thanks to The Best Ideas for Kids for this idea!

    Fork Tulips

    May is a time for bright colors and blooming flowers. Tulips are some of the first flowers to bloom in May. For today’s Saturday craft, use a plastic fork to make a tulip painting! Then, take that same fork and paint the rest of it to become its own tulip. Place them in a jar to brighten up any space in your home.

    Thanks to Our Kid Things for the inspo!

    Mother’s Day Cards

    Mother’s Day is tomorrow! Have you gotten a card for the mother figure in your life? This Saturday, make one our favorite flower-themed cards that are sure to make a smile bloom on the face of your mom, sister, grandma, aunt, and more! For step-by-step instructions, visit these great sites that gave us the inspiration:

    Card 1 from A Little Pinch of Perfect

    Card 2 from The Best Ideas for Kids

    Card 3 from The Best Ideas for Kids

    Pen Pals

    We might not be able to see all our friends and family in person but we can still mail them letters and cards to let them know that we are thinking about them! Call a friend and ask them for their address then write them a letter and send it. Having a pen pal can be so much fun! Have you gotten any letters in the mail recently? Make this springy and colorful letter rack craft to hold your letters and make them easy to find. (See the second photo for step-by-step instructions.)

    Roses Are Red

    Roses are red, violets are blue, MMCM has a fun craft for you! This Saturday, make a lovely rose out of supplies you already have at your house.

    You only need a paper plate and scissors for the first rose. Cut the plate in a spiral and wrap it in a spiral. For more, visit Kids Activities Blog.

    The second rose is made from tissue paper. Cut it into a 11×4 inch square and then cut lengthwise into two strips. Fold the top down on one strip and wrap it around a chop stick or pipe cleaner. For more, visit Happy Hooligans.

    Good Day Sunshine

    With lots of sunny days ahead, we want you to get outside and create some sun art!

    Use your toys to draw shadows the sun creates. Move your toys in different directions and observe how the shadows change. (You can also make your own figure our of aluminum foil for this activity.) Older kids can make this more advanced by using colored paper and paint to create a scene.

    For more, visit Rookie Parenting and Taming Little Monsters

    Dough Creations

    Did you know you can use salt and flour dough to make fun creations? Once baked, you can paint your designs and display them – but remember, while these are made from edible ingredients, they are NOT meant for eating.

    Use a wooden spoon to mix two cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of water. Once it forms a ball, sprinkle some flour on your work surface and knead your dough for about 5 minutes. When the dough is smooth, roll it out on a floured surface until it’s about 1 inch thick. Try making a flower, fruit, or your favorite animal. You can use cookie cutters to help you with the shapes too! Bake for 4 hours at 275 degrees or until the dough is completely dry. Once it cools, you can paint your design and seal with water based varnish if you have some available.

    Check out think link to see how you can turn your salt dough into dinosaur fossils!

    Flower Power

    Hyacinths are beautiful bunches of flowers! Here are two simple crafts that will add some color and life to your home without having to plant a real garden.

    For the first example, you will need paint, paper, a bottle cap, scissors, and glue. Visit I Heart Crafty Things for more.

    For a more advanced craft, you will need colored paper, scissors, a ruler, a pencil, and a glue stick. Visit One Little Project for more instructions.

    Memorial Day

    Happy Memorial Day from all of us at MMCM!

    Check out this link from Metro Parent for fun, patriotic crafts your kids can make today! We love these popsicle stick streamers.

    We’ve Been Framed

    Do you have any unframed pictures at home? Have you taken any cute photos from quarantine that you haven’t had a chance to develop? Enlist the kids and have them make personalized frames for your photos!

    All you need is a cardboard box, aluminum foil, scissors, a ruler, and glue. You can also use colorful sharpies to decorate the frame.

    Upcycled Wall Art

    Have you been saving your cardboard tubes? Maybe you’ve got extras from your paper towel or toilet paper rolls. Did you know you can use them to make some great crafts including wall art!

    Here are a few links that we hope inspire you to make your own upcycled creations!

    Link 1:

    Link 2: The Mayberry Home Journal

    Buzzing Bees

    Flowers have bloomed and bees are buzzing! Here are some fun and easy bumblebee crafts you can make to show your support for the work the bees do to help plants grow.

    Start by using your handprint to make a bee and then build it a hive with recycled paper tubes so it has a home to live in.

    Link 1: Preschool Activities

    Link 2: I Creative Ideas

    Happy Birthday (Hat) MMCM!

    This June we are celebrating MMCM’s 12th birthday! 🎈🎉🎁  We hope you’ll celebrate with us by making your own birthday hat. There are many ways you can do this. 

    First, you can take a paper plate and cut triangles in it. Then color it in your favorite colors or decorate with pom-poms, tissue paper, and glitter!

    Thanks, Art Bar!

    This second hat has a traditional party hat template you can follow. If you make a hat, we’d love to see a photo of you wearing it and wishing MMCM a happy birthday! 

    Visit Polka Dot Chair for more!

    The End of the Rainbow

    Rainbows are amazing! 🌈 Have you ever wished you could make your own at home? With this experiment, you can!

    You will need paper towel, washable markers, and two cups of water. Fold a piece of paper town in half and color rectangles of rainbow colors on each end. Place two cups 3/4 filled with water on your table. Place each end of the paper towel in a cup. (Make sure just the ends are in the water.) Watch as your rainbow grows!

    Does it grown only part of the way or are both sides of the rainbow touching? Experiment with different lengths of paper towel to see which connect and which don’t.

    Visit The Best Ideas For Kids to learn the science behind this experiment. 


    Do your kids look forward to getting new toys? This craft is a great way to have new toys as often as you want!

    Take any cardboard you have at home and cut the shape of your favorite animal. Color it and then cut slits in the bottom to attach legs. Play until your heart is content! 🦁 🦄 🐮 🐼

    Visit Red Ted Art for more!

    What’s Poppin’

    MMCM’s birthday month is just getting started! This craft is all about party food. Whether the theme is a movie or carnival, popcorn is never the wrong answer.

    Use yellow and white tissue paper for the popcorn and paper and markers of the container!

    Thanks to DLTK’s Kids for this great idea!

    Paper Plate Ring Toss

    This DIY ring toss can be done with even your littlest ones. All you need are some paper plates and a paper towel tube.

    1. Cut out the middle of the paper plates and enlist your kiddos to decorate them.
    2. Next, tape a paper towel tube to a plate and have the kids toss them like rings.
    3. You can also use the plates as a Frisbee and put a target somewhere for them to aim at.

    Visit Kiwi Co for more!

    Foosball Frenzy

    Did you know the world record for a Foosball game is 61 hours and 17 minutes! Today, we’ll show you how to make your own Foosball table out of a cardboard box but don’t worry, we don’t expect you to break any world records.

    Pick your box, decorate popsicle sticks like people, and glue them to wooden skewers. Place your skewers in the box and play away! Let us know how long you can keep the game going.

    Visit Teachers Are Terrific for more steps and helpful tips. 

    Paper Circus Tent

    We’ve had a great month celebrating MMCM in carnival party style! Let’s end with a bang by making a big top tent to bring everyone together (or at least all our toys together).

    Visit the link below to pick out a template, color it , and cut out the pieces out. Glue them together for the finished tent.

    Thanks to First Palette for this fun craft! 

    Noodle Fireworks

    The Fourth of July is this Saturday! Start your celebrations early with this firework craft made from noodles, glue, and glitter.

    Squirt a circle of glue on a piece of wax paper then create an exploding firework shape using different pasta pieces. Sprinkle on glitter or use glitter glue to add some sparkle. 

    Visit Brimful Curiosities for more steps and tips. 

    Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam

    The Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam are symbols of American independence. Follow these links to make your own paper plate Lady Liberty hat and torch and duct tape Uncle Sam hat!

    Lady Liberty: Buggy and Buddy

    Uncle Sam: Armelle

    Crepe Paper Star

    This 4th of July wreath takes some super simple items and makes an incredibly cute craft.

    You need a roll each of red, white, and blue crepe paper. Start by tracing a star onto a piece of cardboard. Next cut strips of crepe paper to 36 inches long. Fold them in half and roll them up. Place the rolls around the star and glue them down. Use hot glue and ask an adult to help. Lastly, glue ribbon to the top to hang it up!

    Visit One Crazy Mom for more!

    Paper Cone Wreath

    Still not done celebrating the 4th of July? Neither are we!

    Try making this craft today to keep the fun going. All you need is red, white, and blue craft paper, a pencil, scissors, and glue.

    Check out Artsy Craftsy Mom for full details. 

    LEGO Stamping

    Want to try something new with your LEGOs? LEGO Stamping is a fun way to use your LEGOs and be creative. The activity is perfect for kiddos of all ages. Share your art with us when you’re done! We love to see what you create.

    1. Build “handles” on your LEGO stamps. 
    2. Put something thick like a magazine, felt, or cardboard under your craft paper to help your stamps show up!
    3. Cover your surface to help with any mess and get creating!

    Check out Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls for further explanation and inspiration! 

    Moon Mobile

    Learn about the phases of the moon with this fun moon mobile craft!

    Materials needed: a wire coat hanger, white paper, coloring utensils, hole punch, string.

    1. Use your coat hanger as a base to hang the moon phases from.
    2. Create at least five circles on your white paper and shade in the different moon phases.
    3. Hole punch the moons and use string to attach them to your hanger. 

    See the picture below from Kelsey Oseid for inspiration! To learn more about the moon and it’s phases, visit Net Geo Kids

    Turn Milk into Plastic!

    For this amazing craft you will need milk, vinegar, a strainer, paper towel, and a microwave! Cookie cutters and food coloring are optional. 

    1. Take one cup of milk and warm it in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes. You want your milk warm, not hot. 
    2. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar and stir for about 1 minute. You will notice your milk begin to clump. 
    3. Strain the milk through a strainer. You can push the clumps down with a utensil to really get the liquid out. 
    4. Transfer it to paper towel and continue to press out the liquid from the plastic. 
    5. Use cookie cutter and food coloring to make colorful shapes from your plastic! You will need to let your shapes fully dry for about two days until they are hard. 

    Use your new shapes as to decorate your house or save them for Christmas and decorate your tree. 

    Visit How We Learn for more steps and explanation. 

    Make A Crane!

    For this activity you will need two thick/sturdy cardboard tubes (ex. from inside a cling wrap roll), a narrow cardboard box, a paper towel roll, rocks, hot glue, scissors, and paint (optional). Please note, this activity requires cutting cardboard and hot gluing. We recommend a grown up help you with this project. 

    For all the steps, tips and tricks on making this crane, visit: At Home With Ali!

    Click here for some fun ideas on Playing and Learning with your new crane.

    Zebra Finger Puppet

    For a simple craft template, visit I Heart Crafty Things!

    Materials needed: Thick paper or cardstock (if you don’t have cardstock, you could print on regular paper and clue to cardboard, then cut out), scissors, black paint, paintbrushes, black yarn, black marker, glue (tacky glue is recommended, googly eyes (optional). 

    1. Download and print the template from the link above. You could also download the template and have an adult trace or draw the template if you don’t have a printer available to you. 
    2. Paint black stripes onto the face, neck, and body. Let the paint completely dry. Once the paint is dry, cut out the shapes from the template. 
    3. Cut the holes on the bottom. If you have a 3/4 hole punch, you can use that to make the hole shapes. These will be the finger holes for your puppet. 
    4. Glue the neck and head onto the body, then glue ears on – one on the front and one on the back. 
    5. Draw an eye or glue a googly eye onto the face. 
    6. Cut our small strands of black yarn and glue them along the back of the zebra neck and a few on top of the head. Glue some strands on the end for a tail, too. 
    7. Once the glue is dry, your zebra is ready for play! Place your fingers into the finger holes and you can have fun galloping your zebra around. 

    Cereal Box Puppet Theater

    Materials needed: A cereal box with your favorite characters, ruler, exacto knife or scissors, paint brush and paint, tape, ribbon, and wooden craft dowels (pencils can be used instead). 

    1. Deconstruct your cereal box so it lays flat then measure and cut a window in the front of the box and a puppet track along the bottom. For a template, click here.
    2. Use some of the leftover cardboard to create your scene and attach it to the inside of the box with tape. In the example show, they picked seaweed for the scene. 
    3. Measure the ribbon to fit around your child’s neck and use tape to attach the straps to the inside of the box. Make sure you seal it shut!
    4. Use the rest of your cardboard to create your characters! You can cut out the ones already on the box or use the inside to draw/paint your own. 
    5. Use tape to attach your characters to the dowels. (You could use pencils instead of dowels.)
    6. Let the storytelling begin!

    Visit Handmade Charlotte for step-by-step photos.

    Here you can find all the best stories your kids love in easy to follow videos! Follow along with us as we bring you our favorites like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Rainbow Fish.
    Witches Spell Trouble

    Two witches argue about which of them is more beautiful in this fun pop-up book by John Patience.

    The Monster in the Basement

    Johnny Hulls is your average teenager, always seeking attention. Well, his bad habit of pulling pranks led him into trouble, causing him to stay home all by himself on Halloween night. What he thought was going to be the most boring night ever, turned out to be the scariest night of his life. This story is by Tierra Billings. 

    Five Little Pumpkins by Tiger Tales

    Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate… The first one said, “My, it’s getting late!”… Count with Miss Jessie and the pumpkins from one to five as they each experience the fun and spookiness of Halloween night! When you’re finished reading along, head to our STEM section for a Five Little Pumpkins STEM Challenge. 

    The Three Friends and the Pumpkins by Tomie dePaola

    Read along with Miss Jessie and she tells the story of three friends who pick just the right pumpkins and then make them into jack-o-lanterns.

    Why Do the Leaves Change Color? By Betsy Mestro

    This instructive and colorful science book explains how trees’ leaves change color from summer to fall! Learn the science behind it with our Play and Learn Coordinator, Miss Jessie.

    Curious George and the Firefighters
    Curious George and the Firefighters is a story based on H. A. and Margret Rey’s popular primate. Firefighters are a famously brave lot, but can they withstand a visit from one curious monkey? Find out with Miss Jessie.

    Curious George and the Dump Truck
    Curious about the big truck next door, George takes a closer look. He wants to see how it works. Before long he finds that one little lever can mean great big trouble! Read along with Miss Jessie to see what happens next! Story by H. A. Rey. 

    Curious George Goes to the Library
    When Curious George visits the library he becomes impatient waiting for the librarian to read the dinosaur book, and proceeds to gather all the books he wants to read and tries to leave. Follow along with Miss Jessie to find out what happens next! Story by H. A. Rey. 

    Going to the Doctor
    By Anne Civardi. Jenny Jay has a cough, Joey Jay needs his immunization shot, and Jack Jay has a sprained wrist, so the whole Jay family goes to the doctor to find out how to get well.

    Peanut Butter and Jelly
    A young boy compares foods he likes to his favorite thing to eat in a rhyming fashion. By JoAnne Nelson.

    Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons 
    When Bambolona asks for help working for her father, Strega Nona says she will teach them some magic. Big Anthony is jealous, however, and wants to learn magic, too. Read along as Big Anthony tries to join Strega Nona’s magic class, with hilarious results. This story was written by Tommie dePaola. 

    Grow Seed Grow

    How does a seed become a flower? Join Miss Jessie here on our Facebook page while she reads Grow Seed Grow by Keith Faulkner. This book walks you through the growth of a seed. Follow its journey from a seedling to a beautiful flower! Can you guess what kind it will be?

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Spring is a time for new beginnings! The weather is warmer, the sun is out, and we are seeing more of our insect friends. Spring also means we are sure to see more caterpillars become butterflies. Join Miss Jessie for a fun story by Eric Carle about a very hungry caterpillar who becomes a butterfly!

    The Night Before Easter

    While we humans may be social distancing, that doesn’t mean the magical Easter Bunny has to be! See what happens the night before Easter in this story from the Play and Learn Collection at the your Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum! We hope you have a great Easter weekend!

    Max’s Chocolate Chicken

    Happy Easter everyone! Today, our Play & Learn Coordinator, Jessie, has a fun story for you by Rosemary Wells. We hope you are able to enjoy this holiday with some good food and family. Try not to eat a whole chocolate chicken!

    Toes Are To Tickle

    Have you ever wondered what things are really for? Find out why we have toes, mirrors, milk, and more in this funny story by Shen Roddie and Katie MacDonald Denton. 

    Who Took The Cookies From The Cookie Jar?

    Have you ever wondered who ate all the cookies? In this story by Bonnie Lass and Philemon Sturgis, skunk goes on an adventure to find the culprit who took all the cookies from the cookie jar! 

    It’s Hard to Be Five

    It can be hard to be any age but in this book by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell, it’s especially hard to be five. Wonder what could make being five so difficult? 

    Officer Buckle and Gloria

    Do you have rules for safety at your house? We do at the museum! So does Officer Buckle in this story about friendship and safety. We hope you enjoy!

    Welcome to the Neighborhood – With Special Guest, Daniel Tiger!

    My friend Daniel Tiger stopped by to rrread along to one of his stories and brought some friends too! Find out who the special visitor to the Land of Make Believe is in Welcome to the Neighborhood.

    Let’s Talk About Being Helpful

    Today’s story by Joy Berry shows us how to be helpful, even when we really don’t want to be. In what ways have your kids been helpful while everyone’s home?

    Big Enough to Help – With Special Guest, Daniel Tiger!

    Daniel Tiger had so much fun reading to you all last week that he decided to come back for another story! Find out how he helped Dad and Mom Tiger in “Big Enough to Help”.

    May There Always Be Sunshine

    Right now there is a lot of unknown but we know one thing for sure – there will always be sunshine! We hope this book reminds you that when times are uncertain, some things will always be there.

    Blue Whale Blues

    Join Miss Jessie as she reads you the story of Whale and finds out why he is so blue. Hopefully it won’t make you blue too!

    Want to make a fun whale craft after reading? Visit our Arts & Crafts section in our Play At Home Catalog where we show you how to make a whale friend from an egg carton!

    Where the Wild Things Are

    Most people know the story. Some people have even seen the movie! Join us for our very own reading of the popular tale “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.

    Skip to My Lou

    Have you ever hear someone sing “Skip to My Lou”? Thats’s what this story is based off of. Whether you sing it or you read it, this is a fun story with lots of animals! When you’re done, trying learning the words to the song and sing your heart out.

    On The Day You Were Born

    To celebrate the start of MMCM’s birthday month, join us for a tale of what happened the day you were born. The Earth was so excited to greet you – almost as excited as the museum is when you visit!

    My Working Mom

    Do you have a working mom? Do you think her job is really cool? In this story, we see that having a working mom can be hard at times it’s also so much fun!

    I Just Forgot

    There are a lot of things happening in the world around us right now. This can make it hard to remember all the things we are supposed to do. Follow along with Critter and Miss Jessie and we’ll see if you forget as much as Critter does!

    Billie’s Yummy Bakery Adventure

    Do you miss playing in Aunt Sugar’s Kitchen at the museum? We sure do! In this book, Billie reminds us that anywhere can be a kitchen if we put our minds to it. 🌮 🍕 🍉 🍿 🍎

    Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop

    Have you ever dreamed for something so much that you made it a reality? This story is all about working hard to chase your dreams and make them come true. 💫

    Ron’s Big Mission

    Happy Juneteenth! Juneteenth is short for June Nineteenth and is also known as Freedom Day. It is the oldest known holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. In honor of Juneteenth, Miss Jessie has some special stories for you. Everyone has something important to do in their life! Ron McNair had something very important to do in his. Find out what it is in this story. Do you think you will do something very important one day?

    My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was instrumental in the fight for Civil Rights. He helped demonstrate to America that even though slaves were freed they were not really free. Join us for this story, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, where we learn another side of MLK’s story.

    Testing The Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

    We celebrated Juneteenth last Friday with a few of our favorite books featuring African Americans. Today, we have a special story about Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball. Robinson played a huge role in ending racial segregation in professional baseball. Enjoy this story in his memory, written by his daughter Sharon.


    Sports and exercise can be difficult, especially with asthma. Even MMCM’s Ms. Jessie has exercise-induced asthma. Find out if it’s safe to exercise with asthma and compete in your school’s sports day.


    Do you have a big, loud voice? Effie the ant does. Sometimes you just want to talk to someone but no one wants to listen! Find out how Effie finally gets someone to listen to her and maybe it will help you too.

    A Big Ball of String

    This week would have been our LEGO Mania Camp. In the spirit of building, listen to this story about taking something ordinary and making it EXTRAORDINARY! In this story, we see a piece of string used to make something big. Can you use single LEGO bricks to make something new?

    Visit to see all our at-home summer camp kits. We’ve even got a Builder PAL kit available that brings even more LEGO fun home!

    I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track

    Sometimes it can feel like life is going off the tracks. Find out if it’s better to stay on them or fly off in this story about an ant on the railroad tracks.

    It’s Time For Bed

    Enjoy this sweet story by Mem Fox that is the perfect bedtime listen.

    In the Garden With Van Gogh

    Join Miss Jessie for a story that will entertain art lovers of all ages.

    Pigs Aplenty, Pigs Galore

    This story by David McPhail is all about trying to clean up a pig’s mess in your house.

    The Birthday Presents

    This story by Paul Stewart is about Rabbit and Hedgehog who are on the search for the perfect birthday presents. Both come up with the fun solutions for gifts- but not for the reasons they first thought of.

    We’ve All Got Bellybuttons!

    Follow along with some of our favorite animal babies and discover all the wonderful ways they can move! Learn what we have in common and what might be different. Written by David Martin. 

    A Soup Opera

    A Soup Opera is a story about a man, a bowl of soup, and his frustrating quest to eat that soup. Characters in the cast of the opera include a waiter, a police officer and the President of the United States! Written by Jim Gill.

    Create Your Own “One Word” Story!

    Grab the whole family to do this activity. 

    1. Select one person to start the story using only one sentence. For example, “Once upon a time, there was a princess who dreamed of being an astronaut.”
    2. Move clockwise around the circle and have each person add one word to the story.
    3. The circle is repeated as many times as you want until you feel the story is finished. 

    What will your family come up with? 

    Fun Family Activities
    Here are some of the best family activities that can be done indoors, outdoors, in the day time, or at night! 
    The Stop and Go Game

    How to Play:

    1. Visit Melissa and Doug and print out their stop and go signs. Tape them onto rulers or pencils.
    2. Have one child start as the officer with the stop and go signs. (This can be you if you have an only child and you can switch roles as you play.) 
    3. Pick a starting line across the room. Direct your kids to go when the go sign is held and stop when the stop sign is up. Whoever reaches the officer first wins. 

    Melissa and Doug have lots of fun activities that teach about safety and traffic. Click the link to learn more!

    Back to School Scattergories

    How to Play:

    1. Set a timer. Try 10-15 minutes if your kids are small or set it for less time if your kids are older. Maybe 3-5 minutes so they have to think fast. 
    2. Pairs? Decide if you want to work in pairs or play individually.
    3.  Start the time and write down as many school words you can think of A-Z. For example, A…apple, B…Bus but you want to choose unique words that other players might not think of. When the time is up, each player shares what word they chose for each letter. If no other player used their school themed word, they get a point! No points for blank lines.
    4. Add up the points and see who wins.

    To download and print this Scattergories template, visit The Crafting Chicks. 

    Kid-Friendly Recipes
    For many kids, food is so much more fun when you cook it yourself! Try these fun recipes that will get the whole family in the kitchen. 
    Cinnamallow Rolls

    This recipe is a combination of cinnamon/marshmallow rolls and monkey bread! 

    You will need:

    • 1 can of refrigerated biscuit dough (non-flaky)
    • marshmallows
    • cinnamon and sugar (1/2 cup of sugar to 2 tbsp. cinnamon)
    • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
    • non-stick spray
    • a muffin tin

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Flatten each piece of dough, cover them in melted butter, and then in cinnamon and sugar. Take your marshmallows and place them individually on top of each dough piece. Form the edges of the dough around the marshmallow to create a ball. Place each dough ball inside a greased muffin tin and bake for 12 minutes or until the rolls are puffy and set. (You’ll notice after baking that the marshmallows disappear leaving the inside hollow but full of their sugary sweetness. 

    For more visit Cooking with Libby!

    Homemade Ice Cream

    Looking for a sweet kid-friendly treat for this beautiful weekend? Try making homemade ice cream! It only takes about 15 minutes. You will need ice, 1.5 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1/4 cup of salt, 1 cup of half and half, one gallon ziplock baggie, and one sandwich bag. Combine sugar, half and half, and sugar in the smaller baggie. Seal and make sure to release all the air from the bag. In the one gallon ziplock bag, fill half way with ice and top with salt. Put the smaller bag in the large bag. Shake for 6 minute, remove the small bag, rinse, and enjoy!

    Edible Pudding Slime!

    This recipe is perfect for kiddos that love to get their hands dirty. You will need 1/4 cup of pudding mix, 1/3 cup of warm water, 1 cup of cornstarch, and some optional food coloring.

    1. Start by mixing the pudding mix, warm water, and 1/2 cup of cornstarch.
    2. Add food coloring if you want your slime to be colorful!
    3. Slowly mix in 1/4 cup of the remaining cornstarch. 
    4. Finally, mix in the last 1/4 cup of cornstarch but this time, instead of mixing with a spatula, kneed the dough with your hands. (This should create a Play-Do like texture.)

    Please note that the dough can dry up quickly. If this happens, add a tiny bit of water and kneed it in! Enjoy.

    Uncle Sam Hat Jell-O Snacks

    Looking for some fun, festive treats to help you celebrate the 4th? Grab your kiddos and decorate your Jell-O cups like Uncle Sam’s hat!

    We got this inspiration from Kid Friendly Things To Do!

    Fruit Pizza Flag

    This recipe is perfect for the Fourth of July! Get some strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to create this American Flag Pizza!

    Check out the full recipe at It’s Always Autumn.

    Wiggle, Wiggle Wiggle
    On average, our children should be engaging in 60 minutes of activity each day! But what do we do when we’re stuck at home? Check out these fun ideas for busting a move in the great indoors (and outdoors)!
    Balloon Volleyball

    Try getting some exercise by playing balloon volleyball! All you need is some string and a balloon. Make a net by tying a piece of yarn from one chair to another. Then blow up a balloon and start practicing those serves! You can up the difficulty by adding extra balloons into the mix – can you keep them all from touching the floor? Try using only your feet or head-bumping the balloon.

    Dance, Dance!

    We want to have a dance party! Put on your favorite jams and show off your groove thang. Change it up by having a dance freeze challenge. Have someone pause the music at random and freeze in your dance move. Hold this move until the music starts again. Have fun dancing!

    Relay Races

    Organize a variety of races for your kids in your yard or the area around your house. Winner gets a small prize of your choosing. Get creative with each race! You can have a three-legged race, a one-legged race, a crab walk race, races with sports balls, jump rope races, and more!


    Bring this playground favorite home! Head outside for a game of hopscotch and use chalk or grass paint to create your squares. If you can’t go outside, use tape to make the spaces on the ground. How many different hopscotch patterns can you create?

    Earth Scavenger Hunt

    We are encouraging you to get outside today and take a walk around your yard or neighborhood and enjoy our beautiful Earth! What cool things can you find in your neighborhood? Before heading out, make a scavenger hunt list. We got our inspiration from the Kitchen Counter Chronicles. Check out their website for some fun things to find.

    Obstacle Course

    There are plenty of things you can use around your house for indoor or outdoor obstacle courses! Get creative! Try laying down a ladder and having the kids step through each rung. Maybe they can only jump, somersault, crawl, or crab walk from one area of the course to another! You can also use a piece of wood as a balance beam or require exercises like sit-ups or push-ups. Throw balls to knock down objects. Use water guns to hit targets. For older kids, make it a competition and time them to see how long it takes them to go through the whole course!

    Spelling Bee

    Looking for a fun way to incorporate exercise into your learning? Try this spelling workout with your kiddos! Start by writing out your full name and then complete each activity per letter. Is your name really short? Spell it twice or add in different words! You can even create a list of spelling words you want your kids to know and have them complete each exercise as they spell them out. Looking for an extra challenge? Exercise by spelling “Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum”!

    Thanks to 730 Sage Street for this fun idea!

    Letter Toss

    Looking for another energy-busting and educational activity? The Wednesday Wiggles are here to deliver!

    For this exercise, you’ll need to attach 26 sticky notes to a door or a wall. Each note will have one letter from the alphabet. (If you’ve got little ones, you can work with them to practice writing the letters or sound them out.) Designate a start line a few feet away depending on their age and skill level. Use a soft ball, bean bag, rolled up socks, or stuffed animal to try and hit the letters. Work on their hand eye coordination by telling them which letter to hit. You can also make it a competition by assigning different point values to different letters. Give them 10 throws to see who can gather the most points. If they are alone, have them try to beat their best score. You can also have them try to hit different letters and spell different words. Make if more difficult by making them start over if they miss a letter.

    Thanks to What Moms Love for this inspiration!

    Simon Says

    We find kids are very willing to exercise when you turn it into a fun game! Take a brain break today and play Simon Says with your kids. Here’s a list of exercises you can call out. You get to decide when to say Simon Says! Take turns and get creative. Let the winner call out the next round of exercises and have them make up some of their own – the only rule is that it must get you moving. Have fun!

    Thanks to 730 Sage Street for this fun idea!

    Dancing Letters

    For this exercise, you will need tape, paper, a marker, and some good music your kids will dance to. (If it’s nice outside, you can also complete this exercise using sidewalk chalk instead of tape.)

    1. Find some space and make UPPERCASE letters on the ground using tape or chalk if you are outside. You don’t have to use all 26 letters. You can do this multiple times using different combinations.
    2. Cut your paper into strips and write LOWERCASE letters on them. (To change the game up, you can also use uppercase letters or words to make it easier or more difficult depending on your kids ages.)
    3. Play some music and have the kids dance around. When the music pauses call out a letter and they find the match!
    4. Keep dancing and matching until the kids get tired.

    Thanks to No Time For Flashcards for this fun idea!

    Ring Toss

    It’s our birthday month and we are celebrating carnival style! We want you to make this DIY ring toss game to celebrate with us while getting the wiggles out! We would have loved to have this fun carnival game at our MMCM Birthday Party, but since we can’t we hope you’ll try it out at home.

    Not only is this game loads of fun, but it also will help your kids work on hand-eye coordination, object control, and get some energy out. Have fun!

    You will need paper (try upcycling with old newspapers), masking tape, and decorative tape (optional) to make the rings. If you’ve got pool diving rings or another toy that could work for this game, you can skip these steps. To make the rings:

    1. Roll paper from the corner to the opposite corner to form a tube.
    2. Fasten the paper tube with masking tape to stop the roll unravelling.
    3. Shape the tube roughly into a circle shape and join the ends with masking tape to form the ring.
    4. Wrap the ring with decorative tape.

    Time to play! Flip a chair over so the legs are in the air and see how many rings you can land. Try standing closer or further away – you can even institute a point system for older kids. 

    Visit Learning 4 Kids for full instructions and directions. 

    Ring Toss

    DIY carnival game alert!! This ball toss game can be modified for indoor or outdoor play and challenges your kids to work on their hand-eye coordination and so much more. Make sure they are running to retrieve the balls to get their heart rate up and daily dose of exercise in. 🎪🥇

    Visit C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for full instructions and directions. 

    Lazer Course!

    Do your kids like super sneaky spy challenges? Give this DIY hallway laser maze a try! All you’ll need is a laser beam (string, yarn, or streamers) and some masking tape.

    Hide a treasure treat at the end and spooky creatures or dangerous beasts along the way (toys your kids already have). You can also make this challenge more difficult by taking it outside or up/down stairs for bigger kids.

    Visit It’s Always Autumn for more!