My daughter turned 3 last month and during her party, her friends got to decorate their own birdhouses. Danika’s friends are mostly pairs of siblings so to not burden their parents (our friends) with having to find a place to hang two birdhouses, it was one birdhouse per household, which worked out great.
Since it was a party and the kids were all 4 years old and younger, I skipped the paint to avoid the mess. Instead, I opted for great quality stickers, felt markers, glitter glue and adhesive “jewels”. Much of which I found at the dollar store*.
What you need:
Wooden birdhouses – I got ours for $3 each at the dollar store. They usually carry different models. I took the biggest ones. You can also get them at craft stores and pay 4 times the price.
Markers – I used these kiddie ones from DeSerres.ca. I like how they “bleed” when they get wet (from the glitter glue). Creates a nice watercolour effect, which is what I was hoping for.
Glitter glue – We finished old tubes I had from Michael’s. You can get them anywhere. I’ve been told though that the best tubes are the ones from Target. My crappy ones from Michael’s would always blow open if we squeezed too hard.
Adhesive jewels – I’ve seen these in craft stores but I am always shocked at how much they sell for, meanwhile you can get them for a $1 or $2 from the dollar store.
Tissue paper – pre-cut into squares. I have also seen these sold for insane $ in craft stores. I found some at the dollar store too.
Mod Podge for outdoors – This was needed to make sure the stickers and jewels stayed glued down permanently but it left a sticky finish (even after 3 days), which I hated, so I sprayed them with a clear finish.
Well, I’d like to say we used a technique but come on… They’re pre-schoolers! They just wanted to colour and put stickers and use glitter glue!! They were, however, very concentrated for a good 15-20 minutes. It was awesome. The moms were on hand to help (and to keep the peace among the siblings). All in all, it was a huge success.
I kept the birdhouses after the party so that I could finish them with the Mod Podge and Krylon spray and return them hassle-free and “ready-to-hang”.
As a side note, now’s a good time to hang birdhouses if you want tenants for the summer. March and April are typically the best times, if you live in colder climates like we do here in Quebec.
Have a closer look at the lovely abodes. Hopefully all the bling and sparkle (that you can’t see very well in these photos) will attract some new winged residents.
*This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon. Thank you for your support!
Truth be told, I’m always scouting for small toys and accessories that would make great age-appropriate stocking stuffers at Christmas, Easter egg stuffers and road trip supplies. I store them in a box in the basement until the right time comes. I buy these throughout the year to take advantage of sales (especially liquidations) and impromptu visits to our local dollar store that odly enough, yields some pretty cool and unexpected finds.
When scouting for small toys or if you want to give a few different ones, the idea is to think outside the “packaging” so-to-speak: You don’t have to use every piece of the puzzle (unless it’s part of the Easter Egg hunt game), or all the beads, or all the glow-in-the-dark stars… Open the packaging and just put a couple of the pieces in the eggs. Once the hunt is over, bring out the rest of the packages. We keep all tiny toys in a small cardboard suitcases that the girls love carrying around.
Here’s a collection of items my eldest daughter (now 3) received last year (and still plays with) and some new ones she will find in her Easter eggs this year*.
Coloured hair elastics – From the dollar store
Peppa Pig characters – From eBay and Amazon (In Canada, Peppa Pig sets aren’t sold at Toys R Us but you can find them in the US)
Easter version of the Barrel of Monkeys game but with bunnies – From the dollar store
Lottie Doll outfit – These are a fav in our house. Purchased a couple of outfits in a toy store closeout sale but I have also seen them on Amazon
Fairytale Finger tattoos – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but also saw them on Amazon
Vintage Strawberry Shortcake figurines – From my own collection – my mom had the forethought to stash many of our cool toys – but I have seen many on Etsy
My daughter has a couple of finger puppet sets – We love this Etsy shop Stay Awake and Play I think they make the best and cutest felt finger puppets
Bracelet and necklace set (on an elastic) – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but have seen them in many toys shops near the cash
Zipper charms – From Gap kids (saw them at the cash)
Bubble Guppies Puzzle – From dollar store but any you think your child will like, which has pieces small enough to fit into eggs will be perfect
Play-Doh – dollar store
Little felt doll – handmade by moi
EOS lip balm – From any drug store. My daughter *loves* lip balms but the shape of these ones are, I find, the best for her little hands. She can open and close it herself easily
Kiss Naturals lip balm making kit – I’ve been waiting until my daughter was old enough to give her this set. I know she will love making these and gifting her friends with her creations
Charlie and Lola peg people – My daughter *loves* Chartlie and Lola but finding merchandise on this side of the ocean is futile. I turned to Etsy and found Tiny Clementine who makes these adorable miniatures
Schleich figurines – I’m a huge believer in teaching my girls what animals really look like, instead of the cute cartoon-look other figurines take on. These are a bit of an investment, yes, but I have also found tons of used ones online (Kijiji for us in Canada or eBay). I trust Schleich because they have been around for decades and I’m not worried when my little one puts the figurines in her mouth either.
Djeco wooden patisserie set – purchased during a closeout sale of a local toy store but saw them on Amazon too
Wind-up hopping bunny – Have seen them in many toy stores near the cash area
Wooden beads – from Michael’s – Came in a bucket!
Felt sea creatures for magnet fishing game – handmade by moi
Mini Slinky – From the dollar store
Wind-up flipping lady bug – Have seen them in many toy stores near the cash area
Glow in the dark stars – My eldest already has a “gallaxy” spiralling above her bed. These ones will be for my youngest. Got them at Michael’s. What I love is that during the day they recharge with daylight and as the night progresses, they glow less and less so it’s not a distraction for Zzzzzs
So there you have it. What are some chocolate and candy-less options you are including in your kids’ Easter eggs?
* This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon and Well.ca.