for Kids Creative Chaos (Activities)

May Calendar of Holidays and Special Days: Unusual and Unique

Unusual and Unique Holidays and Special Days of May

These dates in May will help you plan fun activities for school, after-school, or camp programs. Want to know if you should wear mismatched socks, a silly hat, or make a special treat to celebrate? You've come to the right place.  Enjoy!

May Calendar of Holidays and Special Days: Unusual and Unique
May Calendar of Special Days and Holidays.

When is Mother's Day?

Mother's Day is the second Sunday in May. In 2014, Mother's Day is May 11.

May 1 - National Mother Goose Day! So celebrate by dressing up like your favorite Nursery Rhyme Character, reading a bedtime story, or making a fun Mother Goose craft (We have some chicken crafts).  Play a Goose game.

May 3 - International Space Day began in 1997. Celebrate with an outer space craft for kids, a trip to a local history center or space museum, or wear an astronaut suit around town.

May 4 - National Star Wars Day!  Hip hip hooray for Yoda! We've got a Yoda craft. Sport a set of green ears to school today! Make a Yoda mask... and don't judge all those crazed Star Wars fans walking around in authentic looking costumes.

May 12 - National Limerick Day. Memorize a limerick... What is a limerick? You know... you really do. Something about a lady from France? Eh, there are nicer ones too. Go write your own limerick today. It is a nonsense poem. You make a lot of non-sense, right?

May 13 - Yes, Frog Jumping Day is a real day. So, go find a frog and challenge it to a jumping contest. Wait. No, that's not right. Grab two frogs and ask them to have a jumping contest. The frog who jumps the farthest wins. You could dress like a frog and play a healthy game of Leapfrog instead. Hey, if you do that will you make a video and share it with me? Thanks! Frog Art Lesson for Kids

May 14 - National Dance Like a Chicken Day. Do you know how to do the Chicken Dance? No? What, you've never been to a wedding. Cluck, cluck boy, do we have chicken crafts for kids. We also have Chicken printables and chicken cartoons. Did you take a video of your dance too? Yep. Share it here in the comments.

May 14 - National Endangered Species Day. What is on the endangered species list? The Manatee for sure. The Eagle was, but is it still? IDK there are Bald Eagles after my chickens and ducks every other day. I see how they got to be endangered! Don't shoot, it is a Federal Offense. Endangered Species: Myotis Sodalis Bat

May 17 - National Armed Force's Day. Give thanks to a serviceman or veteran. Send a card, send a craft, give them a hug. Let them know you appreciate their service to our country. Army Coloring Pages for Teens

May 18 - National No Dirty Dishes Day. I'm getting tired of writing all of these days down, I was going to skip to the end of the month here, but... REALLY? No dirty dishes day? That's a holiday I won't be celebrating. I'll just pretend. Don't open the dishwasher or the oven.  Am I right?  Make your own Homemade Dish Detergent

May 22 - National Vanilla Pudding Day. Only because I have some things in this blog to do with Vanilla Pudding. Eat some today and make some edible finger paint with Vanilla pudding

May 24 - National Scavenger Hunt Day. Go outside. It is May, have a real life scavenger hunt. Here are some fun scavenger hunt ideas. Is it raining? Go play our Pinterest Preschool Scavenger Hunt.

May 27 - National Cellophane Tape Day. What the heck is that? It is tape. Don't you just love tape? You probably call it Scotch Tape, but that is a brand. Things to do with tape? Paper crafts! Tape a poster to your wall. Here is a friendship poster for your wall. Go tape it up in your room. Wrap a present. Send it to me! Thanks, I like presents :)

May 29 - National Paperclip Day. Make a paperclip necklace and wear it to school today. Don't steal your teacher's paperclips. The teacher's desk is off limits. Things to do with paper clips.

May 31 - Memorial Day. Ditto with the National Armed Force's Day, but now we remember those who served and died. Wear a ribbon, lay a wreath on a tombstone, make a scrapbook, share a story. Wave the flag. You could also dress up like a flag and walk in a parade, I guess. Whatever floats your boat. Flag Craft for Memorial Day

Recommended Reading:

Kids Reading: Memorial Day for Kids - Discover the History and Traditions of Memorial Day (History for Kids)

P is for Pangolin: an alphabet of obscure, endangered and underappreciated animals
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Minecraft: Sit down at your Crafting Table and Custom Paint these Cube Man Action Figures

Kids are Obsessed with the Game Minecraft: Make Your Own Block Cube Action Figures with Balsa Wood

So many things to craft, so little time. Your kids will enjoy this Minecraft style cube activity. Make your own with Balsa wood scraps you can find at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. Find the How to Tutorial below or send us an email, and we'll send you a handmade kit for $2.50 plus shipping. Scroll to the bottom for Minecraft party snacks and free Minecraft printables.

Make your own Minecraft style cube man from Balsa wood.
Make your own Minecraft style cube man from Balsa wood.

Please note the word handmade, no two are exactly alike, and you may want to sand your cube man before painting him. I bet you'll want to call him Steve! 

You must have a Paypal account to place an order. 
Email: lora@theplayconnection.com   Subject: Cube Man


How to make your own Minecraft style puzzle.
How to make your own Minecraft style puzzle.
Minecraft style Balsa wood cube man puzzle kit. Feel free to call him Steve.
Minecraft style Balsa wood cube man puzzle kit. Feel free to call him Steve.

How to Make your own Minecraft style Cube Man Block Puzzle

First, you will need to purchase some Balsa wood. Amazon offers this grab bag Balsa Wood Economy Scrap Bag. These are similar to what we used to make our block puzzles. 

The pieces aren't perfect. You will need to carve the shapes as pictured above and then sand the shapes. 

We used dowels at the joints to make a permanent connection. Balsa is easy to cut and trim. You don't need fancy wood carving tools, a simple X-ACTO knife will do. Once sanded and glued, it is time to paint your Minecraft style action figure. Just like in the Minecraft game, you can let your creativity run wild only now you are working at a real crafting table and making lasting memories.


Royal Baloo has Free Minecraft Printables and this very cool Minecraft Creeper Paper Mache activity.


Minecraft Creeper Craft Activity







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Call of Duty Theme Activities and Birthday Party Ideas for Boys and Teens

Call of Duty Ghosts or Black Ops, either way Teens or Little Boys will love these Party ideas and activities with an Army Theme

Teens (and Grown ups too, apparently) love Call of Duty. They love to role play, and they appreciate a good Black Ops Birthday Party theme too. So, why not indulge them with these crafts and activities.

Call of Duty Wall Art Poster project for teens.
Call of Duty Wall Art Poster project for teens.

That's right, men can do crafts too. And, to pretend play in style, they will need to fashion a mask for role playing or grownup dramatic play or use cut out our wall art and turn it into a mask! We also have Call of Duty Free Printable Coloring Pages they might like.


Call of Duty Skull Mask.

How to make a Call of Duty Ghosts Wall Poster

This was a very easy and simple craft to make. We took one piece of black construction paper, folded it in half lengthwise and then drew half of the ghost skull. You'll note ours isn't perfect. The Call of Duty Ghosts logo is actually thinner than ours, but don't you just love individualism? That's what makes it a work of art.

Call of Duty Ghosts Wall Poster Craft Activity for Teens
Teens will enjoy making Call of Duty Ghosts art for their room.

After we cut out the skull mask, we used a glue stick to attach it to another sheet of black construction paper. Then, we colored it in with white chalk following the logo pictured below. Then, I took a soft, black crayon (Roseart) outlined the skull, and added in skull fracture details. If you prefer a mask, cut it out at this step Leaving the only the eyes as open as holes. Then, use a hole punch to make holes just under the eyes on each side. Grab a birthday party hat, remove the elastic band, tie knots into each hole, and voila! You have a Call of Duty Ghosts Mask.

Call of Duty Ghosts Logo
Call of Duty Ghosts Logo.

Call of Duty Birthday Party Ideas

From Birthday Party Ideas blog, Call of Duty Army Party.

Call of Duty Birthday Party Ideas for Army
Call of Duty Army Theme Birthday Party for Kids.
Enlist Recruit Desk for Call of Duty Theme Party from More Than Mulberries.


Enlistment Office Party Favors and Registration Desk
for Call of Duty Birthday Party.

Use some our our PE Games for Boot Camp Birthday Party Activities for your special event.

The website Boot Camp Ideas for Kids as many fun ideas for physical fitness that can be incorporated into an outdoor army birthday party.



kids army boot camp party ideas
Ideas for Army Boot Camp at Kids' Call of Duty Party for Boot Camp Ideas.

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Country Study Lesson for Homeschool or Teacher Curriculm: China

Teach about the Country of China in Non-Traditional Ways with your Homeschool Lessons

The world is always changing, but history is always history. For a recent history lesson or social studies or geography or art (we're homeschool, so we can call it all 4) we designed this lesson plan to teach about the country of China. We are very random in our curriculum planning and school in a fun, relaxed Montessori-style. Enjoy!

Culture: First, we ate a local Chinese restaurant where we saw some very inspiring pieces of wall art including these pandas and a Chinese Dragon.

We had to make one! There's your Art Lesson. Email lora@theplayconnection.com for free printable panda templates.

Chinese Wall Art with Pandas.



The pandas were a big hit! We bought all of our supplies at Dollar Tree. A beige placemat makes two backdrops when cut in half lengthwise. Just add felt and a twig to complete the look. See our template to trace and copy your panda and leaf shapes. I love how awesome our panda wall hanging turned out; it is giftable :)

You might also like: What Year is it for Chinese New Year?

You can also purchase our Panda Wall Art Kit for $2.50 plus postage and handling. The kit comes with felt, placemat, cardboard, and traceable templates. Want one? Drop a note to lora@theplayconnection.com we bill through Paypal only.


Then, we researched the Chinese flag and made our own out of construction paper. What does the Chinese flag look like? The Chinese flag is red with 5 yellow stars. Red is for the Communist Revolution and the yellow stars represent the unity of the Chinese people as a communist nation.

What does the Chinese flag look like? Chinese flag: The People's Republic of China
Chinese flag: The People's Republic of China.
Construction Paper Flag for China:  Country Lesson
Mayhem's interpretation of the Chinese flag with construction paper.

We searched Netflix to find some videos to use for our homeschool lesson. We found documentaries, but there are some cartoons for younger kids too.

Netflix Companion Movies


Feeding Time This Animal Planet video is for everyone. Cute animals eating their favorite foods in zoos. The Panda is adorable.

China's Terracotta Warriors This Secret's of the Dead episode focuses on Chinese history. We liked it because you can visit the Indianapolis Children's Museum (field trip) and see warrior statues exactly like these.

These Terracotta guys are coming to the Indianapolis Children's Museum in 2014. It is the only U.S. appearance, so plan your trip starting May 10.
Also find Wild China on Netflix. It is educational and beautiful, but it did not keep my kids' attention.

An Idiot Abroad Okay, this one isn't for everyone, it is rated TV 14, but we got a kick out of the visit to China, and it was actually educational. We learned a lot about Chinese culture. Definitely not for the classroom, I guess. Idiot isn't very politically correct, but the one episode I watched was just silly.

At the end of the day, my kids like to write a report. Yes, I'm for real... almost. They don't like to WRITE it, but they love to type it in a Google Doc and share it with me to show me what they learned or tell me about their favorite daily activity with an oral report. They are very competitive and rush to be the first to Google a fact about the topic. Then, they add images they find online as well. So, they aren't just getting a history, social studies, geography, and art lesson, they also practice language art skills, typing, and educational technology.

We also like to add a word of the day for each country we study. Learn the proper pronunciation, write it out, and share the meaning.

Recommended Reading:

Country Study Homeschool Lesson on Afghanistan

Grandma Panda's China Storybook: Legends, Traditions and Fun

Children Around the World

Flags of the World
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Sergeant's Calming Collars for Cats

The Calming Collars from Sergeant's Helped Calm a Crazy Cat and Soothe a Stressed One

The Sergeant's Calming Collars really worked for our little furball. She is constantly scratching and rolling off tables and generally acting crazy, so when Mom it Forward contacted me about doing a compensated post for them I was excited!  Sergeants Facebook page, Pet Health Central is also going to have a sweepstakes when they reach 500K followers. Hop over, because they are really close. Like Sergeant's on Facebook.

Sergeants Calming Collars for Cats Do they work?
Fluffy Bunny wearing Sergeant's Calming Collar.  That's right, Fluffy Bunny!
You might note, that our little kitty, Fluffy Bunny, isn't very fluffy. She had been scratching and chewing her fur off lately with a skin disorder or due to stress. It seems like she scratches and bites so hard that she leaves scabs and pulls her fur out. She also plays so wildly that she oftens scratches her eyes. In the beginning, I thought she had pink eye, but after watching her closely, I soon realized she was scratching her eyes. One minute, she is sitting calmly next to you and the next, she is rolling on a table and crashing to the floor. We fear, she will hit her head or hurt herself. Nope... she NEVER lands on her feet.

Sergeants Calming Collar with Pheromone technology.
Sergeant's Calming Collar with Pheromone technology.

She had a rough start to life and isn't fond of being in the house all of the time. She is also mean to the other cats. We have four that we claim and two feral cats on the property. She growls at them all, and they stand down.

She is an interesting little soul. When I received the calming collars in the mail, I tore it open and placed it on Fluffy Bunny first! She immediately licked all of the powder pheromones off her collar. Apparently, this isn't anything to fret about. She shouldn't have, but it didn't cause any harm. The idea behind the collars is they release the pheromones a mother cat would have. This pheromone release helps calm a stressed cat.

Fat cat in a Sergeant's Calming Collar.
Fat Cat in a Sergeant's Calming Collar. Okay, his name is really Tigger.
Now, Fat Cat hasn't been himself since the death of our old family cat and then a move to a new house. We thought Fluffy Bunny might help. He is happier, he moves a little more, but he eats a lot more! It is his food after all, how dare Fluffy try to eat any of it. He likes to play with her... occasionally. 

He just got fatter. No more running up and down stairs, no more interest in eating our pet cockatiel, and who has time to play when there is so much eating and sleeping to get done. He does have time to sneak around, like a little snoop, slowly walking from room to room chinning anything he can find where another cat has laid. He isn't thrilled. He is the head honcho here, even though the other two cats came with the property. He doesn't care, the house is his, and he isn't ashamed to mark his territory. He is incredibly sneaky about it, and can do it right in front of your face.

"Oh are you looking at me? Don't mind me, I am just standing here next to your new leather sofa. Let me rub against it, see how cute I am? I'm really cute. Uh-huh, you agree, I see you smiling at me, let me just wave my tail in the air and wag it like I just don't care. Right here. Right against this sofa where the other cats sleep. You didn't see a thing. Just call me Rico Suave. Wait. I smell it. Can you smell it? (She can't smell it.) Man, distraction.  All of a sudden, I feel the need to be over there. On the other side of the room, right now. Watch me run. Amazing, huh? I can still run. Yep, I see you all proud of me. Heh, heh, heh!"

And then, I have a seat on the sofa. "What the? When did this happen. I'm going to catch you and rub your nose in it, you little jerk!" Of course, Fat Cat is nowhere to be found.

See his face up there? Yeah. He HATES his calming collar, it isn't a red badge of courage. That is shame he is wearing. Does it work? Well... I'm not sure yet. Currently, he is moving even less so that helps. He hasn't been sitting guard outside the bedrooms daring the other cats to come out of their sanctuaries. So, the verdict is still out. I'm hoping. I will keep you posted. So far, so good, but he is quite the sneak. I often smell his scent mark where I least expect it.  

You've seen Fat Cat unhappy in a cat collar, now see him unhappy in a chef hat.

Full disclosure and apologies: The calming collar worked so well on Fluffy Bunny, I couldn't bear to use it on the older cats. They are calm. I want to save the other two for the cat with inappropriate marking (isn't all marking inappropriate) and the obviously mentally unstable kitty.

Now it is your turn! Tell us about your stressed kitty in the comments or on our Facebook page!

I'm loving this article on the Calming Collar, I am! They didn't ask me to say that. Please check it out to see how they are helping wildlife.

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7 Unique Egg Carton Craft Ideas: Not just for Easter

These 7 Egg Carton Crafts aren't just for Easter!  

These Unique Craft Ideas with Egg Cartons make Great Pinterest pins and will keep the kids busy too.


Easter is coming and we expect you will have lots of extra egg cartons to recycle. We won't! We have ducks and chickens and we are always in need of new egg cartons. I decided to spare just one and make some fun preschool Easter crafts with egg cartons. I also took a tour around the Kid Blogger Network and Pinterest and found a few more things to do with egg cartons.  Enjoy!


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Egg Carton Craft Ideas: Fairy Blossom Lights
Egg Carton Fairy Lights from Red Ted Art blog.

These egg carton crafts can be made year round to help recycle all those pesky cartons. They just beg to be used up, just like the drink carriers at fast food restaurants.

  • This one is perfect for anytime, but EXCELLENT for Halloween. Mayhem will adore this one. We made a bunny (see below), sure, he's cute, but we didn't think very far outside the box. You can find this little egg carton kitty over at Storknet.com.

Cute Cat from Egg Carton for Halloween.
Egg carton craft for Halloween.
  • Are you looking for a truly unique, Easter art project for your classroom? This one from Unicorn Hat Party blog artsy enough for older elementary school kids and easy enough for preschoolers.

Egg Carton Art Project for Kids.
Egg Carton Art Project for Kids.
  • How about an Egg Carton Pirate Ship craft? This one from Craft Project Ideas blog is fairly easy, little ones might need some help, but make two and you can have a race in the bathtub! If your bathtub isn't easy to navigate a baby pool or a wallpaper tub make a perfect ocean for your creation.

Egg Carton Pirate Ship Craft for Kids from Craft Project Ideas blog.

Egg carton gardening with kids.
Egg carton gardening with kids.
  • We also made mini-masks, maybe you could try it on your cat like we did with our mini-chef hat? Perhaps, you could tape it to a popsicle stick or wooden craft stick and call it a puppet, or a little mask for your face?
egg carton mask puppet
Egg Carton Mask - just add a craft stick.
Egg Carton Bunny Craft for Kids.
Egg Carton Bunny Craft for Kids.

Egg Carton Bunny back, we used scraps, but you could add a cottonball tail
Egg Carton Bunny back, we used scraps, but you could add a cottonball tail.

Mayhem's egg carton "Rainbow" bunny. He lost an ear, poor thing.

Recommended Reading:

What Is Easter?

Make a Phineas Mask with an Egg Carton

Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff

Fun Things to Make at Home
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April Calendar of Special Days and Holidays for Curriculum Planning

These April Holidays and Special Days are the Best for Planning your Classroom or Homeschool Curriculum

April! It's Spring in the states. We look forward to Spring Activities outdoors and bringing flowers indoors. Easter generally occurs in April, but sometimes March. When is Easter 2014? This year, Easter falls on April 20. We've found some fun, unique April Holidays that will keep your curriculum exciting and new!

Calendar of April Holidays and Special Days for Kids Activities
Calendar of April Holidays and Special Days.

April Holidays and Special Days


1 April Fool’s Day Play
Play April Fool's Jokes for Kids on your Family!
Make a Fake Cake to fool your friend for a birthday party.
8 Draw a Picture of a Bird Day

9 Name Yourself Day
Choose the name you always wanted and tell all of your friends to refer to you as your favorite name. Just call me Yoda.

11 National Cheese Fondue Day
What can you dip in Cheese? Do you have a special recipe for fondue? We'd love for you to leave a link in the comments.
12 National Grilled Cheese Day
Grilled Cheese Day? Make some Grilled Cheese for the Kids or maybe Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly.

14 Look Up at the Sky Day
A Day where you go outside and look up at the sky and enjoy it.

15 Rubber Eraser Day
Rubber Eraser Day? Do you have a cool eraser? I remember having a teddy bear eraser in all the colors of the rainbow.

16 Day of the Mushroom
Celebrate Mushrooms! Make a mushroom craft in honor of Alice in Wonderland, yeah, a Toadstool is a mushroom.
20 Easter Sunday
Christians believe this is the day Jesus rose from the dead. Everyone else can enjoy the pagan celebration with the Easter Bunny, Coloring Eggs and Decorating Eggs, and having an Easter egg hunt! How to make an Easter basket from a milk jug.
22 National Jelly Bean Day
Looking for things to do with Jelly Beans? Hop around our blog, we've got lots of edible art.

24 National Pig in Blanket Day
Hotdogs in croissants, sausage in a pancake? Celebrate with a cute pig craft for kids! Make a clay pig.

27 National Pretzel Day
Hooray! It is National Pretzel Day! We've got lots of way to learn how to make pretzels at home. Heart Pretzels are fun to make. Things to do with pretzels.

Recommended Reading:

Peanut Butter And Jellyfishes Book for Kids

Books for April Fool's Day



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Activities: 10 Fun Things to Make at Home with Kids of all Ages

Stuck Inside on a Snowy or Rainy Day? Make staying at Home with the Kids a fun adventure with these Activities

In this list of 10 fun things to make at home, we've included something for boys, girls, preschooler, and teens. Kids of all ages will enjoy these fun activities to do inside on a rainy or snowy day! Best of all, you don't need a lot of fancy supplies or expert crafting skills.

1. Make a homemade lava lamp minus the light - but grab your flashlight to illuminate it. Click the link above to see a YouTube Tutorial. If you aren't so diy-iee or crafty try this kit from ALEX® Toys - Make your own Lava Lamp at Home.

Make your own Lava Lamp at home with kids
Make a Lava Lamp at home with a few supplies or use this kit from Alex Toys.

2. Make Homemade Rainbow Slushies at home. Slushes, Slush, Slushy, Icee, whatever you call it - you can make a fun party one at home with popsicles!

Make a slush drink at home for a birthday party.
Make a slush drink at home for a birthday party.

3. This Gift bag purse can be fun for little girls or teens. Do an extra good job, and it makes a great coin purse. So, for a fun teen birthday party activity recycle the gift bags and make purses for kids.

Girls' Birthday Party activity to make at home.
Girls' Birthday Party activity to make at home.

4. Cardboard Play Kitchen - Save Money and Make your own pretend stove at home.

 Cardboard Play Kitchen Make at home
Make a stove at home with a cardboard box and wrapping paper.
5. Make a Homemade sleeping Mask like this one from Henry Happened.

Make a homemade sleeping mask like this one from Henry Happened.
Want to know how to make a homemade sleeping mask? Click the link above. This is a great activity for a pre-teen or teen girl's birthday party.
6. Make an Art Exhibit at Home How about having a an Art Exhibit at home. Have the kids each draw their favorite cartoon characters and place them on display. This is a fun Art Lesson for Kids.

This is from Bunsella.com Use clay or markers to create your own art exhibit at home. Give the kids ribbons to vote for their favorite entry.

things to make at home soap bath crayons homemade
See the link above to learn how to make these soap bath crayons from Teach Beside Me blog. The kids will love this fun bath time activity.
8. That reminds me of our Fun Shaped Crayons in Soap/Candy Molds. Crayons are a fun thing to make at home.

Make your own fun shaped crayons at home.
Make your own fun shaped crayons at home.
9. Make Mini Cheeseburgers at home to eat after you craft up all of these other ideas!

10. You can make metal butterflies at home using Pop cans. butterflies for Mobile. 

How to make recycled metal butterflies at home.
Make metal butterflies like these from Gingerbread and Snowflakes.

More fun things you can make at home


Homemade Doughnuts - you can make your own donuts at home. It is easy, fun, and affordable. We have 3 Doughnut Recipe posts.



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