Spring Break Kids Activities Round-Up

We are right in the middle of Spring Break for many people and sometimes that can mean we need to find ways to entertain the kids so they are not sitting in front of an electronic screen.


Here is a fun little round-up of things you can do with your kids that I think they will enjoy. 

Happy Spring!!


How to Make a Bouncy Ball from 36th Avenue


Home Made Play Dough Recipe from The Idea Room

Egg carton tulips completed

Egg Carton Tulips from Carefree Crafts


Pencil crayon necklaces

Pencil/Crayon Necklaces from Minie-Co

Glove Monsters from Craftaholics Anonymous



Wood Bead Necklace Tutorial from The Idea Room

Printable Memory Game from Lauren McKinsey



DIY Kaleidoscope from That’s What Che Said


Water Color Bubble Art from My Cakies


Sidewalk Chalk Paint from The Idea Room


Paper Bead Necklaces from The Idea Room

Learn how to melt beads and make accessories with them. Pin it now and make them later! the36thavenue.com

Melted Beads Accessories from The 36th Avenue


Braided Friendship Bracelets from The Purl Bee



Glow-in-the-Dark Slime Recipe from The Idea Room



Paracord Bracelets from The Crafting Chicks


Home made Bath Tub Paints from The Idea Room


DIY Kid’s Grocery Stand

Last year (2012)for Christmas, Santa brought our youngest her very own Grocery Stand.  With 4 older siblings, we just didn’t need any.more.toys! We already had a bunch of “groceries” that the kids were playing with in their playroom, but didn’t have a fun way to store or display it.  So, Santa thought it would be a great idea to make a DIY Grocery Stand.  I can’t believe I haven’t shared this with you yet (over a year ago), but nevertheless, here it is.  Once again…please excuse the bad cell phone pictures.  Still waiting on my camera that is going to be replacing the one that just broke.


We started out by building a basic shelf design.  Instead of closing off the sides of the grocery stand, we left them open so that the design and expense was very minimal.


We have three flat shelves (including the top shelf) and then we tilted the 2nd shelf so that it was at an angle for the baskets.  We had the baskets beforehand and used them to determine how wide and deep to build the grocery stand.  We didn’t want to have to find the right size of basket AFTER it was built.  The baskets came from Home Goods.


We built a top section of the stand so that we could hang a “GROCERY” sign from the top…which is one of my favorite parts.  We simply attached the sign with some eyehooks.  The sign was made with some vinyl I cut on my cutting machine.


Of course we had to have a fun little kids sized grocery bag.  I made this with some felt and have plans to share with you the pattern here in an upcoming post.  I added the iron-on words and recycle sign with some iron on material…or you could stencil it on.


In true…DIYer fashion…this was a terribly last minute project.  We didn’t know how to keep it under wraps so it was literally thrown together in two nights.  The first night it was assembled and the second night (Christmas Eve) it was painted.  The paint was literally drying under the Christmas tree haha!


But all is good that ends well.  It was a hit!  It continues to get a lot of use and the kids (even the big kids) enjoy playing with it.  I can’t tell you how many times I have eaten a wooden pizza washed down with a pretend gallon of milk.

build-kid- kitchen

The inspiration for this project came about because she wanted this Melissa and Doug Grocery Cart for her birthday (which was a couple of months before Christmas).  It was just begging for a little grocery store!


DIY Tufted Headboard–Part 2

Recently I shared with you how we made this Tufted Headboard for our youngest daughter’s room.  I just covered the first part for how we made the bed and the cut out headboard. Today, I want to share with you how we did the actual Tufting.


To see the first tutorial you can find it here:

{DIY Tufted Headboard—Part One}


You will need the following supplies to make your Tufted Headboard:

  • Piece of MDF board cut to your specifications
  • 2 inch foam (we found ours at JoAnn’s)
  • Drill and 3/8 inch Drill Bit
  • Quilt Batting
  • Waxed Thread (JoAnn’s)
  • Button Making Kit with enough buttons for your project (JoAnn’s)
  • Material for the tufted headboard
  • Staple Gun and Staples






(Cut your MDF (if needed) to the specific size you need.  Ours was cut out from the headboard, so we did not need to cut it anymore).  See Part One for more details on this:

{DIY Tufted Headboard—Part One}

Figure out where you want your buttons.  Do you want a square tuft or a diamond tuft?  We went for the diamond tuft.  Draw a dot with a pencil on the headboard where you will be drilling your holes.  Then drill all the way through the MDF board with a drill and drill bit.  We used a 3/8 inch drill bit.



Cut your foam so that it fits your MDF headboard with just a tiny bit of overlap around the edges.  We had to piece ours at the bottom.  We added the piece to the bottom where it would be more hidden by the pillows on the bed just incase it didn’t piece well together.  We did not end up having any issues with this though at all in our finished head board.



Cover both the MDF headboard and the foam with your quilt batting.  Then pull the batting around the sides and secure it using a staple gun to the back of your headboard.  Pull it so that it is nice and tight with no puckers or ripples on the front of the headboard.  This will hold everything nicely in place and will give you a nice smooth finished product.  Cut off any excess quilt batting.

*You will most likely need two people to do this and the following steps.



Now take your Fabric you are using for your headboard and wrap it around the headboard the same way you did the quilt batting.  Be sure to be very careful with the edges.  Pull the material tightly and secure with several staples on the back of the headboard.  Trim any excess material.



Set aside your headboard and use your Fabric scraps to make your tufting buttons.  Simply follow the directions on the back of the package and make enough buttons for your headboard.  We used the buttons that were 1 1/8 inches in size.




Take a large needle, we used a very long and large quilting needle that had a large eye.  It needs to be able to be long enough to go through the 2 inch thick foam and the headboard.  We threaded the buttons onto the needle with the waxed thread and doubled it for strength.

My husband was at the back of the headboard and I was at the front.  He poked the needle through the hole from the back end, just to make a small hole so we could see where to put the needle and thread so the button would be in the right spot.  Then I took the needle from him and threaded it with the button (or you can use two needles so you don’t have to keep swapping).  I pushed the needle through the front and he took it on the back.  I pushed the button in to make a deep tuft while my husband pulled from the other side and simultaneously stapled the thread several times on the back of the headboard to hold the button in place.

We repeated this process for all of the buttons.

Be sure to push in each button the same so that they are even in the front.  This is important for the overall look of your tufting.  We ended up fixing one button that was not pushed in far enough after inspecting the final headboard.


That is it! You should be done with the tufting! Wasn’t that easier than you thought it would be?


We then took the headboard and inserted it into the cut out from the original bed.  This now gives us a nice frame around the headboard and also hides the sides of the tufted head board and gives it a nice clean finish!


On the back of the headboard, we screwed in some metal brace plates to hold the head board in place and so that it would not fall out on our little one’s head.  This secures it nicely in place.


I have to tell you…this is seriously one of my FAVORITE projects we have ever built.  I LOVE it! I can’t wait to finish up the rest of her room.  The other side is currently a mess.  Next thing up is to paint her dresser!


I had many ask about her night stand.  It is from Target and it is a few years old and is a hand me down from her older sister.  It was white and in need of some serious TLC.  So I cleaned it up and spray painted it gray with Rust-oleum Spray Paint in Granite in a Satin finish.


Would love to know if any of you end up making one! xo

Playdough Pictionary Game

While buying school supplies for our older kids this last week, play dough made it into the cart too. Most of us have play dough around the house somewhere. Instead of making pancakes and snakes, put it to use with this fun family game. This is perfect for kids and adults of all ages. In fact, my husband and I love to play after the kids have gone to bed.

 You Will Need…


Different colors is really fun, but one color will work just fine also. 


I have included a list of words for you at the end of the post to get you started. Add other words you think would be fun, or that would work for your family. 


How to Play 

Divide into teams.

Give each team play-dough. We like to give each team a few different colors.

Print off one copy of the words (listed below) for each team.

Cut the words into strips and put them in a bowl or baggie.

When you say “GO”, one person from each team will choose a word out of the bowl. They will attempt to “SCULPT” that word for their team using the play-dough. They cannot talk, make noises, use actions, or anything else. They can only use the play-dough. The rest of their team is trying to guess what they are making.

Once someone on their team has guessed, the next team member pulls another word out of the bowl and begins to sculpt.

This continues, everyone taking turns sculpting, until all the words in their bowl have been guessed. The team to do this first, wins.


Instead of going through the whole bowl of words to win, you can set a timer. When time is up, the team with the most words guessed, wins.

Small teams, such as teams of two will work just fine.

If you are playing with just two or three people, take turns sculpting for the whole group, and keep score as individuals. (Set a timer, sculpt, and if your word is guessed in the time frame, you get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game, wins.)

If your children are small and can’t read yet, instead of words, draw pictures and put those on the different slips of paper. Or even create a separate bowl that holds the picture clues. When it is an adults turn, they pick from the words. A child’s turn, they pick from the picture clues.

If you have a really big group. Put one person in charge of the list of words. Send one “sculpter” up from each team to get their first word. They have to run back and sculpt. As soon as their teammates correctly guess the words, a new person from their group runs up to the person with the list and they given their next word. This lets teams run and move around and adds even more fun to the game. The team who successfully gets through the whole list first, wins.

List of Words (print off one copy for each team. Cut the words into slips of paper and put in a bowl or baggie)























Bow and Arrow






Light Bulb




Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends. 


Teaching Values Through Children’s Books

It’s time once again for Heather Johnson from Family Volley to share some of her amazing Parenting Tips on Teaching Values Through Children’s Values from childrens story books as part of her “Parenting Tips Series” here on The Room. Here’s Heather in her own words.


We love children’s books at our house. You probably do too!

But children’s books aren’t just for kids, they are great tools for us as parents too. A good story book can be one of our best allies in parenting. 

Children’s books are a great resource we can use to teach our children. They can help our children through new stages of life. They can teach our children how to handle experiences that are unfamiliar and new. They are a great way to teach our children values and appropriate social behavior. Children’s books can even help ease anxiety and help children cope with situations like moving, bullying, or starting kindergarten. 
Good books also allow our children to hear messages from someone else, so they don’t feel like they are constantly hearing reprimands and counsel from us. 
We have favorite books at our house. Our favorite series is the Berenstain Bears. One of our favorites is “Forget their Manners.” The book is a great example of how we can use children’s books as teaching tools.
In “Forget their Manners”, Sister Bear is in Brother Bear’s way, and instead of getting mad; Brother says, “No harm done.”
After reading this to our kids, we started saying “no harm done” around the house when similar situations happened. It helped our kids remember what they had been taught in the book and reiterate the principles in our every day experiences. It is this reiteration that solidifies the values that books teach.
Books have the power to teach our children life skills and values. They have an amazing way of emphasizing principles we are already trying to teach our children. Principles like using good manners. They can help shape our children’s character. Books are also a great way to help our children understand topics that we might not know how to explain.
There are MANY great book choices out there. Here are a few of our favorite children’s books that teach values. (Some are older, some are very common, some you might have never heard of, and some you will have to find in your parents basement.)
· “The Empty Pot” by Demi – From looking at the cover of this book, it wouldn’t be the first one you pulled off the shelf, but it is a MUST read for every family. The life lessons are endless. A MUST read! Find this one, acquire this one, check this one out.  
· “Berenstain Bears” by Stan and Jan Berenstain – There are a number of Berenstain Bears books. Every one teaches valuable principles. The older books by Stan and Jan are my favorite.
· “I Like Myself” by Karen Beaumont – Teaches self-esteem and self confidence.
· “Why Do You Always Have To Say Please” by Wendy Rosen and Jackie End – Teaches proper manners, especially when you eat at a restaurant. Manners make things better for everyone. 
· “Power Series” – 12 different books on a number of subjects (values and life skills. The power of Courage, The Power of Perseverance, etc…). These will be hiding in a basement next to the Encyclopedias and Childcraft books. Find them!
· “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess- We probably all have this at our house. It is a household favorite that teaches our children to try new things and eat their vegetables. Have you ever thought to apply it to your children’s lives that way?
· “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper – Teaches perseverance and the importance of not giving up. My husband likes the clown, and likes to talk to our children about support and cheering for others. 
· “If I Obey I’ll Be Happy All Day by Peggy Barton – One of the very best books about obedience. This is very old, and almost impossible to get your hands on, but if you can find one in a relatives basement, don’t let it get away. 
The next time you are reading a book to your child, take a minute to think about how you could use the message to teach your children. Draw parallels and correlations and then incorporate those into your everyday life. 
Bond with your child and teach values and life skills at the same time, by reading together. You will never regret it.

I shared these books with Studio 5 (a lifestyles show here in Utah) a few weeks ago. Watch the video for more details about each of the above books. Especially “The Empty Pot.” have I mentioned it is a must read?! The video lets you see each of the books, so you know what you are looking for. 

Do you have a favorite children’s book? Share it with us!

Have a question or just want to say hello.



Boy’s Room Reveal

We finally got around to re-doing my oldest son’s bedroom and adding some fun boys room decor.  He and his younger brother have shared a room since the time the younger one was 18 months old.  My second and third children are 19 months apart in age, so my son was forced out of the crib and into his brother’s room.


As they got older, and bigger we decided to turn the guest bedroom into our oldest son’s room.  It didn’t make a lot of sense to keep a room empty for guests when our two boy’s were crammed in one room on top of one another.  So we just moved him over into that room but had essentially left it the same…with yellow walls and a flowered bedspread.


He has been in the room for over a year and a half now.  And I will tell you what…this kid is not a little boy anymore.  He has grown over 9 inches in the last year or so, taller than my height of 5 foot 9 inches and quickly gaining on my husband’s 6 foot 4 inches.


He will be turning 15 here very soon and I think I am having a bit of a “mom meltdown”!  Where has the time gone?  In three very short years he could be out of the house and serving a mission for our church or off to college.  THREE years!?!  I have only THREE summers left with this kid before things change.  Three years goes by so fast!

boys-room 3

So, I made it a priority to get his room finished so that he could actually enjoy it while he is still around…sniff, sniff!

We put the other furniture in storage (the headboard and dresser which were ones that my parents had bought for me when I was a teenager) and made a headboard out of some old pallet wood.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some pictures of this process.  I will share a full tutorial for how we made it here shortly.  Best part…the headboard cost us NOTHING but a little elbow grease!  You can’t beat that!

boys-room 13

We picked up some shelves at Lowes and some décor at Hobby Lobby to add some color to his room.  My son’s favorite color was orange.  He wanted orange walls…I did not.  Orange is my least favorite color.  So we made a compromise…I got my gray walls and we found him this fun orange bedspread at Target.  It is still there right now if you are interested.  And…I actually really love the bedspread…and so does he!


We picked up these awesome gray lockers at the  NPS store in Salt Lake City (a salvage and freight recovery company that sells used industrial and office items at a great price).  We picked these babies up for $25.  They had a dent on the side, but it popped right back out with a good hit with a mallet.  There were a bit difficult to maneuver into our basement and through a freakishly weird hallway.  We barely got them in with a fraction of an 1/8 inch to spare.

boys-room 7

This kid loves maps and geography so I knew I wanted to work that element into the room somehow.  I found a map on Amazon for $1 (with a $3 shipping fee haha), but it was perfect.

boys-room 11

We bought it and then put it onto some of our left over pallet wood from the headboard. For the Wood Pallet Map Tutorial click here:  Wood Pallet Map Tutorial


I am so happy with how it turned out.  I was inspired by a picture I found on the internet and will share that with you when I share the tutorial.  It is one of my favorite parts about his new room.

pallet-map 6

This kid LOVES to be around the water.  He is on the High School swim team and just this past week started playing Water Polo with the High School team.  He is still in Jr. High here but is a freshman (Jr. High is 7th through 9th grade) and is allowed to play on the High School teams.  It keeps us busy, but we are enjoying watching him become a man-child ;)!

boys-room 12

We didn’t want to buy him a new dresser since most of his clothes are stored in his closet.  But we found a great deal on a tool chest drawer set over Christmas at Sears and are using that as a dresser.  I figure he will be able to take it with him when he moves out.  He is pretty handy and helps quite a bit on the projects we do around the house.

boys-room 9

I am so happy this is finally finished.  And, now that his room is finished, we have moved on to repainting and refreshing my younger son’s room to make it his own.  And at 12, it might be time to get rid of those Mickey Mouse sheets…!

Healthy Kids with Odwalla Smoothies

If you have been following along with us here at The Idea Room, then you know how much I enjoy doing creative things with my family.  The seasons are changing and fall is quickly moving into winter at our house.  Pretty soon we will be spending a lot more time indoors due to rainy and snowy weather.  So, as a mom, I am always on the lookout for creative indoor activities for my children and I.

One of our favorite indoor activities to do together is to make and then play with the BEST Homemade Play Dough….EVER.  We use a secret ingredient to give the play dough a delicious smell and color.  Have you ever made Play Dough with your kids?  If not, you won’t believe just how easy it is…and the Play Dough is better than any you can buy in the store.  Watch the video tutorial and learn how to make play dough.

Last month I shared with you some tips for Encouraging Creativity in Your Kids.  As part of that post, I also introduced you to Odwalla Smoothies for Kids which comes in three delicious flavors.


Each of the new smoothies contains 100% juice and counts as one serving of fruit and contains 50% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.  Even though Odwalla Smoothies for kids are made with no added sugar, each box contains 110-120 calories, and is therefore not a reduced calorie food.  For full nutritional information, including sugar content, click here.

You can find Odwalla Smoothies for Kids in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store.

Raising kids is tough. Every mom wants to give her children a good start. Whether you have a picky eater or a shy kid, the Odwalla Ambassadors are here to answer your questions about Recipes, Active Living, Education, Play, and Creativity!


We would love for you to come and join us in the Goodness Grove where you can ask questions and participate in some fun conversations.

Please share some challenges you have overcome in teaching your kids healthy habits for a chance to win at $200 gift card. Official Sweepstakes Rules.

Odwalla has asked me to be a Good Mom ambassador through BlogFrog. I am being compensated for my participation in the program but all opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Odwalla or The Coca-Cola Company.

pvc sprinkler tutorial

A few weeks ago I shared with you this PVC Sprinkler that I made as part of the #LowesCreator challenge.  I am FINALLY getting around to sharing with you exactly how to make a PVC sprinkler for kids.

This is really a pretty easy and inexpensive project and the kids were all super anxious about helping us build it.

pvc sprinkler 7

I originally saw the idea in the Family Fun Magazine and decided to design my own version.  I wanted one that the kids could run under or ride their bikes and scooters under.

This is the original version that I sketched out.  We used the design and then made a few modifications when we actually were building it.

pvc sprinkler 6

You can make your own version or build ours.  You will need the following:

pvc sprinkler collage


1o feet of schedule 40 1/2 inch PVC Sprinkler Pipes

Pipe Cutter

pvc sprinkler 9

Four 1/2 inch three-way corner joints

Seven 1/2 inch T joints

Three 1/2 inch 90 degree elbows

One 1/2 inch threaded T joint

1/2 inch riser

Full Sprinkler Head

drill and a 1/16 inch drill bit

hose attachment

1/2 inch coupling (one side threaded)

pvc sprinkler 13

We cut the PVC into 4 foot (top cross pieces) and 5 foot lengths.  We drilled holes (with the water running to make sure we didn’t lose too much pressure) along some of the sides and top pipes for a fountain effect.  You can always fill the holes with silicone if you get too many or one is out of place.  We did a total of about 30 holes.

For the middle cross piece, we cut the four foot section in half and installed the threaded T joint for the sprinkler.  For the house attachment, we put it on the bottom, front end.

pvc sprinkler 5

We did not glue any of the pieces so we could store it easily.  Sometimes a connection would come apart from rough usage but it was easily fixed.

pvc sprinkler 14

The kids have loved the different ways to use this.  They have ridden their bikes through it, run under it, and even used a giant sheet of plastic for a slip and slide.

pvc sprinkler 4

Please let us know what other fun uses you come up with.

pvc sprinkler 3

PVC Sprinkler: Lowe’s outdoor challenge

The last week here has been H.O.T…HOT!!  With temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s we have been feeling the heat.  So when Lowe’s challenged their Creative Network to create something to make the outdoors more fun and memorable, I knew this PVC sprinkler would be a perfect fit and would cool us off.

pvc sprinkler 2

I have seen a few of these around, but the first one I saw was in the Family Fun magazine a couple of years ago.  I have always wanted to make one.

pvc sprinkler 6

I decided to come up with my own design and drew it out before we even got started. My husband and I made a few changes to the design when we actually put it together.

pvc sprinkler 4

I was really happy with how it turned out.  The kids LOVE it.  We even had the neighborhood kids and some cousins over to play in it with us.  The kids rode their scooters through it and we have plans to put it over the slip and slide.  Doesn’t that sound like a ton of fun?!

pvc sprinkler 3

PVC is really inexpensive and we were able to put this whole thing together for $25.  That is a pretty great price for something that entertained the kids for a couple hours every day and cooled them off during the hottest part of the day.

pvc sprinkler 5

I will be back to share with you the specific details for how we build this in case you would like to make something similar at your house.

pvc sprinkler

What are some fun ways you are making memories outside this summer? We could always use some fun ideas around here!

Next month I will be back with another outside idea, courtesy of Lowes and I’ll be giving away another Lowes Gift Card!  So be sure to keep checking back!

block puzzle

Hey guys…things are still crazy around here.  We are finally starting to get things put back together in our home. Yeah! But we still have a LOT of work ahead of us.  I hope to share an update later in the week if you are interested.  But, in the meantime, I wanted to share with you a fun idea for making a fun Photo Block Puzzle.

photo puzzle 3wm

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These have been around for a while but I was reminded of them when my mom made one of these with a group of her church friends.  Hers was much larger and the blocks are about 3 inches (I think) each. I thought it would be fun to make one on a much smaller scale and  make one of them for my kids or to give as a gift to someone.

photo puzzle 2wm

So I found some 1 inch craft blocks at my local craft store.  They came in a large package of several of them for just a couple of dollars. 

photo puzzle 6wm

Then I found a box that measured 2 inches x 3 inches. So that six 1 inch blocks fit almost perfectly into the box.

photo puzzle 8wm  photo puzzle 5wm

Then I found 6 pictures that I wanted to include on my block puzzle.  One photo for each side of the block.  So you have essentially 6 different photo puzzles.  I loaded the photos into my photo program and cropped them so that they measured 2 x 3 inches each.

photo puzzle 9wm

I tried to make sure that the lines I would be cutting on would not cut through any important details of the picture.  This will help it so that the final picture will not be distorted.  Then I glued the pieces on the puzzle with Matte finish Mod Podge.

photo puzzle 10wm

Then I simply rotated the blocks all in the same direction and then added another photo.  I continued that process and tried to make it so that the photos were on the same plane…if that makes sense.  Either way it will work out.

photo puzzle 12wm


When you are finished, every block will have one piece of each puzzle on it.  And you literally have six fun photo puzzles to play with in a nice little box.

photo puzzle wm

These would be a great activity for your little ones in church with faces of the people they love.  Or a fun way to ask someone to a dance…do they still do that in high school?  Or to give to someone as a small gift idea.  There are so many fun ways these could be used.

photo puzzle 1wm

What would you make one for and for who?

*And I would like to thank Kristen Duke for our fun family photo.  It is from 2010 but is still one of my favorites!

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