It’s Christmas and I am thinking of our beautiful NB Beaches! #MyNBChristmasTree

Over the past few summers, my boys and I have spent many hours on the road, visiting and exploring our beautiful New Brunswick coastline.  As I thought about a theme for a New Brunswick Christmas Tree, my very first thought was to create a tree that represents all those fun day trips and adventures we have spent as a family. Family is our focus this time of year, so we decided to create some ornaments that cherish those tidbits of time spent Discovering NB Beaches. There is so much more to explore in NB, and I look forward to adding more hand made ornaments to this tree each year. 

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts: Swirly Snake

Toilet Paper Crafts: Swirly Snake


With a young child in the house, we tend to keep many items to use in crafts. There is never a shortage of egg cartons or toilet paper tubes in my house. Here is a quick and simple craft to do with toilet paper tubes. There are so many fun creatures you can make with what you have around the house. 

Preschool Craft: Pom Pom Maze

Preschool Craft: Pom Pom Maze


Clayton loves pom poms. We had some paper tubes duct taped to the side of our island in the kitchen for a while, and he would drop the pom poms through them. Since it has been gone for a little while, I thought about how I could bring it back with a twist, and no duct tape 🙂

Here is what you need:

  • Large Box (see in pic for better idea of size)
  • Coloured paper or wrapping paper
  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Paper Towel Tubes
  • Paint
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  1. Start by covering the box. I used scraps of paper (I am a scrapbooker, so we have lots of paper!). You can paint or cover with wrapping paper as well. Use glue to adhere the paper, as you will be gluing your tubes to this later. You do not want them to pull off loose paper.
  2. Paint your toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Solid, patterned, blotchy, it's up to you. We used dollar store paint, nothing fancy.
    This is where I let Clayton mix paint and do whatever he wanted. We talked about the different colours he was making as the colours mixed. I only had Red, Yellow and Blue paint on the paper plate for him. He made Green and Purple and of course a mixture of all!
  3. Glue (I used glue and tape) the tubes onto the box. If you want bends in he tubes, you can cut them in half and make "ramps". You can see in the pic below what I mean. I put glue on each tube, and then tape from the top and bottom edges on the inside, to the outside to hold them in place until the glue dried.


Here is Clayton's trial run with the Pom Pom Maze.

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Making a Pom Pom Maze with my little guy. #preschoolcraft #2yearold #Crafttime #pompoms #kidscrafts #mommysboy

A photo posted by Ruth Ann Swansburg (@ruthswansburg) on

Another fun activity for children of any age is blackout drawing.

Blackout Drawing

Blackout Drawing

As I sat here on the weekend colouring with Clayton, I remembered something I had done as a kid.

We had a large bulletin board on our kitchen wall. One time (probably more), I covered it in a large sheet of paper, and started colouring, random colours and designs on it, using pencil crayons. Once the entire sheet was covered, I took a black crayon and covered the sheet with black wax! Then took a flat ended toothpick and made designs in the black wax, letting the colours shine through.

Last weekend, I decided to give it a quick try, only I just had crayons on hand. Here are the results. Look below the pics for ideas and suggestions for making this project more fun and variations on types of medium to use.


Colour sheet of paper many colours

  • pencil crayons will work better if using crayon to cover in black
  • oil pastel will produce more vibrant colour underneath if using Black poster paint on top.


The crayon on crayon did not cover as well. I am going to try the poster paint next time.

Use a screw driver, chopsticks, or any other hard object that will scratch off the black layer.

This is a fun project to have ready in craft bags. You can either let the kids make it from the beginning of the process, or have the blackout paper ready for them to use.


Craft Kits: Making Craft Time Easy


Crafts are so much fun with children, but have you ever noticed their short attention span leads to lots of extra "fun" if you are not prepared?
Hauling out the craft box and letting my little guy go through it is exciting and creative, but often times leads to a sheet of paper with some stickers and a few squiggles of crayon, maybe a pom pom glued on for a little added flare....but nothing specific. I am all for letting him be creative, but from time to time we want our kids to learn something from the craft, right?

My solution for crafting with a purpose is to create craft bags. The idea came from my continued success with freezer meals (all the prep work done!). So I have 4 or 5 craft bags made up in my box and ready to haul out when I need to fill some time on a rainy day.

You can start by picking a few crafts that require some prep from you anyway. Maybe cutting shapes, painting something, or drawing. Then place all the elements of the craft into the bag and label the bag with the Name of the craft and the Extra Supplies needed. ie: glue stick, paint, glitter, etc...

Here is a kit I made up for making an apple tree craft with Clayton when he was 2 1/2 years old.


Elements out of the bag and ready to make.


Finished craft.