Craft Stick Dolls

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Travis attends an art class where one of the free-play toys is a set of fabric swatches and wooden doll figures to dress up in different patterns. It’s a huge hit with kids in the class, so we recreated it at home!

Instead of fabric, I purchased a pad of decorative craft paper, in dozens of different patterns. For the dolls, we simply used wooden craft sticks!

If your child would like to, they can color in the craft sticks first with marker. I colored a few, but Travis decided he wanted the rest left plain.

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He was way more into applying a layer of mod podge to the craft sticks, proudly squeezing a line of glue down the middle of each.

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Another option is to brush on the mod podge with a foam brush, which we did a few times, too.

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Then it was time to dress our dolls! I told Travis he could pick a shirt and skirt for each figure, and he loved selecting “fabric” patterns from the craft paper.

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My plan was to cut rectangles out for him, but Travis insisted on cutting pieces himself.

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And proudly glued them on.

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As a result, we soon had very inventive fashion designs popping up. This one turned out to be the perfect shape for a skirt!

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Then Travis layered two popsicle sticks together; I thought the resulting doll looked like she was wearing a kimono.

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And we even had one wearing pants instead, when Travis made an accidental snip down the middle.

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Once the glue dried, I markered in smiles, hair, and shoes on our dolls as the finishing touch.

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Overall, I loved watching his creativity with this simple activity. Leftover craft paper soon turned into “leaves” around the apartment, so don’t let the inventiveness stop just because the dolls are done!

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Pancake Pizzas

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This quick breakfast recipe relies on store-bought pancake mix, and puts kids in charge of the final product. If you have older children, keep this in mind for a fun morning activity after a sleepover. Ingredient amounts below are unspecified, since each “pizza” will be different.


  • Pancake mix
  • Non-dairy cream cheese
  • Jam or Jelly
  • Chopped fresh fruit
  • Shredded coconut
  1. Prepare pancake batter according to package directions. Cook on a skillet or griddle.
  2. Now let kids decorate their pancakes! Begin with a layer of cream cheese or jelly spread on top.
  3. Sprinkle with fresh fruit and coconut to taste.

My son’s favorite is pancakes spread with strawberry jam, and topped with a little coconut and chopped kiwi.

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We also like winter wonderland pancakes: spread with cream cheese and sprinkled with coconut.

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Veggie Pesto Pitas

Veggie Pesto Pizza

These easy pitas look like individual pizzas, and kids can top ’em with just about any veggies they like. Many brands of pesto contain cheese, but look for the vegan pesto from Meditalia.


  • 1/2 cup non-dairy cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 2 (6-inch) whole wheat pitas
  • Assorted veggies
  1. In a bowl, stir together the cream cheese and pesto until well combined.
  2. Spread about 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture on the top of each pita.
  3. Top with veggies to taste: we used corn, steamed broccoli florets, and finely chopped bell pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.