Monday, November 9, 2009

Creativity=Frugality

Remember my Post-Holiday "Follow Me Monday" video? Well, in the video I went to Michael's and snatched up a very inexpensive "make your own" Pirate ship craft for my son. This was part of their Halloween line, so that's why it was so cheap!

Anyway, he worked very hard on his Pirate ship all weekend and finally finished Sunday evening. You can see the final result above! I was so proud of him! He asked if I could post it on my blog because he just knew other reader would be very interested in seeing his pirate ship!;) I, of course, said sure!

I know my blogs all about being frugal and saving money, so why this post? First, my son wanted to show his amazing little Pirate Ship, but I also wanted to point something out.

There are so many toys on the market these days and lots of toys don't let kids explore there imagination and be creative. I love that this inexpensive pirate ship let him do all those things and the best part--it built up up his confidence! When he brought down his pirate ship, his head was held high and that grin was not coming off his face.. priceless!

Remember, gifts under your Christmas tree this year don't have to be "typical" gifts. Be creative and like I always say, think out side the box!

My daughter, Piper, is getting lots of Halloween costumes to play dress up in. I even found an adorable chest (from a thrift store) to put all her dress up clothes in. I'm actually going to wrap the chest up and put it under the tree too!

My oldest son, as you can see from above, is my artist. I starting picking up odds and ends when all the school supply deals started back in July. I've now built up a nice stash of "artist supplies". I will be packaging them up in his very own artist kit, personalized with his name.

...And finally my middle child, Ayden, is Mr. wild man! He absolutely LOVES being outside and is very active. Being the middle child isn't the easiest, though, especially when you're competing for attention with your younger and older sibling. To make sure our little Ayden gets the attention he needs, we'll be making him a coupon book. Basically we've filled an envelope with coupons he can use on the weekends. The coupons have different activities he gets to do. One says, "play soccer with dad"... another coupon says, "make brownies with mom" ...and another "go to the park as a family". He'll get to choose one coupon every other weekend for the whole year! Getting to be the decision Maker is such a big deal for a 4 year old. I know he's going to be excited about this present!

I'd love to hear the creative gift ideas you have?

58 comments:

Susan and Lee said...

looks great! I tried to find one of these at teh Michaels by me, but had not luck! Very cute

Rochelle said...

That is such a great idea for your 4-year-old! I also have an energetic, independent 4 y/o boy who LOVES to make his own decisions. Since Daddy is coming home from Afghanistan in a couple weeks, I think the coupon idea would be great for him for Xmas as well since we will all need to make up for lost family time. Thanks and tell your son his pirate ship ROCKS! :)

*SummeR* said...

He did a great job! Tell him to keep up the good work!!!

SuzyQpon said...

AWESOME JOB KIDDO!!!!

Courtney said...

What a great idea!! Your a kick butt mom!! BTW tell your son his ship looks amazing!!!!!! :) I wish i was that talented. :)

amy said...

My neice is 8 and a crafy girl and she only gets to stay with us a few times a month. So a few projects can last all year. So for christmas i collect all the 75% off DIY kids crafts at target throughout the year. This year she is getting a "paint your own night light", star chia pet, Camp Rock art set, 3-D animals that you assemble and paint, etc.

For her birthday i went to the dollar store and bought pipe cleaners, pom-poms and googley eyes and that's the best gift she could have gotten! I put them in a cute storage box that she got to decorate.

Now if i only knew what to do with a gazillion pipe cleaner flowers...

Anonymous said...

That ship is way COOL!

Anonymous said...

Awesome job on the pirate ship! My son would have loved one of those but we don't hava a Michael's here. I love the coupon book idea. Even with just 2 children sometime one feels left out of the fun with mom or dad.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pirate ship, way to go!!!

Mom of 3 said...

Collin, you are such a good mom! And the pirate ship is amazing too. Way to go kiddo! I also wanted to add that Halloween stuff is at 90% off now at Walmart. I picked up several costumes for dress up for my 3 sons. They ranged in price from $1-2. What a deal!

Anonymous said...

I went to walmart yesterday and got costumes for 3.50 a piece got some that were army, and a doctor, going to visit another walmart today. I am going to set up a chest of Costumes for my friends 3 kids

Indimoney said...

Wow!! It looks wonderful. Your son is a genius. Also, I like your coupon idea!!

Abby said...

I love that pirate ship he did an awesome job!!

One thing I picked up this summer that was left over after father's day at Walgreens in their 75% off area was a tie with fabric crayons a Crayola kit to design your own tie. I bought two one for each of my girls and they designed ties for grandpa who wears them every day to work. You would be surprised at what a good job they did! Grandpa wore them with pride!

Kim said...

So had to wipe the tears before I could post a response. I am speech therapist by day and a couponer by night. While educating parents re: there children's special needs it has occurred to me that when I say to parents "provide your child with lots of sensory experiences" they think I mean take your child to the museum, zoo, and other expensive activities. BUT no I mean exactly what you just wrote...I think you just gave me a better way to articulate what a "sensory experience" can be...What a legacy you will be leaving for your children! Such an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

wow he did great on the ship! i'm planning to start a tradition this year with my 2 & 3 yr old with an advent calendar and got them a mini tree (7.99 ON SALE AT TARGET), each day they'll get to open a mini ornament to put on the tree with a note attached with an activity (making cookies, planting something, playing a game, going to the dollar store to pick a toy, go bowling, etc etc 25 different things, some are really small and some are larger...the biggest being building a bear which I got a gift card to do from pampers rewards program, yay!!!) - I can't wait for Dec 1st, I think I'm more excited than them! :) Ali S.

fran said...

Nicholas,
You did a terrific job on that ship, and you have one terrific mom.

charity said...

Wow - that's great!!! He did such a good job!

Also, I want to say thanks for helping me to score some amazing deals! I am new to this whole couponing business, and I am hooked!!! You are such a big help to me!!

*~*~*Bargain Blessings*~*~* said...

What a great post...thanks Collin!

momothree said...

I love the pirate ship, great gift idea!
To add to your dress up chest idea. So many of the dress up clothes on the market just fall apart. When my daughter was four, I went to thrift stores and found the smallest sized prom dresses. We put straps on the strapless ones and took the shoulders in (about 10 minutes of unskilled sewing). She is 11 and still plays with them (that is how well they stood up to the constant play!). We even found some evening gloves, fancy hats, jewels, and shoes. She still says that was her best Christmas present ever!

Anonymous said...

Making felt play food for my son and friends kids for Christmas this year. SUPER easy so far I have done poptarts, doughnuts, cookies, eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes. No sewing machine needed or sewing skills (c:

Anonymous said...

WOW! I love it! You did a terrific job. I can't wait to see your next project!!

Erin said...

In addition to being a rockin' ship, it's really cool to see bargains used and enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

I hope the middle child is getting more than just the coupons . . . I'm the middle of 3 girls, and I know I'd feel a little shafted if the other two got nice elaborate gifts. ;-) Cute idea though!!!!

Anonymous said...

Do you really think she would just give her kid coupons? She sounds like one of the most thoughtful people I have heard of in a while. :)
Keep up the great job Collin.

Anonymous said...

Ebay Disney $5 PJs Deal with Free shipping

DAILY DEAL - November 9th - $5 PLUS FREE SHIPPING, ONE DAY ONLY. 5 NEW STYLES AVAILABLE. SEARCH FOR:

- DISNEY RADIATOR SPRINGS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN PJ PAL

- DISNEY PRINCESS PJ PAL PAJAMA SET FOR GIRLS


- DISNEY ONE WITH NATURE TINKER BELL PJ PAL

- DISNEY RACING MICKEY MOUSE PJ PAL - ALL SIZES

- DISNEY LITTLE EINSTEIN JUNE & ANNIE PJ PAL

Anonymous said...

Ebay Disney $5 PJs Deal with Free shipping

DAILY DEAL - November 9th - $5 PLUS FREE SHIPPING, ONE DAY ONLY. 5 NEW STYLES AVAILABLE. SEARCH FOR:

- DISNEY RADIATOR SPRINGS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN PJ PAL

- DISNEY PRINCESS PJ PAL PAJAMA SET FOR GIRLS


- DISNEY ONE WITH NATURE TINKER BELL PJ PAL

- DISNEY RACING MICKEY MOUSE PJ PAL - ALL SIZES

- DISNEY LITTLE EINSTEIN JUNE & ANNIE PJ PAL

Ashley said...

That is the coolest ship I have EVER seen!!!! wow!

Anonymous said...

You're such an awesome Mom! Your son's pirate ship looks great! I love your blog - I check it several times a day! Thank you so much for researching and posting all of the great deals here.

Anonymous said...

Great ideas Collin ~ you are truely and inspiration. I wish this would have been available when my kids were little (teens now)!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas, love the dress up idea the best; I have a Piper too she'll be 4 in Dec.

Casey and Kimberly said...

Keep on posting about those wonderful babies.. You should be proud!!!

Nicole said...

Collin, I wish I was as creative with my son as you are with three kids.... since my imaginations isn't as clever, thanks for posting this. You have given me some great ideas. You Rock!

City Councilman Doug said...

WOW! Awesome job on the pirate ship. You sure can tell that he worked very hard on it.

And I just want to say, bless you and your little family. Not only does your husband serve our country, but you do, too! I can't tell you how much money you have helped me save over the past year since I "found" you, and the best part of all is that I will be able to give my kids a better Christmas than I would have otherwise. Thanks!!

Lynn said...

I LOVE this!
Wishing we had a Michael's nearby.
We too look for fun things for our son to do (he's only 2 1/2) and I love making crafts and projects with him with small change.
We've recently enrolled him in a Lowe's Build and Grow clinic --- THEY ARE FREE!!!!! Plus, you get a really great craft project (like the 'frankenstring' project we got for Halloween. I even posted the finished project on our family blog. Yes, my hubby and I helped too, but that made it even better - AWESOME family time!
Tell your son he did a great job! That looks amazing! Totally worthy of keeping out all year long.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:37....

HAHAHA...spoken like a true middle child! :)

Grandmother "Mimi" said...

Please tell Nicholas that I'm so proud of him and wish that I could be there to see his pirate ship. Great job!!! With love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

nice work- kudos for him to work so hard on a project like that! We stocked up Target Halloween clearance crafty things ( coloring books, monster matching games, foamy picture frames...that sorta thing) that helped our toddlers stay entertained on a VERY rainy camping trip this weekend- I love your ideas and have inspired me for holiday shopping this year! thanks, and tell your little one good job on his pirate ship!

Stephen & Jill Williams said...

I also gathered Halloween coupons on post-holiday sales for my little girls to play dress up with. I love your idea about finding a trunk at a thrift store to store them in. Great ideas!

Pat said...

When my now college aged daughter was 4 I made a 'dress up' box as a Christmas gift. She was thrilled with all the, I'd call ugly' bridesmaid dresses I had found at a Goodwill store for next to nothing. Plus some pretty gaudy gold purses! My secretary had just stood up in her mother in law's wedding and the following Monday gave me the dress for my daughter's box. It was truly hideous, lacy and bright purple! The things we let brides put us in...
Anyway my daughter and her friends had years of fun with those dresses.

Angela said...

Amy,

Do you have any advice that you could give on scoring the 75% off DIY kids crafts at Target?

I hardly ever find things @ 75% off at my Targets. I don't know when they go to 75% off is probably my problem.

We don't have any kids, but we do have 3 nieces ranging from 1 to 5. We also get items like these when they are cheap to give to the Angel Trees and such at Christmas.

Thanks in advance for any help that you or anybody else can give :)

Flipfloppingmamma said...

Love the ship!! He did a great job!

Idea: My sister found an inexpensive man briefcase at a yardsale last year and filled it with all kind of art supplies for my 6 year old. Pens, crayons, paper, couple sheets of Avery labels, a date stamp and other things. My daughter LOVES it and carries it everywhere. It's great for the car cause she can get things out of it and then use it to draw on like a desk. Just an idea!

Adrian and Jane Musters said...

I am new to your blog and loving it. Thanks for all your hard work. An idea for Christmas that is not really a present but a way to keep the kids being good is to wrap up all of your christmas dvd's and story books. Then put them under a tree. Then everyday throughout December one child gets to pick a present. The present that is picked is what you as a family get to do that night. So you will be able to watch all of your favorite holiday movies and read all of your favorite holiday books and most important spend time with your family. I wish this idea was my own but my neighbor gave it to me and I will be starting it this year.

Anonymous said...

I work with the Girl Scouts and I have been checking the weekly 40%coupon for Micheal's and picking up crafts for the girls to do. There are always pieces left over and we just save them for more projects. You could do the same for the kids for Christmas.

Heather from jville said...

why did i get teary eyed reading this? haha. Being a mom is the best thing in the world and seeing them excited over things is even better!

His ship is awessssome! Tell him to keep that head up high. Art is a wonderful thing!

mom2nickryanrachel said...

Oh my gosh, so great! Kudos to your little artist. I LOVE the Christmas gift ideas..they are wonderful, well thought and your kids will appreciate them more than some plastic toy from a store. You ROCK!! Keep the ideas coming!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Collin's son! Good job on your pirate ship! It looks pretty scary... :-)

MalibuBeachBum said...

WOW! He did an amazing job on his pirate ship! And those are great ideas for projects and gifts for the little ones!

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

very Lovely, did a nice job Creative...

Anonymous said...

I love, love-love his pirate ship! Too cute. My son(s) both of them would love to do the same thing. Esp. my oldest who is 10. I like what you said about kids not having to use their creativity w/certain toys these days and agree we need to challenge their minds more w/what we are allowing and indeed putting in them! That is one reason why I teach my kids to play the piano, flute and harmonica all from just sound (I have only learned to play the flute, others are self-taught)so it helps their imagination. Also, I am buying them a blank canvas a piece and closer to Christmas we are going to put on some Christmas music & make hot chocolate and paint 'our own' master pieces w/paint and see what we come up with! Thanks Collin for the tips! :)
~Vicki

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea for a pirate themed birthday party!

Incidently, I took you up on that after Halloween sale at Target and scored BIG on stuff at 90% off! I got the monster themed plates, napkins, cups and platters for pennies on the dollar. GI Joe and Storm Trooper costumes for $2.99 and $3.99. T Shirts for as low as 39 cents. My kids will wear the shirts anytime and I can't wait to have a monster themed party for my 4 yr old.

Thanks for all the awesome tips!!!

Nikki said...

GREAT idea on the coupon book! I think I'll make one for my 5 year old!!! Thanks!

Jenna said...

once again this is why you are my favorite! Love it! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Love the ship!! That's a great job! BTW I just went to Walmart & ours had 90% off ALL Halloween costumes & accessories! I bought 4 costumes for $4!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw that pirate ship craft at our local Michaels. Thanks Collin, I might snatch some of it on Veteran's Day. I believe they have 15 % off on your entire purchase

Lisa said...

I also get the clearances Halloween dress-up items for Christmas presents for our kids.

The clearanced craft items are also great for birthday parties. We usually have all sorts of different stations for kids to do crafts at our kids birthday parties.

I will be presnting $aving Christmas at my church in a couple of weeks and have worked on creating great gifts that are inexpensive and meaningful. One that I have come across is great for just about anyone. . especially if a loved one lives far away. A MEMORY JAR have friends and family write a short memory, inspriation, Biblical scripture and send to you. Then put all the notes on small business card size pieces of cardstock fold over and tape. Then for the next 365 days the recipent can pull out one everyday. What a great way to start the day! Althought I must admit I would probably have to read all before the end of the first day. :)

Simone said...

excellent ideas!

dealightfulsavings said...

The idea for crafty stuff is awesome! I did that for my daughter last year--a big gift bag full of glue, paper, markers, etc and that was her favorite gift!
awesome on the pirate ship!

Anonymous said...

I made a travel book for my brother who is going to spain in the spring with a map & great places to go there! Complete with address labels for family as well :)