A fantastically fun and easy game for kids to practice reading without it feeling like work! Five levels of vocabulary to get your child to immediately recognize sight words! Try not to get the rotten banana! (in English or Italian)

Rotten Banana: a fun early reading game

My little boy just turned six and is in first grade this year, which means that he’s learning to read and write. While my daughter had no problems learning written Italian in school and didn’t really need any outside help to pick up written English on her own, it hasn’t been quite as easy for […]

Learn how to make homemade pick up sticks (Mikado) from skewers, with a DIY pouch to hold them. Printable playing instructions included! A perfect gift for kids and adults! Tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com

Make homemade pick up sticks (with carry bag)

Toys are too complicated these days. I sometimes hear parents saying that their kids get bored if their toys don’t make sounds or light up, or aren’t animated or interactive games. And of course all these electronic toys and games cost more and break really easily. I sometimes feel like an old fogey, but seriously, […]

10 reasons why you should make your own costume instead of buying one: lessons learned from my mother. www.cucicucicoo.com

10 Reasons to make your own costume

The one question that I get asked in every interview I’ve ever had is what or who my creative inspirations are. I usually give a different answer every time because I am inspired by so many people, places and things. But my first creatively inspirational input was without question my mother. (Hi, Mom!) As a […]

Wine bottle crafts: Make upcycled vases with craft materials you already have! 2 great ideas with paint and glue! A DIY tutorial by www.cucicucicoo.com #winebottlecrafts

Wine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade […]

Transform that T-shirt you never wear into something useful! This no-sew tutorial shows how to make a bag from a T shirt. Great upcycling craft for kids! www.cucicucicoo.com

Make a bag from a T shirt: No-Sew Tutorial!

My name’s Lisa and I’m a T-shirt hoarder. Seriously, I have a problem. Come to my home, and you’ll find numerous containers full of t-shirts. I love them because they’re so easy to embellish or repurpose into other clothing and objects. But another wonderful thing about t-shirts is that the jersey fabric doesn’t fray and […]

Make adorable DIY paper poinsettias for the holiday season from upcycled egg cartons and fruit nets! Even kids can make these with a little help! Full photo tutorial on www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

When my daughter’s teacher invited me to come into the class to make crafts with the kids that could be sold at the school’s charity Christmas market (a couple of years ago I did the same thing with these yarn Hopi Eye ornaments), I was thrilled to find out that this year’s theme was “recycling”—my […]

How to make personalized DIY flower pots from tin cans | Cri Erre Handmade for www.cucicucicoo.com

DIY Flower pots from tin cans

A wonderful thing about summer is being able to spend time gardening gorgeous flowers, delicious veggies and flavorful herbs. Well, at least you can if you have a garden! For those of us who live in an apartment, a few pots on the balcony and in the home have to suffice. Today’s guest poster for […]

Tutorial: Make easy recycled crowns for kids with foil wrapping paper and cardboard | www.cucicucicoo.com

Tutorial: Make Easy Recycled Crowns for Kids

Happy Easter Monday! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday! And if you have children, I’m sure you now have insane amounts of candy and chocolate in your home. Here in Italy there’s no Easter Bunny, but kids get these huge chocolate eggs with a little gift inside. The eggs are wrapped in big squares […]

How to make easy letter magnets with kids

Tutorial: How to make easy letter magnets with kids

My kids, like pretty much every other kid I know, just love drawing and coloring. We just got back the other day from a fantastic visit with family and friends in the United States. Before we left, a friend of mine requested some of my children’s artwork to hang on her refrigerator as a gift. […]

Quick DIY Father's day gift: a jar of hearts (or hugs, kisses, love) for special Daddies

Jar of Hearts for special Daddies: DIY Father’s Day gift

This year we nearly missed Father’s Day (March 19th in Italy) completely. It had sort of slipped my mind to make something with the kids for my husband until that very morning, so I quickly racked my brain for a DIY gift idea that we could make in a very short time after school. Then […]

Happy holidays Minions

Happy Holidays from Cucicucicoo (and the Minions!!)

My kids and their cousin are totally obsessed with Minions. We let our kids (and guests) draw on the walls. The natural result? Lots of pictures of Minions on our walls. (Some of which resemble my little guy when he’s angry, according to the writing, although apparently the author changed his mind and crossed it […]

This adorable holiday craft is easy and fun for kids, and a great gift for them to give to loved ones! www.cucicucicoo.com

Pine Cone Christmas Trees: a tutorial for kids

A couple of weeks ago I published a tutorial for a children’s activity, making woven Hopi Eye Christmas ornaments, for the advent calendar countdown at the blog Creare per r’ESISTERE (in Italian, while the English version can be found here on cucicucicoo.com). Elisabetta asked me to contribute a second tutorial, so I proposed this project […]

Use up yarn scraps with this fantastic holiday craft for kids! These Hopi Eye yarn Christmas ornaments are easy, colorful and fun to make. They also make great gifts! www.cucicucicoo.com

Woven Hopi Eye Yarn Christmas Ornaments – for kids!

Did you see the project I did with my daughter’s 2nd grade class the other day? They just loved weaving these Hopi Eye yarn Christmas ornaments, even when they didn’t come out exactly as planned. But who cares? They were all beautiful in their own way and the kids were so satisfied with themselves. This […]

school hopi eyes

Coming soon on Cucicucicoo…

Just look at these. Seriously, just look at them. A class of 7-year-olds made those Hopi Eye Christmas ornaments. And pretty much by themselves. Sure, I needed to help the kids making knots and showing them how to wind the yarn around the popsicle sticks. And sure, the plan was that they were supposed to […]

Minions from upcycled materials

Make DIY Minions from Upcycled Materials: Tutorial

Today the movie Despicable Me 2 is coming out in the theaters in Italy. (Yes, considerably later than in the States.) My daughter and her cousin are besides themselves with joy. They’ve been waiting and waiting to see the Minions on the big screen. From what little I’ve seen of them, I honestly find them […]

peppa pig magnets

homemade upcycled peppa pig magnets

my kids just love peppa pig. so they were pretty lucky to have gotten the joy of 3 peppa pig mega easter eggs this year. it seemed a shame to throw out the outer papers with their favorite characters (as well as the crayon container from inside one of the eggs), so i decided to […]

pony house

reposting my bottle-houses

i had a nasty little surprise when i found out that one of my photos (which you can see here, among other places), taken from this post of mine, is getting passed around the internet without any reference whatsoever to the original source. that means that a whole lot of people are seeing my work […]

cardboard frame

happy daddy’s day!

considerably late, let me show you what my kids made for their daddy for father’s day this year (march 19). (this year i didn’t make him anything myself. last year i made him a sort of family portrait t-shirt and in 2010 a t-shirt with a reproduction of a portrait our daughter had drawn of […]

Easter eggs 2013

plastic and chocolate eggs

last year i showed you our traditional easter egg hunt. this year we did a similar one, but with the main difference that WE prepared the eggs, not me on my own, as has always happened until now, because my daughter wanted to participate in all stages of the hunt. we tried out a new […]

calze della befana di carta

Last minute befana solution

in campania, the region of italy where we live, a witch called la befana comes the night before epiphany and leaves candy and gifts for kids. these days everyone just buys those prepackaged stockings in the supermarket. within our own family we use the christmas stockings that i made (which you can see here and […]

handmade finger paint

advent calendar countdown: dec 11, 13, 14 (be artists!)

my daughter loves being an artist, so we frequently do projects to stimulate her artistic creativity. her advent calendar activity on december 11th was to make little books out of a single sheet of white paper. it’s really easy to fold and cut paper to create a book. december 13: we just love stamps, so […]

presepe con due gesù

advent calendar countdown: dec. 9 – 10 (decorate it!)

i’m not crazy about christmas decorations, but in our home there are four types of them, two of which you’ve already seen (the advent calendar and the christmas tree). my daughter loves putting these decorations up, so all four became advent calendar activities this year. so the other two? december 9: the nativity scene. naples […]

portrait lamination

advent countdown: december 4-5 (lamination!)

…??? this is what my daughter found in her advent calendar yesterday morning. do you have any idea what it means? you’ll have to keep on reading to find out. but first, i have something to tell you: my sister sometimes seems to think that i’m a trash can. (yes, i’m talking about you, dear […]

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advent countdown: december 1-3

and here we are with the countdown! if you follow me on facebook, you might have already seen the first days of my advent calendar countdown with activities to do with kids. unfortunately i just can’t manage to post here on the blog every day, but i’ll do the best i can! here’s what we […]

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advent calendar countdown!

and here we are again, nearly the beginning of december, otherwise known as 24 days of trying to think of something nifty to put inside the advent calendar every day! a lot of bloggers talk about this and wonder what to put inside it. this year i want to avoid putting in candy (as if […]

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“new” crayons from old ones

i’d seen the idea of recuperating all those little broken pieces of crayons, melting them in molds, making new crayons with all different colors in them. what fun! then i found another version of this project, but putting the molds inside a hot car. genius! we also had a frightening amount of broken crayons. so […]

doll house from shoeboxes

shoebox housing

i just love cardboard, and even more cardboard boxes. (here are some ideas to use them) but shoeboxes aren’t so bad, either! (and can you by any chance tell that we like superga shoes?) how did i use them this time? ok, try to imagine this table/desk in our living room… …completely carpeted with toys […]

bottle cap dog tags and collars

Upcycled bottle cap dog tags

remember these metal bottle caps (left over from our glass water bottles) and t-shirt sleeves (left over from various projects, such as my bathroom rug)? i also posted a photo of a bunch of cardboard boxes. this stuff was all for a children’s “green art” project that i participated in last week, during which the […]

cardboard play house

Cardboard

i just love cardboard boxes. don’t you? they’re so versatile, so reusable and recyclable, so… free. you can play with them in so many ways. for example, instead of buying the plastic washing machine that my daughter wanted, we made it ourselves from a box. i cut out the door and the hole to slip […]

bottle caps and t shirts

Cucicucicoo in Chiaia!

a question for you… what fun kid’s activity can you do with t-shirt sleeves and metal bottle caps? come to trip in chiaia – quartiere in movimento in naples to find out! i will be with Mommy&Me doing green art with kids at 4 pm thursday september 27 on via caracciolo (in front of the aquarium). […]