Unschool Vision Board

I recently made vision boards (view them here) and one of them is for unschooling. I think it is important to have a visual reminder of why we chose to unschool our son, verses more traditional homeschool methods.

Sometimes the pressures of society and those that don’t know the vast benefits of unschooling can allow doubt and worry to creep in, especially with my teaching background. Having a list of traditional schooling and unschooling differences and a quote from “Free to Learn” by Peter Gray can help clarify  our decision with just a quick glance.

“Children (rid of us) are biologically designed to educate themselves through play and exploration! We don’t need to educate them; we need to provide the conditions to allow them to educate themselves!”

Unschool Vision Board

Having things to remind us to live in the present and be mindful of our child’s interests and needs is so important. Sometimes we can let the stresses of life take us out of the moment, causing our child to be ignored or rushed and not have their curiosity fostered as well as it could be.

Drinking Orange JuiceWhat do I mean by fostering their curiosity? Well, answering questions through speech, a book, a dvd, or better yet, giving a hands-on opportunity for them to answer the question for themselves.  For example, my son LOVES orange juice. He thought it just came from a bottle (he is only 3), so I took an orange and helped him stick a glass straw through it and he was able to both touch and taste the orange juice right from the source; making the connection of where orange juice comes from. He loved it and now asks for his orange juice like that. When he is done drinking the juice he eats the orange.

Being present for unschooling isn’t just answering questions the child already has, it can be inspiring them. We have a large range of books and manipulative of varying age levels that we play with all the time. We also do a lot of vocal counting, reading, spelling, letter sounds, and color recognition, plus allow multiple opportunities for him to see us write in cursive (yes, he is learning cursive first and his favorite kindle game is teaching him to write in cursive). We try to make this a habit for daily learning opportunities. He seems to enjoy it, since he repeats what we say and is already counting and adding to 4, recognizes the letter A and number 2, knows all of his basic colors, knows what words are for, and can recognize a few sight words in both print and cursive. This is why our vision board includes an “ABC and 123” picture and “ASL” picture, as a reminder to demonstrate knowledge throughout the day.

An added bonus of having a homeschool vision board is as motivation for older children. (Thank you, Tashara for pointing that out!) They can see why homeschooling is important and focus on concepts they want to learn. To enhance this, it would be great for the family to plan and make their vision board together.

Do you have a visual reminder for your homeschool/unschool goals? What would you place on your vision board?

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Setting Goals: 2018 Vision Boards

As 2017 came to an end I looked back on everything my family has gone through, the ups, downs, and in-betweens. We have learned so much and are better because of it. Using those experiences hubby and I were able to come up with our 2018 goals.

It has been a long time since I made a vision board and something I have been wanting to do for awhile now. The last time I had one everything on it came to fruition and it helped me feel grateful for everyday things. If you want more information on vision boards and manifesting goals, please read “The Secret,” found here, or watch the movie, found here.

To make our vision boards we first sat down and listed goals for multiple categories: finances, health, education, fitness, hobbies, and family, and chose a word for the year, “Present.”

  • Family Goals: occupy the present, minimalistic living, declutter, tranquility, better use of home space, exploration through books and the world, being who you want to be, and acceptance.
  • Financial Goals: cut credit card debt and stop using credit cards, make our businesses grow, add beeswax candles and crochet items to our business, work towards owning our farm, get family property put in our name, fix our family property and fix up hubby’s mom’s house, etc.
  • Fitness Goals: Complete “Insanity” dvds as a couple, do yoga every day, exercise in some form daily, learn to do the crow pose, and incorporate barefoot walking.
  • Health Goals: Create an herbal vitamin and remedy pantry, pray and meditate daily, be gluten-free, be sugar-free, live in the present moment, and choose health for your body, mind, and soul.
  • Hobby Goals (Mine): Learn to play the violin/fiddle, learn to crochet more than a simple blanket, write a book, and write more blog articles.
  • Unschool Goals: Remember why we chose unschooling for our homeschool, practice ASL on a regular basis, provide multiple opportunities to learn the alphabet and numbers a day, be present to help facilitate learning opportunities with anything Archer is interested in.

Using that list I was able to download images or type words to represent them. I simply made an individual slideshow using PowerPoint, found here, to make each vision board category.

Once my husband and I had both approved the final look of each board I printed them using my mini HP Desk Jet, found here, and laminated them with my Swingline, found here.

Since each category is on its own laminated paper, we are able to hang them in appropriate locations around our home. For example, the health board will be on our fridge, and the family board will be next to our couch.

This was such a simple and inexpensive way of making our vision boards compared to how I made my last one. My last vision board was on a massive framed cork board. I bought the cork board, magazines, ribbon, and pushpins, then spent time finding all of the images I needed and cutting them out of the magazines. It was kept in my bedroom, next to my door, so I could see it every day (which helped), but it would have been handy to have the different categories available in different areas or to have it be portable. With these laminated vision boards I can easily take them  with me.

To place them on my fridge I cut a piece of magnetic tape, found here, and placed it on each corner. For normal walls, I either used velcro, found here, or command strips, found here.

What will be are your 2018 goals and how will you represent them on your vision board?

Family Moto Vision Board

Family Moto Vision Board

Financial  Vision Board 

Financial Board

Fitness Vision Board

Fitness Board

Health Vision Board

Health Vision Board

Hobby Vision Board

Hobby Vision Board

Unschool Vision Board

Unschool Vision Board


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Do images of soldiers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, Ironman, and Spiderman come to mind when you hear the word “Hero?” Would it surprise you to know “You’re my hero” are the words I try to say to my toddler on a regular basis.


Of course he hasn’t saved anyone’s life and doesn’t put his life in danger for our community. He is just a little boy. I know most people view heroic actions to be things involved in saving a person’s life; things the types of people mentioned above do on a daily basis for their jobs. However, I want my son to see how even small actions can be heroic and an average person can be a hero in their own way.

He loves super heroes and we have talked about how his father was recently a hero by performing CPR on our neighbor and saving her life, and how his Pop is a hero to many due to being a paramedic. These types of heroic actions take a special person, someone who doesn’t crumble during high stress situations. I know I’m not that type of person; I literally shut down, typically, can’t move, cry, and lose all knowledge of what needs to be done. I know many people that react in a similar way. My son is too young for me to know how he will react to this type of stress; he might shine like his father or crumble like me. This is why I think it is important to point out how small actions can be heroic.

The other day I had a stinkbug on my back, it was in a spot I could not reach and seemed determined to stay there. Well, my son is terrified to hold bugs (he loves looking at them but refuses to hold any bug and will cry if he thinks one is touching him), seeing my distress he showed me he could be brave and put my needs over his own. He grabbed a cloth wipe and picked the bug up, then quickly handed it to me. I called him “My hero” and he was so proud of himself. Another recent occurrence when he put another person first was when he took his father a toothbrush and they brushed their teeth together. I know this doesn’t seem heroic, but he HATES brushing his teeth due to some oral aversions developed while having to do tongue stretches after his tongue and lip tie revisions. He will kick and scream the entire time and we usually have to pin his arms down so he doesn’t hurt himself or us.  On this occasion, I asked if he had brushed his teeth and he responded, “No.” I then asked, “Did Daddy brush his teeth?” and he responded, “No.” I reminded him that we all have to brush our teeth before bed and Daddy really needed to brush his before he fell asleep, since he was already laying down. As I was getting my own toothbrush ready he asked me to give him his and his father’s toothbrushes. I obliged and he went to his daddy and made him brush his teeth while he showed him he could brush his own, in a way of trying to encourage and comfort his father (mimicking what we regularly try with him). I thought this was the sweetest thing. He has such a big heart and is constantly overcoming his own fears to help others. On that night he was his father’s little hero.

People don’t always have to overcome fears to be someone’s hero. You also never know when a kind word, show of love or gratitude can help bring a little happiness into someone’s dark world or even help someone stop intrusive suicidal thoughts.

I’ve had people be my hero just by believing in me and encouraging me to be the best version of myself. I’ve seen people be heroes by gifting others medicine, money, food, diapers, or items they can use to sale or repair their home or car. Little things can make a lot of difference, especially when given without payment or expectations. These types of actions deserve gratitude just as much as those who work in a hero based position do (we need to remember to show our gratitude to them, since we tend to forget to show our appreciation when we know the person is being paid.)

Has your child or someone else been your hero lately?

This is my littlest hero. my hero

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Wedding Rules For Breastfeeding?

Do you believe there are wedding rules that a breastfeeding mother should follow? Is a wedding so sacred that breastfeeding shouldn’t be allowed or should be hidden from sight?

Wedding Rules for Breastfeeding

(I know this image has gone viral and several blogs have posted on it. Well, Ceara LaFrance is my friend and I wanted to make sure her entire story was being heard, since not everyone has stated all of the facts. Also, all images were supplied to me directly from Ceara LaFrance).

I had the privilege, not only interviewing Ceara LaFrance but, being witness to the information before Ceara decided to share the controversial images, thanks to our weekly playdates and us being members of the same local birthing center Facebook group (where she originally posted the images and received help editing them together on September 16, 2017, the day after Ceara and her husband attended the wedding).

Let’s start from the beginning. On Thursday, June 8, 2017, Ceara, her husband, Justin, and friend, Bren Melton, were at the LaFrance home.   (Bren was at the LaFrance home, not only as a friend, but as Ceara’s doula. Ceara was in labor with her second daughter). After checking the mail, Justin quickly opened the invitation, knowing it was important since he was to be the best man. A pink slip of paper fell out of the envelope and he decided to read that first. It stated, “To all our mommies who are breastfeeding, we are thinking of you, we are sensitive to the fact you may need to breastfeed during our event, therefore we have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our Family and Friends. For your convenience we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs and baby blankets in the ladies’ room. We request that you use this area when you are breastfeeding. Thank you.”

Wedding Breastfeeding Note

Well, Ceara was already in labor, so she wasn’t feeling her best, but still, I think her reaction was fairly appropriate. Ceara was pissed! She believed the bride and groom had no right to request this, especially knowing by the time the wedding would come around Ceara would still have a frequent nursing infant. Ceara stated her first thought was, “What is she (the bride) going to do, stop everything in the middle of the wedding to stop me from nursing?” She was also shocked that despite how stressed the couple was preparing for the wedding, they took time to type the note.

Ceara did her best to put it out of her mind since she needed to focus on her labor. (However, I personally wonder if this emotional upset and distraction could have a tiny contribution to labor not progressing quickly and baby not being born until Monday, June 12, 2017. – This is just my own speculation and no comment from Ceara and Justin).

Justin and Ceara were fairly certain they were the only ones to receive the pink note in their invitation. The groom had previously mentioned to Justin for Ceara not to nurse during the wedding at all.  So, I guess this was the bride and groom’s way of compromising.

After the baby was born, the bride had rolled her eyes and walked out of the house when Ceara was nursing her newborn openly in her own home, using the two shirt method (you pretty much can’t see anything while the baby is latched using this method).

Did you catch that? “In her own home.” The bride has such an issue with breastfeeding that she has to show disdain in the mother and child’s own house, the place where nursing should feel the most comfortable and freeing.

While at our playdate, the day of the wedding, September 15, 2017, Ceara asked Bren to wet-nurse the baby for her, while her and Justin attended the wedding. Bren was instantly willing to wet-nurse, but tried to talk Ceara out of it, trying to convince her to stand her ground and take the baby to the wedding. Justin even suggested that Ceara could raise her hand anytime she needed to nurse and he would make sure to sit with her. However, Ceara wanted to keep the peace and not cause any turmoil, since there was an easy solution to the nursing dilemma. Plus, though she was grateful for his support, she didn’t want to distract Justin from his best man duties and, making the most of an awkward situation, turned the event into a date night.

Ceara had an emotional night. It was the first time for her to be away from her 3 month old daughter. She also had high hopes of what the nursing area would be due to how nice the wedding was, thinking it might be a separate dressing area in the bathroom. Instead, when she finally made her way to the bathroom, Ceara’s already sensitive emotions were assaulted further by how the “requested” nursing area was set up. She was expecting a separate room with a comfortable chair and baby blankets (as mentioned in the note). Instead, the nursing area was directly in front of the TOILETS, to allow access to the stall doors in front of her she would have to sit sideways, and the chairs were uncomfortable folding chairs with no arm rests.

Nursing Area

Let me explain why this nursing area was not appropriate in the least. First, you never set up a nursing area in a bathroom. This is not hygienic. Do you want to eat your food where toilet water is being spewed when people forget to put the lid down before flushing? (Read how illness can spread when lids are left up during flushing.)

Nursing AreaSecond, the nursing area should be set up in a way that make the mother comfortable. She shouldn’t have to worry about people banging into her or her child as they try to get in and out of the toilet stall. Also, the chairs should be comfortable and have arm rests. Without hauling around a bulky nursing pillow, lack of arm support and comfort is difficult on a nursing mother, especially with an infant who nurses for long periods of time and at a frequent rate.

Third, don’t supply blankets. That just makes you look like a jerk. I know, it is seen as kind and generous, but mothers that use blankets bring them with them. Not every mother or baby is comfortable under a blanket (my own son absolutely refused it and I needed to be able to fully see how he was latching at all times due to his severe tongue and lip ties causing a nipple only latch, which is way too shallow and needs constant readjusting). Supplying a blanket just enforces the message that breastfeeding is shameful and should be hidden. Therefore, placing the breasts back into the sexual category, instead of the nurturing category. If you are going to provide anything, provide water and maybe some cloth baby wipes. Nursing mothers tend to become very thirsty during a nursing session and the cloth wipes are great to wipe up any drool or leaks from the waiting breast.

At this time, Ceara believes she was the only mom invited with a child under one and possibly the only guest breastfeeding. By sending the note and setting up the nursing area in the bathroom the bride and groom were directing more attention to Ceara than need be. Even if she had decided to bring her child and nursed during the wedding and reception, less attention would have been given to her if she would have nursed where she was already situated than having to get up and make her way to the bathroom and sit in the “requested” nursing area.

This was a child friendly wedding. They even had a kid’s table where messes, bad eating habits, and noise were welcome; however, the feeding rights of an infant were frowned upon, even before this child was born.

Ceara Tandem Nursing

Sadly, even after all of the publicity and support Ceara has gotten, certain family members still haven’t learned and continue their attempts at degrading her. She has been bashed for breastfeeding saying, Ceara “gets off on her child sucking her tits because her husband can’t due to having to work to support her lazy a**,” since she is a stay at home mom. While another female family member worries that her husband will see Ceara nursing and have sexual thoughts.  First, these women aren’t showing any kindness and love like family members should. Second, STOP SEXUALIZING BREASTS!!! Breasts, hands, and mouths can all be used in sexual and nonsexual ways. Are we asked to cover up our mouths and hands when utilizing them in other natural ways? No, we aren’t! We shouldn’t have to cover up our breasts in order to keep perverts from sexualizing them. Perverts are going to sexualize whatever their sick little minds feel like, no matter what we are wearing or doing.

Let’s go back to the pink note: “To all our mommies who are breastfeeding, we are thinking of you, we are sensitive to the fact you may need to breastfeed during our event, therefore we have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our Family and Friends. For your convenience we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs and baby blankets in the ladies’ room. We request that you use this area when you are breastfeeding. Thank you.”

Why do I have issues with this note?

  1. “We have DESIGNATED an APPROPRIATE place for you to feed your baby” means that all other areas are not appropriate to breastfeed in.
  2. “So that you do NOT have to do so in PUBLIC” means that the bride and groom feel breastfeeding is not appropriate in public.
  3. Our Family and Friends” means that the WANTS of the bride and the groom outweigh the NEEDS of a baby.
  4. “Baby blankets in the ladies’ room” shows that breastfeeding should be hidden away and is equal to that of someone using the toilet.
  5. “We REQUEST that you use this area” continues to emphasize that breastfeeding should not take place anywhere else. This is the rule for attending the wedding with a baby.

If you are going to set up a breastfeeding area and send a note, do not make it  forced. Make it a courtesy you are offering nursing mothers, if they so choose to accept it, and never have it be in a bathroom. You never know a mother’s comfort level or needs. When I was starting out, I needed my husband’s help with nursing. He helped me latch without fully flashing everyone, made sure I was comfortable, got me anything I needed, and even helped me switch  sides when I was too weak to do it on my own. Being forced to use a bathroom, where he would not have access would have made my nursing situation even more stressful than it already was.

One thing Ceara wants to make clear is that posting the pictures was NOT about shaming the bride and groom, in fact Ceara hasn’t disclosed their names. She shared the pictures because she wants to keep other couples from making the same mistakes. The fact that the nursing area was in the bathroom and not set up in an appropriate way is not acceptable. Ceara also feels this could have been handled better if the bride had talked to her in person, instead of writing the note.

Ceara wants to raise awareness that it is 2017 and breastfeeding shaming is still happening. She said, “You can’t dictate where I feed my child. Don’t request and demand I feed my child in a set up area and don’t put it in the f****** bathroom.” There is no appropriate time or place for a baby to feed, it happens where and when they are ready. Mothers should also not be forced to stay home with their child, just because our society has led people to sexualize breasts and have perverted thoughts when they see a baby nursing. If Ceara had chosen to push her point of view and taken the baby with her, would the bride and groom had rather the baby being continually crying, getting louder and louder, interrupting the ceremony until Ceara was capable of getting to the designated nursing area, or would they have rather the baby cry and Ceara automatically offer her breast, instantly providing the milk and comfort the baby was needing?

[10/4/17 Edit: Yes, the couple does not have children or know what breastfeeding is like. This is why Ceara has repeatedly tried to keep their names out of it and wanted to use this to help educate others. She has not stooped to name calling or bashing them, only presenting the facts.]

Please share. We need more people to know that this type of wedding “request” and nursing area is not appropriate and degrading to breastfeeding mothers. I might have sent them my article, “Dear Stranger, MY BREASTS ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!


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DIY Train Costume

It’s time to prepare for Halloween and start making your DIY costumes.

Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. No, it has never been about the candy, I only ate a few pieces. I loved it for the sheer joy of dressing up as someone or something else. I always loved playing make-believe and this was the perfect excuse. Making a costume always made the experience better, even when it was simple things like wearing a bathrobe and slippers, curlers in my hair, my mom’s giant glasses, a dried on facial mask, and carrying a coffee mug to be “a woman who just woke up.” The creativity involved always added to the excitement of the holiday. Plus, there was something empowering knowing that my costume was one of a kind. I would always feel special wearing my homemade costume, while most of the other kids were sporting something from the store, typically matching a handful of our peers.

I wanted to continue this with my family and  keep costumes as zero-waste as possible. Let’s be honest, costumes don’t tend to last long, the store-bought ones are too expensive or they don’t have what you need, or your child, like mine, will be having a bad day when it comes time for them to wear the costume in public (he loved playing with it at home).

This DIY train costume was worn by a very grumpy 1 1/2 year old, for less than 5 minutes out in public. Despite crying halfway through his turn and trying to throw himself on the ground as we walked through the costume contest, he still won the award for “Most Original Costume.”

This DIY train costume is very simple to make and we used items we already had at home, but it did take a week to complete due to the time required to let the paint dry and having to work on it during my son’s nap.



First, I found a rectangular cardboard box that he could fit in without it being too large. I then cut off all 8 flaps, keeping them for further use.

I then gathered my remaining supplies: The cardboard flaps, 6 Noosa yogurt lids, 1 Noosa yogurt container, an empty oatmeal box, a Pringles can, a toilet paper roll, clear packing tape (next time I work with a box, I will use Kraft Tape), cotton balls, a hot glue gun (I love this mini hot glue gun, found here), scissors, dark red paint, gold paint, white paint, black paint, a yellow highlighter, small paint brushes, black felt (found here), a piece of white paper, a pencil, and washi tape (found here).

Since, my box had seen better days, I gave it a little more stability by taping the edges, on the outside and the inside. This helped my box not fold flat while I was working on it.

Using one of the small flaps, I cut out a rectangle which would fit on the small face of the box, leaving room around the edges. This piece was used to make the sign. I then took my Noosa container and used it to trace a half circle on the bottom center of the cardboard rectangle and cut that section out, creating an arc shape.  (See figure 2 on the image above.)

Using  the arc shaped cardboard, I traced the shape on a piece of paper and cut it out. After painting the cardboard sign gold, I then drew the train name, “Orion Express,” on the cutout paper. Flipping the paper over, I used a pencil and heavily traced the name. Using washi tape, I was then able to tape the paper with the pencil drawing against the dried red cardboard sign. This kept the paper from moving around while I rubbed on it, allowing the pencil drawing to be left behind on the red paint. (The washi tape comes off easily, with no sticky residue, and doesn’t harm dried paint.) I was able to complete the sign by painting over the pencil markings.

To make the light, I colored the center circle of the bottom of the Noosa container with a yellow highlighter. I then painted the bottom outer ring and the sides of the container with gold.

Glue your sign and light to the front of your train.

(You can either paint the large cardboard box before or after glueing everything on it.)

Glue 3 of the Noosa lids to the bottom of each side of the train’s body. Make sure you have the label glued to the box, so it isn’t showing. (I only glue a little in the center of the lid, so I could gently lift the edges out of the way while painting the train body.)

Take one of your small cardboard flaps that you saved. From the bottom corners of the long side, draw two lines towards the top center side, creating a triangle. Cut the triangle out, you should be left with 1 large triangle and 2 small triangles. Use the large triangle to create the same size triangle out of another small flap. You should now have 2 large triangles and 4 small triangles. Glue the 4 small triangles between the 2 large triangles, with the bottom side of every triangle lined up together. Then take your tape to make a smooth surface for all sides, so you can’t see the 4 small triangles when looking from the front point. Paint the entire thing black. This will be your pilot and it will be glued at the bottom of the front of the train body. Make sure you glue it with the side all 6 triangles are lined up on against the box.

Take the oatmeal box, you want one of the large faces standing horizontally, so it can attach to the inside (or backside if there isn’t enough room for the box and your child) back face of the train body. cut a circle the size of the Pringles can on the new top side. Insert the Pringles can, with no lid, and glue them together.

Paint the Pringles can, front, bottom, sides, and top half of the back of the oatmeal box black. After it has dried, glue the bottom half of the oatmeal box to the back of the train body. Half of the box will be sticking above the train. You now have a smokebox and smokestack.

Take the toilet paper roll and glue cotton balls all over it. Even glue cotton balls on top of the cotton balls at the top, to cover the entire cylinder. You can even gently tug the cotton to get it to shape the way you want. I tugged to make it look like it was floating backwards due to the train moving forward. Then, glue your smoke inside the Pringles can smoke stack.

Now you can paint the train body red and add any details. (I painted gold rivets along each vertex and white identification numbers on the sides.) You can use washi tape to help keep glued on items clean, or quickly wipe paint away.

After everything has dried, take your black felt, found here, and cut rectangular straps (I just cut it in half). Glue them to the inside-front and the inside-back of the train body. (Make sure you first test them with your child to see what height and width they need them to wear the train costume comfortably.

DIY Train Costume Instructions:

Train body 1: Cut off all 8 flaps on your box.

Sign 1: Cut a small rectangle out of one of the flaps for a sign.

Sign 2: Using the Noosa container, cut an arc out of the bottom of the sign.

Sign 3: Use paper and a pencil to create the letter rubbing for the sign.

Sign 4: Rub the letters onto the gold painted sign, then paint over the letters with white.

Sign 5: Glue the sign onto the front face of the box/train body.

Light 1: Color the bottom inside circle of the Noosa container with a yellow highlighter and the bottom outer ring and container sides with gold paint.

Light 2: Glue the Noosa container, with the rim against the front of the box/train body, directly under the arc in the sign.

Pilot 1: Cut two large, equal size, triangles out of 2 small flaps; also, creating 4 equal size small triangles.

Pilot 2: Glue the 4 small triangles inside the 2 large triangles with all of them having the largest edge touching.

Pilot 3: Tape the sides of your 6 triangle pilot piece, then paint it black.

Pilot 4: Glue the 6 triangle pilot piece with the point facing out, to the bottom of the front face of the box/train body.

Wheels: Glue all 6 Noosa lids, with the top of the lid (label side) to the train body. Make sure you have 3 equally spaced on each side at the bottom of the box.

Smokebox 1: Your oatmeal box will lie horizontally, with the front of the box facing you.

Smokebox 2: Cut a hole the size of the bottom of the Pringles can in the new top side of the oatmeal box.

Smokebox 3: Paint the smokebox black on all sides, except the back; only paint the top half of the back of the box, since the bottom half will be glued to the train body.

Smokebox 4: Glue the bottom half of the smokebox the the inside-back face of the train body, making sure the top half is above the train body.

Smokestack 1: Glue the Pringles can inside of the smokebox, where the circle was cut out.

Smokestack 2: Paint the smokestack black.

Smoke 1: Glue cotton balls all over the toilet paper roll. Making sure the sides and top of the cylinder are covered.

Smoke 2: Shape cotton balls to create the smoke look you want by gently rubbing and tugging at the cotton fibers.

Smoke 3: Glue the smoke inside of the smokestack.

Train body: Paint the inside and outside of the box/train body red, then add any gold details. You can use washi tape to help minimize touchups from dripped paint.

Costume Straps: Cut the black felt in half, lengthwise. Have your child hold the box in place while you determine the length and width of the location the straps need to be glued inside of the box, then glue them on.

Your train is complete!!

You might want a few accessories to make the costume complete, like conductor clothing and a train whistle. (My son still wears his overalls and keeps his conductor’s hat and whistle in his dress up box.)

Have a fun Halloween and enjoy your DIY train costume.

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