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We all love cardboard. It's such a versatile and creative material. Our friends over at the Cardboard Collective are hosting their first ever cardboard challenge!

I think it's a great way to get your kids creative juices flowing! Check out the Cardboard Collective for more details! 

Also The Imagination Foundation (remember Cain's Arcade) is hosting the first ever Global Cardboard Challenge on October 6th encouraging a day of play. You can look on their site to see if there is an event in your area. I love The Imagination Foundation's mission to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in kids. Check out their site for more info on that.

Here are some awesome cardboard costumes for some inspiration

Samurai from Instructables

A tractor from Coolest Homemade Costumes

LEGO brick from Country Living

Darth Vader from Costume Pop

An iPod from LilSugar

Or a battery from Costume Works



Our Backpack Station & A New Favorite App

Today I'm sharing our "backpack station" for this year. It has slowly evolved over the last 5 years starting with the chalkboard calendar (which I highly recommend) and then adding backpack hooks and this year the addition of the wall file holders (bought these at TJ Maxx). 

I HIGHLY recommend having a calendar for your kids. My goal for them is to be better organized than I am! Even in 3rd and 4th grade it is their job to know to wear tennis shoes for PE day or bring in supplies for an upcoming party etc. There are no surprise dentist visits or dinner dates. It's all there for them to see at all times (the things that they need to see).

The backpack hooks keep the backpacks off the ground (where the dogs like to carry them around) and the addition of the file holders this year gives them a place to drop off their binders.

Weekly homework gets stored in the file folder until Friday when they need to go back, papers I want to save stay in there until I have the time to file them, and signatures needed go back into the binders and into their backpacks for the next day. So far this system has been working great for us!

This last week I went through piles and piles and piles of schoolwork papers. (photo from instagram)

I photographed all the ones I wanted to save and loaded them into my new favorite app Artkive

 It stores all your kids' artwork by name (grade and date if you want) and you can then have them printed in a book (or just keep them on your iPad/iPhone). I have made a book before and love this system. This app just makes it that much easier!

Do you have a system that has been working great for you? Share it for all of us in the comments or on Facebook!


Fort Friday!

Happy Fort Friday! Here at All for the Boys we celebrate Fridays with some awesome fort inspiration from around the web. Whether made of sheets, cardboard, wood, or sticks, forts are a place we can go to transport our minds to wherever we want to go. You can play, dream, relax, or create in a fort. Everything is better in a fort!

If you want to share your fort (or an awesome one you found) just send it to me!

Love this 2012 version of a blanket fort (iPad viewing inside)

Here is a gorgeous DIY treehouse from Schweizer Garten (lots more photos on their site)

they also made this great tree bed!

Love the plank with this pirate fort from Kammy's Korner

Speaking of pirate ships Love them Madly made an awesome ship for a pirate party!

A fort in the clouds from Deitrich Wegner

Have a great weekend!


Magnetic Case

My boys loved anything in it's own container, anything you could carry stuff in. I love this Magnetic case DIY from Honest to Nod - great to keep in the car!

See the tutorial HERE


Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! T' celebrate this special day o' pirate talk I've pulled together a collection o' pirate crafts and activities for your little sprogs.

Every good pirate has a hook (from Kiwi Crate)

and a telescope like this one from The Gold Jellybean

Don't forget the eye patch like this one from Art Platter

A pirate ship like this one from MollyMoo

or a larger version like this one from the Little Big Blog would be good for little pirates.

How about a newspaper sword to complete the ensamble? from Filth Wizardry on Alphamom

Or these from ikatbag

Every pirate needs one of our hats (turned boat, turned life jacket) 



Super Easy Pumpkin Memo Board

Are you ready for the easiest Fall DIY you've ever seen?

Are you sure? I don't know that you can handle this step by step. Ok here it is. Go to your favorite craft/multi purpose store - Michael's, Joann, Target, Walmart and buy a black craft pumpkin. They have them at most all of these places now! Buy some chalk while you're there. 

Write on the pumpkin with chalk

Wipe off


Yep, it's that easy! lol! I had an idea to paint a pumpkin with chalkboard paint but then I saw these black ones and thought maybe I'd try chalk on them first and guess what. It worked! Best DIY ever

They have big ones and little ones. I'm thinking a little display of these with faces the boys draw on out front would be super cute for Fall.

Think you can handle this one? ;)

If you decide to take one in the car for road trip fun, you might want to wipe it off with a damp cloth now and then. You could also get fancy and use the Chalk Markers to make a little more solid design. I'm not sure how long the paint will last on these with constant wiping off, but we've done it quite a few times now with now problems!


A New "Fall" Tradition

As some of you might know we live in the desert so while the weather man says it's "Fall" we don't see a big change in weather quite yet. It still is in the 100's (F) here and swimming is still on our list of activities. However I thought this seemed like a good year to start a new family Fall tradition of apple picking. About an hour north of us we can drive to a little ranch and pick our own apples and a few pears.

The crop was pretty low this year and they weren't even charging people when we got up there because of it. We weren't going to let that stop us though! We found some good ones still hidden in the leaves. The boys' favorite part was the animals I think. Both warm and cold blooded animals. I swear my boys could find the tiniest most camouflage bugs anywhere!

(a treat for the road)

For those in the Phoenix area we went to Date Creek Ranch just north of Wickenburg. Unfortunately they only had one apple picking weekend and are now sold out (we only heard about it the morning of) but definitely keep an eye on it for next year.

We'll go to a "pumpkin patch" here in a few weeks but that's about all I have planned. I'd love to add some new ones though. What are your family's Fall traditions?


Fort Friday

It's that time of the week! A favorite feature around All for the Boys for sure! Fort Friday!

This big backyard fort is perfectly named the Mighty T-Rex Cave and was scored by an awesome grandpa keeping his eyes out for his grandkids!

This fort has a PVC frame (which is an easy way to create structure while still being able to take it apart!)

An entire room fort from Life's a picNIC for 5

You can check out their fort kit over at teehee4two

Love that this bed comes with a fitted "top" for forts from Ridder & Clown

And I love this prototype treehouse bed from Aalto + Aalto