craft stick snowflakes

Snowflake Craft!

It’s the winter holidays, and snow is in the air! We aren’t having much luck with the actual thing here at Motley Headquarters, so we decided to make some snowflakes of our own! Craft along with us in this video tutorial or just follow the instructions below!

…crafting offline? Download a PDF of the instructions here

Snowflake Supplies

  • Craft sticks (you’ll need three per snowflake)
  • Opaque paint (acrylic or tempera will work) and paintbrush
  • School glue or Mod Podge
  • Glitter or mica powder
  • Small cups (disposable is best) for mixing glitter glue
  • Sequins, pompoms, and other snowflake sparkles
  • String or twine
  • Scissors
  • A paintbrush you don’t mind getting glue on
  • Glue Gun or Tacky Glue

Steps to Make It

  1. Hot glue or tacky glue three craft sticks together in the middle to make your snowflake base
  2. Tie your string with a knot to make a loop
  3. Hot glue or tacky glue the string to the back of one of the top craft sticks to make a hanging loop
  4. Paint your snowflake a nice wintry color like white, blue, purple, or whatever you like
  5. Set aside and let your paint dry a little bit so it’s sticky
  6. Put some glue or Mod Podge into your small cup and add enough glitter (we know these are vague amounts, but glitter is like hot pepper—everyone likes a different amount)
  7. Use your glue brush to brush glitter glue on your snowflake
  8. Add sequins or other bling while the glue is wet
  9. Let dry completely before hanging!



a sock dragon

Sock Dragons

We’re making cozy pets to keep us company in the winter! Come join us in this craft-a-long and make a sock dragon of your very own! 


…crafting online? Download a PDF of the instructions here


  •  Socks (any sock will do, although kids crew socks are about the right size)
  •  A large cup for filling your dragon with
  •  Rice or Beans, about 2-4 cups per dragon
    (unless you are using men’s socks, in which case you may need more)
  •  Tulle for wings
  •  Felt or cloth scraps for flames
  •  Buttons or googly eyes for eyes
  •  Markers to decorate your sock
  •  Sequins, pompoms, and other dragon decorating bling
  •  Scissors
  •  Glue Gun or Tacky Glue
  •  Warm Dragon Variant: Needle and thread

Steps to Make It

  1. Fill a large cup with rice or beans
  2. Stretch the top of the sock over the cup and hold it on while you turn the cup upside-down.
    All the rice should fit in your sock.
  3. Hold your sock open end up and lay it down carefully to keep the rice from falling out!
  4. Use a glue gun to glue your dragon flame onto the inside edge of your sock opening.
  5. Glue the sock opening shut so that the flame is in the middle.
  6. To make wings. take 1-3 strips of tulle about 12-18″ long and tie them together in the middle with a knot to make fluffy wings
  7. Hot glue the wings on the dragon’s back — be careful, tulle lets hot glue through
  8. Glue buttons or googly eyes onto your dragon’s head (or anywhere else)
  9. You can use yarn, tulle, felt, or cloth scraps to make a tail. 
  10. Use sequins, markers, and any other bling you have to decorate your dragon!

Warm Sock Dragon Variant:

  • Use a needle and thread to attach the tongue and close your sock dragon’s mouth (you may want to do two rows of stitching to prevent rice leakage)
  • Make sure your dragon’s décor is microwave-safe (no metallic sequins! Use lace not nylon tulle! Use thread to attach everything!)
  • Make your dragon warm by putting it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds (depending on microwave power)
a pirate hook made from a cup and foil

Craft Like a Pirate

September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
In honor of this completely made-up holiday, the Motley Kids are going to craft like pirates!

Captain’s Hook

A handy hand for a pirate king! In this craft-at-home, we are going to make a pirate’s hook from aluminum foil and a plastic cup.

Pirates didn’t all have hooks for hands. But being a pirate was a dangerous job, and some pirates really did lose a hand or a leg. Today, people who have an amputation (where doctors remove a part of the body) can get a prosthesis (a replacement part) that’s made just to fit them. Some people get their favorite sports team or TV show printed on their prosthesis. But a long time ago, some people really did use a piece of wood or a metal hook to help do the job of a missing leg or arm.

Our pirate hooks are just for play! We won’t be cutting anyone’s hands off today, and just to be safe we’re going to have your Responsible Adult do the dangerous work.

You will need:

  • A disposable plastic cup (“Solo cup”)
  • A pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife (for your Responsible Adult)
  • Aluminum Foil (heavy duty if you have it)

Making Your Hook

1. Have your Responsible Adult use the sharp object (carefully) to cut an X into the bottom of the cup. This is going to be your anchor.a tube of aluminum foil

2. Roll up your aluminum foil (shiny side OUT) into a stick. Make it about as thick as your pinky finger.

3. Fold your aluminum foil stick in half and stick the ends into the X in your cup so the folded end is pointing up.

4. Bend the ends INSIDE the cup outward to keep them from coming out and give you a handle.

5. Bend the ends OUTSIDE the cup into a hook. Reach into the cup and hold the bent ends.

Ahoy, Matey! 

This weekend we were planning to see some of you at Origins Online, and we are sad that we will have to wait again.  


We miss you. We especially miss you because there are a lot of things going on in the world right now, and we would like to make beautiful memories with you. 


But this is important.


When your friends need help, you help them. 

When your friends are afraid, you help them to be brave

When your friends are hurt, you help them to get better.

When your friends need you, you are there for them. 


There are lots of ways to help your friends. 

You can help them with your words, with your actions, and with your presence (that means being there). 


When you are helping someone with your words, what you say matters. But what you don’t say also matters. And who you say (or don’t say) it to matters a lot. Sometimes, the best thing you can say is “Listen to my friend.”


When you are helping someone with your actions, what you do matters. But it’s important to use your words, too. Remember to ask the person you’re helping what kind of help they need. 


When you are helping someone with your presence, showing up matters. It’s hard to do things when you’re the only one doing them, so having friends with you can help someone feel braver, or stronger, or more able to stand up for themselves. When you help someone by being there, you let them know that you are ready if they need other kinds of help too. 


Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do. Sometimes, helping your friends can be scary. Sometimes, you may not think you can help at all. But being a friend to someone means that when they need help, you do the best you can to help them. 


Right now, there are a lot of people who need to be able to count on their friends to help them. The world has been a scary place for them for a long time, in ways that their friends might not understand, and they are trying to fix that. What they need right now is to know that their friends believe them, and their friends are ready to listen to them, and their friends are willing to use their words and their actions and their presence to help them. 


We don’t have an answer for all of the things happening in the world. We are doing a lot of listening, and reading, and thinking. We are still learning about how to be the best kind of friends we can to people. But we believe that making friends, helping friends, and building beautiful things with friends is part of the answer.  

And we will look forward to seeing you — and your friends — at the crafting table someday soon.

  With hope,

The Motley KidsMotley Kids Logo

a kid wearing a mask

Gen Con has cancelled their in person event for this year.

We’ve talked about Coronavirus before, when Who’s Yer Con had to cancel their event. A lot of what we had to say then still applies. We miss you all! We want you to be safe and healthy! We will see you soon!

But we know more about Covid-19 in May than we did in March, because science happens very fast, and so we have a few new things to say too.

Washing your hands is still the biggest and most important thing you can do to help fight COVID-19. Staying home when you don’t need to go places is pretty important too. We still think that not licking things (or people) that aren’t food is important. And maybe right now is not the right time to hug people without asking (even though we really love hugs).

Back in March, scientists mostly were telling people that they should only wear a mask if they were sick and had to go out, because we didn’t think that having everyone wear a mask was super helpful. We still don’t know for sure how helpful wearing cloth masks is, because there are many many different kinds of them, and many many different fabric, and some people have beards, and so there are a lot of different things to think about.

But what we do know is that a lot of people who have COVID-19 don’t know they should be wearing a mask, because they don’t get very sick. And we know that it’s hard to be the person in a group who is different. So we’re wearing our masks when we have to go out to the store – because if we have COVID-19 and don’t know it, we’re helping keep other people safe. And if we don’t have COVID-19, then maybe seeing lots of people wearing masks will make somebody else feel better about wearing theirs. Either way, everybody wins.

You don’t need to wear a mask when you’re playing in your backyard, or when you’re riding your bike, or when you’re outside and it’s easy for everybody to stay far apart. But you should wear one (if you’re big enough; babies definitely don’t need masks, and if you’re under 3 or you’re not ready to keep your hands off your mask when you’re wearing it, don’t wear one) when you’re going to the store or inside where it’s hard to stay away from other people. Gen Con is one of those places.

Can you imagine what Gen Con would look like if everybody at the Con wore a mask? It might be pretty amazing! The Motley Kids are sure that YOU can think of some cool mask cosplays to do. But it would also be a little scary. There are a LOT of people at Gen Con, and playing games with people means that you have to get pretty close together. And since we don’t know for sure how well masks work, we don’t know how safe it would be – for you, for your new gaming friends, and for their friends and families back home. And that means that the awesome folks who run Gen Con had to make some hard choices today.

We’re going to be working on a way to have gaming and crafting with you during the Gen Con Online show. Make sure your Responsible Adults stay tuned! We are going to miss all of you so much, but we’d rather see you safe and healthy on video chat for now.

With Love (and masks),

The Motley KidsMotley Kids Logo

a handful of pompom germs

Hello everyone!

The Motley Kids have been SUPER excited to go to Who’s Yer Con, and we are SUPER sad that it’s not going to be happening as planned. A lot of things have been cancelled or delayed recently because of the coronavirus, and it’s always sad when you don’t get to do the things you want to do. We get it. We are going to miss you!

We made some coronaviruses of our own, but thankfully they are not infectious (unless you count infectiously adorable), so they’re going to hang out with us while we talk about the coronavirus pandemic and what that means for us – and for you! One of the Motley Grownups is a doctor when she’s not playing with all of you, so we know a little bit about all of this…


Our coronaviruses

The coronavirus has a grown-up name: SARS-CoV-2, which is a fancy way of telling scientists what other viruses it’s related to, sort of like you and some of your relatives may have the same last name. It causes an illness called COVID-19 (the 19 stands for 2019, the first year we saw this disease). You’ll see all of these names in the news, and they are all talking about the same thing. Let’s call it Covid-19 here, because the capital letters look scary.

Most people who get Covid-19 are going to get better. They may have a fever and a cough, or they may feel pretty OK. They will probably be sick for about two weeks and then get better, but while they’re sick (and for a little bit before they start to feel bad) they are contagious.

Contagious means they can give Covid-19 to someone else. Most people who have Covid-19 will give it to 2 or 3 other people.Those people are also probably going to get better, but they are going to be contagious as well, and they can give Covid-19 to someone else too. If you’ve ever been around someone with a cold or the flu and then gotten sick a few days later, you’ve seen what can happen when someone who is contagious shares their illness.

We are all about sharing here at the Motley Kids! We share our glue guns, our markers, our crayons, and our craft supplies. We try very hard not to share our viruses, though, because nobody likes to get sick. We stay home if we don’t feel good, because we might be contagious, and sharing your illness is no fun at all.

We said that most people who get Covid-19 get a little sick and then get better after about 2 weeks. That means that some people don’t. Some people can get very sick from having Covid-19. They may be in the hospital for weeks. Some of these people may die. You are probably going to be fine if you get Covid-19, but we can’t tell by looking at people what kind of medical issues they may have that would make them more likely to get very sick, so it’s important NOT to share our illnesses. 

And that’s why we won’t be having Who’s Yer Con like we planned. Enough people go to Who’s Yer Con that we know sharing illnesses happens (usually we call it Con Crud), and since this year we might be sharing Covid-19 we’re choosing not to do that. 

For the same reason, your sports activities, parties, and shows may not be happening too. We know a lot of people are going to get Covid-19 because we live in a country full of fun things to do where you see lots of people, and when people get together they share with each other. But we don’t want lots of people to get Covid-19 at the same time, because we want to know that we can take good care of people if they get very sick, and that’s easier to do when doctors have only a few people to take care of at a time. Remember, a lot of people who have Covid-19 feel OK, so they may not think about staying home like you do when you are sick. We cancel events so people don’t have to decide between going to fun things and sharing illness.

Nobody wants to get Covid-19. There are some things you can do to help stay safe and protect other people. These are things that will help you keep from sharing other illnesses too, not just Covid-19 so we can all be healthy and come back to the craft tables soon!

  • Wash your hands! Use soap and water if you have it, hand sanitizer if you don’t. Wash for 20 seconds – as long as it takes to sing the ABC song nice and slow.
    • Wash after you go to the bathroom.
    • Wash after you cough or sneeze or blow your nose
    • Wash before you eat
    • Wash after you touch something that a lot of other people also touched
    • Wash after petting or snuggling your pet cat, dog, lizard, turtle, chicken, or dinosaur.
  • Cover your cough! Use your elbow not your hand to cough or sneeze into.
  • Don’t pick your nose!
  • Don’t rub your eyes.
  • Don’t lick things that aren’t your food.
  • Give fist-bumps or elbow bumps instead of hugs and handshakes

If your grownups forget, remind them politely. Tell them the Motley Kids want to see you safe and healthy at the next Con, so they have to stay safe and healthy too!

With love (and clean hands),

Motley Kids LogoThe Motley Kids