Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chinese New Year-The Year of the Snake

 It is very important for me as a mother to teach my children about different cultures, religions and the world around them. This is what makes our world a beautiful place and I hope my children will always see that with open eyes and heart.
I can't get too deep into these thoughts with my five and two year-old, but what I can do is teach them about the world and the things that we may not see everyday. Help them to see the beauty in days that may not be special here, but somewhere people are celebrating.
The Chinese New Year is upon us, February 10th to be exact. We have learned about several traditions and also that this year is the year of the snake. This prompted us to do some research and find out what animal sign we were born under. Turns out Emma should have personality traits of a pig, Grayson a tiger, Dennis an ox and me a darn goat! This got some silly laughs out of the kids and we moved on to celebrate the year of the snake.
We started with a simple play dough craft. We made some extra special dough which included glitter and used beads and googly eyes to create some fun snakes. Check out the details at The Studio.
 Next, we made a moveable beaded snake complete with rattle! We are from the desert so our snake had to have a rattle, of course! Check out my full tutorial at The Studio.
 And lastly, a straw puppet snake. I can't tell you how much my children enjoy any sort of puppet. This was no exception. The snake hisses and funny snake voice were a riot! These details are at, you guessed it, The Studio!
I hope this has inspired you to embrace each day, each celebration and each person. I know my children will!
Happy Chinese New Year!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Coin Roll Finger Puppets

 Last Valentine's Day we made these darling heart shaped finger puppets using coin rolls wrappers. They were a lot of fun and was a Valentine that included zero sugar! Hooray for children's smiles without the melt down!
They were such a hit I shared this project over at Kiwi Crate again this year. Head on over for my full Valentine puppets tutorial.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Puffy Paint Window Clings

 I never imagined before becoming a mother that I would have polka dot hearts all over my house, but I also never imagined that I would be using my All-Clad pots to cook play dough in. Hey, things change and these lopsided hearts welcoming me home make me happy. 
Who knew window clings were so fun and easy to make? With some puffy paint and a five-year old I will have festive windows all year long! Join me over at The Studio, by Kiwi Crate for my full tutorial on DIY window clings!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Heart Luminaries

 Hearts and hearts and hearts. It's that sweet time of year where we get to incorporate love and hearts into everything we make. I heart it all! Hehe....
 This was pretty fun for Emma to become a sculptor  while using air dry clay and jars to create these beautiful heart luminaries. I love the way they look in our house. When we light a candle inside the hearts glow in a magical way. The kids ask that I light them each evening. These may be around longer than February 14th. Check out the full details of our heart jars at The Studio!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chocolate Play Dough For Valentine's Day

2 cups + 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup salt
2 tbs cream of tartar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tbs oil
1 1/2 cup boiling water

In a mixing bowl add 2 cups flour, salt, cream of tartar, cocoa powder and oil. Add the boiling water and mix until well blended. The dough will be very sticky at this point. Place the dough onto a hard surface and knead while adding the rest of the flour until it becomes soft and no longer sticky.

We love using heart shaped candy molds and cookie cutters with our chocolate dough.
This is a great opening act for all those Valentine's crafts that are coming our way as we approach February.
Happy early heart day!! xoxo

How to Create an Inviting Art Area for Kids

 I am over at Family Sponge today sharing tips on how to create an inviting, accessible and kid friendly art space to inspire our little artists. Join me, for all my tips and to see more photos of where our glue gets squeezed, glitter gets shaken and hands get dirty! Head here... Family Sponge, now!
Where does most of your creative time with your children happen? Do you have a designated room? Please share tips!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Kid's Lunch Surprise!

 Got an abundant amount of leftover holiday cards, like me? Make your child's day by getting silly with some markers! Emma loves when I leave little notes and drawings in her lunch. I am sure it is a fun and comforting surprise to find while at school.
 I only wish I could see her face and hear her giggles when she finds this one today!
And into the very cute Mimi the Sardine (I heart them) lunch bag.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Magical Keys

 What child would not love to have a set of magical keys of their very own? These have been a huge hit with Emma and all of her friends. They open doors to so much wonderful imaginative play in our house. I am not sure where those doors lead to, but I imagine most likely they are beautiful gardens covered in fairy dust and where talking animals of all kinds live. Oh and I am almost positive there is tea, pink tea at that. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
These keys were fun for the kids to make too. Check out my full details over at The Studio, by Kiwi Crate.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Indoor Hopscotch

 On these long cold days everyone in the house gets a little ansty at times. Trying to find ways to get our wiggles out indoors can always be a bit challenging. This indoor hopscotch was really fun for my kids to put together and play with after. Tape and a few bean bags is all we needed for a morning of indoor active fun! For full instructions, check out my tutorial on The Studio, by Kiwi Crate.
 This was also a great opportunity to practice taking turns, which these two definitely need the practice!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Studio Store!

 I am always looking for easy ways to keep my home stocked with creative goods and quality tools for my children to create with. I was more than thrilled when my friends over at The Studio opened a online shop full of wonderful high quality art materials that can be easily ordered and arrive right at my doorstep. No need to drag my toddler through the art store knocking down paints and canvas as we go!
 The Kiwi Crate Studio, the place to find hundreds of creative kids craft ideas, just launched their kids craft materials pop-up shop! The shop is filled with top-quality materials, hand-picked by the kids art experts at award-winning Kiwi Crate. Find a fun project you want to try, then have the materials shipped right to your door! Explore interesting new materials from glittery clay to liquid watercolor and eco-friendly options.

What are you waiting for? Check out this cool shop where you can bring creativity to your doorstep! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mightee Kids--Review!

 We received a very special box on our doorstep the other morning. It was from Mightee Kids a new company whose mission is "helping kids help other kids around the world." Sounds pretty wonderful to me!
 Emma was thrilled to receive a package. We opened it up and inside along with her new and very cool Mightee shirt was a little informative postcard explaining the cause. It had a animated picture card on the back. I read it to Emma, it was simple and easy for her to understand the cause and how she was helping. It also ended on a positive note, which I really liked. Emma felt like she made a difference and that is exactly how I want my children to feel in these early years of "changing the world."
This month the Mightee Kids cause is Say Cheese, supporting Smile Train which helps children around the world with cleft lip or palate get the surgery they need, but can not afford.
Each month Mightee Kids will have a new shirt with a new cause to support and teach your children about. For $25 a month you will get your very own tee and informative tools to help educate your kids. $5 of this cost goes directly to the cause! I think this is a great way to start teaching my children about helping others around the world that are less fortunate and do not have all that we do, but doing so in a positive way.
Check out Mightee Kids and make a difference with your kids today!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Easy Eggs for the Week

On those busy hectic mornings it is sometimes easy to pop a waffle into the toaster while brushing one child's hair and making a lunch all at the same time.  I have been trying to avoid this by preparing healthy options during the weekend that we can easily serve for breakfast all week long.
 These eggs are so fun for the kids to make and I love when they are in the kitchen with me making healthy choices and learning to prepare food. It is great time spent together. For this complete recipe join me over at The Studio, by Kiwi Crate!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Packing Peanut Igloo

Packing peanuts are one of our new favorite art materials. When I found out they are biodegradable and will stick together using only water I was won over by these glassware protectors! On top of that, I got a bag large enough to make an igloo for my whole family to fit in for just $5 at our local postal center!
Using just water Emma sculpted these fun igloos. It was the perfect craft for a cold winter day. For our full tutorial head on over to The Studio, by Kiwi Crate.