Two Gift Ideas For Creative Kids

luke3

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

With the holidays here my mind has been on Christmas shopping. Each of my kids has a list of things that they hope to get. From video games to building sets to puzzles, everything they see in the commercials seems to end up on their lists. Most of their wish lists are similar but Lucas has a lot more variety on his. Lucas loves everything from cars to dolls and I love this about him because he is his own person and likes what he likes, no matter what other kids might say.

Some of his favorite activities are arts and crafts which he developed a love for at summer camp. He loves colors and has a keen spirit for all things creative and playful. In order to make Lucas happy and encourage his artful side I introduced some new crafty kits to him this week. The two kits are TEXT COOL Bracelet Studio and the The KNIT’S COOL Knitting Studio.

Lucas loves to dress himself in unique outfits and now he can send the ultimate fashion statement message with a bracelet. He loves being in control and designing his own things and this kit makes it as easy as 1-2-3 to create. Just turn, reveal, and press! He can even make message bracelets to share with his friends by using TEXT COOL. Text Cool includes an easy to use Bracelet Studio, featuring over 60 letters and emoticons and 35 bracelets to wear and share. Text Cool lets Luke get his creative messages on his wrists for the world to see! He is overjoyed to create and show his creativity with Text Cool.

The other kit Lucas liked is KNIT’S COOL. The Knit’s Cool Knitting Studio is an amazing new tool that makes learning to knit super easy. With the Knit’s CoolStudio, any kid can easily design their favorite fashions – like scarves, headbands, bags and more. The knitting studio kit has everything you need to start knitting right away, including fashion yarn, patterns and accessories to make three complete Knit’s Cool™ projects. Lucas is excited to see his Auntie over the weekend and make a phone case with her. Anyone can learn to craft fun and fashionable accessories with Knit’s Cool by watching the easy How-To videos online!

Do you have a child who loves art and crafts? These would make a great gift for the holidays!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Crayola Fun During Football Season {Giveaway}

crayola bucket

Thanks to Crayola for sponsoring this post and giveaway.

It’s football season which means lots of fun family get-togethers. I love watching football but if you have kids who aren’t huge fans, I have a great idea to keep them busy! Make a fun craft bucket and give them the chance to let their imaginations run wild! This also makes a wonderful gift for the little crafty one in your life.

My children, my nephew and my niece had so much fun creating with the items in this bucket.

Want to learn how to make your own craft bucket? It’s easy! First, I headed to Target’s dollar section to find a bucket that would hold everything. While there I found some little blank books, a coloring book, rolls of craft paper, craft supplies, and containers. I then headed to the craft aisles and filled my cart with Crayola products. What a great selection of items they had!

Here’s a peak at what I put in the craft bucket:

As a previous pre-k teacher, I love open ended crafts so I made sure to include plenty of craft supplies. I even added a little frame for them to decorate which Lucas really liked gluing things on to. I put the stickers, googly eyes, pom-poms and pipe cleaners in containers with compartments so they were easy to use and keep organized.

To decorate the plain white bucket I cut up garland I found on clearance and taped it on the bucket. It was quick, easy and cheap to add a little color to the outside of the bucket!

Fun, right?! I loved seeing how creative the kids were. My nephew made up his own story book and was very proud of what he’d created. I have fond memories of creating my own books in grade school so when I saw these books I just had to get them. My favorite Crayola products are their crayons but the kids couldn’t get enough of these little character Pip Squeak markers.

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win a $25 gift card so they can pick out some colorful Crayola products

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite Crayola product is

For an optional entry, share this giveaway on a social network

Giveaway ends October 3, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be a US resident and 21 or older to win.

Gift Ideas For Creative Kids From ShopVault.com

creative kids

(Disclosure: I received a playhouse for my kids but all thoughts are my own.)

Looking for gift ideas? The internet is full of them and I’m here to share my favorite creative gifts from a site I have newly discovered called VAULT. ShopVault.com is a curated marketplace where the most unique and the most sought after brands have been hand picked by influential tastemakers. Members get a first look at hot new inventory and private invitations to exclusive events. It’s free to join and you even get a special discount of $20 off your first purchase of $30 or more!

Here are five gifts I think creative kids would love:

Color Your Own Playhouse Castle

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Piggy Couture Picasso Art Kit

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Veggie Sidewalk Chalk

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Wool Felt Jewelry Kit

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Lay ‘n’ Go Lego Carrier

Letter “J” Crafts & Activities

This week I am sharing crafts and activities that start with the letter “J”. Enjoy! :)

 

10 Thanksgiving Crafts For Families To Do Together

thanksgiving family crafts

I’ve shared Thanksgiving Turkey Crafts for Kids, Thanksgiving Themed Lunches for Kids, and Thanksgiving Crafts for Adults and today I’m sharing 10 Thanksgiving crafts that families can do together. Any of these activities are perfect for spending time as a family this season!

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Fall Leaves Candle Jar from Kids Activities Blog

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Paper Roll Turkey Craft from Learn Create Love

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Handprint Turkey Keepsake from School Time Snippets

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Fine Motor Cornucopia from Lalymom

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Thankful Jar from Teach Beside Me

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Autumn Leaf Bowls from Red Ted Art

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No Sew Autumn Garland from Sun Hats & Wellie Boots

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Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies from How Wee Learn

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Mayflower Craft & Science Activity from Fantastic Fun & Learning

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Corn Craft from Learn Create Love

Letter “I” Crafts & Activities

This week I’m sharing crafts and activities for things that begin with the letter “I”.

 

Shape Monster Craft For Kids

shape monsters

I teach Sunday School and it’s held in a preschool classroom. I couldn’t resist the cuteness of these shape monsters on the wall! How adorable are they?

Make them with your own kiddos by cutting out various shapes in different sizes along with arms and legs and let the creativity happen!

Pot O’ Gold Craft {For Preschoolers}

st pattys craft pot o gold

Love, love, love this Pot O’ Gold craft that Jacob made! It’s so easy to make and a great way for children to practice their cutting skills.

You’ll need:

3 pieces of construction paper (green, black, yellow)

Tissue paper in rainbow colors (cut into small squares)

Glue Stick

Scissors

Shamrock shaped stickers or foam pieces (optional)

Directions:

1) Adult should draw a large pot shape on black paper and coin sized circles on yellow paper

2) Help child cut out the shapes and glue them on the green paper

3) Talk about colors of the rainbow as child glues one of each colored tissue paper squares on the paper.

4) Add shamrocks shapes if desired

Kiwi Crate Review {Subscription Based Project Boxes For Kids}

SAMSUNG

Kiwi Crate is a subscription based service that sends crates designed around fun themes and filled with all of the materials and inspiration for hands-on projects. The boxes vary each month but feature two projects that could be anything from an arts & crafts project to a science activity.

I liked that the box was addressed to the boys. Who doesn’t love to get special packages in the mail?

This crate’s theme was “wind power” and contained all of the materials needed to make a wind car and a wind sock. They provide everything, even the scissors so you don’t need to hunt around the house for anything. You can just sit down and spend some quality time with your child.

Step-by-step picture instructions were included. Jacob chose to make the wind sock first. We started by Jacob using the pictures to tell me each item we needed. He was so proud that he could do that part by himself. We then followed the directions and put the wind sock together.

When we were done making the wind sock, Jacob went outside and hung it on the tree.

The project wasn’t over once it was outside blowing in the wind which was probably the best part about the kiwi crate. This craft project turned into a science project where Jacob could look at the wind sock and tell us how windy it was outside and then document his findings.

Lucas made a wind sock, too {though mommy did most of the work for him} and he proudly displayed his wind sock next to his big brother’s.

Overall, I love the idea of the crates. The Kiwi Crate subscription costs $19.95 per month. I think that they would make great gifts for children. They are packaged nicely and lots of fun for the kids. The boys probably didn’t even realize that they were learning while they were coloring and playing!

{Disclosure: I received a Kiwi Crate to review but all opinions are my own.}

Creating An Art Keepsake

bragbook17

Though my children are only toddlers I already feel like I’m being buried under tons of art collages, finger paintings, and other artwork. I know as they get older it’s just going to get worse so I decided to create a “brag book” of Jacob’s artwork from his toddler years. I went to The UPS Store with pictures of his artwork on a flash drive and they bound it into a book for me. To see how this was done you can view my whrrl story:

Once I brought my book home it was pretty plain so I wanted to decorate it. I gathered all of my supplies and got to work.

I wanted to first make a new cover for the brag book. I chose a piece of card stock and a couple pictures. I looked through my scrap-booking cabinet and found some fun polka dot frames for the pictures.

I used my X-ACTO knife to cut the pictures down to the size of the frames.

I used my Elmer’s dot runner around the edge of the frame and used it to attach the frame to the picture.

I then used adhesive squares to stick the framed picture to my cardstock.

Once the pictures were on I added a title to my book. I could have been done here but I wanted to add a little more. I chose to add some squiggles with paper and some art-themed stickers.

I attached my cardstock sheet to the old cover page with the Elmer’s craft bond adhesive squares and liked that I had the clear plastic cover over  it to keep the photos safe.

Along with adding a cover I also wanted to label the artwork so I would know when Jacob created each piece. I cut squares out of cardstock and used the adhesive squares to stick one on to the back of each artwork print.

I then wrote a date on each one. Here’s the label for the picture of the hearts Jacob painted on Valentine’s Day:

Here are some before and after pictures:

 

Artwork prints waiting to be bound

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Artwork bound at The UPS Store

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The finished product

I’m #LovinLogistics and #GlueNGlitter :)

(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All thoughts are my own.)

Fourth of July Linky Love

I haven’t done any linky love posts in a while so I figured today would be a perfect day to share some links.

Enjoy these festive 4th of July posts as you prepare for your weekend festivities:

Shortcakes for July 4th by Liz at Hoosier Homemade

4th of July Party Printables from Tweedle Dee Designs

Patriotic Pinwheel Banner by Leanne

Red, White and Blue Sand Candles by Martha Stewart

Handprint Fireworks (kid craft) by No Time For Flash Cards

Pride of the USA hairbows by Mimi’s Babies Etsy Shop

4th of July toddler dress by Crafts For Lily

Have a wonderful weekend and please remember to be safe!




Tot School- The 5 Senses

5 Senses

This week in tot school we are talking about the FIVE SENSES. I had so many ideas for this theme that I almost finished the lesson plan in about 20 minutes with just ideas that I had used in the past as a preschool teacher. A lot of these activities can serve multiple categories but I chose the one that made the most sense. I will definitely revisit this theme again in the future. (Please note: this post contains a few affiliate links.)

SMELL

- Smelly playdough

- Color with scented markers

- Sticker art w/ Scratch n Sniff Stickers stickers

- Smelly tubes (film canisters work great for this… put scents on cotton balls, poke holes in the top of container, and have them smell)

- Bake cookies- smell them baking

- Smell fresh flowers

TASTE

- Make lemonade- taste lemon, then taste sugar, then make lemonade and taste that

- Make a trail mix w/ different toddler friendly snacks- include sweet, salty, crunchy, soft textured foods

- Have salty pretzels for snack

- Paint with chocolate pudding

- Brush teeth with different flavors of toothpaste

TOUCH

- Mix paint and grains of sand to make a textured paint

- Make a sensory box (I’ve used rice, sand, beans, packing peanuts, etc)

- Touch and feel box (here is one I like: What’s Inside? Soft Feely Box)

- Texture collage- cut up pieces of various textured items and have child glue on to paper

- Water play

- Squishy bags (put paint, hair gel, or something else “gel” like in a ziploc bag…make sure to tape around the edges)

SIGHT

- Read a book about the 5 senses like this one- My Five Senses

- Rainbow art

- Decorate a “S” w/ string

- Take a walk and talk about what you see in nature

- Blow bubbles

HEARING

- Play a clapping game

- Make a musical instrument (easy idea is put beans into an oatmeal canister)

- Play the drums

- Bubble wrap fun- put a strip of bubble wrap on the ground and let the child jump on it

- Dance to music

- Listen to music while painting

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School- Friendship

http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.com/TotSchool.html

This week in Tot School the theme is: FRIENDSHIP and the letter F,f.

MONDAY

Activity: Look at pictures of friends and say their names. Talk about what a “friend” is (very basic).

Craft: Fingerpaint the letter F

Song: ‘Make New Friends (but keep the old)’

Book: Winnie the Pooh- Two Friends

TUESDAY

Activity: Decorate a card for a friend and send it in the mail

Craft: Friendship Wreath

Song: ‘The More We Get Together’

Book: The Lion King’s Best Friends

WEDNESDAY

Activity: Practice sharing with mommy, daddy, and Lucas

Craft: Make a photo album with friends pictures in it

Song: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ on CD

Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

THURSDAY

Activity: Go fishing (w/ paper fish and a stick w/ a magnet on the end of the string)

Craft: Glue goldfish onto a blue paper for an underwater theme

Song: Friendship Song (Barney)

Book: Alphabet Books- Find the letter F

FRIDAY

Activity: Decorate the letter “F” using a fish stamp

Craft: Rainbow Fish Craft

Song: “I Will Make You Fishers Of Men”

Book: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

WEEKEND

Activity: Playdate

Movie: Barney movie about friendship

Toddler Art

The toddler years are the perfect time to introduce children to various types of art projects and to begin experimenting with different types of materials. It’s important to remember that when children are young the process is more important than the product. I love using open ended art supplies and letting children be imaginative and use them how they would like to as opposed to giving them a coloring book to “color in the lines”. I have included some pictures of my 20 month old son’s art area and the art supplies that he has to give you an example of what you can create for your child.

Art Supplies

Organized Art Area

And here are some pictures of what open ended art projects look like:

Fingerpainting

Watercolors

Sequins all over the floor


:) Enjoy the messy fun!

Tot School- Family

family lesson plan theme

This week in tot school our theme is family. I will be separating the activities by day instead of type because I think that it will be easier to implement.

*MONDAY- Family

Activity- Family Tree

Craft- Family Handprints

Song- ‘God Made Families’ Action rhyme

Book- My Family and I/Mi Familia y Yo by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza, Prayers For Family Golden Book

*TUESDAY- Mom/Dad

Activity- mom Spanish card , dad Spanish card

Craft- Draw a picture of mommy and daddy– adult writes words “mommy” and “daddy”

Song- ‘Hush Little Baby’

Book- Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleban, My Dad by Debbie Bailey, Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, Picture Me as Mom’s Little Helper by Wendy Rasmussen, Back In My Arms by Dorothea DePrisco, If You Were My Bunny by Kate McMullan

*WEDNESDAY- Siblings

Activity- Help feed baby brother Lucas lunch, big brother Spanish card

Craft- Big Brother Crown

Song- ‘I Love You’ (Barney song)- teach Jacob motions and to hug and kiss baby brother

Book- I’m A Big Brother by Joanna Cole, Big Brother Bunny by Pamela Kennedy

*THURSDAY- Grandparents

Activity- Look at pictures of Grandma Jan (who passed away in June)

Craft- Grandparent Awards

Song- ‘Grandma’s House’ , A Song for Grandma and Grandpa

Book- Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz

*FRIDAY- Extended Family

Activity- Bake cupcakes for Aunt Morgan’s Birthday today

Craft- Make and decorate a card for Aunt Morgan

Song- Family Fingerplay

Book- Hugs & Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

*WEEKEND- Family Traditions

Activity-Make breakfast as a family & eat together, Watch Barney movie “Families Are Special”, Play w/ Personalized Peekaboo Book

Craft- Make a photo book of family members

Song- Review songs from the week

Book- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE: 

http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School- Love (2/15-2/19)

valentine's day themed lesson plan

Since Valentine’s Day is today (the 14th) I decided to focus on the theme of LOVE for the week after the Holiday.

Activities:

*Color the snow- put some red food coloring in a spray bottle of water and spray the snow to color it

* Heart path- Hearts taped to ground, jump from heart to heart

* Make Valentine’s Cupcakes

* Make Jello Jigglers

* Gather all heart shaped toys and count them into a red valentine’s basket

* Play with red playdough- make a heart shape

Crafts:

*Potato Heart Stamp Project from Elise Blaha (found on Cafe Mom)

*Decorate a construction paper heart with glitter, crayons, and stickers

* Handprint Valentine w/ words “I love you this much” in between hands

* Love Collage- pictures of people Jacob loves glued on paper

* “Things I Love Book” (idea found here at Creative Homemaking)

* Love Bugs (from Just For Fun)

* Popsicle Stick Picture Frame decorated with hearts and will put picture of family in it

* Kissing Hand Necklace (idea from No Time For Flashcards). As a working mom I love the idea of this necklace. The Kissing Hand is a great book. I own it but it is currently in storage with the rest of my preschool books.

Songs:

* “I Love You” (The Barney Song)

* If You Love Me (to the tune of: If You’re happy and you know it)

* Jesus Loves Me

Board Books:

* I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

* Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse

* Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

* I Love You Very by Flavia Weedn and Lisa Weedn

* Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben

* Max’s Valentine by Rosemary Wells

* Hugs and Kisses by Roberta Grobel Intrater

and a variety of other small books about love

 

Find my winter themed lesson plan here.

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/

Tot School Review- Winter Wrap Up

winter1

Today was the first week of tot school. It didn’t go quite as I would have liked it to because I found that though I had a list of activities for Jacob to do I needed a lot more time to prepare each night. From now on I will have all of the activities and materials ready at the beginning of the week so that I don’t have to worry about the “lesson plan” the night before.

Below are some pictures of this week’s fun:

Snow Fun

Snowflake Art

Fingerpainting

Jacob's First Art Project w/ Glue

Jacob's First Time Using Scissors

Tot School- Winter

winter themed lesson plan

This week’s theme is: Winter

Here are a few of the activities that I have planned:

* Bring the snow indoors- It is supposed to snow tomorrow so we will be bringing snow into the house. We will use a bucket to fill the sink up and sand toys to play in it.

* Coloring a snowman printout from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Song- “I’m a Little Ice Cube” from A to Z Kids Stuff website

* Chalk winter themed picture- Use white chalk on a blue piece of paper

* Cutting practice sheets from Confessions of A Homeschooler

* Winter themed board books

* Snowman Craft- gluing cottonballs onto a snowman shape

* Play with white playdough

* Footprint snowman from PreschoolLearningandCrafts.com

 

Looking for Valentine’s Day themed ideas? Find my Valentine’s Day lesson plan here.

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FIND MORE TOT SCHOOL CURRICULUM THEMES HERE:

http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/lesson-plans-for-toddlers-preschoolers/