Thursday, March 28th, 2013
It is a rainy, gray day in Massachusetts, my younger daughter has a day off of school and I’m reminded that we are entering the season of long damp days. In preparation, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my new educational craft book, Show Me a Story, with you! It is a curriculum rich book with projects and activities that nurture children’s natural inclination to tell their own imaginative stories and it is meant to be an inspiring companion for anyone who does creative work with children. With 40 creative projects and activities, my hope is that it will help to entertain children as well as spark their creative minds.
So far, it has won four awards including a Dr. Toy 2012 Best Picks and a 2012 Family Choice award. Oh my! Very exciting. I’d love to hear what all of you lovely readers you think! If you would like to peek or learn more, you can find more information here.
I’m off to get cozy on the couch with my daughter and a pile of Story Stones. Then, we’re off to an afternoon of disco roller skating. Does it get any better than that?
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Bookshelf, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Must Read
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
For many families, this is vacation week, which means different things for different families. It can translate to trips to the slopes and flights to warm oceans or it might mean slow days at home with crafts, toys, and movies. If you happen to be home and are still in your pajamas (ahem!), why not take the opportunity to encourage your children to get creative?!
Pieces of scrap wood are perfect blank canvases for mixed media collages. If you happen to have a few hanging around, sand the edges a bit, and place them on the table. Break out your markers, watercolor paints, paper, magazines, buttons, and other bits and bobbles like tiny pasta, beans, and sea shells, etc. You’ll want to offer some brushes, a little bowl of glue, and a cup of water (for the watercolors). Ask children to consider painting or drawing on the wood before they begin gluing.
I love this project because the layering of colors and textures is captivating and so satisfying!
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Must Read
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Once you’ve driven all of the miles, eaten lots of pie, watched the candles dance, given beautiful gifts, and hummed all of the familiar tunes, you might take a deep breath and settle down with your family for some quiet fun. If this is the case, this updated version of the traditional macaroni necklace is a lovely family activity for both the very young and the very old (and everyone in between). You can all talk about how far macaroni necklaces have come while sipping hot chocolate and munching on popcorn. Consider inviting your children to help you dye the macaroni; it will make them even more excited to string them up later on.
You will need:
macaroni in interesting shapes
plastic bags (optional)
How to dye the pasta:
1. In a bowl, mix a 1/2 cup (approximately) of rubbing alcohol with some food dye. Stir.
2. Dump a bunch of macaroni into the bowl. Stir until fully coated. If you want to make the process a bit easier, use a plastic bag instead of the bowl and shake and mush with your hands. It will help distribute the dye. And, hey, children love smushing and mushing!
3. Cover the baking sheets with one layer of paper towel. Use a spoon to lay the dyed pasta onto the baking sheet. Let dry overnight.
1. Cut the yarn into 18″ pieces (approximate).
2. Tie a bead onto the end as an anchor, which will prevent the macaroni from slipping off the end.
3. Tape the ends of the strings, which will make it easier for little hands to thread the yarn through the macaroni beads.
4. Present the prepared string and bowls of colorful macaroni to a bunch of children and watch them create.
5. Make your own.
(This is one I made two years ago)
Happy family gathering to all!
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Birthday Party Games, Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Must Read