Posts Tagged ‘ children ’

Back-to-School: Fun notebook covers

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Since we are on the topic of DIY book covers, I thought I’d share another technique that my family loves to do, both for back-to-school preparation and for personal journals.

Because I love the look of a handmade journal, but don’t want to bind one of my own, I bought this $1.09 marbled, hard covered composition notebook (the kind you can find in any office or school supply shop) and covered it with beautiful paper and punchy book binding tape.   I offer detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to make these colorful beauties here, on my blog.  It requires only a few supplies, most of which you probably already have on your craft supply shelf. Simple and satisfying! (I promise)

In addition to making the contents of your children’s backpacks feel more personalized, these also make nice gifts for giving to teachers and friends.  I love using them for my household journals where I keep track of menus, moments of parenting brilliance, things my children have said (quotable moments) , etc.

Happy Thursday!

Emily

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Sewing Projects for Kids

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Since my last post showcased one of my favorite books about sewing with kids, I thought I’d share a link to FamilyFun’s website where they are featuring a bunch of really fun sewing crafts for children.  Check out all of the projects!

I find that simple sewing projects are a lovely way to connect with my children.  It feels so nice to work together to make something useful, and I love that they learn to focus on fun rather than perfection.

And, hey, that hanging seat caddy is EXACTLY what we need for our summer road trips.  I’m going to make them with my kids this weekend.

Happy day!

-Emily

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Sewing School!

Friday, July 26th, 2013

My children and I got to review the new book, Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing and we had a blast testing out the projects!

Sewing School 2 is a wonderful way to introduce children to sewing with a machine because it encourages them to be confident in themselves while inspiring them to be creative in ways that feel fun and productive. Plus, the projects pictured in the book are made by other children, which leaves my kids feeling inspired and connected to all of the creative possibilities within.

There is a book review (and give-away) on my blog, Red Bird Crafts.

Happy weekending!

-Emily

 

 

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Pirate Party

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Two weekends ago, we were at our friends’ house for a barbeque/party to celebrate their new baby on-the-way.   The party was indoors and outdoors with lots of little ones running about.  My dear friend Kelly offered face paints to the children and asked if they’d like to decorate their friends’ faces.  This was particularly fun for my youngest who loves face paint, but rarely gets to apply it to a friend’s face.  We collectively surrendered to the mess and decided that the evening would end with baths.  Within minutes a few stars and whiskers were added to faces, but then the party moved outside and the paints were left behind.

Once outside the children found our friend’s canoe, which was parked on the grass .  They hopped inside and were instantly paddling through uncharted waters,  encountering aquatic friends and foes, and setting off for far away adventures.  All of the adults looked away for a moment or two, and when we refocused our attention, the children were making telescopes, painting eye patches on their eyes and one was even wearing a pirate costume that he had brought from home. Random, but true!  Oh my!  It was just amazing!  They had turned an ordinary play session into a pirate adventure…..eye patches and all.

This was a reminder to me that a simple prop — in this case, the canoe– can transform a play space and spark the imagination.  And, that letting children lead the way is magical.  Oh, and it also makes me think that a DIY pirate party would be a fabulous summer birthday idea.

Cheers!

Emily

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A Response to the Idea of “Ugly” Crafts

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Liesl over at The Homeschooling Den recently posted about the “ugly” crafts that get made in her house and the way in which they often aren’t deemed photo-worthy and, therefore, rarely make their way to her blog. It was so nice to see photographs of  her child’s milk jug monster and puffer fish!  How refreshing!  Her post made me think about my own children’s and student’s meandering crafty ways, where so much of it is more about the process than the end result. In these moments they become captivated with exploring and experimenting with materials, and it is so nice to have a record of this kind of creativity.

This sort of discussion can serve as a reminder that the beauty of an art project is determined by the child’s experience — was it fun?  exciting? boring?  Did the child get the hang of a new craft skill?  Is he/she proud of the result?  Did she/he discover happy mistakes along the way?

In an effort to pay respect to the random, free-form, process-based art that takes place in my home and classroom, I’d like to share a few of these kinds of art moments with you:

Leah experiments with embroidery

The children make numbers out of fabric and paper scraps.

Wooden spools are painted and stacked. Random fun!

The children experiment with dot markers (bingo markers)

Do you tend to photograph these kind of art moments?

Thanks for starting the conversation, Liesl!

-Emily

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