Archive for the ‘ Crafts ’ Category

“Kiddie Arts” Updates Childhood Doodles

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

If you’re anything like me, throwing away early scribbles (your child’s or your own) is heart-breaking and difficult. But what would happen if you recreated some of those crayon-etched masterpieces years later? One Dutch artist, Telmo Pieper, did just that.

Pieper, of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, utilized digital painting and a touch of whimsy to revive drawings he created at the age of four. The proportions of his remastered works are spot-on to his youthful creations—just look at the tail on that whale, or the perilous tilt of that ship! My personal favorite? The slightly off-kilter bear with a sheepish grin.

To see more of Pieper’s stunning designs from “Kiddie Arts,” check out his portfolio. For a slightly different (but still just as cool) project, hop over to Dave DeVries’ website, The Monster Engine, where children’s artwork is turned into fantastical realistic paintings.

How ecstatic would your kid be if his or her artwork got a digital makeover? Let us know!

 

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Get Fun, Educational Activity Ideas During #SmartMarch

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Is all this crazy weather giving your kids (and you) cabin fever? This month, we’re bringing you tons of creative and fun educational activities to break the kids out of their indoor activity rut. With the help of mom of three Kim Vij from The Educator’s Spin On It, which won Parents 2014 Social Media Award for best Pinterest page, we’ll be sharing IQ-boosting ideas you’ll love. From our bloggers’ favorite games and to Vij’s best projects, Parents Pinterest and Twitter pages will be full of great suggestions. Be sure to share your genius picks using the hashtag #SmartMarch and we may RT or repin your wise ideas.

For more fun activity ideas check out our kids crafts guide.

How to Make the Most of Playtime
How to Make the Most of Playtime
How to Make the Most of Playtime



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How To Do Valentine’s Day Sans Sitter

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Whether you planned it this way or not, Valentine’s Day is here and you don’t have a babysitter. Although you and your partner may not be in for a night of wining and dining, it doesn’t mean you have to scratch the special day altogether. After all, Valentine’s Day is a holiday you can celebrate with whomever you love, right? Here is our fool-proof plan to please the kids and the grownups at home tonight.

Show the munchkins some love with a kid-friendly dinner.

Who says mac ‘n’ cheese is just for kids? This yummy comfort food will make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside and satisfy the whole family. And since it’s a special occasion, try spicing up your homemade mac or the go-to boxed version with one of our 21 spins on the classic dish. We especially love the “Little Italy” recipe with spinach, oregano, and chili flakes. It tastes fancier than it is to make (which is always a good thing).

While chowing down on your pasta, feel free to bust out your favorite wine glasses and pour yourself a glass of 100 percent grape juice (we like Welch’s, which has the same heart healthy antioxidants as red wine). While it’s no Cabernet, you’ll have more energy to keep the kiddos entertained than if you were sipping the good stuff.

One of the best parts of St. Valentine’s special day? The sweets! Finish off your faux-Italian dining experience with some tiramisu gelato. Recently, a batch of Breyer’s new gelato made its way into the Parents offices and was gone in a matter of minutes. ‘Nuff said.

Indulge in fun Valentine’s Day kid crafts and activities.

Start a Valentine’s Day tradition by creating cards, treats, and other crafts with the kiddos. Your little ones will love making you a Valentine keepsake and your heart will melt from their sweet little notes and scribbles. After you’ve completed your crafts, start winding down with one of our 50 Best Movies for Kids. We think 101 Dalmatians and Shrek are the perfect “love stories” for families.

Have adults-only after hours.

If you can manage to make it through dinner, crafts, and movies without falling asleep (it’s been a long week, hasn’t it?), reward yourself with some one-on-one time with your partner-in-crime. Feel free to exchange the grape juice for your favorite bottle of wine and pop in a romantic movie. According to a study by the University of Rochester, couples who watched love stories like “The Notebook” or “Terms of Endearment” and discussed them afterwords strengthened their relationship as much as couples who had been attending therapy together.

Then, be sure to check out our tips for finding the perfect babysitter, so you can have a date-night next week.

Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny

Find more Valentine’s Day activities for your kiddos here.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock: beautiful girl with heart. valentine’s day concept

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A Chance to Win $1,000 From Sweethearts Conversation Hearts

Friday, January 17th, 2014

One candy that’s stood the test of time is Sweethearts Conversation Hearts. First made in 1902, the candies known for cute messages have become the bestselling non-chocolate treat of Valentine’s Day. I’d like to think that’s because Sweethearts really let you say how you feel. Sure, chocolate and presents are nice, but nothing is more direct than seeing the words “Be Mine” or “Kiss Me” tacked on to your heart-shaped candy.

Now, Sweethearts’ maker The New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) is taking personal endearment an extra step. The company recently launched Sweethearts Color Your Own packaging geared toward encouraging kids’ creativity. Black and white matte boxes make for the perfect canvas to draw a special design with crayons or markers. Kids will love customizing a box for family, classmates, or even a special valentine.

After your little artist has had fun coloring, help him enter NECCO’s Color Your Own contest celebrating the candy’s new look. From now until March 1, kids ages 5-12 can submit their one-of-a-kind Sweethearts box online by uploading a picture. There are three separate age categories, and in each a grand prize of a $1,000 savings bond. Plus, your munchkin may just get the chance to see her personal saying appear on Sweethearts’ candy next Valentine’s Day season in 2015.

For more info on prizes and rules, be sure to visit NECCO’s contest page. In the meantime, watch one of our Valentine’s Day craft videos with your child for a little inspiration!

Valentine's Day Heart Fan Craft
Valentine's Day Heart Fan Craft
Valentine's Day Heart Fan Craft

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Put Your Child’s Artwork Onto Fabric Via Hiho Batik

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The early years are full of art projects from your little one. It’s easy to get overwhelmed figuring out where to keep it all. If you’re in need of a cool way to preserve those pieces, Hiho Batik may be your solution.

The boutique has been a Brooklyn staple for more than a year, offering kids and parents the chance to design shirts and accessories with their own artwork made in-store or from home. Now, the shop is accepting original art online, so even if you can’t get yourself to New York, you can still send your child’s work through the site, and owners Julia Silver Gordon and Robyn Stylman will do their best to put it to fabric.

What sets this make-your-own concept apart from the rest is its method of design: batik. It’s a process of using wax and dye to help seal in the art. Eventually, you’ll get a colorful drawing with a super funky outline that adds a hip touch to any child’s cute picture.

We got the chance to see up close just how Hiho Batik products are created. Check out the process of making this child-sized T-shirt.

1. First, draw. Being a total sweets addict, I got the urge to do a cupcake after seeing the one on the store’s inspiration wall.

2. To go over the design with wax later, the picture has to be outlined in sharpie. This will make it easier to see when you move on to the light table and place your art inside the shirt.

3. Tracing over my work in hot wax seemed a little daunting at first. There were a few hiccups along the way, but I got the hang of it with a little help from Julia. Her key: Keep the wax needle as close to the fabric as possible and move slow to get a thick outline. And don’t get frustrated by mistakes. That’s what makes the art truly unique, she says.

4. Once you have your outline, the next step is coloring it in with the pretty dyes. I started to make my cupcake icing pink, before I realized it would be cooler to do an ombre effect into purple. It’s so easy to get your creative juices flowing in the store’s art space.

5. Now, it’s up to the Hiho Batik team to finish off my design by putting wax over it. That way when the shirt is dyed, the art won’t budge. After that, the wax is removed, and the creation is ready to wear. In-store orders can take up to a week to finish, but give up to two weeks or more to receive an order placed online.

Kids’ T-shirts and baby onesies run $40 while online orders start at $48 (does not include shipping).

Next time your child comes home with a piece of art, you’ll think what you can create from it instead of where to trash it. Thanks Hiho Batik!

 

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Pasta Prints

Monday, November 25th, 2013

DIY crafter Alison Caporimo recently released her first book, Instacraft, about fun and simple projects for adorable gifts and décor. We received permission to showcase four crafts from the book on Goodyblog. Come back each Monday (11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25) to see which creations we feature next.

 

Spaghetti-Stamped Tote Bag

“Growing up, Sundays meant pasta; Mondays, school and then pasta. And Tuesday: leftover pasta,” Alison says. “Here is the result of a lifetime of playing with food when I wasn’t supposed to and having far too much access to every kind of spaghetti and ravioli ever made.”

Materials:
Canvas tote bag
Rigatoni pasta
Fabric paint
Drop cloth (or newspaper)

Directions:
1. Lay out a drop cloth or newspaper on a flat surface and smooth the tote bag on your workspace.
2. Dip one open end of a rigatoni pasta into fabric paint and press firmly but evenly onto the canvas.
3. Repeat in any pattern you like (in a variety of colors!) and then allow to dry according to paint instructions.

 

Alison’s extra tips for Parents readers:

  • Swap it: Instead of tote bags, paint pillowcases, tee shirts, or canvas sneakers. Or, use acrylic paint to stamp card stock, wood plaques, or terra cotta pots.
  • Search for more unexpected stamps: Test out pretzels, clementine wedges, Cheerios or Froot Loops, flowers, corks, buttons, straws, and pencil erasers.
  • Need more ideas? Check out Parents fruit and veggie stamps.
  • Try it freehand: Draw small plus signs and scalloped petal patterns—then stay in the lines.
  • Challenge your kiddos: Ask them to name shapes, count pasta pieces, and mix paint colors.

 

For more ideas from Alison Caporimo, follow her on Twitter.

Text adapted from Instacraft, with permission from Ulysses Press. Copyright 2013. All images by Meera Lee Patel.

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Dip-Dye Design

Monday, November 18th, 2013

DIY crafter Alison Caporimo recently released her first book, Instacraft, about fun and simple projects for adorable gifts and décor. We received permission to showcase four crafts from the book on Goodyblog. Come back each Monday (11/4, 11/11, 11/18, 11/25) to see which creations we feature next.

 

Berry Stationery

“Have left over blueberries in the fridge? Let’s make something of them!” Alison says.

Materials:
3 cups water
1 cup blueberries
Stockpot
Card stock

Directions:
1. Pour water into a pot and heat over a high flame until boiling.
2. Stir in blueberries and smash with a spoon or potato masher. Mix well and allow to cool slightly until lukewarm.
3. Dip card stock into dyed water and allow to dry completely before using. (Experiment with dipping times and angles.)

 

Alison’s extra tips for Parents readers:

  • Swap it: Instead of blueberries, try beets, blackberries, tea, or turmeric spice.
  • Challenge your kids to count and measure the ingredients before you get started.
  • Explore and investigate! The color of your dye is true to what it looks like in the pot, so experiment with your measurements to create different shades.
  • To let stationery dry without disturbing the dye, secure the card stock to a wire hanger with clothespins.

 

For more ideas from Alison Caporimo, follow her on Twitter.

Text adapted from Instacraft, with permission from Ulysses Press. Copyright 2013. All images by Meera Lee Patel.

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Next Week is #ParentsCrafts Week

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Next Monday Parents Pinterest and Twitter pages will become a DIY-er’s paradise for #ParentsCrafts week. From November 18th through the 22nd, the mega-creative minds of Krissy, from B-Inspired Mama, and Marie, from Make and Takes, will help us pin cool crafts to our Pinterest Boards. As the holidays and cold weather approach, you’ll appreciate these bloggers’ genius DIY ideas to keep your little ones busy, decorate your home, and have some fun indoors. Also, be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter feed (posted right here!), which will be packed with more unique activities. Use the hashtag #ParentsCrafts to share your own ideas!

See the Latest #ParentsCrafts Tweets


Check Out More Craft Ideas on Pinterest


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