Tag Archives: Arts & Crafts

Sunday Morning Shout Out

Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

Winter is coming to an end but is it too cold to go outside and play?  Are the roads super bad, preventing you from going anywhere?  Are you stuck home?  Is everyone sick with the sinus junk that’s been going around?  Has pure, pervasive cabin fever struck? Recently, “The Washington Post’s, On Parenting section, reposted a popular article, “10 Indoor Activities to Get You Through Winter,” by Lauren Knight, that might just be the solution.

1)  Cardboard playhouses, rockets, jets, cabins, etc: Build a cardboard playhouse or cardboard anything for your child. It is truly amazing to see how children imagine things when they are given a big box to play in for a day. If your house is anything like mine, a big box like this is not just a day, but multi-day piece of fun.

2 )  Make homemade play dough: There are a gazillion online recipes for making this kid favorite. While playing with it is good fun, making it is too. It is also a whole lot cheaper and less toxic than the stuff in the store.

3)  Sumo wrestle: Let me just say, I read this idea and laughed. The premise is to size up that perfect moment where your children need to blow off steam. Give them each a large overstuffed t-shirt, in which they can stuff pillows in the back and front. Let them wrestle and do their thing, while you laugh.

4)  Make marshmallow structures: With marshmallows and pasta, design possibilities and great geometry lessons are limitless.

5)  Cardboard monster feet: Make cardboard monster feet, with cardboard you have left over from the playhouse, rocket ship, fort, etc. Reduce, reuse, and roar!

6)  “Mad scientist bath”: Let your child take a “Mad Scientist” bath. With the aid of a plastic stool to set experiments on, measuring cups, soap and water, and containers, let your child play away in the water and see what she can “create.”

7)  Pool noodle racetracks: Make a marble race track (or one for cars) by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise. The idea is to have two of them. Children can race their marbles or racecars, and see which ones are the fastest.

8)Indoor scavenger hunt: Create an indoor scavenger hunt for your children. Hide clues, have them work as teams, and have a great find at the end.

9)  Build a tapestry table: I am not feeling this one, but the author says you can pick up an old coffee table at a secondhand store and staple a large piece of burlap material around the edges. With this, some scraps of yarn, string, large plastic children sewing needles, and some desperation, children can learn how to sew.

10)  Make a reading nook: Either collect a bunch of books from the library or around the house and create a special, most comfy corner, pile of pillows, or room, replete with even more pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals to read-away for an afternoon or snowstorm. (Now that sounds downright awesome to me!)

With these great ideas, cabin fever will be cured in no time and a greater appreciation for the season may just be.  Plus, Spring is just around the corner!



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Filed under Health, Parenting

Sunday Morning Shout Out

spring breakBlame it on those touchingly sweet little bunnies you see this time of year.  Blame it on a word awash of PInterest and adorable ideas.  Say it is because we all have to break our own mold sometimes; I am on the prowl for some springtime craft ideas.

My little girls like to do crafts.  As fate would have it, they are pretty darn good at it too!  Not wanting to deprive them of the simple satisfaction one can get from crafts and completing a project, and subsequently aware of the good and strengthened fine motor skills and reasoning skills that arise out of doing it, (not forgetting about artistry and imagination) I have taken the plunge and jumped into an out of character pursuit for the perfect springtime craft.  So here goes.  This first pinterest idea provides a great touch, not to mention keepsake of your favorite little bunny during the early years.  School papers and other things will come and go, but this one is a keeper!

The second Pinterest idea is eggs that are so cool and a little more involved—something your school aged child might enjoy doing.  Looking for a Passover craft to do with your child? This third Pinterest idea offers some nice suggestions.  There are even more wonderful, naturally inspired Passover projects here.

Of course Pinteresting is not the only place for craft ideas.  This children’s art collective page features arts and craft ideas for all ages and interests.  There are so many great ideas…just a quick Google search away for natural and reluctant crafters alike.  Do you have a craft idea in mind that you will share?

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Putting the Fun back in Fundraising

fundraising_flyerAs school budgets get tighter the need for scholastic, sports and all types of other extracurricular activities/clubs to find funding is becoming more and more critical. Fundraising can really make a difference to the quality of education that your child gets. Whether fundraising enables them to enjoy fascinating field trips, better meals, better facilities and equipment or more teachers, fund-raising helps to alleviate the dire financial burden placed on our schools by reductions in government funding. We look at ideas to raise money that are fun for everyone and beat the heck out of bake sales that more and more health department codes are making illegal.

Art & Crafts In The Park
Get all the students to participate in making art throughout the year. This can include items from the woodshop, paintings, drawings, models, sculptures and crafts. Each grade or class gets to have a ‘stall’ at the fair which should be scheduled at the end of the year. Use a local park or your sports fields to set out tables where the students can display their wares. This gives the children a chance to showcase the things they have worked on all year, make a positive contribution to the school, learn about business and have fun raising money for the school.

Baby Sitter
Everyone wants to go out on Valentine’s Day which makes getting a baby sitter next to impossible. Why not centralize babysitting while optimizing profits? Older students, with the help of teachers and parents, can babysit younger students at school on Valentine’s Day. The students can organize videos or activities to keep the younger students occupied while a few parents and teachers oversee proceedings. Parents are charged a regular babysitting rate per hour while children get to enjoy a fun evening in familiar surroundings.

Zombie Fun Run
Organize a short fun run where students, parents and community members can participate. For a small entrance fee, participants get to run the set course while being chased by a zombie horde of students. Students will love dressing up as zombies and chasing participants in the race. Participants should get a healthy head start and the zombies should be supervised by volunteer parents and teachers. You can also get participants to dress up if they like. For younger children you might use a Peter Pan theme since that allows for pajamas, pirates, fairies, Indians, etc.

Recycle Mania
Pop cans and cell phones make great items for recycling. Get all your students to collect these items and ask participating parents to transport goods to recycling centers. This will teach students about recycling, bring in a tidy profit and promote environmental awareness. You can hold internal competitions to see which class or grade collect the most. Other options include any type of battery, ink cartridges and old computers. Talk to your local scrap/salvage yard about the possibilities and don’t be afraid to ask them for help, support or sponsorship of your event.

Dress Up Days
This works really well and is fun for everyone. Here each participating child can dress up for Halloween or other fun theme days and make a donation. You can set goals for each class too. If the students in the class manage to meet their goals, they get to choose which outfit their teacher has to wear for the day.
Raising money for school can mean family fun for everyone involved, so get creative today and find innovative ways to raise money for your school causes.

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Filed under Education, Improved Learning