Mini Monets and Mommies

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kids' Craft Felt Easter Eggs


Are you looking for a last-minute kids’ Easter art activity? Well, this one is super-simple – and tons of fun too! With some craft felt scraps, and a few googley eyes, your kiddo can get artsy and make these textured eggs.

Craft felt

2D Easter Eggs


Okay, everyone knows that making those colorful eggs is a major part of Easter. At least, for kids. Even if you’ve got the food coloring, glitter, stickers and anything else you need to make the eggs (try dyeing them with jelly beans), your child can still try this two-dimensional craft.

Your child has a few different options when it comes to these eggs. There’s a permanent craft, in which she’ll use glue. Or, you can take a DIY felt board approach. To make the felt board, simply glue a paper-sized sheet of craft felt to a piece of cardboard. Reuse the front of a cereal or cracker box instead of buying new board. The felt eggs will stick to the felt on the board, making it a completely reusable craft.

Learning and Development


So, what will your kiddo learn?

·         Fine motor skills – scissor skills, eye-hand coordination

·         Color recognition and identification

·         Math – shapes, counting, patterns

·         Creative thought

·         Problem-solving

Materials


·         Craft felt – use craft felt sheets (paper-sized) and/or leftover scraps

·         Scissors

·         Googley eyes

·         School glue

How-To Activity Steps


1. Cut the felt into egg-shaped ovals.
Childrens crafts

2. Create smaller-sized shapes. Your child can cut apart scraps that are left over from other projects. Ask your child to name the shapes she’s cutting out and name the colors.
Kids crafts

3. Press the smaller shapes onto the eggs. Add in an extra math lesson, and have your child count the pieces as she’s putting them on the eggs. If she’s making this a permanent piece of art, glue the pieces on. Your child can make patterns, stack the shapes (creating new textures) or even make an Easter chick.

4. Glue the googley eyes on top of the felt pieces. If your child is making this a reusable activity, make sure she glues them directly onto the egg.

Kids art
 

Are you looking for more artsy activities? Follow Mini Monets and Mommies on Instagram for creative kids’ crafts!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Rainbow Sparkle Slime

Who doesn’t like glitter slime? Seriously. How could your child not absolutely love it? It sparkles, it stretches and it’s so much science-y fun.

Colorful craft



(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information.)

Learning and Development


Slime recipes are perfect for little learners. Why? Not only are they completely cool to play with, but they also include plenty of educational aspects. Yep, I said educational. So, what can your child learn and how can she develop?

·        Science: Sensory exploration (sense of touch), states of matter, exploring light and scientific inquiry (making predictions, observing/collecting data and analyzing data)

·        Math: Making measurement

·        Art: Colors

·        Building fine motor skills

Materials for the Slime Recipe


Here’s what you’ll need:

·        ¼ cup of clear Elmer’s glue

·        ¼ cup Liquid starch

·        ¼ cup of water

·        Fine glitter in a rainbow of colors

To make more of the slimy stuff, use more of each ingredient. Keep them in the same proportions.

How-To Steps


Before starting, keep in mind that this is NOT a taste-safe recipe. If your child tends to put things in her mouth or tries to eat non-edible items, this is not for her. Always supervise your child at all times and never allow her to put any of the ingredients or the finished product in or near her mouth.

Now that you’re ready to begin, ask your child to predict what will happen when you mix the ingredients together. Write down her predictions and compare them to what really happens. As the two of you go through this recipe your child can observe what’s happening to the ingredients, telling you what she thinks is going on.

1. Measure the ingredients.

2. Mix the glue and the water together.

3. Add in the liquid starch, blending it in until the mix gels. If it’s too watery, add a tiny bit more of the liquid starch.

Kids' activity
 

4. Separate the slime into piles.

5. Pour a different color of glitter onto each pile.

Sparkle slime
 

6. Spread the sparkles throughout each slime pile. Your child can use her hands to twist, mush and mash the glittery stuff in.

Glitter art

Childrens' activity

Sparkle project
 

Play Time


Now that your child has several different colors of glitter slime, it’s time to play. She can keep the hues separate or start blending them together. Try holding the stretchy, sparkly stuff up to the light. Your kiddo can move it around, exploring how the lights reflects off of it and makes the colors change.

Are you looking for more super slime ideas? Check these out!





 

 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Valentine's Day Kids' Art: It's Heart-Felt!


Valentine’s Day is coming up! That means hearts, hearts and more hearts. Am I right? So, that also means kids’ art activities that feature the lovey-dovey shape.


Kids' crafts

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information.)

I’ve done quite a few kids’ crafts with a Valentine’s theme. Heart paint resists, crafty little candy pockets and geometry art were all fun children’s activities that feature the holiday. This time I’m working on a super-easy activity.

Craft felt is kind of perfect. It’s easy to work with (your kiddos can actually cut through it) and it sticks to itself. Instead of buying fancy felt boards you can DIY yourself one with an 8x10-inch piece of felt (glue it onto a piece of reused cardboard!). This Valentine’s Day craft is super simple and your kids can use it, reuse it and reuse it again. Or, you can use card stock paper and turn it into a cute (and crafty) card!

What Can Your Child Learn?

There isn’t just ‘one way’ to play with this Valentine’s kids’ activity. Your child can let her imagination lose and figure out new and different ways to create. That means there are endless possibilities, and many, many different ways your child is learning. To give you an idea, check out the basic ways it can help your child’s development. Your child will:

·        Build fine motor skills

·        Explore textures (sensory experience)

·        Recognize colors

·        Identify shapes (math-geometry)

·        Problem solve

·        Learn about the part-to-whole relationship

What Art Materials Do You Need?

Craft felt – in a rainbow of colors
Scissors 
Card stock paper
A marker
Clear-drying school glue

Optional: Cardboard (reuse the front of a cereal type of box)

How-To Steps for Creating Valentine’s Heart-Felt Art

1. Fold the felt in half. Draw half of a heart, starting at the fold. The hearts should be fairly small – about the size of a golf ball.

Valentine's art
 

2. Cut along the line. Unfold the felt to reveal a full-sized heart.

3. Repeat, making hearts in other colors.
Rainbow hearts

4. Create a larger heart. Fold a piece of card stock paper in half and repeat the folding and cutting steps. Your child can also use another piece of craft felt instead of the paper.

Holiday art

Children's crafts
 

5. Put the small hearts onto the larger one! Your child can make a picture, abstract heart art or create patterns with the craft felt.

Kids crafts
 

Optional: Place the larger craft felt heart onto a piece of cardboard. Trace it and cut it out. Glue the felt on to make a Valentine’s Day themed felt board. Now you have a reusable DIY felt board that your child can press the smaller hearts onto.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

6 New Year's Eve Activities that the Kids Will Absolutely Adore!

New Year’s kids’ activities anyone? Um, yes please! You’re celebrating “Noon Year’s Eve” at, well – noon. Or, maybe you have your fave families coming over for an evening get together. Whatever your plans are, having plenty of arts and crafts (along with some tasty treats, of course) on hand is a must-do.

Kids' art



(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information).

Before going crazy with crafts, start simple. You have plenty to do around the holidays. So, why add to it with complicated art projects or overly complex recipes? Yeah, yeah, Pinterest is bursting with an over-abundance of seemingly awesome ideas. You scroll down your feed and think, “Well, I could do that.” Maybe. But, keep in mind, the middle of your New Year’s Eve celebration isn’t the time to find out that what looked oh-so-easy on Pinterest (and, don’t they all?) was actually super-complicated.

Pour the Paint

Kids' crafts
 

Okay, so if you want something beyond simple to keep the kids busy (and keep them totally happy too!) put out some paints. Is it mess-free? Nope. But, all you really need are four colors – the primaries (red, yellow and blue) and white. They can mix their own hues and then paint a holiday masterpiece. Add in some glitter (yes, this multiplies the mess exponentially) for a festive sparkle.

Try Clay Play

Modeling clay
 
If your goal is to keep the mess to a minimum, one of my favorite kids’ art activities is finger painting with clay. The secret for this one is that there’s no actual finger paint involved. Instead, your kiddo can pull apart soft modeling clay into dime-sized pieces. She can then spread it out over a cardboard surface, finger paint style. It’s a fab fine motor activity and you can adapt it for any occasion. Have your child use the clay to make New Year’s fireworks or just make abstract art.

Confetti Art

Craft activity
 

Let’s say you have tons of magazines hanging out in the basement, garage or attic. Maybe you don’t. But, given that Christmas and Hanukkah were just last week, you might have some extra gift wrap odds and ends stashed around. Cut those up and use as confetti. The kids can paint a piece of card stock paper with clear-drying school glue. Toss the confetti, and watch it stick. Yay!

Glitter Ball Drop

New Year's Eve
 

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1! The ball’s dropping in NYC, and at home too. Make your own with some sparkling playdough. Follow this recipe to whip up some DIY dough. Add a drop of food coloring in or don’t (the glitter will create a cool color). Sprinkle tons and tons and tons of glitter in (hey, it has to sparkle like the Times Square ball, right?) and mush it around. Your child can make the midnight drop ball and then take it apart for more playdough fun.

Glitter Gunk

Kids' art
 

As if playdough isn’t fun enough, try some New Year’s glitter slime! Follow these directions to mix up a batch of slime. Add in the sparkles and you’re ready for some festive science fun. The more glitter your kids use, the more solid the color will look.

Kids’ Cookies

Holiday sweets
 

When the kids tire from the crafting, try these easy no-bake cookies (here's the recipe). They’re sparkly (like the glitter) and look like mini New Year’s Eve balls. Oh yeah, and they’re super tasty too!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Make Your Mark With This Awesome New Kids' Activity eBook!

I’m so excited to be part of an amazing new book, Make Your Mark! Seriously, I’m not just saying it’s amazing because I’m in it. It really, truly is. Make Your Mark is a book about creative writing, confidence, compassion and caring – and all for kids! Okay, so it’s you (the adult) who is going to read it. But, it’s your little one who will totally benefit from the activities inside.

Kids' book


(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information).

What kinds of kids’ activities will you find? Make Your Mark is filled with 30+ projects. These will help your child to develop a love of writing early on. From creative storytelling to building self-confidence and compassion, this book goes deep and helps your child to learn on many different levels.
Early literacy


 
Buy Now

The activities are an array of ideas, featuring play, art, language, writing and more. Whether it’s making a first mark through art, using pens and brushes to make more complex marks or igniting inspiration through storytelling, you’ll find plenty of ideas and activities for your young child to try out. These include:

·        Art

·        Writing trays

·        Finger gyms (and other fine motor play ideas)

·        Interview activities

·        Kindness activities

·        Collaborative projects

·        Printables

Kids' projects
 

This is a perfect way to help your young child develop early literacy skills, build social abilities and improve her emotional awareness. One of the things that I enjoy most about this book is that there’s an awesome array of ideas included. There isn’t just one “right way” to help your kiddo to develop early literacy abilities. Some kids learn by keeping their hands busy, while others like to look at pictures and print (and these are only two examples of the many ways in which people learn). Giving your child choices and having a variety of activities on hand makes it easier to match your little learner’s individual development with educational options.

Art activitiesKids' activities

Buy Now
 

Make Your Mark is for sale starting Friday December 9th. There is a special launch price for the month of December – in other words, buy it this month to save your hard-earned money! The launch special price is $11.25. That’s a 25% savings, no discount code needed (all you have to do is buy the book before December 31, 2016). After December, the ebook will available for the regular price of $14.99. So, why wait? Get your copy right now!

 
Kids book
 
 
 

Buy Now

Buy it worldwide for instant download


This is an ebook, which means you will be sent a link that allows you to download a PDF containing the ebook and all the resources. You can save it to your computer or iPad* and then either read it on screen or print some/all of the pages, as you prefer.

You can buy the ebook wherever you are in the world. You pay via PayPal, which will take care of any currency conversion for you. The ebook costs US$ 14.99.

*You can buy the ebook now, on any device, and then download it when you are ready. Depending on the apps you have installed and your operating system, you might be able to download the ebook on your mobile device. However if you have any doubts or problems, I recommend you use a computer to download the book and then share it to your mobile devices. You will be sent download instructions when your purchase the ebook.

The Make Your Mark ebook is published and sold by Cathy James at NurtureStore.co.uk. Please direct any customer service queries regarding purchases of the ebook to support@nurturestore.co.uk or refer to the NurtureStore FAQ.

The Make Your Mark ebook is protected under copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.
 
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Buy Now

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Oreo and Yogurt Holiday Smoothie Recipe!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers. All opinions are mine alone. #MerryMeals #CollectiveBias

The holidays are quickly approaching. And, we all know that means parties, family get-togethers and celebrating, celebrating and then some more celebrating. That also means feeding everyone who comes over (whether it’s for a Christmas party or an impromptu gathering).

Christmas recipes
 

With all of the holiday cheer (and heavy food), I’m kind of into creating lighter fare this time of year. Okay, so I still like sweet treats. I can’t help it. But, I really wanted to spread some holiday cheer without filling my kitchen with cookies, cupcakes and pies. And honestly, I also wanted an easier option. Something that doesn’t require hours and hours of prep-time and baking. Seriously, who has time for that? I’m not saying that this is an entirely healthy holiday treat. But, it’s lighter than a fruit cake and it does have yogurt in it (which makes it healthier than ice cream).

That’s why I’m glad that Giant Eagle has everything I need for my holiday shopping. Not only do they have an awesome array of their own brands, but they also have all of my favorites—that’s partially why I’m using Oro Thins for this super-easy recipe. I’m not stretching the truth when I say that I’m at Giant Eagle at least three times a week. Really, you can go there and ask their team members (believe it or not, the other day one of the Eagle’s Nest employees came up to me to say “hi” – she remembered my now 15-year-old son from when he was a preschooler!).
Holiday foods
 

I’m a fan of fancy drinks (the non-alcoholic kind, I mean). When I saw the Dannon Oikos Yogurt Drinks I immediately thought of trying out an easy holiday smoothie. To add a pinch (or maybe a bit more than a pinch of sweetness) I paired the drinks with Oreo Thins. How? Read on to see how this fab smoothie worked out!

Holiday cards
 

What You’ll Need:

·        Single serve Dannon Oikos Yogurt Drinks (I used vanilla and strawberry—for the wintery white and Christmas-y red!)

·        Oreo Thins (or you could swap in regular Oreos)

·        ½ vanilla yogurt

·        Red and green crystalized sugar or holiday sprinkles

·        1 tablespoon white frosting (this is just for a garnish, it won’t actually go into the smoothie)

·        Optional: 1 cup crushed red berries of your choice

What to Do:

1. Crush the Oreo Thins (leave a few whole ones out). You can put the cookies in a plastic zipper baggies and crush them with the back of a large wooden spoon or you can put them into a food processor.

Cookies holiday
 

2. Add the yogurt drink (I used one per serving), the crushed cookies and the yogurt to a blender. If you’re using fruit, add this now.
Yogurt drink

3. Blend the mix. Until it is smooth, but still thick.

4. Pour the holiday yogurt smoothie into a tall glass. Or you can get fancy, and use a wine glass (minus the wine, of course). We used a mason jar too!

5. Coat the rim with a thin layer of white frosting—it looks like snow! Sprinkle the sugar (or the holiday sprinkles) over the frosting to add a touch of Christmas flare. Don’t worry about it falling into the smoothie—it will just add extra holiday d├ęcor.

Remember those leftover Oreo Thins that you didn’t put into the smoothies? You can create an edible accent to your smoothie display (that is, if you’re setting up a table design for a holiday party buffet). Spread some of the white frosting over the cookies, and add more of the red and green crystalized sugar or holiday sprinkles.

If you have a few candy canes on hand, rest one on the top of each smoothie glass.

Now that you’ve got the sweet totally taken care of, you probably need something to balance it. You, and your guests, may start craving the salty stuff. Here’s where I’m glad that there’s a Giant Eagle close to home. I totally didn’t think about the fact that so much sweet needed a salty balance. So, when the thought hit me I had no problem running out (again) to pick up a box of Keebler Club Crackers! Pairing the crackers with Market District Hummus made for an easy savory option. It also gave me the chance to get a few Hallmark Holiday Cards for my guests.

Smoothie treats


That’s it! A simple appetizer-style buffet for the holiday. If you’re looking to create a full-on spread for your holiday party, check out the Giant Eagle Social Hub. You’ll find creative recipes galore there!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

10 Holiday Gift Must-Have's for Artsy Kids

Who loves making art? Your child does! The holidays are quickly approaching, and you need gifts, gifts and more gifts. After all, there are eight nights of Hanukkah and the Christmas tree has enough room to fit a sleigh-full of presents under it. So, what’s the answer? Kids’ holiday gifts that focus on art-making.

Holiday ideas


(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information).

There are what seems like an endless supply of kids’ art materials out there. It can be almost unnerving to walk into a craft store and try to pick out a handful of supplies. In my years teaching children’s art classes I was lucky enough to have a wall of closets stocked high with almost every artsy item that a kid could want. Seriously. If only I could have that at home. But, I can’t (and I know most of us can’t). So, we need to pick and choose.

Holiday gifts
 

Yeah, the kiddos are going to ask Santa (or you) for video games, smartphones and all kinds of other stuff that they really don’t need—and that you really aren’t into buying. If you’ve got a crafty kid or just want to add some artsy ideas to their already lengthy list of holiday presents, these are some of my top picks. Along with gifting these to your child, you can also pack some away into a gift basket for others. Last year we put together an art-themed gift basket for a silent auction at my son’s karate school’s holiday party. It went over very well.

So, what are my favorite kids’ art supplies to give as holiday gifts?

1. Paint: Really, a nice tempera will do when it comes to process paint explorations or as a finger painting medium. I’m a fan of Crayola’s. The texture is easy for kids to work with, it isn’t too watery (I can’t stand watery tempera, it’s just way too runny for little hands) and it doesn’t get that weird smell after a few uses (when I worked in a preschool the paint closet always smelled like old tempera). I also like that you can choose small sized bottles (they come in multi-color packs) or larger sizes.
Crayola paint
 

2. Oil pastels: I love, love, love oil pastels. Yes, kids like regular ol’ crayons. But, when you take out the oil pastels, they really get creatively crazy. They’re slightly less of a mess than paints, but the kids can still blend the colors together. This 50-piece assortment of Cray-Pas gives your child all the shades and hues she’ll need.
Oil pastels
 

3. Modeling clay: Building and sculpting are fine motor favorites. But, I also like using modeling clay to paint. What? How? Follow this tutorial to see how (it’s such as less-mess version of finger painting). Crayola has my favorite kind of clay for artsy play. While you’re looking, their Model Magic (which is a totally different type of compound) also makes a creative kids’ holiday present too.
Modeling clay
 

4. Glitter: What child doesn’t want to play with the sparkly stuff? ALEX Toys Artist Studio24 Glitter Shakers gives your child so many sparkle-filled options to choose from.
Glitter art
 
5. Hole punches: I know, I know—hole punches? Right? These shaped punches are perfect for so many crafts. Really, I used to use them all of the time when I taught art classes. Let the kiddos punch a bag of shapes, then use them anytime to collage or add to a craft project.
 
Hole punches
 

6. Canvases: Ready-to-use canvases are an ideal alternative to plain construction paper. Your child is probably pretty used to painting on paper (or maybe poster board). A pack of canvases gives her a new option, making her feel like a “real” artist.
 
Art canvas
 

7. Craft foam shapes: These are super-easy to use. You can get adhesive back ones (they’re basically like puffy stickers) or plain ones to glue on. In either case, gifting your child with an assortment means hours of crafting fun. You can pick a theme that interests your child or go with something educational (such as letters and numbers).
 
Foam shapes
 

8. Craft foam sheets: While we’re on the subject of craft foam, adding in a few paper-sized sheets makes for even more artsy good times. Your child can cut these apart and add craft foam shapes to DIY her own bookmarks, fold them in half to make books or use her imagination and create whatever she wants to.
Craft foam
 

9. Watercolor crayons: As if watercolors weren’t fun enough as is, try this art item out with the kiddos and see what happens. They can draw (like they’re using crayons) and then brush on water for a paint effect.
Watercolor crayons


10. Paper mache art paste: Oh, this is my all-time top paper mache pick. Sure, you can make your own using school glue, water and flour. But, I adore Elmer’s version. It’s a powder that dissolves into water, giving the kids tons of ooey, gooey artsy sculpture-time play.

 Art paste