crafting :: toilet paper roll crayons

The Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts has a special exhibit during November and December called “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature“. During the holiday season, the museum is filled with about 30 or so trees that are decorated by original ornaments based on children’s storybooks. Volunteer decorators use their imagination to dress up the trees based on a story’s theme, illustrations, or characters.  Our daughter’s kindergarten class took a field trip there and she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to go back so that she could show me her favorite trees. It really was quite an amazing and inspiring exhibit!  So much creativity was poured into making each tree a work of art.

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crafting :: candy cane + chocolate sleighs

{Edited on 12.20.17 to add new photos … scroll down to see them + a couple of new ideas!}

I saw this video on how to build little sleighs using candy canes and mini chocolate bars, and decided to try making some with our daughter.  It’s a really cute way to spread some holiday cheer to friends, teachers, and neighbors – and they’re simple to assemble.  She provides a helpful video on her website but here are some things that we did differently (plus a couple of things I learned along the way).

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collaborative effort :: reindeer holiday cards

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Here’s a simple card to make for the upcoming holiday season that little humans can also help decorate.  It’s just one of the ways to dress up this adorable reindeer stamp.

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You can use just about any stamp (and patterned paper as a background for a card base) for any occasion with this idea.

Happy crafting!

collaborative effort :: kid-friendly cardmaking

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As a parent of a toddler, I’ve found that it can be difficult to work on a project with my child present in the room without sparking her curiosity.  She’s all about touching and feeling “mama’s toys” as she likes to call my collection of stamps and ink pads, so I like to involve her in small ways that won’t necessarily disrupt a project.

I’ve also made it a point to involve her in what I like to call “collaborative effort” projects or cards that we send to family and friends.  This is a great way to craft together where you (as the parent or teacher) can sort of relax and allow a child some artistic freedom yet still create a structured project in the end.

The easiest way that I’ve found to do this is by stamping an image onto white cardstock and then allowing her to “color” it in with markers, crayons, colored pencils and sometimes her dot paints.  Not only does she feel like she is helping me, she feels important and proud when I show her the end product.

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