Parent’s Corner

My Art Closet

Let me start by saying this is NOT what my art closet looks like right now the holiday craft bonanza has not been kind to it, come January I am cleaning it up again! I have been flooded with questions lately about how I keep my supplies organized so here it is!
  • Gather your materials. I use a shoe hanger from Ikea , and I slide in it baby wipes and Gladwear containers they fit perfectly! Inside those I keep markers, crayons, cotton balls, pencil crayons, paint, glue etc…
  • Then on the bottom few slots I keep newspaper ( just a few sections at a time) toilet paper rolls, and other recyclables that I can use for projects.
  • Also the top section has foam sheets, they fit perfectly, and pipe cleaners in it.
  • Now onto my cheap shelves that in June broke and I used some pipe cleaners to hold them together, call me McGuyver ! Anyway on those shelves I have white paper construction paper and card stock on top. As well as scrap printed paper in the silver box.
  • On the shelves I have one with tissue paper and paper bags, the one bellow it has my son’s easter basket with all the fun big sponges, bath poofs etc.. for free painting.Under the basket are a few brown paper grocery bags.
  • The square closest to the door has a large box for scrap paper. It also holds my magazines I use for crafts.
  • The square above it has all the specialized things- like googly eyes, pinking shears, buttons, sequins, sparkles etc… in a container so I can grab all the non kid friendly things fast if need be. It also keeps my paper plates close at hand.

I hope this helps !

**Also a reminder – send in or leave a comment with your favorite activity **
we did this year for our
Best of 2008 !

Paper Plate Santa Craft For Kids

paper plate santa craft

Santa is a good guy, even if your child is terrified of the Santa at the mall they may enjoy this Santa craft for kids . My son won’t get within 10 feet of the big guy but loved making this one! The cotton balls add some sensory discovery as well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a a small paper plate, 2 pieces of construction paper- one red and one white ( I used natural colored and it looks a little funny), some cotton balls, googly eyes, glue, scissors and a red pom pom.
  2. Start by drawing a large U shape on the plain construction paper. This actually took me two tries. I used the paper plate as a guide for how wide it should be. Cut out.
  3. Add glue all over the beard. Make sure there is a blank spot where no cotton balls will be, for the mouth.
  4. Add the cotton balls. Talk to toddlers and young preschoolers about it being soft. If they went to see Santa ask if they touched his beard and how it felt.
  5. While they add the cotton balls cut out a small red mouth out of the red paper.
  6. Glue on the mouth. Set the beard to dry.
  7. Grab the paper plate and glue on the eyes and a pom pom nose.
  8. Cut out a hat from the red paper, add glue on the bottom edge and top of the point.
  9. Add cotton balls to the hat. Let dry.
When the glue is dry glue the beard and hat on the plate.santa craft

Song!

Santa is his name o !
( To the tune of Bingo )

There is a man all dressed in red,
and Santa is his name o!
S A N T A
S A N T A
S A N T A
And Santa is his name o!

Continue with :

*He has a loud and jolly laugh
and Santa is his name o!
*He lives with elves at The North Pole
and Santa is his name o!
*His Reindeer pull his magic sleigh
and Santa is his name o!
*He brings you toys if you are kind
and Santa is his name o!

Hanukkah Craft For Kids

Hanukkah craft for kids

 

My son is fascinated with candles, he tried to touch the burning flames on his birthday cake so I knew I had to do a flame free menorah activity this year. This is a simple but useful Hanukkah craft for kids.  If you are not familiar with the traditions and significance of Hanukkah click here for a great overview. This is a great project for an older child to do with a parent or the way we are doing it for a parent to do and have their child help with the lighting every night of Hanukkah!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 sheets of foam, they don’t need to be sticky back but it’s even easier if they are, especially the candles. Scissors, some ribbon, an orange marker, and a pen.
  2. If your child is helping you I would have then paint or decorate the base piece of foam or paper. While they do that you can start the cutting.
  3. Start by cutting out a semi circle. in the silver foam. After you do this fold in half and make a series of 4 small 1/4 inch wide and about 2 inch long cuts into the semi circle arching towards the center. ** For an easier more kids friendly version you can simply cut out a semi circle and add small squares on top for each holder and use a larger square for the center.
  4. Trim all but the center holder , the middle should be higher than the other 8 holders. You can see my ill fated drawings, going free hand ended up working the best.
  5. Cut out a base for the menorah.
  6. Using the white foam cut out 9 rectangle candles. Older children can do this no problem.
  7. Using the yellow foam cut out 9 flames.
  8. Draw a little orange marker in the middle of the yellow flames.
  9. If you are using sticky back foam peal back only a small part of the flames backing and attach it to the white candle.
  10. Attach the menorah base on the backing piece( foam or your own paper that was decorated) .
  11. Add the menorah to the backing.
  12. When it’s time to light your menorah just peel off the backing of the candle and stick it on. For how to properly light a menorah check out Chabad.org
  13. Poke small holes in the upper corners of the backing and thread a ribbon through, tie a knot and trim the end.
  14. This is how it will look fully lit!foam menorah

 

Hanukkah Books

These are just two of the great Hanukkah books widely available. The title links are affiliate links.



Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel is a great book, not just because it’s funny, and action packed but it explains so much about Hanukkah in an entertaining way. It is a little long for young preschoolers and the goblins may frighten some too but for the elementary crowd this is a great book! I found it interesting and loved to see Hershel outwit those nasty goblins to
save Hanukkah.


The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff is a cute book about a little girl named Jennifer who is the only one in her class who celebrates Hanukkah. Soon she finds out that there are lots of “Only Ones” in her class , like the only one with red hair, the only one who wears dresses every day and the only one with a unique last name. I like the message this book has, that we should celebrate our diversity and tell our kids it’s not a bad thing to be unique.

 

Quick Screen Free Activities For The Holidays

screen free holiday activities

I have been using my 5 minute sparklers a lot lately, between writing holiday cards, online shopping , wrapping presents and trying to keep all the ornaments on my tree, I need lots of short things for my son to do. Here is my holiday version of quick screen free activities to keep your toddler or preschooler engaged!

  • Christmas Play Dough. All you need is some food coloring, sparkles and a few holiday shaped cookie cutters and you are good to go.

5 minute play dough

  • Button Counting. My son loved how the buttons sounded in my ramekins, we sorted them and then counted them.

buttons 5 minute sparklers

  • “Snow” Bubbles. Playing in the sink is a favorite in our house . I used an upside down bowl and a 2nd on top to make a good and big target for my son to scoop into , it helps keep too much water off him and the floor. It looks oddly high in this picture, it’s actually lower in the sink.

5 minute in sink

 

  • Holiday Shape Drawings. This is so easy! Grab a few pieces of plain white paper, cut them in the shape of a Christmas tree, candy cane, ornament… anything!5 minute coloring I pre cut 8 pages so I have some ready when I need them. When you need your little one to be busy for a few minutes grab the paper and markers and you are set!

5 minute shape drawings