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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Preschool Crafts and Art Work and the Need to Contain


Today we’ll discuss how to keep your child’s projects without making your home look like a preschool.  I love my girl’s pictures and projects, especially the ones with glitter and colorful construction paper.  But one turns into two and two into three and on and on…
Kids feel valued and special when we display their work.  Walking into a home you should know a child lives there too.  This isn’t to say that their things need to be all we see.  As in all things, balance is the key.  
These are a few of the things I do to keep our home in balance.  I’d love to hear what you do. 

Use chopsticks and tape to make plant decorations.  Tucking a little craft into a plant makes the craft look intentional.  It keeps it tidy and is really very cute.  Almost like a secret treasure to be discovered.  One plant can house up to three little projects.



Garlands.  Who doesn’t love a garland?  Stinging a cute ribbon across the fireplace with a few paper clips attached does the trick.  Little drawings and crafts attached to the clips … nothing sweeter.   Garlands also are  cute strung across a curtain rod in the bedroom.  Preschoolers like nothing more than seeing their “stuff” in their rooms.
Frames make a child’s drawing look like a million bucks.  Really, those special ones  are priceless. I’ve hung all my “good” art in the bathroom and my girl’s work is framed alongside.  I think they are beautiful.
 You can get simple, easily changeable, inexpensive frames at Michaels.
 All crafts from craftyfunmom.com.

playroom, missing one. Perhaps on the floor.  :)

A bulletin board layered with work is charming. You can pick one up at Target or Walmart for a few bucks.  We keep one in my husband’s office and one in mine.  It makes us smile and lets our girl know she is special to her daddy and me.  We just keep laying them on.  As they pile up, I’m able to take some of the ones in the back down and shhhhh…  I throw some of them away. 
This one is in my office. 

Even with these ideas there does come a time when we need to change out the projects.  Throw them away or put them in a box to give her on her wedding day?  Our children will grow up and hopefully will have their own children one day.  Will they really want a box of their little art projects and papers to keep next to the growing box of their children’s work? Probably not.  But to throw away her first scribble or the family picture drawn on a napkin … how hard this can be.  
I’ve started photographing her work and putting them in books. There are so many online picture books out there.  Try here or here.   Just download your pictures and you have a small reminder of the way she was when she was 3, 4, 5 …

I’d love to hear your ideas. How do you archive your child’s work?  How do you display current masterpieces?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making a Preschooler Schedule

Okay, so I’ve been living tech free for a full 5 days.  I’ve been getting up earlier (as in 4am) to get my computer work done.   I’m Facebook free during the day but sometimes feeling too tired to really engage.  Patience grasshopper!  This is a new habit and will take some time to really get the hang of it.  You would think it would be easier.  

Now that I have all this free time, today I tackle my daughter’s schedule.  I want her to live in a tech free world as well.  We’re pretty good about no video games, we limit her television time, but it needs to be limited even more.  I can’t take her SpongeBobSquare Pants away without replacing it with something.  Maybe I'll replace it with this.  I’ve been toying with a new schedule for her.  One with an emphasis on quality time, time to create, time for imagination, time for friends. 
My girl filled with imagination, not television.

Drumroll please …
 3-4: reading and quiet playtime
4 – 4:30:  game time, Sorry or Jenga
  • 4:30 -5:00:  Craft Time, more about why it's important for preschoolers and young kids to craft here
  • 5:00-5:30:  Prepare dinner together
  • 5:30 – 6:  Dad time
  • 6-7:  Bedtime ritual and a SpongeBob
I am not a homeschool mom.  I’m not sure how you ladies do it.  Scheduling my afterschool activities are challenging enough for me.   I’d love to hear from you about how you balance it all.  Your tips would be most appreciated. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Craftyfunmom.com Makes Crafting with Preschoolers Easy

Craftyfunmom.com helps moms and dads craft daily with their young children.  We include enough materials for you to craft with your child Monday - Friday, 20 crafts in all.  We plan activities around a monthly theme, we shop, and we ship right to your door.  The best part?  We'll send you a daily email outlining the daily craft.  All that you need to do is spend 15-20 quality minutes a day with your preschooler or young child. 

March's Craft kit theme. A Little Bit of Green...A Whole Lot of Fun!   A fun Saint Patrick's Day craft kit.  Order your craft kit now! We buy, plan and deliver all the materials you need for a whole month of crafts for your little ones. Visit www.craftyfunmom.com to order!

Photo: Drum roll please...Here it is!     March's Craftykit theme. A Little Bit of Green...A Whole Lot of Fun!  Order your craftykit now! We buy, plan and deliver all the materials you need for a whole month of crafts for your little ones. Visit www.craftyfunmom.com to order! #inlikealion #stpatricksdaycrafts #craftyfunmom #kidcrafts
Also check out our Craft Corral.  We have designed these to corral all of our children's stuff!  Crayons, Markers, Stickers...
It even includes a slot for paper or child coloring books.  It looks beautiful on a dining table.  Find out more http://www.craftyfunmom.com/red-crafty-corral/
Antiqued red Crafty Corral 
We've been asked how we are different from kiwi crate.  Their kit includes 4 activities a month.  We send twenty. 

Preschool Craft - Fun Foods to Make with Your Child

kids food 2
cutest food ever!      
 
 
10 Tips to Make Food Fun for Picky Eaters from #MyPlatinum and B-InspiredMama.COM

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hands Free Living - Is it possible to Get Rid of Technology?


Lately I’ve been visualizing my daughter as dried grass in my hands.  You know the kind you rake up as you sit in the grass on a summer’s day.  As I hold the grass in my open hand the wind takes it away.  Blows it away.  Lately this is how I’m seeing my time with my girl.  Fleeting.  I mean she was just born like yesterday and now she dresses herself, goes on play dates (without me),  feels just a little embarrassed if I kiss her in front of her friends.  The days of crafting and coloring and preschool field trips are close to an end.   I take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only mother who’s felt this way.  But it’s hard, really hard

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of technology.  I find that I get sucked into Facebook, and blogs, and amazon.  I feel annoyed if I’m interrupted and what mama doesn’t get interrupted.   I take care of needs, but don’t stop and really take care of needs.  I want to stop and look my girl in the eye and see what she needs.  I want to be fully available to my family.  And technology gets in the way. 

I realize I can’t get rid of technology.  It’s here to stay and it is a main source of communication, I need it for my job.  I can’t get rid of it but I can certainly limit it.  I’ve been reading … Hand Free Mama:  A Guide to Putting down the Phone, Burningthe To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! ByRachel Macy Stafford.  Rachel has a plan for us over stressed, technology driven mamas.   She found that letting go of distractions like phones and Facebook freed up her time to focus on things that were important to her.   She has some helpful tips to get us started.  She recommends not tossing technology out the window, but rather starting small.  She suggests turning off the radio in the car.  I’ve started doing this and I’ve started listening to my little girl singing quietly in the back.  Such a sweet sound that I was missing.  Better than Justin Bieber any day.  J

 
 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Preschool Crafts and Why They Are Important

Any mother of a preschooler or young school aged child knows how much they LOVE to create things.  A tent made out of pillows and blankets, a castle made out of a big box, a stuffed animal bed out of an Amazon box.   Little bits of paper glue on a paper and little collections perched on shelves and chairs and behind the sofa are all masterpieces. 

When my girl was young she would want to do these things with me.  Sometimes I would sit with her and draw a picture or color with her in her color books.  Sometimes I would set her up with markers and pencils and crayons and let her do it alone.  Looking back I wished I would have done a lot more of this with her.  Not because it was good for her fine motor skills or would help her hold a pencil correctly when she was school aged, but because what she really desired was connection… connection with her mama.




Working on projects from the http://www.craftyfunmom.com/ craftkit.  Learn more here.

I came to realize that when I would give her 20 minutes of undivided time every day I would have more time to do the things that needed to be done.  When I filled her up, gave her my time, she was much more confident to do things on her own.  She could count on that 20 minutes each day with her mama, a time to create and talk. 

Crafting is about sitting together and creating something that’s never been created before.  For a preschooler, it’s putting your heart on a piece of paper.  It’s about the reaction you get from your mom or dad.  It’s about contributing to the family. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

They say Valentines is for lovers, and maybe that's true.  But I say, Valentines is for children.  There is nothing like red and pink to delight little people.  Little surprises tucked into the homes normal d├ęcor for children to discover.  Love notes written to a child telling them just how important they are, how loved they are, how important they are to the family.  It fills up little hearts to know they are loved, cherished, seen.  So go to Target today and get some red placemats, to Michaels for some candles, and the local grocery store for a small bouquet of flowers.  You can be sure it will be appreciated.  Have a blessed day with those you love.   







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Seeing Beauty in the Chaos Around You

I LOVE beautiful things.  I love flowers in little vases around the house. I love order and a clean house and decorations.  Dust free bookshelves, laundry put away. Toys in the toy box instead of all over the house. I love the way an old dog lays in front of the fireplace, clean windows, and pillows fluffed just so.  I especially like the lines a vacuum cleaner makes in the carpet.  Oh I LOVE that. 
 Lately I’ve noticed how annoyed I get when things aren’t … well, perfect.  I’ve forgotten that homes must serve us, not the other way around.  I think I learned that from the nester.  So today I picked up my camera to help me look at my home.  I heard once that if you really want to see something, take a picture to study. 
I must admit I did put away my daughter’s blanket that was sitting on our dining table before I started shooting away.  But I tried to focus on things that maybe weren’t so beautiful and guess what!  I found some of my messes were actually very beautiful.  I must admit that I will still long for orderly spaces and lines in carpets and clean windows, but next time, I just might leave out my baby girl’s blanket and see it for what it really is – home, life, us.