Craft Ideas for All Ages!

ImageI just did a talk on how to nurture creativity within yourself and with your little ones. It was for a great group of moms who were really keen on getting their kids crafting more (my kind of moms). Creativity is so important and will be more and more in the generations to come as standard employment positions will cease to exist and we’ll need to think more creatively in the job market, or for resources, etc. Being creative to children is so natural. Ken Robinson describes creativity and children so perfectly in his famous quote: “we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it”. It’s important we nurture creativity in our little ones as much as we can and we can do so by encouraging them to think outside of the box, to explore and to use their imaginations. Find a space in your house that you can designate to “creating”. Ikea sells the perfect “craft” table for little ones and let them get started!

For those of you that have kiddies who don’t like to craft, try presenting them with not your “typical” crafting ideas like gluing or painting. Getting a big cardboard box and turning it into a house is a great activity. Not only are they using their creativity to make the house but then it provides hours of entertainment after.

Here are some great crafts, that can also serve as entertainment after!

For your Toddler:

ImageToddlers love to sort things. This is a great craft because if you pick up a bunch of different coloured button bags from the dollar store, they can sort them into colours first and then pick some to glue onto the box. It also works on their fine motor skills, the sorting and gluing. If you purchase a few boxes that fit into each other this will definitely keep them entertained for a while!

ImageFor your Preschooler:

This craft is also very educational as you can teach your child about the life cycle of plants as well. I got this ceramic pot from the dollar store, you can use paints and glitter to decorate, make sure you seal it with something, like Mod Podge, as it will be getting wet from watering (or kept outside). If your plant dies, perhaps an opportunity to also teach them about the life cycle!

For your School Age Child:

ImageAnother dollar store gem! You could either turn this into a puzzle, have your older child make it for a younger child. Cut out some shapes for them to trace onto the pieces and then have them use paints or markers to decorate. Or buy some chalkboard paint and turn the pieces into an X&O game. The possibilities are endless.

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Creative Mondays!

So, we’re back for another round! Take a close look! What could this be and how many different uses/crafts can you come up with? This time we’re offering a prize to the most creative, so be sure to comment! Can’t wait to see your answers!

Creative Mondays!

We’re launching a fun new project here at Seasons. It’s called Creative Mondays! It’s a really fun game that not only will help to inspire and encourage your creativity but, will also give you some great craft ideas. Creativity has been defined in numerous ways however, it is usually always based on coming up with a new and novel concept that has value. Being creative is about thinking outside the box and training your mind to look at things in a different way. Our Creative Mondays will encourage your mind to think outside of its box!

Bet you’re wondering how it works! Allow me to explain the very easy, three step process.

1) Identify what the object is.

2) Come up with a different use for the object.

3) Suggest a craft that can be made with the object.

We’re going to start our Creative Mondays off with a very easy pic! Please comment below by numbering your answers in correspondence with the step number above. Good luck and happy crafting!

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Increasing our Creativity!

Creative projects have an endless amount of therapeutic benefits. Creating something with our own two hands leads us to sentiments of accomplishment and pride, these feelings are present in us even from the age of two when we draw our first circle or when we colour in our first picture. As we grow, our projects may increase in complexity but the feeling of achievement remains. Taking nothing and molding it into something allows us to gain confidence. We begin to value our self-worth and individuality the more we create, the more we put our ideas out there, the more we grow creatively.

Creativity can help to foster:

  • Self-esteem
  • Imagination
  • Determination
  • Assertiveness
  • Courageousness

Perhaps some of us are scared by the word creativity because it is often associated with artistic abilities, however, creativity and artistic ability are not necessarily a complementary pair. One can be extremely creative in something and yet have no idea how to hold a paintbrush. We can be creative in our finances, in sports, in problem solving, in writing and even in gardening.

We should all strive to try and increase our creative potential, because generally creative people are known to be more autonomous, independent, self-sufficient, emotionally sensitive, self-accepting, assertive, courageous, resourceful, risk-taking and adventurous.

So how do I become more creative?

Here are some great tips to help increase your creative potential:

  • When faced with a problem always try to come up with two different solutions, even if one solution is somewhat unrealistic (this will help you begin to think outside of the box)
  • Make a scrapbook or your life goals, be sure to even include those goals you think are improbable. Sometimes just getting the pictures out there helps us to visualize them.
  • Make a dream book. Cut out pictures from magazines of images you like, designs you adore, and clothes you want, anything and everything. Once your book starts to grow with ideas, so will your mind.
  • Take risks. Often we need to take risks in our creative quests; sometimes those ideas that seem the most intimidating often end up being the most creative!
  • Set realistic goals for your creativity time. Creativity like many things needs practice to flourish and grow. Put aside time each day, week or even month (depending on your schedule) for your creative projects.
  • Brainstorming. Remember those little thought webs we use to have to draw in school? Those are actually one of the greatest ways to generate multiple ideas for one topic, sometimes they are referred to as Mind maps. Start with your main idea in the middle of the page and just see where your web leads you.
  • Find your inner child. Think of something you loved to do as a child, skipping down the street, hopscotch, colouring books? Whatever it may be, treat yourself to an afternoon with your inner child.

So go on, get out there and try something creative! Don’t be scared, we all have it in us and we should all embrace it!

Enchanted Forest & Mexican Fiesta!

This past weekend we hosted two drastically different birthdays, an enchanted forest and a Mexican Fiesta! We had such fun planning and preparing, we made all the decorations ourselves and thought it would be great to share in case you are feeling so inclined to host your very own Fiesta Forest!

The Enchanted Forest

We found this great tree at DeSerres and it only took about 5 minutes to assemble. We hung the tree on the “birthday wall” and decorated around it using tissue paper butterflies and our birthday banner. To make the tissue paper flowers we found some great instructions on Pink Paper Peppermints.

ImageWe then used kraft paper to make another tree, we decorated the tree with butterflies and mushrooms. The butterflies were made out of tissue paper and the mushrooms out of Bristol board. ImageFor the craft we made Modeling chocolate the night before. When the kiddies arrived it was all ready to go and they made beautiful creatures. We also used water colour pencil crayons on canvas boards to paint backdrop scenes for our creatures.

ImageMexican Fiesta

IMG_3671 Decorating for our fiesta was loads of fun! We made maracas out of Bristol board and also made some more big tissue paper flowers. We hung streamers from every corner of the room and had them crossing on top and under each other.

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For our craft we made mini Pinatas! These were fun and easy to do. We made identical cardboard cut outs and then cut a 2 inch strip out of Bristol board. We taped the strip to one of the cardboard cutouts and then filled it with candy. Before taping on the second cutout we made sure to affix a string to the top of the Pinata. Then used glue and crepe paper to cover the entire Pinata.

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In the kitchen we made….take a guess! Yes, that’s right…Tacos!! The kids had so much chopping and dicing and mixing and then the best part was that they got to eat them. Tacos are actually a very friendly meal which lends itself well to world of allergy ridden children. Corn tortillas (no gluten) no nuts and no dairy if you choose not to put cheese on your taco. Everyone walks away happy and with a full tummy! IMG_3680

March Break Camp at Seasons!

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Wondering what on earth to do with your kiddies this March Break Camp? Look no further, we’ve got your solution. Send them to us for fun filled days of crafts, cooking, baking and lots more. Our camp is best suited for children ages 5-12 years old who like to explore their creative side. We also go on fantastic field trips to historic sites in Toronto and play outside (weather permitting) in amazing games of capture the flag or scavenger hunts.

For more info, check out our website.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us: info@seasonsfamilycentre.com

 

 

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DIY Holiday Crafts!

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This past week I had the pleasure of doing a demonstration on DIY holiday crafts for the South Leaside Moms Group. Here are the coles notes for those of you who would like to try getting their craft on! Don’t be afraid of being creative, we all have a little crafty elf in us, somewhere.

Wreath

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The wreath is definitely a holiday favorite and not only is it pretty but it also adds that scent of Christmas to your house. For those that don’t have a real tree make a real wreath! You can also put it on your dining room table and place some candles in the centre, makes a beautiful centrepiece.

Materials

1 bough of pine

1 bough of evergreen or any other type of Christmas greenery

1 coat hanger

Pliers

Pine cones

Ribbon

Green Wire (can be purchase at the dollar store)

Cranberries

Directions

ImageStep 1: Using gardening shears cut off sections of your boughs that will be good size for your wreath. Using your pliers turn your coat hanger into a circle. It’s best to use a somewhat flimsy wire coat hanger, as the stiff ones are harder to manipulate. Once you have formed your circle you can begin designing your wreath. For those of us with Type A personality you can lay out your whole wreath in advance and get the exact look you desire. For those of who are a bit more whimsical you can create as you go along. Select pieces from your boughs and attach them to the wire circle by using your green wire. You should work with one very long piece of wire as opposed to continually cutting pieces. You need to affix your greenery by simply wrapping the green wire around the coat hanger as well as the piece of bough.

Step 2:

ImageYour wreath will slowly begin to take shape, a trick to making a full wreath is to use two different types of boughs. However, if you prefer the look of one you can stick to just one type of bough. Once you have completed your wreath you can use your gardening shears to give it a bit of a haircut if needed. Now you can get all fancy and add all sorts of doodads to your wreath, or you can just leave it plain. For the demo, I added pine cones and cranberries. To attach the pine cones I took the green wire and wrapped it around the pine cone, making sure it was not too visible. You can attach the pine cone to the wreath using a “twist tie” method. Then I threaded some cranberries onto a piece of green wire and wrapped it around the wreath. The trick is to hide the green wire within the pine so that it’s not too visible, it blends really well so it’s not too much of a difficult trick! Also remember when adding your pine cones that things in 3’s are usually the best combo for design.

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Ta Da! Your beautiful wreath is complete! You can now add a ribbon to your wreath so that you can hang it or you can place it on a table and add some candles.

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Menorah

ImageThis is such an easy craft and great one to do with your kids. All the materials were purchased at Home Depot for a whopping total of $4. The wood was about 3 ft long and then cut into thirds. Home Depot will cut the wood for free for you if you’re doing less than 2 cuts. The copper candle holders are actually from the plumbing section and glued on with hot glue. I painted the wood white, however you could paint it any colour you want and add glitter and sparkles and all that jazz!

Fancy Present Wrapping!

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Materials

Kraft Paper (dollar store)

Gingerbread men cut outs (dollar store)IMG_3294

Stencil (DeSerres)

Red Paint (DeSerres)

Sponge Brush (DeSerres)

Red Ribbon (dollar store)

Rhinestones (dollar store)

For this craft the Dollar Store (and DeSerres) is your new best friend! The first step is to wrap your present with the Kraft paper. The great thing about the Kraft paper is that it’s really light and easy to fold on the corners. I used  red paint and the sponge brush with the stencil. I used the sponge brush in a circular motion instead of  dabbing it as I find this spreads the paint more evenly. I then used some red ribbon and tied it around the present. I got rhinestone stickers from the dollar store and stuck them on the red ribbon. I used a gingerbread man as a card, I punched a hole in the top of his head (ha, that sounds funny) and tied him on with rafia. The pine was added as a finishing touch along with a pipe cleaner candy cane.

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These little hanging signs were a great find at the Dollar Store. They came in a pack of 4 and I think they’re just perfect to add that finishing touch to a bottle of wine. I simply used the red paint, a sponge brush and some rhinestones and ta da, your hostessing gift just got taken to the next level!

Ornaments

IMG_3302A couple years ago we ran an ornament making workshop at Seasons and we made some really fun ornaments. The snow man was made out of wooden spools of thread, paint, felt and model magic. For his broom we took a a crafting twig and tied some rafia on the end of it. His hat was made out of model magic and we poked a hole through it so that he could be hung from a tree. His arms were made out of pipe cleaners. We used hot glue to stick all the parts together. I think he’s the cutest little snowman there ever was, but I’m a bit biased.

For Mr. & Mrs. Clause we used styrofoam balls that were covered in paper machee. Once the paper machee had dried we painted them and used cotton balls for hair, eyebrows and a beard. We made the glasses out of wire and glued on some googly eyes. The little hats were made out of felt and a pom pom.

If you have any questions about any of the crafts or would like to know about where to purchase some of the materials please feel free to email me at nikki@seasonsfamilycentre.com

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Haunted House Props! DIY

Our annual haunted house is just around the corner and we’re very busy getting ready for it! This year we’ve made a lot of changes to our haunted house which means we needed to create a whole new set of props and sets. We’re going to have a fortune teller, which obviously means we need a fortune teller booth! We bought the “children market stand” from Ikea and transformed it into a glitzy fortune teller booth. This was a straight forward DIY with a lot of painting, gluing and adding sparkles.

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Next on our list was to make some more eerie ghosts for our haunted cave (new this year)! We bought paper mache masks from Michaels. We then painted them white, both the outside and inside of the mask. Once the mask were dry we draped cheese cloth over the mask and then just put a thin layer of podgy  over the cheese cloth (just on the surface of the mask).

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Our last project for this week was making  books. We want to hang the books in our haunted classroom and make them appear as though they are floating. So, yes we could have saved ourselves all the trouble of making the books and used real ones however, they would be too heavy to hang from the ceiling on fishing string. So we put in the extra hours.

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Materials

Cardboard

Black Paint

Hot Glue

Book Covers (can be taken from the internet and printed)

Mod Podge

Exacto Knife

Directions

1) Using an exacto knife cut out a piece of cardboard for your book. The trick is to find a piece that is the length of your book when it is lying open. You can bend the cardboard in the middle to make the spine of the book.

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2) Measure out 3 pieces of cardboard, two pieces are the length of the top and bottom of the book and one is the length of the height of the book. Paint them white or yellow and let them dry. Once dry, using a black pen, draw lines on the pieces (to look like the pages).

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3) Using hot glue, glue your pieces into place.

4) Paint the entire book one colour

5) Print out a  cover for your book and use Podgy to glue it onto the cover of the book.

We also chose to make some of our books open. We used two different methods for this. The first method was with styrofoam and the second we used cardboard. We just played around with this to get the look we were after however, we welcome any suggestions or ideas on how to make open books. Stay tuned for more photos and projects!

Thanksgiving Crafts Workshop!

Join us on Sunday, September 29th for our Thanksgiving Craft Workshop! Learn how to make a beautiful fall centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner, along with other decorative pieces for your table. Sign up today before it’s too late!

When: September 29th, 2013

Time: 1:00 – 3:00pm

Cost: $30 per registrant (adults and children over the age of 5 welcome)

Children under the age of 5: $10 (must be accompanied by an adult)

Register at: info@seasonsfamilycentre.com