Preschool Non-Candy Valentines: Twistable Crayons + Free Printable

At my house, we have approximately 17 tons of candy leftover from all of the various holidays. With Valentine’s Day class parties looming, I knew I wanted to do a non-candy treat for the preschooler’s class party. But other than candy, the only other options seem to be plastic tchotchkes, and who needs any more tiny plastic toys?

I opted to do a more practical Valentine’s treat: twistable crayons.

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When checking out the discount store for something else a few weeks ago, I spotted these packs of twistable crayons on the clearance rack for less than $1. For my older guy, these crayons were like currency in Kindergarten. Biggie was also known to trade crayons with his best buddies. They did so much coloring, these Twistables were a fun change. For preschoolers, many of whom can barely hold regular crayons without breaking or dropping them, these packs of twistable crayons seem like such a fun alternative to candy and toys.

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Since the personalized candy bag tag is so hot on the DIY circuit, I knew I wanted to do something along that vein. But, again, these packs of crayons were such a find because creating the Valentine card/tag would be so easy. 

 

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First, I measured the inner label in the crayon pack. I considered making a label that would cover both sides, but knew that would be redundant. I opted to create a tag just for the front. The front label measured about 2.5 x 4, which is just about the same size as a classic valentine’s day card. 

 

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Next, I headed to Picmonkey to create a “pun”ny card to slide over the front label. Since the crayons are all about color, I went with “You brighten my day, Valentine!” And as a play on the twistable crayon, I created a tag that says: “You’re a twist above the rest, Valentine!”

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Since Littles doesn’t write anything other than circles yet, I had big brother help me personalize the crayon packs with some name tags. We punched out red card stock and wrote the kids’ names in silver Sharpie and slipped it into the back. We closed the pack and sealed it with a decorative V-day-themed washi tape. Names are blurred out to protect the innocent <3

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Since my guy’s preschool class is rather small, as in less than 10 kids, buying one of those Valentines class packs with 25 cards would be a waste. So, I’m very happy with the way these crayon packs turned out. Instead of candy or tiny toys, we have crayons that my preschooler’s classmates will (hopefully) use again and again!

Hurray for practical goodies!

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And since Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love, I thought I’d share the tags with you. I grouped the 12 tags together for you to download and print for your personal use. The tags are about 2.5 x 4 in. and would be perfect for a pack of crayons, markers or anything colorful!  p.s. I eyeballed measurements, so the layouts and sizes are wonky. Of course it is…

Enjoy this freebie! If you use this, I’d love to see how your projects turned out. Make sure to Pin or share on IG and tag me! I’m jenrab on all social media outlets.

Creative Galaxy Inspires a World of Imagination + Glow in the Dark Rocket Ship Craft


If the world is our oyster, then the galaxy is most certainly our canvas.

As a creative person who’s constantly creating, whether plotting projects in my head or in real time, I appreciate it when books and shows encourage the same thing for my boys.  The new original animated series, Creative Galaxy, featured on Amazon Prime Instant Video is an example of a show that gets our artistic juices flowing.

 

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In a galaxy far away, aliens co-exist and create art every day and solve problems by harnessing their imagination and creativity. The main character, Arty, is an inquisitive young alien who often asks questions to his audience. Creative Galaxy may have a familiar format and feel because it’s the product of children’s programming veteran Angela Santomero, the brains behind PBS Kids’ Daniel Tiger, Emmy-nominated Super Why and the classic kid’s favorite, Blue’s Clues. 

Each episode of Creative Galaxy begins with a problem that must be fixed with art.  To fix the problem at hand, Arty makes his way around Creative Galaxy and gathers items for his idea box. Arty tackles problems with his shape-shifting sidekick, Epiphany and friends along the way like Jackson, Shift, Seraphina and Gallaria. 

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Jason Priestly and Angela Santomero at the Creative Galaxy Launch. Source: Zimbio

Creative Galaxy boasts colorful imagery and fun, yet relatable story lines. Familiar voices lend their talent to round out the show: Cloris Leachman is Galleria, Brooke Shields is Seraphina and Jason Priestly is Sketch. 90210 fans will appreciate Sketch’s coy greeting: what brings you to my zip code? 

The show encourages art with a variety of mediums covered throughout: painting, crayon, drawing, paper—even glitter.  According to Amazon, this series is designed to support a child’s natural inclination to use their imaginations, make and create. Art is everywhere, as examined by Creative Galaxy; we are always surrounded by art, and ultimately, art is an important resource is our day to day life.

Geared to preschoolers, this show really struck a chord with my 2.5 year old, as well as my seven year old. Already a super fan of Amazon Studio’s Tumble Leaf, it took my two year old a few episodes to really appreciate Arty’s adventures.  Once he did though, he was really engaged into Arty’s projects.

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Though my older son is beyond these types of shows, I did find him getting into Arty’s adventures just as well as the two year old. Creative Galaxy makes kids feel as though they’re making art alongside of Arty and the kids featured on the show. As for my seven year old, he appreciates the real kids doing craft projects in between, which prompted us to do our own. More on that below!  I love the true educational content throughout the show. Creative Galaxy has a knack for implementing real artists such as Kandinsky and parlaying it into a relatable activity within the show, gives art appreciation a new meaning as a parent. I appreciate the different dimensions of this show. From the fresh-faced characters to the artwork created by real kids in between segments to the fun songs wrapping up story lines… “shapes and lines make everything,” Creative Galaxy is undoubtedly another intergalactic hit for Amazon Kids and Angela Santomero.

 

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As a diehard Amazon Prime Instant Video fan, I absolutely love the depth of kid’ shows that are now available on this streaming service.  Amazon made a smart move by tapping the best in the business when creating children’s programming.  Dr. Alice Wilder, another one of my idols, is the Educational Advisor for Amazon Studios and is also one of the executive producers for Creative Galaxy.  Dr. Wilder is responsible for developing the Amazon Originals curriculum for kids and is helping implement Amazon’s educational point of view into the development of new series. If my kids are going to be watching kid shows, I love knowing that educational professionals like Dr. Wilder are at the helm, helping to craft Amazon Originals’ curriculum for kids.

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It Iooks like I’m not alone in loving Amazon Prime Instant Video’s Creative Galaxy. Common Sense Media gives this new show four out of five stars. “The stories incorporate valuable prereading skills such as patterns, color identification, and counting in fun ways, and its interactive format encourages kids to consider how they might handle challenges such as the ones that Arty faces.”

 

 And because crafts and tactile activities go hand in hand with fabulous shows like Creative Galaxy, here’s a craft we had fun creating.

Glow in the Dark Rocket Ship Craft

From this creative show, we were inspired to do our own craft à la Arty and Creative Galaxy. Because my seven year old is much better at structured crafts than my 2 year old, he served as my crafting companion. But truly, this craft can be done with toddlers up to grade schoolers. 

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We used two pie tins, some glow sticks and Play Doh to create a simple Glow in the Dark Rocketship. 

IMG 1661IMG 1663We punched holes in the pie ties with hole punchers.  We used two different size hole punchers, and I’m sure you can use a variety of shapes. We did the sides, but we’ll probably do more on our next version.

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I then strung some baker’s twine between the two pans to create a way to suspend the flying saucer. Before sealing our rocket ship we ignited our glow sticks. You can use any lightweight illuminating device, as long as it’ll fit in the pie tins.

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Once the glow sticks are lit up, you can seal the tins with modge podge and pinch the lips of the two tins together. As the glue is drying, you can create your alien who will be flying the saucer. IMG 1689

 

Have your child envision the torso and head of the alien, which will sit atop of the flying saucer.  Once the alien is sculpted with the Play Doh, secure the figure onto of the tin. Ideally, wait until the glue dries before placing the figure on top. Modge Podge usually takes a few hours to dry. 

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Place the plastic cup over the alien, which will serve as the bubble for the flying saucer.  Love my technical terms? To secure the cup, use Modge Podge along the lip of the cup and then center it over the alien.  After everything is dry, decorate your flying saucer as you wish.

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The more colors, the better!  Since glow sticks only last a few hours, it’s fun to make this craft in the afternoon so you can use the Glow in the Dark Rocket Ship as a night light.  Use the twine to create a suspension device to hang from the ceiling!

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This craft hones in on fine motor skills and can serve as a conversation piece to bridge Creative Galaxy to some tactile play and creation. From this craft, parents can engage in conversation on stars, as well as light and dark.

 

As Arty and friends remind us: go and be amazing! That’s a pretty perfect catch phrase if I ever heard one!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Kidz Vuz Holiday House Party Highlights

A couple of weeks ago, Biggie and I had a much-needed mom and J day.  But it wasn’t just a regular day out, it was a day well spent getting our hands on some of the best gear for tweens.

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Though J is a few years away from the official tween stage, we were in great company at the Kidz Vuz Holiday Party.  In case you’re not familiar, Kidz Vuz is a safe online hub where tweens gather to dish and disseminate their thoughts on any and everything, including the latest gadgets and gear.

The Kidz Vuz Holiday Party, held at Gary’s Loft just footsteps away from the hustle and bustle of Herald’s Square, was abuzz with a slew of tween-appropriate goodies.  From tablets to gaming consoles to books to broadway, The Kidz Vuz House Holiday Party had everyone covered.

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Here are some highlights of the wonderful day we had at the House Party of the season:

Samsung

Samsung was front and center showcasing their Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 7.0.  Just as the name suggests, this 7 inch tablet is geared to kids and packs a punch in a colorful little package.  Heavy on the parental controls, this wi-fi enabled tablet allows kids a safer, yet simple interface.  There’s also a standard mode so parents can use the tablet as a fully functioning tablet.

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I didn’t get that much time with this cool device, but I was quite impressed with this kid-friendly tablet.  My only reluctance about this device is the yellow and orange, which, for us, wouldn’t be as appealing in a year.  At just six years old, my older son is already turned off by electronics or “babyish” devices.  We’ll group him into the spoiled Apple generation.

Nintendo
We didn’t spend much time at the Nintendo Lounge, but it was quite the hotbed for the tweens and teens, which meant the target audience was satisfied.  We did, however, have a chance to check out a few of the Nintendo DS games, which were fun.  Unfortunately, we’re not a big DS family since we mostly co-play on our XBox and PS3 and J prefers the iPad to a DS.  Nevertheless, I always enjoy Nintendo’s expansive offerings on their various platforms.

Spinmaster

J spent almost the entire afternoon at Spinmaster’s nook.  He was immediately drawn to the Tenkai Knights building sets.  Along with several other dudes, J built creation after creation until he could build no more.  Untitled
We are longtime Spinmaster fans, so we have been testing out the other toys they had on display.  I loved seeing how my favorites, Kawaii Krush and Zoomer, were well-loved.  Tenkai Knights have firm placement on our Christmas list.

Hasbro

Hasbro, another longtime favorite of ours, had several fun toys for the kids to explore.  The most popular of the Hasbro corner, though, was definitely the Rebelle shooting range. This fun extension of Nerf includes the Heartbreaker, Guardian, Sweet Revenge and Pink Cross.

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À la Katniss from Hunger Games, the Rebelle Heartbreaker underscores the popularity of archery, especially for our fearless females.  Make no mistake though, plenty of boys were giving the gear a spin for themselves.

The Furby Boom, which is looking like a hot item this holiday season, was also a featured product from Hasbro.  This new take on the quirky character is interactive via an app, is responsive and loves to dance.  This latest iteration of Furby is much more vibrant (if that’s even possible) and has more flair than ever.

Downtown Bookworks

This fun children’s publishing company had a selection of superhero books that made quite an impression on us.  With board books featuring DC Superheroes, such as: DC Superheroes, ABC 123 and My First Batman Book, this publisher has numerous titles that would make our littlest superhero fan stand proud.
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But it was The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook that kept my biggest superhero fan completely engaged. I love that this book combines two of our loves: superheroes and cooking.  The Downtown Bookworks table let the kids decorate their own superhero cookies with a stencil.  J made his own Flash cookie, which we devoured on the bus on the way home. By the way? This Wonder Woman apron was EVERYTHING!

Green Mustache Smoothies

One of my favorites of the day was Green Mustache Smoothies.  Created by a mom of a picky kid, these smoothies are made with a full serving of greens and fruits.  It’s non-GMO, organic and tastes amazing.  My younger guy is showing picky tendencies or textural issues, but he absolutely LOVED these smoothies.
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We normally buy another brand of smoothies, but after tasting these, we are sold.  In fact, I’m headed out today to pick up a few flavors at our closest store, which is 20 miles away.  I will be dropping off an info sheet at my local organic store, in hopes they pick this product up.

Chloe’s Fruit

Chloe’s Fruit was another delicious treat, this time featuring frozen fruit.  With quite a few flavors to choose from, I can see myself choosing this delicious treat over Tasti d-lite anyway.

The Lamp NYC

The Lamp NYC is an organization described by NYCcharities.org as an organization that educates and equips people to shape the media landscape through hands-on training.  The Lamp NYC teaches young, impressionable minds about news, reporting, commercials, digital media and more.  The purpose of this charity is to immerse kids head-on with the different types of media that shapes our ever-evolving informational landscape.  I love the purpose and meaning of this charity, and it’s one that I hope to get my kids involved in, when the time is right.

Kids’ Night on Broadway

Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place on Feb. 24- March 2.  For this program, kids 6-18 see a Broadway show for free with a full-paying adult.  Tickets go on sale on January 8th for this fabulous experience that gives kids a taste of culture as well as a peek behind the scenes during a fan festival.  This is definitely something I’m hoping we can take part in, so I’ll be penciling in the dates now!

Stonefire Flatbreads

Lunch was catered in part by Stonefire Flatbreads.  J and I ate some delicious sandwiches made with these amazing breads.  These are the fluffiest flatbreads and pitas I’d ever tasted.  Seriously, so fluffy and filling!  A big thanks to Stonefire for introducing me to a new family staple.

Homewood Suites

One of our absolute favorite places to stay when we’re on the road is most definitely Homewood Suites.  In fact, during Hurricane Sandy last year, we had a family member who was staying at a local Homewood Suites and we had the opportunity to stay there for a week.  We had the chance to experience the great complimentary weekday meals, fabulous indoor pool and impeccable service.  Whether traveling for business or with family on vacation, we personally seek out the comfort and convenience of establishments such as Homewood Suites.

Dermalogica

I had the opportunity to get my face mapped while at the Kidz Vuz House Party.  The well-versed aesthetician told me things about my skin that I had no idea about, such as I could still have acne prone skin and it still be dehydrated.  I also learned a bit about the Dermalogica’s teen line, which is more concentrated for problem skin that is often brought about during those hormonal teenage years.

Justin Case

Kidz Vuz had a lovely raffle going towards Lamp, which I was more than happy to make a contribution.  As luck would have it, I won a fabulous Justin Case Rechargeable Power Case from Innovative Technologies, which is a back up battery and iPad case all in one.  I read all about it on NYTimes.com, so I’m quite excited about this win!

A big thank you and congrats to my friends Rebecca and Nancy of Kidz Vuz.  I attend a lot of events throughout the year, and this was, by far, one of the most well-organized and informative events where my kid and I both came away with a lot of great information and fun goodies to boot.

Full disclosure:  I was not compensated, although I did receive a generous swag bag from the event.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Mondo DuckTales Posters are Throwback Awesomeness

If you were a kid of the 90s, or knew someone that was, then perhaps the classic Disney cartoon DuckTales has some significance.  My younger brother who is 6 years younger than me, watched a whole different set of shows as a kid, including DuckTales, that crazy cartoon about Scrooge and those mischievous nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie.  My brother watched that show for years, and until recently, I haven’t thought about those fun characters.

On the heels of the newly released DuckTales: Remastered video game, Disney.com’s blog Oh My Disney collaborated with pop-culture art gallery Mondo to create a limited edition DuckTales poster series.

Even though my kids don’t know who these guys are, I’m tempted to buy a few of them for their playroom.  So fun!  Check out MondoTees.com to snatch these posters up.

Welcoming the Season with Spring-inspired Crafts

Spring is well underway, and it’s finally starting to get warmer here in NJ. I just noticed my tulips and peonies are starting to emerge. It’s been a long, cold winter, so we’re all excited to see the landscape and outdoor color scheme transition from gray to lush, green and bold.

With that in mind, my boy and I have been crafting every chance we get during Spring Break. When we weren’t out playing or visiting family, we’ve been busy cutting, ModPodging and thinking of spring-inspired crafts. So, I thought I’d share a few that we found and enjoyed, much thanks to Pinterest.

First of all, a few weeks ago I scored a crafter’s delight at our local TJ Maxx. I scooped up a few containers of Mod Podge, a variety of baker’s twine and a cool date stamper—all for under $20. Not bad, considering a large container of Mod Podge can run you close to $10. I’ve had my large container of Mod Podge for 5 years, and I craft with the kid a lot! So, be on the look out at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods for crafting supplies.

Biggie has been inspired by the timely activities they do at school. So, to build on this conversation at home, I let him go to town with construction paper, crayons and scissors. From that, he created these imaginative spring objects. I especially love the bee and tree—they’re crazy-looking, but so fun.

The tree he created, we actually spotted on Pinterest. The craft originally found on

CrazyMommy’s site was intended to be a flower with hand cutouts as the petals. J made it a tree and made his handprints into the leaves. It originally had 4 handprints, but it looks like we lost one along the way. I love the way he decorated the trunk; I had a hand with the heart :)

This morning, we did a spring-colored decoupaged jar this morning, which I’ll share the results later.

And here’s our current work in progress:

As this guy dries, we’re off to enjoy this amazing day at the zoo!

Pinterest President’s Day Activities

Like many grade-schoolers, my Trans-Kindergartner has off today for Presidents’ Day. Today was one of the few days off that didn’t get taken away because of snow/Sandy make up days. With that said, we plan to do a few activities in honor of our Presidents.

Even though he’s come home telling me stories about our presidents every day for the past few weeks, I have to really wonder if my 5-year-old is actually absorbing the lessons he’s being taught. And because I’m big on enrichment activities at home to continue the conversations started at school, I love referring to PInterest. Like so many others, Pinterest is an invaluable resource for non-teacher parents. So, while many of you are pinning recipes and fabulous crafts, (I do that too), I’m usually pinning grade-appropriate lessons for my kids.

So here are just a few President’s Day activities that I have bookmarked for our day today.

This is a link to a collection of President’s Day activities.  I like that it includes past presidents like Washington and Lincoln, but it also includes an activity featuring our current presidents.  I haven’t seen too many of those, which, to me, makes it worth the $5.00 fee. Source: Teacher’s Notebook

Source: teachersnotebook.com via Jen on Pinterest

This is a fun-looking sight reading book, but this features Washington, making it timely for today’s holiday.  The word, “he” looks like the main word, so it’s perfect for early readers.  This activity book is $.90.  Source:  Teachers Pay Teachers via Maria Manore.

Source: teacherspayteachers.com via Jen on Pinterest

This will be the main activity for us while the baby naps later today.  Biggie is all about these mini books because he gets to color, cut and construct.  Best part? It’s free, well other than the ink and supplies.  Thank you, Ready, Set Read for this wonderful, free resource!

Are we following each other on Pinterest? Find me at jenrab on Pinterest!

Savoring Sweet Suite 2012

What do you get when you mix toys, Times Square, tons of treats and girl time?  Well, that would be Sweet Suite 2012, which preceded BlogHer in NYC.  Hosted by The Big Toy Book, the third installation of this hot ticket party was held at the Lodge in the Viacom Building, home to MTV and Nickelodeon—the sweetest venue yet.
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Sweet Suite wasn’t all fun and games, it was about socializing and seeing many of my blogging friends, some of whom I only get to see once a year.  But as for the fun and games? Yeah, The Big Toy Book assembled some of the best names in toys, books and games.

Of all the fabulous brands at the event, here’s just a sampling of the goodies that caught my eye:

LeapFrog LapPad 2
Unfortunately, I missed LeapFrog’s holiday preview because baby was in the hospital. So, it was fun getting a good look at the LeapPad 2, LeapFrog’s hard-to-get tablet.

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Among the many fun features, I particularly loved that the LeapPad 2 has a faster processor, more memory, as well as front and back cameras. Mark my words, this WILL sell out again for the holidays. If you see it and need it, I’d suggest you buy it. It’s highly rated and constantly in demand!

Alex Toys
I’ve been a long-time admirer of Alex Toys, specifically their craft and activity sets.  While their little hands line of puzzles  and arts and crafts will be on our Christmas list this year, I had SUCH a blast crafting at their table.
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I made a few bracelets, headbands and necklaces.  Their area was the most crowded because of all the fun happenings.  I even spotted Jill of Scary Mommy fame in the mix! I love me some Jill!

XBox Kinect
As a family who games together, Xbox has been on our ongoing want list. We already own two video game consoles, but have been waiting for just the right time to invest in the Kinect.  We already know all about the Xbox’s fun family factor, and how everyone can join in the fun without having to pick up a controller.  Since we’ve been eyeing and studying the system as far back as when it was still referred to Project Natal, I’ve enjoyed seeing their lineup of games and console features grow.  And as huge Sesame Street fans and supporters, I loved hearing that they’re introducing 2-way TV experiences with Sesame Street and National Geographic.  I’m thinking our time is near!

Charm It

Charm It by High Intencity was, by far, one of my favorites.  These cute charm bracelets lured me in with nostalgia and their collectibility.
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Ideal for the tween set, these charm bracelets are fun and funky. Browsing at all the adorable Kawaii-looking charms, channeled my inner girlie girl and reminded me of the plastic charm necklaces we used to collect in grade school.  I miss my roller skate charm with that tiny bell.  I can’t wait to check out even more of these charms at The Gap and Nordstrom.

But beyond checking out fabulous toys and games, the highlight was definitely sitting down with the girls and chatting over Pinkberry.  I may have had two servings because it was so delicious but, hey, life is too short not to savor the sweets.

Royal Wedding Fever

Despite the excessive media coverage of Will and Kate’s nuptials, it was hard not to ignore the elaborate details that came together for the whole world to see.  I originally had this post scheduled to post yesterday—before the wedding.  Obviously, that never happened.  And since the wedding happened today, I thought I’d share a few kid-related items that gave a nod to Prince William and the now Princess Kate’s Royal Wedding.

Kate Middleton Paper Dolls

As a little girl, I can barely remember Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ Royal Wedding, but what I do remember was THAT dress.  And perhaps, just like many of us thought of Will’s beloved mother in her gown 30 years ago, I’m willing to bet a generation of little kids will forever remember just how beautiful Princess Kate’s dress was today.

Princess Kate’s dress was a secret leading up to the moment she stepped out onto that Royal red carpet.  The Wedding watchers of the world let out a collective gasp when she revealed that lace and satin gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. I thought she looked demure and elegant, with the classic lines and modern details.  As one of the many people gawking at Kate’s dress, to get kids on the dress action, I particularly love Disney Family Fun’s paper dolls that you can print out online.  It’s basically the Disney princesses’ dresses with a brunette Princess that looks somewhat like Kate. Grab the glitter pen, crayon and help the kids create their versions of Princess Kate’s wedding dress.  If only there was a Wills Paper Doll to go along with Kate!



Lego Royal Wedding

Speaking of Wills…have I ever mentioned how much I love when people create Lego Art?  Or my love of Lego Mini Figures?  Check out the creativity of this Lego Royal Wedding featured over on BBC.  My favorite is I Thee Wed, although the real church scenes were much more romantic!  Be sure to check out the rest of the scenes!

Playmobil Special Correspondent

Playmobil has been cracking me up over on their FB page. They’ve had “Sarah” as a special correspondent covering the Royal Wedding all week.  Hilarious!

Crafts Go Green: Eco-friendly Art Supplies for Kids

Crafts are a fun family activity, and one that we love doing outside on our deck.  When we’re painting and doing messy crafts outside, the little artist’s canvas seems limitless, and thankfully, cleanup time is much easier—or so it seems.

Many of my favorite eco-friendly crafts are of the DIY variety.  The kid and I are fans of repurposing old household items and painting scraps of wood from our ongoing remodel.  Even better than recycling the medium is making your own tools.  Aside from DIY crafts, there’s a myriad of eco-friendly and kid-friendly art supplies that make craft time safe and colorful.

Here are just a few of my faves:

Glob Arts and Crafts Paints

Glob Art & Crafts Paints are botanically-based paints that also have fruity scents. These paints are colored naturally with pigments from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices with natural food-grade ingredients. I love the Glob paints that come in packets; all you do is add water when you’re ready. Whether you and the kids are more watercolor painters or gauche painters, you add water and can determine the desired consistency. Glob also comes in Easy Shake jars, paint sets and other kits.

The color palette that’s offered is pretty basic, but after mixing and matching the paints, the spectrum of colors is seemingly endless. Glob can be used for paints, as well as for coloring DIY play dough, coloring eggs and more.

P’kolino

P’kolino, the makers of gorgeous modern children’s furniture and toys, also have a great line of art supplies.  Through a collaboration with Jovi, P’kolino offers kid-friendly, non-toxic art supplies that includes, Triangle crayons, fingerpaints, markers, colored pencils, dough, creative dough and poster paints.  P’kolino recently introduced their new line of art supplies which are inspired by famed Pop Artist, Romero Britto.  And a coloring book inspired by Romeo Britto?  Yes, please.  The sustainability, bold colors, combined with the modern influence of P’kolino’s products make these art supplies ones to check out.

Stubby Pencil Art Studio

Stubby Pencil Art Studio is the mecca for eco-friendly art and school supplies. This online shop has a plethora of kid crafts and a great selection of supplies that are non-toxic, recycled, fair trade, educational, sustainable or environmentally responsible. I love perusing all of the different crafts and unique supplies, many of which you’d be hard pressed to find at your local big box craft store. Of all the green crafting goodness, however, I’d have to say my personal favorites are the cupcake crayons (!) and the colored Smencils. Ideal for birthday party gifts, the colorful, hand-poured cupcake crayons come in a 4-pack and are made of soy. The Smencils are made from 100% recycled newspaper, sharpen just like wood pencils, and have delicious scents like watermelon, bubble gum and cotton candy!

Gag-Worthy and Gross: Dino Poop and Dr. Dreadful

Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone.  I’m not one for pulling pranks, but I do enjoy laughing at clever gags—from a distance.

For April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d spotlight a few new toys that are sure to elicit a few gags and giggles for those who appreciate the gross factor.  And yes, these are real toys!

Dino Poop

Uncle Milton has a great lineup of new Dinosaur Train toys, but one that definitely caught my eye is Dino Poop.  This pliable dough that looks like, well, poop, lets kids discover what a dino had for lunch.

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