Free-flowing creativity doesn’t need a search engine

I sometimes wonder if the internet actually does the opposite of inspire…especially when it comes to creativity.

We all seem so taken with the internet…don’t know something? Type it into a search engine. Want to be inspired? Check Pinterest (or whatever). Feel like procrastinating? Social media.

But when it comes to actually creating something artistic, frankly, I don’t feel like we need to do any Google searches at all. Especially when it comes to the imagination of children. Let them think up their own thing, and create freely and without the constraints of someone’s preconceived idea. Continue reading

Easy kid-friendly winter decorations

I had this idea last year when we made the bulk of these Perler Beads snowflakes…but I didn’t get a chance to hang them up in the window until this year.

perlersnowflakes1perlersnowflakes2

With the weather wet and brown outside, I like the effect of the blue-ish, hint-of-purple-ish snowflakes, mixed in with others my mother-in-law probably bought at the Dollar Store eons ago…

026If I find a blue-lights-on-a-white string, (not the standard green ones) I may wrap that around the top of the window to embellish the wintery scene…

036A great activity for the kids on a cold and wet day. Add blue ribbon (or white, or silver!) and hang them up wherever you want. The great thing about Perler beads is you can hang them on your outdoor decorations as well…they’re plastic, after all, and won’t get destroyed.

This makes me smile. 🙂

She is constantly drawing. It’s her way of expressing things which, frankly, is much preferable to the high-pitched noises she usually emits during expressions.

She was told in her SK report card to feel encouraged to try sounding out words and write them. She does this often now. I wonder why she thinks it’s ‘fron’ instead of from though…unless she’s mixing up the N and M? I don’t know. I don’t correct her. The point is she writes! And draws! so cute.

Ben too brought home the most fantastic report card. All Es (excellent) and one G (good). The boy I’ve been so challenged with is obviously very well behaved at school…gonna be interesting to hear what his teacher has to say about him.

 

 

Taking care of worms kid-style

We all have heard that worms are good for the soil, good for the compost, good for a bird’s diet…

Did you know that worms make good pets too?

In actual fact, Sonja wanted to care for a bug. I sent her in the garden to look for one but she came back whiny disappointed. So I offered to help her make a worm hotel.

All you need is:

  • a large, empty glass jar (pickle jar will do fine)
  • cheese cloth (or paper towel, or lid with holes in it)
  • soil (don’t buy it, get the kids to dig a shovel into a spot in your garden where no one will notice a bit of a hole)
  • compost or kitchen scraps

Directions:

  • Fill jar with soil, about halfway.
  • Add compost or kitchen scraps. Sonja picked out a sweet potato peel, a top of a strawberry and a squishy grape.
  • Use a stick to push the yummy bits into the soil.
  • Add worm(s). She picks them up with her hands….fine by me, long as I don’t have to touch them…
  • If the soil is on the dry side, add a small amount of water. Take care not to drown the worms.
  • Place cheese cloth on top with elastic (or fasten other top). I don’t know how necessary this is, I’m doing it more for a preventative measure since Sonja is 4 and carries her worm hotel around the house…
  • Enjoy the worm hotel by keeping it in a shady spot, away from direct sunlight.

Bat cookies for Halloween

I needed to bake something for the Pumpkin Carving thing they do at school, and thought I would experiment with the bat cookie cutter we had kicking around.

I just used an everyday kind of simple cookie recipe, but added chocolate powder to darken the dough. Sonja helped to pick out the black sprinkles, and I used red icing from those handy little scribbler tubes to add eyeballs.

End result? Pretty darn cute, er, I mean, scary!

Halloween baked treats

Homemade eyeball decorations for Halloween

Lately, I tend to just want to go spend my pennies at the Dollar store. The thought of making crafts with the kids that requires, you know, thought, and energy to clean up mess, is a tad too much for me right now.

But that hasn’t stopped us, especially remembering the delight these two kids expressed when we crafted spiders and other decorations before.

This year, I had a few leftover items in the Halloween bin I gave the kids to do with what they wanted, as long as it was done outside.

I myself came across some balloons, and made these:

Halloween eyeballs All you need is paint. And every parent has paint in the house…not sure what will happen to my eyeballs when it rains, but for now, they’re eyeballing us happily from our front porch.

Care package for Christmas

Today we made a care package for a family member who is a student at a college far away from here which is the reason why we rarely get to see her. But she’s dropping by on her way from someplace to another place on Christmas day and I thought what the heck, I used to love receiving care packages back in my day!

So I rescued a sturdy box from the recycling bin, covered it with red paper, and had the kids decorate it with stickers and Christmas motives from old wrapping paper.

Then we wrapped the food items like peanut butter, snacking pickles and other similar things in more paper, added colourful ribbons on top, and piled them inside the box.

I commended each kid to go to their Halloween boxes and take out some chocolate (since everyone knows all girls like chocolate, especially students pulling all-nighters). Surprisingly, each one parted with more than one chocolate from their box (although not nearly enough for my liking).

Tomorrow I will supplement the box with some crackers, pasta, jam and maybe a bottle of wine, and her present will be ready.