B.Inspired MAMA

B.Inspired by clever products, crafty projects, and creative parenting!

Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

Wordless Wednesday: Square Lunch

Posted by Krissy on June 17, 2009

Square Lunch

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Six Stellar Sticker Activities

Posted by Krissy on June 16, 2009

Most toddlers are fascinated with stickers, and my Sawyer is no exception.  Every time I see a pack on sale, I grab it for our overflowing sticker collection.  Stickers provide an easy go-to activity for every busy mom; just give your little one a piece of paper and sheet of stickers and get their lunch prepared or the floor mopped without fuss.  But there are so many more things you can do with stickers to make them even more fun and creative.  Here are six ideas to take sticker-fun above and beyond that plain old piece of paper!

 

1.  Create Lines & Patterns

Help your little one build fine motor skills and even early math skills by encouraging them to place their stickers in lines and patterns.  Start by drawing or having them draw one long line on the paper and show them how to place their stickers in a row covering the snaking line.  Show them how to create a pattern along the line (i.e. one Elmo, then one Big Bird, then one Elmo sticker, and so on).  But be careful not to hinder their creative fun by forcing them to stay on the line or with the pattern if they really aren’t into it. 

5.  Start with a Background

Instead of just handing your little one a blank piece of paper every time (not that it’s a bad idea once in awhile), give her a background to start with.  Use a sheet from a coloring book or a page from a magazine.  Have her draw something first.  Or if you’re really feeling ambitious, draw the background yourself.  My son’s favorite is when I draw him a winding road or choo choo tracks for his car, truck or train stickers.  But try playing up the silly factor by pairing backgrounds with unlikely stickers, like sea life stickers on an outserspace scene.

3.  Create a Reward Chart

Stickers are a great reward for good behavior.  Let your little one see her accomplishments add up by adding her stickers to a reward chart.  You can start with just a blank sheet of paper, a self-drawn design (of course, our design of choice is always the road and train tracks), or even design and print off a free chart from ChoreCharts.com.

4.  Decorate Cards & Gifts

Let your little ones in on the gift-giving by having them decorate cards and gift-wrapping with stickers.  Use inexpensive blank notecards, plain gift bags, or even recycle paper grocery bags for wrapping paper.  Match the stickers to the interests of the gift recipient for a personal touch. 

We used stickers to transform this wipes container into a potty training reward treasure box.

We used stickers to transform this wipes container into a potty training reward treasure box.

5.  Decorate 3-D Objects

You don’t always have to think flat when it comes to stickers.  With just a few fun stickers, recycled wipes boxes become magical treasure chests and empty plastic water bottles become dazzling vases.  The sky’s the limit!

6.  Make Your Own

Give your little one some markers or crayons and a sheet of plain white labels to easily create their own stickers.  Or cut their already made creations into smaller shapes and run them through a sticker maker.  Just don’t waste time and money on those poor quality kids sticker making kits.  Invest in a Xyron Sticker Machine(which can be found with the scrapbooking supplies and actually costs about the same amount anyway) so you can use it for your arts and crafts, too!

Leave a comment and let us know what your little one’s favorite sticker activities are!

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B.Inspired by Wendy: Scrapbook Designer & Creative Mama of 8

Posted by Krissy on June 8, 2009

One thing’s for sure: being a creative mama is hard work!  No mama knows that better than my friend, scrapbook designer and mama of 8, Wendy.  I know that I could probably learn a thing or two from her.  And I’m totally inspired by her ability to juggle her creative endeavors while raising such a wonderful bunch!  So, let’s hear from her how she handles it all.  Read on and B.Inspired by Wendy of Busy Mama Designs.

We Are Family Scrapbooking Kit

Q: Tell us about yourself and your family.

A: I am a Christian SAHM of 8 wonderful kids! Aaron-22 Autumn-17, Josiah-16, Jordan-14, Rebah-12, Ryan-4, Vanita-3 and Volesya-1 year. The Lord has blessed us to be able to homeschool them. I have been married to the most wonderful husband and father I could ever dream of, Dan, for 23 years. We are dairy farmers in beautiful Lancaster County, PA, home of the Amish.
I have always enjoyed all kinds of crafts but shortly after our oldest was born, I was introduced to traditional scrapbooking. I totally fell in love with it and began working on pages a little at a time. As time went on I started to love all kinds of paper crafting and also developed a love of computers. It was only naturalto get involved in digital scrapbooking and that has developed into designing. I just started designing my own kits in December and I am totally loving it. I have been accepted into Faith Sisters, a digital and hybrid scrapbooking store as a designer. I am so excited about this new journey. You can see some of my designs here.

Q: What inspires you?

A: First off, my family. It seems one of them are always into something new, whether it is a new book or some new music video or game. I love to look at other designers and get inspiration from them. I also just love to look in magazines, books, even advertisements to stores for some of the latest color palettes and designs.
Q: How do you nurture your own creativity?

A: I have found over the years that if a few days go by and I am not able to do some sort of designing or crafting I just NEED to sit and work on something. So, I have made it a priority for me to have time, maybe not a big chunk but many little slivers of time, to just sit and create. Or I will just take a few minutes and look at some of the latest styles or colors.

Q: How do you inspire creativity in your children?

A: I have always encouraged them to try something new. Someone will never know if they are the next greatest artist if they don’t first pick up a paintbrush or pencil. With us homeschooling, I have had the opportunity to help them learn many different crafts, and use many different mediums. They have all gotten to see what they like and don’t like. In our family we have some that love to do anything art related. Others don’t care for art in form of paper, paints, or pencils, but would rather build something, or make music. But, all of them are creating in some way. 

Q: What is your favorite creative project or activity that you do or have done with your children?

A: We have worked on scrapbook pages together, worked on learning musical instruments, love to work in the garden, but like to put it together in a creative way, not just straight rows. We also have done lots of drawing, painting, woodworking stuff.

Q:  What is your favorite creative product that you use or have used with your children?

A: I think we enjoy paper crafts the most, whether it’s cards, making boxes, scrapbook pages, or just coloring.

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Target Sponsors Free Nationwide Museum Admission

Posted by Krissy on May 28, 2009

Photo courtesy of Please Touch Museum.

Photo courtesy of Please Touch Museum.

Don’t cancel those arts and cultural activities just because we’re in an economic recession!  As part of their charitable giving program, Target brings arts education to the masses by sponsoring select free and discounted events at museums nationwide.  I can’t wait to take advantage of the Target First Wednesdays at the Please Touch Museum in nearby Philly.  Check out Target’s site to find a participating location near you!

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Five Simple Ways to Cultivate Creativity in Your Child

Posted by Krissy on May 22, 2009

Inspiring and nurturing creativity in your little one doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming.  It just takes a little thought and attention on your part.  Here are five simple ways to cultivate your child’s creative side today.

1.  Follow Her Lead

Remember: kids are naturally creative.  Creative play doesn’t need to be dictated to them.  So when your little one offers you pretend pizza on her play dishes, gobble it down with enthusiasm!

2.  Ask Inquiring & Open-Ended Questions

Whether during imaginative play or a scribble-fest, ask questions related to your activity that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”  After you gobble down the pizza, tell her it was yummy and ask what great ingredients she used.  You might be surprised where her crazy answers will take you next!

3.  Provide Simple “Tools”

We’ve all been there: we go out and spend way too much money on the latest, greatest “educational” toy just to have our child play with the box it came in!  So save your money and rethink your definition of “toy.”  Go ahead and let your little one play with your pots and pans.  They just might turn into perfect nesting blocks, clanging instruments, or a helmet for a robot!

4.  Give Her Space

Don’t get me wrong; developing kids definitely need quality interaction with caring adults.  But leave them to their own devices for some (supervised) alone time while you take a break or catch up on housework, and you might be really surprised at the creative stories, imaginative play, and silly songs you hear!

5.  Redefine “Creativity”

The most creative kid isn’t always the one who can create the most realistic stick-figure family portrait in her preschool class.  Rethink what it means to be truly creative.  Every out-of-pitch tune or unrecognizable scribble is important in your child’s creative development.  So quit striving for perfection and celebrate their effort!

Photo courtesy of Ned Horton

Photo courtesy of Ned Horton

For further reading and research on creativity in children, check out the following great articles:

The No Push Method for Developing Creativity

Creativity Belongs to Children

Creativity in Young Children

Creative Play Makes for Kids in Control

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B.Inspired to Inspire Creativity in Your Child

Posted by Krissy on May 21, 2009

“Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Pablo Picasso

Photo courtesy of Flávio Takemoto at http://www.flavio.pro.br

Photo courtesy of Flávio Takemoto at http://www.flavio.pro.br

As a former art teacher, this is the quote that best demonstrates my philosophy of art education.  I truly believe that every person has an inherent creative force.  And I believe that it is (or was) my job as an art teacher to nurture that creative force in each of my students.

Now as a full-time mother, I am starting to see that creative force, full force, in my 2 year old son, Sawyer.  It greets me everyday in his imaginative play, nonsensical stories, goofy new lyrics to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and finger-painted masterpieces.  The creativity just oozes out of him, with seemingly little assistance from his father or I.  And after more thought, I realize that we do play a vital role in his crazy creative energy.  It’s not just his elementary art teacher’s job to nurture that creativity (when he goes to school in 3 years.)  Without proper attention, the excitement and innovation might fade by then.  It is our responsibility as parents to tend to it now, while it’s so prolific and pure! 

So I’ve made a promise to myself and most importantly to my children to make their creative energy a parenting priority.  Everyday I will post about clever products, crafty projects, and creative parenting tips and tricks.  So, please, join me in my journey, and “B.Inspired” to inspire creativity in your little ones!

When do you see your children’s natural creativity?  What creative activities do they most enjoy?

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