I have no idea who originally came up with this idea, but I saw it on Facebook, so I just had to share this with all of you! Enjoy!
by Stefanie Slater, Bear Haven Mama Contributor
When I was in grade school I remember the teacher always asked for parents to send in generic brand shaving cream. It did not need to be the fancy kind at all. So what was the reason for it? It was to learn how to write our numbers and letters but in a much cooler and fun way. The only reason I’m reminiscing about old times in school suing shaving cream is because I have heard a few people chatting about how they are using shaving cream at home on a sheet pan to let their child practice writing their numbers and letters.
I remember the benefit of using the shaving cream at school was that it also did make for a very clean and brand new looking desk! It did work wonders….but in the end we were all LEARNING! It is a simple way for your child to learn and they will not get bored with playing in shaving cream. They will ask to do it all the time, and when you have them practice on a sheet tray, you simply throw it in the sink and the mess is gone!
Plus, you can bring out your inner child and take part of the shaving cream festivities! Get creative when teaching your child. Simply writing on a piece of paper may not grab your child’s attention and can result in frustration from not only your child but possibly you as a parent. So head to the store, grab the cheapest shaving cream you can find and make learning fun for your child!
By Stefanie Slater, Bear Haven Mama Contributor
The weather dropping to 12 degrees the other day was not my choice of weather. After living on the east coast in Maryland my entire life, I do look forward to the seasons changing. However, I do prefer Spring, Summer, and Fall. Winter is a fun time though, especially when we get snow. However, there is a mild winter and then there are the days that just get downright bitter cold. Those days started off this week, and all I can say is brrrrr!
The usual routine after my picking up my daughter from school would be to let them burn off some of their energy and play outside. When it is below 20 degrees and having a hat, gloves, and a scarf on with a coat is not keeping you warm…..it is time to head inside. This is one of those day to come up with something fun to do inside.
When I was a child, we put our heads together and would come up with the coolest fort ever! You know what I mean. The couch was involved as well as the closest chair or recliner. After throwing the blanket over the chair and pulling across to stuff between the cushions of the couch, you have a fort. So, a fort is what we make in the living room, and the kids “camp out” eating snacks and watching television. Who said we cannot camp out indoors? We are all for it, well at least the kids are. By the time you put the fort up it is nearly impossible for me to fit under the blanket because of how low it is.
So next time you are out of ideas for indoor play time, get creative and make a fort. Eventually the little ones will get creative on their own and probably make a fort 100 times better than I ever did. Until then, I will stick to my usual layout and hope it stays up!
by Stefanie Slater for Bear Haven Mama’s Tales
December birthday? Are you throwing a birthday bash for your little one and always nervous because you really would like to throw a fabulous party that will stand out for your child? Well during the month of December we usually do expect the snow to start falling. Whether it is a fine snow that falls to the ground slowly or the large fluffy snowflakes that you can grab as they fall…..every little one loves snow! Bring the snow indoors and make it a Winter Wonderland!
Let’s start with the decorations. This is a party that you could really do on a budget. You can visit your local crafts store and really go to town with all of the felt and paper that has sparkles and glitter on it. The holidays bring beautiful products to the stores that sparkle. First craft for your Winter Wonderland party, start creating snowflakes. There are always free patterns online. Marcel’s Kids Crafts has a pattern that is great to use. You can choose the paper or other type of material to create your snowflakes. I really love the white products that you can find with a silver glow to it. To make it even more special you can change-up the snowflake designs.
What does a child like to do in the snow? They love to make snow angels! Go out and buy the fake snow in bulk and set up an area in your home to lay a ton of it. The kids could really have a fun time just playing in the snow. Your snow decorations can also lead into a lot of fun games. You could hide a few things in the snow and the child who finds the most wins a prize!
On the other hand, if you are in an area that already has snow…..well then let the kids play outside! When you create the invitation just say R.S.V.P. and don’t forget your mittens! Either way, if the party is inside or outside, the kids can enjoy themselves with playing in the real or the fake snow.
If you are going to have an Art Themed Birthday Party, why not start out the experience by making invitations? If you have some stamp sets, use cardstock and make some cute invites. If you don’t have a stamp set, you could also decorate the invitations with stencils and stickers. Make sure you note on the invitation for the children to bring an old t-shirt or smock to wear, so that they do not ruin clothing with the art projects you do.
If you have any children’s easels, set them up. Also take some of your child’s recent artwork and hang it around the room like a gallery. Use Art Paper rolls to decorate the table with paint brushes and paints in the middle so that the kids can color the their seating area. If you have young children or do not wish to use paint, you could also put markers and crayons in the center as well. If you have enough room, you will want to set up stations for your various art projects to keep the chaos under control.
Here are some suggested activities for your stations. You probably want between two and four crafts depending on age and attention span. Also save a station area for your food. I will explain that part in a bit.
- Coloring pages: You can print these for free from Crayola.com
- Play-doh Station: Let the kids create using modeling dough by making your own and getting some fun tools or save yourself some time and get a kit like a Clay Play kit from Melissa and Doug.
- Decorate Your Own Door Hanger: It is fun and also doubles as a party favor
- Spin Art: The kids get to spin their own design onto cards.
- Beading: Again, another fun idea that is also a great party favor.
- Sand Art: If you don’t mind the potential mess, this is an activity kids always enjoy
- Paper Plate Crafts: The DLTK’s website has a lot of fun ideas for paper plate crafts from masks to puppets.
- Paper Bag Puppets: Using these templates from DLTK, the kids can make fun puppets to take home.
This is where that extra station will come in handy. The food served is edible art in the form of Decorate Your Own Cupcakes and Sundae Bar
Cupcakes: For this, you need plain cupcakes and whipped topping (like Cool Whip).
Ice Cream: Pick One or two flavors for the kids to use and colorful bowls if available.
Using small cups (think paint cups) to hold the toppings, include fun things like sprinkles, colored sugar, gummy bears, crushed graham crackers, Skittles, crushed candy bars, and M and M’s.
The kids will have a blast creating and eating their “art!”
You can use the artwork the kids made as the treats or fill treat bags with things like play-doh,mini stamp sets, crayons, coloring books, and notepads.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have tried this party, I would love to hear about it!
Last week for Craft Day at my store, we made Pet Rocks. They are pretty easy to make and provide hours of entertainment for your children.
Before you begin, find a small rock for your child. I suggest sanding it to make it smooth and primer it with white paint to make it easier for your child to decorate. Using washable paints, let your child decorate the rock and then give it some eyes with some adhesive googly eyes that you can find at a craft store. Let it dry.
While the rock is drying, you can make a habitat for your pet rock. I suggest a small shoebox or a paper towel tube. We used cardstock to decorate and let the kids color the card stock and decorate it with glitter glue. (We go through a lot of glitter glue at the shop.) When finished, glue the cardstock to the cardboard and let dry.
When all is dry, your child can play with the rock, maybe even make furniture for the pet rock’s home. The whole point of this craft is to encourage imaginative play.
I hope you have fun making this craft, and if you would like to share pictures of your experience, I would love to see them. Here are some from ours:
My son has been asking me lately if we could make slime. So I thought I would post an easy slime recipe using Cornstarch since Borax can aggravate some people’s skin, especially among children.
1 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Water
1 resealable bag
Glitter for color (optional)
Pour Cornstarch into a bowl. Add water slowly while mixing the ingredients with your hands. Add color (optional). Transfer slime in a resealable bag. Store slime in the refrigerator. You may need to mix it each time before using.
*Also remember that you cannot dump slime down the drain because it can clog your drain.
Actually this child’s craft make a great present for Moms, Dads, and Grandparents. I did this one a few years ago for arts and crafts time with the preschoolers from the local mom’s group, and I revisited it again last month at my store.
- Cardstock (8×11 piece)
- Markers, Stickers, Crayons, or something to decorate
- Fingerpaint (or other washable paint)
- Frame (optional)
I am enclosing the poem below. I am not sure who wrote it. I tried to find out online but came up empty. Basically, you use cardstock (8 by 11 piece so you have enough room). Have the child dip his/her hand in paint and put a hand print on the page. Let the child decorate it as he/she would like. You can even put it in a frame for the special recipient. Here is the poem:
Hope your child enjoys making this. My daughter had a lot of fun with this one!