Category Archives: kids

Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children

Engaged and Educated: Affordable Hobby Ideas for Children by guest blogger  Emily Graham  of  Mighty Moms. 

It can be hard to find fun, affordable, and beneficial ways to keep your child engaged. Video games, chat rooms, and cartoons are fun, but they don’t promise much in the way of learning or developing wholesome interests. Consider getting your child started in a hobby that could lead to an abiding interest, an activity that can provide an engaging cognitive challenge and produce a strong sense of accomplishment and self-pride. Sometimes, a hobby can be a heaven-sent means of keeping a young person out of trouble. Whatever the reason for starting one, a hobby can even change a young person’s life for the better. Here are some suggestions.

Starter Kits

If you’re unsure of where to start in your search for a hobby, check online retailers for starter kits and hobby essentials. When you’re operating on a budget, you can save money by doing extensive online research and watching for sales and discounts from retailers like Walmart.

Knitting/Crocheting

This is one of the most affordable and enjoyable hobbies for any child, and it can be a great way for young and old to spend time and learn together. All you need is a crochet hook and some yarn to get started. Look for savings and promo codes from Target as you gather materials. No need to spend money on patterns, many of which can be found for free on the internet. Your child will enjoy making items that can be given as birthday or Christmas gifts to friends and family.

Solve a Puzzle

Puzzles are just the thing to keep a young person occupied and learn problem-solving strategies, particularly through crossword puzzles or Sudoku, collections of which can be purchased for no more than $3. Jigsaw puzzles (which usually run around $20) provide tangible evidence of a child’s skill and determination. Once it’s put together, simply apply a little puzzle glue, mount your child’s handiwork and have it framed as a trophy that will elicit proud memories.

Painting and Drawing

Children love to express themselves creatively by drawing and painting, both of which are excellent ways for youngsters to pass their time. It can be a therapeutic means of self-expression, a medium for working out frustrations and anxieties, and an enjoyable way for a child to develop hand-eye and fine motor skills. And it’s an inexpensive hobby — pencils, brushes, paints, and paper are generally inexpensive materials. Check for daily offers and coupons for stores like Amazon on paint supplies and other items that can help a child get started with a hobby.

Music

Musical ability can open up a new world of creative endeavor for a child. Learning to play an instrument is an excellent hobby that boosts cognitive functioning, improves mathematical abilities, and sharpens motor skills. Finding an instrument at affordable prices can be difficult, so watch for online savings options through websites like Honey.

Experimentation

Most children enjoy hobbies that show them how to create things like “edible glass.” What’s more, all your child requires is vegetable oil, food coloring, salt, and water to create globs of lava that move up and down in a glass beaker. Beginner science is an educational and inexpensive hobby, especially if you can use items that you already have lying around the house.

Hobbies are healthy ways for children to use their time and discover fascinating new worlds of discovery. The best part: They don’t need to be expensive endeavors; indeed, many can be enjoyed for under $20. You never know — you might set your child on a life-changing path.

Thanks to Emily for sharing her ideas!

10 creative ways to celebrate “MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU.”

Guest-blogger, Art Truck Creativity Coach, and mom, Monique Sanders, shares ideas for “MAY the 4th Be With You” celebrations guaranteed to be out of this world.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Star Wars fans started celebrating. Today, fans are celebrating new movie releases and getting ready for the galactic celebration of “MAY the 4th Be With You.”  Meanwhile, here at The Art Truck, we’ve been searching the galaxy for some out of this world arts and crafts to entertain Star Wars fans of all ages.

Build a Droid Robot

1. “These aren’t the Droids your looking for… ” Does your youngling enjoy building robots just like Anakin Skywalker? Well, we love to Party like Robots, too, so contact us if you’d like to throw a droid-building party for your creative young Padawan.

2. Edible art is delicious. Host a DIY cupcake party and have kids make storm trooper helmets using marshmallows and food markers. Or try these adorable Star Wars Character cupcakes from Betty Crocker Website. Simple, tasty and fun! Or contact us to plan your Party like a Cupcake Chef celebration with a Star Wars theme with no stress or mess for you.

3. These pencil holders are adorable, easy to make and useful. The Chewbacca pencil holder is made out of fake fur, felt, googly eyes and a pom pom nose. R2D2 is made entirely out of felt (Blue, Black, Red, Silver and White). So simple!

4. We just love using self-adhesive art supplies during Art Truck parties. So, we’re really excited about peel-and-stick moss. It’s perfect for making this Dagobah inspired magnetic chalkboard. In addition to the moss, I attached used sticks, a wooden peg, felt  and googley eyes to a small wooden magnetic chalkboard. Kids will especially love the adorable mini-Yoda.

 

4. While you have the peel and stick moss out you can create an Ewok frame to remember your favorite moment from your Star Wars celebration.  The materials you will need are: assorted brown buttons, felt for Ewok’s hood, peel n’ stick moss, sticks, rocks, a  wood frame and a glue gun to put it all together.

6. Create your own little Star Wars world in a terrarium inspired by the dessert planet of Tatooine, the forests of Endor or the frozen planet of Hoth. Upcycle glass jars and have kids find materials to fill their worlds.

7. Do you need a Costume for your Star Wars celebration? These Princess Leia and Yoda headbands are super easy to make.
8. Every Jedi needs a lightsaber.  Make your own pool noodle lightsaber with a pool noodle and duct tape. Your young Padawans will love using them during their own Star Wars games.

9. These Jawa Candle Holder with light up eyes are super cute. You’ll need felt, paint, a battery candle, cooking paper and a glass votive candle holder. You can find the instructions at Big Kid Little Kid Web Site.

10. These galaxy tie-dye shirts are out of this world! Materials are simple: a black t-shirt, bleach, a spray bottle, white, purple and blue fabric paint. Just spray the bleach on the shirt and splatter with paint.

In the words of Master Yoda “Do. Or do Not. There is no Try.” We at The Art Truck hope these ideas have inspired you to do something creative during your ‘MAY THE 4th BE WITH YOU’ celebration. May the creative force be with you!

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Bunny Mask

Hip Hop Hooray Easter’s On Its Way

This month, guest blogger, Art Truck Creativity Coach, and mom of two great kids, Monique Sanders, shares creative ideas for celebrating spring, Easter and memorable birthdays. Thanks so much, Monique!

Bunny Mask
Bunny mask created during an Art Truck party.

Spring is my favorite time of year.  The birds start singing, flowers start blooming, the weather starts warming up and Easter arrives filled with the excitement of egg hunts, Easter baskets and get-togethers with family. This year Easter is in April which Thinking just warms my heart because it is when I get to celebrate both of my kids birthdays.  So, at this time of year, I’m always looking for inspiration for spring parties and fun Easter crafts to make the celebrations more springtastic.


Crafty Spring Critters
Sock Bunny CraftA celebration isn’t complete without a cute craft the kids can bring home to remember the fun they had. Kids love spring crafts since they are filled with adorable bunnies, chicks and lambs. These no-sew easy Easter bunnies from AnnsEntitledLife.com are are so cute and simple. All you need is a colorful out-grown sock stuffed with batting or rice and put a ribbon around the neck to make the head. Add an elastic around the top and trim the sock to make the ears and decorate with googly eyes and pom poms.

Since eating hard boiled eggs in our house isn’t an Easter favorite, I’m always looking for some other options for decorating eggs such as cute chicks and animals made out of plastic Easter eggs. One idea is to use fabric or felt and googly eyes to decorate or cover eggs in string, cloth or Washi tape for Easter egg decorations that can be around for years to come.

Egg Bunnies

At The Art Truck we made these simple styrofoam egg-bunnies on a craft sticks to be used as puppets, place cards or  or even plant stakes. Plus, I love the sweet little gift bags which you can fill with  plastic eggs and other holiday treats.


Creative Baskets and Surprising Egg Hunts
Easter Ideas
Some of my fellow Moms are trying to find alternatives to the Easter basket filled with tons of candy. Well you know what they say… April showers bring May flowers. Fill a kids umbrella with some spring time fun such as art supplies, kids gardening tools, bubbles and small outdoor toys or create a themed Easter fill a baseball hat with goodies for a boy who loves the game.

Are your kids tired of the same old egg hunt? Surprise them with a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt and glowing ring toss using glow sticks. Or for another surprise, place clues in the plastic eggs that lead kids to Easter baskets.

Hangin with your Peeps
Marshmallow Peep VaseI never knew you could do so much with marshmallow Peeps! Use bunny Peeps and jelly beans to create edible centerpiece treats.

At The Art Truck we love edible art parties. So let the kids have a cupcake cake party and transform them  into spring time cuteness with marshmallow  bunnies. Instead of a gingerbread house you might find at Christmas time, create a bird house out of graham crackers, frosting, a marshmallow Peep chick, colored coconut for a nest and chocolate eggs.

Marshmallow Peep CupcakeIf you love the idea of having a spring party but don’t want to deal with the mess or stress, The Art Truck offers a wide range of creative parties from painting with Beanie Boos to a Masquerade Party where the kids will love creating personal arts and crafts to take home.

Contact us to find out how we can help you turn your spring celebration into a work of art. Happy spring!

 

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