Tag Archives: creative development

Let it Snow! Kids Love Making these Glitzy Snowflake Garlands

Kids love making these snowflake garlands to wrap around trees or hang from windows and ceilings. We’ve made hundreds of them at Art Truck events and they are always a hit. You decide the length and number of flakes. Best part? No mess, easy-to find supplies make it a cinch. It’s super easy – here’s how:

Project Duration: 20 minutes to two hours

Supplies

  1. White cardstock (pastel blue or grey are nice, too)
  2. Curly ribbon – we like silver, white and blue.
  3. Glue sticks – try Elmer’s Washable brand.
  4. Gems or sequins from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby or S&S.
  5. Snowflake punch -we love Martha Stewart for great  design and quality.

Assembly

  1. Punch out 10 snowflakes using puncher;
  2. Cut ribbon length at least 2 feet (a little longer is better);
  3. Take one flake, place glue in center;
  4. Leaving 6 inches at top of ribbon strand, place ribbon in center of flake;
  5. Now, turn it over, add a bit of glue to center and “sandwich” another flake on top;
  6. Repeat until you have at least 5 snowflakes on your chain;
  7. Once flakes are on ribbon, adhere gems or sequins to center of flakes with glue.

Hang on or around a favorite tree or anywhere you’d like to add some bling and sparkle.

What is your favorite garland-making craft? We invite you to share your photos, ideas and follow our blog.

Creatively yours,

Maura

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DIY: Add Some Sparkle to Your Thanksgiving Table

Are you looking for a fresh way to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Here is a simple way to create a sparkling tabletop with zero mess. Here at The Art Truck, it’s our experience that children always have a blast using bling to make unique sculptures and your kids will love creating these decorations while you are busy with food preparations. Supplies are super minimal, especially if you already have gourds or mini pumpkins on hand.

Items you’ll need:

  1. Assorted mini pumpkins and gourds (these typically can be found at your local farm stand or supermarket)
  1. Glue Dots
  1. Gems in assorted colors and sizes

Supplies are available at Michael’s craft stores, Walmart and on amazon.

Three easy steps:

  1. Roll out glue dots and place gem on the dot.
  2. Pull dot and gem from paper.
  3. Place gem with glue dot on gourd.

Glitzy Gourd CollageRepeat until your pumpkin or gourd is gem-studded, glitzy and just right!

Then pile your sculptural gems into a bountiful basket of bling for a sparkling centerpiece, scatter them around your table or use them as name card holders.

You can find more project ideas along with news and information on creativity from The Art Truck on our blog.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Maura O’Shea

 

 

 

Creative Play Offers Many Benefits for Children

Creative play is an important part of child development. Through play, kids learn about and experiment with the world around them and learn to understand and express their own thoughts and emotions. Child development researchers have found that play benefits kids in many significant ways.

Pretending helps kids develop their imaginations. Children begin to pretend around the age of 2. When they use an object to represent something else, kids learn about symbolism. They can assume a variety of roles, from superhero to police officer to princess, and experiment with different identities. Kids can also learn to work through issues they are facing in their lives, such as a frightening or confusing situation. For example, kids might role play about a trip to the dentist or practice taking care of a doll to be prepared to help care for a new sibling.

Creative play helps children develop social skills. Toddlers often play side by side with little interaction, but in preschool children begin to play together more. They learn to negotiate, cooperate, and share through play. Play can help children deal with different or confusing emotions and learn how to deal with situations and conflicts appropriately. You can encourage your child’s social development by scheduling play dates with other children and watching how the kids interact with each other.

Play helps kids develop physical skills, such as gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Kids who play are also less likely to be stressed and cranky. You can encourage physical play by setting a good example and engaging in activities at home and outdoors with your child.

Fine motor skills – control of small muscles in the hands, feet, fingers, and toes – can also be developed with creative play. Offer materials and activities that encourage children’s developing fine motor skills such as:

  • child-safe scissors, paints, brushes, markers and crayons
  • string beads, macaroni, rigatoni or wheel-shaped cereal on yarn or shoelaces
  • play dough or clay can be formed into different shapes and items either with hands or by using tools such as scissors or cookie cutters

You can encourage your child to play and think creatively by making a collection of toys and objects available. Kid-friendly versions of objects that adults use, such as dishes and telephones, allow kids to act out adult scenarios. Open-ended objects that can be used for more than one purpose allow kids to think creatively and explore different possibilities. These types of role-playing activities can be done with a single child or with a group of children to offer imagination development and socialization opportunities.

Let your child take the lead during play. You can become involved, but only if your child invites you to do so. Giving your child control and encouragement and showing them the game is interesting and important to you will build your child’s confidence and self-esteem.

Why not plan to come to our Glastonbury Party Studio and Lounge for one of our new Pop-In & Paint or Creativity Club for Tots sessions? Check out our calendar of events for dates and times. As a parent, you can rest assured all of our Art Truck activities focus on helping children work on those critical developmental skills – of course as far as they’re concerned – it’s all just creative fun!