Tag Archives: play

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!

20 Great Ideas for Goodie Bags that Inspire Creativity

Goodie bags and kids birthday parties go hand-in-hand. Kids love getting them, but figuring out what to put into them can be challenging, pricey and time-consuming for moms. So we thought we’d share some of our favorite party favors to help you create your own goodie bags with minimal effort and maximum satisfaction for everyone.

Most of these wallet-friendly items can be purchased online at Oriental Trading, or at your local Dollar Tree and Party City stores.  All items are guaranteed to inspire creative thinking and play for children 5-8 years old. We especially love mini treats!

  1. Mini watercolor paint sets – These adorable paint kits require minimal water and are great for travel.
  2. Mini canvases – Kids can use mini paints, pencils or crayons to make professional looking miniature artworks to decorate their rooms.
  3. Mini note pads – Kids will love drawing pictures and keeping track of ideas in their very own note pads.
  4. Novelty pencils – Pencils in different colors, shapes and sizes make fun writing and drawing tools for kids.
  5. Novelty erasers – There’s no end to the variety of erasers available – robots, flowers, footballs, Disney figures and more for kids to make lines disappear.
  6. Pencil sharpeners – As with erasers, novelty erasers are fun and practical.
  7. Washi tapes – Easy-to-tear tapes come in a variety of colors and patterns that kids love to use to decorate pages, note pads, boxes, and more.
  8. Clay – Non-hardening clay sticks in multiple colors provide endless possibilities for creating  3-D artworks.
  9. Wiki Stix These waxy, colorful sticks are loads of fun for making figures, spelling names and so much more.
  10. Crayons – A classic coloring tool for young kids.
  11. Glue sticks – A grown-up art/office supply with lots of creative uses.
  12. Mini tapes or scotch tapes – Kids just love taping things together.
  13. Glitter tattoos – Kids also love a little wearable sparkle.
  14. Novelty rings – Smiley face, super-hero, and googly-eye rings are not just for girls.
  15. Jelly and friendship bracelets – These are especially popular with older kids who enjoy trading, collecting and wearing novelty bracelets.
  16. Bouncing Balls – They come in lots of colors and are a hit with boys and girls alike.
  17. Adhesive moustache – Kids love (and adults) love sporting felt moustaches that come in may colors.
  18. Mini bubbles – Who doesn’t love blowing glistening bubbles into the air?
  19. Classic paper blow outs – Younger children love to make a little noise while watching colorful paper rolls unfurl.
  20. Pom poms – The glittery ones are especially fun!

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

image image image image image image imageimage