Tag Archives: crafts

4 Pretend Play Ideas for Rainy Days

11 Aug

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Rainy days can be boring for children, and keeping them occupied when it’s raining can be a challenge. However, indoor pretend play is a great way to keep your child engaged on gloomy days. Pretend play is important to a child’s development because it promotes social and emotional, language, and thinking skills, while also encouraging imaginative thinking. Since pretend play is so influential, we have come up with four pretend play ideas for rainy days.

1.Vet Clinic

Encourage your child to open a pretend vet clinic on rainy days. Your youngster can get into character by putting on our veterinarian dress-up outfit, and he or she can help Minilina nurse her animals back to health with the Nici® Wonderland Doll: Veterinarian Set. Pretending to be a vet will keep your child busy and engaged on rainy days.

2. Café

Your child can also set up a pretend café in your home on rainy days. From cooking to serving, your little one will have a blast! Encourage your child to make pasta with the Prepare & Serve Pasta Set. Next, he or she will definitely need to make a pretend salad to go with the pasta. Then, once the food is ready, have your little one put on the Server Dress Up Set and serve the play food to his or her customers.

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3. Puppet Show

Another pretend play idea that is perfect for a rainy day is a puppet show. Encourage your child to set up our Tabletop Puppet Theatre and put on a magnificent show with the Playful Pets Hand Puppets. Either watch your little one’s production in amazement or participate in the show on the next rainy day.

4. Indoor Campout

If the rain is getting in the way of camping outside, just have an indoor campout with your youngster! Set up an indoor tent and let the indoor camping adventures begin. The Pretend & Play™ Camp Set is a must-have for indoor camping. Your child will love pretending to light a path, cook food, follow directions, and more. Camping indoors is the perfect way to spend a rainy day.

What pretend play activities do you and your child like to do on rainy days? Let us know by commenting below!

6 Activities to Help You End Summer with a Bang

28 Jul

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Summer is winding down and the school year will soon start, which means there will be less time for adventurous activities. Keep the energy up and make the last few weeks of summer with your little one the best yet! Here are six activities that will end your summer with a bang.

1. Mini Golf Tournament

Bring mini golf right to your home with the Noochie Golf™ Mini-Golf Set. Encourage your child to invite friends over for a tournament and see who the ultimate mini golfer of the group is. Mini golf is perfect “fore” enjoying the last few weeks of summer with friends.

2. Stargaze Indoors

The Galaxy 6′ Mesh Tunnel makes stargazing indoors possible! In the tunnel, your child will find stunning glow-in-the-dark galaxy patterns. Your youngster will love studying the stars for hours this summer. You can even allow your little one to stay up a little past bedtime to stargaze in complete darkness as an end-of-summer treat.

3. Spontaneous Day Trip to the Beach

Everyone loves a spontaneous beach trip! Waking your children up and telling them to get their bathing suits on and pack a beach bag is sure to get them excited. Make sure to take the Aqua Glow LED Beach Ball for the ultimate experience. With the tips from our “Backseat Road Trip Fun” blog post, even the car ride will be a blast. Have fun on your day beach trip!

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4. Try New Recipes

New recipes are always fun for little chefs! Encourage your child to get in the kitchen and learn to cook this summer. The Toddler Cookbook has easy recipes that incorporate basic math, science, and language skills. With your help, your youngster will have a ball whipping up dinner for the family.

5. Relax at the Pool

Relaxing at the pool is the perfect way to end summer with a bang. Make pool time even more fun with the B4 Adventure Party Wheel. This unique float allows your child to crawl inside the wheel and roll around the pool. Make the most of the end of summer with pool fun!

6. Chalk Bomb Fight

Have a colorful chalk fight with chalk bombs! Each ball is filled with chalk powder that explodes when the ball makes contact with a solid surface. The best part is, chalk bombs can be thrown several times before they run out of powder. Encourage your child to invite friends over and get messy with a chalk bomb fight this summer!

How do you plan to make the most of the last few weeks of summer with your child? Share your ideas by commenting below!

5 Summer Art Boredom Busters

24 Jul

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Is your child already complaining of being bored this summer? We’ve got you covered! Here is a list of boredom busters for your artistic little one to try while school is out this summer.

1. Linkt™ Craft Maille Bonding Kit

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Chainmaille is historically known as armor made of small, linked, metal rings. Your child will love exploring the ancient art of chainmaille with this jewelry kit. The kit comes with enough supplies to make five friendship bracelets and is sure to keep your little one busy.

2. Craft-tastic® Inventor’s Box

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The Craft-tastic® Inventor’s Box will bust the boredom in your household this summer. Your youngster can creatively invent based on the seven challenge cards included. Watch your little inventor grow in confidence while he or she creates many masterpieces.

3. Just Add Glue Science & Art Kit

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With this science and art kit, your child can explore the incredible things you can do if you just add glue! Creating crystal crafts and putties will keep the excitement up this summer. Your child can also engage in a valuable learning experience about different types of polymers.

4. Sand Art Activity Kit

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Encourage your child to make interesting patterns and designs with the Sand Art Activity Kit. The kit is equipped with everything needed to make sand bottle decorations, including bottles, colored sands, and funnels. Your child can keep his or her creations and/or give the handmade bottles as gifts.

5.Crayola® Dough Dino Island

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For children three years and up, the Dino Island dough kit is great for keeping your little one entertained this summer. Not only does the kit include dough, molds, a modeling tool, and a play mat, it also includes coloring pages and crayons for your child to enjoy. Encourage your youngster to take a trip to the past with the Crayola® Dough Dino Island kit.

 

How do you plan to bust boredom with your child this summer? Let us know by commenting below!

 

Memorial Day Fun with Your Little One

19 May

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Memorial Day is quickly approaching! What better way to spend the long weekend than quality time with your little one? Explore the outdoors during Memorial Day weekend and show respect to those who have lost their lives while serving our country with the following Memorial Day activities for children.

Outdoor Adventures

Pool

It’s the end of May, the sun is shining, and a day at the pool has never sounded better! Your child will love relaxing in the pool with you on Memorial Day, but what’s a pool day without toys and floats? Your little one can float the weekend away in the pool on the Star Wars™ Millennium Falcon Inflatable Ride-On Float or Jumbo Flip Flop Pool Float. Your family can also enjoy some fun in the sun with the Big Kahuna and Lil’ Kahuna Ball Set.

Games

Spend some quality time with your child on Memorial Day by playing games together. Do you have a favorite game to play with your little one? It can be as simple as game of tag or hide-and-go-seek. You could even make a dodgeball tournament a family affair with the Coop Scatter Dodgeball Game. Making time to play games with your child during Memorial Day weekend is a great way to get the quality time in you both desire.

Grilling Out

After so many activities, bellies will be rumbling! Though there isn’t much for little ones to do while you cook on a hot grill, New Sprouts® Grill It! will allow your child to participate by working alongside you and making pretend burgers for the crowd. As you know, every moment counts, so embrace your youngster’s desire to be just like you.

Showing Respect

The purpose of Memorial Day is to show respect to those who have lost their lives while fighting for our country. It’s important to teach your child the value of showing respect for those who have died while serving the U.S. Armed Forces. By participating in the following activity together, you and your child can show respect to those who have sacrificed their lives for our country.

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Wave the Flag

Materials:

  • Small American flag

What to Do:

  1. Recite the following rhymes, modeling each line’s appropriate action.
  2. Have your child practice the rhymes several times.

Wave the Flag

Wave the flag high, (wave a small flag or hands in the air)

Up to the sky, (point to the sky)

Red, white and blue, (show one finger for red, two for white, three for blue)

We salute you. (put right hand over the heart)

See Our Flag (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)

See our flag wave

In the land of the brave,

Red, white and blue,

To our country we are true.

More to Do:

  • Art: Have your child make copies of the original American flag. Give each child a 4” x 6” piece of white paper with a square in the upper left-hand corner and 13 uncolored stripes. Starting at the top, have the children color every other stripe red and the square blue. Give them 13 silver adhesive stars to place on the blue square. Help the children tape a craft stick to the backs of the flags for a flagpole.
  • More Art: Have your child cut out pictures of red, white, and blue food from old magazines and use them to make collages.

Source: The Giant Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities

 How do you plan to celebrate Memorial Day? Share your plans by commenting below!

Turning Dinnertime into Family Time

27 Apr

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In today’s world, it is often seen as a rarity for a family to regularly sit down and enjoy dinner together each night. Between soccer practice, music lessons, and mommy clubs, dinnertime often has to be “worked” into the family schedule. So when you do find yourself having a dinner with the whole gang, make sure you make the best of that special time. Whether you are just grilling out some burgers, whipping up a 5-course meal, or even picking up the family favorite takeout—your family dinnertime can be more than just consumption of food. Consider our advice on how to turn the act of simply eating together into precious moments of laugher and family bonding.

Start at the beginning

While you are planning, shopping, and prepping your family’s meals, your children are often left out of the process. Perhaps turn your prep activities into family activities. Let your children select the meal or host a family favorites night, featuring a favorite food item from each member. Simple acts of washing the veggies and stirring the sauce can make your child feel included and important. If your child is too young to help out with the cooking, provide them play sets like the New Sprouts® Grill It! so that they “cook” alongside you. Let the pressures of dinnertime become a family exploration with every member playing an important part.

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A grand affair

If a traditional family dinner is not typical for you, why not treat it as the special occasion that it is! Use those nice dishes collecting dust in cabinet. Bust out a tablecloth and some flowers (possibly picked by your child) to help you set the stage for a special night of fun. Even if family dinner is an every night affair, occasionally adding of bit of flair is sure to spark some excitement. Treat your little ones to a fun new place setting like the Mickey SuperBib Set or the Construction Eating Place Setting to make eating exciting! Don’t forget to create after dinner delight! Not talking about dessert (but don’t forget that too), but about providing post dinner entertainment. This entertainment doesn’t have to be fancy, can simply mean streaming a new movie, playing a game like the Parent Quiz® After Dinner Trivia Game, or even stargazing. Whether you choose to do a full table spread complete with Pinterest décor or simply a special dessert, as long as you treat family dinner night as the exceptional little moment that it is, you’ll be sure to create memories that will last.

Trouble-Free Preschooler Activities for Earth Day

14 Apr

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Observed annually on April 22nd, Earth Day is a celebration of environmental protection and conservation. One month into spring, Earth Day is the perfect time to get your little ones outside and learning. Use this day (or even week) to discuss how your family can play a part in protecting the Earth that we inhabit. Here are some excellent ideas that can help you turn fun in the sun into impactful lifetime of learning!

Rain and Shine

In order to explore conservation, your child must first understand why the Earth is so important to protect. A great place to start is with nature discovery. While exploring, explain the special relationship that humans have with nature and how we interact and depend on one another. Consider these activities:

  • Take a nature walk with a fun twist. Give your child pictures of items to find (like a rock, 3 types of flowers, a pinecone, etc.) for an afternoon of nature scavenger hunting.
  • Cook up a mud pie! Get messy while mixing up different types of dirt for a fun, sensory loaded activity. Try including as many different materials such as sand, rocks, and leaves into your pie “ingredients”.
  • Explore the water cycle with the Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table™. Your child can make it rain again and again with this fun cause and effect STEM activity.
  • Turn your nature walk finds into a nature collage. Use an old egg carton to organize and protect your new collection.
  • Create beautiful art with leaves! Paint various leaves and use them to stamp their designs onto paper or even a canvas.

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Love the Earth and It’s Creatures

Once your child has had a fun introduction to nature, it’s time to explore some of the Earth Day themes. From pollution to animal conservation, there is plenty to discover and themes to tailor to your child’s interests.

  • Play “can it be recycle?” by hunting around the kitchen and explaining what and how different materials can be recycled. Bonus! Practice sorting their discoveries based on the material.
  • Introduce upcycling by including them in a small project or craft that includes recycled and repurposed materials.
  • Create a small garden just for them. Use the Eco-Friendly Indoor Gardening Kit and the Watering Can with Shovel and Rake to create a special space for them to explore the growing process.
  • Give the earth an actual hug with the Hugg-A-Planet® Earth.
  • Discuss animal conservation while cuddling with the Baberoo Sea Turtle Plush or playing with the Polar Animals Set.
  • Create a bird feeder by repurposing a paper towel tube with peanut butter and birdseed.
  • See an Earth Day movie! We suggest the Disneynature series which premiers a new film every Earth Day. If you see it opening week they will make a donation to World Wildlife Fund.
  • Chow down on Earthy dirt cups! Your child will love the crush cookie “dirt”, chocolate pudding “mud”, and brightly colored gummy “worms”. Simply mix chocolate pudding to create a mud base, crush Oreos to form a dirt crust, and insert gummy worms for a buggy surprise!

However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, we would love to hear about it on our social or in the comments below!

Three Easy Activities to Help Your Family Embrace Spring

30 Mar

Transitioning into spring can be an exciting time for children. After several months of post-holiday blues, springtime brings green grass, blooming flowers, special holiday celebrations, and warm-weather activities. Spring also brings a sense of renewal and refreshment—perhaps from the spring cleaning or the ever-growing anticipation of summer. This is your chance to add a little fun and liveliness to your family time and embrace the seasonal change. Here are some simple spring activities that are the perfect cure to your family’s spring fever.

Make It!

Pretty Paper Flowers

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You will need:

Step One: Place the tissue paper flat on the table, alternating colors.

Step Two: Have your child fold the tissue paper (about one inch) back and forth just like you would to make a fan. Once they have reached the end, the stack of tissue paper should look like an accordion.

Step Three: Wrap a green pipe cleaner around the middle of the stack, twist to secure and make a stem.

Step Four: Next, help your child carefully separate each piece of tissue paper. Fluff the layers into a flower shape.

Step Five: Tear pieces of construction paper into leaf shapes and poke them onto the pipe cleaner stem, sliding it up until to reaches the top.

Place your forever-fresh flowers in a vase for a bright splash of spring in the kitchen or get creative and add multiple smaller flowers to a pipe cleaner circle for a fairylike crown.
 

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Bake It!

Honey Milk Balls

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You will need:

  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup nonfat powdered milk
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats or ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl and spoon

Step One: Talk with your child about honey—explain that honey comes from bees. Encourage them to ask questions as well as feel, smell, and taste the honey.

Step Two: Mix the first four ingredients well, and then knead them by hand until blended.

Step Three: Shape the mixture into 1” balls.

Step Four: Roll the honey milk balls in coconut if desired.

Recipe Source: The Budding Chef

 Do It!

Getting Outdoors

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Another major part of spring is getting outdoors after the long winter. Incorporate the following outdoor activities into your family time:

  • Host a family soccer game! Switch it up by inviting extended family or neighbors to be the opposing team. Play girls vs. boys or adults vs. children.
  • Enjoy a picnic! Don’t forget your honey milk balls and paper flower centerpiece!
  • Create a driveway masterpiece! Stick to the classic sidewalk chalk or switch it up with Chalktivity.
  • Stargaze! Take advantage of the warmer nights and introduce your child to the sky’s wonders.

Leave us a comment below and share your family’s favorite springtime activity.