Tag Archives: creativity

Snow Cool!

First The Photo:  Giant snowman steals the show! To find him on a map travel to:  North America>United States> Michigan> Frankenmuth

Second The Question:  What is your favorite thing to build in the snow?  Have you ever tried adding color to your creations with a bit of food color and lots of water in a spray bottle? What is the best type of snow to build with?

Third Next Steps: If you don’t have snow close to you or if the snow you have isn’t cooperating with your time to play..Make your own easy indoor snow fun..without the cold or mess.  Just fill a gallon sized ziplock bag with shaving cream and a few drips of food coloring.  Slide the seal to hold it tight and let the fun begin!  Squeeze, mold and roll your way to excitement.  See how the colors create art as they mix with the wonderful white backdrop.  Enjoy!

A wonderful way to begin a conversation about the Seasons of Change is to share the sixth book in our Explore Galore Series as a family.  To order one of your own..follow this http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/. Or visit the Make it Your Own section of our website.

Gifts from the Heart

 

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First The Photo:  During this festive season, we diverge from our typical format where each photo is a mini scavenger hunt, instead these photos are designed to engaged your senses and ignite your creativity.  This particular photo shows our annual Holiday Gift Crafting Day, with supplies and creative gift wrapping (the stockings) close at hand, we crank up the Christmas songs, and get to work. Here are some simple ideas for your family to join in on the memory making.

Second The Question:  Begin your gift giving project by making a list of all the people who touch your lives with kindness or fill your days with joy.  Be sure to include everyone who shares their gifts and talents with you throughout the year.  Your kids play a big part in this brainstorming exercise as an important element in the wonder of gift giving is taking time to reflect on your daily life and recognize the people who make the moments of your lives special.  Family members are always essential, but you may also want to include: teachers, bus drivers, close family friends, religious Ed teachers, a coach or music teacher.  We always give something small to our son’s PT, OT and Speech teachers.  Don’t worry too much about the number at first, there will be time to limit the gift list as you move forward.

Third Next Steps:  Here is the most important part: Finding the perfect, handcrafted, memorable gift for everyone on your list.  Some years we aren’t lucky enough to come up with a single gift item for everyone, but we try hard to narrow it down to 1 or 2.  This helps us to streamline the crafty process and narrow down the supply list.  We always try to make the gift as unique as possible, and it is always something that my kids create themselves.

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Gift ideas from past years:

  • Clear glass ornaments filled with hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and crushed candy canes with a note saying: Friends are the marshmallow in the cocoa of life.
  • A kitchen towel with their hand prints in the shape of a tree. Make sure to use acrylic paint so they don’t wash off in the laundry. After they did their hand prints we used puffy paint to add decorations and a star to the tree.
  • Bulb gardens. This was a BIG hit one year.  I went and bought terra cotta pot bases at a home improvement store (not the pot itself, but the saucer that goes underneath it. They are under a dollar a piece.)  I also bought Paper White Narcissi bulbs, (available at most garden shops this time of year) and then a large bag of potting soil.  My kids then sponge painted the terra cotta pot saucers with gold & green acrylic paint.  Then we put the soil into zip lock bags and placed 4-6 bulbs in a brown paper lunch bag.  Make sure to include planting instructions. “Place about an inch deep of soil into the saucer, then arrange the bulbs with the pointed side up in the dirt.  Sprinkle the rest of the dirt around the bulbs until they are about half covered.  Water after planting and then weekly after that. The bulbs will grow and bloom in about 4-6 weeks. Enjoy a bit of spring during this winter season” It is great fun for people to have flowers in the middle of winter.  You can also include a card that says: You make our lives Bloom!
  • Salt dough ornaments cut out with cookie cutters and hand painted by your kids. Make sure to use a straw to put a hole in the top of the ornament before baking so you have a way to attach a hook for hanging on the tree.
  • Customized Initial Ornaments. We purchased unfinished wood letters at crafts stores for around 50 cents.  Decoupage a piece of scrapbook paper onto it and then attached stickers, words, and 3-D items to it depicting things that the person enjoys. We also printed off photos in miniature and attached them to a piece of cardstock before affixing them to the ornament. It was fun to reflect on our loved ones’ hobbies and interests, plus it was a well-loved gift.  Make sure to attach some ribbon to the back for hanging.

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Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

A Season of Creativity

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First The Photo:  What is being created? Can you name each of the items used in the building?

Second The Questions:  Do you have something you like to create?  Do you have a special talent you like to share in your gift giving?  Do you like to create on your own or do you enjoy working on team projects?  Do you have special people in your life that you make cherished items for?

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Third Next Steps: Memories are one of the best side benefits of creative gift giving.  Does your family take time to create together?  This can simply mean sitting down as a group and creating your holiday greeting that you send to family and friends.  Even the youngest hands can help affix a stamp, or add on a return address label.  How memorable a card would be if the envelop was addressed in elementary school printing. Do you set aside time during this busy season to create with your children?  Baking is another perfect family project. Parenting tip: try to have the kitchen ready with supplies close at hand before you call the kids in.   Then: All Hands on Deck..spend a weekend baking up the magic of the season.  Fill your home with the smells of wonder.  Then deliver a plate of your homemade goodies to a neighborhood shut in, or an elderly couple who are alone.  Offer the joy of giving to your children and let them experience the magic of creativity!

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/

Where would you call home?

First the Question: Do you recognize this famous home? It was designed by the renowned architect; Frank Lloyd Wright. Can you find where it is located? What large city is it near?

Second The Question:  When you look at the picture what is unique about the house? Would you like to have a river running through your house? Would you live in a house on a cliff?  Where would you build your perfect home? High up in a tree? In a crater on the moon? In a ship sailing on the high seas? Would you live in a tent or a library or a mall?? What things are necessary to make your house a home? What things would you make sure to include? Would you build it in a particular place? What things do you love about your current home? How would you incorporate those pieces?

Third Next Steps: Do you have some old magazines or catalogues around the house? Pull some out and have some fun cutting out your favorite room designs. Create some interior and exterior looks for your house by cutting images from the magazine.  Next try to creating a floor plan.   Try searching for home plans on-line.  First look at the outside structure of the house then look at corresponding  floor plan.  Are you able to see where doors and windows are located from looking at the plans?  Find some graph paper and create a floor plan for your own home. What rooms would you include? Where would you put windows?  Why not ad in some fun items..a pool, a stables, a library!  What would you include?

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Finally did you enjoy doing the interior design or the floor plan better?  Do you like the art piece or the scale drawing better?  Do you see yourself designing with colors or planning to build better?  These are all great things to think about as you grow and begin to imagine your career path.

Looking for more Explore Galore Kids fun, try one of our books: http://exploregalorekids.com/merchandise/explore-books/