Playing Big

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This week I'm sharing kid-friendly inspiration from the Bay Area Maker Faire. Have you ever noticed that things can be much more fun and compelling when they're really, really big? Think about awe-inspiring cruise ships vs. cute little kayaks or imaginative play possibilities in a refrigerator box. Today I have four show-stopping examples of play on a large scale, and I'd … [Read more...]

Maker Faire + DIY Design

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We went to the Maker Faire this weekend, a DIY design/technology/creativity festival that attracts everyone from crafty sewing upcyclers to techie hackers to wide-eyed families looking for a creative outing. It was such an inspiring event, full of tons of TinkerLab-style making, that I thought I'd dedicate the week to Maker Faire talent. I gathered tons of good projects for … [Read more...]

Project ::Deconstruct Monitor::

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My mom was cleaning out her basement and came across my husband's ancient computer monitor, and for some crazy reason she didn't want it. So she asked my sister to deliver it to my house...which is over 300 miles away!! What a good sister. But guess what? We didn't want it either! So, this big ol' dusty tan hunk of Apple history became the perfect toy to deconstruct...with … [Read more...]

Idea Roundup: Tinkering

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Do you think children should learn how to use hammers and nails? Power tools? Glue guns? And how do you feel about open-ended exploration of art materials? This week's roundup brings you some big ideas on tinkering, creating opportunities for child-directed art, and free exploration at the art table. And as a bonus, I found an inspiring journaling idea that I think you'll … [Read more...]

Growing Big Ideas

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"Ideas aren’t self-contained things; they’re more like ecologies and networks. They travel in clusters." -Kevin Kelly, Futurist and Author of What Technology Wants We had a big pile of CD cases, just waiting to be repurposed into...something! BioColors paints are known for their plasticity (they don't crack like tempera), and I thought it we could have some fun squeezing … [Read more...]

Hammering (real) Nails

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Since my daughter (now almost 3 y.o.) practiced hammering with golf tees back in October, I've been waiting and waiting for just the right time to introduce her to REAL nails! After working really well at piercing gumdrops with toothpicks, I had a feeling that the time had come. So I dusted off an old scrap of wood, pulled out our jar of random nails, and threw in a bag of … [Read more...]

Vinegar and Baking Soda

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Have you tried the baking soda and vinegar experiment with your kids yet?  Yesterday N skipped her nap and requested "gooey flour and water" for her quiet time activity.  Did you hear me sighing? I sort of had "read books" or "play with a puzzle" in mind, but I guess that would be too much to expect when we rarely sit down and work on puzzles during non-quiet times, … [Read more...]

Art With Everyday Things

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I stumbled upon Tsh Oxenreider's blog, Simplemom.net, and its words of clean and simple living wisdom have been a huge inspiration to this pile-making, book-loving, overstuffed home-making, can't-throw-away-art-supplies-from-college kind of gal. I was so drawn in that I purchased her book, Organized Simplicity, and I'm finding myself on a new path toward simplifying my home and … [Read more...]

Glittery Pine Cones

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Beautiful, right? These gorgeous old redwoods shade our neighborhood park and make me fall in love with that park time and time again. After our ritual slide run and swing toss we like to set up snack or lunch in the shade of these trees, practice "climbing" them (which is really just climbing thought the gap between their close-growing bases), and occasionally harvest their … [Read more...]