Inspired by Nature: Four Easy Steps to Follow a Child’s Interests

Inspired by Nature: wasp nest and bumble bee art

Do you have bees, birds, squirrels, deer, possum, or other creatures milling around your neighborhood? It's been wild animal week here at Casa Tinkerlab. We had two big discoveries at our house: a wasp nest in the eaves by our back door and a bird nest tucked into a hole along the siding of our house. Sad story, we found the bird nest on the ground today, and all of the … [Read more...]

Creative Table: A Sticker Composition with Frames

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Setting up Invitations to Create like this is one of my very favorite ways to encourage children to explore new ideas and develop a visual language. Here's the basic premise: Clear the table of anything that won't be used in the invitation Artfully arrange the materials to provoke ideas Limit the choice of materials to just a few items Provide clues about how to use … [Read more...]

Snow Cream

Snow Cream with Eggnog. So easy and delicious.

Snow Cream! Have you heard of it? My friend Jen at Paint Cut Paste has been talking my ear off about her favorite wintery dessert, a combination of snow and sweetened condensed milk, and I've been eager to try it for ages. And then there's this gorgeous children's book, Maple Syrup Season, that has made eating syrup off the ground my 4-year old's winter-time fantasy. At … [Read more...]

Marbled Paper Suminagashi

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Are you looking for a last-minute hands-on gift, or maybe an idea to bookmark for a cold winter day? I've been saving this Suminagashi kit for a quiet morning and it was a true winner with both my 2-year old and 4-year old. The process of marbleizing paper encourages creative thinking, open-ended exploration with ink and water, and experimentation. But first, maybe … [Read more...]

DIY Fabric Ornament With Kids

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This post is sponsored by Gymboree. Bring a friend to a Gymboree store and sign up for Gymboree Rewards together and you'll both SAVE 25% off an in-store purchase.  Kids Crafts Ideas: DIY Fabric Ornaments These sweet fabric ornaments teach children hand sewing techniques while building fine motor skills, and they don't demand that parents have a lot of fancy sewing skills … [Read more...]