I heart RAFT

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I spent part of Saturday at Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT) in San Jose, CA. Despite my best efforts, I can never get out of this place in under an hour! I was first introduced to RAFT, an enormous warehouse full of all sorts of wonderful upcycled baubles and bits, when I managed the school programs at the San Jose Museum of Art. Imagine the neatest, cleanest, most organized … [Read more...]

Best Craft for Kids Blog

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Hi friends! Gosh it's fun to share fun news and I'm excited to let you know that we're nominated for Best Craft for Kids Blog over at Parents Magazine. Seriously. I'm in there with some lovely blogs (and even voted for some of my favorites) so I'm not under the illusion that I'm going to win or anything, but you know, it would be nice if I did. Or at least got into, say, the … [Read more...]

Styrofoam Prints and Baby “Painting”

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Printmaking is one of my passions, so we invariably make a lot of prints in my house. I was about to recycle a styrofoam tray (I think it was from a pack of corn) when N asked if we could print with it. Why yes, we can! We've printed with these before (Abstract Recycled Prints) and the technique is the same except this time we printed the pattern found on the tray instead of … [Read more...]

Pounded Flower Bookmarks

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Last week I wrote a guest post on The Crafty Crow where I shared instructions for making Pounded Flower Bookmarks. This high-energy (and very loud) art activity tied in with one of our favorite kids+art books, A Day With No Crayons. The set-up only requires a handful of colorful flowers, a pounding tool (like a rock or hammer), watercolor or other heavy paper, wax paper, a … [Read more...]

What could TinkerLab be?

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I'm moving things around today and promise you a spiffy, new site in no time:) Why, you ask? As pretty as my previous design was, I received questions every week about searching for specific activities or for projects by age group. And wouldn't you know...the site didn't have a search function! I felt trapped in 2001, and struggled with the whole form vs. function riddle. … [Read more...]

Happy Holidays!

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We're taking a little tinkering break to spend some time with family and friends, and we'll be back in the new year with more creative experiments for kids. There are a few other fun surprises for next year that I'm excited to share with you. Meanwhile, wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season and healthy 2011. … [Read more...]

New Creative Studio Corner

Creative Studio Corner

Putting our closets/bills/holiday cards in order is enough of a thankless job without even beginning to consider corralling toys and art supplies. I have a short fuse for all of the things that get dumped all over the house (today it was a bucket of blocks, pillows from the couch, toy cars, and migrating books), and find that organizational systems are enormous time-savers that … [Read more...]

Cardboard Christmas Tree

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Have you ever had a weekend that began like this? It doesn't bode well for fun and games, does it? The good news is that we're now the proud owners (and, let's not forget--makers!) of new bedroom dressers, and the bad news is that it was at the expense of being holed up in the house all day.  Okay, back to the picture up there. Don't you love the repurposing of our Hello Kitty … [Read more...]

Bubble Paint Recipe

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The bubble recipe I used in yesterday's post didn't live up to my expectations, so I went back to the drawing board (paint and soap laboratory?) and came up with something that creates big, rewarding bubbles that are easy to pull prints off of. While this worked for me, feel free to experiment with your own ratios and solutions. And if you come up with something good, please … [Read more...]

Bubble Painting

Bubble Paintings

"There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them." Tom Krause, Author and Motivational Speaker What follows is my pitch for attempting the unknown for the sake of having a new experience, and maybe the end result will match your expectations. Or not. Either way, you've tried something new. Aren't these pretty? These are the result of a moderately … [Read more...]