DIY Valentine Origami Pins

The Japanese teacher at ev’s kindergarten taught the children how to make origami hearts this week.

And we thought they would make the perfect Valentines to share with friends.

We decided to glue pins to the back of ours, but a piece of ribbon makes for a lovely Valentine necklace

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gold is a special color for special people

I found this origami heart tutorial to be the same as the folding ev learned. We used 3″x3″ paper and glued the small folds on the back side to keep from pulling.

This origami heart bookmark would be sweet as well.

Happy San Valentine!

Snack Markers: A Snack Time Idea.

I am a sucker for neat utensils,as long as they actually work and make sense to use anyway.

These bright snack markers from Vacu Vin, for example. I found them on a sale rack in my favorite tea shop and picked them up with ev’s snack and tea times in mind.

We use them whenever we have children over. I love them for toddlers as they must take care with the semi-sharp prongs and practice fine motor control with those sweet little hands.

This little friend has that down pat!

our little friend using a snack marker

our little friend using a snack marker

DIY Halloween With Children

decor 100% by children, save my eyeball

decor 100% by children, save my eyeball

 

Pumpkin Monster. Ev goes for creepy every time!

DIY suits me more than ever come Halloween.What a night for creepy decorations and outlandish costumes, driven by the child’s creativity and imagination.

Admittedly, I am the mom who avoids store-ready Halloween costumes. There’s something about the creativity and satisfaction of children when left, mostly to themselves, to come up with trick-or-treat night’s merriment.

After a rummage together through ev’s trunk and a compilation of costumes, she was smiling and proud to put together her costume telling me to close my eyes as she tied up the details.

p.s. If you must, do the pinterest perfect decor yourself. I did! Especially these spider webs

Summer Activity Ideas: Buddha Board

Summer rhythm has replaced the year’s routine! We are enjoying the outdoors and time with friends and family, so I haven’t planned much by way of activities and things to do.

But how fun is this art concept? Strokes of water that disappear magically.

I picked up a Buddha Board MINI while browsing a bookshop. I thought it would be a great activity for traveling with children, as we had an upcoming flight at the time.

The MINI is a convenient size, comes with cute stickers, and has the option to pour water in the tray of the board or separately.

Presently, I have the board set up at its own workspace. It’s quite inviting, and I find myself sitting down to stroke. Ev sits down to stroke during those in between moments and seems to find it relaxing.

Buddha Board MINI

Buddha Board MINI

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As much as Ev is enjoying the board, I just might upgrade to this bigger Buddha Board complete with a Japanese sumi brush!

 

 

 

 

Child-friendly Nail Polish

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I can’t decide if my dislike for nail polish on children stems from my own au naturel personality or from a love for typical childhood hallmarks like mary janes, heart-shaped buttons and pigtails. Some things are sweeter when anticipated and when identified as a passage, don’t you think?

But, as it seems, the majority of ev’s little peers don the stuff; so, with my cousin’s sage advice in mind, “choose your battles”, I have decided non-toxic, light-colored, washable polish is acceptable. If that sounds like too many stipulations, you were not here when the flood of joy was released from the silly dam battle I had chosen.

Ev received a lovely bottle of polish on her birthday from her friend Sasha in Dubai. When the polish washed off in the bath, I think my dam began to crumble.

So thank you, my friend, for sharing Snails.

I have since purchased the lovely brand in another color, much to ev’s delight.

And is the packaging not special?

 

Handmade Birthday Present.

ev's birthday pinata

ev’s birthday pinata

How do you feel about handmade and DIY birthday gifts?

There’s something sweet and genuine about the awkwardly tied bow, the quirky illustrations, and the novice scrawl of child-wrapped gifts.

But what about the gift itself? In our life of easy consumerism and excessive stuff, spending time on a gift holds a value that cannot be purchased. Let’s face it, time is priceless.

I realized that when we took on my recent idea to make this moon piñata for a special birthday girl.  As I cut and glued, I thought, more than once, how easy it would be to run up the street to the mega bookstore and choose a wonderful book or art project like I normally do. Then I saw ev threading the bracelet from the neat jewelry kit her uncle and auntie had gifted for Christmas. Then I watched as she collected little treasures that she had not used and thought her friend might like. I appreciated the time we had together in meaningful work.  As I stuffed seven dollars into a little wallet for the seven-year-old to be, I thought about how much I had loved the piñata as a girl.

For the little boy turning five we started with a pouch of five dollar bills.  Then we added a super ball and wrapped that on top of the cash. We ended up with five layers of little trinkets just right for a boy’s pocket. I imagined how fun it would be to unwrap a gift only to find another and another and another and another!

We’ve only done this twice. I hope the children are as enchanted as I am. I hope the parents don’t mistake me for cheap!

I suppose if we ever book out our weekends to birthday parties, as so often seems to happen, we will make that run to the bookstore.

Would you make a birthday gift for another? Would your child like to receive gifts such as these?

Stuffs for the Stocking 2013

Stocking stuffer ideas this year:

Harmonica: I chose this nifty little musical instrument and gave it to ev in one of our advent treat bags. She already noticed the high, middle, and low tones; and the sound quality, believe it or not, is pleasant.

Art supplies: two years have passed since I purchased art supplies for ev, and that is how I justify the price I pay for them!  I love the stubby pencil studio site.

Grooming tools: Children love real objects, and care of self is a lifelong gift to share. I hope ev enjoys this nailbrush.

Stethoscope: This speaks for itself! Just hide your giggle as they listen to furniture and other objects.

Kind words: In spirit of small things, a little note with a word of kindness goes a long way i.e. “you are my blessing”