Tag Archives: Creativity

Dance Pants

We love music in this house. We sing almost everything from “where’s the milk” to “time for bed.”

It is perfectly delightful.

And at some point on almost every day we blast the techno. DJ Tiesto is a household name–Weasley even asks for it. Wiggles shakes her booty in a flurry of smiles and giggles and flailing limbs. In my eyes, nothing is more wonderful.

I was a dancer until I had children, my husband and I met ice skating and we love to go dancing on our nights out. Movement and music is part of us. And as such, it is part of our children.

In the parenting trend of Baby Einstein and The Mozart Effect, I diverge.

I spent Weasley’s babyhood immersing him in classical music and exposing him to every composer that would supposedly boost his intelligence. And you know what? Baby Einstein taught him how to sit in front of the TV and listening to Mozart pretty much bored him (except for Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca–that made him dance his funny little toddler pants off).

As a music major in college, I was convinced that classical music truly had the ability to “organize one’s brain.” But what I came to learn as a parent is that is just doesn’t matter. I honestly don’t have any control over my children’s intelligence level. And why would I want to control it anyway? We live in a society so full of messages that your kids don’t fit in a particular box. They move too much, they talk too much, they read too late, they walk too soon… It’s never just “your child is so good at who they are.”

Now, I am not saying I don’t have an appreciation for classical music. I spent my entire childhood dancing ballet to classical composers and went on to study music in college. I have a great amount of classical music education under my belt but I really feel that kids need a variety of music in their education.

Something that made me realize classical music isn’t the only thing your child should listen to is Kindermusik. I got my Kindermusik teaching license when Weasley was still a toddler. And I was shocked when I realized there were very few classical music pieces in the Kindermusik lessons. In fact, most of their music depended on what age the child was and how to get them interacting. Music + movement! This got me thinking. It doesn’t matter what music the kids are listening to as long it makes them move and smile.

For us, that’s techno.

And let me tell you, the kids love it!

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Slime

Today we made slime.

Squishy, bouncy, stretchy, well, slimy slime.

It.

Is.

Wonderful.

I’m going to tag this as the best craft ever–after all who doesn’t want to make a craft you can play with???

Here’s how to make it:

1 cup glue
3/4 a cup warm water
Food dye
4 teaspoons borax
1 1/3 cups warm water

Mix together the 1 cup of glue and the 3/4 cup warm water in a bowl. Add whatever color food dye you want the slime to be and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the 4 teaspoons borax and the 1 1/3 cups warm water. Now pour the borax mixture into the glue mixture. Do not stir. Leave it for one minute and then mix it together. It will have become a thick gel-like substance at this point. (The water and gel will not fully mix together)

Pull the gel-like portion out of the mixture and put it in a plastic bag. Close the bag and kneed the gel until it is one consistency. Now take it out of the bag and play with it! (This is where I got super excited about this awesome new creation and had a difficult time handing it over to Weasley.)

You can keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh but it seems more pliable when warm.

Do not let this get on the carpet or clothing–it sticks to most fibrous materials.

Have fun!

Coffee Filter Hearts

I love coffee. I mean I LOVE coffee. And I love coffee filters. You can do so much with them and painting them is my all time favorite coffee filter craft. I love how the paint mixes and flows. It’s just so pretty.

For Valentine’s day the kids and I made coffee filter hearts. Here’s how:

Fold coffee filter in half

Cut it out in the shape of a heart

Yay! A heart!

Now be creative. Fold them back up or fold them several times over like you would when making a paper snowflake. Cut shapes into the heart. Then unfold and see what you created!

Make lots of ’em!

Put something under the cut out heart coffee filter and paint with watercolors.

Even Wiggles was able to make a few!

Weasley and Wiggles both had a lot of fun making these. (So did I!)

When they were finished we pasted them to the window with a glue stick. So pretty!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Valentine’s Day Soap

We did some crafts today which was super fun. Here’s how we made some Valentine’s Day heart soaps.

(Cause there’s nothing more loving than handing your best friend a heart shaped soap and saying “I love you, now go take a shower!) ūüėČ

What you need to get start: Glycerin soap blocks, a nice smelling bar of hard soap (we used some almond soap from the dollar store), food coloring (obviously it must be red since we are making hearts!), glitter, a grater, a bowl, and some sort of scent (we used cooking almond to flavor the glycerin since our hard soap was almond.)

Now you’re going to grate the hard soap bar. My handy dandy helper, Weasley did this step. His hands are getting big!

Finished! Let’s move on…

Put about 4-5 glycerin blocks into a bowl and microwave until liquid. The soap gets REALLY hot so be careful.

Next put some drops of food coloring in the liquid glycerin until it is as dark or light as you’d like, add your chosen scent, and sprinkle some glitter in it.

(There is a break in photos here as I was attempting to keep two small children from burning their fingers on the soap.)

Pour the glycerin mixture in the heart shaped muffin pan. Let stand until a thin crust forms on top then put a thin layer of the soap shavings on each heart. Then you are going to pour the remainder of the glycerin mixture over the soap shavings to seal them in. (Make sure the shavings are fully covered by the glycerin.)

Let the soap sit until fully cooled and hardened. (I put them in the snow to cool)

When they are cooled, pop them out of the muffin tin and look at your pretty, glittery, yummy smelling creations!

Ingenuity Comes From Lack–Mom’s Turn

I posted a few months ago how my son gained ingenuity from lack. That taking away his toys caused him to create and find new and interesting ways to spend his time.

Well, now it is my turn to come up with something from seemingly nothing.

I used to teach piano and was a music major in college. The curriculum choices available for teaching children piano constantly frustrated me. I always wanted to change something about them. Usually something that caused frustration in my student.

Recently I went online to see if there were some online programs or games for my son to play with that taught basic music skills. I was shocked to find that there was nothing.

Nada.

Not a one.

Today, I gave my son a choice between the three instruments we had available in the house to learn to play one. He played with the flute for a while, got frustrated learning the breathing. Ok, I understand that–it really is tricky. Some day we will come back to that.

Then we pulled out my old violin. He gave it a good try but didn’t quite click with it.

Then we sat down at the piano. We sat there for about 30 minutes while he attentively learned the very basics of the piano keyboard.

(Quick note, this child is never attentive.)

Now the book that I used to teach out of I still have and pulled it out to teach him. And low and behold it frustrated both of us. Just not cool.

When I was teaching, it was the best I could come up with but now, it just isn’t enough. So for the entire afternoon I sat down at the computer and began constructing a new curriculum. One that I just might be happy with and one that just might teach my children to play the piano with minimal frustration.

Or so I hope.

Ingenuity Comes From Lack

Ingenuity only comes from lack of things–or so I’ve come to learn.¬† The day we took the majority of ¬†our son’s toys away (long story) was the day he became creative and resourceful. He started making shields out of cardboard, swords out of paper towel rolls, he colored and started drawing people when previously he only drew lines.

Within a month of removing his numerous plastic and unimaginative items, he began to READ! ¬†Now at only 5 years old, he can pass almost every 3-4 letter word spelling bee I give him. ¬†(He even spelled ‘shadow’ today–super proud mama.)

He had been swallowed whole by a world of materialism.  The numerous plastic, battery operated toys had not given him joy and entertainment, they stole his imagination, his childish light and replaced it with a collection of things.  Oh how that changed when we dug him out of his plastic pile.  He is now a knight fighting goblins with a cardboard shield and wooden sword.  He makes up his own card games.  He tells stories of his adventures.

And now that his sister is born, he creates interesting toys for her to play with.¬† Out of almost nothing!¬† When she was a newborn, her favorite thing to look at was a strip of pompoms her brother had stuck on masking tape for her!¬† I love watching this side develop for my son. It makes me more apt to not collect worthless items. ¬†My theme for entertaining my children now is “what can we do ourselves to create fun?” ¬†Not only does this attitude save money and space but it grows a whole new¬†imagination¬†within my child. ¬† Love it!

I will be updating ideas that we come up with to create fun toys in future blogs.

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