Like many parents, we are trying to embrace technology in a way that encourages our children to think, play, explore and create. While watching movies and playing videos games are some of the ways we incorporate technology into our lives, hopefully, these won’t be the only ways. Now that our children have their own ‘personal devices,’ the goal of finding a healthy balance between passive pursuits and more engaging play seems even more critical.
Our children are natural storytellers. For my daughter, this means writing elaborate letters and essays filled with “text evidence” – a fancy phrase she learned in the first grade that means “details.” For my son, it means a similar string of highly imaginative details flowing from his mouth at a pace too quick to possibly capture on paper. I say that in a somewhat positive manner (who doesn’t want an imaginative child?), but, in reality, it can be a frustrating experience. While his imagination seems boundless, his ability to harness it remains a challenge.
And that’s where technology may be able to help. (more…)
We’ve had a snow-filled week in Texas. Two canceled school days, one late start and one early dismissal, and now we’re heading into a weekend with a chance of more snow and freezing rain. As much as my plant-filled blog suggests that I’m wishing for sunshine and green trees, I have to admit (more…)
My son is becoming a huge Minecraft fan. It’s just a matter of time before his room starts to take on the appearance of a pixelated grassland biome. I’m staying ahead of the game by doing some decorating research now. And those matching geometric pixel print and pillow? I wouldn’t mind those in my room.
My success with houseplants over the past year has given me a bit of courage to try new – and possibly not-so-hardy – varieties, so last week I purchased a collection of air plants. Since I’m not very familiar with air plants, I decided on this set which features 10 different varieties for about $25.
I love the look of air plants and the added flexibility of not having to plant them in soil – it opens up all sorts of decorating possibilities. By ordering a variety, I’m able to experiment a bit and determine which ones I like the best and which ones prove to be the easiest to care for. (more…)
I started out this project thinking it would be something fun to do with my daughter, who recently received an iPhone 4 after a series of family phone updates and hand-me-downs left us with an extra phone. Now that she has her own phone, she’s become very quick to ask for a new case each time she sees one she likes. When I saw the clear plastic cases on Amazon recently, I realized that it would be easy and very inexpensive to make her a series of ‘skins’ that she can change on a whim. And once I went to the craft store to pick out paper, I decided I wanted to make one or two for myself as well. (more…)
It’s no secret that we’re huge Disney fans in our household, so when we were invited to try out the latest app in the Disney Imagicademy series of learning and creativity apps, I was thrilled. The Disney name is synonymous with imagination, so my expectations for Mickey’s Magical Arts World were high. Over the past week, we explored all 5 sections of the creative learning app, and it’s clear, the experience does not disappoint.(more…)
Every year about this time, I go on a houseplant shopping spree. Last year, the living room was the primary recipient of the new greenery, and my selection of plants centered around easy-to-maintain varieties. Purchasing hard-to-kill plants paid off, as many of last year’s additions are still alive and well. This year, I’m taking a similar approach but since most of the plants will be placed in my office, a dark room with dark wood panelling, I decided I needed plants that also thrive in low-light conditions. The windows in my office are southern facing with a tree just outside blocking much of the light for all but an hour or two or so each day. As a result, low-light plants were definitely the only option. (more…)
The chalkboard wall that we painted in Jenna’s room at the end of last year was the first step in our plan to add a desk/study space to her room. We added a small desk earlier this year, and since her wall is completely DECKED OUT for Valentine’s Day, I thought it was the perfect time to share a bit more about her new study space. (more…)
Today I’m sharing a tutorial on Modern Parents, Messy Kids for making a jewelry organization board. The project is very easy, and the result is super helpful. Jenna’s necklaces are typically a tangled mess. With the jewelry board, we can see and easily access her entire collection. Read the tutorial here.
When I posted this round-up of craft ideas on Friday, I knew the first project I wanted to tackle was the decoupage tissue paper mugs. I had never heard of dishwasher-safe Mod Podge, and I definitely wanted to try it out. Instead of mugs, which we have a ton of already, I decided on small plates which could be used as decorative trays or snack plates. (more…)
I finished Jenna’s classroom Valentines yesterday, and while I usually prefer to avoid giving candy to kids on Valentine’s day (see here, here and here for non-candy ideas), I have to admit I’m super thrilled with how these turned out. Jenna picked out the small conversation heart containers at Michaels, and we filled them with Valentine’s M&Ms. (more…)
A new Michael’s store is opening in my neighborhood this weekend, and last night I attended an opening event to preview the store. Wow. I definitely know what I’ll be doing this weekend and nearly every weekend after: crafting.
I’ve already started perusing my Pinterest boards for my next projects. Here are four craft ideas on my wish list, all of which would make perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. (more…)
Last year at this time I hadn’t even started on the classroom Valentines until a couple of days before the parties, which resulted in a mad dash to cut, fold and stuff 20 Minecraft boxes on February 13th. This year, I’m way ahead of the game. Jason’s Lego-themed Valentines are complete, which might have something to do with my much simpler approach this time.
Jenna helped me write the phrases for the cards. “Never Lego My Heart” – that’s all her. “We Click” – that one’s mine, and Jenna assures me that it won’t make any sense to 2nd-graders. Oh well, I went with it anyway. (more…)
My daughter often leaves me notes at night wishing me a good night’s sleep, telling me what a great day she’s had or planting an idea in my mind for something we can do the following day. Sometimes she gets more inventive, like the time I opened my bathroom drawer to find a note that simply said “you are going to be pritty!” How awesome is that? Now I return the favor with lunchbox letters and bedside good morning notes.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to have a stash of Valentine’s cards on hand for our daily love notes, so last weekend I set up a make-you-own-Valentine’s craft table. (more…)
I wrote this post last year about my love of black-and-white stripes in home decor, but as I look around my house, I realize I’ve done nothing to act on this obsession. Maybe one or two of these will help move me in the right direction: