I’m endlessly amazed at how many incredible resources we have at our fingertips – for free! – thanks to content producers, bloggers and magazines that find value in sharing what they know. Case in point? Printables. With a quick download and a bit of printer ink, we can so easily teach our kids new skills, activities and crafts to keep them happy, engaged and inspired. It just doesn’t get better! Here are a few favorites we’ve been loving lately:
Furniture with intention is something that – in my art directing days – I was incredibly drawn to. I loved learning that, historically, wingback chairs were stationed near fireplaces to keep warmth in the head/torso areas, while a chaise “daybed” was designed to encourage mid-day napping at noon. So naturally, the Growth Table from L.A. artists Tim Durfee and Iris Anna Regn recently caught my eye for no other reason than its intention: to encourage families to create together.
My parents were both school teachers, so we had no shortage of educational toys scattered about our home on any given day. One of my favorites were Tangrams – I fondly remember an entire summer dedicated to creating different animals from the colored triangles at my disposal.
Now, a short 25-something years later, I still love the idea of creating something out of nothing. It’s so metaphorical – the idea of puzzles. That we’re all just doing the best with the pieces we’ve got, attempting to pull together a portrait that looks like something worth keeping around for a bit.
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite summer holidays, full of starry nights and bonfire stories and watermelon seeds. Enjoy your celebration, and if you’ve got some antsy littles hanging around, might I suggest tackling this sweet DIY firecracker craft?
As a mother of three, leading Australian stylist Megan Morton couldn’t find inspired options to occupy her own children’s small, curious and creative minds. Sure, she was used to coordinating photo shoots and sourcing props and trouble-shooting endless last minute snafus. But when it came time to wrangle her littles in an engaging, art-inspired fashion, she lacked the support system to pull off their craftiest dreams. So she contacted a few skilled designers, artisans and specialized creatives in her area, compiling a dream wish list of teachers that might spark the imagination of her own children’s expression. And just like that, The School was born.
Bee and I haven’t yet entered the craft stage (we’re still working on getting the spoon in the mouth rather than on the dog), but I’m so looking forward to a bright future of glue sticks and construction paper. Crafting was one of my favorite hobbies as a kid, and although I’m not much of a DIY gal now, I love the idea of reserving a quiet afternoon for creativity and play. Especially if it looks like this…
Although the earliest known paper dolls originated in Europe in the 1700s (and were created to entertain adults, no less), it wasn’t until the 1930s that “The Golden Age of Paper Dolls” gained steam. Yet with the introduction of Barbie‘s 3D (or should I write 3DD?) dolls in 1959, the pastime slowly faded from the limelight. Now, more than eight decades later, the paper doll era has returned to glory – thanks to a surprising backlash in technology use among kids.
We’ve seen fruit-shaped crayons, but what about fruit-tasting crayons? Luxirare blogger Ji Kim has boggled the minds of every DIY-loving mom, creating a series of food bars to be molded and formed in the shape of crayons. The kicker is – they actually draw…
Tween boys are crazy hard to shop for, yes? They’re not quite in the throes of the “I’m too good for a gift” stage, but they’re really good at hiding their excitement for absolutely anything that exists. Enter “Stitch the Stars” calendar kit from artist Heather Lins ($24). With glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss (which is OMG the most genius invention in the world) and a super simple poke-and-stitch concept, your favorite tween can get an introduction to embroidery while stitching his own zodiac sign.
Or, you know, the zodiac signs of his many future girlfriends.
Printed with glow-in-the-dark ink on heavy cardstock, the kit arrives in a muslin bag with an embroidery needle, floss and an instruction sheet. (Instruction sheet for tweens themselves not included.)