Posts Tagged ‘Crafts’

23rd Annual Celebration of Fine Art...come see the artists at work!

Yes, spring break is upon us and if you are anything like me, you are scrambling to keep kids busy with things other than video games and movies! In my hunt for the affordable (and hopefully sneaking in that somewhat educational!) entertainment in the Valley of the Sun, I have discovered a real gem! Today I took my five children (ages 2 through 12) to the Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, AZ.

The show highlights work from over 100 artists, some local and some traveling from out of state to attend. What’s fun about a glorified outdoor art museum you might ask? Well, the coolest thing about this art exhibit is the artists are actually on site WORKING on their art! You can ask questions, see demonstrations of their technique, or just shoot the breeze about the latest trends. My kids LOVE that they can actually see the artists at work and ask questions! My youngest loved all the colors and because many of the artists enjoy bringing their pets on site, he LOVED playing with the friendly little pups resting at the foot of several of the artists. One particular artist today painted birds and could mimic a bird call so convincingly that we had to look around for a minute for the bird before we realized it was her!

Whitney Peckman was one of our favorite artists! Here she displays some of her hand sculpted and painted gourds. Amazing!

Rather than learn from art teachers who are bound by certain techniques they are required to teach, these artists have no such restrictions and they truly let their imaginations go wild with the off-the-wall techniques they’ve invented, the customized processes they’ve had to discover and the media they have developed to answer that creative call!

When we arrived home this afternoon from over 3 hours there, my kids all rushed to our art cabinet and immediately took to making their own wildly creative pieces with all their new ideas!

Looking to get inspired? This is your chance! When we arrived home this afternoon from over 3 hours there, my kids all rushed to our art cabinet and immediately took to making their own wildly creative pieces with all their new ideas!

The event runs through March 24th and is open daily from 10am to 6pm. It’s located on the SW corner of Hayden Rd. and Loop 101 (Exit 35 from the 101). Just look for the big white tents! The best part?? It’s FREE for kids under 12!!! Yes, that’s right…FREE! Adults are $10 but if you go to the 23rd Annual Celebration of Fine Art website, you can download a 2 for 1 coupon for adult tickets.

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Laveen is having their Laveen Art League and 2nd Friday Community Market This Friday, December 14th from 6:00pm-9:00pm in the South Mountain Community College – Laveen Campus courtyard.

The Laveen Art League will have their on campus gallery open for viewing of art from the majority of Laveen Art League members. The artists that will be hanging in two rooms work in a variety of mediums, such as papercrafting, jewelry, photography, mixed media, painting, drawing and more. On Friday December 14th, there will also be children’s activities and crafts, like a “Seek and Find” activity as well as an “Art Petting Zoo”, Music and Puppetry performances, Paint and Take and a visit from Santa Himself!

Fantasy Face will be face painting at this event so come join us for some holiday glitter!

Fantasy Faces (courtesy of yours truly!) will also be hanging out with Santa to paint faces and bring some holiday glitter to your smile! So stop by and get a unique work of art you can wear all night long!

Some other vendors you might recognize are Kettlecorn, Native American Frybread, It’s a Divine Bakery, Double L Originals, The Spirit Box, Native American Jewelry (Rosina), Rider’s Ranch, Maricopa County Stormworks and City of Phoenix, Hot Dog cart, 4 Elements, Fantasy Faces, Joyce, Bethany and Capiz by the Sea!

Outside the gallery will be a wonderful selection of food and craft vendors, with beautiful handmade crafts and delicious food. While some do take debit/credit, you may want to bring some cash with you for when you find something you love!

This is a not to be missed holiday event! The location is South Mountain Community College Campus at 5001 W Dobbins Road, Laveen, AZ 85339.

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“NO! Not flashcards, mom! They’re BORING!”…

You know what? My daughter was RIGHT! Being more along the artistic and music side myself, flashcards did nothing more than frustrate and bore me as a kid too and I have to admit, they’re not any more interesting as an adult! While they do still have their place in education, we have stumbled across some wonderful activities that can not only be fun, but of equal educational benefit. And even better, YOU can make these at home! And in most cases, for less than a dollar!

Pool Noodle Learning Game

The first is a number game. Take a rope of about two feet and knot it at one end. Insert this knotted end into a whiffle ball. Take a couple of pool noodles of varying colors (ours were blue, yellow, white and pink) and cut from the end 2 three inch cylinders from each color plus one extra from the color of your choice. Write a number on each cylinder, 1-9. Now you can create any number of combinations of colors or numbers for your child to try to duplicate. Your child can then string the appropriate color or number in order onto the string that you attached to the whiffle ball. This not only works on dexterity but on color and number recognition as well as pattern association…and it’s lots of fun!

The second activity we have for you is called a Tangram. For those of you unfamiliar with Tangrams, they are a puzzle brought out of China. Using several predetermined shapes (click here to check out a site devoted to Tangram printouts), your child can move the shapes around until they create a recognizable shape. They can either try to duplicate shapes already created, or make up their own. The catch is that all the shapes must be used and none of them can overlap! It’s quite a challenge!

Now we don’t want to leave out those early readers! So here’s one more activity that’s great to help them with their phonograms as they start to learn how to blend sounds and recognize letter combinations. Take a plastic easter egg. On one side of the seam where the egg comes together, write the letter combination “at”. One the other side of the seam write “h”, “r”, “c” and “b”…one above the other along the seam. Now when you twist the egg, the “at” will align with one of the other letters to form a word. You can print small pictures of a “hat”, a “rat”, a “cat” and a “bat” and cut them out to fit inside the egg. As your child twists the egg and discovers the new letter combinations, they can try to guess what’s inside the egg!

Word Family Eggs

We hope you enjoy some of these learning crafts with your children! Happy “back-to-school” month! If you have any fun learning crafts that you have found helpful, please share them in the comments! We’d love to hear what has worked for you and your family!

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What are YOU thankful for?…

November 4th, 2011 12:58am

We had lots of little goblins and ghoulies this Halloween and once again, made it all home safely with our overstuffed bags of candy! Aside from another scorpion sighting, we made it through this spooky holiday unscathed! We hope your Halloween was equally safe and full of more treats than tricks.

Looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, it is easy to start reflecting on the many blessings in our lives. In this difficult economy with financial stresses and economic woes, it is sometimes easy to forget the important things in our lives. It is equally difficult for our children to appreciate the small but important blessings in their lives. We’ve got some fun family activities that might help everyone count those most important daily blessings in our lives. Hope this gives everyone some positive family fun!…

Create a Thankful Paper Chain

Similar to a  regular paper chain (cut strips of paper and connect them together as loops) but a Thankful Paper Chain has things you are thankful for written on each paper strip. Take a moment each day of November to add chains and by Thanksgiving, you’ll have a unique reminder of the blessings in your lives! Use green and white paper and keep it up as a Christmas decoration!

Giving Thanks Placemats

The goal here is to create something that can be a reminder of each year of your childs life and the things they were most thankful for that year. Help your kids cut out pictures, draw, paste special items or photos and make a collage of all these materials. Take the completed collage to a copy shop and have it laminated! Don’t forget to put your childs name and the date on it!

Basket of Leaves

Create a small paper box and cut out leaves from different colored paper (fall colors of course!). This will be their Basket ‘O Blessings! Have your kids write something they are thankful for on each leaf and put them in each others boxes. Keep collecting leaves through the next few weeks. At Thanksgiving, have each child read through the leaves in their boxes and see if they are thankful for the same things or maybe they missed a few! It will be a good exercise for your kids to see what each of them is thankful for and how their blessings differ. Also a great opportunity for each child to anonymously tell their siblings things they are thankful for about that person…great esteem builder!

We hope this gives you some fun ideas for this Thanksgiving season!

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October Festival!

October 20th, 2011 7:13pm

Ok, I know this is somewhat limiting to all of you out there not currently in Arizona. But for those of you burned out on the traditional pumpkin patches of Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek or Mother Nature’s Farm in Gilbert, we’ve got a new alternative for you! Hop on over to DeWitt Stables and let your kids enjoy “The Patch of Pumpkins, Pets and Ponies”! You definitely can’t beat the price! Kids under 3 are FREE and admission is $5.00 for 3 and up. Families can purchase a group ticket for only $25.00! They also have special rates for larger groups.

Besides picking out that perfect pumpkin from their pumpkin patch, kids can enjoy hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, a hay maze, a craft fair, games and even more rides! The festival hours are Fridays from noon until dark and Saturdays from 10:00am until dark.

DeWitt Stables is located at 2211 E. Quince in Mesa, just 1/2 mile north of the 202 Red Mountain on Gilbert Rd. For more information, call (480) 717-9540 or visit their website at www.dewittstables.com

Be sure to mark your calendars with our pumpkin graphic to help remind your little ones of the upcoming holiday fun! Halloween is almost upon us!

Kids will love this great petting zoo!

Pony rides are sure to delight those little western rustlers!

Don't forget to stop by the pumpkin patch for the perfect holiday pumpkin!

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It means so much to our kids when we display their artwork in our home. It can boost their morale, help them feel appreciated and contribute to their confidence in succeeding. But sometimes, we look at our cluttered walls and wonder, “what would this look like if it weren’t covered in scribbles?!” Well, one of our subscribers, Meggin, found a wonderful fun compromise!…

She started with your basic set of fingerpaints, large paper and of course, her two toddlers! She let the kids go nuts outside with the various colors of fingerpaint. Along with their crazy splashing across the page, each toddler thought it fun to make their own handprints on different pieces of paper as well. Once it was dry, she noticed some really fun coloring combinations along with some interesting lines in her little ones artwork. She had some extra frames and decided to see what they looked like. Then she found the pages with the handprints on them and had one of those “lightbulb” moments! She cut out the handprints, framed the large pages and placed the handprint on top of the matted artwork. She finished it off with each childs name and date and voilá! She had a beautiful piece of memorable artwork to perch on her wall that not only looked nice, but was a great positive reminder to her and her little ones of the days fun and the creative powers of those little minds!  Thanks for sharing, Meggin!

If you or someone you know has a great craft or creative activity for young children, please submit them to us at info@mytimecalendars.com with subject line of “creative fun”.

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Activities to beat the heat!

June 4th, 2010 11:59pm

If you’re an Arizonan, you know exactly where this article is coming from! Those of us sweltering away in the Arizona summer are on the prowl again for some summer fun that does not involve melting away in the afternoon heat! So we’ve got a few ideas for those of you looking for excursions with your kiddos that will wear them out well before the afternoon sun begins to beat us into submission! Incidentally, we’ve included some pricing here but if you want to get in some of these places for free, get to your local library and check out a “Culture Pass“!

Phoenix Zoo New Baby Zebras

The Phoenix Zoo has welcomed two new baby zebras along with a host of other new little ones!

Visit the Phoenix Zoo! If you have never been to this locale before, then it is definitely time! And if you’ve visited enough to say, “we’ve seen it all!”, then we’ve got news for ya…you haven’t! The Phoenix Zoo has welcomed a slew of new babies into their midst. Zebras, marmosets, big horn sheep and even a couple of year old giraffes have joined the crew. Plus, their new summer hours make it a much more enjoyable experience for all. They open now at 7:00am (or 6:00am if you’re a member) and close at 2:00pm on the weekdays and 4:00pm on the weekends. Enjoy the animal encounters throughout the morning, pack a lunch for a picnic with the monkeys at monkey island, and then cool off at the refreshing waterfall, waterslide and splash pads of Yakulla Caverns before departing for a welcomed afternoon nap! Admission is $16.00 for adults (ages 13 and up) and $7.00 per child (ages 3-12).

Sea Life Aquarium of Arizona

Check out the brand new Sea Life Aquarium at Arizona Mills Mall!

Visit Arizona Mills Mall for a unique experience at their Sea LIfe Arizona Aquarium! You can enter through the mall but once inside, kids will see an underwater playground where thousands of marine animals are shown in 12 distinct habitats. You will even be able to walk through a 360-degree tunneled walkway  directly through a massive tank full of schools of tropical fish, rays and sharks as they swim above, below and all around you! There is a children’s play area, video room and educational center. You can purchase day admission tickets, flex passes, and memberships. A day pass will run you $9.50 for kids 3-12,and $17.50 for adults (these are the online prices which are slightly cheaper than buying at the door).

Public Library Programs

Think the library is just for reading? Guess again!

Think the library is just for reading? Guess again! Our Public Libraries not only have a great summer readers program for kids, but they’ve also got some fun events you might want to put into your calendars!…

  • Every wednesday (except June 16th) from 10:30-11:30am, the Main Library offers Toddler Time for Ages 24 through 36 months and their parents/cargivers (siblings welcomed). 20 minutes of stories, songs and fingerplay fun especially for Toddlers! (Limited to the first 50 people)
  • June 8, 1:00-2:00pm (Main Library) Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium activity…Wonders of the Water: Learn about and meet some cool aquatic and semi-aquatic animals. Also available on June 24th, same time, at the Red Mountain Branch as well as June 30th at the Dobson Ranch Branch.
  • June 9, 10:30-11:30am (Dobson Ranch Branch)…Join the puppeteers for a performance of the classic fairy tale Rapunzel. And at 1:30, bring your older kids to try their hand at making their own “ball” book!
  • June 10, 1:00-2:00pm (Red Mountain Branch)…kids of all ages will have a blast with the crafts and bubble blowing at this event! You can catch this event at the Main Library June 15 from 10:30-11:30am or June 16 at Dobson Ranch Branch, same time.
  • June 19, 1:00-3:00pm (Red Mountain Branch)…great opportunity to get your video game addicts out of the living room and into a library! On the 3rd Saturday of each month, the Red Mountain Branch will test your skills on their Wii along with board games and fun for ages 4-18.
  • June 26, 1:30-3:30pm (Main Library, Dobson Ranch Branch, and Red Mountain Branch)…In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you might not be aware of the Eclipse movie coming to theaters at the end of this month. Join the Library in celebrating this books release to theaters with Twilight trivia games for prizes (such as Harkins movie tickets, drink cups, and popcorn coupons), raffles for a book purse made from the Eclipse hardback, dress like your favorite Twilight character (JUST BECAUSE!), sink your teeth into some snacks and if you’re into preparing a little, make and wear your own Twilight-themed T-shirt to enter the “Wear Your Own Twilight T-shirt” contest to win a copy of Eclipse!
  • June 28, 1:00-2:00pm (Main Library)…Express your artistic side through the art of silk screen printing. Learn the basics and create a cool t-shirt (supplies and t-shirt provided)!

Looking for some free books for your kids? Barnes and Noble can help! Sign up at any location for their readers program! Just download their Readers Passport to record your child’s progress. Once your child reads 8 books, they get to choose one for free from their local Barnes and Noble!

Well, that should hopefully get you started! Maybe we’ll see you somewhere along the way! Enjoy your kiddos while they’re at home and don’t forget to mark your planned activities on your child’s personalized calendar so they can look forward to and remember all the fun you have this month!

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Fun Valentine crafts for young kids

February 8th, 2010 6:38pm

Valentines Day is about showing other how much we care about and appreciate them. This is such a wonderful holiday for helping kids to think outside of themselves. To consider and show appreciation for the talents, abilities, and importance of others is a difficult but very important skill we all struggle with. Sacrificing time and energy (rather than just mom and dad’s money) to create these messages of thankfulness helps children (and adults!) show a spirit of true consideration. Are you scrambling for some fun, low budget ideas for helping your kids make this Valentines Day truly memorable? Well, we’ve got a few winners for you!

Buying Valentines Cards is certainly easy and sometimes affordable. If you’re little one is working on writing their name, it can be a great way to practice this skill since they will have to write their name several times over in one sitting. If this is a skill you are working on, it can help if you have fairly large valentines cards so that they will have room to write (early writers rarely have the control and coordination required to write very small). It might also help if you draw a line if one does not already exist so that your little one has a reference as they practice their name writing. Without the guidance of lines, you may find this to be a very unproductive and frustrating practice time.

But for those who have mastered their name writing and are looking for a fun alternative to the standard “card”, we suggest a “Valentine’s Mouse”. This little critter requires very little cost for a very fun outcome! The materials you will need are:

  • colored paper
  • red/black marker or glitter glue
  • pipe cleaners
  • bag of Hershey Kisses
  • glue/tape

Take the colored paper, fold it in half, and begin cutting half-heart shapes along the fold (this will ensure your finished heart will be symmetrical). These small hearts will be glued to the bottom of the Hershey Kiss to form the “ears” of our mouse. Next, take a pipe cleaner and curl it around a pencil. The will be taped to the bottom of the Hershey Kiss as well and bent to resemble our mouse tail. Next, take the marker and make eyes (using a black marker) and a nose (using the red marker or red glitter glue)  for your mouse….and voila! You have your very own valentine critter to deliver!

For a fun surprise for a teacher, parent or grandparent…consider giving them a “heart attack”! This is a simple, easy and inexpensive craft that is lots of fun for the giver and truly memorable for the receiver. First cut as many hearts as possible from several different colors of paper (the more sizes and colors, the more fun!). Next, take a marker and write on each heart something you like, admire, or a special memory about the person. If you have children that are not writing, special pictures are also wonderful. Again, the more, the merrier! Take the finished hearts and tape/post them all over the person’s bathroom, bedroom, front lawn (be aware of sprinklers!), office or any other space that the person spends a lot of time in. The key to success here is to not get caught posting the hearts! When the person returns, they will be greeted with their “heart attack” of special messages from their children. This is a wonderful way for kids to learn to “count their blessings” and be truly thankful for this special someone by remembering all the things they love about them and writing them down. The best reward is the look on the person’s face when they enter the room!

Whatever crafts you decide, make sure you take the time to explain why this holiday is so important. Help your kids remember that showing someone you love and appreciate them is truly one of the best ways to not only make their day, but also make your day a little brighter!

Do you have some fun crafts that have worked well with your family or classroom? Share ’em! Visit our Teachers Forum under classroom activities!

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Need help with your bowtieing this year?

November 24th, 2009 1:34pm
No more rats nests on top of my packages!

No more rats nests on top of my packages!

If you are like me who has somehow managed to be born with the non-bowtieing gene, then the holidays are somewhat of a struggle when you are surrounded by beautifully tied packages and offer a large oversized knot in return. But I have found two wonderful sites that have come to my rescue!

For you who appreciate the basics, check out this “how to” from Wikihow.comhttp://www.wikihow.com/Tie-a-Bow

If you are looking to really impress, then SaveOnCrafts.com is where you want to go…http://www.save-on-crafts.com/howtomakebows.html

No more rats nests on top of my packages!

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New clipart, new coloring pages!

November 20th, 2009 1:32am

We’re continuously trying to add to our growing gallery of clipart and children’s activities. We’ve recently updated our clipart gallery to further help you describe to your little one their daily schedules. We’ve also added some coloring pages and posters to our resources section! We hope your little one will enjoy them! Stay tuned for even more in the upcoming weeks.

A little heads up on what’s to come…we’re currently in production on some interactive games that will soon be available to our subscribers for your little one to further improve their technical skills on the computer while boosting their number and letter recognition skills! We’ll keep you posted and let you know as soon as these games are available!

We’ve got some exciting projects in the works so keep checking in as we continue to increase our offerings and help your little learn to play with time and have time for play! If you’re still wondering what to get that special little someone, consider a membership to MyTime Calendars! It will be a gift they can use all year long that will not only be fun but also a valuable enhancement to their education!

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