Get Messy Making Valentines + The Benefits of Messy Play For Pre-schoolers.

The idea for today’s post comes from the wonderful website Red Ted Art.  This site is a treasure trove of art and craft projects with videos for kids of all ages.

PRE-K activity:  SHAVING CREAM VALENTINES:   https://www.redtedart.com/valentines-cards-for-kids/

Materials:  trays, shaving foam, red and pink non-toxic acrylic paint, craft sticks, hearts cut from white copy paper.

1. Squirt shaving foam into a deep tray and drizzle red and pink paint over the top of it.

2.Take Popsicle sticks and gently swirl the mixture around until the paint leaves a trail behind it through the shaving foam.

3. Press large paper hearts down into the mixture leaving them to completely dry.

Valentines Cards for Kids - easy and quick

Benefits of Messy Play for your Child

Whether you love to get messy or not, there is no doubt that the benefits of letting your kids enjoy messy play at home, definitely outweigh the post-session clean up operation.

With careful planning and preparation, there is no reason to stress the mess of setting up a messy play activity for your child. Instead sit back and enjoy watching them learning as they play.

  • Exploring different materials and textures with their hands provides an excellent work out for their developing fine motor skills.
  • Allowing your child to take charge of how they use the activity is great for their confidence and self-esteem.
  • It can be used to stimulate all of their senses or just a few at a time.
  • Listening too and talking to your child about what they are doing, works not only on building their language skills, but it is also helping to expand their growing creativity and imagination. It may look like a pile of mush to you, but listen to how your child’s imagination can bring it to life.

 Credit and thanks for the benefits of messy play go to:  http://www.craftykidsathome.com/horsie-horsie-messy-play/ 

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New Year = New Plans.

No matter how many times we grumble and grouse about new year’s resolutions, many of us still look forward to a fresh start and chance to do things differently in the new year.  As a writer, I usually make goals that reflect my aspirations and hopes in the writing field.  Completing a draft of a new novel.  Sending a finished project to my agent, hoping for a sale.  Reading as many MG, YA, and PB’s as I can throughout the year.  These have been recurring goals as I browse past journal entries.

This year I want to add something new:  For every PB, MG, and YA book I read, I hope to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads to boost the visibility of my author friends and help spread the word about books I really enjoy.  Popular authors like Kate DiCamillo, Neil Gaiman, Katherine Applegate, Jacqueline Woodson, etc, don’t have to worry about getting reviews.  Everything they write is featured everywhere we look.  Rightly so and deserved.

But for many of us who have written quality books for children, and received praise and accolades from friends and acquaintances, as well as the children we write for, I want to take it one step further.  It takes only a few moments to write a sentence or two stating what you enjoyed about a book.  It goes a long way toward helping an unknown author receive recognition and maybe sell a few more books.  (Caveat: If you don’t like a book, spare the author any venomous reviews.  There is enough negativity in this world.)

I hope some of you will join me in spreading the word and “paying it forward” for a favorite author.

Here’s a link to a printable calendar for keeping track of all those reviews…or for setting your own goals.

https://www.redtedart.com/free-cute-printable-calendar/

HAPPY NEW YEAR and Happy Reading!

The Gift of STAR WARS: Kids Crafts of Favorite Characters.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement of a new Star Wars Movie.  Especially one featuring the original characters.  For the Star Wars fans in your house, why not check out the amazing crafts, food items and activities found on the Red Ted Art site. In addition to the YODA  craft below, it features Princess Leia Cupcakes, Chewie Cookies, Wookies, Death Star Watermelon, Milk Carton Storm Troopers, and many more fun to make crafts.

You can start off with the easy YODA craft that even the youngest children can make.

yoda craftJust follow the pattern shown.  Here’s the link to the site for more than 30 STAR WARS activities, crafts and recipes.  http://www.redtedart.com/2014/12/26/30-star-wars-crafts-activities/

Have fun, and MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!