Parenting & Families

projects to inspire creativity in kids

5 Useful Projects to Inspire Creativity in Children

Art & craft projects are supposed to inspire creativity in children, but they don’t have to remain limited to only the traditional origami, collages, and coloring projects. You can introduce a number of off-beat projects to their curriculum that goes beyond the usual and teach them craftwork that is not only creative but quite useful as well.

5 Projects to Inspire Creativity in Children

Start incorporating more opportunities for children to be creative in your homeschool lesson plans. Here are five projects you can complete with little preparation and you mostly likely already have most of the materials on hand at home!

DIY Luminaries Craft

A simple battery-powered white tealight can easily be transformed into beautiful luminaries with the help of paper bags, colored tissue papers, clear tape, a sealant, Pergamenata paper and some optional stickers and paints. It takes a bit of precision and know-how, but kids can do it with a bit of guidance.

Making Cards

The very act of making cards for someone close to you is special, whether you are a child or not. However, the Adobe Spark card maker makes this process easy enough to be approached by even small children. This is similar to designing a white card but is much more economical, approachable, and it offers a lot more options than is ever possible with pen and paper. You don’t have to worry about buying new cards and materials every time and the children are free to experiment as much as they want. Once they are done with the work, simply print out the cards you need and save or discard the rest.

The LEGO Birdhouse

There is a whole range of useful things that people make out of LEGOs and that’s not really very surprising, given that they are building blocks after all. We have chosen the Lego birdhouse here because it’s relatively simple to make, easy to wash, and looks absolutely gorgeous amidst a flower garden in the yard, or even on your windowsill. Your children may need some help with this though, along with a lot of Lego blocks! Remember to make the house and the openings appropriately sized for the kind of birds you want to attract.

Make Wind Chimes

The wind chime is an ancient ornament which is amazing and simple at the same time. It is one of those rare percussion instruments that is constructed by man but played by nature. Find a stick or a branch that’s at least a foot long and then shave off any sharp or protruding parts first. Hang at least 6 – 8 (more if you want) colored metal pieces or useless keys from it with separate strings for each. Do color the metal pieces or keys in different shades to make it look beautiful. Hang the wind chime outside a door, window or in the garden.

Painted Paperweight Craft

As we begin to rely more and more on our digital formats, paper is losing its value, but it isn’t over for the paper industry yet, and that’s why you need some beautifully painted stones from your kids to keep the newspaper and the documents down at home. Find some smooth rocks and let them paint on it with acrylic colors. The imaginative mind of a child can make the paperweights look amazing.

Art doesn’t always have to be practical, so feel free to incorporate as many varieties of it into your children’s craft classes as you can. Different projects stimulate different sections of the brain as children learn and improve while working on those projects. Nevertheless, the five projects above should add an extra bit of usefulness and incentive to your kid’s art & craft project.

 

encourage kindness

Free Printable Helps Kids Learn Kindness and #SparkGoodness

With summer coming to an end and school days in session for both homeschool and traditional school children, there’s a phrase that keeps echoing through my mind. “Spark good.” With so many pressures on our children during the year, it’s so important to keep kindness at the front of our minds.

It started with this summer when author T.A. Barron shared summer sparks to encourage parents and children to do good in their communities and the world.

In a world where online bullying, hate speech, and just plain lack of consideration are all too common, even a simple act of kindness like holding a door open, paying someone a compliment, or sending a thank you note can make a world of difference. Think of the friend that welcomed you when you moved into your neighborhood. Picture the positivity spread by the cashier at your local grocery store. Get inspired by the kindness of those around you to spark your own movement of compassion and understanding.

Kind acts and good deeds really spark a movement of kindness and benevolence. Start by downloading the summer sparks, 50 ways to create summer sparks, including such deeds as reading to a younger child, picking up trash in the community, and opening a free lemonade stand on a hot day. You can also track the good acts on the free downloadable tracker as well. It’s a good way for kids to hold themselves accountable and it’s fun to see the goodness add up. After a while, kindness will become a habit!

Summer sparks are one thing, but it’s important for our kids to know that goodness doesn’t stop when the heat dissipates and the pool days lessen. T.A. Barron also has a mission to fall into goodness into autumn months and beyond with his Spark Goodness campaign. Using the hashtag #sparkgoodness, you and your family can enter your own good deeds (either from the summer sparks handout or your own ideas). Entries should be submitted on T.A. Barron’s website with a winner and four runners up each month through October 2018. These winners, all who inspire goodness in the world, will be entered for the grand prize (and four runners up) in November 2018 determined by reader votes. Each month has a special prize, so check the website to see what you can win!

The contest has inspired my family and me to spread and “spark” goodness in the world. Share the ways you make a difference and keep the movement going. Think of the difference you’ll make by showing someone just a little bit of kindness.

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10-Tips-to-Get-Kids-Outside-and-Active-Featured

10 Tips to Get Kids Outside and Active

Summer is here and it’s a great time for families with children to spend time outdoors and together.  The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), a nonprofit organization providing mental health and special education services to children ages 5-14 in the greater Washington, DC area, offers tips to help families.

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