Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Importance of Art and Self-Expression in Toddlers

The Importance of Art and Self-Expression in Toddlers

The toddler years are full of discovery for a child. Not only is she learning about the world around her, she’s also learning about herself.

One of the most discussed aspects of toddlerhood is how children learn to use words to convey their thoughts and feelings. But children also learn to express themselves in other ways during the early years.

One of the most intriguing ways that youngsters express themselves is through art. If you hand a young child a crayon and a piece of paper, she will almost certainly start scribbling away contentedly. While this may not look like art to an adult, it’s fascinating to young minds.

Toddlers are not consciously aware of color co-ordination and spatial relationships. But art can give them a sense of these things. And this is only the beginning.

Some of the many benefits of art for toddlers include:

* Art boosts a child’s confidence. Even monochromatic scribbles on a piece of paper give kids a sense of accomplishment, because they've created something that wasn’t there before. And as they progress toward using multiple colors and forming recognizable shapes, they gain even more confidence.

* Artistic activities are soothing. Being a toddler can be frustrating, and participating in a quiet activity provides a chance to calm down. Art takes a child’s mind off of the source of frustration and channels it into something enjoyable and productive.

* Art lengthens a child’s attention span. The simple act of putting crayon to paper or squeezing a ball of clay requires a child to pay attention to what she’s doing. And while toddlers tend to spend most of their waking hours on the run, art can keep them sitting still for several minutes at a time. As their skills develop, so will their attention spans.

* Art builds motor skills. Holding a crayon, finger painting, squeezing and flattening clay or play dough, and gluing shapes onto paper all require kids to use their hand muscles in different ways. Such activities also promote hand-eye coordination.

* Creative activities promote abstract thinking. When a child takes an idea and puts it on paper or models it in play dough, she is creating a physical representation of something that exists in her mind. Learning to use this type of thinking early will help your child learn more efficiently throughout life.

Self-expression is a critical part of every child’s development. Speech can help toddlers convey what they’re thinking and feeling, but it can hardly keep up with their constantly evolving brains.

Art provides another much-needed outlet for budding young minds, and at the same time it teaches important skills. It’s also lots of fun for them. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why encouraging toddlers to be artistic is so important.

101 Kid Summer Activities

Kid Tested Activities to keep them Happy, Engaged, and Entertained

Just take a look at some of the great benefits:

  • 101 separate and distinct activities means that you always have something fun to do with your kids
  • Most activities are based on objects you already have at home
  • Active and engaged children are too busy to look for trouble
  • Inspirational and imaginative activities get the kids off the couch and away from the T.V.
  • Active kids are less likely to have weight problems, develop into more active adults, and learn to lead healthier lives
  • Less time in front of the television lets kids use their imaginations, gives them the capacity to think creatively, and helps them develop better problem solving abilities
  • Simple activities require little, if any, preparation so you can pick an activity and do it on the spur of the moment
  • Activities that easily adjust to virtually any age or ability means you can use this resource for years to come!

Instant access -- you can begin using these activities right now!

Go to 101 Kid Summer Activities now, you will not be sorry!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kid's Craft Ideas - How to Make a Birthday Piñata and Have Fun

Kid's Craft Ideas - How to Make a Birthday Piñata and Have Fun

How to Make a Birthday Piñata and Have Fun

Piñatas are all the rage at kids' birthday parties. There's just something about getting blindfolded, trying to hit a brightly colored object with a stick, and picking up the candy that falls when someone succeeds that young people (and the young at heart) love.

Piñatas have become must-haves for birthday celebrations, but unfortunately they're not cheap.

But did you know that piñatas are really easy and fun to make? You can create a colorful piñata with just a few supplies, and you can find some of them around the house.
Here's how to make a simple one.


* Newspaper
* 1/4 cup flour
* 6 cups water, divided
* Large balloon
* Large bowl
* Poster paint
* Twine or other strong string
* Candy and/or small toys


  1. Cut or tear newspaper up into strips 1 1/4 inches wide. Make more than you think you'll need to cover the piñata, because several layers must be applied.
  2. Mix up some papier-mache paste. Mix the flour with 1 cup of cold water, and press out all lumps. Then put the other 5 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add a spoonful of boiling water to the flour and water mixture, and mix well. Continue stirring while slowly pouring the mixture into the boiling water. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and let cool.
  3. Blow up the balloon and tie securely. Set it down in the bowl.
  4. Soak a strip of newspaper in the paste until soaking wet. Smooth it onto the balloon, wiping off excess paste with your fingers.
  5. Add more newspaper strips soaked in paste, overlapping each by about an inch and crossing the strips. Cover all but the tied end with two layers of newspaper.
  6. Let the piñata dry for 2 to 3 days.
  7. Pop the balloon and remove it.
  8. Decorate the piñata with poster paint. Glue on construction paper accents, streamers and other decorations if desired. Let paint and glue dry.
  9. Using an ice pick, carefully poke a hole on each side on the top. Thread a length of twine through the holes and tie the ends together to make a hanger.
  10. Fill the piñata with candy or toys. Cover the hole with masking tape, and paste some newspaper over the tape. Let dry for 24 hours, and paint to match the rest of the piñata.
If you like, you can use a large balloon and a smaller one to make a body with a head. Just cover the balloons separately, let dry and decorate as desired, then put the open ends together after you've added the candy. Attach with more newspaper and paste, and let dry.

Making piñatas is rather messy, but it's also lots of fun. A homemade piñata is also much less expensive than a store-bought one, and it is completely customizable.

The next time you're planning a birthday party, why not try your hand at papier-mache?

Fun Kids Crafts

There is a crafts book that I am very exited about. It is packed with 700 crafts with illustrations and templates and it is suitable for kids from the age of 3 years and up.

You will not have a problem getting more, easy mother’s day crafts for kids in this e-book.

There are over 370 pages filled with fun crafts for kids to make. If you are looking for some more easy mother’s day crafts for the kids to do I very sure you will find it in this newly released craft e-book.

Go on and have a look at “Fun Kids Crafts E-book,” your sure to find lots of crafts in it that is suitable for kids to make. Have fun with it!

The name of this excellent e-book again: “Fun Kids Crafts E-book

Have a look at all the crafts included in “Fun Kids Crafts E-book:”

  • Fathers Day Crafts
  • Easter Crafts
  • Valentines Crafts
  • Christmas Crafts
  • Crafts Without Glue
  • Easy Crafts
  • Egg Crafts
  • Halloween Crafts
  • Holiday Crafts
  • Mothers Day Crafts
  • Preschool Crafts
  • Thanksgiving Crafts
  • Themed Crafts
  • Toilet Roll Crafts

This is only a few of the crafts in this e-book, there are many, many more. Have fun this year with lots of easy mother’s day crafts for kids and crafts for all the other holidays to come.

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You Are Just Moments Away From Discovering Amazing Craft Ideas and 100's of Easy-to-make Crafts & Gift ideas!" You will not have any trouble finding an easy craft for kids to make in this e-book, “Fun Kids Crafts E-Book”

These Crafts Are Specifically designed to be:

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  2. Practical
  3. And most of all - FUN!

All the projects are made from easy to find materials, using simple techniques that really do work. Even the little ones that still have undeveloped motor skills will be able to manage with easy.

Even your little 3 year old will be able to do these easy crafts and make a mother’s day gift for mom

Have a look at all the benefits of Fun Kids Crafts e-book for making gifts and other crafts, “Fun Kids Crafts E-Book.”

  • You can spend some creative & quality time with your child
  • Your gift will always be unique crafts
  • These crafts have easy-to-follow instructions
  • Pictures & Templates included
  • You will save hundreds of $ making your own crafts and gifts

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