Friday, June 29, 2012

Educational Activity Blogger: Creative Sand Play


Written by Vicky from MessforLess.net for GummyLump.com
for ages 3 and up with Adult Participation & Supervision

Seaside Sidekicks Sand Baking Set by Melissa & Doug

With summer nearly here, my kids are starting to want to spend a lot of time outside in the sunshine. My kids have been having a ball in the great outdoors with some fun Sunny Patch Sand Toys by Melissa & Doug. Whether outdoors to you means the beach, the park or your own backyard, these toys will help keep your little ones having fun in the sun. Just make sure to lather on that sun screen!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Crafty Blogger: 4th of July Rockets Craft for Kids


Kids Craft: 4th of July Rockets

by Natalie from SippyCupMom.com for Gummylump.com
for ages 4 years and up with Adult Participation and SupervisionMy kids seriously dig rockets. And they were super excited when I told them that I had a fun 4th of July craft for them to do where they got to make a ton of really fun and festive rockets! Kids can use them to play with or you can decorate with them by creating a rocket ship garland. This craft is also a great way to recycle toilet paper rolls too! 
Supplies:

 Time Needed:
45 minutes plus drying time.
Prep: 
Collect toilet paper tubes. 
Instructions:
  • Have kids paint toilet paper tubes. We did two coats and stuck with solid colors for the bodies of the rockets.



  • Let dry.
  • Cut the nose cones from the 6 x 9 Doodle Pad paper. I tried many different options, but decided that 5.75" half circles made the best nose cones.


  • Using glue gun, create the nose cones by making a crease in the center of the flat side and folding them together and adhering.
  • Attach the nose cones to the painted toilet paper tubes.
  • Have kids paint the nose cones along with any other designs they want to add.

  • Let dry.
  • Have the kids stamp "USA" on little strips, rectangles or squares of paper.

  • Glue these to the rockets.
  • Now they are ready for flight! 


Melissa & Doug Art Supplies at GummyLump.com
Art Supplies for Kids from GummyLump.com

    If you would like to make garland decorations for the 4th of July, cut small strips of ribbon and attach with glue gun from the end of one rocket to the tip of the next rocket's nose cone. Repeat!

     

    These fun little rockets would be a good craft for a birthday party if you constructed them ahead of time and then let the kids do some creative painting on them! You can add stickers and glitter for extra flair. This craft encourages creativity and helps with fine motor skills. This is a fun family project - letting the kids create while you handle the hot glue and maybe the cutting if your children are younger. And of course there is all the fun time you can having afterwards playing with your rockets! 


    I love crafting, scrapbooking, drawing, jewelry making, soap making and cake decorating. And now I have three silly little helpers to assist in these projects! My oldest is a bubbly, artistic girl, the middle child is a sweet little boy who draws rocket ships and race cars and the youngest divides her time between actually coloring and attempting to eat the crayons!  I share my fun crafting adventures on the Sippy Cup Mom blog in my "Make It Pretty Wednesdays" segment. In addition to this, we write about life with kids, travel, reviews, giveaways and much more!

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Ages & Stages: Tips to Having Successful Play Dates

    Written by Megan from NEPAMom.com for GummyLump.com

    Now that school is out for the summer and the warmer weather is here to stay it is important to make sure that your kids don’t just sit around inside for the next three months. One way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to plan play dates for your kids.

    With a little planning and some clear expectations you can make sure your next play date is a successful one, and ensure that your kids have great time.

    Here Are Some Tips for Having Successful Play Dates:

    Don’t assume that play dates have to take place inside the house.
    Younger kids love to play with water toys and run through the sprinkler on warm summer days. Just make sure to have the visiting child dress appropriately and take proper sun protection precautions and everyone can have a great time without the mess indoors.

    Set clear expectations for what rooms and toys are off limits.
    If you don’t want the kids playing in certain rooms, or you don’t want certain toys played with (like your kids favorite lovey or doll!) then make that known from the outset of the play date.  Put those favorite toys away in unused rooms, behind closed doors to prevent problems during the play date.

    Make sure that you have clearly defined start and end times for the play date.
    Nothing ruins a fun afternoon more than a child that melts down from being overtired.  Make sure that you have a pre-determined end time for your play date and give the kids heads up warnings that the time to go home is coming soon.

    Make sure to serve snacks--but always check with parents about food allergies 
    Personally I always like to serve healthy snacks like fruit and cut up veggies and water.  There is nothing worse than picking your child up from a play date all hyped up on sugar!

    Don’t always assume that a play date has to take place at home.
    When my oldest was a preschooler and I had both a toddler and a baby, play dates and the thought of preparing my home for one absolutely overwhelmed me.  It was then that I discovered that a play date on neutral territory was just as much fun as an in-house play date.  A friend with kids of similar ages as mine and I would often meet up at a local park when the weather was warm and sit back and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while our kids ran around and played. Everyone would go home tired and happy and looking forward to the next play date.

    Don’t assume that just preschoolers need play dates.
    Many parents think that play dates are just for the under 5 crowd but I think that organized play dates with friends is just as important for the school age crowd.  Play dates give your school aged children a chance to keep up with your friends during the summer months and maintain those friendships cultivated during the school year.

    Happy playing!


    Megan Wolff Galko, is the founder and owner NEPAMom.com.  Megan is a graduate of the University of Scranton and North Pocono HS. Megan has served as Deputy Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). She is also a former reporter for The Scranton Times and The Moscow Villager. She and her husband, Vince have five children.  They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Educational Activity: Sensory Fun - Exploring Ice & Water with Preschoolers

    by Samantha from LittleHandsBigWork.com

    for children ages 3 years and up with Adult Participation



     
    "Fill a baby pool or sensory tub with different size and shape ice cubes and let your kids explore eith their senses! They can practice motor skills too by spraying, watering and scooping!" ~Samantha

    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Creative Play With Activity Cones---Inside or Outside!


    Educational Activity Blogger:
    Creative Play with Activity Cones---Inside or Outside!


     
    by Vicky from MessforLess.net
    for ages 2 and up with Adult Participation & Supervision
    
     



    Recently, my kids had the chance to play with a set of Activity Cones from Melissa & Doug. What I love about these cones is that they are so versatile! You can play with them on their own or add some other toys to the mix to extend the fun.  We used a pink Trunki Suitcase and a Bollie Ladybug Kickball (both Melissa & Doug toys) in addition to our Activity Cones and came up with five creative play activities that are great fun indoors or outdoors! ~Vicky

     

    Set of 8 Activity Cones and Bollie Ladybug Kickball
    

    Trixie Trunki Kids' Ride-On Suitcase, Friend, and Toy
     

    Thursday, June 21, 2012

    Crafty Blogger: Sea Creature Banner

    Written by Hilary from HacScrap.com

    for ages 4 years and up with adult participation and supervision.

    "To celebrate summer and sunshine, we created a sea creatures banner to hang up and enjoy! Now we can get a little joy of the ocean, right here at home." ~Hilary!


    Tuesday, June 19, 2012

    Educational Activity: Making a Cardboard Carnival!


    Making a cardboard carnival

    by Samantha from LittleHandsBigWork.com
    for children ages 2 years and up with Adult Participation

    "Use cardboard, makers, tape, glue, and construction paper to create carnival games! Encourage logical thinking and problem solving skills as your children try to make their creation work!" ~Samantha

    We love playing with cardboard! There are so many fun and creative things we can make. My boys wanted to make a race track first so we used a long box and drew lines with Melissa & Doug Non-Roll Magic Markers and used construction paper to make a finish line.
    We taped legs on it with packaging tape and began racing!!  


    Once they were finished racing we turned it into a color-sorting ski ball game. The kids used the construction paper to color code three sections at the bottom of the box. They used the glue to secure it in place and then we used two pieces of cardboard to separate the sections.


    We gathered 9 balls (3 yellow, 3 red and 3 blue) and started rolling. The idea was to try and roll the balls into the right color. The red in the middle was the hardest!




    My five year old was the only one able to get all of the colors rolled correctly, but it took him several tries:)


    When just my 2 oldest (4 and 5) and I were hanging out during nap time we decided to make a pinball type game that we had to work together to play. They both came up with obstacles (I helped carry their ideas out) and then they each got on one end or the other and started tilting. They had to talk to each other and decide what goal they were trying to accomplish before they could work together to get there. They used markers to write how many points each goal was and decided the hole in the middle means they lost!

    Cardboard Carnival Pinball!

    Our Cardboard Carnival was super frugal, creative and fun! Try your own :)



    Samantha is a stay at home mom of five children under the age of five. She teaches preschool from her home and loves it! She loves coming up with unique ways for her children and students to learn because when kids are having fun they learn so much better! You can find more activities and fun stuff at Samantha's blog Little Hands Big Work.



    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Ages & Stages: Planning a Father’s Day Picnic with a Preschooler

    Written by Wendy from abcsandgardenpeas.com for GummyLump.com


    "Each June, the store shelves fill with gifts aimed at men---from mugs and games, to grilling aprons and office knick-knacks. It’s always fun to celebrate the devoted dads in our lives, but never more than when there is an enthusiastic preschooler in the mix!" ~ Wendy


    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Crafty Blogger: Father's Day Fishing - Handprint Craft for Kids

    Father's Day Fishing Handprint Craft by Dawn from Life Simply Fabulous for GummyLump.com

    for Ages 3 years and up with Adult Participation and Supervision 

    Since fishing is a big thing in our household I had the kids make a craft for Father's Day centered around fishing. I love hand prints so I had them make the fish with a hand print. ~ Dawn

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Ages & Stages Blogger: Keeping Kids Occupied on the Go

    Ages & Stages Blogger for Gummy Lump Toys
    Written by Megan from NEPAMom.com for GummyLump.com

    With five kids, and a husband who often works out of town, it can get a little crazy trying to juggle all of the sports schedules, appointments and extracurricular activities my kids are involved in.  Having a busy schedule, however, can be made more manageable when you have planned ways to keep your kids happy and occupied while on the go.


    Monday, June 11, 2012

    Crafty Blogger: Shirt & Tie Card Craft for Father's Day!

    by Melinda from LookWhatMomFound...and Dad too for GummyLump.com!for ages 18 months and UP with adult supervision and participation.



    It's that special time of the year where we celebrate Dads, Grandfathers and other father figures in our lives. Have your little ones present them with something handmade. ~ Melinda

    This simple shirt and tie card craft for kids was easy to prep and assemble and can be modifed for more embellishment and detail.

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    Building Fine Motor Skills with Stickers

    Educational Activity Blogger for Gummy Lump Toys
    Written by Vicky from MessforLess.net for GummyLump.com
    for ages 3 and up with Adult Participation & Supervision


    My kids were thrilled to receive some Melissa & Doug Sticker Pads. If your kids are anything like mine, they love stickers. Mine love peeling and sticking them on paper, shirts and siblings! What makes these sticker pads unique is that they offer a variety of play and imaginative opportunities.
     
    Making her sticker face!

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Crafty Blogger: Beach Ball Craft for Preschoolers

    by Amanda from Crafts-N-Things for Children for GummyLump.com
    for Ages 1 year and up with Adult Participation and Supervision

    This is a great craft for preschoolers to practice staying inbetween the lines and making decisions. It is also a fun craft for toddlers to practice color recognition. ~ Amanda
    Beach Ball Preschooler Craft from Gummy Lump

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Sandpaper & Felt Traveling Art Board Craft for Preschoolers


    Written by Natalie from SippyCupMom.com for GummyLump.com
    for Ages 4+ with Adult Participation and Supervision

    Your child will have all they need to create imaginative pictures and creative stories using their Sandpaper & Felt Traveling Art Board!
     
    Sandpaper & Felt Traveling Art Board

    Summer is just around the corner and for many families this means travel! There are plenty of ways to keep your kids busy, but if you want one that encourages creativity and imagination, help them make a Sandpaper & Felt Traveling Art Board! 

    Supplies Needed: 
    Time Needed:  
    • 10 minutes plus painting and drying time
    Instructions: 
    1. Have your kids paint the box; let them go wild! I reused a box that had many dark colors on it. These were covered completely in just two coats of the Poster Paint. Let dry between coats.
    2. Cut sandpaper to fit inside one side of the box.
    3. ADULT: Glue sandpaper using hot glue gun to one inner side of the decorated box.
    4. Cut felt in various shapes and sizes. I did some geometric shapes and some hearts, birds, butterflies, etc. 
    5. When finished, enclose all of your felt shapes within the box and your Traveling Art Board is ready to go on the road!



    Your child will have all they need to create imaginative pictures and creative stories using their custom made shapes. If they are really into bugs, make them some ants, butterflies or ladybug parts. Do you have a child that loves fashion? Cut-out skirts, shirts and shoes to mix and match. The options are endless!


    I love crafting, scrapbooking, drawing, jewelry making, soap making and cake decorating. And now I have three silly little helpers to assist in these projects! My oldest is a bubbly, artistic girl, the middle child is a sweet little boy who draws rocket ships and race cars and the youngest divides her time between actually coloring and attempting to eat the crayons!  I share my fun crafting adventures on the Sippy Cup Mom blog in my "Make It Pretty Wednesdays" segment. In addition to this, we write about life with kids, travel, reviews, giveaways and much more!

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    Using Letter and Number Stickers to Create Photo Memories

    Educational Activity Blogger for Gummy Lump Toys
    Written by Samantha from LittleHandsBigWork.com for GummyLump.com
    for children ages 4 years and up with Adult Participation


    Using Letter and Number Stickers to Create Photo Memories: We used Melissa & Doug Sticker Collection Books to create keepsake photo frames. We practiced fine motor skills by ripping the paper and pulling off stickers. We also worked on letter recognition while spelling out the names of our friends and family.
    
    
    DSC00027
    Creating Photo Memories with Stickers!
      DSC00021
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