Big Kids

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

School Stickers

School Stickers

Let the kiddos personalize their school supplies with school stickers in fun shapes and colors! Our printable school stickers make it easy and it’s a fun arts & crafts project for the kids as well. School Stickers Instructions 1. Download the sticker pages (link below). 2. Print onto sticker paper which can be purchased at an office supply or local craft store. 3. Color in the stickers on the bottom half of the pages with markers. 4. Cut out the shapes along the dotted lines. 5. Peel off the back and stick onto notebooks and backpacks! What You Need: 1. Scissors 2. Markers 3.... Read Post

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Easy Hairdos for Long Hair

Easy Hairdos for Long Hair

Both of my daughters have long hair, which they love! When the warm days get even hotter towards the end of summer, long hair can be a nuisance. That’s why they’ve perfected a couple of quick and easy hairdos that are cute, a bit messy (so playtime doesn’t cause too much damage), and that keep their hair up and out of the way. Kylie’s go-to hairdo is this simple modified pony tail. Just place the hairband around your daughter’s pony tail like you normally would. Pull all the hair through the band a couple times, and on the last pass through, only pull the hair half way through. Separate the... Read Post

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Back to School Labels for Kids

Back to School Labels for Kids

When you send your kiddos off to school for the new school year, you don’t just send them. You send a backpack full of supplies. There are pencils, glue sticks, notebooks, scissors, and more! It’s a huge investment. So the last thing you want to happen is that your investment gets misplaced, lost, or mixed up with someone else’s, right? Labeling all those school supplies is a big part of most families’ back to school preparations. Even though we home school, we still label everyone’s items, so we can tell which notebook or pair of scissors belongs to which student. This year we had fun... Read Post

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Memory Keeping Solutions for Kids

Memory Keeping Solutions for Kids

My girls love to take pictures of just about anything….themselves, their friends, their brothers, their room! We end up having to delete photos from their phones to make room for new ones. Often before we delete old pictures, I’ll print out their favorites for them. But what do we do with all these pictures? Until recently, I’ll shamefully admit that they were stored in a box, or taped to a bedroom wall. We weren’t very organized, and it was truly a mess. I realized that as they get older their affinity for keeping memories alive with pictures will only increase. Apparently it’s... Read Post

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Parenting, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Ideas for Hosting a Doll Party

Ideas for Hosting a Doll Party

Do your kids play with dolls? Mine do, too. For a fun afternoon, and to encourage creativity in a new direction, design your own doll outfits. Provide your kids with some basic supplies and see what kind of outfits they can dream up! Then, suggest that the dolls wear their new outfits to a pretend play doll party with special doll food. DIY No Sew Doll Outfits Using scraps of material, old clothes (tights, socks, pants, belts) and safety pins, kids can create dozens of fashion-forward clothes and accessories – no sewing machine required. 1. Gather your supplies: Material scraps Old clothes:... Read Post

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 in Big Kids, Developmental Skills, Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

Junk Creations Spark Creativity

Junk Creations Spark Creativity

My daughter’s favorite part of kindergarten was making “Junk”. Her teacher asked us to regularly contribute our recycling to her junk box. Every day, the children spent time with the junk, making anything they could dream up. We do this at home now, too. It’s the best (eco-friendly) way to encourage creativity. You’re providing open-ended play for children to create what they want instead of giving step-by-step directions. Without giving directions for each step, kids must problem solve and think for themselves. It’s also great for social skills to have your children work together to make... Read Post

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Outdoor Play | 0 comments

5 Sidewalk Chalk Activities for Kids

5 Sidewalk Chalk Activities for Kids

One of our favorite summer activities for kids is playing with sidewalk chalk. From drawing pictures to playing games, it’s a great way to keep them entertained during the summer, get them active outdoors, and challenger their creativity. Here are five of our favorite sidewalk chalk activities: 1. Good ‘Ole Tic Tac Toe – Tic Tac Toe is a classic game that kids love to play. Turn a regular old Tic Tac Toe game into a Tic Tac Toe tournament with over sized boards drawn on your driveway or sidewalk! 2. Hopscotch – Another classic children’s game that is perfect for creating with sidewalk... Read Post

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 in Big Kids, Developmental Skills, Featured | 0 comments

Get Kids Writing: 20 Writing Prompts for Kids

Get Kids Writing: 20 Writing Prompts for Kids

Creative writing is an important developmental skill for kids. It stretches their imagination, helps them practice grammar, and is the perfect way to keep their minds active during the summer break! Warm summer days and family vacations provide endless inspiration for journal entries. Have your child keep a daily journal throughout the summer, and not only will you keep their minds fresh and ready when school starts back up, but you will also create a summer keepsake full of memories and glimpses into your child’s heart and mind. Caitlyn has been jotting down her thoughts this summer in My... Read Post

Posted on Jul 2, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Creative Ways to Use Shrinky Dinks

Creative Ways to Use Shrinky Dinks

We all know and love Shrinky Dinks, those pieces of plastic art that shrink all up to make cute little play things! My kiddos love to make Shrinky Dinks, and with ALEX Toys’ extensive line, I was inspired to find even more ways to use these amazing little craft kits that are extremely inexpensive. Everyone knows Shrinky Dinks make fun and adorable jewelry, but here are three more creative ways you and your children can use your Shrinky Dinks creations: 1. Cupcake Toppers – Shrinky Dinks usually come in themed sets like the adorable Shrinky Dinks On the Move set that features motorcycles,... Read Post

Posted on Jun 19, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Holiday Crafts | 2 comments

July Fourth Glitter Tattoos

July Fourth Glitter Tattoos

Kids love temporary tattoos. Add a little glitter to the mix and they are super excited! Glitter tattoos are all the rage, and the perfect extra touch of fun for summer carnivals, birthday parties and holiday celebrations. The girls and I experimented recently and created some really cute July Fourth glitter tattoos! For our tattoos, the girls and I used ALEX’s Sparkle Tattoo Parlor – Cool Glam kit. It includes stencils, glue, brushes and four colors of glitter; we choose the star stencil and the red, silver and blue glitter to use for our July Fourth theme. First step is to clean the... Read Post

Posted on Jun 18, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Fun Summer Activity: Face Painting

Fun Summer Activity: Face Painting

Warm days, picnics, frozen treats, and fun in the water…these are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of summer. Summer is here in full swing, and if you’re like me, you’re looking for fun and entertaining ways to keep the kiddos busy during their days off from school. Face painting is a fun and easy way to add some excitement to any day! Why save face painting for those once a year carnivals, Halloween, or special events? With ALEX Toys’ face painting kit and face painting sticks, face painting is fun, quick to do, and easy to clean up! The other day, after a... Read Post

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 in Big Kids, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

School ended yesterday. The kids are tired. I’m tired. The house is trashed –piles of half-used workbooks, graded papers, winter clothes to be put away – seem to have overtaken it. But that’s not the reason I said my 8 and 11-year olds can’t have play dates today. There are two big reasons I’m not letting my kids have play dates. At least not for a while and not as often as they’d like. My goals are that: 1. My girls play together and maintain a strong bond of friendship. 2. My girls get bored –bored enough to spark their creativity, inventiveness, and outside-of-the-box... Read Post

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Holiday Crafts | 0 comments

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

Father’s Day Gift: Silk Screen Tie

The kids and I love to make handmade gifts for my husband for Father’s Day. He always enjoys them so much more than he would a store-bought gift. Handmade gifts are super meaningful, and are always sentimental for years to come for the recipient. This year we tackled a quick and easy necktie project that can be customized for any dad! Silk screening is a fun way to create a clean, flat design on a fabric surface rather than a raised effect you get with bottled fabric paints. Using the fabric dyes and a silk screening kit like the Silkscreen Factory, you can create a wide variety of projects... Read Post

Posted on Jun 11, 2013 in Big Kids, Videos | 0 comments

Play Guessing Games to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

Play Guessing Games to Foster Your Child’s Creativity

Guessing games are fun for the whole family, and are a perfect after-dinner activity that can be shared by everyone to extend meal time togetherness. Spending time as a family is important for bonding and for your child’s social-emotional development. Draw and Guess games are my favorite because they foster creative thinking. We often focus so much on the importance of handwriting skills, gross motor coordination, and self-care skills that we forget that encouraging creativity is just as important. Creative minds are better able to problem-solve, resolve conflicts with others, figure out how... Read Post

Posted on Jun 10, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured | 0 comments

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Learning from Paper Airplanes

Aviation is a big deal in my husband’s family. His grandfather was a flight instructor, his dad ran a flight school, and he got his pilot’s license at 17. He hasn’t had the opportunity to fly for a few years now, but he uses his flight knowledge for his job every single day. Flying is in my son’s blood, so it’s no surprise that he’s in love with the Fold N Fly Paper Airplanes kit. At age five, my son Johnny is a little young for learning the complex theories that explain aerodynamics and aviation, but this craft kit was the perfect opportunity for him to experiment with gliding! First... Read Post

Posted on Jun 4, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

My eight-year-old son is really into spy, detective, undercover agent type stuff. He thinks it’s pretty cool to look for clues, and solve mysteries.  So recently, with some help from ALEX Toys and their Super Sleuth Kit, I put together an exciting mystery scavenger hunt for him. His mission was to explore the crime scene, gather his subjects, decipher the clues, and catch the culprit! The kit includes items for fingerprinting, super cool rear view mirror glasses, a magnifying glass, and flashlight, as well as information on a variety of codes. Beforehand, I created the crime scene, and the... Read Post

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Pretend Play | 0 comments

Put on a Puppet Show!

Put on a Puppet Show!

Pretend play is important for kids. It encourages creativity and imagination, as well as critical developmental skills. At our house, I try to do my best to encourage creativity and imagination at every turn. We have a designated area for art and crafting with plenty of art supplies available to the kids at all times. I also try to incorporate creativity exercises into our home school lessons having the children write stories or put on plays. One of their favorite activities is creating a puppet show, a hit for children from preschool age to middle school. My oldest has gotten quite good at... Read Post

Posted on May 15, 2013 in Big Kids | 0 comments

Creative Ways to Play Traditional Games

Creative Ways to Play Traditional Games

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Posted on May 4, 2013 in Big Kids, Developmental Skills, Featured | 0 comments

Monkeying Around

Monkeying Around

ALEX’s Monkey Balance Board is a therapist’s dream toy!  It’s perfect for working on your child’s gross motor skills, and, with a little creativity, it can keep the kids occupied for hours. The concept is pretty simple.  The child stands on the board with a foot on each side and tries to keep the board balanced, without letting the sides touch the ground.  The recommended ages for the Monkey Balance Board are 3 and up (you will want to be within arm’s reach for 3 year olds), but my 6 year old niece also had a blast, even deciding that she would like one for her birthday!  My 22 month old... Read Post

Posted on May 1, 2013 in Big Kids, Videos | 0 comments

Celebrate Spring with Giant Paper Flowers

Celebrate Spring with Giant Paper Flowers

My Giant Paper Flowers is one of my all-time favorite ALEX products. It’s not just because it was one of the first products I helped create for ALEX, it’s because this one really has a wow factor. Take brightly colored tissue paper that’s been cut into whimsical petals, add pipe cleaners, fold and fluff. It’s truly spectacular! I invited my sweet niece Alyssa (10 years old) over to make some flowers! First she chose her sheets of tissue paper, stacked them up and began to accordion fold them. Then she twisted a pipe cleaner stem around them, spread out the petals and began to fluff them up... Read Post

Posted on Apr 30, 2013 in Big Kids | 0 comments

ALEX’s Doodle Cake Crayons are Doodles of Fun!

ALEX’s Doodle Cake Crayons are Doodles of Fun!

As an occupational therapist and parent, I love checking out new crafts. My favorites are the ones that keep the kids happily occupied, while working on their motor skills without them even knowing it. ALEX’s Doodle Cake Crayons delivered all that and more! The kids really enjoyed it and it didn’t take much work on the part of the parent either. I get a little intimidated by craft kits you have to cook, and I have to admit I also became a little afraid when I saw all those crayon crumbles. But the preparation and cooking was a breeze and keeping the mess under control was pretty easy too. We... Read Post

Posted on Apr 27, 2013 in Big Kids, Featured, Science for Kids | 0 comments

A Little Science Project: Growing Crystals

A Little Science Project: Growing Crystals

My kids recently grew salt crystals using colored salt water on a sponge, and the ALEX Kid Concoctions Grow a Crystal Dino set was a great way to expand their understanding of crystals and how they form! The set comes with a small pouch of crystal liquid and two trays to hold a cardboard dinosaur and two cardboard trees. My four-year-old and six-year-old worked together to set it up. Once it was put together, it was time to hypothesize about what would happen when we added the crystal liquid. They looked at the clear liquid, and decided that nothing would happen. We added the liquid around... Read Post

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 in Big Kids, Parenting | 0 comments

How To Organize Your Home For Reading Fun

How To Organize Your Home For Reading Fun

I knew I needed to get organized when a babysitter told my kids to clean up their rooms and my oldest daughter said, “Why? Just look at our house!” Gulp. So, the piles of books got organized and our house feels much tidier. I’ve found that organizing our children’s books (in more than piles) entice my kids, even the youngest, to read. To make reading even more fun, we created cozy reading spaces in the kids’ rooms and in the living room. You can do it, too. Here are our tried and true suggestions.   1. Create a Cozy Reading Nook for Kids Create a reading corner for your kids to curl up... Read Post

Posted on Apr 22, 2013 in Big Kids | 0 comments

5 Easy Ways to Go Green

5 Easy Ways to Go Green

Any day is the perfect day to set green goals and make some changes for your family; becoming more eco-conscious is a goal we should all make, not just on Earth Day! “Going green” doesn’t have to be an entire lifestyle change, though. There are many easy and simple things you can do as a family to get the “green” ball rolling! Here are five easy ways to go green. 1. Recycle – Some people think that recycling takes too much time and effort and does it even really help? The answer is, “YES!” Recycling keeps tons of trash out of landfills every year, and it takes very little time if you have an... Read Post