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Parenting tips, game and toy ideas for you and your child. Seasonal crafts, at home projects, stickers, and holiday decorations.

Posted on Dec 4, 2013 in Holiday Crafts | Comments Off

Kids Thanksgiving Crafts: How To Make Indian Corn Jewelry

Kids Thanksgiving Crafts: How To Make Indian Corn Jewelry

In search of festive kids Thanksgiving crafts, we took out our Kid Concoctions Weird Wacky & Wild book and found the prefect project! See below for the “How-To” on making jewelry out of Indian corn. To make Indian Corn Jewelry you will need: Indian corn kernels Sewing needle Thread Bowl Water An adult I couldn’t find loose kernels at any of my local grocery stores, so I bought the decorative bunches of Indian corn sold in the floral department. The first step is to take all the kernels off of the cob. Lori actually had a really fun time popping them all off! Put all the kernels in a bowl... Read Post

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off

Five DIY Gifts Kids Can Make

Five DIY Gifts Kids Can Make

Homemade gifts are my favorite for the holidays! Our family has made all sorts of items together over the years as gifts for family and friends, from knitted winter caps to jewelry. One year, using clay, we created an entire chess set for my husband featuring our family members! He loved it! The best part is getting the kids involved. While they may not have the funds to go purchase gifts for the important people in their lives, they will always have the energy and the love to create their own. Homemade gifts don’t have to be perfect, in fact it’s the imperfections that make them valued in... Read Post

Posted on Nov 18, 2013 in Holiday Crafts | Comments Off

Fall Crafts For Kids: How To Make Indian Corn

Fall Crafts For Kids: How To Make Indian Corn

Fall is my favorite time of year! The changing leaves serve as a vibrant inspiration for crafts to make with the kids and then use as decorations around the house. The kids and I Iove to decorate our home for fall with various seasonal décor that we create ourselves, and there are so many fun and creative fall crafts for kids, such as painting colorful fall trees, or making scarecrow families to hang in our school room. One of our all time favorites is making Indian corn. It’s an easy craft project for the little ones to make and is a natural hit since toddlers and preschoolers love... Read Post

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 in Printables | Comments Off

Printable Craft for Toddlers: Make a Thanksgiving Turkey

Printable Craft for Toddlers: Make a Thanksgiving Turkey

Creativity is one of the most important skills a person can have. Giving kids an early creative start will help build their self-esteem and confidence for a lifetime of increased productivity. And the holidays are a perfect time for kids crafts! Print out several of our Thanksgiving turkeys for your preschooler to make and then decorate the house for a festive holiday look, or use as dinner table place settings. Your guests will be amazed by the personal touch and their oohs and aaahs will go a long way to making the kiddos feel proud as well as enthusiastic for future craft projects! What... Read Post

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Paper Bag Owl

Printable: Paper Bag Owl

Hoot! Hoot! Turn a paper bag into an owl with only a few basic supplies that you’re sure to have around the house, plus our two printable pages, which you can download and print using the links below. After the kids are done crafting, they can use their owls as puppets and put on a show.   What You Need: Safety Scissors Glue  Paper Bag 2 Page Printable – (Click each image to download) How To Make It: If the kids enjoy making paper bag owls then we have great gift ideas for the holidays! Look for the ALEX Paper Bag Puppets and Paper Bag Monsters craft kits. There are new ALEX Printables... Read Post

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of… apple juice! Ahoy there – did you know that September 19th is International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day? I don’t know about you, but I love just about any excuse to dress up and act goofy with my kids. And that is just what we did! ALEX has some awesome pirate-themed pretend play toys, like the Pirate Tent Play Set, which is perfect for pretend pirate fun! It comes packed flat and takes only a minute to set up. It is large enough for multiple kids and one [not fully grown-up] adult, and comes with a carrying case so you can pack it up easily and take it along to... Read Post

Posted on Aug 29, 2013 in Back To School | 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 28, 2013 in Back To School | 0 comments

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

The new school year is quickly approaching, if it hasn’t started already in your state. With a new school year comes a time of adjustment, even for home schoolers like us. Adjusting to a new schedule, a new level of work, a new teacher, etc., can be difficult for both kids and parents. Here are three of my most tried and true tips for preparing your children (and yourself) for a smooth back to school transition: 1. Schedule: Our biggest adjustment every year has to do with our schedule. The lazy days of summer suddenly disappear and it feels like we’re instantly running at full throttle! One... Read Post

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Tips for Getting Your Kids to Take a Bath

Tips for Getting Your Kids to Take a Bath

Most of the time, my kids think bath time is good, clean fun! But, every once in a while, one of them decides that they just don’t want to take a bath any more. Here are some things we’ve done to help change their minds – and a few tips I learned from friends who faced the same challenge with their own kids! 1. Find the perfect water temperature. Too hot and they won’t want to get in; too cold and they won’t stay in. 2. Do they not like getting their face wet? Keep a clean towel nearby so they can quickly dry their face. 3. Include some fun bath toys. Some of our favorite bath toys are ... Read Post

Posted on Aug 23, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Kids and Electronics: Setting Boundaries

Kids and Electronics: Setting Boundaries

One of the biggest complaints I hear about children today is that they spend too much time playing video games or texting, and not enough time exploring the great outdoors enjoying their childhood. It’s true. Our children are growing up in a world we wouldn’t have even imagined possible when we were young. Literally everything is available at the push of a button. Do you remember when VCR’s first came out, when Atari was a must have, or when your family purchased their very first home computer? I do! Today parents face a different challenge than our parents did. Allowing your child to have a... Read Post

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 in Just the Girls | 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 21, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Egg Carton School Bus

Printable: Egg Carton School Bus

Ready, Set, School! This week’s printable craft lets the little ones share in the back to school excitement and pretend play that they’re also getting ready to ride the school bus…all while building their cutting and pasting skills! Egg Carton School Bus Instructions What You Need: 1. Safety Scissors 2. Glue 3. Egg carton 4. Two Printable Pages shown below for the craft project (plus there’s an additional instructional pages also included if you’d like to print that out as well) – Download HERE     How to make it:   ALEX printables are designed... Read Post

Posted on Aug 15, 2013 in Sweepstakes & Giveaways | 24 comments

Relaxation Day Giveaway

Relaxation Day Giveaway

Happy Relaxation Day! Life is hectic; we fit so much into every single day, but today is the day to slow down, take a breath, and relax. Relaxation Day is all about winding down and taking it easy. If you’re lucky enough to squeeze in a few private moments today to read a favorite book or take a walk, great!! For those of you who aren’t able to carve out time on the fly today, we want to give you an opportunity for another day! What would you do on your day of relaxation? Shopping, a bubble bath, spa day, or picnic? Read on and then enter our Relaxation Day Giveaway for your dreams to... Read Post

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Just the Girls | 0 comments

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

Did you have pretend play tea parties as a child? I have vague memories of playing tea party with my sister and stuffed animals and dolls, and I love watching my kids play! In Britain, you can wear fancy hats to High Tea. My kids aren’t big on hats, but my girls think it’s fun to wear their fancy hair accessories for tea time! The ALEX Tin Tea Set is the perfect size for little-girl tea parties – tiny enough to feel dainty and to double as doll dishes, but large enough to hold and pretend to drink exotic teas from. Raspberry is the preferred tea at our parties! Tea parties are excellent... Read Post

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 in Back To School | 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 8, 2013 in Printables | 0 comments

Printable: Fish Memory Game

Printable: Fish Memory Game

This week’s printable is a wonderful game for promoting memory skills and cooperative play. Download the two printable pages for 12 matches (24 cards), or for older kiddos (and to gradually increase the memory challenge for the little ones), print out additional sheets. Not only are there more cards to remember, the additional sheets introduce the twist of repeated pairs! All you need are scissors and the printable pages, which you can download HERE. After downloading, cut the squares, which are your playing cards, along the dotted lines and you’re ready to start playing! Rules:... Read Post

Posted on Aug 7, 2013 in Activities For Tweens | 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 Aug 2, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 1 comment

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

My kids had a great time honing their fine motor skills with ALEX’s Tissue Paper Art craft kit! It comes with 6 self-stick patterns – two for each of my three “big” kids (aged 3, 5, and 7). I loved that it was something all of them could enjoy. Separating the tiny squares of tissue paper is one of the more demanding tasks; it is also self-correcting, since if you forget to separate the squares your little ball of scrunched-up paper is clearly too large. This activity is also great for kids to develop planning skills. My son learned after working on the wheels of his car that it would... Read Post
3 Fun Ways to Teach Color Mixing

3 Fun Ways to Teach Color Mixing

My four-year-old is very confident in his colors, so I’ve decided it’s time to start teaching him about color mixing. You know, color combinations like “blue + yellow = green” or “red + yellow = orange”. Learning colors is one thing, but teaching color combinations isn’t always as easy. When I described the concept of mixing colors to Luke and he looked at me like I was crazy I knew a hands-on approach would do the trick. Having taught my three oldest this concept years earlier, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. Here are three hands-on ways to teach color mixing, and make it fun! 1. Create... Read Post
Fun with Vegetable Stamping

Fun with Vegetable Stamping

Recently, I was gathering some art supplies to do a project with my four year old, Luke, and had an idea. Why not try something different today? I could tell that Luke was in a “messy” mood, and thought paints were the way to go. But what could we do that would be different from the usual painting activity? Then I remembered something I had seen years ago, but sadly had never tried – vegetable stamping! I pulled open the refrigerator and grabbed a green pepper. Then I snagged a couple of potatoes from the pantry and went to town creating some fun vegetable stamps. I made a potato stamp with... Read Post

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 in Just the Girls | 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 29, 2013 in Outdoor Play | 0 comments

Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Nothing beats a parachute party! It’s our favorite part of going to Gymboree or My Gym. So why not bring home the fun? ALEX’s Super Parachute Party is great outdoor play at a backyard BBQ with friends or birthday party, and is serious fun for the kids. It comes with small plastic balls that you can toss in the air and use to play different games. Here are eight parachute games the kids will have a blast playing: 1. Ball Poppers: Place the small plastic balls on top of the parachute. Have the kids hold the edges of the parachute and shake it up and down to make the balls bounce up... Read Post

Posted on Jul 26, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 0 comments

How to Make Learning to Write Fun

How to Make Learning to Write Fun

Learning to write can be a challenging and frustrating time for kids. Get away from pencils and paper and introduce new materials to make learning to write a fun experience that feels more like play than learning.  Engaging as many sensory systems as possible helps your child learn easier and faster! Here are some ideas to make learning to write more fun for you and your child: Use a variety of tactile materials:  Trace letters and copy words into various tactile media. Incorporating the tactile sense will facilitate your child’s learning and motivate him to participate in the learning... Read Post

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 in Activities For Tweens | 0 comments

Personalized Flip Flops in Minutes

Personalized Flip Flops in Minutes

What says summer better than a cute pair of flip flops, right? My girls are obsessed with flip flops! They love having different colors and designs; flip flops have become quite the summer fashion statement. Here are two fun and easy flip flop crafts that will let your little crafters create their own personalized pair! Flip Flop Craft #1 – Ribbon Flops In three easy steps you can turn a regular old pair of flip flops into a new and super cute fashion must have! Just grab a pair of flip flops (new or old), and some coordinating ribbon. Cut several small pieces of ribbon (ours were about four... Read Post