Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting Ready to go Back to School...School Bus Craft

Next week marks the beginning of school for my boys.  We are looking forward to Orientations and Kindergarten testing, and of course new friends!  Since this will be the first year that Alex is riding the bus to school, I decided to do this fun craft with him.

Supplies needed:
  • School Bus Template
  • Construction Paper - Yellow, Black, White, and Red (or whatever color you would like - who says there can't be a purple school bus?!!)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Silver or white marker
  • Map (optional)
Step 1:  Print out School Bus Template and cut out each piece.  Use as a template to trace onto construction paper.

Step 2:  Cut out each traced item (my son needed a little help cutting out the windows)

Step 3:  Glue the bus down onto the map (I printed a map of our town and showed my son where we lived and where his school was) or on a solid piece of construction paper.

Step 4:  Write "School Bus" on the side of the bus.  Also, add a stop sign if you would like - my son insisted on having one - he loves road signs.

Step 5:  Hang on Refridge and enjoy!

I think it turned out great...but I am a bit biased!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Jelly Fish - a fun craft for kids.

We just spent a vacation at the beach and when we returned, the boys were still enamored with everything ocean.  So I decided to take advantage of their enthusiasm and make this fun Jelly Fish craft.

Supplies Needed:
  • Paper plates - one per jelly fish
  • Paint and Paint Brushes
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Tissue Paper
  • Glue
  • Yarn
  • Googly Eyes

Step 1:  Cut the paper plate in half.  Paint the bottom of both halves of the paper plate.  Let paint dry.

Step 2:  Cut tissue paper in strips (approx. 1"x10").

Step 3:  Glue 3-5 strips of tissue paper near the straight edge to the non-painted side of each paper plate half. 

Step 4:  Staple paper plate halves together along the curved edge of the plate.  On the top part of the curve, staple in a piece of yarn (to hang jelly fish).

Step 5:  Glue on googly eyes and yard mouth.

Step 6:  After glue drys, hang and enjoy the fun jelly fish.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tips of the Week...Cleaning.

This week’s tips are all about the dreaded house cleaning!

Some of these ideas have come from friends, or I read them somewhere. But each I tweaked to make it work for me and my boys and they have been easy to implement and incredibly helpful.

The Amazing Cleaning Race. This idea I submitted to Disney’s Family Fun magazine and I was excited that it got published in the April 2010 edition. For this game, each of my sons draws a card from a jar. The card shows a toy or group of toys that must be put away. When he is finishes his card, he draws another. When all cards are gone, the person with the most card wins our traveling trophy.

10 Minute Sweep. We set the kitchen timer to ten minutes and during that time we all quickly go through the house and pick up, put things away, and complete chores. Typically one of the boys sets the timer and then I walk around the house identifying things that need to be done and assign tasks to each of my sons and myself. While we are completing each task, I am encouraging them to move fast. When the timer rings, they must complete the task that they are working on and then they are free to go and play.

Jar of Rocks. I have charts hanging in our mud room with pictures of household chores and each is awarded a point value. If they complete identified task they receive the identified amount of rocks. When each child fills their jar, they are awarded a prize. Our prizes include: a trip to the dollar store, a fun activity with either mom or dad, or extra time to watch a video.

How do you involve your kids in cleaning and chores?

Kim :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What is this blog about?

The Little Hands blog is all about the creativity existing in each of our children’s little hands. And, how we can tap into kids’ natural need to explore and create to make living or working with little ones enriching and enjoyable.

Our posts are about sharing and unique, resourceful ways of making the day to day “stuff” a bit more fun, and manageable for us and for them!

Post topics include:
  • Ideas for crafts and art projects
  • Tips for managing the day to day grind of raising children
  • Activities and fun events
  • Creative cooking and baking
  • Plus much more.
We welcome guest bloggers and submissions. Just email me at
kim (at) bereaprinting (dot) com for more information.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Story of Little Hands Artwork

I am a stay at home mom of two preschool boys.  Each day after school, my boys are thrilled to show me their newest creations! I love to see all their artwork and we display the items proudly. If you have young ones like me, you know - while you love the artwork - it becomes overwhelming. I myself didn't know how to manage the piles of colorful, cumbersome, awkward shaped, painted, crayoned, cut, glued, and glittered goodness. Some of it was clearly harder to manage than others, but many pieces were way too adorable to just throw away! I wondered, without adding an art gallery onto our home, how do I preserve, enjoy, and share all of their charming artwork?

So, one day I contemplated this conundrum, while sorting through their fancy creations and I came up with a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself)! I scanned and photographed some of my favorite pieces and made wonderful artwork note cards. This allowed me to better manage the mounds of "stuff" and provided perfect gifts for the boys’ grandparents, teachers, and others. The gifts were a huge hit! So, I thought that others might have the same challenge with their children’s "art-or-love" and might also be interested in turning their child's masterpieces into some wonderful gifts and keepsakes.

And, that is why I started