A birthday "block" party (part 1)

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Iam the mama of an almost eleven year old.  That is pretty fantastic!  Jillian”s birthday is right around the corner and we are excited to celebrate our oldest daughter!  We threw a birthday party for her last weekend so that she could spend a day having fun with her friends.

Jillian is a very creative kid.  She”s got the crafty bug, like her parents, and she is usually drawing, sewing, knitting, or painting something and she”s got a love of woodworking, too.  I don”t mind bragging that we like mess making and working with our hands.  Creating art is a way of life for this child of mine.

So, when we saw these Block Party kits from Kid Made Modern at Target we knew we had stumbled on the perfect theme for her birthday:  a “block” party where her friends could come over, make a wonderful mess, and create some art together.  Perfect!

A Birthday Block Party

The more we explored the Kid Made Modern line, and , the more ideas and inspiration we gathered for our party.  Soon, our block party plans were in the works and invitations asking our friends to come “dressed to play, paint, and get messy” were sent.  (You can see the Pinterest board I used to gather up my ideas here).

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Holiday Kids’ Gift Craft-along October Link-Up

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Well, here we are friends: 60 days before Christmas. Whoa.  If you haven’t already been hit with the seasonal crafting bug I hope this link up will inspire you to begin today.

I’d love to hear what you are making for the kids in your life and today’s the day we get to share that in our monthly Holiday Kids’ Gift Craft-along Link-Up.

Holiday Kids’ Gift Craft-along

It is the 25th of October, which means that in two months we’ll be celebrating Christmas Day.  I’d love to see what you are making and how your projects are progressing.

Even though things are getting spooky and silly around here as we anticipate Halloween, just for the 25th I’m taking a North Pole Day.  I’ll be updating facebook, twitter, and instagram all day long with my crafting endeavors. If you want to join in, I’m using the hashtag #SKcraftalong.

I plan to play some holiday music and maybe watch a holiday movie or two and knit, stitch, and glue the day away (well, after homeschool and in between taking care of the kiddos, of course).

Beyond today, I’m trying to dedicate 15 minutes every day toward working on holiday gifts.

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Artists in residence

The following is by contributor Robin Zipporah of The Not-Ever-Still Life.

This is my first favorite painting. I’ve since had many others, but you always remember your first loves, right? It’s called Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash by Giacomo Balla from 1912. It hangs in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, not far from my childhood home.  I first saw it when I was four or five. I’d stand before it and stare.

Do you talk to your kids about art? When we look at art with our children and discuss what they see, we build important skills that carry over into the rest of their education. Talking about visual arts promotes critical thinking as well as language and literary skills. Talking about art, where everyone holds a different opinion and everyone sees something different, promotes asserting one’s opinion and respecting someone else’s. It activates engagement, debate, and learning to understand multiple perspectives. And it’s fun!

I’m an art historian and mama of three young kids. And I want to walk you through talking with your favorite small people about art. Children make excellent art appreciators. So today I’m introducing a new series to Simple Kids: Artists in Residence. 

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31 days of unplugged play: bathing baby dolls

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

My two littlest girls had quite a grumpy morning one day this past summer.  The usual games, songs, and stories weren’t soothing or cheering them up.  So, we headed outdoors, normally the perfect cure for a bad mood, but even that didn’t seem to brighten up my two little grouches.

Until I added some water into the mix.

So, today’s unplugged play idea is an oldie but a goodie from the archives:  bathing baby dolls.

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Weekend links

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