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Merry and Bright!

Merry and Bright!

The holidays are upon us and that means cookies, candy, presents, decorations, and ribbon galore!  When I was teaching elementary school, I loved this time of year (yes, I know all you teachers are shaking your heads in disbelief right now.)  I know, I know, students are filled with excitement and struggle to stay focused with so much going on.   In the midst of holiday parties, concerts, and crafts, it’s enough to make your head spin!

Now that I am in higher ed, and don’t get the chance to do half as many crafts, (though I’m sure my college students wouldn’t mind trading a lecture for a craft), I look forward to the time I can spend with my son creating and living the spirit of the holiday season.  He absolutely LOVES everything about Christmas and would sit for hours making paper snowflakes if I let him.   I’m sharing with you all today some of the fun we have had decorating and crafting together these past two weeks. All our activities are simple, easy, won’t break the bank, and help your toddler practice their fine motor skills!

The first activity is a really simple tree craft.  All you need is a paper plate, markers, crepe paper or tissue paper, and basic decorations like pom poms, stickers, and jewel beads.  You start by cutting the paper plate in half and then take that half and cut it into thirds.  These thirds are then assembled and glued into a three-part tree.  Have your child color the tree, and then add any decoration they want.  My favorite is having them rip the tissue paper (great for fine motor) and pinching it and gluing it on to make the tree a little 3D.  Punch a hold at the top to make it an ornament or glue a magnet on the back and showcase it on your fridge.  Lots of creative possibilities with this one.



Next is one we just did today.  I call it “Merry and Bright” as I helped my son make colored thumb prints around a black swirly light strand to create his own “twinkle light painting” on canvas.  With a small white canvas and some acrylic paint, you and your child can make your own strand of holiday lights.  I started off by drawing a swirly line with a permanent marker (he’s only four, your child may be able to do that if he or she is older), draw some small sockets, and then have your child dip and press their thumb around the black strand to create colorful lights that will surely dazzle.  Crayon Kid made his masterpiece for his grandparents.  Handmade art is a great present for the ones you love. All you need is some paint and some imagination!

Lastly, we spent the day today finishing up our decorating.  We finally got the tree finished as well as spent some time decorating our windows with holiday decals.  I never thought about this, but these are great for fine motor skills as our kiddoes have to pinch and press to get the decals off the paper and onto the glass, and your child is working on a vertical surface the whole time, which also is really great for strength and stability.

I’ve loved sharing some of our holiday fun with you. I hope it inspires some holiday crafting magic in your house.  These everyday crafts and activities are so great for our kiddo’s development, and they are fun!  No worksheets here!

I wish you all a very blessed holiday season.  We want to thank you for following us and supporting us in our endeavors to bring art and accessibility to others.  We can’t wait to see you all in the New Year. 

Happy Holiday’s from The Effortless Art Family,

Jason, Nancy, and Crayon Kid

 

Top of the Mornin' to You!

Top of the Morning!

St. Patrick’s Day Fine Motor Fun!

      We hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick’s Day! The Effortless Art clan has been busy making crayons as well as doing some great fine motor craft projects to celebrate.  Even though Crayon Kid is only a little Irish, St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday for some hands-on fine motor fun.

       Our first fine motor activity is Shamrock Shading pictures.  We are using shamrocks as our shape, of course.  You simply cut out a thick shape of your choosing, for example, shamrocks, and you can do this for any season or holiday. You place the shape under the paper.  Then you take your crayons and you begin to shade over top of the shape.  We are using Effortless Art Crayons because their flat sides are perfect for shading.   Soon your hidden shape will appear on your paper and you have a really neat effect.  Try this with different colors, or overlapping the images for a different effect

  

17-3-18-1753
17-3-18-1753

      Our second activity is what I call “rainbow rows”.  You have probably seen variations of this before, but this activity is a nice tie in for St. Patrick’s Day.  Now earlier today, Crayon Kid and I were playing with play dough, (he loves to make play dough pies).  By the way, play dough is another great fine motor activity for your toddler.  Now, you have your child make balls of play dough in different colors.  Then you stick a matching colored pipe cleaner into each play dough ball.  Next you begin to thread rainbow cereal onto each pipe cleaner tower.  It’s great because it works on that pincher grasp, and it also helps kids practice their color sorting and matching.  A fun extension to this is to make two play dough balls and connect the pipe cleaner to both, to make double rainbows.  Your children are sure to love this colorful fine motor activity!  If you don’t have the rainbow cereal, pasta also works great.

Effortless Art making rainbow rowsEffortless Art making rainbow rowsEffortless Art making rainbow rows

We hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget to like and follow us on social media - Effortless Art Products, or drop us a line sometime, we'd love to hear from you!