Encouraging Cognitive Development Through Arts and Crafts

If you hear the words arts and crafts, and shudder, you aren’t alone. Many a mother cowers in horror when imagining letting their little darlings loose with glue, construction paper, markers, popsicle sticks, scissors, and (gasp) glitter. Well, we’re here to ease your fears. Although craft time can be a bit messy, it is extremely beneficial for your child’s brain; especially for their cognitive development. Curious as to how covering themselves in paste helps your child learn? Read on.

First off, we need to mention Richard Rende, Ph.D. Haven’t heard of him? He is a developmental psychologist whose main area of study is the link between parenting practices, family interaction, and emotional behavioral development. According to Rende, children benefit greatly from arts and crafts time especially when it is with their parents. 

Today we’ll look at just some of the benefits of encouraging cognitive development through arts and crafts.  

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DIY: Milk Carton Birdhouse

Up today: a DIY birdhouse you can easily make with stuff you already have! This craft is perfect if:

  • Your child has shown an interest in birds/nature.
  • You have an artistically inclined kiddo.
  • You’re homeschooling and want to do a lesson on nature/birds/ecosystems.
  • Your toddler is into building things.
  • It’s a rainy day, and you need a fun distraction.

So basically, this is a craft for anyone! Let’s get started.

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Creative & Crafty Activity Kits by Seedling

We know you’re thrilled to have your children home for the summer, but we also know that sometimes you need some quiet time or a way to engage your children while you kick back and enjoy the silence or get some household chores done. We love the activity kits offered by Seedling for hours of summer entertainment, whether you wish to create with your child or seek activities that they can complete on their own.

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Homemade Honey-Vanilla Ice Cream

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

That’s right, today is the day that Americans celebrate one of the most popular desserts in the country. Every third Sunday in July since 1984 (thanks President Ronald Reagan!) the USA gathers together to eat a scoop of happiness, for no other reason, we think, than just because ice cream is plain ‘ol good!

So be sure that sometime today, you join your fellow Americans in dusting the ice cream maker off and whipping up a pint of our summer delicious, melt-in-your-mouth homemade Honey-Vanilla Ice Cream.

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Summer Sides: One Basic Salad, 4 Variations!

Israeli Salad, a basic summer salad, and a favorite of international falafel-stands makes a perfect summer side or breezy dinner salad. With lemon juice to brighten, a rainbow of peppers to delight the eye, and chopped mint to cool the palette, this salad is a sure crowd pleaser. It makes a great side for grilled meats or falafel, and an easy all-in-one picnic salad with the addition of garbanzo beans for protein. This simple salad base also serves as a perfect variable side – just add a different dressing! Read on for how to make the salad that will save your summer meals.

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DIY: Magnet Board

With school out for the summer, it’s always nice to have a few educational-but-still-fun tricks up your sleeve. Enter: the magnet board. It’s inexpensive, easy, fun, customizable and, best of all — removable! Here’s how to make and customize your own; plus, a some activities your kids can do once it’s up.

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DIY Watercolor Note Cards

DIY Watercolor Notecards

Have you ever searched for a greeting card at the store and none of them expressed your exact sentiments?  Did you ever pick a pretty card but find that it was difficult to choose your words for the message you wished to convey?  Sometimes actions, alone, speak volumes and what you do says just as much as what you write.  

Making your own greeting cards is a perfect way to add extra meaning to the words you write, or to help fill in the blanks during those situations when the right words are just difficult to find.  

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Edible Marshmallow Paint

If your kids are anything like our kids they are always asking to do a fun craft with you! Well, we have one today that is not only fun, but yummy too! With only a few simple ingredients that you probably already have at home, you can turn any regular day into an exciting one by making some edible marshmallow paint! This paint is very pretty and is completely edible- yes sugary, but that’s part of  the fun! It’s great for kids of all ages and makes some beautiful soft colors that your kids will love painting with.

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Making Chores Fun with Chore Charts

We know that our kids would rather do anything other than their chores. Hey, we as adults usually feel the same way! You’d think they would have made the definition of chores more uplifting and positive, instead of “an unpleasant, but necessary task.” Instead of, or at least in addition to forcing these unpleasant tasks upon our kids, let’s try to add a little bit of fun and motivation into the mix. Not only for their sake, but also for ours.

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DIY: Nut Butters

If you’re like us, you’re crazy for nut butters! Creamy, crunchy, flavored, unflavored, in smoothies, on fruit, or by the spoonful — nut butters make the perfect addition to any snack.

But what we don’t like about nut butters are the additives, preservatives, and price tag — a jar of organic almond butter can easily set you back $10! And when you’re adding the delicious spread to everything, this habit can get quite expensive.

The solution? Make it yourself! With a few kitchen supplies, ingredients, and time, you can easily whip up your very own nut butters, customized exactly to your tastes and preferences!

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DIY All-Natural Bath Paints

Painting is a very fun indoor activity. The mess, however, is not so much fun–especially when children channel their inner Jackson Pollock and begin flipping paint. Then, what begins as a fun activity, quickly turns into an afternoon of cleaning. Wouldn’t it be great to preserve the fun while preventing the mess?  

The answer: bath tub paints. Bath tub paints are a fun and natural way to enjoy painting to its fullest. Meanwhile, the mess is much more easily managed, contained, and can be easily rinsed away. The best part about this paint is that it only takes three ingredients to make!

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5 Ways to Upcycle Leftover Crayons

Your preschooler wants to color today. You pull out the coloring books and the plastic container that the crayons are stored in. Your child wants purple and only purple to color her princess. As you dig through the crayons to find the only color that will make today’s art session a success, you start pulling out all the broken crayons you come across. Boy, there’s a lot more than you thought – crayons broken cleanly in two, ones drawn down to a nub, crayons barely hanging on by a thread, missing peeling paper, and some so dirty that it’s impossible to tell what color they used to be. Finally, all that’s left in the container are two intact crayons, blue and purple. Phew, crisis averted. Your child colors happily and you gather up all the bits and pieces, mentally adding crayons to your shopping list. Before you just toss those unloved and neglected crayons in the trash, give them a second thought and a second life. We’re sharing 5 fun and creative ways to reuse and upcycle old crayons into new creations.

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10 Ways to Washi: Birthday Edition

Washi tape is not only great for the holidays and for organizing, but it’s a birthday party essential these days, especially for the DIYer! There are countless ways to put your personal touch on the birthday parties you throw simply with a roll or two of washi tape. Don’t limit yourself to the 10 ideas we’re about to show you, let your imagination run wild, and see what else you can come up with.

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DIY Handprint Ballerina Tutu

Handprint art is a great way to make a sentimental keepsake for both you and your child that you’ll cherish for years. If you’re looking for something truly unique and downright precious to make with your little girl’s handprints, we have a simple tutorial for a DIY handprint ballerina tutu. This is the perfect handprint art to create for her first birthday, or any year beyond! Your little ballerina will love seeing her very own handprints transform into a beautiful tutu. This will make the perfect accent to her bedroom, hanging on the wall in a beautiful frame. You can even set up a handprint art station at her next birthday party and send all of her little friends home with their very own!

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