Dec 11, 2008

Friday Find: Kids Craft Weekly Christmas Crafts

Winter break is just around the corner and you need some ideas for stopping the kids from saying, “Mom, I’m bored.” Right? Well, I’ve got the answer and it is just five bucks and a download away... Kids Craft Weekly’s Christmas Crafts Mini Book.

You can thank the crafty and clever mom, Amber Carvan, from down under that puts out Kids Craft Weekly every fortnight since 2006. If you haven’t heard of Kids Crafty Weekly, you can subscribe to Amber’s email newsletter organized by theme and filled with fun, educational and affordable crafts to do with your children.

The Kids Craft Weekly’s Christmas Craft Mini Book has 20 pages overflowing with holiday-related activities. Forget buying wrapping paper and gift tags for your holiday presents. Put you kids to work – old art makes great wrapping paper and you’ll find gift tag ideas in the Christmas Craft book. You’ll also find neat ideas for Christmas tree ornaments – not only great for decorating your tree, but also for kids to give as gifts.

So, hurry up, the kids are almost out of school. Download Christmas Crafts, gather your craft supplies and get your little elves crafting!

Don’t forget to let me know about your favorite holiday crafts!

Dec 5, 2008

Friday Find: A Toy Garden

Whether it is birthday presents, stocking stuffers or art supplies, A Toy Garden is the first place I look for that special gift. Store sound familiar? Perhaps you have seen A Toy Garden featured in issues of Mothering.

A Toy Garden has a wide range of toys and art supplies that encourage open-ended, imaginative play. Worried about the safety of the toys under your Christmas tree? The toys are made from natural and eco-friendly materials, with many fair trade and “made in the USA” choices. A Toy Garden’s collection of unique and exclusive products separates them from many other online stores touting natural, Waldorf toys that seem to carry all the same brands. Be prepared to be delighted and inspired by the well-edited selection of toys, books and art supplies that your children will fancy.

Here are some of my favorite items from A Toy Garden.

These two puzzles make a great present for a toddler – intriguing enough to hold their interest, yet simple enough for them to piece the puzzle together.

Do you have a box of broken crayons? Try Stockmar beeswax crayons. A bit more expensive than the average box of crayons, but we have yet to have a broken one.

A Toy Garden has a great book selection with wonderful children’s titles, parenting and art/craft instruction books. If you are looking for books to help you integrate Waldorf practices into your family, you’ll find book to help here. Malena and Lautaro love hearing the adventures of fairy Tiptoes Lightly and her woodland friends.

Do your children want to help you while you sewing or craft? My two love working on their projects with their sewing machine, sewing toys and hand sewing kits.

Have you discovered the endless possibilities of playsilks? Most playsilks from A Toy Garden had dyed by work at home mothers. Their silks are sold at an affordable price compared to other playsilk sellers because they believe that all children should have playsilks. In our home, playsilks are used to build tents with the addition of wood clips, for dress up, scene backdrops for dramatic play, and on and on.

A Toy Garden is run by Sonya Bingaman, a work at home mother and social worker. She places a priority on buying directly from artisans or larger manufacturers with high ethical standards. Her business is based in Fair Oaks, California – fast shipping for all you West Coast readers. Be sure to register for her newsletter to receive store coupons and notices.