My Wonderful Walls Blog — Activities & Crafts for Kids

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Natural Inspiration 11

Bee on FlowerEvery spring and summer we spend a lot of time taking care of the outside of our homes. We paint, we plant, and we groom. Why not take some of that effort and put it inside as well? This year, let us focus on the concept of Natural Inspiration! Bring some of what you're doing outside to the inside of your home simply by adding a few simple splashes of color, flowers, or kids' projects, or even by redecorating with stickers or stencils from My Wonderful Walls!

COLOR
Spring and summertime is all about colors, specifically bright, vibrant colors. Add a pop of color to each room with some brightly color pillows, painting, or by adding some colorful prints. Colors to consider include bright yellows, pinks, blues, greens and purples. Think about the different shades of flowers you have planted in your flower gardens and bring them into your home. For a unique wall idea, check out some of the beautiful papers available at any scrapbooking or craft store and place the colorful papers inside chunky matching frames for a unified yet unique set of wall art prints.

FLOWER
We all know that spring and summer is about flowers blossoming in nature's environment. We spend several hours planting and maintaining our outdoor flower gardens, but this year let’s bring them inside by creating an indoor garden with a planter box, flowers, and terrariums! Flowers that thrive indoors and provide that summery décor and color you're looking for range from lily of the valley to winter jasmine and gardenias. You will also have the added benefit of natural room fresheners, as these flowers all give off amazing fragrances!

Gardening With KidsKIDS' PROJECTS
You can also get your kids involved in a natural home makeover, which is fun for both you and them. A lot of what is perfect for the spring and summertime involves outdoor projects, such as making a birdhouse and planting a veggie garden, which often gets them more interested in vegetables – they may even eat them! One indoor project you can work on with them too is an indoor herb garden in a flower planter box. Once your veggies and herbs are ready, you can get your kids involved in cooking using the vegetables and herbs they have helped plant and grow!

REDECORATING
Another great way to add life to your home by looking to the great outdoors for natural inspiration, is to use some of the wall sticker sets from My Wonderful Walls. Some great options include various Flower Garden Themes, our Bugs and Blossoms theme, and our Forest Friends Theme, all of which are perfect for bringing the beauty and whimsy of nature right onto the walls of your home!

Now that you have some great ideas for sprucing up your home inside and out, it's time to get started. Get up, go outside, and take in everything you see – the colors of the flowers in your yard, the flowers themselves, and the colors that nature brings during this enlightening season, and let your imagination go wild! Your home will soon boast the colors and joys of spring and summertime through the natural inspiration you find just outside your door.

 

Why We’re Passionate About Pinterest 2

Pinterest Logo

Social media has opened up a lot of doors to the general masses when it comes to communication, however, one of the greatest benefits of being able to connect globally at the click of a button is the inspiration to be found! Pinterest has found its way into the hearts and homes of those who live in all parts of the world, but the beauty of it lies in just how much it can do in one person’s life on any given day. With a multitude of creative ideas just waiting to be added to a user’s collection, we’ve broken it down to three of the top ways the site can be used, and why we’re passionate about Pinterest here at My Wonderful Walls

Personal Inspiration
Pinterest is more than just a random collection of items that people like and love, it’s also a place where people come together to share amazing ideas. Creativity is perpetuated through the sharing of information, so one person’s afternoon craft, like these creative curtains, could be another’s complete home renovation. Pinterest is the place where creative ideas can homes according to season, style or just a daily mood—and we think versatility is key! Use Pinterest to browse for great ideas, or just scan what others love to see what hits you. You’ll be surprised at the ideas you’ll come up with.

Kid’s Crafts
We’ve all been there—the kids are home from school and bored, or need an idea for an impending project that’s due sooner rather than later. Pinterest can be a parent’s best friend when it comes to providing hours of entertainment for the kids at home, or inspiring a school project! Even better, Pinterest users tend to be super smart when it comes to recycling old household materials to make new and exciting kid’s crafts. For example, taking an old pair of jeans and transforming it into your child’s favorite hair clip holder. Get ready to get your kids creating and save some money while you’re at it!

Workspace Improvement
It’s not a secret that many of us dwell in workspaces, either at home or at an office, that are less than impressive. Offices and work areas are normally built with utility in mind and not necessarily aesthetic appeal. When it comes to amping up your own workspace, we recommend a quick trip through Pinterest. Not only is the site bursting with ideas for taking your office from bland to brand new, but you’ll also find great tips for organizing and keeping a hectic day in line with the simple addition of labels or recycled boxes. The additional bonus to using Pinterest to spruce up your workplace is the inevitable conversation starter you’ll create. When others see your creative work, you’ll probably be surprised to find a number of other colleagues contribute to or use Pinterest as well. Not only does this make the site a great functional tool, but the first step into a brand new social setting as well!

There are a lot of great reasons to take a little time to explore Pinterest.com, however, if home, work or play or at the top of your priority list, it’s an absolute must to visit and dig in for some inspiration!

 

 

Back to School with Fun Fall Crafts 4

Fun Fall Crafts

Back to School with Fun Fall Crafts

Fall brings many new beginnings in households everywhere. Not only are the kids back to school after a long summer break, but the weather takes a turn for the cooler side, and colorful leaves find their way into our backyards in abundance. With so much learning, seasonal changes and color in our lives, it’s hard not to be inspired to create. Here are some great ideas for turning fall into a fantastic time for art at home or at school. Celebrate the season by getting out the paint and get ready to get messy!

Let leaves get colorful in your home
Sometimes, a great fall art project takes nothing more than a step out your own front door. This easy leaf print allows children to hunt for a leaf they love outdoors, and then pick out bright paints to create a brilliant and bold print of their own creation. Use a variety of colors to create a single, tie-dye effect with one leaf, or make multiple prints of many leaves in solid colors and create an entire fall scene to enjoy!

Backpack hangers
Nobody said that going back to school was easy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a lot of fun for parent and child. While children might not find the idea of the return of homework enticing, parents can help them get ready to study and stay organized with the addition of a great chalkboard, backpack hanger. Take a little time to decorate a simple wall hanger with bold and bright colors, than add a small chalkboard to keep your little ones in line and on time. Leave fun messages for your family members or homework reminders to make the transition from summer to fall not only smart, but beautiful!

Crochet a pencil pouch
When all those sharp #2 pencils start piling up, it’s inevitable that your kids will need a place to keep them, and keep organized. A great way to combine school supplies and creativity is to make their container a fall craft project. Set aside some time to crochet your own personal pencil pouches, and watch a single pencil pouch become a personalized child’s delight at home and at school. Not only will they have something unique to take to their classroom, but your children will have picked up a brand new skill as well!

Give the leave a hand
If hunting for leaves in the blustery outdoors isn’t your family’s style, your creative endeavors can come straight from home. These memorable hand prints in autumn colors will not only be a great memory of your growing child, but is an easy way to create a season craft that only requires paper and paint. Add as many hand prints as you like to see a tree of autumn leave appear before your eyes!

Fall is the perfect time to combine new starts with colorful creativity. Don’t be afraid to stretch the limits when it comes to letting seasonal changes inspire your mind, and give your kids free reign when it comes to creating a world of color in your home!

 

Creative Activities for your Little Ones: Puppets, Stories and More 4

PERFORMANCE ART - Lights, camera, action! Here are some fun activities for your little performer. Enjoy!

Make Your Own PuppetsLunch Bag Puppets
Make puppets out of brown or white lunch bags. Cover the table with all sorts of craft materials to inspire your child's creativity. When you have made your puppets, put on a show.

The Story Stool
Place a stool in the middle of the room and take turns telling stories while sitting on the stool. If your child needs help getting started, give him a simple topic to spark his imagination.

Personalized Books on Tape
Read your child's favorite books on tape (including prompts to turn the page) so that your child can have personalized tapes. If your child is chatting and making comments on the tape, all the better! These will be treasures that you'll be able to pass on to your grand kids.

Be Silly with Books
Create silly gestures, songs, and movements to your child's favorite books.

Sock Puppets
Go through your sock drawer and find a mismatched sock or one with a hole that you have been meaning to get rid of. To make the face, use a marker or whatever craft item you may have on hand. Buttons work great for eyes. Cotton balls make good noses. Make a tongue with paper or felt. Yarn or pipe cleaners can be used for hair. When complete, put on a puppet show.

Puppet Theater
A quick and easy way to make a puppet theater is by using an shower or curtain extension rod and some fabric. Simply put up the rod in the hallway or door frame high enough that little hands can reach over but won't be seen. Then, drape fabric (sheet, towel, curtain, etc.) over the rod. For a more elaborate theater, find some big pieces of cardboard and make a three-sided structure tall enough to sit behind without having to slouch (one front and two sides). Tape together and reinforce with packing tape or duct tape. Decorate by painting or coloring the cardboard. If you have any extra cardboard, you could make a T.V. type window in the center section and go even further and fasten on some bandannas for curtains.

Story Board
Buy a large piece of black felt from the fabric or craft store and glue it to a large rectangular surface to use as the board (one side of a large cardboard box will work). Cut out pictures from magazines and/or print out pictures of your own, and glue a bit of sandpaper to the back of each. The sandpaper will stick to the felt. Add to your collection as needed. Include the letters of the alphabet to practice spelling or numbers to practice math. You and your child will have fun telling story after story with this board. Instead of sandpaper you can also laminate or cover the pictures with clear contact paper.

Story Cards
Cut out pictures from magazines and glue one each to one side of an index card. Keep the stack by your child's bedside and use it to jump start ideas for stories at nighttime. Turn the cards upside down, pick one, and then start your story. You and your child can go back and forth making up a fun story, and when the story starts to lag and you don't know what comes next, pick another card.

Fun Activities for Kids: High Energy Toddler Activities 1

HIGH ENERGY: Here are a few silly activities for you to enjoy today. This round will help you expend some of that endless toddler energy. Enjoy!

Sibling Hallway Chase
This activity is especially good if you have an energetic toddler and small infant who like to be in motion. With baby securely in arms, mom or dad chases toddler up and down the hallway and tags toddler with his sibling's feet. Repeat until all pass out from laughing and/or exhaustion.

Green Light GO, Red Light STOP, Yellow Light SLOW
Make simple traffic signs with construction paper, paper plates and popsicle sticks. Use red, yellow, and green construction paper. Cut out one circle of each color. Glue each circle to a paper plate. Attach a popsicle stick to each plate. Now to play... Hide the signs behind your back and bring out one at a time. Your child will enjoy running when the green light is displayed, slowing down for the yellow light, and coming to a complete stop for the red. You can even have brother or sister be the policeman and give out tickets for unlawful behavior.

 Fun With Tape
Blue painters tape or duct tape can be quite fun to play around with. Tape a section to look like a hopscotch board and then toss a rock and play; Tape Xs all over the floor and jump from one to the next; Tape a line starting from one end of the house to another and practice your balance. See who can walk the whole way without stepping off the tape, and then try it backwards.

Hula Hoop Hubbub
Activities for ToddlersPlay with a hula hoop. Roll it. Crawl through it. Jump over it. Spin it like a top. Throw balls through it. Turn on some music and dance with/in/around it. The possibilities are endless.

Dress-Up Relay Game
This is fun to do for a birthday party. Fill up two suitcases with all sorts of clothes (hat, dress, purse, underwear, gloves, scarf, etc.) Divide into two teams. One by one each child has to run to the other side of the room, take everything out of that team's suitcase, get dressed in all the items, hit a bell or buzzer, undress, and then run back to their team. Then the next child goes...


Pretend Play Alongside Your Child 1

We are straying from wall decals and wall stencils a little this summer in our blog, in an earnest effort to get you playing alongside your little ones. Today, we address pretend play, as it is an important part of a child’s life. Kids are naturally great at this. Through pretend play, kids will role play, practice social skills and expand vocabulary…and, of course, have a lot of fun. Here are a few ideas to get to you started. Happy pretending!

PRETEND PLAY

Indoor Camping
Pretend Play IdeasSet up the tent indoors. Gather sticks and leaves and have a pretend campfire. Pretend to roast smores. Make hot dogs. Pull out the sleeping bags. What happens when it gets dark? What do you hear? What animals come into your campsite? Do you invite them in?

Ticket Stub Fun
Hold on to the tickets from your outings (movies, museum, zoo, trip in a plane, Disney World, etc.). These can be used as inspiration for hours and hours of pretend play.
-Movie theater: Arrange the living room to mimic a movie theater. What movie is playing? Imagine that someone’s is talking loudly or cell phone goes off. How will you handle the problem? Etc.
-Zoo: Gather up his stuffed animals and place around the house. Enter the zoo with your tickets and explore. What funny things are happening today at the zoo? What do you see? Hear? Smell? An animal escapes and follows you home… what happens next?
-Plane trip: Arrange the dining room chairs to mimic airplane seats. Designate the pilot, passenger, flight attendant, etc. Board the plane and let your creativity flow. Is there any turbulence? Who is sitting next to you? What will you have to drink?

Weather Forecast
Using a large poster board, make a 5-day forecast chart. Draw clouds, sun, rain, etc. for each day. Have them dress up in formal attire from mom or dad’s closet. Get the video camera ready and record.

Play Silks
A play silk is just a piece of material made from soft silk. Children love to play with these, as they provide endless opportunities for imagination. Young ones will enjoy playing peek-a-boo with them and delight in their silkiness. Older children tend to use them in pretend play. They can become leashes for dogs, dirt for dump trucks, slings for dolls, princess gowns, wizard capes, veils, rescue ropes, lakes, pastures, etc. You will be amazed at the creative uses kids come up with for them! Purchase them online or at your craft store.

Mom and Pop Dress-Up
Give your child permission to wear you or your spouse's clothes. He is sure to delight in being a grown-up for the morning or afternoon.

Speed Dress-Up
Put a spin on this classic activity and play Speed Dress-Up. Set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes, dress up, perform, play the part then...DING...change into something else.

Living Room Rearrange
Let your child help you rearrange the living room for a day. The couch, now in the middle of the room, may become a boat. The ottoman, now turned on its side, may serve as a train. The coffee, now flipped upside down, may resemble a space ship. Let your imagination wanders...