Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Temporarily Closing

Unfortunately, I have had some "life things" come up unexpectedly.  It is hindering my ability to devote time to designing and putting the craft kits together.  I hope this will only be temporary as I very much enjoy making the kits each month.  If you are a subscriber, Expect to receive an email in the next few days discussing options for your subscriptions.

I hope to continue posting on the Facebook page with activities that I do with my own children in hopes that it might inspire some holiday fun for your family.

Thank you for your patronage.

Monday, October 20, 2014

November Kits and Thanksgiving Theme Kit

I've just finished preparing the November and Thanksgiving kits.  The Thanksgiving kit has Native American crafts, along with traditional Pilgrims and turkeys.  I added the Thanksgiving kit on the drop down menu for One Time Purchases.  I'll be adding pictures of Columbus Day activities shortly.  Have a blessed day!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Kit Contents and new One-Time Purchase Kits

October kits are ready to ship.  New items in this kit are a variety of buttons and oatmeal playdough (for National Porridge Day).  There are bridge building materials as well.  Let me know before Friday, October 3rd if you would like to purchase.

Also, I have new one-time purchase kits.  There is one for fall and one for Halloween.  In case, you don't feel like you need 12 of each, I added a combo kit that would give you 6 fall crafts and 6 Halloween crafts.  I would like to get those shipped before the 10th, so you have plenty of time to get your crafting in before the end of the month.

There is also a more history-based colonial/Thanksgiving craft kit in the works.  Be on the look out for that as well.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

August Craft Kit: Deconstructed

In the past, I've taken one big picture of the contents of each craft kit.  This time, however, I thought it may be helpful to see what you receive for each craft individually.  See, without further ado, the August Craft Kit (insert cheering and applause here)!

Owl picture for Friendship Day

Watermelon Magnet for Watermelon Day
Life Preserver for Coast Guard Day

Sheep in Briefs for Underwear Day

Shape Lighthouse for Lighthouse Day

International Cat Day

No, really. it makes a cute cat!

Lion Mask for World Lion Day

Beach in a Frame for Play with Sand Day

Honey Bee Day

Whale Shark Day

Bow Tie Day

Aviation Day
Remember, the August Kit is on sale for $22.  You can place your order using the paypal button on the right. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

August kits are ready AND they are on sale!!!

The August craft kits are ready to put together.  It was a bit of a challenge to come up with new and original ideas since there are no big holidays in August and the whole back-to-school scene really doesn't apply to preschoolers.  I think I found some really great things though.  I based the crafts on fun days found on the Days of the Year website.  This month features honey bees, whale sharks, cats, dogs, bow-ties, underwear and more.

If you have been thinking of purchasing and just aren't sure if this is going to work for your family, now would be a great time to try it out.  There could be a concern that you won't be able to get to all the crafts done in a month.  Good news!  Because this month isn't really tied to particular holidays, you could stretch the crafts out for more than a month if needed.  Really, no one is going to tell you that Honey Bee Day can only happen on August 16th.  If you need to declare September 10th as Honey Bee Day, go for it.  If you need another reason, I'll give you a better one.  For the month of August only, I am selling the craft kit for $22 (instead of the regular price of $25).  It will still have 12 crafts.  Each craft also has at least one book and activity suggestion to go along with it.  Feel free to use them or not. I just offer suggestions as a way to extend the craft if needed or desired.

Some of the materials that will be included in this month's kit are: cotton balls, craft foam, elastic, yarn, clothespin, popsicle sticks, wax paper, tissue paper, etc.  Pictures of the materials will be forthcoming.  I still need to run to the store for a couple things, and there are 50 pounds of tomatoes that need to be canned tonight.  Maybe that picture will happen tomorrow. Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Donut Day

Who's up for celebrating the donut?  Of course, I am and my kids are!  June 6th is officially Donut Day, but we celebrated yesterday to give you ideas for your celebration.

We started off the day making donuts.

Then we had storytime.  We read Minne and Moo and the Case of the Missing Jelly Donut and Arnie the Doughnut.  We did have a couple of others waiting in the wings, but the kids' attention span didn't last that long and we never made it back to finish them.

Then it was craft time!  I've been putting off doing some of the crafts with my daycare kids (in this case the 2 girls in the above picture) because they are 2 years old and they outnumber me.  I really enjoy a 1:1 ratio when littles use scissors.  However, I only got out 1 pair of scissors and I held them the entire time.  I figured we were pretty safe then.  The glue sticks however are a different story.  Good thing that stuff washes out!

Offering some cutting assistance

Needs some glue.

Adding the icing.

Had to add sprinkles.
 Displaying the finished product!

Peng-y and Pink Bunny needed a snack!

And there you have it a donut celebration fit for kids!

Here are the other 2 books I checked out from the library but didn't get to read.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Barefoot Day and Cloud Dough

Grass is wet and tickle-y.
Concrete feels cold and rough.
June 1st was officially Barefoot Day.  Since that fell on a weekend, we spent Monday doing barefoot activities.  We took a barefoot texture walk around the house.   We checked out a number of different textures including dirt, big landscaping stones, gravel and others (shown below).

Bricks are bumpy and hard, but nicer to
walk on than the grass.
Sand gets stuck in our toes.
Once we came inside we experimented with the cloud dough from the kit.  It was such a hit that even the 11 year old joined in.  

Stuck in her toes!
How much can I fit between my feet?

It could only stay on the paper for so long, right?

She was excited that it would hold its shape!
I did discover that the cloud dough made the floor a little slick due to the oil in it, but no problem.  I needed to mop my floor anyway. :)

We didn't get around to reading the books this time.  I think I'll save them for the next time we get out the cloud dough (and I was told that there WILL be a next time)!

Friday, May 23, 2014

June craft kits ready to be mailed!

June's crafts promise to be loads of fun.  Included this month is pudding painting, pinwheels, cloud dough and donuts! Please place your order by Monday if you wish to receive your kit by June 1st.  Also this week, I'll be planning a special theme kit for Summer.  Have a wonderful Memorial Weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gearing up for preschool "theme" craft kits

I'm in the early stages of planning my first theme kit!  What is a theme kit you ask?  Well, a theme kit is a set of 12 crafts that all revolve around the same theme.  Many preschools plan their curriculum based on weekly or bi-weekly themes.  Having taught preschool for a number of years, I have found that this method works well for the most part.  Focusing on a theme allows children to learn about their world around them and there is enough variety that the topic doesn't become boring.  

These kits will be a one-time purchase.  Each kit will come with a more extensive list of books on the theme. Also included will be several activities (some to go along with the books, some that are more educational in nature).  Then, obviously, there will be 12 crafts and the supplies to do them.

I hope to add one theme kit that will be available each month along with the monthly theme kit.  Once I have several themes available, I plan to open an Etsy shop to make purchase easier.

My first kit will be SUMMER, in honor of the upcoming summer solstice.  I am looking for other suggestions  for the next few months, so please leave a comment letting me know what you would like to see.  Thanks so much and have a wonderful week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Now Taking Orders for April kits

I've been hard at work planning the kits for April.  The first two will be ready to ship in a few days and the kits for the Easter Liturgical season will arrive before Easter.  Here's what you get in each kit.

April Holiday and Seasonal Kit
Batman Day (yeah, like the super hero!)
Dolphin Day
Pet Day
Bat Day
Rainbow Day
Beaver Day
Bicycle Day
Easter x 3 crafts (secular)
Earth Day x 2 crafts

Craft items include:  foam, elastic, coffee filter, paper plates, pipe cleaners, cotton balls, pasta, playdough, marshmallow, split peas, construction paper, and more.

April through June Saints and Feast Days
St. John Baptist de la Salle
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Philip
Our Lady of Fatima
St. Isidore the Farmer
St. Bernadine of Siena
St. Boniface
St. Anthony of Padua
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
St. Peter
St. Paul

Craft items include:  construction paper, paper plate, glitter, wood beads, pony beads, lacing, pipe cleaner, seeds, ribbon stickers, and several saint templates.

Easter-the Liturgical Season
Easter x 7 crafts (religious, obviously)
Ascension x 2 crafts
Pentecost x 3 crafts

Craft items:  This kit isn't quite finished yet.  I need to make a produce a couple of my ideas and see what I like better, but this is what I have so far:  straws, ribbon, book rings, tissue paper, clothespins, cotton balls, paper fastener, foam and more.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Closing March and Lent craft kits

Thank you to everyone who ordered a March or Lenten craft kit.  I am closing orders on both of these kits.  For those of you who ordered in the last couple days, there were a couple of items that I ran out of and had to reorder.  What a wonderful problem to have!  I will send Easter stickers and heart crayons separately, so if you receive your packet and see that those items are missing, I'll get them to you ASAP.  Thanks again!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Review

I always ask for feedback on the crafts I send out and I've sent several out to people I know locally that may benefit.  Usually the feedback I get is something like, "oh, these were great!" and "[the kid] loved them." This is all well and good, but it doesn't really give me a lot to go on as far as improvement or if I'm really helping families out by offering this service.  The other day, I was reading a forum post and it was about the craft kits.  It wasn't necessarily directed to me, but I felt like it was an informative review (and more complete than a thumbs up!).

I asked Ann if I could post it here and/or on FB and she agreed.  For clarification, the "charter member" comment is because she was the first person to order a kit and it was her initial search for a company that offered craft kits that led me to start Kristin's Crafts for Kids.  We do not know each other, although we both post on the same homeschooling forum.  This comment was posted on the Well Trained Mind forums PreK and K board.

I guess we are 'charter members' - I can't say enough good things about these! My ds#1 did the first two months almost all by himself & now ds#2 is using February's. 

There are enough crafts for three per week - which is PERFECT for a busy mom with a lot of other things going on. Once I knew how great they were, I went ahead & did the multi-month ordering because then I don't have to remember to go back onto the blog mid-month to order for the next month. There is variety in the materials & types of crafts, there is value in the items sent (it isn't all just paper materials), there are suggested books & activities that go along with each craft, and some of them tie into themes (President's Day, Valentine's Day, who knew there was a Polar Bear Day?).

Everyday ds#2 does his chores and then asks, "Is today a craft day?"

Thank you Ann.  I'm very happy that this is working out for you and your family. ;)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here's what you get. . .

I took a quick picture of the kits this month once they were finished.  I will still take orders for the March kit through tomorrow evening, and I'll take orders for the Lent kit through March 5th or so (it obviously would arrive after Ash Wednesday, but I still think there would be plenty of time to get the activities done).
March Kit

Lent kit

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

March and Lent Kits are Ready to Ship

I'm putting the final touches on the Lenten kit (again) and the March kit is finished as of tonight.  I'll be mailing them out in a few days.  Feel free to place an order. :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How This "Project' Came To Be

I was reading back through my old posts and realized that I said I would someday explain how this whole craft business got started.  Well, today is someday.  This is mostly because I didn't have to go to work tonight (6" + of snow on the ground) and I'm avoiding folding the two loads of laundry that are in front of me.

So, here we go...

This is our family's second year of homeschooling.  Last year, my girls (then 10 and 12) were home and my son (5) went to a mornings only pre-kindergarten program.  This year, my oldest returned to our local Catholic school and the middle and youngest are at home.  In addition to homeschooling, I have an in-home daycare.  We have from anywhere from 2-4 and occasionally 5 extra kiddos around from 7:00 to 5:00 each day.  This may sound absolutely nuts to you, but I dropped my workload from 10 kids down to four, specifically so I could homeschool.  I did preschool in my home for 7 years and was a preschool teacher for a public school district for 2 years before that, and was a classroom teacher before that (so eons ago basically).

Now our daily group is two or three almost or just turned 2 year old girls, a 6 month old and a 4 month old, both boys.  Our days are crazy.  We fit school in around what the little ones need and hope and pray that everyone sleeps at the same time in the afternoon, so we can do math uninterrupted.  My kids are unusually good at dealing with chaos, since that's all they've ever known, so we make do.

The down-side of all the littles is that it makes it difficult for us to go places.  Our area has a wealth of opportunities for homeschoolers, but we aren't able to make it to much.  That's just part of our life.  At this stage, I'm not able to go hang out with the moms and "talk shop."  Lucky for me there's a wealth of online opportunities for chatting about whatever topic you could possibly imagine.

Here's where we get to the craft part.

One day I was reading The Well Trained Mind forums and Ann mentioned that she was looking for an alternative for her son.  She had been purchasing prepackaged craft kits online and when she went to place another order, she fo
und that the business had closed.  Ann was asking if anyone knew where she could get a similar product.

There are several aspects that lead me to believe that the Holy Spirit had a hand in this.  I'm not sure why I even opened that particular thread.  I don't purchase prepackaged crafts.  I come up with my own and I'm relatively good at it.  I didn't know of any sort of alternative--see previous reason, and I had come looking for the answer to a certain question in another part of the forum--not sure why I was even in the pre-k section.

Anyway, as I read, my curiosity was peaked and so I did a few Google searches.  Everything I found was, in my opinion, expensive for the product received.  I returned to the forum and asked a few questions about the previous product and within a couple weeks, I was shipping out my first kits.

So far, I've had a lot of fun designing the crafts and I hope that those who have received them felt that they were fun and interesting as well.

Just this week, I started advertising on a well known blog. In the Heart of My Home.  I am now committed to this for the long term.  I hope that within the next year and a half, I can build my subscriptions up to a point that I can quit the daycare business and focus more on expanding the craft selections and give more time to my children and our homeschooling journey.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Craft Kits for Lent

I'm super excited to report that the craft kits for the upcoming Lenten season are almost finished!  One of my goals when we began homeschooling was to make our Catholic faith central in our lives.  Over the past year and a half, I've learned so much and am excited for this year as we begin building very meaningful traditions around Lent.

Some of the activities included are a countdown to Easter , specific crafts related to the Sunday readings, and Holy Week activities.

Lent is most definitely a time of reflection and penance, but providing children a hands-on way of learning about this liturgical season can have long-lasting effects.

As soon as I get the finishing touches of everything, I'll get a button up to purchase.  Look for it mid-February.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

February Craft Kits have shipped!

If you ordered a February craft kit, you should have received it.  Here's what's in the kit this month!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Facebook Giveaway

When the Kristin's Crafts for Kids page reaches 100 likes, I'll give away a February craft kit.  Please go to the page.  "Like" and "share" and then comment below the giveaway post.

February Craft Kits Ready for Shipping

I have pink fingers from dying playdough this morning! It is ready to go and that finishes the February craft kits.  This month you will receive...

1 Bird Watching Month craft
2 crafts for Dental Health Month
1 Groundhog Day craft
3 Valentine's Day crafts
3 crafts for President's Day
1 craft for Gumdrop Day
1 Polar Bear Day craft

There's cotton balls, gumdrops, yarn, popsicle sticks, foam stickers, tissue paper, wax paper and a bunch of other stuff included.  All you need is scissors, glue, tape, markers and/or crayons.

I'd like to get everything shipped no later than the 24th, so if you are interested in purchasing, please do so before then.

And, for all the Catholics out there, I'm starting work on the Lenten craft/activity pack.  Look for it in the next few weeks as well as the March kit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

January projects

Just a quick pic of some of the January projects.  Happy crafting!

Paper Lanterns for Chinese New Year

A quick apology before we begin. On the instructions, I listed Chinese New Years as January 23rd.  I'm not sure where I got my information, but it's really the 31st.  I don't think doing this craft a few days early would hurt anything, but I do like to be accurate, so I thought I'd fix my mistake.

In the January kit, I included a paper lantern craft for Chinese New Year.  Here's a quick how-to.

Begin with one full sheet of 9 x 12 construction paper and 3 strips of 1 x 12 construction paper.  You will also need scissors and glue, tape or stapler.  I used tape for the lantern and trim and a stapler for the handle.

Start by taking your full sheet of construction paper and making a hot dog fold (that's long and skinny instead of short and fat, which is a hamburger fold--got that from my art teacher in high school).  Starting with the folded side, make slits in the paper about 1 inch apart and ending about 1 inch from the edge (see picture left).

Open up the paper and bring the shorter sides around to meet each other. (see below)  Overlap ending strips on each side and tape or glue together.  I chose to tape because I wasn't patient enough to wait for the glue to dry.

Now, take one of the 1 inch strips and wrap it around the top edge of the lantern (tape or glue it down).  Repeat with the bottom edge.

Finally, use the last strip to make a handle.  Tape or staple one end to the inside of the lantern.  Bring it over to the opposite side and attach it there as well.

Voila, the end result! 

Happy Chinese New Year!