Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baking with Kids

There is nothing better than a beautiful spring day when the kids can finally spend extended periods of time outside. But with spring also comes cold, rainy days. And when you’ve already exhausted the library and museums during winter, a great way to pass the time together is to bake.

Baking is great at any age, whether it’s a two year old rolling out dough and using cookie cutters, a three or four year old practicing fine motor skills in measuring, or a five year old starting to learn basic math concepts with quantities. The older they get the more they can do on their own.

Having everything out before you start is helpful, as well has having several wet wash clothes nearby. Have extra utensils for them to play with and let them get messy. A great apron can be very inspiring and save on cleanup. Bloom Woosie has an adorable selection of aprons for both girls and boys.

And most importantly always let them taste. If you're worried about exposing them to raw eggs, have some small bowls filled with different snacks- nuts, berries or raisins.

Baking for someone specific is a lovely idea. Sharing the fruits of their labor with a grandparent, a neighbor, a friend or even sending daddy to work with a treat can be exciting for a little one. A personalized kitchen stamp on a homemade gift tag is a great way to finish off their creation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oops: Gift Tag Fixes

There is nothing worse than feeling like you have wasted a gift tag with a poor stamp impression. Here is a great fix to transform the mistake into a usable card.

Cover the messed up impression with another piece of paper. Wrapping paper is a great option especially if the tag is to go on a present. The tiny pieces of wrapping paper you’ve saved forever now have a use. But don’t feel you have to match the wrapping paper on the gift- mixing it up can be fun and plain paper is always a good bet.

Adhere the messed up side to the paper. A glue stick or double-sided adhesive work good. If you’re looking to catch a specific area of the wrapping paper hold both the paper and tag up to a window to find the sweet spot.

Trim around the tag, using an X-acto knife or scissors. Grab a hole punch or use the knife to cut out space in the circle, but don’t worry about making it perfect. Remember that you’ll be putting ribbon or string through there.

You never know, it might even look as if you planned it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Announcing the Oops Series

Rubber stamps are not perfect, that’s part of their charm. Yet a bad smudge or a missing part of the print can be a real bummer. So one of the tips we’d like to cover here on the blog is how to fix a bad rubber stamp impression.

Realizing that many of the fixes involve another sheet of paper, we’d like to start offering a mini pack of our eight papers free with any paper order. They are 5.5”x 4.25” and could fix many a notecard or gift tag mishap.

You never know when your mistake might turn in to a happy accident.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Out of the Box Gift

Have a children’s birthday party coming up? Here is a highly creative and very inexpensive present that works well for both boys and girls ages 4-8.

Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis is a delightfully series of simple drawings about a rabbit and a box. But it’s not a box- it’s a race car, a mountain and a robot among many things. The box transforms with bold red lines into a series of imaginative adventures. 

The book is wonderful by itself, but what makes this into a super cool gift is wrapping it in a very large box. The bigger the better, keeping in mind the child’s home. Also, make sure the box can fit into your car once it’s assembled and wrapped. The Container Store has a nice selection of boxes, which are white and great for drawing on. But you may want a brown box just like the one in the book, those can be found at any office supply store.

So not only are you giving a great book, but an opportunity for the child to explore his or her own imagination with their very own box. If you feel you need to or would like spend more add some arts and craft items, scarves, animal masks or anything that would fuel their creativity. Wrap, add curling ribbon and a gift tag and you are all set for another party.