Getting Away From It All

June 29th, 2015

Summer is here and for our family, that means more outside fun. It’s a great time to get kids off the hamster wheel of their plugged in lifestyle by taking them outside for some fun in the sun. On a recent camping trip we brought along a few Stubby Pencil Studio arts and crafts which kept the kids entertained while letting them explore their creative side.

The kids always love an art project, and these items were easy to bring along. Gus created a picture with the Finger Printing Art Kit while Colton drew with the Water Color Pencils. After drawing amazing art, they dove into the My First Dot-to-Dot and the Big Maze Book.

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My First Dot-to-Dot is perfect for preschoolers who are just starting to learn their numbers. Each page has a number line at the bottom for kids to easily stay on track and know what number is next.

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The Big Maze Book isn’t your average book of mazes either. It has creative ways of keeping kids engaged, telling stories as they find their way through the mazes.

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My boys love colored pens and these Washable Markers were perfect to use in the books. Moms will love them, too, because they are non-toxic and water-based, so they clean up very easily. If your kids are anything ours, this is what they will look like when they are done creating. Yay – it all washes off easily.

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Check out the shop for more travel friendly art supplies and fun ideas to keep kids entertained and creative this summer while your family is on the go.

Fairy Gardens are magical and enchanting…

June 24th, 2015

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Kids love to design and make things. What could be more fun than building a Fairy Garden? A tiny space, filled with wonder and delight, that allows children to use their imagination to the fullest. We love them and think mini fairy gardens would make a great activity for a summer birthday party.

Tempera Paint Sticks

June 23rd, 2015

We love art materials for children that are colorful and convenient for parents. These solid tempera paints in a stick are super simple to use – no water, no brushes, no spills. They are perfect for painting on paper, cardboard, wood, and more. Remove the cap, twist, and start creating. The paints are solvent free, silky smooth and dry instantly. Ages: 3+

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I ran out of wrapping paper for our Father’s Day gift so I improvised with what we had on hand. I cut open a grocery bag and it made a perfect blank canvas. My husband loves our boy’s artwork and this was a great opportunity for Colton to get creative and paint all over it to make his own wrapping paper. He loves these Tempera Paints so much and had a fun time designing his own masterpiece. The paints are bright and go on creamy smooth. They are easy for my 4 year old to hold, which keeps him interested in the project.

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He is so proud of his picture, which is the best part, right? Well it’s the best part for him but for me, I love how easy the paint sticks are to clean up! I didn’t put down a table cloth before he started because of how nicely they wipe up.

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It was so fun to clean up, Colton did it himself!!! He was so proud of himself and so was I.

AND Voila!!!

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The Over-The-Top Party Trend: Is It Just Too Much?

May 25th, 2015

Gift box full of $100 dollar bills

Throwing a big, memorable party for your birthday kid can be fun, but it’s easy to send the wrong message when the party is based on consumption. It seems there’s more and more pressure from society to host big, elaborate kids’ parties. In fact, blow-out birthday parties have become a bit of a competition to see who can outdo each other in the neighborhood.

All kids care about is having fun. While putting a full-sized carousel in your front yard might be what Susie said she wanted for her birthday, it comes with a lot of needless waste. If ecology is on your priority list, you’ll love these eco-friendly party ideas — and so will your kids! Affordable, and with little waste, a memorable party that is Earth-friendly is a great way to teach kids about life’s simple pleasures.

A Helping Hand — If your kids are old enough, let them get involved in the party-planning process. Help them get excited about finding and using as many Earth-friendly elements as possible.

Set the tone of the party by sending eco-friendly invitations. Paper invitations made from recycled materials are more fun to send and receive than texts or emails. For kids, making invitations is part of the fun. They’ll enjoy coloring and personalizing the cards and envelopes, while friends and relatives love receiving and saving these memorable invitations. You can make your own out of 100% recycled card stock or start with one of our create-a-card, coloring card or blank card sets.

Use decorations that are reusable, recycled or biodegradable. Hang garlands, bunting and banners made from eco-friendly inks and recycled materials. Use soy or beeswax birthday candles on the cake in place of petroleum-based candles. When the party is over, pass your decorations on to a friend or neighbor or put them away for next year.

Choose an eco-friendly art project as the main activity. Your project can double as a party favor that kids can take home. (If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas.) Choose art and craft materials that are non-toxic, biodegradable and made from recycled and natural materials. For example, use biodegradable soy crayons, pencils made from sustainably harvested wood, and recycled paper or sketchbooks for coloring and drawing projects. Use acrylic paints made from plant dyes, and non-toxic clay and play dough for sculpture projects. Kids love to make jewelry, sock puppets or elaborate paper airplanes, and it’s convenient to use recycled materials in these easy projects.

Send guests home with party favors and goodie bags made of eco-friendly materials. Simple, fun favors like wooden toys, games and puzzles won’t end up in the landfill, while kids will use educational cards and books long after the party is over. Parents appreciate the lack of plastic paraphernalia that would just end up in the trash bin by the next weekend.

Earth-smart parties not only put the party’s emphasis on friendship and creativity, they reduce waste and help teach kids that the best times are to be had with a few friends and simple things.

Celebrate Earth Day With Your Kids And Create Lifelong Eco-Friendly Habits

April 17th, 2015

Who says one person can’t change the world? In 1970, Gaylord Nelson encouraged 20 million people to take to the streets to demonstrate in support of sustainable and healthy environmental practices. He created a movement that would truly change the course of our planet. That first Earth Day event led directly to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts, so clearly, one man made a huge difference.

Today — 45 years later — we keep his message alive every April 22 with celebrations all around the globe, and that makes the perfect backdrop for teaching kids how to respect and love our planet. Not only is it a wonderful teaching moment, but it’s a chance for you to help them forge a lifelong love for the environment.

Get Involved

Part of the appeal of Earth Day is the community spirit. We put aside our political, social, and economic differences just as they did in 1970 and work together to create a better world. Teachers and their students head for parks and playgrounds to help pick up trash, or gather recyclables and turn them into crafts. Local organizations often have activities planned, so be sure to find out what’s happening in your area, and join in the fun.

Another idea is to have kids brainstorm for ways they can conserve water or clean up the environment. For example, they could turn off the lights or television when no one is using them, or draw and color on the other side of paper rather than reaching for a fresh sheet. Write all their ideas down on strips of paper, and each day have them draw one out of a basket. Challenge them to commit to that idea for a whole day. This way, Earth Day isn’t just a one-time event, but rather something that you practice each and every day. Not only that, but it helps to build good habits, too!

Earth Friendly Toys And Crafts

One super fun way to kick off your Earth Day festivities is with an arts and crafts extravaganza. Soy crayons are an excellent alternative to the ordinary wax kind, and your little artists will love them. Made with sustainable soybean oil rather than fossil fuel–based paraffin, these big and bright crayons are a perfect fit for small hands. Encourage your kids to draw pictures of favorite animals that Earth Day has helped to save, or flowers and plants that can thrive in clean, healthy gardens.

Games are popular with kids of all ages, too, and Earth Day is the ideal time to tie in lessons about conservation with age-appropriate information about the animals we share our world with. Wild Cards, a deck of 48 colorful cards, features images of animals from across North America, and includes instructions for three different games you can play with kids ages five and up. The games are fun, but the opportunity to talk to your kids about the animals we share this planet with is priceless.

Whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day this year, make it a family tradition, and you’ll help to build habits your children will carry with them into adulthood.

Two Paws Up For An Eco-Friendly Easter The Kids (And The Environment) Will Love

March 13th, 2015

Cute Easter Bunny.  Use to create fun Easter projects.Easter candy. Easter baskets. Easter eggs. Easter dresses and bonnets. After a long, cold winter, this first holiday of spring is a welcome visitor we all get excited about. Too bad our planet can’t enjoy Easter as much as we do. That’s because this global holiday leaves a huge bunny print all across the earth. This year, let’s all give two paws up for an ecologically friendly holiday.

The Real Impact Of Easter

The truth is, those chocolate eggs and other goodies are doing damage to more than just our waistlines and teeth. In fact, one researcher in the UK found that for the average Easter treat, a full 62% was packaging. That’s a big environmental impact for one candy.

And that’s just the packaging. What about the plastic “grass” we line the basket with? The pets in your house will thank you if you dispense with the fake grass, because it’s a known danger for their tummies. What’s more, you won’t be adding to that giant floating island of plastic that’s been growing in the Pacific for decades.

Of course, we also have to consider the basket itself. There was a time when we used real baskets made of natural materials, and probably reused the same basket year after year. Today, though, you’re more likely to find a brightly colored plastic shell that is tossed when its contents are gone.

Leave A Smaller Bunny Print On Easter Morning

eco-easter-basketYou don’t have to give up on Easter to lessen your impact on the environment. Eco-friendly (and kid-approved) treats in a reusable basket are just the thing to put a smile on everyone’s face come Easter morning, and help protect our precious resources, too.

Start with a pretty basket that’s made from natural materials. This adorable felt basket is reusable and features a cute baby chick with hand-embroidered features. His bright yellow coloring is just right for saying hello to spring.

Bubble-Gum-CrayonsArts and crafts supplies, books and plush toys all make great additions to any Easter basket. They’ll last longer than candy, too, so the kids will still be enjoying their gifts after the jelly beans and chocolate eggs are gone.

Of course, Easter just won’t be the same without at least a few sweet treats in the basket. These chocolate-covered sunflower seeds in their carrot-shaped dispenser are a healthier alternative to traditional candy and snacks. For just plain fun, add an assortment of Bubble Gum Crayons. Long after the gum is gone, they’ll still be creating artwork with the real crayons that top the container.

Sunny-Seeds-CarrotBefore you stuff that basket with sugary snacks and hazardous plastic packaging, why not start a new tradition with an eco Easter basket? Your kids will love the long-lasting gifts, and you’ll feel better because you’re not contributing to the ongoing environmental crisis. And at Easter — traditionally a time of rebirth — there’s no better message to send.

Easter is just around the corner…

March 7th, 2015

Are you ready for Easter? If not, we can help. A bunch of fun new products are available – perfect to fill your eco friendly Easter baskets with gifts that kids will love.

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Sweet ideas for Valentine’s Day gifts for kids without sugar

January 17th, 2015

 

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and as a mom, I am always on the lookout for cute gifts to give kids for Valentine’s Day that are not overloaded with sugar. Here are a few “sweet” ideas that kids will love and you’ll feel good about giving:

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Crayon Rocks Valentine Box

Crayon Rocks are made from natural waxes and tinted with non-toxic mineral powders. They make vibrant colors and beautiful textures and the pebble shape crayons are easy to hold and encourage the use of tripod grip to develop fine motor skills. They are specially shaped to allow small fingers to color in large, wide strokes, promoting confidence in creating art. Used by occupational therapists and teachers to develop skills that promote handwriting practice. The Valentine set includes 19 Crayon Rocks and comes adorably packaged and ready to give.

 

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Valentine Smencils

Valentine Smencils – a super cool set of 5 limited edition gourmet scented pencils made from recycled newspaper to give (or keep) for Valentine’s Day. The new, sweet scents are sure to be a favorite. Share them with the ones you love. Each smencil is stored in its own freshness tube, made from biodegradable corn plastic, and includes an adorable character topper. Perfect for adults and kids alike.

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Love Notes – Valentine’s Day Cards for kids to color

Trying to avoid the overload of commercial characters? You can wish a happy and “green” Valentine’s Day to friends and family with this set of 12 eco-friendly love notes. Our flat Valentine cards are made in USA from 100% recycled paper and finished with round corners. They measure 4.25″ x 5.5″ and include 12 color envelopes tied together with a ribbon. Color them with Soy Crayons and show your Valentine that you not only love them, but the Earth as well.

Stubby Pencil Studio TOP TEN stocking stuffers for the season!

December 16th, 2014

blog-stocking-stuffersIt’s the countdown to Christmas! Over the next few days, anyone wanting Stubby Pencil Studio stocking stuffers, gifts, art supplies need to get their orders in soon! We have created our top ten list of stocking stuffers for the holidays.

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Fifty Optical Illusion Cards – Kids love optical illusions and this set of cards contains 50 of the most amazing optical illusions ever created. View the illusion and then turn over the card to discover the secret… each card has a mind-boggling illusion on one side and an explanation of how it works on the other. $9.99 each. Order Here!

Mushroom Whistles: These adorable mushroom whistles are so much fun! The wooden whistles are shaped in the form of mushrooms and finished with bright, colorful tops and a hanging string. The compact size is perfect for pockets. They make sweet party favors and stocking stuffers. $3.95 each. Order Here!

Soy Crayons: Unlike traditional petroleum-based crayons, these earth-friendly crayons are made from a unique soybean oil formulation, made from 100% renewable resources, and do not include paraffin wax. $1.99 each (16 crayons) – Order Here!

100 Things in the Night Sky: This deck of cards will help kids to spot 100 things in the night sky. Discover the treasures of the night and learn to recognize its sparkling constellations with these fact-filled cards. Curious kids will learn fascinating information about planets, meteors, and other starry sights. $9.99 each – Order Here!

Holiday Smencils: A unique stocking stuffer – limited edition gourmet scented pencils made from 100% recycled newspapers – in yummy scents. Each Holiday Smencil comes packaged in its own (recyclable) Freshness Tube. Perfect for adults and kids alike. $7.95 for a pack – Order Here!

Crayon Rocks: Made from natural waxes and tinted with non-toxic mineral powders, Crayon Rocks make vibrant colors and beautiful textures. The pebble shape crayons are easy to hold and encourage the use of tripod grip to develop fine motor skills. They are specially shaped to allow small fingers to color in large, wide strokes, promoting confidence in creating art. $8.99 each – Order Here!

Erasers: Japanese erasers are adorable with their tiny size, precise detailing and sweet design. These little penguins are assembled with separate color parts making them a puzzle that can be taken apart and put back together. Kids love to collect and trade them. – Order Here!blog-2

Candy Cane Pens: Ahhhh…we love candy canes and we adore this Candy Cane Scented Pen. It comes ready for gifting in a terrific little tube with a twist-on cap. Perfect for kids, teachers, the office… everyone on your list! $3.95 each – Order Here!

Slide Whistle: Kids love these fun, colorful slide whistles to make bird whistles and fun “cartoon” sounds. The tight piston mechanism assures a smooth transition from low to high whistle notes. $4.99 each – Order Here!

Thank you Cards: Our last stocking stuffer idea gives a great life lesson as well.. being thankful for what you receive. Six fun designs in a variety pack of “thank you” notes to color (blank inside). All cards are printed on 100% PCW recycled stock and come with 6 colored envelopes: red, orange, yellow, lime green, green and blue. $6.99 – Order Here!

The Jolly Old Elf is on his way, and we are happy to help him with some great ideas… be sure to click the links above for any items, and get your order in by Thursday, December 18 for optimal delivery before Christmas!

Check out the all-new Stubby Pencil Studio website!

December 16th, 2014

new-webOur ALL-NEW and updated website is up and running, just in time for the holidays! We have made shopping Stubby Pencil Studio so much easier, with better layout, graphics, shopping cart and even made our site mobile friendly. We realized several months ago, that more and more people were shopping our site via mobile devices and tablets, and we needed to make a change! More than 40% of our shoppers visit our site via mobile, and now it’s much easier to navigate!

Right on our home page you can see our new products and best sellers. This has always been a top question for our returning customers – “What’s new!” Now you don’t have to search each page and try to figure out new items. Just check the home page! Additionally, you see our most popular items based on sales and popularity.

We’ve also added some new sections, and one area I’m very excited to share is our FREE COLORING PAGES. Now your kids can enjoy seasonal coloring pages anytime, and you can print them as often as you like! We will be adding new pages often, so come back and see what is new.

One other area to always check (from your phone if you like), is our clearance area, we’ve revamped this area for easy sale of our products about to be replaced with new items. As we come to the end of 2014, and get ready for 2015, we will be changing out products and great deals can be had!

Thank you for being a Stubby Pencil Studio customer, we do listen, and make changes based on your needs – also if you come across any issues or problems with the new site, please let me know – Kate

kate@stubbypencilstudio.com