Arts & Crafts – Get Crafty with Your Kids this Summer

July 15th, 2014

Summer is almost here, and it’s time for fun – bike rides, camping, picnics, swimming lessons, trips to the beach, the park, the zoo, the science museum, and play dates…lots of play dates. For kids, summer seems to last forever, and eventually we start to hear, “I’m bored.” Really?! As a Mom, I know it’s tempting to plug them into a video game, hand them the iPad, or rent some movies to watch. But there is another opportunity – to bring arts and crafts into their lives. Creativity has to be fostered and encouraged, and here at Stubby Pencil Studio we have plenty of great ideas for creative summer time fun.

 

I’ve been selling art and craft supplies for nearly a decade and I’ve learned that making art with kids makes everyone feel good. We have fun, are more engaged, and most importantly create a stronger bond. Childhood is short and taking time to make things together is something your kids will always remember. I love looking at the projects we made when my twins were small – the blotched paint and messy scribbles have been captured forever and the older they get the more precious these treasures are to me.

 

For spring and summer we have a bunch of fun ideas and activities to make and do together with your kids:

 

Make hand puppets and finger puppets and try filming your own short movie

 

Try a do-it-yourself Kaleidoscope kit and teach your kids about colors and light

 

Make cute critters with the Twirly-Q’s Paper Kit

 

Go for a nature walk to collect flowers and make crafts using a pressed flower art kit

 

Make Shrinky Dinks

 

Glue craft sticks together and paint them – this kept my kids happy for hours

 

Vacation Activity Book – ideas for drawing, painting, making things, cooking, gardening, and even dressing up

 

We have a variety of crafting books filled with terrific ideas – don’t worry about perfection – just have fun being together and getting creative.

-       Mama Kate

Toddler Art Supplies – The Best Products for Young Artists

July 5th, 2014

When it comes to buying art supplies for young children, there are many choices on the market and it can be overwhelming to decide what to buy.

For toddlers, there are only a few products available, because most supplies are for ages 3+. Kids under 3 often put items in their mouth and although art supplies are non-toxic, it does not mean they are healthy for kids.

The best supplies for toddlers are made from all natural ingredients. Here’s a list of art supplies safe enough for little artists (even if they put their hands in their mouth.)

Organic Sidewalk Chalk – made from all natural ingredients and totally safe for small children. Your little ones can decorate the sidewalk and if they put their hands in their mouth or try to chew on the chalk – no worries – it is safe enough to eat. Made with organic ingredients, vegan, no wheat, no sugar, no preservatives, no lead.

Veggie Finger Paints – this should be the very first art material for your baby. Made from organic fruits and vegetables, this finger paint is perfect for babies – safe enough to eat – no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no preservatives and vegan, too.

Glob Paints – these paints are designed with young children in mind. They are 100% biodegradable and each pigment is botanically crafted from natural colors found in vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, roots and spices. Kids will learn that basil makes green and pomegranate makes reddish orange and you can be assured there are no petrochemicals, VOCs or other toxins.

Bamboo Brush – this little paint brush is sized at 4.5 inches and is easy to hold and control – perfect for small hands.

Jumbo Soy Crayons – these crayons are thick and sturdy (nearly triple the size of standard crayons) and are made from a unique soybean oil formulation and they do not include paraffin wax. We like them because they are brighter, smoother and flake less than ordinary wax crayons.

Ferby Colored Pencils – these short, jumbo, un-lacquered triangular colored pencils with extra thick core are great for little hands. The triangular shape helps to ensure children learn proper grip and they won’t break easily or roll off the table.

- Mama Kate

Save 20% on your favorite art and craft supplies for kids!

July 2nd, 2014

While we are enjoying every minute of summer sunshine, we know September is just round the corner.

To make space for new arrivals and eco back to school supplies, we’re having a Summer Sale! Shop for your favorite art supplies for kids, games, books, toys and more!

Use Discount Code: SUMMER to save 20% off your entire order thru 7/15/14

Summer Travel – Are We There Yet?

June 26th, 2014

For many, school is out in June and summer is the time for family travel – long car trips, train travel, airplane rides, and the dreaded, “I’m bored.” We’ve all heard those words, cringed, and thought about what we can do to keep the kids entertained. It’s always a challenge, but it’s easier the older they get. I am lucky, my kids can read for hours without getting car sick, but when they were little, travel was a bit more hectic.

If your first instinct is to hand them electronics, resist – we can help. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas to keep kids busy while traveling:

Animal Hand Tattoos – temporary tattoos for talking hands – a fun new take on hand puppets.

Lacing Cards – kids will have fun and develop fine motor skills while lacing adorable graphic cards.

Activity and Dot-to-Dot Books – have fun with mazes and drawing and learning numbers at the same time

 Tic-Tac Jump Game – One board – two games! Play Tic-Tac-Toe on one side and flip the board over and play solitaire on the other.

Drawing and Doodling Books

Coloring Books

Small toys – yo-yos, wooden tops, wooden animals

Travel memory game – Life on Earth Travel Matching Game features flora and fauna from around the world show the richness of Life on Earth

Card games (like Animal Rummy, Go Fish, Games for Your Brain, Wild Cards Baby Animals and more…) these are compact and great for travel.

Try to keep things tidy – pack a drawstring bag that includes several creative goodies like crayons, pencils, crayon rocks, blank books, stickers, markers… having everything in one place makes it easy to keep supplies together and grab them on the go.

 

Have fun this summer – be safe – and enjoy your travel journey!

 

- Mama Kate

Traveling with Kids with Summer?

June 6th, 2014
Entertain Kids while Traveling

Entertain Kids while Traveling

We just returned from vacation and I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a challenge to travel with kids. We packed lots of books and other goodies, but keeping them busy and entertained while waiting hours at the airport was still rough. Our suggestion for you – pack new activity and search and find coloring books. These are fun for a wide range of ages and can be shared between multiple kids. Happy travels!

Non-Toxic Crayons – The Smart Choice for Moms

May 28th, 2014

Here’s a question, which would you rather give your child – paraffin or soy? Not sure? You’re not alone. When my twins were toddlers, I learned that conventional crayons are made from paraffin, which is a byproduct of petroleum (used to make gasoline and other products) yuck! Although the crayons are considered non-toxic, the process to produce paraffin and the fact that it takes a very long time to biodegrade, makes them really bad for the environment. Think about it – billions of paraffin wax crayons are made each year and most of them will end up in the landfill. This is why we are proud to offer our soy based non-toxic crayons

What’s a mom to do? I really wanted healthy art supplies for my kids. If they accidentally chewed on crayons, I’d rather it was soy or beeswax over petroleum, so I searched the internet to find alternatives. Luckily, there are several terrific choices for families seeking eco-friendly crayons for their children:

Soy crayons – soy wax is made from soybeans, many of which are grown in the US, and it’s a renewable resource that decomposes much quicker than paraffin. We love soy crayons – they work better than paraffin crayons because they don’t flake (the wax is smooth and creamy) and the pigments are bright and colorful. Soy crayons are available in two sizes: standard soy crayons (24 colors, 16 colors, or 8 colors) or jumbo soy crayons (perfect for toddlers)

Beeswax crayons – an alternative to soy crayons, beeswax crayons are also petroleum free. They are made from all natural and renewable waxes and pure beeswax and pigments from a combination of plants and vegetables. The jumbo size is sturdy for small hands.

Crayon Rocks – super cool pebble shaped crayons made from soy and natural waxes and tinted with non-toxic mineral powders. Crayon Rocks make vibrant colors and beautiful textures and the special shape makes them easy to hold and encourages the use of tripod grip to develop fine motor skills. Crayon Rocks are available in several size options: Crayon Rocks (16 colors), Crayon Rocks Favor Bag (8 colors), Crayon Rocks (64 box – great for classroom use or having an art party).

You’ll find soy crayons, beeswax crayons, Crayon Rocks and other natural arts and crafts materials at Stubby Pencil Studio.

Oh, yeah – even with our best intentions to avoid paraffin crayons, we still end up with them. They come home from restaurants, we get them in party favor bags, and we receive them as gifts. For these, we found a crayon recycling program that we encourage everyone to support – Crazy Crayon Recycle Program

 

- Mama Kate

Eco Friendly Party Supplies – Make it an Earth Smart Party™

May 20th, 2014

Have you noticed that birthdays seem to come faster and faster? I have! My twins turn10 this month and we’re in the process of planning their party. As I search the web for inspiration, I’m overwhelmed with all the disposable products on the market. Yes, it’s convenient to use a plastic table cloth, plastic serving dishes, plastic forks, disposable plates and napkins all in a matching theme, but what about all the waste it generates? These low quality themed products can not be re-used and everything ends up in the garbage – sad.

I know there are other moms that want less wasteful, yet fun parties for their kids, so here’s a list of eco-friendly tips to create an Earth Smart Party™  using our eco friendly party supplies

Décor: use a cloth table covering that can be re-used over and over again. There are now several choices for sustainable and re-usable plates and utensils and paper napkins can be composted, so that’s an easy choice. Avoid balloons (especially helium) and hang a flag banner or make a giant paper chain to add color and create a festive space. Avoid paraffin by choosing beeswax birthday candles.

For the party, select a creative activity that kids can make and take home as the favor. Wooden wands and wooden toy car kits make a quick and easy craft. Kids love to build and decorate things. Young kids can use markers and stickers and older kids can use paint. The timing is perfect – have your birthday treats and open gifts while the paint dries. Just as the party is wrapping up, the crafts will be ready to go.

If you are having a theme birthday, we now offer Color ‘n Kids™ party invitations and matching thank you notes, made in Oregon and printed on 100% recycled paper. These are a great way for kids to be involved in the party process – they can color the invitations and create their own thank you notes for gifts.

In addition, we have eco goodie bags in a variety of themes: pirate party favors, mermaid party favors, fairy party favors, zoo party favors, and more. Each clear bag is biodegradable and includes several eco-friendly goodies (no plastic junk) that kids will use and enjoy. The favor bags are tied with a colored paper raffia bow – cute, convenient, and eco-friendly, too.

We love to help with ideas – let us know your theme and we can help you make your party responsible and fun.

- Mama Kate

Toddler Art Supplies – The Best Products for Young Artists

May 12th, 2014

When it comes to buying art supplies for toddlers, there are many choices on the market and it can be overwhelming to decide what to buy.

For the little ones, there are only a few products available, because most supplies are for ages 3+. Kids under 3 often put items in their mouth and although art supplies are non-toxic, it does not mean they are healthy for kids.

The best supplies for toddlers are made from all natural ingredients. Here’s a list of art supplies safe enough for little artists (even if they put their hands in their mouth.)

Organic Sidewalk Chalk – made from all natural ingredients and totally safe for small children. Your little ones can decorate the sidewalk and if they put their hands in their mouth or try to chew on the chalk – no worries – it is safe enough to eat. Made with organic ingredients, vegan, no wheat, no sugar, no preservatives, no lead.

Veggie Finger Paints – this should be the very first art material for your baby. Made from organic fruits and vegetables, this finger paint is perfect for babies – safe enough to eat – no wheat, no dairy, no sugar, no preservatives and vegan, too.

Glob Paints – these paints are designed with young children in mind. They are 100% biodegradable and each pigment is botanically crafted from natural colors found in vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, roots and spices. Kids will learn that basil makes green and pomegranate makes reddish orange and you can be assured there are no petrochemicals, VOCs or other toxins.

Bamboo Brush – this little paint brush is sized at 4.5 inches and is easy to hold and control – perfect for small hands.

Jumbo Soy Crayons – these crayons are thick and sturdy (nearly triple the size of standard crayons) and are made from a unique soybean oil formulation and they do not include paraffin wax. We like them because they are brighter, smoother and flake less than ordinary wax crayons.

Ferby Colored Pencils – these short, jumbo, un-lacquered triangular colored pencils with extra thick core are great for little hands. The triangular shape helps to ensure children learn proper grip and they won’t break easily or roll off the table.

 

- Mama Kate                 

Creative Kids + Art = Happy Moms

May 1st, 2014

When my kids are happy, I am happy and I want to share a fun idea with you. We recently gathered some of our favorite friends together for an art party. It was a blast. The smiles were contagious, the art was adorable, and the moms were delighted to see how creative their kids can be.

Watch our video:

Creative Kids + Art = Happy Moms

Being a mom is amazing and spending time with our kids is precious. Please share our video with your friends and help us promote safe and healthy art supplies. Maybe you’d like to have some fun and inspire creativity in your kids? An art party is easy – offer a few healthy snacks when guests arrive, set out the supplies, and let the fun begin!

Skip the plastic, the sugar and the chemicals

April 2nd, 2014
a tisket, a tasket, an eco Easter basket

a tisket, a tasket, an eco Easter basket