5/2/17

Creating a Kids Art Gallery Wall

 
For me there is nothing more annoying then rushing at dinner time and having to deal with a fridge cluttered with drawings. Every time you open the fridge paper falls off, magnets go flying and your tiny artist comes running in to save and re put up their master pieces all under you feet. So I had to get a handle on it and remove the art display area from the kitchen to a place out of the way that the kids would love and would feel like their master pieces were still being admired and loved.


I decided the best way to show case their art and have them feel like its still being admired was to make a art gallery they can change out with new pictures when ever they feel like it. The best place for it in our home was the playroom to add some color to our bare playroom walls.



The Materials I used to make the art gallery wall were:

3M Command 3 Spring Clips (I LOVE THESE!!) 
3M Command Clear Hooks 
(Bonus about Command products they are easily removed from the wall and don't leave holes or damage!) 
Twine
STANLEY Wall Laser Level
(This is the only Laser Level I will recommend using but not in the way they suggest in the instructions, read below to find out why)
Green Painter's Tape
FREE PRINTABLE ART GALLERY BANNER 
Printed on Card stock. Click here to get the FREE printable banner or visit my Freebies page

Once you have gotten all your supplies you can start taping out the wall you have chosen to put the art gallery on!

Before I start the step by step instructions on how to make your own kids art gallery wall display, I wanted to explain why I only use the Stanley Wall Laser Level. First I use to own the black and decker pump hands free laser level but it never once suctioned to the wall like it claimed it was suppose to. It would for random seconds, 5 seconds here 12 the next time etc and then it would fall hard straight to the floor. Unfortunately while using it in the kitchen it fell off the wall and crack a kitchen tile. So it went straight into the garbage. Then I looked around for another brand but they all need to you to do more damage to your wall then needed because they all attached by a pin you had to shove into the drywall. So every time you used it you were putting extra holes in the wall from attaching the level to the wall. The Stanley Laser Level comes with an attachment piece to use this pin system as well but that part is removable. I never use the pin system that came with the Stanley laser level and instead I use mac tac on the bottem. It my make every contractor reading this scream but it saves having millions of little holes all over the wall and it works great for projects I am using it for!


Alright on to the art gallery! The first step is to figure out how many rows of command clips and how many per row you want to put up. I did 3 rows and 6 command clips per row. First you need to run the tape lines horizontally. The first tape line I put up I got my oldest to come over and I made it as tall as him. I knew I was only going to do 3 rows of command clips so they just had to be tall enough for the oldest to reach up and the bottom be not to close to the floor so I decided 16.5 inches was the perfect width. Once the first tape line was up I measured 16.5 inches and then made the next tape line and same for the last line I measured 16.5 inches again and I had my 3 rows!


Then I started at one end and measured 16.5 inches and started making the vertical lines to make a grid to use to make sure the command clips all line up the same.

Once you have done that and made as many vertical lines as you need you will have a grid that looks something like the picture below. Then follow the instruction of the command clips. I put my sticky strips all on first. I put them in the corner where the vertical meets the horizontal lines of tape as you can see below. Then I removed the tabs off them and put the command clips on the strips and pressed hard.

Once all your command clips are on you can remove the tape carefully from the wall and let you child come decorate their art gallery! My middle one Terror could not wait to put up all his art off the fridge!

 The command clips are perfect for little hands to open and put their art in for display.


Then all you need to do is cut out the FREE PRINTABLE ART GALLERY BANNER, string it with the twine and hang it up above the art gallery! I used the clear command hooks to hang it up.

 Your little ones will love having a special spot they can display their artwork and change it up when ever they feel like it! I know mine do. They also love being able to explain to us what each drawing is and the story behind it! 

       Such a super proud kid of his art display! 














4/6/17

Awesome first chapter books for boys

When your little guy first starts to come home with those early reader books in kindergarten its an exciting time and the best time to get him excited about reading. If you are lucky enough that reading is something he enjoys then whats the next step once those early readers do not satisfy him? A good first reader chapter book! But which series should you start with? Well to help you choose where to start I have put together a list of first chapter books my 2nd grader has read and really enjoyed!

THE BEST FIRST CHAPTER BOOKS FOR BOYS



First one you should try is Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey. Not only is this series a fun read, its also got little life lessons mainly about bullying in each one. Each book in the series is roughly 120 to 150 pages and its just like reading an extended early reader book with bright colorful picture pages with only one paragraph per page. Its probably the best first introduction to chapter books as its a hybrid of a colorful picture book and first chapter book. There is 9 book so far in the Ricky Ricotta world but hopefully there will be more soon! This series is by far my 7 year old's favorite to date.





Next is Bird & Squirrel by James Burks. It more of a colorful graphic novel series but its fun, adventurous and silly. There is roughly 130 pages in each book as well. It does not have as many words as any of the other books in our list but its a great start to getting a child to read longer more detailed stories then the early readers they have been use to so far. There are currently only 4 in the series so far.






Once your little reader is ready to moved passed the colorful pages and into more traditional first chapter books then the next series you should try is Stink by Megan McDonald. This series follows around the pesky little brother of Judy Moody and all his crazy adventures. It is full of imagination and some actual random facts. The pictures in these books are black and white and there is more then one paragraph on each page. There is about 130 pages per book, 10 in the series and the story is entertaining but easy enough for a 6 to 8 year olds to read. Its a great series to boost your little ones confidence in their growing reading skills.

Of course this list would not be complete with out the funny, imaginative and a bit mischievous series The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. The way this series is set up is the two main characters set out to write their own comic book. So some of the books has a bit of a graphic novel feel and the other half is like a first chapter book. It written very well and is definitely fun to read (or have it read to you). The pictures are in black and white in the older versions but recently the series has be re released in full color.They are all about 130 pages long and there is 12 in the series. With the Captain Underpants movie set to come out soon it would not be hard to get your little guy interested in this series.



Lastly is The DATA Setby Ada Hopper. This series is a great start to mystery fictional chapter books. It has three main characters each of who is very smart in different areas. The stories are a little more challenging to read then any other series in this list but still at a 2nd grade reading level and are definitely going to be more appealing to a child who likes mysteries and problem solving type stories. There is about 130 pages per book and still have black and white pictures through out. There is about 6 in this series.




And there you have it with all the books in these great series you will have enough reading material to keep him reading for a whole school year! I will update this list according to my 2nd grader as he expands into more first chapter books series that he finds enjoyable.








To keep your new little reader motivated I have created a FREE editable PDF for your child! There is a blue one and a pink one. Simply download either or both of the PDF files HERE -----> FREE READING CHART edit the PDF (in the newest version of adobe reader) to have up to 8 books and edit in the rewards for reading those books and print!





















If you have any other great first chapter book suggestions my 7 old year would love to hear them!!

3/29/17

For the LOVE of Puddle Jumping!

Spring is not one of my most favorite times of year after having kids. The constant mud, dirt everywhere, the smell of worms in the air, the extra laundry from muddy clothes, the weather dyslexia and oh all the mud.

If I could I would skip over spring every year and go straight into summer except for that one perfect spring day.... You know the day, that first day its warm enough to go outside with out a coat on and the snow is melting fast so there are monster size puddles everywhere!

My kids live for this day every year. We throw on our Mud Suits and rain boots and head over to the provincial park near by as they have the BEST puddles. The kids love jumping, splashing and throwing rocks in to the puddles but most of all they love the freedom to get messy.

They will wade through the knee deep puddles for hours. Searching for frogs and toads who are waking up from their hibernation, looking for worms and making mini boats out of leaves. We walk through the puddles and talk about how the trees and flowers are waking up. How the birds are flying back and how summer is coming.

These monster puddles don't seem to last long. They dry up quickly so we usually only get one good day of puddle jumping so we make the most of it.

and as for clean up? We just take off our Oakiwear mud suits and throw them in a water proof bag to hose off for later. We have tried a lot of brands of mud suits and these are really the only ones that have stood up and kept my kids dry during the punishment my kids put them threw!

Now that the puddles are gone BRING ON THE SUMMER we are ready!!



2/7/17

Keeping kids safe

FREE SAFETY ID PRINTABLE

One of my biggest fears is one of my kids getting lost when we are out. My oldest knows our contact info and he knows not to talk to strangers but my younger two are too young still to remember our cell numbers. So what happens if they wander off and get lost? I looked all over the internet to find something about kids safety for kids too young to be able to memorize a phone number but couldn't find much.

So we have taught them to look for a police officer or security guard or a mommy with little kids. Those are the safe adults and to scream their heads off if another adult approaches them until one of the safe adults comes over to them. But then what? How do they tell the safe adult our phone number? They can't.

So I made some ID tags for them and we taught them to show their tag to a safe adult. In the winter its on the inside of their jacket, hidden from the public eye so unsafe adults can't use it to their advantage. In the summer or when we are at an indoor event its attached to their belt buckle. My youngest is 2 and she knows where her tag is located on her and who its ok to show it to.



HOW TO MAKE A KIDS SAFETY ID TAG

• First download the free ID tag printable and fill it in with your child's name and your contact info. You will need to have Adobe Reader to open this PDF and edit it. Once you have edited it print it out and cut them out.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FREE KIDS SAFETY ID TAG PRINTABLE





• Get some Keychain ID tags from the dollar/hardware store. If you can't find them at the dollar/hardware store they sell these exact ones on Amazon To buy 8-Tag Multi-Colored Keychain ID tags CLICK HERE

• Put the ID tag labels into the ID key chain and  attach them to your child's coat.

I keep about 2 for each child in my purse so that I can attach and unattached them to their belt loops as I need them. They are small and fit inside the pocket of my kids jeans so they are not visible unless my child shows them to an adult.

For those of you with little girls who live in jeggins like my daughter does most of the time then there really is nowhere to attach this tag when your daughter is not wearing a coat. On those days I have a phone number bracelet on my daughter.

I keep her safety bracelet in my purse as well. She knows if she is not wearing her safety ID tag then she is wearing her phone number bracelet and to show that to a safe adult. So far we have never had to use either the tag or the bracelet in a real situation thank goodness, but we have had practices of what to do so that it does not come to a shock to them if it does happen.

This phone number bracelet was made by my oldest son. He has his own ETSY SHOP HERE 



1/26/17

FREE Valentines Day Card Printable

Valentines Day is almost here and so here is a FREE Valentines day card printable!
Perfect for those class Valentines for your child.


The middle area is blank so you can attach a toy, eraser, sticker, pencil, lollypop, candy or what ever you like (or can find in the cupboard)! You easily personalized it with your child's name by opening the Free Printable into ADOBE READER (Link to download the free version of adobe reader here ---> Adobe Reader






For all you last minute moms like me this makes it a little easier when you forget its the class party for Valentines day until 8 pm the night before. Simply download the Free Valentines day printable, open the file in Adobe Reader and change the bottom line to say your child's name, print on card stock (remember to change the printer settings to NOT scale to fit page or the design will shrink it - change it to say None or No scaling), cut out and attach anything you want to the middle. I used a mini hole punch, twine and tied little erasers and toys to them.







To download the FREE VALENTINES DAY PRINTABLE ---> CLICK HERE
or visit the Freebies page to see all the Free printables we have available.


If your looking for more instant download Valentines you can personalize at home click here ---->
MORE PERSONALIZED VALENTINE DESIGNS

1/12/17

Valentines Day Class Cards and Tags


Printable Valentine Cards

 One of my favorite designs to create is Valentines! Maybe its cause I still remember being a kid and making a brown paper bag into a wonderful Valentines day "mailbox" and it gets me into a creative mood. 

If your anything like me though 3 kids keeps you busy and most of the time I leave everything to the last minute. Because of that I made all my Valentines editable instant downloads that you can personalize with your child's name in the comfort of your own home right away! Making them a perfect choice for adorable quick, easy and convenient class Valentines! With over 25 different designs of Valentine cards, Valentine tags and Valentine bag toppers. Below is a few of my favorites, to view all the designs available please visit my Etsy shop -----> SugarPickle Party
As a thank you please use coupon code VAL2YOU at check out to receive 15% off any and all our Valentines Printable designs.


 

   
 


One of the best Valentines I ever sent to school with my son was a whirly pop sucker for each student with one of the Valentines day tags tape to the front of it. It was a huge hit!
Robot Valentines Day tag and stickers


To view all the designs I have available please visit my Etsy shop :) -----> SugarPickle Party 
 and use coupon code VAL2YOU at check out to receive 15% off any Valentines Printable designs! Or check out my shop for more party printables like the ones below!
Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day!!