8 Tips for Doing Arts & Crafts With Kids

Doing arts and crafts with your kids is always messy. Just take it easy! But if it makes you stressed and uncomfortable, use butcher paper or newsprint to cover surfaces and to catch drops of glue and bits of glitter and paper. Use materials, like markers, adhesive, that are washable. Then take a relax. When you and your kids are finished, roll the butcher paper or newsprint up and easily discard the mess. Don’t present your kids any firm examples of the result of crafting. You should present various options, so your kids can use their imagination to create. Their idea is more important than how they execute it. Choose crafts which are suitable for your kids’ age, capability, and strengths. If the crafts are complicated, break them into steps and just introduce which ones your kids can do. You don’t need to keep your kids’ crafts forever. Crafts take

12 practical ways to organize kids’ craft supplies (part 2)

Mason Jars It’s easy to use mason jars to store your kids’ craft supplies and it looks quite good when arranging them together on a shelf! They are colorful and lovely enough so that you don’t need to paint them if you don’t want to. Recycled Food Jars It’s not only mason jars that can be used to store craft supplies. Any kind of jars like sauce jars, jam jars, pickle jars that can be washed and dried can be repurposed into storage for beads, buttons, etc. Ribbon organizer It is always a problem for us to organize the ribbons because they get tangled and look limp whenever we try to untangle them from each other. There is a great idea to solve the problem; a shoebox with holes punched in it for the ribbon to come out! This helps your kid to pull the length of ribbon as they

12 practical ways to organize kids’ craft supplies (part 1)

It is happy for parents to see their children involved in crafts – cutting, pasting and creating works of art. But the mess they make isn’t as pleasant! If you don’t have a proper home for all your craft supplies, everything will be dumped into a big basket or box. As a result, when your children want to craft the next time, they just need to dig through that basket or box to find the suitable supplies for their work! So, the solution is organizing the craft supplies of your kids. Here we have 10 practical ways to organize your kids’ craft supplies. Salt and Pepper Shakers for Glitter Glitter seems to be the messiest among all craft supplies. There is an excellent idea of using glass salt and pepper shakers to store glitter in so you and your kids can see the colors from outside. Teach your kids just

How to Introduce Crafts to Kids

All kids are curious and creative – two qualities that go wonderfully together! It’s obvious that they’re naturally inclined towards arts and crafts. Whatever your children’s age, it’s never too late to introduce them to crafts. Let’s learn how to introduce crafts to kids naturally and effectively. Start with a favorite story A favorite story or book of your children is a good idea for a starting point. There are many crafts based on famous children’s books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Horton Hears a Who, Pete the Cat. If your children have their own favorite characters, start with crafts which are based on them. Look at your children’s interests Some kids go through phases of intense obsession. It could be about cars, trains, trucks or even Spiderman. A scrapbook is a great idea for your children to cut out pictures of trains from magazines

Brazilian Handcrafts

Brazil’s culture has been influenced by an array of other cultures such as Indians, Africans, Portuguese, Europeans, Middle Eastern and Asian settlers. Although, their marks on the culture can be seen through the plethora of fine art creations and markets that sells crafts in the markets in the country. As history would have it, small handicrafts did not receive much recognition in Brazil, if anything they were commonly ignored by most people, regardless of their social ranks. Although, this has been changing in the last decade. These previously ignore handcrafts have been gaining popularity due to how it celebrates the culture locally while also solidifying traditions that were misplaced throughout the years form the generational lineage. Moreover, artisans have been slowly gaining more significance in Brazilian culture. The new professional of creating these small handcrafts has been giving people, mainly women, a new source in income in a job that

The peacock-makers of Taubaté

In a valley nestled in the mountains away from the megalopolis of São Paulo and Rio, a sculpture tradition is kept alive by makers for hundreds of years. The Figureiras de Taubaté are a group of sculptors from Taubaté, a city located about 123km from São Paulo towards Rio de Janeiro. You may ask, what is a “figureira”? Well, this is not even a word that can be found in the Portuguese dictionary, but if it could, it would literally translate to “shape maker” and refers to the feminine gender because of the predominance of women sculpturers – even though many men also make the items. The word actually comes from the tradition of sculpting animals, supposedly introduced back in the 17th century, when Franciscan friars brought sacred art from Italy for the Christmas decorations of their Convent – local animals were needed to complete the nativity, which were made

The clay pots Brazilians love

There is an old Brazilian song that goes “old pots make the best food” – but that refers to women past their prime, who actually happen to be the best lovers. Naughty songs aside, most of us have a favourite pan or pot in our kitchens, the one we love cooking with the most. In Brazil, and particularly in the southern state of Espírito Santo and its coastal capital Vitória, this much-loved item could well be the clay pot. While humankind has been cooking with clay pots since the dawn of time, it is relatively rare to find them in modern households – that is, pans that are made in the old-fashioned way, with clay and mangrove tree sap, like the beauties you see below: The making of this traditional pot is very important to Vitória’s poorer communities who make their living out of pot-making. It is a tradition that

Richelieu Lace in Brazil

In what appears to be a unlikely connection, a French clergyman ended up inspiring the production of a kind of lace that has become of the finest in Brazil. It all began in the 17th century, when French power broker Cardinal Richelieu, who served as chief minister to Louis XIII of France, wore elaborate uniforms trimmed with finest, intricate lace – he even brought lace-makers from Italy to France in 1624 in order to teach their skills to French crafters who would maintain his swashbuckling wardrobe. The exact origin of Richelieu lace in Brazil is unknown, but it is understood that it was introduced by Europeans to local craftswomen in the early 1900s, who adapted it with a traditional local folk flair. Richelieu lace is made mainly on linen-type fabrics and has special requirements for a perfect finish. The spaces to be cut on the fabric around the design are then woven

Taubaté: from peacocks to cinema

We have already introduced you to the lovely peacocks made at the Casa dos Figueiros. Now let’s take a trip to the place they come from – welcome to Taubaté! Taubaté is a city with about 300,000 residents in São Paulo state. It is located in a very strategic place, almost halfway between São Paulo city itself and Rio de Janeiro – possibly the two most important cities in Brazil (unless you ask a politician, because the capital city and location of government is Brasilia!) Geographically the city is located between the coast and a mountain range, so the residents can easily leave town and visit the beach or gorgeous mountain towns, such as Campos do Jordão. Before the Portuguese settled in Brazil, Taubaté was part of the ancient Tupinamba Territory, along the Paraiba do Sul River. The first village was created in 1640 being proclaimed as an autonomous locality on December

Blind artists reinvent Shakespeare

Spotting a collection of Shakespeare-inspired sculptures was an unusual find in the Casa dos Figureiros, an art workshop we visited recently the countryside city of Taubaté in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. About a dozen sculptures of the main characters of Shakespearean plays were on display, however none of them had a price tag – only a small card mentioning they were produced at Instituto São Rafael, a Taubaté-based association created to provide social and economic opportunities to those with visual disabilities. By talking to fine arts professor Décio de Carvalho, also an artist himself, we find that the sculptures – which include characters such as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet – were produced as part of Arte e Cegueira (Art and Blindness), a project he introduced at Instituto São Rafael. A passionate reader of English and Irish playwrights, novelists and poets, Carvalho sought a theme that