Over The Top Mommy

Crafts & DIY

Best Ways to Foster Creativity in Children

This post is sponsored written by me in collaboration with Pentel, All opinions are my own

As a mom and an elementary school teacher, I know the importance of fostering creativity in children. I truly believe every child has artistic ability, and regardless of what artistic level they’re at, it’s important for parents and teachers to help foster that creativity.  Having time to be creative is just as important as having ample time to play, as both of these things help a child to develop as a whole. The best ways to foster creativity in children are by modeling your own creativity in front of them, encouraging a child to express him or herself through art and play and by providing the tools they’ll need, such as art supplies.We received a very special package in the mail from Pentel which contained different Pentel POP Pens and Pentel Mechanical Pencils . I took a double take when I saw the pens because I grew up loving some of these very same pens! It was like a flashback to the 90’s! Do you remember these pens from your own childhood? For over 70 years, Pentel has supplied the world with the highest quality products so my own parents probably also grew up with Pentel. It’s fun to see Pentel Pop Pens are back and they’re better than ever! You can choose from Sparkle, Solar and Milky ink or you can just grab them all! I am a big collector of art supplies, as is my daughter.She immediately put the Pentel POP Pens to use at home, colorizing and doodling on things like her monthly calendar, with the help of our cat, of course. The pens definitely make things POP and look extra colorfulPentel Mechanical Pencils also come in handy for things like homework. Now if only they could help with the actual Math equations! As a mom with a child who has a Latex allergy, I really appreciate the fact that all 3 of the types of Pentel Mechanical Pencils they sent us (Icy, Champ, and Sharp), feature a latex-free Comfort Zone™ grip for nonstop writing comfort and control. All of Pentel’s Mechanical Pencils are ideal for home, office and school.

Here are some of the cool features of these Pentel POP Pens:

  • Sparkle – The vibrant ink of these pens is ideal for cards, drawing and doodles, and also for writing on photo paper. You’ll be amazed by their sparkling, iridescent ink, which is almost magical because it appears to color change when you write on white or black paper. These “Sparkle” pens will help you dazzle your doodles every time!
  • Solar – These fun neon ink pens have a latex-free grip for comfortable writing and drawing. Their smooth gel ink makes it easy to doodle and decorate things with a bright POP of color!
  • Milky – I think these are my favorite of the 3 kinds because these are the actual blast to the past pens that make it easy and fun to write, draw and doodle with the smooth gel ink in milky pastel colors. It looks fabulous on white or black paper, with black paper being my most favorite place to use them.  I think that was my students’ favorite time to use them as well.

I  brought these beautiful pens to use in my classroom to use and allowed my students to use them to make bookmarks during “learning center time”. It’s extra motivating for them when they get to use these kinds of creativity tools for simple in-class projects like bookmarks or even for everyday schoolwork like spelling word practice. As an elementary school teacher, I sometimes feel hesitant about allowing my first graders to use pens in the classroom because it can end up being pretty messy. However, the gel ink from Pentel POP Pens dries so fast that even left-handers don’t have an issue with them. There are no smears, no smudges and no globs to worry about with these. My students had so much fun making personalized bookmarks with the Pentel POP Pens and black paper. Didn’t they come out cute? Did you know….Pentel guarantees your satisfaction? Every product of theirs is backed with a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. I appreciate brands that stand behind their products. Do you like to draw and doodle? It’s extra fun for me to do so now with my new collection of Pentel POP Pens! Connect with Pentel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, too.

 

Easy LEGO Brick Costumes for Halloween

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Calling all LEGO fans and moms looking for a cute costume idea that’s easy to make! Last year, we put together these LEGO Brick costumes on very short notice, to wear to LEGOLAND California’s Brick or Treat night.Since it’s an event in the park and the kids still want to go on rides and wear a costume, I found these very easy to wear and also to take off and put on quickly for rides, but still look cute. We got a ton of compliments and it was fun for our whole family to have matching costumes.To make these LEGO Brick costumes you’ll need:

  • A thin wood rectangle (1 for each costume)
  • 6 thin wood circles (for each costume)
  • spongy paintbrushes
  • acrylic paint
  • craft wood glue
  • mini glue gun with glue sticks
  • 1/2″-1″ wide ribbon
  • a coordinating color of t-shirt to match your “brick”
  • newspaper or paper, for painting on
  • scissors

Directions for the costume:

  • Use a generous amount of acrylic paint to both the canvas and the 6 wooden circles. (Make sure your painting surface is covered.) Allow to dry overnight.
  • Lay circles onto painted canvas to see where you want to glue them. Use your favorite craft wood glue to fasten them to the painted canvas. Allow them to dry.
  • After the LEGO Brick is completely dry, get ribbon and measure how long you want it to hang then cut the ribbon accordingly. Use the glue gun to fasten the ribbon to the back of the LEGO brick and it’s ready to wear!

With these costumes, it’s easy to grab any kind of pants, shorts, skirt, jewelry, sunglasses, hair bow in the same hue as your “brick” to accessorize your costume. I’m thinking of making a GLITTERY PINK LEGO BRICK this year to wear for Halloween! What do you think?

 

 

{Giveaway} Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary on Disney DVD 9/26 + DIY Mickey Inspired Trick or Treat Buckets

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are my own

 

Get ready to ride a tide of holiday hilarity when Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary releases on Disney DVD September 26!  These festive episodes of Disney’s Emmy® Award-Winning “Mickey Mouse” Cartoon Shorts will make you laugh yourself silly whether you’re trimming the tree or carving a pumpkin!mickey-mouse-merry-and-scaryThis DVD includes Includes two 22-minute holiday themed episodes, The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular and Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special. There are five 3-minute bonus shorts included on the DVD also:

  1. Ghoul Friend
  2. The Boiler Room
  3. Black & White
  4. Entombed
  5. Split Decision

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!For Halloween, Mickey has tricked out his house like a “tomb, sweet, tomb” and along with his pals Donald and Goofy, plans to tell hair-raising Halloween stories! However, his attempt at being scary falls flatter than a pancake. Can Mickey conjure up a truly terrifying tale before the stroke of midnight?
Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to migrate south for the winter! But Donald wants to stay put and celebrate his first Christmas with his friends. Mickey creates the ultimate list of everything to make Donald’s first Christmas great, but before you can catch a snowflake on your tongue, Donald has turned into a shivering, sneezing duck-cicle!

The voice cast includes Chris Diamantopoulus as Mickey Mouse/Vampire; Russi Taylor as Minnie/Huey/Dewey/Louie/The Witch; Bill Farmer as Goofy; Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; and Corey Burton as Professor Von Drake. The Executive Producer is Paul Rudish.DIY-mickey-inspired-trick-or-treat-bucketsTo get into the spirit of the Halloween season, my daughter and I decided to make a couple of Mickey-inspired trick-or-treat buckets. I love simple DIYs, especially when they involve Mickey Mouse! I wanted to share ours with you because they were so simple to make and can be easily recreated.diy-mickey-inspired-bucketsHere’s what you’ll need to make your own Mickey-inspired Trick-or-Treat Buckets:

  • Bucket or pail, 1 per person
  • White foam pieces
  • 1/2′ wide ribbon, Halloween colors
  • Trim of your choie
  • Tulle, Halloween colors
  • A black permanent marker
  • Glue gun and refills
  • Scissorsmickey-inspired-1

Instructions:

  1. Grab an inspirational image of Mickey’s glove from the Internet.
  2. Use pencil to draw onto the white foam. Make one for each bucket or pail.mickey-merry-and-scary-1
  3. Cut out shape carefully.
  4. Use the black permanent marker to draw accents and outline the glove.
  5. Stick Mickey’s glove onto the front of the bucket using the hot glue gun.
  6. Cute a few pieces of tool and ribbon and tie onto each side of the bucket, where the handles are and trim edges.
  7. Finally, glue a fun trim around the rim of the bucket

mickey-inspired-2 have-fun-trick-or-treatingmickey-inspired-bucketHow cute did our buckets turn out? My daughter did the majority of the work. She’s my resident artist and I’m really excited to use them when we attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort. Meanwhile, I’m using them in my classroom to hold rewards for my students. Boy, do they pay attention when I pick one of the buckets up!

enter-to-win-my-giveawayI’m also having a giveaway for one (1) of my lucky readers to win their very own copy of Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! To enter, leave a comment below and tell me if you about one of your special Halloween traditions. I will accept comments for this giveaway until 11:59 p.m. on October 2. I will choose a winner on October 3 via Random Number Generator and notify the winner. Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents of the Continental U.S., ages 18 and older. Prize has no cash value. 
Don’t forget, you can bring home the laughs and grab Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! on Disney DVD September 26th!

Cover image property of Disney Animation Studios. 

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night + Bambi Snack Mix Recipe

I received promotional products from Walt Disney Studios in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Summer is here and we decided to celebrate by throwing an outdoor movie night for a few friends and family. I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than by showing one of Disney’s all-time classic films, “Bambi”, which joined Walt Disney’s Signature Collection at the end of May, in honor of its 75th anniversary.diy-outdoor-movie-night-plus-bambi-snack-mix-recipeI loved this movie as a child and was so excited to introduce my daughter and my nieces and nephews to it also.bambi-coverThe Signature Collection release, now available at retailers, contains a variety of new bonus material including:

  • Recordings of Walt Disney discussing the challenges and triumphs during the production of “Bambi;”
  • Deleted scenes and characters;
  • Dtories and effects that “Bambi” had on the Studio, other films and artists;
  • and much, much more

Additionally, the Digital HD release includes an exclusive, heartfelt feature on the incredible artist, Tyrus Wong, who inspired the film’s soft watercolor backgrounds and beautiful palette. Here’s a sneak peek:
In our home, movies always call for snacks, which is why we whipped up a batch of “Bambi Snack Mix” for our guests to enjoy while watching “Bambi” at our outdoor movie. (Please see bottom of this post for snack recipe.)bambi-snack-mix-inside-bagI was delighted to received an amazing bundle of goodies in the mail from Disney to host my outdoor movie night. My bundle contained an AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector, an Ion Audio Tailgater Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker System with Microphone, an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for iPhone, and a copy of Disney’s “Bambi” on Blu-Ray. I couldn’t wait to get started.set-up-your-own-outdoor-movieSetting up your own outdoor isn’t difficult. I promise. You can choose to project your movie onto on a light colored wall or garage, use a white sheet as a makeshift screen, or even purchase an inexpensive, portable movie screen. We opted for a wall to project ours onto.

The projector we received to use for our movie was a P300 Pico mini projector. It’s small and pretty lightweight. It also produces the most clear, beautiful projections, with high resolution and vivid colors. This projector has the capability to show movies, as well as photos and videos and pairs up with your phone or mobile device or laptop. It’s tiny but mighty and can be set up almost anywhere.bambi-home-movie-projectorAlthough the mini projector already has sound coming out of it, pairing it with the Ion Tailgater speaker system really amplified the sound, to make it even louder for the outdoors. This portable sounds system includes speakers, an amplifier, audio inputs, and wireless Bluetooth technology, all in one durable cabinet that has handles for easy transport and allows you to enjoy your music whenever and wherever you want. . (It also works with iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android devices and more.)diy-movie-setupFor our outdoor movie, I streamed the digital copy of “Bambi” on my phone by using the digital code inside the DVD on the Disney Movies Anytime app. (Do you have this app yet?) Since my laptop doesn’t have the capability to run an internal DVD, I just streamed the movie on my phone with Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter and my phone hooked directly up to the projector. It was much easier than setting up a laptop anyway. bambi-digital-copyWhenever we have a party or a get-together, we like to do something thematic. Hosting an outdoor movie doesn’t have to be complicated and you can get away with just serving simple snacks like popcorn and drinks. We decided to whip up a batch of “Bambi’s Favorite Snack Mix” which is just a few goodies mixed in with popcorn and served in these adorable Bambi bags that my daughter created out of simple brown lunch bags we had in our cupboard.bambi-outdoor-movie-with-bagbambi-snack-mix-recipe-textTo make your own batch of “Bambi Snack Mix”, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • microwave popcorn, 4-6 bags, popped and cooled
  • pretzel sticks or small pretzels, 1 bag
  • chocolate chips or chocolate candies, 1 bag
  • small marshmallows, 1 bag bambi-snack-mix-ingredientsbambi-snack-mix-ingredients-mixed-together

It’s so simple to make, you just combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. After ours was mixed together, I just filled up each Bambi snack bags with the mix and set out on a table for guests to grab before we started our outdoor movie.bambi-snack-mix-ready-for-guestsTo recreate these Bambi snack bags, you’ll just need brown paper lunch bags, a black marker, scissors, a glue stick, and a cotton ball for each one.make-a-bambi-snack-bagbambi-snack-back-supplies Here’s a short time-lapse video showing how my daughter made a Bambi snack bag.

We had so much fun hosting our very first “Movie Under the Stars” and watching Disney’s “Bambi”. I can’t wait to host our next outdoor movie party. Have you hosted an outdoor movie party before? Tell me what you watched and share some of the details of your outdoor movie party with me in the comments.

Sneak peak film footage is property of Disney. 

 

Take Your Birthday Party to Blink, Inc. For a Fun Photo Shoot

I was invited as a guest of Blink, Inc. for a photo session in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

As a party planning mom, I get excited when my daughter’s birthday rolls around each year because it’s another opportunity to plan a special party for her. It’s become a bit more challenging though as she’s gotten older. Gone are the days of having a big house party with characters or a bounce house. blink-inc-cardsblink-inc-birthday-buttonThis year my daughter just wanted a “Girls Day Out” at the mall with her friends. I think they’re at the age where they want to be out and be seen. She requested lunch and shopping and “just hanging out”. I thought of something super fun to add to her day….I booked a BFF birthday photo session for the girls at Blink, Inc,! (She absolutely loved it when we visited last year.) She was ecstatic when I told her about the addition to our plans for the day!blink-inc-posesBlink, Inc. is a photo studio staffed with professional photographers that are ready to photograph you the moment you walk in. It was so easy to make this fit in with our party schedule, you just go online to their site and choose a time and date at the location that works best for you, and book an appointment to go into their studio.
blink-inc-birthday-hatsBlink, Inc.studio is already set up with an all-white, blank backdrop, giving you images that look and feel like a professional, editorial fashion shoot. The lighting is set up to make everyone look their best! (They even flashed out MY wrinkles!)blink-inc-usThe photographers at the studio are experienced and will work with you ,not only to make it a fun experience but also to assure you get the images you envisioned in your head. Our photographer talked with us a little bit before we started and we showed her some of the props we brought for the shoot and gave her ideas of what I was looking for.blink-inc-confettiYou’ll want to come into the studio with an idea of what you’re going to do because shoots go by very quickly. We brought tiny party hats with us, a “Birthday Girl” button, and some confetti, to use as props in some of the pictures. Our photographer, got a lot of cute shots though, most without props. I love that the girls were just dressed as their regular, everyday tween selves because their littler personalities really showed in the photos.blink-inc-circle

blink-inc-friendsblink-inc-laughing-with-youSessions at Blink, Inc  can be scheduled for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or even longer, and start at just $25 for a 10 minute session. You’re able to see your photos as they’re shot, because Blink, Inc. offers a real-time delivery system. Pricing for images begins at $10/image with the option to purchase the entire shoot at a great “Buy All” price. Your images are delivered  almost immediately to your computer or mobile device so you can view, download to share online and even print at home.blink-inc-jumpWalk-ins are welcome but reservations are always encouraged at Blink, Inc.. To learn more  about the different types of sessions you can shoot at Blink, Inc. or to reserve your own in-studio appointment, please visit http://www.blinkinc.com.

A very special thank you to our favorite Blink, Inc. photographer at the Fashion Island location, Morgan! 

DIY Valentine’s Day Shirts

After making family shirts for Thanksgiving Day and some Christmas Pj tops, my daughter insisted I now make her a Valentine shirt! She is in love with two of the newest Valentine printable collections by Lauren McKinsey, Puppy Love and Purr-fect Love, so we designed a fabric transfer on the Avery site using some of the clip art included with these collections. I cannot tell you how easy these are to do. You literally go online to the Avery site, enter your product number, (we used #8938, for light fabrics) and then you have an option to use their online template to design whatever you want.

After you have perfected your design, just print it out, using the special fabric transfers paper in your printer. After printing, trim around the design (don’t trim too close) and place face down on your image where you want it to be.
*This is the important part: Read their directions, even watch their tutorial, about HOW to best iron the image to your shirt. This part is VERY important. I’d by lying if I didn’t admit to having had a couple of shirts before that had to be thrown out, after I completely messed them up.
I LOVE how her shirt turned out so much, that I’m definitely making one for myself too! Aside from Christmas, I think Valentine’s Day is my other favorite holiday!
To see all of Lauren McKinsey’s Valentine’s printable collections, click here.

Simple No-Sew “Belle” Hair Bow #BeautyandtheBeast

We’re really excited in our home right now about all things Beauty and the Beast! First, with the release of the film’s 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Sept. 20 and also with the upcoming “real life” version of the story, which will be in theaters in March 2017! How can you not be excited and nostalgic? Right now, I’m having a giveaway to win a code for a Digital Copy of “Beauty and the Beast”. To enter, go herebeauty-and-the-beast-25th-anniversary-edition This “tale as old as time” has always been one of our favorite Disney films to watch as we absolutely adore Belle! She is so beautiful and kind and as a teacher, I love that Belle has such a love for reading! She is absolutely breathtaking in her gown and every time we wave to her in the Disney parade, we can’t help but grin from ear to ear.belle-in-the-paradeIn honor of the release of this Disney classic’s 25th anniversary, we made a super cute no-sew Belle hair bow. It was very easy to put make.no-sew-belle-hair-bowdiy-belle-bow-suppliesHere’s what you’ll need to make your own “Belle Hair Bow”: 

  • One big yellow bow (ours had a rubber band already attached to it.)
  • Tulle “rounds” (I used white tulle rounds that had a touch of gold glitter) 
  • Red ribbon roses
  • A hot glue gun
  • Scissors

To make your bow:

  1. Take one of the tulle rounds and roll up.diy-belle-blow-roll-the-tulle
  2. Use the glue gun to fasten rolled tulle round to the yellow bow in the center. diy-belle-bow-glue-the-tulle
  3. Snip the ends of the round to shorten. diy-belle-bow-snip-off-the-ends
  4. Use parts that you snipped off to tie around the middle of the tulle “bow”, to cover up the hot glue spots, tying in the back of the yellow bow.diy-belle-bow-tie-in-backdiy-belle-bow-tie-around-to-cover-the-glue
  5. Add the red ribbon roses to the center, using the hot glue gun. “Traditionally”, Belle has just one rose, but we liked adding a few. diy-belle-bow-finishedHow cute did our “Belle” bow turn out?

Do you have a favorite character in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”? Tell me which one in the comments.

 

Back to School Locker Survival Kit + Free Printables

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #CollectiveBias back-to-school-locker-survival-kit-2Summer’s come to an end and it’s already time for Back to School. It’s sometimes hard to transition back into the busy hustle n’ bustle of the school year. I always try to do something special for the beginning of the school year. It’s sometimes hard to impress teens but I’m hoping I still have it in me. GB-BTSWhen I was out shopping at Walmart, I saw this huge Back-to-School display in the center aisle that was filled with Ghostbusters themed merchandise and I couldn’t resist! back-to-school-survival-kit-ghostbusters-palletSuch cute little Ghostbusters erasers, notebooks, and most importantly, hand sanitizer. Have you seen the film yet? It’s still playing in theaters and was a big hit with our family this summer. If you’ve already seen it, you probably understand my obsession with the movie. If you haven’t, you need to get to the movies! What a fun film! first-day-of-school-giftbagAfter my shopping trip, I was going to go home and put together a fun little first day of school Ghostbusters themed gift bag and make a cute printable to go with it. (see below to print your own out.) back-to-school-survival-kit-candyIn addition to the fun school supplies, I found at Walmart, I also loaded my cart up with a bunch of my favorite chocolate candies that I found on the candy aisle. You can never be too stocked up! Here’s what I  purchased:

  • Milky Way® Midnight Miniature 10.5 oz.
  • Mixed Mini Variety Bag
  • M&M’s® Milk 42 oz.
  • SNICKERS® Mixed fun sized variety 35.09 oz.
  • M&M’s® Milk Chocolate Bottle (Look out for in store coupon with savings of $0.75 off 1 M&M’s® Bottle July 17 – September 30)

I wanted to make something she could keep in her locker, too. First, I decorated a magnetic locker mirror (you can find these in the school supply section) with a couple of printables. Now her locker mirror would be extra cute! back-to-school-survival-kit-mirror-how-to

back-to-school-survival-kit-locker-mirror-doneI also stuffed a small Mason jar with some of the candies, tied it with a piece of bright green lace, and stuck a “School Survival Kit” printable on the front. This will be perfect in between classes when she needs a pick-me-up!  back-to-school-survival-kit-jar-assembly

back-to-school-locker-survival-kit-mason-jar-doneTo download any of the free printables I used in this post, go here.

back-to-school-survival-kit-suppliesDo you do anything special for Back to School? Share with me what you do in the comments.

DIY Kids Travel Journal + Free Printable

The other day, I came across a box of some of my childhood belongings. One of the items in the box was a journal I’d kept in 6th grade, which is the same grade my daughter is in now. As I reread some of the old entries I”d written in my journal, I smiled, thinking back to those times. travel-journal-cover-photoI thought it would be fun to make a journal for my own daughter to keep, but more of a travel journal, rather than a diary.  I think it would be something she could utilize it on a specific trip, as a way to document a family vacation, or even keep it as an ongoing travel journal throughout childhood. travel-journal-2Either way, a travel journal is a great tool to get your child thinking, writing, and even sketching about adventures they’ve had on vacations. It’s also a great keepsake for them to look back on in later years.my-travel-journal-cover

I love bright colors so I looked for things to decorate the outside of a lined composition book. I wanted to keep it simple so she could choose what to put in her journal. For the outside, I added this “My Travel Journal” printable. You can print your own copy of the printable here. (I recommend printing out on cardstock.)my-travel-journalAfter I glued the printable onto the cover, I added some decorative washi tape accents. I love washi tape! Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one or two to use. Finally, I fastened some bright flowers in the corner. It really made the cover “pop”! i-heart-washi-tapeA travel journal is perfect to take on a trip and allow your child a little bit of time each day, perhaps at day’s end, to sum up their favorite parts of that day and even include an illustration or photograph. You could also fasten a photograph to the page. My daughter loves taking her instant camera on trips. travel-journal-1How do you document family vacation memories? Do you have your child keep any type of journal. If so share with me in the comments. travel-journal-3

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

1 2 3 4