Category Archives: Activities

April 18, 2014

Learning Languages

Meyer

Zid Zid Handmade Modern for Kids

I have been a fan of Zid Zid Kids for a long time, admiring the work of Julie and Moulay.  They create beautiful items for play and home, all made in Morocco by hand. I find the pieces and overall aesthetic to be so charming. 

Moulay and Julie live in Morocco and speak French, Arabic and Spanish to their children daily – so it was only natural that their next endeavor would be a creative hands-on language program for children! Petit Zarafa is a play-based multi-language learning subscription website for little citizens ages 2 and up.


My children have Chinese flashcards that they play with when their grandmother visits from Taiwan, but we haven’t picked them up in a while.

The combination of the activities with learning lessons, grasping different sounds with familiar tasks, is inspiring to me.  My kids love playing with games and are currently learning letters & numbers at their own schools – it will be interesting to see what they gravitate to most with this program.  In general, my kids love listening to stories… I’m sure my mom, a former French language teacher, would love to teach them French stories.  It would be magical if they could speak a little bit of French when we visit my sister in Europe this summer.

Are you teaching your children a second language? What do you find works best? I’d love to know!

April 17, 2014

April Crafts for Babysitters, Nannies and Families

Earth Day Activities

Warm weather opportunities are popping up all over. But with the possibility of April showers, there are a number of indoor activities to plan for eager (and antsy) kids. Here are few crafts that can build excitement and enthusiasm for the season. Plus, they’re perfect for nannies and sitters looking for more hands-on projects to engage kids.

Washcloth Bunnies
Bath time is often a struggle. Make it a little more fun with double-duty bunnies. You can create these little rabbits out of brightly-colored washcloths that can later be used in the bath. Check out this example.

Eggcellent Crowns
Using plastic eggs and hot glue (kids will need help with this!), there are a few fun filled ways to create festive headdress. Encourage their creativity by allowing them to add whatever accessories please them. Here are some images to jump start your creativity.

Recycled Nature
Here’s a project you haven’t done since preschool, but perfect for an Earth Day lesson. Grab a pinecone from the yard; tie about a 12-inch piece of yarn or ribbon in a tight knot around the top so that the ends hang evenly (these will then be tied around a tree). Spread peanut butter or honey all over the pine cone. Then pour bird seed onto a plate and roll the sticky pinecone over it.  Hang the pinecone on a tree — and tie another knot. Gather around and wait for the birds to come.

Re-create the World
Who doesn’t love an excuse to make marshmallow rice treats? Your kids will love sculpting a globe out of the yummy dessert and covering it with green and blue sugar. As a sweet bonus, try putting some gummy creatures on the earth too! Give a little planetary talk, discuss the amount of water versus land and explain how we need to take care of these elements… And then dig-in!

Beautify Something
Whether it’s your front yard or a neighborhood eye-sore that needs a little sprucing, nothing helps decorate more than flowers. In honor of Earth Day, head down to your local garden center (preferably by bike, it’s Earth Day, after all!) and buy some blooms. Then get planting. Tip: A perennial flower will allow your kids to see their hard work year after year.

Matzo House 
Here is an April-version of the wintery gingerbread house! Encourage your children to play with their food (finally!) by creating this Matzo house that is fun to make and actually tastes good too.

We were so thrilled to have Care.com on board for our Hello Little Citizen sweepstakes we thought we’d invite them to Studio T!  Katie Bugbee is the senior managing editor and global parenting expert at Care.com

 

*photo courtesy of purchasepawprints.com

April 15, 2014

DIY Tassel Necklace

DIY Tassel Necklace via Tea Collection

Inspired by Studio Deseo‘s designs seen in our spring and summer, we came up with this DIY to help you create your very own tassel necklaces.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Gather materials. We’ve got your pom pom and tassel tutorials here and here.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 1: Pull a 50 inch piece of thread through one of your needles. When your thread is halfway through the eye, knot the double strand at the head of the needle. Thread and knot the 2nd needle with the two loose ends. You should now have one double stranded piece of thread roughly 25 inches long with a needle at each end.

Step 2: Take six 8 inch pieces of yarn. Knot the yarn into the thread about 8 or 9 inches up from the needle. Braid the yarn and thread together until you’ve come to the end of the yarn, knot together again. It’s okay if the sides are uneven!

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 3: Thread a pom-pom through each needle, pull pom-pom all the way up, touching each side of the braided yarn.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 4: Thread glass beads through both sides. After roughly 2 inches of beads, attach a tassel. (Do so by pushing your needle through the top of the tassel)

Step 5: Continue stringing beads, then string another tassel.

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 6: String more beads, then attach a pom-pom. (Do so by pushing your needle through the center of a pom-pom)

Tea Collection Tassel Necklace

Step 7: Cut the double strand at the head of the needle to divide your thread into two separate pieces on each side.

Step 8: String beads through each piece of thread (4 strands total) ending each with a different colored bead, leaving about an inch and a half of thread.

Step 9: Thread a needle and attach a tassel to each string to finish off your necklace. Knot each string to make sure each end is secure.

Step 10: Enjoy!

We styled this necklace by leaving it open and layering it with multiple Peppercorn necklaces. You can also gently tie the two sides together (just after the first two pom-poms) for a more traditional necklace look.

April 6, 2014

DIY Tassel

DIY Tassel

From decorative garlands to decorative pillows, tassels seem to be hanging everywhere we look. We came across tassels of every size in Morocco and you’ll see them all throughout our catalog. Now, you can make your own tassels!

To get started you’ll need embroidery thread, a 2 x 2 inch piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors. If you’d like to have bigger tassels, the size of your cardboard should be increased.

DIY Tassel

Wrap your embroidery thread around the cardboard 35-45 times. The more you wrap, the thicker your tassel will be.

DIY Tassel

Take a 5 inch piece of thread and loop it through the top. Tie a tight knot – This will help you attach your tassel in your final project.

DIY Tassel

Cut the opposite end’s loop and set cardboard aside.

DIY Tassel

Take an 8 inch piece of thread and knot it around the top of your tassel. Wrap the top of the tassel with the remaining length of thread on either side, knotting once more when you’ve come to the end.

DIY Tassel

Trim and enjoy!

April 1, 2014

DIY Pom Pom

DIY Pom Pom

Pom Pom: A loose, fluffy, decorative ball or tuft of fibrous material.

With this DIY tutorial, you’ll have handcrafted pom poms in no time! All you need is yarn, a pair of scissors and a fork to get started.

DIY Pom Pom

Begin by wrapping your yarn around the middle of the fork a few times.

Then wrap the yarn around the entire fork about 45 times. The more you wrap the yarn, the more dense your pom pom will be.

Take a 4 inch piece of yarn and wrap it around the middle of your wrapped yarn. Pull tight and tie in a knot.

DIY Pom Pom

Carefully pull the wrapped yarn off of the fork.

Cut each loop around the bundle.

Give your pom pom a haircut, making each piece of yarn the same length. Fluff up your pom pom and enjoy!

DIY Pom Pom

March 16, 2014

DIY Spiral Roses

DIY Spiral Roses

Make you own spiral roses in three easy steps.

DIY Spiral Rose

Using a piece of light card stock paper, cut an oval or circle. The larger the shape, the more “petals” your rose will have. The more irregular the shape, the more natural your rose will look.

Starting on the side of your oval, cut in a spiral shape until you get to the center.

DIY Spiral Rose

Roll the end of the spiral all the way in until you get to the end…

DIY Spiral Rose

And you have a rose!

March 4, 2014

DIY Head Turban

No-Sew Turban

Our spring catalog was filled with bright colors, bold patterns and tons of accessories. Many of you wrote in about the head turbans and tassel necklaces wondering where you could buy them. Unfortunately, they’re not available for purchase as they were handmade by our talented stylists, but we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a couple of DIYs. Grab an old shirt or dress and a pair of scissors, with a few twists you’ll have your very own head turban in no time!

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Really, all you need is an old dress or tee shirt and a pair of scissors. About 5 inches above the hem of the dress or shirt cut across the garment.

Head Turban by Tea Collection

(We decided to also cut the hem off, so both sides would be even)

Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist once…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Twist twice…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

Place one end over the other…

DIY Head Turban by Tea Collection

And you have yourself a DIY head turban!

Want to dress it up like we did in our spring catalog? You can find beaded headbands such as this and this to layer on top. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!