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      Creative @ Home – DIY Sculpey Vase

      Creative @ Home – DIY Sculpey Vase

      Bring a simple jar to life with this cute DIY. You can either use it as a vase or pop a tea light candle in it.

      You will need:
      • Different colours of oven-bake clay. We used a variety of 7 different colours
      • Skewer
      • Preserving Jar (so it can be set in oven)

      STEP 1:

      Begin with some greenery! Break small chunks of clay off the packs and warm them up by rubbing in your hands. This allows the clay to be easily moulded.

      STEP 2:

      Start with long green shapes and build up a small patch with different leaves, flowers and grass. Try not to leave too much space between each new element and press the clay firmly to the jar to hold. You can add simple imprints with the skewer, however the rest if the sculpting can simply be moulded with your fingers.

      STEP 3:

      Once you have completed a small patch, just replicate the shapes you have already made until the entire jar is covered.

      STEP 4:

      Preheat oven to 130 degrees celsius. Place the jar on a cookie baking tray lined with baking paper (waxed). Bake for approx 25 mins. This will set your design.

       

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Town

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Town

      This project kept our kids amused for hours! First designing the town buildings and offering them an invitation to play with their very own creation.

      First, just gather any bits of craft objects you can get your hands on. We used paint, oil pastels, glue, material pieces, pom poms, glitter shapes, glitter glue, cardboard pieces, straws, sequins and buttons. There are no limitations.

      Next you can use either recycled cardboard or purchase some board from your local Officeworks. Cut them into basic building shapes of different heights. We painted the bases different colours and also loved creating windows with plain white paper so that the kids can get creative, thinking about what might be in these buildings.

      Secure your windows and doors onto the bases and you are ready to decorate!

      Ask your child to think about what all the buildings will be. We decided on a school, hospital, vet, candy factory and a house. Then think about what might be seen on the inside of those buildings and get drawing and gluing!

      Once your creations are dry, have fun playing!!!

      You can also add extra accessories to expand your town! We added a road and some cars.

       

       

      Creative @ Home – LEGO Challenge

      Creative @ Home – LEGO Challenge

      LEGO has long been a fantastic resource to practice some creativity. Our Art Teacher ‘Lee’ shares an inspiring way to transform LEGO into a fun piece of room decor. Lee runs her own creative business ‘You Give Me Grace‘ when she isn’t teaching at the Hive. Check her out to see some more exciting DIY’s to do with your kids. Being the mother of a 5 year old girl herself, she knows just what little projects are suitable and achievable! Have fun!!

      THE WINTER THEME CHALLENGE 

      1. Collect all your ‘cooler’ colour LEGO pieces. This includes Blues, Whites, etc.
      2. Place a 6×4 photo (or whichever size you like) flat on the ground and build up the first layer of your frame to make sure there is enough of a ‘window’ to see the photo.
      3. Once you have the first layer complete. Build up with different sizes, shapes and colours.

      Check out Lee’s example…

      THE GARDEN THEME CHALLENGE 

      1. Collect all your brighter ‘Spring’ colour LEGO pieces. This includes pinks, purples, yellows etc.
      2. Place a 6×4 photo (or whichever size you like) flat on the ground and build up the first layer of your frame to make sure there is enough of a ‘window’ to see the photo.
      3. Once you have the first layer complete. Build up with different sizes, shapes and colours. You can include flowers etc too!

      Check out Lee’s example…

      THE GRADIENT THEME CHALLENGE 

      1. Collect 3 shades of 3 different colours of LEGO to build your gradient. Lee has used 3 shades of blue, 3 shades of pink/purple and 3 shades of orange/yellow .
      2. Place a 6×4 photo (or whichever size you like) flat on the ground and build up the first layer of your frame to make sure there is enough of a ‘window’ to see the photo.
      3. Once you have the first layer complete. Build up with different sizes, shapes and colours.

      Check out Lee’s example…

      There are so many LEGO colours and shapes you can build frames with and they make super cute accessories in your room!!

      Don’f forget to check out more from Lee at ‘You Give Me Grace‘…

      Creative @ Home – DIY Space Sensory

      Creative @ Home – DIY Space Sensory

      Enter the sensational solar system! Engage your child in imaginary play with this easy sensory rice tray.

      This is what you will need:
      • A tray with raised edges to contain the content
      • Plain rice (amount will depend on the size of the tray you have available)
      • Black food dye
      • Large ziplock pouch
      • Gold or silver glitter paper sheet
      • A star hole punch OR simply cut by hand
      • Foil
      • Space characters/rocket etc. The space men in the image are available from BIG W.

      STEP 1:

      Place the amount of rice you would like to us into the ziplock bag and add the black food dye. Leave it to dry out for about 10 mins.

      STEP 2: While the dyed rice is drying out, cut out the glitter stars.

      STEP 3:

      Scrunch out ‘asteroid’ balls from the foil.

      STEP 4:

      Assemble the rice, stars, asteroids and characters into the tray and let your little one explore!

      Match with one of Hive’s favourite books, ‘Zoom to the Moon‘. Available from Dymocks Book Stores.

       

       

       

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Boat

      Creative @ Home – DIY Play Boat

      You and your child can create this sweet little boat for lots of fun play! Made from simple materials usually found in your home, its easy to assemble and a little project you and your kids can do together.

      This is what you will need:
      • Empty egg carton
      • 2 square sheets of paper (either patterned or you can decorate yourself)
      • String
      • Skewer
      • Scissors
      • Sticky Tape
      • Blutac

      STEP 1:

      Place the skewer into the egg carton and secure underneath with the blutac to make sure it doesn’t slip out.

      STEP 2:

      Select one of the square pieces of paper and make a 1cm fold on one of the edges.

      STEP 3: 

      Then make a second fold to form a triangle, from the top of the first fold to the centre of the square. Then cut along the fold you just created. Repeat on the other side. Essentially, we are cutting out a triangle for the mast.

      STEP 4:

      To attach the paper mast to the skewer, simply wrap the first paper fold you made around the skewer and tape to secure.

      STEP 5:

      Tie the string around the top of the skewer and secure to the egg carton of the base.

      STEP 6:

      Using your second piece of square paper, cut an approx. 4cm rectangle and fold it in half length ways.

      STEP 7:

      Keeping the paper folded, cut triangles to create the bunting.
      NB: You may notice every second triangle will need to be discarded as you can only use the triangles that are fixed at the base end.

      STEP 8:

      Using tape or glue, secure the triangles to the string at even intervals.

      Completed! Well done and happy playing!

      How to Stimulate Creative Thinking in Your Child

      How to stimulate creative thinking among children this holiday

      Many parents think that creativity can’t be learned and it’s an inborn talent.  That either a child is born with or without it. However, the truth is that creativity is a skill that can be developed in every child. There are various activities that adults can do to create an environment that helps the child become more creative.

      One would ask why training their child to be creative would be important? Creativity is key to one’s success and happiness in life.  It can help one navigate through life by providing them with problem-solving skills, social skills and even help them when it comes to dealing with change.

      It is often thought that creativity is limited to musical and artistic expression but that is not the case. The ability to think creatively impacts a person’s aptitude for math and science, and improves their social and emotional intelligence.

      In today’s world with its technological advancements, children are exposed to excessive amounts of information on television, computers, and toys early and while they ‘know’ a lot, this can actually hinder their imagination. It is based on these reasons that we propose various ways that parents even in the presence of all these gadgets, can encourage their children to be more creative.

      1. Provide Time for Creative Expression

      Children are able to improve their imagination and creative thinking when they engage in unstructured play which is imaginative and child-directed. This, therefore, means that you should leave the child to his or her own whims. If in the presence of other children, as an adult, you shouldn’t direct there play or tell them what to play but leave the child to discover on their own. Apart from time, provide them with space where they can be creative and express themselves.

      1. Create an environment at home that encourages creativity

      Making creative spaces at home isn’t enough. You need to go ahead and foster a creative atmosphere for the child. A good example is by asking your child open-ended questions during dinner time. Leave the child to imagine and come up with the right answers. Always remember that there is no wrong answer and this process is meant to encourage your child to explore different ideas. The questions can be random. Don’t decide for your child the best ideas or tell them that some ideas aren’t possible.

      At home, you can place art on the walls so that it encourages creative expression. You can further discuss with your children about famous writers, painters, artists or musicians.  This will make them more curious.

      1. Encourage your child to act and not worry about making mistakes

      We learn very early to fear failure and this is something many people carry into their adulthood. Teaching your child that there is nothing wrong with failing gives them the requisite confidence to venture into new territory. When a child fears failing, they limit their creativity and imagination.

      Some great ways that you can make a child see there is nothing wrong with failing is sharing the mistakes you have also made or encouraging them to laugh it off when they fail and try again. That is exactly what Hive Creative Studio is all about. Contact us at https://hivekids.com.au/about-hive/ and allow your child to gain confidence, blossom and learn to express themselves while having a memorable time.

      Parenting Through Sibling Rivalry in the School Holidays

      How to Parent Through Sibling Rivalry in The Holiday

      Every time the word ‘sibling’ comes up, it usually seems to be accompanied by ‘rivalry’ despite the fact that most sibling relationships are solid and loving. Sibling rivalry is a common challenge in every household, and it doesn’t make it easier on a parent’s sanity. Let’s just face it one minute they are playing nicely and the next they are arguing like crazy over some small toy or issue.  Truth is disagreements among siblings are unavoidable. Children will always tease each other and fight over toys. School holidays, though a happy time certainly deal their fair share of sibling rivalry!  Here’s some tips to help you with some parenting wins!

      1. Set up individual stations

      If you have preschoolers, then you are already familiar with setting up individual activities or stations for kids to move between. Setting up individual stations keep children of all ages occupied for longer periods. It also helps keep sibling rivalry to a minimum as they are separate. For outdoor activities consider setting up messier activities like air-dry or oven-bake clay modeling, painting and play dough. School-age children are already familiar with this kind of process so you can easily rotate them between spaces every few minutes.

      1. Be your children’s ally

      Many sibling rivalry issues arise out of the desire to win the parent to their ‘side’. Avoid taking sides at all costs, and instead place the responsibility on the children fighting to work out their own problem, under your supervision, or take an equal share of the consequence. Change tactics with all children over the age of three by planning a meeting rather than constantly disciplining them. For the meeting write rewards on a piece of paper and set the rules for behavior. Also, allow and encourage children to set their own rules and consequences as they are likely to come up with more creative and often more severe consequences than you would (you may have to tame their ideas down a little)!! And they’re more motivated to stick to their own rules and accept their own consequences.

      1. Establish support networks

      If you are lucky enough to have your family living close by, use them to your advantage! Grandparents are especially great when it comes to splitting up your kids for a day or so to give them their own space. Alternatively set up play dates with your kid’s school friends. In reality, no family is perfect, and parents need a time out. Play dates and half-date exchanges are a great solution to sibling rivalry.

      1. One on one time

      For a lot of children one on one time with a parent gives them a chance to unwind and enjoy the undivided attention. So when one child becomes more dominating, it’s time to set individual time aside to instill positive balance in the parent-child relationship. Individual time also gives you as a parent time to reflect and work on their capabilities. Two person activities like art or playing games are a great reward as compared to shopping or food related rewards.

      1. Nip boredom in the bud

      Most of the time sibling rivalry is caused by boredom. To prevent sibling fights start eacy day with energy-consuming activities that will meet your child’s need to move. In addition, you can book your children into holiday workshops that will inspire their creative thinking, shaping their play at home afterwards.  It’s a great idea to enrol your children into separate workshops so they get some time away from each other 🙂

      Sibling rivalry is one of the natural parts of growth despite your best efforts as a parent. Change the cycle of sibling rivalry by enrolling your children into Hive’s amazing variety of creative holiday workshops.

      Creative Thinking improves a child’s ability to invent their own play

      Children naturally have short attention spans and it is common for them to complain of boredom. Watching television or playing on ipads or tablets is a common way children distract and if not carefully regulated, they can spend excessive amounts of time on the screen leading to vision and learning problems.

      There are various other ways children can spend their time which in the end can be more productive as compared to watching television or rather staying idle and complaining of boredom.

      Creative Thinking Among Children

      It is a common misconception among many parents that creative thinking in children is an intrinsic trait that one is naturally born with or rather is found among certain people who have unusual talents.

      However, this isn’t the case.  Creative thinking can be nurtured in any child.

      Creativity has various benefits among children and this includes development of cognitive skills in the child, problem solving, communication, development of literacy skills, physical dexterity and exertion and making interpretations.

      Expressing Emotions

      In addition, creative expression further assists the child to express their emotions and work through them to not only gain relief but understand them.

      For example, if your child is experiencing anger, you can ask them to draw a picture portraying what they feel. Alternatively, you can play varied genres of music and ask your child how the music makes them feel.

      Social Development

      Creative thinking significantly leads to the development of the child’s social ability. Participation in various creative activities such as dancing, singing or theatre trains the child in the importance of paying attention and secondly teaches the child to understand social rules such as co-operation.

      Physical Development

      When a child works with art materials such as paint, crayons, play dough and paint brushes, it improves their fine motor skills. Other activities such as mural painting, dancing, building complex objects such as Lego and theatre improve their gross motor skills.

      Language Development

      When children engage in creative play, they are able to improve their vocabulary by learning new words. There are various ways parents and guardians can improve language expression in children and this includes conversing with the child especially with regards to the emotions they are experiencing or playing different kinds of music and trying to find out how it makes them feel.

      Cognitive Development

      Children develop their cognitive skills such as cognitive learning and their attention span when they participate in creative activities. This is because at that point in time, their imagination is occupied and it further encourages them to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. This way, they are able to learn how to explore and be in a position to solve problems.

      Simple activities like playing with dough can help a child learn basic mathematical skills such as concepts of less and more. The same can be said of learning about classification and grouping, cause and effect and the physical properties of objects. One of the best ways children can learn these concepts is through play and painting.

      Creative Development for Kids at Hive

      At Hive Creative Studios we recognise the importance of developing the kind of creative thinking that will lead to real talent and skill giving kids the ability to proud of themselves and to contribute in meaningful ways to the community around them.

      If you have children in the under 5 yr old age group, check out our premium creative development program: Bee-School where your child can participate in a 3 or 6 hour session (drop off) in a variety of creative programs like dance, song, instrument play, art, drama and languages.

       

      If you have children over 5, check out our after school programs in drama, piano, singing, art and combo classes.

      Or join a holiday workshop to get some creative inspiration for your holidays!

      We do our very best to provide a relaxed and creative environment for children to learn grow and have fun. Visit our website to enrol or get more information on holiday workshops.

       

      How to Nurture Healthy Social Skills for Kindergarten

      Starting School for the first time is a big milestone in a child’s life. Kindergarten is the beginning of a learning path that will support and guide your child’s future for the rest of their lives. But a common concern that a lot of parents have here in Australia is whether or not their child is ready to start Kindergarten, and how they can help their kids develop the necessary social skills and emotional strength for such an important step in their lives.

      A tried and true way of developing great social skills and healthy emotional regulation is through role play and acting within a group.  Multiple studies have shown the key role that drama classes play in building social skills during childhood. In fact, researchers point out that drama classes have even been associated with increasing social skills in autistic children. According to the Indiana University of Bloomington, “[t]heatre activities can be used to teach emotion recognition and expression, non-verbal behaviors and gestures, listening skills, eye contact, conversation skills, strategies to handle social situations, and critical social skills.” These are important benefits for a child, but they go far beyond that.

      Drama classes are known for exercising teamwork, as children must collaborate with each other to make their mime or play successful. They also exercise self-confidence by learning how to present themselves, express themselves and speak in front of a group of people. Interacting in drama games and plays challenges a child to use their imagination and to think creatively. Other skills that drama classes can teach children are flexibility and problem solving, as the child develops the important acting skill of improvisation.

      An unknown fact to many however, is that these social skills can be developed in children through drama classes way before kindergarten. Kids can start their drama classes at as early as three years of age. Starting a child in drama classes from such a young age, gives them the chance to develop their social skills so they can be well prepared for such an important stage of their lives.

      At Hive, we offer drama classes for Pre-School children right through to High-School age teens. Our Drama Bees program caters to the needs of children from 3 to 8 years old and our Stage Bees Program was specifically designed for kids from ages 8 to 12 and 12 – 16 years old.  We also offer drama classes through Bee School, a complete Pre-School arts education program that includes art, dance, language and music classes for kids age 3-6 years old.

      Give us a call today to schedule a tour.