Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lakeshore Learning Crafts

Lakeshore Learning Free Crafts
Every Saturday at 11am to 3pm at participating stores 

I nearly had a heart attack when I pulled up to the Lakeshore Learning store in Cherry Hill and saw that the craft that we had come to create was located right in the middle of the store just as you enter. You are probably asking yourself why this was of such concern...let me put it to you this way.  I had images of my three year old son repeating an event at a book store's storytime...pulling everything off the shelves, distracted by all the store toys, running around and destroying sale merchandise while the eyes of every mother were on me while their children sat like little angels at storytime.  Yes, it wasn't pretty and we have not gone to a storytime at that book store since. 

If you have never set foot into a Lakeshore Learning store, let me tell you it is a child's dream place! There are toys, books, crafts, a giant computer interactive screen, balls, trucks, pull baskets, and did I mention son's favorite toy? All of which are for sale, and all of which could be destroyed by my "energetic" three year old son. You can now see why I was very reluctant to get out of the car.  If it wasn't for my crafty daughter and her pure excitement to work with glue, sparkly things, and googly eyes, I would have probably just left.

However, what actually occurred was nothing I had imagined at all. In fact, when my kids saw the really cool jellyfish craft that was being created by the other kids, they instantly went to the table to start their craft.  My son didn't even notice the first.  

Kids exited to get started on their craft receive their instructions

The woman in charge of the table showed us a sample of the jellyfish craft and what materials we were going to need and directed us to the supplies at the child sized tables and chairs and the kids got to work.  All the supplies were readily available, in great abundance, and already pre-cut!!!!  YEAH!!!  You can tell these people know kids!  The jellyfish craft was very age appropriate for preschoolers and early elementary students.  They had easy to use glue sticks which my three year old used with ease and FAST DRYING thick glue for other parts of the they know parents or what?  Someone really thought about this crafting project!

My son proud to use the glue stick all by himself and working hard!

What I really liked about this particular craft was that it was a simple project suitable to my 3 and 4 year old, the pieces were provided for them and all pre-cut, but there was still tons of room for creativity! It wasn't just a template to cut and put together, they got to choose how their jellyfish would look.  My daughter of course added sparkles to hers, while my son argued that jellyfish don't sparkle.  My daughter chose tentacles that were pink and purple and green, while my son chose orange and blue. They both made the same craft but their jellyfishes were unique to them.  I also think my daughter was so involved in the project and it kept the attention of my son because they could do the project on their own with little assistance from me. It was totally age appropriate, kid centered, very impressive and eye catching! LOVE IT!

So the jellyfishes are hanging in our playroom and we will be going back to Lakeshore Learning. It just might be my new favorite place to make a craft.  

Did my son notice the toys in the store...absolutely! But my son was not the only one playing with the merchandise.  The folks at Lakeshore Learning didn't cast disapproving looks but seemed to be okay with it.  But, I guess that is what you get from a friendly child centered store like Lakeshore Learning....and the fact that we wound up purchasing the ball in the picture.  Just couldn't leave without it:)

My son showing his craft and new toy!

 Have a great day:)


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