Friday, July 17, 2009

Collection of Autism/Asperger's Articles from Crafts for Kids

I'm the editor of the Crafts for Kids department at, and we've published several articles that've been helpful for parents with children dealing with Autism or Asperberger's Syndrome. Here's a list so you can find them all in one place:

Handmade Toys with Lori Fogg
How to Make a Travel Sized Weighted Blanket for Children With Autism or Asperbergs
Sensory Smart Activities for Those With Tactile Defensiveness

I'll add to this list as more articles are published.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Crafty Kids - Meet the Columnists Series - Robin Hartman

As the editor of the Crafty Kids department at, I have the honor of working with some truly amazing and creative people! They never cease to amaze me with the ideas they have and the background with children that they bring to the table. With that in mind, I want to take the time to formally introduce you to each of them, so we'll kick off the series with Robin Hartman. I really enjoy working with Robin; she's committed yet easygoing, thoughtful yet expedient, and well, I'll let her tell you herself! Here's Robin:

I am 26 years old. My husband recently switched from the Seminary to Social Work. While he wanted to do ministry, he found that ministry can be done in so many ways. He is in the process of doing historical research and designing games. I teach Freshman English at the college level part-time. I have a Masters in British Literature. I studied fun stuff like the marriage markets, colonization, and the class systems; all of which became passionate topics of research for me. I wrote my thesis on Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus which compared Tamora's role as a leader to Queen Elizabeth I's struggles as a new female ruler.

While in grad school, living in a tiny duplex with classroom tiled floors with my husband and two sons and working at the writing center as a tutor then director intern, I discovered that my oldest son still was not talking. We thought it was a phase but his speech delays seemed to delay lots of other things in his life, his eating habits, added to his anxiety and frustration with his daily routines like going to the store, getting dressed, and so forth. He began smacking his entire tiny little body into the brick walls of our duplex. I was afraid to take him outside to play because he didn't seem to understand basic directions like stay out of the road, those aren't your toys, don't pull on other children. I continued to work with him using crafts, cooking, and reading without too much pressure or over stimulation.

After taking him to the doctor, we were referred to First Steps where my little Bailey met with a speech and occupational therapist. The program worked wonderfully for him especially now that we know he has Aspergers. With the help of a wonderful special needs program, he is really excelling and my little guy starts first grade this fall. He is speaks clearer and more completely. He is such a creative little child, both my boys are.

Bailey spent his mornings at preschool which gave me time to do crafts with Jakob. Bailey gets so much attention because we have ha to work with him so much on basic developmental needs. So it was nice this past year that Jakob got some one on one time with me. We would spend mornings painting, drawing, glue, and cutting. I've learned a lot from my little guys.

As for my personal interests, I have a variety of crafting hobbies. My favorites are cross stitch and pattern design. I love making jewelry and doing card stamping. I like playing with recycled materials to make new items. I am an avid board gamer. I like activities that encouraging doing things with my family.

Robin also has an Etsy shop called Snips & Snails. She contributes amazing content to Crafty Kids, but my favorite piece so far is Bracelets for Kids by Kids - Taking A Walk Down KidsCraftyAvenue. Follow this blog and LittleandLearning on Twitter for more profiles coming soon!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Pint Size Testimonials

As the editor of the Crafty Kids department at, I'd like to hear what your little ones have to say about Father's Day tomorrow! Please comment below and I'll put a post together tonight that will run on the site tomorrow so that all the dads can see what their kids have to say about them. Please include your child's first name and age in your comment. You might start by asking your child:

"What do you love best about your dad?"
"Why do you love Daddy?"
"What's your favorite thing to do with Daddy?"

I'm sure you can figure it out! I look forward to your responses. :-)


Top left photo is print of Atlas by mogencreative.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day Projects at

Here's a consolidated list of the Father's Day projects and articles posted at If you missed any these last few weeks and want to tackle them this weekend, have at!

Father's Day Clay Business Card Holder

Father's Day Paperweight

Father's Day Spare Change Collector

Father's Day Pop Up Card

Weekend Rescue--Gift Boxes from Trash
Make your own gift box for Dad's present!

Love Bags for Father's Day: Crafting with Kids

The Fantasy of Father's Day

Pencil or Soda Holder

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Batman Returns

I'm very, very excited tonight! My friend, Brian, who I've worked with for at least 5 years (on and off for the last 20+ years) is moving to Raleigh! I've missed him so much. I can't wait to hang out with him again, tell stories, finish each other's sentences. We're gonna have a blast.

Oh, the title. He likes vampires. Hee.

The Value of Childhood

Little and Learning was created out of a fervent belief that an investment in childhood pays off in astounding ways. I've taught children ranging from 0-14 for 12 years in corporate child care or summer camp settings, and I hold a B.A. in Secondary Education from Carolina. I've been a teacher, a program coordinator, a director, a counselor, and a business manager. In all of those positions, I was always the one chosen to write the newsletter, lol.

Today, I'm the Editor for the Crafty Kids Dept. at and run a quirky jewelry store called Risky Beads. My passion has always been to share my experiences, learn new ones, and keep the conversation going. That's why Little and Learning is here and off we go...