Sunday, January 25, 2015

Guest Post: Arts And Crafts With Amanda Johnson

Introducing our very first guest blog post!
Amanda Johnson is a long time friend of Landis' Labyrinth and we're so excited to add her expertise to our blog and our community. You can read more about her at the end of the post but first, enjoy this creative, kid friendly activity perfect for a slow afternoon at home or a group play date.

MandiKid™ : Arts and Crafts

Ages: 1-5 years old

Project:  Painted Toy Car Tracks and Animal Tracks

*       Paper (printer paper to construction paper, the larger the better)
*       Tempera paint  
*       Paper plates or trays
*      Toy cars, trains, trucks, toy animals (that are cleanable, preferably plastic)
*      Optional: images from old magazines or images printed off the Internet of a tree, favorite cartoon  character or anything the child finds interesting.
*       Optional: Scotch Tape or Elmer's glue (if using images)

1) Put each color on an individual paper plate or trays.
2) Next, have each child pick the first toy they want to roll or walk through the paint.
3) Then show them how to “drive” or "walk" the toys on the paper and to only "drive" or "walk" them on the paper.
4)  Now it's their turn so let the fun begin! For older children, the optional "images" can be glued or taped creating a great fun scene of animal tracks walking up to a tree. The possibilities are endless. Once completed, you can ask them to tell you a story of where the car drove or what kind of animal made the prints and did he go up into the tree?  This is optional, but helps further creative development.  
5)  When it's all done, I'd found children love stomping on the paper afterwards. This will also help release extra energy the children build up normally but in a fun way, inclusive of the project.
6)  Clean up - the easy part. Have the child roll up all the paper he or she doesn't want to keep and stack the paint plates or trays on top of each other and they go easily into the trashcan.

 A little bit about Amanda:

"Amanda Johnson began her calling in child development whilst studying at the University of Louisville. Nearly a decade and a half later of continued studies, teaching (Children's Aid Society, New York City) and private consulting for both individuals and groups.  Amanda has specifically focused her work and program development with children ages 0.1-5 years old.

Amanda Johnson moved to Los Angeles and continued her work with 0-5 child development in a myriad of fashions. From consulting, guest lecturing, work shops for parents, teachers, therapists to private and in rare instances where a curious situation, Amanda has and will specifically with a family - managing the educational and character building of the children and educating and sharing tips with the parents, so after her departure with the kids now a "MandiKid" - well behaved, good study habits. polite and well socialized to progress and excel on ward from elementary school to college."
If you are interested in any of her services, please call or e-mail Amanda at
Amanda Johnson
Tele: (646) 641-5408

Monday, January 19, 2015

Favorite Toy Essay Contest

Toys are an important part of a child's life. Whether it be a beloved teddy bear, an inspiring art project, a well pummeled football, or a doll who acts out your child's wildest dreams, we at Landis' Labyrinth love supplying catalysts for skill building, imagination, and love.

In honor of this, we introduce the "Favorite Toy Essay Contest."

If you are 12 years old or under we invite you, with your parents permission, to write anywhere between one paragraph and one page describing your favorite toy. Some of the topics you may want to cover include how you got it, what it looks like, and what you like to do with the toy.

To submit your essay, have your parent or guardian e mail your essay, along with your first name and age to with "Favorite Toy Essay Contest" in the subject line. As many as possible of the the submitted essays will be posted on our blog along with the authors first name and age.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Generally, We Think You're Great!

Thank you so much, Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and Los Angeles, California. We knew Landis General Store was a special part of the history of Larchmont and that it was sorely missed but the excitement and support of our community when we opened our doors this October was enough to fill our hearts - and our store.

Now as the holidays wane we're definitely feeling settled into the new digs. The back room is filled to the brim with arts and crafts, the new 2015 calendars are in and Valentines Day has already start to fill the store with pink and red.

We can't wait to see what 2015 brings and we're happy to spend every day of it bringing you great gifts!