Monthly Archives: July 2015


Four tools for 3D printing your child’s work of art

3D printing is no longer the stuff of science fiction – it’s a reality that’s becoming accessible to everyone. Our children are growing up in a world in which they are not limited by the bounds of technology when it comes to their imagination. In the 21st century, the possibilities are limitless.

The hard part is figuring out how to even access this kind of technology. It might not be long before 3D printers are as common as inkjets, but that day isn’t here quite yet.

Luckily there are some wonderful programs out there that allow people on the outside to access 3D printing, and to let their imaginations go wild with this tech. Read on to learn about four marvelous programs that will allow you to get your child’s artwork off the fridge and onto the coffee table :)

3D Printing tools for your children’s art:

Kids Creation Station

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Kids Creation Station makes it easy for you to turn your child’s work of art into a sculpture. All you have to do is upload a picture! All figurines are 4 inches long and cost $100, but they have a big discount if you add a second print. The website is super user-friendly. Just sign up, upload your photo, and checkout. What we love about it is that you can also see galleries of other families’ prints, so you can get ideas and save favorites.

Crayon Creatures

Image Credit: Crayon Creatures

This site offers your child’s painting to be transformed into a 3D printed sculpture for $130 for figures up to 4 inches long. The company is based in Europe and has a wonderfully whimsical philosophy and a genuine passion for their business. They create a hollow form of your child’s image, which translates into a beautiful figure that’s got depth and life. Finished pieces are raw and full of the wonder of a child’s imagination. The sculptures are truly amazing, particularly of the more abstract art pieces.


Image Credit: Doolydoo

Doolydoo offers you the option to take your child’s drawings and have them transformed into three-dimensional pieces of sculpture. For around a hundred dollars, your child’s drawing can be transformed into a sculpture of around ten centimeters tall, or for twice that you can get one that’s fifteen centimeters tall. The site boasts some fantastic examples of their work that will inspire you and your child. You also have the option of having your child’s art printed onto a plaque. The artwork is even viable if it’s from a small child, and the sculptures are beautiful.

Doolydoo has a coloring book option as well, in which you choose from a selection of coloring book pages that your child the colors just like a coloring book. These pages are then transformed into 3D sculptures for a discounted rate.


3D Printing

For the more tech-minded kid who just wants to learn about 3D printing and programming, the Tinkercad course from Autodesk does the basics – it teaches kids how to create a 3D model that is actually viable for printing on a 3D printer. With this course, your child will learn the skills that they need to create designs and forms that world with this technology. A different track from the other two options, but one that is nonetheless viable and amazing in its own right. Once your child completes the course and learns how to create a blueprint for their 3D art, you will, of course, need to gain access to a 3D printer. Many community colleges and high schools now have these machines on hand, so if you’d like to start a new family project by printing your child’s masterpiece, then you have lots of options!

New York families, Lion's Heart is coming your way

Teen volunteering – accidental inspiration

It’s early July and soon camp season will soon peak. By early August you may even witness a little camp fatigue, particularly among seasoned camp-goers. Developmentally, tweens and teens are ready to guide their own growth opportunities. They are restless, inspired, and have too much time on their hands. In other words they are the perfect volunteers. If your screen-sucking, channel-surfing adolescent doesn’t strike you as the next UNICEF ambassador, do not despair. Change-makers often discover themselves by accident at the cross-section of availability and opportunity.

One of our activity partners, Lion’s Heart, provides the volunteer and leadership training. Thrively has thousands of local volunteer opportunities. The inspiration takes care of itself, as many Lion’s Heart Members have discovered.

Here’s what some of our teens think of Lion’s Heart:

“Lion’s Heart differentiates itself because it is not an organization where your parents hold your hand. YOU as the teenager have the power. At the end of my freshman year of college, I helped co-found an organization called FrogSpeak, which is aimed to provide a network of support for students at TCU dealing with mental illness.”

-Darby C., Graduated Lion’s Heart Member and student at TCU

“After graduating from high school, I soon became extremely involved in volunteering at a medical clinic and helping the truly underserved people, something that was engrained in me after years of community service with Lion’s Heart. Volunteering in this clinic helped reveal my passion for medicine, which finally focused my studies onto pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant. I soon became president of the pre-physician assistant club at SDSU which opened multiple new doors for volunteering and becoming a leader in my community which allowed me to provide others with the same volunteering experiences that I had, all stemming from Lion’s Heart. These experiences gave me the opportunity to attend the Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Southern California and allows me to continue to make huge differences in the underserved community, all while practicing my passion.”

-Brandon P., Graduated Lion’s Heart Member and USC graduate student

“Coming to UCSB the first thing I wanted to do was get involved. My freshmen year I joined Alpha Phi Sorority and was elected community service chair shortly after. I could not have taken a role like that my freshmen year of college without the skills I obtained in Lion’s Heart. In my few short years in Lion’s Heart, I learned valuable lessons such as knowing how to motivate others to become passionate about a cause, reaching out to community members, and planning events people want to attend. Those skills directly benefited me! I co-founded a cheerleading team for children with disabilities, and I also continued my involvement in Best Buddies organization, which I now am finishing up my 8th year. Lion’s Heart was more than just a community service organization for students. It was a place where I learned to be a leader of my peers, where I learned what I was passionate about, and where I found the confidence and skills to go out in the world and help people.”

-Noelle B., Graduated Lion’s Heart Member and student UC Santa Barbara

“I have found that Lion’s Heart has opened the door to incredible opportunities, that I may have not otherwise been prepared for or comfortable with. For example, this summer I will be in Kenya doing research with bean farmers to increase crop yields. My volunteer experience was definitely a factor in my selection and my willingness to engage in this project.”

-Carly E., Graduated Lion’s Heart Member and student at Cornell University