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Posts Tagged ‘crafting with kids’

It’s Friday and we are all pooped! Plus I am freezing in New York and cannot stand the thought of even stepping outside. Looking for a 30 minute activity to show the one you love how much you care? Make a hand-shaped construction paper card for Valentine’s Day! It could be great way to greet your hubby, wifey, kids and family!

What to do? Send a lovey-dovey message (a.ka. candy sweetheart message) with valentines traced from little hands. Just cut from construction paper, and then decorate. Let the love of your life (your kids) know they are hands-down your favorite.

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One of my friends gave me heart shaped soaps that looked like the age-old candy conversation hearts. I thought it was adorable and found these instructions on how to do it too! This could be a really fun (and relatively cheap) way to make gifts with your kids for their class or even for family and friends (or the neighbors)! You simply put your homemade soap in cellophane bags tied with tags and throw a little glitter inside!

 

Makes: 16 heart shaped soap bars

Tools and Materials:

  • Nonstick 9-inch square pan
  • Heart-shape cookie cutter
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Glycerin soap
  • Bench scraper
  • Soap colorant or food coloring
  • Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
  • Cutting board
  • Needle nose pliers
  • 1/8-inch metal letter stamps
  • Masking tape

How To:
Note: Use a 2-inch cookie cutter (1 inch high) and 2 1/2 pounds of glycerin soap-sold at crafts stores-to make 16 hearts.

1. Depending on your equipment, yields may vary. To determine how much glycerin you’ll need, fill pan with water to 1/4 inch below height of cookie cutter; pour water into measuring cup. Record amount; discard water.

2. Cut soap into small pieces with bench scraper; fill measuring cup. Microwave on medium heat until melted; stir. Add soap and heat until you’ve reached the water amount. Add colorant; stir. Pour liquid into pan. Spray with alcohol to eliminate bubbles.

3. Let harden at room temperature, 2 hours. Freeze 10 minutes.

4. Turn upside down onto cutting board. Create soaps with cookie cutter; pull cutter out with pliers if it sticks. Tape stamps together to form words, and imprint on soap, applying light, even pressure.

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Merry Christmas Eve! It can be tough entertaining the children on Christmas Eve while you are frantically trying to (secretly) wrap gifts, prep the food for Christmas Day dinner, make beds for family members coming into town to stay with you and somehow clean up the house before Christmas Day madness.  To keep the kids busy, have them sit down with this fun activity that will not only be good for your time, but also will decorate your table for Christmas dinner. The kids will be so proud of their craft and the table is sure to look festive with 6-inch plain white paper plates (cheap too)!

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The winter chill has arrived and the leaves are changing colors. I took a walk through Central Park in New York City (my hometown) this past weekend and admired all of the leaves and how beautiful nature can be in the ‘big city.’ I was inspired by a childhood activity that is fun for kids and great for parents as a piece of art for the coveted refrigerator door. Preserve the beauty of fall leaves with leaf-rubbing (leaf impressions) art on paper! Read more to find out how this easy (and inexpensive idea) is fun for a winter day. Next time you are out walking ith your kids, collect leaves of different shapes and sizes. When you are choosing leaves to rub, pick leaves with raised veins or texture to ensure the rubbings will come out crisp and clear.

Need:

  • Leaves
  • White paper
  • Crayons or soft-lead pencils

Steps:

  • Rub a variety of leaves using white tissue paper and crayons or soft-lead pencils.
  • Place the leaves under the paper and gently rub the impression on the tissue paper.
  • Cut each leaf impression out and arrange them on a white piece of paper.
  • Special step: Use a hold puncher and punch one hole in each leaf impression. Use thread or clear fishing line to tie the leaves together and string the line in a window as a decoration!
  • Discard leaves in garbage

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Halloween always seems to be a rush to get the ‘best’ costume, carve pumpkins, decorate the front porch with spider webs, and buy candy and any other Halloween baking you might be up to!  If you are a mommy or daddy short on time this Halloween, here are some ideas on how to make a homemade trick-or-treat bag that is reusable and eco-friendly! For the serious Halloween kid, the trick-or-treat bag isn’t just a vessel for the evening’s spoils; it is also be a spooky accessory to match his or her costume.

Anyone can get crazy and follow the Martha Stewart intricate crafts for Halloween, but I wanted something that is easy, quick and something that can be reused for years to come.  Below are a few tips/suggestions for easy, eco-friendly Halloween trick-or-treat bags for your kiddos to make and use. It’s a great activity (especially for the fall rainy days) and these fun trick-or-treat bags are great to carry their oodles of candy and save the environment at the same time.

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Step 1: Choose Your Bag
Choose the eco-friendly bag that you want to use for this project. Keep in mind that you need a bag that is durable because candy can get really heavy and there is noting like ruins a child’s (or parent’s) mood more than a bag that breaks!  Plus, a durable bag allows you to use it for more years and you can get the most out of it! Some suggestions for eco-friendly, homemade trick-or-treat bags are:

Option A) Old pillowcases are very fun and creative option for “green” trick-or-treat bags because they can be used for YEARS; Your child can just scrunch the top together and sling it over his or her shoulder or if you are a mom with sewing skills, it never hurts to sew on “handles” for the pillowcase trick-or-treat bags to be functional.

Option B) Canvas grocery store bags that you can pick up now for about a buck are great options – – they are durable, have handles and are ready to decorate.

Option C) Reusing old grocery bags (paper is always better) – however, these may only last for one year.

 

Decorating
Decorating the bag is a fun way to express your creativity and is purely based individual preference. It can be as spooky and elaborate as you want or as simple as your child desires or wants to decorate it. There is no “right way” to decorate a homemade Halloween bag because every kiddo has his or her own sense of style (and Halloween for that matter!). Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Option A) Decorate the bag to match the costume. Just remember that this may limit your choices in years to come if you want to reuse this bag next year.

Option B) Paint the bag with fabric paints or markers and even puffy paints (yes, those scary paints from the 80s) with spider webs, ghosts, pumpkins, witches and more! Choose ghostly faces from templates you can find on the Internet or create your own gruesome expression.

SPECIAL NOTE: Place a piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase so the ink will not bleed through to the other side.

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Do you have any old coffee cans or empty jars lying around the house? Do also you have a million little small toys, crayons, pens, stickers, or magnetic letters just waiting to be organized? Here is a quick project that helps tidy up the house and reuse those fabulous containers.

WHAT YOU MAY NEED:

  • Coffee Can or Other Empty Containers
  • Glue – Tape
  • Construction Paper – Assorted Colors
  • Pens – Paint – Crayons

HOW:
Make sure that all containers (that can be) are washed and dried thoroughly. Decide which sizes are good for the variety of objects you need to organize. Most of my containers at home are the same size, but they were perfect for the area I chose to store everything giving my daughter easy access to them. To differentiate the containers, draw pictures or decorate them with whatever is inside. 

This was a fun project for me and my daughter to do. Plus, now she can easily find her favorite toys and supplies and knows where they go when they’re not it use.

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Celebrate your independence with your kids with these two fun activities! But first – a little history lesson on why we recognize “Uncle Sam’s” Birthday.

Activity #1 - The Patriotic Pedicure

The 101:
Most people in the United States celebrate the 4th of July, but sometimes forget why it is such an important day aside from barbeques and family fun. In 1776, colonists had more and more taxes taken away from them by Great Britain.  People started getting mad and started to make a plan to make their own rules and no longer wanted Great Britain to be able to tell them what to do. What was their next step? They decided to tell Great Britain that they were becoming an independent country.

To make a long story short, the Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and they appointed a committee to write a formal document that would tell Great Britain that the Americans had decided to govern themselves. The committee asked Thomas Jefferson to write a draft (first try) of the document, in absolute secret, until he had written a document that he thought said everything important that the committee had discussed. On June 28, 1776, the committee met to read Jefferson’s “fair” copy of the document and declared their independence on July 2, 1776.  July 2nd?!? They officially adopted it on July 4, 1776. That is why we call it “Independence Day.”

ACTIVITY #1
Brighten your child’s toes and let him or her paint their patriotism by decorating his or her nails with stars and stripes!

What is Needed:

  • Nail polish in red, white, and blue
  • French manicure brush (white nail polish with a thin tip brush)

What to Do:

  1. First, apply a base coat of red and blue polish, as shown.
  2. Let that dry for 2 minutes.
  3. Use a thin French manicure brush to add the white-polish stars and stripes.


ACTIVITY #2
Who doesn’t love punch or lemonade on Independence Day?
Plastic cups tend to look more and more alike at any 4th of July party. Look-alike plastic cups have a way of losing themselves in a crowd. Cut down mix-ups (and garbage) with guest-decorated designed cups!

Activity #2 - Independence Cups

  • Plastic cups
  • Large and small star stickers (red, white, and blue)
  • Placard
  • Marker

What to Do:

  1. Add a large red, white, or blue star sticker to each cup, along with a few smaller stars for decoration.
  2. Put an assortment of markers on a table.
  3. Set up a sign or placard directing guests to choose a cup and write their name on it.

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Spell out to your daddy how much you love him this Father’s Day!  Make him a paper picture frame using the letters of his name or simply “DAD”.  This gift from your child can stand proudly on his desk, around the house or next to his bed with the easy help of bent paper clips! The photographs in this craft are trimmed to show your baby or kids faces, where they peek through the holes of the letters.


Items Needed:

  1. Lightweight card stock in any color
  2. One sheet of plain white paper
  3. Scissors
  4. Pencil
  5. 2 paper clips

Frame How-To

  1. Draw in block letters “DAD” with thick lines on a white sheet of paper to create a template for the picture frame (see picture for the shape you are).
  2. Lay the template over lightweight card stock – choose whatever color you like!
  3. Trace with a pencil and cut out.
  4. For all you mommies, cut out the middle parts of each letter.
  5. Trim photos to fit the openings, making them slightly larger than the holes
  6. Tape the photos behind the frame.
  7. To make the frame stand up, bend open two paper clips and tape the small sides to the backs of the letters at the very bottom (see picture).
  8. Give Daddy a hug and present this gift with love!

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Hope you are enjoying this wonderful holiday!  Did you know that Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day? It is a day of remembrance for those who have died in the service of our United States nation.

Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, but it’s difficult to prove the origins of the day. An interesting tid bit is that there is also evidence that a women’s group in the South decorated graves before the end of the Civil War. All in all, Memorial Day is intended to honor those who have given their all in service to our country.

Show your patriotism and make this beaded flag pin that is fun and quick.  You can hand out these pins at your Memorial Day BBQ party or have it as a fun and fashionable way to show your American pride with the family!

Follow the instructions below to create your own red, white and blue flag pins.

Items Needed:

  • red, white, and blue seed beads (you can find at Michael’s or local craft store)  Note: Make sure you get seed beads with holes large enough for the pins to go through.
  • a dozen large safety pins. (The exact number will vary a bit depending on your safety pin size.)

Steps to make your Flag Pin:

  1. On your first safety pin, you will load thirteen 13 seed beads. Seven will be red and six will be white. Alternate them as you put them on the open pin: red, white, red, white, red, white, red, white, red, white, red, white, red.
  2. Repeat that six more times, so that you have a total of seven safety pins with thirteen red/white beads on each of them.
  3. On the eighth safety pin, you will start making the blue ‘stars’ section of the flag. It’s important that you load the blue beads first; otherwise your flag will be wrong side up. Put seven blue beads on the pin, and push them towards the hinge-spiral. Then add 3 red and 3 white, alternating. From hinge to clasp should be blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, white, red, white, red, white, red.
  4. Repeat that three more times, so that you have a total of 4 pins with flag sections above the stripes.
  5. With your last pin, you will string all the others, by putting the opened pin part through the hinge-circle of the other eleven. Put all the pins with blue beaded sections on the pin first (with the open sharp part of the pin facing your right), followed by the red-and-blue striped ones. BE CAREFUL FOR THE SHARP POINT!
  6. Close the safety pin, and double-check that your flag is hanging correctly.
  7. Pin on a loved one and enjoy!

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Memorial Day weekend is only 1 day away!  Not only is it one of my favorite 3 day holiday weekends, it is always that first feeling of the “official” start of summer.  I am sure a lot of parents are wondering (other than BBQing) what they will do with their kids over the long weekend.  Below is a fun wind streamer craft that is patriotic and easy to do with the whole family!  Don’t worry – it doesn’t make noise (I personally get a headache from chimes!), and you cam make this craft with little more than an empty oatmeal container and colored paper.

You can also use this activity to teach younger children about the “wind” (like a science lesson) and illustrate the direction on wind and how it plays a part in the environment. Martha Stewart was my inspiration for this project. 


How to Make a Patriotic Paper Wind Streamer

Items Needed:

  • Empty oatmeal container, or similar cylindrical container
  • Blue craft paper
  • White craft paper
  • Star-shaped paper or you can cut stars out on white craft paper
  • Craft glue (Elmer’s works fine!)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Waxed twine
  • Red-and-white grosgrain flat ribbon
  • Red ribbon
  • White ribbon
  • Paper punch

Instructions:

1. Remove the bottom of the cylindrical container.

2.  Measure and cut the blue craft paper to fit inside and outside the container. The paper should come right up to the top and bottom lip of the container.

3.  Lay the double-sided tape to the three edges of the paper on the wrong side, and stick it to the container’s interior.

4. Create stars from the white craft paper, and glue them onto the second piece of blue paper. Lay the double-sided tape to the three edges of the paper on the opposite side, and stick to the container’s exterior.

5.  With the fine paper punch, punch four holes at the north, south, east, and west points of the container’s top. Thread a piece of waxed twine through one hole and its opposite hole, and tie in place. Repeat for remaining holes.

6. Cut lengths of the red and white ribbon to create streamers, and glue them at the bottom edge of the container. Lay double-sided tape all the way around the top and bottom edges of the container, and adhere the red-and-white grosgrain ribbon.

Enjoy this colorful and patriotic craft!

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