Arts & Crafts Tips

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easy craft

BLOSSOM MASKS

To make an inexpensive and colorful blossom mask cut out the center of a paper plate, leaving a hole large enough for the child's face. Help the child cut flower petals from colorful construction or tissue paper. Glue the petals around the rim to make a unique flower. Attach elastic thread to the back of the plate to finish the mask.

   

SPONGE GARDEN

You will need:
Sponge
Bird Seed
Water
Shallow pan

Place the sponge in a shallow pan.
Sprinkle bird seed on the sponge.
Put a little bit of water in the pan.
Keep watered and watch carefully. Tiny plants will soon grow.

   
placemats

FUN PLACEMATS

Children can make placemats out of construction paper, stickers, magazine cut-outs, and crayons, then cover with clear self-stick shelf paper.

   
collage

LITTERBUG COLLAGE

If you ever wanted to a project that would also teach your children an important ecology message than this is it!

Materials needed:
Trash
Paper
Glue
Small paper sack
If the weather is nice outside and not too windy take the kids outside and give each one a paper sack. Talk to your children about how harmful litter is and how you are going to not only make the world look better with your project, but you are going to have fun. Be sure to explain to them not to pick up anything that is sharp or that will hurt (broken glass, wires, etc.).
Take them on a litterbug walk and have them pick up the trash that they see.
When you are all done have each child glue their trash on a piece of paper...be sure to do a lot of talking about the trash they found as they do their gluing, and explain to them the importance of throwing trash away in the proper containers.

   
paper craft

A ROUND TUIT

This makes a great Mother's or Father's Day present. It can be as elaborate or simple as you like!

1 round piece of wood, natural or varnished.
Paper - your choice
Decorative edged scissors
Sealer - your choice

The verse is written on the paper : edges of paper are cut round,
then the paper is glued onto the center of the wood. Apply clear
shellac or sealer of choice over entire piece. Add a hanger
to the back

"A Round Tuit" verse :
"At long last we have a sufficient quantity of these so that each person may have one of his own.
Guard it with your life. These Tuits have been hard to come by,
Especially the round ones. This is an indispensable item.
It will help you become a much more efficient worker.
For years you have been saying, "I'll do that as soon as I get a round tuit."
Now that you have a round tuit of your very own,
All those things that have been needing to be accomplished will surely get done."

   
stamp art

POTATO PRINT ART


Cut a potato in half and cut a shape on one of the cut ends, creating a stamp. The shape can be carved simply, or more intricately by placing gouges within the shape for more detail. Paint the shape a bright color and press it on paper as a stamp, to make a print. Several similar prints can be made with the same shape cut on the potato.

   

POTATO HEAD PLANT

Cut off both ends of a potato. Stand the potato upright on one of the flat cut surfaces and scoop out a hole in the other end. Carve out a face on one side of the potato. Have the children help place two cotton balls in the potato's scooped-out top. Let them water the cotton balls and sprinkle them with grass or alfalfa seeds. Place in a sunny spot and watch his hair grow.

   
easy craft

EGG SHELL COLLAGE

Save your broken white eggshells by rinsing them and allowing them to dry. Crush the shells and store them in a container. When you have about two dozen eggs crushed, make one or more colors of egg dye (1/2 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, few drops of food coloring). Dye the egg shells different colors and let them dry. Give your child a small container of glue and a q-tip. Have him paint a design on his paper with the glue. Then have him sprinkle the colored eggshells on his picture. Shake off any excess. Vary this activity by using plain white eggshells on a colored background.

   
easy craft

FROSTY PICTURES

Have your child draw a winter outdoor scene on a piece of construction paper. Make a solution of half Epsom salts and half water. Let her paint over her picture with this mixture. As it dries, she will notice sparkling crystals begin to form.

   
art experiences

SHAVING CREAM ART

Add a few drops of paint to shaving cream. Have the children use this to paint with. Not mixing the paint in will give it a special look.

   

SOAP CARVING SAFETY TIPS

Only children who can use a butter knife confidently should do this activity, and always with adult supervision. Using cakes of soap (Ivory works well) and butter knives, carve and whittle different masterpieces. Make a display case from a shoebox turned on its' side.

   

BACKPACK I.D. TAGS

To make these Backpack ID tags you will need:

Plastic Mesh Canvas cut into aprox. 2 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inch pieces
Plastic Lacing cut into 2 yard lengths
Clear Shrink Plastic 2 x 3 1/2 inch pieces

Ruler
Pencil
Scissors

When cutting the plastic canvas, cut to the lines leaving a smooth edge. You will need 2 pieces the same size, one being cut out in the center about 4 rows in to provide a "window" for viewing your information. Lace around the parimeter of 2 pieces of plastic canvas. Insert your information on a business card or bond paper and cover with the clear plastic pieces.

Use bright colors of canvas and lacing to make these individualized.

   

GIFTWRAP YOU MAKE YOURSELF

Using a solid color shelf paper or plain brown kraft paper you can make your own gift wrap. First cut a piece of paper the proper proportions to cover your gift. The easiest way to decorate your gift wrap is to use stickers in a random pattern all over the paper. Another way to decorate your paper is to paint the paper or "stamp" it with sponge stamps. Even the youngest child can draw pictures with markers. How about using a masterpiece painting from your child?

   
Halloween

GHOSTS

For a trick-or-treater ghost, craft a stick figure from pipe cleaners. Drape a white tissue over the body and then use your fingers to scrunch and shape. Draw on eyes and a mouth.

   

CRAFT CREATION: SIMPLE BIRD FEEDER

How many different types of birds do your children know? Create this simple bird feeder. Then watch the birds come and go from your bird feeder. Teach your kids about the bird's habits.

To create this bird feeder you will need:
1 - Milk or juice carton
A straight twig, dowel, or strong straw
String
Birdseed
Pair of scissors

1. Take the milk or juice carton and cut two large rectangles out of opposite sides. It will look like the carton has two "windows".
2. Next make a hole under each rectangle and poke a twig or dowel straight through the carton to create two bird perches for your simple bird feeder.
3. Now make a small hole in the top of the milk or juice carton and attach a string so that your feeder will hang from a branch or wherever you want to hang it.
4. Now you are ready to decorate your bird feeder! When you are finished decorating, let the Birdfeeder dry, fill it full with birdseed and hang it outside near a window.

   
juice can lids

JUICE LID CRAFTS

Lids from a frozen juice can
Any available craft supplies
( wiggle eyes yarn, magnet strips etc.)

When you open up those frozen juice cans, save the lids. They make great quick and easy crafts your little ones can easily do. Here are a few ideas you can use or let them create their own:

FOR HALLOWEEN: use orange felt. Cut It In the shape of a circle to fit inside the juice lid. Add wiggle eyes, cut out shapes for nose and mouth. Add a strip of magnet to the back, and date the back with a permanent marker to make a jack-o-lantern.

FOR NECKLACES OR MEDALS: Add glue and glitter, construction paper, ribbon, or anything else you have on hand. Place the lid on a safe surface and make a hole at the top by gently pounding a nail In the top center add ribbon or string to make the necklace. This is a great idea to make medals for special events/accomplishments in your child's life. (I can tie my shoe, Big Sister, It's my Birthday, I lost a tooth, etc.)

FOR CHRISTMAS: Use a permanent marker and draw a design like a Christmas tree, or candle, etc. Again using a safe surface, pound nail holes around the design, and one In the top center to hang. Hang on Christmas tree In front of a Christmas bulb and the light shines through .are just a few Ideas, but with a little imagination you will find these a great source of fun.

   

SEED MOSAICS PICTURES

cardboard
glue
seeds: corn /bean / dill / squash /peas /lentils
Sort each seed type into its own bowl or saucer. Start by spreading glue on a small area of the cardboard. Then set seeds into the glue, making your own arrangement. You might want to arrange the seeds into different patterns, by colors or by shapes also!

   

MAKE YOUR OWN FAN

Using 7 Popsicle sticks
A hammer
A small sharp nail
A twist tie
Newspaper
Scissors
Heavy construction paper
Markers
White glue
1. Using the hammer and nail, make a small hole in the end of each stick.
2. Pull the twist tie through the holes of all 7 sticks. Make a neat loop with the twist tie and twist it to secure the sticks together
3. Spread the sticks out into a fan shape. Lay them flat on top of a piece of newspaper.
4. Cut a curved strip of construction paper t form the top of the fan, it should be about 4 inches high, the top about 8 inches wide and the bottom about 6 inches wide.
5. Decorate the paper with your markers.
6. Glue the construction paper to the top of the fan. Allow it to dry. Now you have a fan-tastic way to keep cool.
7. By creasing between the Popsicle sticks very carefully this fan can be folded.

   
leaves

ONE LEAF PICTURE

Leaves
Paper
Crayons or markers
Glue

Glue one leaf onto the center of the paper. Use the leaf as the body; draw head arms, legs, ect. Be creative and make anything you want!

   

BINGO DAUBER ART

The bingo dauber is a great little art supply for kids. They are very inexpensive , usually available in your local dollar store. Younger children can daub paper and connect the dots. You can cut Easter eggs, or Christmas trees from colored paper and a child as young as 15 months will enjoy decorating it with a few daubers of different colors. You will find that most of these daubers are refillable too.

   
windsock

MAKE A WINDSOCK

You will need a 9 x 12-inch piece of card stock, construction paper of craft foam for the base. I find the craft foam lasts the longest and can be kept outside longer. You also need crepe paper streamers. Use a variety of colors for bright windsocks. Now the construction is simple! All you do is staple the 9 x 12-inch base top to bottom forming a tube. Then staple streamers (about 10 - 14 inches in length) to one end of the tube. Decorating your windsock is fun, use stickers, sequins, puffy paint or whatever you like! Finally attach a piece of string about 20 inches long to the opposite end. We hang ours from the tree outside and watch the wind blow!

   
wax paper

WAX PAPER

Consider using a sheet of wax paper as a placemat when working with clay or paint. Quick and easy clean up!

   
BUBBLE ART

FUN BUBBLE ART

Try adding food coloring to your bubble mixture, then blow your bubbles through your wand. The children then try to catch the
bubbles with a piece of white construction paper, (cut into any shape you wish). This makes a beautiful design. Just make sure the children are wearing smocks, because sometimes the bubbles land on them. And because of the food coloring it will stain their clothing.

   
art experiences

KOOL-AID ART

Sprinkle a little dry Kool-Aid mix onto a piece of paper. Have your child spray water from a spray bottle onto the paper. For added adventure, you may choose to take your children out into the rain with a piece of paper that has Kool-Aid on it.

   
craft idea

CORN COLLAGE

Items needed:

Yellow and green construction paper
Glue
Un-popped popcorn

Cut a "corn cob" and "husks" out of paper. Glue the "husks" around the "cob". Spread the glue on the "cob" and cover it with un-popped popcorn

   
easy craft

60 SECOND HAT

Easiest with 2 people. Ages 8 & up.

You need:

Large piece of paper such as gift wrap or newspaper.
Masking Tape
Ball or Bucket
Instructions

Place paper centered over ball or upside-down bucket. Press paper with hands around bucket or top half of ball to shape. Hold in place while second person wraps large pieces of tape around to make hat band. Remove from ball or bucket. Decorate.
Use a sand bucket and newspaper; paint it black and adorn with a foil buckle for a pilgrim's hat. Bright gift wrap and a paper flower will make a great clown's hat.
Use a 9" playground ball, fancy gift wrap, and silk flowers for tea party attire. Brown kraft mailing paper for a hobo's hat.

   
easy craft

STAINED GLASS HEARTS

Make stained glass hearts by placing red, pink and white crayon shavings between two pieces of wax paper. Cover with newspaper and press a warm iron to melt the crayon chips. Allow to cool completely. Cut heart shape from center of construction paper and tape waxed paper behind heart-shaped hole. Or, cut the "stained glass" into a heart shape. Attach string to create mobile.

   
clothespins

CLOTHESPIN SAILBOAT

-Spring type clothespins
-Toothpicks
-White paper
-Wood Glue
-Scissors
-Markers

1. Remove the hinges from the clothespins.

2. Cut a 2 1/2 in. square of paper.

3. Glue the flat pieces of the clothespins together, leaving a hole at one end.

4. Insert the toothpick into the paper forming a "sail".

5. Put glue into the hole and inset the toothpick, and let dry.

Once dry your ready to sail.

   

PAPERWEIGHT GIFT

Find a rock with a flat side.
Glue a clothespin to the rock, letting dry overnight.
Decorate the clothespin and rock with small shells or pebbles.

   
easy craft

EGG CARTON BELLS

Make these simple bells from egg cartons. Cut apart the sections of an egg carton. Have the kids paint them, or use the white Styrofoam kind of egg carton. You can make them sparkle by sprinkling glitter on the wet paint or painting with watered down glue and then sprinkling some glitter on. Attach a tiny bell to a pipe cleaner and insert it up through the center of the egg carton section. Bend the top of the pipe cleaner to make a hanger for the ornament.

   

VOTIVE CANDLES

Baby food jars or jam jars
Scraps of tissue paper
Diluted paste or glue
Votive candles
Clean the jars well and let dry. We use small jars, and sometimes have to check the size of the votive candle to make sure it will fit. Have the children brush the glue onto the jar and place different colors of tissue paper over the glue, overlapping so the entire jar is covered on the outside. The glue will appear to be white but will dry clear and when a candle is lit inside will give off a pretty color and design. Great for gift time, Mother's Day (use Mom's favorite colors, Christmas use red and green, etc.)

   
sun catcher

CRAYON & WAX PAPER SUN CATCHERS

Make a crayon sun catcher! Using a small pencil sharpener, shave crayons onto a sheet of wax paper. Fold the wax paper in half, covering all the shavings. Press with a warm iron until the crayon shavings melt. When cool, you can cut the wax paper into various shapes then, thread string through the top of the wax paper and hang in a window.

Be sure an adult supervises this activity.

   
art experiences

TORN PAPER RAINBOWS

Apply glue onto a piece of paper where the first color of the rainbow should be, you can make a half or full arc. Have your child apply red torn paper to the glued area. Next apply glue under the red torn paper for the next color, and so on! (You will only be able to do three or four colors).

   

APPLE CANDLEHOLDERS

Take a round cookie cutter (small) get some apples, with your cookie cutter push it into the top of the apple go down into the apple the size of votive candle. Don't forget to rub some lemon juice where you scooped out the apple. Scoop out the apple and place your candle in it. Float a couple of them in a nice bowl.

   

SAND CANDLES

You need
A small shovel
String about 10 inches long
A short stick
A small stone
Old crayons or candle stubs
A clean, empty coffee or apple-juice can
An heavy pot
Water
1. Dig a hole in the sand about 4 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep.
2. Tie one end of the string to the middle of the stick. Attach the stone to the other end of the string.
3. Under adult supervision melt the crayons and candles. Half fill the large can with candle and crayon stubs. Place the can in the pot.
4. Half fill the pot with warm water, and bring to a boil. The wax will take about 20 minutes to melt. As the wax melts you can add more crayons and candles. The wax should never be more than half filling the tin.
5. Using a potholder, remove the pot and carry the melted wax in the can to the sand hole.
6. Carefully pour the melted wax into the hole in the sand and lower the string into the middle of the wax with the rock weighing it down.
7. Allow the wax to cool and harden. (This will take about 6 to 8 hours.
8. Gently ease any sand away from the top rim of the hardened candle and lift the candle out of the hole.

   

PUSSY WILLOW THUMB PRINTS

To make Pussy Willows:

White tempera paint
Dark construction paper
Markers

Draw a branch on a piece of dark construction paper. Give your child a small container of white paint. Have her dip one finger into the paint and make a print on the branch. Have her repeat this process until her branches resemble white pussy willows. Vary this activity by using light colored construction paper and pink paint to make cherry blossoms.

   

GARDEN IN A JAR

Baby-food jar with lid
Small dried or silk flowers
Rolling pin
Craft or hot glue
Play dough
Making the 'garden' - Roll out play dough with a rolling pin. Use the mouth of the jar as a
cookie cutter (if you use the lid, you can't close the jar). Hot glue (adults only) the play dough into the lid and wait about 10 seconds. Have the kids stick flowers into the dough. Leave lids on a cookie sheet to dry over night. When the play dough is dry, screw on the lid carefully. You can write a name on the jar with glitter or decorate any way you want.

   
easy craft

CUPCAKE FLOWERS

Cupcake papers, (for a holiday such as Valentine's Day, you could use papers with themes on them)
Pipe cleaners,
Green construction paper.
Take a cupcake paper and pinch the bottom of it. Then take a pipe cleaner and
wrap it around the pinched area. Cut some leaves out of green paper and add
them to the pipe cleaner.
Put some play dough in a baby food jar and have the children place
the flowers in the jar like it was a vase. When the play dough dries they should
stand nice. You can also decorate some tissue paper to cover the outside of
the bottle.

   
easy craft

CRAFTSTICK SNOWMAN

2 Jumbo craft sticks
1 Toothpick
Snow Paint
Black Felt
Yarn remnant
Cut one of the craft sticks in half on an angle, to make arms. Glue arms to back of the whole craft stick. Paint snowman with white snow paint EXCEPT about ¾ of an inch from the top of whole craft stick. Paint this ¾ inch black (for hat) Dot eyes mouth and buttons black. Cut ½" off end of toothpick and paint orange, glue in place for nose. Cut small piece of felt for hat brim. Glue to edge of black paint on snowman's head. Twist four pieces of yarn together for scarf and tie around snowman's neck. Repeat and tie around hat. Use a length of yarn for loop to hang your snowman.

   
easy craft

EGG CARTON BUGS

To make these spiders you will need:
Egg carton bottoms
Pipe cleaners
Scissors and markers
Cut apart the egg carton and give one cup to each child. Have the children draw a silly spider face on their cup and insert pipe cleaners to make eight legs. Use the spiders to act out "Little Miss Muffet" or when you sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider".

Vary this craft by making ladybugs, caterpillars or ants.

   

ENVIRONMENT COLLAGES

Let the kids cut out magazine pictures of trees, flowers, birds, sun, clouds, etc. Have them glue them on sheets of newspaper to make a collage about their environment. Talk about the world they live in and how we can help take care of the trees and birds.
Older children may want to cut out pictures of recyclable materials and "sort" them into the different recycle categories. Discuss just what is recyclable and where these materials go and how they are re-used.

   
easy craft

COOKIE CUTTER STAMPING

Put a small amount of tempera paint in a pie tin. Show your kids how to dip the cookie cutter in the paint and press onto a piece of paper to create a print. You can make holiday pictures or greeting cards by using holiday cookie cutters, and colored paper. when the outlines are dry have the kids color them in.

   
art experiences

PUNCHED PICTURES

Have your child create a one of a kind picture. Take a piece of construction paper and secure it to a piece of Styrofoam with elastics. Give her a hammer and a nail and have her punch holes in the paper to form a design. When finished take the picture off the block of Styrofoam and hold it up to a window to see the design.

   

TERRARIUMS

Give your child two clear plastic glasses. Have her fill one glass halfway with soil. Then have her plant weeds or small plants in her soil glass and add a little water. Let her decorate her glass with stones or wood chips. Place a second glass on top of her soil glass and tape or glue the two glasses together to make a terrarium. Explain to her how the water evaporates then condenses and finally rains down on her plants in the self-watering terrarium.

   
rainbows

EASY RAINBOWS

Tape three or four different colored crayons in a straight line. Show your child how to draw a rainbow with one stroke.

   

DRIED FLOWERS

When your kids are out in the field and bring you home a handful of wildflowers, why not show them how easy it is to dry them for a semi-permanent flower arrangement? Simply gather the stems together with an elastic band and hang them upside down in a warm dry area for a week or so. Some flowers dry better than others but some trial and error will soon get you a bunch of dried flowers for a special arrangement.

   

HOW TO GET SAP OFF YOUR HANDS

Sap is the name for that sticky stuff that comes out of trees after you've cut them. This is the tree's "blood", and it comes out to the surface of the tree when there's been a cut to patch it up until it heals, and to keep out any harmful insects (such as carpenter ants) or bacteria. If you've been helping dad cut trees, and some sap has gotten on your hands, there is a simple and easy way to get it off (note: soap and water doesn't work very well). Simply pour some cooking oil into a container big enough to fit your hands, then dip in any hand or foot with sap on it and voila! The cooking oil will remove the sap.

   

ANIMAL SAFETY

Sometimes plastic ring-type holders found on six-packs of aluminum cans can end up in the water where fish and other animals that live there get caught in them. Help your child make these holders less hazardous by using scissors to cut through each ring in the holder before throwing it away.

   
easy craft

STAINED GLASS CIRCLES

Black heavy paper
Colored cellophane wrap
Glue
Hole punch
String
Cut a 6" circle from the black tag board. Then have an adult use an Exact-o knife and cut out a pattern on the circle making sure to leave a grid to attach the cellophane to. Pop out all the shapes that were cut out. Take the shapes that were cut out and use them for a pattern to cut out the colored cellophane. Make sure to cut bit larger than the black shape to leave enough to glue to the circle. After you have all the cellophane pieces cut, glue them to the back of the circle into the corresponding places. You may wish to make this easier for young children and simple cut the cellophane into a 6" circle. Only use one color for their stained glass circle. That way they only have one piece of cellophane to glue on. Punch a hole at the top of the circle and attach string to hang in a sunny window!

   

TOOTHPICK TREES

Have the children make a tree by gluing toothpicks on a piece of paper.
Use a sponge and green tempera paint to add leaves to the top of the tree.

   
gift wrap

GIFT WRAP

Let your kids wrap their gifts themselves. Some people use tissue paper for this, but it is difficult to keep it from ripping for small hands. I buy butcher paper (you can get it in white too) or table covering paper and they decorate their own paper according to the occasion. Using stamps water colors, crayons and markers, some of these wrapping papers are absolutely beautiful!

   

PASTA ANGEL

Rigatoni pasta
elbow pasta
wooden or Styrofoam 1" ball
shredded coconut (for hair)
bow tie pasta-for wings
white spray paint
Glue the 1" ball on top of rigatoni. Glue the tiny pasta on the ball (use tacky glue). Glue two elbow pastas for arms coming toward each other in front of angel. Add bow pasta in back for wings. Paint white. Can add facial features if desired. Glue coconut to head for hair, maybe even add a halo of wire. Add a ribbon to hang it with.

   

SIMPLE DREAM CATCHERS

Strong Paper Plate
String or Yarn
Beads
Crayons or paint.
Paper Punch
Cut out the center of the plate to make a ring shape. Then decorate your hoop- either paint it or color it with markers or crayons. Then use a paper punch to make 13 holes around the outside(you will want an uneven number of holes), Now have the kids weave the string through the holes while putting on beads. I use large beads with the younger kids and wrap tape around the end of the string (or dip the string in glue and let dry) to help them guide it through the beads. Older kids can put beads on that have something to do with a dream they once had. Such as favorite color, birthstone, ideas like that. They also shared their dream catchers by sharing what the beads stood for. Continue until you have woven all the holes. We left two strings hanging off the side and put beads on them as well, for decoration. Hang on the wall or in a window.

   

DECORATED PAINTER HATS

Many paint stores include the cotton painter's cap with a purchase of paint. Even if you aren't planning to paint in the near future you can buy these hats very inexpensively, often under a dollar. These hats are great for the kids to decorate for a Crazy Hat Day, or even as an activity at a Birthday party. Use sequins, feathers, beads, buttons and fabric crayons and paints to dress them up. Party goers may want to sign each others hats, making them a momento worth keeping.

   
art experiences

MARBLE ART

This is a quick art activity that is lots of fun and has great results. You will need a container such as an aluminum pie plate or shoebox. The only characteristic it really needs is sides of 1 inch or more. Cut a sheet of paper to fit on the bottom of the container. Have your child select one or two colors of paint and squirt a teaspoon of each color on the paper in the container. Now comes the fun part. Have you ever painted with marbles before? Well put a marble in the container and wiggle it and roll it. Watch your design grow. No two patterns will be alike.

   
paint activity

TEXTURE PAINTING

Provides a tactile experience.
Add any of the following to tempera paint to give texture:
sawdust, salt, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds

   
paint activity

MESH BAG DAUBING PRINTS

Plastic mesh bags (the kind onions come in)
Foam, old nylons, or fabric scraps
Paint
Old Sponges
Paper
Make mesh daubers by filling mesh squares with foam, old nylons, etc. Tie off with string or rubber bands. Spread thin coat of paint on top of old sponges to make "ink pad". Press the dauber onto the paint covered sponge. Print
with the daubers on paper.

   
craft idea

AUTUMN LIGHTS

Have your child select an oatmeal box lid and cut two sheets of wax paper (each the same size) to fit around the outside of the lid. The lid is the bottom of the lantern, the wax paper will form the cylindrical sides. Arrange pressed leaves on one sheet of wax paper. Cover the leaves with the second piece of wax paper and, using a warm (not hot) iron, press the wax paper, melting the wax and ironing the leaves between the sheets of paper.

Glue a one-inch strip of fall colored construction paper along the top of the wax paper to reinforce the top so that a handle can be added. Glue the bottom edge of the wax paper to the outside of the box lid. Do this by running a bead of glue all along the outside of the box lid. Then roll the lid along the bottom edge of the wax paper, forming the cylinder as you roll.

You may add a finishing strip of construction paper along this bottom edge. Put several dabs of glue along the overlapping edges of the wax paper sides to close the cylinder. Attach a 1/2-inch-wide, 12- to 15-inch-long handle using paper fasteners. Place a loop of masking tape in the bottom of the lantern and add a votive candle or tea light. (If a candle is used, the lantern must be supervised at all times. Using only outdoors might be the safest idea.)

   
teacher gift

SUPER TEACHER GIFT

Fill a small basket, gift bag or mug with apples and chocolate Hershey Hugs and Kisses. Tie on a gift tag with the following:
A teacher cannot live by apples alone,
She needs "Hugs" and "Kisses" too!!
or
Apple Anything - (Pie, Cobbler, crisp, muffins etc.) With a note attached. "Sending you a "Bushel" of love this holiday Season!" Or " You are the apple of my eye, Teacher!"

   
bike

DESIGNER BIKE

Spruce up your bike by tying streamers or ribbons to the handlebars or weaving them through the spokes. Try sticking colorful stickers or tape strips onto the frames and fenders. To make a clatter noise as you child rides, clothespin a playing card to the rear fender brace, with the tip of the card between the spokes.

   

MAKE YOUR OWN FELT PURSE

Create a little purse to play dress up with or to store your favorite trinkets. This is a great first sewing project for kids.
You will need
Felt
Paper or cardboard for pattern
Pencil
Needle and thread
2 feet heavy cord
Glitter glue - optional to decorate

Draw a purse shape on paper or cardboard. A basic circle or square is fine. Make it about 5" across. Cut out the shape to use a pattern. Trace the pattern on two pieces of felt Lay the two pieces together and pin at the sides. Lay the cord on the shape placing one end at the center bottom of the purse. Follow along the edges with the cord, leaving a loop at the top for a handle and overlapping the cord at the bottom center. Sew the hearts together at the pointed end and along the sides. Do not sew them together at the top leaving an opening for your treasures. You can decorate your bag with glitter glue, or glue on bits of felt, string or beads.

   

PAPER BEAD NECKLACE

Paper cut into triangles (gift wrap is good)
scissors
Round toothpicks or straws
Elmer's glue
paint brushes
needle and dental floss
Start with strips of paper about 8 inches long and wider at one end than the other, like a long narrow triangle with the point cut off. Notice that one end of the strip is narrower than the other. (This is the point of the triangle or the narrower of the two ends.) Starting at the narrow end, put glue on the first inch of the strip. Now find the wider end of the strip of paper. Starting from there, roll the strip around a toothpick. Roll as straight and as tightly as you can. You will notice that the edge of the paper will go in on either side as you roll. Secure the end of the strip with the glue. Carefully slide the bead off the toothpick, and let dry. String the beads on a length of dental floss (it will not break as easily as string).

   
finger puppets

FUN FINGER PUPPETS

Felt
Small wiggle eyes
Yarn scraps
Feathers
Pom-poms
Craft glue
Instructions:
1. Trace a 2-inch by 1 ½ inch rectangle onto felt. Round the top of the triangle for the top of the puppet
2. Glue the sides and the top rounded area to complete the "blank" finger puppet
3. Allow the children to glue the wiggle eyes on, glue feathers or yarn for hair and pom-poms for ears and/or tail
SUGGESTIONS: These puppets are very easy to draw freehand or you can use small patterns from coloring books as well! Perhaps you could make a bunny for Easter or if you are reading about bears, dinosaurs or whatever use that idea and make a pattern to go along with the applicable theme!

   
easy craft

EASY PLACEMATS

Try making your own placemats.
Cut two identical placemat-size rectangles out of clear self-stick paper. Remove the backing form one of the rectangles. Help your son arrange pictures from magazines or catalogues on the sticky side of the paper. Add sparkle by sprinkling on glitter. Remove the backing from the other rectangle and carefully place it sticky side down over the decorated rectangle. Trim off any overhanging sections.

   

PINATAS

Make your own Pinata! Made a few days before the party you can put in it what you wish (great for children that may have allergies to peanuts or if you wish to limit the amount of candy).
You'll need:
Large balloon Blow it up and tie the end to a table.
Paste Mix 1 cup flour with 2 cuups water in a bowl.
Newspaper Rip or cut into strips 1 to 2 inches wide.
Masking tape
String Several long pieces. (cotton works well)
Decorating materials paint, stickers, crepe paper, construction
paper, ribbon. Use your imagination.

Spread a few newspaper sheets around the ballon to keep the table clean.
Dip the newspaper strips into the paste one by one.
Run your fingers down each strip to remove extra paste.
Start wrapping the strips around the balloon, leaving an empty space at the neck about 3 inches in diameter.
First layer strips up and down.
Then layer strips around the balloon.

Let the pinata dry for 3 days and pop the balloon.
Decorate the pinata and put the treats inside through the hole.
(raisins, wrapped candies, small toys, lollipops)
Now tape the ends of each piece of string inside the hole
Reinforce each piece with tape several times.
Decorate as you wish. You can make faces, animals or an object. With a little imagination the Pinata will be the "hit" of the party.

To play the pinata game... you will need a bat and a blindfold. Hang the pinata over the players heads.
Make sure everyone is standing well away from the player and the pinata.

   
paint activity

SPONGE PAINTING

Use spring type clothespins pinched to the sponge for sponge painting.

   
RAG BRACELET

RAG BRACELET

With some scrap fabric, your child can make a Rag Bracelet.
Scrap fabric
Pony beads or wooden beads with larger holes.

Cut three strips of fabric about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and as long as needed to wrap the wrist at least twice. You can use strips of the same fabric or mix and match. Tie a knot at one end with all three strips leaving a little "fringe". Tie two of the fringe pieces around a knob or chair leg to hold while you work. Now twist a piece of tape around the ends of the long strips so they look like shoelace ends. Now start braiding the strips together.

Start to add in while braiding your choice of beads, bells, buttons or shells with holes in them (what ever you want, just make sure the holes are big enough to thread). Continue until you have the length you need for a bracelet (or anklet, or necklace). Then tie a second knot securing the three ends together. Leave a little fringe again and cut the remaining. Remove from the chair leg and take one strip from each end and tie together tightly.

You can do this while around the wrist so it won't come off or make it big enough to slip on and off. Now either trim it up or leave some fringe and it's done.

   
Art

EASY OCTOPUS ART

For each child draw seven 5 1/2-inch lines up from the long side of a piece of construction paper. Have the children cut along the lines on their papers to make octopus arms. When they have finished, roll each paper and tape the sides of the body together, leaving the arms free. Let the children attach self-stick circles for eyes. Then have them bend their octopus arms outward..
Hang the finished products from a string or pin up.

   

LADYBUG FUN

2 paper plates
Black and red poster paint
Black and white construction paper
Black felt pen
Staples or paper fastener
Sponge cut in a 1" circle

Cut one paper plate in half. Have your child paint the back of the whole paper plate black. Have her paint the back of both halves red. Take the round sponge and blot circles with black paint onto the two half pieces for the lady bugs spots. Allow to dry. Attach both halfs at the top of the back of black plate to form wings. Draw head and antennae from construction paper and attach to top of ladybug, (can be fastened at same time as wings) You can also use black pipe cleaners for the antennas. Cut round white circles for eyes and use felt pen to color in middle for pupil. (can use wiggle eyes instead) Hang up side down to make the ladybug appear to be flying.

   

PASTING INSPIRATION

Kids love pasting, they will cut and paste for hours given a magazine and some paper. Glue sticks (both the liquid and solid form) are great for the beginner artist. Of course they can glue pictures on paper but graduate them to using paper plates, cardboard, old greeting cards, yarn, buttons, cotton balls, sand and sawdust. Try letting them experiment with pasting tissue paper, wallpaper, small food items such as shreddies, puffed wheat, macaroni, rice, beans, lentils.

   

WET NEWSPAPER SCULPTURES

Have your children tear or cut newspaper into 1-inch strips. Put the strips into a pail, and add enough water to cover the paper. Let set overnight. Drain off the water, add a small amount of white glue and mix. (One cup of white glue to half of a 5 gallon pail) Cover the table with plastic and give each of the children about two cups of the mixture. Let them shape it into a sculpture. If their hands get too sticky, have them dip them in water. Let their creations dry and paint.

   

STICKER ART

For a very simple art project, supply the children with a piece of paper and stickers. For younger children this provides an excellent fine
motor activity. Use a binder to keep the pages of sticker art together, a great first collection!

   

POTATO PRINTS

Cut a large potato in half. You will need a cookie cutter that will fit on the potato half. Press the cookie cutter into the flat side of the potato. Then, using a knife cut the potato around the outside of the cookie cutter, leaving a shaped potato stamp. Supply the children with the potato stamps, different colored paints, and paper. Have the children dip the potatoes in the paint and press them firmly onto the paper. If the potatoes are not cut evenly the shapes will not appear clearly.

   
easy craft

PIPE CLEANER PEOPLE

Using only 3 pipe cleaners it's fun to make pipe cleaner people! One pipe cleaner is used for the body and the head. (You can use a bead for the head if your child is over 3 years old). One is used for the legs, and one for the arms. It's easy to shape these little people into different positions!

   

CLOTHESPIN ANGEL

1 4" peg clothespin
1 3/4" wooden ball for head
1 yd. 4" wide lace cut into 2 18" pieces (you can use white crepe paper)
1/2 yd. 1 1/2-2" lace cut into 2 pieces (you can use trim of felt for this)
Place the 2 pieces of 4" wide lace on top of each other. Gather top, pull thread tight leaving a small hole. Knot. This is the dress. Slip dress onto round part of clothespin, glue. Glue ball on top. For the wings, join each piece of 1 1/2" lace with glue to make a tube. Overlap the 2 pieces in the center, gather up the middle, wrap thread around and tie tightly. Glue wings onto dress just below the head. Make a halo by forming a small circle from a piece of shiny pipe cleaner. Tie a piece of thread or ribbon through this for a hanger and then glue halo on to head. Decorate with ribbons, etc.

   

TRANSPORTING YOUR CHILD'S ARTWORK

If you find you have something you want to transport without wrinkling, like a special painting from your child to Grandpa, this tip will come in handy. Decorate a paper towel tube with paint, markers, glitter, stickers, construction paper and crayons. This becomes a colorful carrying tube. Roll their pictures up and put inside to take to their teacher, grandparents, friends, or relatives. This also works to get homework "projects" back to school in mint condition.

   
easy craft

DRIP-DYE FLAGS

Plain paper towels (not colored or printed on)
Muffin tins
Food Coloring
newspaper
Unsharpened Pencils
Tape

Pour watered down food coloring in muffin tins. Fold a white paper towel into a small square or triangle. Dip the corners in the food coloring and watch the paper absorb the liquid. If you like, try to blend colors. You could dye your flag by using an eyedropper, too. Unfold the paper towel carefully and lay it on newspaper to dry. When they are dry attach them to dowel rods or unsharpened pencils with tape.

   
easy craft

FLOATING CHALK ART

Fill a dishpan with water. Help your child grate colored chalk into powder and sprinkle a little powder on top of the water in the dishpan. Have your child gently place pieces of paper on top of the sprinkled chalk, one at a time. Carefully lift each paper piece out of the water and place it on a flat surface to dry. There will be a pretty marbled design on their paper.

   
snow globes

SNOWY JARS II

You will need:

Waxed paper
Small glass or plastic jars (baby food jars or jelly jars work well)
Water

Have the children tear tiny pieces of waxed paper and place them in small jars. Help them fill the jars with water and secure the lids. Let them shake their snow jars and watch the "snowflakes" dance around.

To make into snow scene jars, put clay in each jar lid and attach two small Styrofoam balls (held together with a toothpick). When the lids are screwed on and the jars are turned upside down, the snowflakes dance around the snowmen.

   

BIRD NESTS

To make these simple bird's nests you will need:

paper lunch bags
dried grass, leaves and twigs
markers, paint
plastic eggs or play dough

Ask your child what materials he thinks birds use to construct their nests. Then give them each a brown paper lunch bag.

Help them roll the sides down and form it into a nest shape. Now take them exploring outside for nesting materials such as dried grass, leaves, tiny twigs, feathers, etc.

Have them arrange these in their nests, explaining how the birds use their beaks and feet to make their nests. Let them decorate the outside of the nests with markers or paint.

Then give each child a plastic egg or some play dough and have them make an egg to place in their nests. Talk about how the nest protects the egg and keeps it warm until it is time for it to hatch.

   
art experiences

SHAPE ART

Give the children a piece of white paper, and a number of various shapes. Have them glue the shapes onto the paper in the form of animals or people.

   

SEED MOSAICS

Materials:
Plastic tub lids
Glue
Assorted dry beans, peas, seeds, popcorn, etc.
Have the children spread a layer of glue inside the tops of their plastic lids. Then let them place dry beans, seeds, etc. on the glue to create mosaic designs.

   
collage

BEAUTIFUL JUNK COLLECTION

Start a Beautiful Junk collection: Find a large box or shopping bag and label it "Beautiful Junk". Get in the habit of throwing into it any "garbage" or recyclables that the children might be able to re-use for crafts. For example: magazines, junk mail, egg cartons, ribbon, wrapping paper, toilet tissue tubes, shoe boxes, cereal boxes, aluminum pie plates, plastic containers and pop bottles, fabric, yarn etc...

Now you will always have a supply of craft and building materials ready for rainy days.

   
bubble bath

FANCY BOTTLES

Decorate some fancy bottles. (Clean salad dressing bottles will do.) Fill them with bubble bath or bath salts you can make yourself.

Bubble Bath Recipe http://www.Kid-tips.com/TipNL.asp?Tipid=46077

Bath Salts Recipe http://www.Kid-tips.com/TipNL.asp?Tipid=30594

   

BABY FOOD JAR AIR FRESHENER

Here's an economical gift kids can make for just a few dollars.

You need:

Potpourri
Clean Baby Food Jar (no top needed)
5" Paper Doily
Rubber Band
Lace
Ribbon Rose
Low Temp Glue Gun

Instructions:
Fill jar with potpourri. Cover with a paper doily or tulle. Secure with rubber band. Tie a ribbon around the jar to hide the rubber band. Hot glue ribbon rose to ribbon.

   
home made paper

MAKING HOMEMADE PAPER

Your first step is making the pulp. Take old paper or dryer lint, and pulp that. Computer printout paper is very good pulp source, and is generally free from your office-recycling bin. You can change the characteristics of your paper by adding paper towels, newspaper, dryer lint, and onionskins. I use a blender or old food processor. (Blenders work better than food processors, because they batter, while food processors slice.) Fill it about 1/3 full of paper and lint, add water, whirl for a few minutes, pull the cork and collect the pulp. You can make pulp ahead of time, strain it, and store it in the refrigerator.

Now you are ready to make paper. All you need is a vat, a screen and deckle, something to couch it on, and a press... The good news is that you can do this with common kitchen stuff. You need a vat to contain it in, for our purpose we'll use a dishpan. Now, for the screen and deckle. For the screen you can stretch nylon hose over an embroidery frame. You can go to your local window store and ask them to make you a screen the size you want... Or you can make one out of wood and stretch some sort of screen on it. Aluminum screen from the hardware store works well. Okay, now you have your screen. You need a deckle. This is a wooden frame that fits over the screen, and is the same size as the frame that the screen is stretched on. Oil or wax both the wood of the screen and deckle well.

The screen and deckle are used this way: you have your pulp floating the vat. You stir it with your hands, and then press the deckle and screen together. You do it so the screen frame is on the bottom, the screen is in the middle, and the deckle is above. Now, lower that into the vat, swish it all around, and then raise the thing through the pulp to get a nice even layer. Note how the deckle "traps" some pulp. Now, as the water drains through, give it a few shakes to help tangle the fibers. When the water has drained off so that the pulp is beginning to form a sheet of paper, you can set the thing on a rack over the vat, at an angle, to complete draining.

Now it's time to take the paper off. You need a sheet of felt on a curved surface.
You remove the deckle (the wood), making the new sheet of super flimsy paper on top. You flip the screen over, and roll it across the felt. If it all goes well, the paper comes off on the felt. I find pressing the back of the screen helps. This was the hardest part to learn, and we often had to help the kids remove off their sheets from the screen.

Now it's time to squish out the water. Take your sheet of felt with the new sheet of paper on top and place another sheet of felt over it. This can be layered for up to 6 or so sheets. Now using a heavy rolling pin roll the pile of felt sheets so the felt will absorb the water. Otherwise, you use some sort of press. BIG huge presses with screws are traditional, but other types work too. I used my flower press as I rarely do more than 5 or 6 sheets at a time. Then you carefully pull the felt sheet apart, separating the still damp paper, and hang it up to dry.

   

LOVE BEADS

Make love beads by threading dyed macaroni or straw segments on a string. Thread a paper heart in the middle of the "beads." Your older child can make heart beads from salt dough for this project.

   
art experiences

RESIST DRAWINGS

This type of painting relies on the principle that wax repels water. Have your child scribble with a crayon on a piece of soft construction paper. Afterwards, have him paint the entire picture with a translucent watercolor paint. Use a thick watercolor bursh. The wax areas "resist" the ink and the painting glows. To save this type of picture apply a think coat of varnish over the whole design before having it matted and framed.

   
art experiences

PAINT BLOWING

Put a bit of thin, watery paint on a piece of paper (a white paper plate is good for this). And have your child blow it around with a straw. Add a second or third color if you wish. Talk about what happens when the colors mix.

   
easy craft

PHOTO FRAME FRIDGE MAGNET

Cardboard frames (you can make your own from shoe boxes)
Magnet tape
Scraps of fabric, wrapping paper buttons, stickers, pasta shapes etc.
Markers, crayons or paint and brushes
Scissors, glue, tape
Give your child a cardboard frame to decorate as he or she pleases. Place a small piece of magnet tape on the back. Have them use it to frame a photo of themselves or a drawing they have made, using tape to hold it in place.
This makes a great gift for family and friends.
Variation: Instead of magnet tape, use yarn to make it into a hanging ornament.

   
t-shirts art

STORYTIME T-SHIRT PILLOWS

Make personalized storytime pillows for the children using their old favorite t-shirts.

Use permanent markers, fabric paint or sew on appliques made from felt scraps to make letters or the child's name on the t-shirt.

Sew the bottom and sleeves closed. Stuff the pillow through the neck with polyester batting, then sew the neck closed.

These are great when a child has a special attachment to a t-shirt they no longer fit into. They travel well in the car for trips, or go to daycare.

   
bird feeders

BIRD TREATS

Have the children string Cheerios and berries using blunt darning needles.

Take the strings outside and help the children drape them on evergreen trees (usually preferred by birds for the camouflage).

Observe the birds from a distance or through a window. Help the children identify the different birds that come to snack.

   
pumpkin

PUMPKIN SEED NECKLACE

Wash the seeds and pat them dry.
Thread a needle with white thread and push the needle and thread through the seeds, one at a time until you have enough for a necklace or a bracelet.
Leave plenty of extra string at each end to tie it on.
You can also paint the seeds after you string them.
(Don't do it before-the seeds must be soft enough to poke the needle through them.)

   
craft idea

APPLE PEOPLE

Peel and core a good-sized apple. With a knife, carve some of the apple away, to suggest two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Place the apple in a bowl filled with salted water or lemon juice for about half an hour. Dry the apple gently, and spear it from below with a pencil. Place the pencil in a long-necked bottle. Let the apple dry there for three or four weeks. As it dries, it will shrink and take on the look of a weathered face. Paint some simple clothes on the bottle, or glue some scraps of cloth onto the bottle to look like garments.

   
art experiences

STRING PAINTING

Dip various types and lengths of string and yarn into paint and then drag them across a piece of paper. Compare the effect created when you drag the string across wet paper. Dab paint on another piece of paper, fold and pull a piece of string through the paint.

   

SOAP CARVING

bar of soap
paring knife
Have a parent or an adult help with this craft. Unwrap the soap and let sit out overnight. Make a simple pattern of a large object or animal and draw onto the bar of soap. Help the child to carve out the soap using small cuts and scrapes. Make sure to use a knife with no sharp edges or tips. Do the carving over a tray or newspaper to avoid extra messes!

Be sure to see SOAP CARVING SAFETY TIPS.

   
easy craft

PAPER FLOWERS

Even the littlest toddler likes flowers. However, they may not have the patience required to grow their own. Make these flowers with paper to enjoy today.
Let the children draw and cut out the flower shapes from different types of paper. Younger children can color the flower shapes you draw or place flower stickers on disks of construction paper. When ready they can glue or tape them (staples are dangerous) to the top of plastic drinking straws (the bendy straws allow the flowers to dip). Fill a paper cup, margarine tub or tin can with sand and let them insert the straws to "plant" the flowers. If you want the containers can be decorated before filling them.

   
easy craft

EASY SNOWFLAKES

Remember making paper snowflakes when you were little? Show your child how to fold a coffee filter in half and then in half again. Help him cut small triangles out of the folded edges (be sure to leave a little room between each triangle). Then have him unfold the coffee filter to see a snowflake. Make several to decorate his window.

   
bubble wrap

BUBBLE WRAP FINGER PAINT

Children can finger paint on bubble wrap. If you wish, when they are done, place a piece of paper over the top and make a print of it.

   
paint activity

TISSUE PAPER & PAINT

Provide a tub of scraps of various colors of tissue paper next to paints. Tissue can be stuck to wet paintings; it will stick, even when dry. For different themes, tissue paper can be pre-cut into a variety of shapes.

   
paint activity

FLY SWATTER PAINTING

Fly swatters dipped paint filled styrofoam meat tray - leaves a lovely patterned effect on the paper when the children hit it, & the children really love this activity. Use washable paint & do it outside.

   

GOD'S EYE

Glue or tie two Popsicle sticks or relatively straight sticks to form a cross and allow to dry. Tie long piece of yarn to center. Wrap yarn around one piece of cross, close to the center . Go to next stick and wrap around it in the same way. Continue until most of the cross is covered. Tie yarn at end.

   
easy craft

MAGIC WANDS

You will need:
Newspaper,
Aluminum foil,
Crepe paper,
Tape,
White glue,
Cardboard,
Markers,
Safety scissors.
1. Roll three sheets of newspaper together widthwise for wand, then twist tight and tape together.
2. Wrap wand in foil, and secure with tape.
3. Use scissors to cut out the shape of a star (fairy) or globe (sorcerer) from cardboard.
4. Cut long strips of crepe paper for streamers.
5. Use marker to color both sides of star or globe.
6. Glue shape and streamers to the top of the wand.
Note: if you want your child can paint the wand and cover the star or globe cardboard cutout in the foil instead.

   
easy craft

PAPER STRIP ART

Cut long narrow strips of newspaper or construction paper. Use paint or markers to decorate the strips, if desired. Twist and bend the strips into interlocking shapes, spirals, or loops. Glue the sculptures onto a base (box lid, wooden block or Styrofoam tray) Or, glue one end of a strip to the base then twist and bend it, then glue the other end to the base. Use pins to hold it in place until the glue dries.

   

WAGON ART

Cut paper to fit in a child's wagon. Put the paper in the wagon along with crayons, chalk, or colored pencils. Your child can take the wagon to any place in the yard. Encourage him to draw or color on the paper by bending over the side or crawling into the wagon.

   
easy craft

COLLAGE ART MADE EASY

When you think collage you think glue, right? Think again. Here's a new twist on an old favorite. Start with a square of contact paper (mac-tac). Supply your toddler with plenty of colorful, interesting items to put on their "page". A lot of the fun will be in the process of putting their items (ie: pictures from magazines, fabric squares and cotton balls) on to the sticky surface and pulling them off again. Voila. No mess and a lot of fun !

   

KITCHEN GARLAND

Use a small metal cookie cutter to cut out shapes of orange and or lemon peels. Let them dry a little. Thread a needle with thin ribbon and thread the semi dry shapes with a tail on the bottom and go back through shapes leaving a loop at the top, and knot the ends on the bottom, tie a small bow between the loop and the shapes.

   
easy craft

SPRING BASKETS

Cut 2/3 off the top of a two-liter soda bottle. Discard the top portion of the bottle. Punch holes opposite of each other near the rim of the bottle. Attach a long pipe cleaner from one hole to the other to form a handle. Then glue pastel colored tissue paper pieces on the bottle. When the glue dries use puffy paint , flowers and stickers to personalize the baskets.

   
paint activity

RACEWAY PAINTING

Paint
Die-cast cars such as Hot Wheels
Paper

Cover your table with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth. It is easy to draw off the paper in this project.
Place a small amount of paint on the child's paper. You may want to give your child several spots of paint in different colors.
Using the car, have your child "drive" the car all over the paper. While running, the tires through the paint, he will create "car tracks". Blending the paints together. Have the child continue with his design until finished with his masterpiece. Dry.

   

WOVEN BASKETS

Pastel colored construction paper two colors
Scissors
Glue or stapler
Using one piece of paper cut horizontal straight lines about one inch in from side to side across paper, about 1/2 inch a part from each other. The paper should be covered from top to bottom with these slits.
Next take the other color of paper and cut 1/2 strips. Weave these strips in and out of the slits in the first paper. When completed with all the strips glue the ends of the strips to the first paper to hold in place. Next fold up the sides to make a basket shape. Staple or glue in place. With a contrasting color make a handle on your basket and staple or glue.
Basket can then be filled with shredded paper to make a nest in the bottom.

   
art experiences

COOKIE CUTTER ART

Obtain cookie cutters of various shapes. Have the children dip the cookie cutter in a shallow container of paint, then press onto a piece of paper to make prints.

   
craft idea

PAPER BOWL LADY BUGS

Paper bowls
Red tissue paper
Glue
Black construction paper
Pipe cleaners
Paint brushes
Give the children some tissue paper and have them rip it into small pieces. Mix glue with a little water to thin it out and pour into a small container. Give each child some glue and a paintbrush. Let them glue the tissue paper all over the back of the paper bowls. Cut some black circles out of the construction paper and let them glue those on to. Poke two holes in the bowl on one edge of the top and have the children stick one end of the pipe cleaner in each hole from the inside of the bowl and then pull them through so they look like antenna. We finished up by drawing a face on with markers.

   
paint activity

BUBBLE WRAP PRINTING

Cut into small pieces and let them dip on paint and then press on paper. Use large sheets of bubble wrap on a table and the kids can paint the whole sheet together and then lift prints. Hang bubble wrap on easel for children to paint and then press paper on for print.

   
craft idea

MEAT TRAY STENCILS

An adult or older child can cut tray pieces out for stencils.

   

EGGHEAD

EGGHEAD
Crack the top 1/4 off of several eggs; wash out the insides and let dry. Let the kids draw silly faces on the eggs. Then, place damp cotton balls inside them, prop them in an egg carton so they stay upright, and drop some grass seed on the cotton balls. Before you know it, your eggshell people will sprout grass hair! (Keep the cotton moist, and your kids can actually trim the hair as it grows!)

   
baby food jars

SNOW GLOBE FROM BABY FOOD JARS

After cleaning the baby food jar and removing the paper from the outside, glue a small ornament, or toy on the inside of the cap with epoxy. (Hot glue works but may not hold more than a few days in the water.) Then fill the jar with a light colored oil, like mineral oil. Add a few pinches of glitter and put the lid on. Secure the lid tightly with plumbing tape or electrical tape so it will not leak. Turn it upside down with the lid on the bottom and you have a snow globe to enjoy!

   
easy craft

PARTY STRAWS

Turn drinking straws into party straws by sliding on small shapes. Use purchased stickers, or make your own out of construction paper. Select the shape according to the theme of the party, such as dinosaurs, hearts etc.. Fold the shape in half vertically and make a horizontal 1/2 inch slit near the top and another one near the bottom. Then slide a straw in one slit and out the other.

   
art experiences

SPRAY PAINT ART

Obtain a clean spray bottle. Add water and a little bit of liquid or powdered tempera. Then, place a large piece of paper on an easel, and have the children spray the colored water onto the paper.

   
leaves

NATURE MATS

Items needed:

Small square pieces of cardboard (big enough to set mini pumpkins on with about 1/2 to 3/4 inch overhang on all sides.
Spanish Moss
Embellishments ...mini pine cones, acorns, etc.
Glue

Glue moss to top surface of cardboard. On front corners attach embellishments.

Place mini pumpkins on mats to protect furniture. Also makes an adorable "ground" for other fall decorations.

   
magnet

INCHWORM MAGNET

5 pompoms
1 wiggle eye
1 craft stick
Glue
Magnet

Glue the pompoms to the craft stick.
Glue eye to first pompom.
You can glue a small piece of red yarn for a mouth if you like.
Attach magnet to back.

   
outdoor activities

PET ROCK

Create your own pet rock by collecting a few well-shaped rocks and gluing them together. When dry, paint your new creature, and add features with markers, bits of felt or fabric, pipe cleaners, etc. These make great paperweights to give as a gift, and if you use permanent marker they are great in the garden too!

   

STAND UP BUNNY

2- Styrofoam cups
3- 1 1/2" white pompoms
1- 3/4" pink pompom
1- 12 mm oval wiggle eyes
12"- 1 1/4" Ribbon
8"- 3/8" ribbons
9"x12" white construction paper
9"x12" Pink construction paper
1. Cut: 2 pink ears, 2 pink arms, 1 pink feet
2. Glue ears, arms and feet to white paper and cut around them leaving narrow white edge.
3. Put glue on the bottom of one of the Styrofoam cups and place it on the feet.
4. Put glue around the rim of the cup and starting in the back, wrap the ribbon around the cup, placing the bottom half of the ribbon on the glue
5. Glue the arms to the ribbon
6. Separate the fluff of one white pompom and glue it to the back of the cup for a tail.
7. Tie a bow with the narrow ribbon and glue it to the wide ribbon in the front.
8. Cut slits on the bottom of the other cup for the ears.
9. Glue on eyes and pink nose.
10. Separate the fluff of one white pompom and glue on the white cheek balls.
11. Fill the bottom cup with candy, cookies, pretzels, a toy, etc.
12. Place the head cup inside the ribbon collar.

   
easy craft

STENCIL ART

Provide the children with stencils to trace. They may use markers, glitter, paint, and crayons to decorate the shapes. Older children can try to make their own stencils.

   

GIFT SOAP

Using a bar of soap and a sticker or picture cut from a magazine, you can make a nice present for someone.
Unwrap the bar of soap. If the "brand name" is on the soap use a sticker or picture that will cover it. Apply the sticker to the bar of soap, or use diluted glue to attach the picture. (It doesn't have to be feminine just because it's soap, try dinosaurs or trucks). An adult can melt a block of paraffin (canning wax, found in grocery stores), by setting it in a tin and the tin in boiling water (like a double boiler). When the wax is melted you dip the top of the soap (the side with the sticker) in the paraffin. This will seal the picture/sticker and it will not come off when the soap gets wet! Wrap your gift of soap in tissue paper.

   

QUILL PENS

Large feather (available at craft stores)
Craft knife
Washable ink
To make the quill, cut a triangular point in the hard end of the feather (the base end). Use the craft knife to cut along the triangle so as to form a sharp point (a parent's job). To use the pen, dip the tip into a jar of ink and then
dab it onto a piece of paper towel before writing.

   
easy craft

PAPER LANTERN

Fold a piece of construction paper in half lengthwise. At one inch intervals, cut into the fold to within 1" of the opposite side. Open the paper and tape the ends together. Attach a strip of paper to the top of the "lantern" to form a handle. Note: these lanterns are not meant to be used with heat sources.

   
easy craft

MASKING TAPE TREASURE BOX

A shoebox makes a great treasure box. Using bits and pieces of masking tape, have your child tape up the entire bpx, covering all sides (the more tape the better). Use crayons to color the masking tape box, or shoe polish rubbed into the masking tape makes a great finish! The tape makes the box sturdier and will make a treasure box for their desk or dresser. You can even line the inside with a scrap of material to make it extra special!

   

BIRDSEED BISCUITS

Supplies:
· 2 cups biscuit baking mix
· 1/2 cup cold water
· 2 tbs. margarine
· 2-tbs. sesame seeds
· 2-tbs. sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 425F. Form a soft dough with baking mix and water. Roll out the dough to 3/4" thickness and cut it into shapes with cookie cutters.
Using a straw, punch a hole in the top of each cookie. Melt the margarine and
Brush over dough. Sprinkle the seeds and nuts onto the dough and press it in
FIRMLY with a fork. Bake for 15-20 min., or until light brown. When cool, thread brightly colored ribbon through the hole and hang in a tree.

This activity was from a Mailbox magazine.

   

SUN PUPPETS

For these little Sun Puppets you will need:

Yellow construction paper
Yellow yarn
Popsicle sticks
Glue, Scissors, Markers
Your toddlers will like these little puppets. Cut out two circles of yellow construction paper. Help them glue their circles together with a Popsicle stick handle in between. Then let the children glue short pieces of yellow yarn around the edges of their circles to make sunrays. Draw a sunny face on the puppet.

Use your imagination and make flowers, faces, animals and other puppets this way they can be stored in a shoe box for a rainy day.

   

SUN PRINTS

Have your kids place objects, such as erasers, pencils or blocks on pieces of dark colored construction paper. Set the papers in direct sunlight. At the end of the day, have the children remove the objects and observe what has happened to the paper. Which spots are lighter than others are? Why?

   
chalk drawings

PRESERVING CHALK DRAWINGS

Children love to color with chalk, but their pictures can be ruined if the chalk smears. Protect your children's creations by coating them lightly with hair spray.

   
insect feeder

INSECT FEEDER

Make this insect feeder to attract butterflies, moths, bees, flies and other nectar loving insects. Hang it from a tree outside a window and see what insects you attract.
new sponge - 2.5 cm or 1 inch thick
stone
twine
scissors
2 liter plastic bottle with lid
water
funnel
sugar
measuring cup
wire
1. With your scissors cut the sponge 4 cm wide and 15 cm long, cut a 2-cm hole near bottom of bottle.
2. Cut 20 cm of string and tie around sponge, tie stone around the other end of sponge.
3. Put the stone and twine through the hole you cut in the bottle and push the sponge into the bottle leaving 2 cm of sponge hanging out.
4. Unscrew the bottle cap and using the funnel pour 1 cup of sugar into the bottle.
5. Over a sink, fill bottle 3/4 full of water and put lid on the bottle. Turn bottle upside down. Gently shake bottle to dissolve the sugar.
6. With the help of an adult, secure the bottle to a tree branch using the wire.
Keep a journal or log of the different insects that come to your feeder.

   
Halloween

BATS

Bend a 1-inch length of pipe cleaner into a V, then glue it onto black tissue-paper bat wings. Use floral wire to attach the bat to a building or tree.

   
craft idea

MEAT TRAY "RUBBER" STAMPS

Rubber stamps can be expensive, but you can make your own out of Styrofoam meat trays. Clean the tray, cut out the shape, and glue it to an empty film canister, cork, or the end of a large eraser. Press into an inked stamp pad and you're ready to stamp.

   

SEED VIEWERS

Clear Plastic Cup,
Black construction Paper,
Paper Towels,
Bean seeds
Use a clear plastic cup that is 6-12 inches tall.
Cut black construction paper so that it fits inside, up against the cup walls.
Fill the center with wadded up paper towels.
"Plant" bean seeds between the cup walls and construction paper, about 1/2 - 2/3 down. Water the paper towels and keep MOIST.
Bean seeds will grow and you can view root growth, what happens to seeds, etc.
They can grow quite large and will be fine as long as you keep paper towels moist.

   

MILK JUG BIRD FEEDERS

Rinse out an empty plastic gallon milk jug with lid. Cut a window in the front, flat surface of the jug. The jug can be painted or you can glue on some nature materials (leaves, pinecone parts, grass) to make it rustic looking. Poke a hole through the spout area and thread a piece of wire through it for hanging. Fill the bottom of the jug with bird seed.

   
easy craft

HELPING HAND CLOTHESPIN MAGNETS.

For these "handy" helping hand magnets you will need
Garden Glove
Pinch type Clothespin
Magnet strip
Stuffing (you could use newspaper)
First stuff the garden glove loosely and close up with an elastic band at the wrist. Then use glue to attach the tip of the thumb to the tip of the pointer finger. (makes an ok sign) after gluing the pinch clothespin to the back (pinched end up). After attaching a magnet strip to the back of the clothespin, have the children decorate their "Helping Hand". I have seen nail polish, shirt cuffs, flowers, and paint used to make these handy little note keepers. Great for a Father's Day gift.

   
HANDKERCHEIF DOLL

HANDKERCHEIF DOLL

It is fun to make a handkerchief doll. These were made some years ago by mothers to keep kids quiet in church. A handkerchief or a 12-inch square of any cloth can be used. Lay cloth on table. Put a cotton ball in the middle at the top, fold over enough cloth to cover and tie with sting or ribbon. (This makes the head.) Next, tie small knots at corners on top of cloth to make hands. Lace can be put around face to make bonnet.

   

TOOTHPICK PAINTING

Let your kids dip toothpicks into paint and use the toothpick as a paintbrush. After the painting dries, let him/her glue the toothpicks that he used onto his painting. Use leaves, pinecones, dried milkweed pods, or feathers as a paintbrush.

   
art experiences

STRAW PAINTING

Give your child a straw and a piece of paper. Spoon a little watered-down paint onto the piece of paper. Let her blow through the straw to move the paint around the paper and create designs.

   
paper confetti

PARTY CONFETTI

Making confetti for a party may be just as much fun as the party itself. Let your child make the confetti by punching circles/stars/shapes out of construction paper with a hole punch. This is best done on a cookie sheet with low sides. When all the paper is punched out save it in a zip lock bag.

   
kaleidoscope

KALEIDOSCOPE

A kaleidoscope is just a hollow tube with mirrors lining its inside. You then put something pretty at one end and your eye at the other. The nicest and easiest kaleidoscope I've found is this one. It is not very likely that a child would be able to make this on his/her own, so plan on making it together. When it is done be sure to decorate the outside of the Pringles can and make it personal.
1 Pringles can.
12"x12" mirror tile. cut into 3 pieces.... 2 3/8" x 8 1/2" .
You'll also need a 3" square of clear plastic [I used a piece from a lg. Soda bottle]. Corrugated cardboard - 1" x 9".
Beads, sequins and baubles
1. Carefully punch a hole in the middle of the metal end of the can. This will be where you look into the kaleidoscope, so be sure to punch from the outside of the can to the inside so that any sharp edges will be in the can!
2. Arrange the mirrors into a triangle [with the mirror sides facing each other] I bought a mirror tile from the hardware store. It was reasonably priced and he even cut the pieces for me!
3. Trace the end of the can onto the plastic and cut it a little smaller to just fit over the top of the mirrors.
4. Trim the cardboard collar to fit snugly around the inside of the can to hold the plastic in place.
Put in your baubles, put on the lid, and enjoy your new kaleidoscope!

   

CORN KERNELS ARE SEEDS

These activities show your children that corn kernels are actually seed.

SPROUTING CORN: Place dirt in a small zip lock bag. Add water and a few kernels of popcorn. Seal the bag and hang in sunny window. The popcorn kernels will begin to sprout in about a week.

SPROUTING INDIAN CORN: Get an ear of Indian Corn and place entire ear in rectangular Pyrex dish with just enough water to cover bottom of dish. Put in sunny place. Corn will sprout in about a week. Provide magnifying glass for close inspection. As corn sprouts some of the kernels fall of - these are great because it provides the children with opportunity to actually handle the sprouting corn and look at it closely.

   
easy craft

CREPE PAPER STREAMERS

Help your child tape three or four crepe paper streamers, or ribbons (2'or 3' long) together at one end. Let the children run with their streamers blowing in the breeze behind them. To make handles for the streamers, cut out the centers of plastic lids and tape streamers on one side of each ring.

   
Art

15 THINGS CHILDREN LEARN FROM ART

15 THINGS CHILDREN LEARN FROM ART
1. Art develops creative thinking.
2. Art provides a means of communication.
3. Art serves as an emotional release.
4. Art strengthens the self-concept and confidence.
5. Art increases self-understanding.
6. Art heightens aesthetic awareness and sensitivity.
7. Art enhances the ability to visualize.
8. Art provides problem-solving and decision-making opportunities.
9. Art develops appreciation for the individuality of others.
10. Art leads to the integration of the individual.
11. Art serves as a balance to classroom activities.
12. Art aids physical coordination.
13. Art develops work habits and a sense of responsibility.
14. Art aids the adult in understanding and helping the child.
15. Art generates joy.

   
craft idea

BUNNY BASKET

BUNNY BASKET
2 Lt. Pop Bottle
Felt
Wiggle Eyes
Glue
Pom-pom or cotton ball
1. Take a clear 2 lt. pop bottle take off the bottom support if there is one.
2. Cut the bottle in half so you remove the opening. Next cut down on the bottle till there is about 3-4" left which will be the body.
3. Move left or right about 4-5" and cut down the same distance. Remove this section that is loose.
4. Go to the opposite side and diagonally cut two pointed ears (don't cut them off). Cut out pink felt and glue on to the plastic ears.
5. Glue on eyes (wiggle or paper), pink triangle felt nose (or paper) with little strips of white paper to resemble whiskers.
6. Don't forget the cotton ball or white pompom for the tail!
Fill with Easter grass.

   

PAINT BLOB SUNS

Here is a quick and easy toddler craft.
You will need to have:
White construction paper
Yellow paint
q-tips

Place a blob of yellow paint in the center of your son's paper. Have the child use a q-tip to draw the paint out from the blob in long rays to create a sun shapes

   
art experiences

ROCK PAINTING

One of the simplest and most inexpensive paint projects is in your own backyard. Painting rocks is an activity that can be as simple or elaborate as you would like it to get. Go with a theme like making zoo animals or people in your neighborhood. Glue on jiggle eyes or yarn hair. These make good paperweights for gifts too! Why not make Grandpa a large rock for holding his fence open?(you'll need to use outdoor paint for this one though)

   
easy craft

PAPER PLATE FISH

Paper plates
Scissors, glue, crayons
Butcher paper (large sheet)
Blue tempera paint, brushes

Give your child a paper plate with a triangular mouth shape drawn on one side. Have your child cut out the triangles to make scales. Then have her glue the triangular shapes on the opposite side of the plate to make tails. Let the children draw eyes and color her fish. Then have them paint the large sheet of butcher paper with diluted blue paint. When the paint is dry, have her glue her fish on the paper "ocean", and hang the ocean mural on the wall.

   

PLANT A TREE

Take a trip to the local nursery or garden store. Help your daughter pick out a baby tree to plant in the backyard. Ask the store for planting instructions. Then start a "tree diary" in a notebook or on a piece of bristol board. Record the date it was planted, the names of your children and the height. Every year, perhaps to mark Arbor Day, measure the tree and record it in the diary. Older children might want to draw pictures of the tree as it grows, or you could take photographs to glue in the diary.

   
easy craft

BEET JUICE PAINTING

For this activity you will need white paper, can of beets, small containers and paint brushes.

It's a good idea to use smocks for this art project.

Open the can of bets and drain the liquid into small containers. if desired, cut the paper into a heart shape. Let the child paint a picture witht he vibrant red beet juice. Enjoy the beets in a salad or another dish.

from Totline Newsletter

   
windsock

WINDSOCK CRAFT

1-2 sheets of foam craft sheets
Wide ribbon strips
Hot glue
Scissors
Take one full size sheet of foam and fold into a cylinder shape. (Bring two shorter sides together, but don't fold.) Attach together with staples or hot glue. Attach ribbons about 2-ft long all the way around the bottom & one short one across the top for a hanger. Cut out different shapes or buy the pre-made ones & glue them around the cylinder. You can use your colors & shapes according to the season or theme.

   
easy craft

INCREDIBLY EASY OCTOPUS

To make this craft project you will need a Styrofoam cup, four colorful pipe cleaners,
scissors, colored construction paper, tape, colored cotton balls, and glue.
To begin take your Styrofoam cup and flip it upside down. Thread the four pipe cleaners through the cup just above the rim to create 8 great octopus legs. Bend and curve them to give your octopus some great sea legs!
Now you are ready to decorate your octopus. Cover him with color! Add colored cotton ball eyes, colorful shapes and designs to the rest of the octopus's body. Let your incredibly easy to make octopus dry and place him someplace special.

   

LACING CARDS

Sew Easy
Children can practice simple sewing with easy-to-make lacing cards. Cut heavy cardboard into simple clothing shapes. Laminate them or cover them with clear contact paper and punch holes around the edges. Provide shoelaces or lengths of yarn with bobby pin & blunt "needles" for the children to sew with. Demonstrate to children how to sew around the cards with overlapping stitches.

   

FLOWER PRESS

Your child's first flower press can be easily made from 2 - 6 inch square pieces of wooden boards, some newspaper and four - 3 inch bolts (with nuts). Sand the edges of the boards and drill holes in each of the 4 corners large enough to accommodate the bolts. Cut squares of newspaper 5 inches by 5 inches to set inside the press. If you cannot drill the boards use a belt to fasten it shut and a rock to weigh down the "press".

   

SIMPLE BIRD HOUSES

From a plastic recycled juice or milk jug, wash out the bottle thoroughly. Make a mixture of muddy water with gravel and swirl it around inside the bottle and pour it out again. This takes away the smell and leaves a rougher, more natural surface on the inside.
Turn the bottle upside down and cut a circular hole on one side with a knife. (An adult should do this). The hole should be well above the neck of the bottle. The size of the hole determines the kind of birds you'll attract. (1 ½ inches a bluebird, 2 inches a tree swallow and 1 inch a house wren). Drop a few stones through the hole until they collect in the neck of the bottle. This will create a floor for your birds.
Make two small air holes above the entrance hole with a nail. Using coarse sandpaper, scratch all over the outside of the bottle so paint will stick to it. Paint the outside of the bird house a brown color so it looks like wood. While the paint is still wet take it and roll it on the ground so leaf and twig litter sticks to it. When it is dry, run a wire through the air holes and out the back or the birdhouse. Strap the house to a tree or post. Remove the cap so it drains.

   
easy craft

EGG CUP BLUEBELLS

Egg cartons, Green pipe cleaners
Green construction paper
Blue paint, Scissors
Cut the cups out of a cardboard egg carton. Then cut the cups into bluebell shapes. Let your child paint the bluebell shapes blue. When the paint has dried, make stems by inserting the ends of green pipe cleaners into cane shapes. Cut leaf shapes from construction paper and let your child poke holes in leaf shapes and thread them on their bluebell stems. Tie them together with ribbon or put them in a jar or tin can "vase".

*From Totline's activity newsletter or theme-a-saurus

   
sugar cube art

IGLOO BUILDINGS

Use sugar cubes to build an igloo. You can glue the cubes together as you build. This is a good project to get the kids thinking, how are you going to make the dome on the roof?

   
gardening

SODA BOTTLE GREENHOUSE

2 clear 2-liter bottles (from soda),
Sand
Dirt
Seeds
1. Cut the bottles so that the bottom of one is approx. 4" high (this creates the bottom of your house) this is the base.
2. Then cut the other one so that it's bottom is about 9" high this will be the "lid" or top for you house.
3. Place a small amount of sand in the bottom of the 4" base.
4. Add soil and seeds. Water then slip the top over it to create your own greenhouse.
5. Put in sunny place and plants will appear in 2-5 days (depending on the seeds you use).

   
leaves

LEAF PRINTS

Items Needed:

Leaves
Paint ("fall" colors)
Black Construction Paper
Lots of Newspaper

Put down lots of newspaper! Paint one side of each leaf (not too thick). Carefully arrange leaves in one layer, paint side up, on clean newspaper. Place a piece of black construction paper over the top of the leaves and press gently! A little messy, but very fun.

   
craft idea

CROCODILE CLIPS

Need:
Spring-Action Clothes Pin
Green Marker
Black Marker
Small Wiggle Eyes
Glue
1. Color entire clothes pin with green marker.
2. Glue an eye on each side of the pin behind the large circular opening.
3. Using the black marker make 2 dots at the end of the clothes pin for nostrils.
Backyard carnivals are the perfect way to spend a summer day, so let the games begin. Children create their own memories and nurture their creative spirits.

   
preserve kids art

PRESERVE KIDS ART WITH WAX PAPER

More than leaves can be preserved between two sheets of wax paper. Kids art can be preserved this way as well. Remember that crayon will melt when pressed, although the result will change the art itself, it may present an interesting effect. Remember to place the wax paper between two sheets of brown paper before pressing. Press with a warm iron to seal, then trim the paper around the art.

   
craft idea

TISSUE APPLES

  • Round Balloons
  • Vaseline
  • Red Tissue Paper
  • Diluted Glue (or liquid starch)
    Inflate balloons to the size of an apple. Cut red tissue paper into strips (about 1" by 4"). Cover the balloon with a light coat of Vaseline. Dip strips of tissue paper into diluted glue but, don't let them soak. Stick them on balloons. These take about 24 hours to dry. When they are dry, you can pop the balloon with a pin and remove the balloon
   

PAPER BATIK

Have your child completely color a piece of construction paper with wax crayons. Be sure no empty spaces show through. Have her crumple her picture carefully into a tight ball, paying particular attention to the edges of the paper. Gently unfold the picture and notice how the surface has cracked. Brush a dark or contrasting ink or water paint over the entire painting to create a mosaic effect. Allow the picture to dry, then place it on a sheet of newspaper, and cover it with a piece of thin drawing paper. Iron over the drawing paper with a hot iron, using a 'patting' rather than a sliding motion this will smooth out the cracks in the original paper, and also transfer the original image to the drawing paper.

   
easy craft

POPSICLE STICK REFRIGERATOR PICTURE FRAME

Glue wide tongue depressors in a rectangle shape. Kids can decorate them any way they choose. Paint, stickers, buttons, or old puzzle pieces work well and are popular. Attach a photo to the back so you can see the picture up front and attach a magnet to the back so it will stick to the refrigerator.

   

WINDOW HEARTS

Coffee filters,
Paintbrush,
Red tempera paints, and water.
Water down red tempera paint in a container.
Cut a heart out of the coffee filter.
Then take the paintbrush and paint the coffee filter with the watered down paint.
You do not have to cover the hole thing.
Painting only parts of it will give a tie dyed affect. When it is dry hang them in a window. They look great!

   
craft idea

COFFEE CAN BANK

Turn a coffee can with a plastic lid into a bank by decorating the can and making a slot in the lid for coins.

   
paint tools

CREATIVE PAINTING TOOLS

Instead of using paintbrushes all the time, vary the children's activities by using different painting tools. Try toothbrushes, combs, Q-tips, foam sponges, cotton balls, the back of spoons, feathers or strings. The imagination reels at the ideas you will inspire.

   

WISHING WELL BANKS

Teach your children to save their money to get something they are wishing for. Take a coffee can (be sure there are no sharp edges) and wrap it in contact paper or construction paper and secure. Cut a coin slot in the plastic lid and puncture two holes on opposite edges for twigs (these will support a roof). Finally cut a square of construction paper and fold it in half. Secure to the tops of the sticks. Voila a wishing well bank.

   
art experiences

RAIN PAINTING

All you will need is some paper plates and food coloring for this quick rainy day activity. On a rainy day give each child a paper plate. Let them sprinkle a few drops of food coloring onto their plate.
Have them put on their rain coats and rain hats and walk outside, holding their plates in the rain for a few moments. After they bring their plates inside, talk about the designs created by the rain.

   

MOVIE CARTOON

Make your very own cartoon adventure with crayons and a pad of paper. At the bottom of a pad, on each sheet, draw a figure (i.e., a child tossing a ball). The first frame will be on the first page (the ball still in hand), second frame on the second page (the ball leaving the hand), next action (the ball up in the air) and so on. Change the movement with each page. When you are finished, fan the pages with your thumb to see your own movie show!

   
shape recognition

EVERYDAY NECKLACES

Supply the children with a stencil. Have the children cut out shapes from construction paper. Then, have them use a hole-punch to make a hole, so they can thread them onto a piece of yarn.

   
craft idea

LEAF COLLAGE

Recycle those leaves of autumn by bringing them in to decorate the house with preserved leaves that extend the life of their colorful images.

Start by collecting the most beautiful leaves you can find. Next, flatten the leaves by placing them between sections of newspaper and then stacking heavy books on top. Wait overnight. Lay out a sheet of clear contact paper with the sticky side up. Arrange the leaves in a pattern on the center of this sheet. Cover with a second sheet of clear contact paper, sticky side down, sealing the leaves inside. Press close to the edges of the leaves with your fingertips. Finally, cut the plastic into a geometric shape, such as a big circle or octagon. Punch a hole in the top of the plastic with a hole punch and add a ribbon loop to hang up your collage. This pressed-leaf art is especially pretty hung in a window where light can shine through the colored leaves.

Make a leaf tree by creating smaller collages to use as ornaments that can be hung at windows throughout the house or placed on a dead tree branch brought into the house and secured in a can or terra-cotta pot.

   

BALLOON PLANTS

1. Hold a balloon firmly by the neck. The neck is the long part. Use a funnel, and pour 1/2 cup of dirt into the balloon. Don't turn the balloon over. (Try to find clear balloons to use.)
2. Keep holding the balloon by the neck. Add about 1/4 cup of water through the funnel. Be sure the soil in the balloon is wet. It shouldn't be soggy, though.
3. Use the funnel to drop the radish seeds into the balloon. Don't turn the balloon over.
4. If the balloon is dirty, wipe it carefully.
5. Now blow up your balloon. Keep holding it gently by the neck. Now carefully blow air into the balloon. Keep the balloon from tipping.
6. Tie a knot in the neck to keep the air in the balloon. Tie a ribbon around the knot.
7. Tie the balloon to a hook or other place near a window. The neck should be the top.
The balloon plant is ready to begin growing!

   

EASY FLOWER POTS

Even the littlest toddler likes flowers. However, they may not have the patience required to grow their own. Make these flowers with paper to enjoy today.

Let the children draw and cut out the flower shapes from different types of paper. Younger children can color the flower shapes you draw or place flower stickers on disks of construction paper. when ready they can cllue or tape them (staples are dangerous) to the top of plastic drinking straws (the bendy straws allow the flowers to dip). Fill a paper cup, margarine tub or tin can with sand and let them insert the straws to "plant" the flowers. If you want the containers can be decorated before filling them.

   

LOVE BUG PUPPETS

Make a love bug puppet by drawing a face on a heart shape and then gluing the heart to a paper lunch sack. Fold narrow strips of paper accordion-style for the antennae and attach to face. Glue two small hearts on ends of strips and attach to the side of sack. Place hand in bag. Open and close to make the bug "talk".

   
easy craft

PINE CONE ORNAMENT

Cover a pine cone with glue & glitter. Hang with a pretty red ribbon.

   
Art

SWIMMING OCTOPUS

Give each child a 1/2 circle cut out of white construction paper or 1/2 of a paper plate for the body.
Let the child use black crayons to draw on eyes. Then have them each glue eight pieces of white crepe paper to the bottom edges to make arms. Hang the finished octopuses from a string stretched across a window and watch them swim as air moves through the room.

   
craft idea

TIN CAN LUMINARIES

One lb. coffee cans
Black spray paint
Black marker
Hammer and large nail
Sand and candles
Fill the can with water and place in the freezer until frozen solid, using a black marker, draw the outline of the shape you want to punch out of the can.
Begin punching holes all around the outline of the design. It does not take a lot of strength to punch these holes and the ice serves to keep the can from denting inwards as you punch. Try to keep the holes evenly spaced.
If the ice starts to melt too much while you are working, put the can back into the freezer until it is frozen again.
After all your holes are punched, empty the ice and water and let the can dry out.
Spray the outside of the can with black spray paint. You can place the can in a cardboard box to do this. That will eliminate much of the fly away paint.
When the paint is dry put about 1 inch of sand in the bottom of the can and place a candle inside the sand.
Never leave the candles burning unattended.

   

LINCOLN'S BRACELET

You will need 3 to 6 pennies for this bracelet, and some clear contact paper. Cut the contact paper two inches wide and long enough to fit around the child's wrist or ankle. Have the kids shine the pennies with copper cleaner (use Vinegar and salt, or an eraser). Lie the pennies in a row on the sticky contact paper. Fold the paper in half lengthwise. You can punch a hole in the ends of the bracelet and tie with a ribbon for wearing on Lincoln's Birthday!

   
easy craft

STICK PUPPETS

Looking for a quick entertaining idea for a rainy afternoon? Make these simple stick puppets.
You will need:
Popsicle sticks
Stickers of animals (you can use others as well)
Glue stick
Simply glue the stickers on the tops of the popsicle sticks and make your own puppet show up. Fast, easy and not messy.
For a little more involved activity you can use pompom critters, craft foam shapes glued together to create your puppet or coloring book cutouts.

   
CHEERLEADING POM-POMS

CHEERLEADING POM-POMS

Pom-poms are easy to make. Using crepe paper streamers, cut about 25-30 strips approximately 1 foot long. Use an elastic band to gather them all up at one end like a ponytail. Use your school colors or just your favorites.

   

THE TOTE BOX

This tote box is a great project because it has so many uses. Adults may enjoy making some of their own! Remove the lid of a round box (such as a salt or oatmeal carton) and with the point of your scissors punch holes close to the edge of the lid at opposite sides. Cut two holes toward the top of the box at the same places. Tie a large knot at one end of the string, and pull through the hole in the box and then through the hole in the lid. Loop it up, then down through the other hole in the lid and finally through the hole in the box. Tie a large knot at this end also. Paste a large knot of rope or a button in the center of the lid to make it easier to open. The yarn handle enables the carrier to remove the lid without loosing it. It also enables the person to open it without setting it down. Your new tote can be decorated with paper mache, paint or decoupage.

   
frame

PUZZLE PICTURE FRAME

Don't throw out those puzzles that are missing some pieces, use them to make a frame. You will need glue, yarn, cardboard, and construction paper, puzzle pieces and something to frame (an award, certificate, child's drawing or picture). Center your picture on construction paper and trace around and cut out. Cut out cardboard to match the size of the construction paper. Place your picture between your cardboard and construction paper, glue everything into place. Now you can begin your puzzle frame. Connect some pieces of puzzle together and glue onto the corners of the construction paper matting fill in the rest of the frame with single pieces of the puzzle. Glue some yarn to the back to hang.

   
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Jerry Mayo