Friday, July 31, 2009

Fish and Turtle

We went to the National Aquarium a couple of weeks ago, so I thought this would be a nice follow-up craft for Tater and Monkey. It's very simple.

Tissue paper cut into small squares
Small paper plates
Construction paper

Put glue on the plates and let them place on the tissue. Cut out fins and head for the fish, and head, tail and legs for the turtle. You could even punch a whole through the top of a plate and hang them with string.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sundae, Sundae

July is National Ice Cream Month. Who knew?! Well, I did of course. Here's a great way to celebrate...


8oz clear plastic cups
Pom-pom balls of various sizes
Pipe cleaners/chenille rods
confetti (store-bought or make your own)
plastic spoons
brown yarn for chocolate sauce

One can not claim that they've had the full VBS (that's Vacation Bible School for you heathens out there) experience as a child without making the craft staple: communion cup pom-pom ice cream float. I came back from camp with baggies full of pom-poms, so I decided to try my hand at a similar craft. This summertime project is great for little ones, even older kids might enjoy it. It might even be a fun birthday party activity.

You can get as imaginative as you want with the "sundae" theme. Create an a ice cream shop with menus, a table top with bowls filled with "toppings" and spoons for scooping. Give each child a cup and let them at it. The large pom-poms are the ice cream flavors. I set out smaller red pom-poms for the cherries. White pom-poms or cotton batting for the whipped cream. Multi-colored for fruit. Confetti for sprinkles. Cut pieces of chenille rods for chocolate chips or licorice, or whatever. Brown yarn for chocolate sauce. You could also use small pieces of foam sheets. I've also seen cones made from brown felt or foam sheets, but that seemed like a lot of extra work to me. Plus, you'd need cups anyway to set them down. You can glue things as they go, or not. Monkey liked putting one together, dumping it out, and building another. As you can see, my boys loved it, even after spending time digging in the yard...

I also used the opportunity to discuss scale, color, shape, etc. We counted out the pom-poms and toppings. This is also a very open-ended self-guided project where there isn't an example to duplicate. And of course, like most preschoolers, Tater enjoys pretend play, and this is one more opportunity to nurture that. Here's another example I came across...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pom-pom Bugs

We did these as a project at camp. The kids were 3rd-6th graders, but I think younger kids would enjoy it as well. It's a quick craft, but some kids aren't inclined to spend more than a few minutes on a project. These make cute gifts or stocking stuffers for friends and family who appreciate hand-made crafts. Use them as a note holder, chip bag clip or fridge magnets.

Various size pom-poms
Google eyes
Pipe cleaners
Glue (I recommend Tacky Glue)
Foam sheets for wings
Magnetic tape

If desired, cut out wings and glue them on first. I use a heart shape for butterfly wings. I cut the heart down the middle for dragonfly wings. Cut pipe cleaners to size and glue on clothespins. Add pom-poms and eyes. Let dry. Stick on magnet tape.

Kids' work

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bead Creatures

This was another craft we did at camp. I bought a kit from Michael's, along with extra beads, key rings and string. I was really impressed how even the younger kids (rising 3rd graders) did so well. It's one of those things that once you get it, its easy. Most of the kids made one. The snake was the easiest and most popular.


Pony beads
Vinyl or nylon lacing (same aisle as pony beads)
Key chains

This is a great rainy day project or an activity for a long car ride. Nice hand-made gift as well. Might even be fun to do at sleep-over.