Archive for the ‘crafting with kids’ Category

Mushroom Fun House

September 9th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

Here in the Northeast we have had a sea of rain fall on us, it just keeps pouring and pouring.  With all this rain the boys and I had a day of mushroom play. We put on our rain jackets and went on a Rain Hunt through the forest. I got the idea of collecting and photographing the mushroom varieties from our young neighbor Neice. The photographs taken of her mushrooms were crazy beautiful!! I did all the collecting with gloves on. In all honestly I was a little scared of some Edwardian fate be falling me, a sad tale of woe.  “Alas, she mistakenly plucked the dreaded Mushroom of Death, her children miss her so!”

I would love to learn more about them and hope to be able to use the photos to identify them once we borrow some field guides from the library.

We were so inspired by our real mushrooms we decided to make this mushroom house out of cardboard.

All of our little animal figures are sliding down the chimney and peeking out the doors of this giant mushroom house. Now, I best be getting to work cleaning the pond out of my basement or we will have a mushroom (not so fun!) house of our own!!!!

Oh, one more thing -

I am kinda new to this blog world and sometimes I am uncertain when to toot my own horn. In the last few months I have had some really cool sites feature some of my work – it’s always fun to have new visitors and this kind of recognition from established sites re-inspires me to carry on.

You can find some of my projects featured at

One Pretty Thing

The Crafty Crow

Ohdeedoh

Yay!

Dyeing a Rainbow of Play Scarves

September 7th, 2011 by zoe 5 Comments

Whenever the kids ask me what my favorite color is I say RAINBOW. One of my boys loves hot pink best of all, this makes me happy beyond all belief. I wonder when he will be hustled into believing colors belong to different genders? A few weeks ago he approached an older woman at the lake – “Excuse me, I really like your dress because, you know, hot pink is my favorite color!” Big smile.

I imagine before long hot pink will not be a favorite, but for now, I happily ride this wave of color neutrality.  Children always seem to make color allegiances with other kids, they bond through color, it’s one of those cute ways in which kids make friends …..” Hey I like your green bike dude, did you know, green is my favorite color?”

I am pretty happy to have brought some new rainbows into our lives lately. A good friend and I managed to have a day of nature hikes, and rainbow creativity with a whole passel of kids — we were quite proud of ourselves and the awesome results.

We ordered blank silk scarves through Dharma Trading Co. and looked all over for tutorials on how to Kool-aide dye them. Some the sites we found helpful can be found

here and here .

But mostly after looking around we realized you couldn’t really go wrong!

We dumped our scarves in hot, hot water and threw in a few cups of vinegar. We took medium-sized bowls with a bit of hot water and added three to four packets of Kool-Aide to each one and let it dissolve. Next we dropped a scarf into the dye and stirred a bit watching it quickly soak up the dye. So quick and easy and fun!

The Saffron Yellow and Sky Blue were done using a dozen drops of  McCormick Food Coloring. The colors came out less marbled and a bit more vibrant. I am loving that!

After our scarves were washed in cold water and dried we used them to put on a weather performance. There was thunder, lightning, sunshine, floods and in the end a beautiful rainbow!

Kool-aide flavors from left to right -

Cherry, Orange, Yellow (food dye), Pink Lemonade, Grape and Blue (food dye).

After so much rain these last few weeks I am ready for the rainbow!

 

 

 

 

Potato Printing Story

September 1st, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

The boys like to get messy with paints – when we can, it’s more fun for all of us to do it outdoors. Potato Printing is always a fun way to make marks and really get INTO the paint! Today the boys had a new take on it and started to tell a story while they stamped. It was really cool to listen to them create the story together while they stamped houses and painted roads to make a town!

This is their Potato Printing Story -

There was a boy who lived in a town with lots of roads. This boy had SO MANY cats. One day a ghost came and the ghost turned out to be friendly and really LOVE cats.

We used tacks to keep our paper from blowing away and washable watercolor paints so the next rain will carry off any messes. Next time I think I will throw down an old sheet because the paint brushes kept rolling through the cracks in the deck – oops.

Make Marker Cap Finger Puppets

August 13th, 2011 by zoe 8 Comments

Down at the bottom of the art bin we found some old dried up markers. I love creating craft projects and toys from garbage, packaging and containers that would normally go straight to the dump.

These little finger puppet people were made from old dried up marker caps, some yarn, masking tape and glue. Somehow those markers are always getting separated from their caps and drying out!  The boys really like to wiggle their fingers and get their hair flapping, making it pretty hard to photograph!

It’s also pretty fun to start with really long hair and give them hair dews and haircuts!

We used the colored masking tape that we used in this project awhile back but plain old masking tape is just as fun. Oh, and yes, I did hide that fancy pretty washi tape and now can NOT remember where I put it!

To print and save this project for later, click project sheet, save to file and print.

We are working on another variation of this that we cant wait to share next week!

 

Make a Hen Lacing Toy

July 31st, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Summer is whizzing by and our new chicks have grown up fast! We are lucky to have a separate spot in the hen-house for baby chicks.

Chicken wire separates the two areas so the big birds and little birds can slowly get to know each other.  When they grow big enough to venture into the territory of the Big Bossy Hens we put a “small chick” sized door in the chicken wire. The little hens can come out into the main coop but they can also run back into the nursery and hide from the squawking hens.

Watching them figure it out can be quite comical, but that’s life, the young girls and the old girls just gotta learn to work it out!

Maybe one of those big hens will take the little chicks under her wing!

To make your own Hen Lacing Toy click the photo, save to file, then print.

For best results allow your computer to size the image to best fit the page.

Teaching Kids To Be Good Listeners

July 28th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

It’s interesting, there is a lot of focus on teaching babies to be verbal and communicate their needs. Yes, it is  amazing when they look up at you with starry eyes and bubble the word LOVE for the first time. And it’s beyond great when your toddler can tell you “I have to throw up”, and you can rush them to the loo avoiding a catastrophic pukey puddle in the middle of Grandmas rug!   Verbal skills are grand, don’t get me wrong.

But, lately I have been thinking about all the other senses that often get overlooked in our efforts to teach children to be champion communicators. That’s great that they are excellent TALKERS l but what about teaching children to be good LISTENers! I have been thinking about how to create a listening awareness in my boys & help them to understand that listening is JUST as important as talking. Heck, I think I even need a refresher on that one.  Here is a little project we did to learn about animals who have super powered hearing and how they use their ears to do awesome things. We made Bat ears and a coloring sheet with some cool animal hearing facts!

Click photo, save to file and print. For the best size image allow your computer to sale to best fit the page.