Thursday, May 16, 2013

crepe paper banners!

This is a project I created for scrumdillydilly but I think it can easily be translated into a kid happy craft as well.

*index cards or equal sized scrap paper
*5-6 colors of crepe paper streamers
To make this kid-happy give them a smaller of piece of paper to work with. If you have a small group of children this will be even more fun as you can see what each child chooses to create. Hand out paper and scissors and set out pre-cut lengths of crepe paper (for kiddos 6 and under) and small bottles filled half-way with glue*.

Scissors-ready children can fold their streamer lengths in half and give them some fringe, older children may be able to scallop if the wish and younger children can leave their streamers as-is. Once they are ready for glueing, hand them their glue bottles (glue sticks will work as well if you prefer) and let them get to work. 
If you would like to demonstrate how it is done, begin a discussion using a finished flag and ask the children how they think it was created. You can point out how to work from the bottom up if you really wish for your child to create this specific style but if you leave them alone to create they may surprise you even more. By discussing the project, you are giving your children a dialogue rich in vocabulary and problem solving. You can discuss color theory as well by pointing out a rainbow patter or asking the children to use cool or warm colors. Kick it up a notch and see if the children can create an ABABAB or ABCABCABC pattern in their layering. 
Using scissors and squeezing glue bottles promotes both fine and large motor skills as well as self-control. There are all sorts of educational aspects to creating arts and crafts with children. It really is my favorite part of making art with children. All that process makes me very happy. After each child's flag has dried, you can flip them over and trim any excess bits that hang over the edges. Don't trim if your child insists they wish them to remain that way. Hang them along a length of ribbon or string with clothespins and throw an impromptu fiesta complete with cupcakes! 
 *as a preschool teacher and early childhood art teacher I have found that some children cannot resist squeezing out an entire bottle of glue. If you hand them a small mini bottle such as this or this that is only filled halfway, you can control the gluey-mess a smidge and teach your child a little about control by saying "This is your bottle of glue. When it is empty, it is empty and that will be all the glue for this project." This works most of the time but sometimes there are a few freak outs. When that happens we acknolwedge the child's disappointment and invite them to problem-solve their own solution without giving refilling the glue bottle. After a few rounds they begin to learn more control over the amount of glue they use. Some children however do not seem perplexed over the lack of glue and simply wish to continue squeezing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

crepe paper wind catchers

These wind catchers were an Earth Day project that got left behind. All you need is crepe paper, scissors, washi tape and sticks.

Cut a length of crepe paper no more than 14" and roll it up, leaving an inch or two free at the top. Use your scissors to make two to three cuts across the fold. If your kiddo is a scissors novice, you can draw two lines for them to cut on. Unroll the crepe paper and shake it up. You now have a nifty mini-pom of sorts. Repeat for each color of crepe paper you choose to use. We used five colors.

Gather up your streamers and twist at one end.  Hold streamers against stick and wrap a length of washi or masking tape around and around. We used sticks from a cut grape vine. Take your kiddos out on a walk to search for the perfect stick. They can even paint them up if you like.

Give your wind catcher a shake and take it outside for a spin! Have fun!

Monday, May 13, 2013

monday round up

I remember walking on tin can stilts in Kindergarten. I loved them! You can involve your kiddo in the making by having them art up some paper to cover the cans. They can also choose the roping and you can discuss the cans themselves. Once they begin to use them, children will learn about balance, cause and effect, and work their large motor skills. Tin can stilts...they're not just toys.

This is a super fun read aloud book with a refrain that children can quickly pick up on. After you read it, your kiddos can make mud pies (or even dirt cups)!

Listen: Lynn Plourde reads "Pigs in the Mud..."

Years and years ago I hung out with a frustrated three year old as he struggled to draw a pig. Rather than show him how, I sat down and we talked abotu hwat a pig looked like. We found illustrated versions of pigs to compare and contrast and we made a list of features a pig would have. When he finished with his pig, a pig that HE created, I think I was more excited than he was. Children are brilliant and even more so when given the opportunity to develop their critical thinking and what better way than to inquire through art and creative play?

From the Archives: art through a straw
Kiddos love straws, LOVE them. They also love paint and making art. This is such a great combo and if you use a kid friendly non-toxic form (or make your own using food color and/or kool-aid) it won't be such a bad thing if they suck on their straw instead of blowing. This activity is also good practice for teaching children the difference.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

mother's day make: pom-pom magnets


This super fun and quirky-cute project packs a whole lot of color into a little box. Your grade-school kiddos can whip these up in a day and may even wish to make some for themselves. No fancy gadgets needed! All you need is a handful of colorful yarn, scissors, strong glue, and button magnets.  Check out the diy over at scrumdillydilly.

mother's day make: arted up catch-all

This simple catch-all can be created by even a wee toddler type. As long as she or he can wield a marker, they're good to go. Just make sure to sit with them as they get all artsy on ya. 

*one plain or white ceramic dish
*permanent markers 1-3 colors

Place your dish onto a marker friendly surface. This dish here was picked up at Target for $1.99 but you can find similar pieces at your local thrifts, box stores, or maybe even the dollar store. 


Hand your kiddo a marker and let them scribble or draw away. It's so simple that even the sribblyist marks will pack a punch. If my metallic markers could have been located, I totally would have used those!


Add a simple heart and/or the date along the side or bottom and wrap it up in a bit of kiddo arted paper and gift away. This catch-all can hold Mom's or Grandma's favorite bangles or placed on a desk it makes for a great catch-all of paperclips and such. Happy almost Mother's Day! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

monday round up

*A favorite post: Atelierista: language of string..
*Read: The Dark (not as spooky as you might think)
*Make: gorgeous circle art for kids
*Create: love stones for Mother's Day