Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Marble Paintings

Feel like you're losing your marbles trying to keep your kid entertained? Well, don't lose them—use them!

White printer paper
A bunch of shooter marbles: The big kind
Craft paint: In lots of colors
Dixie cups: One per paint color
A cake pan or any rectangular dish that's a few inches deep and won't break
Plastic spoons

Pour a little paint into each paper cup.

Have your kid gently put a few marbles into each cup.

Put a piece of paper into the cake pan.

Then have your kid scoop out some marbles with a plastic spoon and dump them into the cake pan.

Have them roll the marbles all over. The marbles will make a cool pattern on the paper.

Get them to try it with marbles dipped in all the different color paints.

Alphabet Lake

Turn those refrigerator letter magnets into Alphabet Lake, and let your kids fish 'em out!

Magnetic letters: Pull them off the fridge!

Stick: Check your yard or local park…or use one of the 7 magic wands your kid has lying around.

String: Yarn will do nicely.

Magnet: One of those u-shaped ones is best.

Duct tape

Kiddie pool/ Or bath tub

Help your kid duct tape or knot a floor-length piece of string to one end of the stick. The length will vary depending on your child's height.

Work with your child to tie the U-shaped magnet to the other end of the string and voila, a fishing pole. That was easy!

Go get the hose and have your kid help you fill the kiddie pool with water.

Get the kids to toss in all of the magnetic letters.

Have them go fishing for the letters with the magnetized fishing pole.

The U-shaped magnet should attract the letters for an easy catch!

Older kids can try to fish out the letters of their name, or a meaningful phrase. How about, "Thanks!"

Cheap Crafting Ideas

You don't need to spend a lot of money on craft equipment for your kids.

Think before you throw out things.

Pictures from old magazines can be cut out and used for projects such as collage. Another fun project is have the children make up there own face pick a nose off one page eyes for another and so on. Lots of fun laughing!

Raid your sewing box for old buttons, pieces of wool or scrap material. Again, these can be used for collage or cards, and for making bangles, necklaces, or even dolls clothes.

A store cupboard item you can use for crafting with young children is dried pasta such as penne. Help them thread it onto string to make a long necklace or picture.

Make your own play dough. Put 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cooking oil and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar in a pan. Add a little food coloring and cook gently for a few minutes until the mixture forms a ball. Store in a plastic container.

Lolly or Popsicle sticks, washed and dried, can be made into many interesting objects such as doll's furniture.

Paper plates make great masks. Cut out holes for the eyes and attach a piece of elastic once the plates are painted or drawn on. Halve the plates to make carnival eye masks and attach a Popsicle stick as a handle.

A great place to find free craft materials is outdoors. Nature provides us with a wealth of ideas. In the woods, gather leaves, twigs or bark. An imaginative child will find plenty to do with them. While you're there, give your kids paper and crayons to make tree bark rubbings. See what patterns different trees make.

Flowers can be picked for pressing. You don't need an expensive flower press, just gently wrap the blooms in kitchen roll and place between the pages of an old book. Put it in a warm place such as an airing cupboard, weighted down if it's a paperback, and wait a few days until the flowers are completely dry.

The beach is another good place to gather materials. Small shells can be glued onto plain trinket boxes or picture frames to make highly individual gifts.

Buy cheap glassware and crockery to paint on. Old wallpaper rolls are great for scrap paper and cutting out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Collect and Walk

This is a lot of fun with younger children.

Grab a pail, big cup anything our child can put their collect in. Then head out on a walk even around the yard let them pick up what they want leaves, rocks, acorns, flowers, and anything else they want.

When done go sit on a sidewalk, front porch and go through what they collected. Count together how many items they found, name each item, talk about them, go over the colors of the items and so on.

More Gardening Ideas

Once the children have chosen their plants, make some photocopies and help them cut out the pictures. Then let the kids glue popsicle sticks on the backs of each one and allow them to dry. Finally, cover both sides of the pictures with clear, adhesive shelf paper to protect them from outdoor elements, like sun and rain. Now the kids have decorative plant labels for their garden. Let them stick the label in their designated locations after planting.

Making a Milk/Juice Carton BirdhouseFind and clean, 4 litre, paper juice carton and let it dry out completely. Help your child staple the top closed and add some small drainage holes along the bottom of the carton with a pencil. Then measure and cut a one-inch entrance hole in the front centre of the carton, approximately two inches up from the bottom. Place a slit below the entrance and gently slide an ice-lolly stick (or similar object) through for use as a perch. Add two more holes in the top and run wire through for hanging. Allow your child to paint the birdhouse or glue embellishments on instead such as twigs, small shells, buttons, etc. Add a coat or two of polyurethane and hang the birdhouse from a small tree or porch eave.

Child's Garden

Children learn many lessons while gardening, math, reading, science, weather, patience, responsibility and pleasures of physical work.

If you have a younger child they love to pick the food from the garden and when they are old enough they can have their own.

One let the child do their own racking and hoeing. Start seeds inside early with the children.

Growing tom thumb corn is great for children it only grows three feet instead of six and matures in only 85 days. Dry what corn you do not eat and make popcorn!!

Grow cherry tomatoes are dependable and great for snacking right in the garden.

Grow gourds they are very decorative and multicolored.

Grow sunflowers how fun!

Grow pumpkins.

Grow Strawberries.

Other Idea's

Paint stepping stones with your child for their garden. Or just paint rocks and place them in their garden.

Set up a pumpkin stand and let your child sell the pumpkins half the money goes in to their college fund the other half for something special.

Bring Sring In

Bring spring in to your home and grow a grassapillar with your children.  Begin by mixing 3/4 cup of potting soil and 2 tablespoons of grass seed in a bowl.  Add water to moisten the mixture, then set aside.  Cut away a three cup or more section of an egg carton, then trim the section along the longer edges so that your grassapillar will look the same on both sides.  With a permanent maker or googly eyes put a face on the front of the egg carton.  Gently spoon in the seed mixture set your creation on a dish in a brightly lit spot and keep moist, grass will sprout in a week. 

Learning opportunity= Teach your child about measuring and taking responsibility for watering their grassapillar.

Extra Ideas= Let your children cut and decorate the grassapillars hair once it get long.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Egg Cartons

Use old egg cartons to store your change for garage and yard sales. Egg cartons are good for this because you can separate all the change and it is easy to get to.

What a great place to store extra golf balls. Easy to sort by brand and condition and they are stackable so they can be stored neatly. Great Fathers Day GIFT!!!

Paint or cover with fabric. Store any small pieces of jewelry or hair ties, GIRLS will love this!

Remove the top and place inside a desk drawer to hold small items, like paper clips, rubber bands, push pins, etc. Paint or decorate if you want to place it on a desktop where it will be seen.

Does it drive you crazy when those little pieces keep getting lost? Use a carton to store doll shoes, game pieces, dice, Lego, etc

Trim off the lid, thread string through holes in each corner of the tray, fill the cups halfway with birdseed, and hang in a tree.

Egg Carton Finger Puppets, then put on a play!


You will need:
Clean cardboard egg cartons
Green chenille (pipe cleaners)
Elmer's glue
Paint Cut the egg carton into separate cups, leaving some of the middle "pop-up" sections. Cut the main cups into the pointed shape of the tulip petals. With the point of the scissors or a sharp pencil, poke a hole in the bottom of each cup. Paint and decorate each cup however you like.
Cut the little center "pop-up" sections between the egg cups into small pointed shapes that will go beneath the tulip cups. Poke a hole in the center of each and paint green.
When the pieces are dry, poke a piece of green chenille through the holes. Tie a loop on the end in the cup so it can't pull back out, and add a dab of glue between the two sections. Shape the chenille into leaf shapes and leave a few inches at the bottom for the stem.
You can stick the stems of several into some clay or floral foam in the bottom of a pot. Or just tie together and wrap with pretty paper and a ribbon to give to mom!

Make a picture

Make a wreath

Make an Animal