Archive for the ‘Kid’s Crafts’ Category
Each year, my husband and I throw a St. Patrick’s Day party. It is our big bash of the year and has become its own monster. Our guest list is nearing 200 this year (proof we have lived in one area too long and it is time for the Navy to ship us elsewhere!) and we are SUPER excited about it. We are hoping beyond hope that the weather holds well enough for us to use some of our outdoor space for the event. If not, there is going to be one wet, lonely bounce house in the middle of our backyard. :/
We have almost outgrown using our house for the party and it is very possible that next year we will have to hold it at an event space (o.m.g). This started as basically a big neighborhood party and now includes friends from all over the city as well as my husband’s office. Planning a party for over 100 people takes a lot of time and effort. There are a few things we were willing to relinquish control of this year – mainly the food. We decided it was worth it to have the event semi-catered, to take the stress of food prep off of us (now, if I had my DREAM kitchen I TOTALLY could have done it myself….are you reading honey???). I will still be making the desserts and veggie plates, etc., but we will have BBQ and sides from a local butcher. The healthy eating is totally being thrown out the window this weekend!
We had to move a great deal of furniture around to allow for extra standing room, and the kegerator is out on our back deck. The keg-er-what??? Kegarator. A refrigerator for a keg. Only my husband would know where to borrow one of those from!
When it comes to decorations, we tried to keep it minimal. 97 cent plastic table cloths from Wally World. Green bows to tie back the curtains. I even wrapped ribbon around the cupboards…I haven’t decided how much I like that. My two favorite decorations though, are my sign that says, in Gaelic, “St. Patrick’s Day Blessings Upon You,” and the clovers hung from the ceiling.
To make the sign I used a green sheet to cover a large 4×4 foot existing painting on our mantle. I stapled the sheet onto the backside of the canvas frame using a staple gun and I painted the saying on the front using white acrylic paint. It is simple, and I think I have hideous painting penmanship, but it definitely adds some Irish flavor to the room.
We found a tutorial for the clovers here at Hands On As We Grow and they were super easy to make. They were a GREAT project for my seven year old daughter to do almost completely on her own.
1. Cut strips of construction paper , lengthwise, into 1.5 inch strips.
2. Fold the paper in half.
3. Bend the non-fold edges over to create a heart out of the paper. Stable the two edges together.
4. This makes one heart. Repeat the process to make a total of three hearts.
5. Create a stem by putting two folds in the middle of one strip of paper.
6. Staple the non-folded edges on either side of one of the hearts. This is your middle heart.
7. Staple a heart on each side of the middle heart.
Now you have a great three leaf clover decoration! My daughter helped me make SEVENTY-FIVE of these to hang from our ceiling and she loved every second of it. Especially since her hearts looked better than mine!!! We used fishing line and white thumb tacks to hang the clovers.
Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Steve Spangler is the awesome science guy that you might have seen on the Ellen Show. He was on there recently showing Ellen how to blow the tops off of film canisters (remember those?) with some Alka-Seltzer. My favorite is when he made Elephant Toothpaste. Most of his visits to The Ellen show are available on You Tube. Before trying out his St. Patrick’s Day Science Guide my kids and I spent a good hour watching the different experiments.
We chose to do the Leprechaun Treasure Polish experiment. With just a little bit of taco sauce, we cleaned up some pennies to leave around the house for our leprechauns. We are going to try Leprechaun Quicksand next so we are ready to catch our leprechauns.
You can purchase the downloadable St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment Guide for $5. There are over fifteen activities that all have a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Each experiment includes what you’ll need, directions for the experiment and some secrets behind the results of the experience.
For more information about the taco sauce experiment, see this video.
*I was provided with a copy of the downloadable guide for review. All opinions are mine (and my kids!).
Marshmallow Shooters & Shields
My dissertation was submitted and I had nothing better to do than sit and wait (right, and if you believe that I have an entire “to-do” list you can complete for me!). So, over Thanksgiving I decided to start working on some Christmas gifts – many of which I had purchased supplies for LAST year! This year’s “fun” gift was family sets of marshmallow shooters with shields!
Supplies (for one shooter):
12-inch length of 1/2 inch PVC pipe (sprinkler/plumping pipe)
One – 1/2 inch end cap
Two – 1/2 inch elbows
One – 1/2 inch T joint
Craft glue (I like Tacky Glue)
Cut the PVC pipe into three pieces 2” long, and two pieces 3” long. My original intent was to cut these by hand with a small saw…luckily, I ran into my neighbor at Lowe’s and when she found out what I was up to, she volunteered her husband and his nice, FAST table saw (we bartered 3 shooters in the deal!). What was I thinking??? I did cut one piece by hand, and it took me as long to make one cut as it did for T.H. to do about 20!
It is also important to get two smooth edges (one for each end, since invariably big and little people pick them up and “shoot” out of either end). Even though the table saw made pretty smooth cuts, I still used the sand paper to “finish” off the edges a bit.
Lay out as shown in the picture below.
Starting with the mouthpiece end (top right in picture), use a paint brush, Q-tip, or foam applicator, to brush a SMALL amount of craft glue around the edge of the connecting end (of course, if you put the glue on the wrong end, just flip it around – if it is smooth enough!). You may need to add a few drops of water to the glue to get it to be “brushing” consistency. Insert the PVC piece into the elbow and wipe away any excess glue. Repeat process for each PVC piece and connector. I let the shooters dry overnight before putting them away to start on the next project – the body armor.
*The PVC pipe comes in 5’ lengths – with careful measuring/cutting, I was able to get enough “little” pieces to make 5 shooters out of each length – if your pieces aren’t exactly 2” or 3” it is no big deal!
*You do not want to do the pipe cutting inside – we made a real mess on my neighbors’ patio!
*I made 18 of these shooters for less than $20, including a new bottle of Tacky Glue
*Play rules include “No aiming at heads” – Marshmallows travel at high speeds when shot!
*After the initial gift giving/opening, these shooters have been consigned to outside play only (see picture below – marshmallow stuck on INSIDE of living room window, found FIVE days after Christmas!)
*I think these would be fabulous fun for a sleepover, couples wedding shower, family reunion, etc. You would certainly “break the ice” quickly!
Supplies for One Shield:
½ yard fabric (all one color, or assorted scraps – I used flannel, mainly because that was the only pink camouflage I could find)
½ yard of 3/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
12” of 7/8” wide grosgrain ribbon
1/2 yard of Heavy-duty interfacing
Embellishments – optional (e.g., buttons, silk flowers)
Since I made enough of these to outfit an army (or at least a large squad!), I started by cutting out a number of solid color pieces for the backing. Then after cutting out an assortment of full pieces from the coordinating fabrics, I cut them into smaller pieces and did some mixing-matching – this means your finished front piece will be a bit smaller than the backing (because of the seams) – just trim to match (I’m all about making these projects fun and easy – not precise and perfect!).
All seams were about ¼” (give or take!). Sew the two small pieces together – iron the seam and sew on a piece of the 3/8” ribbon (I used a zigzag stitch for this). Sew the top piece to the bottom and repeat ironing and ribbon. If you’re going to add buttons, an initial, or any other embellishment, now is the time!
Baste the interfacing to the inside of the solid back piece (or, if you were smart and actually bought iron-on interfacing, iron that stuff on!). Flip it over and on the outside, place 7/8”
ribbon for “grips”. See picture below for placement (I forgot to take the picture of the back as I was making these, so just used an extra piece of the interfacing … do NOT sew your grips onto the interfacing – because then they would be INSIDE the finished shield!).
Stitch ribbon in place on each end (where the pins are in place).
Now, placing right sides together (after trimming the back piece to match the front piece), stitch the two pieces together, leaving a small opening so that you can stuff the pillow “shield”. Trim the seam, and then turn inside out. Stuff the shield and then top stitch to finish (and close the opening).
Once the “battle” got heated, we were laughing so hard I had tears running down my face! Too bad I forgot to make myself one!
Wishing you and yours a healthy, safe, and Happy New Year!
‘Tis the season of hearts, chocolate, Cupid and his arrow, and Hallmark cards. As with many other holidays, my true love is/will still be out to sea on a gigantic air craft carrier while I am sitting at home TRYING very hard not to eat the candy our kids bring back from school. Have I mentioned before that my children do not eat candy? Yes, I know, surely there was a chromosome that was switched or left behind or broken in half or something when they were conceived. Whatever happened, our children do NOT have a sweet tooth. I finally just got rid of last year’s Halloween candy.
Anyways…Since Dad is out to sea, we have to prepare early to send him a care package in hopes that it will get there on time. The average arrival time during his deployment was 10 days. Then there was the package that took 5 months to get there. Sometimes it only takes a few days. Whatever the case, it is always better to be safe than sorry!
We kept this care package simple. I made some of his favorite homemade trail mix with a Valentine spin – basically a million different types of nuts, dried cranberries, and the Valentine m&m’s to give it a nice red and pink tone! I threw in a bag of Gobstopper Heartbreakers and also opened the bags of several mixed candy packages – Butterfingers, Hershey Kisses, BabyRuths, Nestle’s, Peanut Butter Cups, etc – to toss in loosely with everything else. Really, my husband won’t eat many of those items, but everyone in the offices shares their care packages with everyone else. A lot of people don’t ever get things sent to them at all, which I think is a terrible shame. I would send every person on that ship a care package for each holiday if I could.
For the actual Valentine part I made him a nice simple little card using small paper hearts to make a flower in the middle on the front of the card (forgot to take a picture before packing it up). The kids made their own special valentines though! A reminder: Dad is out on a aircraft carrier, an all metal aircraft carrier. I don’t know if anything on that ship is not made out of metal. This, of course, makes it very easy to send him things that are magnetic. Homemade magnetic picture Valentines to be exact!
Now, I don’t have a fancy dancy paper/vinyl/magnetic cutting machine like so many of you do, and I probably never will. So we had to do this the old fashioned way!
For the materials I used a 40% off coupon at my favorite craft store to buy a roll of magnet that has one peel off adhesive side (regularly $9.99 for I think a foot by two feet of magnet and make sure you don’t buy the kind that has one paper side), and at home I already had craft paper, stickers, and an x-acto knife.
First, take the magnet out of the packaging and lay it out flat weighted down by books for a day so it won’t curl up while you are working with it. To begin the project, I cut out two 6 x 6 inch pieces from the magnet and saved the rest for later. I then cut the same size out of my background paper (shown in the picture in a blue pattern).
I removed the adhesive from one of the pieces of magnet and, being careful to keep it smooth, stuck the blue paper onto the magnet. Using a symmetric heart I had cut earlier to use as a pattern, I placed the heart on top of the paper covered magnet and traced the outline with the x-acto knife. Now I had my magnetic heart base.
Since these were Valentine cards from the kids, I wanted them to decorate them as they pleased. Little K and D used stickers to decorate the border of their hearts, leaving the middles clear for a picture. After they were done, I used 3D mounting squares to place their pictures in the middle of their hearts.
So there we have a fantastic, inexpensive, little Valentine’s Day care package for Dad so he knows how much we love him and are thinking of him! Hopefully he will receive it in time and love his homemade magnets that he can stick anywhere on the ship!
This week I have trapped my kids in the house and made them help me clean it. I have also carted them all around town to go grocery shopping, drop off library books and get the oil changed. This morning, I decided that we needed to do an art project for just the three of us! I dug into the recesses of my brain…the one that holds the former preschool teacher self and came up with Bubble Painting!
What You Need:
- Small trays or bowls
- food coloring or tempera paint
- liquid dishwashing soap
Steps for Bubble Painting:
Mix a dollop (about the size of a quarter) of dishwashing soap, 1/2 cup of water and a few drops of food coloring or tempura paint together in a bowl or tray.
Using the straw, blow into the mixture to create bubbles.
Lay the paper over the top of the bubbles and let them pop onto the paper.
Let dry and then display the artwork!
A few things we learned along the way:
- Definitely remind your kids to blow out the straw, rather than use it to drink the soap!
- The more food coloring, the darker the bubbles will be. We thought we added enough, but when we started painting the color wasn’t really showing up. I think the tempura paint works the best but I didn’t have any and my kids are still a little young so I was worried about them sucking it up the straw!
- We had the most fun trying to pick the bubbles up on the paper. Then we would turn the paper over so we could watch the bubbles pop and see what design it left behind.
Happy bubble painting!