Rice Bags for hot or cold therapy



Materials:

Fabric (We like flannel)
1 lb Rice—(or lentils or other seed/bean you have on hand)
Optional—potpourri, aromatic oil or herbs


Directions:

1.  Sew sides of flannel to make a bag (about the same size as the 1# bag of rice), leave top open. 

2.  Fill with rice (or the seed/bean you're using)

3.  Add a tablespoon of potpourri, herbs or a few drops of aromatic oil on a cotton ball. 

3.  Sew top closed.  Make a “pillow case” for your bag to keep it clean.

4.  Place in your microwave for 1-2 minutes for heat. Freeze for cold therapy.

Easy Wind Sock



Materials:

Scissors
Embroidery hoop
Ribbon


Directions:

1.  Cut lengths of ribbon at least 36” long (colors and widths of your choice)

2.  Place ribbon in half over inside ring of hoop, when hoop is filled, place outside ring and tighten.  If the ribbon slips you may  glue it in place.

3.  Gather 4 strands of ribbon evenly spaced around the hoop and tie together to make the hanging loop.

4.  Hang where it can catch the breeze.

Knee Pads for crawling baby

baby-knee-pads

Materials:

Tube socks with stretchy top (4-6”)
Yarn/crochet string
Crochet hook (size appropriate for thickness of yarn)


Directions:

ruffled-socks-knitting-needle
1.  Cut foot off socks, on raw edge poke hook through sox and do a single crochet, repeat every other rib.

2.  Add addtiional rows as desired.

ruffled-socks-ruffles
3.  Repeat for the finished edge.

10 minute Ghosts


Materials:

Something white:  sheet, pillowcase, towel, t-shirt, trash bags, store bags with the advertising cut off (‘fabric’)
String or fishing line or rope
Stuffing (paper towels, tissue, socks, etc)


Directions:

1.  Make a round ball of stuffing material, place it in the white fabric, and tie a string around the neck.

2.  Thread a needle with string and poke the string through the head, tie the string in a loop and hang.

3.  Use heavier string for bigger ghosts.


Fabric Pumpkins

homemade-pumpkin-craft-finished

Materials:

Fabric
Fiberfill
Needle
String
Leaves
Florist Wire
Cinnamon Sticks


Directions:

homemade-pumpkin-craft-3
1.  Cut a circle from the fabric—use a plate or string to get the desired size.

homemade-pumpkin-craft-stitches
2.  Hand stitch about ¼“ from outside edge using ½” stitches. 

3.  Cinch half way closed and stuff with fiberfill, pull closed fill with more fiberfill if needed and tie closed.

homemade-pumpkin-craft-stems-2
4.  Curl florist wire around a pencil leaving 2-3” straight, bend the 2-3 straight wire at a 90 degree angle.


5.  Poke leaves, curled wire and a cinnamon stick through the hole in the pumpkin.

Creative cans and beautiful boxes


Materials

Clean empty cans
Wallpaper, wrapping paper, fabric—your choice (heavy paper works best)
Glue—white
Rubber bands
Scissors/ Razor Knife
Straight edge
Straight Pins (for fabric)


Directions for cans:

1.  Measure the can from top to bottom, and diameter (the size of the label) plus about 1/2 “ for overlap.

2.  Cut paper to fit—follow directions to activate glue on pre-pasted wallpaper— OR spread glue over entire back side of paper.

3.  Wrap the can; apply rubber bands to hold paper on can.  Use a damp towel or sponge to wipe off any oozing glue  and disperse any air bubbles before it dries.  Let dry.


Directions for boxes:

1.  Follow above directions minus rubber bands, allow extra paper at top (3-5”) and bottom (1-2”), straight cut corners (where the fold line would be) and tuck to the inside of the box—this will give you a finished edge over the top.

2.  Cut the corners at the bottom, overlap bottom then cut a piece to fit and cover the bottom of the box.

3.  Fill the box with crumpled newspaper to help the box hold its shape until it’s dry. 


Directions for fabric:

1.  Fold raw edges to the center.

2.  Apply glue to the can, wrap the can with fabric, use straight pins to hold the fabric in place until the glue dries.

Paper Snowflakes

paper snowflakes


Materials:

Paper
Scissors

Directions:

paper-snowflake-first-fold paper-snowflake-make-square
1.  Fold a rectangular paper on the diagonal, lining up the edges, it will be square—cut off excess.

2.  Find the middle of the diagonal fold (bring the acute angles together, crease in the center)

3.  Open again, using the crease in the middle, fold in thirds, then fold in half.

4.  Cut off end opposite the point so edges are even

5.  Cut design into the folded edges being VERY careful not to cut all the way through.

6.  Embellish with glitter or color with sparkly crayons.

Nature Angels


christmas-angel-1

Materials:
Take a nature walk and collect interesting items, such as

Ornamental grass tufts
Pine cones, ball moss
Milk weed podsnature-angel-materials
Lavender spikes
Money plant
Acorns, walnuts, pecans, puff balls
Glue, wire, or rubber bands


Directions:

1.  Cover a work surface.

2.  Gather grass tufts, glue or band together for the skirt.

3.  “X” grass tufts or use opened milk weed pods for the wings.  Attach to the skirt—with glue or wire.

4.  Glue pine cones or ball moss to the skirt and wings to make the body.

5.  Glue acorn or walnut or pecan or puff ball for the head.

6.  Make a circle with the lavender spike glue it closed or use money plant coin for the halo.

7.  After your angel is assembled and the glue dry spray her with hairspray so she doesn’t shed.

8.  Use an ornament hanger on the back of your angel to hang her up for display.

Raffia Twig Star

This twig star not only is a great gift, but is also a great free craft that you can make from materials right around your house.

Combine with a nature walk through your yard, park or nearby woods to get the materials.

 

Materials

Raffia Twig Star materials
5 Sticks of wood approximately the same diameter cut to the same length.

Hot Glue Gun

10 pieces Raffia – cut about 12” long (may substitute rope, string, or twine)

Fishing line

Notes:
Green wood is twist tied together to keep straight until dry.

Twig Star Directions

1.  Begin by hot gluing 3 twigs together. (The hot glue holds the twigs together while tying with raffia.)

raffia star step 2
2.  Tie each intersecting area together with raffia crisscrossing several times. Tie a knot on the backside – keeping all of the knots on the same side.

 

raffia star step 4
3.  Snip long ends of ties.

 

raffia star step 5

3.  Continue tying first 3 intersecting areas.

4.  Next, hot glue another twig to the other 3 and tie those intersecting points.


raffia star step 6
5.  Continue adding twigs until all 5 form a star and all intersecting points are tied.

 

raffia star final
6.  Rotate star to determine which point you would like for the top and tie and knot a piece of fishing line to hang the star with.

Kids Crafts & Activities

Kids Crafts

Kids love to make crafts. Glue, scissors, paper and paint give them the tools to make creations distinctly their own. Perfect for rainy days or for encouraging your child's creativity the crafts and activities we have for your children will bring out their inner artist, architect, and designer.

Doing crafts and activities with your child is also the perfect way to spend time with them one on one. Children need their parents participation in their lives, making crafts and doing fun activities is a great way to create a lifetime of memories for you and your children.

 


Crafts for Kids


Easy Craft Ideas

Paper Tape and Crayon Crafts

Easy Paper Crafts for Kids

More Easy Paper Crafts for Kids

Easy Crafts With Old Clothes

More Easy Crafts With Old Clothes

Even More Easy Crafts With Old Clothes

Easy Kitchen Craft Ideas

More Easy Kitchen Craft Ideas

Even More Easy Kitchen Craft Ideas

Popsicle Stick Art

Crafts Ideas From Nature

Bird Craft Ideas

Easy Pipe Cleaner Crafts for Kids

More Nature Craft Ideas

Macaroni Jewelry Crafts

Crafts with Recycled Materials

More Crafts with Recycled Materials

Even More Recycling Crafts

Preschool Crafts

Arts and Crafts for Kids

 


Activities for Kids


Outdoors Activities for Kids

Nature Themed Scavenger Hunt

Inside Fun to Cure Bordedom

Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Easy Fun on Rainy Days

Preventing Boredom with Car Games

Summer Activities for Kids

Unlocking History for Kids

Save the Earth Kids Activities

How to Teach Your Kids About Money

Classic Outside Games That Never Get Old

Having Fun With Your 1 to 2 year old

Fun For 2 to 3 year olds

Having Fun with Your Preschooler

Fun Things to Do for Kindergartners

Fun For 5 to 6 Year Olds

Color Activities That Teach

Teaching Kids Critical Thinking

Counting Games For Kids Make Numbers Fun

Activities to Encourage Creativity

Activities to Teach Fine Motor Skills

Activities to Promote Imagination For Kids

Activities to Help Kids Listen

Activities That Teach Sensory Development

Kids Activities That Teach Social Graces

Kids Activities That Teach Reading

Activities to Teach the Solar System

Activities That Teach Geography

Activities That Teach Telling Time

Preschool Activities

Gardening With Kids

 


How to Make Things


How to Make Clay

How to Make Slime

How to Make a Kite

How to Make Boxes

How to Make Origami

How to Make Puppets

How to Make Crystals

How to Make a Volcano

How to Make Ice Cream

How to Make Rock Candy

How to Make Paper Mache

How to Make a Family Tree

How to Make a Paper Airplane

How to Make a Friendship Bracelet

 


Coloring Pages


4th of July Coloring Pages

Alphabet Coloring Pages

Animal Coloring Pages

Butterfly Coloring Pages

Cars Coloring Pages

Cat Coloring Pages

Christmas Coloring Pages

Color Pages

Coloring Pictures

Dinosaur Coloring Pages

Dog Coloring Pages

Dragon Coloring Pages

Easter Coloring Pages

Easter Egg Coloring Pages

Fairy Coloring Pages

Farm Coloring Pages

Flower Coloring Pages

Flowers Coloring Pages

Free Coloring Pages

Horse Coloring Pages

Kids Coloring Pages

Preschool Coloring Pages

Thanksgiving Coloring Pages

Valentine Coloring Pages

 

How to Make a Volcano

Earn some serious cool points with this explosive project. Learn how to make a volcano in no time! A sure cure for boredom, while gratifying the most inquisitive mind, a volcano is a perfect long afternoon plan. All you need is a few common kitchen ingredients and a little time.

For best results let your kids help with each step. This gets them involved and lets them learn with all 5 senses.

What do I need to make a volcano?

1. Your kids! and add the following:
2. 6 cups of flour (use the white stuff, we don’t need a particularly nutritious volcano)
3. 2 cups salt
4. 4 tablespoons oil
5. warm water
6. Plastic 2 liter bottle
7. dish washer soap
8. food coloring (red is great, but be creative and use whatever you want)
9. vinegar
10. a pan, a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan works well
11. 3 tablespoons baking soda
12. A funnel is handy, but optional

Putting together the volcano of fun:

To make the cone of the volcano combine the flour, salt, and oil with 2 cups of water. Let your kids help with this. The measurements do not need to be precise and they will love getting their hands dirty when mixing it together.

The dough should be stiff and smooth, add more water or flour as needed to get the proper consistency. You can add food coloring to the dough if you'd like. Fill the soda bottle with warm water and food coloring.

Put the cap back on the bottle. Stand the bottle in the middle of your cookie sheet and form the cone around it using the dough you made. This needs to be done before the water in the soda bottle cools.

If you’d like to take your time and get your volcano just right, put a cap on the empty bottle to prevent the top being blocked or accidental dropping of dough into the volcano.

Once the cone is formed, remove the cap from the bottle and add 6 drops dish washing soap and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.

To achieve the eruption of your homemade volcano; slowly pour vinegar into the soda bottle and watch the fireworks begin!

Your budding chemists will love this project. Don't wait for a reason, other than learning how to make a volcano is sure to create a memory of volcanic proportions for your child.

 

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

How to Make Crystals

Learning how to make crystals is a great way to introduce elementary aged children to science at home.  Growing the crystals is easy, and uses basic ingredients you will be able to find at your local supermarket. Growing the actual crystals takes some patience, but the pay off is worth it, at the end of a few weeks, your child will have a cool crystal to show off and will be able to build confidence from having grown it on their own.

If you and your child make several crystals, they can be arranged as a crystal garden, or just piled in a glass bowl to make a cool, 3-D display. Single crystals can be made into jewelry or key chains. We're taking you beyond regular beading here; you're going to be making the setting, and the stuff that goes in the setting!

This jewelry really will be hand made, from the bottom up! If you always thought it would be fun to teach your kids how to make crystals, but you were afraid it was too complicated, or required lots of hard to find ingredients, we're here to help. These simple instructions and simple crystal recipe that will demystify the process, and have you growing your own crystal garden in no time flat!

You will need the following supplies to make your own crystals:

* Alum powder
* Glass jar
* Pot
* Spoon
* Dish, not too deep
* Cloth

Instructions for how to make crystals:

Step 1: Put two cups of water in your pot, and add 4 ounces of alum powder. Stir over a medium-low flame until the powder is dissolved completely. Keep adding more powder, slowly, until it stops dissolving in the water. You have now created a saturated solution.

Step 2: After the solution has cooled, pour some in a dish, a shallow one works best, and the rest into your glass jar. Add a tablespoon of alum powder to your jar, and stir. Cover the jar with a clean cloth, and set it aside. It needs to be in a warm location, where it will not be disturbed. Leave the solution in the dish uncovered.

Step 3: In several days, you will see crystals start to grow in the dish. After the solution in the dish has completely dissolved, you will be left with lots of seed crystals.

Step 4: Tie a piece of string around a pencil or sturdy stick. Tie the other end around the largest seed crystal. You will be using this to grow your alum crystal.

Step 5: Suspend the crystal in the solution in your jar. Put the jar back in its warm spot, and leave it alone.

Step 6: It will take about two weeks for your crystal to grow completely; after that you can remove your crystal and use it or display it.

Learning how to make crystals is a great choice for an elementary school science fair project. Your child can take pictures of the solution each day to show the growth of the crystal, and then mount them on poster board for display. The crystal itself can be mounted on a pedestal, on a separate piece of poster board, or made into jewelry.

Crystal making is a fun and easy project that any child can enjoy, even a child that doesn't have a great love for science. It's just too cool for kids to resist. Give crystal growing a try, the kids will love learning how to make crystals , and you will find their chemistry curiosity increasing, and clamor to do it again and again!

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

 

How to Make Paper Mache

Anyone for Paper Mache?
Paper Mache, or papier Mache, either way to spell it, it is a fun family project!

The answer to how to make paper mache is easier than you may think. What do you get when you add water, flour and news print? Almost anything you can imagine. These are the basic ingredients for paper Mache master pieces. Probably the most commonly known king of kid-dome is the Piñata. But the variety and fun of paper Mache does not begin or end with candy stuffed creations.

A firm foundation for Paper Mache

The basic beginning of any paper Mache project is the base, or skeletal figure you have when you begin. This can be rough and ugly, as long as it resembles the basic shape of what you wish to sculpt. Use cardboard, chicken wire (for large projects), toilet paper or paper towel tubes for arms and legs.

Balloons work great for round hollow shapes. Try crazy shaped balloons for other effects like long skinny shapes or squiggles. For finer details rolled tape or balled tinfoil are both great base choices. Remember they will all be covered so it won't matter if the base is a hapless hodge-podge of materials.

But What Can I do with Paper Mache?

You can create almost anything you can think of. To get your creative juices flowing here a few fun projects you can make at home with paper Mache. There is of course the Piñata, but keep reading.

For Halloween try creating paper Mache ghosts, or a witch's hat, or spooky spiders and jack-o-lanterns. All of these are simple bases using balloons, except in the case of the witch's hat. The spider's legs can be black pipe cleaner!

For Easter try making giant Easter eggs, or a bunny, or even a basket.

Other fun projects: Christmas stars or trees, flowers, or dinosaurs. Let your kids get really creative and make a self portrait in paper Mache.

Sticking it all together

So you've chosen what your creation is going to be, and the base is made. Now you need to stick it all together. Here are two basic paste recipes. Both work well, you can choose based on the materials you have on hand. (Note: in humid environments pastes with glue seem to dry faster.)


Flour recipe
-One part four
-Two parts water
- 3 tablespoons salt
Combine flour and water until smooth, mix until the lumps are gone. Add salt to prevent the growth of mold.
 

Glue recipe
-One part water
- Two parts glue
Mix together in large glass bowl until smooth.

The fine print for making Paper Mache

Now gather as many old news papers as you can and tear them into strips. Each strip should be about 1 inch wide and 6 inches or so long. It does make a difference if you cut them. For some reason torn papers are easier to work with and the finished product is smoother.

Armed with news paper strips and paste, begin covering your form. No, wait! This is very messy stuff. You may want to lay down a tarp or sacrificial table covering so you don’t have hours of clean up.

OK, now begin covering your form. Dip each strip of paper into the paste and onto the form. Make sure the strips overlap and cover the entire base. It is best to lay the strips criss-crossing each other in many directions to make a stronger finished product.

Each project needs three layers. Let each layer dry for 24 hours in-between applications.

Paint it!

When the last layer is dry, decorate and paint your creation to your heart's content. Learning how to make paper mache is an easy and fun way to create great artistic creations that don't cost a fortune!

 

 

 

 

How to Make Boxes

Do you always have a pile of used holiday cards when January first rolls around? 

Do you feel guilty for pitching them and adding to the landfills? 

Do your children get cabin fever, even though it's only the second day of vacation? 

We can solve all three problems for you!  You'll occupy the kids, and keep all those cards out of the landfill.  Read on to learn how to make boxes out of your old holiday cards.

These directions are really simple, so its an easy project the kids will be able to master easily and quickly, making it good even for your preschoolers.  If you put them to work long enough, you'll have a stockpile of pretty gift boxes for next year, and happy, occupied kids for most of the afternoon.  The best part is, this craft requires really minimal supplies.  The main component is something you were going to be throwing out, and you already have glue and scissors in the house, which means you don't have to spend any money on this craft!  

When you're ready to teach the kids how to make boxes, gather them together, and grab the following supplies:

* Christmas Cards or Birthday Cards
* White glue
* Scissors
* Pencils
* Ruler

Instructions on how to make boxes

Step 1: Cut the card in half along the fold. One piece will be the top, and the other will be the bottom.

Step 2: Cut ½ inch of one long side and one short side of one piece.

Step 3: Turn the cards over, so that the blank side is up. Using your ruler, make an X on the card.

Step 4: Fold both sides in so that they meet in the middle, and crease.

Step 5: Fold both ends in so that they meet in the middle, and crease.

Step 6: Unfold the halves to show the X. Starting at the corner, cut along the X until you reach the new crease lines.

Step 7: Fold the sides to the inside.

Step 8:Fold end points to the inside.

Step 9:Fold ends over side points.

Step 10: Glue corners.

That's all it takes, you'e learned how to make boxes from old cards!

 

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

How to Make Origami

Hey kids watch me make a bunny out of this napkin! When you learn how to make origami, that napkin becomes entertainment!

Children in the orient have been entertaining themselves by making origami for centuries. If your child likes to make paper airplanes, they'll defintely like learning how to make origami too.

You can either buy special origami paper; make your own by cutting paper into squares (the paper does need to be perfectly square). Or for you scrap bookers, using the large square scrap booking paper is very fun. The patterns and colors are great, and the larger size is more manageable for inexperienced fingers.

Start with a basic project. One of our favorites is a Japanese Princess Doll

1. Lay your paper in front of you at an angle so it looks like a diamond, and fold in half from the top corner to the bottom corner to create a center line. Reopen the paper.

2. Fold the left and right corners of the diamond to the center line to create the shape of an upside down kite.

3. Fold the short end of the kite upwards to make a tall triangle.

4. Turn over so all folds are on the bottom side of paper and fold the bottom edge of the triangle about two-fifths of the way up the triangle.

5. Fold the corners of what had been the bottom edge of the triangle over the top of paper towards each other. They are the arms of the Princess and they should fold on over the other.

6. Fold the tip of the triangle down to make the head, or keep it pointy and decorate it like a princess hat or crown. Let your child draw a face on her princess. For fancy princes dolls provide the artist with buttons, glue, scraps of lace and glitter. Those dolls will be ready for the ball in no time.

If origami sounds like fun, but you have doubts about your son getting jazzed about making a Japanese Princess doll, don't despair. There are many, many more macho origami projects to make from castles to war ships. Learning how to make origami opens a world of imagination with simple paper!

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

How to Make a Friendship Bracelet

Remember when you were a child, and you and your best friend were going to be best friends forever (BFF)?

And live next door to each other...
And hang out all the time...

And your kids were going to be best friends too...

Friendship seems so much more intense when you're a kid. Making a friendship bracelet is a healthy outlet for all that intensity. They can learn how to make a friendship bracelet, and give them to all those best friends forever in their lives.

This craft is best suited to children over five or six, as it does require some tying, and a small amount of hand-eye coordination. However, once they get the hang of it, there will be no stopping them, you'll have more DMC floss then you know what to do with. Do yourself a favor, and pick up a small sewing box box for them to keep it all in, or you'll find it all over the house.

When you're ready to start learning how to make a friendship bracelet, gather the minimal supplies needed:

DMC Floss, multiple colors- (at any craft store or fabric store)
Tape

Step 1: Measure the sting on your wrist, go around twice. That's the length you'll need to make a bracelet that will fit your wrist. Cut four pieces of floss, all the same length, and tie them together at the top, with a knot. Tape the floss to your pant leg, or the table to keep it steady.

Step 2: Take the string on the far left, and cross it over the string to its immediate right, it should look like a number four. Pull the string through he opening, and pull it up tight. Repeat.

Step 3: Take the first string over to the right, and repeat your actions above on the next string. Continue all the way across to make a row.

Step 4: Repeat the above steps for each new thread on the left until you get to the end of the string.

Step 5: Once you've reached the length you want, tie the end off with a knot, and then tie the two ends together on your wrist. Leave a little extra room, as your new bracelet will shrink a bit when it gets wet.

Wasn't that easy? You've just learned how to make a friendship bracelet. Making bracelets is a great activity for keeping kids occupied in the car, waiting at the doctor's office, or while attending a sibling's sporting event. Since the floss and tape are so small, they can be stuffed in a back pack, or purse, or even in the pocket of your child's jeans. This would be a fun project for a scout meeting; you can combine the craft with a lesson on being a good friend.

Have each child pick a name out of a hat to be sure everyone gets a bracelet. The next time you're stuck for a fun new kids activity,  give this one a try, the kids will love it - and improve their hand eye coordination at the same time!

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

 

How to Make Puppets

Children of all ages like to play with and can learn how to make puppets.  They're a great outlet for a child's imagination, and encourage creative play.  Unfortunately, buying them at the toy store can get very costly very quickly, when they can cost $6-$15 or more each.  Instead of breaking the bank, why not learn how to make puppets at home, with readily available materials?  You'll save a ton of money, you'll do some recycling, and the kids will have an endless supply of puppets to make and play with over and over.

There are lots of different types of puppets you can make at home, below are a few different kinds.  Once you get started, your imagination will kick in, and you'll be making puppets out of lots of different things that you once thought of as useless.  The important thing to remember when you're learning how to make puppets is to let your imagination have free reign.  There is no right or wrong, it's all about what will captivate and delight your child.

How to make Styrofoam and Drinking Straw Puppets

You'll need:

* Clean styrofoam trays (colored trays make especially cool puppets)
* Scissors
* Drinking straws
* Pens, or markers
* Tape
* Yarn, construction paper, and anything else you might want to use to decorate your puppets

Step 1: Wash your styrofoam tray well with soap and water, dry completely. Using a pen or marker, draw the outline of your puppet on the tray. It can be an animal, a person, or anything else you'd like.

Step 2: Cut out the outline and decorate your puppet.

Step 3: Tape a drinking straw to the back of you puppet.


How to Make Paper Bag Puppets

Yes - the old standby; a paper bag puppet.

All you need is a paper lunch bag, and things to decorate your puppet with. (Pens, markers, felt, construction paper, confetti, etc) The only limit is your imagination.

Step 1: Lay the bag flat, and decorate to resemble an animal, person, whatever you'd like. If making an animal, the fold on the bottom of the bag is a good place to glue a tongue sticking out.

Step 2: Slide your hand into the bag and put on your puppet show, it's that easy!


How to Make Finger Puppets

The last type of easy puppet is a paper finger puppet. The supplies are simple, and they're perfect for little hands. Gather the following supplies:

* Thick, sturdy paper, card stock would work well
* Scissors
* Markers or crayons
* Anything else you'd like to use to decorate your puppet

Step 1: Draw an outline on the paper. Draw in the finger holes. Cut out the outline and the finger holes.

Step 2: Draw in the details, and decorate however you'd like.

These puppets are especially suited to preschoolers, as they only require fingers to operate. Once you help them slide the paper onto their hands, they can make their puppet walk, run, dance or jump simply by moving their chubby little fingers.

Learning how to make puppets can be an activity for the whole family. Clear off the kitchen table, cover it with newspaper, pile all the supplies on the table, and get to work. When you're all done, take pictures of each family member with his or her creations, and then pair up to put on puppet shows for each other.

You'll be talking, belly laughing and just enjoying each other's company. Set aside some time soon to teach your child how to make puppets,  you'll all have a good time!

 

 

Arts and Crafts for Kids

Have you ever wondered what to do with your large empty plastic bottles? Now you can give them a second life as a craft project. Arts and crafts for kids can be more than just a fun way to pass the time. Use these projects to teach your kids about recycling and our wonderful Planet Earth.

Wave Maker

Mouthwash bottle, 2 liter soda bottle, large clear water bottle (the larger the better)
Colorless vegetable oil
Water
Blue and green food coloring
Packing tape or glue

Soak the bottle in warm soapy water to remove the label. Fill the bottle halfway with the vegetable oil. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water until there is just a small air bubble left at the top. Add four or five drops of food coloring until you get the shade you like (like the ocean). Put the lid on as tight as you can, tape or glue it shut to keep it from leaking. Shake it up to see thousands of little bubbles, or sway it gently from side to side to see rolling waves. What a beautiful way to experience the ocean in a bottle!

Treasure Bottle

Mouthwash bottle, 2 liter soda bottle, large clear water bottle (the larger thebetter)
Several cups of uncooked rice (depends on your bottle)
Small treasure items – trinkets, tiny dollar-store plastic toys, buttons, beads, coins, charms, plastic bugs or spiders, plastic rings, small pebbles, pieces of hard candy

Soak the bottle in warm soapy water to remove the label. Fill the bottle 2/3 with uncooked rice. Add the small trinkets and other treasure items. Screw the cap on tightly. Turn and roll the bottle over to mix the small items in with the rice. Watch as the treasures appear and disappear as the rice moves in the bottle. Take note that larger heavier items (coins, heavy beads) will stay more centered in the bottle, lighter items will stay around the edges and be more visible.

Bird Feeder

Mouthwash bottle, 2 liter soda bottle, large clear water bottle (the larger the better)
hand drill
bird seed
2 pencils or two dowels
paper
string

Soak the bottle in warm soapy water to remove the label. Be sure your drill bit is approximately the width of a pencil. Drill two holes across from each other about 1/3 up the bottle. Move your drill so you are 2/3 up the bottle. Realign your drill that the next pair of holes is perpendicular to the first two. Drill another hole about 1-2 inches above each perch hole. Be sure the hole is large enough for birds to get the seeds, but not so big that the seeds easily fall out.

Tie a string under the lip of the bottle, knotting many times. Use the rest of the string to make a large loop for hanging your feeder. Use a funnel, or make a funnel with a large piece of paper, for pouring the seeds in the bottle. Tightly screw the cap on. Hang your feeder in a tree that can easily be seen from your house.

Go to Kids Crafts and Activities for lots more ideas!

 

 

 

 

How to Make Clay

Playing with clay is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Kids love the opportunity to make something with their own hands. The texture of homemade clay is appealing, cool, squishy, and slightly sticky - what could be better?

Learn how to make clay with ingredients that are in your kitchen right now. There's no need to run to the toy or craft store, you can make your own clay for pennies, any time you're trying to think of some fun activities for kids.  The best part about making this clay is that the kids can use it over and over again, or they can let it air dry, to keep that special creation forever. Once they have finished making their clay creation and it has dried, they can decorate it with paint. If you intend to use the clay again, just be sure to store it in an airtight container. Clay is a perfect medium for your budding artist.  It's easy to handle and shape, and any mistakes can be squished and re done!

When you're ready to learn how to make clay, grab the following things from your cupboards:

3 ½ cups of all purpose flour
½ cup of salt
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
2 ½ tablespoons of oil
2 cups of water
Food coloring


Step 1: Boil the water and several drops of food coloring. Remove from heat once boiling, and stir in the oil.

Step 2: Put the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, slowly add the water and oil mixture.

Step 3: Mix together using a wooden spoon.

Step 4: Once the mixture has cooled, knead it by hand, until it becomes pliable, and the same constancy as clay you’d buy at the craft or toy store.

That's it, you're done!You have just learned how to make clay.Make a few batches of different colors to have on hand whenever the kids want to sculpt, and squish the clay.  You can also make a batch with no color for air drying and painting. Add a little vanilla or other extract to make scented dough.

Homemade clay is a great idea for a birthday party or playdate.  The children can help with the measuring and stirring. Then, while the clay is cooling, serve the birthday cake, or a snack.

By the time they're done eating, it should be cool enough to handle. Divide it up and let them knead it, and then play with it. Give each child a zip top bag to take it home it, along with the recipe, and you have a craft and a favor, all in one. It will cost you far less then the usual party favors for kids.

 

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Captain to flight crew: ready the doors for take off and cross check

This is your captain speaking! Most kids think about getting their wings at some point during childhood. Perk up a hum-drum afternoon, or provide your family with hours of rainy day fun by learning how to make a paper airplane.

All it takes is a sheet of paper and a few folds.

Most sons love to make paper airplanes, but girls can enjoy this activity as well. The best part is it doesn’t take hours of monotonous instruction or an inordinate expense. It only takes a brief sampling of the websites returned to your search engine query ‘paper airplane instructions to realize that there is a vast array of planes to choose from.

Some of them are very fancy, and complicated. Some don’t resemble anything most of us would recognize as an aircraft. Unless we include the category of UFO. The basic paper airplane is always the best starting point for beginners. So that is where we will start.

How to make a paper airplane - the basic instructions

Begin with a sheet of paper.

1. Fold the paper in half long-ways. Then open the fold and lay the paper in front of you again. Please note: All folds need to start on the same edge of the paper, unless specified.

2. Using the top left corner of one of the short sides, fold corner to center crease so the entire upper edge from the corner to crease, now touches the fold you created in the center. Repeat with the top right corner so your paper now looks like a house, with a triangular roof.

3. Next take the point of the triangle, or apex of what would be the triangular roof, and fold the entire triangle downwards to create a rectangular shaped piece of paper again.

4. Using the top left corner, fold towards center line to a spot about and inch to a half inch above the top of the triangle you folded downward in step three. There should be a gap between the upper edge of the paper and the center line, only the corner should touch the center line. Repeat with upper right hand corner

5. Fold the tip of the triangle up to cover the two corners folded downward in step 4.

6. You are almost there! Keep folding. Now fold your plane in half along the center line with the previous folds being on the outside and bottom of the center crease. There should be no folded edges on the inside of the center crease.

7. To make the wings fold the side down starting at the tip of the plane. (The tip of the plane is the side that all pervious folds have started.) Tip: use the angle of the folds on the bottom of your plane as a guide. Simply fold the wing down to match up with that angle. Repeat with other side to get two wings.

8. There will be a blunt tip on the front of your aircraft. To create stability fold this little triangular tip to the left and right creasing well, then open the plane and fold it backwards upon itself into the middle. Viola! You have a first rate flying machine.

Encourage your child's creativity to make aircrafts of their own design using this basic plane as a guide. Learning how to make a paper airplane is just the start of hours of fun. Happy landings!

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

 

Preschool Crafts and Activities

Preschool crafts are made to be easy and fun. It really doesn’t take much to keep a preschool-age child entertained. The easier it is to make, the sooner they can see the final result. They are just at the right age to have good fine-motor skills. They can squeeze a glue bottle, hold a paint brush, and place small decorative items themselves.

Try these easy preschoolcraft ideas and have a ball! 


Handprint flowers

  What you’ll need:

Pastel construction paper
Grass-green construction paper
Bright tempera paints, at least 5 colors
Paper plates
Glue, glue dots, or double sided tape

Trace around the child’s hand on the pastel construction paper.
Cut out hand shape. The child can paint each finger and the thumb a different color as “petals.”
Cut out a narrow rectangle and leaf shapes for the stem.
Help the child glue or tape them onto the paper plate, leaving room at the top for the hand-shaped blossom.
Once the petals are painted and dried, glue or tape the blossom on the paper plate at top of the stem. When everything is dried, the child can color the paper plate background.

 

 Make your own musical group

Create joyful noises with common household items and a little creativity. The instruments are grouped by type – percussion, wind, and string.

This is just a starter lists. Add other kinds of instruments for different sound textures.

Percussion
- Cymbals – Use two pot lids
- Drum – Use a large pot or an upside down 5 gallon bucket with mixing spoons. For the best sound, raise the pot or bucket up on some sturdy blocks so the sides can vibrate more freely.
- Drinking glass xylophone – Line up tall drinking glasses with different amounts of water in them. Arrange them in ascending or descending order of pitch. Carefully strike with a spoon to make melodies.

Wind
- Kazoo – Take an empty toilet paper tube and a 4”x4” square of wax paper. Put the wax paper over one end of the tube and secure with the rubber band. Hum your favorite tune into the open end with your mouth against the cardboard. Another version – Fold the 4”x4” wax paper square over the teeth of a comb, put your lips against the comb, and hum.
- Voices – Everyone has this instrument with them!

String
- Rubber band guitar – Stretch several rubber bands of different widths around an empty shoe box. All the rubber bands should be parallel to each other. Attach a ruler or other flat stick to attach to the back of the shoebox. This is the neck (long part with the frets) of the guitar.

 

Paper sack costume

What you’ll need:

Paper grocery sack
Scissors
Four feet of yarn or string, cut into one-foot lengths
Crayons, markers, other decorative items
Glue

Take a paper grocery sack and cut out a hole in the bottom large enough for a child’s head to go through.

Turn the sack with that hole facing up, as if the child would be wearing it. Make another cut in the middle of the sack, right down the “back” of the costume.

Cut two arm holes in the sides of the sack, right where the side of the sack meets the bottom part. Do not cut into the bottom, just the sides. When the costume is on, the bottom of the sack will rest on the child’s shoulders. The arm holes should be where the arms would naturally come out.

With a paper punch, put a hole on either side of the back of the neck of the costume. Tie and knot a length of string or yarn to each hole, leaving one end as long as possible to tie the costume on. Put another pair of paper punch holes about halfway down the back, repeating the step for tying the string.

Decorate the costume however the child wishes. When decoration is finished, allow glue to dry (if any is used).

Add or create a mask to make your costume complete. If your child doesn’t like masks, use hats, jewelry, or FDA-approved face paints instead.


Working on these preschool crafts with your child will promote both their imagination and eye-hand coordination.

 

 

 

 

Activities that Teach Telling Time

28-activities-that-teach-telling-timeTelling time is important for our everyday lives.  We are always looking at watches for our next appointment, dinner date, and overall day planning.  Teaching our children how to tell time is imperative now and for the future.  Although children mostly rely on their parents to transport them to their soccer practices, piano lessons, or sleepovers, this will not be done forever. 

 As children get older, their class schedules will become more and more difficult each and every year.  They will need to learn how to plan and estimate how much time it takes getting from point A to point B.

What are the best methods to teach kids about telling time?  The following are suggestions that will make it both fun and easy.

The daily time line

Start off by sitting down with your child and talking about what he or she does every day.  This can include waking up, eating breakfast, going to school, going to a lesson and getting ready for bed.  Although time management is a concept that may be too difficult for young children to grasp, it is possible to make this lesson easy.

Grab a big piece of white construction paper and draw lines to create 24 different squares.  Each square will represent each hour of the day.  Next, grab some magazine or print some images off of the Internet that show people doing different activities.  Images of people sleeping, eating, playing sports or being with friends are just examples to paste or tape into the little squares.  Your child will see what a regular day can look like as divided by the hours in a day.  This will serve as a great introduction to how time works.

Draw a clock

Take a blank sheet of white paper and draw a huge circle.  Next draw the numbers of the clock.  Explain to your child that the clock hands operate in a clockwise fashion.  If your child already knows how to count and identify numbers, this will be somewhat easy to understand, however, the fact that analog clocks only go to the number 12 may be confusing.  By explaining that the second half of the day starts at noon, you can run this concept with your child a few times to see if he or she can catch on.  It will take a little time, but at least your child will be able to see how the clock works.

Minute challenge game

This is a fun little game to teach kids how long a minute is.  Have your child lie down on the bed and close his eyes.  Using a stopwatch or the second hand on a clock, wait for a minute.  Let your child guess when a minute has passed by raising their hand.  If it hasn’t been a minute yet, set their hand back down.  Once a minute has passed, clap your hands.

Writing time down

Using a blank sheet of paper and a pen, draw out pictures of analog clocks with the hands indicating different times.  See if your child will write down the correct times.

 

 

How to Make Slime

Kids love gross stuff; the grosser, the better. They especially love it if mom and dad find it really, really gross!

We've got a way for you to indulge their love of all things yucky, and sneak in a little kids science project disguised as fun.  Once you learn how to make slime, you realize it's quick, it's easy to make, the components are things you either already have in the house, or can get easily, and it allows the kids to get messy, with minimal clean up for you, just soak dried slime in water, and wipe away.  There's no need to go out and buy slime at the toy store, you can make your own for just pennies, and you probably won't have to leave your house to do it.

Once you've announced to the kids that you're making something you think is really gross in the kitchen, get the following things together:

* borax powder
* water
* ½ cup Elmer's (white glue)
* teaspoon
* bowl
* jar or measuring cup
* food coloring (optional)
* measuring cup

Step 1: Mix the glue and ½ cup of water together in a bowl. If you're using it, add food coloring. If you don't add the coloring, the slime will be white.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, mix one cup of water with one teaspoon of borax powder. Slowly stir the glue mixture into the borax and water.

Step 3: Some slime will form. Pick it up and knead it until it feels dry. There will be some water left in the bowl, you don't need to worry about, or use, the leftover water.

That's it! You now know how to make slime. (your kids are lucky to have you for a parent)  The slime you make will become less sticky, and firmer the more your kids play with it.  When they're done playing, put it in a ziploc bag and store it in the fridge.  If you leave it out at room temperature too long, it will grow mold (and we think that's a little too gross).  Although the slime isn't toxic, it's not exactly a healthy kids food recipe either, so please don't let the kids snack on it.

Since no cooking is required, learning how to make slime is an ideal activity if you're short on ideas for a birthday party or play date.  If you're having a large group of children, you might want to pre-measure the ingredients, and use disposable mixing bowls to make it easier on yourself at clean up time.  At a party, the slime you make can double as the craft and the favor.

We recommend that you provide each child with a zip top bag with their name written on the side, and they can take it home with them.  Attach a copy of these instructions and clean up tips to each bag for mom and dad. To make the slime more festive for a party, you can provide each child with a small amount of glitter to add sparkle to the finished product.  Have them add the glitter at the same time they add the food coloring.

 

Get more ideas with the rest of our Kids Crafts and Activities!

 

 

 

 

Activities for Kids Who Enjoy the Outdoors

Outdoor and nature activities for kidsWith summer drawing to a close and with school being in full session, it may be more difficult to get kids outside of the house.  There is no doubt that after homework is done, kids will do nothing but flop on the couch in front of the television.  This may not be the best thing. Why not go outside?  Although the days of summer are nearly over, the sun will still continue to be out for a few hours.  Unwinding in front of the television may seem like a great idea, but why not get the kids outside for a little fresh air?  There is nothing more beautiful than nature.

The following suggestions for outdoor activities are quick and simple ways to get the kids out of the house.

Nature journals

Depending on the age of your , a nature journal can be used in several ways.  Younger kids can use a journal to draw things that they see.  For example, kids may draw pictures of birds.  For the older kids (junior high/high school), a written journal may serve as a creative outlet.  Ask the kids what they see in the world around them.  What they see may inspire poetry or short stories.

Hide and Go Seek

Although this may seem childish, for younger kids this could be a very fun outdoor activity.  Parents and their children can engage in a game before it gets dark.  It will teach kids to think on their feet and is overall just a fun alternative to watching TV.

Going for a Walk/Hiking

As the temperature cools down, going for a walk after dinner is a great way to unwind.  Parents and children can chat about their days and just let their minds forget their busy day.  The best part about walking or hiking is that it’s great exercise too!

Scavenger Hunts

For the kids who love to be challenged, a scavenger hunt can be both stimulating and exciting.  Participating in a scavenger hunt will get kids to be aware of what is around them and also enable them to know how to identify things.  When the kids get the list of things that they are supposed to find, it will teach them awareness.  For a large group of kids, it is really cool to see what everyone found at the end of the hunt.  Comparing the items that the kids bring back is also really fun as well.

Gardening

Moms could always use the extra help.  Some kids don’t mind playing in the dirt, so helping out with gardening will stimulate the mind as well.  It takes patience and the ability to follow orders.  Plus, once the kids see what their little seeds produced, you can be sure that they will be excited about what they planted.

Photography

A kid doesn’t need a fancy camera for taking pictures.  A simple point-and-shoot camera will guarantee that what the kids see can be captured for them to enjoy for a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

Nature Themed Scavenger Hunt

7-nature-themed-scavenger-hunts

Scavenger hunts are a lot of fun, especially for kids who enjoy a little adventure.  When the weather is nice outside, an outdoor activity that involves discovery and teamwork can be a great learning tool.  Kids can become more aware of their surroundings and also learn how to respect and understand the outdoors as well.

Preparation

Before the day of the hunt, parents need to go out and make a list of what they think their children should find.  There are so many things to find in the great outdoors.  For example, a list could include finding a specific type of flower or finding something as simple as a big rock.  Depending on the season, the list of things to find can vary, too. 

No matter what the list indicates, nature themed scavenger hunts work well for birthday parties, slumber parties or even a summer barbeque. 

What you need

• Have plenty of pencils
• Provide Scavenger Hunt lists
• Make sure the forecast is good for the entire day.  If not, ensure that there is rain gear provided for each child.
• Provide enough bags for the kids (use old grocery bags if possible)
• Spray the kids with bug spray
• Apply suntan lotion if necessary
• Provide magnifying glasses and compasses just for fun

Once all of these criteria are met, send the kids out in pairs for safety.  Every time they come across something on the list, have them check the item off with their pencils.  If the kids find something that isn’t damaging to remove from its natural origin or non-living, have them put that item in their bags.  It is cool to see what they find!

The best part of an outdoor scavenger hunt is watching the kids marvel at the wonders of nature.  The more creative the list is, the better.  At the end of the scavenger hunt, it is great for the kids to compare what they found with each other and hopefully learn something new, too.

The possibilities are endless

So what kinds of things can the kids look for in a nature-themed scavenger hunt?  Here is a list of ten possible items to put on a list:

• Leaves from different trees
• Various sizes and shapes of rocks
• Pinecones
• Something red
• Feathers
• Nuts/acorns
• Animal tracks
• Moss
• Something that starts with a specific letter of the alphabet
• Ladybugs

At the end of the scavenger hunt, tally up and see which child found the most items. This adds more to the excitement.  The child with the most items can win a prize.  To take it a step further, set a time limit on the scavenger hunt.  This will allow more prizes to be given out.  The child who found the most items, as well as the child who got back the quickest, can both win prizes.  The possibilities are endless for a good time.

 

 

 

Preventing Boredom: What Kids Can Do Inside the House

Indoor activities for kidsThere is little worse than having a bored child.  When it is raining outside or there just aren’t any activities planned for the day, what could a kid do that will be stimulating enough inside of the house?  Keeping a kid inside may drive him or her crazy, but sometimes parents may not have a reason or need to start the car up and go.  In moments like these, parents must be creative and quick on their feet.  There are more solutions that just turning on the TV.  Together, parents and their children can solve boredom or inactivity with very simple, yet fun solutions.

The following list provides suggestions for fun, indoor activities.

Reading

Kids may balk at this suggestion, but reading a good book will help pass the time.  If your child prefers not to read the book, why not read the story yourself?  Reading a book to a child means quality time spent together and who doesn’t enjoy a good story to get lost in when the weather is dismal outside?  Serve a couple cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows and you’re off into a world unlike your own.

Perform a Puppet Show or a Play

Get those stuffed animals, dolls and action figures onto the main stage.  It is easy to set up an indoor play.  Kids can hide behind their bed or couch and use their stuffed animals as puppets.  It is amusing to see what the kids can come up with as far as characters and dialogue.

Dance

To lighten up a dull mood, turn on the tunes and get your groove on.  Clear some room in the kitchen or living room and have a dance party.  Kids have a lot of energy to burn up and parents can relieve stress as well by just letting go.

Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt in the house.  Make a list of items that kids will have to search the entire house for.  This will occupy some time and get the kids moving and thinking at the same time.

Coloring or Drawing

Use old pieces of scrap paper from the office and let the kids engage in some freestyle drawing.  Parents can also outline several shapes to have the kids color.  If there are coloring books around, kids can use those too.

Chores

Although this may seem like a crazy idea, younger kids may actually find that helping their parents with chores can be fun.  Helping with chores may make a kid seem so much older than they are.  Folding laundry can teach kids how to make out different colors and types of socks.  Putting away dishes can help kids how to make out different shapes, too.  Chores also have the added benefit with older children of helping them realize that it could always be worse since they know if they complain about being bored, there is a pile of work just waiting for them.

 

 

 

Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Need scavenger hunt ideas? We've got them! There is nothing like a scavenger hunt to brighten a day or liven up a party.

Mom, I’m bored. Second only to ‘what’s for dinner’ this dreaded phrase is the consternation of mothers the universe over. It is usually followed by trouble making, teasing and quarreling for the entertainment value.

Before your child has a chance to utter these words be prepared with a list of things to do. Not just any list, but a scavenger hunt list. Scavenger hunts stop boredom in its tracks and makes a hum-drum party fun and exciting. Below is a list of scavenger hunt ideas the will entertain and have your kids begging for more.

Around the house:

It may not always be feasible to send the brood outside for a scavenger hunt, but there is plenty to find indoors. Try handing the kids a lunch sack and asking them to look for objects often lurking in dark corners, forgotten couch cushions and under the stove. Items may include: A blue toy, coins from the sofa cushions, buttons from the laundry room, a twist tie, or shoe laces. Be creative, look for the common clutter, list it and send the scavengers after it. Remember lists don’t have to contain the same objects, just the same number.

Get them out from under foot:

On a sunny day get those older kids off the couch and into to the sun. Try a nature scavenger hunt. In addition to the list and a bag, give the children a pad of paper and a pencil to draw what they can’t collect. (You don’t want them picking your neighbors prize lilies in their search for a pink flower.)

Items you may put on a list are endless. Have them find a four leafed clover, feathers, shiny stones, and dandelion fluff. Items that can be fun to find and draw are: caterpillars, ladybugs (any kind of bug really), a tomato plant or other garden vegetables, flowers in bloom, a nest or frogs.

When the adventures return they can paint or color the pictures they made. This creates another boredom killing activity.

Mall walkers unite!

For older, teen age children there is nothing like an excursion to the mall. Add an element of innocent fun to their next trip with this scavenger hunt idea. All they need is a list of objects find or tasks to complete and a camera to keep record.

Items to find might include: a mannequin with a red wig, a person drinking an orange Julius, a sales clerk named Amy (or a name of your choosing), a pregnant lady, a baby, people holding hands or someone wearing purple socks.

Tasks to complete could be: making a wish in a fountain, singing a song in the food court, trying on a yellow formal gown, or asking a stranger be in a picture with you.

The sky is the limit, let your imagination go wild and get those mind busy hunting. You an even enlist their help to create even more scavenger hunt ideas, they'll have a blast!

Go to Kids Crafts and Activities for lots more ideas!