Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Five: Child Friendly Crafts

Last weekend, the girls and I created a really neat crayon art project and I was inspired to search for other projects for the girls to do over long breaks. Spring break is coming up soon-ish so I like to be prepared. Today's Friday Five is a list of those crafts with links, pictures, and/or videos (including the project from last weekend).

Child Friendly Projects
Melted Crayon Art: This project is a really cool way to use up broken crayons, or the bajillion yellows left over. Google melted crayon art and you will find some stunning images. The video above is a little obnoxious but the art created is phenomenal. The girls loved the use of colors so we are going to try to replicate it the next time. They also like the ones that have pictures worked into the melted crayons (like the one here that is done in blues to look like rain and has a silhouette of a couple walking with an umbrella). You can get pretty thorough directions for this project here. Note: This takes a lot of time so be ready to spend all day.

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.

Crayon Cakes... the non-edible kind: I haven't done this with the girls yet but I showed them the idea and they are nuts for it already. We are going to have to stock up on crayons at this rate. I'm out of used crayons! This project is awesome to do before a child's birthday, holidays, or even for teachers. This site uses crayon cakes for rubbings when they are out and about. What a neat idea! The "recipe" is simple. Cut used crayons into small pieces (take off the paper) and mix your preference of colors together in an old muffin tin. Bake it for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. Let them cool for a while then put them in the freezer to get them out of the pan without breaking them. The end result is awesome. I got a stack of these one year (as an adult) and I was ecstatic.

Edit: 8/15/2012 Image removed. I don't want to be sued.

Miniature Puppet Theater: My little sisters are 8 and 9 so they live in a perpetual fantasy world. I am sure this will last until they are at least my age. By the looks of it, they are both going to grow up to be fantasy writers just like their big sister. I don't know that the family could handle 3 of us. Anyways, make believe play is crucial to the development of creativity, out of the box thinking, and problem solving. A puppet theater is perfect for this. I found a site with directions for making a miniature puppet theater which is great because the girls are little still. It uses a cereal box, although I think it could be easily modified to a shoe box to give a bit more room. Of course, with a theater built, they need to make puppets to go with it! Puppets can be as simple or as difficult as you want to make them. I've seen everything from paper drawings attached to sticks, small stuffed animals, and pipe cleaner puppets, to crocheted animals, clay people, and felt and button sewn hand puppets. Anything can become a puppet to a child so long as they have the imagination to give it character.

Cornstarch Clay: Cornstarch clay can be used to make just about any little creation a kid could imagine. Here is a very simple recipe to make your own clay using 3 common household ingredients. You can add colors using food coloring or paint if you want but it isn't necessary. Once the clay is made, kids can make all kinds of stuff with it like figures, vases, abstracts, etc. If you don't want to add the mess of food coloring or paint in the clay, you can always paint the clay once it dries (up to 4 days).

Sun Catchers: These babies are going to be everywhere by the time the girls are bored of them. They are so easy to make. Check here for two different ways of making sun catchers. One way is to mix glue and water, slather tissue paper with the mixture, and apply it to a decoratively cut piece of construction paper. You can use multiple colors of tissue paper to give it a fun stain glass look. The other way is to use crayon shavings (yes, I'm obsessed with crayons this week apparently) melted between sheets of wax paper and then cutting figures directly out of the melted crayons. I don't have any pictures but this is a super cute idea.

Do you have any ideas for fun simple crafts for kids that I might use over the next few months?


Arts in the Family said...

It all looks so fun! I'm not sure what we'll try first this weekend. Thanks for the ideas!

Alberto Ramirez Jr.

Dee said...

Tell me what you try! I'm curious to see if the clay actually works or if it cracks once formed. I'm probably going to make a test batch this weekend in preparation for spring break. :)