Category Archives: kid friendly craft

Baked Clay Treasures

We’ve gone beyond playdough this past week.  We’ve been playing with Sculpey Clay!  It’s an engaging experience.  But the end results are great paper weights and small figurines to decorate your shelves and countertops!  Because we all need more of those…

Age: 4 and up, or possibly younger with mommy-assistance 🙂

What you need:
-Sculpey or Fimo clay, found at any craft store.  This stuff is more expensive, so be sure and save your Michael’s or Joann’s coupons.  The box looks like this after your kids start ripping into it:


-any playdough/sculpting toys (i.e. textured rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.)


How it’s done:
The directions on the package will tell you everything.  Basically you have to squeeze and knead each piece of clay until it becomes soft and moldable.  Then let the kids create!  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 275 degrees for 15 minutes to every 1/4 inch of thickness. Take note, Scultures that are standing up with not a lot of volume at the bottom, or too much volume at the top, may fall flat while baking.  Our tree was standing upright when it went into the oven.  But it still looks cool.

It’s fun to see what kids come up with:
              
I helped some with the flowers and the tree, but they came up with two snakes, airplane, two sharks, and a turtle.  Won’t grandparents just love arranging these knickknacks around their house??

Pressed Flower Cards or Bookmarks

April showers bring May flowers! We decided to extend the life of some of our flowers by pressing them and making cards and bookmarks. They make really cute little gifts!


Age: 3 and up
Supplies:
  • flowers
  • coffee filters
  • large, heavy books
  • colorful paper for bookmarks or cards (card stock is best, but not necessary)
  • glue
  • contact paper (I found this huge role at Target near the cabinet-lining paper)
Instructions:

  1. Pick several flowers to press, we removed the stems
  2. Put them between coffee filters or paper towels to help absorb the moisture
  3. Press between large books – place in a safe location so little hands don’t disrupt them 🙂
  4. Check on them in 1 – 2 weeks.
  5. Once the flowers are pressed, it’s time to make cards or bookmarks!
  6. Cut out rectangles for bookmarks or cards with the colorful paper you chose
  7. Arrange flowers and glue in place; allow to dry completely
  8. Once the glue is dry, line both sides with contact paper. Trim sides, if necessary

Door Hangs



I started taking care of my nephew this spring, so I have 5 kids on weekdays. Sometimes 2 or 3 kids are napping and the older kids can’t always remember to stay out of those rooms. So, we made cute door hangs to remind us when someone is alseep! Kids could also make these as nametags for their rooms.


Age: 3 and up
Supplies:
  • scissors
  • multicolored foam sheets (found at your local craft store)
  • glue
  • black permanent marker (kids markers will just rub off onto your hands)

Instructions:
  • Cut out a rectangle for the door hang (approximately 3 1/2″ by 8″)
  • Cut out a circle for the door handle (depending on your door knob size)
  • Write something on each side – my kids thought of a frog/tadpole theme
  • Decorate with more foam shapes; glue each piece in place

Help The Birds

My daughter is all about helping animals…in any way. So, when she suggested building nests for the birds, I adapted her idea a bit and suggested we gather supplies to help them build their own nests. AND, we revisited the topic of recycling, which is always important.


Supplies:
  • net bag leftover from onions or oranges
  • collected items such as small twigs, long grass, twine, string, my mother-in-law even suggested dryer lint!
Instructions:
Talk about birds and how they enjoy building safe homes for their families. Read a bit from a nature book or online. Discuss recycling to help our earth and show them how we can reuse items such as these net bags. Spend a good amount of time outside looking for items to put inside the bag, leave an opening for the birds. Hang from a tree away from high-traffic areas so the birds don’t feel scared away!

Vanilla or Kool-Aid Play Dough

I let my kids measure and mix in the kitchen at an early age. They feel so special being the one to pour that 1 cup of flour into the bowl.  It is fun and teaches them about following directions. I like making homemade play doh because it not only is an activity in itself, but it also smells better! The two recipes here will give you yummy smelling dough. The kids will not want to let go of it.  Just make sure they know it’s for squeezing and squishing, not for eating!


Age: 1 and up

Vanilla Play Dough
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 3-4 drops food coloring
Directions:
Start heating the water in a tea pot or microwave. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 salt. Add the oil, boiling water, food coloring and vanilla. Stir with a spatula or in electric mixer until well blended (it will cool quickly). If it’s too sticky, keep adding flour, 1 Tbs at a time, and mix well.

Kool-Aid Play Dough
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid (choose your color: cherry makes red, etc)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
Directions:
Start heating the water in a tea pot or microwave. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 salt, and Kool-Aid packet. Add the oil and boiling water. Stir with a spatula until well blended (it will cool quickly). If it’s too sticky, just keep adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time, and mix well. Have a blast!


Note: for a lesson in primary colors, divide dough into thirds and add red, yellow and blue food coloring.  This works well in electric mixer with each individual color.  Then add a little blue with yellow, a little yellow with red, and a little red with yellow to make the three secondary colors!  When doing this, I quadruple the recipe for lots of play dough!


Bottle Penguins


My daughter loves penguins, so she really enjoyed this craft. And, it’s another way to reinforce recycling!


Age: 2 and up
Supplies:
  • bottle (we used Gatorade bottles)
  • black paint
  • white paint
  • paint brush
  • black construction paper
  • yellow construction paper
  • glue
  • styrofoam ball (2-3 inches in diameter) OR play-doh OR black pompom (2-3 inches)
  • google eyes
Directions:
  1. Paint the bottle black, leave an area open for a white belly. Even the young kids can paint this, with some help. Let it dry.
  2. Once the black is dry, paint the belly white, let it dry
  3. The head can be made out of a styrofoam ball, painted black. OR, we used some play-doh that has seen better days, painted black. It kind of cracked after it was dry, but we aren’t about perfection! OR you could use a large black pompom.
  4. Glue the head in place and glue the eyes in place
  5. Cut out penguin wings from the black paper; glue in place
  6. Cut out a yellow beak and yellow feet; glue in place
  7. Allow the kids to find a special place to proudly display their penguins!

Fun with Shaving Cream

My kids went through a stage where we played with shaving cream at least once a week. It’s a great way to get “messy” in a clean way! I also think it’s never too early to teach really young kids how to clean up after themselves. Use this activity to teach those little ones how to stay in one place while they play and then clean it all up after they are done.



Age: 1 and up
Supplies:
  • Foam shaving cream (Some brands don’t foam up very well. Also, make sure it’s without menthol–we use the Aloe flavor of  Barbasol)
  • Plastic table covering (optional)
  • Sponges and rags for clean-up
  • plastic forks for making fun designs, or other shape-type toys (optional)
Directions:
  1. Place a plastic table covering in a large space so that you don’t worry about a mess
  2. Maybe have each child wear a craft smock, roll up those sleeves!
  3. Give instructions to stay in their “space” with the shaving cream
  4. Remind the little ones to not eat it!
  5. Spray a small amount in front of each child, and have fun!!
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