kids’ crafts

Archived Posts from this Category

Mia’s Garden Plan for 2009

Posted by on 12 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: about me, gardening, kids' crafts, local food, spring

Normally by this time of year, we have our garden all planned out, our seeds ordered and some even planted. But last year was an abysmal year for our little garden and it has sapped a bit of our motivation. Oh, we’re still going to try, but we’re missing the usual get out in the dirt right this second bug that’s usually bitten us by now.

Mia, on the other hand, is ready for spring. On the way to preschool one very warm morning this week, she said, her little voice almost trembling, “The birds are making my heart beat faster because their song is so beautiful.” I love that kid.

And this weekend, in the 80 degree weather, she went outside to inspect her beloved strawberry plants that every year take over more and more of our garden. We never have the heart to stop them. Who can destroy a strawberry plant? Not us. Especially not after getting a taste of one of these sweet, sweet berries.

But back to Mia. She came inside, drew a garden plan and composed a song, which Tony wrote out for her. She also added butterflies, drawn from the letter “B” just like Fancy Nancydoes, though inexplicably she left out two of her favorite veggies — Snugger Shnap Peas and Tomatoes! Still, I think it’s pretty perfect:

Mia's Garden Plan for 2009

Little woodland fairy box tutorial

Posted by on 11 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: autumn, kids' crafts, tutorial, wooden toys

Well, our sunny, warm weather is starting to turn cool again. Just as we’ve been spoiled with a taste of spring, almost summer, really, we’re back to expecting a wintry mix on Friday. I wouldn’t mind if it were real snow again, but I guess I can’t expect another one of those any time in the next decade. Instead, it will be just yucky enough to keep us inside. Sounds like time for a little crafting.

Here’s the little box I made for our little friend’s fairies — it’s so easy, a child could easily make it, as long as an adult handled the hot glue gun!

Fairy box with mushroom chairs and table

Supplies:

1 large wooden spool
1 wooden circle to serve as tabletop
3 small wooden spools
3 small wooden circles for the seats
small wooden box
acrylic paints in cream, white, red, browns and greens
paintbrushes
hot glue gun

Step 1:
Paint the spools a cream color, and the circles red (you may need a couple of coats of red for good coverage). Once the tops are dry enough, paint little white dots in varying sizes on the red. Paint it on rather thickly, though you may still need two coats to hide the red.

Painted mushroom chair and table parts

While they dry, blend two or more shades of green together, not mixing so they are uniform, just enough so you’ll get some of each color on your paintbrush with each stroke. Paint the top of the box green.

I used a dark brown to paint the bottom of the box, using a thin enough coat that the grain of the wood still showed through a bit. Alternately, you could go back through with a lighter shade of brown to add some details such as knots or shadings in the bark.

Painted fairy box

Step 2:
Once the pieces have dried, hot glue the tops of the seats and table to their corresponding spools. Place them onto the top of the wooden box, spacing them as you would like, but making sure the fairies would have enough room to balance on the stools without the table getting in the way. Hot glue the table and stools into place.

Step 3:
I rubbed some natural beeswax polish onto the chairs and table for a little added durability.

Applying beeswax varnish to painted surfaces

You’re done! Well, almost. Be sure to make some sweet little fairies and add a nice little scrap of fabric for them in their little woodland home bed!

Fairies in their box

Fairies on their chairs

Little Bear Valentines for kids by kids (well, mostly)

Posted by on 09 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: animal crafts, kids' crafts, tutorial, Valentine's Day, wool felt

DSC_0616

I could have just gotten the Tinkerbell valentines at the drugstore. It would have been quick and easy, and Mia would have been over the moon about them. But I couldn’t resist making handmade valentines, and figured out a simple way to not only make them, but have Mia do some of the work (an older child could do ALL of the work).

I’ll go ahead and do a little tutorial here (though you hardly need one!), and leave my going on and on about us for the more skippable bottom of the post.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • this easy little pattern for tracing
  • dark brown felt for the bear bodies (I think I got about six to a sheet)
  • tan felt for the bear muzzles
  • red and pink felt for the belly hearts
  • 7 mm black pompoms for bear noses
  • 7 mm googly eyes
  • blank cards (I used a value pack of blank ivory cards that measure 6 1/2 x 5 inches when folded)
  • Scrapbook paper (I love the gingham pink and blue!) — by putting a horizontal, then a vertical and then vice versa, you can get four cards out of one 12×12 sheet
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • school glue

First, trace the bear, heart and muzzle patterns onto the corresponding pieces of felt. Cut out the shapes.

DSC_0603

Next, cut the folding cards along the fold (optional, keep them whole if you want cards that open). You can go ahead and write your greeting on the other side now if you wish. Especially if you have little people doing the writing who you know will long be in bed by the time the cards dry!

DSC_0601

Cut the scrapbook paper to cover the cards and glue on with a glue stick.

Glue bears onto the cards, the muzzles onto the bears, the noses onto the muzzles, the eyes onto the bear faces and the hearts onto the belly.

DSC_0605

DSC_0610
look at those dirty digging in the dirt at the park fingernails! I guess tonight should have been bath night!

DSC_0609

Give to someone special!

DSC_0617

I think we both would have enjoyed the process a little more if it hadn’t been such beautiful weather today. So beautiful that we we had no choice but to go to the park with friends instead of staying home to make the 17 Valentines for Mia’s class, which are to be turned in tomorrow.

We probably would have finished them by bedtime, but Mia wrote each child and teacher’s name. She did a beautiful job, and I was really surprised how few letters I had to show her. She has trouble with drawing an “s,” and she likes to add five horizontal lines to her “E,” but wow, she’s got many of the others down pat. I can’t believe she had the patience to get through all 17 of them. Though that may explain why the joy of gluing, which she had been looking forward to all day, had worn off by about card number five.

I’m proud of my girl and her pride in our handmade valentines. I hope her friends at preschool like them!