Posts Tagged ‘easy’

Nature Bracelets

June 11, 2010

IMG_2660Today is the last day of school and I’m looking forward to sleeping in and not having to make cold lunches every morning.  My kids are looking forward to running free.  They’re also looking forward to being allowed to have screen time on weekdays, which I don’t normally allow during the school year.  Being the TV referee gets old quickly.

Nature bracelets are a fun craft project for a beautiful summer day when you want to get your kids out of the house and into the fresh air.   They require no work at all, other than taking a walk and assembling your discoveries on your wrists to create wearable art.   It’s simple to do and perfect for all ages.  I even had fun making my own bracelet! 

All you need is duct tape and your walking shoes.  Cut the tape so it fits comfortably around your child’s wrist and tape it around like a bracelet, sticky side out.  Take a walk in a park or down your own street and have your child find small leaves, flowers and other natural artifacts to adorn their wristlet. 

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Almost everything we tried stuck to the tape pretty well.  We wore our bracelets all afternoon and several people mistook them for real jewelry.  My older daughter thought they looked even prettier as the leaves and flowers wilted and flattened out on the tape.  If your child wants to keep their bracelet, cut it off and leave it to dry.  (Eventually, they’ll forget about it and you can throw it away.)

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Get those kids outside!

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Shamrocks and Heartstrings

March 11, 2010

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Your kids can create a lovely garland of hearts or shamrocks to adorn your living space.  In the spring, we like to liven up our breakfast booth by stringing hearts or shamrocks, depending on the holiday.  All you need is construction paper, scissors, string and a hole punch.  It’s pretty self-explanatory.  I folded the paper and drew the outline for my four year old, who loves to cut and cut and cut.  My son, who is nine, could make the hearts, punch the holes and put them on the string.  He also figured out how long the strings should be. 

We found that it is easiest to just put all of the hearts or shamrocks on the string, put the string up and then slide the hearts into position.  The kitchen string (for tying meat) works well, because the construction paper won’t slide on it and the hearts stay in place, but you could probably use yarn or any other string. 

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 It’s nice to have some extra color around at this time of the year!

Puppet Show

November 28, 2009
Our Thanksgiving craft evolved into the creation of a full-blown puppet show.  The kids stuck wooden skewers into the cones and balls and created a cast of  “pixies” and “aliens” named with names like Rainbow, Star and Tippie.  Soon, they were making up stories and doing puppet shows.  I loved the creative storylines they came up with. Check out my last post for more details, but all you need are styrofoam balls and cones, pipe cleaners, markers, ribbons, sequins, buttons, pins, or anything you can find in your craft bin and around the house.  Skewers work well as handles, but your kids could use chopsticks or sticks from outside if you don’t have any.   Watch their imaginations run wild!

Festive Cranberry Garlands

November 18, 2009

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Before I had kids, I would buy wire frames and painstakingly weave evergreens to them to create Martha Stewart-like wreaths for the holidays.  I also designed and hand-made our Christmas Cards every year.  Now, I struggle to get my photo cards in the mail and I buy my wreaths at Costco.  Although I sometimes mourn the loss of my adult craft projects, I’m comforted by the fact that I’m blessed with three children who fill our holidays with more joy and beauty than any decoration could ever bring.  I’d trade anything for a hand print turkey made by my three-year old!

This year, we will continue our tradition of making cranberry garlands.  They’re pretty, environmentally friendly, and will look nice at Thanksgiving and even through the holidays.  Last year, the berries looked pretty for a long time, even when they were a little wrinkled.  You can hang them outside on a tree or shrub when you’re tired of them and the birds and squirrels will have a feast of their own.

You will need fresh cranberries, fishing line or dental floss and a yarn needle.  Yarn needles are plastic, not too sharp and can be purchased at craft and fabric stores.  I bought 7cm needles. (Susan Bates brand to be exact.) Make sure the eye isn’t too big, or it will ruin the cranberries.

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First, we pulled a yard or so of fishing line out from the spool and taped it to the spool so that no more could unwind.  Dental floss works well too!  Then, I knotted the free end of the fishing line to the needle so it wouldn’t pull off and had my kids start stringing.  Last year, it was a little challenging for our two-year old, but she could do it with help! 

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You can make the garlands as long as you like.  Just tie them off when they are the length you want.  I love to string them on the chandelier in our dining room for Thanksgiving.  We may make a few strings for our Christmas tree too.  It would be a great project for people sitting around watching football, assuming they’re not on a white couch! 

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