Let’s Go Paint a Kite! And Other Great Kids’ Crafts for Spring Breakby Alison Singh Gee
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For most of us moms, spring break is here.
Of course, that means lots of together time with the kids and – well, let’s face it! -- lots of hours to fill. We’ve put together a collection of fun crafts that you could spend hours doing with your kids.
Since spring is almost officially here, we’ve compiled this list with nature – and the beautiful weather! -- in mind. As we all know, our kids probably won’t forever cherish the hour they spent with Barney, but they will always remember sitting on the patio with us, sipping lemonade and making a pillow from a sweatshirt or creating a papier mache Easter egg. We’re including some store bought kits and some projects that you can make with stuff around the house – Cheerio Bird Feeder anyone?ALEX TOYS Outdoor Craft Kits
Whenever my daughter receives an Alex Toys craft kit as a gift, I always know she’s going to have fun. The projects are typically easy for a young child to work on, and run the gamut from Make Giant Paper Flowers to Fold 'N Fly Paper Airplanes. The brand’s outdoor crafts piqued my interest – I have to admit, I love doing crafts as much as my daughter does! She’s going to have to fight me for a turn with the Flower Press. Alex sets are usually available at specialty toy stores, Target or online at Amazon.com. I often buy extras just to have them on hand. Here are the ones I love for spring:
My Flower Press
Save your favorite flowers and leaves by pressing them with this 7" wooden flower press that you can paint. Make handmade cards, gift tags, bookmarks, scrapbook pages and more! Attach beautiful ribbons to your gift cards to decorate presents. Personalize note cards and bookmarks with bright colorful paints. Kit comes with blotting paper, paints, brushes, tweezers, wooden beads, craft glue, hemp, hole punch and easy instructions.
|Home Tweet Home
Attract songbirds with a house built for two that you paint yourself. Has a real thatched roof. Hang it proudly in your garden! Measures 7пїЅW x 6пїЅH x 6пїЅD. Includes 6 weatherproof paints, paintbrush and easy instructions.
|Go Paint a Kite
Painting designs on kites is an ancient art. Now you can paint your own creations and release it to the sky! When you are done flying, the kite also brightens up your room. Each kit contains 1 kite (18"W x 22"H), 300 feet of flying line, 6 outdoor paints, and 2 paintbrushes.
Happy Camper Chair
Color a cool camp chair with permanent markers. Chair is preprinted and comes with 6 markers and a storage pouch.
Paint a Rockpet
Paint a rock-like sculpture for the garden or your room. Each kit contains 1 rock pet, 6 paints and a brush.
All from Alex Toys. Available at Amazon.com or toy stores near you.
PAPIER MACHE EGGS FOR EASTER
Who doesn’t have happy childhood memories of making gooey, messy, wonderful papier mache projects? We found this great step-by-step guide for creating larger-than-life Easter eggs using balloons, strips of newspaper and a – yep, it’s gooey -- flour-and-glue paste.
Paper Mache Eggs
- paper mache paste
- 1-inch pieces newspaper, newsprint or paper towel
- pie tin
- paint brushes
- colored tissue paper (optional)
Paper mache recipe
- 1 cup water
- Mix in 1/4 cup flour until thin and runny
Make paper mache paste as above. When cool pour into pie tin. Blow up a balloon and tape to a table. Dip strips of newspaper in paste and place carefully on balloon. Continue overlapping pieces of newspaper on balloon. Cover balloon completely and let dry. It may take overnight to dry, particularly if you've used lots of paste. Once dry, decorate the dried balloon with paint or colored tissue in pretty pastel Easter colors. Finish with shellac for a shiny, glazed effect.
(This craft was found at: http://MoFromMOL.tripod.com/Easter/EasterCrafts.html)
CHEERIO BIRD FEEDER
Using Cheerios, a sugar ice cream cone, peanut butter, birdseed and a pipe cleaner, you and your children can create this adorable bird feeder, just in time for the return of the spring birds.
After hanging the bird feeder near a window, the family can watch feathered creatures feast on it. If you keep a bird book handy, you can all learn about the special species that frequent your area.
Check out this great Betty Crocker link for this fun craft, as well as others at BettyCrocker.com.
MAKING NATURAL DYES FROM BARK, FLOWERS AND ROOTS
Children are forever curious about the plants around us. Here’s a fun way to make natural dyes together and encourage their love of the garden. We found this guide at e-guiding.com.
Long ago, the Ojibwa woman made dyes for clothing and other things from the plants, nuts, and bark, which she found in the fields and forests around her. Many settlers in the New World also learned and followed this tradition. Of course, today, you can buy ready-to-use commercial dyes but there is a great sense of accomplishment – and joy -- in making your own. What’s more, you'll be using environmentally safe materials instead of harmful chemicals, which can wash into our rivers and lakes.
What You’ll Need:
- A large pot
- A strainer
- Cotton or wool material (white or unbleached)
- Kid-sized t-shirts are great
- Mordant: For 1/4 lb wool, mix one ounce of alum in one gallon of water. For cotton, add 1/4 ounce of washing soda (or baking soda) to the mixture.
- Plant material of your choice (see list below)
1. Chop plant material until fine and then soak it for an hour or so. Strain off the liquid.
2. Soak the material in the mordant overnight.
3. Take the material from the mordant and squeeze it out. Simmer in water mixed with the plant dye material until the dye takes (about 1 hour).
4. Rinse the dyed material in cold, salt water. Dry in the shade.
- Sumac bark: yellow
- Maple wood: purple
- Chokeberries: red
- Goldenrod flowers: yellow
- Dandelion roots: red/violet
- Queen Anne's Lace: yellow
- Beet leaves/roots: pinkish green
- Broom flower: peach
- Blueberries: blue-purple
- Lily of the Valley: spring green (leaves/stalk)
HANES KIDS' CRAFT KIT -- Spring Break Ideas
To spark your family’s imagination, Hanes has put together a Spring Break Craft Kit. Using clothing already lying around the house (t-shirts, sweatshirts, socks, etc) and items you can pick up at almost any craft or Target store, your children will enjoy making gifts for loved ones or keepsakes for their own bedroom.
Snug & Cozy Digital Pouch
Made from a sock, this pouch can hold a cell phone, an i-pod or a camera
Choose from any sweatshirt to create your own pillow and decorate as you see fit! Bring in the car, keep it on your bed or give it as a present!
Visit Hanes.com/kids for directions.