Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Macaroni Garlands

The other day my 5 year old was asked by another parent if her favorite part of Christmas was getting presents. My daughter looked at her and said gifts are okay but my favorite part is baking cookies and doing Christmas crafts. It is little moments like that, that reassure me that I am doing something right.

 Here is a great traditional craft to do with your kids, both young and old.

1 box of any tube pasta
Food coloring of your choice

Mixing bowls
Cookie sheets

Ribbon, string, or yarn


Divide the pasta into separate bowls. We chose to do red and green for our Christmas garlands. Add a little bit of water to each bowl. We used about a teaspoon for half of the box. Add food coloring until you get your desired color and mix well. Be careful, I ended up splashing the water and food coloring up my whole arm because I was over eager.

Once the pasta is completely covered spread it out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and leave it to dry at least a few hours, overnight is even better. If you are in a hurry you can put the cookie sheets into the oven at the lowest sitting for a few minutes be sure to watch them closely and don’t leave them unattended.

 Once dry, let your little ones at it. Use either heavy plastic needles or just tape the end of your yarn for easier stringing. Be sure to help them tie a knot on the first piece on so they don’t just fall off the other end.

The best part about this project is that if you have any leftover noodles just toss them into a pot of boiling water and you will have a fun and festive lunch.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lightening Glow Bugs

With summer in full bloom it is very easy for younger kids to get antsy and out of routine. I am always on the lookout for fun and unique craft projects that tie into what we are learning in our weekly summer reading themes.

This week we are studying insects and spiders and I found this great little project to make lightening bugs.

What you need:
Small empty disposable water bottle
Tape or glue
Construction paper in various colors or a printed copy of attached template
Glow stick

Since we did this project in the middle of our classroom time I found it easier to cut everything out beforehand but a child with a few scissor skills would benefit from the practice.

To start you will need to either print out the template below or hand draw your own images. If you are printing the template be sure to do a print preview to make sure you are using the printing area of your printer. You will need a three segmented body, a pair of double wings, six legs, and a pair of antennae.  
Don’t be afraid to add a little education into your craft project either. Explain to your child what makes an insect.
The head- where it has its brain and sensory organs like mouth and antennae.
The thorax- this is where its legs and wings attach. An insect has 6 legs and usually two pairs of wings.
The abdomen- this is where the heart and digestive tract are.
Don’t forget, spiders are not insects. They have eight legs and only two body segments!

Have your child tape or glue the main body to the front of their empty water bottle. Next have them line of the wings in the back of the bottle and attach those as well.  Help attach the antennae to the back of the head and the legs to the thorax. Be sure to help your child understand that the legs attach to the middle segment of their body.
We drew faces on our little bugs as well as decorated their wings.
Lastly, activate your glow stick by gently snapping it and drop it into your bottle. Be sure to tightly close the bottles top again and let your little buggers go play with their new lightening glow bugs.

These are great on camping trips to run around with or hang from the top of a tent.