Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Egg Bird Decoration Craft

  • eggs
  • newsprint
  • egg dye
  • paper towels
  • birthday candles or crayons
  • pipe cleaners
  • fishing line
  • black acrylic or tempera paint
  • brushes
  • blue tissue
  • glue
  1. Blow the Egg: Wash and dry the raw egg. Cover your table with newsprint and set out bowls, pushpins, and paper towels. Shake the egg to break up the yolk. Next, the kids can pierce the top and bottom with a pushpin, making the hole on the wider end a bit larger. Position the egg over the bowl and blow through the small hole, allowing the inside of the egg to seep into the bowl. Set the empty egg, with the large hole down, in an egg carton to dry. Be sure children wash her hands after handling.
  2. Decorate the Egg: Let the kids paint half of the egg, stand it atop a bottle cap to dry (use a hair dryer to speed things up), then paint the other half. Centering the face on either hole, paint on features with contrasting colors. Begin with a blue painted egg, then paint on black eyes. Glue on blue tissue paper wings and a billowy tail. Finally, glue on a paper beak.
  3. Take Flight: Tape a long length of fishing line to the end of an unfolded paper clip. Starting at the small hole, thread the line through the decorated egg and out the large hole. To keep your flying critter upright, tape the fishing line just above the hole in the critter's back. Hang it from the ceiling or an egg tree.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day Newspaper Challenge

Crumpling newspaper is so easy, your dad can do it with one hand! Or can he? This Father's Day, bet him your allowance that he can't strong-arm the press.

What to Do:Round up five full sheets of newspaper. Have your dad extend his arm and use that hand to crumple each piece of paper into a ball. Give him two minutes to get the job done.

The Scoop on Why He Can't: Odds are, his arm will give out after crumpling just two or three sheets. That's because the muscles he's using don't often see a lot of action, so they tire out surprisingly fast.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Day Shamrock Pattern

Print out this shamrock pattern on a piece of white or colored paper.  Decorate with markers, crayons, glue, glitter, etc.  Hang your shamrocks from the ceiling with a piece of string for an easy decoration!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Hearts Decoration Chain

  • Cardboard tube
  • Paintbrush and red paint
  • Pushpin
  • Needle
  • Embroidery thread
  • Beads (with holes large enough for the needle to pass through)
1. Cut the tube in half and brush the halves inside and out with red paint. Let them dry. 2. Flatten the halves, then cut them into one-inch segments. Shape each segment into a heart by pushing one creased side toward the center. Pierce holes in the top and bottom of each heart with a pushpin. 3. Thread the needle and knot the end. Slide on a bead until it stops at the knotted end, then loop back and push the needle through the bead again, going from bottom to top.  4. Thread on a heart, then add a bead just above it, using the same looping technique to secure it in place. Repeat to create a string of hearts and beads.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St Patrick's Day Recipe - Shamrock Pretzel

Here's a tasty new twist on the traditional St. Patrick's Day shamrock -- sweet green pretzels fashioned from canned refrigerated bread stick dough and coated with a sprinkling of colored sugar and cinnamon.
  • Canned refrigerated bread stick dough (we used Pillsbury Original Breadsticks)
  • Colored sugar
  • Cinnamon
  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
  2. To create the clover shape, mold 3 sections of bread sticks into hearts and press them together as shown. Attach a small stem, decorate, bake according to the package directions, and serve them up to your lucky guests.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Easter Topiary Craft Decoration

  • 6-inch Styrofoam Ball
  • Foot-long Wooden Dowel
  • Glue
  • 6-inch Terra-Cotta Pot
  • Plaster
  • Easter Grass
  • 2 Layers of Tulle (1 purple, 1 yellow) or Acrylic Paint
  • Ribbons
  • Round Toothpicks
  • Round, Foil-Wrapped Chocolate
  1. Poke a 6-inch Styrofoam ball onto a foot-long wooden dowel and glue the ball in place.
  2. Fill a decorated 6-inch terra-cotta pot with plaster--first glue a piece of Styrofoam over the hole at the bottom--and push the dowel into the still-wet plaster. After the plaster sets, glue Easter grass on its surface.
  3. So the Styrofoam doesn't show through, cover the ball in 2 layers of tulle (1 purple, 1 yellow), which you can gather tightly around the dowel with ribbons (you could also just paint the ball with acrylic paint).
  4. Use round toothpicks to cover the ball with chocolates, poking one end into the chocolate and the other into the ball

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Lollipop Craft

  • Red and green construction paper or card stock
  • Scissors
  • Lollipop
  • Glue stick
  1. From red construction paper, cut out a heart that's just larger than the lollipop candy and glue it to the wrapper.
  2. For the leaves, fold the green paper in half and cut out a leaf shape, leaving the two sides attached at the seam.
  3. Unfold the double leaf shape, coat the entire inside surface with glue, and fold it back over the lollipop stem, pressing to secure.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Carrot Tree Decoration

Lure the Easter Bunny to your house with this mini indoor tree bearing his favorite snack. 

  • Several 12-inch orange bumpy pipe cleaners
  • Several 4-inch lengths of green embroidery floss
  • Newspaper
  • Bare tree branch
  • Small flowerpot
  • Decorative stones or glass beads
To make one, first cut several 12-inch orange bumpy pipe cleaners into quarters to create four 3-inch pieces, each with a wider part at its center.
Form each piece into a carrot by folding over about ½ inch at one end and tying on several 4-inch lengths of green embroidery floss at the bend. Trim the floss, if necessary. Slip a loop of floss or string under the folded end for a hanger, then fold up the bottom tip of the pipe cleaner as well. Next, use balled-up newspaper to support a bare branch (ours was about 10 inches tall) set upright in a small flowerpot. Add a layer of decorative stones or glass beads, then hang the pipe cleaner carrots on the branch.

Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Game

Can you fool the leprechaun in search of the lost gold?  In this group game, players must put on their poker faces and use sleight of hand to keep a coin from a leprechaun's sight.
What You Need
  • Coin
  1. First select a leprechaun and have her cover her eyes or look away while you hand a coin to one of the other players. Then have all the players sit in a circle with the leprechaun standing in the middle.
  2. At "Go," the seated players begin slyly passing the coin around the circle, being careful to hide the coin from the leprechaun's view. The coin can reverse direction at any time, and players without the coin can pretend to pass it along to add to the challenge.
  3. When the leprechaun thinks she knows who has the coin, she calls "stop" and names her suspect. If the leprechaun guesses right, the 2 players switch places. If not, play continues.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Yarn Heart Craft

  • Yarn
  • Cornstarch Glue
  • Water
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Parchment paper
  1. First, make the glue by combining ¼ cup of cornstarch and ½ cup of water in a saucepan and stirring until smoothHeat the mixture over medium heat until it's thick and translucent. Allow it to cool to the touch.
  2. Cut yarn into foot-long pieces.
  3. Place a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the shiny side of a piece of parchment paper. Have your child push a piece of yarn into the glue to coat it. Pick up the piece and run it between a thumb and forefinger to remove the excess glue. Lay the yarn inside the cookie cutter.
  4. Repeat with the other pieces until the yarn fills the heart shape in a thin layer. With clean hands, press the yarn flat. Gently lift off the cookie cutter and allow the yarn to dry hard, at least a day.
  5. You can speed up the drying process by placing the hearts and parchment paper into an oven set to "warm" for an hour or two.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Family Funtime - Build A Tube Castle

Start with an assortment of toilet tissue and paper towel rolls. Color the tubes with a coat of gold poster paint. Once they are dry, you can create the appearance of cut stone by applying a contrasting color with a small sponge square. Using a utility knife, cut windows in the tube towers (a parent's job) or just draw them on with a black marker. Cut notches around the tops of several turrets.

When assembling the castle, start from the center. Glue together two or three taller tubes for the main towers. Then, stack smaller rolls around them, interlocking the towers with tabs cut in the tube bottoms. Create the castle's front wall using a 4-inch square of construction paper. Draw on an ornate door frame and sandwich the wall between the front two rows of towers.

Now you're ready to start roofing. For each roof, cut a circle out of construction paper. Make a single snip into the center and form a cone by overlapping and gluing together the cut edges. Glue the roofs in place on top of the towers. For a miniature drawbridge, glue Popsicle-stick planks side by side onto a piece of cardboard. Attach the drawbridge to the castle wall with metallic cording or paper clip chains.