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.