Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beating the Winter Blues

I've been getting a few requests for lists of projects that are easy to do on an 'inside day' so I decided to do a post on crafts to stay stocked on and simple projects to keep your little ones entertained!

My craft box has essentials so that on any random day, I can pull it out and make something. When I am thinking of a specific project that calls for more, I go and get that. Whenever we go to WalMart or Target, I cruise through the clearance aisles to see what I can score for super cheap that can be used for crafts. We have a wall in the apartment that has been designated for all the art to hang. It's great! Benny points to previous projects and asks to repeat them. Or he tells me about how we made them. He really loves it! The other day, while coloring, he goes, "Oh gy gosh! (his version of oh my gosh) I love projects Mommy!!" Sigh. Love.

Anyway, here's what I keep in my box:
Different types of papers - construction paper, foam paper, felt paper
Pom-poms, fuzzy straws (pipe-cleaners), popsicle sticks, wooden letters, I have googly eyes somewhere but I couldn't find them for some reason 
Different adhesives - tacky glue (craft glue) (I prefer the quick dry in clear), school glue, glue stick, wood glue, packing tape, and I also have a hot glue gun (always good to have a large bag of glue refills
Different mediums of color - washable finger paints (I use plastic shotglasses to give Benny a bit from each color), acrylic paints, colored pencils, crayons (not pictured) 
I like to keep scissors, pens, pencils and permanent markers in a separate container for my use. 

Every roll of toilet paper or paper towel that gets finished goes straight to the craft box.

Sometimes I find craft kits in the clearance aisle or just super affordable. We have a sun-catcher kit that comes with supplies for 8, picked it up for $5 at WalMart. We also found a felt puppet-making kit at Hobby Lobby, priced at $4.75, with an additional 40% off! 

On quiet days, I browse through different crafting sites for ideas - Oriental Trading, Rhode Island Novelty, etc. I keep a list in my box. When we have a hankering for a project, I just look through my list and pull out the supplies!

Even though it's not quite Chanukah yet, my father got Benny an early present (amazing sales call for early gifts!). We got him a Step2 Train Table that doubles as a craft table! We roll this out for the bigger projects. His little picnic table just wasn't cutting it anymore! I really want to get a roll of white butcher paper for large projects, keeping my eye out for good deals still.

Alright, here are some quick ideas. Feel free to ask questions!
Let's start with some Thanksgiving crafts:
** Paper plate turkey - Paint a large paper plate and small paper brown. Glue foam feathers to the back of the large plate, and two foam arms to the front. Make a face on the small plate with eyes, a beak, and a gullet. Attach foam feet to the large plate so they hang off the bottom.
** Pine cone turkey - Cut out feathers from different colored foam papers. Glue them to the pines. Using a pipe cleaner, make feet and glue to the bottom of the pine cone. Make a beak out of pipe cleaner as well. Make a gullet out of foam and attach to 'beak', along with googly eyes. Attach beak to the pine cone.

** Hats - There are so many cute ways to enjoy the meal itself. Different hats are a great way to get everyone at the table involved and give your kids a little feel for what the history of the holiday involves. You can make Pilgrim hats, turkey headbands, Indian headbands. Another cute thing to do is make turkey beaks with a gullet hanging down, attached to a large popsicle stick, that can be held up to your nose.

Some other non-holiday crafts here:
** Hand creations - Easiest and one of Benny's favorites. I trace his hands on construction paper and then outline them with permanent marker. Give him some crayons or paint and see what he can create!
** Apple prints - This one calls for paints. (I prefer to use the washable finger paints unless I'm working with wood.) Slice an apple in half. Paint it and use it as a stamp on paper.
** Fish aquarium - Decorate blue construction paper/cellophane with fish and other marine regulars. Create a frame for the tank out of popsicle sticks. Use a pipe cleaner to make a handle on the top so it can be hung up.
**Egg carton school bus - Paint one side of an egg carton yellow (or red, if your kid loves fire trucks!). In the dips, glue pictures of friends and family members who would be riding along with you!

There are so many things you can do with random things at home. Just be creative and think outside the box! Hopefully this is a good start for everyone! Enjoy!

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