Tag Archives: crafts

Oodles of Nutcracker Kids’ Crafts!

nutcracker-kids-crafts

Miss Fiona and her daddy have a tradition this time of year of watching The Nutcracker and reading picture books about nutcrackers.  Daryl also has a collection of nutcrackers that the kids love to play with.

Last week, Fiona asked me if she could spend her money on a nutcracker for daddy.  The nutcracker in question was overpriced and badly made, so I offered to help her make him a nutcracker instead.  She loved the idea and I was on the hunt for some fun and easy nutcracker crafts.

Here are the best that I found, in case your kiddos would like to make some nutcrackers of their own.

Sophie World has this easy printable nutcracker that kids color and then glue to a toilet paper tube.  Add embellishments like buttons, feathers, pompoms and even a toothpick sword if you like.  It’s a bit tricky to find the PDF — click on “stats” to find it.

Nutcracker-toilet tube roll

Learn Create Love has a printable nutcracker that kids can color and then cut out and assemble.

nutcracker printable

Playground Park Bench has a rather elaborate Nutcracker and mouse battle tic tac toe game made of clothespins that you can make with the kids.  I’m not sure we need to buy all the parts and do it that fancy, but I’m thinking we could use some clothespins and craft supplies around the house to make our own kid versions.

Nutcracker-Game-Playing-Tic-Tac-Toe-with-Toy-Soldiers

Schooling a Monkey shows how to make cute little craft stick nutcracker characters.

Nutcracker-Craft-popsicle-stick

Crafty Morning uses popsicle sticks, paper and clothespins to make some very cute kid-made nutcrackers.

nutcracker-christmas-craft-for-kids

Glued to My Crafts has a sweet paper plate nutcracker for kids to craft.

nutcracker-paper-plate

Fireflies and Mudpies shows how to make a toy soldier ornament with craft sticks and paint.

nutcracker-Toy-Soldier-Ornament

And I am in love with these darling nutcracker portraits shared on smArt Class.

nutcracker-drawings

She also shared this video to show kids how to draw their own nutcrackers.

 

 

Deviant Art’s CyberDrone has a printable nutcracker cube kids can have fun assembling, too.

nutcracker_cube

Lastly, Mom Junction has an assortment of Nutcracker themed coloring pages to print out for the kids to color.

nutcracker-coloring-pages

And with that, I’m off to do a billion nutcracker crafts with a happy little girl.

 

 

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Shrunken Apple Heads!

Here’s a fun little science and nature craft just in time for Halloween.  The kids and I made shrunken apple heads this month and it’s been great fun watching them change over time.

shrunken apple heads

All you need are some apples (we used imperfect ones off a generous neighbor’s tree), salt and lemon juice.

First peel your apples.  You can leave a little on the top and bottom like a little hat and scarf.

Then give your child some carving tools (a chopstick, grapefruit spoon or pen knife all work well, depending on your child’s age and skill level with tools).  You can trace your design first with a pen or pencil, if you like.

Carve out a face, making sure to make each feature large since they will shrink up and collapse somewhat.

shrunken apple head

Then mix up some salt and lemon juice and apply it all over, especially in the parts you’ve carved out.  This will prevent mold and also protect them from getting too brown.  If you like, you can talk to the kids about how salt has been used for thousands of years to preserve foods and other things, and how acids like lemon juice slow oxidation (browning caused by a chemical reaction when substances react with oxygen).

preserving shrunken apple head

Now just put your apple heads somewhere to dry.  Choose a location where you can watch them and keep up with how they change.

Have fun!

 

 

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Make a Daisy Chain or Flower Crown!

Do you know how to make a daisy chain or flower crown?  It’s incredibly easy and so fun!

There are several classic ways to make a flower crown:  the slit stem, braided, and woven.  Here are the simple instructions to do all three.

Method #1 — Split stem

dandelion-crown

  1. Trim flower stems to about 4 inches. Use a fingernail to make a small slit in the bottom half of each stem.
  2. Thread one stem through the slit in the next, creating a chain. Continue, adding flowers to reach desired length. To form a circle or crown, make a second slit in the stem of the first flower, and slip the last flower through it.

If you like visuals, here’s a quick video that shows the split stem method of making a daisy chain.

Method #2 — Braided

This method makes a more tightly knit flower crown or daisy chain, and is a bit more durable.  Simply braid three stems together for about an inch, and then add in more flowers to the braid.

how to make daisy chain crowns

Creative Green Living has a lovely step-by-step tutorial with lots of photos.

 

Method #3 — Woven

daisy chain

This is another easy way to make a flower crown.  Simply wrap one stem around the flower of the next, pull both stems to the side, and add another.  Wrap that stem around the first two, pull all three stems to the side, and continue.  As stems end, they will be woven into the line well enough to stay put.  To finish, wrap the last flower around the first flower and the end of the chain, forming a circle.

And here’s a short video that shows the woven method of making a flower crown.

Our Annalee (Rhiannon Lee, known these days as Rhia) also made a simple rose crown years ago and shared the instructions here on Magical Childhood.

rose crown

Have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Sorry to be MIA for so long again.  Let’s see if I can do better this month!  🙂 

Here are a few ways to make some memories with your kiddos this week…..

1.  Head outside to enjoy the spring weather for some simple, old fashioned fun together.  Blow bubbles (the photo above is from about 8 years ago when the local paper caught me playing with Jack and Victoria in the front yard).  Fly kites. Toss the frisbee.  There’s a reason those things have lasted so many generations.  They’re just fun!

bubblenews

2. Paint some walking sticks.  Head out to the woods and found some good specimens, and then bring them home and decorate them.

3. Play magic eight ball radio.  This silly game is something my husband and our sixteen year-old, Victoria, came up with on their way to play practice together last month.  All they do is ask the radio a question (How is opening night going to go?  Should the family go to Sioux Falls tomorrow?  How is Alex going to act at the restaurant?) and then press “seek” on the radio.  The first line or sentence that someone says or sings after it finds a station is the answer.  Sometimes they have to press seek a few times to get a proper answer. The answers tend to be pretty funny, and our whole family was laughing when they taught us how to play last week.  🙂

radio

4.  Make some yarn eggs together.  We first did this craft when my Annalee was a preschooler.  She’s now fifteen!  Here are the instructions.

5.  Do some dice drawing!  Here’s a free printable to play this fun art game, or you could make up your own together.

6.  Go for a walk in the rain (or after the rain) and go puddle stomping together.

Dancing in the rain

7.  Make some Ivory soap clouds in the microwave and then paint them.  Here are the easy instructions and the science behind what happens.

8.  Do some chalk art around the house and yard together.  Parents magazine says:

Walk around outside your home with a piece or two of chalk and look for interesting patterns — eyes in knots of wood, oddly shaped cracks in the sidewalk or driveway, a nail hole in the wall — that can be turned into a little picture with a few quick strokes. Let your imagination lead you; chalk isn’t permanent. Take a photo for yourself, then leave your art for someone else to find.

9.  Do a photo shoot together.  Kids of all ages love to pose for photos, and then you can play with filters and photo apps to perfect the shots.  This is also one of my kids’ favorite ways to make memories with each other.  My big kids are always getting the little ones to pose for them.  🙂

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

Photo by Jack (age 9), edited by Anna (age 12)

think

Photo of Fiona (age 3) by Anna (age 14)

10.  Make some DIY cardboard box kits!  I absolutely love this idea from Inner Child Fun.  Head over for the easy instructions.

And with that, chickadees, I’m off to try to catch up on the next 150 things I’m behind on!  Have a magical week!

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Make Some Crafts!

Do you have Mo Willems fans in your family?  We are huge fans of all of his books, but especially the pigeon books.

I found this adorable craft today via the Learning with Literature group Pinterest board.

With lots of other adorable pigeon ideas at the lovely blog it’s from, Diary of a First Grade Teacher.

And she led to me This and That at the Library, which had the printable to make the toilet tube pigeons.

The Learning with Literature board also had this adorable balloon craft from Shauna Lynn, along with a ton of sweet birthday ideas.

  

Even with their own cardboard bus!

So I went looking for some more pigeon fun and found this darling handprint paint craft at Mommy and Me Book Club.

And this idea for making hand puppets to retell the story, off of Pinterest (no link, just an image).

And another bus from another birthday party over at Two Little Birds and a Bug.

Then I found a Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus Printable over at Plants and Pillars.

Learning with Miss Jenny has two wonderful crafts, a popsicle stick puppet activity and a craft where kids can make their own pigeon and recommend what the next book should be called.

And then Coffee Cups and Crayons has this adorable playdough pigeon kit!

The Best Children’s Books has this tutorial for kids to draw their own pigeons.

And Libraryland has this neat printable pigeon writing activity.

 (Best answer ever, Jordan!)

And the official Pigeon Presents has all sorts of other fun, from online activities to monthly coloring pages to an 8 page teacher’s guide and more (the Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 10th Birthday Celebration Activity Kit is especially fun!).

I know what we’re doing next week!

Have fun!

 

 

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Fairy and Elf Doors!

We’re a big fan of fairy doors and gnome doors here at our house.  We have a gnome door in one of our trees out front and have made salt dough fairy doors inside in past years (click here to see how we did it).

Tonight, I stumbled on some more wonderful ways to make fairy doors (or elf doors or goblin weapons closets or whatever your children want to deem them!).

Here’s a few…..  Click on the links for lots more photos and directions.

Knickertwist posted all sorts of fabulous inspirational photos on Craftster I think it’s brilliant to use popsicle sticks for the doors, and now we have a new reason to start stockpiling them.

And just look at the tiny laundry hanging nearby!

Artful Kid posted this adorable twig fairy door to Flickr.

Kaboodle featured this darling door that was offered for sale on Etsy.

And Roots Nursery really went to town making fairy doors after getting inspired by others online.

This would make a fantastic rainy day project with the kiddos and I think we’ll try our hands and making some more sometime soon.

Remember not to focus on making perfect little pretty projects.  For kids, the magic is in the making of them, especially when we share their enthusiasm and join in the fun.  And fairies are marvelously unconcerned about perfection.  😉

Happy Weekend, Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Everything Else!

~Alicia

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Plastic Bag Flowers, Revisited

A few days ago, I got a comment on a new post asking how I made some plastic bag flowers back in 2010.  I didn’t even remember making plastic bag flowers, but a quick blog search showed this post where I linked to a fabulous blog with instructions.

It turns out that the original blog is down, but thanks to the amazing Wayback Machine, you can still read the post and get the directions here.  I also found the original author’s current blog, which has some neat community art projects to check out.  For instance, this is an art installation called “the tent” that community members created out of scrap fabric from a nearby factory.

And this amazing community art installation is created out of recycled plastic bags, just like those flowers.  Isn’t it amazing?

Now I’m wishing we had plastic bags in colors other than boring white, and looking at all of our recycling with new eyes again.  🙂

Fun stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

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