autumn leaf stained glass (kids craft)

Monday, October 10, 2011 – Filed under: arts and crafts,autumn,Canadian,kids art,kids crafts,kids friendly ::

In the midst of canning pears, dividing perennials, playing with baby toes and an increasingly curious (and baby squat afficionado… hello mama biceps!) man cub…. we decided to welcome autumn and bring some of the gorgeous leaves falling outside, in.

After carefully collecting a pile my little (though now not littlest one) arranged them on our waxed paper. It looks brown here because it truly is – it’s an eco one but you could use the white stuff for a more transluscent effect against the window.

Then she put another piece of waxed paper on top, and had her first extensive ironing experience. Yay for ironing boards whose height can be adjusted!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011 – Filed under: birthdays,kids craft,kids friendly ::

There we are, the 4 of us. A little rock family made for her dad’s birthday.

First she collected some pebbles (the smallest one she could find that she thought could still hold the 2 googly eyes), and painted them up.

And then we hot glued the eyes on, and hot glued the rock people to their home on the wooden plaque.

And then our packages were (extra) specially wrapped.

And our chocolate beet cake received its final decorations.

And just like that we celebrated the first birthday in this family – as a family of 4. It felt so right. Like it’s always been like this. I cannot even really remember when we were just 3, nevermind 2. This is truly the stuff of life.

fingerpainted flowers (kids craft)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 – Filed under: art,flowers,kid friendly,kids crafts,kids friendly ::

Inspired by the beautiful blooms in our little gardens (hello bleeding hearts, iris, astilbe, peony, phlox)…. my little one used some Tempra paint on her fingertips to make some beautiful flowers of her own.

First she used watercolor paper (we cut these into pieces as the scale of the craft is quite small – you know, those 4 year old fingertips :) Then she used wax green crayons to draw her stems.

Then, using her favorite neon colored Tempra paints, she made her blossoms!

What’s coming up in your garden?

dinosaur eggs (young kid-friendly craft)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 – Filed under: children,kids crafts,kids friendly,Uncategorized ::

Our first papier mache craft together was so much fun. The little one is very interested in dinosaurs these days, so we decided to make some big dinosaur eggs.

We started with a ballooon (hot pink, of course), and some cut up newspaper. Luckily, the Globe and Mail newspaper (which we have delivered, old school style to our door every morning), now uses much more eco friendly inks. Yay!

Then we mixed up our papier mache mix. The first time (what you see here for the first layer of the dinosaur egg), we used whole wheat flour as that’s all I had around. It gave the paper a very interesting, grainy texture :)

She worked to cover the balloon with her wet stripes of whole-wheat-laden newsprint.

After we let it dry, sitting inside our largest measuring cup to hold the excess goop drips, it was hard and very egg-like! We then went through the process again to make it extra strong, giving it a 2nd and even 3rd layer of newsprint.

When that was all dry, she used her watercolor paints to give it a little color.

And then she popped the balloon, leaving the little hole where the balloon had been tied before. For her, the place where the dinosaur baby inside was starting to hatch.

Some more paint, some more imagining.

And a little needle felted purple dinosaur baby was quickly created to complete the project.

make a 3D spring flower garden (kid-friendly craft)

Right now, my daughter is all about thinking and building in 3D. There’s a fabulous clay studio in Ottawa she goes to once a week, and shapes away, and spends lots of the rest of the time making paper sculptures, and combining wooden blocks and paper… and I guess I feel really fortunate to be able to travel on this ride with her.

Her grandma (and my shop partner) came up with a sweet little idea for a 3D spring craft – building a garden. First she started with a small box. She painted the top green, and used green construction paper glued along the other sides.

Then out came the wooden popsicle sticks, and she painted these green too – for stems.

Next she used various colors of construction paper to cut out flower tops and shapes.

And then Grandma used a pair of scissors to make holes across the top of the box so that the sticks could be arranged in whatever placement was preferred. No glue necessary!! Yay!

She added a little green tent in the middle for the lucky garden inhabitants. Perhaps an elf, or a fairy, or a sweet little insect. It sat for awhile in the light of the sun in our back room, and has now found a comfy home on the (getting-awfully-crowded) spring nature table.

p.s. you can still enter the spring giveaway here

tissue paper, vegetable stamps + little kid fun (oh, and a new look!)

Monday, April 4, 2011 – Filed under: children,creativity,kids crafts,kids friendly,Uncategorized ::

Just in time for spring, this blog has a new look – and a new home (largely to fit with our new website here). I hope you like it! I’m sort of still getting used to it.  Change is refreshing, and rejuvenating, even if it’s a little scary sometimes.  So on this beautiful spring Monday morning, I thought I’d share a craft we did recently.

After lots of tissue paper ripping and careful glueing…

She had herself an ocean and a sky, with a bright spring sun.

And then we used a potato to make a duck stamp, carving it with a sharp knife (mom did this part).

I had to work at it a few times to make sure the duck was thick enough to take paint and still appear as a duck on the paper.

And some yellow Tempera paint later…

… she made a row of quacking yellow ducks.

Wishing you a wonderfully creative Monday.

You can still enter our little giveaway here.

10 things I love about you book how-to

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 – Filed under: art,birthdays,books,handmade,kids craft,kids friendly,toddlers ::

For her dad’s recent birthday, a little girl I know put together a little book full of things she loves about him. It was a fabulous craft, just right for a 3 year old, with a little bit of help from mom – I cut the paper, wrote down her words (verbatim) and tied the pages together with embroidery thread.  The rest was hers. And now, his.

We used colored construction paper, cutting 11 similarly-sized rectangles in different colors. Ten for the pages and one cover. Color is quite a big deal in our house these days, so this worked out very well.

After carefully folding them in half (the short way), they were glued together (like a paper sandwich).

We used our new favorite eco kids’ glue by Clementine Art (I just wished it came in larger squeeze bottles).

Next we folded the papers over, and arranged them under a big, heavy book so they wouldn’t curl as they dried.

Once dry, she decorated one side of each rectangle, leaving the other blank. She ordered the pages of the book, decided what would be the cover.

Then it was time for me to inscribe “the list”. I had casually asked her a few days earlier if she could think of ten things she loved about her dad. She stopped and thought for a few minutes and then came out with her favorite reasons. I wrote them down and carefully repeated them back. She was certain. The following day, I asked her again, and she came up with the same reasons.

Once I wrote her “favorite things” on the book pages, we attached the pages together in the upper right hand corner (that’s just how ours worked out) with cotton embroidery thread.

She still pulls it out and re-gifts it to him, now well past his birthday. Offering him something entirely handmade (by her) for his birthday seems to have brought her great joy. And seeing the joy it brought and still brings him only increases her emotions exponentially. Pretty neat.