Happy Chinese New Year: Easy Dragon Craft

The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Saturday 1-28-2017.  It is the YEAR OF THE ROOSTER.  Why not have your kids join in the festivities by making their own CHINESE DRAGON PUPPETS.

Here is all you need (with scissors, tacky glue and some bag clips to hold pieces in place):

2016-01-16-19-52-20I used thin foam pieces for the head and tail, and card stock for the head fin and middle section.  You can also use craft paper for the whole thing, or felt and ribbons or yarn for the mid-section.  Pipe cleaners are another option for the mid section or stems. Let your imagination go for creative designs.

Using the pattern pieces below, cut the number of pieces indicated and set aside.

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If you’re using paper for the midsection, fold it accordion style as shown here:

2016-01-16-21-09-48Make it as long as you like…it actually looks best when the middle is long and twisting.

Assemble the head by inserting the fin between the two pieces.  Glue in place.   Insert the sticks (I used wooden skewers) between the head pieces and tail pieces.  Insert the ends of the midsection into these pieces as shown.  Glue in place and clip to hold together until it dries.

2016-01-16-21-26-15        2016-01-16-21-26-27Add a googlie eye or draw facial features with a Sharpie marker.  Don’t forget to put features on both sides!

 

Hold the sticks at both ends to make the Dragon move.

Here’s another version of a dragon puppet:  http://www.redtedart.com/chinese-new-year-craft-dragon-puppet-free-printable/

For more activities and easy crafts to celebrate the Year of the Rooster visit:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/chinesenewyear/

Happy New Year!

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50+ Easy Ornaments and Crafts For Kids.

Every year, when I take out my many Christmas ornaments, I relive the moments I shared making many of them with my kids.  The collection has grown over the years and my son and daughter now have boxes of their own to take with them when they are ready.

If you haven’t already, why not start a tradition of crafting some simple ornaments this year.  There are  plenty of sights with numerous ideas to get you started. Here are some of them.

From Play Ideas:  http://www.playideas.com/25-christmas-ornaments-kids-can-make/?utm_content=buffer4636d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

From Red Ted Art:   http://www.redtedart.com/category/christmas-2/

The walnut owls are easy and delightful.

From Family Fun:  https://family.disney.com/crafts/

There are crafts for every skill and interest, using on hand materials such as paper, felt, pipe cleaners, walnuts, yarn and more.

Why not create some holiday memories with a few hand-made ornaments.  Here is a sample of my own from past years.     2015-12-10-00-24-21

If you’re interested in a specific one, leave a comment and I’ll send directions.

 

Great Fall Crafts For Kids From Pre K – Teens.

I’ve mentioned the awesome website Red Ted Art many times on this blog. The wealth and variety of craft information and ideas makes me visit it again and again.  And what better time for “crafting” than the fall season?  Take the kids on a NATURE WALK and collect leaves, pine cones, acorns and sticks, and you’ll have all the makings of some great crafts to decorate your home for the fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving season.

You’ll find plenty of things to do with LEAVES, ACORNS, PINE CONES, such as an adorable Pine cone Hedgehog.  Origami Bats will fly at Halloween, and Cork Penguins can hang around through winter.  Check out the site and have some family fun creating great fall crafts.

http://www.redtedart.com/?s=fall+crafts+for+kids

Don’t Throw That Away…Make Folk Art!

There is no question that we are a throw away culture.  Just stop by any neighborhood on trash day or on any college campus during moving in or out day.  Many of us don’t see value in reusing everyday objects once their purpose has been served.

But thankfully, there are also some unique artists who use everyday materials in their art and create some amazing things as a result.  The definition of FOLK ART is:

“artistic works, as paintings, sculpture, basketry, and utensils, produced typically in cultural isolation by untrained often anonymous artists or by artisans of varying degrees of skill and marked by such attributes as highly decorative design, bright bold colors, flattened perspective, strong forms in simple arrangements, and immediacy of meaning.”

A more simple definition is: Turning what other deem as junk into works of beauty, whimsy and fun.  

Haitian folk art iguana made from recycled steel drum.

Haitian folk art iguana made from recycled steel drum.

There is no end to the creative expression found in this art form.  Every medium is used, from glass, metal, paper, wood, stone, shells, clay.  Visit the Coral Castle, a Bottle Village, or the Magic Gardens of Philadelphia.  These are just a sample of some amazing folk art installations throughout the US.  Here are some more:

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/10-unforgettable-folk-art-environments

You might also want to check out these roadside attractions made from recycled materials…including a house made entirely from beer cans.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/photos/8-roadside-attractions-made-from-salvaged-materials/must-see-places

Have you ever tried your hand at Folk Art?  Or seen some amazing examples?  Tell us about your favorites.    

"stash" doll made from fabric scraps and vinyl film.

“stash” doll made from fabric scraps and vinyl film.

 

 

More Summer Fun and Games.

It only feels like summer is over.  There is still plenty of time for fun and games.  If your kids are bored or you just want them to enjoy some fun away from technology, check out these sites for some ideas:

  1.  For some old-fashioned jump rope rhymes try:

http://www.gameskidsplay.net/jump_rope_ryhmes/jump_miss_susie.htm

2.  For imaginative platy and telling stories with nature here’s a wonderful site hosted by my writer friend Katey Howes:  http://kateywrites.wordpress.com/2015…th-nature/

3.  For great summer crafts for kids of all ages:

http://www.spoonful.com/summer/summer-crafts

Here’s another site for dozens of ideas for summer or rainy days.  This site even has light sabers, salt dough dinosaurs, bubble art, weaving, and plastic flowers to name just a few.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/nataliebrown/impossibly-cool-crafts-that-will-blow-your-kids-minds?utm_term=.eodvM0BGa&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Parents%20622&utm_content=Parents%20622+CID_21d3394b54b860e27a06b21dbba3384c&utm_source=BuzzFeed%20Newsletters#.hqnXJNkVY

Other ideas:  Make ice pops by putting your favorite juice in paper cups with a popsicle or craft stick resting in each.  Freeze until firm.  Tear away the paper and enjoy.    Water balloon catch is perfect for a hot afternoon.  Bubbles provide endless hours of fun for even the youngest kids. Go on a NATURE WALK and look for things in unexpected places.  Even in your own back yard you can find nests of birds, rabbits, a butterfly chrysalis, caterpillars and the like.  Nurture the young scientists in your house and discover the wonders of the great outdoors.

What do you like to do for fun?!

 

Celebrate July 4th With Fruit Salads, Play and More.

Many of us will be hosting or attending parades and picnics to celebrate our nation’s birthday this July 4th.  Happy 240th USA! Besides the usual burgers, hotdogs and salads that are part of every picnic, why not have you and your children add a delicious FRUIT SALAD to the menu?  There are so many tasty summer fruits available now and what better way to get those good vitamins than with sweet and juicy fruit? 

Here are two that I mixed up after a trip to my local farm market.

Strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries.

Strawberries, kiwi, and blueberries.

 

Strawberries, mango, blackberries, cherries and coconut.

Strawberries, mango, blackberries, cherries and coconut.

Try what ever combination you like…there is no wrong way to make a fruit salad.   And while you’re enjoying some salad, here are some sights that have plenty of holiday games and activities for kids of all ages.

Check out my previous posts for more fruit salad ideas.

 

From How Stuff Works: http://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/holiday-crafts/fourth-of-julycrafts-for-kids.htm

 

From Teach Preschool http://www.teachpreschool.org/2010/06/preschool-ideas-for-fourth-of-july/

From Enchanted Learning: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/july4/

Have a Happy and Safe Fourth of July!

Summer Fun: Crafts For Kids of All Ages.

Summer vacation is here!  While your children enjoy a break from school, you still want to make sure they are active and spending time in constructive pursuits instead of vegging out in front of the TV or computer.  Trips to parks and playgrounds, lakes and beaches, are a great way to enjoy the outdoors.  For days when it is too hot to go outside, or for times when quiet activity is preferred, there are some great sites for summer crafts.

The Long Thread offers 50 Summer Crafts for kids of all ages including Stone Dolls, Recycled Crayons, and Fairy Wings.

http://thelongthread.com/?p=4054

Spoonful also has a lot of great crafts to while away lazy summer days.  This site includes recipes and party games as well.

http://spoonful.com/summer/summer-crafts

You can also have your kids join in on the COLORING CRAZE with FREE COLORING PAGES from Learning to Walk.   Flowers-Colouring-Pages-for-Red-Ted-Art-by-Learning-2-Walk.compressed

Finally,  check out the RED TED site for videos on some amazing crafts that will keep your children entertained all summer long.  http://www.redtedart.com

Happy Summer!