Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Tree Countdown

This is a project my family did last year and really love. I think it is worth sharing. We wanted a Christmas countdown for our kids but we wanted to make it. After much online research this is what we came up with.
The kids place a star on the tree or board each day leading up to Christmas. They are so excited to be able to add a star to the board and love counting how many are left in the box. This project was another one that was really, really simple and fun.
You will need:
- a metal tray (we went thrift shopping and found one for $.10
- Paint
-Craft Sealer
- 25 wooden stars (a visit to your local craft store)
our store also had circles and we considered making little ornaments but the kids wanted stars
- 25 magnetic backs (again local craft store/shopping center)
- Paint the tray
- Add a tree
- Paint the starts
- Spray with a sealer (a few coats)
- Add the magnetic backs to the starts
- Begin your countdown
It really is that easy.

Easy Christmas Angel

 In the spirit of keeping with our newly found Holiday crafting rules we have now completed our first Christmas craft - a coffee filter angle. We have made these angels three years in a row and each year the kids love making them. They are already asking if we can make another.

To make your very own Christmas angel you will need:
- 3 coffee filters
- 2 cotton balls
- string/yarn
- a pipe cleaner
- glue
- decorating supplies glitter, markers, googly eyes, etc. (optional)

In the past we have make plain, white angels, we have colored them with markers and we have painted our angels. This year we decided to use markers and then spray the colored filters with a water bottle.

First, decorate the coffee filters. Two of the filters will form the body of the angel (and head), one will become the wings. If you want to draw eyes on your angel you can place the cotton balls in the center of one of the coffee filters and wrap the filter around the cotton. This will show you where your head is going to be located.

                                                                                                  Make a sandwich with two coffee filters and the cotton balls. Lay one filter down on the table with the "wrong side" up. Place both cotton balls in the center of the coffee filter. Sandwich the cotton balls with the second coffee filter placed "wrong side" up.
                                                                                                    Now wrap the cotton balls with the filters to form a head. Tie your string/yarn around the cotton balls to form a head and keep the second filter from falling.  Tie the ends of the string together to form a loop if you want to hang your angel up. (ornament)
The next step is to fold the third cotton filter in half.
Pinch the filter in the middle to form wings.

Cut a pipe cleaner in half. Wrap on end around the wings to hold them in place and then form a halo with the remainder of the pipe cleaner.
Glue your wings onto the back of you angel and you are finished. Or add eyes/mouth/glitter/sequins or anything else you can imagine.

The best kind of Turkey

Craft time is here once again. Otherwise known as the Holidays! It seems each year as we approach the Holiday season our family finds ourselves deeply immersed into the world of crafting. You have Halloween, Thanksgiving and then Christmas all in a row each one begging for a craft or two to be devoted to the day.
This year is seems we are busier than ever (although it is entirely possible that I have just placed a huge barrier between myself and memories of busyness from previous years.) As we approach this crafting season it seems I may have some different criteria from previous seasons.

1. Keep it Simple (It will help with everyone's sanity)
2. Keep it Cheap (most of these items will not stick around for too long)
3. Use items that can be found around the house
4. Plan, Plan, Plan

With these basic rules in mind I attacked my computer looking for a Thanksgiving craft. I scoured pintrest and other favorite sites for project ideas. I found many beautiful ideas that I would love to execute and have placed in wonder nooks and crannies for the Holidays but alas, I don't have nooks in my house and the crannies are definitely not filled with beautiful, completed craft items. I remind myself to keep it simple and cheap - after all those are the crafts the kids really love.

In the end, I found a wonderful Thanksgiving turkey. I was able to use items already in my house and my oldest could do the craft all by herself. (Independence is becoming increasingly important to her.)

Here is what you will need to make your own Thanksgiving Turkey - the easy way.
- An empty toilet paper roll
- Colored paper (we used card stock)
- Google eyes or markers/pen/crayon
- Glue
- Scissors

 Cut a body out of brown paper to go over one end of the tube. I used the tube as a template - trace the end of the tube, go up a few inches and trace another circle (a bottle cap will work for the smaller circle) and draw lines to connect them. You will also need to cut out feet, a wattle, feathers and a beak. For the beak I cut out two small triangles, folded over a small flap on the fat end of the triangle (the side I was going to attach to the bird), then I folded each triangle in half. When I glued the flap onto the face it made the beak stand out.

The feet will help your bird stand - Be careful not to make them too small.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Bathtime Staple

Today I almost feel like I am cheating with this post because it is so simple. That being said sometimes simplicity can bring pure joy. In this case, that's exactly what my 3 year old feels when we make up shaving cream paint. This activity is a pintrest favorite for a reason!

Here is all you need:
  • Food Coloring
  • Shaving Cream
  • A Paintbrush or Two (even your hands will work)
  • A Muffin Pan
  • A Young Child in need of a bath
Put some shaving cream into each muffin spot in your tin and mix with food coloring. Put your little one in the bath and supply them with all the art supplies they need. I have seen some posts where people were concerned with staining from the food coloring. I have never had an issue with that but then again, I don't use a ton of coloring either.

I hope you find this useful and a quick, fun activity!