Archive for art and crafts

book some fun

Let’s book some fun with snow!

First, read the book Snowballs by Lois Ehlert (Lane Library info here), and find out just how fun making a snowman (and more!) can be.   If it’s snowing outside, go out and make your own snow family.

After you have read the book, get ready to make an indoor snowperson.  Use three paperplates per snowperson.  Help your child go around the house and collect as much realia as possible–junk mail, craft stuff, scraps of material and old clothes, birthday cards, buttons, stickers, anything you can find that can be spared for a craft.  Have your child glue these bits of realia to the snowperson, using the book Snowballs for ideas if necessary.  When your child is done decorating their snowperson, they can fill in the empty spots on the paper plates by gluing on cotton balls.  For a twist, use marshmallows instead.  The marshmallows will stick to the plate like magic if you just lick them first!  And of course, be sure to have extras for snacking.  Don’t forget to make a face (hat, clothes, scarf!) for your snowperson.  You could even make arms and/or legs using pretzels.  Finally, attach the three paper plates together using several pieces of masking tape (or punch holes in the bottom and top of the plates where they will join together, thread yarn or string through the holes, and knot securely).

Have fun reading about and making snowpeople!

For lots more snow activities, click here.

–Miss Tracey

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book review

Oooh! Matisse by Mil Niepold

Cover Image

Getting ready to head to the art museum?  Be sure to read this book first.  Oooh! Matisse asks the reader to take a closer look at several of Matisse’s master cut paper works, turning art appreciation into a fun game for younger ones.  The book begins with an extreme closeup of a blue fleur-de-lys on a golden background, and asks “What is this?”  The text then guides the reader to possible answers, yellow sand or a blue feather, before revealing a larger picture with the words “oooh! I am a Leaf!”   Several more pictures are discussed, and the final spread shows the original Matisse works.  This book could be a fun first step in teaching young readers to appreciate artisitic masterpieces, as well as how to dissect those masterpieces and see them in a new way.   Be sure to make your own cut paper masterpieces after reading this book.   See this  article from Family Fun.com for more information on Matisse and making your own Matisse-like cutouts.

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Book some fun–alphabet letters

Let’s book some fun with the letters of the alphabet.

First, read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr (Lane Library info here), and find out just how much fun the alphabet can be.   Don’t forget to skit skat skoodle doot!  And check out the audio version of the story (Lane Library info here)–Ray Charles reads the story, the authors discuss the writing of the book, and there’s a fun song by author John Archambault.

After you have read the book, get ready to make a boom boom letter bottle.  Start with a clean, empty water or other small bottle.  Help your child put alphabet pasta or cereal, letter beads, glitter, beans, uncooked rice, and other similar items inside the
bottle.  Use Elmer’s glue or a hot glue gun to securely attach the lid back on to the bottle.  Have your child use markers and stickers to decorate the outside of the bottle.  Permanent markers like Sharpie’s work the best.  For cheap alphabet stickers, check the discount section of a hobby or teacher supply store, or you can even make your own.  Purchase some blank file folder coding labels at an office supply store, and write letters on them.  You could even let your child practice writing his or her own letters on the stickers.  Once you have made your own boom boom bottles, reread Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Each time that you say the refrain chicka chicka boom boom, your child should shake their boom boom bottle.  Have fun making noise and reading about the alphabet!

For lots more alphabet activities, click here.

–Miss Tracey

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fun with magnets

Make your kid the star of the show!  Make a star magnet clip/artwork holder.

Cut a star out of cardstock , or have your child cut it out.  You can also buy star die cuts at craft stores or in the craft section of many discount stores.  Help your child decorate the star with puffy paint or markers, along with stickers, sequins, or other glue ons such as flowers, pom pom, buttons, etc.  Be sure to have your child write their name across the top of the star.

When your child is finished decorating their star, glue the star to a wooden clothespin.   Attach a strip of magnetic tape down the length of the other side of the clothespin, or use pieces of recycled magnets and glue them to the clothespin.

Hang your magnet clip on the fridge, and use the clip to display your child’s artwork from storytime.  Now your child is truly the star of the show!

–Miss Tracey

(thanks to Kim for asking for a magnet craft idea)

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book some fun–bubbles!

Let’s book some fun with bubbles!

First, read the book Casey in the Bath by Cynthia DeFelice (Lane Library info here), and find out just how fun bath time can be.   If you can purchase some green bubble bath, be sure to add some of that to the bath water.  Just watch out for those bubble people!

After you have read the book, get ready to make your own bubbles.  Start with one quart of water in a shallow box or tub.  Stir in 1/2 cup of sugar and let it dissolve.  Then stir in 1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid.  You could even add food coloring to make green bubbles!  Use a slotted serving spoon as the bubble wand–dip the spoon into the bubble mixture and wave it in the air.  Other items that you could use as bubble wands include floral wire or pipe cleaners twisted into interesting shapes, a butter or yogurt lid with the center cut out of the circle, large cookie cutters, even a metal can with the ends cut off (make sure there are no sharp edges).

Have fun reading about and making bubbles!

For lots more bubble activities, click here.

–Miss Tracey

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time for back-to-school

Hi parents,

Believe it or not, it’s almost time for the kids to head back to school!  While some kids (and adults!) will cling to the last vestiges of summer, many are ready for supply shopping and new clothes.  Here are some craft ideas that you and your child can do together on these last few “I’m bored” days of summer that just might get all of you in the mood for school!

Make use of those outgrown jeans (yours and your child’s) by recycling the pockets.  Cut off the pockets (be sure to leave a “back” on the pockets) and carefully hot glue them to a notebook or folder.  Your child can use the pockets to hold extra pencils and pens.  Older kids can hot glue a piece of magnetic tape to the back of the pocket and stick them up in their lockers.  Don’t forget to decorate the pockets, using permanent markers and paint.

Here’s a cheap and easy way to personalize a notebook.  Use a variety of colorful pipe cleaners!  Make sure that the pipe cleaners are long enough to wrap around the cover of the notebook that you wish to use.  Help your child carefully wrap the pipe cleaners around the front cover into a design of their own making .  Use colored masking or even painters tape to attach the ends of the pipe cleaners on the inside of the notebook cover.

Your child can use pictures cut from magazines or even pictures taken with the family camera to personalize their new pencil box.  Have your child cut out pictures that they like from magazines.  Or, for even more fun, help your child take pictures with a digital camera, concentrating on family members, friends, and pets.  Then print the pictures on regular paper and help your child cut them out.  Once you have the pictures that you want to use, use an old paintbrush to brush on a mixture of half glue and just slightly less water onto the back of the pictures.  Then attach the pictures onto the pencil box.  Once everything is in the right place, very carefully paint several more layers of the glue mixture over the pictures.  Let the glue dry completely before loading in all those new pens and pencils.

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fun with an I Spy bottle

Get ready for a summer full of mystery by making an I Spy bottle!  Save a water bottle, and clean and dry out the inside.  Find several small objects that will fit inside the bottle.  You could use a brightly colored paper clip, different kinds of buttons, a penny, a rubber band, a small earring, a barrette, a balloon (not blown up), a screw–any (preferably brightly) colored item that will fit into the bottle.  Make a list of your items before you put them into the bottle.  Slip the items into the bottle, and then add rice or or even brightly colored rice cereal.   Using a funnel can make that step a little easier.  Be sure not to fill the bottle up all the way–you need space for your items and the rice to move around inside the bottle.  Glue the lid of the bottle on using a hot glue gun or superglue.  You can also wrap some duct tape around the lid for extra security.  Now find your list of the items in your bottle, type up the list onto a label and print them out.  You could even substitute pictures for words if you have non-readers.  Tape this list onto the bottle with clear tape.  Now, it’s time to play I Spy.  Shake the bottle and see what your child can find from the list.  Do you spy a ….??

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