Archive for July, 2013

Summer Art 2013~ Playdate #2

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We had our second art playdate last week.  It was a really low-key day of crafts, except for at the end when there was a little tire swing accident involving smashed fingers.  But everyone ended up okay in the end.

We had three projects and play dough out for the kids to do as well as the new tire swing, the playhouse, our newly pruned climbing hedge, and a little castle with books in it for some chilling out time.

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Wrapped Washer Necklaces

Our most popular project this week was wrapped washer necklaces.  It was popular with the big kids who actually sat down and worked on this for quite a while.  Almost all of them made one.  It was too hard for the little kids, but the mommies dutifully made them for them, reminiscing about embroidery floss friendship bracelets while getting to make their own.

This idea  came from this blog, but we only did the “small” idea. You will need some large-ish washers (I got mine at home depot in three packs, a bunch of embroidery floss, and some ball chain (you know, the type that dog tags hang on). You simply tie an arm’s length on embroidery floss onto a washer, then wrap it around and around through the hole, adding more floss as needed (you can use more than one color, too) until the entire washer is wrapped. We then tied it off and added a dab of tacky glue to smooth down any loose ends and put it onto the chain. Clara made three washers by the end, so has since taken her necklace back down to her one favorite which is blue and purple together.
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Walnut Boats

This project required quite a bit of finesse and experimenting and most of the big kids used all of their patience up on washer necklaces and ended up skipping this project after the first few tries.  I searched a few different ideas for walnut boats and finally ended up using this one because clay sounded a lot safer than pouring in hot candle wax.  I cut out small squares of scrapbook paper, and put them out with clay, toothpicks, walnuts to crack and eat, and a small “pond” to test their floating in.  The testing was a mandatory part at all stages.  They needed to put in the clay, test.  Add the toothpick, test.  Add the sail, and test.  But look how cute they come out!  And now we understand floating and balance better, right?

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Zappy Zoomer Airplanes

These “airplanes” fly really well and do all sorts of spirals, which made them a hit even though they are a little finicky in the assembly.  The idea came from this blog, which you should check out for the dimensions to cut the paper and a very thorough explanation of how to put them together.  I’ll just say that they require four straws, two lengths of card stock, and  a whole lot of tape for each flyer.  Come to think of it, maybe the tape was the kids’ favorite part of this project.  You lay out the two sizes of card stock and then tape of the four straws so that you have one cardstock strip attached to each end.  Then you tape the carstock into a circle.  I know I’m not giving good directions here.  Just check out the link.  But, here are some fun pictures.

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Summer Art 2013~ Play date #1

Last week we had our first art play date of the summer!  This is our third summer hosting art play dates in our backyard and I am still very much enjoying them despite the crazy busy summer we’ve been having.  If you want to look back at other summer art play dates, you can go here.    This time we made walnut babies, painted on wax paper, made cuff bracelets, and played with oobleck.

Walnut Babies
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Our neighbor has a huge walnut tree which we partook of liberally last fall, but have not yet gone through all of them, so walnuts will be featured in the next art playdate as well. 😉 We split our walnuts in half and ate the meat. Then we wrapped a cotton ball in bright fabric and put it in the walnut half with a dab of tacky glue. Then we drew faces on a wooden bead and glued that on. Voila! Adorable walnut babies!
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Waxed Paper Painting
This one was just like what it sounds like. We painted with tempera paint on waxed paper. Its kind of a fun project because once they dry they are somewhat see through and stained glass-like.
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Toilet Paper Tube Cuff Bracelets
So, this project started off as a different project all together. I wanted to make popsicle stick bracelets like these from pinterest. Long story short, I tried for three days in all different ways to get those popsicle sticks to bend and stay bent, but all I ended up with was a lot of broken or straight popsicle sticks. Enter the brilliant idea from Happy Hooligans to use cut toilet paper rolls. Fabulous and so much easier!!! We used glitter paint, glue, and acryllic gems on our toilet paper rolls.
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Oobleck was our sensory experience this time. I tried to make rainbow oobleck, but it all ended up blue and the kids all sported blue hands by the end, but it was a huge hit, not only with the little kids (who I concider to be the real reason I put out the sensory bins), but also with the six year olds. They spent a huge amount of time in it (we’re talking over a half hour with all of these other things to do). Oobleck is simply corn starch and water with just enough water mixed in so it will feel solid if you press on it, but will flow when left to itself. I also added some food coloring.
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Oh! And don’t forget the tree climbing! At least they weren’t turning over my stepping stones looking for bugs.
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