Chinese New Year’s Crafts for Kids, Preschoolers and Toddlers

Yup, Chinese New Year is upon us, and I thought “Hey, this year, we’ll make a big deal and teach the boys to appreciate the Chinese culture.”  Then I learned it was on Valentine’s Day, and my mom said, “We’ll still do Chinese New Year; we have some great recipes and the color is red.”  Then we looked on the calendar and learned it was on a Sunday, which is the day my grandma cooks.  Yup, there’s no way she’ll do a Chinese celebration.  Catholic holidays come first.  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing crafts to get ready.

The rice painting and chopstick decorating are great for all ages.  They are simple and easy.  I even did rice painting with Tornado S back when he was a year and half.  Simple.  But the fortune cookie and dumpling crafts are harder.  They are not suitable for toddlers, and if you have old partially-dried glue (not that I would loose the cap and let the glue sit capless for months), your preschooler will hate these crafts.

Remember the ability of the child will determine how much the adult will or will not do.

Rice Painting

(I can’t remember what site suggested that I sprinkle rice on the paint for a “sparkle” look, but I tried it any ways.  It didn’t sparkle, but it gave a new texture that the boys LOVED.  Keep the excess rice; I have an idea!) 

Things you need:

  •       Smock
  •       Paper
  •       Paint
  •       Paint brushes
  •       Paper plate or pie tin
  •       Rice

Put the child in the smock.  Place the paint on the plate or in the tin.  Put down the paper.  Have the child paint.  When the child is done painting but the paint has not dried, let the child sprinkle rice on the wet paint.  When the paper is dry, tap off excess rice.

As for the excess partially or fully painted rice, it works well in a sand art.  Just have the child glue a pattern and then sprinkle the dried painted rice on the wet glue.

Decorated Chopsticks

(We did this when I worked with the Girl Scouts.  For the girls, they had a choice of decorating the chopsticks for hair accessories, which they could paint all the way down to the end, or chopsticks, which they could only paint half way down.  My boys are sword fighting with them.  Markers just wouldn’t do; so we HAD to use paint.  Because the boys are young, I didn’t break the sticks apart until after they were done decorating.  Older kids can decorate with them split.)

Things you need:

  •       Wooden chopsticks (you can get them at the grocery store or grab them at a Chinese restaurant)
  •       Markers or paint
  •       (if your using paint) smock, paint brush, dish for paint

Give the child the chopsticks.  Depending on the child’s ability, break them before or after the decorating.  Let the child decorate the sticks.  If you’re stuck for inspiration, go online and look at all the neat ones for sale.

Felt Dumplings

(Tornado S didn’t want to participate, but Tornado E did.  This craft would have worked out a lot better if I hadn’t used glue that was a little dried out.  After Tornado E was done, I tried doing the craft with a glue gun, which worked well as long as you didn’t burn your fingers in the process.  The boys are excited to add new food to their kitchen.  I got the craft here.)

Things you need:

  •      Tan felt
  •      Scissors
  •      Something to trace circles about 3” diameter (I used a can juice lid.)
  •      Marker
  •      Hot glue gun with glue or craft glue

Trace circles on to the felt.  Cut out the felt, keeping the trimmings.  (You may want to make the trimmings smaller for easier use.)  Have the child place a small pile of trimmings in the center of the circle.  Have the child glue all around the outer edge of the circle.  Fold the dumpling.  Hold in place.  If you want to leave it that way, fine.  Or you can make the indentations.  For those of you that used craft glue, wait until the glue dries to make the indentations.  Fold slightly the dumpling on the sealed part to make the indentations.  Use a drop of glue for every fold.

Felt Fortune Cookies

(These turned out super cute.  I think they are more suitable for children older than four, but then Tornado E was still frustrated over the glue.  The boys love playing with them.  I got this craft here.  And it has pictures {Even though I take step by step pictures, I can’t figure out how to upload them to the computer.  Sigh})

Things you need:

  •      Tan felt
  •      Scissors
  •      Something to trace circles about 3”  diameter (Again I used a can juice lid.)
  •      Marker
  •      Slips of paper
  •      Pen
  •      Hot glue gun with glue or craft glue

Have the child write or draw a fortune on the paper.  Trace a circle on the felt.  Cut out the circle.  Have the child fold the circle and place the fortune inside next to the fold with the ends of the paper sticking out.  Glue along the inside of the edge without gluing the paper.  Close and hold until glue adheres.  If using craft glue, wait until the glue is dried before following the next step.  Fold the felt so that the two ends meet and the middle pops out, resembling a fortune cookie.  Place a drop of glue in the middle of the crease and hold cookie until the glue sets.

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Valentine Crafts for Kids, Preschoolers and Toddlers, Part 2

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and my blog is being slammed by people looking for Valentine crafts.  (And some of them started right after Christmas!  Who are you highly organized, far-seeing people?!  I’m not worthy of you!)  I just couldn’t do the same old crafts, so I scoured the internet, racked my brain for some interesting crafts.  Zeemaid actually sent me this cool link about making a clay pendant, but I never went to get the clay.  Mommy fail.  But I hope you enjoy the other crafts.  Keep in mind that the younger the child, the more work you need to do to help the child; while older children will be able to do more of the craft than I plan for.  My sons are two and four when they did these crafts.

If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day Crafts, check out my other post.

Heart Lawn

(Nothing says love like grass, right?  Ok, you figure out how to grow roses from a sponge.  The boys LOVED dumping the grass seed on the sponges.  They are waiting anxiously for the grass to grow.  You can change the shape of the sponge to use any time.)

Things you need:

  • Sponge
  • Marker
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Plate
  • Grass seed
  • Plastic wrap

Use the heart-shape cookie cutter to trace a heart on the sponge.  Cut out the heart.  Wet the sponge to make it damp.  Have the child pour grass seed onto the sponge.  You can use a bowl and spoon to make it less messy.  Cover the sponge with plastic wrap.  Check every few days to make sure the sponge is wet.  As soon as you see grass poking out, remove the plastic wrap.  In about two weeks, you should have a little grass lawn.

Sewing Heart Magnets

( I modified a craft I did in Girl Scouts all those years ago to make it easier on the boys.  And a tad less feminine.  That’s really the problem with a lot of Valentine crafts.  The boys enjoyed “sewing,” and Tornado E creatively made more of a net instead of going around the heart.  It turned out great, so let your child experiment.  I used a four inch cookie cutter.)

Things you need:

  • Red craft foam
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon ( we used white)
  • Tape
  • Magnet
  • Glue

You can buy pre-cut foam craft hearts, or you can make your own.  Trace a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the read foam.  Cut out the heart.  Hole punch around the heart.  For younger kids, make fewer holes.  Cut the piece of ribbon to two to three feet.  Tape the end to make it a needle, making it easier for younger children to sew with it.  Tape the other end on the back of the heart.  Have the child sew in and out of the holes.  (My son is two, and I held the heart so he could put it in the hole; then I turned it over, and he pulled the ribbon tight.)  After the child is done sewing, tape the end to the back.  For older children you can have the ends meet in the front in a bow.  Glue a magnet on the back.

3-D Heart Flowers

(I modified a Martha Stewart craft for this one.  I hope she doesn’t mind.  The boys thought it was really fun.  If you would like, have the child decorate the hearts before making the flower.)

Things you need:

  • Red, pink or white construction paper
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Pony bead
  • Pipe cleaner

Trace the heart-shaped cookie cutter on the construction paper, making four to six hearts.  Cut out the hearts.  Hole punch the hearts at the tip of the heart.  Have the child thread the pony bead onto the pipe cleaner, leaving about an inch of pipe cleaner above the bead.  Bend the pipe cleaner down and twist, securing the bead at the top of the pipe cleaner.  Have the child thread the hearts (how many the child wants) onto the pipe cleaner to the top under the pony bead.  Knot the pipe cleaner underneath the hearts.  Have the child spread the hearts to form a flower.

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Mother’s Day Crafts

Mother’s Day is coming, and I thought I would post some crafts for kids to do for their grandmas or their moms.  These are pretty easy to do, and depending on the ability of your child depends on how much a child can do.  Even babies can help shake the scrub or the bath salts.  I guess this would be a great time to promote my new blog Faemom Crafts.  And it has pictures!  (What?  I just learned, and I got to entice you guys some how.)  Enjoy!

 

Facial/Body Scrub

(This is a very easy and very simple scrub.  The boys like to shake things up.  They also helped pouring in the ingredients.  This is an excellent scrub to use or to give as a gift.)

Things you need:

Equal parts of

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Dry oatmeal

And a container to put it in

Mix the sugar, salt, and oatmeal in a bowl.  Put the scrub into a nice jar. 

To use the scrub: Just wet skin, rub the scrub on, and rinse.

 

Bath Salts

(This is another easy gift to make.  The boys love shaking and smooshing until all the salt is colored.  You can use Epson salts or regular salt for this.)

Things you need:

  • Salt (as much as you want to make the salts)
  • Food dye
  • Essence or oils (editable oils work as well as the oil for making soaps and candles)
  • Zip lock bag
  • A jar

Have the child pour in the salt into the bag.  Help the child drop some food coloring into the salt as well as the oil.  Securely close the bag.  Have the child shake and smoosh the bag until all the salt is colored.  Pour into a nice jar.

 

Coffee Filter Carnations

(My mom is quite fond of carnations, so I had the boys make a few.  This is easy.  Evan perferred to make white carnations, so all his hard work on staining them was for nothing.  Of course, the flowers still looked pretty and made it a no mess project.)

Things you need:

  • Coffee filters
  • Markers
  • A bowl of water
  • Paint brush
  • Smock
  • Green pipe cleaners

Have the child color the filters with markers.  Have the child paint the filters with water.  Let the filters dry.  When the filters are dry, take three and fold them in thirds.  Put the filters together, fluffing them and arranging them to look like a carnation.  Twist a pipe cleaner around the bottom, leaving a good length for the stem.

 

Picture Frame

(I wanted to have the boys paint a picture frame like they did for their Daddy, and I thought about making the whole frame.  The boys loved painting and decorating their frames.  I’m still trying to get them to add stickers, but no go yet.)

Things you need:

  • Popsicles sticks
  • Glue
  • Smock
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Optional: glitter pens, glitter, stickers, buttons, anything you want to decorate with

If you have wide popsicle sticks, use two for each side of the frame.  If you have thin popsicle sticks, use three for each side.  Create a square with the popsicle sticks, overlapping two sides.  Glue the sticks together at the overlapping of the sticks.  Allow the glue to dry.  Have the child paint the frame.  When the frame is day, have the child decorate the frame more if s/he would like.

 

Bookmarks

(Both my mom and mother-in-law are huge readers, so I thought this was a wonderfully easy project to do.  The boys love decorating with stickers, but you can use anything else you would like.)

Things you need:

  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Stickers, crayons, markers, paint, stamps, anything you want
  • Clear contact paper
  • Optional: hole punch, ribbon

Cut the cardstock to a size you like for a bookmarker.  I cut mine about 6 by 2.  Have the child decorate the bookmark.  Cover the bookmark with contact paper.  If you would like, punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and tie a length of ribbon through it.
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More Easter and Spring Crafts for Kids, Preschoolers, and Toddlers

Here are a few more Easter crafts because I’m sure everyone wants more, or maybe I’m just running out of things to do with the boys.  I was waiting for one last craft, which we did today, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out right.  I have been debating doing those confetti eggs that you bop on someone’s head, but I don’t know how my mom and their moms would feel when I arm all the little cousins with such eggs. . . though I haven’t caused trouble in quite some time.

 

Lambs

(We did a similar craft a year ago when I was taking the boys to a toddler class, but as I figured I’d make it easier than cutting out a sheep head, ears, eyes and nose, and just print out a template.  The boys thought this was pretty cool.  They love anything with glue.)

 

Things you need:

·         Lamb template

·         Glue

·         Cotton balls (lots of them)

Have the child color the lamb if he or she prefers.  Then have the child spread glue all over the lamb’s body.  Have the child put cotton balls on the glue.

 

 

Bunny Tails

(Evan liked this so much he wants to do another bunny, but one with a face.  I’m working on it.  This was easy and the boys enjoyed it.)

Things you need:

·         Circle template (I used two different Tupperware lids)

·         White paper

·         Colored construction paper

·         Scissors

·         Glue

·         Cotton ball

·         Pen

Using the circle templates, trace two different circles on the white paper, one of the head and one for the body.  Draw two bunny years.  Cut out the shapes.  Have the child glue the shapes on to the colored construction paper to create a bunny facing away from you.  Glue on the cotton ball for a tail.

 

 

Daffodils

(The craft calls for a white and a yellow cupcake holder.  My cupcake holders only come in blue, yellow, and pink, so our daffodils are blue, yellow, and pink.  Sean really enjoyed this craft.)

Things you need:

·         Cupcake holders

·         Construction paper

·         Glue

·         Heavy books

·         Green construction paper, scissors (optional)

·         Green marker, paint, or crayon (optional)

Using some of the cupcake holders, place them under some heavy books to flatten them.  After a couple of house, they should be flat.  Have the child glue the flat cupcake holder on the construction paper.  In the center of the flatten cupcake holder, have the child glue a regular cupcake holder.  Have the child add stems and leaves by either gluing green paper or drawing them.

Keep those colored egg shells after you ate your hard-boiled Easter eggs.  I have a great craft for them.

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Easter and Spring Crafts for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Kids

Is it already Easter time?  That was fast.  Luckily I have a few crafts up my sleeve, so we’ll be calling this the Spring/Easter bird and flower crafts because I realized that’s all we did these last few days. 

As always these crafts are suited from 18 months and up, depending on how much parental help is needed.  As for egg cartons, I prefer the cardboard type as they are easier to color, using crayons, markers and color pencils.  But this time I did the crafts with a Styrofoam egg carton, which can only be colored on with crayon and some pressure.

 

Coffee Filter Carnations

(I like “tye-dying” coffee filters because they look neat and the boys like to do it.  You can make plain white flowers or just color them with markers.  The boys enjoyed this craft quite a bit.)

Things you need:

{     Coffee filters

{     Markers

{     Smock

{     Water

{     Paint brush

{     Green pipe cleaners

Have the child color three coffee filters with the markers to make one flower.  When the child is done coloring, have him/her paint the coffee filters with water.  When the coffee filters are dry, take the filters and fold them, squish them together to look like a carnation.  Twist the pipe cleaner around the bottom of the “flower.”

 

Egg Carton Tulips

(These seem to be everywhere in the craft sites, so I decided to try them.  Evan had a lot of fun making them, but he preferred white tulips rather than coloring them.  I think they might make a nice bouquet for grandma.)

Things you need:

{     Egg carton

{     Scissors

{     Crayons, markers, colored pencils

{     Glue

{     Green pipe cleaners

Cut the egg carton into little cups.  For young children, have them color the egg carton before you cut out the details to make it easier for them to color.  Cut upside down triangles of the open end of each side of the cup to resemble a tulip shape.  Punch a whole in the bottom of the carton for the pipe cleaner.  Have the child color the flower.  Push the pipe cleaner through the hole and make a knot at the end.  Add a dab of glue to the cup to keep the pipe cleaner from slipping.

 

Paper chick

(I had a vision of a cute little chick, so we made these.  The boys had a lot of fun making them.  They especially liked showing Daddy.)

Things you need:

{     Yellow construction paper

{     Orange construction paper

{     Any other color construction paper

{     Two traceable circles, one smaller than the other (I used two different butter tub lids)

{     Pen

{     Scissors

{     Glue

{     Googley eyes (optional)

{     Brown yarn (optional)

Using the circles, trace two circles on the yellow construction paper, one for the head, one for the body.  Cut out a diamond shape out of the orange construction paper for the beak.  Fold the diamond in half to form a triangle beak.  Have the child glue the body and head onto the other sheet of paper.  Have the child glue googley eyes or draw eyes on the head.  Have the child glue the beak.  For extra fun, cut a long piece of yarn and have the child tangle it up.  Glue the tangle of yarn underneath the bird to make a nest.

 

Pom-pom Chicks

(I’ve always adored pom-pom chicks because I thought they were so cute, but I realized it would be a few years before we could handle something as delicate as an egg shell.  So I decided to use a plastic egg shell, and Evan especially loves having his chick “hatch” because he has the top part of the shell too.  I wonder if they would be great surprises in an egg hunt.)

Things you need:

{     Plastic egg

{     Two yellow pom poms (We used the 1 ½ in pom poms)

{     Two googley eyes or black beads

{     Orange construction paper or craft foam

{     Glue

{     Scissors

Cut out a small triangle out of the orange paper for the beak.  Have the child glue the first pom pom in the bottom of the plastic egg.  Then have the child glue the second pom pom on top of the first, creating the body.  Have the child glue the eyes and the beak.

 

Rock-a-bye-Birdies

(I thought this was the cutest craft ever, but it had those pesky blown egg shells.  Well, never mind, I used plastic eggs instead.  Evan loved it so much I never got around to putting on the ribbon before he took off with his, naming it Pumpkin.  So ribbon is optional.  The boys loved making them and playing with them.I found them on this site: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=12151)

Things you need:

{     Egg carton

{     Plastic egg

{     Tissue paper

{     Googley eyes

{     Orange construction paper or craft foam

{     Scissors

{     Glue

{     Ribbon

Cut a small triangle out of the orange paper for the beak.  Cut a strip of tissue paper to wrap around the bottom of the egg like a blanket.  Poke a hole on either side of the carton and tie the ribbon to it, making a swing.  Have the child glue the tissue around the egg.  Have the child glue the egg inside the carton.  Have the child glue the eyes and the beak.

 

 Check out more Easter crafts here.

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