Things You Can Dye For Crafts

I’ve done a lot of crafts with my boys. As you may have guessed. And I get a lot of crazy ideas. Which you may have guessed by now. In fact, I do have a way of saying, “Ok, I have an idea!” My children are used to it. My co-teacher just rolls with it. My senior teacher’s assistant last year would get a look of horror on her face. Which, to be honest, is fair.
Guys, I have a Poet-tree in my classroom.
I compiled a surprisingly short list of things that I’ve dyed over the years. I used food dye for most of them. Usually mixed with water. I let them soak in plastic cups and then set them on paper plates or trays with foil or wax to dry. These are good for texture crafts. Or just letting your kid put down glue and sprinkle it on.
Things I’ve dyed for the boys to use in art projects:
1. Sand (water and food dye)
2. Rice (water or rubbing alcohol and food dye. When the boys were small and I thought they would eat it, I did water and food dye.)
3. Salt (food dye. Don’t mix with your hands. It takes a long time to get off your hands.)
4. Egg shells (food dye and vinegar or egg-dying tables and water and vinegar. I’ve dyed empty shells with a hole in them. I’ve dyed egg shell halves. I’ve dyed crushed egg shell pieces.)
5. Dried pasta (food dye and water. I hear food dye and vinegar works as well, but when I dyed them, I was sure the boys would eat it. Also you could just by colored pasta because that’s a thing.)
6. Coffee filters (This is the markers and water, but I have made them for other crafts and not just for science, so I’m counting it.)
7. Sea shells (This didn’t go over as well. I should try it again. Food dye and water. Don’t use vinegar. I ended up painting them.)
8. Flour clay. Vinegar. Baking soda. Honestly I’ve dyed so many things. A dress…. that didn’t work out and wasn’t for a craft/
More ideas to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!

More Activities for Bored Kids (and Adults)

There was a week where my kids all had Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. 3 kids, 6 and under. And they can’t go out; I couldn’t go out. I didn’t own very many suitable games back then. I was so determined to do it video game free and minimal TV.
Not that TV would have helped too much. They would get bored and need to be entertained.
And then there are the summers of Southern Arizona. So hot you can bake cookies in your car. No one goes out during certain times unless you can’t help it.
So yeah, I do have a lot of ideas on how to entertain kids. Who are willing to destroy the house or each other to entertain themselves.
1. Build a blanket fort. Like the kind you wish you could’ve when you were a kid. Think of how epic you can make your fort now that you are the adult and have access to all those blankets, pillows, and chairs. Added bonus, perfect nap time areas.
2. Dance party. I’m torturing the boys with mid ’90s dance music. Wait until they hear disco. I randomly dance anyways. I can’t carry a tune, but I can lip sync. And air guitar. Little ones love to dance. And older kids are so much fun to embarrass.
3. Randomly decorate the house. Streamers, balloons, pictures, random party stuff. I decorate the house for May the Fourth every year. This is so much fun with kids. My poor parents.
4. Eat by candlelight. Those battery power ones. For fun, add glow bracelets. To be honest, my kids would spook themselves out. But it was fun while it lasted.
5. If you have Legos, competitions. Fastest car. Tallest tower. Best dinosaur. There are all sorts of cool Lego ideas out there. At my house, we’re behind in opening up Lego sets any ways. Lego days are a huge hit.

6. Sprinklers! Now that some places are getting hot. Or when you get your summers. God, my kids love playing in the sprinklers.
7. Can you hear me? Simon says, except you say “If you can hear me, do….” say it quiet. Come up with as many things as you can. My Cub Scouts get a kick out of this.
8. Speaking of Cub Scouts, you know how I calm down 12 hyper active 9 & 10 year olds? Meditation. 2 minutes of sitting still, listening to rain. I didn’t believe it until I tried it. Even my boys will find me when I meditate, and they just sit with me. It is all sorts of cool and weird.
More to come. Stay safe. Stay sane.

Some Fun Outdoor Crafts

In some part of the country, summer has started. In other parts, it’s spring. For others, it’s still winter. And I am so sorry for you. You’re living in my hell, and I have no crafts for snow.
Luckily where I live it only snows every other year. Seriously, I would die if it snowed in my area.
Which is why I have quite a few outdoor crafts. Because it’s nice usually here. And it gets kids out of the house for a little bit. Especially if you just cleaned the house.
Though some of these crafts are just wait and see like the crayon ones from yesterday.
1. Tracing shadows. I’ve seen it all over about putting toys in front of paper, and tracing shadows. It’s cool. The boys liked doing it when they were little.
But can I suggest even easier art?
2. Fading art. Lay the toy on construction paper outside. The sun will fade the paper, leaving where the toy was still dark. So with that in mind, arrange the toy(s) in an artful way for cool designs. Toddlers will just throw them down. The darker the paper, the better. In Tucson, this takes an hour or so. Basically nap time. Other areas of the country may vary.
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3. Fading art with plants. This looks cool when you use cool looking leaves and branches.
4. Reverse the fade. We had dinosaur cut outs that you traced the inside when the boys were little. So the paper faded just the dinosaur. While you might not have something so cool, you can easily cut out designs and shapes to use instead.07182010 pics - up to 16607182010 pics - up to 168
More crafts to come. Hang in there. Stay safe! Stay sane!

Morse Code Activities

You want to know what’s fun? Secret codes.

Breaking them. Learning them. Making them.

Why do you think the Rosetta Stone is so cool? It broke a code.

Why save up box tops or bottle lids for that cool decoder ring? Breaking a secret code!

So while I hunt down my old Cub Scout and Girl Scout Handbooks, let’s start with Morse Code.
1. Teach Morse code. For fun. Or until we need to use it to coordinate a defense against aliens because they are hijacking our satellites.
2. Make secret messages of Morse code on paper. “Send” them to the kids. Let them “send” them to you. I remember a short story as a code where the Grandma made people ring her door bell in a code. It was SOS in Morse code. Do fun ones first. Wait on the “do your chores” message for later.
3. Make secret messages in Morse code with Legos. Or blocks.
4. Make secret messages in Morse code with noodles. Break up spaghetti or use long and short noodles. Glue noodles on paper. Or string them on a string.


5. Make secret messages with beads. Make cool jewelry with a special messages or words.

Morse code - Wikipedia
More to come! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Science and Art and Coffee Filters

How about Science and Art!

I love art. And I love science. I love science demonstrations and experiments. I just like cool things. I like working with my hands. So we do a lot of art and a lot of science.

I’m sure I have pictures of these when the boys were little, and we did these. But I just spent 20 minutes going through hundreds of pictures. So I’ll find them the next time I search the pictures. Or maybe we’ll do some over the weekend. Mwhahaha.
1. Chromatography. Separate the pigments of markers. Fill a couple of glasses with water. Take a coffee filter and color it with markers. I have always had the boys leave the center white and leave a lot of the filter uncolored. But you can color the whole thing or make designs. Once the child is done coloring fold the coffee filter so the bottom is just touching the water. Eventually the water will climb the filter and separate colors or blend them together depending on your white space. Leave them to dry.

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2. You can do this with different types of markers and test the different pigments. We did this in Scouts.


3. Now you have these cool works of art to hang everywhere.


4. Or flowers. Take a few filters and layer them. Fold them into a cone shape, giving the resemblance of a carnation. Tie the bottom with a pipe cleaner.


5. Or butterflies. Take one filter. Fold it in half. Fold a pipe cleaner in half. Put the pipe cleaner up the middle of the filter like you’re cutting the filter in half with the pipe cleaner. Scrunch the filter to form to wings and twist the pipe cleaner at the top to hold the wings and create antennas.


6. Butterflies using 2 filters. Fold both filters in half. Put them straight edge to straight edge and take the pipe cleaner and copy the instructions.


7. Suncatchers. Cut the filters into pieces. Cut a piece of clear contact paper in any shape. Let the child decorate the contact paper with pieces. Cover the pieces with contact paper.


8. Mosaics. Cut the filter into pieces. Let the child glue the pieces in interesting shapes.


More to come stay safe and stay sane!

Make Puppets!

Here me out. When I needed a craft back when I was a teenage babysitter, this was a favorite among the kids. Especially sock puppets.

I was a cool teenage babysitter. We played games. We made crafts. We cooked. I let kids stay up later if they cleaned the house with me. I read stories with voices and acted things out. If you had a sink full of dishes, I would wash them. (Except one family that always had overflow all over the counters. One time there wasn’t even a dish, cup, anything in any of the cabinets. Nope. No way was I doing that many dishes.) And I never had a boyfriend for anyone to worry about. Cool.

Also kids love acting out stories. And sock puppets are so fun.
1. Sock puppets. We all have old random sock singles. Let kids use markers to decorate the face. Glue yarn for hair. Glue buttons for eyes.

 
2. Brown paper sack puppets. Markers to decorate faces. Perhaps even clothes. Glue googly eyes.
3. Popsicle stick puppets. Decorate popsicle sticks like characters with markers. People do this all the time. With Minions….?


4. Paper puppets. Draw or print out figures. Color them. Cut them out. Glue them on popsicle sticks. Back when I was a cool teenage babysitter, I had a whole bunch of these in authentic historical costumes and did shows about famous people in history. Then the kids would play with them. Because I was cool.


5. Shadow puppets. Teach kids to make shadow puppets. I can only do a dog, bird, duck, and bunny. But I’m sure there are more. And just 4 characters can have a lot of stories.


6. Let the kids make up skits and present them.


More to come! Stay safe! Stay sane!

Rock Crafts Part 2

Who wants more rock crafts?

We’ll just pretend everyone is excited by this. I told that I had tons of these. If I look through pictures, I bet I can find a few more.

One of the annoying things about living with my parents is a lot of my stuff is packed away in what I call “deep storage.” Like a meat locker but for my things. So all my crafting books, all my cook books, all my old scouting books, and a lot of my crafting supplies are out of reach. So annoying.

But I’m sure that I can find more crafts and activities to keep my tornadoes busy and your little ones busy.

 
1. Paper maché rocks. Cut up colorful tissue paper. Or just pretty paper. Glue the paper all over the rock. Seal it if you want.
2. Rock collage. Cut pictures or words out of magazines or print pictures and words. Glue them on the rock. Seal if desired.

 
3. Paint rocks gold or silver. Makes for great treasure to hunt for. I used to hide them in the sand box when I had young pirates.

 
4. Paint rocks with nail polish. I should do a whole post on what I‘ve painted with nail polish. Like so much.


5. Words! Paint the rock. Write names.


5.a Write words. Have kids make sentences and poetry out of word rocks.


5.b Write cool sayings and quotes on rocks. Give them away. Hide them around the neighborhood.


6. Ladybugs. Find round or oval rocks. Paint them red. Paint a small portion black for the head. Paint dots. You don’t really have to do red. I’ve seen them painted with other colors.


7. Ghosts. Paint them white. Draw a ghost face on them in black marker. I had the cubs do this one year. They loved it. Points for painting in glow-in-the-dark afterwards. We also made jack o lanterns as well.


More to come. Stay safe. Stay sane.

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Rock Crafts: Part 1

In one of my first craft posts, I mentioned rocks. Now I’m going to get more specific on crafts with rocks because it was my go to for years. Even in Cub Scouts.

Rocks are easy to find. They are cheap. Even if you have to buy a bag of water rocks, there are so many crafts you can do with rocks.

Right now two tornadoes out of three are studying rocks and Earth’s crust, so I’m scouring the internet for science projects to add to the study, so rocks are our thing.
1. Rock hunt. Find that perfect rock. Or rocks. Look at color, size, texture. Like hide and go seek, I can draw this game out for a long time. (Coming soon how to draw out games for a long time. ) Bring home the rocks and wash them. Let them dry. If kids ask why the rock is darker, water changes the light reflecting from the rock. (My boys asked why a lot; they get it from their Mama.)

 
2. Pet rocks. Glue some googly eyes on that bad boy and done. Maybe draw a smile. Make a little home for it with a box. Decorate the box. Name the rock. Teach it to sit.


3. Monster rocks. Paint the rock. Any color. Multiple colors. Draw eyes and a scary face. Bonus points for googly eyes.


4. Turtle rocks. Find the perfect rock for a turtle shell. Paint the rock, preferably turtle colors, but it’s ok to have a pink turtle. Leave it like that or add other rocks or pompoms for feet and a head.


5. Fruit or vegetable rocks. Again this means looking for a good rock to match the shape of the fruit or vegetable or vice-versa. Paint the rock to resemble the chosen fruit of vegetable. I used to paint strawberries.


6. Paper weight. Find a bigger, heavier rock. Paint it. (Makes for great gifts!)


7. A word on paint. I’ve done plain craft paint. We’ve done markers. Spray paint works. Nail polish works. You can seal it with sealer or clear nail polish.


Good luck. Stay safe. Stay sane.

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Egg Carton Crafts

Do you have empty egg cartons?

I just spent 15 minutes looking through pictures, searching for pictures of these crafts. I hope I explained them correctly. They are fairly easy crafts and a fun way to reuse an egg carton. Not as practical as making fire starters.

You can use cardboard or Styrofoam egg cartons. Though cardboard is easier to color.
1. Turtles. Cut out one cup; flip upside down. Let the child color the shell. Cut out 4 round circles and an oval out of green construction paper. Glue the circle at each corner for feet. The oval is the head. Glue it in the right spot.
2. Ladybugs/beetles. Cut out one cup. Flip it upside down. Let the child color it. Red with dots for lady bugs. All sorts of colors for beetles. Add googly eyes if you have them
3. Tulips. Cut out one cup. Let the child color the inside and outside. Put a hole in the bottom. Thread a green pipe cleaner through the hole far enough to knot it or glue it. Cup side up. Make a dozen!


4. Spiders. Cut out one cup; flip it. Let the child color it a good spider color. Poke 4 holes on one side of the cup and 4 on the other side. Cut 4 black or brown pipe cleaners in half. Thread a piece of pipe cleaner through each hole far enough to tie it or glue it. Bend the legs to make feet or “knees.” Glue googly eyes.


5. Caterpillars. Cut out as many cups as you would like. Flip them. Let the child color it. Add eyes.


I have a bat one. But maybe I’ll save that for later. More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!

Fun Kid Recipes

Oh no. I must be running out of ideas. Nah, I’ve got weeks worth before I start building this with new stuff.

We all hear how good it is to have kids in the kitchen. Teaches responsibility. Teaches math. Blah, blah, blah. Family fun time!

Of course, the best reason I heard was from Tornado E’s 7th grade math teacher. When you don’t follow directions when cooking, the consequences are immediate and disastrous. If that isn’t life lessons, I don’t know what are.

So I give you easy recipes to teach your kids how to cook. And yeah, I’ve got bunches of these.
1. Quesadillas. Try different cheeses.
2. Cheese crisp. Open face quesadillas baked in the oven so they are cheesy and crispy. Butter the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and pop into the oven until the edges get brown. Cut like a pizza Traditionally with cheddar. But I’ve done it with three different cheeses to make them look like candy corn once cut.
3. Trail mix. Kids love making it. Nuts, cereal, granola, pretzels, dried fruit, freeze-dried fruit, M&Ms. All kinds of fun and interesting combinations. I do this about once a year with my cubs. They love this. Their older and younger siblings love this. Their parents love this.


4. Popsicles. Juice in ice cube trays; plastic wrap over it; toothpicks or popsicle sticks stuck into the plastic in each square. No ice cube trays? Paper cups. Plastic wrap over the top. Stick a popsicle stick in. Freeze.


5. Peanut butter and crackers. Teach your kids early how to spread things. Mine are horrible at it.


6. Jelly and cracker sandwiches. My tornadoes loved these as kids. Regular crackers. Graham crackers. It can get a little messy.


7. Cheese and sandwich meat and crackers. Basically homemade Lunchables. Pick your favorite cheeses and meets. As a kid, I thought this was the height of sophistication.


8. Parfaits. Healthy: yogurt, granola, fruit. Layer. Dessert: pudding, cookies, whip cream (maybe a layer of chocolate syrup)


More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!