Upcycle Broken Crayons

We’re all a little bored right now. Or were if you are lucky to move about now. Did you do a little cleaning? Are you cleaning out your drawers? Have you found a bunch of broken crayons?
First I used to put broken crayons in a plastic travel soap case with a small pad of paper, usually Post-It notes. I would keep this in my purse for times when we had to wait around for something like at the doctor’s or an adult’s house. Maybe your kids have lost all the crayons the restaurant gave them.
Here are some other ways to use crayons. Let the kids help you smash and break the crayons into smaller pieces to make it quicker for the crayons to melt.
1. Make crayons. Break the crayons into smaller pieces. Preheat the oven to 200. Put broken crayons into a muffin tin or silicon molds. Heat for 20 minutes or until melted. Let cool and pop them out.
2. Make crayons. Cheaper or without worrying about your tins and molds. Preheat the oven 200. Cover a cookie tray with foil. Place cupcake wrappers on the try. Put broken crayons in the wrappers. Heat for 20 minutes or until melted. Let cool and pull off wrapper.
3. Make crayons outside. This is for you, Arizona. Put broken crayons in cupcake wrappers. Put wrappers on a paper plate. Place outside. It takes about an hour. Bring inside. Let cool.
07182010 pics - up to 176
07182010 pics - up to 178 These left a grease stain, so hence the paper plate or something underneath the cupcake wrapper.
3.a. I’ve also done this in film canisters. Remember film canisters?
3.b. I wonder if this would work with molds. Hmmm….
3.c I hear it works with plastic medicine bottles. Hmmm…..
4. Make candles. Melt crayons. I prefer a double boiler technique, but you can melt in the microwave. Be mindful of what colors you mix together. Place a wick in a candle holder or baby food jar. Pour in melted wax. When making candles, often the wax will cool with a divet, so hold some wax back to pour in later. You can tie the wick around a pencil or place the wick between two pencils.
More to come. Stay safe! Stay sane!

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.

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network

Summer Crafts!

I know it’s not summer yet, but it sure feels like it.  Then again, no one is in school in this house to remind me that summer is still some time away.  But I thought I would get a jump on summer craft ideas.  This is only the beginning as I keep thinking about tie-dying with the boys.  Yup, I’ll probably end up dying them for a few days, since I once dyed my hands for a weekend, which angered my mom quite a bit and I had to wear gloves to church.  And I’m working on some yummy summer treats to make with the kids.  So stay tuned.  Also you can see pictures of these and other crafts at my other blog: Faemom’s Crafts.

 

Painting Pots

(Nothing like a little gardening to get the kids interested in the great outdoors and possibly vegetables.  Before I dug a hole, I thought the boys would like to paint their own special pot.  This would also make a great gift.  The boys loved doing this.)

Things you need:

  • Terra Cotta Pot
  • Primer
  • White paint
  • Washable paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Smock
  • Sealer (optional)

 

Primer the pot, and then paint it white (or any color you or your child would prefer as the background). Allow the pot to dry.  Have the child paint the pot with the washable paints.  Allow the pot to dry.  If you want this work of art to last, seal the pot.

 

Planting

(I don’t know one kid who doesn’t like getting dirty.  For young children, like my boys, I would recommend starting out with a plant; while, older kids have more patience and would enjoy starting a plant from seed.)

Things you need:

  • A pot
  • Potting soil
  • Pebbles
  • A plant or seeds
  • A small shovel
  • Water

Have the child cover the bottom of the pot with pebbles to allow good drainage.  Then have the child shovel the soil half way in the pot.  Have the child place the plant or seeds in the pot.  Have the child fill the pot with soil with the shovel or hands.  Water the plant as needed.  (Encourage your child to talk and sing to the plant as this will help the plant grow better.)

 

Lily Pad boats

( I got this idea at this website, but I decided not to float tea candles on them.  I thought we could float frogs, which worked out well.  The boys loved them!  I made a few of them testing out with different glues.  Don’t use school glue, unless it’s a one time use.  Craft glue and hot glue worked well.  Craft glue gets a little soggy, but it will re-adhere when dried.)

Things you need:

¨      2 sheets Green craft foam

¨      A CD

¨      Scissors

¨      A pen

¨      Hot glue gun with glue or craft glue

¨      A toy to sail the boat, preferably a frog

Trace the CD on both pieces of craft foam.  Cut out the circles.  Cut out a triangle out of the circles (best to do it with one circle on top of the other), forming the lily pad.  Glue the lily pads together.  Allow the glue to dry.  Take the lily pads out to the pool or bath.

 

Butterfly Kites

(I got this idea off of Family Fun.  But I decided to do it using coffee filters, which was more fun and messy.  The boys loved building these and playing with them.  It makes walking to get the mail more fun.)

Things you need:

  • Smock
  • 2 coffee filters
  • Markers
  • Bowl of water
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Yarn

Have the child color the coffee filters with markers.  The more color, the more fun.  After the child is done decorating the filters, have the child paint them with water, making the colors run.  Let the filters dry.  Fold the filters in half to cut out half a butterfly making the wings even on both sides.  (I wish I could have found a template.)  Do not make a head or tail because the pipe cleaner will do that.  Have the child fold the pipe cleaner in half and slip the butterfly wings between it.  Cross the ends of the pipe cleaner to form antenna.  You can bend them into little nubs if you like.  Tie a piece of yarn to the pipe cleaner, long enough to fly the kite behind the child.  If the child wants to flutter the kite, tie two short pieces of yarn to the pipe cleaner.

 

Other ideas:

Side walk painting with water.

Side walk painting with ice.

Chalk drawing on the fence.

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network

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.

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network

Recipes Kids and Toddlers Can Make

I have become obsessed with the crafts part of the blog.  (I know.  I know.  You’re going to point out that I haven’t been publishing crafts very many.  Well, remember I moved.  Lay off me.  Do you ever think we assume the worse because we are the worse?)  But I get a little bored with the same old, same old crafts, and so do the boys as Evan yells he doesn’t want to do another craft.  (Like he has a choice.)  So I thought I start trying to find snack crafts, preferably healthy ones, which turns out to be hard to find.  So here are the first kid friendly recipes.  If you have any, please share!

 

Quesadilla

(Ok.  It was a little like cheating, but I thought it was a great start to teaching Evan and Sean to cook.  They enjoyed helping out and eating the cheese.  You can add any kind of cheese or go crazy and add other stuff.  I’m just a purist at heart.)

 

Things you need:

·         Tortilla

·         Cheddar cheese

·         Knife

·         Plate

·         Microwave

 

As the parent, cut the cheese in slices.  Allow the child to cover half the tortilla with cheese.  Cook for 45 seconds in the microwave.  Fold the other half of the tortilla over the cheese.  If cheese isn’t melted, cook for another 15 seconds.  Allow to cool and cut into slices.  Eat.

 

 

Cheese Crisp

(This is a regional dish from where I grew up.  My husband believes the region is a five mile radius as it is rarely seen on menus.  It’s a yummy snack or part of a meal.  The boys love making and eating it.)

 

Things you need:

·         Tortilla

·         Pizza pan

·         Foil

·         Butter

·         Butter knife

·         Cheddar Cheese

·         Cheese shredder

·         Oven

·         Knife or pizza cutter

 

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Cover the pizza pan with foil.  Place the tortilla on the pan.  Shred the enough cheese to cover the tortilla, about ¾ cup.  Have the child butter the tortilla leaving a crust edge.  Have the child sprinkle the cheese liberally over the tortilla, leaving a crust edge.  Place in the oven for seven to ten minutes, until the cheese is melty and the crust is tan.  Allow to cool and cut into slices.  Eat.

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Crackers

(I was looking for a new way to do sandwiches, and the homemade lunchables completely confused the boys.  I made Sean his because I thought he wasn’t ready to wield a knife.  Evan loved doing this.  They both enjoyed eating them.)

 

Things you need:

·         Crackers (We used graham crackers)

·         Peanut butter

·         Jelly

·         Plate

·         Plastic knife

 

On a plate place an even amount of crackers, some jelly, and some peanut butter.  With the plastic knife, show the child how to spread the peanut butter and jelly on the crackers.  Have the child make his/her own sandwiches.  Eat.

 

 

Frosting Sandwiches

(What meal is complete without dessert?  Seriously, what meal?  My mom used to makes these for us, and we loved them.  In college, the softball player roommate made them, especially when we needed to lift our spirits.  The boys LOVE them.)

 

Things you need:

·         Graham crackers

·         Frosting (any kind)

·         Plate

·         Plastic knife

·         Sprinkles, chocolate chips (optional)

 

On a plate place an even number of graham crackers and some frosting.  Show the child how to spread the frosting.  Allow the child to make his/her own frosting sandwiches.  For a special treat, let the child add sprinkles or chocolate chips.  Eat.

 

 

Vote for my post on Mom Blog Network

Christmas Crafts for Kids, Toddlers, and Babies

Because Christmas is coming around the corner and we’re all trying to figure out what to do, I thought I would throw out some suggestions of things I’ve done in the past with my boys.  Some of these can be down with babies as well as older children.  In a week or so, I’ll make some new holiday gifts with the boys, and I’ll post those too.

 

Paper Ornaments

(Nothing is better than home-made ornaments.  These are simple and easy.  Perfect for toddlers.  For older children, use glue and glitter to decorate.  Grandparents are suckers for these sort of things.  Evan loved doing this last year.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Construction paper
  • Christmas cookie cutters
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hole puncher
  • Ribbon
  • Crayons, markers, glue, glitter (whatever you want to decorate with)

 

Trace the cookie cutters with a pen on the construction paper.  Cut the shape out.  Have the child decorate the shapes.  Punch a hole in the top and string with ribbon.  Don’t forget to mark the year and the child’s name on the back.

 

 

Lid Ornaments

(I haven’t done this with Evan yet, but I remember doing them when I was four and loved it.  My mom still has mine hanging on the tree every year)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Plastic lids (from butter containers or sour cream containers or any top)
  • Hole puncher
  • Old Christmas cards or magazines
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Glue

 

Have the child cut out (or if it is a toddler, cut it out for the child) a picture of Christmas.  Let the child glue the picture on the lid.  Punch a hole in the lid and string it with some ribbon.  Don’t forget to mark the year and the child’s name on the ornament.

 

 

Footprints and Handprints

(When Evan was a baby, I inked up his feet and put down footprints that I decorated and framed for my parents and in-laws.  They loved it.  You can either frame the footprints or handprints or you can make them into ornaments.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • White paper
  • Washable ink pad
  • Wet wash cloth or wipes
  • Hole punch, scissor, ribbon (if you make the ornament)

 

Just ink the feet or hands (on young babies, hands are difficult).  Then place the inked hand or foot onto the paper.  Wash the hand or foot right away for nothing else gets decorated. 

 

 

Handprint Shirt

(The last time we did this, Evan loved it, and Sean was too little to remember, but we plan on doing it again.  I looked online for clever shirt sayings.  Our favorite: “You’re the best (fill in here)!  Hands Down!”  We also put the ages and names of the boys underneath their hand prints.  My dad loves his shirt.)

 

Things you need:

 

  • Shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Cardboard
  • Wipes

 

(If you don’t like the raise look of fabric paint writing, water down the fabric paint a little bit and use a brush or pencil to write the saying.)

 

Place the cardboard inside the shirt to keep the paint from bleeding through.  Write the clever saying with the fabric paint.  Allow it to dry.  Then dip the child’s hands into the paint, making sure it’s nice and even, and place the hands on the shirt.  Wipe the child’s hands immediately.  Allow the hand prints to dry, and write the name and age of the child.

 

Picture Frame

 

(I did this for a gift.  The boys loved painting the frame and showing it off later.  I used the black paint as the background color.  I had them paint on newspaper on the floor.)

 

What you need:

 

·      Unfinished thick picture frame (the thicker the better to give room for toddler creativity)

·      black or white paint

·      finger paints

·      paint brushes

·      sealer or top coat

·      sand paper

·      smock

 

First sand and prep the picture frame.  Next paint the background color with white or black paint.  Once the background paint is dry, have the child paint the frame.  After the painting is dry, paint the sealer or clear top coat to protect the painting.

 

Check out these posts for more Christmas and winter craft ideas:

More Christmas crafts

Winter and Christmas crafts

Christmas Crafts for kids, preschoolers, and toddlers part 2