Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dumbo the Elephant lunch bag craft for preschoolers


Being so much involved in crafts I usually buy craft items separately. I have all kinds of papers and pom-poms,glue etc. When my daughter has to do a project I just think about the project and grab the things needed and she is ready to go. I guess this was my first experience of getting something in a kit. My sister gifted The Giant Busy Box to my daughter a while back. It was interesting to get something in a box and ready to craft. The instructions are pictorial and there is only one of a kind.

The supplies are not packed in a way that you pick one and you have all the things needed for a particular craft. Similar things are packed together like the lunch bags, pom poms. You still need to sort out and pick things. I think this is a good thing if you let your child figure it out and the child is up to it. If not then, parents should help. It was interesting to watch my daughter make this Lunch bag Elephant, which she instantly named Dumbo.

 Supplies: As shown in the picture plus some stickers which she figured out later.

 Observation: I let my daughter (referred as 'A' henceforth) chose what she wanted to make and figure it out herself. It took a little longer but she learnt a lot in the process. Glue stick might not work that well as the cut-outs are glossy. It might need more time to dry or you might offer the craft glue to stick some pieces.It is not so simple for kids as it might appear to you. Let them do it themselves but do provide encouragement and give hints.  

Things my child learnt:
 - Follow instructions: Understand pictorial instruction for something similar and apply that to make something else.
- Decision making- What she wants to make, what supplies will be needed.
- Implementation: Actually use the understanding and make the craft.
- Improvisation : Things might not work the way think they will, so we need to improvise.
- Accept others help: It is alright if things don't work, we might need help sometimes and it is alright to ask for help after trying first.

- Sense of Accomplishment: Feeling of accomplishment after looking at the completed project.


'A' took this project to school for "Show and Tell"and explained her friends and teachers how she made it. She was so proud that she made it all by herself. She quoted " The tusks and the tail were so tricky, they kept falling and falling. So if that happens always remember you can use that white craft glue and press and count 1 , 2, 3 ...and may be more till it sticks:) Trust me, it will stick".

And what followed was laughter, fun and hours of puppet play.  

Note:Alex Toys- The Giant Busy Box is a good purchase and keeps your kid busy and they learn a lot. The instructions are not so clear so preschoolers might need help.Not sure if the price is worth the supplies included but it sure saves time.  

Disclaimer: We were not compensated to write this review in any way. It was just a personal project.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Curvy and Cutie Paper Caterpillar Craft


I think the first big word that my daughter learnt when she was 3 year old was CATERPILLAR. Thanks to the story book "The very hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. There was something about this book that she was always so fascinated by Caterpillar and the fact that it becomes Butterfly.

 For a while she thought any big word can only be caterpillar. Spring is finally here and she has been learning about the life cycle of a Butterfly in her 4 yr preschool. I felt it was the perfect time to finally post those pictures I have planned to post from long.


 I am sharing the caterpillar craft she did when her cousin came to visit us.They ended up naming the caterpillar. I guess it was Curvy and Cutie. Here is how you can make your own Curvy and Cutie Caterpillar.  

Supplies:
-Green print paper or construction paper
-Google Eyes
-Chennile stems
-Pom poms
-Glue
-Masking tape
-Bangle or similar material to make circle. You can use circle punch also.
-Safety Scissors

 Instructions: Follow the pictures. 


 Notes:
 -  While making this caterpillar kids learn making circle using another material. This is an important craft skill. Kids need to practice to get better at this.
 - Cutting circles adds to the fine motor skill practice that is so vital at this tender age.
 - If you feel your child's attention span is not long you might want to cut the circle and give or do this craft in two sittings. Cut circles in one and make caterpillar in another one.
 - To make it more interesting and reinforce the story you might start by reading Eric Carle's story book. The very hungry caterpillar or click on the link and show them the video where Eric Carle is reading the story himself.
- It is a fun group craft. Kids enjoy it more when done in group.
- It is easier and quicker to fix the chenille stems or pipe cleaner legs using masking tape, however if you do not have it you can use glue. Tacky glue works best but you have to leave it for a while to dry.


 Variations: You can use different colors of circles or you can use different sizes of circles to make it more interesting.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Handmade Birthday Cake Greeting card for 5th Birthday



Recently we celebrated my daughter's 5th Birthday. The moment this new year started she was all about reverse counting the number of days left for her birthday. I guess its like this for every 5 year old. Every time she goes for her friend's birthday party I make sure that she makes a card. She was complaining the other day that "I make card for everyone but most of my friends buy the card and send it. No one really takes the trouble to make it." She is right,except couple of her friends no one really makes it. Personally, I feel that making card for someone you care about is one of those gestures that express your sentiments at a whole different level. If you cannot make it, even then if you buy a handmade card it definitely tells that you took the time and made the effort to give a special card.

 I promised myself that this time I will make a unique card for her birthday. Just to inspire her and also for her to feel that mom cares and makes card for me too. Can you believe, I made it at the day of party as I was running out of time. With a new baby at home it is hard to find time. She was about to wake up and my husband tells me to drop everything and finish wrapping the gift and make the card. There is nothing more important than that. Trust me, I did what he said and ya, I agree, there was nothing more important than that.

So here it is, the card that I made for our daughter. Both of us (mom and dad) ended up writing inside in such a way that she could read. She is learning to read right now and getting better day by day.  

Supplies needed:
- Blank card
- Envelope
- Card stock yellow, red and polka dots
- Scissors
- Glue stick
- Colored Pens and pencils
 This is a kind of a 3D card you might say. The base is like a step cut-out and then there are individual strips with corners scored with a bone folder so that it looks 3d.

Decorate it with colored pens and pencils. Write the message and give it to your loved one. I guess the rest is self explanatory. If you have any questions about how I made it, feel free to ask. Didn't get a chance to take the picture while making it.

 PS.She loved the card and says I can't believe it mommy you made such a lovely card for me. She was happy that both of us wrote.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Valentine's day Paper strips Heart Craft Tutorial



For preschoolers Valentine's day begins as soon as they start making heart crafts in school. It was amazing to see my daughter (Anna) involved so much in this year's Valentine's day celebration. For her Valentine's day is all about making crafts for someone you love. They have been making Valentine's day crafts, puzzles, mazes etc the whole first two weeks of February. She had to take something for her friends for the Valentine's day party in her class. She wanted to make something for her teachers too.This is what we came up with. It was simple, different and based on the teacher's favorite color we decided which color paper to use.

Supplies:
 -Color Print Paper strips: 0.5 inch wide and length based on how big heart you want. We used 2 strips each of 5", 6",7.5" (in your choice of color)
 -Stapler or Glue
-Fish line or Ribbon
 -Color Pen

 Instructions:
For the first loop using 3 strips.
1. Apply glue on one end of the strip measuring 7.5",place the end of 6" and press.
2. Now apply glue on this and place end of 5" strip. Refer pictures.
3. Make a loop using the 5" (innermost) strip and glue the end as shown. 
4. Repeat with the rest of the strips. Make the second loop by repeating the above steps. Glue or staple these two loops that you made.



Variations
-Anna decided to write on the outermost strips for her teacher. So we used white strips for that.
-We also used the teacher's favorite color to decide who is getting which heart.

-She later decided to make one for her favorite aunt in the colors which are her son's and Anna's favorite.This one she made with no help from me at all.
 Notes:
-We found that glue worked better than staples so in the last one we used glue to stick the loops together.
 -To attach string we used stapler.(optional)
 -Parents should do the stapler part for younger kids and supervise for little older kids. For her friends we got some heart shaped erasers and lollipops. We packed it in cute packing. It was an extension of a craft we did earlier. We will share that with you soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Drawing Favorite Toy for Keepsake by Preschooler

We wish happy new year to all the followers and readers of this blog. We wish this year fills your life with more things beautiful, makes you more creative. I do have a lot of posts in the pipeline which I do want to share before any new ones but I could not resist posting this one first. This is so special.

This is a drawing made by my soon to be 5 year old daughter. This is one of her favorite toys since she was an infant. When you pull the bee the music of "You are my sunshine" comes. Somehow it used to calm her. This is one of the toys I saved and now my son loves it too. My daughter woke up on Jan 4th 2013 and the first thing she did was take the toy (my son was playing with it) told me I still love it mommy. Can I have it for sometime. I have to do something really important and I have to do it now. As usual I was telling, you can do it later,he is little, let him play with this. After she was done with explaining why she needs it a number of times she said, I promise I will give it back to him and share this one but right now I need it. Finally, I said o.k., go ahead.

15 minutes later she said I am done. He can have it now. She went and gave back the toy to her brother who is 4 months old. Then came the real surprise. I saw she was doing something. I took a picture also. I thought this will be another of her stick diagrams that kids this age keep doing. I was busy in finishing my routine household work and was not paying much attention. I was not sure she could do such good work in observational drawing.I have never told her to do one, thinking she is too small for this. This is her first one. I looked at it and was amazed at the details in her drawing. She even drew the Velcro of the toy.

This is one of her independent creations. I didn't help with anything. I didn't tell her to look at the toy and draw. I didn't tell her which medium to use. I didn't even tell do it in your sketchbook. In fact I was wondering she might be thinking( now even if the toy breaks I have a drawing to know it was my favorite toy), but she said I just felt like drawing this so much that I could not do anything else before doing this.That's why mommy I needed it just then.I hope her passion continues.

 The self esteem boost that results from accomplishing a drawing like this goes a long way. I could see it in her eyes.I truly believe that it does transfer itself to other subjects a child learns and definitely provides passion for learning anything. Parents should always motivate their child to do independent crafts, I know I will. I wanted to share this idea as it does make a wonderful keepsake.  

Supplies:
 - Favorite toy
 - Paper
 - Pencil colors or color of choice

Let your child look at the toy and draw. If possible let the child use his imagination. You may help the child if he seeks help, else let the child develop his ability through free expression. Believe me, whatever the child draws, it will be the most precious thing for him and he will have a feeling like no other. Do date the creations and name it. Save it in your child's portfolio.  

Take Away from this Observational Drawing Craft:
- Improves observational skills
- Processing the information and attempt to put on paper
- Plans on how to draw what he sees
- Independent execution
- Increases Focus and expression power
- Self-esteem boost
 PS: Came across good book for teaching children how to draw Drawing with Children- A creative method for Adult Beginners too by Mona Brookes. I did read some excerpts and found it very interesting. I plan to read it, guess I will learn lots of things from this too.

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Craft Ideas For All by Amrita and Nimisha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at craftideasforall.blogspot.com.
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