Showing posts with label preschool crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preschool crafts. Show all posts

Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Mother's Day Picture and Hand Flower Bouquet

Since I live so far from my mom, I don't always get to do a lot for her for Mother's Day, but since she just came and visited we were able to make her a present as a family and give it to her a little early. I think she liked it a lot and the boys liked helping to make it, so I thought I would share in case any one else is still looking for a special mother's day gift to make. This project is pretty simple and would be quite easy for older kids. Little guys need some help and baby wasn't exactly helpful at all, but his tiny hands sure are cute once we actually got one traced. You probably want an adult helper for that job.

You could also do this project for a group of kids at a class and have each one just make a single "blossom" to give their mom using either a photo they brought or a Polaroid.

Homemade Mother's Day Picture and Paper Hand Flower Bouquet

  • Paper (construction paper, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, etc.)
  • Small photos printed and cut
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or other adhesive
  • Tape, staples, string, or some other way to attach the flowers to their "stems"
  • Sticks or pipe cleaners
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Container or vase (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  1. Before you start the assembly process, gather all your supplies. Print off cute photos of you and your mom, you as a kid, your kids, your kids and grandma, you could even use pics of the grand-puppy and have pawprint flowers, etc. and cut to size. Hunt down sticks (honestly probably my boys favorite part of this whole project) or find/buy pipe cleaners.
  2. Trace a family members hand on pretty paper and cut it out.You might want to label at least some of the hands with the name and age of the owner so you can remember whose hands were so small later.
  3. Now you can glue a small picture in the center or if you want you can add a decorative shape out of contrasting paper that will help frame your picture first and then the picture. Repeat until you have all of the flowers you want for a bouquet.
  4. At this point I hole punched each flower to they could be tied together with ribbon later to be saved. This would make a cute little book to give just like this also.
  5. Then you need to attach the hand flower to its "stem." We used tape, but there are lots of other ways that could work equally well.
  6. Now you can either tie the stems together into a bouquet or put them in a container/vase. You could even fill the container with her favorite candy for a more elaborate gift. We had another gift to go along with this one so we didn't do candy this time.
  7. Give to that special mom you want to honor on Mother's Day.

If you let a 4 year old trace and cut entirely by himself
the hand might look this cute.

Bouquet tied together without stems

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day Preschool Craft and Snack: Edible Lincoln Log Cabin

For President's Day we made another fun craft and snack in one. These edible Lincoln Log cabins were a big hit with the boys.

We used homemade pretzels that I made from adapting this recipe. But you could easily use store bought pretzels rods as well to cut out all the prep work and make this really simple. My 4 1/2-year-old was able to build his whole log cabin himself with me just giving directions. My 3-year-old was able to place the pretzels but needed me to spread the peanut butter for him.

Edible Lincoln Log Cabin Preschool Snack
  • Pretzel rods homemade or store bought
  • Peanut butter (or you could substitute sun butter or even cheese spread)
  • Plate and butter knife
Place two pretzels on the plate and spread peanut butter on all four ends. Then place two more pretzels perpendicular to the first ones on top. Continue building levels until desired height for the log cabin is reached. Then spread peanut butter across the entire pretzel rods and add a whole line of pretzels for a roof.

Because we made substantial homemade whole wheat pretzels and quite large log cabins, we actually ended up sharing these with some carrot sticks for a fun lunch.

Linking up with what i am eating at Townsend House.

President's Day Preschool Activity: Pretend You're a President Mask

Happy President's Day! We had quite a bit of fun celebrating President's Day this year and I hope that you will too. One of the highlights were these easy pretend you are a president peek-hole masks. They are a fast and easy presidential craft perfect for preschoolers. We made Lincoln and Washington masks, but of course you could choose any other president(s) you wanted After they are done making their masks they can pretend to be presidents as long as they like.

Pretend You're a President Mask Preschool Craft

  • Cardboard or poster board
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers, or something else to decorate with
I simply drew the outlines I wanted for Lincoln and Washington on cardboard as well as the peek hole for the child's face and cut them out. Then I showed my kids pictures of these presidents again and let them color the masks. Then they had fun pretending to be the presidents.

At first Lincoln was the coolest, because he has a top hat (like Sir Topham Hatt from Thomas the Tank Engine). But then we told them about how Washington was a soldier and how he had a sword, and then Washington was the coolest and both boys wanted to be Washington with a sword.

Eventually, everyone ending up sharing nicely even with the baby. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chinese New Year Preschool Craft: Firecracker Decorations

Chinese New Year (which is actually called Spring Festival in China) festivities are underway here. Today is "New Year's Eve" and the actual Lunisolar New Year Day is tomorrow. This will start the official two weeks of the festival, but really people have been celebrating for at least a week and there are generally festivities for a month or more surrounding the holiday.

During this time there are lots of firecrackers and fireworks going off all over, even in cities where they are less prevalent in general. Today we've heard a lot more than usual and tomorrow night will probably be the biggest firework day of the year (if I remember right from last year).

Updated February 10th:
We learned later that we were kind of confused on the dates. The actual New Year's day this year was February 10, but the festival starts New Year's Eve, so people refer to this as the start of the holiday. So anyway, the biggest firework day is the New Year's Eve night into the New Year's Day. Last night/this morning there was definitely a huge amount of fireworks at midnight. I think we figured out our confusion on this subject now on to other cultural mysteries.)

In addition to lighting off fireworks, firecracker decorations like this one are all over as well. A few days ago we made this simple hanging firework decoration. We don't in any way believe we need real or decorative fireworks to scare away bad luck or vampires, but I thought this would be a good way to explain to our boys that some people here do believe that. That is why they buy and use those things, and why we don't. (Besides the strong focus of visiting with family, the big emphasis of this holiday is good luck for the New Year, and pretty much everything surrounding this holiday has to do with either inviting good luck or keeping bad luck away, so we can't really do anything related to Spring festival without addressing it.)

We also got a lot of tracing practice writing the Chinese characters for firecracker (biānpào, 鞭炮) on each firecracker. If you didn't want to write the characters you could just decorate the red paper with black and/or gold designs as well.

Street-side cart of firecracker and other decorations

Spring Festival Firework Decorations

  • Red scrapbook or construction paper (I cut up a red gift bag with a swirly design that had torn a little, but any sturdy red paper would work)
  • Pencils, pens, markers, or even glitter glue pens
  • Scissors
  • Stapler and staples (or tape could work)
  • String to hang
  1. Cut small rectangles of red paper (mine were about 3x5 inches).
  2. If you want you can write the Chinese character for firecracker (biānpào, 鞭炮) one each piece of paper and have your child trace over it. Or you could have an older child try to write it on their own. Or you can skip the character and just make designs in black or gold.
  3. Curl each piece of paper around to make a small tube and secure with a staple or piece of tape.
  4. Cut some lengths of string and attach on to each tube.
  5. Tie the tubes together at varying heights and hang. 
 If you want you can practice saying, biānpào. The pow sound with the strong falling tone almost sounds like a firecracker, which helps me remember it. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Paper Heart Wreath (Valentine's Decoration and Preschool Craft in One!)

Much like our paper heart garland, this is another pretty Valentine's decoration that I adapted from a picture perfect version to make it into a preschool activity for my two boys (4 1/2 and 3 years old).

We also don't have any scrapbook paper and I didn't want to waste printer ink on this project, so I came up with a different way to make the decorative paper. This added another element that small kids can do easily as well.

Homemade Paper Heart Wreath

  • Paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils in Valentine's colors of your choice
  • Stamps and ink pad (you could use stickers or something else to decorate the other side as well)
  • Hole punch and string (Or some other way to fasten the hearts together like glue, tape, or even staples)
  • Tape and or a straw to make a needle for the string (optional)

    1. First we decorated our paper. We stamped Valentine related stamps on one side and scribbled a lot of reds and pinks on the other.

    2. Then I cut the strips, about 2 inches by about 14 inches, and folded the strips in half. I folded half of the strips with the stamp side out and the other half with the scribble side out.

    3. I punched two sets of holes at the top and middle. Later I discovered I needed another set of holes at the bottom to stabilize the wreath.
    4. Then we strung them together. First we curled the top ends around so the outsides went in and touched each other forming a heart.
    5. Then starting at one side sew through the heart, looping it through both the middle holes to secure the top of the heart together, and then out the other side. Sew through all of the holes on one side of the heart this way and then go back through the other side. Then sew through the holes at the bottom of the heart.

    6. Tie ends of string together and make a loop to hang.


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