CRAFT TIME IS
Spring has sprung! It's a time of newness and growth, tulips and daffodils. It's also a great time for kids to get creative juices flowing and maybe learn a thing or two! Here, expert crafters share their ideas for kid-friendly spring and Easter projects.
Crafter Sandy Sandlerrecommends using everyday household items as craft supplies. It's a great way to get the kids involved in cleaning, reusing, and crafting all at once, she says. "Before you rent a dumpster to haul away all the 'junk' that has over-wintered in your home, take some time to go through your closets and other areas destined for cleaning for opportunities to reinvent, recreate and recycle. Almost everything can have a second purpose, and when you're feeling creative, there is no limit to what you can do with 'trash.'"
Some ideas to rejuvenate and create:
- Use old shoes. Believe it or not, shoes or rain boots make great flower pots. The kids' too-small fabric sneakers are best for this, along with those brightly-colored rain boots that broke your heart when your kids outgrew them.
- Fabric, fabric, fabric! Are your kids tired of last year's clothes? Don't put them in the yard sale pile just yet. Sandler believes that passing clothing trends eventually become home décor trends. Help your kids convert those "out of style" shirts and dresses into pillows, fabric-covered boxes, or – if you have enough – a fabulously "fashionable" quilt.
By the time spring arrives, kids are so ready to head outdoors and appreciate nature. Veronique Christensen, craft blogger for Scholastic.com, offers simple craft ideas inspired by Mother Nature herself:
- Curling dandelions. Pick dandelions (the weeds) and split the hollow stems lengthwise. Place the stems into a glass of water and then watch them curl. It's like magic!
- Dying daisies. Place daisies into glasses of water. Add a few drops of food coloring to each glass. The color should bleed up into the petals. Says Christensen, "Let your children mix colors to experiment with color theory – 'Red and blue make…'"
- Miniature garden. Collect small plants (mosses, tiny saplings) and rocks from outdoors. Arrange in a Styrofoam meat tray to create a miniature garden.
- Leaf-printed Easter eggs. Christensen describes a nature-inspired egg-decorating technique. Place interesting leaves on hard-boiled eggs. Put the egg and leaves in a stocking to keep the leaves in place, then secure with a rubber band. Experiment with natural dyes such as onions, tea leaves, and beets. Allow the eggs to dry before carefully removing the stocking.
For more ideas, visit Christensen's Crafty Mom blog.