Star Mobile

As I mentioned in my cocktail umbrella wreath post, we had a rainbow themed party for my son.  One of the decorations that we did for the dining room, was to spice up our light fixture with a star mobile.  This is basically the same craft that I did in my Butterfly Mobile tutorial, but I made it a little more pro this time because it wasn’t just a whim.

Here’s what I used:

  • Craft foam in various colours
  • scissors
  • elmer’s glitter glue
  • crayola glitter glue
  • vinyl thread
  • needle

I cut out craft foam stars in 6 different colours and had my kids decorate them using glitter glue.  I then used clear vinyl thread to attach them to the light fixture.  I used a needle to get the thread through the foam and tied a double knot so the thread wouldn’t pull all the way through.  I then tied the other end to the light fixture.  This gave the illusion that the stars were just hanging in mid air, which definitely impressed the 5 and under crowd 🙂

Foil Art

My mom bought the kids a foil art kit by Elmer’s because both my kiddos love shiny and sparkly things.  The age on the box says 5+, so my kids are a little young for it and they did need quite a bit of help.  They still had fun and there seems to be a good bang for buck (my mom paid ~$10).  There are 10 posters (2 10″x7″, 4 5″x7″ and 4 3.5″x5″) and 40 small stickers.  There are 40 sheets of foil in 10 different colours. Each of my kids did two little posters, so I’ve still got lots left over in my craft closet to pull out on a rainy day.

The way this works is you get a bunch of pre-printed posters and stickers.  The posters have individual yellow stickers that you have to peel off.  Then you place one of the pieces of coloured foil over the sticky part and rub it.  When you lift up the foil piece, the coloured part has stayed on the poster and you are left with just a clear plastic sheet.  It’s simple and you get a good result even if you have no artistic talent.  Where the little kids need help is to get off all the sticker parts because some of the pieces are really quite small.  Also, they tend to rub too roughly and end up crinkling the foil instead of pressing it on to the sticky stuff.  All in all we had lots of fun and look forward to doing more.

Splatter Paintings

My 4 year old son loves the show Artzooka! on kids CBC, so we often try to do the crafts featured on the show.  Some of them require specialized materials or are geared for older kids, but we have had a lot of fun with many of the Arzooka! crafts.  One that we saw a few weeks ago was particularly suited to my son, as he had always raved about similar activities that he did at preschool.  I don’t find the Arzooka! website easy to navigate, so I haven’t linked to their instruction page for this.  I did a quick look and couldn’t find it, so it may not even be there.  Here’s how we did our splatter paintings:

Equipment:

  • small bottles of paint (we used of acrylic paint that we had left over from a previous small bottles of paintproject)
  • paper (we used 8-1/2 X 14 printer paper)
  • markers
  1. If you’re doing this with small children I would recommend folding your paper first.  That way the crease is already down the centre and your kids can “fold it” on their own after they’ve done their splattering.  I hadn’t pre-folded the first one, so once Danny had finished adding the paint he folded it on his own, but it wasn’t anywhere near the middle, so his painting didn’t really turn out.

2. Let your kid go wild with the paint bottles.  Simply squeeze paint out in crazy designs all over the paper.  It’s definitely more fun if you have more colours.  I was really surprised how many paintings we were able to do with just a few small bottles of paint.

3. Fold your paper in half and press down to smoosh the paint into a neat design.

4.  Unfold and admire your beautiful artwork!  Have fun deciding what each one looks like.

5.  Let your artwork dry. (We left them overnight)

6.  Get our your markers and add details like facial features or additional scenery to turn your abstract splatterings into actual pictures.  Here’s one that Danny turned into a bunny.  It’s really fun to see their imaginations go wild 🙂

I’ve only shown a few pieces here, but we’ve done this activity 4 times now and have produced over 20 pictures, all with 5 leftover bottles of acrylic paint.  One caution:  acrylic paint is NOT washable, so make sure that you have your painting bibs on!