Friday, August 26, 2011


Looking through Oriental Trading magazine can be inspiration for kid crafts. Most of the crafts are simple and use basic supplies. Many can be replicated at the same or less cost. This craft was listed as 42 cents per item. I think we did it in less than 5 cents, but I'm just estimating so don't quote me on that!

First, we opened up a plain brown lunch sack. We filled it with about 2 pages of old newspaper, then folded the top into a triangle and folded it down. I tried gluing it, but didn't want to wait so I just taped it. Then I cut out the eyes, wings, beak, and feet for the kids to glue on. Older kids could cut these out themselves. We put two google eyes on as well.
I thought they were done, but one child wanted feathers on hers. So we got the glue back out (after the other things had dried), put glue on it, and let her glue the feathers on. She was so proud she took it for "show and share" at school the next day!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ocean in a Bag

My 4 year old found a book with ocean crafts in it. She turned to one page and said "Can we make this today?" I looked at what we needed: ziplock bag, blue hair gel, Styrofoam, beads or shells. Oooh, cool, yea, we can make that and we'll use up that hair gel that's been sitting the the medicine cabinet for 4 year now! It was simple and she loves it!

First you take the hair gel and pour it into the bag. The bag needs to be full enough that when you lay it flat, a layer about 1/2 an inch thick of gel is in all parts of the bag. (We were a little short on gel, but she didn't seem to mind.) To make it easier I put the bag in a mug. While she poured the gel, I cut fish shapes out of Styrofoam. I didn't have any meat trays, but she was happy with egg crate lids so we have white fish with red and blue patterns on them.

When the bag is full of gel, you place the "fish" and the "bubbles" (beads) inside, release the extra air, and seal the bag. As a safety precaution, I also duct taped the top of the bag and made a rule that they can only play with it in the kitchen. Happy girl and her ocean in a bag!
A variation I thought of is to use homemade fingerpaints instead of hair gel. I think it'd be much cheaper considering it'd only use water, food coloring, and a few tablespoons of cornstarch. I might try that next time, but for now this worked and it cleaned out the medicine cabinet.