Sunday, November 21, 2010

Packing Peanut Play

What to do with all those biodegradable packing peanuts? I hate throwing anything out... So I had a huge box of these in the basement. Now they are all gone...

No Gluing!

Dampen on a moist sponge the end you want to stick.
Then stick it!
Word of warning: they do dissolve with too much moisture.
My son enjoyed the goopy mess when he discovered this and began melting them on purpose.
Only works with the biodegradable packing peanuts.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grocery Bag Kites

I have not been feeling very creative lately. Craziness of Summer. But my son has been desperate to do a craft. So one day he wouldn't wait for me any longer and recreated a project we did a year or so ago. The last time, he taped his bag into a little wad and dragged it around. This time we tied string to the handles, punched holes in the bottom to tied streamers made from cut up bags. One of them is 3 bags connected. I was going to make a dragon out of it, but didn't have enough time.

They make great wind socks too.

Pictures are on a hot windless day. We got some height on them. My son prefers flying kites when there is no wind. He likes the challenge of getting them up and is bored when we keep them up in the sky.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hula Hoop

Hula Hoop, the best exercise. tighten the core, stay flexible and have fun!

Easy to make with left over irrigation hose. I followed this great tutorial, but my hose was 1/2 inch which was a little floppy, so I doubled it up. The electrical tape is really expensive (about $5 a roll), but the Hoops didn't have the same appeal without. My son and his friend loved choosing their own colors.

My son had never used a hula hoop before. But by the second day he could do 50 nonstop loops. I'm lucky if I make 3.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

reusing old t-shirts

This week we cut up old t-shirts and wove them into scarves. The project took much longer than the allotted hour. The children took home their cardboard looms to finish.

It turned out to be another project better suited for the older kids. I also didn't have sharp enough scissors to cut fabric. So they all got frustrated cutting strips. At one point half my class was running around the room with t-shirt streamers behind them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

vinegar bottle bird house

I was vinegar bottles to make a raft. But when the project I had planned turned out to need 72 hours to cure, I quickly changed to this one.

It was easy to cobble together from items I had around the house. A plastic bottle, stiff wire, used disposable chopstick, an exacto blade and various sharpies. The kids had a lot of fun making them and the individual style shown through. Some took 15 minutes to complete and some weren't done at the end of the hour long class.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

fish printing

The first time I did this project with children was for my son's 3rd birthday. We had 3 children over and I was so amazed at how different each turned out. There is real expression involved.

It is the easiest project. And kids these days never get to play with dead things so there was the inevitable fish fight.

All you need is a dead fish, fabric paint and a blank T-shirt. Though it turned out to be the most expensive of my eco class projects so far. The fabric paint is so pricey and the kids love squirting most of the bottle on. (In one of the pictures below the fish has about $5 worth of paint on it - deep breath)

I usually get a few small frozen tilapia because they are only a couple dollars each. But there seemed to be a shortage. I went to several stores and struck out. So I bought a milk fish (that unfortunately had already had it's scales removed) and some salmon heads. My last stop, at an Asian grocery that I had never been to before, had bags of small frozen river fish.

The fish heads were the most interesting (and the kids had the most fun with them also - putting "make-up" on them and such) One ended up looking like a nuclear hazard sign and another like a butterfly.

I love seeing how they differ. And one boy even wore his t-shirt to school the next day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

mother's day gifts

This week we made little lockets for mother's day. It was a perfect project for 3rd grade and above. The Kindergarten and 1st graders had some trouble with it. I think it was a little too detailed for them.
We also made some envelopes from an old catalogue, the idea was to seal them in before the mom's came to pick up. Unfortunately we ran over time and all the mom's heard lots of yelling "don't look!" when they came to pick up.
I hope they like them.

Monday, April 26, 2010

planting shoes

The Eco craft class is moving along. We planted old shoes this week. I really loved the old work boots one student brought in. I chose flowers to celebrate May Day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Upcycled Flower Bed

This is inspired by a flower bed I saw up at Hovander Homestead's children's garden in Ferndale, WA. They added a rustic headboard and foot board to a regular raised bed.
I had so much fun thinking of how great it would look filled with flowers that it really stuck in my mind.
This weekend, while cleaning out the basement, I stubbed my foot 1/2 a dozen times on an old broken bed frame that was laying across the playroom . I complained with some colorful swearing to my husband, whose answer was to drag the bed out into the yard and say "let's make that raised bed from Hovander." So we did.
We dug the existing bed down to the ground (silly us, we put the bed up, before digging out the old one). Used scraps left over from making the fence to line the bed. Looks a little like a bed skirt. The scraps had been sitting in the yard for years waiting for that perfect project. We also sunk some of the left over scraps into the ground as stepping stones. We lined the whole bed with landscape fabric and filled it back in.
I emptied our worm bins and mixed that in. (Here is someone who hitched a ride over from the worm bins)
Now we are ready to plant.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

reuser stilts

I am making my first foray as an after school program teacher. Much fun. Here is my mock up for our first project. Using left over formula cans, paint and some grosgrain. I painted a semi-realistic grass scene on one and my son painted an "abstract" on his. His description, not mine.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

bobby pin forms

I just got these really great bobby pin forms. I hot glued my favorite button (taken off a hoodie where they were strangely placed). Now I have the simplest easy elegant hair accessory.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dino Garden

A great project for spring break. It took us a couple hours gather and make this, with a lot of interesting conversation along the way.

My son and I took a shallow pan out to the back yard and gathered items for this garden. We mostly picked things up off the ground and didn't kill anything. Then we selected a planter bottom to use. we lined it with dirt, then arranged the stones and sticks, then the moss and plants. Then he ran and got his dinosaurs and made a big set up with tar pit and ocean. He named the dinos as he placed them and had the herbosaurs eating plants and the others hunting.
We then placed it in his bedroom. We will mist in once in a while to try to keep the moss alive.