Wednesday, December 21, 2011

garden stakes

I have the kids home for two weeks added to the dark grey weather equals serious wall climbing. We also had a series of very, VERY expensive household emergencies this last month. So I devised this inexpensive way to add a little winter color and entertain the kids.

I bought a multi-pack of sculpy with a 40% off coupon for the bodies and used take-out chopsticks for the stakes. I think you could also bake salt dough, paint and seal it, but this was more colorful and rewarding for the kids.

I'm really excited with what the kids came up with and they want to give them to their father for Christmas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

refashion boys shoes to girls boots

I saved these shoes that my son out grew after two wearings.
I tried to get my daughter to wear them. She wouldn't. So I replaced the laces with elastic and made a covering from felted wool sweaters. I hot glued the covers to the old shoe and voila, boots.

Super cute and fun.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sensory Play

My 3 year old was bored today. I decided to let her have some sensory play and created this toy out of things around the house. It is modeled after a sensory table I saw in my son's preschool long ago.
You will need a sweater box, a handful of small toys, 5 lbs of rice or dried beans or dried corn and a large blanket.
Place the blanket flat on the floor of the play space. Put box in the middle of the blanket. Place the small toys at bottom of the box. Pour the rice over top of toys.
Let the child find the toys and then otherwise enjoy the feel of the rice. My daughter got some of her pretend kitchen toys and poured rice from one bowl to another for about an hour. Then she got inside the box, squishing the rice between her toes and declared she was "at the beach" and making sand "cassies" (castles).
I didn't think of the blanket until I tried to clean up the rice explosion. Would have been nice to be able to pull the corners up on the blanket and pour the rice back into the box. I thought I would just sweep it up and dump it in, but all the dirt comes up too... Yuck.

Its been about 5 hours. I've tried to put the rice away 3 times. Each time a child started playing so nicely with it that I leave it out. Right now my 8 year old is playing with it. I think it brings back good memories of preschool.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

water bottle decorating

For our final project for the eco-craft class we individualized water bottles. I bought some aluminum water bottles and cut out stencils of each student's name and various images.

turned out to be a very messy project.

Each child was excited to have a water bottle they made themselves.

Friday, April 15, 2011

recycled streamers

A simple craft to do with all recycled items. I used tee-shirts cut into strips, disposable chopsticks and some wire left over from a garden project.
The eco craft class loved it.

I envisioned the project with one long streamer that they would decorate with rubber stamps.
But they each did a specifically unique streamer. One person used several long contrasting colors, another did a dozen short ones, and another one of each in medium length (about the same length as child's height)

Much fun and I left time for them to play with them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

logo hiding

Ever have a great piece of clothing but hate the logo on it?
Or just not like logos.
I doctored up this great mid weight jacket with a matching iron on to change the look from corporate wear to casual wear.

First I covered the dark lettering with white out.

Then tried to match the color of the background with some fabric paint.

I designed a bird sitting on a branch and cut it out of fabric that matched the accent color for a new look.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

recycled t-shirt basket

This week we made baskets out of old T-shirts cut into strips woven around a cardboard frame. I used cereal and cookie boxes for the frames. which made them a little flimsy. Some of the children complained that the cardboard bent too easily. Next time I will use something firmer.

We ended up with a little extra time. So I pulled out a bag of biodegradable packing peanuts and a clean sponge. I asked them to make animals to put in the baskets. They had a competition on who could make the longest snake instead.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chinese New Year rabbit lantern

I thought the eco craft class could celebrate Chinese New Year with these cute little lanterns. We started with clean empty baby food jars and pasted little rabbit paper cuts on them. Then decoupaged tissue paper over the bottle. We wrapped wire around the mouth of the jar and threaded the wire through a chopstick with a hole drilled in the end.
A lovely lantern that could hold a real tea light candle without burning the holders hand. I supplied battery powered candles though.

The class had fun testing them out in a cupboard in the classroom.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

recycled on the go cup

Ever on the go and forget containers for the kids snacks? Happens to me all the time. I knot handkerchiefs, cup napkins... but they always spill. Especially in the car. So I adapted this origami technique for a sturdy little cup. I use whatever clean-ish paper is around. It works with squares or rectangles.

Fold paper in half diagonally.

Fold the two corners in so they overlap.

Fold the front top corner down. (can fold back corner back, but I find this easier to pass around)

Open cup

Fold bottom corners in for a standing base.

Fill with snack.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Potato Prints

I must say, I was a little disappointed with this one. I spent a week planning/designing these prints and 2 hours carving them. But then I decided to use a new paint (formulated for silk screening but the label said could be used for printing) because the Scribbles that I usually use gets all hard and scratchy. I also carved the potatoes the day before the class and stored them in lemon water over night since I didn't have time to carve them just before the class. The potatoes cupped overnight so it was very difficult to print with them and it had not occurred to be to bring a large carving knife to school with me. So I couldn't fix them.

I am really happy with the stamp designs. They are mix and match animals. The children tried to play with them, but the stamps were so hard to use we all ended up frustrated. So much for my big WOW first project of the quarter.
I think I will try to fix the prints today and stamp up some cards or something before the potatoes go in the compost heap. oh well. At least I am happy with the designs. I may enlarge them and make mix and match iron-ons or something.