Tag Archives: kids crafts

Spool Knitting

DSC00098

My oldest daughter got together with some friends for something called “Activity Days.”  “Activity Days” is just a planned day where the girls do something fun and oftentimes, educational.  This particular day, the girls got together for spool knitting.

DSC00039

I for one had never even heard of this before.  I’ve done some loom hats before with a bigger loom, but it never crossed my mind to make a mini loom out of a wooden spool and 4 little nails.  It’s brilliant.

It’s also classic.

Apparently this has been around forever, and after looking online, I’ve discovered that there are some beautiful little antique spool looms out there.

DSC00119

Anyway, my friend introduced Anne to this so I’m really not the teacher here, but I can tell you how it basically works.  Just nail 4 smooth nails into a wooden spool (or round wooden block with a hole in the center).  Get some yarn, or crochet thread and stick the string down the center of the spool hole.

Loop the string around each nail once from the inside, then do it again.  Once each nail has two loops, you just get a blunt needle (or my daughter used a bent paper clip) to lift the lower loop over the top of the nail.  Do this to each nail so there is only one loop left on each nail.  Then wrap a loop around each nail again and repeat the process until you have a nice little woven braid coming out of the bottom end of the spool hole.  It’s easy and fun.

DSC00040

Once Anne started spool knitting, she couldn’t put it down.

DSC00099

It was fun to see her so interesting in a project.   When she finished she had made a nice little friendship bracelet that she is very proud of.  Good job Anne!

If you’d like to try this and my instructions are way too confusing, just look up “How to Spool Knit” on YouTube.  There are some good tutorials by other people who have been doing this for a lot longer than me.  :)

Enjoy!

More Easter Activities!

A few more Easter ideas for you!  If you like these printables please go to the Angel Street Kids Facebook Page and click “LIKE.”  I will keep you posted on new stuff!

I created these little Easter designs to use as Cupcake toppers and/or table confetti.

These little baskets are easy-shmeasy to make, then just fill them with your favorite Easter candy!  Perfect as a table setting decoration, party favor, or gift!  Enjoy! ;)

Springtime Pinwheels

Make a perfect pinwheel!  No tracing or guessing! This activity is fun and also a great way to teach about pattern-making and shapes.

Just print out these patterns I made below on some colorful paper.  You can use any kind of paper you want– copy paper, scrapbook paper, or cardstock.  If you plan to paint patterns on the paper, it’s best to use cardstock.

 

These fun shapes will be cute centers for your pinwheels.

Decorate the printouts any way you like.  My kids and I chose to paint them, so we used cardstock.  You’ll need your printouts, some thumbtacks, craft paint (or crayons or stickers or whatever you want to use to decorate it) and some small-ish dowels.  The dowels I used are 3/16″ in diameter and came in a pack of 16 for about a dollar.  The thumbtacks were $.88 for a pack of 70.  Good deal!

It’s fun to find objects around the house to use as a stencil to decorate your paper.  Here I used the end of a marker for the circles, and the dots were created using the end of a pencil eraser.  Create a pattern and when it’s dry, turn it over and create a contrasting pattern.

Again, this is a fun way to teach kids about patterns and shapes.  You could come up with countless patterns to create and ways to put these together.

When your decorated printouts are finished, just follow the directions on the printout to create the pinwheel.  Tape down the corners as you go, it will make it easier.  When you are ready to stick the thumbtack in, I found it’s better to cut a hole about the size of a pencil eraser in the pinwheel and the center shape.  If the hole is bigger, the pinwheel spins a little better.  Also, don’t stick the thumbtack in too far, it needs to have a bit of space for it to spin.  I found it best to push the thumbtack through, then turn the pinwheel upside down.  Place the dowel on top and use a small hammer to push it into the wood just right.

Another Method for Those Who Are Thumbtack Phobic:

If you’re going to create these with very young children and don’t like the idea of pins, here’s another idea to make it safer for your kids.  You’ll need the same supplies as above, but you’ll also need some bendy straws.

A bendy straw fits perfectly over the 3/16″ dowels.  Slide it over the dowel and tape around the bottom so it stays in place.

On this one I fluffed the flower shape a little by cutting between each petal and folding the petals up.

Cut the holes in the pinwheel and center shapes, then slide them over the bendy part of the straw.

Cut slits in the end of the straw to make 4 strips.

You can put a button on top and pull the straw strips through to keep everything together.  Now it looks like a daffodil.

Last, just put some tape around the straw in the back to hold things in place back there.

Have fun with your pinwheels!

 

Reading Around the World

These reading encouragement activities are great to use at school or at home to make reading extra fun for your kiddos!

Paper people are back!  Just color and cut out the kids, then do the same with each costume.  Have fun dressing the kids in cultural folk costumes from around the world!

Add an Image

This is an 8 week reading tracking chart!  Great for the upcoming summer reading programs!

…and a little book report form.

And of course, your kids will need some book marks for all that reading! ;)

Be sure to check out your local library to learn more about our amazing world!

“PEEP and the Big Wide World”

Exclusive Review  & DVD Giveaway!

I had actually never seen this show before this week.  It’s described as a preschool show, but it has subtle and clever humor that has had my whole family laughing out loud for the past 3 days!  Thank you WGBH for sending this to us!

WGBH is launching a brand new season of PEEP and the Big Wide World with 25 episodes never before seen on public television!  Lucky me, I got to review this adorable, hilarious, clever and creative show.  Oh, and amidst all the giggles and snickers induced by the comical characters, this show teaches preschool science and math concepts.  But if your kids aren’t the science/math type–don’t stress.  They’ll love this, beg you to watch it, cry if they miss it….and they won’t even realize they’re learning math and science.

.

More Fun with PEEP!


The second I saw these cute characters, I had dreams about an orange, an eggplant and an apple.  So of course we had to make some veggie/fruit art.  This is a really fun kids craft to do for any imaginative mind.  Just get some construction paper, google eyes, pipe cleaners, and fondue skewers and let your creativity go bananas…or carrots…or eggplants…or….well, you get the idea.

For Quack’s hat I used one large marshmallow (cut in half), and one mini marshmallow, then stuck a toothpick through the center to keep it in place.

The legs are fondue skewers, painted black.  Quack’s feet are made out of construction paper, and the others have black pipe cleaner pieces for feet.

.

More about the Show:

(Drawings by my profile artists, Anne and Mary)

Quack (the duck),  Peep (a newly hatched chick), and Chirp (the little red robin) are the endearing trio in this cute show.  The first episode of the new season is great.  It reminded me of college.

Yes, college.

One year at college I lived in an apartment with two other roommates named Sarah.  So the three Sarah’s went by “Sarah 1,” “Sarah 2,” and “Sarah 3.”  I was the youngest, so I was “Sarah 3.”  Not cool.  I guess it’s better than “Squeenk” or “Clerp” though.

In the season’s first episode, poor Quack finds his pond has been taken over by a sassy newcomer who is also named Quack.  In the conflict between Quack versus Quack, the two try to prove the pond is theirs.  One claims the other is not a duck, but is really a “Squeenk,” and renames him “Clerp.”  Quack tries to prove he’s a duck by pointing out that he can swim.  (But so do fish!)  He says he has feathers. (But so do Peep and Chirp!)

Quack finally enlists the help of his beaver friends to build a new pond that is enticing enough to make the new Quack want to live there so he can have his home back.  During the whole Quack conflict, kids learn about similarities and differences, identifiable characteristics, and the ideal habitat for a happy duck.

But enough of my chitter chatter, here’s a word from Angel Street Kids themselves!

The new season Peep and the Big Wide World begins January 3, 2011.  Be sure to check your local listings and enjoy this big wide world with PEEP!

****************************************************************

PEEP DVD Giveaway!

Just comment to this post and tell me what your family likes to do in the winter.  You will automatically be entered to win Peep Figures it Out.  This DVD includes 6 previous episodes in both English and Spanish.  Post a comment by 6:00pm Wednesday January 5th (Mountain Standard Time).

Winner will be chosen at random and announced Thursday, January 6th.



Christmas Printables!

The season is officially here!  I created these printables in preparation for the cold snowy days when the kids like to sit around coloring.  (By the way, coloring printables goes great with hot chocolate and a warm fire nearby.)

One more thing, for those of you that live in warm places in December, what kind of Christmas decor and printables are you looking for?  A friend in California once told me she likes to decorate with snowflakes even in the warm weather.  How do you celebrate and decorate?

Click HERE to print all of the coloring pages, or click on each image to print individually.

Funny Feet

It was a crazy morning as usual.  I got up at the last minute and scurried everyone around trying to get them ready for school.  It was the usual one-word sentences morning:  Hurry.  Eat!  Brush. Go. Now!   We jetted out the door to make the first drop off and I suddenly remembered it was “Come to School With Funny Feet Day” at Mary’s preschool.  With only 20 minutes until preschool, this is the best we could do.  I think they turned out pretty fun. (Google eyes make anything fun!)

It’s helpful to have a box of odd things in your house.  My odd box has google eyes, yarn, mini bells, all kinds of buttons, craft paint and other stuff, and of course a hot glue gun.

Mark happened to walk by while Mary and I opened the paint, and started colorizing the shoes.  He thought I had gone crazy.   You’d think he’d be used to this by now.  I guess he was surprised because I usually try to have the attitude of “waste not, want not,” but I had bought each of the girls a pair of these shoes on clearance a while back for a screaming $3 each at the shoe store.  So I didn’t feel too bad about the Funny Feet Makeover.

Eliza, of course, wanted her own pair.  She insisted that hers look like honey bees.

I thought the Funny Feet fad would last a day and then the shoes would get lost in the closet.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but those shoes are now the favorites!  They are worn more now than they ever were before!  They wore them all over today while we ran errands and people kept commenting on their cute shoes!  It made them pretty happy and proud of their little google-eyed toes.

BTW, we created these pretty fast to get to school on time, but how cute would it be to spend a little more time and effort and put some ribbons, glitter, beads, or sequins on them!  I think I’ll have to keep an eye out for some more $3 shoes. ;)

Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure Part I

My girls found these craft jewels the other day. I have a whole tub of them.  I had them in the house for a project I did awhile ago.  I kept them around because, well, you just never know when you need craft jewels.  Anyway, they have also been a good “busy activity” when the girls need one.  I can just put the tub of jewels in the middle of the floor and it will entertain them for quite awhile.  Sometimes they sort them, sometimes they put them in toy pots and pans and just stir them around.  Well, this time they wanted to play ‘buried treasure.’ 

Mary looked all over for a treasure box to put them in and asked me to help her.  The best thing I could find was an empty baby wipes box.  It was kind of in the treasure box shape, so we decided to decorate it. 

Eliza snagged the camera and took this photo of me.  Not bad for a 2 year old–I mean my whole head is in the picture!

 

I love this picture.  It’s called “When You’re Being Creative, You Have To Stick Your Tongue Out.”  (It’s the sign of a true genius)

With a little craft foam, ribbon, and jewels, and only 10 minutes of time, we had a great little treasure box.  (There’s no way I was going to spend oodles of time on this, I mean it was going to get buried for heaven’s sake!)

Here’s the precious loot:  craft jewels, a homemade necklace, and some Chuck-E-Cheese tokens.

 …and here they are burying the treasure!

Aren’t sandboxes a wonderful thing?

I especially love our sandbox, and I’ll tell you why…

Buried Treasure Part II

Yes, this is part two, but really it happened before–long before–part one.

So about 25 years or more ago, Mark’s dad built a bunkbed for Mark and his brothers–a triple bunkbed.  About 2 years ago, we inherited the bunkbed.  We really didn’t have a need for it, but kept it in the garage in case another family member did–because that’s just what we do.  Anyway, it so happened that one of our awesome neighbors ordered a little too much sand for their sandbox and asked us if we wanted it.  Hmmmmm…

 Well, yes!  Soon those triple bunkbeds were reconstructed to make our little sandbox.  So how’s that for “reduce, reuse, recycle!”  A free sandbox, and hundreds of hours of entertainment for the kids.  Not bad.

And that my friends is the other buried treasure of this story.