Craft Calendar

Craft tips
Paint bottle almost empty? Invert and you'll have paint by the end of storytime.

Nonthemed art classes: 

  • scrape art (blob on paint and apply with credit card or some such thing to mush it around) See: http://Happy Hooligans Easy Art Techniques 
  • Liquid watercolors w.eyedroppers on paper towels
  • Dribble glue on paper, cover with colored sand.
  • Arya above with freeform sculpture: Dollar Store styrofoam bases, cut in half, with assorted pipe cleaners, straws, yarns, beads, etc., to make a whatever.  I gave them paperclips and showed them how they can use these to hold up pictures.  
  • tinfoil with lids used as stamps. See below.

  • Snowmen. Materials: Chalk or white paint, twigs, red crepe paper, black pompoms if you have any. Emphasize that we're making circles, and show them the circular motion, big armed, before you turn them loose with the paper. And emphasize small circle for head, medium sized for body, bigger for bottom.
  • Penguins. TP roll Penguins. TP penguin craft  Doing TP crafts is so wrong, but I just can't resist this adorable guy. Volunteer prep the pieces into kits.
  • Opposites. Print with circles and squares dipped in primary colors. Paper towel rolls and small boxes.
  • Numbers. I had them pick cards from a deck with 2 - 6 and eat that # of grapes.

  • Valentine stuff,  heart shaped doilies, pink/red paper, letters., stamps, stickers,  beads. Volunteers: Fold, cut out hearts.
  • Construction this year: Smashie Valentine hearts.  You put the paint on one side and fold the heart in half for fantastic symmetrical art.(Superheroes & Princesses. Crowns & power bracelets) Vocab:  symmetry. 
  • Feelings.  Valentines. Make Valentines.   
  • Dragons & Chinese New Year. Rip up paper and glue to dragon for scales. 
  • Firefighters.  Blowing through a straw on blobs of paint art.  my fun foam I Love You beads to show you! We made bracelets and necklaces with them.
  • Fun foam beaded necklaces and bracelets.  Works with pipecleaners.

Folded Hearts.  Thanks, Monica, for cutting out all those hearts.  I punched out little ones for them to practice the technique on.  
  • Books -- bookmarks
  • Crowns -- Princesses. Two strips of clear shelf paper and a whole lot of sequins, and bits of gold or tinfoil. The kids stick stuff on the shelf paper, and the moms tape them together to fit on their heads. They make comfortable fits.
  • Eggs, Chix/ Materials: Yellow paint and pom poms and black markers.  Have them dip the pom poms in yellow paint and make round circles on the paper.  Add black legs and feet and orange beaks.  I also gave them markers to draw grass, sun, etc.
  • *Jokes, silly stuff/crayon resist
  • Babies. mobiles w. geometric shapes. I've done this with chalk or white paint on black paper, but I was all out of black construction paper this year so I used scrap construction paper and the baby oil method. And it smelled go0d. 
  • Prep: shapes, squares, triangles, circles; straws.
  • Earth, Gardens/ paper flowers, cupcake flowers.  garden crowns. Prep for crowns: Cut strips, pompoms, clothespins.  
  • Manners/plates Prep: Cookies for afterward. Restaurant games. 
  • Mother's Day bookmarks.  M ❤ M   I ❤ U. Cut strips of paper for bookmarks and get stamps.
  • Shape collages.  Punch out a lot of squares, circles and triangles. 
  • Pirates: tinfoil exploration, like wrapping pebbles in tinfoil.
  • Windsocks
  • Stained glass -- poster paints on wax paper, and circled around with lids. Save your lids -- nice big ones.

  • Frogs, Turtles, Snakes - Only just have them gluedown strips of clear paper or whatever in rows. It'll be faster for them, and the snakes will look more geo-metrical. But they'll need to use A LOT of glue stick.
  • Cars - We painted with cars, running the cars through the poster paints and then onto the paper.  But the giant hit of the morning was the carwash I set up afterward -- a big flat tub with warm soapy water.  You would have thought I'd issued invitations to Spa Beach.
  • Coffee filter butterflies -- symmetry, bead caterpillars
  • Father's Day cards -- Hug cards. This year: D ❤ D    I ❤ U

  • Beach & Sea -- bubble wrap painting, sea collages
    Island, 2011

    July Father's Day Wine Glasses. These could be filled with CANDY, I said.

    We did wine glasses, and they turned out randomly scribbly and amusing.  Really, scribble art looks very happy and terrific on a wineglass!

    I splurged and bought $1 wineglasses from the dollar store, although Jane told me later that she has a huge stash from garage sales.  I put masking tape around the lip, plastic tablecloths on the tables, and gave firm instructions about sharpies.  "They're like magic markers BUT THEY NEVER WASH OUT.  NEVER!" I had printed out # 1 DAD in an interesting font.  The moms taped these to the inside and outlined them around their kids scribbles.  This really was a lovely project. But really better at a maker station for the older kids. 
    • Jungle: large holed beads. Laces with a piece of tape at the end. Just knot to finish.   
    • Space: crescent moon, yellow paper collaged with yellow and white tissue paper and foil.
    • potato print mice
    • Dogs:  color circles on Dog's Colorful Day  Cotton balls and clothespins. Marble rolling.
    • Centers, including roll the dice for grapes.
    • Dinosaurs: stegosaurus stand-ups from templates  need collage pieces
    • Pigs: I cut out paper towel pigs (4 thick) and they did the painting with markers & water. 
    • Pets: Pet rugs. I know this sounds dorky but it gives kids a chance to fringe the edges of stiff paper or craft foam. Pick up some craft foam in fun colors. 
    • ABCs: Pipecleaner name bracelets with foam ABC beads
    • Trains:  Print out an engine Eduplace Shapebook and shrink to fit four on one page. Give children rectangles (and ovals?) in yellow, orange, blue, green and purple with a red square for a caboose.  Kids add buttons for wheels and fingerprint smoke over the engine. The kids can write the letters of their names on each car.
    • Alligator: Folded. WE DID A COLOR CRAFT, marble painting.
    • Color: Watercolor painting.
    • Big (purple AND green) monster. Fold and blob, add eyes and bloggy nose.  So fun!
    • Boo posters. Remember, you have the template in your Halloween folder! 
    • Jack O'Lanterns
      1. Fold paper in 1/2 longwise. Cut (I marked the lines ahead of time) every 1 1/2 inches -- or 1 of you're good at cutting.  
      2. When you're finished cutting, open the piece of paper up and put it down in front of you. 
      3.  Draw the face on, an eye on one strip, a nose below the line on the next strip, and then another eye. Triangles, ovals, any kind of eye. Then a nice big grinning mouth.
      4. Tape shut or staple.
      5. You can use over a votive, but I purchased LED battery operated tealights. 
      Secret: I taped half a pipe cleaner to the inside of two opposite strips of the lantern. That way, I can squish him into a circle and he holds his shape.
      Not shown: a green handle strip stapled to the top.
    • mummy votives.  These are a big hit with everyone, but START COLLECTING YOUR GLASS JARS EARLy.  There's still plenty of leftover gauze with the Halloween decorations. The kids just wind a few lengths of gauze around a glass jar, using a lot of glue, which they like.  Google eyes. They take it home and put a votive in it.
    • Cats: Fold black paper in half, cut out a C from the middle -- that's the head, cut out another c from the head, that's the tail.
    •  A lot of great ideas, including punching out autumn colored dots and gluing them to recycled paper trees and MAKING A LEAF SHAPED STENCIL WITH TP ROLLS!!!  How easy would that be!
    • Fern & leaf rubbings w. crayon and then yellow watercolor on top as wax resist.
    • Fruit de loop necklaces; Fruit Loops and dental floss. Or:  Bubble Wrap
    • House collages. 
    • Tolkien tree
      I fingerprinted fuschia, yellow, orange & brown to the tips of the branches. Gorgeous.


    • Beads on pipecleaners with jingle bells. Great bracelets, could be ornaments. Cut up straws as well. 
    • Paper chains. Attach pre-cut strips w/sticker dots. 1" x 8". Glue sticks work great. They were a bit young for this, but it's very valid: color choice, patterning, gluing, strip manipulation. 
    • Filling a clear plastic ornament-globe (got them at Target, Dollar Store too) w. Mardi Gras beads. Great way to use up broken strands, have them practice cutting. OR
    • I don't know why Ben needed to have a silly look when he has a friend like Carson.

    • Christmas tree made from six strips of paper, glued to a popsicle strip. little small tiny (goes at the bottom, big large HUGE. Put strips in order, glue to the popsicle strip, and then decorate the tree: paint dots? or sequins. 
    • Coffee filter snowflakes. Make a few snips; make some magic marker dots; drip water onto dots; open to see the beauty
    • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree craft tie in: Christmas tree made from three triangles, small, medium size, big, decorated with sparkly confetti.  
    • Snowflake stamping on blue construction paper, salt for glitter.

    • Firefighters/ blow paint -- reds, yellow, oranges, blues
    • Monkeys. Square, circle and heart shaped monkeys
    • Sheep/sheep stencil

    Not themed, but such fun: poster paint on wax paper via lids. The advanced kids got a quick lesson in polka dot making using the other end of the paintbrush. My favorite was one very young two who said his was an aquarium; he had added a large sprig of seaweed in one corner.

    Coffee filter umbrellas from Sunny With a Chance of Sprinkles  Very pretty.

    • Craft: Marbling w/paint and shaving cream. Does life get any better?

    Steal a can of your husband's shaving cream and squeeze some in  a plastic takeout container.

    Keep repeating this phrase:  SWIRL DON'T MIX.  The kids won't believe you, but the moms might. I showed them how to use the tip of the paint brush for those, since I was slightly uncomfortable about passing out toothbrushes to other people's two-year-olds. I'm using washable poster paints here.

    Plunk down object to be marbled. The paper should be fairly heavy weight.


    Blot on paper towel.

    I made S ring hangers out of decorative Valentine wire.
    Beeyootiful, McKenna, huh!
    Penguin joke:  Two penguins were standing on an iceberg when one of them started talking. "You know something funny? You look like you're wearing a tuxedo."
                        The other one said, "What makes you think I'm not?"
                        stolen from Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion

    Last year we did it this way, using collages on paper:

    Emma's finished with decorating her hearts.
    Eva has cut out a heart.


    Marlo is working at taping her hearts to her tree.
     Next Friday, Feb 11, our stories will be about feelings. See you then!
    Sarah likes the look of hers!


    Back up crafts:
    / Vehicle puppets . Party hats. 

    • Sea: Crayon resist fish painted over with bubble wrap paint brushes made with paper towel holders.
    • ???? construction
    • Mexican tissue paper
    Good source:

    pennants, beads
    painting with odd tools
    swim noodle sculptures w. chenille stems, googly eyes and beads

    • Weather: Umbrellas from coffee filters or Paper plate fan 1. Decorate paper plate 2. Glue streamers to inside 3. Tape craft stick on inside. 4. Fold and staple shut.  Fan yourself! OR On the inside half of the paper plate, the children used gluesticks to attach strips of crepe paper. (Love crepe paper -- so much fun to work with and practice fringing.) They could have colored them if I'd remembered the markers!!! and they decorating them with big foam stickers and sequins. (Heidi promptly emptied her sequins on the floor. Tip for future: Pass out tiny stuff in babyfood lids instead of  jars so little fingers can reach them easier.) I also provided less girly stickers for the macho three year olds.  Ben appreciated working with blue triangles and yellow circles.  The handle is just a spring clothespin with a big sticker decorating it. You don't really need to staple them shut -- in fact, if the kids were older, I would have told them they could put their secret documents there. Then they had to learn how to work a fan -- I didn't realize there's a wrist motion to it that takes a little practice.