Bracelets/Necklaces – What to use?

In my book Summertime Sanity for You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I list several craft projects that you can do with your child. One of the things I like to do with children is for them to make bracelets or necklaces using different material.

There are a variety of ways to do this – pipe cleaners and pony beads, Cheerios or Fruit Loops and yarn(tape one end for ease in getting it through the hole and tie a knot at the other end using the Cheerios or Fruit Loops), cut up colorful drinking straws to make a necklace, slice up flower shape foam pool noodles(you can get these at the Dollar Store in the Spring and Summer), large beads, buttons, or empty thread spools.

Please remember that the small pieces are not recommended for children under 3. You have many choices of materials that can be used to make a bracelet or necklace, adapt it to the age/ability of your child.

What do you like to use to make a bracelet or necklace?

Paper Mosaics

In my book Summertime Sanity for You & the Kids(A variety of activities for preschoolers thru elementary) I have a section on paper crafts.

One of the the activities is paper mosaics. The materials needed are cardboard, cardstock, or paper plate, construction paper(scrap pieces work great) or tissue paper, glue or glue sticks, and scissors.

Have your child tear or cut small pieces of construction paper or tissue paper. Have them glue the paper onto the cardboard, cardstock, or paper plate.

The children can make a design or do it randomly. This can also be done as a group project by doing something like a rainbow, and having each child put some red on, some blue on, and so on.

You can do this activity with just one color, if you want your child working on a particular color. Your child can also do their initial. On cardstock they or you(if they need some help) squeeze glue on in the shape of their initial and then cover with construction paper or tissue paper or both.

What kind of design does your child like to make?

Outside Play – Chalk and Mud

A few weeks ago my grandchildren had a chance to go to something called Adventure Playground. It was a free event held at an elementary school that had access to mud, water, painting, cardboard building, as well as other things that they could play with. The brochure said to wear clothes that you can get messy and that’s what they did. My granchildren had fun doing the different things. The boys especially liked playing and digging in the mud.

K digging in the mud.

K digging in the mud.

My daughter lets the children play in the mud at home, but not that often because there is a lot of clean up especially in the cooler months where it would be harder to hose them off. She let them play in the mud to their hearts content because when they were done she could hose them off leaving the water and mud at the playground instead of her backyard.

C making plans of what he is going to do next with the mud.

C making plans of what he is going to do next with the mud.

Children should have the opportunity to play in the mud during their childhood. If you are not one for messes, try to find events that have that available or set something up on a smaller scale. Fill a dishpan with some mud and let them go at it. Have an old tablecloth or tarp underneath and do it outside. Hose your child and tarp off when done.

The girls enjoyed coloring with chalk. They like to get messy like their brothers but chose not to dig in the mud. The youngest one N who is 22 months old thought it was fun to color her foot with chalk. What’s nice about that you just hose them off before you leave.

H & N coloring with chalk.

H & N coloring with chalk.

More Crepe Paper Fun

Back in July, 2014, I wrote a post on crepe paper fun. I want to share some more ideas of what your child can do with it. Besides using it in the house, why don’t you let them take it outside for some fun. A couple of weeks ago I had some of my grandchildren over. It was a nice day and I wanted them playing outside most of the time. I set three rolls of crepe paper on the living room floor in case they wanted to play with it.

Crepe Paper

Crepe Paper

C found the crepe paper and asked if he could play with it outside. His brother and sister wanted one also. I said they could play with it outside but when they were done they had to throw it all away. We didn’t want to leave any around in case it rained.

C and K found different things to do with it. They wrapped it around trees, tied it to their waist and let it hang down like a tail, tied it around their wrist and ran with the wind blowing it. K tied his to two trees and would run through it like a finish line. N who is only 22 months old just kind of threw it and didn’t do much with it. I did tie some crepe paper to the stroller so when I pushed her around the crepe paper would blow.

You can also tie crepe paper to the back of bikes, or on riding toys, hang from a low tree branch and let them run through it. What does your child like to do?

If you don’t want to throw the crepe paper away just yet – your child can make a collage with it.