Age 8 and older
I am not sure I ever thought the day would come when I’d hand one of my kids a hot glue gun and sit back and take pictures but it did and look at the results! Inspired by Kandinsky’s Squares with Concentric Circles , this recycled project was a big hit with my 6 year old who took the responsibility of using a hot glue gun very seriously. One of my goals with my son right now is for him to take his time with school work and having a project that forces him to slow down and pay attention is a great way to practice this without nagging. Our glue gun is not a low temp but they are available so this project could be done by younger kids if you feel it’s safe and can properly supervise. We made sure my daughter was napping so that she wouldn’t want to “help” us at our house this was a big kid only project.
- Gather your materials. You will need a hot glue gun and extra glue sticks, jar lids and bottle tops in various colors and sizes, and a card board box lid ( ours is a gift box from Christmas that lost it’s mate to an overzealous gift opener) . We also used a plastic plate and cutting board .
- Start by warming up your glue gun and having your child practice squeezing out the glue, holding the gun properly and avoiding the hot glue .He was so careful .
- Lay out your first set of circles. He decided on 2 rows of 3.
- Flip over and add the glue. Be careful not to touch the glue through the lid even through the lid it can get hot!
- Keep gluing adding layers and layers of lids. I think this project really made him feel special and grown up. He knew his sister could NOT do this and that really made him feel proud and encouraged him to take special care choosing which lids would look the best. I just like watching him take his time creating.
- I thought we were done but he wanted to add a big glob of glue on each stack. This actually took a great deal of control and worked on his hand eye coordination skills. There is always layers of learning in a project hiding under the fun.
- Let dry and display. Ours has proudly been above our TV for days.
You don’t have to live within walking distance of one of the world’s best museums to expose your kids to art you just need a few great books. These picture books about art are a wonderful place to start. Check out our post about art books for kids here.
When I started as a Klutz Crew member I got to pick which Klutz Books I wanted to try out for my family and I was especially excited about this one. I don’t do a ton of crafts myself anymore because I just don’t have the time. I have never done a twirled paper craft before so I was glad there were instructions included.
This is a really fun book . Twirled Paper is definitely for older , I would put the age range at 8+ because it takes some real fine motor ability to twirl . I love this book because there is no one project , there are tons of ideas that you can follow or use as inspiration for your own like I did. It’s also a great one to have on hand for rainy days if you live near me or hot summer days when you have to stay in the air conditioning. My favorite thing about it is that the essential materials are all included and packs back into it’s original packaging easy peasy. I have so many disorganized craft supplies but these stay in the book and it pops right onto a shelf. Even when I was half way through a project I was able to pack it up away from my 2 year old when the toddler project she was working on was done. The one thing I do wish they had was a second twirling wand so you could work on it with a friend or have a back up if you lose it. Luckily they do sell them for under $2 here.
Here’s a little video I made to show you how I made this Christmas card but really it turned into showing you all how convenient these projects are to start and stop and pack away when an unexpected visitor wakes from her nap much much too soon!
Here is the full how to for the card .
- Gather your materials. You will need a plain card, some white card stock , double stick tape and Klutz Books Twirled Paper .
- Start by choosing your colors. For the tree you will need 8 strips in two shades of green ( or your choice of colors), one strip of yellow and 3 strips of red cut in half.
- Twirl your paper. For the green I made some tight and some looser. Remember like I said in the video add your dab of glue and sing the ABCs in your head then let go and the paper should be nice and snug. The red “ornaments” were twirled very tightly.
- Cut your card stock into a rectangle and using double stick tape stick it to your card.
- Glut the twirled paper on using the glue from the kit.
- Let dry.
Do you use craft kits? What do you love about them?
My kids have been busy playing with their new toys, my son has been building Legos and my daughter has been pushing babies around the house with her new buggy. I wanted to do something special to celebrate the amazing year we had so while they were playing I ran upstairs, found the bin of art and made an art gallery of their 2011 creations. It was a fun way to spend snack time and look back at our favorite pieces from 2011.
- Gather your materials. You will need your children’s art , painters tape ( so you don’t muck up the walls) , some snacks ( all gallery openings have snacks! ) , as well as something to use as a sign, and to write a blurb about the artists.
- I sorted through my kids’ art that made it to the keep bin in my son’s closet. I have a canvas bin in the corner of this closet that we run art into that passes the keep test. I also put in almost everything my daughter makes. She’ll get her own bin soon.
- I put the art up at their and slightly above their eye level. I was careful to have things my daughter made at a level she could touch… and as you will see that was a huge hit with her to be able to touch the pieces she made, and is clearly proud of.
- Make a sign for the door.
- Don’t forget a blurb about the artists.
- I put out art related books in the reading nook too.
- Add some snacks.
- Invite your guests of honor. I wish I’d done this when my parents were still in town because my kids loved seeing their art and showing it off to their dad, they would have loved showing it off to their grandparents too.
- I loved that she gravitated towards her own art.
- My son showed off the pieces he loved making – marshmallow art is his favorite. No clue why.
- After her brother had his treats , and gave a quick gallery talk about when he made this or that he went back to legos, but my daughter stayed looking forever. I see many more museum trips in our future, although she has already been to one of my favorite museums with me.
- Then we read a few books and quietly had another cookie. Here are some great fine art books to check out .
Happy New Year !
I stand by that title, this really is the easy and cheap too, but still a super cute 4th of July craft . We used felt but you could use fabric if you have it on hand. My son was busy playing knights with his grandparents visiting from Texas but I think he could have made this with me. It’s a great patterning lesson, though I would guess most 5 and under would tire of it after a few minutes so make this a group endeavor if need be.