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.
Are you ready for spring? I am done with winter even if my calendar isn’t and what better way to start spring than with an easy butterfly craft or 9 ? These are our favorite butterfly crafts we have made over the years and I am sure spring 2013 will inspire some new ones soon enough. If butterflies aren’t your thing check out our bug crafts !
Coffee Filter and Colored Glue Butterfly
Toddler Butterfly Craft
Butterfly Sensory Tub
Handprint Butterfly Craft
Pasta Butterfly Branch
Bandaid Butterfly Craft
Alphabet Butterfly Garden
Ninjas, especially LEGO Ninjago, are very big at my house. My 6 year old is very into them and so is his 4 year old sister. My son takes martial arts classes, so the interest is even more strengthened.
The idea for this project started with my 4 year old daughter wanting to be a yellow ninja. If any of you watch the Ninjago show then you know the girl in the show is actually a seriously awesome samurai, but my daughter simply has to be a ninja. So we made her a yellow Ninjago ninja and named it. This activity was such a hit. My son now wants to make these for his birthday invitations.
Trace a bowl or lid to make a circle on the construction paper. This will be the color of your ninja.
Let your child cut out the circle.
Then cut a rectangle out of yellow construction paper. Glue the rectangle to your colored circle.
While the children are gluing on the rectangle, you can be cutting out smaller circles and rectangles. You may want to cut these out before the activity starts.
Have your children glue on the eyes inside of the rectangle.
At this point I had my children look at our ninja faces and compare them to the Ninjago faces we were referencing. I asked them to figure out what was missing. Instantly they noticed the eyebrows.
Now glue on the eyebrows. At first my children put them on straight and separated from the eyes, but noticed it looked off. They mimicked the eyebrows of a real Ninjago ninjas by angling and connecting the eyebrows to the eyes. It was truly neat to watch them compare and make adjustments.
They finished their ninjas with great pride.
FUN VARIATION: Make your ninja out of craft foam and use them as bath toys because they will float and stick to the tub when wet. Who doesn’t love a good ninja bath?Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a first grader, too! She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
I have always loved President Lincoln. Yes I am Canadian but I remember reading a book all about Lincoln and the log cabin he lived in when I was in 4th grade. It was my favorite. It’s no wonder I ended up studying history in university minoring in American history . Little did I know this would come in handy and I would end up marrying an American and raising my kids south of the border. So back to President Lincoln. There is so much to know about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln but really at such a young age our focus is to introduce and familiarize not fill with facts and drill them out of them. Kids can relate to Lincoln’s log cabin because that is was his home, they have homes and were babies once too. Use that connection to start a connection from your child to this great historical figure.
- Gather your materials. You will need some cardboard , popscicle sticks, glue, scissors, a flip top lid ( ours is from baby wipes), a picture or drawing of President Lincoln and some crayons.
- Start by having your child color the card board. My daughter chose browns but color it pink , green or purple if you want.
- While they are coloring trim the print out of Lincoln. There are tons of free clip art a quick Google search and you’ll find lots! Glue it to the flip top lid.
- Cut the card board into a house and add the door.
- Add glue .
- Add the logs. She was not happy about this step because she is in a phase where she doesn’t want to touch the glue. I was wiping her hands between each stick going on.
- Add glue to the door and glue some more “logs” on .
- She couldn’t wait to play !
- Let dry .
Books About Presidents
George Washington’s Teeth
by Deborah Chandra and Madeline Comora is a funny telling of how George Washington got those famous false teeth. What I like so much about this book and what my son did too is it also tells the story of the Revolutionary War. I think the brilliant thing about this book is it shows that George Washington wasn’t the super hero that he is often portrayed as. This makes him , his story and American history in general way more accessible to young kids. I can’t ignore the really fantastic tertiary lesson about dental hygiene as well.
What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven is a simple book that brings together a collection of presidential anecdotes that will probably make you laugh more than your kids but trust me they’ll still enjoy it. It humanizes iconic figures we know and makes readers curious to learn even more about these great men. The collage style illustrations are fun and quite funny as well.
Presidents’ Day by Anne Rockwell is a perfect introduction to presidents, some of their major accomplishments and some major points in American history. The story follows a class putting on a play and we learn about some of the most significant presidents as the children do. Even if President’s Day is months away you can use this book while learning about money , linking the various presidents on coins and bills, or for Independence day too! Very cute and age appropriate for older preschoolers.This post contains affiliate links.
The idea for this post was not an open ended paint project instead I was going to do dribble art with my kids. It’s a simple and still pretty open project when you squeeze watered down paint from sponges onto good thick paper making cool designs. We have been working on fine motor skills and squeezing the sponges are a good exercise. However things didn’t go as planned which is fine! They took hold of the activity and I sat back to document. I did carry them both the the bathroom but other than that I was hands off after step 2. I loved watching them simply explore and the picture above is a perfect example of why just letting them take the wheel more often than not is so important. Look at how different their projects are despite having only a few identical materials.
- Gather your materials. If you want to make dribble paintings use paint, muffin tin, sponges cut into squeezable sizes and paper. If you just want some fun open creative painting – put out anything. Brushes or no brushes, all different colors of paint and make sure to have extra paper on hand.
- Start by trying to squeeze the paint out of the sponge and make designs with the dribbles.
- Sit back and just watch. I think I may have said “Not on the window.” a few times and “Not in her hair!” at least once. I wasn’t so worried about arm painting.They had a blast and both paintings are proudly on display in my son’s room. There is no wrong way to paint and I wasn’t about to stop their creativity because it wasn’t in my plan.
I know letting your kids go wild won’t be something all of you will be into but do let your planned ideas veer off course and run with their ideas when they have them, it’s not a fail it’s just a new path!