DIY Music Stand

DIY recycled music stand

I know this isn’t going to be the most popular post we have ever posted, but my son is into music. He is also into music stands and every where we go he finds one. At restaurants the “Please wait to be seated” sign is one, at parks the little signs that tell you about the plants become ones and on the airplane his tray table became one too. So it shouldn’t have been such a shock when he said he wanted to make one for a project. Well I never say no to a challenge!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a wrapping paper roll , a shoe box , decorations ( we used stickers) , scissors and a lot of packing tape.DIY recycled music stand
  2. Start by having your wee one add stickers to the roll for decoration, you can also paint or color it too! Can you tell he just got up from a nap? DIY recycled music stand
  3. Cut the top off the shoe box. Keep both pieces.DIY recycled music stand
  4. Make a slit on either side of one end of the roll about 2-3 inches long.DIY recycled music stand
  5. Bend one side down to make a lip. Tape the top of the shoe box on . Use a lot of tape!DIY recycled music stand
  6. Cut 4 slits on the other end about the same length to make an X shape.DIY recycled music stand
  7. Have your helper hold the tube to the bottom of the  box. This picture took almost as long to take as the stand took to make.DIY recycled music stand
  8. Tape it down.DIY recycled music stand
  9. It’s done and leaning only a little to the right.DIY recycled music stand

Books

Mole Music

Mole Music by David McPhail is a beautiful book about the power of music, trying hard and not giving up on your dreams.  The story is about a mole who sees a violin on TV one day and decides to get his own and play. He is terrible at first but sticks with it. His music becomes beautiful, and over the years he thinks only he can hear and enjoy it. In reality his music is nourishing a grand tree above the ground that serves roles in great things including as a mediator in a battle where both sides end up coming to a peaceful agreement instead of warfare. Now yes I think that one little mole’s music ending a war is a rather large statement but if you break it down, music and the arts are vital and do transform people’s lives the way they transformed Mole’s.  My favorite part is in one illustration Mole is playing anf in another tunnel you can see his old TV discarded and tipped over, I like that message.

Sunny

Sunny by Robin Mitchell and Judith Steedman  is a great book about finding sounds all around and making music with anything and everything you find. Sunny hears music from the animals around town, the vehicles and of course his friends playing at the playground.  My son loved when they had a “Hootenanny” and everyone together makes music in their own way. This book reminded me of the broadway show “Stomp” from the 90s, and is a great lesson for kids about how accessible making music really is.

Moose Music by Sue Porter

Moose Music by Sue Porter is a goofy book about how what might sound like a racket to you, may indeed be music to other ears. Moose finds a violin in the mid and picks it up, and plays it. The sound is not music to the animals and people in the forrest. They get angry, they threaten to chase him, and he doesn’t stick around. He doesn’t stop playing thoughm he plays with all his heart and finally someone appreciates it. A lady moose , as you may have guessed it they fall in love and live happily ever after. My son thought this book was hilarious . It’s a cute lesson about following your heart even in the face of adversity.

Recycled Flower Art

Easy Cut & Paste Flowers

Aflower 014

This craft was fast which was perfect for our day. Sometimes my son is all over the place, and a quick sit down activity like this will center him enough that we can go one to something less fun ( like errands) without a fuss.  I love using things in my recycle pile and today I had the fall parks and rec brochure that was begging to be turned into art. If you don’t have buttons, pom poms, or even just colored paper could be substituted in their place.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper , some newsprint, buttons, glue, scissors and a marker. I originally was going to have my son use the markers to color the flowers but he had no interests and I am glad he didn’t I liked how they turned out better! Aflower 001
  2. Start by drawing a flower on the newsprint. If your child is able and willing, have them do this step.Aflower 002
  3. Cut out
  4. Cut out some stems and leavesAflower 003
  5. Add glue to where you want the flowers to be. Aflower 005
  6. Add your flowers.Aflower 007
  7. Add glue to the middleAflower 010
  8. Add your buttons. Aflower 011
  9. Add glue for the stem and leavesAflower 008
  10. Add the stem and let dry.Aflower 009
  11. Add glue for the leaves.Aflower 012
  12. Add the leaves. Aflower 013
  13. Share these flowers with someone special- they last longer than real ones.

Song

Feeling musical? Click here to see our “Daisy Song” video with lyrics.

Books

A Gardeners Alphabet

” A Gardener’s Alphabet” by Mary Azarian is a fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son ” I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and roots !

“Planting A Rainbow” by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page , or browse it more casually with a younger child simply noting the colors.

chrysanthemum

“Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son  has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.

Recycled Rocket Craft


This craft was not planned at all, we finished our favorite apple juice at lunch and while sitting there eating we brainstormed what we could make with the bottle. This is the first time my son and I have really brainstormed together, with a concrete focus. First of all I am taken aback by how old he is getting and 2nd he had great ideas. We thought of a garbage can, a bird feeder, a worm house and then settled on this rocket! So my challenge was what could we use to make it a rocket, here’s what we did.

  1. Gather your materials. Some are missing from the picture because this craft evolved as we went, but I’ll list them all even those that aren’t pictured. You will need a clean juice bottle, 2 toilet paper rolls, some red, yellow and orange foam ( paper would do), some crayons, some recycled bottle caps, a paper grocery bag, some sparkles, a washed out applesauce container( single use), scissors, white paint and a hot glue gun and glue.
  2. Start by pouring sparkles into your bottle ( totally optional) I was hoping to go for a sparkly effect and in some parts it is but it didn’t turn out as metallic as I’d hoped.
  3. Add your paint, yes you need a lot.
  4. Pop the cap on tight and shake to cover the inside.
  5. Let dry in the hottest place you can find, it can take a while.
  6. While that is drying color your toilet paper rolls with crayons.
  7. Next cut a small square out of a grocery bag or other scrap paper and color it.
  8. Cut it into 2 triangles for wings.
  9. Cut the foam into flames .
  10. Tape them into the bottom of the toilet paper rolls , layer them for effect.
  11. When the bottle is dry, it’s time to warm up the hot glue gun. I burn my self every time I use it so please make sure your child is not within touching distance.
  12. Glue the rolls on the back.
  13. Glue the bottle caps on the front.
  14. Glue the wings on.
  15. This was an after thought but I grabbed an applesauce container and glued it on the bottom so that the flames of the rockets ( aka the toilet paper rolls) don’t get in the way of the rocket standing up on end.
  16. Play !!

Song!


Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
hurry and get ready
we’re going to blast off soon,
put on your helmet
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

DIY Jar Lid Stamps


I was inspired to make these after seeing a post on another blog using wax on jar lids, I have just spent over an hour trying to find that post again and can’t. I will keep trying, I feel so strongly to cite any place I get inspiration from and am beyond frustrated I can’t find it. It’s now a quest! ** Found it thanks to Laura : Here it is Bottle Cap Stamps These were so fun to make, easy and worked so well. We will be making these again for sure. There is something amazing when kids see something they helped make work so well.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some recycled jar lids, foam, double stick tape, a marker, scissors, a stamp pad and some paper.
  2. Start by drawing shapes on a piece of foam. My son chose a star and a car , while my choice was a flower.
  3. Cut the pictures out.
  4. Layer a square of foam on the jar lid , using double stick tape to secure it.
  5. Add your shapes , using double stick tape. Make sure it’s as flat as possible.
  6. Press it into the stamp pad.
  7. Print onto your paper.
Song

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is?
What shape this is?

Do you know what shape this is I’m holding in my hand?

Books!


“Ship Shapes” by Stella Blackstone and Siobhan Bell is a bright, colorful and engaging book all about finding shapes. The text is simple and serves really only to support the reader’s efforts finding shapes throughout the book. What I like is that these illustrations are challenging, and not really illustrations at all. They are fabric collages that are so detailed and layered that some of the obvious shapes are easy to find but many are hidden. So if you are reading this with an older child there is still some challenge.


“So Many Circles, So many Squares” by Tana Hoban is a picture book that is all about shapes in our environment. There is page after page of pictures of daily life, food, signs etc… with the simple question of finding the shapes in the photos. It’s a great book to use as a launch pad into a shape hunt in your own home or around town and worth a few looks because you will be surprised at the shapes you missed the first time.

 

Sun Melted Recycled Crayons

recycled crayons

I have made recycled crayons before – and I got a little addicted to doing them and made a million for Christmas presents but yesterday was the first time I did it without using an oven. The heatwave on the west coast was in full swing and I decided to try something new… and it worked!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some crayons, aluminum foil, cookie cutters, a paper plate and a very hot sunny spot.
  2. Start by peeling and breaking your crayons into small pieces. I left some chunky bits because it was well over 100 and figured it would be fine, if the day was cooler I’d used shavings to melt faster.
  3. Cover the plate in aluminum foil
  4. Place the plate with the cookie cutters in a sunny spot
  5. Add the broken crayons
  6. Wait- in 100+ heat this took an hour to melt, but I had lots of really big pieces.
  7. Yay they melted!
  8. Let cool inside, then pop out of the cookie cutters. Mine slid right out, I just broke off the little bit of extra that slipped out on the bottom.
  9. Color on scrap paper for a truly eco friendly activity!
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