Totem Pole Craft

native american crafts

Just because the summer is coming doesn’t mean that learning needs to be put on pause. Learning about other cultures doesn’t mean you have to go across an ocean, there are so many cultures to explore close to home. Totem poles make me think of home because I grew up seeing them in Vancouver it wasn’t until I moved away that I fully appreciated their beauty. For information about Totem Poles click here .

1. Gather your materials. Before starting gather some pictures of totem poles, explain that totem poles were used for all different reasons, to tell legends, record history and sometimes just for art. You will need many colors of construction paper, scrap paper is great, although you will need one large piece for the wings. A piece of plain white paper, paper towel roll, glue, scissors, a marker, a paper punch, and some colorful markers. You may also want some tape to keep things in place while glue dries.

2. Start by coloring the white paper, older children can do patterns , younger ones can just go for it. Other than playing with the final product, this was the only step my little man helped me with.

3.While they color, cut out eyes, long strips for faces, noses- the sky is the limit. We cut out 3 pairs of eyes, some eyebrows a few noses and mouths.

4.Cut out some wings set aside

5. Cut small feathers from the scrap paper. Set aside.

6. When they are done coloring, wrap the white paper around the paper towel roll. Trim if needed. Set aside.

7. Start gluing on the totem animals faces, although we didn’t decide exactly what animals we were making, as we glued them on we decided on a raven, a frog and a seagull. Not sure there are many seagulls on real totem poles but that’s OK.

8. Glue the feathers on the wings.

9. Glue the wings on the pole and let dry.

 

Abstract Art Activity

abstract art activity for kids

Kids get so hung up on drawing sometimes and this abstract art can be really liberating. It also helps learn how to color in the lines if you are working on fine motor control. I don’t know what to call this, this is what I used to do in math class, which explains why my grades were so horrible. It is really relaxing, great for a rainy day or even to keep your antsy kids busy while watching a movie or traveling! And they look really cool too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some markers and paper. Yes that’s it!
  2. Start by drawing loops and squiggles that criss cross all over your paper.
  3. Next using your colored markers fill in the closed shapes however you like.
  4. Keep going until you either fill the whole thing or just feel like it’s done!

 

Peacock Craft

easy peacock craft for kids

This art project was inspired by a simple request “Make that?” . We were reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle when my son took quite the liking to the page with the peacock on it. We had so much fun making it, I love it when projects are spontaneous .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need one large piece of construction paper, lots of different color construction paper ( we raided our scrap paper bin) , glue, scissors , and 2 googley eyes.
  2. Start by cutting the colored construction paper into feathers, and by feathers I mean kinda sorta ovals. No need to be exact!
  3. Next grab the glue, I put an X on the paper where the bottom of the feathers would go, told my son to add the glue there first. He loved covering the x and it was so easy!
  4. Start adding the feathers randomly. I started the pattern for my son then once the first few were on he was set.
  5. Add more glue
  6. Add more feathers.
  7. While your child is gluing cut a peacock body and beak out – I used the scrap of our scrap for this.
  8. When they are done with the feathers add the body.
  9. Add the glue for the eyes and beak.
  10. Add the beak and googly eyes.
  11. Let dry.


Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?by Eric Carle is an asset to any home or school library. Children love this book for good reason! The same way that the author’s Brown Bear Brown Bear supports learning about colors. This book is a fun way to introduce some more exotic animals to your toddler, and is a great add on to a 5 senses unit when you are learning about sound. The collage pictures will inspire you as they did my son.
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Back To School Crafts { Custom Pencils }

 

 

back to school craft
Who doesn’t love seeing their own name or artwork on something useful like a pencil? This is an easy way to bring new life to a boring or in our case a holiday pencil ! These are perfect back to school crafts.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain sticky back labels, markers, a pencil and pencil sharpener.
  2. Grab your markers and start designing, I can never find things with Allie on them and even if I use my whole name there are so many ways to spell Allison that I’m lucky if I find my spelling.
  3. Carefully wrap the label around the pencil. Don’t worry if it wrinkles just smush it down as flat as you can.
  4. Sharpen it and you are stylin’ ! All the pencils I made sharpened no problem with the labels!

Snowglobe Snowman

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When I originally posted this snowman craft I had a feeling it would be a hit, sure enough I have seen a bunch of these snowmen on my readers blogs and it came in at number 3 on our countdown – Best of 2008! One reader also emailed me to let me know she used a ziplock instead of contact paper with awesome results!

 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, some orange and black construction paper, 2 buttons, some sequins, sparkles, contact paper, scissors, double stick tape, a stapler, and some ribbon. I also used some paint because my son wanted to paint and I like how it looks but you can skip this step if you want.
  2. Have your child paint the paper plate, and let dry. If you use a sponge paint brush the paint will go on lightly and dry fast.
  3. While they do that cut out a nose from the orange paper, a hat and some coal for the mouth.
  4. Cut a rectangle of contact paper and fold in half , make sure it’s big enough to cover the hole you will be cutting in the plate.
  5. Peel back the contact paper backing and let your child shake the sparkles on it.
  6. Add some sequins.
  7. Fold the contact paper so it sandwiches the sparkles , seal it. You may have to use some tape to make sure it’s sealed and nothing falls out.
  8. Cut out the middle of the plate.
  9. Add glue to the cutout middle for the coal mouth, nose and hat. Obviously older kids can do this themselves but it gives toddlers a great guide to be independent.
  10. Add the face pieces.
  11. Add the button eyes.
  12. While your child is adding the face pieces , attach the contact paper to the inside of the paper plate ring, I used double stick tape cause it holds contact paper well.
  13. Staple the face to the belly, I use staples with coated paper plates because glue doesn’t always work very well.
  14. Add the ribbon as a scarf to cover the staples.