(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Tag: craft (page 1 of 2)

Pop-up card Princess

Pop-up forest
Recently Tomas bought Maggie the most thoughtful book. As she says, "Daddy always knows just what to get me!"

The book is called The Elements of Pop-up by David A. Carter and James Diaz.

It is FULL of detailed explanations and samples of how to make any and every pop-up element a child (or her Dad) could imagine. I think it’s pretty funny that every time I’m out of the way I’m likely to find some bits and pieces later on that they’ve worked on together.

The nature scene above is one of hers, and the turkey below is his. I just love the details and thought she puts into her work  — him, too, but this blog is about kids’ crafts :-) I can so easily imagine the story that went through her mind as she created this idyllic scene. I wonder if her bunny had a name, or if he visited the playful fishies often?

Pop-up turkey

Sand and leaves

sand, glue, and leaves
Our local Art Center hosts Family Days a couple times a year. After eight years in the neighborhood we finally made it to one this weekend, and I’m so glad we did! Kicking myself that we’ve never been before, too…

One of the activities was to draw with glue and then cover the glue with colored sands. If the kids wanted to they could also decorate with leaves & bits found in the Center’s gardens.

Maggie made a tree and painstakingly added small leaves one-by one to the branches.

Bjørn on the other hand, made a psychedelic spiral tree in rainbow colors.

sand and glue
The next time we head out to the beach I’m thinking this will be a fun project to do with shells, seaweed, and whatever little bits we find along the shore to make a sea-side keepsake.

Handmade guitar

marching band
Maggie gets very upset with me when I haul out the recycling because in it she sees endless possibilities, countless projects just waiting to happen. One of her favorites is Marching Band. Brothers get recruited as workers or audience members, and if they’re really lucky, they get to march as well. She makes all the instruments: maracas, shakers, tambourines, drums, bottle flutes, and guitars.

To make her Box Guitar all you need is a box, some rubber bands, tape or a stapler, and an empty paper-towl roll.

  1. Cut out a square(ish) on the front of the box, and a hole big enough for the roll at on end.
  2. Tape or staple rubber bands across the open section on the front. They should be pretty taught.
  3. Stick the tube in at the end and tape to secure it.
  4. Strum!

I was surprised at how well this worked, while not exactly the most musical of sounds, it definitely made different pitched plinks and plunks when strummed.

Next time, I’m thinking I’ll break out the tempera paints, and glitter glue so she can properly decorate her oeuvre, and make it her own (dub Tim Gunn voice-over here). As is this photo feels a bit too much like product placement for me . At least this time, she chose a soda bottle for her flute instead of the usual wine or beer :-)

Inspiration: Kids’ activity books

These past few weeks have been pretty busy for us. Miss M has signed on to do a school musical, her first ever, and rehearsals are three times a week for two hour stretches. My Man B has taken up piano lessons and spends most of his time practicing or learning as much as he can about his newfound passion — POKEMON. Little T has been napping constantly… which, honestly, has been giving me time to make a small dent in the housekeeping that I’m always behind on.

{update a few hours later: I just re-read that bit & I’m a little freaked out. I’ve only been home with the kids for 4.5 months after working full-time for about 20 years. This is what I wanted, but it’s still odd to read and know this person is me. Oh, and I’m wearing an apron! I’m totally in love with my apron. You should see my mini-van with all the kid crap stuff strewn about…}

Everyone is too wiped out for much crafting or much of anything else outside of that so I don’t have too many new projects to share just now.

Instead, I thought you might be interested to check out some of my all-time Favorite kid activity books. Let me know in the comments if there are others I should check out from the library.

The copy I have is one my Mom bought me when I was a kid and needed entertaining (it’s dated 1976!). I rediscovered this book when we visited her back East last summer and I have had such fun going though it again for ideas. At eight years old, Miss M is at the perfect age for a book like this. With 300 pages of fun ideas, she’s guaranteed to find a bit of inspiration on her own (leaving Mom a bit of time to chase the youngers).

I bought this one for the kids a year ago for Christmas. I find it fun to give a quick glance through before heading out on a leafy adventure. We’ve made several of the projects described in the book and they are treasured mementos.

This is one for parents and teachers. I find it a bit academic — not especially light-hearted as I like my muses to be. HOWEVER, it is full of very detailed instruction for introducing young ones to Art. My only regret with the edition I have is that the images are in black and white. Color is almost always what catches my attention.

Portraits over time


In Maggie’s art class the children were asked to draw three self portraits. The first is a baby picture. The second as they see themselves in a few years time. The last as they will look when they are old.

After they completed the self portraits they were asked to write a bit about the person in the picture.

I found it so interesting to see what my daughter thought about life at each of these stages. I’ll have to make sure to tell her that you do not have to stop reading when you get old!