A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: kids crafts

Shark Week 2021

It’s almost here guys!  Shark Week 2021 begins July 11 and we are pumped!!!  Are you ready for an exciting week filled with new reasearch on the  amazing world of sharks?  For the 33rd year, Discovery Channel will be airing programs hosted by many celebrities to help us better understand the behavior of sharks and respect the “fin-tastic” world they live in!

It was a bit of a struggle for me to find a schedule of all the programs to be aired in a nice little chart format.  I’ve finally decided that I have looked so hard for it on the Discovery channel that at this point I am staring right at it and not seeing it.  I’m sure you understand what I am saying, right?  Further search led me to the TV Insider website where I found a layout by days of the week that I felt is easy to follow.  Click here to see the TV Insider nicely laid out Shark Week schedule…

Of course, how do we completely enjoy this special week without some fun food and crafts to go along with it???  We started a few crafts early so we could share with everyone.  Read through some of the old posts as well as this new one to bring some jaw-some fun to Shark Week 2021!

Shark Week 2021 Crafts ~

Starting with the old posts first, “dive in” to some of these below to start gathering ideas for fun food and crafts:

Now, let’s move forward to the first of this year’s crafts.  The paper plate shark puppet made a real “splash” with the kiddos.  One of the things I learned while doing these is you need to think ahead when painting anything so that you leave time for them to dry (especially because kids tend to paint very thick).  Keep this in mind when working on the one!

Items Needed ~

  • Paper Plate
  • Hole Punch
  • Paint (colors of your choice)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Yarn
  • Marker
  • Googly Eyes
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Wax Paper or Newspaper
  • Hot Glue
  • Popsicle Stick or Tongue DepressorHot

Instructions for Paper Plate Shark ~

  1. Cut the middle ring of the paper plate out.  Save this piece as you will be using it to make parts of the shark.
  2. Draw lines as shown in this figure below.  All sections will be used to complete the craft.  As always, don’t worry about perfection here.  They will turn out adorable, I promise!                                                       
  3. Cut along all lines.  The bottom curved section be used for the mouth (which you will cut teeth into).  The other 3 sections will be used for pectoral and dorsal fins.   This is why I stress perfection is not key.  Let the kids do the cutting!                               
  4. Spread out a long sheet of wax paper (or newspaper) for this next step.  We used another paper plate and squirted colors of choice on the plates for kids to work from.  Lay each of the sections of the paper plate across the wax paper and let the kids start painting.  Encourage them to get creative!                                                                                                                                                         
  5. Let all painted pieces dry.  We moved on to another craft (shown below) while we “patiently” waited for our works of art to dry.                                                                                                                                                                                               
  6. Once dry, punch holes along the inside rim of the paper plate.   Make at least 8 to 10 holes.
  7. Cut long strands of yarn of choice.  You don’t want these to be too long or it will be hard for the kids to work with.  We cut them about 12 to 18″.
  8. String yarn up through one hole in the plate.  Pull completely through until you have a small section (about 1/2″) left on the underside of the plate.  Tape that section down to the bottom of the plate to hold yarn in place.   
  9. It is very helpful if you tie a knot in the end of the yarn that the kids are holding and pulling through the holes.  This helps their little fingers to get it through the holes better and also helps with the yarn fraying.     
  10. Have them continue to pull the yarn up and down through the holes (working from inside the plate) until they have a small section of yarn left.  Tape that section to the bottom of the plate too.  You can then stop there or if they want to “sew” some more, cut them another piece of yarn and let them continue to fill the inside of the plate with yarn. 
  11. Hot glue the fins to the underside of the plate and the googly eyes and shark teeth to the yarn sections of the plate.
  12. Hot glue a tongue depressor to the bottom of the plate.  It is helpful to write their names on the tongue depressor for future arguments of which one belongs to whom.  This also makes it into a very fun shark puppet!

Fun Variations ~

You can also let the kids paint the entire paper plate before you do any cutting.  This allows for them to not get paint scattered more when painting the smaller pieces.  They can also use stampers and such to make fun designs on their sharks.  In the first picture of this blog, the stick part of the paint brush was used to make fun polka dots!

Let the children mix two colors of yarn to “sew” with to make a more colorful shark.  We stuck with blue and gray but you can, of course, get as colorful as you would like.

If you don’t have googly eyes, cut circles out of another paper plate or some paper and let the kids create their own shark eyes.

We used colored tongue depressors, but you can also use plain and paint them yourselves.

Stay tuned for the second sharky post this week for directions on another exciting Shark Week 2021 craft!  I hope you enjoy learning about these fantastic creatures as much as we do!

I will leave you with these fun jokes to share ~

Q:  What did the shark say after he was accused of eating a human?

A:  Not gill-ty!

🤣🤣🤣

Q:  What do you get when you cross a shark with a snowman?

A:  Frostbite!

😂😂😂

Have a Fin-tastic week guys!

Much Love~

Mimi

 

 

 

 

 

Kid’s Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving

There are many great ideas out there to help children learn gratitude.  Honestly, I don’t think you can ever focus on this too much.  Of course, in the month of November everyone is looking for fun ideas to help foster thankfulness.  Making a kid’s Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving is at the top of my list of favorite activities.

Family Tradition ~

I started this AWESOME activity with my kids years ago.  Through the years, I have found this to be one of those projects that all ages enjoy.  What’s even better is that the  fun goes on throughout the whole month of November.  I would draft a letter each year to print out and send to all of our friends and family members.  Seriously, the more you send out the better.  If you would like the kids to help, they can address the envelopes, stick on return address labels or adhere the stamps.

This project takes some time, but it is WELL WORTH the effort.  Swordfights & Starry Nights has done a great job on writing about this amazing activity as well:  Click here to see Swordfights & Starry Nights Gratitude Tree project!

They did such a great job of explaining the process of how they made the tree.  Be sure to check out the link above for detailed instructions.

The Letter to Mail Out ~

You must first draft a letter (or use the one I have included below) explaining what your project is all about.   Explain that your family is making a Gratitude Tree and you would love for them to be a part of it.  Tell them you have included one leaf for each member of their family.  They should write what they are thankful for on their individual leaves.

Once each family finishes their leaves, they are asked to return them back to you.   All of the returned leaves will help create a very colorful Tree of Gratitude.  This letter needs to go out to everyone in early November so there is ample time to receive them back.  The following link is ready for you to print and send out right away.  Click here for FREE Thankfulness Tree Letter to Mail to Family and Friends!

While your letters are printing, you can begin the next step.

Cutting Out Leaves ~

This part can get time consuming so you will want all hands on deck!  There are many options of getting the leaves ready to be mailed out:

Option 1: 

Download these free leaves templates and cut them out.  There are three pages here to allow for a colorful kid’s Gratitude Tree.  A blank box has been inserted in the middle of each leaf for easier writing .  A picture is included below  for you to look over.  Keep in mind that these leaves have more detailed edges which requires more intricate cutting.  However, if kids understand they do not have to be “perfect” this step will go much smoother.

   

If you like this option, you can download the templates here:  Use this link to print the 3 different pages of Thankfulness leaves!

Option 2:

Real Imprints has a wonderful page dedicated to the Grateful Tree.  She has included 3 different size of leaf stencils for you to print out.  I would print these on card stock paper in different colors.  She also includes how she makes the tree (which we will discuss later).  This is a perfect rendition of the tree the kids and I would make each year so check it out.  Free Printables of the Grateful Tree from Real Imprints

Option 3:

There are several places you can purchase pre-cut leaves.  I would recommend this option if you are short on time….or patience!  Personally, our family found it fun to work on the leaves together, but I do understand that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.  Here are some good options for locating ready to go leaves:

*Hobby Lobby ~ they have some pretty ones on nice card stock.  They are a bit smaller than I like, but they will definitely work.

*Michael’s Craft Store

*Jo-Ann Fabric

*Amazon ~ As always, there are several options here:

Set of 50 Yellow “I Am Thankful For” Leaves ~ These will create one beautiful solid color tree.  The leaves are all pre-printed with the beginning phrase, “I am thankful for…”

Set of 9 different leaf styles and 7 different colors to make a colorful Gratitude Tree ~ Would you like a colorful fall tree?  No need to look further!   The leaves are not pre-printed which gives the option for each person to write it as they wish.

Set of orange, yellow & brown all maple leaves for one style Gratitude Tree ~ An option for those who prefer all of the leaves to be the same style yet still add some color.

Make a List ~

Make a list of every family you are sending the letter to.   After each family name, write the number of leaves you will need to include in the envelope.  This is a fun way to work on counting with smaller children.  For those who are a bit older, it is a good lesson on sorting as they choose different colors for each family.

Assemble and Mail ~

Have everyone help in folding the letters and include the correct number of leaves in each one.  Let the children mark off each family on the list as it is completed.  Apply your return address and stamp.  Now go mail those babies out!  Phew!  BIG PROJECT…LOTS OF FUN!!!

Creating the Tree ~

You can choose to do this part now or wait a few days.  I always liked to go ahead and make the tree and let the kids fill out a couple of leaves themselves.  This helps them to see what you are creating together.  They will get more excited as the leaves start to be returned.  My kids looked forward to going to the mailbox each day to see if there were any new ones they had received.  It doesn’t take long for this kid’s gratitude tree for Thanksgiving to come to life!

The most important thing to remember is that perfection is not key here.  Just make the tree and it will come together as you fill it with leaves.  I used a roll of butcher paper and started with a large tree trunk.  We assembled our tree on a door in our kitchen so that everyone could easily watch it slowly fill up.  After your trunk is drawn, start adding branches.  When this is complete, cut it out and adhere to the door or wall.

I many times get lucky and find rolls of butcher paper for the kid’s Gratitude Tree for Thanksgiving at the Dollar Tree.  If you do not have luck doing this, here is a handy link from Amazon:  Click here for brown Kraft butcher paper roll.

A Blooming Tree ~

As the leaves start getting returned, let the kids start putting the leaves on the various branches your have drawn.  It doesn’t take long for this beautiful tree to burst with colorful leaves of thankfulness.  The whole family will enjoy reading the different responses.  This also helps them to understand the many, many things we all have to be thankful for.

Save those Leaves ~

When Thanksgiving has passed, it is time to disassemble the tree.  I chose to save the leaves every year.  This has proven to be a very beautiful thing.  As each year passes, it is fun to look back on what everyone was thankful for each year.  Have those things changed or stayed the same? Also, as we unfortunately lose some of our beloved family members, it creates great memories to hold on to.  A perfect example is this little gem I recently came across….

One of my dad’s leaves!!!  Oh how happy I am to have this very special leaf!!!!

I hope you all find this craft to be a very worthwhile experience.  My family sure did!

Happy Thanksgiving to all~

Shelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaf Print Stamp Art With Kids

I have been wanting to try leaf print stamp art with my grandchildren for a while.  I have looked through so many pictures and ideas of how to do it.  Let’s just say that when Addi, Max and I did this fun craft together yesterday, our artwork did NOT turn out like the images I had in my mind.  BUT….that’s ok!  In fact, it is MORE than ok!  If there is one thing I have discovered in life with kids…nothing ever really turns out the way you plan.  It’s the fun and laughter along the way that makes it all worthwhile!

STEPS AND TIPS TO LEAF PRINT STAMP ART WITH KIDS~

  1. Set up your craft area with markers and paper.  If your children are smaller, I believe white copy paper will be best.  I considered colored construction paper, but the leaves are a bit hard to color on without ripping, thus making it more difficult to get a dark enough image for colored paper.  ***You can use paint as well, but I need to up my art supply game first…including art aprons!
  2. Be sure to have butcher block paper or kids placemats to put under their artwork to save your craft area from looking like a rainbow.
  3. Collect leaves.  I recommend that you do NOT do this ahead of time.  I know many of us like to be prepared for crafts with littles, but I guarantee you that it will be more fun if you let them pick out their own leaves.  Never underestimate a good little walk in nature with children!
  4. Have each child collect at least 5-10 leaves.  It is great to get several different types of leaves, however, the number collected is equally important as you will quickly learn.
  5. Using a small leaf, do a VERY QUICK tutorial for the kids.  Color a small leaf, instruct them to watch as you then turn the leaf over and stamp onto the paper.  I say very quick because they will be anxious to get started!
  6. Make sure you explain that they need to color gently so they do not rip their leaves.  This takes us back to #4 and why you need several leaves.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .   
  7. It is fun to color with different colors, but I recommend you color with one color first until they get the hang of it.  It takes children quite a bit of time to choose colors and also get the lids on and off.  This results in the leaf colors drying before they ever get to stamp.
       
  8. Once they have colored their leaf, help them turn the leaf over by the stem and press down on paper.
         
  9. Of course, praise them for their wonderful artwork!                                                                                                                         

 

 

%d bloggers like this: