Crafternoon: Celebrate Spring!

Spring has sprung–the sun is shining, bees are buzzing, and the flowers have awakened from their winter’s rest. Get into the mood by having your kiddos do one (or all!) of the crafts below!

1. Nature Walk Sun Catcher

Get outside and collect pieces of nature for a sun catcher to hang in your window.

What You Need:

  • wax paper
  • flowers, grass, leaves, and other things found on a nature walk that can be pressed flat
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • iron
  • ironing board
  • scrap paper larger than the wax paper you intend to use

What You Do:

  • Take a nature walk around a park, your neighborhood or your yard. While exploring collected flowers, leaves, plants, grass and other things that can be pressed flat. Remember to be careful when removing leaves and flowers from plants as not to harm the plants. Try to keep the things you collect smaller in size, things like leaves and dandelions are good size for this activity.
  • Pre-heat the iron to a low heat setting it won’t take very high heat to melt the wax paper together.
  • Cut wax paper to the size of your choice. You’ll need two pieces of the same size and shape. We used two 10-12 inch squares for our sun catcher.
    Lay the items you collected out on the wax paper. Flatten flowers and blooms so the heads lay flat and the petals are visible.
  • Slide a piece of scrap paper under the wax paper with the flowers and grass spread about. Try not to move the placement of the items on the wax paper. Use the scrap paper to transfer the wax paper and plants to the ironing board leaving the scrap paper under the wax paper to ensure that wax doesn’t end up in your ironing board later on.
  • Place the second sheet of wax paper over the top of the first creating a sort of sandwich with the plants and flowers. Line up the wax paper as best as you can. Lay a second piece of scrap paper over the top of the wax paper sandwich. Place the warm iron on the scrap paper and press down. Leave the iron in one place for a few seconds before moving to a new spot. Work your way over the whole wax paper sandwich. By doing this you will be essentially melting the wax paper together and pressing the flowers and leaves between the wax paper sheets.
  • Check to make sure the wax has fused together as much as possible all over the sun catcher. If you need to use the iron to touch up to bond here and there do so now.
  • Cut 2-3 inch strips of construction paper in the same length as the sides of your wax paper. Fold the strips in half  length wise. Spread glue over each strip of paper and fold over each side of the sun catcher as a frame.
  • Hang up and enjoy your nature walk artwork.

*An Evolving Mommy craft.

2. Pretzel Flowers

Cooking with kids is a great activity.  Kids love to measure, pour and stir.  This pretzel recipe is fast, easy and fun. — Cheryl Moore

What You Need:

  • 1 package of yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 egg

What You Do:

  • Soften 1 package of yeast in 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water.  Add salt and sugar.  Mix in the flour, and knead the mixture into soft, smooth dough.
  • Roll and mold the pretzel dough into flower shapes.  Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  • In another bowl, beat the egg; then brush onto the pretzel shapes.  You can sprinkle them with salt or cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake the pretzels at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Cool pretzels before eating.

3. Handprint Tulips

A messy (but fun!) way for a toddler to make painted tulips.

What You Need:

  • white paper
  • green finger paint and colored finger paint for the tulips

What You Do:

  • Dip the forearm (from elbow to wrist) in green finger paint.  If you don’t have a tray big enough to accommodate this, just paint the finger paint onto the forearm with a paintbrush.
  • Press the arm down 3 or 4 times onto a sheet of white paper (construction paper works great!) to make the stems of the tulips.
  • Now dip the hand (excluding the thumb) into red finger paint and stamp on top of the stems (holding the thumb up) to make the tulip flowers.
  • Keep the fingers close together.
  • You can add fingerprint green stems, thumbprint green grass, thumbprint caterpillars and thumbprint butterflies. Click here to see how-to’s on various fingerprint characters.

*A DLTK Kids craft

4. Crayon Butterfly Stained “Glass”

A great way to get rid of your broken crayons!

What you need:

  • Waxed Paper
  • Bits of leftover crayons
  • Warm iron in the hands of an adult
  • Scissors
  • Fishing wire

What you do:

  • Sprinkle crayon shavings (sparingly!) on a piece of wax paper (you will cut this out into a butterfly shape, so make sure it’s big enough).
  • Place another piece of wax paper on top of shavings and a blank sheet of paper or a cloth over that. Gently press down with a warm iron. Crayon will melt quickly.
  • Staple wax paper outside of the design area and under the waxed paper and cut out into a butterfly shape.
  • String up in the window with a piece of fishing line.

*Inspired by Free Kids Crafts

5. Garden Jar

Recycle those baby food jars into a cute indoor terrarium. Don’t have baby food jars? Any old jar will do.

What You Need:

  • Jar with lid
  • Small silk flowers
  • Rolling pin
  • White craft glue or hot glue gun
  • Green play dough or green modeling clay

What You Do:

  • Roll out the play dough or clay with rolling pin.
  • Using the mouth of the jar as a cookie cutter, cut out a circle. If you use the lid as the cookie cutter you will not be able to close your jar when the time comes.
  • Glue the play dough or clay into the lid.
  • Stick flowers into the dough or clay. If using play dough, set lids aside to dry and harden over night.
  • Screw the lid onto the jar, carefully inserting the flowers into the jar.
  • Decorate the lid however you like. (We used a scrap of felt then tied a piece of ribbon on.)

*A Kaboose craft

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