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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Useless holidays are fun for crafts with kids

 For whatever reason, my kids really got into Earth Day this year. I'm not sure if it was the Lorax movie, or the recycle art work they made at school.. but either way both of them acted like it was the best day ever.... so I went with it!

We started out by making crayon crafts for our school friends. This is a simple craft you can do for almost any holiday, as long as Wilton will make a pan for it (they will). All you need for earth day crayons is:

muffin tins

Seriously. That's it. You take all the paper off the crayon, and break them into pieces in the muffin tin & melt them in the oven.. done. Since it was earth day, we used all our greens, blues, whites, and brownish/gold crayons to make little earths. I set the oven to 270 and let the crayons melt for 7-8 minutes. TIP: you have to let them completely cool, or you may have some trouble popping them out. Martha Stewart has a tut on molded crayons, too.

Here's how ours turned out:
They were super cute Earth Day favors, totally free (if you have to have lots of crayons laying around like we do), and a fun project for the kiddos to enjoy.  Of course, my daughter had to have some hot pink mixed in to a few of them. Ha!

For Earth Day, the kiddos wanted to make some bird houses, so we picked up a couple cheap ones, and I let them go to town with our art tubes. It was a great way to spend an afternoon! Ever since we hung them up, the kids have spent a lot of time looking out our front windows bird watching!

My next project, a fruit vase, was actually inspired from a vase I saw at Chick-Fil-A. I instantly fell in love with theirs, so I asked the manager if I could snap a quick pic to remember later.The flowers ended up lasting two full weeks, and by the end they smelled like citrus! It was such a neat and unexpected side affect of the fruity flower arrangement. I would definitely make another one!

Mine on the left, theirs on the right:

 The last crafty thing I really did was presents for our preschool teachers during Week of the Young Child. Since we have six teachers and five admin that we like to shower with gifts, I'm always looking for cute ways to make them feel special, while trying to stay on the cheap side -- 11 gifts adds up after five days of gifts!

One day the kids & I hand painted little wooden frames and stuck pictures of them in there. They had a ton of fun painting and decorating, and it was a cute memento for the teachers to keep.

Another day, we wrapped the teachers up a Starbucks drink with chocolates. A fun midday snack!

We also picked up some plastic tumblers and decorated them with the teacher's names, and threw some tissue paper & candy inside. Cheap, cute, & personalized... what more could you ask for!?

One thing that is encouraged during WOTYC is a hand written note to the teachers. Since our kiddos are still on the young side (four & five), I wrote the letter to each teacher or admin, and let the kids draw on the inside of the card. I also printed off instagram pics of the kids and glued them to the front of the card, for a personalized way to say "Thank You!" SUPER cute, and way cheaper than Hallmark!

The only other crafty thing I have done is making a couple bow holders. I made one as a gift, and one for my daughter's room. This was another simple, easy craft that took hardly any time at all to create. A little paint and a staple gun... done.

Here they are:


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