Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away … Or Not

Boredom-Busting Links for a Rainy Day.
It’s the weekend and it’s raining; or it’s snowing; or it’s hailing—you get the picture. You’re stuck inside, but more to the point, the kids are stuck inside. And everybody’s just too antsy to watch a dvd. You’re not a natural-born craftsperson, but you have some vague notion that you should be able to do something with paper and, what? Glue? Crayons? Some instructions would be nice. People—that’s why the Internet is here. I’ve assembled a group of can’t-fail projects to get you started, but don’t be afraid to freestyle.

What can you make from an egg carton? At the site The Crafty Crow, the question is, what CAN’T you make from an egg carton. There are egg carton ideas here for every age and skills level. I like the little owls, and don’t see that they’d lose anything if they went unpainted.

Disney FamilyFun has an extensive craft department on its site, and I appreciate their “crafts by material” tab, as you can drive the craft selection by what you have around the house. I especially like this Printed Palm Tree. It’s a fun variation on the classic hand print Thanksgiving turkey. Your child’s hand and forearm create the trunk and boughs of the tree; gluing on bits from the garden create the leaves, fruit, and grass. I say why feel obligated to use brown paint for the trunk, and if it’s miserable outside, you probably don’t want to go out gathering botanicals. A good substitute could be cutouts from magazines or newspapers. And let’s face it: anything involving your child’s palm print is a nice keepsake for you, too.

Caught without a single can of modeling clay? You can make your own from the time-honored recipe that used to be featured on boxes of salt. The site ehow has the recipe. It only takes flour, salt, and water. And half the fun is making the clay, which is well within a preschooler’s skills set. It’s fun to just get your hands in the dough, which is easily tinted with food coloring. How about creating dough words, like your child’s name? Dough snakes are your friends.

How about trying your “hand” at making puppets? I say go to the master. I recently found this link on Wired’s GeekDad, a 15-minute video by Jim Henson on puppets and puppet making. This was originally seen in 1969 on Iowa Public Television. The projects are very do-able and adaptable to materials you’re sure to have around the house, like tennis balls, wooden spoons, and potatoes, to name a few.

By now, I'm feeling like a bit of a crafty crow myself.

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