It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Rain-makers

Good thing I like glitter!

Two little boys carefully drizzle pinches of silver glitter onto a looooong strip of clear packing tape, sticky side up. We’re making rain for our clouds!!

Predictably, they got a LOT of glitter on the tape. Even more predictably, they got a LOT MORE glitter onto the table.

THEN we discovered that long strips of packing tape can also be used to PICK UP the glitter!! An adult holds the ends of the strip and lays it lightly on the table. The children tap along the length of the strip, then the adult moves it and places it back down on the table. Repeat until the strip looks nice. Then do it again with another strip.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And soon enough, you will have a beeeeeeyoutiful rain shower, right there on your dining room wall!

If you have a nice, coordinated four-year-old around, you might even give her a small pot of beads, a longish thread and a real needle (imagine the PRIDE of being BIG ENOUGH to use a REAL NEEDLE!!!) and let her make raindrops of a different sort.

More rain on the weekend, and sunny skies for early next week. I think next week’s crafts will be about MUD.

Mwah-ha.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | crafts | , , | 8 Comments

When life hands you lemons…

I am a master at this. It’s been very rainy this week. Very, very rainy.

We could grouse about being stuck in the house. I could rant about being confined with five children who haven’t gotten to burn off some steam for days, and why does that mean I’M about to blow???

I could do all that, but no! Inside time? Three days in a row? Just means more time for CRAFTS! And since the theme for this month is (SURPRISE!) spring, why not turn all that rain into a theme craft?

First, the clouds. (HA! The clouds ARE my silver lining! Ironic, no??) Materials needed: cotton balls, duct tape (or any wide tape), grey tempera paint, paintbrushes (or toothbrushes, or foam dabbers).

Take a cotton ball, and puuuull it apart. This is a REALLY FUN activity! In fact, it could have been the whole craft, right there. It takes LOTS of concentration, and just about the right amount of fine motor control to challenge my tots without frustrating them to death.

Emily works on a cotton ball:

While the children are streeeetching cotton balls, the grown-up is taking a few strips of tape and attaching them to each other to make a cloud-shaped mat of tape. Sticky side UP, of course.

Then the children can stick the cotton balls to the tape:

When your tape is covered in poofy cotton, you have a cloud!! Only this is a happy, puffy white cloud. It is not a RAIN cloud, is it? Let’s look out the window. Are those clouds nice and white? No? What colour are they?

That’s right, they’re GREY. (If you don’t have any grey paint, you get to mix your own. Mini-lesson #2: white + black = grey! Cool, huh?)

And then you dab the grey paint onto the cotton balls. No, there are no pictures of this part. It required a certain amount of monitoring/help, and I forgot the camera. You’ll have to imagine this bit.

This might help:

It was only with the fourth cloud that I realized that they look more realistic if they’re not rectangular… Use an odd number of strips of tape (I used five), make the middle strip the longest, the adjacent ones a bit shorter, and the last two on the outside the shortest yet, and your blob will be more sterotypically cloud-shaped, and not look like a puffy grey box…

There you go! That was our craft today! Next installment: RAIN.

April 8, 2010 Posted by | crafts, Emily | , , | 3 Comments