At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Forever Blowing Bubbles

The following is a post written by author and Crafts Contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.  This post originally appeared June 2010.

Some people say that kids will only be inventive if they are allowed to experience boredom. Although it was soap maker Andrew Pears who popularized bubble blowing in the late 1800’s, I have no doubt that it was probably a child who came up with the idea of making homemade bubbles one hot summer day in July.

Perfect Boredom Buster

With summer coming as fast as it can, so is the need to have a few activities for your kids to do when they have some down time. Making bubbles is one of the more simple and fanciful ways to spend a warm sunny afternoon. They work well on a grassy lawn, outside on the steps, under the  shade of a tree, and even in the kitchen.

When it comes to kids, bubbles have everything going for them; they fascinate, they float, have rainbow colors, and require some skill to blow a good bubble. They can be treated as a scientific experiment or as a past time. Best of all, they are inexpensive to make.

Bubbles are, indeed, the perfect boredom buster for a summer day.

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Buttons, Buttons

The following is by Crafts contributor Rae Grant.

We all know our kids are really part chipmunk up until a certain age, so why not tap into that tendency to collect and create an heirloom button collection?

Buttons are some of the cutest DIY craft items a family can have around. When you get your kids involved with buttons, they will find that sewing it to a piece of fabric isn’t the only way to use these handy, colorful objects. Buttons can also be used for a number of craft projects outside their current purpose, which is to latch up a buttonhole.

Buttons are as old as modern civilization and were first used as seals, stamps, and ornaments long before they took their place with the buttonhole. So, pull out the clay and start stamping some fascinating patterns.

Let your kids start their very own collection, something they can create and keep during their childhood. Most families have a few buttons around, and of course, the craftiest of families probably have buckets around. Buttons are easy to find and easy to store.

Here are a few tips for getting your kids (and maybe yourself) into buttons: [Read more...]

At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Recycled Cardboard Summer Scrapbook

The following was written by contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.

With summer travel and lots of outdoors adventures still happening, what better way to have your kids preserve these memories than in a scrapbook made from recycled cardboard and paper?

Making and keeping a scrapbook can be a creative entry point for kids into collecting  postcards, letters, or plant specimens. They can also get experience documenting their adventures creatively. Even the youngest can hand and finger print pictures, draw pictures, and collect summer material such as leaves, flowers, feathers, to place in their journal.

Gathering recycled materials for this project is easy and it can show kids  just how much stuff we have around the house to use again! Depending on the materials you have on hand, and how your kids like to put pages together, each journal scrapbook will be unique (which of course can be very cool!)

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At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Dandelion Flower Paintbrush Cards

If you want to add a little more nature and artistic flair into your child’s everyday life, try a craft project using freshly picked dandelions to serve as natural paint brushes. Even though Mother’s Day is supposed to be a day off from business as usual at home, it is still fun to work with your kids on a natural flower card project that can double as a Mother’s Day gift.

One of my favorite weed flowers, the bright yellow dandelion, shows up in the spring and lasts into summer. There is just simply nothing not to love about dandelions. They make charming flower bracelets, fanciful bouquets, and turn into soft white globes that can be blown, along with a wish, into the wind and across lawns and fields. They are magical, useful, and edible.

Dandelions also make great flower brushes for stamping and painting cards. Part of the fun of making Flower Paintbrush Cards is going on a walk outside to pick fresh flowers. The other joy (at least for kids) is the tactile thrill of twirling the flowers gently across a clean sheet of white paper to make a printed pattern.

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At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Egg Cartons – Imagine the Possibilities

Egg cartons have been a fascination of mine in recent years. They seem like the perfect invention; a snug cup which holds delicate, breakable eggs securely enough to travel miles from farm to table, and they have a solid lid which closes and opens easily without breaking. They simply are useful.

Kids have caught on to this handy container and use them to store favorite collectibles. In our family, many a summer day was spent filling the little cups with pebbles and natural treasures down by our brook. Kids quickly learn that an egg carton houses acorns, rock, marbles, insects and butterflies, small dolls, pennies, feathers, and leaves.  Their treasures were safe in that egg carton. (Mom was less likely to throw out the treasures right away.)

While utilitarian at heart, the recycled cardboard egg carton is an opportunity to repurpose.

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