Crafty Kids

My kids love to craft. Anything, anywhere, anytime.
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They are forever asking me for projects and I’m not all that creatively inclined. In all honesty, my favorite kind of crafts are the fast, easy, clean and not-too-technical types. But those kind of crafts leave room for the question, “What’s next, mama?” Recently I did two crafts with them that were big hits.

Painted Rocks

The kids had so much fun doing this project and so did I actually. It was easy, fun, painless, inexpensive and best of all the kids got to create something tangible that they can see in the garden as often as they like. Here’s the 1, 2, 3 on this super easy project. What you’ll need: Rocks from the yard, (cleaned) paint brushes, non-toxic crafting-type paint, permanent black marker.

  • Throw a smock on the kids, or wear old clothes.
  • Go outside.
  • Secure newspaper on any surface that you don’t want painted a nice shade of electric blue.
  • Squeeze various colors of non-toxic paint in small paper plates (easy cleanup), or your palette of choice.
  • Arm the kids with a clean paint brush and set out bowls of water so they can rinse their brushes.
  • Keep paper towels handy, just in case. And maybe a wet washcloth.
  • Let the creativity flow!
  • Once the paint job is really dry (we let ours dry for a couple of days just to make sure) get creative again using the marker to personalize them. Ours is a family of rocks. Plus a rock ‘n’ roll hamster. Be creative!

Crafter’s note: My son learned that mixing orange, blue and yellow paint makes for a dull shade of gray/brown. Kind of like not having painted the rock at all. Even still, he’s proud of it, and in just the right sunlight you can see a glint of orange here and there.

Garden Spoons

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I found this project in the June issue of All You magazine and thought, Hey! I can do that! So I did. What you’ll need: Old spoons (the bigger the better), pictures of plants, waterproof marker, scissors, sandpaper, clear nail polish.

  • Search online or in magazines or catalogs for colorful pictures of the flowers and herbs in your garden.
  • Cut/print out. Cut small slits at various places around picture. This will help it lie smooth inside the rounded spoon.
  • Write the names of the plants on the edge of the picture with a waterproof pen/marker. *My pictures already had the names listed on it, so a nice timesaver.
  • Use a small square of sandpaper to roughen up the bowl of the spoon, then wipe clean with washcloth.
  • Using clear nail polish, paint the back of the picture and the bowl of the spoon. Place picture in spoon and press down to smooth with cotton swab.
  • Let dry.
  • Coat picture with clear nail polish and smooth.
  • Let dry. Coat again with clear nail polish and smooth.

You get it. You want it to be well-coated with clear nail polish (and dry) so it is protected against the elements.

Crafter’s note: I would highly recommendNOTskipping the following steps: 1). roughing up the bowl with sandpaper, 2). cutting slits in the pictures, and 3). using a cotton swab to press picture in place (would have been much less messy than using our fingers).

What are your favorite kid-friendly projects?

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