DIY Analog Angry Birds

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Angry Birds is a fun – but the downside is only one person can play at a time and if your mom says no more electronic devices, well then -you can’t play at all!  We have just the solution for these types of situations – it’s Analog Angry Birds – all the fun and no electricity! In fact, we don’t know if the kids had more fun making the game or playing it!

Here’s what you will need:

  • several different colors of yarn (the birds are white, blue, black, yellow and red – you can use the same colors or get crazy and use the colors you have!)
  • scissors
  • paper
  • glue
  • colored pens
  • milk top (to trace circle)
  • 5 paper cups
  • green tempera paint

IMG_26471) The first thing you will need to do is to paint your cups green.

IMG_26502) While the paint is drying, start making your birds.  Wrap the yarn around your four fingers (use your thumb to hold the end of the yarn when you start).  You will need to wrap several times – for the really thin yarn we went anywhere from 75 to 100 times, with the thicker yarn we wrapped about 30 times.  This was a good fine motor skill and a great way to get the kids counting.

  • -Not all of the kids can count past 10, so we counted to 10 and then put a tick mark to remember how many times we went around.
  • -The more times you go around your hand, the fuller your pompom will be.
  • – Be sure not to wrap too tightly or you will hurt your hand and have a hard time sliding the yarn off.

Once you are finished wrapping, cut off the end and slide the yarn off your hand.  Tie another small strand of yarn around the center to hold the pompom together.  Cut each loop and then roll the pompom around in your hand to fluff it up a bit.

3) Use the milk bottle top to trace a circle and then draw your Angry Bird’s face (we know what you are thinking – “hey, this could be a great lesson to do emotions”- good idea! we thought so too! you can make some happy, sad, silly etc).  Glue the face onto your pompom.

4) Once your cup is dry, draw on a pig’s face.

IMG_26615) Now you are ready to play!

Thanks to make and takes for this funtastic idea!

 

 

Tin Can Telephones

Old school toys are the best!  This is such a simple toy, but has lasted over the years because it is fun as well as fascinating AND it doesn’t take much to make them.

IMG_2606     Supplies:

  • 2 empty and cleaned cans
  • string
  • paper (wrapping paper, old magazines, newspapers etc)
  • glue
  • paintbrush
  • nail/hammer

IMG_2523Turn the can open side down and begin to decoupage by tearing a small piece of paper and glue it onto the can.  Keep on going until you get almost to the bottom.  Flip the can over and finish covering it, be sure to cover the lip of the can and a bit of the inside that that all sharp and dangerous edges are covered over.  (This will probably require adult supervision, especially if the can has many sharp parts that stick out).   Do the same for the other can.

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When the cans are dry, take a nail and hammer 1 hole into the bottom of each can.  (This will require adult supervision).  Cut a piece of string into the desired length, thread each end through the hole in the can (from the outside to the inside) and tie a knot at each end. (You can experiment with this to discover what works better or how long of a string you can use and still hear your friend).  Now you are ready to talk!

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Make sure the string is a bit taught or the sound vibrations won’t travel along the and you won’t be able to hear the other person. We told the kids that the phones only worked if they spoke in English – you can trick the younger kids by having them speak in their mother tongue while the line is slack and then speak in English when the line is taut :o)

 

 

A Christmas Tree Craft For Your Crafty Christmas Tree

IMG_2365Just in time for Christmas, another decoration for your tree – and you can recycle to boot!

4 pics1. Supplies:

  • recycled wrapping paper, newspapers or magazines cut into 1 cm x 5 cm strips
  • glue
  • scissors
  • 1/2 circle cut out of construction paper (about15 diameter)
  • yarn

optional:

  • yellow paper for a star
  • glitter

Step 2: Glue half circle into cone shape.  Squirt a line of glue along the bottom ridge and stick the strips of paper (decorated side down) onto the cone.

Step 3:  Once you have covered the whole bottom part of the cone with strips of paper, put another line of glue on the cone, just above the strips of paper.  Now, pull the strips of paper up and glue down (will form a loop shape).

Step 4: Keep on gluing the tiers of loops until you’ve covered the whole cone.

Step 5:  Tie a short length of yarn into a loop and poke the yarn out of the top of the tree.  (Make sure you tie a big enough knot so that the yarn doesn’t slip out).

Optional:

Step 6: Cut out 2 small stars, put some on some glue, sandwich the yarn and the tip of the tree between the 2 stars and glue closed.  This will help fix the yarn to the tree and keep it from slipping out.

Step 7: Add on your decorations.  We hole punched some sparkly craft foam and glued them on.  You could also put dots of  onto the ‘branches’ and sprinkle on some glitter.

You are finished -now you have a really cool tree to hang on your Christmas tree.

Make a Kite Workshop

Here’s how to make a very simple kite, that requires things you probably have around the house.  Here’s what you will need:

  • 81/2 x 11 or A4 paper
  • crepe paper
  • glue stick
  • tape
  • pens
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • heavy thread
  • long skewer
  • wire cutters (optional)

Step 1: Fold the paper in half.

Step 2: With the fold side down, make a crease as indicated by the dotted line. Fold back and forth a few times so the flap will stand up straight when you fly the kite.

Step 3: Cut the crepe paper into a few strips and place into the center (of the back end of) the paper,  Glue the center of the kite closed, fixing the tails. Use the wire cutters to cut the skewer to the same length as the paper.  Fix to the kite with tape as indicated.

Step 4: After you have decorated your kite, flip it over and use the hole punch to make a hole about 1/3 of the way from the nose of the kite. (We put a little bit of decorated tape on first to reinforce the paper a little bit). Attach the string and fix with a knot.

You are ready to fly your kite!

The kids had lots of fun making their kites:

Hope you have fun making and flying yours!

Ocean In A Bottle Workshop

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This was the last workshop of the year and it was a fun one!   We made a jellyfish and put it into a bottle, so we can take the ocean with us where ever we go!

Supplies:

  • a transparent or translucent plastic bag (We noticed some bags work better than others, if they are too thin, the jelly doesn’t float as well.  Some types of plastics have a lot of static and bubbles stick to it. You may have to experiment a bit)
  • a transparent bottle with a wide mouth (the longer the bottle, the better the jelly ‘swims’ to the top)
  • thread
  • food coloring

Fold your jellyfish into a ‘ghost’ like shape and loosely tie a head  (leave a small opening because you’ll will fill the head with water later on).

Keeping the head at the top, spread out the bag and then cut from the corner to the neck. You should have 4 ‘triangles.’ Cut cut from the edges to the neck to make 8 ‘triangles.’  Cut off every other triangle, you should have 4 triangles.

Now, cut out very skinny strips for the tentacles.

You should make about 3 or 4 legs per segment, which means that you will still have to cut away some more of the excess bag.  Trim the tentacles so they will be of different lengths.

Fill the bottle about 1/2 way with water.Fill the head part way with water (you will need to leave some room for air so the jellyfish will float up).  Carefully insert the jelly into the bottle and top the bottle off with water. **

Add in food coloring and close your bottle tightly.

Turn your bottle upside down over and over again and watch your jellyfish float to the top.  It’s absolutely mesmerize.

We found this great craft on BhoomPlay on how to make a jellyfish in a bottle.

*  If you’re jellyfish is not floating to the top too well, try pulling him (or her) out of the bottle and blow a little bit of air into the head.  If you have a lot of air, the jellyfish will float to the top quickly.  If you have too little or no air, the jellyfish will float slowly or not at all.   If you find a the right ratio of air to water, you jelly will float and will full everyone into thinking he (or she) is real!

If You Give A Pig A Pancake (Mother’s Day) Workshop

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If You Give A Pig A Pancake is a story about a spunky little pig and all the silly things that happens just by giving her a pancake.  And reading about pancakes reminds us about….breakfast on Mother’s Day!

This was a very special workshop as it was dedicated to our hardworking and ever supportive mothers.  Since our moms are always waking up early and getting breakfast ready for us, we got breakfast ready for them (well, sort of), we made Pancakes in A Jar.

Supplies:

  • a clean jar (that has a volume of slightly more than a cup)
  • play dough (white and pink)

dry ingredients for pancakes:

  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbls (30 g) white sugar
  • 1 tsp (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp (2 g) salt

 First – measure out all the dry ingredients and put them into the jar.

Next – use the white play dough to cover the lid of the jar.  Take off the excess dough so it wont go on the inside of the lid.  (The dough will slide around a bit, try and fit it on as best you can, but it will shrink as it dries and stick on a little better).

Use the pink play dough to make a pig.  Stick it to the top of the lid. You made need a little bit of water to do this. Some kids made a 3 dimensional pig sitting up, some made it stand on all four legs and some made a 2 dimensional version.  How will you make yours?

Lastly – make a Mother’s Day card with the rest of the recipe inside:

  • pancake mix
  • 1 cup  (235 ml) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbls (30 ml) vegetable oil

Pour the ingredients from the jar into a bowl.  Pour in the milk, egg and vegetable oil. Mix until smooth. Heat non-stick pan over medium heat until water beads. Do not oil. Pour pancake mixture in 1/4 cup amounts. Turn when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Remove from heat when pancake stops steaming.

Serve hot with butter and syrup or jelly.

And now you have your very special and original gift for your very special and original mom!

Spring Blossoms Workshop

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I looked out the window and what did I see? Popcorn popping on an apricot tree.  It’s springtime!  Just the right time to make a spring blossom picture!  Here’s what you will need:

  • a sheet of light blue paper
  • white pencil
  • elmer’s glue
  • fine salt
  • brown paint
  • light colored tissue paper cut into small squares.

Use the white pencil to draw some branches of a tree.  Paint your branches with glue (do a nice thick layer).

Sprinkle lots and lots of salt over the glue.  Let the glue dry and then shake the salt off.  (We didn’t have time to let the glue dry, so we had to be extra delicate doing the next step).

Paint the salt brown.  Let dry.

Lay a square of tissue paper onto the top of a pencil (the side without the point) and fold downward, forming a flower blossom. Dip the flat part into glue and stick onto a tree branch. Keep doing that until your tree is covered with flowers.  We glued little crushed up balls of tissue paper to the center of the flowers just to make them a little more colorful.

And there you have it, a beautiful tree with lots of spring blossoms! Achooo! Just kidding these trees are hypoallergenic!