Book Recommendation – Green Crafts for Children

green crafts for kids

Book Recommendation: Green Crafts for Children: 35 Step-by-Step Projects Using Natural, Recycled, And Found Materials
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Review by: ACGMama

Green Crafts for Children is fun green craft book for pre-teens. It features 35 easy projects, each of which could make an ideal gift for family and friends.

The projects included will give your kids hours and hours of enjoyment and they are inexpensive to make because they use materials easily found in and around your home and garden, or even on walks in the woods or trips to the beach.

Your kids will be delighted to create something fun out of old wrapping paper, buttons, shells, pine cones and other bits and pieces they can find. I am sure that your children will play over and over again with their handmade driftwood boat. And I am also certain that you would love to receive a beautifully painted stone from your last trip to the beach or a felt necklace.

Also included in the book are recipes on salt dough as well as other useful tips and advice.

Crafting enhances your kids’ imagination and creativity. This book will inspire them to be creative and keeping boredom at bay. I would certainly recommend it to any family.

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Handmade Paper – How to Make Your Own Homemade Paper From Recycled Paper

Handmade paper has such a beautiful feel to it. You can use it for papercrafts, cards, and more. But did you know that you can make your own homemade using the paper in your recycling bin?

Any paper that doesn’t have a shiny coating will work. In fact, newspaper works the best, so raid that paper recycling bin and let’s get started!

You’ll need:

- Recyclable paper

- Small Screens. Any flat screening will work, so you can use an old window screen or simply nylon hosiery stretched over a frame. You’ll probably want two screens, so you can work in batches.

-  A pan or tub, which your screen will need to fit into. (A rubber dish tub is ideal.)

- Water

- Blender

-White Glue



How to Make Your Handmade Paper

1. Tear the paper into strips. (You’ll want to tear the strips – instead of cutting – because you want to expose more surface area.

2. Place the paper strips into your rubber tub. You’ll want it about 2/3 full of strips.

3. Pour water over the strips until they are just submerged.

4. Stir the water-paper mixture with your hands.

5. Soak the paper strips. If you used cold water, you’ll need to soak for several hours. If you used hot water, they’ll be ready for step 6 in about 30 minutes. Different water temperatures and soaking times will achieve different results.

6. When the paper is soft and pulpy, mix it thoroughly with your hands again.

7. Blend the pulp and water mixture in a blender. Do it in batches if necessary, but do not put the blended pulp back into the tub.

8. When all the paper pulp is blended, pour a few inches of water into the dish tub. Stir in a tablespoon of white glue.

9. Set the screen down into the water in the tub.

10. Pour about 1 cup of the blended pulp onto the submerged screen. Using your hands, spread it thoroughly over the screen, making sure to incorporate the water and glue.

11. Lift the screen from the water, and set it where it can drain well.

12. Invert the screen onto a towel. Lift the screen off; there should be damp pulp sitting on the towel.

13. Lay another towel over the pulp.

14. Once the pulp is between the two towels, run a hot clothes iron over the top towel to steam out the moisture and smooth the paper.

15. Leave your pulp to dry for about 24 hours.

16. Cut into sheets and cards.

Enjoy your new handmade paper!

Salt Dough Recipe

Salt dough is an easy craft medium to work with and is kid-friendly (though they’ll need an adult for the final cooking stage.)

Here’s a simple recipe for salt dough:

* 1 cup of fine salt (or, for a more ‘rustic’ feel to the dough, use a coarse salt.)

* 2 cups of flour

* 3/4 to 1 cup of lukewarm water (more or less water may be needed depending upon the humidity)

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add the water, a little at a time, and stir until a large ball has formed. Take the ball out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured surface. Continue to knead the mixture until you are satisfied with the texture.

If the dough is too tacky, add more flour/salt in the same proportions. Dry dough may require a little more water.

This recipe will create white dough that will keep for several days in a tightly closed plastic bag. You can color the dough by adding instant coffee, cocoa, or curry powder. Adding a drop of vanilla extract will produce a wonderful smell as well as act as a mold inhibitor.

Shaping your Salt Dough

Use cookie cutters, pizza cutters, rolling pins, or garlic presses to create the different shapes, patterns and design elements of your creations.  You can also make freehand designs by making the dough into ropes that can then be shaped into wreaths or braids. Roll the dough into balls of various sizes to create little animals, people, or abstract designs. The only limit you have is your artistic ability and your imagination.

You can even use salt dough to create wonderful, artsy jewelry if you want to. Be sure to place a hair pin or ornament hanger on any ornaments you intend to be displayed. If you’re making jewelry, poke a hole in the ornament before you bake it so you can put a piece of ribbon through it.

Cook it!

After you’ve modeled the dough into the shape you want, place each item on a lined baking sheet and bake it at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 1/2 hour. Allow to dry for two days on a baking rack. Or you can  place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave them in one to two minute increments on high or until they appear dry.

More ideas:

Salt Dough Fun (More ideas for kids.)
Dough Folk Art: How to Make Beautiful and Lasting Objects from Flour, Salt, and Water – Beautiful ideas.

Mother’s Day Crafts for Toddlers

Choose a sunny spring day and get outside to create some crafts for the moms, grandmothers and other special women in your life. Your recipients will get some treasured keepsakes and you’ll get some meaningful moments with your toddlers.

Here are some simple and inexpensive Mother’s Day craft ideas, perfect for young kids:

Make paper flowers. Help your toddler make flowers from paper hearts that may be left over from Valentine’s Day. If you don’t have leftover hearts, you can help them cut out paper hearts from Mom’s favorite color. Arrange three to five hearts with the points at the center. Thread floral wire through the points and then twist the wires together to create the stem. Glue a large button or beads onto the hearts as the center of the flower. Your toddler can also create leaves by cutting them out of paper and gluing them to the stem. Place the flowers in a vase and set it on Mom’s tray for breakfast in bed.

Decorate T-shirts or tote bags – Purchase a pastel t-shirt or tote bag for Mom. Then, using paint specialized for fabric, let your children place their hands into the paint and press them into the fabric. Be sure to write down the child’s name and age on their handprint. You can also write the date on the t-shirt so Mom can see how the children have grown over the years.

Make a vintage label purse – Start with a plain wooden box, which you can find at most craft stores. Take labels, photos, drawings and messages, printouts – anything that represents the things that mom loves most – and decoupage them onto the cigar box. (Be sure that an adult paints shellac over the labels to protect them and keep them from coming off).

Make a simple birdhouse – There are many Moms who love to watch birds in their yard. Make a rustic bird house using a plain wooden birdhouse and then gluing twigs and moss onto it. You can also add other found items from your yard to make it look rustic. Hang the birdhouse where it can be seen from a window.

Make stepping stones for her flower garden - Help your toddler make stepping stones with a kit or small bags of concrete. Make the stepping stones in aluminum pie tins or plastic pails. Your toddler will have fun adding found items, glass beads or silk flowers to decorate the stepping stone. Don’t forget to write the child’s name, age and date in the concrete.

Make a coupon book - This is one of the easiest crafts your toddler can make. Cut a few sheets of paper in thirds and help them think of things to put on the coupons:  “One hour uninterrupted bubble bath,” “Clean up my room by myself” or “A flower garden bouquet.” Let your child think of fun things to use for the coupons. Your toddler will love decorating and illustrating the coupons, too.

Make promise plates - This is a creative alternative to the coupon book. You’ll need a couple of paper plates, some crayons or markers, a hole puncher, colored ribbon, and glue. Fold one paper plate and cut it in half. Let the children decorate the half of the plate how they like. Line up the decorated half and the whole plate and punch holes around the plates about an inch apart. Thread the ribbon through the plates leaving enough ribbon to make a bow at the top. Let the children think of ways to help Mom around the house and write them down on index cards. Put the cards that have been written on into the pocket created with the two plates and be sure to write “Mom” on the front.

And here’s a nice craft for slightly older kids. (No matter what the ages, you’ll want to exercise caution with these kinds of paints.)

Fingerprint Flower Vase

Kids love to pluck wildflowers, dandelions, even grasses and share a handful with mom or grandma. Here’s an easy vase they can make to hold their treasures.

You’ll need an empty jar and enamel paints, plus some newspapers to make your clean-up easier. Better yet, do this craft outside on a sunny day.

* Start with clean and dry glass jars. It doesn’t matter which type of jar is used as long as the label has been completely removed. You can also use glass vases.

* Read all of the instructions on the back of the enamel paint bottle so you know how it should be used.

* Instruct your kids to hold the jar by the mouth so she doesn’t accidentally touch the paint while its wet.

* Let the children choose a color. They can dip their fingers into the paint and decorate the jar or vase by making flowers with their fingerprints.

* Your child can make any number of flowers on the vase. How they decorate the jar/vase is entirely up to them.

* After they’ve made a circle of fingerprint flowers, they can go back with a contrasting color to make the center of the flowers.

* Follow the directions on the paint to let the paint dry. If this includes baking it in the oven, an adult would need to handle it. Drying time may mean allowing it to air dry before using it for the first time.

If you’re uncomfortable using enamel paints for this craft, you can use acrylic paints instead. The flowers will wash off, however, unless the project is protected by an acrylic sealer.

When the paint is dry, fill your new flower fingerprint vase with water and flowers.

More Mother’s Day ideas from Momscape:

Top Mother’s Day Quotes

Scrapbooking Ideas

How to Make Paper Flowers
Three easy paper flower crafting projects, just right for young kids and customizable for older kids and adults.

Mother’s Day Traditions
10 Memorable Ways to Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Gift Baskets
Great theme ideas to get you started on quick, inexpensive gift baskets for the moms in your life.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas and Coupons