By Jayme Kunze
Looking for some fun and easy arts and craft projects for the kids? Angela Antonelli of CreativeWorks for Children in Avon walks us through three simple craft ideas. Photos of the projects are posted above.
Pipe Cleaner Sculpture
Supplies: Styrofoam base, pipe cleaners, beads, buttons, feathers, etc.
Antonelli said that parents love this easy project for two reasons: it's glue free, and the kids can make as many changes to their sculptures as their little hearts desire!
"I hear back from parents that their kids are constantly changing and manipulating their projects," she said.
To build the sculpture, simply assemble the supplies, either from home or from the bargain bins at the craft stores, hand the kids a styrofoam block and let them "go to town," as Antonelli described it.
The materials are all either inserted into the block or threaded onto the pipe cleaners.
Colorful Tissue Paper Leaf
Supplies: Paper leaf, tissue paper, paint brush, water
This super easy craft is a fun project for kids as young as two years, Antonelli said.
To create the leaves, first either buy paper cut into a leaf shape or make your own. Just make sure that the paper is porous and without a finish.
Second, get the paint brush slightly wet and paint a layer of water on the leaf. Then tear up the tissue paper into little pieces and place them on the leaf.
"Mixing up the colors to create new ones is a neat lesson for the kids," Antonelli said.
Once the design is complete, paint the leaf with water one more time, and then put it in a safe place to dry. Antonelli said that most leaves will take about an hour to dry, depending on how "enthusiastic" the crafters were with the water.
Garden supplies: styrofoam base at least an inch and a half thick, potpourri, some fake (or real) leaves and flowers
Fairy supplies: pipe cleaners, fake flowers, embroidery floss, wooden bead with a hole in the middle, tacky glue
To create a magical fairy wonderland, Antonelli encourages families to look around the house for supplies. Packaging material can serve as a styrofoam base, and the materials from potpourri can be used to create the "forest."
Antonelli suggests using cinnamon sticks as the trunks of trees and little potpourri acorns or other fragments to populate the woodland ground.
While the cinnamon sticks, or sticks straight from nature, can be inserted into the styrofoam, kids should use the tacky glue (Antonelli recommends Aleene's) to attach the leaves, flowers, moss and other materials to the forest.
To create the fairies, cut two pieces of pipe cleaner, 3-4 inches long and another about 2 inches long.
Fold over the longer piece and twist it in the middle. Separate the two lower pieces below the twist to create the legs. (See photo above).
Wrap the second, smaller pipe cleaner around the middle of the longer piece to make arms.
Thread the top of the pipe cleaner through the wooden bead. Antonelli said that the beads are available at craft stores, often with a face painted on them already. If not, kids can draw or paint a face on the bead beforehand.
Fold the tip of the pipe cleaner on the top of the bead, and glue it down. Wait for it to dry, then select some embroidery floss to glue onto the head for hair.
Separate the petals from a fake flower to create a skirt. Either thread the pipe cleaner legs through the hole at the center of the bloom, or glue the petals on.
Wings are created using individual petals or with other material like doilies or tissue paper.
And for more how-to tips, check out the craft directions page on the CreativeWorks site.