Summer is here in full swing and the kids are probably already looking for fun things to do. When you're not at the pool or playing outside in the sprinkler, why not come inside for awhile and cool off with an easy craft project? Our 4th of July tissue paper wreath is easy to make and will look great as a patriotic decoration. Kids preschool age and up can do this craft.
Supplies You'll Need and How to Make the Wreath!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
Most of us pay little attention to rocks. But for crafters, they present all kinds of possibilities. An attractive rock makes a splendid adornment for the right project. Rocks are also great for kids' crafts, because just painting and decorating them can be lots of fun.
With a little imagination, a rock can be turned into any number of things. You can paint it up and add googly eyes to create a pet rock. You can decorate a large rock and use it as a paperweight. You can even make little people and animals out of them. Who knew rocks could be so versatile?
Choosing a Rock for Your Project
For most projects, smooth rocks are the best. These can be difficult to find, but a good place to look is in a creek or river if there is one nearby. The flowing water smoothes stones naturally over time. You can find both large and small rocks in bodies of water.
Rough, jagged rocks can also work for some projects. They are more difficult to paint evenly than smooth rocks, but this adds to their charm. Small jagged rocks may also be glued onto smooth ones as "body parts" or accents for some projects.
If you plan to paint the entire rock, color won't be an issue. But some rocks come in beautiful colors that do not require painting. These are much rarer than your usual gray or brown rocks, so finding one is a real treat.
Working with Rocks
The first thing to do when crafting with rocks is to clean them thoroughly. Take care to remove all dirt so that paint and glue will stay put. For jagged or unusually shaped rocks, you might need to use a small, stiff brush to make sure it's nice and clean.
When painting rocks, acrylics work the best. It sticks to rocks very well and has a glossy sheen. Tempera also holds well, but it has a chalkier finish. It may be a better choice for particularly messy kids, however, because it washes off much easier than acrylic.
If you're gluing rocks together or gluing on embellishments, cement glue provides the best hold. But it also has very strong fumes, so it should only be used in a well-ventilated area by an adult. There are other types of glue that are safe for kids that will work, but the finished product will not be as durable.
Rock crafts are very inexpensive and lots of fun for kids. They're also educational, because they challenge the mind to take abstract objects and turn them into something recognizable. So the next time your child wants to make something, sit down with a pile of rocks together and let your imaginations run free.
Do you remember how fascinating it was to mix colors as a child? Finding out that yellow and blue make green is a profound discovery for a young mind, and an important one. But in order to learn color mixing, it’s important to be able to see it in action.
Fortunately, there are many color mixing experiments that kids can do at home. And they are very inexpensive. Here are some to try.
Mixing Colors “By Hand”
Young children love to finger paint. There’s just something about the feeling of wet paint on the hands that they can’t resist.
It’s easy to turn finger painting into a color mixing lesson. Try putting one color of paint on one of your child’s hands and another color on the other. Then have him rub them together three or four times. When he pulls his hands apart, a whole new color will be there.
Once your child has gotten accustomed to the idea of mixing colors, he might like to try to mix his own unique shades. Give him plenty of paper and paint in primary colors and let him work with minimal guidance. He’ll quickly realize what works and what produces dull blacks and browns.
Mixing Colors in Water
Another fun color mixing project involves mixing different colors of water. This can be accomplished with clear glasses or pitchers, water and food coloring. Start out by filling the containers about half full of water and adding a different color to each one. Then have your child mix the colors as he pleases, either pouring one color directly into another or mixing colors in a separate container. Show him how to add more food coloring to change the shade or make the color more intense.
Once he’s gotten the hang of it, try quizzing him on the colors. Provide a container of water in each of the primary colors, and ask him to make a specific color by mixing two of them. This will provide valuable lessons not only in color mixing, but also in trial and error.
Kids who have been exposed to color mixing might like to try their hand at coloring some of the foods they eat. Vanilla pudding and white cake frosting are good mediums for color experiments. Kids can add a drop or two of different colors of food coloring and mix until they end up with their favorite colors. And when they’re done, they can eat their creations.
Mixing colors is lots of fun for kids, and it’s very educational. It can come in handy if they decide to pursue art later in life. And any child can benefit from the reasoning and memory skills taught by color mixing experiments.
JC Arts offers lots of fun art classes for kids. During the school year, we have free "Hands & Hearts 4 Art" classes on Saturdays at 1pm. Contact us for more information or check our calendar for times and dates.