In my pre-mom life I used to be a middle school Spanish teacher. My teaching license has long since expired but my constant thirst for knowledge and educating others most definitely is quite active to this day.
One of the things I love doing with my daughter and her friends is having playdates. We usually share snacks, have free play time, and then do some type of activity.
Earlier this week I had a few of Nadia's playmates over for a Valentine Science Playdate. For our activities we made spin art (a fond shout out to my own childhood) to demonstrate centrifugal force and dyed carnations to learn about transpiration.
Since the kids ranged in age from 21 months - 5 years I didn't get into the full scientific explanation but they all had a wonderful time creating their own masterpieces and experimenting with color.
The memories made and lessons learned were well worth every bit of preparation and cleanup.
Here's a list of supplies and directions for how to do each activity.
Centrifugal Force Art:ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿
1. Spin art kit (purchased mine from Five Below) or salad spinner
2. Washable paint (2-3 colors or more depending on your child's preference
3. Paper towels
4. White paper (thicker cardstock weight works best) cut into 4" x 4" squares
5. Cardstock (any color) to attach finished art to and finish as a card (optional)
1. Place paper a directed on spin art OR remove lid from salad spinner, place tape on bottom of paper, and tape to the basket.
2. If using the spin art kit ,press the button and have you child add a few drops of paint while the paper spins. Allow to dry before adding next color of paint. If you use a salad spinner, carefully add a few drops of paint to your paper, put on lid securely, and press handle to spin several times. Remove lid to allow paint to dry a bit before adding the next color and repeating process.
3. Place completed art on paper towel to dry completely.
4. Mount on folded cardstock to make a card or simply enjoy as is. Makes great refrigerator art!
A force that tends to move objects away from the center in a system undergoing circular motion. Centrifugal force keeps the water in a whirling bucket from spilling or throws a rider in a car against the door when the car goes around a sharp curve.
-Definition from dictionary.com.
1. White carnations
2. Food coloring (assorted colors)
3. Mason jar/vase filled with water
1. Turn on faucet and run room temp water. Hold carnations under water amd cut stems at a 45 degree angle. Set aside.
2. Fill mason jar/vase with room temperature warm and add several drops of food coloring (the more the better).
3. Place flowers in the colored water and come back every few minutes to observe.
Transpiration is the process of giving off vapor containing water and waste products, especially through the stomata on leaves or the pores of the skin. -Definition from dictionary.com.
Trust me. I get it. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent, work-at-home parent, or do the 9-5 at the office, it's hard to find the motivation to do crafts with the kids. From finding the perfect Pinterest worthy project, to buying supplies, to finding a space to create in your home, the task can seem daunting even to the most relaxed and organized person. I can attest that it doesn't have to be!
Kids of all ages enjoy doing even the simplest most inexpensive crafts. Yes, you can splurge and go to the local craft store to buy all the latest and greatest supplies ($$$) OR you can simply use whatever items you already have at home. One of my four year old daughter's favorite activities is stamping on paper using celery and paint. We also often tear leftover tissue paper, scrap paper from other projects, greeting cards, etc. and glue the pieces to construction paper for a quick and easy collage. When you're on a budget, using household items is a great way to save money.
Sometimes the issue stems from your child not wanting/liking to get his/her hands dirty. Before we start any project I always set out a roll of paper towels and a container of wet wipes. Kids can easily clean themselves up and moms and dads can quickly take care of spills. Total win-win!
A lot of times it seems that there simply isn't enough available time for arts and crafts. I've learned that if your child has spent a solid 20-30 minutes on an activity, he/she has likely done as much "work" as he/she is willing/capable of completing at the time. If there are still more steps to complete, don't push the issue. Simply set it aside and bring it out the next day. Young kids rarely have the ability to focus on ANY task for more than half an hour so it's a great accomplishment if they decide to craft more.
Lastly, choose activities appropriate for your child's age and development. A preschooler will not likely be able to successfully create an origami crane, knit a hat, make a friendship bracelet, or do any activity that requires precise movement of his/her hands. Save your child and yourself the frustration and choose a simpler project. Stick to crafts that use larger embellishments, chunky handled paintbrushes, child size scissors, crayons, stickers, glue sticks, etc.
Don't be afraid to "mess up". There's no such thing as a perfect craft so don't stress yourself out trying to make one. Have fun and enjoy this special time with your child.
Miss N and I had a blast making a few fun inexpensive crafts for Valentines Day.
Check out the tutorial at http://www.indywithkids.com/2014/01/craft-astic-valentines-day-crafts-with-kids/