There is something about process art that really appeals to me. When my son and I are free to just explore materials, there's more room to be creative (and a whole lot less pressure on both of us to make things "look right.") We get to explore, create, and talk with each other. Now, I will always love cute kids' crafts. (Googly eyes and glitter will always hold a special place in my heart!) But lately I've just had enough time (and energy) to put out open-ended projects for us to do.
Here's a recent window process art activity that we recently did together...
Family Window Process Art
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Did you know that it's Shark Week? We don't have cable, so I had no idea until someone else informed me. While I'm not quite sure what Shark Week entails.... we do love learning about sharks and doing easy shark crafts..... like this
Super Easy Shark Sun Catcher Craft!
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Awhile back I made this lovely apple faux stained glassusing black glue as the "lead" and tinted clear glue(affiliate link) to paint colorful panels. Ever since making that craft, I kept wondering if there was a way to adapt it for preschoolers. So I came up with this super easy kids glue sun catcher activity. It takes only 2 ingredients to make the "paint" and you probably already have all the materials on hand!
While I love making crafts with my preschooler, sometimes it's just nice doing process art activities with him. We don't worry about the results. We just dig in, throw everything into the pot, and see what comes up. It's kind of freeing really to not worry about the product.
Tis the season for Halloween crafting, fa-la-la-... Oh wait. Wrong song. Well, you get the point. The season for Halloween crafting has begun! Last year we made of ton of Halloween crafts (see bottom of post for links). This year we've folded an origami black cat and made a cardboard pumpkin with a changeable face. Today we're going to make another recycled Halloween craft. This time we made these milk jug pumpkin sun catchers!
DIY Milk Jug Pumpkin Sun Catchers
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I really liked this craft because the pumpkins were SO easy to make with my 3 year old. And we didn't have to spend a ton of time on prep or a ton of money for materials. (That's a definite win win in my book.) Ok! Let's get making!
Are you looking for another take on kids' stained glass window crafts? Instead of using contact paper, why not use aluminum foil! Glue pieces of cellophane on top of aluminum foil to create a lovely stained glass effect. The colorful cellophane really stands out against the shiny aluminum foil background.
Oooh! And it's spring themed! Spring.... glorious spring....
Not sure if you can tell, but the black outlined tulip stands up against the aluminum foil. Yup, it's my faux leading. Nice, right? Keep reading to see how we made these aluminum foil and cellophane stained glass panels.
Who's up for a little color? Anyone? Anyone? Everything's looking pretty grey here, so Chuck and I made some cellophane stained glass windows. I cut up pieces of cellophane and then we stuck them to our windows using a mixture of dish soap and water.
Alright everyone... the countdown is on. It's just a couple of days till Halloween. Are you excited? Or, are you over all the orange and black?
I'm in the first group and still SUPER excited for Halloween. I just finished Chuck's costume this past weekend, so he's ready to go. I'm not sure if he'll appreciate the idea of trick-or-treating (plus his allergies prevent him from eating a lot of the candy out there), but I think he'll enjoy seeing other kids in costumes and all the spooky decorations.
I'll upload some photos of his costume later on this week... but today I just wanted to share the last of my sugar skull crafts.
Our weekly baby and toddler music class has now morphed into a music and craft class. The kids are getting more mobile now, so we figured it was good to give them something to make and do with their hands. (Otherwise, they go straight to grabbing the lovely books on the shelves or pushing the furniture around. Cute, but slightly disruptive to the library.)
But what kinds of activities could the kids do? Well, the activity had to be
- Suitable for children from 1-3
- Easy to prep
- Easy to set up
- Super easy and quick to clean up
- Made from cheap materials
- Fun!!! (Of course.)
Because of my love for stained glass, I wanted to try a simple stained glass activity with the kids. Instead of using glue (too messy for the younger kids), we used contact paper to attach our colored cellophane.
Two identical rectangles of contact paper (I just bought a small roll from the Dollar store instead of buying the expensive large roll from the department store)
Masking tape and clear tape
Frame cut out from a cereal box (Note: Make the opening of the frame smaller than your contact paper rectangles)
Different colored pieces of cellophane cut into small rectangles
1. Carefully remove the backing from one contact paper rectangle and use masking tape to tape the sheet sticky side up to your table.
2. Let your child stick the cellophane rectangles onto the contact paper. (Chuck loved this part.)
3. Remove a portion of the backing from another sheet of contact paper. Then, slowly stick the second sheet of contact paper on top of the first (sticky side down), smoothing it, and removing the rest of the backing as you go. (This was the toughest part. When we got bumps or bubbles, we just lifted up the top sheet of contact paper and tried again.)
4. Tape your contact paper rectangle onto your frame. Decorate the frame however you want.
Here are some of the mommy and children's actual work (My sample item is in the one on top in the middle.)
They were fun to make and came out super colorful and cute.
We struggled a bit with the contact paper, but I didn't care because some of the 2 year olds actually sat still for a couple of minutes and stuck the colored cellophane onto the contact paper. What? A couple minutes of concentrated effort? Awesome. I'll take it!
One very pregnant mommy even said that this was the longest time that her almost-2 year old sat still. She didn't want to leave because he was behaving so nicely.
Ahh, music to my ears. Her comment just made my day.
I love seeing moms and children engaged in an activity and enjoying time together.
Contact paper and cellophane stained glass windows
A while ago, a cousin sent me a beautiful faux stained glass panel that her friend made using colored cellophane and a picture frame. I've since lost the photo, but every so often I keep thinking back to that image and wanting to make my own faux stained glass using cellophane.
Here's a fun kids' craft that I came up with: a 3D stained glass house constructed out of cellophane and plastic containers:
- clean and dry plastic lids (sturdier plastic works better than flimsier plastic)
- Mod Podge
- foam brush
- different colored cellophane (you could probably substitute colored tissue paper too)
- clear tape
1. Cut out your six house pieces. (I cut them out of paper first to make sure everything fit and then traced my paper shapes onto plastic lids.) You'll need two same-sized "house" shaped pieces for the front and back, two rectangles for the roof, and two rectangles for the side of your house. (I ended up making the two side and two roof pieces four identical squares so that I wouldn't have to worry too much about measuring.)
2. Cut out random small pieces of cellophane. I chose to cut out hearts and rectangles.
3. Cover your work area. Use your foam brush and Mod Podge the cellophane onto your house pieces. Don't worry if the cellophane dangles off the edges.
4. After the Mod Podge dries, trim any excess hanging cellophane pieces. Your cellophane will dry crinkled, but that's ok.
5. Tape your pieces together to create a house. (I first taped the pieces into the flat arrangement below. Then, I bent and taped the pieces into their final 3D house shape. I also made sure that the Mod Podged cellophane pieces were facing inside my stained glass house. I figured this way the cellophane wouldn't rub off as easily.)
Voila! Done. I think this would be a really fun craft to do with kids. It's a different take on the traditional stained glass or sun catcher craft. Let me know if you try it out!