Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just a Few Simple Crafts (Easter)

OK, so most of you probably know by now that we do a lot of crafting around here. Sometimes it's simple and sometimes not so simple. And hardly ever do we let a holiday pass that we don't do something for it. It's my way of bringing some fun hands on projects to our normal every day lessons.

Next Sunday is Easter. So of course we have to do some Easter related crafting right? Right.

So, first up on the agenda is always coloring pages. I simply go through Google and search for images of what I want to have the kids color. I make sure that the images I do print off aren't copyrighted and are free and then I print off just the number that we need. Often I do not even keep a saved version of the image on my computer for any longer than I need to print it off. That's where I got all of the images (those shown now and those that will be shown on Easter) that we colored or did something else with.

So #1 on the list is coloring...

#2 is a super simple craft that only involves a few materials and willing hands. You'll need wax paper (like you buy for cooking with), markers, and an image to trace. Simply print of your image and place under an appropriately sized piece of wax paper, for younger children you'll want the wax paper to be a bit larger than the image so that you won't have "marker spill over". Trace the image onto the "flat" (non shiny) side of the wax paper and then have the children color the images. Once done you cut out the image and tape to your window. These act as pretty decent "fake" sun catchers and can be changed out for any holiday or as the mood hits you.
 As you can see from the outside shot of the window the more completely colored the image the better it shows. Granted that isn't the best picture in the world but you can get the general idea. I used that image of the cross twice (as you will soon see) and in this case I simply traced the same Easter egg and then traced the cross within it to get that wonderful effect. Peanut even went so far as to draw Jesus on the cross (though it's not so easy to see, her's is the top egg with a cross in that picture).

#3 is a slightly more difficult and time consuming craft, depending on the age of your children you may want to do some parts of this yourself or closely supervise. For this you'll again need a printed image, a marker, and wax paper. And as before you'll simply trace the image you wish onto the wax paper with your marker. But, now you'll need a few extra things...

  • old crayons or candles you're willing to melt
  • a container to melt them in
  • an oven
  • yarn
  • and glue (fabric glue would be more flexible than elmers or craft)
Before melting those crayons you need to run some glue around the image that you drew...

Then you need to place your yarn into the glue you've just outlined the image with...

I add a quick loop in the top of the yarn, at the top of the image, so that there will be something to hang this off of when it's finished. I secure the loop with a bit of extra glue.
Then you must set these aside to dry. So either start them early in the day and move onto something else until later, or do the first steps the night before and follow up the next day with the rest of it.

Those of you who have remelted crayons to make your own crayons can probably do the next step without too much issue. Those of you who haven't, or who are totally panicking at the thought of doing something like this, please head over to Our Busy Homeschool and visit Tristan for a quick step by step on how to do the melting part. (In another post, that I was unable to find, she talks about soaking the crayons in some warm water to have the paper simply slip off ... it works wonders and is much easier than trying to cut the paper off of the crayons!) The idea here is to keep like colors with like colors. For those of you using old candle bits you can see how I melt them here.
Once the crayons/wax has melted you'll want to pour, or transfer, the wax into the "mold" you made with the yarn. We used medicine droppers simply because I had an overabundance of them around here and it kept small fingers away from the hot wax. It also gave us some control over how much we added to the "mold" as I didn't want to overflow out of the yarn.
CAUTION! Hot wax can splatter! Be very careful!
Again you must set these aside to dry. Depending on how you're weather currently is you could do this outside or inside. We opted for inside since it was a drizzly day (with a bit of white stuff *shiver*). This can take anywhere from a few minutes to about half an hour. So something simple to occupy the kiddos (like coloring pages) will probably work here.

As soon as they're completely dry you can simply peal them off of the wax paper if your glue and wax are flexible enough, or cut them out (as we did),  and hang then in a window for the sun to shine through. Yup, another "fake" sun catcher. After Easter each of the campers will have their's hung in their bedrooms along with a framed picture of a cross with John 3:16.

Another bonus to making these as you end up with some new crayons out of your old broken ones!!

#4 is coloring Easter eggs of course! Now, you can buy the kits to do these pretty easily (I get mine after Easter for about a quarter each at a local department store and then save them until the following Easter).

Or... You can make your own homemade dyes by following some simple instructions that I've found online here and get some good science discussion going on while you do it. (Not that you couldn't do the same with store bought dyes.)

Or... You can dye your eggs using Kool Aide or Shaving Cream . The first one will cause the eggs to have a slightly fruity smell for a few minutes but it will fade and not change the flavor of the egg. The second one will add some sensory fun into Easter egg dying.

And finally... You can simply use crayons to decorate your Easter eggs. 

Anyway you go about coloring your eggs will be just fine with your kiddos (unless you've always dyed your eggs and suddenly you only want to color them and they're dead set on dyeing them). We usually get a dozen to 18 eggs and hard boil them then divide them up equally amongst the campers and let them have at it with store bought dyes. Part of the fun of coloring eggs when I was a kid was attempting to keep my fingers clean (and giggling the more dye I got onto them). If you are using the in the package egg holders or fingers while coloring your eggs, might I suggest you color them a few days before Easter so that you'll have time to get those little fingers clean.

Linking up today with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers for List It {Tuesday}

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