So I decided to make another craft from Plaster of Paris. It turned out wonderful and I took pictures of every step just in case. When ready to load into my computer I realized that I did not put in the memory card. So now you will have to rely on my words alone. Yes no step by step, but don’t worry I will write in English and the craft is super easy.
All you have to do is pick some leaves from outside, don’t worry if they are wet, actually wet ones may work a little better. The more different leaves you pick the more fun you will have with little ones deciding the color and name of each tree.
Make plaster of paris according to the directions on the box. For me that means that I mix it with enough water and plaster that it resembles yogurt or oatmeal and is not so watery. Place the leaves on paper and brush a thick layer of plaster on top of them leaving the stem alone. The thicker the layer the more sturdy the leaves will be if you shmear it too thin they will be very delicate and brittle.
Let the plaster set. If the kids are too anxious you can let them know that the plaster will release heat when setting and call them back when they become warm. When the plaster has set gently peel of the leaf, which would be easy if you start with the stem.
To color I used Acrylic Paints making sure they are really diluted and adding more colors on top of each other.
You can use these leaves just for this project or keep them as place mats during your fall or Thanksgiving Dinner. If you are really creative you can use them to decorate your house.
Personally I think these would be the best to use for fall scavenger hunt, and you can write the clue on the leaf itself, now that would be tough.
For Smaller kids here are some reading suggestions to use for inspiration:
From Caldecott Award winner Lois Ehlert beautiful stories about fall leaves, colors and leaf collecting. For more in depth information and to look inside each book click on the images above.
And who can forget about the Old Lady that has a tendency to overeat. No I am not talking about myself this time:
For a super comprehensive field guide that your child will enjoy for years to come click on this:
Its September the school is back in session the seasons are changing and I am thinking about all these beautiful bugs and beetles that we encountered throughout the summer. On a rainy day I decided to make these fun beetles out of plaster of paris. My kids went buggy over these creations my tween could not wait to decorate one to her liking and my toddlers were fighting over the ladybugs as they call them.
“one for you one for me” I heard them say
“mommy she take 1 2 3 4 5 6″
“what you doing here guys”
To make these all you need is Plaster of Paris and some spoons, perfect for cleaning up your pantry from summer “silverware”, tempera paints for decorations.
Mix about 1 cup of plaster of Paris with water following the directions on the box, this will make about 15 regular spoon beetles
Pour the mix into disposable spoons and dry overnight. I placed some magnets at the ends of some to use as fridge magnets. If you do so make sure they are larger magnets since the bugs can be a bit heavy, you can always put in a clothing pin and use them as fashion accessories.
After they dry remove form the spoon. All you have to do is push on the plaster at the navel (handle part) and it will pop right out, plus the bugs are nice and smooth, perfect.
now all you need is tempera paints and fun is ready. The best part about the paint is that it dries super fast and you can mix colors easily.
Ta da, now all you need is imagination. They can become fashion accessories, fridge magnets, speeding bugs, you can build cages for them or do whatever your heart desires
The only downfall, is the down fall, since they can break or chip easily. For me that’s a plus or excuse to make more the next time.
For inspirations about bugs and beetles check out these fun books from our favorite authors:
Denise Fleming is an author of a Caldecott Honor book in a Small, Small Pond. In Beetle Bop she talks about beetles all different shapes and sizes in a rythmic read out loud book. For inside look click here.
Who else would you turn to when it comes to bugs if not Eric Carle the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other very buggy themed books. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle has no trouble with clicking and flipping but it does have a problem with landing on his feet. He tries again and again encouraged by other animals he finally learns how to click and flip, making the message of not giving up click with us. Click here to look inside.
For inspiration on Beetle design and culture open this A-Z book including fun facts and differences on what makes beetle a beetle. Look inside here.
Lastly the Welcome Books series introduces young readers to beetles their worlds and habitats. For inside look into this text click here.
How is that for bugging out? Now excuse me as I go listen to some Beatles and link up to these amazing parties.
Disclaimer: I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission on products purchased through Amazon links.
This is a fun experiment and craft to do with a kids (older preschoolers). The Plaster of Paris is such a great product that I have added separate category for it on the side. It is available in your hardware store and can make any project a breeze. The kids will also be thrilled to see that the dough hardens and as it does it creates heat so be prepared for some science questions. Here we place the mixture in a bag and mold the bag into whatever shape is desired. Keep in mind that it is not the dough inside the bag that you are manipulating but the bag itself.
You will need Plaster of Paris and ziplock bag. I opted to color the dough with leftover Tempera paint that I had from making colored Play Dough.
Into a ziplock bag pour about 1/3 of plaster
If you choose add some coloring
and enough water to form a soft dough, make sure you close the bag tightly and let out the air
Squeeze the bag with hands to mix the water and plaster, form to your desired shapes. When the bag becomes warm to the touch the plaster is beginning to set so you will have to work quickly. The plaster will harden within minutes.
Have fun enjoy your ziplock bag will harden and stay in that shape forever and ever, well at least until it breaks. You can also add rice, sparkles and sand to make it more fun.
I had so much fun playing with our recycle Milk Box Dice that I wanted to use this concept to make something else. This time I decided to use juice boxes. I know most people us pouches right now but you can really use anything from Milk, Cream or anything else cardboard and rectangular you find in your fridge.
Cut thejuice box so the side is the same lenght as the base
place one inside the other with the open sections facing the inside
I used wripped out book pages and covers of coloring books for images but you again can play around with this idea. Why not use yor kids artwork, postcards, holiday cards or pictures
I placed the glue on paper and on juice boxes and wated for it to dry
Cut the edges off and separate the boxes
Continue will all sides, they will not be perfect but so much fun
My kids could barely wait for the blocks to dry. Mommy I want to make Thomas, Mommy I want to make Dora. Ok you can both play with the blocks when they are dry.
I am linking to these fun parties.
I have been wanted to explore water and colored ice for some time now. I have seen a lot of blocks used to build doll houses in the winter and ice cubes one can dive for in the swimming pool but I wanted to just play out right, in the summer.
I decided to make this sensory play in two ways. I took an empty salad big, loose toys, balloons, food coloring and water.
I placed the toys in a bin
mixed water and food coloring
poured over the animals
left some of them to stick slightly out. Almost like a archeological excavation site, or waiting for the ice cap to melt
The other way I did it is to place a few drops inside the balloon
attach to the faucet, fill with water and tie up. Do not by any chance try to fill it with a pouring cup since you will not really get anywhere, unless you want the ice balls to be the size of a small not inflated balloon.
When you are all done place them in the freezer for a couple of hours or overnight
the next morning you can greet your kids with their own ice sculptures, dinosaur eggs or whatever you want to call them.
if you have more time or dinosaurs you may even place them inside the balloon before inflating and give kids chances to crack the egg.
Heck you may even make up some games to go with that like relay as to who first cracks, defrosts and takes out the baby dino (perfect for dinosaur theme party).
We used it more as fun sensory game
touched it, played with it
Drew with it
Did everything to get out hands dirty and then painted with our hands
One of my twins loved it the other could not wait to get herself cleaned. Twins I tell you (could not be less alike)
Finally you could use them as color study as they melt by placing two primary colors in the same bowl, bag and waiting till them melt partially to see what happens, you could also add another color. What happens then?
They are really so much fun for summer, birthday parties, winter play and Easter decorations where it is cold. Not that I am thinking of Easter in September, but since they have Christmas in July I may be approaching that mark shortly.
Most kids can’t get enough of stickers. With this easy recipe you can make stickers with just about anything from magazines, gift wrap, books etc. It is made with a secret ingredient you have in your kitchen: jello.
All you need is Gelatin (or jello), scraps of paper or your kiddos drawing, scissors and brush
Dissolve 2 tsp of gelatin with 5 tsp of hot water. If you are using jello dissolve 0.3 oz (small box) in 5 tbs water
mix well. You can use it right away or you can wait a few minutes until it becomes slightly gluey. I made it both ways with jello and with gelatin and both acted the same as glue. The jello however tasted better but it was also colored.
Cut bunch of pictures out, these could include pictures of your own kiddos
With a paintbrush coat the back of the pictures. After experimenting a bit it is better to let the gelatin mixture get gooey a bit since you do not want to soak the pictures or they will stick to the surface you are drying them on. Alternately you can dry them on a cookie cooling rack.
Once dry the stickers are ready to lick and stick. Your kiddo can become a fashion or interior designer if you choose to use clothing or home catalog.
You can also unlock your inner Emily Post and teach your kids how to set a table. The possibilities are endless