Faemom Crafts for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Kids

Archive for the ‘Projects gone wrong’ Category

(The boys loved them.  They loved making them.  They loved playing with them.  I found them to be the ugliest frogs in the world, which is why I give this craft thumbs down.  You know what you get when you make eyes by using a small pompom and then glue a mini pompom on top?  You get what looks like white breasts with green nipples.  I secretly threw these away and came up with my own version of the craft, which I’ll post on the next post.  If you can figure out a better looking frog, let me know.)

Things you need:

  • 3in green pompom
  • 2in green pompom
  • 2 small white pompoms
  • 2 green or black mini pompoms
  • Green craft foam
  • Glue (school or craft)
  • Scissors

Cut out of the green foam two frog feet.  I used a quarter to trace around and added three triangles to the top. 

I know.  They're ugly feet.

I know. They're ugly feet.

Have the child glue the 3in pompom to the feet.  Have the child glue the 2in pompom to the first one, making the body and head.  On the top of the head, have the child glue the white pompoms to make eyes. 

Gluing the eyes

Gluing the eyes

Have the child glue the mini pompoms to the small white ones.

The Ugliest Frog in the World.  (I'm a freak of crafting!)

The Ugliest Frog in the World. (I'm a freak of crafting!)

I picked up a couple of bead necklace kits because they were a buck and wondered what it could hurt.  Some days I just can’t find a craft I like to do with the boys that I have all the materials.  I think this would be a great activity for older kids but not toddler or preschool age.  The problem is that the picture beads (the skull and cross bones and the monkey) didn’t have big enough holes.  I had to push the elastic thread through the hole with a needle, and I’m just not ready to let my almost-four-year-old handle a needle.  The big colored beads were perfect for little fingers.  But next time I want to make necklaces with the boys, I’m going to spring for more expensive beads.

The back of the packaging/directions.  So damn simple.

The back of the packaging/directions. So damn simple.

 

Cool looking but not for little fingers

Cool looking but not for little fingers

(When it rained the other day, I was so excited because I’d wanted to do this craft forever.  I had to wait until warmer weather.  It also turns out it should be raining, not sprinkling.  It did not work out at all.  I’ll try next time it rains.  I got the craft at Family Fun.)

Things you need:

  • Heavy paper plate
  • Food coloring
  • Rain

Drop several drops of food coloring on the plate.  Take the plate outside and let the rain make patters with the food coloring. 

Food coloring on the plate- check

Food coloring on the plate- check

Out in the rain

Out in the rain

 

Still doesn't look like art

Still doesn't look like art

 

Still looks ugly

Still looks ugly

So now I’m thinking every Sunday night I should complain about a terrible craft, try to warn you about it before you try it.  When I worked for the Girl Scouts, we had to do all the crafts ahead of time so that we didn’t look like fools in front of the girls, loosing their attention, their respect, and our patience.  We met every quarter to do a week of crafts to make sure we worked out all the kinks.  We don’t have that luxury as parents.

So this last week I tried making rock candy for the boys from a book called EcoArt!: Earth-Friendly Art and Craft Experiences for 3 to 9-year-olds by Laurie Carlson.  This recipe calls for 4 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water, which ended in totally disaster.  I got the first two cups dissolved, but after stirring for forty-five minutes, I couldn’t get the last two cups of sugar to dissolve.  I finally gave up and poured the sugar water into glasses.  Big Mistake.  Huge Mistake!  I ended up with two glasses filled of hard candy that I have been trying to dissolve away for four days.

After talking to a few experts (my mom and grandma), they assured me that there was too much sugar in the mixture.  After looking online at the other recipes, I have to agree.  Apparently this recipe was to speed up the crystal growth, which didn’t work in my case (which I think is like trying to bake a cake faster at 500 degrees and that always works out well).  The recipe said nothing about boiling like the online recipes too. 

So stay away from crystal rock candy recipes with a lot of sugar to water ratio.  I’ll keep working on this recipe.  I also will try a few more crafts before returning this book to the library.

It’s hard to find new craft material.  Many of the sites use the same crafts, but that’s usually because the kids like them, though I have found sites quoting other sites by word.  It’s a little crazy.  One of those crafts that I’ve seen everywhere is cheap shrinky-dinks.

When I was kid I loved shinky-dinks.  I made tons.  I piled them into my dollhouse.  I haven’t seen the shrink-dink paper in years, so when I found this craft, I was very excited.  Then I was very disappointed.

You’re to take a clean Styrofoam meat tray like you get your meat on from the butcher section.  You make a shape, color it, cut it.  You pop your shape into the microwave.  And bam!  A shrink-dink is born. 

Or not so much.

First off, when they say clean, you’re to get a brand-new, never been used Styrofoam meat tray.  I decided to scrub and clean a meat tray to eat-off perfection.  When popped into the microwave, the enticing stench of burnt meat and plastic wafted through the air, making me gag.  My microwave stunk for days.

To make matters worse, all that pain gave me no gain.  I drew out a couple of diamonds and squares and had the boys color them.  I figured we’d start out simple, see how much the Styrofoam shrunk before we started making cool things like ice cream and dragons.  I figured we could use the shapes as jewels for our pirate treasure.  They shrunk quite a bit, but they curled and didn’t shrink uniformly, leaving me with unrecognizable curled plastic.  Awesome.

So if you’ve done this craft and it worked for you, please let me know where I went so terribly wrong.  If you haven’t done this craft, I say “beware.”


Nursery Rhymes

Many teachers have told me how important nursery rhymes are for child development. Jack be nimble. Jack be quick. Jack jump over A candlestick

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June 2022
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