Tag Archives: crafts for kids

Picture Book Month: A Tale of Two Umbrellas I

Picture Book Month: A Tale of Two Umbrellas I
Yellow Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella

ReadThe Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

A family dog finds a red umbrella on a windy day in the yard. When the dog opens up the umbrella, the wind carries them over the clouds and around the world. They go to Africa where the dog confronts elephants, alligators, hippos, zebras and storks; the oceans and their inhabitants; the tropics; the North Pole and finally, back home.

Project: Decorate an old umbrella and if you want to challenge yourself, give the design a theme: animals, fairies, sports, etc.


An old umbrella






Silk flowers



Paint in squeeze bottles


Additional Reading:

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Umbrella Day by Nancy Evans

Umbrella by Taro Yashima

*Copyright Art work by Marion Constantinides 2015

Share Button

Picture Book Month: Yellow T-Shirt

Picture Book Month: Yellow T-Shirt

ReadIn My New Yellow Shirt by Eileen Spinelli

Aunt Betty gives her nephew a new yellow shirt for his birthday.

“That’s no fun,” his best friend, Sam, declares.

But the birthday boy loves it and imagines himself transformed into a variety of yellow shapes and forms:

A yellow duck

A yellow lion

A yellow cab

A yellow caterpillar

A yellow daffodil

A yellow tropical fish

A yellow tennis ball

A yellow trumpet

A yellow canary

A yellow butterfly

A golden treasure hidden in a dark, dark attic

A yellow banana

A yellow submarine

A yellow and black fire fly

And a “smile of moon.”


Do you play soccer? Do you collect fire flies? Do you belong to a secret boys’ or girls’ club? Decorate a T-Shirt with a favorite shape or symbol.



Fabric paint

Fabric brushes

Fabric markers

Water and container for water

Fabric glue

Iron-on transfers

Iron-on patches

Additional Reading:

Boase, Petra. T-Shirt Fun

Gould, Deborah. Aaron’s Shirt

Wells, Rosemary. Max’s Dragon Shirt

Wollman, Jessica. Andrew’s Bright Blue T-Shirt

Share Button

Picture Book Month: Have a Too Cool Day!!

Picture Book Month: Have a Too Cool Day!!
Sunglasses - Too Cool!

Sunglasses – Too Cool!

Read Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean.

“Pete the Cat did not feel happy. Pete had never, ever, ever, ever been grumpy before. Pete had the blue cat blues.”

Grumpy Toad usually was grumpy but on the day he met Pete the Cat, he was wearing cool, blue, magic sunglasses which made him look at everything in a new way.

When Pete the Cat tried them on, he saw the world in a whole new way, too.

Walking along with his new attitude, Pete the Cat ran into his friends, Squirrel, Turtle and Alligator and lent them his cool, blue, magic sunglasses. They saw the world in a whole new way just like Pete the Cat and Grumpy Toad!

Isn’t that cool?

Then Pete the Cat fell and cracked his cool, blue, magic sunglasses.

What would he do without them?

The Wise Old Owl told him the truth: Pete the Cat didn’t need his cool, blue, magic sunglasses to see the world in a new way. “Just remember to look for the good in every day,” the Wise Old Owl told him.

Pete the Cat looks all around him and exclaimed, “Too cool!”


Decorate a pair of sunglasses to brighten your day like Pete the Cat and his friends.



Strong glue like gorilla glue


Paint in squeeze tubes or bottles


Make your sunglasses the coolest ever – you don’t have to paint your glasses blue like Pete the Cat’s! You can paint them any color or design.

*Remember: if you paint the lenses, you won’t be able to see through them!

 Additional Reading:
Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses by Eileen Spinelli


Share Button

Picture Book Month: It Stinks!

Picture Book Month: It Stinks!
Can you turn this into a stinky sneaker into something else?

Can you turn this into a stinky sneaker into something else? 


Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers by Megan McDonald.

In this book, Stink and his friend enter a contest to win the prize for the world’s smelliest sneaker. Stink meets someone

who actually works using his nose at the competition. He asks Stink to be one of the judges! It means that

Stink can’t enter the contest but he accepts. None of the judges knows whose sneakers are whose. It’s a surprise to all

the judges especially Stink about who has the World’s Super-Stinky sneakers.


Everyone has a pair of stinky sneakers (including adults)! Challenge your friends to a contest to see who has the

sneakers that stink the most! First, read how Stink and his friend made their sneakers the worst ever and try to come up

with ideas of your own that are better than theirs! Then using the materials you assembled, make your sneakers stink!


A pair of old sneakers

Substances that will make the sneakers stink (Use your imagination but NEVER use anything that is dangerous!)

A fence or wall to display the sneakers entered in your contest (ask an adult for permission to use the fence or wall)

One or three judges (an odd number is best so there are no ties in the voting)

A trophy or similar prize for the world’s worst stinky sneaker



Make fliers to announce the contest and hang them up all over the neighborhood.

Then, make your sneakers the ones that stink the most! Bring them to the place where you will hold the contest. Make

sure the judges write their choice of a winner on a piece of paper so that the judging is secret. When the contest is over,

display the sneakers for everyone in the neighborhood to see. If you use a chain link fence, tie the shoelaces on the

fence and let the sneakers dangle. If you use a wall, keep the pairs together by tying the shoelaces together.

Wheew! Displayed together the sneakers really do stink all over!

Additional reading:
Want to know what else you can do to a sneaker or shoe?

Read: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean.


Share Button

Let’s Celebrate! El Dia de los Muertos Banner

Let’s Celebrate! El Dia de los Muertos Banner
El Dia de Los Muetos Banner Design

El Dia de Los Muertos Banner Design


Felt in various colors

Puffy paint in bright and metallic colors



Glitter glue (optional)

Hole punch

Paper in various colors (optional)

Scraps of material (optional)

Decorative gems (optional)



White glue



  1. Select a piece of felt for the background of the banner. Place the banner  vertically or horizontally.
  2. Using different colors of the felt and using the letter stencils, trace and cut three-letter E; one A; two L; one D; one I; two O; two S; one T; one U; and one R.
  3. Arrange the letters on the felt background. Glue. Allow to dry.
  4. Some objects associated with the Day of the Dead are skeletons, marigolds and skulls. Draw and cut flowers, skulls and skeletons out of the remaining felt or use paper or another material. Glue and let dry.
  5. Add sequins, glitter, beads, etc. to the overall design or add starburst, the sun or other symbols right to the holiday. Let dry.
  6. Punch holes in the top corners of the felt. Pass a piece of string longer than the length of the banner through one hole, tie a knot and then pass it through the second hole. Glue a strip of cardboard that fits between the holes and glue it to the back of the banner at the top. Let dry and hang up. Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos!
Share Button

Recycled Valentines

Recycled Valentines

Recycled Valentines


Paper in pink, red, purple, white

Greeting cards or images downloaded from the Internet

Lace Paper doilies







Recycled cards


Glue stick

White glue

Heart-shaped cookie cutters, templates, stencils or the patterns provided below

String or yarn

Markers or colored pencils

  1. Gather greetings cards that you no longer want and cut out shapes that are traditional for a Valentine’s Day theme: flowers, birds, kittens, hearts, puppies, etc. Or download images or clip art from a free program on the Internet.
  2. Using the heart patterns provided or a heart-shaped cookie cutter(s) or template(s) or stencil(s), trace and cut the heart out of colored paper. Use the largest pattern or cookie cutter or stencil for the main part of the valentine. Make more than one valentine and use papers of various colors. Trace and cut hearts of smaller sizes, too.
  3. Glue sequins, images from the greeting cards, small heart-shapes, etc in a pleasing design on the valentine.
  4. Using markers or colored pencils, write a message: “Happy Valentine’s Day!” or any other message suitable for the holiday
  5. Optional: Glue string or yarn on the back of the valentine and hang it up or give it to a friend of your choice.


Share Button

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)



Hojalata – Kid’s Arts and Crafts


Disposable round aluminum pan

Paper like construction paper or bond paper

Permanent markers



Puncher to make holes

Jump rings (optional)


Pencil or pen



  1. Cover the work table. Place the disposable aluminum pan on a piece of paper and trace the bottom of the pan so you have a circle.
  2. Sketch a design on a piece of paper: the sun, flowers, cactus, birds, the moon, an animal, etc. (Hojalata artists traditionally draw humorous, religious or cultural objects.) Then draw the design in the circle using a black marker. Cut out the circle and the bottom of the aluminum pan.
  3. Lay the drawing on the aluminum pie pan circle. Pushing hard enough to mark the metal, trace the design with a sharp pencil, pen  or similar tool.
  4. Turn the aluminum pie pan circle over and color in the design with permanent markers.
  5. VARIATION: Cut a fringe around the outside of the pie pan circle when finished coloring.
  6. VARIATION: Use mini-aluminum pie pans.
  7. If you make more than one, you can string them by punching a hole at the top and bottom of each and connecting them with jump rings.
  8. Punch a hole at the top of the pie pan circle, pull a piece of string through and hang the hojalata.  If you hang the hojalatas outdoors, watch them shine in the sun or blow in the wind!  Hang small hojalatas on a holiday tree!


Share Button

How to Make a Retablo

How to Make a Retablo





A retablo is a small oil painting on tin, zinc, copper or wood used in Catholic homes to venerate Catholic saints.


6” x 6” oak tag with ½” scored around all four edges

6″ x 5″ oak tag 1/2″ scored on the left and right sides

Yellow construction paper

Yellow crayon or marker

Gold paint (optional)

Paint brush (optional)

5” x 5” construction paper (color of choice)cut into one inch strips

Scraps of construction paper

Black construction paper

Foil papers (optional)


Stickers, crayons, pencils, black markers (preferably Sharpies), rubber stamps and ink, etc.

White glue



Matt or utility knife



  1. Measure ½” around the edges of the 6” X 6” oak tag. Score the edges using a utility knife and ruler. Do not cut all the way through the oak tag.
  2. Cut out the corners, then fold up the edges and tape them to secure them.
  3. To make the doors: measure and cut a piece of oak tag 6” x 5.” Measurements are not always perfect so trim where necessary. Measure ½” on each end of the longest side. Score and fold. Cut in half.
  4. Cut a 2 1/2″ x 3” colored square and cut diagonally to make two triangles.
  5. Decorate the doors and the top triangle piece with gold paint or yellow markers or crayons or glue yellow construction paper.  Tape the 1/2″ edges of the doors on the right and left sides to the retablo.
  6. Cut small construction paper pieces and foil papers into different shapes and glue to the doors and triangle tops. Create a design that reflects you instead of a traditional retablo.
  7. Center and glue the oak tag with the doors on the black construction paper.
  8. Cut 1” x 5″ strips out of the construction paper (any color of choice) and glue into the back of the retablo box.
  9. Draw items of relevance and place them on the shelves or use stickers or glue small objects that mean something to you or use whimsical drawings or objects.
  10. Display the retablo during El Dia de los Muertos or on any day of the year that is special to you.




Share Button

Summer Camp: Drawing with Yarn and Starch (or Glue)

Summer Camp: Drawing with Yarn and Starch (or Glue)



Three small bowls


Liquid starch or glue



Cardboard in any color of choice

Yarn in various colors and thickness


  1. Pour liquid starch into bowls.
  2. Cut some of the yarn into 12” lengths.
  3. Soak the yarn in the starch separating the white (if you are using white) from the colored yarn because some of the colors will run. Leave the yarn in the starch for a few minutes.
  4. Lift the yarn out one strand at a time and run your fingers down the length to remove the excess starch. Do this with the string if using it along with the yarn or instead of the yarn.
  5. “Draw” with the yarn by dropping it on the cardboard in a random pattern. Repeat this with the other strands of yarn combining the colors in a pleasing design. Alternate with string.
  6. Fill in some of the shapes that you “drew” with more yarn so that some of the shapes are more solid than others. Consider separating some of the yarn so that white or negative space shows throughout the design. (See the samples.)
  7. Finish the “drawing” and place the art on a flat surface until it dries. Weigh down the corners with heavy objects in the meantime.


Draw a design or object on the cardboard and follow the procedure above.

Inspired by: All-Around-the-House Art and Craft Book by Patricia Z. Wirtenberg

Share Button

Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets

Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets


Paper Bag People and Animals

Paper Bag People and Animals


Lunch size paper bags, brown or white

Newspaper (or similar material)



Scraps of construction paper

Paste or glue

Ribbon and/or yarn

Sequins, buttons, seeds (for eyes, nose mouth)

Crayon and/or markers and/or colored pencils

Clip art


Pipe cleaners (for whiskers)

Wiggle eyes

Rubber Band




  1. Choose the pet or animal you will make.
  2. Stuff 1/3 of the bag tightly with crumbled or strips of newspaper (or similar material) to form the head (about two or three sheets).
  3. Gather the bag at the base of the head. Tie it securely with string or yarn.
  4. Stuff the rest of the bag with more newspaper and tape the bottom of the bag closed.
  5. Cut eyes, nose, mouth, and paws from construction paper or use sequins, buttons or seeds. Use pipe cleaners for the whiskers.
  6. Tie a ribbon or piece of yarn around the neck.
  7. Add buttons or other decorations to dress up you paper bag pet or person.

Alternative Projects:

  1. Make a paper bag person. Use yarn for hair and wiggle eyes. Follow the directions above.
  2. Stuff only the top 1/3 of the bag. Insert a long stick (like a ruler) into the head and secure with string, yarn or a rubber band. Use as a puppet and put on a play for your friends! Read the books below for more ideas:

Gauch, Patricia Lee. Poppy’s Puppet

Marsh, Valerie. Puppet Tales




Share Button
%d bloggers like this: