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Ever since Asia at Fun at home Kids made these hand dyed rainbow blocks I’ve wanted to dye some wood. Basically any and all wood I could get my hands on, but I resisted and settled on these wood beads. There are tons of ways to dye wood beads. I wanted one that my girls could help with so we did a really easy dying method using liquid watercolors. It was a really fun process with great results. I’m still wearing the rainbow necklace my girls made me. I love it.
First, I set out a few baby jars filled with just a little bit of liquid watercolors in each. I added a small amount of water because I wanted to keep the colors really pungent. You can buy wood beads at Michaels and I think some dollar stores have them, which is a total score.
I was hoping to come up with some clever way to get the beads out of the jar but Gigi just fished them out with her fingers. If you are worried about your children’s fingers getting dyed, this project is not for you : ) Though I can assure, after a bath, they were completely clean. Watercolors do not dye hands permanently nor does food coloring. Clothes maybe, hands, no. (This is something I get asked all the time!)
D loved them too! She moved them from container to container at least 100 times. I love this age. Give a 1 and half year old some containers and look out. They’ll be busy for an hour. Well, not quite an hour but you know what I mean. And if you happen to notice her amazing Stay Gold T-shirt in the pic below and need to make one immediately (I understand if you do) here is the tutorial.
So thanks Asia at Fun at Home with Kids for totally inspiring us. We love our dyed beads and are happily enjoying our necklaces!
How gorgeous is this flower headband made entirely from sculpey?!?! I wish I could take credit for it, but it was actually the inspired creation of an amazing nine year old student in my sculpey class. I know! Kids are amazing and I am totally in love with this headband. It definitely took some time and careful planning, which is one of the reasons I love it so much. She thought about all the layers, paid close attention to color choices and took her time to get each diamond shape just right. I just love love love it!
Each diamond was cut from sculpey first pressed in a craft machine. You can find a link to the sculpey craft machine here. The top orange layer was done first and then each color layer was attached from the bottom side in between the petals. The flower was then baked and attached to the headband with a glue gun. You can find the headband at most drugstores or supermarkets. A little blue flattened ball was added to the center of the flower for the final touch. It was a totally clever project that required great attention to detail and patience. I absolutely love it and am so proud of my sculpey students!!
I can’t say enough about how much I love sculpey. It’s just the most awesome polymer clay for kids and adults. (Check out this collection of Alien Army figures I made one summer pre kids) It’s one of my absolute favorite art materials and though on the pricey side, I find it to be well worth it. I’ve taught a sculpey class for years at my school and always the biggest hit of the class is this seven layer cake. It’s looks really sophisticated to make, but is surprisingly simple, even for the kindergarteners. Most of the kids in my class, ages 5-12, leave with a pretty delicious buffet of seven layer cakes to enjoy.
Here’s how to make them. Start with seven sculpey balls in your favorite colors. You can do a pattern of a few colors as well. Balls are the most basic sculpey shape and usually start most sculpey projects. You can roll the sculpey on the table under your open faced palm or between your two open palms. Once you have 7 balls, you flatten them each with your thumb like a pancake and stack them one on top of the other. This is the bases of your cake. Next is the icing or “fondant,” as I like to call it with the kids. They’ve seen enough cake making shows to know exactly what I mean. I put a small handful of sculpey through our craft machine, which is similar to a pasta maker. If you don’t have one you can easily use any sort of roller or even your palm to flatten out the sculpey. The fondant is the trickiest part. You wrap the 7 layers in the fondant sort of like a wonton. Flatten it all around by pressing the fondant onto the 7 layers and then pinch or trim off the edges. Sometimes I roll the cake on it’s side to press the fondant to the cake. I have to help the younger kids with this part. The final step is to add decoration to the cake. The little kids tend to like simple sprinkles, where the older kids add more elaborate flower petals. The kids come up with some pretty fabulous ideas. When the cake is finished an adult can slice a piece with an exacto knife. If you use a dull knife, like a butter knife, it will not come out clean, like you see here, but it will still look cool. It’s more of a marbled affect. Some kids prefer it. Get ready to hear some serious oohs and ahhs.
We’ve turned some of our cakes into necklace pendants and even earrings. You can find all the necessary hardware at Michaels. Mostly, the kids just love to make cake after cake for a collection. I can’t say I blame them. They are so darn pretty! Happy cake making!
I don’t know about you but I was totally blown away by the opening ceremony at Sochi last week. Granted there were a few technical problems, but overall it was bursting with creativity and just so cool. My daughter is obsessed with being a ballerina these days so when the dancers came out wearing twirling glow in the dark head gear it was pretty much all over for us at that point.
I woke up the next day with visions of glow sticks and duct tape so I headed to Michaels, and picked up some glow sticks, which are also available at the dollar store by the way. We always have duct tape on hand, because I’m semi obsessed, and I got taping. This was really really easy. Measure your child’s waste and cut the tape a little longer than that. Lay the tape out on a table sticky side up. Place as many glow sticks as you want on the tape, then place another piece of duct tape on top of it sticky side down. Cut little slats about a half inch or so around each glow stick so they can move around easily when twirling. This part is important because it gives the skirt movement. Fold over the edges onto each other so there is no sticky part and place some velcro on each end. There you have it folks.
When Gigi woke up, her eyes nearly bugged out of her head. It was still light out so we ran to the bathroom to try it out. As you can see, it works. And it was soooo much fun to watch her twirling and twirling, giggling and laughing. I am dying to have a disco party someday for one of the girl’s birthdays. These would make the best accessories for the party!
Thank you Sochi Olympic Creative Team for inspiring this idea and thank you Ana from BabbleDabbleDo for making light play seem so doable. You guys are awesome.
I know I’ve mentioned my sculpey art enrichment class before and how awesome it is, but I don’t think I’ve explained why I think the kids in my class love it so much. With the holidays coming up, I thought it would be a good time for an Ode to Sculpey post. Here are the top 5 reasons sculpey class totally rocks.
1. Sculpey play is successful for kids at any skill level. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with this stuff. Some kids are able to create intricate, detailed sculptures that require advance fine motor skills, while other kids can roll sculpey into long skinny worms and poof, they have a rainbow. In all the years I’ve taught sculpey, which I think is about 7 now, I’ve never once heard a kid say “I can’t do sculpey.”
2. Sculpey play is open ended. This is perhaps the most exciting thing about sculpey. Anything goes. Each class I come prepared with a project that the kids can choose to learn, like this Dreidel necklace for Hanukah pictured above, or kids can do free choice with the sculpey. Some do a little of both. Often, the project I teach leads to other, more elaborate or creative ideas. Other times, the kid’s ideas become the driving force of the class. Right now we have a layer cake sensation going on and I didn’t even teach layer cakes this session. The kids from previous years taught the news kids and now they can’t get enough of these cakes. Each class they are coming up with new ways to decorate the cakes and make the insides more interesting. Go kids go.
3. Sculpey colors are totally inspiring. Polyform Sculpey basically comes in every color under the sun, which is just so much fun for kids…and adults. You can mix the colors, swirl them, layer them, cut them, cane them, build a full blown basketball court with them. The possibilities are endless. Whenever I bring out a new pack of sculpey the ewws and ahhs are fantastic.
5. Sculpey is great for building muscle strength and fine motor development. Some colors are harder than others for some reason and kneading the clay until it is ready to be worked with is a great activity for kids. In fact, as a teacher, I often recommend sculpey to parents with children who need a little fine motor strengthening.
Sculpey isn’t cheap, which is a bummer, but it does last a while, especially if you get the value pack, which I recommend. You can also use a Michael’s coupon for 50% off and then it’s not bad at all. There are a bunch of places to order in online for slightly less expensive if you don’t have a Michael’s near you or a coupon.
So there you have it folks, the Top 5 reasons why sculpey totally rocks and will make a fantastic holiday gift for the kids in your life. Oh, I forgot one more thing. It keeps kids busy for HOURS. So, it’s a gift for you too. Happy holidays!
If you’re anything like me, the idea of your kids consuming heaps of candy for Halloween is not exactly appetizing, so a bunch of us moms have gotten together to share ideas of candy fun that doesn’t involve eating. Yay! By the end of the week we’ll have shared over thirty super fun candy art and exploration activities. These candy headbands are simple and so cute. My girls love wearing them. I painted some wood shapes found at Michaels, glued on different candies with a glue gun and glued on a simple elastic headband from the pharmacy on the back. D was so into it and they pics of her are seriously making me melt. Speaking of which, I tried coating the candy with Elmer’s glue, which turned into a gigantic melty gooey mess. Yuck, not what I was going for. So unless anyone has any ideas, these will just last a a wear or two but the cuteness and holiday spirit is worth it.
Make sure to check out these awesome how to’s on other fun things to do with candy!
Candy Jewelry by Mama Papa Bubba
Candy Pumpkin by Blog Me Mom
Erupting Art for Kids by Learn Play Imagine
Starburst Candy Mosaic by Mama Miss
Nerds Watercolor Trees by Reading Confetti