Earth Day Crafts

22 04 2011

Today is Earth Day where we celebrate this planet by being more aware of our effects on the environment. Here are a few fun crafts you can do to be more eco-friendly!

You can reuse a plastic milk jug to create a a watering can for your garden. Just clean out the jug, poke a whole in the plastic at the top, fill it with water and screw on the top. You can decorate your jug with markers, stickers or paint.

You can also decorate your own reusable canvas bags to take to store.

Another fun craft is making your own compost. Take a big bin and add a few inches of clean potting soil. You can also add dry leaves or small pieces of black and white newspaper to the soil. Throw vegetable and fruit scraps in, and you have officially started your compost pile! Add a layer of moist matter and a layer of dry matter to the top of the compost pile. Be sure to turn the contents of your compost pile every 4 to 5 days.





Mardi Gras Mask

8 03 2011

Mardi Gras is a French holiday commonly known as “Fat Tuesday.” We now celebrate it in America after the holiday arrived in New Orleans in 1699. This holiday is celebrated by attending parades, catching beads and eating as many pancakes as you can eat!

We decided to celebrate Mardi Gras by creating our own masks for the festivities.

First, we gathered all of the supplies we thought we might need. You can use any sort of paints, paper scraps or accessories you have around the house.

After you gather your supplies, you can begin to create your mask. We decided to use a cardboard box because it’s very sturdy. We traced our mask first, so it would be easier to cut out. Don’t forget to cut holes for your eyes!

We decided to decorate our mask with purple, green and gold. These colors are the traditional Mardi Gras colors.

We painted our mask green.

We glued on scraps of shiny purple paper.

We used gold glitter paint, beads and other items to make our mask look fancy.

In order to hold our mask up, we glued a craft stick to the side of our mask for us to hold. You can also poke a hole on each side of the mask and tie an elastic band around your head.

Once your mask is done, you can now join the Mardi Gras festivities by going to a parade or eating delicious King Cake!





Bird Feeding Fun

25 02 2011

Earlier this month, we learned about the different birds seen at the annual Christmas Bird Count. This got us thinking more about birds, and we discovered that this month has been International Bird Feeding Month!

There are many different ways you can help feed the birds in your backyard.

One simple way to help feed birds is with a Bagel Bird Feeder. All you need is a bagel, string, peanut butter and bird seeds. First, you tie the string around the bagel. Then you spread peanut butter over the bagel and pour seeds on it. Once this is done, you hang the bird feeder from tree and watch the birds eat!

Bagel Bird Feeder

You can also do this with a pine cone, a soft pretzel or a corn husk.

After making your bird feeder, you can have your own bird count. Tally and research all of the different birds you see at the bird feeder.





Make a 3-D Tree!

29 11 2010

People decorate evergreen trees for Christmas, because they stay green all year, even in the wintertime. However, the trees do not keep their needles forever. Once a needle has been growing on a Ponderosa Pine Tree for three to five years it will turn brown and fall off, so another new needle can grow in its place. The newer needles remain green during this process, so it is not  noticeable.

Make your own tree and learn about symmetry.

Start by drawing half a tree on an index card, and cutting it out. Think  of the straight edge on the index card as the middle of the tree. Next, place two pieces of constructing paper together and fold them over. Line the straight edge of the index card up with the folded edge of the papers and trace your half of a tree.

Cut along the line you drew, and then unfold the paper. Now you have two symmetrical tree! The sides are mirror images of each other.

Repeat the process, so you have six trees in total. Carefully line up the trees and staple them together along the line of symmetry.

Now you can fold fan the pieces of paper out, creating a three dimensional tree.

You can make other models using different shapes. Leave us a comment describing your creation.





Ocean Art: Using Wax and Water

26 11 2010

Have you ever noticed water droplets pooling up on the top of leaves and dripping off? The waxy layer on the outside of leaves is called the cuticle and makes the leaves waterproof. This keeps moisture inside the plant, allowing the rain water to soak into the soil and into the pant’s roots.

You can see wax repel water through this art project.  I drew fish using crayons, markers and colored pencils.  Crayons are made from wax.

Then I painted over the picture with blue watercolor paint, so it looks like it is under the ocean.  You can see how the yellow fish repelled the paint. The purple marker smeared a little, because it was also water based and mixed with the paint.

Leave a comment letting us know what you discovered when making your own creation.





Can You Top This?

8 11 2010

Have you ever thought about what makes a top spin for so long? Experiment making your own top using paper plates, pencils, paper clips, pennies, and whatever else you can find.

One things we found while experimenting is that it is better to keep the top short and close to the ground. Also, it is important for it to by symmetrical, or the same on all sides. What did you notice when you tried to make your own top? Leave a comment so other readers can try it.

 

We experimented with our tops on the turntable. Bring up your own top and give it a spin!

 





A masterpiece is taking shape

8 10 2010

Do you see the geometric shapes in Pablo Picasso’s Painting? Picasso is a famous Spanish painter. The Three Musicians is an example of cubism, a style of art that Picasso created with Georges Braque.

Pablo Picasso Three Musicians (1921) from Wikipedia 

Use shapes to bring out the Picasso in you and create a unique piece of art. Cut out shapes in different colors and spread them out on a piece of paper.

 

Arrange the shapes in different ways to create a picture. Once you glue down the shapes finish the masterpiece using markers.








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