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Entries in crafts (36)


extra yarn and knitting adventures

We've been wanting to learn how to finger knit (or maybe it’s technically finger crocheting?) since the summer, but it wasn't until recently that we actually got around to doing it.  A reading of Extra Yarn paired perfectly with some knitting to make a cozy afternoon.  Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is a heartfelt yet clever and humorous story about how a little girl turns her gray town upside down with a special gift.  I personally was taken with the book's intriguing ending and masterful use of color, which played a key role in bringing the story to life.

One of the first things Avery wanted to knit was a scarf for her little stuffed giraffe, and from there, has gone on to make necklaces, bracelets and rings.  I'm hoping to teach her some other knitting/crocheting techniques (which I need to try to learn first).  Knitting time with Avery has been nice and relaxing, with snippets of conversation woven into our time together.  I love how she gets really focused when she knits and how she knows it's a calming activity.  Some of the websites we used for knitting references are: Flax and Twine, Classic Play, Frontier Dreams and Adventures of a Rainbow Mama.  I found HeyJenRenee’s video to have the clearest instructions on how to finger knit.  Happy knitting, everyone!



Avery made this necklace to send to one of her cousins (with help from me).  Her mother had a great idea to start a correspondence between our girls--not letters, but artwork or crafts that they make for each other.  It kind of reminds me of the Happy Mail series on Giver's Log.  Love this idea and Avery can’t wait to see what arrives in the mail!


prep and landing play date

One of Avery's favorite Christmas cartoons is Prep & Landing so we decided to have a Prep & Landing play date earlier this year.  We had Lanny and Wayne's gear on hand--sparkle balls (yarn pom poms--some store-bought and some homemade), toy gingerbread scanners and light-up night vision goggles (bought from Hallmark).  I made coal candy (cornflake clusters dipped in dark chocolate) and everyone enjoyed Magee's Hot Chocolate Bar--rich hot chocolate made with melted chocolate chips and milk served with marshmallows, little cookies and candy cane stirrers.  I printed out pictures of some of the Prep & Landing cast from, laminated them and attached them to paper cups for the hot chocolate.

The kids put together their own gingerbread scanners using cut-out gingerbread men (the template can be found here), white pens, pom poms and glue.  My cousin brought over another version of a sparkle ball (made using an ornament) and candy cane grappling hooks.  She also brought over a beautiful treat for Avery--her name fashioned out of candy canes!  She said it was pretty easy.  Here is a reference on how to do it from Makes and Takes.

I think towards the end of the afternoon we watched...Prep and Landing.  A great end to an amazing afternoon!  Thanks to my cousin Amy for helping to make it special!


straw necklaces

If you have leftover straws from a party, you can make necklaces with them, which is also a great fine motor activity for preschoolers.  The original idea can be found at Real Simple.  All you need are a few paper or plastic straws and twine or string.  Cut up the straws into little pieces and string them onto your twine to make a necklace or bracelet.  My daughter Avery had fun choosing different colors for her necklace that ended up being a wreath for her hair.  You can also use the straw bits to practice letter formation and talk about letter names and sounds.  This post was originally published in my summer series for Mom*tog.


sailboat favors

I didn't get a chance to post these sailboat snack cups that I made last month for a church event and later, a play date.  They were inspired by this Paper Source nautical sailboat kit.  I tried to make sure that each step was photographed and visually represented, but feel free to leave a comment if there are any questions.  These cups can spruce up the nosh table at your next play date, or they can serve as favors and/or place cards at your next birthday party.  Just add a tiny flag at the top of the mast where you can write each child's name--I used the adhesive part of super sticky post-it notes to make it a snap.

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