The benefits of encouraging your little ones to express themselves with crafts far outweigh the trouble it takes to provide them with the opportunity to create.
Mixing “used” things with a few brightly colored craft items will intrigue little ones (as well as their parents) who lack the patience to make things that take advanced skills their little hands have yet to acquire.
Creating something from nothing, no matter how imperfect the results, gives children a feeling of accomplishment. Expressing themselves through art increases self-confidence and gives them the courage to attempt other new challenges.
Parents don’t have to go far to find items that will encourage their children to create. Paper towel and toilet paper rolls can become puppets, dolls and decorations. Items from the kitchen, such as plastic caps, straws and paper plates, can be used for moon rovers and fairy wands.
I made this decorated water bottle using a plastic flavored-drink mix container and Peel & Stick Foamies by Darice. I found directions for the craft in a video at simplekidscrafts.com and modified them for our use.
Supplies you will need:
• One empty flavored-drink mix container
• Peel & Stick Foamies sheets in different colors
• Pattern for your circles, such as pennies and quarters
An adult should trace and cut out shapes for small children.
Measure the distance around the bottle by wrapping the long edge of a foam sheet around the bottom of the bottle. Pinch the spot where they meet to crease the sheet.
Fold at the crease and measure 2 inches toward the center of the sheet and mark. Measure 2 inches up from the opposite edge and make a mark. Use your ruler to draw lines at the 2-inch mark and down to the long edge, creating a long rectangle.
Remove the backing from the foam and place each end of your ribbon on opposite sides of the container. It will stay in place as you wrap the foam around the bottom of the container.
Cut stripes and circles of foam, peel off backing and alternate them on the foam strip to decorate.
Make a narrower strip of foam to cover a section of the top of the container, then decorate it in the same way as you did the lower section. Be sure you do not cover the place where the lid and the bottom of the container meet.
Cut circles, one larger than the other, for the top of the container.
Fill with water.
Kathy Antoniotti writes a craft column for the Beacon Journal. If you have a craft idea or question, contact Kathy Antoniotti, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; 330-996-3565; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.