Thursday, March 1, 2012

Arts & Crafts Thursday: Shamrock Suncatcher

Welcome to our new weekly feature - Arts & Crafts Thursday (I know, we're outdoing ourselves between this new feature and our Fitness Challenge 2012, huh?).  As much as we love exploring the Triangle (and we're sure you do, too!), we also love spending some quality time at home with our kids. It always seems so hard to come up with ideas, though, that don't involve tv or yelling at them to quit jumping from the coffee table to the couch ... especially ideas that seem feasible for parents that might not be, um, artistically inclined themselves.  So arts & crafts tops our list of fun activities at home and in our playgroups. We've been experimenting with ideas we made up, found in a book, found online, heard from a friend, etc. since our boys were small. And, of course, our newest Pinterest addiction fuels the fire.  

Now, once a week, we'll share an idea with you that we've actually done.  It might be new to you or may be tried and true. Perhaps it will inspire another idea for you. 

We'd love to hear and would especially love to see what you & your child create!  Send us your pictures if the craft works for you (and even if it doesn't - we love beautiful disasters in arts & crafts since we've been there and done that).  Feel free to make suggestions, too. We are always on the prowl for new ideas. 

Ok, enough of my blabber.  To get us started, here's a simple holiday themed project from fabulous Sarah C.:
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Given it's the 1st of March, it seemed like perfect timing to share a St. Patrick's Day inspired craft. This one is fairly easy and not too messy. We found the idea for a Shamrock Suncatcher last year on All Kids Network and used it for a playgroup activity. Our kids were 18-24 months at the time, but this can certainly be done by older kids as well as some younger (I did a similar project with my niece when she was 13 months).

Supplies:
  • sheet of paper (we used black cardstock but construction or even computer print paper would work)
  • tissue paper in shades of green and yellow cut or torn into small pieces (if your kids are older, you could let them help with this part of preparation)
  • clear contact paper
  • scissors or X-acto knife (for adult use only)
  • shamrock template from All Kids Network

Print the shamrock template to trace or sketch your own onto the sheet of paper. Cut out the shamrock leaving about a 1/2" outline.

Cut a section of clear contact paper bigger than the shamrock outline. Peel back the paper layer, lay the contact paper so the sticky side is up and place the shamrock outline on it.

Place the shamrock and a pile of colored tissue paper bits in front of your child. Encourage them to fill the shamrock outline with the paper. If they aren't interested in placing pieces, try dropping some from above and watching them fall to the sheet. Then press into place. We've had a lot of fun doing it this way.


Once the child has finished placing the tissue paper, cut a second section of the clear contact paper. Peel the paper layer and stick the contact paper to the shamrock sheet to seal in the design. Use your hands to press the layers together and smooth out any bubbles.

Trim around outside of shamrock outline (if desired). Hang in window and enjoy!

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