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Spring “fake” Flower Cards

Looking for something to do with left over fake flowers, cute ideas for spring, creative shower and birthday party ideas? These are simple and can add a fun touch to your spring!

Spring birthdays are so fun to plan, especially for girls with flowers, animals and butterflies! Making homemade  spring cards can be a group activity for girl scouts, a center idea for teachers, mother’s day card ideas or an activity at a birthday party.  Collect and take apart silk flowers, find buttons, rhinestones and markers.

Have the child glue the flowers on along with a button on the inside of the flower. Allow to dry, and then add the stems and grass to complete the design. I always plan ahead and have this type of activity first for a party or group activity to allow time for the glue to dry. Then, at the end have them add any drawings, words to the card. Do you have a child that loves crafts? Make these cards for thank you notes or invitations.

These spring cups are perfect for parties, Easter and showers.  This is creative, inexpensive and simple. Not a bad combination for people that like to throw parties for children or adults! Prepare the week before the party to allow drying, and to leave the few days before a party for other things like food preparation and cleaning. We used these for a little girl birthday party and they all loved them. Simple enough for them to go home and make on their own. I have not tried  to glue flowers on plastic cups. It worked great on theses paper cups and no flowers fell off.

Rice Crispy Bunnies

Rice Krispie treats are so easy and everyone loves them. Rice Krispies can  also be found gluten free and is a great activity for having friends over or just the family. Tailor to the holiday with any cookie cutter: Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter or just your child’s favorite thing at the time!

There are other crispy cereals available.  Here is the Rice Krispie Treat Recipe taken from the Kellogg Rice Krispie site:

Everyday Recipes – The classic, original, no-bake dessert that is quick and easy to make

This classic, delicious snack has been making memories for kids and parents alike for generations.

Ingredients(Nutrition Information)

  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal

1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.

2. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

Note

-For best results, use fresh marshmallows.
-1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow crème can be substituted for marshmallows.
-Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.
-Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container.
-To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Ladybug Apple Treats

It is said that if you let the children make or help make meals they will eat it, or at least some of it. I am not going to lie, I have one child that I will try anything for healthy foods to be eaten. It worked, kind of. But anyways, I am sharing because it was fun and just adorable. so, we just put the ingredients out and let them create the ladybug. You could choose to make these for a after school treat or party and make yourself.

All you need: Apple, raisins, lettuce and peanut butter. (Make your own adjustments such as frosting for peanut butter if there are allergies, out of raisins? Use chocolate chips etc.)

The grape head was an add on that someone decided would be more creative.

Creating Relationships and Art

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

~Henry Ford

If you have more than one child, it is a conscience effort to create a bond and relationship that is supportive and uplifting. There will always be valleys in all relationships. But the more we (the parents) create team work and positive environments, the more our children can learn about solving problems and conflict resolution before hitting that big world on their own.

Ownership and pride are an amazing feeling to all of us, especially children. Let your child or children have  an older piece of furniture or in our case an outdoor picnic table from Ikea. Depending on your children, they may have a plan or they may just have at it to make it their own. That is going to be up to you. Is it a piece that many people will see or use and you want a particular look? Well then, you may need to plan the activity for the children. In our case, the table was exclusively for children and I wanted it to be there own. We have had the children paint shelves for their room and in that case, there was only one color to match the bedroom. The whole point is to have pride in what they own and see around the home, as well as to be an important part of the family and home life.

Take time for breaks. Sitting together and sharing some lemonade and is another moment for dialog or just silliness. For many of you, this is perfect for the spring time to prepare for the summer. In the desert, this is our fall and winter thing to enjoy our beautiful time of the year!

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If you do not have the space, look up any local charities or even a senior home that may need some work done. Picture frames are simple and inexpensive to make for the home. Spending time as a family seems almost impossible to squeeze in some days. Make time and schedule into your calendar if you have to!

No Sew Fabric Flowers

I love these fabric flowers that can be used for many things such as hair bows, magnets and decorations for frames and bulletin boards. Best thing yet, is you will probably have the materials needed at home already. The tutorial is simple to follow and I am excited as this will be a great project for my daughter and me. I am thinking Fourth of July or Christmas for her play group buddies. I know, it is only June, but Christmas always comes quickly and I always run out of time that time of year. I felt so good that one year I had everything made early.

Check out the cuteness below!

No Sew Fabric Flower Tutorial by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Four Seasons Paper Plate Craft

How to Make a “Four Seasons” Paper Plate Craft

What you will need:

White, plain paper plates

Construction paper (green, brown)

Glue

Cotton balls

Crayons or markers

Hole punch

Yarn or pipe cleaners

Tissue paper

This is a fun craft project to go with learning about the seasons. It can be done over several days or as you speak about each season and then display the while craft at the end. This would be appropriate with help for preschool age kids and also for kindergarten and first grade students. Classroom teachers could use this lesson in center time.

To make the Craft:

Winter

Cut out tree with brown construction paper, color background black and ground white (leave blank), glue cotton balls or torn white construction paper for snow.

Spring

Cut out trunk in brown construction paper, color background, crumple small tissue for new buds and glue on branches.

Summer

Color background on paper plate, cut and glue brown tree trunk and cut out green tree tops.

Fall

Color background, cut out brown tree trunk, green leaves and glue falling leaves.


Hanging the paper plate season craft:

Hole punch the top and bottom of paper plates, have children use pipe cleaners to attach together. For younger students, the parents or teacher may need to tie the plates together. On the top plate make a loop to hang on the wall. These hang nicely at home or in the classroom.

Books and Poems:

There are many books, songs and poems about the seasons and each can be used for literature and the thematic unit. Children can make their own poems for each season, which can also be displayed along with the craft or made into a seasons book. Teachers can create thematic books and folders to compile all of their thematic papers and art to take home neatly at the end of the seasons study.

Four Stories for Four seasons by Tomie dePaola

Arctic Winter, Arctic Summer by Reid and Canizares

Scholastic offers many choices

Moonstick: The Seasons of Sioux by Eve Bunting

Music:

Listen to Vivaldi during craft time. For further discussion, have children listen to corresponding season and dance and feel the music and discuss how it reminds them of certain month or season.

Studying the seasons of the year has science and more behind it, this craft and introduction to the seasons is ideal for younger students at home or in school.

Rainbow Poetry

Creating a color poem is fun and can be incorporated into mini-lessons and most curriculum. Here are a few ways to use this creative poetry lesson on your class or home.

Rainbow Poetry

Many Colored Days:

Read the book My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. It is about feelings and a great way for parents to discuss feelings with their children. The book goes through emotions and ties them with vibrant illustrations and color. Make a large list or a personal list in a journal of how certain colors make the writer feel. Transfer thoughts on to strips of paper that match color as the sample pictured.

Click here for another activity for this book!

Color of the Day:

Younger children may enjoy the color of the day or week. Choose a color and focus the whole day and lessons around color.

For example: Red day or week may include eating red foods such as apples, strawberries, cranberries, berries, red bell pepper, red potatoes and the list goes on!  A quick and fun lesson on adjectives or using descriptive words in writing could be to bring in several red items. Have the children list words to describe. For little ones, you will need to write a list for them. A red ball could have several words such as round, bouncy, smooth or bumpy, etc.

Make a red (or any color you choose) collage. Collect red items such as paper, yarn, tissue paper, buttons, art supplies like sequins, ribbon, wrapping paper and more. On sturdy paper like card stock or poster board have the children create a collage. If you have room in your house or classroom, you could have a large poster board size for each color day to reinforce the theme and have some super fun decorations up for color week.

Make prints with fruits or vegetables. Red or green apples make good prints. Potatoes are easy to carve and make prints.

For each color, books and poems should be incorporated either as a read aloud or as a introduction to an activity. Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle is a great example for the red day.

Games and clothes: Have the children wear the color of the day to school or at home. If you have a large class you can play games like red rover or red light, green light.

The possibilities to include writing, reading, math, science and more into the color theme is endless. Have fun!

Of course do not forget to write one line per day about the color so at the end of the thematic lesson, children can make the rainbow poem.

Spring Poetry Unit:

Poetry ideas are fun to incorporate throughout the year and there is not an age limit. Tying all of the writing skills and expression at the end of the school year is a great way to showcase a student’s progress. Study words and poetry. Have the children or child start a word collection journal. as they read poems, quotes or passages that sound good to them they write them in their journal. This appreciation of words cannot be taught, but if you can show them and have them stop to soak them in, you are giving a gift of  loving words. Words can be powerful and move emotions. Allow students to choose their own and allow for time to share.

Simple Flower Science

This is s a simple experiment for children of all ages. The visual of how water travels through a plant is amazing and would go along well with any study of plants.

First, you need to gather the materials:

White flowers such as carnations or daisies

Flower vases, glasses or jars

Food coloring (any color you want)

Water

Science notebook if desired (see note below)

White Flowers (before)

Directions:

Fill the glass about one quarter full with water.

Add plenty of food coloring (try about 15 drops and see how dark it is, you may need more if your using larger jars.)

Have an adult trim the flowers at an angle.

Put a flower into each filled jar.

Observe, discuss and journal.

Questions:

What is happening? Do some colors seem to show more? What part of the flower do you see the color in?

Science Notebooks:

If you already have a science notebook for your classroom or children at home, utilize that book. Otherwise, take two pieces of plain white paper and fold it in half. Staple together to make a small booklet. Have the child design the cover and write name on it. the title could be “Flower Science” or “Colorful Flowers.” On the first page, write or draw what the flowers look like before the activity. the next few pages can be used for observation drawings, marking the hours, time or date. the final page can be for written results and explaining why the color can be seen.

What Exactly Happens?

For Younger Kiddos:

Plants, flowers and trees drink water from the ground through their roots, kind of like a straw. The water moves up the stem and travels into the leaves and flowers. The plant will use this water to make food for itself. Explain that the roots are no longer on cut flowers, although it would be good to show a picture of a flower with roots.

Older Children:

The food coloring and water goes through the sap tubes that produce the required capillary force. Capillary action carries water from the beakers to the petals of the white flower, which causes it to change color. It is the same thing that causes water to rise up in plants and trees. It goes through the roots, trunk or stem and then on to the flowers and leaves.

Transpiration-It is the loss of water vapor from the leaves, stems, flowers and roots. It is part of the water cycle.

Two Colored Flowers:

Another version of this activity is to split the stem and use two colors on one white flower. You would fill two glasses with water and use two different colors of dye, one in each glass. Split the stem in half. place one half in each glass. Check it out in a couple of hours.

This is also just a fun decoration for any holiday or celebration. St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, President’s Day and birthdays would all be great times to make colorful flowers either as decoration or as gifts!

Bird Watching

In Our Own Backyard....A Mama Hummingbird

Birds are a fun and small creature that most of us can find in our neighborhood or backyard.  Enjoy a few of these simple activities with your little ones for just an afternoon or for a whole thematic week.

Homemade Bird Feeders

Coffee Can Bird Feeder:

Open both ends of the can with a can opener, then use a string to string through both ends of the can.  Tie both ends of the string to hang the feeder when complete. Take the plastic cover of the coffee can and cut it in half. Take each piece and place on each end of the can to hold all of the food in the feeder.  This can be done with any can that has a plastic cover on top.  Fill the feeder with bird seed and bird treats such as corn, apple pieces, cooked rice, berries and dry cereal. Hang the feeder in a place where you can observe the birds enjoying their new hangout!

Peanut Butter Pinecone:

This classic bird feeder is still tons of fun and was always a great one to do with a class or large group like scouts.  If you are with other children make sure no one has peanut allergies, i would choose another activity all together, or use lard or shortening in the place of peanut butter.  choose a pinecone, make a mix of peanut butter and a small amount of oats or cornmeal.  Then roll in bird seed.  With a piece of yarn tie it around the top portion of the pinecone to make a hanger for the bird feeder.

Fruity Treats:

Cut an orange in half.  Use a needle to get yarn through the orange to hang from a branch. This also attracts butterflies!

Other Activities

Bird Watch:

Now that you have made a bird treat, just hang out and observe. Children can sketch, take photographs or take notes in a journal of the experience.

If you have older children you may want to have a field guide to try and identify and learn about birds in your area. (For example: National Audubon Society Field Guide)

Binoculars:

Young children may want to make binoculars out of cardboard tubes to prepare for their bird watching experience.  Get two equal size cardboard tubes, toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes cut to size. Lay them next to each other and tape together at each end.  choose a side to tie the string or yarn through and punch two holes. Tie a knot at both ends at the hole punch to make a strap to carry the binoculars.  Have the children decorate with markers, stickers or paint. Set off for your next adventure!

Coffee Filter Spring Flowers

Coffee filters are such a great find for artists and teachers!  These simple flowers look great when a whole class puts them together on a branch or hanging from a ribbon or string.  We have not done, but you could decorate for a bridal shower, Mother’s Day or birthday party by making into a garland and using the theme of the celebration colors.

You will need:

White coffee filters

Spray bottle with watered down tempera paint (I add until watery consistency and easy to spray)

Thin wire to twist around and tie onto stick or string/pipe cleaners

String to make garland or branch/stick to decorate for home

What to do:

Prepare an area…it will be messy

Lay out coffee filter and spray

Allow to dry a few minutes and fold to look like flower

Twist tie/wire or pipe cleaner around bottom of flower.

Add to string/branch or garland!

Each child could tie to straw or stick to bring home to mom for Mother’s Day.

Little fingers at work, twisting the pipe cleaner to complete the flower.

Adding different amounts of water and how much each child sprays leads to

a unique flower amongst the garden.

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