Thrifty Thursday: Crayon Cuties

August 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Thrifty Thursday | 4 Comments
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Kids love crayons. They like to color on walls, on furniture, on everything! Kids also tend to break crayons, and I’ve noticed that a broken crayon isn’t nearly as appealing to a child as an unbroken one. In my classrooms, I would always end the year with a GIANT bin of broken, paperless crayons that had been ignored by my preschoolers. And like most preschools, we were encouraged to reduce, reuse, and recycle our materials as much as possible to keep our budget in line. So I would chip the broken crayons up, combine them in multi-colored piles, and melt them in mini-muffin tins to create brand-new crayon cuties. The children always loved them! 

BENEFITS OF CHUBBY CRAYONS:

  • Helps to develop fine motor muscles in the hands, which are important for pre-writing
  • Prevents pre-writers from “fisting” crayons, forcing them to use finger grips instead
  • Easy for even the smallest artists to grasp and pull across paper

Making your own Crayon Cuties:

1. Gather up any broken crayons you have around the house.

step 1

2. Peel off crayon papers and break into small pieces.

step 23. Place broken crayons in mini-muffin tins in solid or varied colors.

step 34. Bake in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until wax is completely melted.

step 45. Immediately place in the freezer and allow to cool completely before removing from tins. Enjoy!

step 5

Thrifty Thursday: Shrinky Dinks

August 6, 2009 at 8:44 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Thrifty Thursday | Leave a comment
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The definition of “thrifty” is-

1 : thriving by industry and frugality : prosperous

2 : growing vigorously

 3 : given to or marked by economy and good management

synonyms see sparing
shrinkyingredients_large
Who DIDN’T love Shrinky Dinks when they were little? I thought they were the most amazing things ever. I loved to color, cut them out and watch them curl up and shrink in the oven. So fun, but quite pricey, if I remember correctly. Here’s a wonderful, eco-friendly and free way to make them at home, using materials that you are sure to have already laying around.

Supplies:

  • Plastic containers
  • scissors
  • colored pencils or markers
  • coloring book
  • aluminum foil
  • hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Be sure the plastic container is marked with a triangle with a 6 in the middle. Otherwise the plastic is too thin and may burn or cause a fire.
  2. Adults: Cut off a flat piece from the plastic.
  3. Adults: Using a permanent black marker draw a picture. It may be easier to trace a small one from a coloring book. You can write names too for charms.
  4. Kids: Color with colored pencils or markers. 
  5. Kids with adult supervision: Cut the picture out using scissors.
  6. Adults: Use a hole punch to make a hole if you’ll be using it for a charm, a sun catcher or on a mobile.
  7. Adults: Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees F.
  8. Adults: Place the plastic pieces on aluminum foil and carefully place in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The plastic will curl but flatten as it’s finished. Cool before handling.

    NOTE: The plastic may shrink as much as 75%. You may want to experiment to get the correct size you are looking for.

Momma, I’m Bored!

July 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts | Leave a comment
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Three words that can drive anyone crazy: “Momma, I’m Bored!” We’ve been sick and stuck at home all week, and that phrase has become increasingly popular with my two girls. So today we brought out our super-sized container of cornstarch and made sidewalk paint and gooey gunk. Here are the recipes for a quick, easy and frugal fun time!

Sidewalk Paint
MIX TOGETHER:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
6-8 drops food coloring






Gooey Gunk
MIX TOGETHER:
1/3 cup water
5-7 drops food coloring

SLOWLY ADD WITHOUT STIRRING:
3/4 cup cornstarch

***Smart Momma Tip: Gooey Gunk is a good hands-on experiment when teaching your child about the three different states of matter. It is both a liquid and a solid!

Heart People and Happy Houses

April 21, 2009 at 11:45 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts | Leave a comment
My love of creating has, luckily, passed on to my children. Gracie in particular loves to draw, color, paint and sew. Today I was watching her and thinking how fun it would be to translate her cute drawings into new pieces for my Etsy shop. I really love her heart people, they are so sweet. And she just invented the “Happy House” character today!

Happy House



Heart People


Gracie and Judah


Bungee the Clown


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