Hi everybody! Laura from Nanny Parent Connection back with this week’s video.
Have you ever had a “Crafternoon” with your kids or nanny kids?
My family lives in Seattle, WA where it can be a bit dark and gloomy during the winter months. As spring begins, I find myself running out of ideas for how to keep my kids entertained when indoors.
Check out these three affordable, spring-themed arts and crafts projects which are guaranteed to bright up your child’s day (and yours!).
Pro Tip: The pine cone feeder project definitely has captivated my kids over the past few days. They love to watch the birds and squirrels eat all of the seeds/peanut butter and has led to some great conversations about local wildlife ☺️
Click the button below to watch and please add a picture of your Crafternoon project in the comments below if you make one!
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A transcript of the video can be found below:
The other day my kids and I had a “Crafternoon” of sorts…. an afternoon where we planned some fun crafts together.
I’m going to walk you through three arts and crafts projects we worked on that were a BIG hit with my kiddos.
So come and check out these easy and affordable spring arts and crafts activities.
Pine Cone Bird Feeders
This project is good to do with children ages 12 months or older. Be prepared for quite the mess though 🙂
The materials needed are pine cones, peanut or sun butter (depending on whether there are any peanut butter allergies), bird seed, and string.
First, you will want to collect pine cones.
This can be a fun outing to the park or maybe even just in your backyard or down the street.
You’ll want to tie a string around the pine cone so you can hang them up from the branches outside.
I find this step is easiest to do before you paint the peanut butter on just so it keeps things less messy.
Next, you’ll want to scoop out peanut butter from the jar, and cover the whole pine cone with that peanut butter.
This part can get messy and what I found is that the creamier and softer the peanut (or sun) butter is, the easier this process.
I, of course, had some refrigerated peanut butter on hand. I thought I softened it but it was still pretty difficult to spread around. Lesson learned… I definitely recommend a creamy peanut butter for this.
Next you will want to dump some birdseed into a shallow pie dish or maybe even a larger bowl.
I found that a bowl is better than a plate just to help kind of contain the mess.
You’ll want to roll the pine cone coated in peanut butter around inside of the bird seed, and finally you want to hang your pine cone up near a window where you and your child can observe the different birds who stopped by for a snack.
Here’s another tip: you can also do this project outside which will even further help to contain the mess.
My dining room got covered in birdseed, which is totally fine because my kids like to help clean up too thankfully.
Result: My kids loved this project (and spent a fair amount of time sampling the peanut butter and even the birdseed :). The pine cones only lasted a few days before the squirrels found them and cleaned them out. But my three little ones had a wonderful time sitting in front of the window and discussing the different birds who flew over to check out the pinecone treat.
Hand and Footprint Art
This is great for children any age and it’s especially great for infants because they have tiny little feet.
Now I did this with my five year old twins, and their feet were massive! I ended up only using my daughter’s feet as hers were the smallest.
The materials needed for this are washable non-toxic paint, paper plate, paint brushes, permanent markers, and paper.
First, you want to decide on a project. I found that Pinterest is the best resource for this.
My favorite ideas include footprints for sunshine rays, shamrocks, and hand prints for tree leaves or flowers. You can also do a hand and footprint combination by making an Easter Bunny with a carrot, or a footprint base with a handprint flower.
I will drop all of the links in the video description below, so you can find these ideas easily.
Next, you’ll want to cover hands or feet with paint.
It works well to dump a small amount of paint onto a paper plate, and then dip an infant’s foot inside the paint. I personally painted my child’s feet. This was hilarious. All of my kids were rolling and my daughter was trying to not giggle and move too much because her feet were tickling, but it was really funny.
So, we opted to just paint her foot instead of pouring a bunch of paint out into a paper plate and dipping it.
Next, you want to stamp the hand or footprint design on the paper.
After you clean up hands and feet, you’ll want to paint the rest of the design.
I personally started out by painting the other elements and writing the message on the paper first so I would know where exactly I wanted to have those footprints go.
And of course, if you decided on the footprints and handprints first, you’ll want to allow those to dry before you write any messages on your paper.
Paper Bag Butterflies
This project is good for children ages 18 months and up.
The materials needed for this project are paper bags, paint markers, or crayons, two doilies or coffee filters. You can also use paper plates or with my kids, I chose to use some craft foam, googly eyes and sticker eyeballs. You can also just draw these onto your paper bag, pipe cleaners, and tape.
The first step is to decorate your paper bag with your paint markers or crayons. My kids opted for a combination of poster paint as well as paint with a paintbrush.
For younger kids, grasping a paintbrush is great for motor skill development.
Next, you’ll want to decorate the doilies coffee filters or whatever you chose for the butterfly wings and tape those onto the back of your paper bag, make sure when you do this step that the flap is in the front because the flap is going to be the butterfly’s face.
Then, you will decorate the flap of the paper bag as the butterflies face with googly eyes your eyeball stickers, or just by drawing those on, and you will add a mouth as well.
Then you will take one pipe cleaner and will fold it into the V, and you will curl the ends around to form antenna for the butterfly. As a bonus, you can make multiple butterflies, and then have a fun puppet show with your child!
And one thing to consider if you think your child will be flying these around outside, and they’ll want those wings to flap. Best to opt for the doilies or the coffee filters instead of a more firm wing with your paper plates or your craft foam. Floppy material will flap while more rigid material won’t 🙂
Alright everyone, that’s it for my fun spring arts and crafts ideas.
I hope this allows you to have a fun crafting soon with either your own children or your nanny children.
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Thanks everyone, bye!