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Craft Ideas

Joan Goldberg

11 new, active craft ideas.

Can't look another crayon in the eye? If you're bored with your craft program, infuse new life into it with these 11 ideas.

Sawdust Sculptures-In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of fine sawdust with 1/2 cup of school glue until it becomes a doughy consistency. Kids can sculpt shapes. These will harden if left out for several days.

Marbleized Paper Swirls-Fill a bucket half-full of water. Place droplets of oil-based paint onto the water. Put paper gently on top of the water, rotate it once, then "peel" the paper off the water and hang it to dry.

Encaustic Painting-With adult supervision, kids can heat up crayons with a candle, lighter, or blow-dryer. Then have kids immediately apply them to construction paper. Take advantage of color contrasts such as silver-speckled crayons on black paper.

Glitter Dazzle-Add five drops of food coloring to 1/2 cup of salt in a covered container and shake vigorously. You can change the amounts using the same ratio. With school glue, make various designs on paper, shake on the glitter, then move the paper back and forth for glitter adhesion. When dry, it sparkles in the sunlight.

Window Fun-In a mixing bowl, mix food coloring with shaving cream. Then "paint" pictures on the windows with your hands. It'll harden and stay for several weeks.

Tongue Painting-As a novel experience, put whipped cream on a large plate and make designs with your tongue. First, color the whipped cream if you're using a white plate, or use white cream on dark plastic plates. Save it or savor it!

Fingertip Painting-Tape cotton-tipped swabs on your index and middle fingers, dip into paint, and draw on paper. Experiment with the amount of fingers used (one to ten) or taping different lengths of swabs (half or whole) onto your fingers.

Big Box Fun-Have four or five kids decorate the outside of a large box, at least 3 feet square. Provide wallpaper, wrapping paper, paint, markers, string, stickers, streamers, glitter, and stamps. Give the box to your preschool class for kids to enjoy.

Potpourri Jars-Remove paper from baby food jars. Fill the jars with dried flowers, petals, leaves, grass, pine needles, berries, rinds, and other natural objects with aesthetic appeal. Pour in cooking oil and secure the cap. This makes an attractive decoration.

Frozen Paint Cubes-Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap. Pour in various colors of tempera paint. After cubes freeze, don rubber gloves and paint with the cubes on any warm, absorbent paper, such as construction paper.

Re-Dough Bread-Trim and discard the crust from a loaf of bread. Add 1/4 cup of school glue and 1/4 cup of water to the bread. Knead until it re-constitutes to a dough consistency. Kids can then sculpt it. Once it hardens, paint it.

Joan Goldberg works with children in Williston Park, New York.

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