Cool Craft for Kids & Teens, Shrinky Dinks Animal Key Chains

Animal Lovers Kids and Teen Craft

Here’s another take on Shrinky Dinks crafts. Supplies and steps for these horse key chains are the same as the fashion key chains. I taught After School Enrichment classes for several years, and often had repeat students so, though projects may have used similar mediums and supplies, I varied content. Some kids traced patterns from scrapbooking paper while others made up their own designs. They used jump rings to attach pieces and Wikki Stix to create manes. Horses are just the start; templates for any animal can be created.

Shrinky Dinks Animal Key Chains

Supplies:

Steps:

  1. Draw an animal and parts on a piece of paper and add small circles where the pieces will join. Add a small circle to the place where the key ring will later be attached. (On the horse, the key ring hangs from the middle of the back.) Trace outline of body and body parts on Shrinky Dinks sheets. All tracing and coloring should be on “rough” side of SD sheets.
  2. Using colored pencils, color patterns and designs and add animal’s facial features.
  3. Punch holes where small circles are drawn. Be careful to leave space between holes and edges so edges don’t split.
  4. Cut out animal parts.
  5. Follow Shrinky Dinks instructions to bake cut-outs.
  6. After baking, gently flatten pieces that curl up.
  7. Join pieces using jump rings.
  8. Create manes or fur with yarn or Wikki Stix. Feed Wikki Stix through holes and twist to secure. OR feed yarn through holes and knot and trim.
  9. Find the opening where the key ring is to be attached and feed a jump ring through that hole. Attach the key ring to that jump ring.

Tip: Shrinky Dinks shrink A LOT! Keep this in mind and trace a template large enough that when parts are baked and shrink, the key chain isn’t the size of a peanut! Please keep this in mind when drawing circles that will be punched out. You don’t want the holes to be so small, a jump ring won’t fit.

Cool Kids & Teen Craft, Shrinky Dinks Fashion Key Chains

Another Snow Day Kids and Teen Craft

Did you create key chains, jewelry and keepsakes with Shrinky Dinks when you were a kid? I did and my kids did, too. So, when discussing ideas for After School Enrichment classes with a camp art director, she suggested this cool craft. The 2nd – 5th graders in my ASE class loved tracing patterns from wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, and fashion magazines onto their own templates. They colored patterns, added facial features, cut out body parts, and punched holes so the baked pieces could be assembled with jump rings. They added Wikki Stix hair and a key ring and–voila–they had their own Shrinky Dinks Fashion key chains. More template ideas: kids playing sports, dancers, and superheroes. Be creative!

Shrinky Dinks Fashion Key Chains

Supplies:

Steps:

  1. Draw a body and parts on a piece of paper and add small circles where the pieces will join. Trace outline of body and body parts on Shrinky Dinks sheets. All tracing and coloring should be on “rough” side of SD sheets.
  2. Using colored pencils, color clothing patterns and add facial features.
  3. Punch holes where circles are indicated, being careful to leave space between holes and edges so edges don’t split.
  4. Cut out body parts.
  5. Follow Shrinky Dinks instructions to bake cut-outs.
  6. After baking, gently flatten pieces that curl up.
  7. Join pieces using jump rings.
  8. Create hair with yarn or Wikki Stix. Feed Wikki Stix through holes on top of head and twist to secure. OR feed yarn through holes and knot and trim.
  9. Feed a jump ring into middle hole on top of head and then feed key chain ring into that jump ring.

Tip: Shrinky Dinks shrink A LOT! Keep this in mind and trace a template large enough that when parts are baked and shrink, the key chain isn’t the size of a peanut! Please keep this in mind when drawing circles that will be punched out. You don’t want the holes to be so small, a jump ring won’t fit.

Happy On a Hill, Short Video

Me and Lucy.

Me and Morgan.

Me and Hannah.

Welcoming Winter!

“I have this theory that people make an implicit decision as to whether they’re going to stay young and curious and interesting and interested, or whether they’re just going to let themselves age.”*

Living on a hill has its advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages? Balls roll away, mud and ice makes it especially slippery, the garden’s on a slope, and climbing back up the hill in snow is a workout. Advantage? Being “the sledding house!”

I created this video after a blizzard in 2015, and it always make me smile.

Click link to to watch the one-minute video:  Snow Day/Blizzard 2015 

* Quote by Mitch Rothschild, Chief Executive of Vitals, a website that connects patients and doctors, from a 1/25/15 article in The New York Times.

**music on video, Paul Hardcastle-The Jazzmasters “See You in July”

Heartwarming Snow Day Letter

Liquid Copper, Curly Girl and Me.
Hannah, Morgan and me.

Hon, you know I love snow, especially when it blankets the ground, decorates the trees, and beckons us outside. Crisp, fresh, snow-in-the-sky air makes me so happy. There’s a certain scent before it snows and another when it’s crunchy under our boots. At home, we sled. On a mountain, we ski. This year, the first big snow is a gift to our pandemic-weary spirits–a call to go outside and play. Somehow, a letter from the superintendent of  Jefferson County Schools in West Virginia found its way to my in-box.

It’s fantastic!

 
 

 

Snowy Mixed Media Scene, Kids Craft, Part 2

I love how different colors of snowy paper were used to create the background.

Describe your picture! 

The kids in After School Enrichment classes were happy to share their work, proud of their creations, and loved describing what was happening in their scenes. I loved seeing how each child combined materials. The kids couldn’t wait to share their pictures with their families.

Click here to learn how to make “snowy” paper.

Supplies for snowy mixed media scene:
  • “snowy” paper made with marbles and a larger, thicker piece of white paper
  • stickers (We used panda and skiing stickers.)
  • white glue
  • yarn and/or any other things you want to add to picture (ideas: mini-pom-poms, gems, foam stickers or shapes, ribbon)
  • scissors
  • markers
  • newspaper
Steps to make snowy mixed media scene:
  1. Spread newspaper over work area.
  2. Cut snowy paper to fit scene however desired. Glue to white paper.
  3. Add stickers and glue yarn or other elements to picture.
  4. Draw on picture if desired.
  5. Sign and let dry.

Snowy Mixed Media Scene, Kids Craft, Part 1

Winter’s not over yet! 

Got kids? Need an easy activity for them? Why not make a snowy mixed media scene starting with marbles, paint, and construction paper? The kids in my After School Enrichment class had fun creating their own background snow.

Supplies to make “snow” with marbles and paint:

  • white paint (we used water-based poster paint)
  • marbles
  • paint palette or paper bowl
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • newspaper
  • either a disposable cup with lid or another small container with lid

Steps to make “snowy” paper:

  1. Spread newspaper over work area.
  2. Cut construction paper into strips, squares or whatever shapes you want. Place one strip into disposable cup.
  3. Squirt paint onto palette. Place marbles in paint, rolling them around so that they’re covered.
  4. Place paint-coated marble into cup, secure lid, and shake.
  5. Carefully remove paint-splattered construction paper. Let dry.
  6. Repeat coating of marble, lining inside of cup with construction paper, and shaking marble inside of cup until you’ve created a bunch of “snowy” paper.

With lid secured, paint-coated marble is ready to shake.

“Snowy” paper drying.

Next post: mixed media scene comes together.

Easy Valentine’s Day Cookies

My girls.

Hon, you know I have a bunch of mottos. One of them is, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” That’s the reason snow days are for sledding, hot chocolate, and baking! If friends can make it over, even better. Today isn’t a good sledding day, but it is a snow day so baking is on my mind. These easy Valentine’s Day cookies are made using a basic sugar cookie recipe, decorating them with Royal Icing, and adding sprinkles (or other candies). Hello holiday spirit!

Sugar Cookie

Ingredients: 

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture in increments until the flour mixture is completely incorporated.
  5. Chill in fridge for about one hour, then let sit on counter while you prepare the surface you are using to roll out the dough. 
  6. Roll dough to desired thickness and cut into hearts with a cookie cutter. (If you don’t have a heart cookie cutter, cut a heart out of cardboard and use as a stencil.)
  7. I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper, but you may bake them directly on ungreased cookie sheets.
  8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges turn slightly brown.

Yield:  Approximately 3 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter size.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

slightly under 2 cups confectioners sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons of meringue or dried egg white powder (I used the brand Deb El and a product called Just Whites.)

3 Tablespoons warm water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional (note: adding vanilla adds flavor but tints the color of the icing)

sprinkles, decorating sugar (or other candies)

Directions:

  1. Beat 4 to 5 minutes
 by hand.
  2. Thin icing, if needed with an extra tablespoons of warm water.  Decorate as desired. 
  3. Let cookies stand until icing dries. Enjoy!

Motto Mom In the Moment! (Snow Day Shenanigans–a Short Video)

Liquid Copper, Curly Girl and Me.
Liquid Copper, Curly Girl and Me.

“I have this theory that people make an implicit decision as to whether they’re going to stay young and curious and interesting and interested, or whether they’re just going to let themselves age.”*

Call me “Motto Mom.”  Maybe mottos would roll off my tongue even if I didn’t have triplets, but mottos have allowed me to live in the moment.  One of them is, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” If it’s a snow day, and there is NO WAY I’m going to get any work done, I allow myself to enjoy the found time.  Guess where you’ll find my kids, their friends and me?  Outside playing because 1) living on a hill makes us the “Sledding House,” 2) you’re never to old to play, and 3) there’s always hot chocolate and marshmallows afterward!

You know what else I’m good for, besides serving snacks and hot drinks?  Videoing the shenanigans.  Except when I decide to video the “sled train” head on!  Ahhh!

Enjoy the 1 minute video of being in the moment!

Click link to watch video:  Snow Day/Blizzard 2015 

 Related Videos:  

December Defined 

Snow Puppy

* Quote by Mitch Rothschild, Chief Executive of Vitals, a website that connects patients and doctors, from a 1/25/15 article in The New York Times.

**music on video, Paul Hardcastle-The Jazzmasters “See You in July”

Another Snow Day? Valentine’s Marshmallow Snowmen

Valentine's Marshmallow Snowman
Valentine’s Marshmallow Snowman

Another Snow Day?  Kids are home?  Run out of ideas?

Here are mine.

Valentine’s Marshmallow Snowmen (and Snowladies):

My K-2 After School Enrichment class made these Monday and, believe it or not, they waited to taste the “art supplies”…ummm, candy….until everyone was finished.

IMG_1112

“Art Supplies”:

–large marshmallows

–lollipop sticks (or assemble these on a plate w/o sticks)

–icing (or “glue”)

–red candies, such as red M & M’s, red hots, red candy melts, licorice, sour belts, etc.

–candy melts for hats and noses, other options:  candy corn, cherries

–food coloring and toothpicks (or “paintbrushes”) and/or edible markers

–edible candy eyes

–pretzels (for arms, we used brown food coloring to paint the branch arms)

–OR use whatever you have in the house.

Orange candy melts, which are just white chocolate with food coloring.
Orange candy melts, which are just white chocolate with food coloring.

Cut orange candy melts into small, narrow triangles for carrot noses.
Cut orange candy melts into small, narrow triangles for carrot noses.

Assembling Snowman.
Assembling Snowman.

Assembling:

Each child got a plate with a glob of icing, marshmallows, a plastic knife and candy eyes. The rest of the candy was in bowls, so they could choose how to decorate their red-candied Snow-people.  Easy peasy!  The kids made Snow-families, some carrot noses stuck out and others were iced to the side of the face.  Branch arms were drawn on with toothpicks dipped in brown food coloring.  Pretzels make nice branch arms, too.

Warning:   Eating too many Marshmallow Snowmen in one sitting will cause a sugar rush!

Snow-family.
Snow-family.

  

_________________________________________________________________________

Other ideas:

My other ideas are mainly food related because one of my mottos raising triplets plus one is “If all else fails, bake!”

Valentine’s Sugar Cookies

Valentines Sugar Cookies
Valentines Sugar Cookies

Melted Snowman Cookies 

Melted Snowman Cookies
Melted Snowman Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup.
Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Cup.

Indoor Spa Day

Tween Daughter with avacado mask
Tween Daughter with avacado mask.

Happy Snow Day, hon.