Read these 12 Homeschool Arts and Crafts Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Home School tips and hundreds of other topics.
These are so easy and fun!
• Gather up all of your old crayon pieces and remove the paper.
• Break them into small pieces and put them into a muffin tin
• Set it in the sun or in the oven on low heat, until the pieces soften and can be slightly "mushed" together.
• Mush the pieces together and let cool.
Finger paint recipe:
• 1/2 cup non-self-rising flour
• 2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon glycerin
• 1 teaspoon borax for preservative
• small screw-top jars
• food coloring or poster paints
In a saucepan, mix flour with a 1/2 cup of water to form a paste. Add the rest of the water and cook over low heat until thick and clear, stirring constantly. Let cool then add glycerin and borax (if mixture is too thick and does not spread easily, add a little more water). Divide and pour into small, screw top jars (baby jars are great for this). Add food coloring or poster paints to tint—this paint keeps for a long time if stored in airtight containers.
Caution: Borax is toxic if eaten. If you have a child that may eat finger paint, you can use lemon extract as a preservative instead, or omit the preservative and make just enough for one use.
Kids love doing crafts! I know for a fact, however, that many children will not sit through the tedious set-up routine. Setting everything up the night before is a great idea. Here's a list of what to set out and how to organize it all:
• Fill a small basket with stickers and small accessories to go with the theme. (Pipe cleaners, fun foam shapes, googly eyes, felt, Popsicle sticks, etc.)
• Fill a small container (plastic) with the glue "stuff" (glue stick, white glue, tape)
• Provide a small container or basket for markers, crayons, pencil crayons, sharpener, and such.
• Use a flat tray to hold all of the paper items (construction paper, paper bags, paper plates, copy paper, newsprint etc.).
• On painting days, lay out his smock, paint tray (for poster or finger paints use an ice cube tray), paint brushes, water container (plastic), sponges, stamps and wet wipes for quick clean ups.
• For a more complex craft or activity, make a sample craft for him or her to look at for ideas.
Try to match the Theme with whatever you are learning about that week (reptiles, apples, holidays and such). There is no right or wrong when it comes to crafts—just have fun!
Great coffee dough recipe:
• 1 cup flour
• ½ cup salt
• 1 cup used coffee grinds
• ½ cup cold, leftover coffee
First, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir till blended. Next, knead on a flowered surface till smooth. Finally, store in airtight container. It has a natural appearance when dried.
Tea leaf dough recipe:
• 4 tablespoons flour
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 tablespoon water
• About 2 tablespoons used tea leaves
1. Mix flour, salt and water in a bowl.
2. Add as many tea leaves as the dough will hold without falling apart.
3. Knead till smooth.
*Great when you want something to look like stone
Kool-Aid play dough recipe:
• 3 cups flour
• 1 1/2 cups salt
• 6 tsp cream of tartar
• 3 cups cool water
• 3 tbsp oil
• packages of Kool-Aid mix (without sugar) in desired colors
Mix dry ingredients (except Kool-Aid) together in a big cooking pot. Blend all liquids together in a bowl. Combine with dry ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when dough pulls away from the sides of the pot and can be pinched without sticking (about 5 minutes). Turn onto board or counter and knead until smooth and play-dough consistency. Divide into portions and knead in desired play dough colors. Store in airtight containers.
Sidewalk chalk recipe:
• 1 cup of Plaster of Paris (do not pack)
• Almost 1/2 cup water
• Liquid or powdered tempera paint
• Margarine tubs or other disposable mixing containers
• Disposable molds
• Squirt of dishwashing liquid (makes for easier clean-up)
1. Pour Plaster of Paris into a container. Using disposable stick, stir in most of the water.
2. Add 2-3 tablespoons of liquid tempera, mixing well, especially at the bottom.
3. Add a little more water so that the mixture thickens, stir well, and pour into molds Ideas for molds: Styrofoam egg cartons, plastic trays from manicotti noodles, paper cups, toilet paper tubes with foil bottoms.
4. Remove the molds after chalk is completely dry.
Great cornstarch dough recipe:
• 1 cup cornstarch
• 2 cups baking soda
• 1 ¼ cups water
Combine all ingredients in a pot. Stir over low heat but don't let the mixture stick. Cook till mixture looks like soup. Next, remove mixture from heat, cool slightly, and gather with a spoon. Finally, knead till smooth.