Thank a teacher or honor a mom with a sunflower card containing seeds that will grow actual flowers.
For each card, cut two identical rings (ours are 3 1/4-inches across) from brown card stock. Cut ten petals from yellow-patterned card stock and two cellophane circles that are a bit smaller than the rings (ours are 3 inches across). Place a small pile of sunflower seeds (for planting, not eating) on one cellophane circle. Apply glue stick along the circle's edge, put the second circle on top, and seal the seam with your fingers. Glue the petals to one ring, then glue the seed packet and the second ring on top. Write a message with gel pen.
This beautiful butterfly captures the shape and size of your child's hands.
To make one, have your child paint or color a picture on a piece of paper. (We used watercolor paper; you can also use an existing work of art.) Fold the paper in half, then trace both of your child's hands, as shown. Cut out the shape.
Take It Further: If you'd like a symmetrical butterfly, make one from a simple ink blot. Put blobs of paint on one half of a piece of paper, fold the paper in half, and press and smooth the paper to distribute the paint.
Drawing With Wire
Make a sketch in midair with this art activity, which is loosely based on the wire constructions of American sculptor Alexander Calder (1898--1976).
Start by using paper and pencil to plan your wire drawing. Without lifting the pencil tip from the paper, draw a few simple animals, faces, or other shapes. When you have a design you like, pick a starting point at the bottom of the drawing. Start bending craft wire to follow the sketch, leaving an inch or two at the starting end for mounting to the base. End back at the start, and twist the two wire ends together. Use a large needle to make a hole in a cork, and insert the wire ends. Glue the cork to a wood base.
Drawing With Wire: Take It Further
Add thickness by doubling back with the wire and wrapping it around itself. For a coiled tail, wrap the wire around a pen.
Use this same technique to create a mobile. Make several shapes with a common theme, such as birds, farm animals, or rocket ships. Trim the wire ends of your shapes and tie them to a stick with fishing line.
The Tinnissippi River
Create your own tiny (or should we say tinny) stream with a roll of aluminum foil, then let it play host to a jar-cap boat regatta. After your child's done playing with the stream, it can be retired to the recycling bin.
Find a spot outside that's fairly flat and can be reached by your garden hose. Lay out a length of heavy-duty aluminum foil and position it to direct the water to a thirsty part of your yard. For the banks of the river, fold up the long edges as shown. Place the hose nozzle on the uphill end of the foil and turn the water on at a trickle.
Crafter's Tip: To make a jar-cap boat, press a ball of clay into the bottom of a cap. Tape a paper sail to a toothpick and insert it into the clay.
Originally published in the May 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.