Photograph by Alexandra Grablewski
Dish up a paper-plate party hat that can easily be customized for any occasion.
1. On a dinner-size paper plate, draw a circle about 1 3/4 inches in from the edge.
2. Draw your design (flower, bunny ears, and so on) inside this circle, with the base of the shape touching the line.
Tip: For a symmetrical design, such as the shamrock, fold the plate in half before drawing half the shape along the fold.
3. Cut out the shape and the head hole along the curved line.
4. Bend up the shape. Have your child try on the hat, and widen the head hole as needed.
5. Decorate the hat with paint, crayon, markers, and glitter.
Originally published in the March 2014 issue of FamilyFun
Easter bunnies will be drawn to (and with) these papier-mache-covered pens. See next slide for instructions.
Blog We Love: This idea is from the blog of Small Hands Big Art (smallhandsbigart.com), a children's art studio in Charlotte, NC.
How to Make a Rabbit Writer
1. Tape sprigs of plastic greenery (available at craft stores) to a pen.
2. Mold aluminum foil around the pen to form a tapered carrot shape. Secure the foil with masking tape.
3. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup flour into 3 cup water.
4. Dip strips of newspaper into the flour mixture, then wrap them around the foil. When the foil is covered, let the papier-máché dry completely (it may take a day or two).
5. For the best coverage and color, paint the carrot white and let it dry, then paint it orange. Using a fine paintbrush and brown paint thinned with water, decorate the carrot with little dots and lines.
These lacy decorations are made using the same technique you'd use for classic paper snowflakes. Cut a large oval from a piece of thin paper. Fold the oval in half, then in half again. Accordion-fold the resulting quarter into thirds. Cut shapes from either side of the triangle (but not the curved top), then unfold the paper to reveal your pattern.
Originally published in the March 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine.
More than just pretty faces, these bobble-headed birdies nod and wiggle when tapped.
For each chick, cut an end cup from a cardboard egg carton and trim it to a height of 1 1/4 inches. Cut out a center cup and trim off all but the bottom 3/4 inch. Paint the cups and let them dry.
Cut simple feet and beak shapes from card stock. Fold up the ends of the shapes to act as tabs. Glue the feet inside the large cup and the beak inside the small cup. Attach googly eyes. Wrap a 6-inch length of 24-gauge craft wire* around a pen. Use a pushpin to make a hole in the top of the large cup, then insert a full circle of the wire spring. Tape it in place. Bend the other end of the wire into a flat circle and tape it inside the smaller cup. Add feathers with glue or by inserting them into holes made with a pushpin.
* Make sure you use the correct gauge of craft wire so that the chicks' heads bobble properly. Wire that's 24 gauge is strong enough to hold up the head but thin enough to be springy.
Watch a paper flower magically bloom using capillary action, the same force that helps real-life flowers open.
From a sheet of printer paper or card stock, cut a flower with petals that are no longer than a third of the diameter of the flower. Fold the petals toward the center. Place the closed flower on the surface of a shallow dish of water. The paper will soak up the water, causing the petals to unfold.
A Hare's Breadth
This rabbit swings and sways but stays perfectly balanced on his two front teeth. Just put in your two cents' worth, and he'll do the same for you.
Download and print the bunny below. Color him in, then glue the bunny to cereal-box cardboard. Cut out the shape. Glue a penny to the end of each ear on the cardboard side. Let the glue dry, then take your bunny for a spin.
This toy stays upright and stable because the pennies shift the bulk of its weight below its balancing point. Without the coins, the toy's center of gravity would be higher, and it would be more likely to tip over.
Make an acrobatic clown that balances just as ably as the bunny above by downloading the free template and constructing it just as you made the bunny.
Re-create the look of fuzzy pussy willows while capturing your child's fingerprints with this sweet spring project.
Simply draw long, graceful stems with a brown marker on a sheet of paper. Add short lines along the sides of the stems. To make the silvery-gray catkins,* have your child lightly press her finger onto a stamp pad of black washable ink, then onto the short lines, as shown.
* The fuzzy capsules on pussy willows are called catkins. Each contains dozens of tiny flowers that provide insects with pollen and nectar before most plants have woken up for the season.
Originally published in the April 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.