You'll treasure these made-by-kids plastic foam crafts not only because they're adorable but because of the quality time you spent making them together.
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Help your children create this colorful caterpillar by filling a long sock with plastic foam balls.
Make It: Insert six 3-inch plastic foam balls into a long colorful sock, leaving a bit of room between each ball so the caterpillar can wiggle easily. Trim off excess sock, leaving only 2 inches. Use a pencil to poke a hole in the last ball and insert a generous amount of glue. Using the same pencil, poke the extra length of sock directly into the hole to seal up the caterpillar.
Glue googly eyes to the face and adhere rosy cheeks and a smile from pink felt. Make tiny holes in the top of the head, add glue, and poke trimmed chenille stems inside to create the antennae. Glue on chenille stem legs last; add foam dots to the body and a bow to the top of the head to embellish.
Not only are these plastic foam toy boats easy to make -- they really float, too!
Make It: To make the smaller ship: Cut a 6x10-inch sheet of plastic foam and trim the corners to make a pointed bow; paint and let dry. Cut varying lengths of 2-inch-wide strips of plastic foam and stack to form a tiered deck as shown; paint and let dry. Next, create a round smokestack by trimming a 1/2x3-inch strip of plastic foam rolling into a cylinder, and gluing overlapped edges together. Paint and let dry. Glue all pieces onto the boat as shown.
To make the sailboat: Trim the front corners from a 6x12-inch piece of plastic foam to form a pointed bow. Use a scrap of plastic foam to make the cabin as shown. Have your child paint the pieces using acrylic paint in his favorite colors. Next, cut an 8x8-inch piece of white crafts foam in half diagonally to make the sail. Attach the sail to a wood skewer mast by cutting slits in the front edge of the sail and poking the stick through. Decorate the sail with stickers and push the ends of painted crafts sticks into the front edge of the bow for extra fun.
Cast a spell on your child's imagination with this fun plastic foam wand that will spark hours of magical make-believe games.
Make It: Use a pencil to poke a hole in the bottom of a six-inch plastic foam star. Insert a generous amount of glue into the hole and then insert a wood dowel. Cover the star with a generous amount of crafts glue and help your child sprinkle glitter onto the front and back of the star. Place the wand in a heavy glass jar to let the top dry. If the glitter falls off the wand once the glue is dry, add a coat of Mod Podge.
Decorate by gluing on sparkly rhinestones and pretty jewels to the star. To finish, cut gold ribbon into three 1-yard pieces, tying the pieces together with a knot at the center. Glue the knot to the bottom of the star and trim the ribbons to different lengths. Add star sequins to the ends of the ribbons and let the glue dry.
Plastic Foam Mouse Family
Have your kids make a plastic foam mouse to represent each person in your family and kick off a wonderful game of make-believe.
Make It: Begin by using a serrated knife to cut a 3-inch plastic foam egg in half lengthwise to form the parent mice, and a 2-1/2-inch egg in half to make the babies; paint. Cut a 1-1/2-inch circle of gray felt in half to create parent mouse ears. Cut a slightly smaller circle in half to make baby mouse ears. Attach the ears by making small slits in the plastic foam, adding glue into the hole and tucking in the flat parts of the half-circle using the end of the knife.
Cut out felt tails and connect them to the body by cutting a slit in the back of the mouse body and tucking the tails the same way as the ears. Add black bead eyes and pink pom-pom noses to complete this adorable family.
Add some glamour to your child's games of dress-up by helping her create an easy-to-make plastic foam bead necklace and matching earrings.
Make It: Paint multiple 1-inch plastic foam balls by pouring 1 teaspoon each of several acrylic paint colors into separate resealable plastic bags. Turn the balls to coat with paint and use a toothpick to remove balls from the bags; place balls on waxed paper to dry. Once dry, make holes for the string by poking a wood skewer through each ball and sliding it up and down.
Thread the balls with a generous length of string. Tie the string together and secure with a drop of glue. For extra fun, make slip-on earrings by threading one or two beads on a short piece of string that can be tied and worn over the ears.
These mild-mannered bedbugs certainly don't bite -- your kids will befriend them in no time.
Make It: Begin by cutting two 1-1/2-inch plastic foam balls in half using a serrated knife. Have your kids paint the halves with acrylic paint. Decorate the bugs with chenille stem legs and antennae, translucent paper wings, and googly eyes. Invent your own bugs or use the following suggestions:
Paint the head and body area different colors, painting small dots onto the body section. Glue on googly eyes and add black chenille stems for antennae.
Paint the body black and let dry. Paint orange or yellow stripes across the back. Insert a short black chenille stem into the end of the bee for a stinger. Add wings by cutting a heart shape from paper, folding it in half, and pushing it into a slit cut into the top of the body. Add two black chenille stem antennae, three black chenille stem legs on each side, and googly eyes.
Paint the body and add wings as directed in the Bumblebee project. Add three black chenille stem legs on each side and a short black chenille stem for the proboscis.
Bonus: Make a Bug Bed!
Have your kids paint a recycled egg carton using various colors of acrylic crafts paint. Add small squares of fabric into each depression to make a cozy bed for each bug. Then let your little ones tuck in their new bug friends and wish them pleasant dreams.
Plastic Foam Mud Monster
Your child will love getting his hands dirty while making this make-believe mud monster from potting soil and a plastic foam ball.
Make It: Using a serrated knife, slice a small section off the bottom of a 5-inch plastic foam ball so it sits flat. Gently shake potting soil through a strainer to create a fine soil. Press the ball onto a chopstick to hold and coat the ball generously with white crafts glue. Dip the ball into the fine soil and pat it into place, making sure the ball is completely covered. Once the glue has dried, let your child decorate with nuts, pebbles, sticks, leaves, pine needles, and any other nature finds from your backyard. Let dry thoroughly before displaying.
Decorate this whimsical fairy house that is limited only by the natural supplies you and your child collect and the boundaries of your imaginations.
Make It: Have your child paint a 1x8-1/2-inch plastic foam disk with brown acrylic paint. Gather 6- to 8-inch twigs and push them into the foam in a circle pattern, tilting the twigs at an angle so they meet in the center as shown; leave room for a door. Fill in any gaps by pushing smaller twigs into the holes. Then let your child's imagination run wild as she decorates with natural supplies.
Playtime Fairy Craft
Make cute crafts foam fairies to play in your garden and dollhouse year-round.
Make It: Paint a 1-inch plastic foam ball with a skin color of your preference and let dry. Fold an 8-inch chenille stem in half to create legs and wrap a 4-inch stem 3/8 inch from the top of the fold to form arms. Turn the tips at the ends to make hands and feet. Next, cut a large trumpet-shape artificial flower from its stem and remove any stamens from inside, leaving a hole in the center. Thread the fairy's chenille stem feet through the top of the blossom, pulling up to the arms. Add the head by poking a small hole into the foam ball and gluing the folded end of the feet stem into the hole.
Give your fairy a hat by gluing a small trumpet-shape artificial flower to the head. To make wings, wrap a small piece of chenille stem around the middle of a 4-inch length of wired ribbon, cutting the ends of the ribbon into a wing shape as shown. Attach the wings to the fairy's back using a low-temperature glue gun. Glue on other small flowers as desired. Draw on a face with a microtip marker and add a tiny pom-pom for the nose to complete this whimsical woodland fairy your little one is sure to love.
Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.