Your child will delight in playing conductor with this easy-to-make train and track set.
Make It: Give your child three wooden blocks, a wooden spool, and six pieces of wagon-wheel pasta to paint. Cut a chipboard rectangle for the top of the train and two squares for train windows; let your child paint the pieces. Once the chipboard is dry, glue the pieces together as shown. Glue a tuft of cotton to the spool for smoke.
To make the tracks, cut a strip of chipboard a little wider than the length of one mini craft stick. Glue mini craft sticks at short intervals along the strip and top with regular craft sticks. For extra fun, create several sets of tracks for your child to place together.
Solve a classic picnic dilemma -- a blowing tablecloth -- with our fanciful ant buddies. These clever tablecloth clips will be your new picnic favorites.
Make It: Paint four clothespins black. Thread a 4-inch-long black chenille stems through the two holes of a large black button. Twist and curl the ends of chenille stems where they meet to form antennae. Glue googly eyes just below the antennae. Next, cut three 3-inch pieces of black stems for each ant. Have your child help you thread all three though the spring hole in each clothespin and adjust to form the legs. Glue the face and two more black buttons to the top of each clothespin. Then use the clips to secure your tablecloth, and enjoy a carefree meal in the summer sun.
This lovable giraffe can stand up all on its own thanks to sturdy clothespin legs.
Make It: Cut an oval from chipboard; paint it and three clothespins yellow. Add black paint to the tip of each clothespin as shown. Once the paint has dried, let your child use his fingertips to create brown paint spots all over the oval body and clothespin legs and neck. Clip the legs and neck onto the body and glue in place. Glue a yellow pom-pom face onto the neck and adhere a folded chenille stem along the back of the neck to complete the giraffe.
Add to your fridge's growing collection of homemade art by constructing this magnetic airplane clip. Use it to show off your child's latest artistic endeavors.
Make It: Paint one spring-style clothespin, two craft sticks, and one mini craft stick in your child's favorite colors. Once dry, glue a craft stick on top and bottom of the clothespin as wings, and the mini craft stick as the tail. Cut a triangle from crafts foam and glue it upright atop the mini craft stick. Once dry, glue strong magnets on the bottom of the clothespin.
Build an iconic Midwestern barn from painted craft sticks -- it will look wonderful hanging on the kitchen fridge.
Make It: Paint nine craft sticks red, six craft sticks white, and four mini craft sticks white. Let them dry. On a rectangle piece of cardstock, have your child create a blue sky and green grass with colored paper or markers. Then help her create the bottom of the barn by gluing on a row of 11 craft sticks vertically in the following pattern: two red, one white, five red, one white, two red. Glue white sticks horizontally along the top and bottom and cross two in the middle as shown. Glue the mini craft sticks to red cardstock to form the barn roof. Adhere the barn roof to the background above the barn. Cut out a rectangle from black paper and adhere it to the barn. Cut strips from a paper bag and crumple for the look of hay; adhere to black rectangle.
Create a little magic at the craft table with this mystical star wand.
Make It: Have your child paint a wooden dowel her favorite color with a foam brush. Allow to fully dry. On a wooden craft star, draw lines in glue from the center to each point. Line up sparkly beads in the glue or sprinkle the star with glitter. Assemble the wand by gluing the dowel and colorful ribbons to the back of the star.
Hanging craft sticks make a soft, pretty sound when the summer breezes blow -- and they look great while waving in the wind, too.
Make It: Have your child paint 10 craft sticks and allow them to dry. Put a line of glue on the back of five sticks. Sandwich a piece of string between a glued stick and an unglued stick; clip them with clothespins to hold the glue securely. Let dry. Run glue along an unpainted craft stick, lay it horizontally and stick on the five strings as shown (don't let the sticks hang too low or they'll tangle in the wind). Top with another unpainted stick and add clothespins to hold the glue securely. Once dry, tie the strings together and cut off the excess. Hang outdoors and let the wind do its work.
Challenge your children to come up with original games to play with these large, multicolor dice -- or simply watch them have a ball using the dice for their favorite board games.
Make It: Have your children paint each side of two wooden blocks a different color. Select a variety of paper colors and punch out circles as the dice dots. Have your kids count out two sets of dots to glue on each of the blocks.
Display your child's artwork in style by creating this cute magnetic dragonfly clip to hang on your fridge.
Make It: Let your child choose a few bright colors to paint his dragonfly. Paint a wood clothespin to be the body and paint two mini craft sticks to be wings. Once dry, cross the craft sticks on top of the clothespin and glue in place. Add googly eyes to the front and glue a strong magnet to the bottom of the clip. Display it on the fridge and your little one will feel very proud.
Feeling crabby? Perk up with a crab hat made from a paper bowl and clothespin claws!
Make It: Paint four clothespins and a paper bowl red; paint two large wooden beads white. Glue eight thin 4-inch strips of red cardstock around the edge of the bowl to make legs; when dry, fold them in the middle for dimension. Glue the clothespins together as shown and adhere them to the front of the crab. Glue on the eyes and draw or cut out a mouth from black cardstock and attach. Complete the crab by punching a hole on each side; attach elastic cords to fit your child's head.
Provide your kids with interactive amusement by constructing this magnetic fishing game with a few simple materials.
Make It: Help your child paint a square wooden dowel and wooden spool his favorite colors and allow to dry. Glue white string around the spool and adhere it near the bottom of the dowel. Attach a long string to the far end of the dowel and tie a magnet to the opposite end (magnetic barrels from the jewelry section of the craft store work well). Make clothespin "fish" by painting them fun colors with pink lips. Let paint dry and help your child glue on sequin scales and googly eyes. Now he'll be ready to go fishing!