Craft Ideas by Craft Caravan – August 2008

Go Play Outside!

The great outdoors is the perfect place to work on some wonderfully messy craft projects.  Clean up is made easy with a simple wash of the hose, so gather up the craft supplies and go play outside!  Try these crafts to get your outdoor artist’s studio started:

Home Made Sidewalk Chalk:

Supplies: Plaster of Paris, powdered tempura paint, stir stick, mixing container, water, waxed paper, paper coin rollers (quarter rollers).  Optional: painters tape or masking tape.

 Directions: Optionally tape over one end of the coin roller so that it has a ‘bottom’.  Place on a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper, covered side down.  Mix 1 cup of Plaster of Paris together with 2 tbsp paint.  Add roughly 1 cup of water, stirring while you add, for smooth consistency.  Carefully pour mixture into coin rollers.  Let the chalk sticks set – approximately 2 hours.  Peel back the coin roller paper to use.   

Note: We were able to use our chalk after only 15 minutes of waiting.  Keep the coin roller paper on for strength, peeling back as the chalk gets used.

Abstract Canvas Splash Art:

Supplies: art canvas, canvas board, or paper, liquid tempura paints, paint brushes or toothbrushes

Directions:  pour paint into plates, bowls or other containers.  Lay canvas or paper on the ground.  Dip paint brush into colour of your choice, and let it drip onto canvas.  Try swinging the paintbrush to make a bit splat!  Dip toothbrush into paint and run finger over bristles, splattering paint onto the canvas.  Repeat with different colours of paint, creating an abstract masterpiece.

Note: You can position items such as leaves, paper shapes, or other objects on the canvas before painting, and remove after splashing, to create shapes on the canvas.


Fun Facts – the Great Jackson Pollock

Splash art is not only for kids!  Jackson Pollock painted for many years, and became an influential American artist because of his spontaneous paint dripping technique, leading the abstract expressionist movement.  Paint brushes, sticks, and basting syringes were among the tools he used to drip his paints! 

Fortunately Unfortunately

Summer time often means road trips, which can be a challenge with little ones in tow!  Add word games to your car time repertoire to make the time pass by.  You can play “I Spy” or counting games (we recently counted all the trailers passing us), or try a game of ‘Unfortunately Fortunately’.  Start the game with ‘Unfortunately (fill in the blank)’, and let your child finish with ‘Fortunately (fill in the blank)’.  For smaller kids, you can replace the ‘Unfortunatley fortunately with ‘Uh Oh’ and ‘That’s OK’.  Example:  

‘Unfortunately, we’re almost out of gas’
‘Fortunately, we’re going to a gas station!’ 

‘Uh Oh, I spilled on my sweater!’
‘That’s OK, we can wipe it up.’

Kids in the Kitchen – Frozen Banana Pops

These treats are a great summer time snack, and a snap to make with the kids!

4 bananas, cut in half cross wise
Yogurt (Flavour of your choice), or chocolate chips
Popsicle sticks, waxed paper, cookie sheet

Insert popsicle stick into flat end of banana.  Dip each banana into yogurt.  Place on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper.  Freeze for approximately 3 hours.  For chocolate banana pops – freeze plain bananas on sticks.  Melt chocolate chips and drizzle onto frozen bananas.  Chocolate will harden immediately.  To store, wrap each banana pop in foil. 

Five Minute Fun – Bubble Art

Turn your bubble blowing session into some great outdoor art!  Simply add different colours of food colouring to bubble solution in dishes or jars, mixing or shaking well.  In between blowing bubbles into the air, your kids can blow coloured bubbles down onto a piece of paper, creating their very own bubble art masterpiece!