Craft Ideas for July 2012: Sunshine crafts, beach activities, and Sunprint Paper

August Kids Craft Club: Here Comes the Sun

Kids Crafts for August 2012 Kids Craft Club Join the Kids Craft Club to receive craft supplies for celebrating the summer sun!!  Summers are never long enough here in Canada, so we’re capturing the sun while it shines.  We’re sending Kids Craft Club members the supplies for everything sun -think sunflower, sun mobile, etc.  Everything you need for sun inspired crafts is included in this craft package.

This month’s crafts are brought to you by the colours Orange and Yellow!  Start your  Kids Craft Club subscription with the August crafts!     Join Kids Craft Club

Summer Craft Supplies – Sunprint Paper!

Sunprint Craft Kit for Kids Sun fade paper

We’re excited about this Sunprint Paper because it’s the perfect summer’s day craft project.  All you need is the sunprint paper, some found items (such as leaves, flowers, blades of grass),water and the sun!  Arrange special items on the paper, set it out in the sun, and watch your paper turn into a beautiful print!  Each kit comes with 12 pieces of 10cm x 10cm Sunprint paper, and an Acrylic overlay to weigh down your paper while making prints.  Get Sunprint Paper here

Sunprint Kit – $5.99

Kids Beach Activity: Squirt Gun Body Art

Squirt Gun Art Kids Beach Activity If you’re looking for a way to cool off at the beach or in the backyard, try this fun ‘body art’ activity.  Squirt lines or dots of water onto legs and arms, cover with sand, and then shake the excess off.  The crowd favourite at our beach outing was zebra (or tiger) stripes.   A fun way for kids to play with squirt guns in the name of art!


New Pinboard: Summer Puppet Theatre

 Kids Crafts Puppet Theater Handmade Puppets and Theater Summer is a good time for the kids to sink their teeth into a larger-scale craft project they can go back to all summer long.  Puppet theatres are a great creative activity – the kids can make the theatre and puppets, and then spend time creating and performing plays.   We’ve pinned some of our favourites here.

Kids Craft Club Showcase – Submit Your Photos!

Our New and improved website comes complete with a rotating showcase of crafts and kids from the Kids Craft club.  You can see kids at work or proudly showing off their creations in a gallery on the right-hand side of our site.  Check it out here!

Is your child in the Kids Craft Club?  Send us pictures of him or her with their artwork and we’ll add them to our showcase!

Customer Quote for monthly Kids Crafts

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October Crafts, Halloween Crafts, Nature Crafts, Sensory Activities

Mystery Mask – October Kids Craft Club

Halloween theme, pumpkin craft, mask craft The October crafts from the  Kids Craft Club are brought to you by the colours orange, black and green!!   If you’re not already in the club, there’s only a few days left to subscribe for this craft package.

October is full of mystery – trees stand like skeletons with their leaves on the ground, the wind seems to whistle just a little bit more, and kids gear up all month long to celebrate Halloween!

 Use this month’s craft supplies to make a mask, transform a pumpkin into a jack o’lantern, or create spooky halloween shadows.   Everything you need for Halloween crafts is inside your Kids Craft Club envelope!

Subscribe by September 23rd to receive this craft package at the beginning of October.

Halloween Party Crafts!

If you’re planning a Halloween party, be sure to include some craft time!  Halloween themes are endless, and we at Craft Caravan can’t get enough of spiders and bats!  These Halloween Party crafts are fun for during the party, or craft them before hand and hang them around for decorations!  Be sure to order soon, as quantities are limited!

Halloween Crafts for Kids Spider Theme Clothes pin bat decoration or clip craft Halloween themed yoyo for kids to decorate
Spider and Web Craft Bat Clothes PIn Craft Wooden YoYo Spider Craft

Three Nature Craft Ideas with Sticks

Kids Nature Crafts with sticks and twig crafts Our kids can’t seem to get enough sticks for their collection, so we put together some fun crafts to showcase their favourites and keep the collection at bay.  Get step by step directions for making a leafy tree, a recycled can vase or pencil holder, and a stick person drawing – see instructions here

Kitchen with Kids – Squishing Tomatoes

Here’s a great tactile activity for home or at a sensory table in preschool.  Have the kids squish some tomatoes!  You can use fresh tomatoes and teach about composting while you’re at it, or use canned whole tomatoes.  Our kids loved the ooey gooey feeling of the tomatoes squishing through their hands, making us think this would be a great slimy activity for a Halloween party too!  Read what we did for this activity, or watch our tomato talk and the kids squishing.

Craft Ideas and Tips on the Web

Craft Caravan is on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube and we want you to join us!  We’re using Twitter to send out craft tips and ideas from around the web, and we use Facebook to notify of contests, new blogs, and fun crafty videos we’ve made (posted to our YouTube channel).  Join us to get free crafty content regularly as soon as we find or create it!

Craft Kit Giveaway –  Child’s Artist Sketch Pad

Kids themed sketch pad Congratulations to Michele, who won this month’s craft kit draw from our homepage!

This month we’re pleased to give away an Artist’s Sketch pad with a fun print in either Elegant Oval, or Nuts and Bolts .  These pads have a kraft cover, 40 printed tear off sheets, and are 7- 1/2 x 6 -1/2″ when closed.  Phthalate free and printed with non toxic inks.  Great to keep on hand for the elegant artist in the family.

We’ll be contacting Michele by email to get shipping information for your Artist’s Sketch Pad.  You can enter next month’s draw here.

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September Kids Crafts, Kitchen with Kids, and Kids Craft Supplies

‘Leaf’ It to Me – September Kids Craft Club

Fall Leaf crafts for kids September Crafts – Leaf Placemat Crafts and Bookmark Crafts from the  Kids Craft Club!   If you’re not already in the club, there’s only a few days left to subscribe for this craft package.

Summer has passed in the blink of an eye, and it’s time to get back into the fall routine.  Nature has it’s own routine in the fall, which means we can look forward to brilliantly coloured fall leaves every year!  

Make a fun fall leaves place mat with this month’s Kids Craft Club.  Then get ready to settle in to a fall reading routine by making your own bookmark.  It’s all part of the fun with this month’s Kids Craft Club craft supplies!

Subscribe by August 23rd to receive this craft package at the beginning of September.

Free Newspaper Pencil with your Themed Sketch Pads

It’s almost time to begin the back-to-school rush, and we want to make sure you’re equipped with fun and earth friendly craft supplies!  Sketch books always come in handy for school and while on the go.  Order your themed sketch book  (Elegant Oval or Nuts and Bolts ) by September 1st and receive a FREE newspaper pencil with your purchase.

Elegant Oval Drawing Pad for Kids Mudpuppy Construction Themed drawing pad for kids mudpuppy

Craft Idea for Outside – Inukshuks

Make an Innukshuk Here’s a simple building activity for kids that can be completed almost anywhere you travel this summer.  Make an Inukshuk, or simple stone figure resembling a human.  Your Inukshuk may start out as a bit of a scavenger hunt if you’re not in an area with lots of rocks, but that just extends the fun of this crafty activity!  Finding the perfect rock for arms, body, legs or head makes the final figure that much more rewarding!


Kitchen with Kids – Make Some Road Trip Pretzels

Pretzels made by kids - daycare or camp craft idea If you’re looking for some yummy ideas for your next road trip or camping expedition, enlist the kids to do some baking.  Kids can roll and shape pretzels with this simple pretzel dough recipe.  This would be a great playgroup or daycare activity too – just like playdough time and they can eat the results!


Craft Kit Giveaway –  Flip and Draw Book

Recycled Eco friendly pencil crayons Congratulations to Rebecca, who won this month’s craft kit draw from our homepage!

This month we’re pleased to give away a set of recycled paper pencil crayons.  They’re made from recycled newspaper, wax, natural mineral pigments and glue derived from corn and potatoes and they work just like regular pencil crayons.

We’ll be contacting Rebecca by email to get shipping information for your recycled paper pencil crayons.  You can enter next month’s draw here.

Be sure to join our Facebook page and follow our Twitter feed as well – for quick craft ideas, interesting articles, and giveaways.

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May 2009 Crafty Ideas

Signs of Spring

May is the time of year when the outdoors starts buzzing with activity.  Birds are chirping, bees are starting their collection ritual, and caterpillars are making big plans to become butterflies!  Get inspired by nature this month!     

Signs of Spring Collage: 

Go on a walk with your little one and collect some signs of spring, then turn them into a collage.  Some signs of spring to look for include puddles, rain clouds, spring flowers, blossoms, buds on trees, baby birds, caterpillars, and sprouts of new plants through the dirt.  

Supplies: camera, doodle pad and pencil, magazine clippings, found objects from nature (nothing moving or living!), construction paper, glue, crayons or pencil crayons

Directions:  On your nature walk, take photos of the signs of spring, or your child can draw what he or she sees as you walk.  Collect small items that might work in your collage.  At home, create a collage that includes your spring photos and drawings, magazine clippings of spring, and found objects.      

Did you try this craft?  Send us your comments and photos!

Coffee Filter Butterflies:

A simple craft that’s well worth being reminded about.  Our kitchen window is currently home to a few of these little critters!

Supplies: Paper coffee fliters (basket style), colouring supplies such as crayons, pencil crayons, markers, chenille stems (pipe cleaners).  Optional: decorating supplies such as glitter, pompoms, or paper scraps, glue

Directions: Spread the coffee filter out so it lays flat.  Colour the filter using crayons, markers, or pencil crayons.  Add decorations if desired.  When filter is dry, carefully ‘scrunch’ filter at centre, pinching top to bottom.  Filter should now look like two wings, with centre pinched in where a body will be.  To make body, fold chenille stem in half.  Twist the loop end together until half way up the length of folded stem.  Twist tie around centre of coffee filter, and shape top ends of chenille stem into antennae.

Did you try this craft?  Send us your comments and photos!

It’s All In The Details

The great outdoors has been the inspiration for many artists over the years, and proves to be quite complex when studied from up close.  Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist born in 1887, made many large-scale paintings of natural forms at close range, as if seen through a magnifying lens.  On the next walk with the kids, find a new flower, a slow moving snail, or a bee who’s busy at work, and spend some time just watching, and talking about the little details that sometimes go unseen as we hurry by.


Kitchen with Kids – Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

If you have your own rhubarb plant, the kids can help harvest a few stalks for this yummy treat.  Otherwise, find rhubarb at local farmers markets and produce stores. 


  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar


  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup soft butter

Mix filling in a greased 9×9 baking dish.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients for topping, cutting in the butter until crumbly.  Spread on top of filling.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  Serve warm, with ice cream.

Simple Science- What do Plants Need to Grow?

Plant one bean in planting medium or soil.  Water, and keep it in a bright place (but not direct sunlight).  Plant another bean in exactly the same manner, but keep it in a cool dark location (Like a cold storage room or a closet).  Which one grows faster?  What do plants need to grow?

Five Minute Fun – Dipping Dandelions

Do double duty by ridding the garden of dandelions, and using them for art!  The fluffy yellow flowers might not be wanted in the yard, but they make great abstract art paint brushes.  Pick a few and set out the paints so your kids can get busy with these unique tools

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Craft Ideas: Nine Crafty things to take and do while camping

We try to squeeze in some camping over the summer months to get our fill of water time, marshmallow roasts, hiking and biking.  But there are also times when we just feel like hanging around the campsite enjoying the beautiful shade of the forest from our lawn chairs.  Quiet time at the campsite is a great time to pull out some activities for the kids, and we’ve got a few crafty ideas to recommend:

  1. Drawing Supplies – a sketch pad and pencil can lead to treasure maps drawn, stories written, leaf rubbings made, games played (such as tic-tac-toe) or, perhaps most obviously, inspired drawings
    Sketch Pad for Summer Drawing Outside newspaper pencils, earth friendly craft supplies, eco pencils, green pencils, HB pencils, school supplies
  2. Paints and brushes – gathered sticks and rocks can become art forms as they get a coating of bright paint from the kids.  Transform rocks into bugs or animals, and sticks can become wands.
  3. Wikki Stix – an easy portable activity, these wax covered strings can bend into any shape and can be used by themselves on a playboard, and could even be wrapped around a found rock or twig to give it a shock of colour
    Wax Stick Building Craft
  4. Collage Boards – our kids spent over an hour searching for just the right foliage to adorn their butterfly boards.   Also try sprinkling sections of sand on these for a beach activity
    Butterfly and rectangle collage boards
  5. Masking Tape or painters tape – mask out a giant x & O board in the dirt, and find some sticks to mark X & O.  Then ‘erase’ your game and start over again.  Or, make a nature walk bracelet by putting a piece of masking tape sticky-side-out around your wrist.  Collect little treasures such as leaves and twigs to add to your nature braclet
  6. Sunpaper – this is one of our favourites for summer, whether at home or out camping.  Find a pretty leaf or flower, add a ray of sun and a sprinkling of water, and watch these prints come to life.
    Nature Crafts - Sunprint Paper
  7. Fort building supplies – Clothes pins and string aren’t only for hanging laundry to dry!  A good nook of trees can be transformed into an uuber cool fort with the help of some towels or blanket secured with clothes pins on a line.
  8. Building supplies – we have a bin of building blocks that comes on every single camping trip and gets used on a blanket outside, or under cover if we’re hit with rain
  9. Leaf Press – collect samples of your favourite trees or flowers (if permitted by the park) and store them between the folds of this leaf press.  Patient campers will have pretty mementos to add to scrap books or to use with other craft projects.
    Camping Crafts - Leaf press

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5 Hibernation Themed Activities for Kids (okay, 6)

The November Kids Craft Club theme is hibernation, and we’ve got some great ideas to share with the kids!

  1. Build a blanket fort or den – classic rainy (or snowy!) day activity, when we often do feel like hibernating.  Sometimes these forts entertain for the entire day at our house!  Add a comfy duvet or blanket floor, along with a fort door and a ‘Hibernating’ sign.  The kids always get a kick out of this easy activity and all you need is chairs, blankets, and a little space.  Tip: before they get started, remind the kids that whoever builds it must help take it apart too!
    Blanket fort as part of Hibernation Theme
  2. Make some animal masks and role play hibernation – use your Kids Craft Club package to get started.  Extend your fort/den play by becoming a hibernating animal!  Use craft supplies to become a tired bear, raccoon, hedgehog, or even a bat.  The kids can collect food for the winter, hibernate, and wake up when someone declares that spring has arrived!
    Make a Hibernating Bear Mask with Craft Caravan
  3. Sensory Box: make a hibernation nest – small animals that hibernate, such as hedgehogs, will build themselves nests to snuggle into for the winter.  They use leaves, dried grass, and other available vegetation to build their nests.  Go on a nature hunt to look for small items that might be comfortable in a nest.  Add them to a shoe box or basket to make a comfy nest.  This could be a bed for a small stuffed animal, or you could also search for pinecones or large seeds that could be transformed into a small hibernating animal with the help of some stick-on eyes!   We found some chestnuts and turned them into little critters.  Tip: extend this activity by talking about animals that hibernate in nests, and deciding what kind of animal your critters most look like.  Another idea: cover your little critters with more leaves and ‘bedding’ and when it’s time for them to wake up, the kids can dig through the leaves to find them.
    Make a Hibernation Nest from found items in nature
    Nature Crafts for Kids - make hibernating critters
  4. Do a hibernation experiment:
    1. before hibernating, animals spend a lot of time eating to create excess stores of fat for insulation.  Here’s a simple experiment to see how that extra layer keeps them warm:  have your child wear a glove or mitten on one hand, giving that hand an ‘extra layer’.  Place ice cubes in both their gloved hand, and their bare hand.  Which one stays warm?  Which one gets cold?  Why?
    2. Animals Hibernate to survive through harsh winter conditions.  One of the ways they get ready for hibernation is by building a shelter or nest.  Have the kids lay down and pretend they’re hibernating, without going into any extra shelter.  Plug an electric fan in and point the air flow at the children.  Now have the kids go into their fort or den to hibernate.  Again point the fan air flow at the kids, who are now protected by the walls of the den.  Do they stay warmer in the den than they did without the den? Why?
  5. Plant a winter bulb – use winter dormancy in plants to help explain winter hibernation in animals.  Bulbs, tubers, perennials and trees sit quietly over winter, and then ‘wake up’ again in the spring.  Demonstrate this sleeping-waking similarity by planting bulbs.  Plant your bulb in it’s ‘nest’ of dirt, keep it in a cool place over the winter, and watch for signs of it ‘waking up’ in the spring.  Here’s a ‘how to’
  6. Read some hibernation books – our top 3 picks:
    Bear Snores On Time to Sleep Animals In Winter
    Bear Snores On

    By Karma Wilson

    Illustrated by Jane Chapman

    Time to Sleep

    Written and Illustrated by Denise Fleming

    Animals in Winter

    By Henrietta Bancroft

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Kids Nature Crafts – making bird nests with seeds

My kids and their friends discovered a really fun way to make bird nests from seeds collected from ornamental grasses.  View their video demonstration here.  We happen to have a smoke bush in our yard, and I thought maybe the seeds from the bush would work well for this craft too.  If you’re not familiar with smoke bushes or smoke trees, they look like this:

making a birds nest craft from seedsSee all that seedy fluff waiting to be transformed?  I snapped off a handful of the fluff and set it out to dry (the fall rain has started!!)

collect seed branches to make nature bird nestTo make your birds nest, strip the fluff from the stems by running the stem through your fingers.  Collect the fluff and roll it into a ball:

Roll Seed stems into a ball to make bird nestThen shape the nest by carefully pulling at the edges, and squishing your thumb or fingers in the middle.  Your finished nest will look something like this:

Final Step - shape your nest   Finished nest with egg in it!

Tip: the smoke bush seeds were fun to shape into a nest, but they didn’t stick together as well as the nests that were made from grasses (see video).  To make sure your smoke bush nest sticks together, dilute some glue with water (2:1) and moisten the nest with the glue mixture as you work.  Let your craft dry on a piece of waxed paper so that it doesn’t stick to your work surface.

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Kids Nature Crafts: Three crafty things to do with sticks

Fall winds mean leaves scattered on the ground, and along with the leaves comes an abundance of twigs and small sticks that kids can’t seem to resist picking up.  Our kids have a collection of sticks sitting in a bucket on our front door stoop.  We didn’t dare send the collection back to nature without telling the kids (after all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure) but we felt confident that they’d be up for turning some of their sticks into fun craft projects.  We’ll happily let sticks into the house to be used in these fun nature crafts!

Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 1 – Fall Leaves Tree: 

You’ll Need – a small dried branch (no leaves), tissue paper or bright coloured paper, scissors, glue

What to do:

Ensure that your branch is clean and dry.  There are two ways to make your branch into a bright tree for display.

fall leaves tree with tissue leaves First Method

Cut small rectangles of tissue paper – about 5cm x 3cm per piece.  Your child can take a piece of tissue, scrunch it up, dip one side in glue, and stick it onto the tree.  Alternately, he or she can dab a bit of glue onto the tree branch, and wrap the tissue onto the branch.  See our picture below.Second Method

Nature craft using stick and fall leaves Second Method

Cut leaf shapes out of coloured or printed paper, leaving a long-ish tab at the end.  Dab a bit of glue onto the branch and stick each leaf by wrapping the tab.  This method was inspired by the ‘Fabric Leaf Tree’ found at Two Girls Being Crafty, and simplified for kids.

For method number two, we made our tree come to life by adding a little fold into each leaf.  We also made a fold at the end to create a little tab.  We put glue on the backside of the tab, and wrapped it around the branch:

Folded leaf for nature craft

Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 2 – Twiggy Container:

We liked the look of the pretty votive holders we found at Fossil, and tried our own kid-friendly version.  This can be used to hold pencils, as a small vase, or for small trinkets.

Decorative can craft with sticks and ribbon

You’ll need – a clean dry empty can (choose a size that suits you; we used an old tomato paste can), some wide masking tape, dry, thin sticks and twigs, ribbon

What to do:

Remove the label from your can, and ensure that it is clean and dry.  Prepare the twigs you want to use by snapping them to approximately the same height as the can (tip: for larger thick twigs, an adult can cut to size with pruning sheers).  Wrap collars of masking tape around your can STICKY SIDE OUT.

Kids Recycling CraftStick the twigs to the tape, covering and open spaces with small bits of twig or other finds from nature (such as dried grasses, dried leaves, etc).  Tip: an adult can help by holding the can while kids press the sticks on.  Wrap a ribbon around your finished can to secure sticks, and tie a bow to complete.

Kids Nature Crafts with Sticks 3 – Stick Person Picture:

The stick person is every child’s favourite way to draw people, so why not do it with real sticks?  Parents or caregivers can help guide this activity by asking what part of the body they should start with, and “what do we need next?”.  An easy way to identify basic body parts as they craft.

Craft Idea with Sticks - Stick person for kids

You’ll need – stiff cardstock or cardboard, construction paper, small sticks, crayons, markers, or pencil crayons, scissors, glue, yarn (optional)

What to do:

Choose some sticks that can be broken easily into smaller pieces for your stick person shapes.  Think about pieces for legs, arms, body, skirts, feet, and heads.  Tip: if your child wants to make perfectly round heads for their characters, have some yarn on hand to replace sticks where necessary.  Start working by laying stick body part out on top of your paper, and then pick up the piece to add a generous amount of glue to the area before putting your stick back in place.  Repeat with the rest of your body parts and let dry.  Colour in a mouth, eyes, and nose.

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Nature Crafts – Craft Ideas with Rhubarb

I have two rhubarb plants in my back yard – one of them was a resident before we moved in, and the other was given to me by a friend.  I’ve ignored the plants for the past couple of years, but this year we have rhubarb in abundance.  Here’s one of our two plants:

Rhubarb For Kids Crafts

I love to eat rhubarb (especially in pies or crumbles!), but the problem is that my family doesn’t share the same sentiment.  Actually I created a little poll on a handy iphone app called Pollate*, and apparently 50% of people don’t like rhubarb – whether its’ baked into something or eaten by itself.  So that got me thinking about creative uses for rhubarb.  Here are a few crafty ideas:

Rhubarb Leaves

This part of the plant can’t be eaten anyway so why not put it to good use.  Rhubarb leaves have beautiful veins throughout, making them a great option for stenciling or stamping.  Try:

1.     Play Dough Patterns – your child can roll or press a piece of play dough or modeling clay so that it is flat.  Press the rhubarb leaf (vein side down) into the playdough.  Gently pull the rhubarb up to reveal your pattern

2.     Rhubarb Paint Stamping – get out your paintbrushes or sponges, and paint your rhubarb leaf (on the veiny side)  Press the painted rhubarb leaf onto your piece of paper.  Repeat with multiple colours to achieve a multi-coloured effect. Tip: use naturally dyed paints, so that you can throw your leaf into the compost bin when you’re done.

Paint Stamping with Rhubarb    Nature Craft - Make a Rhubarb Stamp Art Painting

3.     Rhubarb Leaf Stamped Pottery – if you’re looking for a more involved project and have access to pottery equipment, use a rhubarb leaf as a stamp for a unique plate.  My daughter made the one pictured below when she was 6.  Roll a piece of clay out, press the leaf into the clay, and then cut away excess from the edges.  Shape a handle and dry/fire/glaze

Pottery Idea for Kids - Rhubarb Stamped Plate

4.     Rhubarb Stepping Stones can be made using the directions found here.  We’ve made stepping stones before, with a mix of 1/3 cement, 1/3 peat, 1/3 sand.  We didn’t add chicken wire to our stones and they’ve lasted for quite some time

Rhubarb Stems

This is the part that can be used in baking or for eating, but the stems can also be used to make red dyes for t-shirts, play dough, wool, or colouring eggs.  Simply stew a rhubarb stem with ~4 cups of water and then strain, using the liquid as your dye.  You could also use it for watercolour painting of sorts.

If you do happen to like rhubarb in baking,try this rhubarb chocolate chip loaf recipe.  I’ve tested many rhubarb recipies with my family, and this is the only one that gets an enthusiastic nod from everyone.

*Full Disclosure – the Pollate app for iphone was created by my husband, so I’ve become a bit of a ‘power user’.  Users can make, take, and view polls.  If you want to try it, it’s free to download on itunes or visit the website


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