Category Archives: Crafts

Mother’s Day Cards

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix celebrates Mother’s Day with this crafty card.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: 5 ½” X 8 ½” piece of colored copy paper, markers or crayons and glitter or sequins.

Instructions: Fold the paper in half. Draw a picture of your Mom on the front; add color and sparkles. Copy the poem or write your own message to Mom on the card (for the older child).

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

With this project we honor a very special person — Mom! Designing a card for a loved one is a wonderful way for a child to express their feelings. Following is a poem we use with the older children in the Art Studio which can be incorporated into this project.

Super Mom

Mom, you’re a wonderful mother.
So gentle, yet so strong.
The many ways you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.

You’re patient when I’m foolish
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most anything;
You’re the master of every task.

You’re a source of comfort;
You’re my cushion when I fall
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenever I call.

I love you more than I can express;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You’d be the one I’d select!
~ Joanna Fuchs

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Thumbprint Butterflies

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This week is all about butterflies at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: 9” X 12” piece of construction paper, stamp pads with colored ink or assorted colors of tempera paint and markers.

Instructions:

Look at pictures of butterflies.

Choose a piece of paper.

Press your thumb onto a stamp pad or into a small puddle of paint.

Press your thumb on the paper four times to create the wings of a butterfly.

Use markers to add a body and antennae.

Create a picture around your butterflies.  Add more insects.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

You can begin this project by sharing a book about butterflies with your child.  Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek is a wonderful picture book that introduces the child to colors in addition to butterflies.  Following are some fun butterfly facts to share with your child:

  • Butterflies range in size from 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches wide.
  • There are about 24,000 species of butterflies
  • Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton.  This protects the insect and keeps moisture inside their bodies.
  • Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
  • Butterflies can fly as fast as 12 miles per hour.
  • Monarch butterflies journey over 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes to spend the winter in the Gulf of Mexico.  They return north again in the spring.
  • Most butterflies have a short life span, but some do live for 9-10 months.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Real flowering craft: Make a Mother’s Day corsage

Craft and photo by Bettijo B. Hirschi & Aimee Lowry

A Mother’s Day corsage might be traditional, but this easy-to-make bloom is anything but stuffy. Simple enough for little fingers to create, and all you need are cupcake liners, a pipe cleaner and a safety pin.

SUPPLIES:
8 solid-colored cupcake liners (we used yellow)
1 mini cupcake liner, white (optional)
1 pipe cleaner (we used green to simulate leaves but any coordinating color will do)
1 small safety pin
Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:
On a hard surface, flatten each of the cupcake liners and then stack together with the inside facing up. Using the pin, poke a hole through the entire stack. If using a mini cupcake liner, flatten and poke a hole through that as well.

Take your pipe cleaner and begin threading (from outside of liner in) through the center hole you just created in the cupcake liners. End by placing on the mini cupcake liner.

Roll the end of your pipe cleaner into a little knot to secure liners into place, then slide all  the liners so they’re snug against the knot.

Working from the mini liner out, scrunch each cupcake liner closed around the pipe cleaner knot. The liners closer to the middle will fold in tighter and as you work your way out the liners will naturally stay more open, like a real blossom. Gently scrunch and/or twist liners until you’re happy with your flower’s shape.

Trim pipe cleaner so you have about a six-inch tail. Carefully wrap the extra pipe cleaner tail around the non-pinning side of the safety pin. We wrapped it around three times and then formed a leaf-like shape with the remaining pipe cleaner. If you’re not using a green liner you might just want to cut the excess off.

TIPS: If you’re having difficulty getting your flower to hang correctly while wearing, be sure you’ve twisted it nice and tight so the blossom is held firmly against the pin. If you continue to have trouble you can use a glue gun to get it to hold firmly.

Monthly “Real Crafts” are created just for RAK by Bettijo B. Hirschi & Aimée Lowry, the Arizona moms behind family-style blog Paging Supermom.

Munching, crunching caterpillars

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This caterpillar craft introduces the beginning stages of life as a butterfly. You can see live caterpillars turning into real butterflies at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix this week.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: styrofoam peanuts (white or colored – available at craft stores), pipe cleaners cut into 1” lengths, markers, green construction paper, glue sticks or white glue and scissors.

Instructions:

Choose a peanut.  Use markers to add a face and details on the body (i.e., stripes, polka dots, etc.)

Stick two pipe cleaners for antennas on top of the head.

Draw and cut a leaf shape out of the construction paper.  Glue your caterpillar on the leaf.  You can make holes in the leaf where s/he has been munching.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Creating caterpillars is a wonderful way to introduce the young child to the life cycle of the butterfly.  A good way to begin this project is to read your child a book about butterflies.  Two of our favorites are Butterflies by Kate Davis and My, oh My – a Butterfly! by Tish Rabe.  You can also review the following information with your child:

  • The life cycle of a butterfly begins when a butterfly lays tiny eggs on a leaf.
  • The eggs hatch into larva called caterpillars.
  • The caterpillar eats leaves.  As it grows, it sheds its old skin and forms a new one.
  • When the caterpillar is fully grown, it attaches itself to a twig and transforms into a pupa by forming a hard shell called a chrysalis.
  •  The butterfly is formed in the chrysalis.  Eventually it breaks out of its chrysalis and flies away.  It lays eggs and a new cycle begins.

You may order your own caterpillars from Insect Lore (www.insectlore.com; 800-548-3284).  You will receive three to five Painted Lady caterpillars with food for $14.99 plus shipping and handling.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

Sea Turtles

By Beth Jenkins
Art Studio Assistant, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

It’s Earth & Sky month at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. This project introduces the sea turtle, an endangered species.

Ages: preschool (with assistance)  & up.

Materials: 6” X 9” piece of white construction paper, 4” X 5” piece of green construction paper, paper fasteners, scissors and markers or crayons.

Instructions:

Show a picture of a sea turtle to your child.  Have them draw and cut out a turtle from the green paper.  Decorate with markers or crayons.

Help your child draw an egg shape larger than the turtle on white paper.

Cut out the egg and decorate it.

Draw and cut a jagged line in the middle of the egg, cutting the egg in half so it looks like it was cracked in two pieces.

Use a paper fastener to attach the two egg pieces on top of the turtle.

Open and shut the shell to demonstrate the hatching of the baby sea turtle.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

A good way to begin this project is to read your child a book about sea turtles.  Two of our favorites are One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies and Jane Chapman, and I’ll Follow the Moon by Stephanie Lisa Tara and Lee Edward Fodi.  This is an optimal time to introduce the topic of endangered species and what we can do to protect them.  The following information can be reviewed with your child:

  • Sea turtles are an endangered species that live in warm oceans around the world.
  • They are the largest of turtles and can grow to 7 feet long, weigh 1000 lbs., and live to be 100 years old.
  •  The life cycle of the sea turtle begins when a mother turtle travels thousands of miles to the beach where she was born.
  • She digs a pit in the sand and lays about 100 eggs, the size of ping-pong balls.
  • She covers the pit and leaves.
  • Baby turtles hatch in 50 to 70 days, crawling across the sand to ocean.
  • It is a dangerous journey since they can be eaten by predators such as birds and fish. They can also die from ingesting plastic wrappers floating in the ocean.
  • Those babies that survive eat fish, seaweed, and algae and grow to adulthood.
  • Certain beaches are designated as protected habitats for turtles that are nesting.

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.

real earth-friendly craft: making accessories from recycled tees

Photo courtesy of Bettijo B. Hirschi & Aimee Lowry.

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, reuse outgrown or even stained T-shirts to create colorful recycled necklaces, bracelets, headbands and more. In just minutes you and your kids can transform old tees into colorful and fun accessories—recycling has never been this stylish! Most T-shirts are made from stretchy knit fabric that does not fray, which makes it perfect for cutting up.

SUPPLIES: old T-shirts, scissors

INSTRUCTIONS: Gather a handful of old tees, particularly ones in bright colors.

Spread your T-shirt on a flat surface, and find the longest area of your shirt. (For most shirts this will be from the shoulder line to the waistline.)

Using sharp scissors, cut strips of fabric (about 1/2” to 1” wide) down the longest length of your shirt. This will create ribbon-like strips. Your cuts do not need to be perfectly straight, as braided jewelry is very forgiving. If you’re using small shirts, you may wish to cut along the bottom waistline, through both the front and back of the shirt at the same time. When you’re finished you’ll have a fabric loop that can be used as is or cut at the seam to make a flat strip.

Take three strips and knot together on one end, then braid through the length. It works best if you pull tightly, stretching out the fabric as you braid.

Once braiding is complete, cut to your desired length. Tie ends together to create a braided circle. Wear as desired.

You can also use these knit strips unbraided to make bracelets and headbands or to tie on a gift-wrapped package instead of ribbon.

Monthly “Real Crafts” are created just for RAK by Bettijo B. Hirschi & Aimée Lowry, the Arizona moms behind the family-style blog Paging Supermom. For more ideas visit pagingsupermom.com.


Welcome to my garden! – a springtime collage

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

It’s Earth & Sky month at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. This project teaches children how a seed grows into a plant.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: brown construction paper or a brown paper bag cut into 6” X 9” pieces, tissue paper scraps, glue stick or white glue, scissors, birdseed, dried beans, peas and/or corn.

Instructions:

Choose a piece of construction paper and fan-fold it along the 9” side to create furrows to “plant” seeds in.

Create plants and flowers out of tissue paper.

Glue beans, seeds, and plants and flowers in the furrows.

TEACHABLE MOMENTS

Following April’s theme of “Earth and Sky,” we are focusing in the Art Studio on living a “green” lifestyle.  This is a wonderful art project using simple materials that introduces the young child to how a seed grows into a plant.

Any art project lends itself to integrating corresponding literature.  There are many fine books which have a garden theme.  Here are two of our favorites:  The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss is a treasured story of how childhood faith is rewarded.  It is ideal for the very small child. The Flower Ball by Sigrid Laube and Silke Leffler, French authors, is a story about vegetables who crash a ball hosted by some snooty flowers.

Here is an ideal time to review with your child some facts regarding how a seed becomes a plant:

1.  A seed needs soil, water, and sunlight to germinate or grow into a plant.
2.  The root grows downward in the soil to receive water and nutrients for growth.
3.  The shoot grows upward, reaching for sunlight.
4.  When the shoot reaches the surface it becomes a sprout.
5.  The sprout develops green leaves, becoming a seedling.

What a wonderful time to plant an actual garden with your child– even in a container pot!

ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX

The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.