Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our Week of Michaels and ACMoore Crafts

Eh- that about sums up my opinion of doing these pre-fab crafts for the week. They were helpful as we were busy with the Christmas production, but they weren't all that they were cracked up to be.  Some we loved, some we didn't - but here's my take on some that you might try with your own kids.

First we did the "make a mug" craft. In terms of doing it - simple. They color.  The only issue is that the tops are really loose on the bottoms, so the insides can easily get wet. To fix this, we covered their art with contact paper, trimmed it to fit, and put it in the cups.  This way, even if they get wet between the outer part of the cup and the insert, the art is still safe.  They loved it - I thought they were kinda dumb.
Next we moved on to foam house kits - which were adorable, but needed a lot of adult supervision.  My older two kids could assemble theirs, but Jake needed some help.  Also, even though the directions don't call for it - you really need a hot glue gun to put them together.  They suggest craft glue - but it just doesn't work.  Trust me, we tried. The final product was adorable, but this is a totally hands-on project for mommy or daddy to do with the kids.

The next project we did was a "melt bead" project - you know they look like this in the package:

These were very easy for my kids.  Bee followed the directions on hers and made an ornament:

Then Alex made this on his own - I was pretty impressed:

And then Jake copied it exactly - which I also was impressed by - I mean, he's only five!  :)
These were nice, because aside from the ironing at the end, the kids could work on these on their own between subjects. They are simple, time consuming, and work those necessary fine motor skills.  As for what to do with them??  The holes seal shut, so you can't really hang them - right now they are hanging out on my kids' school desks...they seem to like them there.  :) 

The next day, we made these puppets - which I adore!!  The kids could totally do them on their own, once I tied a knot in their needles for them (so the string wouldn't fall out).  They could look at the package, and figure out which pieces needed to be glued onto which parts - and they came out so cute!   On Jake's (Santa) we had to use cotton balls for a beard because it didn't come with his beard for some reason.  For a buck, though, I can't complain.  This is a totally kid-independent (you'll note that I was actually able to take photos of them doing this one)  project, and I give it two thumbs way up!

 Finally, we made these "little pot pals" - which I just coudn't resist. Now, these were also supposed to be put together with tacky craft glue - but we didn't even attempt it. I took this as an opportunity to teach my kids how to use a hot glue gun.  Some parts they held while I glued, and some parts I held while they glued. Each one was a team effort, with them doing as much as I felt they could.  They enjoyed using the hot glue, and it made the projects come together quite quickly and easily.  Aren't they sweet?

*note - bee's didn't come with eyes - so she drew them on, because the only google eyes we had on hand would have been too big.

So there you have it - our week of store bought crafts. This week we did more "home made" type crafts which I will be posting at the end of this week and throughout the week next week, with links so you can make them too if you want to.
I hope you are enjoying your babies this holiday season. I know I am!!
Merry, Merry!!

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