DIY Valentines: Six Cute Card Ideas

Homemade Valentine Ideas

Imagine getting an old-fashioned homemade valentine from your significant other. Just like every other holiday, Valentine’s Day has become highly commercialized. Back in the old days, valentines were made by hand of paper and cloth. Later on, they were made of old photos, real lace, and ribbons. There were no factories to mass produce die-cut valentine cards.

As valentine card making advanced, the real lace and ribbons turned into  lace  and red, pink and white paper. Purple paper grew popular as a “valentines color” too. Then, in the early 1800’s, Valentine cards began being mass produced and assembled in factories. Gone was the innocence of a sweetly-made Valentine card. Now a girl is lucky to get a Valentine  other than an eCard. It is hard sometimes to beat technology. Don’t let the valentine card become a thing of the past.  

Wouldn’t it be romantic to begin an old tradition anew? Here are six cute homemade valentine card ideas to get started with. Copy them as is, or alter them to use watever you have on hand. Or, maybe these will spark a new idea for your own design.

Materials needed for cute homemade Valentines besides red, white, pink and purple paper can include ribbon, lace, fuzzy pompoms, yarn, fabric, stickers, scrap-booking material and imagination. It is good to have a hot glue gun on hand  for gluing on heavier objects like poms or buttons. Otherwise, some very pretty Valentines can be created with  only paper,scissors, glue, markers or crayons. Just be sure to use paper thick enough that the markers you use don’t bleed through. I hope the following ideas inspire someone to make homemade Valentine cards this year.

Butterfly Homemade Valentine Card

Cute Butterfly Card

This valentine butterfly is made of two red paper heart cut-outs. Cut the inside of each one out to leave a heart outline. Glue a square of pink tissue paper (or color of choice) inside and then trim. Glue in a butterfly shape onto the front of the card. Paint on spots with white acrylic paint. The butterfly’s body and antenna are formed from black chenille stems .

The inside is reserved for a personal message.

A dab of hot glue from a glue gun will hold heavier materials like pipe cleaners and googly eyes better. 

The Birds and the Bee

Cute Bee My Valentine Homemade Card

The birds and the bees have long been the subject of love. This cute card is made with red paper. A  bee of yellow paper  has black marker stripes. It has white heart-shaped wings, tiny googly eyes, pom pom stinger and a red smile cut from felt.

Write a personal message inside.

My Love Grows and Grows 

Love Grows With A Three-tiered Fold-out Card.

A growing flower with pink and purple heart-shaped petals grows taller and taller as the card unfolds. Do this by folding the paper in thirds. Put the parts on each section as shown. The flowers center is a little yellow pom pom, but you could use a wad of yellow tissue or simply a yellow paper circle.

Berry Much Love 

Heart-shaped Berry for a Cute Valentine card.

 

This cute card is a strawberry shaped like a valentine with  little green leaf valentines on the stem. This is all done with paper and marker. Outlining in rick rack adds a nice effect.

 

Squeaking Heart Mouse

 

My Heart Squeaks For You!

 This squeaky mouse is a half of a heart cut from white paper. His ears are a little pink valentine. His curly tail is gift-wrapping ribbon. He has a hot pink pom pom nose, a googly eye and drawn-on whiskers. Add stickers or cut hearts from paper to embellish the card.

Write a message inside.

 

     Soaring Love                                              

A Valentine Kite on a String of Red Ribbon

 

A heart-shaped kite is being flown on a red ribbon string. It is soaring high towards the blue marker clouds. Tiny pink tissue paper ruffles give it some bling. Make the ruffles by inserting a pencil point inside the tissue square.  Twist, remove and glue in place. This is a bit tedious, but the rest of the card is really simple.

 

 

Not crafty? Try vintage Valentines.


Valentine Cupcakes: Make Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day Celebrations

 

Make Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day Celebrations.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for sweethearts, engagements, and marriages. The whole family can have fun getting involved in honoring the Saint of Love. There are cards designed for all family members from grandmothers to aunts. School kids have either made or bought and traded valentines for generations. Remember that tissue covered and decorated shoe box in grade school? And who doesn’t just love a heart-shaped box of chocolates?

Cupcakes are popular Valentine’s Day treats. Pretty red, white and pink decorated cupcakes make any Valentine’s Day celebration better. They can also make a great homemade gift.

There are lots of fun ways to decorate Valentine’s Day cupcakes: red, white and pink sprinkles, candy hearts, white or pink frosting. Don’t ignore chocolate frosting and decor either. After all, chocolate is the elixir of love.

Teddy Bear Sweetheart Cupcakes

Best Valentine Cupcakes

This year, out do all the other Valentine cupcakes with sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes. Almost too cute to eat, they are sure to be a hit with everyone. They aren’t just adorable, they taste divine. These sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes are made with a moist red velvet cake mix.

A moist red velvet cake mix is perfect for sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes.

Romantic Idea: Make Homemade Valentines

 Baking Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Fill the cupcake liners a just little bit fuller than normal. This gives the cupcakes a nice round shape that will be cuter for the teddy bear sweetheart cupcakes. Don’t overfill though, or you will end up with something that resembles a nuclear explosion mushroom cloud!

Fill cupcake liners just a little fuller than normal for nice round faces to decorate.

Decorating Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

The cream cheese frosting for these cute valentine cupcakes is lightly tinted pink. The cupcakes are then sprinkled with finely shredded coconut. This gives the teddy bear cupcakes a fuzzy, cuddly look.

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcakes

Sweetheart Teddy Bears Muzzle and Nose

Kraft now markets Strawberry-mallows. These pale pink strawberry flavored marshmallows are available in a regular marshmallow shape and in valentine shapes. They are perfect for creating the sweetheart teddy bear’s muzzle and ears.

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Creation Station

Sweetheart Teddy Bear Cupcake’s Flavors

Add the flavor of a Maraschino cherry nose and semi-sweet chocolate chip eyes for a sensational tasting cupcake. The tastes of coconut and cream cheese frosting  complete this delectable treat.  Yum!

For  delectable, delicious and really cute Valentine cupcakes give sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes a try!

 

Get set to make sweetheart teddy bear cupcakes!

Christmas Tree Themes: Christmas At The Beach

Beach Themed Christmas Ornaments

Coastal dwellers love anything with a ‘beachy’ look. At Christmastime, you are likely to find beach-themed Christmas ornaments and other nautical decorations in their homes.

However, these days you don’t have to live by the sea to enjoy beach-themed decor. Even folks in Kansas can incorporate a nautical theme thanks to online ordering. These beachy ornaments will help you achieve a nautical look for your holiday decor.

If you live near the beach or take vacations there, be sure to comb the beach and  the shops for shells to make ornaments next Christmas.

Starfish Ornaments

Santa From the Sea

Starfish are generally hard to find on most beaches, and if you do find one that is still alive, tossing it back to sea is a good thing to do. They can be found in souvenir shops at the beach and ordered on line.

The star fish Santa is painted with red and white acrylic paints. His belt and boots are black. He has a foil belt buckle. Paint his face pink after the beard and hat have dried. Then,when the face has dried, attach tiny wiggly eyes and a red pom pom nose with hot glue. Add a white pom pom to Santa’s hat.

Star fish Santa

Oyster Shell Ornaments

Finding Oyster Shells

Oyster shells are harder to find for the in-lander. Islanders can find them scattered abundantly on the beach. One place you can find them is at restaurants that serve oysters. However, the green thing to do these days is to send the shells back to oyster farms where they are used to grow new crops of oysters. The ones lying sun-bleached on the beach are best to use. Otherwise, they must be soaked for a while in a solution of bleach and water.

Oyster Shell Santa

There is something about the shape of an oyster shell that lets us paint a Santa face. Paint the bottom white for a beard . Red paint and a pom pom completes Santa’s hat. Glue on small wiggly eyes, red pom pom nose and a white Santa hat pom pom.

 

 Golden Oyster Shell Ornament

The golden oyster shell ornament is a breeze to make and looks very elegant. Larger oyster shells have  differing, interesting shapes.Simply spray some with gold spray paint.  Then just attach a fancy bow with hot glue and add an ornament hanger. How easy is that!

Golden oyster shell ornament is easy to make.

Sand Dollar Ornaments

Finding Sand Dollars

Sand dollars are my favorite find in beach combing. They are harder to find that oyster shells but easier than star fish. On the beach, they are usually buried underneath the sand just at the shore line. They will need to be bleached for ornament making. Sand dollars can be bought by the dozens in seaside souvenir shops and on-line. They are very inexpensive.

Sand dollars have a natural imprint on them that resembles a flower with five petals. Turn this into a poinsettia, or Christmas flower with acrylic paint. A rim of glitter adds some bling. Spraying them with clear Krylon will give them a glossy look and help protect from breakage.

Sand dollar poinsettia ornaments

Clear Fill-able Ornaments

Beach-scape Ornament

Clear fill-able ornaments can be purchased at craft shops or ordered on-line.These can be used to make pretty ornaments with things found on the beach. Believe it or not, beach sand can actually be ordered, but it has to be bought in bulk. The lowest amount is 25 pounds. You will want to get white craft sand from a craft supply store. Better yet, the next time you get to visit the beach, get a little sand in your shell-collecting bucket along with some tiny shells. Then you will have what you need to make a pretty  beach–scape ornament.

Beach-scape inside a clear fill-able ornament

Sea Glass Ornament

Sea glass is old broken glass that has been tossed and churned about for many years. It is smooth and has a frosty look. Some sea glass is rare, and its rarity is determined by color. Green, white and brown are the most common. Red, blue, amber, orange and some shades of green are rare.

Sea glass is a hobby for some people, and it is much sought after. Authentic sea glass can be ordered, but it is rather pricey. Fortunately for me, I have my own collection of sea glass that I have collected over time.

Sea glass can also be made artificially by a special tumbling process that gives it the frosty look of real sea glass. Craft grade sea glass is available on-line and in craft supply stores. Fill a clear ornament with some sea glass, authentic or manufactured. Tie it on the tree with a pretty green ribbon.

Clear fill-able ornament with colorful sea glass.

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Simple Nautical Wreath

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All it takes is two natural grapevine wreaths, shells, starfish and some Christmas ribbons to make these simple yet nautical wreaths. Or just make one!  Just hot glue your beach finds to the wreaths. Add long, long ribbons. Or just make one!

Rudolph the Red-nosed Palm Bark

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Spray a piece of palm bark with clear acrylic for a little shine. Then just glue on huge googly eyes and a big red pom pom.


Homemade Christmas Crafts For All Ages

 

Homemade Ornaments, Gifts and Party Favors to Make For Christmas

Celebrate the Season of Joy! Make pretty Christmas crafts with these homemade Christmas craft ideas.Use these ideas for ornaments, give them out for party favors, or use them as special homemade gifts.

Ideas are included for younger and older children. Even adult crafters will enjoy some of these Christmas craft ideas. They don’t require a lot or preparation,and the materials used are easy to obtain and inexpensive. So get out the craft box and add some homemade fun to the holiday.

Christmas Crafts for Younger Kids

Craft Stick Christmas Ornaments

Craft  sticks can be used to make really cute ornaments. Craft sticks are merely Popsicle sticks  or tongue depressors. You don’t have to save them up. They can be bought by the box in the crafts department.  Turn them into refrigerator magnets by gluing magnets on the back. These inexpensive magnets can be purchased in the craft section of department stores. Moms and grandmothers will cherish these ornaments and magnets year after year.

There is no cutting involved with craft stick ornaments. Little kids can do a lot on their own. They get a sense of self accomplishment and the ornaments look quite impressive.

Craft stick reindeer ornament

How to Make a Rudolph Craft Stick Ornament

There are different versions to this craft. Use the narrow Popsicle size for one and the wider, tongue depressor size for another. Paint sticks brown or leave natural. Twigs can be antlers or antlers can be the tips of the craft sticks

You will need:
  •  craft sticks, either size
  • wiggly eyes
  • ribbon or hanger
  • small red pompoms
  • glue
  • twigs(optional)
  • brown paint(optional)
How to make:
  1. paint sticks if preferred, or leave natural
  2. let dry and glue into a triangle shape
  3. leave some of the two side craft sticks over-lapping the top to form antlers. (or glue without the over-lap and glue on twig antlers.
  4. add ribbon, yarn or cold cord for a hanger.
White paint and clear plastic bead help to create this shimmery Popsicle stick snowflake homemade ornament.

How to Make a Snowflake Ornament

You will need:
  • Popsicle-size craft stick
  • white poster or acrylic paint and paint brushes
  • clear plastic crystal beads
  • yarn or silver cord  for a hanger
How to make:
  1. paint the six craft sticks white
  2. allow to dry
  3. glue on clear beads with white clear-drying glue
  4. add a hanger

 

Sweet gum tree ornament gives the tree a bit of nature’s beauty

How to Make a Sweet Gum Ball Ornament

Very safe for young children to make, older crafters will enjoy this project as well. Sweet gum ball homemade Christmas ornaments will add a touch of nature to the tree. Sweet gum balls are plentiful in late fall and early winter. Just search the ground underneath the sweet gum trees.

 

You will need:
  • sweet gum balls
  • wooden tooth picks
  • glue
  • white paint
  • silver glitter
How to make:
  1. stick a toothpick in each hole around the sweet gum ball. use a dab of glue to help anchor it.
  2. paint sweet gum ball and toothpicks white
  3. shake on silver glitter while the paint is still wet
  4. Dry and glue on a piece of ribbon or yarn for a hanger

How to Make a Reindeer Hand Print Keepsake

Reindeer hand print keepsake.
You will need:
  • brown craft foam (construction paper may also be used)
  • white paper
  • brown finger paint
  • large-size wiggly eyes
  • medium to large red pom pom
How to make:
  1. cut a large triangle from the craft foam or paper
  2. child makes hand prints with paint on white paper
  3. cut out hand prints and glue on for antlers
  4. add a fringe of brown paper to the forehead
  5. glue on eyes and nose

Christmas Crafts for Older Kids to Make

Older kids and adults like to make ornaments and party favors.  They look for ornament ideas that will make good gifts for friends’ Christmas trees. They can also help younger kids make things.  For example, the candy cane reindeer are great for kids to pass out at school. They can also be hung on the tree or put in stockings.  Older kids and adults can help with the gluing.

How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer Party Favors

Candy cane reindeer can be hung on the Christmas tree.
What you need:
  • wrapped candy canes
  • small pom poms
  • small wiggly eyes
  • brown chenille stems
  • hot glue
How to make:
  1. hot glue eyes and nose on candy cane
  2. cut chenille stem in half
  3. bend stem to form an antler
  4. glue on two antlers

 

How to Make a Recycled Light Bulb Santa Ornament

Recycle a light bulb to make a cute homemade Santa ornament.
You Will Need:
  1. burned out light bulb
  2. acrylic paints
  3. paint brushes
  4. small wiggly eyes
  5. cotton balls
  6. yarn or ribbon for the hanger
  7. small red pompom
  8. medium-size white pompom
How to Make:
  1. paint the top part of the light bulb red
  2. glue on the wiggly eyes
  3. add a red pom pom nose
  4. paint on rosy pink cheeks and red mouth
  5. glue cotton on the bottom part of the bulb for a beard
  6. form eyebrows and moustache from cotton and glue in position
  7. glue on ribbon for a hanger

 How to Make a Fan Ornament

Pretty fan ornament makes a great homemade gift

The secret to making this pretty fan ornament lies in the measuring, folding, trimming and gluing techniques. Use these colors or others. Gold, pink and white would look pretty.

What you need:
  • metallic gift wrap
  • colored tissue gift wrap (in two colors)
  • ribbon
  • lace
  • a bead
  • hot glue
  • card stock (an old file folder works)
  • ruler
How to make:
  1. begin by cutting three 4″ x 5″ inch pieces of metallic wrap
  2. fold each piece accordion (fan) style
  3. trim the ends so that each pleat will be even
  4. open up and put a dab of hot glue between each pleat at the bottom only
  5. lay aside. repeat process for two pieces of tissue the same size.
  6. use white glue, not hot glue for gluing the tissue wrap pleats
  7. cut one longer rectangle in the second color,  4″ x 7″.
  8. fold and glue in the same fashion
  9. next, it is time to glue the fan pieces together
  10. then cut a card stock strip only as long and wide as the fan
  11. glue the fan to the strip with hot glue. trim as needed
  12. add lace, bows and a bead with hot glue

important: use hot glue when gluing tissue to metallic wrap sparingly. use white glue for gluing tissue wrap to tissue wrap

How to Make a Pot of Pinwheel Poinsettias

Pretty pinwheel poinsettias make a great homemade Christmas gift

The poinsettia flower has been used in Christmas decorating for a long time. These poinsettias won’t shed or need special care. They are made of paper using a basic pinwheel cut-an-fold as illustrated. These can be left plain if preferred, but I like to use glitter on mine to add some bling. Try other colors like pink and white. Pinwheel poinsettias can be placed on mantels, table tops or shelves or “planted” in a planter. Coordinate the tissue wrap with the poinsettia colors.

What you need:
  • red and green construction paper
  • red and green tissue wrap
  • three wooden dowels
  • green acrylic paint
  • light green and yellow tissue
  • gold, red and green glitter
  • small plastic planting pot
  • hot glue
How to make:

pinwheel cut-and-fold:

Mark top left corner as 1
Mark bottom right corner as 2
Mark bottom corner of left side as 3
Mark top corner of right side as 4
    1. paint the wooden dowels green
    2. set aside to dry
    3. cut half of a sheet of 9″ x 11″ of red and green paper for each poinsettia
    4. “square off” the paper by folding and cutting as shown(you should have a perfect square that is 5 and 7/8th  inches on each side
    5. Fold in marked corners to the middle and glue to secure
    6. Make a red and green pinwheel for each flower
    7. Attach together with the red pinwheel on top and turned at an angle so the green pinwheel shows
    8. glue wads of light green and yellow tissue in the center
    9. make a “wash” with part white glue to part water
    10. using a paint brush apply the wash to petals and the flower’s center
    11. quickly sprinkle red glitter on red petals and green glitter on green petals
    12. sprinkle gold glitter to the flowers center
    13. If making into a planter, hot glue the poinsettias to the wooden dowel.
    14. Place in planter with floral foam and cover planter with red, pink or white tissue wrap
    15. Add green tissue to cover the floral foam.


Christmas Cupcake Recipes: Cupcake Decorating Ideas For Kids

Christmas Cupcake Ideas

Cute Christmas cupcakes mean so much to kids during the holidays. Mothers bake and decorate them to send to school, church bazaars, kid”s parties or just to have them at home.

The possibilities for cupcake decorating ideas for kids are limited only by the imagination and what decorating items you can find. Fortunately, at this time of year, grocery and department stores are well stocked with things to help with your Christmas cupcakes.

Past  Christmas Cupcake Decorating

I was a little disappointed when I couldn’t find some of the things I have used in the past for Christmas cupcake recipes. Those strands of little candy canes in cellophane seem to not exist anymore. I have yet to find any ‘reindeer corn.’ Reindeer corn, which is green,red and white candy corn makes cute Christmas cupcakes. Just ice the cupcake and form a flower with it in the center. Tiny candy canes and red and green sprinkles used to be a tradition for my Christmas cupcake decorating.

New Items for Creative New Cupcakes

There are  newer candies available  that save the day for kid’s Christmas cupcakes. We used Rips, which are squares of red and green licorice candy, mini M&Ms, decorating gels and colorful sprinkles.

The kids are out of school for a long break. Schedule an afternoon of fun by decorating Christmas cupcakes with them. It is a good way to help them develop their creativity. Bake and ice the cupcakes, then set out some of these sprinkles, gels and other colorful candies. The kids will enjoy decorating, eating and sharing their creations.

Here are some inspirations to get you started.

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer Cupcake

Ice cooled cupcakes with your favorite chocolate frosting. Form the muzzle with a vanilla wafer and add a red M&M nose. The eyes are blue mini M&Ms. The antlers are added with mini pretzels. Use chocolate piping to outline a mouth and add pupils to the eyes .

tip: Just put some frosting in a plastic baggie and cut a small slit at the tip on the bottom. Then squeeze on the piping.

Cute reindeer Christmas cupcake

Santa’s Hat Cupcake

For the Santa’s hat, use red icing that is bought in tubes. It is impossible to tint white frosting red with food dye. It will just turn pink. Frost the cupcake first and then carefully frost a small ice cream cone. Invert the cone on the cupcake. Add mini-marshmallow fur and a pom pom at the tip.

Santa’s hat is a cupcake, inverted ice cream cone and mini marshmallow.

Poinsettia Cupcake

The red and green licorice squares have a shimmery sugar coating that makes a lovely poinsettia. Use kitchen shears to trim the petals from the pieces. Use a yellow mini M&M for the flower’s center.

 

Abstract Design Tree Cupcake

The abstract Christmas tree design is easy to achieve with a tube of green cake decorating gel. Add round dot sprinkles to represent the ornaments.

Draw on an abstract tree design with green cake decorating gel. Add sprinkles for ornaments.

Have fun with Christmas cupcake decorating ideas for kids. You will create memories for a lifetime that they will in turn pass on.


Thanksgiving Activities For Kids: Last Minute Crafts And Snack Ideas.

Easy Thanksgiving Ideas for Kids

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday for teaching  Early American History to kids.They love learning about the First Thanksgiving and all about Pilgrims and Indians.

There are plays, skits, crafts and Thanksgiving dinners for school and daycare groups. Thanksgiving  activities are a big part of American culture.Parents look forward to what the kids made at school or daycare for Thanksgiving. These Thanksgiving activities for kids are easy to do. The materials are minimal and easy to get.This is what makes them so good for last minute crafts and snacks for school, daycare or at home.

Thanksgiving Craft and Snack Ideas

Not only are these last minute snack and craft ideas for Thanksgiving easy to prepare for, they are also multi-leveled.  Use them for preschool Thanksgiving crafts. Older children can create these Thanksgiving crafts with minimal help from adults.

Last minute snack and craft ideas for Thanksgiving are great for home schooling, busy Moms, daycare and busy teachers of younger kids.

Thankful Turkey Feathers

This thankful turkey is made by painting  two Styrofoam balls with brown acrylic paint. One (the head) is smaller than the other (the body). This turkey has googly eyes and a snood and wattle made of a red chenille pipe cleaner. Form an orange beak triangle. Attach the Styrofoam balls together with hot glue and add features.  Attach him to a set of craft foam or heavy cardboard feet.

Child or teacher can cut paper feathers. They can color Popsicle sticks with markers for the feathers to be glued on. The feathers can then be easily stuck into the turkey’s Styrofoam body.

Kids write something to be thankful for on this turkey’s feathers.

This Thanksgiving craft for kids can be used in different ways.

For Younger Kids:

Thankful turkey feathers make a great literacy lesson for little ones. The early childhood teacher will create the turkey craft. She will provide ‘feathers’ for individual kids on which to write things they are thankful for .

 

For Older Kids:

Older kids can be more involved in the creation of the turkey that holds the ‘thankful feathers.’

This is a great craft for kids to take home. Parents will love to use it for a Thanksgiving decoration. Kids will be so proud!

It is also a good group activity for the early childhood classroom.  Use it as a table centerpiece for a parent-child Thanksgiving luncheon.

 

Thanksgiving Snack For Kids

Kids of all ages will like this healthy turkey snack. It is made with the following:

  • A pear sliced vertically
  • Red and yellow apple slices
  • Raisins and craisins
  • Cheddar cheese triangles
  • Halved grapes
A fruity turkey!

 

Slice a pear vertically and place on a plate. Add grape halves and red and yellow apple slices as shown for feathers. This turkey has a craisin snood,  raisin eyes and an apple slice wattle. They are attached with tooth pick halves. Take care when serving young children to remove the tooth picks.

Cheesy beak and feet make this nutritious snack complete.

This is a great snack for those day care programs that are open almost to the last  minute for the holiday.

Indian Corn Napkin Rings

Indian Corn Napkin Rings

Indian corn napkin rings are a great last minute project that will impress parents. Use empty toilet tissue holders and tissue paper in Indian corn colors. They make very nice napkin holders that will really add to the Thanksgiving dinner table.

For Younger Kids:  

Use tissue ‘squares’ that are about 3″x 3″. This is a good activity for fine muscle development. Let the kids ball the squares with their fingers. Help them glue to a half of a toilet tissue roll. They can even practice patterning as a math skill. See how the one roll has a color pattern started. Patterning is an important math skill for young children.

For Older Kids:

Older children have greater fine motor skills and a longer attention span. They can also be directed to cut tissue ‘squares’. Use smaller squares for them.

Harvest Fruit Sun Catchers

Harvest Sun Catchers will be a great decoration for kids to share at home.

 

Parents really love it when kids bring home things for holidays. It is the perfect time to brag. Many times holiday craft projects are kept as memorabilia for many years. This can be difficult for teachers of really young kids with limited skills. Harvest fruit sun catchers involve little ones for a nice looking Thanksgiving craft to send home. Skills for this project vary from easy to harder. Tissue shapes are glued to wax paper fruit cut-outs inside fruit frames of black construction paper. Use a white crayon for tracing fruit shapes.

For Younger Kids:

Prepare materials. Let them glue pre-cut tissue pieces to fruit shapes.

For Older Kids:

Older children can cut and trace their own fruit shapes from patterns. They can also cut the tissue shapes.

Kids trace fruit shapes from black construction paper. Tissue collage makes pretty sun catchers.

Harvest Fruit From Paper Strips

Cute and easy harvest fruit from strips of construction paper.

These apples and pumpkins can fill a basket for a table centerpiece for the day care Thanksgiving dinner. Toss them into a basket with mini pumpkins and gourds. Parents are sure to be impressed.

For Younger Kids

These students can practice cutting skills using safety scissors. Help them adjoin four strips with paper fasteners. Assist with cutting and attaching stems.

For Older Kids

Older kids can follow directions and complete this activity with minimal assistance.

Don’t send the kids home for Thanksgiving this year without a cute Thanksgiving craft that they made in school or daycare !

Fruit Kabob Turkey With Chocolate Dip Body

Fruit Kabob Turkey

Thanksgiving Snacks For Kids

Fruit  kabobs are a fun way for kids to eat fruit.  Fruit is an extremely important part of anyone’s diet but  especially for kids’ diets.  Fruit kabobs make it more likely that kids will eat fruit. Anything that is fun is better!

Kids love food that looks like animals and other objects. Food that looks like other things is a great way to encourage picky eaters. Even kids that don’t really relish fruit will be begging for a “turkey feather”!

Turkey Table Centerpiece

Do you need a centerpiece idea for your Thanksgiving table?  This clever rainbow fruit kabob that looks like a turkey is sure to be a winner.  It is a fun project to do with the kids for Thanksgiving. Getting them involved in preparing a holiday meal is lots of fun and a good way to spend quality time together.

It’s never too soon to help kids become aware of the health benefits of fruit and other healthy foods. Getting them into the habit of eating healthy foods now is a benefit that will pay off for them later in life. Even young children can become aware of how each food helps certain parts of the body.

Use the information after the post  for a quick reference. While making rainbow fruit kabob turkeys, discuss with the kids how each fruit helps us stay healthy.

An Edible Centerpiece

Guests will love this fruit kabob edible centerpiece. An easy-to-make, delicious chocolate fruit dip in a bowl is the turkey’s body.  Dip in some “fruity feathers” for a tasty appetizer. The turkey’s head is a crunchy pear. His beady eyes are blueberries skewered into mini marshmallows with toothpicks.  His beak is an orange wedge, his snood is the pointy end of strawberries and his wattle is a slice of crispy red apple. Attach these parts to the pear with halves of toothpicks. Give the turkey two carrot strip legs and orange wedge feet. He will be almost too cute to eat!

How To Make A Rainbow Fruit Kabob Turkey

Materials And Ingredients:

  • assorted fruit (grapes, kiwi, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe)
  • wooden skewers
  • toothpicks
  • one pear
  • two blueberries
  • two mini marshmallows
  • one orange
  • carrot strips
  • one pear
  • endive (optional, for grass)
  • small glass bowl
  • chocolate dip (easy recipe below)
Use 10-12 skewers for the fruit kabobs.

Assembling The  Fruit Kabob Turkey

  1. Skewer three grapes and push to about one inch from the end.
  2. Add pineapple chunks, kiwi and strawberry slices, and cantaloupe chunks.
  3. Top with three grapes in a smaller size for the “feather tips”.
(10-12 skewers of fruit will make a turkey with a full spread of feathers.)

Attach the turkey’s features to the pear with toothpicks.  Now attach the turkey’s head to the bottom of  a skewer of fruit near the middle.

Attach the head to the middle skewer on the make. This skewer will need less fruit.

 

Easy Chocolate Fruit Dip Recipe

This easy recipe uses only three ingredients!

Melt 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels. Mix with a package of softened cream cheese and two cups Cool Whip.

 

Grapes,

  • Antioxidants, copper, iron, manganese, vitamins C & K, carotenes, B-complex,
    • Protects against  certain cancers, fights heart disease and Alzheimer’s later in life.
  • Antioxidants, copper, iron, manganese, vitamins C & K, carotenes, B-complex.
  • Protects against  certain cancers, fights heart disease and Alzheimer’s later in life.

Strawberries

  • Anthocyanis, ellagic acid, quercetin,  vitamin C
  • Helps to have a healthy brain,  reduces forgetfulness, protects against cancer and heart disease.

 Cantaloupe

  • Folate, carotenoids,
  • Helps promote healthy growth and cell maintenance, prevents anemia

Kiwi Fruit

  • Rich in vitamin C, potassium, prebiotics, 
  • Helps muscle contract, prevents “charlie horse”, helps the body fight germs and aids in the digestion of food.

Pineapple

  • Vitamins C & A, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese
  • Helps to have strong bones and healthy gums. Fights off colds and flu,  fights against eye disease when older.


 


Five Little Pumpkins:Make Pumpkin Puppets

Finger plays are an important part of the early childhood classroom. The flow and rhyme of the words help develop important language skills such as reading and writing. They are useful for introducing certain concepts like counting and ordinal numbers to children.

Five Little Pumpkins has been a favorite October finger play for generations. Delight preschoolers, kindergartners and first graders with teacher-made pumpkin puppets to use with Five Little Pumpkins.

They are easily made from real miniature pumpkins. Slits cut in the bottom for inserting a craft stick is the trick to turning these mini pumpkins into puppets!

Using Pumpkin Puppets

Use the pumpkin puppets at circle time as a reward for five children to hold as the group recites the rhyme. Pumpkin puppets are a great addition to the creative dramatics center during the month of October.  They also make a cute table decoration at home!

Materials Needed For Pumpkin Puppets

  • 5 miniature pumpkins
  • 3 green chenille stems
  • 5 craft sticks
  • 2 sheets of 11/2 x 9 green construction paper
  • green glitter
Directions For Making Pumpkin Puppets
  1. Draw a jack-o-lantern face on each mini pumpkin with a black permanent marker
  2. Cut a slit in the bottom large enough to insert a craft stick. (Use the wide craft sticks.)
  3. Draw and cut out 5 leaves and stems.
  4. Cut a one-inch wide strip from a sheet of the green construction paper. Cut this in half to use for the pumpkin stem.
  5. Score one side of the strip to form tabs. Roll into a tube and glue ends together. (see picture below)
  6. Add a little green glitter to the edges of the leaves for a frosty look.
  7. Attach stems, leaves and vines with a hot glue gun and glue sticks.
  8. Coil half of a chenille stem around your finger to form a vine.

 

A slit in the bottom for inserting a craft stick is the trick for making pumpkin puppets.

Now place these near a chart size copy of  Five Little Pumpkins for lots of learning fun!

Cute Follow Up Project!

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Spooky Trees: How To Make A Halloween Tree

Have you ever noticed how spooky a dead tree looks? A walk through the woods or a country neighborhood will likely let you find at least one dead tree.  For some reason, probably disease or insects, these poor trees kicked the bucket. Maybe, like humans, trees grow old and die. Old dead apple and pear trees are common, their gnarled branches knotted up like an old witch’s extremities.

halloween
These spooky looking limbs are the arms of a dead pear tree.

With some imagination, these spooky looking branches could turn into some really cool Halloween decor. Spray paint the branch with black spray paint.Tuck them into vases or incorporate them in Halloween-themed floral arrangements. The twists and curves of the gnarled branches would add interest and dimension to so many different arrangements.

This old dead branch is anchored in a plastic jack-o-lantern with rocks. This is the least expensive and most sustainable way to do this. Covering the opening with floral moss, Spanish moss or even dried leaves will hide the rocks.

Simply twist strands of purple and orange mini-lights among the branches of the old dead tree. The kids can decorate this Halloween tree further with paper cut-outs of bats and ghosts.

Use your imagination and create variations on the Halloween tree!