DIY Shadow Puppets

A couple weeks ago our family went camping, which is a really big deal, because we are NOT campers!  Two of our kids attend a school where they have a Fall Campout each year so we committed to staying one night…and although my husband and I both agree that we are more “glampers,” than campers, we ended up having a ton of fun and our kids loved the whole experience.  I have a feeling we will be camping again!

My daughter was super excited because her daddy bought her a pink flashlight and she was really looking forward to making shadow puppets in the tent with her big brothers.  Of course, when we got home, she wanted to create some animal shadow puppets to play with.  One evening, last week, we went to work creating these cute little popsicle stick puppets that have provided a ton of content for imaginary play and story telling for little miss.

I used my Cricut Expression 2 to cut out the animals and other shapes, but if you do not have a Cricut, simply create a document with templates that you can cut out of card stock.  Here is one I put together that you can print off and use to make your own animal shadow puppets without using a Cricut.  animal template pdf

The possibilities are endless with these little puppets.  You can create seasonal themes, print off silhouettes of your child’s favorite story book or movie characters, weather puppets, dinosaurs, garden, farm, cars, princesses, fairies, and so much more.

One thing that I realized, after creating so many characters, was that they were hard to hold onto.  So with an old shoebox and a pair of scissors, I created a diy holder for all of the puppets.  This made a perfect “stage” for my daughter to put the puppets on as she told her story.  The great part about using a shoebox, is that it doubles as storage to hold all of the characters and a flashlight so they are contained & easy to find for future use.

Check out my video tutorial above for tips on making some shadow puppets with your own children.  fullsizeoutput_eda2fullsizeoutput_eda1IMG_9671IMG_9676IMG_9677IMG_9679

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Colored (RAINBOW) Rice

I love setting up sensory bins for my kids.  Over the years, we have done white rice,  beans, popcorn kernels, shaving cream, salt, and more, but we have never made rainbow colored rice.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make!

This week, my kids are on Spring Break and the weather forecasted several rainy days.  Since we were staying home this week, I decided that I’d plan a couple of fun activities to keep us busy.  I picked up a large package of inexpensive white rice and some Wilton’s Gel Food Colors at Target and began looking at recipes for colored rice.  Some recipes called for rubbing alcohol, but I wanted to make ours without, so I found that vinegar was a great alternative for setting the colors without the alcohol.

My daughter and I had so much fun making this rice!  She actually made it almost all by herself!  We created this little video tutorial (below) as part of her kid’s series “Craft Time With Karis.”

In the past couple of days,  “Colored (rainbow) Rice” has provided hours of sensory and imaginary play.  Karis added some little bunnies and plastic eggs for Easter play.  She put plastic dolphins and other animals in too, and yesterday we included some cardboard  with holes cut out and a funnel for pouring rice.  This inspired Karis to create an imaginary town called “Flowerville” while she played with her animals and rainbow rice.

Watch our tutorial to learn how to make some “Colored (rainbow) Rice” with your kids!

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More “Craft Time With Karis” Fun:

Tricky Hopscotch (with a twist)

Valentine Craft (Cookie Cutters & Paint)

 

DIY “My Little Pony” Capes Tutorial

My Little Pony Capes Template

This week I finally made the time to create a tutorial for the My Little Pony Capes that I make for my daughter’s ponies.   While she was in school the other day,  I made 3 new capes and when she came home she was thrilled!  Just a couple of scraps of material, some pretty embellishments, and a little bit of my time has led to hours of imaginary play with ponies the past 2 days.  Definitely time well spent!

To see more ideas for “My Little Pony” Capes, you can read my original post here.  To learn how to make some of these tiny capes for your child’s own My Little Ponies, watch my tutorial above.

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Tricky Hopscotch (with a twist)

We are currently soaking up any sunny day we get in the midst of this very rainy season. Sidewalk chalk has always been a favorite backyard activity for my kids and I recently introduced my daughter to hopscotch.  We started with your traditional, schoolyard, 10 space hopscotch, but my girl wanted to make a bigger one.  Over time, we developed a super fun “Tricky Hopscotch with a Twist” that we would like to share with you.

Check out my daughter’s second “Craft Time with Karis” video where she shares her ideas on how to create a “Tricky Tricky Hopscotch.”  Karis adds silly spaces in the middle of the basic numbered squares.  In some, she acts like a cat, or a dog, in others she will dance or dab.  The best part about this, is that kids use their imaginations and creativity to come up with their own unique hopscotch.  This one simple activity combines art,  writing numbers, counting, imaginary play, and exercise.

Leave Karis a comment and let her know if you made a “Tricky Tricky Hopscotch” of your own and what creative spaces you added to yours!