I have learned that crafts are much more effective with Sam when done at the right time of day. I frequently do crafts with her after nap time because that gives me nap time to get stuff set up and ready for her. However, if she doesn't nap (meaning she spends her "nap time" jumping around her room and/or playing with her dolls) then she is very hyper and not wanting to sit still and if she does sleep then she tends to need some wake up time and doesn't really like to do tasks that take a lot of focus and hand-eye coordination.
Today she slept. And when she woke up even though she said "Painting sounds like a great idea mom!" She only lasted a few short minutes and then was ready to lay on the floor and make Avery laugh (not a bad choice of activities, Avery's laugh is pretty cute right now!).
But I will share the crafts that we did anyway because I think at the right time she would have really gotten into them.
The first was tin can and bean noise makers.
Here are three of them. We made four total all of different sized tin cans and I used different beans in each can (just to make the sounds different). I simply cleaned out the cans really well and then took saran wrap (plastic wrap) folded over to be thicker over the open end. I thought it would be neat for her to be able to see inside the noise maker. And I used painters tape to keep the plastic wrap in place and to give the can a paint-able surface. Sam loves the noise they make and she had fun painting these. Of course she decided that the clear end was the best thing to paint on!
The second craft that we did was making a toilet paper snake! I save these toilet paper things (I don't really know why) and am always looking for ways to use them. You might remember these flowers. So when I saw this snake (sorry I have NO idea where I found this activity!) I knew I needed to try it out. Since I couldn't remember where I had seen it I had to kind of make up the details of how to do it.
So there is the unpainted snake. I took the rolls and punched two holes in each and ran the ribbon through each hole. I gave it a big red tongue made out of construction paper. The ribbon is actually quite long so that Sam can pull it along on the floor.
Sam had lost interest after the noise makers in painting but I had already poured out the paint so I decided, hey why not. I painted the snake!
Here are our finished products!
The Nitty Gritty!
The noise makers are very fun and because they are pretty sturdy there are a lot of different ways you can use them. They can be shaken, beaten like drums on either end, stacked and knocked over and rolled across the floor.
I don't consider the noise makers a truly "green" activity. We are reusing something that would have just been recycled but at Sam's age she doesn't understand that and using the noise makers while a good activity for her does not teach her anything about nature. Really I am showing it to you because I thought they were a lot of fun to make and Sam had a lot of fun with them! Plus everyone uses these tin cans and it is always fun to find things to do with stuff you might throw away!
The snake activity didn't really work out for us in the creating of it but I am hoping that Sam might enjoy (once the paint dries) pulling it around the house and playing with it. We will see.