Sock Puppets

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Hello! Happy Tuesday. We’re almost there…..Christmas is only 5 “sleeps” away!! Holidays aren’t just about eating and presents. It’s about spending all that extra time together as a family.  With the kids on break all week, I wanted to share one of my sons favorite projects, making sock puppets. Bonus: It’s entertaining well after the project is complete, you might get some down time. (COMMENT BELOW: what will you do with all your free time? ….drink more eggnog? clean? read a book?)

SOCK PUPPETS

Supplies:

  1. sock (we used cozy “feather yarn” socks)
  2. yarn for hair
  3. pom-poms, various colors and sizes
    1. 2 for eyes
    2. 1 for nose
    3. 2 for ears
    4. 5 for teeth (optional but amazing)
  4. 2 google eyes
  5. glue gun
  6. red felt
  7. card board
  8. Red ribbon for tongue

 

Process:

Step One

Making the mouth. Cut a 4×4″ piece of red felt and a 4×4″ piece of card board. Glue the red felt directly on top of the cardboard using the hot glue gun. Once the glue is dry and cool, have your little one place their hand, palm down, on the cardboard side of the 4×4 square. Trace all the way around their hand, start and end at either side of the wrist. Make sure their fingers are side by side and not spread apart. Once the tracing is done, it should look like an oval shape. Cut out the oval pattern and fold in half, horizontally. Place on the side.

Step Two

With the sock laying flat on its side, cut a straight line through the length of the toe seam. This is going to be the opening for the mouth. Place the cardboard oval pattern inside the area you just cut so that the red felt is facing out. Make sure the sock overlaps the felt by 1/8″ evenly along the edges. Using the glue gun, bond the sock to the red felt.

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Step Three

This is the fun part! Decorating the puppet. I took all of my supplies and spread them out on a table. I mentioned they’d want 2 eyes, 1 nose, 2 ears, hair..etc. They were so cute picking out the perfect pieces to make their puppets. It was actually one of the 5 year olds who walked over with a handful of white pom-poms, intended for eye balls, and said “my puppet wants teeth”. She was a little trendsetter because shortly after, all of them had teeth. So fun!!

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I decided I was going to work the glue gun. They pointed out precisely where I had to place globs of glue and then stuck everything on themselves.

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Step Four

Enjoy!!!

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Easy Activities

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Well hello again. I’m excited to share yesterday’s (easy) after school activities with you. They’re fun to make and simple to create. Long story short, my husband and I have been sick the past few days. When I finally started to feel better, I decided I really wanted to do something fun with Jack as soon as I finished work. So I asked him, “if you could build anything right now, what would you build?” and he replied “a forest”. And so we built a forest, straight from Jack’s imagination. Then, we went on to make Christmas ornaments that we can cherish year after year.

MAGICAL FOREST

Supplies:

  1. canvas or piece of cardboard
  2. paintbrush
  3. acrylic green paint
  4. wood chips or sticks
  5. yarn cut into various lengths
  6. pom poms or cotton balls
  7. Elmers Glue
  8. wax paper
  9. scissors

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Process:

Step one

Paint the wood chips (or sticks) using various shades of green. Set them aside on a piece of wax paper and let them dry.

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Step two

Draw “trails” all over the canvas (or cardboard) using the glue. We have a topographic map of Mohonk preserve that I showed to Jack for inspiration. We talked about the path the lines take around each other before we started to set the glue.

Step three

“Follow the trail”- lay the yarn down on top of the glue, one piece at a time. Cut off any excess pieces that extend past the canvas

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Step Four

Time to add the trees and bushes. One by one, glue down the painted wood chips so they stand upright. You’re going to want to use an ample amount of glue. Some of our “trees” kept falling down so I simply placed them directly against the yarn for a stronger glue bond.  The pom poms represent the plants and bushes in the forest, place them randomly throughout the canvas. Let dry overnight. Enjoy!!

Ps- Jack decided this will be a work in progress. He told me he’s going to continue to add objects to his forest.

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CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

This brings me to the second project of our evening, Christmas ornaments. We got our Christmas Tree on Sunday and it’s HUGE. So huge that it fell over. We lost a few ornaments but for the most part everything was ok. With that being said, I already knew I had to get more ornaments. This project served two purposes, to have fun and to make our tree full and pretty again. I originally did this project on Saturday at The Sudbury school gift sale. I used left over materials from that to make our ornaments but, you can easily make this out of items found in nature and/or around your house.

Supplies

  1. Elmers Glue
  2. popsicle sticks (or sticks)
  3. glitter glue
  4. pre-cut pieces of decorative ribbon
  5. pom poms
  6. ribbon for hanging

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Process

Step one

Glue the sticks together in a triangle formation.

Step two

Decorate the sticks using the pre-cut decorative pieces of ribbon and pom poms

Step three

Make it shine. Draw lines using glitter glue anywhere you’d like to add some sparkle. I like to do this last because it creates more of a layering effect on the ornaments which gives it more depth.

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Step four

Allow the ornaments to dry for a few hours before attaching the ribbon for hanging. Place a dab of glue on the top of the backside, lay the ribbon ends over it (creating a loop) and let dry. Place it on wax paper to ensure it won’t stick. Dry overnight.

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(note: image above is a version we did out of sticks and coffee filters)

Step five

Hang on the tree, enjoy!

Hand Crafted Wood Boxes

We had a BLAST on Saturday painting the wood boxes the kids built the week prior. This project can be complete in one afternoon but due to drying time we stretched it over the course of two weeks. What I love most about this project is it teaches a step by step process and incorporates lessons in woodworking and painting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. pre-cut wood: 4 sides, a top and a bottom
  2. rubber bands
  3. wood glue (we use Titebond II because it conforms to ASTM D4236 which means its non-toxic and has a strong initial bond)
  4. optional: safety glasses, hammer and nails (age appropriate)
  5. plenty of white acrylic paint
  6. various colors of acrylic paint
  7. paintbrushes
  8. popsicle sticks
  9. matte Mod Podge
  10. wax paper

First step is constructing the wooden boxes. We did this using the wood glue but you can also use a hammer and nails to build the box. The children applied to wood glue to all four sides of the bottom piece first. The glue can easily be applied using a popsicle stick. Place the bottom piece face up on a flat service, on top of the wax paper. The wax paper will keep the box from sticking to a surface when drying. Next, stand up one of the side pieces and place it directly against the bottom piece of the wood, creating your first “wall”. Using the popsicle stick, apply glue to the left or the right side of the “wall”. Take another side piece and bond it to the first side piece so that you are creating a 90 degree angle. Repeat these steps until all four side walls are constructed together making a complete box. Place the rubber bands around the box, one on top and one on bottom. This will ensure you have a strong glue bond.

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Step Two is priming the box. You’ll paint the entire box with white acrylic paint. This will act as a primer so that the final colors of the box are bold and there is no bleeding into the wood. You can wait for the glue to dry or you can start right away. Don’t worry about the rubber bands, you can paint right over them. I suggest pulling the rubber bands off after an hour. If you find there are marks, you can always easily sand over them using a piece of sand paper. Cover the box entirely with white paint.

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Step three is the FUN part. Once the primer paint is totally dry, paint the entire box and the top of the box using bold and bright colors. One of the kids painted their hands and placed a hand print on one of the sides, it came out adorable. You can use a sponge, paint brush or any household items to make shapes and different brush strokes. Some examples are plastic fork, marker caps to make stamps of circles or toilet paper rolls to roll on the paint.

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Step Four is applying the Mod Podge. This must be complete once the paint is completely dry. Apply one or two coats of Mod Podge using a thick paint brush. It will be white when you apply it but dry clear. This will protect the paint on the box and ensure it won’t chip after time.

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