During the gray days of March when we’re just hanging on until the sun comes back, art projects help bring a bit of color to our house. We have a fair amount of art supplies on hand, so it’s an easy after-school or weekend activity that our daughter (6) and son (almost 4) can enjoy together.  I like projects that don’t require us to buy a bunch of specialty supplies and that we can all work on without too much difficulty. With that in mind, here are a few recent art adventures that brightened our days (for more ideas you can check out my Springtime Crafts Pinterest board):

Raindrop Suncatchers – app. 1 hour start to finish

These suncatchers were a Pinterest find that we modified to match our mood – you could make suns, flowers, any shape you like. Bonus – you don’t need to waste any crayons to make these – they use the shavings from sharpened crayons. I wound up doing the sharpening on this, but the kids both loved shaking out the shavings, and my daughter was in charge of making the designs. She learned about rainbows in kindergarten last week so after we made the raindrops we made another version for rainbows. She had a great time deciding where to place each piece on her suncatcher (her brother had moved on to his trains by then).

What you need:

  1. Broken or dull crayons
  2. Crayon/pencil sharpener
  3. Wax paper, iron (job for grownups)
  4. String or baker’s twine
  5. hole punch
  6. 1 piece construction paper, tape

What you do:

  1. Lay out a sheet of wax paper.
  2. Sharpen crayons and shake out shavings onto the wax paper – use as many colors as you like to create your design.
  3. Lay another sheet of wax paper over the top and run an iron (on lowest setting) over it 2-3 times to melt the wax.
  4. Let cool, then draw and cut out your designs. Punch holes in the top, tie a string to it, and tape to a
    strip of paper before hanging in the window to admire your work!

 

Fairy Garden Refresh – app. 20-30 minutes, or longer if starting from scratch

Do you have a fairy garden? If not, spring is the perfect time to make one! When we moved last summer, our daughter was sad about leaving our old house; to help her get excited about our new home, we built a fairy garden for our front steps. She had the best time putting her garden together and added to it all summer. The fairies went back to fairyland for the winter, but now that spring is approaching we decided to give the garden a little refresh. I had found a bag of pink and white glass beads over the winter, and we still had wood left from last year, so it was a quick and easy project. Twenty minutes later she was delighted with her new garden, ready to welcome the fairies back for spring.

 

What you need:

  1. Garden pot or patch
  2. Potting soil or dirt
  3. Moss, succulents, pinecones, rocks, other decorations (as simple or elaborate as you like)

What you do:

  1. After finding the right size pot, fill it with dirt, then add plants (we used moss and succulents from our yard), a few pretty shiny things (Julia picked out a blown glass ball and ceramic toadstool from the garden center), and anything else you like.
  2. We had fun making steps and stools from birch wood chips, and found some pretty glass beads at Value Village for stepping stones. You could also do this with a designated patch of garden space in your yard – any place you want to add a little magic.


Contributed by Kristen Ramer Liang