Since this week is all about love, I though it would be nice to throw in a kid-friendly craft. My kids are no longer little, but we always enjoyed doing little crafts from time to time when they were small. This was rather fun for me because I wasn’t so focused on perfection. It let me just enjoy creating and spending time with the kids. Crafts can be fun for adults too and a great way to relieve stress. I’ll also give you a few tips on keeping some of the mess (mostly) under control when crafting with kids. Not into flowers? Just Google “paper towel tube crafts” and you’ll find all sorts of things to make with them.
What did the janitor yell when he jumped out of the closet?
Haha! Sorry, I really couldn’t resist a good pun – they’re my favorite! ;p Anyhow – besides a paper towel tube – here’s what else I used to make my flower. I’m listing some alternatives for younger kids too!
- acrylic paint ~ You’ll probably want washable paints for the smaller kids. This glitter paint is another option.
- glitter ~ Glitter is really only recommended for older kids. This glitter glue would be a less messy alternative.
- Aileen’s tacky glue ~ Elmer’s glue is better for young children. You could also skip the glitter and glue by using the glitter paint listed above.
- pom-poms ~ I made my pom-poms with yarn I had on hand. The link is to premade pom-poms, which may be easier with younger kids.
- wire ~ I used a crafting wire and wire cutters which could be okay for older kids (with parental supervision) Pipe cleaners are a safer alternative that don’t require wire cutters.
- scissors ~ They have safety scissors for kids as young as 2!
- stapler ~ Older kids should be fine with a stapler, but paper clips are a good alternative.
- paint brush ~ Check out these kid sized brushes for small hands.
Let me just say, these are only recommendations. It is certainly up to the adult in charge to make sure the items used are age appropriate. There are so many more options available since my kids were young!
Prepping Your Space (this is for those with kiddos)
When you do crafts with kids – no matter the age – there’s going to be a mess! You really have to accept that and prepare the space for it. Here’s a few tips to help you get ready!
- Cover the work surface ~ The plastic table cloths from the dollar store are perfect for this. Use rubber bands to hold the corners in place and throw it away when you’re done. If you’re worried about it getting on the floor, use a painters drop cloth under the table. You can always move it outside if the weather permits.
- Cover the child ~ Or not! Underwear is totally appropriate for younger children. You can also use an adult tee shirt from the thrift store.
- Prepare the supplies ~ Get everything set up before bringing the kids to the table. Use caddies to hold things that easily spill and to keep supplies corralled. Let older kids help with this or entertain the littles while you prepare.
Above all, remember this is about spending time with the kids and letting them stretch their imaginations!
Preparing the Paper Towel Tube
The first thing I did was flatten my tube, like so:
Using the lines as a guide, I cut it up into 7 larger sections and 1 smaller section. I used the stapler to start connecting the pieces.
Continue around, connecting all 7 larger sections to each other. Then staple the last two together.
Kid tip ~> Let older kids do this for younger kids or prepare them ahead of time.
Now it’s time to decorate!
Decorating the Flower
I painted all around the outside of my flower first. The holes make it easy to hold while doing this. This is the part where the kids can really get creative!
I decided to put some pink on the inside too.
Then I added some white.
Let’s give it a little shimmer with some glitter and glue!
I added some to the front edge too.
Once you’re done with the decorations, set them aside to dry. Since the next part isn’t really messy, this is a good time to clean up paint supplies.
Kid Tip ~> This is also a good time for snacks or naps – for you and the kids!
Adding Centers and Stems
This flower needs a center and stem! I made my own pom-pom with yarn and craft wire. See how to do that here. You can use pre-made pom-poms too. You’ll need to add yarn to it to be able to secure it. A glue gun would work, but that’s not really kid friendly!
Put the tails through the center and pulled them between two petals on the back. Then secure it with a staple and trim the ends.
Now it just needs a stem. I used a needle to poke a hole in the tips of two aligning petals. If you use pipe cleaners, you may want to use a hole punch for this part.
I used a piece of wire that was about 18″ long. Stick the wire through the holes and bend to secure.
Now your flower is ready to display! With a little finagling, you can let it stand on its own. If you used pipe cleaners, you may need to wrap two or three to do this.
Or let it perch in a vase…
Or add some sparkly tulle and confetti!
Whatever you (and your kids) decide to do, I’m sure you’ll have fun! Come back Friday for a quick and easy dinner for date night – even if it includes the kiddos!