Ahoy Matey from aboard a swift cork raft!
Make yer own raft with a few corks and rubber bands for an easy and fun creating at home project. Add a toothpick for a mast and a triangle of paper (taped or glued) for a sail. Great for bath or pool time fun! (*watch for small parts with the little ones)
I loved Lexi’s poolside lounge chairs so much and they were so easy to make! Inspired, here’s Creating st home idea 16 for at home summer fun using resources wisely (as they say in Girl Scouts)
Make furniture from snack and cereal boxes!
All you need is:
A clean food box
A pair of scissors
1 roll or tape or glue
Here’s the example idea:
- Decide on the width and length of your piece of furniture.
- Lightly sketch it out.
- This lounge chair is one long piece of cardboard that is folded at points starting at the foot of it a short distance then folded downward with the center of the small folded are cut to become feet.
- The next section is long and folded upward again the goes a shorter distance to become the backrest of the chair.
- It was folded downward so that when it was set on a table it came off the table the same distance as the front feet.
- The backrest was glued to the back of the lounge chair and a notch cut out to make feet at the bottom to match the feet at the front.
- You can play around with all kinds of ideas for tables, chairs (which can work similarly to the lounge chair here with a smaller set area)
- Go wild and design all kinds of furniture for toys, dolls and more!
To Tinker is to build life skills for all ages but here I am focused on fostering the tinker mindset with kids.
I believe, along with a larger Tinkering movement, that kids need to tinker around, or in my language to create to connect with themselves, be in their thoughts, try our the ideas that come to mind. It’s how they connect concepts naturally and willingly trouble shoot trouble issues because they are interested in what they are doing.
Gever Tulley, founder of Tinkering School in San Francisco describes tinkering in his Ted Talk in a manner that matches my theory on the importance of these kinds hands-on experiences kids NEED to be having. He provides hammers and other tools among other things to set a tinkering tone while we use recycled materials and lots of glue but our concepts match – the goal is to make stuff.
There are three simple ways you can help create tinkering time for your kids at home:
1) Time– allow some down time, a session in the day where your kids can be present without the distraction of devices or the anticipation of what’s on thier schedule.
2) Stuff– Keep a container of recycled stuff in an assessable place that the kids can help themselves to. This container lots of packaging odds and ends like, cereal and cracker boxes, egg cartons, twist ties, packing boxes, plastic fruit containers. You name it. See our donation list for inspiration.
3) Tools– These are what you need to alter and attach things. Attaching things is the real fun of tinkering time. Keep pens and pencils, scissors, tape, staplers, paper clips, twist ties, or pipe cleaners and ribbon or yarn. *Glue and hot glue are fun attachers but can lead to more mess than you may want at home so for this kind of tinkering I’ve left them out, additionally, *save hammers and screwdrivers for bigger jobs that include wood, metal or harder plastics.
These three ingredients add a healthy, free form, hands-on element to your child’s day. Think of it as exercise for their creativity muscle, the one I call a thinking muscle in your brain. They’ll be happier for the time to be in their own curious zone and better equipped to manage their kid responsibilities too.
* Safety and respect are always key. Talk to your kids about how to be safe with the tools they use in their tinkering space and what clean-up you expect them to do at the end of their session.
#30daysofreuse day 8 says, save the other sock!
There are a few ideas here so stay with me, it circles around.
If your pair becomes separated, no matter, make it into a new friend. This is a great creating at home idea for kids and families using minimal materials with a big emphasis on reuse and new possibilities.
Keep it simple. Take the lone sock and draw a look of some sort on it with a marker to make a puppet. Stuff it with waded paper, cotton balls or another lonely sock to make it into a 3D character. When finished, make it a family affair, put on a puppet style show with the new character.
The inspiration for this post was sparked by a conversation with the Girls Scout Daisy who made this sock pup today. She was inspired by a sock puppy she saw in the studio and wanted to make her own. We talked about how she may have lone socks at home that could become sock friends. She could even use just paper to stuff them. She told me that her dad had throw away socks she could use and the imaginings of what was possible with just a sock started to turn, fast. We talked about puppet shows and characters and the wonders that now existed with just a plain sock.
Daisy Girl Scouts were visiting the studio to work on the “Reusing Resources Wisely” patch today where they learned about making any number of things from a Kleenex box. The next natural step was to explore materials that inspired them and that’s where this sock-friend was born. Our conversation and the Ah-Ha moment that was heard about lone socks was just what the Girl Scout Motto sought to inspire, “use resources wisely”.
My conversation with my Daisy friend made me think that this is the path to Sustainability. As Henry David Thoreau said in part, “Nothing in nature is exhausted in it’s first use”. Just because a sock set becomes one, it should not become none. The lone sock is an inspiration to young Daisy’s and to funny comedians like Seinfeld- have you seen his latest stand-up special, Jerry Before Seinfeld on Netflix? I was dying about the lone sock in the dryer!
However you slice it, just because a sock is single doesn’t mean it should be banished. Rethinking the sock is a step toward sustainability, a step toward rethinking what we already have, that is where sustainability lyes in our consumer era. Use stuff a few times before you let it go but, don’t throw it away, pass it on to a donation center or CReATE or recycle it. Thoreau will thank you and so will I. Maybe Seinfeld will too 🙂
This tear sheet from a vintage -ish @familyfunmag has triple appeal for us. 1.We love the suggested idea of creative family games- cut slits in cards to make your own house of cards game!
2. This idea naturally converts to a “creating at home” idea for us! Grab an old deck of cards from around the house that is OK to alter and snip double slits around all four sides of each card about 1/2 inch deel then, interlock cards as you wish.
3. Surely there are decks of cards floating around school campuses and that’s where our non-profit, CReATE ON YOUR CAMPUS comes in, to bring recycling habits for reuse it in new ways like taking old playing cards like this and making up something new for collaborative building in classrooms. A super fun learning tool that doesn’t cost a thing.
As our spotlight on paper continues this month, we share an easy reuse craft that happens to be a perfect “Creating At Home” project to do.
We took a few cards an cut them in just a few snips into gift tags that are perfect for any gift you give.
You’ll need a greeting card or postcard that’s already seen it’s day.
You need a pair of scissors and a hole punch if you have one. You can also just tape a tag to a gift.
Take your card and cut it into a rectangle, square or other favorite shape making sure to cut out the part of the card you want to feature. For our cards we cutvtriangles then snipped little triangles off the corners to get a traditional tag shape them punched a hole near the top for use with string or ribbon.
When your done you’ll have tags for any gifts you have to give. Start now, and you’ll be all set for your holiday and any other gift giving needs.