April is Earth Month and we'll soon celebrate Earth Day, so try these three Earth Day crafts for kids. Use your plants and recyclables to illustrate a few of the key points of Earth Day: preserving and protecting plants, animals (that includes us humans) and the planet.
1. Earthy Painted Flowerpot and Saucer
Talk with your kids about the importance of plants for our atmosphere and snazz up your clay pots with an earthy sky blue and green design. If you want to get super crafty, use globe stencils instead of the large green circles in the pot's center.
Clay flowerpot and saucer
Acrylic paint (blue, white and green)
Mix up three parts glue with one part water and brush it all over the pot and saucer. Let dry. Paint the outside of the flower pot and its inner rim sky blue. Paint the outside of the saucer sky blue (mix blue and white).
Stretch a rubber band around the flowerpot to mark the edge of your green section. Let pot and saucer dry. Paint everything below the rubber band (the bottom of the pot) green. Paint two green stripes with dots in-between them around the outer rim of the pot. Paint the rim of the saucer green. Let both pieces dry. Paint sky blue dots on the green part of the saucer and green dots on the blue part of the saucer.
Paint vertical sky blue stripes on the green portion of the pot and paint large green circles horizontally along the center of the pot. On the rim of the pot, paint small blue dots along the green stripes and small green dots along the blue stripes.
Let both pieces dry. Seal the pot with three parts glue and one part water.
2. Wine Cork Rattlesnake
Talk to your kids about habitat preservation and keeping the ecosystem healthy for animals. Plus, you can give yourself an excuse to finish off a few bottles of wine. ( Need some wine ideas? Try a few of these organic, sulfite-free wines.) If you get a little crazy with the collecting, you can also try these clever uses for wine corks.
10 winemaker's corks with holes bored through the center
1 regular wine cork, cut in half lengthwise
18 large-holed colored beads
24 inches of 1/2-inch wide flat elastic
1 pipe cleaner
Acrylic paints (green or brown, black, red and yellow)
Paint all 11 corks your primary snake color (green or brown work great). Let them all dry. Paint triangle or diamond patterns on each cork in other colors (black, red, and yellow are options). Let them all dry.
Thread the elastic through the 10 bored corks, threading a bead in between each cork. Be sure the tail cork tapers toward the rear. Thread six beads onto the tail and tie a knot at the end of the tail.
Pull the elastic up through the other end, but not so tight that your snake can't move. Thread two beads on the piece of pipe cleaner to make the eyes, leaving a cork's width in between the eyes and cutting off the excess pipe cleaner once the beads are secured in place.
Place the bottom of the split cork under the elastic and eyes. Glue the top half of the split cork on top, leaving the elastic threaded through the mouth for the snake's tongue. Hold the snake's head together with a rubberband until glue dries.
Cut the elastic tongue into a forked tongue shape and paint red. Let dry and play with your slithery snake.
3. Bird Watching Binoculars
This craft uses your recyclable toilet paper rolls to put your kid's focus on birds and wildlife. Talk to your kids about wildlife preservation and refuges.
2 toilet paper rolls
Green paper, ruler and pencil
Pieces of yellow cellophane (butterscotch candy wrappers work well)
Black plastic tape
Black cord (check some of your fancier shopping bags for cord to reuse)
Cut out two squares of cellophane and tape them over one end of each toilet paper tube.
Cut out two rectangles of green paper (4 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches).
Brush the green paper with glue and line up with the non-cellophane ends of your toilet paper tubes. Roll the tubes onto the paper. Trim the paper back from the cellophane ends, if necessary. Place the black tape around binocular rims on the cellophane ends.
Spread glue along the side of a tube and press it to the other tube. Hold it together with a rubberband until dry.
Push two small holes through the non-cellophane ends for the cord. Thread the cord through and tie knots on the inside.
Projects adapted from The Outrageously Big Activity, Play and Project Book.
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