Teaching My Baby To Read

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Hot Rocks and Old Crayons

An easy art project for all ages.

An easy art project for all ages.

Got some old crayons laying around? Turn them into masterpieces!

Heat rocks from your garden in the oven at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. (Smooth rocks work best.) The rocks will be hot to the touch, but not dangerously so. Use hot pads just in case, to protect your kitchen table.

Then color with old crayons. The wax will melt on contact, producing a beautiful paint-like effect.


Plastic Canvas Kids Project

This is what I’m going to be up to for the next few days; creating 60 plastic canvas needlepoint kits for an activity at Bruce’s school. I decided to write a blog post about it because when I had Googled Plastic Canvas Kids Project I hadn’t come up with what I was looking for, and ended up having to “wing it”.

What I came up with was a bookmark with your mom’s initials on it, as a present to create for Mother’s Day. I bought three sheets of plastic canvas for fewer than five dollars, and then cut out the bookmarks myself. I have intentionally left the sample unfinished so that the kids can see that they need to write their mom’s initials with a dry erase marker.

I’ve had Bruce(6.5) do a test-run for me, and WHOA! This might be a lot harder for first and second graders than I thought. After watching my son try this, I decided that I need to have each bookmark started, and every needle threaded, ready to go.

This is how I am starting each bookmark. I need to do this 60 times!

After each bookmark is started, it goes in its own Ziploc bag with a little ball of matching yarn.

The reason that I suggested this project for first and second graders, is because sewing involves fine motor skills, which help build the hand muscles kids need to print and write cursive neatly. Sewing also teaches spatial orientation, planning ahead, and critical thinking. It may sound pedantic, but this type of project will also impart basic life lessons like how to thread a needle, which will come in handy if one of these kids ever needs to sew on a button in the future.

Setting all of this up is a lot more labor intensive than I had originally anticipated, but also a lot cheaper than I would have thought. Each pack of size 16 or 18 needles was about 2 dollars for five needles. I only needed 3 sheets of the plastic canvas, and Bruce’s teachers had left over yarn and Ziploc baggies. So I can make all 60 kits for under $20! I was thinking today while I was stitching away, that this could be a good craft project for our church’s annual family camp this summer, but of course— I never want to see another plastic canvas bookmark again!!! That’s too bad, because I still have 39 kits left to create.