Showing posts with label cardboard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cardboard. Show all posts

The True Story of Zippy Chippy -- Picture Book Review with Horse Craft & Activity Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

We have all heard of the little engine that could, but have you heard of the little horse that couldn't? Today I get to share with you a picture book about Zippy Chippy, the little horse that couldn't. The book is called The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse that Couldn't by Artie Bennett and illustrated by Dave Szalay. 

Crafty Weekends: The Paper Playhouse Review & Link Party

Sharing Saturday is still open for all child-oriented crafts, lessons, etc.!
Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Quarto Books USA. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I am beginning a new weekend tradition. A weekly craft link party. Each week I will review a craft book/product/pattern and share some craft from it and then I will host a link party to see what crafts and books, products, patterns, etc. you have been making and using this week. There will also be features starting next week. Link up is below!

The Paper Playhouse Review

Homemade String Instruments

Today I am going to share our homemade string instruments. Now as I posted earlier this month, Hazel loves playing her ukulele, so when she saw we could make one in Nifty Thrifty Music Crafts by Felicia Lowenstein Niven, she wanted to make one right away. Our problem was we did not have an empty cereal box. However when I did my kitchen cupboard clean out I had several cracker boxes, so we used one of those. We also used a paper towel roll, paint, tape, stickers and rubber bands.

I cut a hole in the cracker box and Hazel painted both the box and the tube. Then we taped the tube onto the box. We used duct tape that matched the color we painted. She also decorated it with stickers. The book suggested painting designs, but that is above my four-year-old's ability. Then we added four rubber bands. It was set to play.
She prefers her real one though for the sound is a bit better.

Then last Saturday the free craft at Lakeshore Learning Store was to make a paper plate and bowl guitar or that is what the company called it. We called it a banjo as did several of the employees at our local store. 
This was an easy craft. You need a paper bowl, a paper plate the same size as the bowl, a tongue depressor, rubber bands, glue and markers, stickers, etc. for decorations. The kids glued the plate onto the bowl with the tongue depressor glued in between the two.

Then the decorated the plate and tongue depressor. Next the person running the craft put the rubber bands on. And that is all there is to this one.

So we hope you enjoy making some simple string instruments!

Scrolling Puppet Theater

So Hazel has been asking to make a puppet theater for a long time. We just have not had the time. The other day she asked if I could help her with a project. She described the project and I knew she had gotten the idea from an episode of Curious George (or Georgie as Hazel likes to call him). To see the episode on YouTube click here. (As you can see in the picture above Hazel and her best friend went to see Curious George last spring at the Curious George Store in Harvard Square.)
In the episode Curious George went to see the opera, Hansel and Gretel. He went because his friend, Betsy, got the chicken pox and could not go. Hansel and Gretel is Betsy's favorite opera. George loved it and he got the idea to do a show for Betsy. He finally came up with a scrolling show. Hazel wanted to put on Cinderella in a somewhat similar way, except she wanted to use her figures but have the background scroll. 

I had a UPS box that I had saved for a craft. I cut a hole in it and opened the tabs on both ends. One end was already open and the other I cut a slit to slide the paper in. We also happened to have a broken wooden dowel, so I used that. I glued and taped it to each tab. Then we put paper towel tubes on the dowel pieces. I took Hazel's scroll paper from her paint easel. It was a little big so we had to cut the piece in height. She drew her scenery with a little help from me on the castle. Then we taped it to the paper towel tubes while feeding it through the box.  Now she enjoys acting out Cinderella with her figurines.

Have television shows inspired your child to make a craft? What shows? Curious George is great for getting kids to investigate and think about things. I recently heard on the news that kids who read and watch Curious George tend to do better in math and science. Don't know the facts from the study though to know if it is valid.

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures--Rimonah of the Flashing Sword

Since we are exploring Egypt this month with Around the World in 12 Dishes, I thought I would take us back to Egypt for a fairy tale. Since we already shared the Egyptian Cinderella, we are sharing today an Egyptian Snow White. First a few details about Egypt. Since the history of Egypt is so long and intense I will not do it justice, but this is meant to be an introduction.
The Arabic Republic of Egypt is in two continents: Africa and Asia. Egypt is the fifteenth most populous country in the world. The majority of the people live along the Nile River. The Nile River is the longest river in the world and flows to the North. The only land that is arable is found along the banks of the Nile. The rest of the land  in Egypt is desert.

Egypt has the longest history of all modern states since it has been continuously inhabited since the tenth millennium BC. With the advances of the ancient civilizations to include the pyramids, the Great Sphinx, among other amazing discoveries. The Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to codify art and architecture. They also are given the invention of paper from the papyrus plant and among the first to have an written alphabet.

The official language is Modern Standard Arabic. Ninety percent of the residents of Egypt identify as Muslim and the other ten percent are a form of Christian. Islam arrived in Egypt in the 7th century. At that time Egypt emerged as the center of politics and culture in the Muslim World. 
In more recent times there has been an on-going revolution. It started with protests in 2011 and continues in our current news today.

Now onto our story. We are sharing Rimonah of the Flashing Sword adapted by Eric A. Kimmel. In the Author's Note, Kimmel mentions he came upon the traditional version in Miriam's Tambourine by Howard Schwartz. He knows the tale is from North Africa and Schwartz said it came from Egypt.

This story begins with a queen who is eating a pomegranate. She wishes to have a child with skin is as dark as the pomegranate, eyes as bright as its seeds and voice as sweet as the juice of the pomegranate. Soon she has a daughter with these qualities and she names her Rimonah which means pomegranate. Rimonah grows up in a loving household until her seventh birthday when her mother dies. Upon her deathbed, Rimonah's mother gives her a vial with three drops of her blood to wear around her neck. She tells her if they blood turns red and to liquid (after drying) then Rimonah is in danger. Then the mother dies.

The father who vows not to remarry ever, is married before his first wife is in the grave. The new wife is a sorceress who want to increase her power by becoming queen. She used her magic to kill the first queen and to make the king not have control of his mind. She keeps her special magic tools in a tower that only she is permitted to go in. She has a magic porcelain bowl that when she fills it with water, she can ask it any question and get a truthful answer. She asks if she is the fairest of all. One day it answers that Rimonah is fairer. She gets angry and orders a servant to go kill her.

The servant takes Rimonah out and pulls out his dagger, and Rimonah begs for her life. He tells her to go far away. Rimonah escapes leaving behind her cape which the huntsman uses as proof of her death. He covers it with blood of a gazelle first. 

Rimonah finds a group of bedouin. Since they do not follow the rule of the king and queen she is welcomed. She learns to ride and use her sword with them. She becomes well known for her skill with the sword and dagger. One day the queen hears someone discussing Rimonah of the desert's sword skill. The queen is shocked to hear she is not dead. She goes to her bowl to check and learns that she is still alive. She uses a magic cape to dress as a bedouin prince and brings a magical scorpion necklace. It turns into a real scorpion at sunset. She leaves it at Rimonah's tent with the other suitors' gifts. Rimonah gives it to one of her friends, but notices the blood in her necklace turn red and liquid. She grabs the necklace from her friends neck as the sun sets and kills the scorpion. At this point her friends urge her to leave since she has been found. 

Rimonah leaves and finds a cave with a huge stone blocking the entrance. She hides and sees its inhabitants, 40 thieves, enter using the words, "Open Sesame." She tries it and goes in.She leaves her horse in the stables and discovers a beautiful castle. She finds the forty beds and lies down for a quick rest, but falls fast asleep. The thieves find her and want to kill her, but bring her to their leader. They think she is a spy for the queen. She tells them how the queen has tried to kill her twice and they allow her to join them. They call her Rimonah of the Flashing Sword after seeing her skill. All of the thieves were honest men who were destroyed by the queen (all of their belongings taken by the queen's servants). 
My Rimonah

The queen discovers that Rimonah is still alive and uses her magic to find her. This time she brings a poisonous ring. She convinces Rimonah to put it on after she rolls it under the locked castle door saying the leader of the thieves wanted her to have it. She falls to the ground instantly. However she does not die since her mother's love is protecting her.

The thieves find her and put her in a glass coffin thinking she is dead. One day a prince finds his way into the cave and falls in love with the beautiful woman in the coffin. Even though she is surrounded by forty men asleep with their swords out, he opens the coffin to kiss her. The thieves wake up and threaten to kill him until they hear Rimonah's voice saying to spare him since he is the prince of her dreams. They are so happy to have Rimonah alive, but sad that she and the prince are in love. Rimonah tells the prince she will not be happy without her forty men. He agrees. As they journey to the prince's kingdom, they find a coffin in the desert and the leader of the thieves discovers it is the king. Rimonah wants to see her father once more and asks them to open it for her. She cries at her father's death and her tears awaken her father. He tells them how the queen used her magic to control him and then kill him. They decide Rimonah will not be safe with the queen alive so all of them go to kill her. When her people see them coming they abandon the queen. The queen having gotten knowledge that her end is near from the magic bowl tries to escape on her magic carpet, but leaves the bowl behind. Rimonah runs to the tower and throws the bowl at the queen. When the bowl hits the carpet and then the ground it breaks and the carpet unwinds. The queen dies. Everyone is happy. The thieves become the guards of Rimonah and her prince.

For this book I love how Rimonah is the best at the sword and becomes well known for her skill. She also does not need the men to save her as much as she can fight for herself. We made a sword, well actually a khopesh, an ancient Egyptian sword. I used the pattern from Storm the Castle. Our cardboard was a bit flimsy so we put duct tape on it. This made it a little better.

Toy Stop / Slow Sign

Last week after lunch with Hazel's best friend and his mother, the four of us went over to Lakeshore Learning Store. Hazel's friend really wanted a toy stop / slow sign. His mother really did not want to spend the $10 on it. I tried to convince him we could make one at my house when we got there, but he really wanted that one. She bought it for him. Hazel did not ask since she heard it was expensive and we could make one. We came home and made one for Hazel after they left.

To make it, I printed out an octagon sign with STOP and an octagon sign with SLOW (similar to the toy and not the traffic ones). Then we glued them to scrap cardboard. We let the glue dry. Here is my Word Document of the sign.

Then we taped a tongue depressor to the back of the signs and glued the signs together. We placed them under our dictionary but any large, heavy book will work to let the glue dry. I wanted to seal it in clear Contact paper, but I need to buy some and she wanted to play with it right away. Of course it hasn't come back out since the first day, but at least I didn't spend $10 on it and made hers for free.

To Catch a Leprechaun...

Well, I think I am finally having my dear grandmother, Hazel, smiling down at me. She is the one who provides me and Hazel with a bit of Irish blood. Hazel and I have been reading some Irish stories and we decided to make a leprechaun trap. Now I got the idea for this and the rainbows Hazel colored from DLTK. We of course gave it our own twist. 

We found a squarish box and covered it with green construction paper. We left a hole for an opening on top. Then we began decorating. While decorating we also made a ladder out of gold pipe cleaners and I got the idea of adding some signs. We decided to call it End of the Rainbow Inn. Then I also made a sign saying "Leprechauns Welcome". You can get the signs at  Leprechaun Trap Signs
We put some cottony fluff inside so the leprechaun will have a soft place to stay. We covered the hole with green sparkly ribbon looking a bit like a rainbow shape. Hazel is so excited to catch a leprechaun. She keeps asking if there are any in our town and what do you think it will say. 

I bought some chocolate gold coins to put in it and I think I will make her a leprechaun--either a peg doll or needle felt or bendy. I haven't decided which yet. She cannot wait to check it on St. Patrick's Day. We also tried the cupcake leprechaun that we say over at I HEART CRAFTY THINGS. We also made one with a paper plate. We put the cupcake liner one on our trap and will hang the paper plate one up as a decoration. We are thinking tomorrow will be another fun day of baking some Irish soda bread and learning more about Ireland.

Oh, we also planted some shamrocks or clover. We bought a package the other day, so I doubt they will grow in time for St. Patrick's Day, but Hazel loved planting them.

Ahoy, Matey! I made a pirate ship and some peg priates

This weekend we are going to a birthday party for one of Hazel's best friends from school. He is a boy who has just about everything. Since his party is pirate themed, I thought I would make him a pirate ship and some peg pirates. I found some inspiration on Esty and then found some easy to follow cardboard ones on  Molly Moo and Red Ted Art. I used Molly Moo's image as a pattern and cut them from cardboard. Then I cut wool felt a bit larger. I glued the felt to the cardboard and then started sewing the pieces together.
On one of the many sites I looked at homemade pirate ships I saw a neat storage compartment in the back, so I added that.
Then I used a 1/4 inch dowel for the mast and to get it to stand up I bought a package of these wooden wheels.
I covered it with brown felt by gluing it on and then glued it in place on the boat.
Then I cut a white mast from white wool felt and made a black flag with skull and crossbones to complete the look. I also used a paint pen to put the child's name on it as the name of the ship. Next it needs some pirates, so I painted with paint markers some peg dolls.
The captain I gave a felt hat, peg leg and a hook. The first mate has the eye patch and gold earring as well as bandana on his head. Now it is set to be played with. Oh, and did I mention Hazel wants a non-pirate ship done in blue with a pink flag. And I'm going to make a pink pirate hat for her for the party. I pinned lots of pirate ideas here if you are looking for any.
I considered adding a plank to the ship, but Steve didn't think I should. Since he is our model ship expert, I went with his opinion.

Hazel's Princess Birthday Party

Sharing Saturday is still open! Please come share your child-oriented crafts, activities, ideas and inspire us all!!

Today was Hazel's birthday party. I am happy to say it was a success. I shared our invitation and what we will be giving her on her actual birthday this past week. She announced to me about a week after last year's party that she wanted a princess theme. Now I knew a princess party would happen sooner or later, so I have been buying princess things when I seem them on clearance. I also went to a couple of stores and got boxes. I made this cut out castle that you saw when you walked in and decorated it with crepe paper/streamers and star shaped lights. Then we bought some princess balloons and the manager at Rite Aid (who was not able to come to the party) blew up our balloons and gave us the mylar ones (one for inside and one for the mailbox). Not that you can tell, but the latex balloons have the Disney princesses on them.

 I also made a photo arch and covered it in sparkly snowflake paper. (Sorry I blocked out faces of other children so you could see the decorations but not the kids.)
Hazel really wanted a pinata as well, so we found a princess one. I cut the bottom so we would not break it open or hang it since it was an indoor party. We also made a beeswax castle which I saw in some magazine but have not been able to find since. I bought this jasmine plant so we put it in the castle and used it as a centerpiece.

Oh, and Hazel had her hair done at the hairdresser this morning and of course wore her princess dress from Halloween. She also wore a rhinestone necklace of mine that I wore in some wedding.
We still have a large mixed age party, so we had several crafts. There were crowns and tiaras to decorate. The tiaras were foam crowns I found on clearance a couple of years ago hot glued onto headbands I bought at the Dollar Tree. There were wands to make. I cut paper stars out and gave them lollipop sticks (8 inch long) and ribbons and glue. There were shields to decorate. Steve cut up shirt boxes in the shield shape and then stapled a strip on the back for a handle. There were also beads and stretchy string to make bracelets and coloring books and markers and crayons. I have to say the older children, teenagers and some adults really had fun at the craft table. Hazel did a couple after the majority of the people had left.
Yellow cake

We had planned a couple of games, but they did not happen. It was a bit too hectic with the 30+ people. We were expecting close to possibly 60, but the kids all went straight for the family room and toys and played. Many did not break for food until the cake time. Speaking of cake, Hazel insisted on having a strawberry cake and a vanilla (well we did yellow) cake. So we made two cakes. Since a couple of her friends have nut allergies, we made the cakes from scratch. The yellow cake was made in a crown pan that I bought on clearance or at Christmas Tree Shoppe. We used this recipe from Allrecipes. It was very good and we do not have much left.
Strawberry Castle Cake
The strawberry cake was a castle. I saw the idea at Betty Crocker . I also added two princesses near the castle. I used this recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride. I tried a recipe for strawberry frosting, but it never quite formed and was more of a glaze. I made the recipe twice, but did not have success and was out of powdered sugar so I went with the glaze. The neat thing about it was it was a pink cake and pink frosting and I did not use food coloring. The wafer cookies however fell apart over night so the doors and windows were a bit broken. Overall everyone liked the cakes though.
Oh, did I mention I pulled out my wedding tiara for the day. The hairdresser pinned it in for me this morning as well. Now I am glad it is over. I still need to pull together Hazel's gift and wrap it and wrap the one from my sister, but her actual birthday is still a few days away. She has already decided what next year's theme will be. I'll see if she sticks with it. It will be easy if she does. She is thinking snow fairy.

Now to get some sleep!! Have a good night!!