Monday, January 18, 2010

Color Your World

It is winter in central Ohio and that can only mean one thing...Gray Days. It also means my windows are dirty (note picture)! We had such beautiful snow to enjoy for a couple of weeks following Christmas. Unfortunately, frigid temperatures accompanied the white stuff. Now that we've had a warm up, the snow is gone and we are left with black, salty slush on the roads and streets and bare, naked trees with gray skies as a backdrop. The thing I like least about winter is the bare tree branches and the lack of sunshine. Because of the lack of color and light in our world during this time of year, I purposely left out one Christmas decoration which hangs from my kitchen window. I'm Evan's "Room Mom" at school and when I planned their Christmas party, this is the craft I had them make. It's hard to come up with a quick craft that 9 & 10 year old boys and girls want to make. For all I know, ours is the only one that didn't end up in the trash can. You never know. Crafts and creativity are high on the list in our household, but I realize it's not the case in everyone else's. I like to give credit where credit is due, but I cannot, for the life of me, find from which website I grabbed this idea. These are super easy to make and I would recommend a 7 year old or older to make one of these. All you do is take 4 pieces of pipe cleaner that are 3 1/2 inches long and another 4 pieces of pipe cleaner that are 4 1/2 inches long. Stack them up, in no particular order, like a stack of wood. Then take a small, roughly 2 inch piece of pipe cleaner and wrap it around the middle of your stack. Wrap it tight to hold the pieces together. Then, just fan out the stems. Load the stems up with sparkly beads. Pony beads won't work because their hole is too big and the beads will just slide right off and pony beads won't twinkle in the light either. Your beads should stay on without having to turn down the end of the pipe cleaner, but if you're having trouble, go ahead and turn the ends down. You can hang these on a Christmas tree or hang it in a window for a year 'round decoration. You can make these in different colors to match a for Valentine's Day, green/white for St. Patrick's Day, fall colors for Thanksgiving, red/white/blue for Independence Day. You get the idea. The interesting thing about a project like this, the kids are really quiet as they concentrate on the beading. Personalities really come out too as some kids just reach into their bowl of beads haphazardly with no interest in what color they choose, then others have a more meticulous approach creating patterns with their beads. And then there are those who stop half-way through and declare themselves "finished."

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