Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kid-Friendly Crafts for 4th of July - Link Up Your Kid-Friendly Summer Crafts


Welcome to the second time of our Fun in the Summer Sun event!

Each Monday until September 7th
Mama to 4 Blessings along with Harvest Moon By Hand,
Adventures of Mommydom, Sweet Diva, and Sweet Phenomena
will be hosting Fun in the Summer Fun link up events.
Here's the line up:
The 1st Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer activities"
The 2nd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer crafts"
The 3rd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid-friendly summer recipes"
The 4th Monday of each month: link up your "How to stay cool in the summer heat"

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, Sophia, Olivia, and I focused on creating crafts and decorations for the holiday.  I decided to take a Chinese spin on the holiday this year since there's a Chinese connection with a symbol associated with the Fourth of July:  fireworks.

According to the Minnesota-China Connection website, "You may think that fireworks are as American as the Fourth of July, but we would not have them without Chinese inventiveness. The first fireworks might have been an accident. Legend tells that a cook discovered the ingredients for black powder, and quickly the Chinese were entertaining themselves with beautiful displays in the night sky."

Also, origami (or paper folding) has ties to China.  Both China and Japan are countries that have a long history associated with origami.  This timeline shows the history of origami and paperfolding throughout the world.

With both Sophia and Olivia being adopted from China, having opportunities to link their birth- country and culture with American holidays and traditions, is important.

Here's what we did:

Origami Crane Ornaments

Bare branches decorated with red origami cranes
and red, white, and blue circles.

We made crane ornaments from red scrapbooking paper as well as red, white, and blue circles (also from scrapbooking paper).  Hangers for the cranes and circles were made from a double-length of thread. 

At the bottom of the base, we put clear/white and red marbles.  Then, we inserted several bare branches.  The girls put the origami cranes and circles onto the branches. 

Sophia putting circle ornaments on the
origami crane tree.

Here are the instructions for making an origami crane:


The painting in the background behind the origami crane tree was hand-painted in China - not with a brush but entirely with his hand and fingernail.  The artist used the side of his hand or tip of the fingernail dipped in ink to create the image.  There was no design or pattern used to create the image - he just painted as he went along.  It's a fascinating process to watch. 

Decorated Bags for Collecting Candy

A few bags that the girls made to collect candy
during the 4th of July parade.
I guess they wanted a spare bag just in case they
get a tremendous amount of candy.

Each year, we go to a parade on the 4th of July, and it seems like there's always candy being thrown to the children.  The girls like to bring a little bag to collect the candy they pick up, so we made these bags from a variety of decorative papers and paper with Chinese printing/characters. 

The paper with Chinese characters on it is from a little booklet given out at a hotel in China.  It is from the last hotel we stayed in before heading back to the United States when Olivia was adopted.  It was in a collection of items that were brought back from China to show her when she was older.

The girls decorating brown bags with
scrapbooking paper and paper from China.

Origami Edibles

This idea came from the May 2011 issue of Family Fun.  Instead of crafting with paper, you craft with food and are able to eat it afterwards. For geometric wraps, simply trim flour tortillas into squares, spread them with fillings (e.g., peanut butter and raspberry jam; cream cheese and blueberry jam).  With red, white, and blue fillings - you have a great tie-in with 4th of July.

Olivia spreading peanut butter on
a whole-wheat tortilla. 
You could use a white tortilla
to make it fit the red, white, and blue theme.

For a puppy face treat, fold a square tortilla in half on the diagonal and then fold two corners in and down to make the ears.  You can make a face on the tortilla with fruit from the jam, olives, or food markers.

Sophia made a puppy PB&J sandwich
and used blueberries from the homemade jam
for eyes and a nose.

You can fold the tortillas any way you want - be creative!  Just make sure that you don't put too much peanut butter, jam, or other filling on the tortilla or it won't be able to fold properly.  Either that...or it will ooze out.  And that just doesn't look as appetizing compared to treats with all of the contents inside them.

Sophia folded another sandwich in a different way.
It is kept closed by the stickiness of the peanut butter
(on the inside) and two strawberries from the jam
on the outside.


Besides getting ready for the 4th of July, the girls also worked on a couple of sewing and needlework projects this week.  Sophia made a lap quilt by trying six new quilting square patterns:

Lap quilt that Sophia made.
She learned six new quilting patterns.

Olivia looked through my sewing and embroidery patterns folder, and found a pattern to make a donkey.  The directions recommended sewing the donkey on the sewing machine, but Olivia wanted to sew it by hand using embroidery stitches she knew. 

Olivia using the blanket-stitch to sew her donkey. 
She completed it in less than a day.
It stands about ten inches tall.

The donkey is made from 100% hand-dyed wool felt and stuffed with wool from sheep I use to raise. 

The donkey that Olivia hand-sewed and
embroidered.  She used beads and sequins
to decorate the purple blanket.

She is so happy with the donkey she made, and now has a new stuffed animal with which she can play.
Now it's your turn!
What is your Kid-friendly Summer Craft(s)?
We would love for you to share them!

9 comments:

Mama to 4 said...

WOW your girls are ver talented! Love the puppy treat! Looks like your girls really enjoy crafts! :)
Thanks for joining us again for another week of Fun in the Summer Sun!
Nicole

Mama to 4 said...

That's funny that you said that about the spray bottle w/ the colored water - that is already on my list of fun things to do over the summer!
:) Nicole

Jill @ Sweet Diva said...

I love all your ideas!! My kids would love the origami food....and I am so impressed with the quilt! my daughter likes to craft, but only in short spurts and gets impatient. It takes her quite a while to finish a sewing project that I could finish in 30 minutes! ;) I actually think my boys have a longer attention span when it comes to craft projects. I actually call them "hobby" projects for them because they are sensitive to the "girly" crafting stigma! Thanks so much for your comments about the blanket, I agree with you. I think I'l let the one do it that is ready, and then perhaps the other one will see that it's not too feminine. enjoying our weekly link-up!
~Jill @ Sweet Diva
http://sweetdivamj.com

Michelle said...

Oh wow, that donkey is fabulous!

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Wow! You are quite the crafty bunch. Thanks for all the great photos. I especially like the origami food. I think I'll try that for lunch today. Visiting from Sweet Diva. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday! ☺

Shana said...

Hi! Just stopping by. Following you from the Mom Blog Monday Blog Hop. Would love a visit and a 'like' back on my page: www.facebook.com/flightlessgoose or follow my blog: blog.writerslairbooks.com. Thanks so much!

Brenda said...

Lovely blog, I am your newest GFC follower from the hop and hope you will swing by and check out my blog at kittycrochettwo.blogspot.com. Have a fantastic week!

Jill said...

Some wondeful ideas there! I love the origami food - and that donkey is adorable! Your daughter did a great job!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

Ticia said...

I love Origami, but can never get it quite right!