Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crafting with Kids Blog Tour or Why You're About to Become Jennifer Casa's Newest and Biggest Fan

You know why you're about to become Jennifer Casa's newest and biggest fan? Because of this:
Jennifer has published her first book, Teach Yourself Visually: Crafting with Kids, and it is beyond terrific. The book features 75(yup, 75) fun, doable, educational crafts that you can do with your kids or, in my case, your neighbor's kids. Each project, most of which use items you already have even if you're not a crafty person, are simply explained and then each step is illustrated with a photo. The projects are divided up thematically such as seasons or holidays or educational, so you can easily flip to the type of craft you'd like to do. Best of all, these are projects that kids can really do themselves, not something so elaborate that they'll just stand by as you make the project.
To test the kid-friendliness of these projects and because I'm not one to make wildly audacious claims without rigorous field testing and because I live next door to three of the cutest kids on the planet, I invited Isabella, Francesca, and John over to my house the other day for a bit of crafting.
And, when they weren't looking, I took pictures of them. Like this one:
OK, maybe not that one.
Anyway, we made two projects from Jennifer's book, Marbled Paper and Salvaged Scribblers.
I decided to start with the Marbled paper project because I'd done something similar in the past with my own kids back when they were young and pliable, so I felt like I had a bit of experience.
I expected the kids to enjoy the tactile qualities of this craft, drizzling the paint, swirling the water, impressing their paper on the surface to create the marbled effect. What surprised and delighted me were all the questions they asked about why the process worked. A real teachable moment there, folks.
We also made the Salvaged Scribblers which are shaped crayons made out of stubs of old crayons.

Full disclosure: I may have purchased the silicone tray that day to make this specific project, but, in my defense, it's Daffodil Savings Week at Joann's. Also, these crayons turned out so beautifully that I can totally see making this as a gift for a little friend. Jennifer is a step ahead of me and includes a sidebar for this project that teams these crayons with the Itty Bitty Book-in-a-Box project and recommends the pair as party favors. What a fabulous idea!
Just check out how amazing our scribblers turned out.
Raise your hand if you want to ditch the kids and make these projects yourself. Well, no need to do that. We can all work together. And to facilitate that the generous folks at Wiley Publishing are giving away a signed copy of Teach Yourself Visually: Crafting with Kids to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about a favorite craft you remember doing as a child or one you've shared with your kids or neighbor's kids. I'll leave the comments open until Friday morning and announce a winner then.
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more info about the book and more opportunities to win a copy.

Wednesday, April 13
A Stitch in Dye  -  http://stitchindye.blogspot.com/
Friday, April 15
Smile and Wave  -  http://racheldenbow.blogspot.com/
Monday, April 18
Elsie Marley  -  http://www.elsiemarley.com/
Wednesday, April 20
Friday, April 22
Stitches in Play  -  http://stitchesinplay.typepad.com/
Tuesday, April 26
Aesthetic Outburst  -  http://aestheticoutburst.blogspot.com/
Thursday, April 28
Artsy Crafty Babe  -  http://artsycraftybabe.typepad.com/

47 comments:

patty a. said...

My favorite craft as a kid was embroidering pillow cases. I still remember the one that had lambs on it. I made mine sky blue!

BelleArtMom said...

My grandma taught me how to embroider tea towels. I have passed that skill on to my 9yo twin daughters. One of them is hooked on fiber art for sure!
We have also dyed wool yarn with Kool Aid and done wool felting.

Netta said...

When my girl where little we would make 'big feet'. Stuff two paper bags with newspaper, place another paper bag over the open end of each bag making a rectangle of sorts. Add paper toes to one end and cut a hole in the bag big enough to insert a foot. Makes a pair of big rectangular feet. We love them! nanasew at gmail dot com

rskaggs said...

I loved melting crayons between waxed paper to make "stained glass".

felicity said...

I loved making baker's clay stuff as a kid. And I love playing with homemade play-dough with mine. Thanks for the giveaway!

Lynn said...

My children loved tie dye and painting with fabric paints!! I loved doing all kinds of crafts projects with them. I would love this book for activities with my grandchild and children in the neighborhood!!

mek said...

I loved making dress-up costumes out of grocery bags with my brothers!

leigh said...

This book looks so great! We had a rotating summer art class when I was little - with 4 or 5 moms and their kids. We did cake decorating, cross stitching on gingham, salt dough kids, and a moving picture/cartoon spinning cylinder (not sure what it's called). It was all so fun!

Rachel Hauser said...

My kids seem to have loved salt painting most. The salt moves the dye along...

Orlando said...

My favortie craft when I was a kid was to take a cheese grater to my crayons over wax paper, arrange the colors and then my mom would help me put it under the broiler. It came out a lovely swirl of colors. I can't wait until my 21 month old son is old enough to try it out!

Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

Well.. the only thing fun I did as a kid was ride horses! And be forced to sew by my Mom! As an adult.. I've even gone so far as to draw with chalk on my sidewalk with my nieces. Looks like a great book. Good luck to all.

Angel said...

I really loved crafts as a kid. Pressing flowers, embroidery, Origami! Oh, I was an origami nutcase for awhile! =)

Jenny said...

does painting with water count? man we do that so so much at our house...the kids never seem to tire...i let them pick out their own paint brush at the hardware store and we "paint' with water all summer long!

Katy said...

Those scribblers look too fun! I LOVE doing art projects with my boys outside. Their favorite is finger painting- usually with paints but sometimes we use edible things like jell-o and pudding. The messier the better! I'm super excited we are expecting a girl to join in our messy but super fun art projects!

My Petticoat is Showing said...

Wow - I remember making the wax paper butterflies with melted crayons in their wings. We dipped pinecones in wax for Christmas. Its fun to remember how special it all seemed. I love doing crafts now with my grandsons. The traditions continue!

Mims said...

one of my favorite projects as a kid was making little pinch pots out of clay and then painting them.

Peggy said...

Hi Malka- just found your blog. :) My girls and I made our own crayons into heart shapes for valentines cards. It was fun! Have to be careful not to use any washable crayons, though. Those don't melt!

Tracy said...

it makes me laugh now, but i used take our new bars of soap and glue things to them like thread, buttons etc. my mom was tolerant!

commonthreads said...

Hmm . . . I remember melting crayons between wax paper as a kid. The iron was set too hot and I got melted wax all over the white carpet. It prompted my mom to remodel that area of the house.

All Done said...

Always love crayon resist art projects. Draw a picture with crayons (like a rainbow), then paint over th whole picture with watercolors (just the kids paint tray kind, nothing fancy). Mount on a piece of colorful paper and it's eyecandy!

Ginny Axtell said...

One of my favorite projects was an owl done with various seeds and beans. For Easter, we did a bunny using dry tapioca and colored embellishments. Would love to have this book to use with my grandchildren.

Alexis said...

It is hard to pick a favorite craft! Making dolls (out of anything- sticks, juice bottles, fabric, felt) is pretty high on our list. I am excited to discover a new favorite in Jennifer's book too!

Carol Henderson said...

Making pom-pom figures. I loved wrapping the yarn around the 2 donut shaped discs, cutting, tieing the center up and then cutting and shapping the pompoms and then gluiing together to make cats, dogs, people, etc. thanks for the trip down memory lane!

beth lehman said...

using crayon shavings and melting them b/w sheets of wax paper! i LOVED doing that. also, covering a glass jar with masking tape and then using shoe polish all over the tape...!! (does that show my age?) elizabethlehman@hotmail.com

Nina said...

I remember making paper decorations for Christmas with my mom. And sewing with my grandma. I would walk from school for about 45 min just to make things with her.
Lovely books. I am always looking for things o do with my boys. This would come in handy for sure...
Thanks for the giveaway!

Anne said...

My favourite was tie dyeing. I made all my own exercise book covers using old cotton bed sheets as you could only have so many tie dyed t-shirts. With my kids we always loved making play dough in lots of colours and making things out of boxes.

melonkelli said...

I love those crayons!

My favorite childhood craft was origami -- just folding things out of paper. I recently showed some kids how to make little cups out of waxed paper so they could carry their snack home. They were very impressed.

Celeste said...

My favorite craft to do with my own kids is writing and illustrating little books. I usually make a big stack of stapled blank books at the holidays and they work through them as they desire--so meticulous, and I love the little stories they invent. Something about the small format gets their best creative juices flowing...

kendra said...

my mom was a bubble-making expert!

PainterWoman said...

My mom had craft projects of her OWN that she sometimes allowed me to help with. Later we had family projects... and Dad always surprised Mom by being SO creative. I wish I'd done more with my kids... but single mom-ness didn't help.

Kathleen said...

My favorite craft project when I was a kid was when I made pilgrims and a turkey out of brown grocery store bags, crayons, tape, and paper. It took me hours to put them together to my satisfaction, but I was so pleased with them when I was finished!

Would love to win a copy of this book!

Auntie M said...

My favorite crafts lately have been those that I facilitate for my husband and 3.5 year old boy. They have made two bird feeders: PB covered pine cones and a milk carton house. It's fun to watch them together and see how proud they are.

Diane said...

I don't remember exactly how we made them, but I think we used karo syrup and food coloring?. We'd put it on paper plates, fold them in half, and when we unfolded them they looked like beautiful leaves! :) That book looks fantastic!

Marijke van Swaaij said...

Well, my all time favourite was making a house of a box and furniture of matchboxes and little pieces of fabric for the curtains and so on. AND was allowed to use a knife to cut the doors and windows.

Kate from Kinda Crunchy Kate blog said...

It seems like all the best crafts are the messiest. I have to get over my perfectionism to be able to have fun, but when I do, I have a blast with my kiddos. Recently I made finger paints from food coloring, water and arrowroot starch. I let them paint the entire front porch. It was hilarious to watch them as they slowly realized that, yes, they were allowed to get messy.

Roseanne said...

Oh, without a doubt, making those woven potholders on the little square metal loom. Just adored the pile of wildly colorful loops!

retstickan said...

When I was a kid I loved making things out of cardboard boxes. I cut them in shapes of cars, dollhouses etc and then I painted them with crayons. My youngest daughter also loves creating things out of cardboard boxes. She has made a house and furniture for her dolls. We love creating things together.

Fran said...

Hands down....both as a child & a Mom
it's paper-mache ! Always a big family activity...
I loved every part of it...we made turkeys & bunnies,
Halloween masks & puppets ! Happy memories !

Paula said...

Best craft with the Cub Scouts were the rubberband racers we made. The Boy Scouts cut the wood bases and the Cubs glued, painted and raced their cars all over the day camp! This was about ___ years ago!

Mel said...

I loved shrinky dink as a kid -- everything looked so much more perfect when it was tiny. This book it on my must-buy list -- thanks for the chance!

Lora said...

I loved doing arts and crafts as a kid :) I was in a special after school art program where I remember doing screen printing, plaster molds of faces, painting, and lots more things.

<3 Lora, feltslc@plu.edu

Carrie said...

My earliest memory is deciding that my grandparent's toile printed hallway wallpaper was PERFECT to color...I now have a grandson who is discovering crayons and ALL that goes with that! What goes around, comes around!

Nancy said...

My favorite craft to undertake with kids, was ambitious. I taught my Brownie troop 6-7 7 year olds and a 4 year old, to build 4-poster Barbie beds, using 1/4" pre cut plywood and spools for the legs and posts, and "sweing" bed linens with fusible tape. Sheets and comforter with prequilted fabric. Everyone was pleased with their bed when finished. And I was exhausted. This was a 2-3 meeting project.

Rachel said...

Here's something that's sad... I don't remember any art/craft that stands out to me from my childhood. But I plan to change that with my own children.

Something I've enjoyed doing with my own kids is tie dying some t-shirts making dyed coffee filter flowers, and making a tissue paper cross for Easter.

Kendra said...

I have four kids and don't craft with them as often as I should. Maybe this book would be the inspiration I need!

As a child, I remember being so excited when my mom would get out the powder Tempra paints and start mixing them in the old sour cream containers. Painting with brushes, fingers, or yarn - so fun!!

Sandy K. said...

This sounds like a great book. I have 10 grandchildren (it takes my breath away every time I say it) and we do a lot of baking and some crafts. This book would be a handy addition to my library!

esther said...

when i was a kid, my favorite craft was making jewelry from rocks that had gone through my rock tumbler. i need to find that thing; it was swell. my kids, however, like anything they can get their hands on, but especially painting and glitter. this book would come in real handy for all those rainy days Washington state is known for. thanks for the giveaway!