The Well-Stocked Art Supply Bin

Restock your art supplies during the back to school sales!

school-supplies

I always loved back to school shopping. All those fancy pens and glittery folders made both walking to aisles and later using the supplies fun. This is the first year my daughter needs supplies and I was sad to see that the list instructs us as to the color of all the folders, and that all the pencils, markers, etc. are placed in bins for general use, so splurging on fancy ones will be a waste. I still might decide to get her one fancy pencil to keep for her personal use!

With all the back to school supplies sales however, this is the perfect time of year to restock your basic art supplies. As you may have noticed if you have been following me here, I tend towards using very basic supplies, so many of them will be on sale! Kosher on a Budget is my go-to source for the best prices. She posts a weekly round-up of the best school supplies deals each week. Here is a list of what I consider “essential” and a second list of “extras.”

“Essentials”
Construction paper
Glue (glue sticks do not work well in my opinion, even if they are neater!)
Kid-friendly scissors
Crayons
Markers
Washable acrylic paint
Watercolor paint
Paint brushes
Clear tape
Masking tape

“Extras”
Textured or patterned papers
Sequins and jewels
Pom poms
Pipe cleaners
Paper fasteners
Dot paints (we will the “Do A Dot brand)
Glue gun

Rebuilding Yerushalayim (in paper)

Use paper to create your own version of Yerushalayim on Tisha B’av.

yerushalayim

Tisha B’av marks the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It is also one of the hardest days to be a parent. You don’t have the luxury of spending the day in shul and then taking a long nap. There are small people waiting to be fed and want you to play with them. Additionally, you want to convey some sense of the day to them, just as you would with any other holiday, but in an age appropriate way.

I am always on the lookout for Tisha B’av projects that relate to the day. One that you can do even with small kids is building a paper Yerushalayim. You can cut out the shapes in advance or have older kids cut their own shapes. Then let them mix and match and create their own Yerushalayim. Show the kids how to layer the shapes to show dimension, so some buildings are close up and some are further away.

You can add in print-outs of friends or family living in Israel, or the kids themselves. We used plain construction paper but any type of textured or shiny gold paper would add an extra dimension here. Print out close ups of Jerusalem stone to add in as “bricks” or buildings. You could do a Kotel scene, or any other place in Israel that has meaning to you and your kids.

We hope that by next year, we will already see the real rebuilt Yerushalayim!

 

Building Yerushalayim

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on involved you get

Age: 2-8

Materials:
Construction or any other kind of colored or textured paper
Glue
Scissors

Process:
Cut out a variety of shapes. We mainly used squares, rectangles and domes, with a triangle for the sun and some bird shapes but really almost anything will work.

 

supplies

Arrange the pieces on a sheet of paper. Layer pieces to create a full city with depth. Once you have arranged the pieces to your satisfaction, glue them down.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

Shavuot Flowers

Decorate Har Sinai or make a bouquet!

har sinai

In our dining room, we have one wall that is saved for hanging up the kids’ projects. It rotates seasonally, and we have school projects and crafts we have done at home. It’s at the point where it can never be blank, or it just looks like something is missing. Kids love having their artwork displayed and this being a very prominent location gives them a lot a pride.

Well, the Pesach projects were still hanging as of today, so I knew we needed to move on. We took down the matza and seder plate (school projects were saved for now, paper we cut into shapes and taped up there was recycled while no one was looking). And now, what could we put up for Shavuot? My daughter wanted to put up a big Har Sinai. Har Sinai itself ended up being both green and brown, based on what colors were left in the package of construction paper. Then we decorated it with some flowers that used paper and my favorite art supply, the paper fastener! These were really easy and came out looking beautiful.

flowers

Shavuot Flowers

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on how many you make
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper or flower template
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Scissors
Paper fasteners

Process:
Draw your flower outlines, or download and print ours. I sized them so we would have a three layered flower in the end, with each flower being slightly smaller than the next.

Decorate in any way you want. We used watercolors, which have been a favorite recently.

kids painting

When they are dry, cut them out. This proved to be a bit tedious, but I stacked two sheets of paper together and cut them simultaneously. Stack the flowers with the largest one on the bottom and the smallest on top. Poke a hole with the paper fastener through the center of all 3 flowers.

If you don’t have a wall to hang them on, use a pipe cleaner instead of a paper fastener and make a bouquet! Decorate an empty bottle by pasting on squares of tissue paper and you have just made a lovely Shavuot centerpiece.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

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Pesach Puppets

Act out the story of Pesach with adorable puppets!

moshe aaron

As I was cleaning up the remains of Purim, I gathered up a whole stack of puppets the kids brought home from school. I got to thinking – why does Purim get all the puppet fun? The Pesach story is just as dramatic and part of the Seder experience is to feel like we ourselves left Egypt. What better way then telling the story with puppets!

matza marror

Matza and Marror

A definition of terms – when I say puppet, you might be thinking of the kind made of a sock, or a marionette. My version is much simpler – just cut out some paper and tape it to a stick or straw. Much easier and friendly to make for any age. The kids absolutely loved doing these. We started them on Sunday afternoon and spent an hour decorating. We finished Monday after school and spent another hour making more and attaching them to the sticks. Obviously, your kids might be done in 10 minutes, especially if they are younger, but older kids can really use their creativity here. It isn’t a super fancy thing, but it really was so much fun.

Last year my daughter made a set of Pesach puppets all by herself, which yielded the amazing results only the drawings of a 5 year old can do. They were great fun, so I thought why not expand the repertoire and make not only puppets of people, but Seder objects too like mazta and marror puppets? Make a bunch and hand them out at your seder. Whenever the item on your puppet is mentioned, raise it up high! It’s a great way to keep kids interested, almost like searching for Haman in the Megillah. They will be waiting for the next mention of matza to wave their puppet! Many of them will be surprised that the Moshe puppet will be used only once throughout the whole seder and the whole story of Moshe in the basket isn’t mentioned at all. Create your own or download and print ours.

While they all came out adorably, we made a sea that splits and I think this might be my favorite one! We used both tissue and construction paper in as many shades of blue as we had that we glued on to a circle of paper. When it was dry, we cut it in half and then attached one end with a paper fastener. It didn’t seem like a good idea to put this one on a stick.

sea closed

Moshe holds his staff over the sea…

sea open

…and it splits!

The age of the kid will dictate how sophisticated these come out. My younger daughter did this one of Baby Moshe, of which she was very proud.

baby moshe

If you use them at your seder be sure to let us know!

Pesach Puppets

Time:
Active: 1-2 hours, depending on attention span
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using glue

Age: 2-9

Materials:
Paper
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Decorating materials – tissue paper, construction paper, shiny paper, fabric, pompoms – the ideas can be endless!
Glue
Scissors
Tape
Popsicle sticks or straws
Puppet downloads

Process:
Draw your puppet outlines, or download and print ours. Decorate in any way you want. I liked gluing on ripped paper. We used light blue tissue paper for the salt water dish and construction paper for the shank bone.

progress

When they are done, tape to a popsicle stick or straw (I prefer the non-bending type for projects like this). For Moshe and Aaron’s staffs, I added an extra piece of straw perpendicular to the main straw, since otherwise they were flapping around and were sure to rip (look closely at the first picture in the post to see what I mean). If you are using our downloads, I felt popsicle sticks were too small for the scale of those cut outs, but if you make your own smaller ones, they will work great.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

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3-D Paper Hamantashen

Paper Hamantashen are almost good enough to eat!

hamantashen

Purim is just around the corner! We finally nailed down an idea for our mishloach manot and started buying supplies, and the kids decided on their costumes a while ago. But, I am not ready to start baking hamantashen just yet. And of course, the great filling debate. Call me a traditionalist, but I really like lekvar (prune jelly). Poppy – no thanks. Apricot and raspberry are good too, but when we use jelly, it always seems to ooze out the still-pinched corners. A friend recommended Solo pastry filling as a good alternative and I am going to scout out the store and give that a try this year. My husband’s family always used chocolate chips as fillings, but to me those end up dry because the chips don’t melt.

In order to push off the whole mess and debate, we made these fun paper hamantashen instead. If circles of dough fold to make a triangle, why not circles of paper? These are easily adaptable. We used our favorite dot paint to decorate the circles and pompoms as filling, but you could just as easily use crayons to decorate and crumpled tissue paper as fillings. Or honestly, you could go filling-free and just overlap the sides a little more.

These would adorable in mini, taped on to your Purim cards for mishloach manot!

3D Paper Hamantashen

Time:
Active: 15-20 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Large or small pompoms
Glue
Scissors
Clear tape

Process:
Decorate your paper in any way you want. Don’t worry about making a specific picture, jsut make it look colorful! We used dot paints but anything will work.dotted-papers

Draw or trace a circle on the page. We made our circle almost big enough to cover the whole page, but any size will work!dotted-circles

Glue a large pompom in the center of the back side of you circle. You can use just one, or group a few. We found that only a small amount shows through so one was really enough but the kids enjoyed gluing little pompoms on top of the bigger ones as well.

pompom

pompom2

Fold in your corners like a real hamantashen! Use clear tape to hold the sides together.

corner-folded

And there you have it, a paper hamantash!

done-h

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

Toilet Paper Roll Trees for Tu B’Shvat

“Plant” a tree for Tu B’Shvat!

tali-tree

With Tu B’Shvat just around the corner, we needed to do a tree project! We used toilet paper rolls to create a 3D tree on our page. I keep a stash of these rolls around so when an idea strikes, we aren’t stuck without materials. The kids enjoyed this one. The blue blobs all over are apparently “rain” and the red splotches are some kind of fruit.

ora-tree

We painted it after we glued it down, but the whole time I was debating if we should have painted the whole tube first and cut it into leaves second. If you did do it that way, the edges of the leaves wouldn’t get painted but it would be neater and possibly easier. If you try it the other way, let us know how it went!

Toilet Paper Roll Trees

Time:
Active: 15 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+

Age: 2-7

Materials:
2 toilet paper tubes, or 1 paper towel tube
paper
paint
glue
scissors

Process:

Cut one of the tubes in half. This will be your trunk.

Fold the second tube in half and flatten, so a football shape is created. Cut thin stripes off the tube. These will be your leaves. We found kid scissors not to be strong enough to cut through the tube, so we carefully used large “grown up” scissors.

cutting

Arrange your pieces on a sheet of paper to your satisfaction. Then glue them down. We found the most effective way to glue the leaves was to pinch them together until they were essentially flat. One person held the leaf in this position while the other squeezed out a thin layer of glue. Then when you let go of the pinch position, both sides of the leaf have glue on them.

gluing

Let the glue dry for as long as you can bear to wait. 15 minutes should be enough.

Paint! Make sure to get all the sides and inside each leaf.

painting

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

Easy Invisible Ink

Paint over your drawing and your picture magically appears!

snowman

We recently threw a science themed birthday party for my older daughter. We set up 3 rotating stations with experiments for the kids to do, and concluded with a dry ice show by my real-life-scientist husband. One of the stations was invisible ink. It involved mess, a hair dryer and soggy paper. Here is the version we should have done instead. It’s easy and can be kept fairly clean and of course, hair dryer free.

If you draw with a white crayon, it seems to be invisible. When you paint over the crayon drawing, the paint slides off the waxy crayon residue, revealing your message or drawing. Any paint will work, but for ease and less mess, we used dot paints, which the kids love. They had a blast revealing their messages.

white-crayon

Looks like nothing is there? Just wait!

dotting

This technique can be used for any theme. My kids wanted to do “winter” pictures but it could just as well be about anything. Scribbles are great too! You could do this to represent the first day of creation, (light and dark) using black paint over the white crayon. It could also work for the second day of creation (when the waters are separated). Color a large block of white in the center of the page. Paint over it with blue and voila! The waters split with white in between. The blue paint would go well with Kriyat Yam Suf too.  Share any other ideas you have, or photos of what you came up with!

Easy Invisible Ink

Time:
Active: 30 minutes

Age: 2-8

Materials:
white  paper
paint (we used dot paint but any will work)
white crayons

materials

Process:

Color with the white crayon on the white paper. Make sure to press down firmly for best results. Words are fun if your kid knows how to write but pictures are just as good. Make sure you have drawn everything you want before starting to paint, as you cannot go back and draw more on that page once the paint is applied.

Paint over the areas you colored. Watch as the paint slides off the crayon and your message is revealed!

scribble

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!