With school back in full swing around the country (finally!) there’s ample opportunity to get the kids involved in crafts. New pencils, markers, and crayons need a place to live, and to get your elementary school kids excited about all that’s ahead of them this fall, pick up a few craft supplies—and a few items from the recycling bin—and make this handy and adorable school bus supply holder!
Unfold the cracker box and paint the inside yellow. Paint the outside of small jewelry box yellow (set aside the lid—save it for another project). Let both dry.
2. Trace the open ends of the yogurt cups about 1 inch apart on one side of the box. Have an adult use scissors to puncture a small hole inside each circle and let the child cut the shapes out (staying about 1/8 inch inside the line).
3. Restore the cracker box to its three dimensional shape with the yellow side showing, and have an adult hot-glue it back together. Insert the yogurt cups into the holes you cut on the roof (if your cups don’t have a lip to hold them in place, stuff some newspaper underneath for support). To make the bus’s hood, glue the jewelry box, open side down, to the bottom half of one of the short sides of the cracker box.
4. Paint six windows on each side of the bus; paint two doors, the front windshield, and a front bumper onto the bus with chalkboard paint (refer to page 49 for placement). The bus windows should be about 1 inch square and the doors about 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall. The windshield should cover most of the area above the hood, leaving just a slim yellow frame. To make the bumper, paint a thin black stripe along the bottom, open end of the jewelry box.
5. To make the bus’s wheels, paint the Cabone rings in chalkboard paint and let dry.
6. Have an adult hot-glue one end of the yarn to the ring. Wrap the yarn around each ring, turning the ring to create an asterisk wheel pattern. After four to five wraps, cut the yarn and have an adult hot-glue the loose end to the ring. Hot-glue each wheel about 1 inch in from the front and back of the bus on both sides.
7. Add the brake lights and parking lights by pushing two red thumbtacks into each corner above the windshield (secure with a dot of glue if needed); to make the headlights, glue the snaps on the bumper.
8. Draw the bus’s grille by making three horizontal marker lines on the front of the hood, just above the bumper. Draw two horizontal lines along each side of the bus, under the windows.
In case you haven’t heard, something pretty spectacular is happening Monday August 21st – a total solar eclipse! And it’s not just any eclipse, it’s being called one of the events of the century. Though a total solar eclipse happens approximately every 18 months, it is only visible from limited areas on the planet, which is why most people will only see one in their lifetime (unless you’re an eclipse chaser ). The path of this eclipse will cut across the U.S. so everyone in the country will be able to see it – though some spots will be better than others. You can enter your zip code on this page for the exact percentage of the eclipse you’ll be able to see and your peak viewing time. You don’t want to miss it because the next chance to see one in the U.S. will be in 2024!
This is a great opportunity to have a summer time science lesson with your kids and do some fun solar themed crafts leading up to the big day. We’ve collected 11 projects that embrace the sun, moon, and even the stars – because when the sky goes dark in the middle of day you’ll be able to see them too!
1. You can hold the whole world, and the rest of the planets, in your hand with this solar system necklace from Handmade Charlotte. With a little paint, wooden beads become a festive addition to your eclipse viewing outfit. (above)
2.Before the eclipse begins, harness the power of the sun to make some amazing art. You can create prints with all sorts of items – natural objects, toys, or crafts supplies. For instructions to make this nautical sun print garland, check out our second book, “Project Kid: Crafts that Go!“.
Make your own solar eclipse viewer! First things first, it is important to remember that it is extremely dangerous to look directly at the sun – even when it’s being blocked by the moon! You can still enjoy the moment though by crafting a simple pinhole viewer to project he shadow of the eclipse. Check out our video to learn how to make your own.
4. If you prefer a softer, less scorching, sun, this pocket-sized softie is a sweet option. It’s so simple to sew that your kids may want to make enough to share. Wouldn’t this be a cute alternative to friendship bracelets? via My Poppet
5. For a themed craft that you’ll be tempted to keep up year round, check out this lovely moon phases mobile from The Merry Thought. It’s both easy and elegant.
To really make this cosmic event a party, craft some mini piñatas! Follow Oh Happy Day’s lead to turn circles into moon phases, or for a sweet treat to match, try cupcakes from the BBC’s Good Foods blog.
7. Babble Dabble Do reinvents the classic math tool as an educational object worthy of display. Help your kids learn about constellations using pins and rubber bands and then let them come up with their own starry designs.
For a dreamier way to bring the stars inside, Martha Stewart shares instructions for a constellation lampshade. Give any shade star power with a coat of blue paint and a few punched holes.
9. Another way to make your own starlight is this diy version of the classic kid’s room staple: glow in the dark stars. Your child’s ceiling is a galaxy waiting to happen, all you need is clay, cookie cutters, and command strips. via Make+Haus
Kids never need an excuse to wear a crown, but this is certainly a stellar occasion. Mermag shows you how to turn cardboard into a glittery headband worthy of a princess.
A tastier way to utilize the sun’s strength is by creating a solar oven! No need for a campfire to make outdoor s’mores, plus you can slip in a lesson about the greenhouse effect while you wait for your treats. Butter with a Side of Bread shows you how.
As you likely know, the August 21st solar eclipse is fast approaching! (Read more about the rarity in this post!) If your town has sold out of eclipse viewing glasses and Amazon doesn’t have time to deliver them, grab a cereal box, tape, and aluminum foil and make your own pinhole viewer!
Watch the video to see how easy it is to make your own!
This is a monumentally important celestial occurrence, but make sure you explain to your kids that they must NOT look directly at the sun. It is extremely damaging and must be taken seriously.
Trace the bottom of your box on white paper, cut out and use a glue stick to attach to the inside bottom of box
Cut off the two short tabs on the open end. Then, cut the ends of the long tabs to form two squares, approximately 2 inches wide.
Tape aluminum foil over one of the openings and cut off excess.
Use the safety pin to make a small hole in the center of the foil square. (You can also use a thumbtack, straight pin, or sewing needle.)
Trace the all sides of the box and top center section onto black construction paper and cut out. Set these aside.
Lay out eight red dot stickers and 1 blue in a 3×3 grid on a sheet of wax paper with the blue one in the center. Following the diagram below, layer blue stickers on top of the red to create phases of the eclipse. Cut off the excess from the blue sticker to create one circle for each phase. For the center blue sticker, just trim circumference by about 1/8-inch and center on top of a red sticker.
Transfer stickers to construction paper on box in the same grid and you’re done!
Using the viewer:
Bring your viewer outside and stand with the sun behind you. Aim the viewer so that the sun shines on the aluminum foil and the pinhole.
Look through the viewer to adjust the box until you can see a clear circle of light – NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY, it is extremely dangerous and can cause serious eye damage.
When the eclipse begins you will see the spot of light begin to have the shadow of the moon move across.
It just occurred to me that way before these fidget spinners were all the rage, I had already invented a miniature (and wearable) version of one. (I’m not NOT taking credit here…)
I made this craft for the SKY chapter of my second book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go as a propeller ring, but when I was scrolling through pics just recently, I realized that yes, indeed, I “invented” the fidget spinner in jewelry form. Back pat, back pat.
To make your own, you’ll need the template and just a few basic items. Here’s the how-to…
Download and print the propeller template. Cut it out and trace it onto the Shrinky Dinks paper. Color the propeller and cut it out. Punch a hole in the center.
Bake in the oven according to package directions. Let cool.
Have an adult cut a 4-inch piece of wire with wire cutters and twist it around the child’s finger, using needle-nose pliers to hold the end of the wire while wrapping. (Don’t twist too tight; you want to be able to slip the ring on and off.) Leave a .-inch twisted point.
Slip the propeller on top of the wire point, and then have an adult glue the bead onto the wire point with E-6000 glue. Let dry, about 20 minutes. Have an adult trim any excess wire.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to summer but back to school shopping definitely makes the transition a little easier. As crafters we are suckers for fun supplies and there have never been as many cute options as there are now. To save you from the overwhelming number of choices, we’ve scoured all the best sites to bring you our favorite pieces. We won’t judge if you save a few for yourself.
1. Forget about initials, this cotton backpack from omy is completely customizable. 2D coloring is so last year.
2. Let your kids make a statement with these retro pennant patches from Meri Meri.
3. No lying necessary to make this Pinnochio’s nose grow. You can get your own storybook sharpener from Monkey Business.
4. What better way to hold your pencils than in a giant pencil? Meta in the best way. Via Amazon
5. Let your kids get crafty by making their own DIY erasers with this cool kit from Creatibles.
6. Sandwiches will be safe in this ZIPIT lunchbox whose hard shell will prevent smushing, (and sharp teeth will prevent stealing).
7. Not only is this composition book from Yoobi super cheery, but for every Yoobi item bought, another item will be donated to a U.S. classroom in need. Win win.
8. Your kids are guaranteed to keep track of their pencils when they’re personalized. We may need a Project Kid set or two. Personalized pencils from Lillian Vernon.
9. Cheeky snack boxes from Flying Tiger are sure to be spark lunch table chatter.
10. Help your kids get in the habit of hydrating with these pink and teal water bottles from Target.
11. Keep your kids’ library in its place with these adorable book ends from the Land of Nod.
12. Make sure all their supplies find their way back home with personal stickers. Minted has tons of adorable options that are all dishwasher, microwave, and washing machine safe!