Easy (and fun!) craft idea

*2006 post*

On Saturday we had our best buddies over (Amy's boys) to play for a few hours. I grabbed a craft/art book and perused it while the kids were playing outside to see if we could do a quick project before lunch. I found one I knew they'd like, and we began.

We made Clay Porcupines, an idea I found in this book:

I actually don't use art books much, as I generally make up my own ideas, but this is a fun book in a pinch.

We had everything on hand and it only took a few minutes to get ready. The mess was minimal, and they all thoroughly enjoyed the process. (All important factors in being crafty with kids!) As you can see, they were very focused.

Here's the finished product:

Cute, huh? If you're so inclined, here's what you need to make these:

-Salt clay (recipe below)
-Uncooked spaghetti
-Popsicle sticks

Self-hardening Salt Clay
1 1/2 cups salt
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. alum (as a preservative if the clay isn't baked)

Mix dry ingredients together in a plastic bowl; then add water gradually. When the dough forms a ball around the spoon, knead the dough well, adding water if it's too crumbly.

This clay can also be baked. Set the oven to 300 degrees and bake small shapes for 30-40 minutes or until hard.
*We didn't bake our porcupines.

I made one batch and divided it between 6 children (yes, even the little guys participated!) and that was plenty. If you're only going to do it with a couple of children, I'd halve the recipe.

The best part for the kids was breaking up the spaghetti noodles and poking them in. While I made the dough (3 min), I had them start breaking the noodles. They spent about 20 minutes poking in all the porcupine's quills and then I broke the popsicle sticks and stuck the little legs on. And drew the faces. (By copying the picture in the book).

And wouldn't an art/craft book be another good idea for a Christmas gift? You could purchase a book and then the materials needed for a craft or two within the book. That'd be fun for little ones, doncha' think?

1 comment:

  1. Sep. 18, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Joni
    Can we say, "I'll definitely be trying this?" This looks like a winner! Anything that keeps my little ones happy for 20 whole minutes is something I can use. Thanks once again for an awesome idea. See, what would we do without you?

    Blessings to you my friend,


    Sep. 18, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by jengresak
    That is just about the cutest thing I have ever seen : ) I love that whole series of books!


    Sep. 18, 2006 - My boys still love theirs!
    Posted by Amy
    Thank you so much for doing such a clever project with them! And I get to see a picture too! I love it.
    Our three porcupines are sitting on our piano and are very loved. The question just is how long mama will let them stick around :).
    This is why they LOVE coming to your house!
    Way to go super mom!


    Sep. 18, 2006 - Untitled Comment
    Posted by Rebeca
    That looks like a fun project- maybe I'll have one of my "stand-in" mommies do it with Peregrine this week.
    I'll look forward to your next idea too- I'm afraid that even though I love to make things I don't do much of that stuff with my kids. :< I need some inspiration!!


    Sep. 18, 2006 - Hi
    Posted by AussieinAmerica
    I have not visited for a few days and was so surprised when I got here - I am sad to see Amy go too. It is great that you will be sticking around Stacy. This is one of my favorite blogs and I would really miss it. You both have so many great things to share.
    I love this craft idea. It looks like I will be teaching arts and crafts in the homeschool coop coming up - I may have to use this idea!!
    Have a great day,
    P.S. I love the avatar picture of you and the kids - very cute.


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