Monday, July 12, 2010

Cork Dolls

Soon Bear and I will be going to a family reunion at the beach. Last year Beth from did a fabulous blog on how to make acorn people for the beach. If you have not visited her Blog before you may just want to pop in. She is a wonderful artist with a heart of gold especially when it comes to the little ones. I'm so happy to call her a friend. I fell in love with the acorn people she made and wanted to take them to the beach for the kids to play with this year. Acorns, however, are out of season right now. Here is my variation on how to make cork people. They are incredibly fast and easy to make. Because of their size they can still present a choking hazard, so I would not recommend giving them to anyone under the age of 4.

1. The supplies needed for this craft include, little straw hats, wooden beads for heads (Michael's sells pre-painted faces on wood beads in the doll making section). Screws that are long enough to go through the head and most of the body, but not long enough to go all the way through the body and leave a sharp point, high temp hot glue or waterproof wood glue, and a cork. I was able to get everything here at Michael's Craft Store except the screws (well and the corks, but you can buy corks at Michael's).

2. Screw the head and cork together. Right before the screw is all the way in put a dab of hot glue under the head to make it a little harder for little fingers to unscrew. Though it will be pretty tight without the glue.

3. Glue the straw hat on.

4. You are done! Wasn't that cheep, fast, and fun? They float face up. Bear and I put one in a bowl of water and had a blast poking it and watching it bob along. I can't wait to hand these out to the littles at the beach and see what wonderful games they have with these dolls. From sandcastles to shell tea parties whatever you are doing this week Have fun!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Match Sitck Rockets!

In honor of the Fourth of July I thought it would be fun to make Match Stick Rockets. I made these when I was little and had a blast (if you will excuse the pun). First you will need to make a launch pad. They can be made of just about anything that wont burn and will hold a match stick at a slight angle. One of these is made with a block of scrap wood and the metal part of a curtain hanger, one used a paper clip that is duct-taped down to a piece of wood for stability. and one is just a door stop covered in aluminum foil. The launch I used as a child had a hinge nailed to a piece of wood and a small metal tube soldered to the hinge. The scrap wood raises the launch up so that you can get under the rocket to ignite it, but I'm getting ahead of myself.1. For the rockets you will need a wooden match stick, pins, and a small piece of aluminum foil.
2. Take a small piece of aluminum foil and lay the match head on an edge. Place a pin on either side of the match head.
3. Be careful not to punch a hole though the aluminum foil and wrap the match head tightly. Slowly pull out the pins. There should be tiny tunnels where the pins were. These are the exhaust ports for your rocket. Be careful when handling the rockets to not crimp the small exhaust ports the pins have made.We noticed that regular kitchen matches are now bigger and have less phosphorus on the match head then when we were children. If you can find the regular smaller boxed matched the first rockets will work, if not you can cut the kitchen match in half and continue use the first set of instructions. I've also heard that you can scrape the phosphorus off of one match and put the powder in the aluminum cover and double the strength of your rocket.Take your rockets and launch pad outside. I recommend using your driveway as a launch sight. place the rocket on the launch pad with the match head overhanging the edge slightly. Use a lighter to ignite the rocket. Hold the lighter under the aluminum tip for a few seconds. The heat from the lighter will ignite the rocket. Be careful not to burn yourself and have a happy and safe Fourth of July...
Some safe tips if you are lighting your own fireworks are:
Don't cut the wicks smaller unless the instructions say to.
Do not stand directly over a firework as you are lighting it.
Once lit, step away!
Use ear protection for small children. The loud noises can harm their little ears.
Use bug spray.. Really.