Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mitten madness part 1

I had to come back and edit this one because I just noticed I forgot to put the title on it.

I was in a rush to make up a bunch more craft kits to keep Demi busy for the next few weeks. My thinking went something like this...

I need to make up more things to keep her busy during the time I teach Travis.
I would like stuff that she will have fun with.
Of course it needs to be something educational.
Maybe a theme craft.
I could do a fall, Thanks giving, Christmas, or a New Years theme.
I love using themes but I never seem to have the time to post them on my blog. By the time I get some free time to take pictures of the final projects and find a bit more free time to sit at the computer to upload them the holiday is long over.
Maybe a theme that can last a long time and work for all my children.
Hmm... A theme that can work for anyone with children.
Lots of ideas start rolling around in my head but they all will take more time than I think I have.
I like to keep things simple and fast.
I don't want to spend a ton of time making things that my daughter will only use for a few minutes. I want things I can make up faster than she can do them.
Maybe a winter theme. Hmmm... What goes with winter??? OH I KNOW! Mittens!!!! They are very simple! Hey I can draw mittens (or something that will resemble mittens) without searching for a pattern. Yes, I will start with mittens tonight.

That folks is the beginning of my mitten madness. I already have enough mitten kits made up to keep my children busy for the next month or two and enough more ideas to keep them busy until spring. I have pictures of most of them so now I need to do is post pictures here to share them with you.

I gave myself 3 rules before starting this.

Rule 1.
All my kits have to be mittens. LOL! I have a habit of getting off track with things like this. Often I start simple projects like this and it quickly goes from something like simple paper mittens into other things like dress up costumes or some other crazy thing. When I started this last night I thought I was only going to make up 2 or 3 mitten kits. Once I got started I couldn't seem to stop so what started as 2 or 3 kits is now 40 or 50. LOL! I guess things do go much better when I keep focused.

Rule 2.
I have to keep all my mitten kits simple and FAST to make up. I can not spend a lot of time on them. I will need keep focused on how short Demi's attention span is. It is silly for me to spend 1 hour making something she will only use for 5 minutes. That is the one thing that I always seem to forget when I make her things.

Rule 3. I will NOT buy anything to make my kits. I am going to use ONLY the things I have at home already to do this project. I do always have craft supplies around but now is the perfect time for this challenge because I am out of many of my normal craft supplies that I like to keep on hand so I will be in the perfect situation to show others how I make due with what I have on hand.

I am sure most of you are familiar with most of the projects they are the well known cut, paste, paint, count, match, lace, and such the normal craft learning projects for young children. I am just going to do them all with just mittens. In under an hour last night I made up a ton of simple kits. I seem to work best at 1 am. LOL!

I started by making up several paint sets for the kits. Below you can see I used a frozen waffle box to put my paints drops on. It is tempera paint just like I posted in my last post.

After my spots dried I cut the paints into strips. I then glued on bottle tops to use as water cups.

Mitten Kit #1

I drew free hand a simple mitten shape. I then used that mitten to trace others on a page so they would be close in size to each other. My printer is out of ink and I said I would NOT buy anything for this project so drawing all of my mittens is what I needed to do. I drew them very fast keeping in mind that my girl is 2 years old and will not care if my mittens are a little off. LOL!

I then cut off the bottom 2 mittens on the page. I cut all the way around them. I did draw a line for a cuff just because I thought they would look a bit more like mittens with the line. LOL!
I then added Q-tips for paint brushes and a glue stick for kit and it is done.

I put it all in a brown lunch bag to store until we plan on using it. I put a number 1. on the outside of the bag because I only have 4 glue sticks. When kit one is done I will move the glue stick from this kit to another bag. I will know that only the first 4 have glue in them. Doing that I hope will save me from having to look for glue when I am in a rush. In my house whenever the baby needs to be fed or when Travis needs help with school that is the same time Demi yells to glue and I can't find the glue sticks. I hope this system fixes this problem.


I will add water to the bottle top on the paint strip and I will tell Demi to paint the cut mittens then match them up to the ones on the paper and glue them in place.

Mitten kit #2

Same kind of kit as kit one. It has 2 mittens on a half sheet of paper, 2 mittens cut out, and a paint set but this one I added in some tiny polka dots. Rule #2 was to make them up fast. I couldn't find my paper punch so I cut them out by hand. YES they are not perfect circles but I cut out a ton at a time and if my children say anything I will just point out how hand knit items are never perfect circles. LOL!

To put the dots neatly in the lunch bag I made up a simple envelope. I didn't waste time taping it shut. I figured just folding it would keep them from going all over inside the bag.

Mitten kit #3
This kit is a lacing set. I used a cracker box to make this. I traced around the outside wider than the mitten. I could have just made a larger mitten with holes on it and skipped the drawing on the inside but I plan on letting Demaris decorate the mitten and I thought the holes might get in the way with the decorating. In the past Demi has filled in lacing or brad holes (with glue, paint, paper, and such) on craft projects. Doing it this way I can tell her to decorate the mitten and leave the holes for the pretty ribbon. I used thin ribbon with a piece of tape on the end for the laces. Yarn, shoelaces, or string would work just as well. The ribbon was right next to me so it was quicker using this than going to get the laces or string that was in another room. I was able to stick with rule 2 and do it fast. I tied the ribbon to one of the holes so it wouldn't get lost.

I made up 2 of them. One has less holes than the other. Demi often looses interest with lots of holes.

Mitten Kit #4
Pattern mittens.
I cut out a bunch of mittens out of 2 colors of construction paper. I then cut strips of card stock and glued squares of the same colors in a pattern on them. Demi will copy the pattern on the cards with the mittens. I will add more colors and patterns if she still has an interest after doing this set. This thinking keeps me on track. I am keeping in mind that my toddler often looses interest fast with stuff like this.

Mitten Kit #5

story book mittens. This book I will just give her to use however she wants. A book shaped like a mitten will make her smile and even with nothing special to do with it but use a set of crayons on it will keep her busy for some time.

Mitten Kit #6
More storybook mittens.
This one is just like the other one (I made up a large stack of them). I will have her decorate the cover and then have her tell me a story about the mittens on the front and back cover. I will write the story on the pages on the right side and we will together make pictures to go with the story on the left sided pages.
Mitten Kit #7
ABC letter match mittens

I know I promised not to buy any supplies so for this so I had to shrink down my mittens. I did start this mitten project with almost a full pack of construction paper but I know with projects like this I run out of paper fast. I have many more things to make up with colored construction paper so I need to find ways to use less.

The picture below shows how much smaller my ABC mittens are than the other mittens I have made.
I am sure you can guess the object is to match the upper case letter to the lower case letter.

Mitten Kit #8
furry mittens
I cut out some red mittens sorry this set doesn't look the same shape as my other mittens. I told you I am not using a pattern. My daughter will not care I thing they still resemble mittens. Anyway, I am adding cotton balls to this kit. I plan on showing her how to pull apart a cotton ball to make fur for the cuff. She can then glue it into place. BTW the fur laying on the bottom of the right mitten is just one cotton ball pulled apart some.
Mitten Kit#9
sparkle mittens

I don't see any gems, sequences , or others sparkles in my craft box so I am using glitter paint, glitter glue, and shiny ribbons for this kit. Other things that would work is aluminum foil, foil wrapping paper, tubes of glitter, or shiny buttons.

Mitten Kit#10
peekaboo mittens
This one is my favorite so far! I must think better and be more creative when I am tired. I made this one up VERY late at night! I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open when I got the idea and made this one.
I cut mittens out of a cracker box so they would be stiff. I drew and cut out a simple set of eyes, nose and mouth for Demi to glue on (Travis can draw a face right on the plate if he makes one). I cut some yarn for hair. I am not wasting time digging out other colors of yarn so if Travis does one and wants brown hair he can paint the yarn or color it with markers. I will be teaching him to use what we have. LOL! I added in a set of paper mittens to cover the brown cardboard. I don't care if my children choose to cover up the brown but I thought I should stick a set in in case they said the brown was ugly. I didn't add a paint set in this bag. I did add some stickers and things to decorate the mittens and a small set of colored pencils. I added brads to make the hands play peekaboo. I have to thank Kate for inspiring me to use brads for children's crafts. She had a bunch of brad crafts on her blog a long time ago. I LOVED seeing her crafts with movable parts and I quickly became obsessed with making movable crafts with my children. My family has been big brad crafters from the day she shared hers. LOL! When I started my mitten theme I knew I needed to make a pair movable with brads my first thought was just hands waving hello and goodby. When I was trying to think of something to attach the moving hands to I thought of paper plates. I started thinking the plate was a bit small for hands unless I made them smaller. That is when I got the thought to use the plate upside down for a face and add mittens to play peekaboo. I was so excited when a paper plate face popped into my head! I hope my children like this craft as much as I think they will. Below is a picture of the stuff laying on the plate so you can get an idea of what it will look like.

I didn't bend the brads but I am sure you get the idea. The hands nose and mouth are all drawn quick free hand. I cut them out for Demi to glue on. The face might not look like this when finished because Demi puts mouths on upside down most of the time. LOL!
This kit I have stored in a brown lunch bag like the others only I had to bend the plate a bit for it to fit inside.

That is all for now. I have a lot more mittens to share when I get back to the computer.


AmySue said...

OMG Amber - you are just too awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heather said...

I second that!!! Those are amazing. Great Job on those Kits.

Amber said...

Amysue, I have to give all the credit to the wonderful mentors I had! I am so thankful that you took the time and taught me how to this stuff!

Heather, Thanks for the compliment! They are working well at giving me computer time! I hope they keep liking them so I can get to the computer more.