Thursday, July 19, 2007

Beading is Fun

With the variety of beads available and some imagination, one is able to make bracelets, necklaces, chokers, brooches, earrings, hair bands and many more. The list never ends.

Use about 5 varieties of beads and simple thread and needle to introduce beading to your child. Give her a small tool box to put the different beads and completed jewelry. Transparent film containers can also be used to store the different beads. For beginners inexpensive materials such as glass, crystal, coral, etc are widely available for making beaded jewelry. To start out, teach her the stringing technique. Various types of string are available: cords, plastic, twine etc. When you use elastic threads to string your beads you will end up with lovely hair bands (which can also be used as bracelets).

At the intermediate stage, you can introduce her to the technique of wire-working with beads, where one uses wire instead of thread. Wire is used to make beaded jewelry items such as necklaces, hairpins and earrings, and to attach clasps.

As she progresses, you can introduce her to use precious gemstones like pearls and precious metals, such as gold and silver, to make beaded dress accessories. Silk and nylon threads can also be utilized in making beaded jewelry.

Teach your child to experiment with contrasting colours, sizes and textures. Help her to make a complete sets of jewelry like necklace, bracelet and ring so that she can give them as presents to her loved ones and friends for their birthday or for special occasions like Christmas.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fun Ideas With Papers

With scraps of papers, pencils, colours and some imagination, kids can have hours of fun! Rather than buying expansive toys or allowing them to get hooked to computer games, X-box etc, creating crafts using paper is an inexpensive way to spend quality time with our kids.

Here are some ideas for you to try out.
Finger painting
Finger painting is a wonderful activity for kids. It lets them 'feel' the craft as well as be creative. You don't have to have finger paints to do this activity with kids. You can finger paint with homemade paint, watercolors or even mud. You can also experiment with adding other things to the paint such as sand or glitter.

Yarn Painting
Dip pieces of string or yarn into paint and then drag it across the paper to paint with it. It's a good experience to paint with something other than a brush and you can just throw the yarn away when finished.

Glue Art
Draw squiggle lines on a piece of paper or let the child use their finger to make random glue spots or patterns on a piece of paper. Experiment with adding different objects to the glue. Sand, glitter, cotton, yarn, feathers, and tissue paper all work well.

Homemade jigsaw puzzle
Take one of the colourful drawings made by your child. Paste it onto a card board. After it has dried, turn it over and draw jigsaw puzzle pieces on the card board side. Cut them out, then ta da.... Homemade jigsaw puzzle for you and your kids to enjoy!
(For older kids, make the puzzle pieces more smaller thus making it more challenging for them.)

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