If you’re under the age of 10, June means one thing and one thing only—SUMMER! And summer means you get to put away the pencils, notebooks, and rulers in exchange for sunscreen, pool floats, and, drumroll please…crafts! Yes, crafting is popular all year round, but summertime brings more time to really delve into the projects your kids have wanted to do without the distraction of schoolwork. Like melted popsicles, this is the season to let the creative juices flow!
So to kick off Kids’ Week here at Michaels, I’m thrilled, delighted, and tickled hot pink to share a few of my favorite boredom buster projects to keep your kids creative and busy during these open-ended days of summer. I’m Amanda Kingloff, author of the new craft book, Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun. I will be your guide this week to inspire you and your kids to get crafty with easy-to-use materials from Michaels and a few things you might find in your recycling bin.
And as if this isn’t enough, Michaels Stores have set up a cool summer art program called Passport to Imagination®, introducing 5- to 12-year-olds to seven different museums around the country. Visit your local Michaels store to learn, craft, and explore these diverse museums each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am – Noon (just $2 for 2 hours of fun)! There is something for everyone, whether you have a fashion-obsessed pre-tween or a kid who is sure he’ll live on the moon one day, Passport to Imagination will take your kids on an imaginary road trip from the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and everywhere in between. You can sign up online here or at your local Michaels Store.
Throughout the week (and summer!), follow Michaels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to find the best answers for the words “Mom, I’m bored.” (I’ll be taking over the Instagram feed on Monday, June 23rd, so check out a behind-the-scenes peak at my life as a craft stylist!)
Let’s get crafting, shall we?
TOTALLY TUBULAR TRAIN
This is the perfect project for the little crafter that could!
What you’ll need:
Cut the paper towel tube into three equal pieces, then trim one piece down about 1⁄2 inch. To create the locomotive (the front, engine car), glue the short tube to the top of the jar lid, and glue the bottom of the jar lid to a wide side of the raisin box, open side down. Let the glue dry.
Paint the three train parts and let them dry. Paint the wooden spool black, let it dry, and glue it to the front of the train as its smokestack.
Add a thick and thin strip of tape to each side of each tube. On the 2 long tubes, adhere the enamel dot stickers as the windows.
Punch two holes about 1⁄2-inch from the tube ends at the front and back of each “cargo car” tube and on the front end of the locomotive. Then punch two holes on the narrow sides of the raisin box, about 1⁄4-inch from the bottom.
Push a toothpick through each set of holes, slip a button on each end, then glue beads to the end of the toothpicks to keep the buttons in place.
Glue the yarn along the bottoms of all the cars to connect them.
Print out smoke template onto cardstock and cut out the shape of your choice inside the dotted line. Fold the point and insert it into the hole of the smokestack. Now your train is ready for play!
Modified excerpt from Project Kid by Amanda Kingloff (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Michael Cohen.
Amanda Kingloff is the author of Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun. You can learn more about her, the book, and upcoming events at ProjectKid.com. You can also follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/amandakingloff), Instagram (http://instagram.com/amandakingloff), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/projectkidbook), and Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/amandakingloff/). Amanda lives (and crafts) in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Michael, and two children, Oliver and Sommer. I received compensation from Michaels in exchange for writing this post.