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Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Kids Travel Activity: Finger Knitting

Kids Travel Activity: Finger Knitting

I already had a few “boredom busters” for traveling with kids up my sleeve before we embarked on a two-week trip overseas recently. I brought along some projects for my girls to do during downtime and in restaurants, like paper dolls, sketch paper and stencils, camera time, and scrapbooking. This year, I had one more idea in mind: finger knitting. It proved to be the perfect craft for my younger daughter, Nadja, age 6. She learned the technique very quickly. With finger knitting, you work with the fingers on one hand while using the other hand to weave the yarn and make the loops. To learn how to start out, I’d recommend watching a few YouTube videos that illustrate the basic steps or read blog post patterns like this one that results in a rainbow scarf. 1. Weave a strand of yarn that’s still attached to the ball or skein from between your thumb and index finger. 2. Bring it across your palm and then over and under your...

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Making Toy Boats with Found Objects

DIY Kids: Making Toy Boats with Found Objects

One day earlier this month when it rained nonstop for three days and our alley turned into a fast-flowing creek, I pictured racing handmade toy boats down the rapids with the kids.  This inspired an afternoon craft project – making boats with found objects. Our guidelines would be to use mainly natural materials, plus a few odds and ends from around the house – corks, popsicle sticks, twine, wire, champagne wire hoods, bottle caps, toothpicks, plus scissors and wire cutters. For a few days on walks, we gathering materials on the ground – big magnolia leaves, bark, twigs, and nuts. We would use wire or twine, but no glue. The challenge was to figure out different boat designs using only the materials at hand. Nadja and her friend Parisa, along with me and Javaun, Parisa’s dad, had a lot of fun fashioning boat designs.  The girls made boats with beautiful masts and sails… Whimsical boats… …boats that resembled pontoons. And a teeny-tiny nut boat for a fairy or sprite....

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Posted by on May 5, 2014 | 0 comments

Dancing Around a Spring Maypole

Dancing Around a Spring Maypole

We’ve featured Kay Sidhamed’s home and office design on the blog and admire the creativity and DIY expertise she brings to her family life and interior design business, Oikasa. We’re thrilled to welcome Kay as a contributor to DIY Del Ray.  Maypoles are my all-time favorite feature of the spring season. With their colorful ribbons inviting children and adults alike to happily skip in the round, they are just a pure joy to watch. Maypoles appear in many European folk festivals, often on May 1 or midsummer.  Accompanied by traditional music, dancers follow a routine that creates a beautiful braided pattern on the pole with the ribbons. When my daughter Gaia was in her first year at Potomac Crescent Waldorf School in Arlington, I attended their sweet and simple May Day celebration, which manifested my love for maypoles. Watching the children with flower crowns on their heads and the sparkle of astonishment in their eyes dancing around the pole was one of these moments when as a parent you...

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Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Beribboned Rainbow Streamers

DIY Kids: Beribboned Rainbow Streamers

For my daughter Nadja’s 6th birthday party, after a fun-filled afternoon in our front yard playing games, each guest went home with handmade rainbow streamer as their party favor. What are they for, one child asked? They’re anything you want to be, I answered, showing her how to spin with the ribbons fanning out around her. She later suggested wearing them as a bracelet. Another nice option. To make them, I bought 3-inch diameter wooden birch rings from my neighbor, April, who uses them to make teething rings with cotton yarn. You can find the rings in craft stores and from craft suppliers on Etsy. April also gave me some beeswax butter to use to condition the wood – to keep it from drying out. We rubbed the butter on each ring, smoothing it in with our fingers, making our hands nice and soft too. For the ribbons, I popped over to UpCycle Creative Reuse Center (CRC) to see what sorts of silk or ribbons they had in their store. Of...

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Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 | 3 comments

DIY Kids: Colorful Paper Window Mosaics

DIY Kids: Colorful Paper Window Mosaics

I often buy craft supplies and tuck them away for just the right occasion. When we had an unexpected snow day earlier this week, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try a new project — making window mosaics with colorful transparency paper. I first cut a large square of the clear cellophane to fit inside a large embroidery hoop and then trimmed it around the edges. I trimmed it even more neatly when the piece was finished. Embroidery hoops, in various sizes, are inexpensive and nice to have around for lots of projects, not just embroidery. I bought a roll of clear cellophane at Del Ray Variety. Ana, Nadja, and a friend cut the squares of transparency paper into mostly triangular shapes of various sizes. Transparency paper is similar to tissue paper, but stronger and less prone to wrinkling. You can use products like these transparent cello sheets or the paper sheets from Nova Naturals. They arranged the shapes on the embroidery hoops in pleasing patterns and glued them down. The kids...

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