Making Large Flowers With Pipe Cleaners

Since we had a pipe cleaner project for a little older group of kids on Monday, I thought it would be nice to do an easier pipe cleaner project for younger kids today. They might need some help holding the pieces together until the final wrap, but after that they can create to their heart’s content!

You will need a total of 7 pipe cleaners…5 for the flower petals, one for the stem and one for the center of the flower. I chose to use red for the petals, green for the stem and yellow for the center. Feel free to use whatever colors your child picks out! 🙂

The stem piece will be in the center of the petals.

For each petal, fold the pipe cleaner in half loosely as shown, making the 2 ends meet.

Place the ends in line with one end the end of the stem.

Continue bending and adding petals, placing them around the stem.

When you have all 5 petals lined up, it should look something like this:

Now take your pipe cleaner for the center and begin wrapping it around the bunch of ends.

Wrap it around and around the group of ends and try to cover up the ends so you don’t see any other colors.

Now comes the fun part! Bend each flower petal up and then design your flower! 🙂

The petals can be shaped in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Nicely rounded and oval shaped.

Put a little bend in the end of each petal.

Rounded petals that overlap each other. This one makes me think of a pansy!

Pointed skinny petals.

Petals bent in the middle to look like hearts.

For this flower, I bent the petals in half and looped the end over the yellow center of the flower. Then twisted the 2 pieces so they looked like smaller petals.

I’m sure you can come up with even more ideas! This is a simple but fun project for people of all ages. For older kids or adults, you could cut the pipe cleaners in half and make smaller flowers. I hope you’ll give this project a try! Maybe if we concentrate on making pipe cleaner flowers we can forgot how cold it is outside! 😉 Stay warm!

Uncooked Peanut Butter Fudge

Oooo! Do you love peanut butter?? How about some homemade peanut butter fudge?

I came across this recipe again the other day that my aunt shared with us quite a few years ago. I have fond memories of helping to make this peanut butter fudge when I was still a child at home. Though we often made it at Christmas time, this recipe is good for any time of year.

It only calls for 4 ingredients and there is no cooking involved. It does take some kneading by hand but that’s a great way for your kids to use up some of that excess energy! 😉 You will need 1/2 Cup of peanut butter, 1/2 Cup Karo corn syrup, 3/4 Cup powdered milk and 3/4 Cup powdered (or confectioners) sugar.

First put the peanut butter into a medium sized bowl.

Add the Karo corn syrup and stir together. If you have younger children helping, this is a good part for them to do.

Next add the powdered milk.

And finally add the powdered sugar.

Stir the ingredients together as best you can and then knead with your hands.

Turn the mixture out onto a clean countertop and knead together until all the ingredients are mixed in. You can divide the fudge among the kids helping so each can do some of the kneading.

Spread it into a pan or cookie sheet to the thickness you like. I think my mom spread it more on the thin side, maybe so we 6 kids got to have a piece or two without getting totally “sugared up”. 😉

Cut into pieces. Running the knife under hot water occasionally can help with the cutting process.

The pieces will stick together so you might want to store them so they don’t touch each other. You can do layers with wax paper in between the layers. Or the way we used to do it was to tear off some rectangular pieces of wax paper…

Place a piece of the fudge in the center…

Fold the long edges in overlapping each other…

And then twist the ends closed.

And there you have it! A fun treat for the family and hopefully your kids used up some of their extra energy! 😉 Enjoy!

The Cutest Lego Set Ever!

There is a new Lego set out and I honestly think it must be the cutest set I’ve ever seen! It’s the Year of the Tiger #40491. This set has 193 pieces and is rated for ages 8+. I found it at Walmart for $9.99. Take a look at this:

It is even cuter when you make it!

This is what you’ll see when you open the box. There’s even a printed envelope for storing the extra pieces.

3 bags of Lego pieces and the instruction booklet are included.

You literally start building from the bottom up. 😉 There’s his back legs and part of the body.

He’s got front legs now.

Building on up…

Can you guess what part this is?

If you said his nose and mouth, you are right! 🙂

It’s rather hard to see without eyes, so it’s a good thing they were next!

Now working on his back…

Check out this awesome tail! It’s moveable!

Of course, he needs some ears too! And they also move!

There’s a little platform to put together for him to sit on.

And there you have it! All done!

This set was super fun to build and it’s just so cute! 🙂 I hope you can find one at your local Walmart store (or somewhere else) and have a great time building a new tiger friend!

Taste Testing Tuesday #63 Apple Cider

Welcome back to another Taste Testing Tuesday! Today we’re looking at ways to drink apple cider. Does your family like to go to the orchard or country market and buy fresh apple cider? There are so many ways to drink this delicious beverage! Do you like it hot or cold? Plain or add in something tasty? Here are a few suggestions you might like to try:

#1.) Cold and straight from the jug into your glass! Mmmm!

#2.) Heat the cider and add some cinnamon powder or stir the cider with a cinnamon stick. Apples and cinnamon are always great together!

#3.) Heat and add some dehydrated apples. Maybe even some dehydrated apples that have cinnamon too.

#4.) Warm up the cider and stir in some maple syrup. My mouth is watering at the thought! 😉

#5.) Warm the cider and stir in some caramel topping. Oh my, but that sounds delicious!

Have you tried apple cider all these ways? I hope this will help you and your family find new ideas to try and that you will find one you think is delicious!! Warm cider on cold days is so nice and comforting! Enjoy sipping your cider! 🙂

Learning Fun With Foam Letters

Hello and welcome to another post on The Kids Niche! Hope you are doing well! 🙂 Today let’s talk about a few ways to have fun playing with foam letters with the kiddos. They can practice learning the letters of the alphabet and have fun doing it. I found a bag of 2 inch foam letters that have adhesive on the back at Joann’s a while back. You could do these activities with any type of cut out letters. Your child’s age and ability will determine which of these activities will be appropriate for them right now. Let’s start with…

#1.) Give your child a set of all the letters in the alphabet and let them lay them out in the correct order. If your child is just beginning to learn about letters, start with just a few letters at a time.

#2.) Lay out 3 each of 3 letters and let your child match the letters.

#3.) Using 2 sets of the letters, lay one set out in the correct order and have your child lay their letters out to match the first set.

#4.) You can use the same idea in laying out the letters of the child’s name and having them put their letters in the right order also.

#5.) Another way to practice using the letters in their name would be to give them all the letters in their name and let them put the letters in the right order without having another set to look at to do it.

#6.) Practice making rhyming words. Start with the ending sound…like “at”. Then have your child add a letter to the beginning to make another rhyming word.

#7.) Place letters in a bag and have your child pull them out one at a time and tell you what letter they have.

#8.) Play the game of “Go Fish!” using letters instead of cards. Start by finding 2 of each letter of the alphabet.

Mix the letters up and give 5 to each player. Our example is for 2 players.

Place something between the players so they can’t see each other’s letters. I found that a large cereal box laid on its side worked nicely.

After dealing 5 letters to each player, put the remaining letters in a paper bag where they can’t be seen.

The object of the game is to get 2 letters to make a match. And the player with the most matches at the end is the winner. Play begins with 1 player asking another player for a certain letter. For example, “Do you have an H?” If the player that is asked has the letter that was asked for, they must give it to the player. If the player gets the letter he or she asked for, they get to take another turn. If the player that is asked for a letter doesn’t have that letter, they reply with “No, go fish!” The player whose turn it is then reaches into the bag…no peeking!…and draws out 1 letter. If the letter they pull from the bag is the letter they asked for, they can take another turn. If it is not the letter they asked for then their turn is over and play moves to the next person. When a player gets a match, he or she sets the 2 letters together in front of him or her. Play continues until all letters have been matched.

When a player runs out of letters, they may pull one letter from the bag. The player that has the most matches at the end of the game is the winner. 🙂

I’m sure there are more games that can be played with a bag of foam letters, but I hope you will enjoy giving some of these a try! Remember, learning can be fun! 🙂

“Hand” Drawings for Kids

Have you ever traced around your hand with a pencil and paper and turned that hand into a picture? One popular way is to make a turkey at Thanksgiving time. But today we’re making some new friends by tracing around our hands and coloring them in with crayons or markers.

All you need is a piece of paper, a pencil, crayons or markers and your hand. 😉

Start by placing one hand on the paper and using your other hand to trace around your entire hand and in between each finger with the pencil.

This will be a girl so draw a sweet girl’s face.

I used a Peach crayon to color her face.

I chose blond hair for my girl and colored her hair…or the fingers…with a yellow marker. (The marker did make the paper bump up for some reason.)

Add a couple of bows to her hair and a little pink color to her cheeks and you’re finished. I’d like you to meet Hannah. 🙂

Hannah would like to have a friend, so let’s make a boy too. Trace around your hand again on the other side of the paper. Or on a new sheet of paper if the first one is out of space.

Draw an ornery face…boys are rather ornery, aren’t they? 😉

Color his face in with a crayon…I used Peach again.

Color in his hair. I decided to give my boy brown hair. And ta dah, he is finished too! Now I would like you to meet Hans. 😉

And there you have 2 new friends…Hannah and Hans. (Get it? Hannah and Hans made from hands? Haha!) 😉

I hope you will have fun drawing some Hand Friends! 🙂

Let’s Make Beaded Snowflakes

January is here and so are cold temperatures and snow for some of us! Let’s make some snowflakes today that won’t make us any colder! These are easy to make and so pretty! (And they are great for practicing some fine motor skills.)

You’ll need 3 pipe cleaners (or chenille stems), a pair of scissors or wire cutters and some colored pony beads.

Cut the 3 pipe cleaners in half.

3 half pieces will make 1 snowflake so you now have enough pipe cleaner pieces for 2 snowflakes. Here are 2 different ways to wrap the pipe cleaners into the snowflake shape: #1.) Fold 2 pieces into a “v” shape.

Put the 2 pieces together at the bends.

Wrap the 3rd pipe cleaner around the center of the other 2.

OR way #2.) Hold the 3 pieces of pipe cleaner together…

And give them a twist or two in the center.

Now it’s time to use the pony beads. You will need 5 beads for each “spoke” of the snowflake for a total of 30 beads. The colored beads can be in whatever order you decide to use. You can make a pattern of colors for your child to duplicate like the following pattern: green, white, blue, pink and purple.

When they have enough beads laid out in the right order, it might look something like this:

Slide the beads onto the piper cleaner spokes in the same order.

After the 5 beads are on the pipe cleaner, bend the rest of the pipe cleaner spoke into a circle and push the end back into the last bead.

Continue sliding the beads onto each pipe cleaner spoke and bending the end in until all 6 spokes have been done. Isn’t it pretty?!

You could also have your child find 5 beads of the same color for each spoke. These beads match the color of the pipe cleaner spoke they will be placed on.

This way is also quite pretty!

Or you can let your child put the beads on in any order that they like. If you would like to hang your snowflakes up, simply add a piece of thread or string through one of the circles. I hope you will have fun making these beaded snowflakes! 🙂

Do You Have the After Christmas Blues?

When all the hustle and bustle and excitement leading up to Christmas has passed, do the After-Christmas Blues show up at your house? Sometimes taking a break from all the “new” toys and kits that arrived on Christmas Day, can be a help. Try going back to some of the “old” crafts they’ve done before but haven’t thought about in a while. New toys and things will seem more fun again after the kids have had a little break from them. There is comfort to be found in the tried-and-true. Here are a couple of suggestions of things we’ve done on here before but might be fun to pop out for the kids again.

#1.) Making paper snowflakes. It’s still obviously winter and cold outside so how about doing a craft with snowflakes that don’t make your fingers cold when you play with them. Follow the link to this project:

Do You Want to Make Snowflakes?

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#2.) You can even make a snowman with your paper snowflakes.

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman from Paper Snowflakes?

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#3.) Hide and Seek Snacks. Try making up a fun snack in little cups and hiding the cups for the kids to find. Look for that post here:

Hide and Seek Snacks

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#4.) Make some craft stick snowflakes. These are easy and fun! Follow the link to see how they’re made:

https://wordpress.com/post/thekidsniche.com/3254

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There are over 450 posts here on my blog so I hope you can find some fun things to do with your kids to help everyone get back on an even keel again. Those new gifts will look even better afterwards! Have fun! Hugs to all of you! 🙂

Candy Bar Snowman Craft

Hello again! Hope this finds you all doing well and having fun preparing for Christmas! Here’s a cute craft to add to your holiday fun! I’ll show you a basic way to make it, but then the sky is the limit on how you decide to decorate your candy bar snowman. 🙂 You’ll need a candy bar, some white paper, tape, scissors and some markers for a basic snowman. I’ll be showing you how to use some foil also, but it’s up to you if you use it or not.

We’ll start by taping down the extra wrapper on the 2 ends of the candy bar.

As I mentioned already, I wrapped foil around the candy bar to make it look fancier, but if you don’t want to use foil on yours, you can skip ahead to the step using the white paper. To use the foil, tear off a piece a little bigger than the candy bar. This piece is bigger than I needed and I cut in down to a smaller size. You need enough foil to completely cover the candy bar.

Wrap the first side up and hold in place with a piece of tape.

Then wrap the second side up so it crosses over the first edge. I used double-sided tape to secure this side of foil.

Neatly fold the foil in on both ends of the candy bar.

The size of the candy bar you are using will determine what size you cut the white paper into. If you used foil, you will want to cut the white paper so that the foil shows a little on both ends of the candy bar after you wrap the white paper around it. If you didn’t use the foil, you can make the white paper go all the way to both ends of the candy bar.

Also cut the length of the paper so it will wrap around the candy bar and cross over a little on the back side.

Wrap the paper around the candy bar, but don’t tape/glue it in place just yet. Run your fingers down the sides of the candy bar so you leave creases in the paper. Then remove the paper from the candy bar. It’s time to start drawing our snowman. 🙂

You need to draw your snowman in between the middle creases on your paper. This will be the front of the snowman. I added eyes, a nose, a mouth and buttons using markers. I suggest doing all of your drawing before putting the paper around the candy bar.

Wrap the paper around the candy bar and tape it together on the back.

You can draw on a hat and scarf or use bits of colored paper to make them.

Your candy bar snowman can be finished now and shared with that someone special! 🙂 Or here are a few more suggestions you might want to try. You can use a pair of the small stretchy gloves for a hat. And tie or glue on some ribbon for a scarf.

You can use wiggly eyes instead of just drawing eyes or use tiny pom poms. Maybe you’d like to add sequins, snowflakes or real buttons to your snowman. A piece of fleece can be made into a hat or scarf. Let your imagination go wild or just use things that you have on hand. There’s no right or wrong way to make your snowman. 🙂 And each one you make can be different.

I hope you can take this basic candy bar snowman idea and turn it into some special snowmen all your own! Have fun! 🙂

Dollar Tree Felt Craft Kits

I found a couple of felt craft kits at the Dollar Tree store and wanted to share this idea with you. At just $1.00 for each kit, you can craft with up to 5 kids! Pretty good price, right?! So here’s the 2 kits I found:

Let’s look at the penguin felt ornament kit first.

This little guy is so cute!

When you open the package, you will find 5 individually packaged kits.

In each individual package, you will find this:

The felt pieces for making the penguin have been punched and for the most part you can gently pull them apart to get the pieces ready to use. Have a pair of small scissors handy in case any pieces need a little help getting free.

Once all the pieces are separated, you are ready to put your penguin together. I would recommend using a craft glue like Tacky Glue instead of Elmer’s glue. I used the Elmer’s glue when making my penguin and I had some trouble getting the pieces to stay together. I switched to the Tacky Glue.

There weren’t any instructions included in the package, but you can figure out how to put the penguin together by looking at the picture on the front of the package. (Remember, this kit only cost $1.) 😉 And here is my finished penguin! I think he’s a cutie!

Now let’s look at the second kit I bought. This kit is for making animal finger puppets.

They are cute too!

I had more difficulty getting these felt pieces separated and I did resort to using a pair of scissors at times. Also this package did not have the kits divided into separate kits already, so you will have to figure out which felt pieces go with each finger puppet. It’s rather like making a puzzle. 😉

Here they are separated into the pieces for each animal. I didn’t go ahead and make the puppets because I wanted to save them for a fun project for some kids I know. 😉

These kits might be a little too difficult for really young children but I’m sure ages 7 or 8 and up will enjoy making them. I’m not sure if the felt pieces will stick together well enough to be used as finger puppets, but they would definitely make some very cute ornaments to hang around your house. 🙂 Mark these down as 2 more fun projects from Dollar Tree! 🙂