Easy Paper Chain Snowman

Are you ready for a snowman craft? It’s just about a week till Thanksgiving Day and we’ve had some snow here already so I think we’re good to go! This guy is so cute and so simple that you and the kids are going to love making him. And maybe want to make more than one! 😉 Check him out!

All you need to get started is some white paper, a small scrap of black paper, a pencil, a ruler, scissors, glue or double sided tape and some colored pens or makers.

Begin by cutting the white paper into strips approximately 1″ by 6″.

Take 1 strip of white paper and draw a snowman’s face in about the middle of the strip of paper.

Using either your glue or the double sided tape, attach the 2 ends of the paper strip together to form a circle.

Now cut a hat out of the scrap of black paper, making it as wide as the snowman’s head.

Glue only the small area shown in the following picture so that the snowman’s hat will stand up.

Place the hat on the snowman and hold it in place for a few seconds while the glue starts to set up.

Now you will add a few other strips of the white paper to make a chain. To do this, slide one strip through the snowman’s head, as shown in the next picture.

Using either tape or glue, again fasten the ends together in a circle. Continue adding strips of white paper until your snowman is as long as you’d like him to be.

I made my snowman 4 chains long but he can be as long as you like! 😉 I drew some buttons on his “belly”.

If you would like to be able to hang your paper chain snowman up, perhaps on your Christmas tree, you’ll need a piece of string or a paper clip. If you use string, just fold the string in half and tape the ends to the back of the snowman’s head. I’ll show you how to use the paper clip.

Open the paper clip up.

Using regular scotch tape, tape it to the back of the snowman’s head.

And you’re done! Now you have a cute snowman to use to decorate your house for winter! Have fun making paper chain snowmen! 🙂

Let’s Make Simple Yarn Dolls

The other day I was thinking about the yarn dolls that we used to make. I can’t quite remember who taught me to make them but I think it might have been a family thing that was passed down to me.

At any rate, making yarn dolls can be fun and all you need is yarn, a piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors.

The size of your yarn doll will be determined by the size of your piece of cardboard. My cardboard piece was about 6″ long. Begin by wrapping the yarn around the piece of cardboard.

Wrap it around at least 50 times. Then cut the yarn.

There is a step that I forgot to do while I was making the pink doll, so I will be showing that step with the orange yarn I used for a second doll. While the yarn is still on the cardboard, cut another piece of yarn about 5-6″ long and slide it under the yarn on the cardboard. (I added the yarn to the pink doll but at a later time which made it harder to do. Ooops!)

Pull it up toward the top and tie a knot. This piece of yarn will help keep the doll’s head in a nice shape and can be used to add hair or to hang the doll.

Slide the yarn off the cardboard.

Back to the pink doll! Ha! Using your scissors, cut the yarn on the opposite end from where it’s tied.

Keep the yarn bent in half.

Cut another piece of yarn to be used to make the dolls head and lay it out on your work surface. Lay the folded yarn on top of it.

Tie a knot with the additional piece of yarn and that makes the head.

Separate a section on each side of the body. I did approximately 15-18 pieces of yarn in each side section.

Using a small piece of yarn, tie the 2 side sections close to the ends. Trim and there are your doll’s arms. 🙂

Cut another piece of yarn and lay under your doll, just a little past the arms. Tie a knot. This will make the doll’s waist.

I made this doll to be a girl wearing a dress. So all I did to finish her was trim the bottom yarn to look neater. She’s ready for playing!

Now, what if you want your doll to be a boy? There are just a couple more steps for that! We’ll pick up with the orange yarn doll at the point where we’ve already made his arms and waist.

Divide the bottom yarn into 2 sections.

Using 2 more pieces of yarn, tie around each leg in the same way you did the arms. Trim, and your boy doll is now finished too! 🙂

The dolls are ready to be played with now and this is how I remember them. But if you are feeling ambitious, I’ll show you a way to add hair to your doll. Get some more yarn…can be the same color or different. Wrap the yarn around your hand 20 times or so.

Slide it off your hand, keeping the loops together. Cut one end of the loops like we did for the doll.

This time you will lay the hair pieces out flat.

Lay the yarn bundle up at the top of the doll’s head. Using the yarn that is tied to the top of the doll’s head, put one yarn string on top of the bundle and the other yarn string under it. This is so you can tie the hair to the doll.

Tie the knot.

Now you can arrange the hair as you would like. I put it into 2 pony tails and tied each with a piece of yarn tied in a bow.

One more extra detail you can add is to give the dolls some eyes. Simply glue on a pair of wiggly eyes. (I actually prefer the dolls without the eyes, but that’s your choice.)

You can leave the string on the top in case you want to hang the doll up or you can trim it close and get rid of it. I’ve show you one doll done each way.

Yarn dolls are fun and easy to make! I hope you will try a few! 🙂

Finger Painting Fun!

Grab some newspaper to cover your table and a smock or old shirt to cover the kids and let’s have some fun finger painting! I have fond memories of finger painting when I was little . 😉 I found this inexpensive set of finger paints at Walmart for $4.34.

Yep, they are washable!

There are 6 colors in the set.

I also found some white construction paper for $1.47. (Why do packs of construction paper never have white in them?!)

Don’t forget your most important utensil – damp paper towels for cleaning up! LOL

Newspaper, smock or old clothes, paint and paper…looks like we’re ready to go!

Select your first color…I decided to start with green. There is another kind of plastic lid inside the first lid.

Flower stems and leaves are the beginning of my painting. Just trying something super simple that kids can do. 😉 You need a very small amount of paint on your finger at a time!

Now for some flower petals…

Let’s add a yellow dot to the center of the flowers, a sun in the top corner and some blue streaks in the sky.

Of course, you and the kids can paint anything you want! No brushes needed! You can put a small amount of each color on a styrofoam plate that the kids can dip their finger onto while they are painting. You never know, this might be the beginning work of a future great artist! Have fun!

Let’s Make a Crazy Hair Octopus!

Welcome to another week of fun with The Kids Niche! Today we’re making a crazy hair octopus! Won’t you join us? 🙂

Just some simple supplies are needed for this project…an empty toilet paper roll, 2 wiggly eyes, some markers or crayons, some yarn, glue, a pencil, a ruler and a pair of scissors.

Let’s start by working on the octopus body. Measure up about 2″ and make a pencil mark all around the toilet paper roll.

Next, make a small mark on one end of the roll and a second mark that is about half way around the roll on the other side. Can you see the 2 little marks?

Using your scissors, cut on one of the little marks straight up until you reach the 2 inch line.

Turn the roll around and make another cut the same way on the second small mark. Next cut the two pieces in half so you have 4 sections on that end of the toilet paper roll.

Cut each of the 4 sections in half so that you end up with 8 sections.

What part of an octopus has 8 pieces? It’s legs, right? The 8 sections will become the 8 legs on your octopus. 🙂

Let’s switch to working on the crazy hair part now. We will be making a pom-pom for the crazy hair. Cut a piece of yarn around 6-7 inches long and lay it out on a flat surface like a table or countertop.

Now take the end of yarn that is still attached to the skein/ball of yarn you are using and place it across your hand like in this picture:

You will now be wrapping the yarn around your hand approximately 50 times. You can use 3 fingers for an adult or wrap around a child’s whole hand.

After you’ve wrapped the yarn 50 times, cut the end of the yarn you were wrapping with. Carefully slide the wrapped yarn off the fingers, keeping it together in a bunch and lay it on top of the first piece of yarn you cut. The wrapped bundle should be placed on the piece of yarn so its approximately in the center of the wrapped bundle.

Using your first piece of yarn, tie it in a knot around the wrapped bundle. You will have loops on both sides of the knot.

Use your scissors to cut through the loops on both ends.

Using your fingers, fluff the pom-pom until it resembles a ball shape.

Trim any pieces of yarn that are extra long and sticking out.

Let’s go back to the octopus body now. Using your markers or crayons, color the entire outside area of the toilet paper roll.

Using your pencil, carefully roll each of the 8 leg sections (one at a time) up around your pencil.

Slide the pencil out and unroll the leg as much as you like.

After rolling each of the eight legs, your octopus might look something like this:

Glue on the 2 wiggly eyes.

Your octopus is taking shape! 🙂

Put a line of glue all around the top edge of your octopus.

Place the crazy hair in place and hold for a little bit while the glue starts to set up.

Give your octopus a smile with a marker!

And your crazy hair octopus is finished! 🙂 Great job! Find a nice place to put him/her so everyone can enjoy seeing him/her! I hope you had fun making your crazy hair octopus!