Happy Spring! Paper Mache Bird Nests

I came across this idea while browsing my mom’s latest issue of Country Living Magazine.   I could not find an online version of the page, but I came across this from eHow with very similar instructions.

  1. We emptied the paper shredder from Gaga’s office. You can shred your own paper, but paper from a paper shredder is perfect. Country Living Suggested shredding paper bags for a brown nest.
  2. We wrapped small bowls in plastic wrap.  We found the small bright colored plastic Ikea Kalas bowls work well. We set them on parchment paper.
  3. We used regular white paper glue and mixed it with an equal amount of water to make the paper mache glue
  4. We dipped handfuls of the paper into the glue and wrapped the paper around the outside of the plastic wrapped bowl.
  5. Ours took close to 48 hours to dry (we used a lot of glue), but I was able to unmold them after 24 hours.
  6. We filled ours with some cute pretend eggs we had on hand, but candy, small gifts or little chicks would all be perfect! You can also paint the nest if you wanted it to be brown or any other color.


Fairy House

I came across this idea for a fairy house in the publication “MomSense” that I receive by being part of a MOPs group.

The short instructions are:  Hot glue bark to an empty oatmeal container.

Step 1 is to collect the bark.  It is really fun to take walks with your kids and look for “signs of spring” such as crocuses, daffodils or new green growth anywhere.  Don’t take bark off of trees as that damages them, but collect bark that has already fallen off.  We let our bark dry out inside for several days.

Step 2 is to cut an opening for a door in your container.  We used an oatmeal canister, but any box would work fine.

Step 3 is to hot glue the bark onto the container.  It takes some finesse to find the right pieces to fit your container, especially if it is round, so collect more bark than you will need and collect different kinds of bark.

The hilarious thing that happened when we were making ours is that we found a pill bug on a piece of our bark (we call them roly-poly bugs).  Bridget got so interested in her bug, that she did not want to help glue the bark on the container.  She went and found her bug box and then busied herself making a home for her “new pet.”.  She looked over at me working on the fairy house and said, “you are doing a great job, mom.”

After I was satisfied with the amount of bark on our house, I let Bridget brush glue onto the bark and sprinkle it with glitter (fairy dust) so that a fairy might come and live in our home.

The next day while she was at school.  I got out a playmobil fairy that I had gotten for a few dollars at Tuesday Morning for my gift stash, and she moved in.

The plastic tree and mushroom sticking out of the house are just random cupcake toppers we had lying around.

Jell-O Jigglers

Lately, we have been doing a lot of craft kits in the afternoons.  They are great to have around, but not nearly as fun or creative as a craft you make up or have to gather your own supplies for. You could consider this idea a recipe or a craft, I am pretty sure it is both. . .

Jell-O is one of those items we always seem to have on hand, even though we rarely make it and my kids don’t even really enjoy eating it.

I discovered a few boxes in my pantry recently and was inspired to make jigglers with my children.  In a former life I worked for Kraft Foods in their test kitchens and had the privilege of taking “Jell-O 101” class.

It is an easy recipe for the kids to help open the boxes, dump and mix- although you need to be careful with boiling water.  We also love the intense smell that the Jell-O has.  We used strawberry and it smells just like a Strawberry Shortcake doll!

By far the most fun is letting the children choose the cookie cutters and press them into the firm, but jiggly Jell-O. We had friends over when we cut the jigglers out.  They loved playing with them and it made quite a sticky mess.


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