Saturday, March 28, 2015

Easter Sunrise: Simple Paper and Watercolor Craft

Part I: The Background Sunrise Sky Colors

Paint Your Sunrise Watercolor

On a sheet of orange construction paper, paint any colors you'd like to be in your sunrise. 
I stuck to mostly red, yellow, orange, purple and violet. 
The streak I tried with dark blue became too dark.

Experiment adding more water to your brush for lighter colors or for blending colors. Then try using a drier brush for more vivid colors by dipping it in water, blotting it on a napkin before dipping it in the paint. 
After your orange paper is filled with colors, start on the sun. 

Part II: The Sun

Half Circle of Sun

Cut out a large half circle from yellow paper.

Sun Rays Cut Out

Fold another sheet of yellow construction paper in half and in half again.
Cut the shape of a long triangle for the rays.
You should have four sun rays.

Three Rays Plus Two Halves

Cut one of the four rays in half.

Tuck Rays Under Half Circle of Sun

Tuck the rays under the sun. You can tuck them in more, making them shorter, or leave them longer. Whatever looks best to you.

After you have all pieces placed where you want, glue them on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Bee: Simple Paper Craft

This spring bee was inspired by the picture Nice Bee in last week's post:
Noticing Bees for a Craft Later


Materials for Spring Bee

  • blue, yellow,  and black construction paper--one sheet each
  • wax paper
  • black crayon
  • scissors
  • glue

Stripes for a Bee Body

Draw an oval about four inches long on the yellow paper.
Color in some stripes.

Cut out Bee Body

Cut it out and place it on the blue paper.

Bee Head and Middle Body

Draw a circle next to the yellow striped oval.
Next to the circle, draw a head.
Color both in with a black crayon.

Bee Wings

Cut two long ovals out of wax paper.
Crunch them up, and then smooth out.
Place them on the bee.

Bee Eye

Cut a small oval out of the black paper for the bee eye.

Bee Legs and Antennae

Move aside one of the wings, so you can draw the legs and antennae.

Finished Bee

Glue on body, wings, and eye.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Noticing Bees for a Craft Later

Busy Bee

Carefully noticing the world around us, is a big part of creating art and crafts. If we want to make a bee out of paper or to paint or draw one, the first step is noticing bees. Then we can decide how much detail we want to include in our craft or drawing.

So I thought I'd post some of my bee pictures today to take some time and closely look at them. We'll see what ideas develop later.

Though humble my pictures might be, they give me views of bees I don't always see.

It's amazing to look at professionally taken pictures of bees, but equally amazing, or more so, to see pictures our children capture of the bees and other wildlife we find in our own backyards.

As I'm sure you can see, my camera is nothing special and yet I captured some detail. So whatever the quality of your camera, let your children dazzle you with their photographic talent.

Here's my simple little bee gallery:

Almost Upside-Down Bee

Far Away Bee

Nice Bee

Nice Bee is the model for Spring Bee:Simple Paper Craft.

Hiding Bee

Flying Away Bee

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Paper Craft for a Saint Patrick's Day Game: Pot of Gold Game Board

Yesterday I made the cube you use to roll for this board game:

Paper Craft for a Saint Patrick's Day Game: Pot of Gold Cube

Today here is the game board.

We'll start on the square of the Book of Kells because books are often the beginning of wondrous journeys.

We'll end on the pot of gold since it is the treasure at the end of the rainbow.

So draw the book in the first square, and make a curvy path of empty squares all the way to the end. In the very last square, draw a pot of gold. (Directions for drawing the pictures are in yesterday's post.)

Begin with the Book of Kells and End with the Pot of Gold

Next draw in the rainbows. These will allow you to skip ahead in the game by sliding over the rainbow.

Rainbows Added

 Now draw a leprechaun in the square after the Book of Kells.

Leprechaun in the Second Square

In the next square, draw a four-leaf-clover.


In the square after the four-leaf-clover, draw a shamrock.

As you can see, I already have a rainbow after the four-leaf-clover, so I'll go on to the next space and draw the shamrock there.
It's okay if your is different.


After the shamrock is the leprechaun again. Continue filling in the squares with pictures from the cube in this order:

  1. Leprechaun
  2. Four-Leaf-Clover
  3. Shamrock
Skip the squares with the rainbows as you go.

Squares Finished on Game Board

Other Features on the Board

  • Highlight the last three squares with a yellow pen. These are the only squares a player can win the game by rolling a pot of gold. Otherwise when a player rolls a pot of gold, he/she gets another roll.

Last Three Squares Highlighted

  • Draw a Book of Kells on the board anywhere there is a clear spot.

Book of Kells Drawn on the Board

  • This picture is for a small stack of cards cut out of green construction paper.

Small Stack of Cards

  • On each of these cards, write a number: 1, 2, or 3.

One Number on Each Card

  • So if a player rolls the Book of Kells, she/he picks a card and moves ahead the number of squares on the card, then puts the card at the bottom of the pile.

Gold Coins

  • Cut out about ten circles from yellow paper for gold coins players collect to get to the pot of gold.

Completed Game Board all Set Up to Play

Pot 'O Gold Game Instructions

  • Each player chooses a place marker--you can use a nickel, dime, penny, and a quarter
  • Start on the Book of Kells
  • First Player to get three gold coins or more, and roll the pot of gold after reaching the highlighted squares wins.
  • Youngest player goes first or whoever rolls the Book of Kells first
  • Roll the cube by hitting it up into the air at least three times before letting it fall to the ground. The picture facing up is your roll.

Playing the Game

  • Move forward to the closest spot of your roll--if you roll a shamrock, then you move to the nearest shamrock square ahead of your piece.
  • Rainbows--If you roll a rainbow, move ahead to the nearest one, then slide over the rainbow to a square even further ahead.
  • Book of Kells--If you roll the Book of Kells, draw a card and move forward the number of spaces indicated. If that lands you on a rainbow, slide on up. 
  • Leprechauns--If you roll a leprechaun, you move backward to the nearest leprechaun instead of forward.
  • Leprechauns in the last three highlighted squares--If  you are in the highlighted squares and roll a leprechaun, move to the one in the highlighted area even if you move forward. Then stay there until you roll the pot of gold.
  • Pot of Gold--If you roll a pot of gold before your reach the highlighted squares at the end, take a gold coin, but do not move ahead. You must collect at least three gold coins before entering the highlighted area. You may not move to the end pot of gold until you have entered the highlighted squares.
  • Winning the Game--After you have collected at least 3 gold coins, you may enter the area of highlighted squares. Then you must roll the pot of gold to move to the end and win the game.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Paper Craft for a Saint Patrick's Day Game: Pot of Gold Cube

After you have finished making the cube here, you can use it with this playing board.


  • one green sheet of construction paper
  • ruler
  • non-toxic markers
  • kid safe scissors
  • tape

Pot of Gold Cube Materials

Part I: Drawing the Cube

Draw two parallel lines eight inches long down the middle of the green sheet of paper.

Two Parallel Lines

Every two inches, attach the two parallel lines with a line from one to the other.

Parallel Lines Attached every Two Inches

The second square down, extend lines on each side two inches.

Second Square's Lines Extended

Close each end of the new lines.

Ends Closed

Make tabs at every end.

Tabs Added

Part II: Pictures on the Sides of the Cube

The first picture is on the top cube--a rainbow. Draw the rainbow with markers.
When I was refreshing my memory of the colors of the rainbow, I found
which not only gave me the order of the colors, but a kid friendly explanation of rainbows.


In the second square down, draw a leprechaun. Start with the face.


Then a hat.


Last hair and beard.

Hair and Beard

To the left of the leprechaun, draw a four-leaf-clover with four hearts.

To the right of the leprechaun, draw a pot of gold.

The Rim

The Pot

The Feet

The Gold

Underneath the leprechaun, draw a shamrock with three hearts.


Underneath the shamrock, draw the Book of Kells, the famous beautifully illustrated book on display at Trinity Collage in Dublin.

Top and Middle of the Book

Sides and Pages at the Sides

Bottom and Pages at the Bottom

A Little Decoration

Cut along the outer lines.

Cut Out

Fold along each line.


Cut off tab above rainbow.

Cut off Tab

Put tape on other three tabs.

Put on Tape

Attach the pot of gold tab underneath the Book of Kells square.

Pot of Gold and Book of Kells Squares Connected

Attach the four-leaf-clover tab underneath the Book of Kells square.

Four-Leaf-Clover and Book of Kells Squares Connected

Attach the Book of Kells Tab to the rainbow square.

Book of Kells and Rainbow Squares Connected

Part III: Play A Little Game

Call out one of the pictures on the cube.
Now throw the cube in the air and hit it back up three times. After the third hit, let it fall to the ground.
Which ever picture is facing up is your roll. If it matches the one you called, you win that roll.

Part IV: An Irish Movie

We enjoy The Secret of Kells embedded here thanks to The Book of Kells is the inspiration for the movie.