Posts Tagged: fun stuff to do with kids

Make It: Paper Boats!

In this paper project, Roxie will show you how to fold origami paper boats… and maybe, like her, you’ll make nearly 100 of them! She entered some of her paper boats into the hobby collections for the Winneshiek County Fair this summer, and she got a first place ribbon! She was so excited. We wanted to show off her skills this fall with the Inspire(d) Paper Project! Use your boats as place cards at Thanksgiving or make a fleet like Roxie did as a fun activity on a cool day!

Supplies:
8.5 x 11 paper sheet (or any rectangle piece of paper of most any size)

1. Take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and fold it in half.

2. Fold in half again.

3. Open it back up and then, with the crease at the bottom, fold the corners in to the crease (like you’re making a paper airplane).

4. Fold the top piece of excess paper over the folded corners.

5. Flip the paper over and fold the excess corners over the back.

6. Fold the facing corner in as well.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Now fold the excess bottom up over the boat (it’ll look like a little hat).

9. Grab the two middle points and open the hat like a pocket – keep opening, then flatten…it’ll be a diamond shape now.

10. With the open pieces facing you, fold the top piece up to the tip.

11. Flip it over and do the same on the opposite side.

12. Open the pocket again (the same way you did before), and make another (now smaller) diamond.

13. With the open part of the diamond facing up, pinch the two pieces on each side of the point.

14. Pull those parts open, and the boat will start to form. It might not open perfectly (like Roxie’s didn’t in the video at the top of the page), but once you pull it should flatten out to make the boat shape. Puff up the middle and adjust the sides to form the boat as you would like it to look, and you’re done! Enjoy!

Paper Project: Heart Mobile!

Our friend Evelyn (and her sister Hazel along with Roxie) helped make this paper project for the Summer Inspire(d). It’s fun because you get to forage for the perfect sticks first, then put the rest of the project together. Check out our how-to here, and have fun!

Supplies:

• Paper of whatever color you’d like
• Paper trimmer (optional – it works great for even sized strips of paper)
• Foraged sticks (cut down to size for the mobile size you’d like)
• Branch cutter for cutting said sticks (the big one was the best for this)
• Stapler
• Scissors
• Yarn, string, or similar

Cut your paper into strips – I had 12 x 12 paper, but you could use 8.5 x 11, and just cut the strips the long way. I cut mine into 1.5-inch strips. The smaller you cut your strips, the smaller your hearts can be.

Once you’ve cut a good number of strips, fold them directly in half, and cut on the fold. (The pieces at the top of the paper trimmer have been cut, the bottom papers have not been cut.)

Now it’s time to make your hearts! Take one of your cut strips, and fold it in half.

Round the top parts and bring the two edges together to form the heart.

Grab the bottom of the heart, and make a good crease. Open the top, rounded part of the heart, and put a piece of string in the middle, and hold that part again. (Evelyn and I discovered it’s best to cut your strings long enough to tie to the mobile, but not too long that it’s hard to know which string is which. The length of the string will depend on your mobile size.)

The goal is to staple the heart so the staple also holds the string in place.

Slide the inside top of the heart out (while the string is still in place) to staple.

Once it’s stapled, roll it back into a heart form. You can adjust the heart a fair amount to your liking.

It should look like the above photo!

Now it’s time to set up your mobile! Play with your sticks ’til it looks how you want it to. Make sure you have enough hearts to balance the mobile out. Tie the top string on with a loop so you can hang the mobile.

Tie the rest of the strings to attach the sticks to each other and form the mobile base.

Lay out the hearts and play with how you’d like them to look. (See what we mean about the strings being too long? Next time we’d trim them while they’re on the ground.)

Hang the mobile up so you can start balancing your hearts. We clipped ours to the bottom of our deck! It might take some doing to get it balanced – move the hearts from the inside to the outside of the sticks, or make the strings shorter, etc, to get the balance just right.

Here it is before we trimmed the strings!

And here it is all done! Thanks to Evelyn, Hazel, and Roxie for the help on this! Hang yours up to twirl slightly in the breeze, or in the window to brighten a gloomy day! Enjoy!

Earth Paper Seed Hearts

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and look forward to spring? Make these adorable earth paper seed hearts!

Supplies:

Silicone heart mold – you can also make round earths that you shape by hand if you don’t have a heart mold
Seeds – we used some I saved from last fall – mostly marigolds
Construction paper – we went with blue and green to look like earths, but you could use any colors you want
Bowls (as many as you have colors)
Sieve
Food Processor (a blender would probably work too)

First, rip the paper into bits. We used about 16 pieces of paper total (a few more blue than green since we have more water than land on earth) for the 24 earth hearts. Keep the colors in separate bowls to keep the colors separate when they go into the molds. Do a few extra pieces if you want to make some round earths too!

Fill the bowls with water to cover the paper – mush them a bit to get the paper bits separated.

Let soak for at least two hours – overnight works too!

Time for the food processor!

We found that less is better with this (I’d put a few less pieces of paper in the processor than the photo shows), and make sure to have about an inch of water at the bottom. If the processor is not happy, take some paper out and add a little more water!

It will look like this.

And then like this.

Then move the paper clumps to the sieve. Squeeze out as much water as you can!

Repeat with all your colors!

We found it got a little messy, but hopefully our mistakes can be your gains!

Once you’ve processed your paper and squished the water out, it’s time to put them in the molds! You can piece bits in to look like little earths like we did. Fill the mold to about half, and push in the center to make a little divot for the seeds. Put a few seeds in the divot. Try to keep the seeds away from the edges.

Next push paper bits on top of the seeds, paying attention to connect the edges to the bottom section especially.

Once you’ve covered all the seeds, press down on each heart with a paper towel to squeeze out even more water.

We dried these over a heat vent – they took a couple of days to be completely dry. Once they are dry, carefully pop them out of the molds. I had a couple fall apart, but most were good.

Gift them to friends on Earth Day or anyway to plant this spring!

P.S. Roxie also made a round earth with this project, putting seeds in the center the same way! See below for inspiration! Enjoy!