Spring Crafts for Kids

This wonderful spring crafts for kids is a contribution by Mackenzie. She has a wonderful blog about the things she does with her three kids and I asked her if she wanted to make a craft project especially for you.

Kindly enough, she said yes, and here it is:

Spring Showers Bring . . . Personalized Umbrellas

By Mackenzie, Raising Wild Things Blog

When my daughter (who is now 5) turned 2, someone gave her a ladybug umbrella for her birthday. Little did I know that that cute little umbrella would turn into an obsession with my kids.

Ok, "obsession" is probably an overstatement, but it did make its way into their toy bin and quickly became part of their daily play. It was used as a fire hose, a cane, a dinosaur, a baby doll tent. You name it.

They played with it so much that it was never in the car when we really needed it. And then a few weeks ago, when my son was using the umbrella as a boat, it broke. (Go figure!)

Spring Crafts Material This is the material you need
The kids were sad, but instead of going out and buying new umbrellas, I figured it'd be fun for them to make their own as spring crafts for kids.

Well, not make the umbrellas themselves, but decorate them. So I set off thinking how we'd do this.

My mind went first to using paint, but then I realized that all of the paint we had in the house was washable, which clearly won't last on an umbrella whose purpose in life is to get wet so you don't. (Unless you want to keep decorating the umbrella over and over again with different designs, which might be fun!)

Then I thought we could use fabric paint. But then I considered the mess paint would make, and I abandoned that idea altogether.

I finally settled on using permanent markers. This scared me a bit, because of their permanent nature and all, and the fact that I'd be using them with a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, but I figured they'd still be less of a mess than paints.

So next we had to pick our umbrellas. I had two light-colored purse-sized umbrellas all picked out (thought the size would be perfect for little ones and the markers would show up well on the lighter color), but then I saw some clear vinyl ones, and decided these would be more fun since my kids would be able to see their designs while standing under their umbrellas.

And really, isn't the point of the fun design on the umbrella for the person using it to enjoy?!

Next came the designs

Stencil for spring craft We put stencils on the umbrella
I definitely wanted them to do their own freestyle drawings, but thought it would also be fun to do some stencils for them to color in as well.

So I scrounged around for some coloring books and had them pick out a few pictures they wanted me to add to their spring crafts for kids.

Once we figured out all of the details, we were all set to get started . . .

Supplies we used:

  • clear, vinyl umbrellas (I would have preferred small ones, but all we could find were the large, domed ones)
  • Permanent markers in a variety of colors
  • Coloring books with desired images to trace onto umbrella (you could also draw your own stencils or print images from your computer)
  • Tape
This is how the tracings look like

Steps we followed:

1. Take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe down the entire umbrella, inside and out. Let dry.

2. Determine whether you will be doing your drawing on the outside or the inside of the umbrella. (For some reason, I didn't even think about this and we did all of our drawings on the inside - I don't think it matters much in terms of how the drawings will hold up, but looking back, it might have been easier to do the drawings on the outside.)

Kids coloring their spring crafts
3. If using pictures to trace, tape a picture onto the umbrella in the desired spot but on the opposite side of where you'll be tracing. Then trace the image. I used a black marker for this to give a clear definition to the images. (If kids are interested, they can do the tracing part, too.)

4. Give kids the markers and let them go to town coloring. (Just keep an eye on them to ensure they don't use those permanent markers on anything else in the house.)

Look how proud they are!

That's it! Simple, eh? And the possibilities are endless. My kids had so much fun designing their own umbrellas and were so proud of their finished spring crafts for kids.

Now we're just waiting on the next spring shower so that we can test them out. (Although we have already determined that the big dome umbrellas are even more fun to play with than the smaller ones!)

Kids using their hand colored umbrellas.
About: Mackenzie recently started writing about the hilarity (and sometimes missteps) of raising young children on her blog, Raising Wild Things. She has three wild things of her own (well, four, if you count her husband): a 5-year-old daughter, a 3-year-old son, and a 10-month-old son.

Visit also her Facebook Fanpage for more fun spring crafts for kids and lots of inspiration

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