Visit our websiite at

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Melted Bead Chimes and Pendants

My mother showed me a great project that she saw in one of the preschools that she works in, they melted beads in plastic Dixie cups to make pins.
I loved the idea, but never got around to doing it.  Then on pinterest I saw sun catchers made from the melted beads, and I was reminded of my mother's project, and well, I just had to do it!

We took the idea of a sun catcher, but added string and attached them to a ring and made chimes.
They have a nice sound and are beautiful in the sunlight.

It is simple to make these.  We took transparent colored pony beads, and made a thin layer in the bottom of a muffin pan.  My daughter decided to separate hers out for a couple solid colored pieces, but most the kids mixed their beads.
It works best if they lay them flat with holes up.
Place them in the oven at 400 degrees and cook for 20 minutes or so.  Take the kids outside to play during this time because of the smell of melting plastic.  When they are done, remove from the oven and continue playing outside until they are cooled off and the smell dissipates.

I have a dremel tool, which the children used with my assistance to drill holes in the melted chime pieces. 

They loved these so much that we decided to do it again making pendants, this time using the process my mother told me about.  Instead of melting the beads right in a pan, use plastic dixie cups or plastic shot glasses.  Place a thin layer of beads in the bottom. 
I then put the cups in the cupcake holders, but you can put them on a cookie sheet.
The fun thing about the cups is that they melt down around the beads making a cool pendant or pin shape.

Again, we worked together to drill the holes with the dremel tool.

I attached a jump ring, and the children beaded a necklace to add to the pendant.
We also did a slip know on the end so that the necklace could be adjusted.

This shirt couldn't have matched better!

The Gak is Back!

Gak is a well loved sensory play item at Art and Soul, but recently we had to make more.  I decided to try a new recipe for Gak this time because I didn't love using Borak, although the children didn't add it in, I like the idea of them making the whole recipe.  Our previous post on gak can be found here:

The recipe for our new Gak is simple:
1 Cup Elmer's Glue
1/2-3/4 Liquid Starch
Food Coloring

Add the glue and food coloring to a bowl, and stir.  Next slowly add the liquid starch sirring and eventually kneaded the mixture.  It is amazing how little time it takes for it to transform, and then it is ready for play!

 Adding the glue
 We made two batches so we had different colors.
"The Gak spread and captured the animals"

Friday, August 3, 2012


This is Mr. Puppet Man, he has been a funny part of our lives for a long time.
The other day the kids at school were fighting over him, you see, there is only one Mr. Puppet Man.
Fortunately I had all the materials to make Mr. Puppet Man, and with a quick change in plans, puppet making became our art project and dramatic play for the day. I am writing out the steps in case anyone out there wants to give them a go.  They were great fun and I just love listening to the little puppet shows, voices, and reactions they had when they were playing with them...oh, and there were no arguments!!

Materials needed for this project are:
Wood beads that are not drilled through all the way
A hot glue gun
A dowel
Cones from yarn (I got mine at a local materials exchange)

The children first glued on fabric scraps to the cones.

Next they drew faces onto the beads.  I then hot glued the dowels into the heads.
They took a triangle scrap of paper with Elmer's glue in it and made hats
After the head is attached, take two sqaure pieces of fabric.  Place one face down on the table, put a line of hot glue along the top of the fabric, then place the dowel face down on the hot glue and press the second square of fabric down on top of the dowel and glue.  Glue the sides with hot glue, leaving about 1/2 inch.  Then place the dowel down the wide mouth side of the cone, and overlap the fabric on the cone.  Apply hot glue to the cone and glue the fabric around the entire cone.  The kids told me what fabric they wanted and helped position the dowel, but I did the hot gluing.

We then cut out mittens on sticky felt and places them on the corners of the puppet.  You will need one for the front and back because of the adhesive.

The are great fun to have hide and then pop out for peek-a-boo.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carnival and Camping Fun!

Carnival Day!

Summer is flying by, and here I am trying to catch up with events that took place at the end of June and July, but these were sweet little happenings that I thought I would share them anyway.

On the last day of our Spring session, we decided to have Carnival Day, this meant games, laughter and of course face painting.
One of the games we played was filling our water crayons with water and trying to shoot the water through the hula hoop.

During this week of adventure we also did car/truck wheel painting by
driving the vehicles down the slide with paint on their tires.  The squeals we were hearing were not from the wheels, but ecstatic children!

This little artist decided she wanted to add hand prints to the design, a great inspiration for talking about the impressions we leave on this earth; tires, hands, footprints, etc.
fueling up with paint.
Catching the cars and trucks.

The Grabber Game!

I am always looking for new games to engage the kids.  While perusing the Dollar Store I saw these
"grabbers," I think the technical term is arm extenders, but I like "grabber" better.  I thought it would make for a fun carnival game where they would have to race to pick up a ball, then run back and place it in a container.
It is a little challenging at first, it really tests hand coordination, but once they got it, they had a ball

Placing the ball in the basket
These two were neck and neck the whole time
The race is on!

What Carnival Day would not be complete without face painting.  We also had a bouncy house, but I did not manage to get a picture of them in it.


Camping Fun!
When we started the summer camp program, one of my little ones asked when we would do camping stuff.  That is all it took, the next day we were building a camp fire, making smores and camping out.
We have had other camping days at school, it is a reoccurring theme in our play, but there is always room for one more smores!
Making our fire pit with fire bricks.
Roasting the marshmallows
Yum, enjoying the fruits of our labor!
Now time for a nap.