Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Soda Can Crafts

An average American drinks two cans of soda daily.  Instead of sending all these cans to a recycling plant why not put them to good use by bringing them along next time you're babysitting and using them to make soda can crafts with the kids? By re-purposing these aluminum cans with soda can crafts projects you show the kids how every bit counts when working to save the environment, you help the child practice fine motor skills and you save money by not having to purchase craft supplies.

Before starting your soda can crafts project you might want to check out this page on how to make an Activity Tray for Childrens Craft Projects.

Bracelets & Necklaces: Break off the soda can tabs and decorate them with paint and/or glitter. String the colorful  tabs on a length of string or fishing line. When you have the length you want, tie off the end.

Writing Buddy: Fill an empty soda can 1/4 full with sand. Seal off the hole at the top of the can with tape. Cover the can with colored paper. Attach two "arms" made of bent pipe-cleaners or better yet, wire salvaged from a used notebook. Let your child decorate their Buddy with crayons, markers and/or paint. Their new Writing Buddy can be used as a paper weight as well as holding a pencil and pen in its arms.

Marraccas: Fill your can about 1/4 full with an assortment of items you might normally have thrown away, such as beads, small toy parts, bent paper clips ... Seal the hole with tape. Decorate the can in the same way as described above with the Writing Buddy. Experiment with music and sound by trying different combinations of fillers and filling each can with less or more items.

Exercise Dumb-bell: Fill two soda cans part way with water, dirt or sand. Seal off openings with duct tape. Attach one soda can to each end of a wooden dowel or tree branch cut to size.Let the kids decorate their dumb-bells in any way they like. Then let them use their dumb-bells while you get your workout on.

These are just a few soda can craft ideas. I'm sure you'll come up with many more soda can crafts to share and I invite you to do so in the Comments section.

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts projects using recycled cardboard then click on over to Candy Wrapper Art Projects. This kids craft project is not only easy but made with almost 100% recycled materials, so it's a green craft project. Green AND easy, ya gotta love that!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stretchofoam Recipe

The Stretchofoam Recipe has moved to Goop & Slime Recipes. I thought it better to have all the goop, slime and glop recipes all on one page.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Goop & Slime Recipes

When I'm babysitting for boys I sometimes bring along my "Slime Box", which is a plastic shoe box in which I stash the various ingredients for making the slime, goop, putty and other gross and slimy things that boys delight in. And they have way more fun when they get to make it themselves. 

These are also fun rainy day kids activities. Try these cool crafts for kids slime projects next time the kids complain "I'm bo-o-o-red." Caution: if you're a licensed babysitter or a prescreened babysitter be very careful with these goop, slime and putty recipes. If you use food coloring to make it more fun for the kiddies, the food coloring can and will stain clothing, hands, upholstery, grout in kitchen counters ... so either forgo the food coloring or be very, very careful.

Stretchofoam Recipe
Fill a ceramic or glass coffee mug with about a quarter inch of *acetone. (Acetone is a common ingredient in nail polish remover.)  Caution: DO NOT use a styrofoam coffee cup as it will melt when you add the acetone. It won't hurt anything, but it will be a mess. Take it from this babysitter who didn't think this project through the first time!

Place a small piece of Styrofoam in the acetone. You can break apart Styrofoam balls for this craft. It should fizzle. Keep adding more Styrofoam until you have a good sized blob.

That's it. It's done. You can pick it up and play with it.

Stretchofoam can be washed if you don't want to get acetone on your hands because it may dry your hands out, but it will lose some of it's stretchy properties.


Mix ¼ cup water & ¼ cup white glue in a bowl.

Mix ¼ cup water & 1 tablespoon *borax in another bowl. Stir borax mixture while adding glue mix.

That's it. You now have a bowl of Goop! Isn't slime science wonderful?

Warm ½ cup nonfat milk (not hot).

Pour in ¼ cup vinegar and stir.

Pour mixture through a disposable coffee filter. After the liquid has been strained you will see your Glop in the filter.



  • two mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • *white glue
  • *borax (in the laundry section of supermarkets)
  • green food coloring (optional)

Step 1: Mix 3/4 cup warm water, 1 cup glue and several drops green food coloring in the first bowl.

Step 2: In the second bowl, mix together 4 teaspoons borax and 1 & 1/3 cup warm water.

Step 3: Pour the contents of the first bowl into the second, but don't stir. Let it sit for 1 minute, then lift the now-congealed slime out of the bowl.

Tip: The glue in slime can make it stick to some fabrics. Also the food coloring will stain many surfaces make sure Slime stays in the kitchen or outdoors.

Mix ¼ cup water & ¼ cup *white glue in a bowl.

Mix ¼ cup water & 1 tablespoon *borax in another bowl. Stir borax mixture while adding glue mix.

Silly Putty

Mix 2 tablespoons *liquid starch and 2 tablespoons *white glue with hands until it forms a ball.

Knead 5-10 minutes. If too sticky add a little more starch. If too runny add a little more glue.

Store in airtight container or ziplock bag.

Hopefully these rainy day kids activities will save your sanity next time you're stuck inside all day while babysitting children.

* Items marked with an asteric are toxic to humans and care should be taken that children do not ingest these items. In the case of borax which is a powder, care should taken that it is not inhaled.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nature Bracelets

The only thing a needed for this cool crafts for kids is a roll of tape. A roll of tape is a good thing for a fun babysitter to have in her bag of goodies. You can make this simple craft ideas with a roll of tape, wherever you happen to be. Wrap a circle of tape, sticky side out, around each child's wrist. Then just collect items from your environment, such as blades of grass, leaves, feathers, flower petals, twigs, moss ... Gently press each nature find onto the sticky tape until the childrens bracelet is filled.

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts project that kids can make then click on over to Decorative Boxes Kids Can Make a kids craft project which uses almost 100% recyclable materials. This kids craft project is not only easy but made with recycled materials, so it's a green craft project. Green AND easy, love that!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Silly Putty

The Silly Putty recipes has moved to Goop &  Slime Recipes. I thought it best to have all the slime and goop recipes all together on one page.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Decorative Boxes Kids Can Make

In my work as a nanny in Orange County, CA I'm always trying to come up with new ideas for crafts projects for children. Making decorative boxes isn't anything new, but I wanted to scale it down so that it would be easy for kids to make.

Thinner pieces of smooth cardboard, such as those saved from pantyhose and other clothing packaging can be used to make decorative boxes - an easy kids craft project.


First you'll need a pattern, which you can find at a fabric or craft store or check out these free patterns:

1" Scale Hat Box

Cube Box Free Photoshop Template

Print out your pattern. Tape it on top of cardboard. With a pencil trace the pattern onto the cardboard. Young children should ask an adult to use an Exacto knife to cut out the pattern. Older children can do the cutting themselves with adult supervision. Fold and glue or tape the box together. I'm not including specific folding and gluing instructions here because they'll be different for each box.

Since the above portion of this project needs adult supervision, if you're preparing to go to a babysitting job with young children, you may want to cut out several boxes so that they are ready to fold and secure. That way the kiddies get to do the fun part of the project and you skip the not so fun part of supervising kids with knives.

Decorate Your New Box

I've listed below a few suggestions, but basically your imagination is the limit for what you can use to decorate your new box.
  • markers
  • stickers
  • cut outs from fabric or wallpaper
  • buttons and fabric trims
  • fabric (wrap box, tuck inside and glue)
  • decoupage with magazine pages, used gift wrap, used tissue paper, children's art projects ...
  • a small toy or large bead can be glued or sewn to the top of the box as a knob for easy opening .
Your new box is now ready to hold your own treasures, to give as a gift or use in place of gift wrap for a small gift. These little boxes make great Mothers Day gifts.

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts projects using recycled cardboard then click on over to Children's Sewing Card. This kids craft project is not only easy but made with recycled materials, so it's a green craft project. Green AND easy, love that!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Children's Sewing Card

In my work as a babysitter in Irvine, CA I'm always trying to come up with new ideas for crafts projects for children and if I can come up with a kids craft project that's not only easy but made with recycled materials, so it's a green craft project all the better. Green AND easy, love that!

Glue a picture from a childrens coloring book, printable coloring book pages from the Internet, computer clip art or magazine onto a piece of cardboard. With a hole puncher, punch holes around the edges of the cardboard shape, spaced about ½-inch apart.

Wrap a piece of scotch tape around one end of a long piece of yarn or string or dip the yarn/string in nail polish so it won’t unravel and it is easier for a child to use. Tie a fat knot in the other end. You now have a free sewing card made from a childrens coloring book!

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts check out this page for Decorative Boxes Kids Can Make.

Click on over to Displaying Childrens Art Projects when you're ready to move beyond projects attached to the fridge with magnets.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pringles Can Lids Craft Projects

Thank you to Debbie Yates of "Echo's Voice" (a sensational blog showcasing green artists) for sharing these cool crafts for kids projects.

Debbie uses Pringles can lids as coasters for really sweaty drinks because the lip keeps the liquid from rolling off the coaster onto the very surface you're trying to protect. I'm thinking that if you cut a little circle of felt to fit inside the lid then it could absorb the liquid and yet be light enough to dry out quickly and so not become musty. It would be a good idea to toss a few of these into a drawer for the next time you have more guests than you have pretty coasters. Whip these babies out and your furniture stays safe from water rings. Bonus: since they're clear they'll blend into your decor.

You could also give the kiddies a few of these lids to decorate before you stash them. Fun rainy day project for them and pretty coasters for you.

Debbie also used Pringles can lids as glass covers. "Example, I'm drinking grape juice, poured a whole glass, but can't finish. Instead of throwing the juice out, the Pringles lid fits nice and tight on most glasses, and then back into the refrigerator. Most regular tall glasses, they fit nice and perfect just like they are made for them."

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts projects, then check out this craft project for kids using recycled soda cans at Soda Can Crafts Projects

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Candy Wrapper Art Projects

Halloween is a prime time to collect candy wrappers to use in cool crafts for kids art projects all year round.

Ribbons and Bows
Cut each wrapper to the same width and tape to your package as a decorative ribbon. You can then loop each length of wrapper and tape or glue to the package as a bow. You can face the shiny side out or the writing side out.

I hardly ever buy silver leaf anymore. I just use washed candy wrappers and potato chip bags.

When carefully opened and washed the shiny side of these wrappers can be used in a decoupage or collage project, or to simulate a body of water in a doll house or Christmas gingerbread house.

I like to use candy wrappers to cover smaller surfaces or surfaces like a frame where a long skinny shape is best. I use potato chip bags for larger surfaces such as pots, trays, etc.

Antique Foiled Frame
I’ve covered scratched wooden frames with the shiny side of candy wrappers. First crumple the washed foil. Smooth with your hands. Cut to fit, and glue to the frame. Wipe the foil with brown or black shoe polish to age it.

Contemporary Foiled Frame
Cut wrappers into squares or rectangles. Glue pieces to frame, butting together or overlapping.

Mod Frame
You could use the packaging label side to cover a frame for a retro mod look.

Decorative Tray or Box
Any of the ideas above can be used to cover a tray or box. I’ve used candy wrappers to cover a tissue box, then I use the box to store spare change.

I’ve listed a few ideas above but I’m sure you all can come up with many more. Please post your ideas, successes and failures in the Comments section of Cool Crafts For Kids.

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts projects using recycled food containers then click on over to Soda Can Crafts. This kids craft project is not only easy but made with recycled soda cans, so it's a green craft project. Green AND easy, love that!

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Profile

I've been a nanny for over 20 years. I don't proclaim to be an expert (I'll leave that to Super Nanny) but I do enjoy writing about family & child-related topics.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cool Crafts: Craft Stick Luminary

This cool craft for kids is an easy holiday craft. Whether for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas; choose your wooden shapes to correspond to the current holiday.


* craft sticks
* small wooden geometric shapes
* wax paper
* white glue
* tea-light or votive candle

Read through the instructions before starting so that you understand how this craft stick luminary is constructed.

Cut out a 24" piece of wax paper and lay it on a work surface. Starting at the bottom left corner, glue four craft sticks onto the wax paper in the shape of a box. Glue down another box of four craft sticks right alongside the first box. Repeat this process two more times so you end up with four boxes in a row, glued to the wax paper. Arrange your wooden shapes inside each box to make any design you like. Glue the shapes in place. Let everything dry completely.

Trim the wax paper right to the edge of the craft sticks along the top. Trim the wax paper half an inch from the side of the last box, so that you have a flap of paper to attach the box together. Fold the wax paper with the craft sticks attached, so that you have a box. Glue the flap to the inside of the craft stick to secure the box. Set your candle inside and enjoy!

If you're looking for more eco-friendly green crafts projects then click on over to Activity Tray For Kids Art Projects. This kids craft project is not only easy but made with 100% recycled materials, so it's a green craft project. Green AND easy, ya gotta love that!

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Making Slime

This slime recipe is a very cool craft for kids. Your kids will thank you for this one, but you'll have to go to Goop & Slime Recipes to find it.

Welcome to Cool Crafts For Kids

Welcome to Cool Crafts For Kids. This site provides tips, techniques and instructions for making fun crafts that both you and your kids will have fun with. If you have any ideas for Cool Crafts For Kids please feel free to send an email to info (at) socasittersunlimited (dot) com.