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Activities | The Green Beagle

Maple Syrup Taffy Fun Frozen Activity

Maple Syrup Taffy

Maple Syrup Taffy

 

 

I am sure we are all tired of talking about or hearing about how cold it is and how frozen we all feel. I say make the best of it! I found this super fun and delish science experiment that is simple for everyone…as long as your stove is currently working.
All you have to do is slowly heat up maple syrup and stir it slowly until it is warm almost boiling but you don’t want to burn it. Once the syrup is ready go outside and find fresh clean snow and pour the syrup in any shape you want. I saw some photos where people put popsicle sticks in the snow as well so they could easily remove it and have pops!
You can make any shape you want and share it with your friends! You could even heat up some chocolate or caramel and do the same to make pops even combine all 3!
If you want to find more fun cold weather experiments try Janice VanCleave’s Weather: Mind-Boggling Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair Projects (Spectacular Science Project). It’s not like we have a polar vortex everyday now is it!?

Happy Holiday Snow Globes

Happy Holiday Snow Globes

Happy Holiday Snow Globes

I really like giving handmade gifts, they are much more special than anything you can buy. This season is perfect for handmade gifting as most people usually have a long list to get for! You can usually give handmade gifts to teachers, co-workers, friends, neighbors, friends and family members!. I have been seeing DIY snow globes and ornaments all over the place lately even in jewelry. I thought this was the perfect gift idea because you can totally personalize the gift. You can put a little something extra in there that is perfect for the receiver. I changed a few things around but found this super cute project here if you want the original project.

Supplies:
Empty baby food jars
Mini fake trees (or any other decorations you might be able to use)
Goo Gone or Rubbing Alcohol
Glycerin
Glass and Bead glue or Epoxy
Glitter
Distilled water

Directions:
1. Remove the labels off the jars and clean off the glue with Goo Gone. You can also rubbing alcohol as well.
2. Spray paint the lids gold {or desired color}.
3. Put a little glue on both the inside of the lid and the bottom of the fake tree. Allow to dry for 1-2 minutes and then press the tree onto the lid.
4. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
4. Add about 1 teaspoon of glitter into each jar.
5. Fill with distilled water and add 5 drops of Glycerin. {5 drops seemed to work the best.} Screw the lid {with the tree} onto the top and you’ve got yourself the cutest mini snow globe ever!

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/baby-food-jar-snow-globes-tutorial

DIY Moss Bath Mat

Moss Bath Mat

Moss Bath Mat

 

How awesomely fun is this! You can create you own Moss Bath Mat that gets water from the steam in your bathroom as well as from you when you dry off! Make sure to place the mat directly outside of your tub or shower like you would any other mat. I think this is a great use of greens in the home especially if you are someone who isn’t good at keeping plants alive. I personally managed to murder a cactus that has been in my office for the passed 3 years. I think I need a lesson in not murdering plants which is why this mat is so appealing to me. I found this fun little project right here if you want to see the full article.

Supplies:
Plastazote Foam Roll
Scissors
X-ACTO Knife
Stencil
Hot Glue Gun
Assorted moss plugs

Directions:

1. Measure and cut two sheets of plastazote foam from the roll at 24-by-12 inches each. This plastic-foam material is what is used in making commercial moss mats, and is ideal for wet-dry use.

2. Lay one of the sheets of plastazote in front of you and place a large stencil in the center. It can be of any shape you want. Stick simple shapes if you are a beginner.

3. Trace the shape with a white crayon, since the plastazote material is dark in color.

4.. Cut around the shape tracing with an X-acto knife. Cut down through the entire depth of the material, and push out the cutout shape, leaving a perfect hole in the shape of the stencil. Do this as many times as you want on the material. Place smaller stencils around the large cutouts and repeat, as you please.

5. Squeeze a line of hot glue along all four edges of the second sheet of plastazote material. Layer the sheet with the holes over it evenly, pressing the edges together. This creates a single mat of about 2 inches thick. The top layer features perfect molds for filling with moss.

6. Moisten the top layer of the mat after it has dried for an hour. This gets it primed for the moss. Spray it with a fine mist of water from your shower head or a spray bottle.

7. Fill each “mold” in the top layer of the mat with your own selection of moss plugs, which can be purchased online or from specialty nurseries and gardening stores. Irish moss, Spanish moss and some forms of live sphagnum moss thrive well in these living eco-shower mats.

Make Your Own Super Cool Book Covers

DIY FABRIC BOOK COVER

DIY FABRIC BOOK COVER

 

Back to school season is here and one of my favorite parts of school supplies was definitely book covers. I know many of us have fabric laying around that we hate to part with but have no use for. Now you do! I can’t believe I have never thought about doing this before! You can also totally personalize the covers when you are done and who knows this might make your kids want to crack open their text books! I found this fun project that is great for students or just DIY-ers like myself right here. There are plenty of photos to help you along the way if you get confused.

Supplies:
Books
fabric
glue gun
scissors
butter knife
spray adhesive

Any bows, buttons, ribbons, odds and ends you have been needing something to do with to jazz up your book covers.

Directions:
1. Iron the fabric you intend to use.
2. If the book has a jacket take it off and put it in a safe place.
3. When cutting the fabric make sure to leave about 1-2 inches of overhang all the way around the book.
4. Make sure to cover the surface you are working on with something you don’t mind getting sticky. Spray adhesive is an evil substance akin to Aquanet times infinity!
5. Spray the adhesive on the back book cover and spine. You don’t need too much as a little goes a long way and that stuff really is sticky.
6. Turn the book over, position it on the fabric how you want it, press down, turn it over so the back is now facing you, and smooth it out with your hand.
7. Do the same for the front cover.
8. Cut 2 slits on the spine so that you can fold them over into the spine (to be explained later)
9. Add some glue along the longer edge of fabric where it will meet up with the book. Do not go completely to the edges of the fabric. Fold over onto the inside cover to hid the edges.
10. Put a dab of glue where the fabric meets on the corner. Press the fabric together and hold for a few seconds.
11. Run some glue along the edge of the fabric and make sure to secure the fabric to the inside of the cover.
12. Fold the outer corners in a little bit and glue them into place.
13. For the spine cut the fabric to 1/2 inch to make sure enough is there to fold over.
14. Get a butter knife and use it to fold the piece of fabric into the spine. You can use a little dab of glue to secure the fabric if you want.
15. Once the cover is finished and set to dry for a little bit you are free to finish decorating the book anyway you want! Use your imagination and have fun with it!.

How To Build A Fairy House….Yes Please!

How To Build A Fairy House

How To Build A Fairy House

 

 

 

I wanted to find the funnest (for me) summer activity ever and I am almost positive I have done it. I am not sure if you can get a greener, more nature-esque activity that is any cooler in my book. I found this outstanding idea from a website called How To Build Fairy Houses. This activity can really be done any way you like. How fun would this be for a party or a school project? I think this idea can be used for many an educational reason but also for family time.  The materials are all from nature and as long as you are respectful of the surrounding plants and animals as well as the materials you collect/use you really can’t go wrong. Different areas will offer different options as will different seasons which make this project kind of really fun. Here is a list of materials that can be used:

Sticks
Rocks
Grass
Moss
Feathers
Seaweed
Seashells
Nuts
Pinecones
Acorns

Location:

Fairy Houses can be designed anyway you want. You can let your imagination go wild or use a design you have already seen. Find a quiet place away from roads or busy pathways. The base of a tree or the side of a rock are great places to build. Try to keep the house close to the ground to help keep the house stable and so a floor doesn’t have to be built. Sometimes you may find a special place in the low branches of a tree or bush if you are lucky.
Look for building areas in woods, beaches, meadows, and especially your own backyard! Use only natural materials to build the house. Try not to use anything artificial as it ruins the look and spirit of the fairy house idea. The idea of a fairy house is to look so natural that it is almost hidden. You never know what may choose to live in there! You could be helping a poor displaced animal or fairy who will forever be grateful.

Rules:

Be respectful of ALL living things in the surrounding building areas. Destroying nature to create your fairy house is not what a fairy would want and definitely not something nature would appreciate. Try not to disturb plants that are still living, such as ferns, mosses and flowers. Fairies are careful not to harm anything that is growing.

Have you ever built a fairy house?  If so let me know! I would love to see what you made and hear about how it happened.  If you haven’t here are some other books I found that also show you how to build fairy houses:

Fairy House Handbook

Fairy Gardening: Creating Your Own Magical Miniature Garden

Make Your Own Blarney Stone

DIY Blarney Stone

DIY Blarney Stone

 

 

For those of you that have never heard of the Blarney Stone or the legend here is what Wikipedia says about it: The Blarney Stone (Irish: Cloch na Blarnan) is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone and tour the castle and its gardens.
The word blarney has come to mean “clever, flattering, or coaxing talk”. John O’Connor Power’s definition is succinct: ‘Blarney is something more than mere flattery. It is flattery sweetened by humour and flavoured by wit. Those who mix with Irish folk have many examples of it in their everyday experience.’

I like this idea and think it is quite cute for little kids to do and possibly fun for them to learn. This is a super cute idea for littler kids to do as well as perfect for parties and school projects. All you need is whatever you have lying around the house to decorate the stone with ie. paint, glitter, buttons, feathers and anything else you think would be fun to use. Choose a stone from your yard or somewhere else that you can find them and go decorating crazy.
Once you have finished decorating you can put them around your yard and make a game of finding them or just use them for decoration. The perk to this project is you can leave the stone in your yard!

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

Crayon Dripped Pumpkin

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

 

I love making my own decorations especially if I can reuse them year after year and for more than one occasion. You may have real or fake pumpkins left over from Halloween so why not put them to good use. If you have crayons that have about had it and are looking for something to do with them this is the perfect project for you and your family. This is a great project for schools or parties as well.  Here are two examples on how to have fun with designs!

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

Crayon Drip Pumpkin

 

Supplies:

Crayons (if you have fun crayons like glitter or glow in the dark, multi color crayons)
Hair Dryer (or lighter with parents supervision)
Fast Grab Tacky Glue
Pumpkin orange or white (real or fake)
Towel, Sheet or bag to cover the area where you will be working
Decorations (anything you want to use to put your personal touch to the craft)

Directions:

1. Make sure to remove all labels from the crayons as they will not be helpful as the crayons are being melted.
2. Make sure the pumpkin is clean and isn’t spoiling. You don’t want to spend time decorating it for it to go bad after your hard work.
3. Cover the area you are working on with a cloth to make sure you don’t drip on anything important.
4. Break crayons in half, you won’t need a whole crayon for 1 pumpkin.
5. Glue the crayons to the top of the pumpkin, they may not stay still otherwise, if you want to do a drip effect you can hold the crayon and heat it to drip in a pattern of your choice as well.
6. Once you are ready to melt go crazy! Make any design you want drip separately or together.  Have fun with it.

I always say get creative so if you have fun things you want to add to this craft go for it! Use glitter, buttons, broken pins, ribbons or anything you have been looking for an excuse to make use of. Add whatever you want to the pumpkin while the drippings are still wet. Glitter or even sequins would be fun. You could go get leaves, twigs and acorns. Make it your own!

Images from here and here.

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Homemade Non-Toxic Glitter

Glitter is clearly one of my most favorite things on the planet. Thanks to Planet Pals (where I found the recipe)  you can now make your own homemade non-toxic glitter! I am over the moon type excited to try this out! This is the best thing to ever happen since glitter was actually invented I think! If you have tried this let me know how it worked out for you, I’d love to hear about/see the results. You can also use this glitter for food because is it only food coloring and salt or sugar! You can get tons of uses out of it.

Supplies:

Baking Pan
Tin Foil
1/4 cup of salt (or granulated sugar)
1/2 teaspoon of LIQUID food coloring

Directions:

1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees oven for 10 mins
2. You can use 1/2 cup coarse salt (non iodized) or 1/2 cup granulated sugar and add 2 -10 drops food coloring, adjust for desired color. You can mix colors also to get fun new colors!
3. Spread the mixture out in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Allow your homemade glitter to cool before using it.

NOTE:
Paste food coloring can result in smoking. You may also store it in an air tight container for several months. This stays drier and stores wonderfully as is but even better if you spread colored salt/sugar in a thin layer to air dry for about an hour or microwave in 30 second intervals, stir and repeat for about 1-2 minutes or until moisture is evaporated. You can also add a few grains of rice to absorb any moisture.

Creepy Closet Monsters

Creepy Closet Monsters

 

 

This is my favorite time of year with my favorite holiday coming up! I love decorating for Halloween! There are soo many fun things you and your family can do to spook up your home simply and inexpensivly with things you have lying around the house. Creepy Closet Monsters are the perfect way to decorate and get some use out of the wire hangers you might have lying around at home. If you like this craft enough you can do this for other holidays and even make some for everyday. Why not make your closet pretty instead of having to buy expensive hangers. You can even reinforce the wire hangers while decorating so they can last longer/hold heavier clothes.

 

 

 

Materials:
Wire Hangers
Construction Paper
Fabric
Ribbons
Stickers
Glitter
Poster Board
Card Stock
Tacky Glue
Tape
Any possible decorations you have lying around.

Instructions:

1.For each hanger, trace the body of a hanger onto poster board, then cut out the shape.

2.Cut facial features, designs, decorations from poster board and card stock, adhering them to the base shape with tacky glue.

3.Let the glue dry, then tape the poster board face or design to the hanger.

Build a Portable Golf Course

Build a Portable Golf Course

Build a Portable Golf Course

 

 

 

Since it is still summer and the weather is sunny and warm an outdoor craft is a great idea to keep the family entertained!  I found this spiffy little idea on one of my fave sites FamilyFun.go.com.  I think the portable golf course is the cutest idea ever! If you like it enough you can bring the course with you to parties to share with friends and family. You might even inspire them to make a course of their own.
If you are a teacher this could be an excellent project for your students. The children can make and decorate their own courses and get really creative with other things they have around the house.

Supplies:

3-liter plastic soda bottles
Colored tape
Markers
Cardboard
Cardboard tubes
Duct tape
Glue
Paint
Any decorations you want to add to make them more yours ie glitter, ribbons anything lying around the house that could be used as a decoration.

Directions:
1. Trim the bottom off a 3-liter plastic soda bottle, then cut out an arched hole (approximately 3-1/4 inches wide and 4 inches tall) in the base.
2. Use colored tape, paint, markers and anything you want to decorate and number the bottles.
3. Fold a 3- by 11-1/2-inch piece of cardboard around the bottom of a long, sturdy cardboard tube (like a wrapping paper tube or poster/document tube). Wrap duct tape around the two pieces to secure them together, then wrap the rest of the tube.