I just love a good craft that uses items I already have at home!
We keep a box full of construction paper, glue, and scissors ready for any crafting that strikes our fancy. But sometimes, I think outside that box a little bit. I am one of those people who is neatly folding gift bags after a party, ready to store them in the under-bed box until the next gift-giving occasion arises. I’ve even been known to save the tissue paper. . . But I almost never reuse it, so it sits in the gift bag box and takes up space until I need tissue paper to wrap something breakable in, or I come up with a tissue paper craft. I happened to have four different shades of pink tissue paper that were pretty crumpled, so we used them to make a simple sun catcher!
This sun catcher craft needs just 5 items that you probably have in your home:
2 pieces of wax paper (the size of a piece of construction paper)
2 pieces of black construction paper
2-4 colors of tissue paper, cut into squares (usually just need a 1″ strip off of a sheet)
Liquid glue (Like Elmer’s)
To prep the activity: Fold the two pieces of construction paper in half together, and cut out a heart. Cut tissue paper into squares. Depending on your child’s attention span and skill level, you can let them cut or tear the tissue paper. Placing the tissue paper can take a while, so if you have a kid with a short attention span, I would use bigger pieces of tissue paper so they can complete the activity without getting bored. Try to let your kid do as much of the project as possible!
Lay one piece of black construction paper down on your table, glue around the outside, and place a sheet of wax paper on top. Glue swirly lines all inside the heart shape.
Place pieces of tissue paper on the glue. The BEST part about this activity, is that there is no wrong way to put these pieces together! The more random and overlapped, the better!
Try to cover every bit of wax paper with tissue paper! I’ll admit, the attention span of my 3 and a half year old was waning about halfway through, so I had to cheer her on and help get it all covered.
My lovely assistant likes to “help mommy take the pictures,” so she gets to take a turn getting her perfect shot. She’s taking a picture of the next step, which is squirting glue all over the top of the tissue paper, and an outline around where the second piece of construction paper will go.
Put the second piece of wax paper on top and smooth out any bubbles.
Place your other piece of construction paper on top and smooth it down.
Find a window that gets plenty of sunlight, and hang your child’s creation!
I’d be doing the occupational therapy profession a disservice if I didn’t point out some of the great skills you can address with this craft:
Bilateral coordination- cutting the pieces of tissue paper, using two hands to squeeze the glue, holding the paper steady while placing tissue paper squares, smoothing out the wax paper on top of the project
Pincer grasp- picking up the tissue paper squares
Tactile sensory work- possibly getting glue on fingertips
Visual scanning- finding tissue paper squares and then finding a place for each one
Hand strength- squeezing glue
If you have any good Valentine’s crafts, send them my way! I’d love to give them a try!
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