Whether you call them pipe cleaners or chenille stems — these cheap and pretty little doodads make crafting loads of fun for little ones. Once spring is in the air, let the fresh air into the house with crafts for the small fry that use colorful pipe cleaners to make the magic happen.
The spring months are ideal for sailing a kite through the air, with the high winds that frequently prevail. While your little one might not be big enough yet to fly a real kite, why not make one out of pipe cleaners, instead? Give your little one a choice in pipe cleaner color and then cut one 3 inches long and the other 5 inches long. Cross the two perpendicularly so the longer piece is vertical and the shorter one is horizontal — kite fashion. Twist the two pieces together to make them stay. Help cut a piece of card stock in a diamond shape, just the right size to fit onto the pipe cleaners. Glue the card stock in place onto the pipe cleaners. Finally, make a tail for the kite of colorful ribbon and the kite should be sturdy enough for pretend flying indoors.
What would spring be without flowers? Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can enjoy a bouquet of pretty flowers that will last for months. Cut 6-inch circles out of tissue paper in spring pastel colors. Make a simple flower out of two circles in the same color or make a funky flower out of five circles in different colors. Stack the circles neatly, grab them in the center and twist together tightly. The edges of the circles should flute out like petals. Take a green pipe cleaner and twist it tightly around the twisted part of the circles to attach the stem to the flower.
Make cute finger puppets to put on the ends of those little fingers. Common spring critters include chicks, birdies and bunnies. Choose a color for the puppet — yellow for a chick, for example — and coil it around your fingertip about six times to make a tight base for the puppet. Snip off any extra pipe cleaner. Glue a pompom to the top of the puppet cleaner base for the head — keep these small pieces away from little ones for safety sake until they’re secured to the puppet with glue. Paint some eyes on your little critter and let your youngsters play.
Birds are busy during the spring, building nests to prepare for a clutch of eggs. Make a cute bird’s nest out of brown pipe cleaners and glue. First, cut 3-inch-long sections of pipe cleaners — you’ll probably need about 30 pieces. Use a small paper plate for the base of the nest. Show your little one how to assemble the nest by laying the pipe cleaners in crisscross fashion on the plate. Try to create a concave shape for the nest, but neatness doesn’t count for this project — let her do it her way! Glue each pipe cleaner in place with craft glue. When she finishes, if she made a birdie finger puppet, she can put it in her nest.