Indoor Activity for Kids: Tissue Paper Stained Glass

pile of tissue paper squaresThere are many things I can’t do, among them are making a decent hummus, navigating any way anywhere, and opening our attic door.

High on the list is using saran wrap. We use Press ‘n Seal around here. Pretty boring fact. But this beautiful stained glass project made with tissue paper and Press ‘n Seal isn’t! The kids loved it. It’s low-mess, low-stress, and without the to-keep-or-not-to-keep quandary to boot! (Check out salt painting for another.) Stick it in arsenal of indoor activities for kids.

Tissue Paper Stained Glass How-To:

  1. Cut several layers of tissue paper of several colors into squares.
  2. Put them in a bowl or other container for the kids.
  3. Tear off a piece of Press ‘n Seal.
  4. Tape it to a window on all four corners with the sticky little bumps facing you.
  5. Let the kids have at it. You probably will too. It’s fun. =)
  6. They can take off the squares and make another tissue paper stained glass window.

boy sticking tissue paper on window
girl putting tissue paper squares on window

boy putting tissue paper squares on window

tissue paper stained glass on windows

For similar indoor activities for kids, check out:

Keeping Kids Busy: Pipe Cleaners, Colander, and Beads 

Construction Paper Crafts: Shredded Paper Snowmen

Construction Paper Craft: Strip Mosaic Stained Glass Window


Pine Cone Bird Feeders

I’d been meaning to make bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls with the kids when I saw Dana’s picture of her five-minute bird feeders on Instagram. Pine cones are much more beautiful than toilet paper rolls for spreading peanut butter on and rolling in birdseed. Agreed?

pine cone bird feeders

And it was perfect because I already had a couple baskets of pine cones that we’d collected in the fall.

I hyped up the project to the kids and took them with me to get the bag of birdseed. I love their excitable-ness at this age.

The project itself is very easy and perfect for young children. Also, I think I should start ranking a project’s engagement level by the amount of concentration tongue it elicits. 😉

concentration tongue while making pine cone bird feedersElora made several pine cone bird feeders, but with Danny, after the novelty wore off, things degenerated fast.

boy eating birdseed

Yes, that’s my boy eating the birdseed off the cement. (This, of course, alternated with sticky peanut butter licks.) Eating art projects is nothing new for this little guy. I’d also like to point out that I take no responsibility for that outfit. 😉

Meanwhile, back in the land of productivity, here’s how to make your own pine cone bird feeders:

What you need to make pine cone bird feeders

  • Ribbon, yarn, or string for tying the pine cones onto tree branches and scissors to cut it with.
  • Pine cones
  • Peanut butter
  • Knife or other spreader. In hindsight, I realize a spatula would have been safer for the kiddos.
  • Plate for spreading the birdseed out.

How to make pine cone bird feeders

  1. Tie your ribbon around the pine cones. Tying a loop lets you hang your pine cone bird feeders easily.  It’s best to do this before the pine cones are sticky. Otherwise, your ribbon will get all goopy, as pictured below. Live and learn, my friends, live and learn. clean pine cone and finished pine cone bird feeder
  2. Pour some birdseed into a plate.birdseed for pine cone bird feeders
  3. Spread peanut butter generously all over the pine cones.spreading peanut butter on pine cones
  4. Roll the peanut-butter-covered pine cone in the birdseed.rolling pine cones in birdseed
  5. Set them out to dry a bit if you like, or hang right away.pine cone bird feeders hanging on tree

Just last night, as we dined al fresco, Elora-Belle asked what happened to the pine cone bird feeders. I noticed that they weren’t hanging on the trees anymore and assumed Dear had taken them down; he hadn’t, but they were definitely gone.

His theory: squirrel thievery.

Elora’s theory: “Maybe the birds took the pine cones off of the trees and brought them to their nests for their babies.” I like her thinking.


Construction Paper Craft: Strip Mosaic Stained Glass Window

My sister (whose apartment, she corrected me, is not her first, although it is her first since undergraduate years)… anyway, my sister — we’ll call her TatEE — is a kids’ art projects WHIZ. She often passes these projects along to me, and has encouraged me to share them here.

So if you’re in the market for a repertoire of kids’ art project or craft ideas (as if Pinterest isn’t enough), here’s an easy one to try. Especially for larger groups of young children (like for children’s meeting), I tend to prefer simple, disaster-proof creations. Some combination of construction paper and glue often fits the bill.

Lest you think “bor-riiiing,” I present: The Strip Mosaic Stained Glass Window. =) (List of directions at the end, though the pictures are pretty self-explanatory.)

construction paper crafts heart with colored strips

construction paper strips

construction paper strips glued to paper

construction paper crafts mosaic

Elora added her own touch to her mosiac by ripping some of her strips into pieces. I let her go with it, of course.

construction paper crafts

This sweet, sweet look — contentment with her creation, satisfaction at her accomplishment, confirmed confidence in her ability to create — epitomizes so much of what I think makes art projects such a profound experience in a young child’s learning process. TatEE could say much, much more on the topic.

construction paper crafts

Elora chose to use the same color for her “window.” construction paper crafts

construction paper crafts

Construction Paper Craft: Strip Mosaic Stained Glass Window Instructions

  1. Cut various colors of construction paper into strips. (Since I was planning this project for very young children, I did this beforehand myself.)
  2. Swirl some glue over a paper color of the child’s choosing.
  3. Let the child pick strips to stick down onto the paper.
  4. Have them choose a shape and color for the window portion of their project. Cut out the shape for them, or if they are old enough, let them do it themselves.
  5. Glue the window on top of the base paper.