As a parent and an art teacher, I permanently have my eyes on the lookout for materials that are fun, inexpensive and kid-friendly. Craft sticks have gotten on my radar lately, since you can buy them in so many lengths and widths, and since craft stores often sell so many fun wooden shapes with them. I love that they allow children to get the sense of building and creating something in three dimensions. And if you have any concerns about how to attach these wood pieces together, try some of the new craft glues now available. Many are thick and dry within minutes – almost like hot glue, but without the fuss and expense. Just say no to that runny white stuff if you can.
For the upcoming holiday season, here’s a simple way to craft a cute family of owls that look adorable wherever you place them. Lots of variations are possible once you have the process down. You can experiment with round eyes, starry eyes, tear drop or spotted feathers and wings that are tucked or extended. And who wouldn’t want a cute handmade family for a Thanksgiving centerpiece? Very young children might need help trimming the boards, but the rest is easy. And any project that lets children create something that stands and looks back at them is a good one in my book.
- Eight-inch Jumbo Craft Sticks for large owl
- Six-inch Jumbo Wood Craft Sticks for small owl
- Jumbo Wood Shapes (large circles, ovals, teardrops)
- Assorted Wood Shapes (small circles, ovals, teardrops)
- Wood Stars (multi size)
- Craft glue
- Utility scissors
- Glue two craft sticks across five jumbo craft sticks. Let dry about 30 min. Draw a curved line along the bottom as shown. The center should be flat to keep the owl stable.
- Use a utility scissors to trim the top and bottom of the owl.
- Glue circles, stars and teardrops for the eyes, beak and feathers. Let dry for a few minutes or until firm.
- Turn the owl over and glue teardrops on the back for the ears and wings.
- Turn owl over to view from the front. Adjust ears and wings if necessary.
- Trim ends off of a jumbo craft stick, add glue to back and prop up as shown. Let dry until stick stays in place.
L.A.-based art teacher and blogger Kathy Barbro started her website ArtProjectsforKids.org – where she posts new projects daily – more than 10 years ago when she began teaching art at her son’s elementary school. Barbro earned her BFA at Minneapolis College of Arts and Design and enjoyed a 20-year career as a graphic designer. Her first book, “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids,” will be released Nov. 15 at QuartoKnows.com.