Celebrating the International Kite Festival

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I love introducing Travis to international holidays and festivals, and this cute idea popped up in Little Passport’s blog to mark the International Kite Festival or Uttarayan. Celebrated January 14 and 15 in Gujarat, India, we joined in the fun with a quick homemade kite. This project wasn’t anywhere near as involved as the plastic bag kite we crafted some time back (nor did it truly fly), but it was great fun to flutter about!

To make the kite, cross two wooden skewers into an x and tie at the center with string.

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Cut a long piece of string, and wrap around the tip of one skewer. Stretch to the next tip and wrap. Continue until you’ve stretched and wrapped around all four tips, creating a square frame.

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Cut a square from tissue paper slightly larger than your frame. Fold the edges of the tissue paper over the frame and secure with tape.

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For the tail, add a long piece of string and tie on additional strips of tissue paper for bows.

As mentioned, the kite didn’t fly so great (it has no spool of string to launch it, for one thing!), but Travis loved running with it behind him and having it flutter all over the apartment.

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We watched a video about the celebration so Travis could further appreciate what we were making. Add in some friendly insect kites we had at home, and we had a nice little indoor Uttarayan of our own.

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One additional note: If you are anywhere near an actual celebration of the kite festival, please avoid using kites where the strings have been treated with glass (a common practice). This can cause serious injury to birds who fly into the strings. Have a happy and humane Uttarayan!

Egg Carton Boat

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Travis has been having so much fun with the foam and cork canoe we crafted a few weeks back that we decided to add to our upcycled bathtime collection!. Half of an egg carton from my in-laws’ house was the perfect base for our boat.

Cut an egg carton in half; save the remaining half for another use.

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Decorate the carton with markers or paints. Markers will probably work fine on a cardboard egg carton, but since ours was Styrofoam, we used dot markers. Travis loved making each tip of the boat a different color.

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I cut a triangle from white paper, which we decorated as well, then taped to a wooden stick. Voila! A sail.

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Stick your mast into the base of the boat, and it’s time to set sail.

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Use any toy figures you have, such as Duplo people, to be your sailors. Ahoy mateys!

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The verdict is that this boat didn’t last very long (the sail is toast the minute it gets wet), but Travis had so much fun with it that bath was double its normal length in time! I don’t post bathtime pictures, but needless to say there was lots of capsizing, splashing, rescue games, motor boats running out of gas, storms at sea, and more.

Egg Carton Penguins

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We don’t buy eggs, but I do confess that egg cartons from my in-laws’ house make for fantastic up-cycled crafts. We got the idea to make these cute figures after a feature on penguins in our first issue of Ranger Rick Jr. We quickly decided we needed some adorable toy penguins around the house!

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Cut an egg carton into indiviaul compartments and paint with black tempera paint. Since the carton was originally pink Styrofoam, it took two coats of paint before we hid the color underneath.

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Next we made sure to gave them white bellies!

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I cut out orange hearts to be the feet and orange triangles to be the beaks from a sheet of orange felt, and Travis helped glue these on.

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Googly eyes were the finishing touch!

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Now we have adorable penguins to march around and bring our magazine story about the animals to life!

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