|Completed sunflower made by Mia, age 3 1/2|
- paper plate
- brown paint
- yellow construction paper (about 2 sheets per flower)
- bubble wrap (I didn't try this, but you could paint on the bubble wrap and then press it onto the flower's center to make a print.)
- ink pad (I didn't try this but you could make thumb print art in the flower's center- possibly for younger children)
- sunflower seeds or dried beans (I didn't try this, but the texture would be neat, and you could make interesting patterns in the center of the sunflower.)
- yarn (I didn't try this, but I am envisioning a long spiral starting in the center of the flower and working outward.)
- green construction paper (Our flowers don't have them, but you could include stems.)
- Turn paper plate upside down. Paint center of paper plate brown. Let dry.
- Cut petals from yellow construction paper.
- Glue buttons or other embellishment, to center of paper plate, if desired.
- Glue petals onto plate so that they touch the brown center section. Work around in a circle until white part of paper plate is no longer showing.
- If desired, cut strip of green construction paper and glue to back of sunflower.
- Allow to dry completely and display your finished sunflower project.
- I made two different sized petals. For the flowers with small petals, I folded the paper into sixteenths and then cut into strips. For the larger petals (quicker to finish, possibly better for younger children), I folded the paper into eighths and then cut into strips.
- I made templates for the two different sized petals, cut them out, made a pile of about 6 strips, traced template on top strip, and then cut out petals. I repeated this until I had all of my petals cut out. It saved a lot of time rather than cutting each petal individually.
- My petals were drawn free-hand. They don't need to be perfect. They took up most of each strip of paper.
|Close-up of flower with larger petals|
|Close-up of flower with smaller petals. I think this is more realistic.|
- I like Aleene's Tacky Glue. It works for most craft materials and dries clear.
- I use the sponge type paintbrushes for most of Mia's projects. They have a large surface for holding paint, wash easily, and are very affordable (so if one gets ruined, I don't feel bad throwing it away). You can find them on sale at Michael's and stock up (20 for $1, usually).
- I usually use acrylic paints for projects. They are relatively inexpensive (I recently saw them at Michael's, 3 for $1), come in many colors, and quick-drying. The main downside to acrylics, is that they stain clothing so I usually have Mia roll up her sleeves and wear a paint smock.
- I like to use old plastic divided trays from microwave dinners for mixing paints. They have lasted for years and it keeps something from ending up in a landfill! If I know we will use more than a couple of colors, though, I like to use egg cartons. They're a nice size for holding little amounts of several colors and keeping them separated, if that is what you want.
- While waiting for paint to dry, I sometimes have another project for Mia to begin. Otherwise, a hair dryer works nicely to speed things along.