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Topic: Needed: project idea for kids involving tennis ball cans  (Read 7169 times)
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« on: June 18, 2005 06:22:40 PM »

Hey Craftsters - I am looking for any ideas that children can do with tennis ball cans.  They containers are clear and hold about 3-4 tennis balls each.  I am looking for a project for 5-7 year olds who attend a summer camp at the athletic club my sister works at.  The kids don't necessarily take tennis lessons themselves, but the club has tons of extra tennis ball containers.

Any ideas at all would be appreciated!

Don't want to be obvious, I want to surprise myself...
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005 09:40:13 PM »

Bug containers!  You could help them punch holes in the sides (small needle, you'd do the punching beforehand) and top, and they can decorate the outside with foam, yarn, paper, anything!  On second thought, punch the holes AFTERWARD, that way they don't cover them up with the crafts.  Then they can fill it with leaves, twigs, grass, etc...  create an ecosystem.  Then you help them catch the bugs, and have a show and tell...  but have information on some more common bugs beforehand (ants, fireflies, moths, praying manti, beetles, etc), and make it a craft/nature activity.  Just make sure you get the kids to let all the bugs out once the activity is over--explain that the bugs will die if they're kept in captivity.  Then the kids can take the catchers home and play ecosystem all over again!

Maybe you can find a way to punch 2 larger holes near the top to affix a yarn or string handle...  just do it beforehand in a variety of colors, so that you can seal the holes with glue, and the kids can choose which color string they want.

I did this with a 2 and 6 year old I babysat a few years ago...  because they were doing all the glueing and whatnot outside on an old sheet, cleanup was a breeze, and they had a total blast collecting bugs and learning all about them.  I also know that when I used to do camp counselor stuff, we had a nature activity time as well as crafts...  if that's the case with you, maybe you can coordinate with the nature person. 

Hope I helped!

It's late, and I've been wondering...  How I can stay awake so long and miss so much...

« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2005 08:59:50 AM »

That is an awesome suggestion cloudbreak!  I'll inform my sister and I'm sure she'll love it.  I just hope they'll be enough catchable bugs in downtown Chicago to make the project worthwile!

Also, for any other Craftsters out there, we have already come up with the idea of a bank, just so you know!

Any other suggestions as well kids?  There are still TONS of these containers to go around!!!

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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2005 05:28:36 PM »

You could get a set of Christmas lights. Have the kids decorate the containers with pictures and tissue paper, punch a hole in the top and string the lights through. The kids will have their own custom lanterns.

You could get some colored sand and make designs in the bottles with them.

Make a mini fish tank, not for real fish though. Put some fish like aquarium stuff, and some plastic or rubber fish and fill it with hair gel for the "water".

« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2005 03:04:32 PM »

Thanks!  She definitely liked those!  We were both kind of worried, however, at someone's hair-gel bill if they had to to these projects on a summer-camp scale, so she passed on that one!   Thanks though!

Don't want to be obvious, I want to surprise myself...
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2005 04:50:22 AM »

Musical instruments.. maracas, small drums.. decorate the outside, fill with found goodies (rocks, rice, etc) glue lid on.. maraca.  Make a tambourine, tie jingle bells along outside of top of container with ribbon, decorate...

Since it is an athletic camp.. make some kind of game.. Just what comes to mind.  Decorate outside of container and tie a ribbon on the end about 18 or so inches long.  attach a yarn pompom or some other small ball itme the kids can try to catch the ball in the container.  Another idea, if there are enough for 2 per child.  decorate the containers and make a ball (fabric scraps, yarm pompom, etc) they can play a game of toss and catch with them...  Also, bowling pins, decorat, set up, knock down, you get the idea.  You could even craft the bowling balls (fabric, deocrated beach ball, etc)

Treasure  containers.  Decorate (think decopauge with magazine pictures) they can keep special little goodies inside.

Pencil or marker holders

spaghetti containers for mom (cleaned well of course)

Garden gnomes (or other creatures... )  fill ith rocks, decorate, make sure to apply sealer for outside use.  Cool gift for mom and dad.

good luck

**edited becasue I hate this new keyboard.... it's too touchy!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2005 08:32:09 AM by btlgrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005 06:21:59 AM »

make them into bugs.
Paint them or paper mache then paint them, and poke holes in the sides for wings.  glue some googly eyes on and it's a dragonfly Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005 09:45:54 PM »

So many awesome ideas, especially the bug catchers, musical instruments, and athletics, I don't have much to add!  Except maybe a 'time capsule'. Kids that age love to make things personal to them.  Each child brings in 5 to 10 items that identify them at that age...photo's, small toys, pictures of favorite movies, a pet's collar that broke, and old wheel from a skate, a small replica of a favorite charactor, a movie review, a drawing, a poem, anything that makes them unique.  They can then decorate them with contact paper or fabric or whatever, 'seal' them and vow not to open until they are say 25 or 30, or for a set amount of years anyway.  Kids put a lot of time into this because it is about themselves and you would be surprised at how much thought goes into it!  And what they decide to put in.  TishaLee

Whose bright idea was this anyway?  I said burn all your bridges, not blow them up!  Jeez!
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2005 03:10:38 AM »

I think the time capsule is an awesome idea, same for the bug catcher, kids always love playing with insects!

I am not sure if the post about a 'bank' is referring to piggy banks.
They could use coloured paper and stickers, or decoupage, perhaps even paper mache to creat their own personalised piggy banks. Just need to cut a slot in the top for coins to go into.

Would just have to find a way to get them to use all their self control not to break in! Wink

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2005 01:23:40 PM »

Thanks guys! All great ideas.  I especially love the time capsule idea, and wondering why I never thought of it myself!

Unfortunately, camp is over this year, but my sister just got word that they're keeping her on for next year (with a raise) so she will still be able to use a lot of ideas.

It especially great not to have to repeat last year's crafts with all you wonderful Craftsters around! Thanks!

Don't want to be obvious, I want to surprise myself...
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