Hiding is a part of childhood. Children love to feel like they are invisible to the world because, for various reasons, they want to view the world from a safer distance. And sometimes hiding in plain sight is the best way to go. But the hiding doesn't have to be the only fun. Designing and creating camouflage masks and crafts can also be fun and educational.
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In their book "Global Art" Mary Ann F. Kohl & Jean Potter discuss the merits of using natural items like sticks and leaves to build toy animals. But natural items can also be used to make camouflage masks. By gluing leaves and twigs onto an old ski mask children can disguise themselves as the bushes and trees for variations on the old standard "Hide and Seek." With a little more effort children can construct simple shelters using sticks and trees and various types of leaves and branches. Building crafts from nature offers a different learning experience for kids who spend most of their days indoors, and learning how to use nature benefits children in the areas of problem solving, technical work and team work to name a few.
Making a clever snake puppet is easy, but getting someone to fall for the snake puppet takes patience and perseverance. Children or helpful adults should first locate a suitable snakeskin, otherwise known as a sock. Next they must decide what shape or object they want to copy. For beginners wood (a table or chair leg) is a good basic model. A wooden snake simply needs to be died or painted using special dies and craft paints found at craft stores (eyes and mouths are optional additions). After the sock is painted it should be left to dry and then rinsed and left to dry again to make sure of it's cleanliness. Lastly children simply need to slip the snakes over their arms, find a good place to wait and surprise a family member or friend.
Floating Camouflage Animals
Swimming is always a fun summertime activity, but for parents or teachers looking to spice things up, floating animal heads are good ways to encourage creativity and fun. To make a floating animal head children first need some balloons that expand to sizes larger than their heads. Adults should gather a series of photographs of different animals (frogs and fish are two good choices) along with construction paper and tape and non-sharp scissors. Building the form around the inflated balloon is a good way to teach children about the different parts of animals. When the body or head of the animal is complete kids can then use candle wax to spread over the paper and waterproof the craft (adults should always supervise the handling of candles and everyone should let the wax cool for two seconds before touching it). Finally kids can cut out a few holes (eyes, mouth, nose and ears), slip the mask over their heads and swim or wade through the water with everything but the mask below water.
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