With Trevor on summer break, I'm struggling with finding time to work in between taking him to all his various activities. While I'm fortunate to have a completely flexible work schedule, both jobs require that I work from a computer with internet access, a full keyboard, and a good-sized screen. I also need quiet and relatively few distractions. For those reasons, I can't work when sitting poolside during Trevor's daily 30-minute swim lessons. I can't work during ice skating, golf camp, baseball games or Cub Scouts events. However, I can craft during most of those.
I try to bring a tote with craft materials to all of Trevor's activities. Two weeks ago, I shared the button bracelets that my friends and I made during a baseball practice. Today, I'm sharing the paper plate sunflower that I made during a day-long playdate. The inspiration came from a project in Amanda Formaro's book Paper Fun Mania called Paper Plate Weaving. I made some changes to turn it into a beautiful, summery sunflower. This easy, portable craft was perfect for pulling out during Trevor's activities.
Materials: paper plate, yellow paint, scissors, tape, brown yarn, dowel, green yarn
The first step was painting the paper plate yellow. If I'd had a yellow plate, I would have used that, but I didn't. I did that the evening before so it would be dry to go into my craft tote.
Our first adventure of the day took us to the library for a scavenger hunt. Once Trevor and his friends Ronan, Evan and Lauren checked in with the librarian, they did not need supervision, so I sat down with Evan and Lauren's mom, Dawn. While we chatted, I cut 19 deep slits (about 2.5") into the plate all around the perimeter. No measuring. Eyeballing it is totally fine, as long as they're somewhat evenly spaced and there are an odd number of slits. I poked a hole in the center of the plate with the scissors. Then I snipped out the material between the slits to make the long petals of the sunflower.
After the kids finished their scavenger hunt and got their prizes, we walked to a sandwich shop and then took our lunches to a park. After we finished eating, I thought about pulling out my crafting since the kids were happily playing, but it was way too windy to keep the plate steady enough for weaving.
Fortunately, our next activity was out of the wind at the trampoline place for a 1.5 hour play session. While the kids bounced and played, I began the weaving portion of my craft. I taped one end of the brown yarn to the back of the plate, then brought it directly across and put it through the opposite slit. I repeated this, moving over one slit each time, until every slit was filled. I put the end of the yarn through the hole and taped it on the back. I tied a new piece of yarn near the center of the plate, then started weaving in a clockwise direction.
I was almost done when the kids' play session was up. Once home, I finished the last bit of weaving, wound green yarn around a dowel, and then attached that to the sunflower. It was the perfect craft to do while chatting and watching Trevor and his friends. It required almost no concentration, was easy to put down and pick back up as needed, and I didn't need to keep a close eye on what I was doing. Thanks to Amanda for another awesome craft idea!