Category Archives: Family Fun

28 Kids Crafts To Reuse Plastic Straws

drying strawsAre you trying to use less plastic?

I meet more and more parents who are striving to use less packaging and plastic products.  And it’s really encouraging to even see big companies – like Starbucks and the entire Marriott hotel chain – phasing out plastic straws altogether!  But even if you are the most recycling-conscious family, you’ve probably ended up with some of those pesky plastic straws and wondered what to do with them.

Instead of tossing them into the waste stream, here are a host of great activities that reuse these not-so-disposable items and are fun and productive kid’s crafts as well.

Clean Your Straws

If you’ve ended up with straws from juice, smoothies or soft drinks you can easily clean them off before you craft with them.  Rinse them in soapy water and let them stand them in a jar or glass for a few minutes (as seen above).  In no time at all, they’ll be clean and ready to be used in any of the crafts below!

Straw Rattles Completed On YellowA Quiet Rattle

We love this craft!  It is fun to make, also reuses plastic bottles and creates a quiet rattle that is never too loud, even when playing with bunches of friends!  And if the straws you’ve used are colorful, they make wonderful patterns of colors as you shake them along to music.

What To Do

Cut the straws into small lengths, anything the size of a small bead to about an inch long.  Cut them all the same length or mix up the sizes.  And if you have straw pieces left, they are perfect for the sensory bins listed below or even the friendship bracelets!

To create the rattle, simply allow your child to drop any number of their favorite colors and sizes into the plastic bottle.  When it looks and sounds perfect to your little one, put on the cap and seal with a sturdy electrical tape.  This keeps the contents inside the rattle and makes the end-product child-safe.

Note: while creating any of these crafts, make sure the small pieces of straws don’t go in a child’s mouth.

More Musical Straw Crafts!

josef playing straw zamponasPanpipes Made From Straws
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-your-own-simple-panpipes/

Use straws as the contents to a “Roly Poly” Thing
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-a-roly-poly-musical-thing/

Use straws as the contents to an ocean drum
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

maracas - back to schoolUse straws as the contents to a set of maracas
http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/uncategorized/an-easy-musical-craft-for-young-children-back-to-school-maracas/

Other Straw Crafts You’ll Love!

Sensory Bin With Straw Pieces – From Teaching Mama
https://teachingmama.org/plastic-straw-sensory-bin/

20 Assorted Drinking Straw Crafts For Kids- From Meraki Lane https://www.merakilane.com/20-drinking-straw-crafts-for-kids/

Simple Friendship Bracelets Made with Pipe cleaners and “Straw Beads” – From Kiwi Co – https://www.kiwico.com/diy/Arts-and-Crafts-Ideas/1/project/Straw-Bracelets/1169

More Crafty And Elegant Straw Bead Bracelets – Tutorial below and here’s hoping you reduce, reuse recycle and rock out with any of the crafts you’ve found here!

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Online Event – Turn Plastic Into Music For World Oceans Day!

WOD screensnap

What are you doing for WORLD OCEANS DAY?

Did you know if you make something creative out of plastic – you can win a free E-book or any music CD from DARIA? We want to encourage you to cut back on plastic by practicing the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Remove!  And have a blast at the same time!

What Is World Oceans Day?

World Oceans Day is a special holiday celebrated all over the world on June 8th.  It’s a great opportunity to honor, understand and work to protect seas, oceans and all our valuable waterways!  It’s also a good time to think about things like plastic waste and how we can use less, refuse more and make something cool out of what we already have.  And if you live near a beach, please check the World Oceans Day site (link below) for special clean-up and family events where you can make a difference seaside!

Turn Plastic Into Music!

craft straw zamponasNo matter how well you reduce and recycle, you probably have some plastic in your recycling bin!  Don’t trash it – make it over! We just shared a post about a MYO ocean drum, a fun project that recreates the sound of the surf.  For World Oceans day, we’re filling it with items that should never end up in the ocean – straws, plastic and bottle caps. We used a shipping box we got in the mail, but you can reuse a pizza box or a product box that’s hanging around your house. If the box has writing all over it, no worries.  Just cover it with recycled paper or Inside Recycled Ocean Drumthe reverse side of a used manila folder and you have a great canvas to decorate right there!  To the right is what we’re putting inside.

Outside?  Below are three ocean drums that other groups have made.  Very… very creative and fun.

ocean drums makingAnd after you create your drum – you’ll be amazed at the sound it creates.  Just tip it from slowly from side to side to make the sounds of the sea.

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC

Make ANYTHING from plastic you have in your recycling bin, send me a photo and you’ll get my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free! Although I’d love to see creative musical instruments, I’ll accept anything you remake from your recycling bin.  Just e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com under the subject “UPCYCLED PLASTIC” and I’ll send you a copy of the E-book plus ask your permission to use the photo in this blog or my social media.  It’s totally OK to say no but I’d love to share what you make with DARIA Sings For Earth Day - CD Covermy readers!

And, you can also win my DARIA SINGS FOR EARTH DAY cd if you prefer!

So ready, set …  Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Remove and Rock on!

LINKS AND RESOURCES

WORLD OCEANS DAY Resources And Teaching Materials http://www.worldoceansday.org/resources

Free Respect The Earth 5 R’s poster https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

Free Plastic Pollution Lesson Plan http://www.worldoceansday.org/plastic-pollution-lesson-plan

MYO Ocean Drum Post – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-a-drum-that-sounds-like-the-ocean/

Turn Plastic Into Music E-Book from DARIAMUSIC https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

Splash and Bubbles Resources For World Oceans Day http://www.worldoceansday.org/splash-bubbles-resources

This Earth Day – Turn Plastic Into Something Fantastic!

Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.43 PMThis year’s Earth Day theme is End Plastic Waste! We hope you’ve been reading about this topic and moved to make changes in your own life. But, what about plastic you already have in your recycling bin? Creating fun recycling projects with kids will help them see plastic waste as more than just “use it and lose it” trash. As you practice the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove) you can upcycle out of the waste cycle into 5 great-sounding musical instruments.

This Earth Day, I’m offering my TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC E-book free, and you can download it at the link below. (If you are an educator with a limited budget and read this post after the E-book has returned to full price, you can always e-mail me at dariamusic at yahoo dot com for an educator’s copy.)Screen shot 2018-04-19 at 11.38.58 PM

The five projects in this book include amazing-sounding maracas from mini-sized water bottles, Latin American guiros and Aboriginal bullroarers from plastic bottles with various sizes of mouths. There’s also two crafts that use plastic straws – zampoñas or panpipes and a kaleidoscope straw rattle.

And really… wouldn’t you rather make music than contribute to something like this?  Below is a video taken in Cameroon, Africa several year ago.  This year school children in this region are committed to ending plastic waste and changing what you see here!

Links And Resources

TURN PLASTIC INTO MUSIC – E-book Free Until Earth Day 2018 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Recycling-Projects-TURN-PLASTIC-INTO-MUSIC-5-Multicultural-Music-Activities-3747012

 Earth Day Organization – Tool kits for Individuals, Schools, Organizations, and More! https://www.earthday.org/

5 R's official posterFree 5 R’s poster - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/5-Rs-RESPECT-THE-EARTH-Earth-Day-Poster-Freebie-3743747

How Long Does It Take Garbage To Decompose https://www.thebalance.com/how-long-does-it-take-garbage-to-decompose-2878033

Meet The Zero Waste Pioneers https://us-mg5.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=0fm9p2d7jlhgu#4735222175

Scientists Discover Enzyme That Eats Plastic https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/scientists-accidentally-create-super-enzyme-that-can-devour-plastic-pollution/

What Are You Singing For Groundhog’s Day?

Daria_GroundhogCover_Web

I just love groundhog’s day!  Maybe it’s because groundhogs are so cute and cuddley. Or I was born somewhat near the permanent residence of Punxatawney Phil, official groundhog predictor of Spring. Or because groundhogs  have adorable nicknames such as whistle pigs and woodchucks.

So, for so many reasons I couldn’t just crawl back into my hole for 6 more weeks of winter and I jumped at the chance to write and record a silly Groundhog’s Day song.

groundhog pop-up hereThe simple song is based around the tongue-twister “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck… if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” I also wondered how much ground a groundhog could grind and how much sap a sapsucker could suck. And, yes, even though the lyrics are in song form, the tongue twisters still are a challenge to sing or say.

You can find the song lyric freebie below, plus a link to a sweet Springtime activity that includes pop-up puppets. It’s a fun way of having your own groundhog’s day anytime and anywhere.

And the best thing? You can laugh yourself silly while you predict an early Spring!

Links and Resources

Groundhog’s Day Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2357681

Groundhog’s Day Song From Itunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-groundhog-song-how-much/id385842751

Groundhog’s Day MYO Pop-Up Puppet Activity from TPT – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Groundhogs-Day-Song-and-Pop-Up-Groundhog-Puppet-Activity-484374

little groundhogs

Learn An Bilingual Christmas Song – Feliz Navidad

Did you know that singing the entire “Feliz Navidad” means learning only 6 new words in Spanish?

And these are definitely 6 new words and 2 phrases that you and your kids will love to use around holiday time.  Of course, you know the song. It goes like this:

Here’s our Feliz Navidad cheat sheet and a free lyric sheet below.

Feliz – Happy
Navidad - Christmas
Feliz Navidad - Happy Christmas/Merry Christmas

Prospero – Prosperous
Año – Year
Prospero Año – Prosperous Year/Happy New Year

Y – and
Felicidad – Happiness

Links And Resources

Free Lyric Sheet – Feliz Navidad – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Feliz-Navidad-Lyric-Sheet-2214462

Win A Beautiful New Spanish Language Book + CD!

Cantale

We just found out that one of our favorite fellow bloggers is reviewing AND giving 5 copies of the beautiful new CD/Book set seen above – “Cántale A Tu Bebé”  (Sing To Your Baby!).

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already singing to your little ones and this Spanish language set can make it even easier and more fun to combine music and language learning at the same time.  It’s perfect for bilingual parents, Spanish-speaking parents or families learning Spanish.

Read the entire post for the story of the book and cd set, check out the info on bilingualism for baby or skip directly to the contest at the bottom of this page to enter and win!  http://www.biculturalmama.com/2017/09/music-book-baby-singing.html

Good luck and  don’t forget to …“Cántale A Tu Bebé” (Sing To Your Baby!)

Discover Music Of Iceland With Children

For many people, Iceland is a dream vacation. It’s a land of geysers, glaciers, Langspilvolcanoes, thermal lagoons, whales, exotic seabirds and gorgeous scenery. If you’re on your way to the land of ice with your children or if you are simply studying this part of the world, here’s a fun way to explore the music of that culture.

Color A Langspil

One of the traditional instruments of Iceland is a stringed zither called the langspil. Dating back at least to the 1700’s, this instrument was often made of driftwood and played either by plucking it or using a bow, like a fiddle. The resulting sound was haunting and beautiful. You can hear a langspil in this video from an outstanding folk duo from Iceland, Duo Svanni (Júlía Traustadóttir Kondrup and Hildur Wågsjö Heimisdóttir).

Iceland For Kids!

Music is a wonderful place to start any exploration of another country or culture. Below you can find links to fun facts, common phrases in Icelandic, traditional clothing, things to do with children in Iceland and a post about an Icelandic rock music group that actually recorded a video of a song inside a volcano.

Enjoy your Icelandic Adventure!

Links And Resources

Free Langspil Coloring Page: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Langspil-Icelandic-Instrument-Coloring-Page-3362012

Kyra - Iceland - WaterfallLangspil Mini-poster, Coloring page + Activities:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Langspil-Icelandic-Instrument-Mini-Poster-Coloring-Page-3362044

Iceland Facts For Kids: http://www.kids-world-travel-guide.com/iceland-facts.html

Icelandic Words And Phrases To Learn: https://icelandwithkids.com/2017/03/26/icelandic-words-and-phrases-to-learn-or-not/

Traditional Clothing Of Iceland:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icelandic_national_costume

Iceland With Kids – A Family of Seven Visit Iceland And Offer Tips and Info
https://icelandwithkids.com/

Icelandic Music From Inside A Volcano: https://makingmulticulturalmusic.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/rocking-icelandic-music-from-inside-a-volcano/

Play Music On The Porch – This Saturday!

Porch day music iconWe’re excited to share news of a great new day and a great way to bring the family or community together – through music! Check out this guest post from the good folks at Play Music on the Porch Day.

What if for one day everything stopped…and we all just listened to the music?

Imagine, if you can, one day where the sounds of arguments and fighting are replaced with sounds of unity.

One day where those who normally build walls against each other, instead build bridges; note by note.  One day where common ground can be found regardless of your race, religion, culture or differences. For there is a sound that rises above it all.  One day where language is not a barrier. For, what is being communicated porchmusic pixtranscends our many different languages and each person feels in their heart what is understood by all.

A day where all can find shelter, unity and a greater understanding of each other. Where we can celebrate the diverse sounds our world holds.  Play Music on the Porch Day is offering a platform to do just that.  We believe everyone has their own unique sound, let the world hear it.

Join us and share your music and let yourself shine! Together we can light up the world with music!

Register to be added to the map:tinyurl.com/Register4PMOTPD and you can join this amazing group of people ready to make some great music on the 26th!

porch music map

Grandparents Day Music Give-Away!

grandmother toya at the senior centerThis year National Grandparents Day is September 10th.  If you were wondering, in the USA it’s always celebrated the second Sunday in September.

And around the world, there are similar annual holidays and celebrations to honor grandparents   But; honestly, any time of year is a great time to appreciate the role of that special someone or group of grands in your child’s life.

One easy and fun way to bring generations together and make lasting memories is through sharing music, especially the simple or special songs that meant a lot to grandma or granddad. In our family, our Greek Xiaxia shared a version of patty-cake in Greek that the kids remember and sing to this day. Their other grandmother loved to tell them about the silly songs she sang at school like Grandchildrens Delight Cover“Three Little Fishies” and “Jadda, Jadda Jing Jing Jing!”. Because these songs mean so much to old and young alike, I created a CD of songs that were hand-picked by my fans and audiences in response to the question: “What songs would you most like your grandkids to hear”.

The result (and it’s a give-away below) was a CD called Grandchildren’s Delight and it includes songs like You Are My Sunshine, Grand Old Flag, This Little Light of Mine, Oh Susannah, Playmate and so many more. So please, enter to win below but also remember how music can bring old and young together.

I bet there’s a special song you recall from your childhood or memory that’s just waiting to be sung to your little one!

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Favorite Songs from Your Family Or Childhood

Yes, I am still asking folks about favorite songs from their childhood or their parent’s era. Either from the USA or anywhere around the world! Do you have a special song from jump rope, summer camp or a holiday you loved?   If so, let me know. I’d love to share it with my readers and my audiences.

Win 12 Great Multicultural Summer Music Projects

Summer Camp TPT CoverMusic camp?  Backyard staycation?  Last minute playdate?  We’ve created this fun compilation of activity pdf’s from our readers favorite projects for summer musical fun.  Not only are all these crafts made from items you already have around the house but they also teach about the cultural background of each instrument – such as Hawaiian pu’ili rhythm sticks or Aboriginal Australian didgeridoos and bilma clapsticks. And everything is so simple that even a grown-up can do it!

Want to win a copy? Jump on in right here!  Two lucky winners will get the this fun compilation so they can musically craft their way all around the world this summer.

If you can’t wait to get it, the TPT link is below – and it’s half price during the month of July. Plus there are links to related summer musical fun.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links And Resources

12 Great Summer Crafts from DARIA’s TPT store – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/12-Summer-Camp-Music-Crafts-3243132

Make An Ocean Drum From Recycled Materials – http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/babies-and-music/make-an-ocean-drum-for-world-oceans-day/

Make A Rhythm Tree: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/a-rhythm-tree-for-earth-day-or-any-day/

Make An Earth Day Nature Walk Rattle: http://www.tinytappingtoes.com/early-learning-with-music/make-an-earth-day-nature-walk-rattle/