"Project Kid" has 100 easy-to-do crafts, including this one, called "Four Seasons." Credit: Artisan Books/Alexandra Grablewski
April showers may bring May flowers, but it still means a whole month of being trapped inside with your kids driving you crazy. Hitting bookstores just in time (April 8) is Amanda Kingloff's book, "Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun." Even if you usually leave the crafting to teachers and parents who have their playdates more together than you, the step-by-step pictures make it pretty impossible to screw up these crafts.
Kingloff will be hosting three crafting events for kids in New York City this spring (see below). Start practicing your crafting in advance with the following project (from "Project Kid"):
The Four Seasons
What you'll need: 4 pinecones Red, yellow, orange and various shades of green yarn 4 dime coin rolls Scissors Tacky glue 2 to 3 pink straws 4 to 6 cotton swabs One 1/2-inch artificial bird (available from CreateForLess.com) White paint 1-inch foam brush
1. Using colors that correspond to spring, summer and fall, wrap yarn in and out of pinecones' scales until they look full. Leave the yarn attached to the skein as you wrap and cut it off only when you are finished. Glue the ends to secure. To create the trucks, cut coin rolls to about 1 1/2 inches tall and glue them to the bottom of each cone.
2. To make the flowers for the spring tree, cut the straws into 1-inch segments. Snip four slits about 1/4 inch long into the end of the straw, then flare out the five ends like petals. Cut a cotton swab of its stick and glue it into the center of the straw. Glue eight to 12 of these around the tree, wedging them between the scales.
3. For the summer tree, glue a small bird to the very top perch.
4. Since a winter tree has no leaves (or in this case, yarn), dab white paint on the tips of the pinecone as snow.