Tag Archives: Children’s art

A Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids: Design a Roller Coaster

Roller coasters are designed for thrills, and now you can design and make your very own 3-D roller coaster in this Fun and Easy art activity. You can even put you and your friends or family in the very first car! In this post you’ll find:

  • Supply list
  • Step-by-step directions
  • Clean-up tips
  • Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages
  • 2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development
  • A Kid-friendly Devotion

Let’s get started!

Supply List

  • Cardboard for a base
  • Paper in all colors (use colorful papers left from other projects)
  • White glue (glue sticks may not hold)
  • Scissors
  • Markers or crayons

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Glue a plain colored paper on top of the cardboard base
  2. Cut other papers into strips of various colors and sizes (these can have straight, wavy, or even spiky edges)
  3. On plain strips you may wish to make designs with markers or crayons
  4. Put glue on ends of strips and start arranging these in loops all over the cardboard base (see photos)
  5. Make a small rectangular box or boxes for roller coaster cars (see photos)
  6. Cut small strips of paper the width of the car and draw people on these (give them different facial expressions and hair dos)
  7. Fold the bottom end of these strips under, add glue, and glue into the car (see photo)
  8. Glue the car to the top of a loop or on the way down a loop

Clean-up Tips

  • Wax paper under the strips as you add glue keeps the strips from sticking, AND makes clean up quick and easy.
  • A plastic dish tub for scraps also aids quick clean up

Variations and Adaptations to Include and Challenge Various Ages

  • Younger children may need strips cut for them and a short demo of how to make the loops.
  • Young children will need more help with the box car and people, but be sure to let them draw the people!
  • All children may need a reminder to hold each piece in place for a moment until the glue sets a little
  • For more challenge, use a larger base and make your roller coaster much larger
  • Use cardstock for stiffer loops
  • Connect the loops as if a roller coaster car could really travel on it
  • Make multiple cars
  • Use actual photographs of you and family or friends in the cars

2 Ways this Activity Aids Mental, Physical, and Social Development

  1. Learning to use scissors is an important skill for young children
  2. Making color and design choices helps enhance creativity and encourages children of all ages to learn to problem solve

A Kid-friendly Devotion

Higher and higher the roller coaster climbs. As it teeters on the top, people hold their breath. Then wooosh, down it rushes, and everyone raises their arms and screams!  

Have you ever been on a roller coaster?

How did you feel?  Excited? Scared?

Sometimes life is like a roller coaster ride. Everything is going along smoothly, and then woosh, your family moves, a new baby arrives, or your best friend gets angry with you.

Was there a time you felt as if you were on a roller coaster?

Were those rushing changes scary?  Did you feel sad or lonely?

Sometimes Jesus felt sad and rushed. In Mark 6:29-46 we learn that when His cousin, John the Baptist, was killed, Jesus and the disciples were sad and tired. But people still crowded around. Jesus and the disciples didn’t even have time to eat!

When they tried to get away, crowds followed them. Finally, that night Jesus sent the crowd away. He even told His disciples to leave in the boat.

Wow, Jesus was all alone. But was He?

No, He knew His Father was there. So Jesus climbed up the mountainside to talk to Him. He trusted His Father to give Him comfort and strength to continue the rush of His earthly ministry.

When changes rush at you and you’re scared, Jesus promises you can talk to Him just like that. Jesus is with you and will never leave you (Deuteronomy 31:8), and He will comfort and strengthen you.

And when you are sad or lonely, remember Jesus will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know you sometimes felt sad and tired, so you understand just how we feel. Thank you that we can come and talk to You about these things, and You will comfort and strengthen us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before You Go

If you’d like more activity ideas for art, history, and nature, curriculum connections, and links to more resources, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click the sign-up  button above on the right. You’ll receive a free guide to making art museum visits a fun masterpiece for your whole family. Even if your family isn’t into museums, the quarterly issues have lots of fun stuff for kiddos!

Visit my website where you’ll find free downloadable puzzles, how-to-draw pages, and coloring pages. There’s also an updated list of my hands-on workshops, chapels, and presentations for all ages.

Our last post used zigzag and curved lines for ocean waves, and so does the roller coaster, so on  a recent walk, Molly posed with zigzag shadows! Molly and I hope you enjoyed making a roller coaster. Sign up to receive our posts by email, and don’t miss a fun and easy, AND  squishy paint activity!

 

 

Make a Zig Zag Book to Tell about Your Family

Let’s make a zig zag book to tell how your family is special! Each family is unique. One family may love skiing in the mountains, and another might especially enjoy visiting historic sites. Some families have lived in the same place for years, while others may move a lot. Each family also has a unique history, with stories, favorite foods, and traditions passed down from grandparents, great grandparents, and even farther back.

For example, I grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Saturday night always meant baked beans and brown bread, made with lots of molasses. Special meals included lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, and blueberry pie—sometimes cooked and eaten at the beach. Waves crashing on the rocks, beach roses, and lighthouses say home to me.My father’s ancestors had come to this town several hundred years before, perhaps as fishermen. But by the 1800s most managed general stores or other small rural businesses. On my mother’s side were farmers, and I loved my great grandfather’s barn where black and white cows chomped on sweet hay, and a big coon cat named Fluffy, hunted mice in the dark corners.

What makes your family special? Where have you’ve lived? What foods does your family make for special events? What pets do you have? What fun activities does your family enjoy? What holiday traditions do you have? What are your family’s favorite books and movies? Do you have stories about your family history?

Let’s get started making a zig-zag booklet to record all the things that make your family unique.

 Supplies for the Zig Zag Booklet and decorating it

  • Construction paper in two colors
  • Scissors, pencil, ruler, glue stick or white glue
  • ribbon
  • Be creative! Have fun. Gather and use many materials.
  • Use paper scraps, yarn, glitter, stickers, leaves, buttons, fabric. The sky’s the limit!
  • Use crayons, pencils, markers, or paints, whatever you want!

Directions for the Zig Zag Booklet

  1. Measure and cut 3 pieces of one color of construction paper (I used blue) into 3 pieces 6” X 12”
  2. Repeat with the other color (I used green)
  3. Fold each of the 6 pieces in half
  4. Choose one color to be the front and cut one of its 3 pieces in half along the fold (I used blue)
  5. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, each about 7” long
  6. Begin putting together the folded pieces of construction paper, alternating the 2 colors. Start with one cut piece of blue which will be glued to the green’s outside front fold. Then glue one side of a blue piece to the inside back of that first green piece. Notice the green piece folds toward you and the blue piece folds towards the back. (see the diagram and photos)
  7. Continue this pattern until you get to the 2nd blue half piece and glue this to the inside front of the last green piece. (see the diagram)
  8. Check that you have created a zig zagging length before gluing
  9. Also be sure to lay the 4 pieces of ribbon in between the correct layers of paper (see the diagram) before gluing those layers together.
  10. Glue and let dry

When all done, you can fold up the booklet and tie the ribbons.

Directions for decorating the cover

  • I decided to make a house on my cover and used scraps of colored paper to make its windows, door, roof, and bushes. Don’t forget the door knob! If you decide to make a house, you might draw a picture of family members in the windows or glue in photos of them.
  • But you can do whatever you’d like with crayons, paint, fabric, etc. and you may want to put a title on the cover, too. You might use stamps or watercolor paints to decorate the cover. Here are some ideas from previous posts: bubble prints, cardboard tube prints, leaf prints, paint designs made by blowing with a straw, painting with a cardboard strip, watercolor paints, and prints made from finger painting. All these techniques are explained in earlier posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for doing the pages

  • While you’re making your zig zag booklet, write or email your grandparents if you have questions about your family history.
  • Also during this time, interview family members for their favorites, etc.
  • Here are some suggestions of things to put on the pages of your booklet:
  • Family history
  • Places you’ve lived
  • Favorite foods
  • Pets
  • Favorite books and movies
  • Favorite Bible verses
  • Things your family likes to do together
  • Use pictures and/or lists to tell these things. You can write or type information on a piece of white paper and glue it to the colored paper. Use special computer fonts for titles

Variations:

  • If you’d like a more easily-made booklet, take one long piece of paper and fold it back and forth to create the zig zags.
  • Instead of each person making a booklet, make a family booklet with family pages and individual pages for each member.
  • Although younger children will need help making a zig zag booklet, once that’s done, they can certainly enjoy coloring and decorating the pages.

Molly hopes you enjoy making a zig zag booklet about what makes your family and each individual in it, unique! We’re sure you and your family will treasure it!

Molly wasn’t sure she liked wearing a beret in this photo! But she’s sure you’ll enjoy our next posts about a nature artist and a fun and easy art activity about nature.