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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Easy Ornaments and Great Tactile Input!

Here's my completed ornament
Today, as the one day Joe has off this week until Christmas, our family advent calendar event was making Christmas ornaments together.  I looked up some quick ideas via Pinterest and found one that was promising.  We had all the supplies, except glitter, which a quick trip to the Dollar Tree remedied.  It was so much fun and the boys LOVED it!   Plus, the ornaments came out great and we have lovely keepsakes for this year to go on our tree from now on.  I decided to share because it was so easy and it's also a great project for those looking to incorporate more tactile input as part of an OT regimen.   

Here's what you'll need:
regular white school glue (ala Elmer's)
string (such as kite string or even twine)

Here's what you do:
  • Mix the glue with two parts water and lots of glitter.  I actually ended up using some glitter glue I got from the Dollar Tree with a little more Elmer's added to it and water.  Mix the glue/water/glitter mixture in a bowl and set aside.
  • Cut strips of string.  Lots of strips of string.  Ours were about 6-8 inches in length--enough to circle the balloons.
  • Blow up your balloons.  Make them as big as you'd like your ornaments to be.  
  • Dip a string strip into your glue mixture and stick it on the balloon in any fashion you choose (this is why it's great for kids!).  Keep sticking gluey strings on the balloon until you have a fairly connected network of strings covering the balloon.
  • Allow the string covered balloons to dry (we set ours by the fireplace).  
  • Once completely dry, you can pop the balloon and pull it from the middle, leaving a lovely, hallow string ornament.  Attach a ribbon or hook to hang it from your tree.

Hint: After a moment of panic when I popped our first balloon and it clung to the string as it deflated due to the excess glue slathered on by my son's little hands, causing a slight cave-in (thankfully it wasn't permanent), I went with a slightly different method before deflating the next ornaments.  I used a dull stick to poke all over the balloon, loosening it from the dried strings so they wouldn't be drawn down with the rubber once I popped it and it contracted.  This worked much better, though it was a little more time consuming.

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