Sweet Pea is 5 years old.
From: I found these beautiful acorn cap jewels at Homemade Serenity.
- Acorn Caps. (Acorn caps by themselves should be fine, but immediately bake whole acorns for 1-2 hours in a 170 degree oven to kill any insects that are hiding inside!)
- Colored Markers.
- Dry rice or beans to hold the acorn caps upright as they dry.
- Fill the bowl(s) with beans or rice.
- Invite your tot to color the inside of the acorns. (The acorn cap jewels will be more saturated if the inside is completely colored in.)
- Allow your tot to arrange the acorn caps upright in the bowls.
- Let your tot fill the acorn caps with glue, helping as necessary.
- Set the acorn caps in an out-of-the-way place and allow them to dry for several days.
- When your acorn caps are totally dry, the glue will form a thin shiny coat that lets the color of the markers show through.
- Let your tots play with the acorn cap jewels.
Observations: While these take a very long time to dry, they are quick and easy to prepare. Sweet Pea enjoyed making them and arranging them just so. However, the most fun part was probably checking them every day and seeing the colors slowly start showing through the glue as it dried.
We are going to put our acorn cap jewels in a fairy garden next spring, but I think that they would make a great toy for all types of imaginative play.
This activity requires strength to squeeze the glue and quite a bit of patience so I would only recommend it for mature preschoolers and older (who will not be tempted to stick their little fingers in the drying glue!)
Notes from the Trenches: The acorns could be a choking hazard and I have read they can be poisonous if eaten in large quantities. I can’t imagine a child being able to consume enough raw acorns (especially because they are so hard and supposidly taste very bitter) for it to cause a problem, but I thought I would mention it.
The finished yellow-colored one didn’t turn out very well. It is hard to see any color at all.
Squeezing the glue was still a challenge for Sweet Pea. I think a brand new full bottle of glue would have probably be easier for her to use.
Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Frugal)