I call them pipe cleaners, but I hear that, these days, they are also called chenille sticks. I actually discovered the appeal of pipe cleaners when another caregiver brought them to a church event. The children used the pipe cleaners in a wide variety of ways.
– Some strung beads on them and made jewelry. You can make a necklace for mom when she returns, or create matching bracelets for sisters or best friends. We also love this clever idea for bubble wands, with just chenille sticks and plastic beads.
– Some shaped glasses. You can make numerous fun and funky glasses for dress up, and creative play. Kiddos go crazy over these, and if you have a younger child you are caring for, simply use the chenille sticks without attachments or beads for a non-choking hazard craft.
– Some shaped spiders, or a butterfly, and we had fun flying them around the room, and outside, if weather permits.
Later, we took blocks and made a “zoo” for all the spiders. The children engaged in imaginative play for at least an hour with their home-made spiders.
And what momma wouldn’t love a sweet, handmade bouquet upon her return? This is easiest thing to do, simply twist colorful sticks into a flower petal shape and attach a green stem. Create a coordinating “ribbon” around the stems to keep your bouquet in place. A colorful tie for dad wouldn’t be a bad idea either. 🙂
These are a cheap, cheap item! (A few bucks) You can find them anywhere and they can be purchased at Walmart, Target, Office Depot, Michaels, etc. This is an absolute must to have in your kit, classroom, or craft bin.