If your kiddo's off to explore a make-believe tropical jungle or ready to journey on his imaginary ocean, it's probably a good idea to equip him with a craft compass so he can find his imaginary way home. The two of you can work together to make this important navigational tool and he'll be all set for his future pretend play adventures, too. If you find yourself entertaining a group of little explorers or pirates at your kiddo's next birthday party, make sure none of them ever get lost on their imaginary adventures by turning the compass into a party craft.
1 Cover up your work surface with some newspaper or an old cloth and cover up your child's clothing with an apron or painting smock -- a little preparation now saves you from hours of elbow grease later.
2 Place the paper plate face up on the table and have your child paint the entire plate black. Send him off to prepare for his upcoming journey while the paint dries thoroughly. You can then give the back of the compass a coat of black paint if you like.
3 Cut out four felt or construction paper letters while the paint is drying. You'll need "N," "E," "S" and "W" for the compass' directions.
4 Glue the letters around the outer edge of the compass. Talk about direction and the purpose of a compass while he works.
5 Cut an arrow shape from a piece of card stock for the compass' needle. You can also use cardboard or a wooden craft stick, but you'll have to cut the craft stick in half and drill a hole through one end to make it work.
6 Poke a craft brad through one end of the arrow and puncture it through the center of the compass. Press the prongs of the brad up against the underside of the compass to close it loosely.
Items you will need
- Newspaper or old cloth
- Apron or painting smock
- Paper plate
- Black, child-safe paint
- Felt or construction paper
- Craft glue
- Card stock (cardboard or wooden craft stick)
- Craft brad
- If the full-size paper plate compass is too big, you can cut off the outer edge before you begin the craft and use the inner circle instead.
- Best Party Book; Penny Warner
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- Jupiterimages, Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images