Chinese New Year's bottles
For Chinese New Year, Olivia and I made our friends bottles. We bought teensy little bottles, colored sand, twine, and shells at the craft store and made it at home.
It is the perfect project for a seven year old. I don't know about your kids, but mine loses patience and interest very quickly with any kind of detail work, so something that requires just mixing together a few simple ingredients is perfect.
I sometimes bead, so I happened to have little blown-glass sheep charms that I could wire wrap and attach to the outside of the bottle like a charm. This is the part where Olivia abandoned me to do all that tedious work.
Olivia enjoyed putting it together, though I was amused watching her as she started playing with the sand. I gave her a funnel to pour the sand into the bottle, and she experimented all kinds of ways with putting the funnel upside down, or filling the funnel all the way up and stopping and starting the flow of the sand into the bottle. Kid stuff - funny. Table was a little messy after, of course.
The last step involved cutting out little strips of paper. The intention is that you write your new year's wishes on the paper, roll it up, put it in the bottle, and let it serve as a reminder to you all year long to achieve it. Kind of a Western version of a daruma doll.
I got excited about this craft project, so in addition to making mine, I asked Claus if he wanted one. He quickly answered no. Clutter and girly charms are not his thing. Then, Olivia decided she wanted to make one for Daddy, and he was all in. Cute.
So I've got my beautifully decorated new year's bottle, and I'm super excited about the Chinese New Year. 2015 so far has been fantastic, and I have high hopes it will continue through the Asian calendar!
Happy Chinese New Year!