DIY Party Ideas- Drink Umbrellas
It’s a rare kid who doesn’t love those tiny tropical drink umbrellas. Whether they're in your child's drink or being used as her doll's rainy-day gear, these little parasols always seem to fascinate. This 4th of July, try making these DIY drink umbrellas that will dress up some holiday punch! As an added educational bonus, the activity requires your child to use a ruler and compass—important basic math skills that are sometimes overlooked in our digital age.
What You Need:
- White ink marker (the kind that shows up on colored paper)
- Blue and red typing paper (many stationery stores carry this, in 20-lb bond weight)
- Bamboo barbecue skewers in various lengths: short for highball-size glasses, longer for tumblers
- Adhesive tape and plain white liquid school glue (such as Elmer’s)
- Optional: small silver, red, and/or blue star stickers
What You Do:
- Before you begin, go over with your child how to use a good old fashioned compass. Show your child how to secure the pencil, measure angles with the gauge on the top, and how to measure the radius of a circle. (These are important math lessons that she'll use for years to come, and great work for an afternoon of crafting!)
- Set the compass to create a 2” radius (4” diameter) of a circle, and help your child trace several circles on the blue and red paper. A compass can be tricky to handle when being managed by little hands. Give your child plenty of time and room to experiment!
- When your child has traced several circles to her satisfaction, invite her to cut them out, and then make a single cut along the radius, stopping at the center, like this:
- Take out your white marker and invite your child to create a pattern on the circle. For example, five point stars (always good shape practice), or white curly-cues and dots. If you’re doing this project with a small child, this is also a good time to use star stickers, which can be less difficult than trying to draw the stars themselves, but will still provide good fine motor practice.
- When your child is finished, hold the circle on each side of the cut radius. Help her overlap the edges to make a cone shape and tape them on the inside of the cone, like this:
- Then stick a skewer into the middle, so that at least half an inch sticks up from the top for easy grasping. Just so that everything is extra secure, dab a bit of glue on the underside of the parasol to keep it from wobbling on the skewer.
- Repeat to make as many parasols as you would like. Place these fun patriotic parasols into your icy drinks and use them at your next Fourth of July party!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school history and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.