There are many different types of cactus. They can store water for dry periods, which lets them survive in desert type environments. And it makes them easy to care for as houseplants. It's even easier to take care of this craft "plant" than it is a real cactus!
What You Do:
- Tell your child that cacti are usually found in the desert, but she can make one for your house with this craft activity.
- Have her paint two or three Styrofoam balls with green paint. She should also paint several toothpicks with green paint.
- After the paint dries she can use a plain (unpainted) toothpick to make her Styrofoam balls link together. Push a toothpick halfway in to one ball, then attach the other ball to the half of toothpick sticking out. Repeat for other painted balls.
- Snap the green painted toothpicks in half. She can stick these into her Styrofoam balls at various angles and places, just like the prickly parts of a real cactus which are called “spines.”
- Set up the finished cactus in the clear plastic cup to hold it upright. Tell her that some cacti have flowers in colors such as pink, purple, red, yellow, and white. If she wants to glue a paper or fabric flower on to her cactus, you can use the hot glue gun to help her do that.
- Time to admire her beautiful cactus!
Did You Know? Direct sunlight helps a cactus grow faster and gives it longer, brighter spines.
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.