There are many ways to explore and learn about places beyond our backyards without having to leave the comforts of home. All it takes is a little imagination and these fun, easy crafts. So strap yourselves in, hold on tight to your art supplies, and let your minds run away to a place where every country is at our fingertips!

Our first craft takes us to India where in the countryside, homes are made of wooden planks and palm leaves. To create your own miniature version you will need:

  • brown cardstock
  • craft sticks or collect your own "wooden planks" by saving your children's popsicle sticks
  • green leaves from around your yard or made from green construction paper
  • glue or tape, scissors, and a marker.

You will need to mold the cardstock into the shape of a box; a simple internet search of "printable box template" will generate various templates you can use to simplify this task. After you build the basic box shape, tape the sides together. Next, glue the "wooden planks" to your box frame; after you have planked your walls, glue the leaves to your roof. For a final touch take a marker and make a door and windows.

Now that we have crafted India, let's venture to another interesting country in Asia: Japan. Depending on where in Japan you roam, the cherry trees are in bloom from mid-January until about April. During this time many festivals take place so locals and tourists can behold the beauty of the blossoms. To experience your own sakura, or cherry blossoms, you will need the following:

  • two sponges
  • brown pipe cleaners
  • white cardstock
  • two shades of pink paint
  • glue

Glue a few pipe cleaners onto the cardstock, bending the top portions so they act as branches. After your pipe cleaners are glued down, take one of your sponges and dip it into the darker shade of pink paint, then dab the sponge around the "branches" of your tree. Allow the darker shade to dry for a bit and then use the second sponge to sparingly dab on the lighter shade of pink, giving dimension to your cherry blossoms.

I hope you all have brought your winter coats, because Russia is next! Russia is certainly known for frigid temperatures, but also for its gorgeous matryoshka dolls. To make your own matryoshka, all you need are the following materials:

  • about 10 pieces of cardstock in various colors
  • various art supplies including but not limited to ribbon, glitter, and markers
  • scissors
  • glue
  • *To simplify this task do a quick internet search of "paper Matryoshka Doll" to acquire a Matryoshka Doll template

Begin by tracing the template onto the pieces of cardstock; each doll will need to be slightly smaller than the one before so they can fit inside each other. Each doll will also require two pieces of cardstock (a front and back).

After you have cut out the pieces, glue matching front and backs to each other, leaving the bottoms unglued. (The smallest matryoshka doll can simply be cut from one piece of cardstock.) Once the dolls are prepared you can decorate them as you like, giving them faces and outfits. After they have been decorated nest the pieces into each other using the slots left at the bottoms

Now we are headed to our last destination: Italy. We will not only make beautiful art, but it will be molto delizioso as well! Italy is well known for its frescos and mosaics; let's enjoy a gorgeous mosaic with a yummy twist to it. To make this edible piece of art you will need:

  • A box of your favorite cake mix
  • One package of pre-colored fondant
  • Square cookie cutter
  • Your favorite frosting

Bake the cake as the box indicates. While the cake is baking prepare the fondant then roll it out to about ¼ inch thick, and cut squares out of it. Once the cake has cooled apply a thick layer of frosting to it, then place your "tiles" onto it before it sets. After you have tiled it, enjoy your beautiful and yummy work of art!

Rayven Holmes is a military wife and homeschooling mother of two who is almost always enjoying the ride her life takes her on.

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