Spring training-inspired crafts

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March means spring training here in Arizona, but did you know it's also National Craft Month. It just makes sense to combine the two. Lauren Strait, a local mommy blogger for MacaroniKid.com, visited the "Good Morning! Arizona" set to show us how to make these adorable baseball-themed crafts:

Baseball cupcake recipe:

- Choose your favorite cupcake recipe and bake them as you normally would
- Frost the cupcakes with vanilla frosting. To get a baseball shape, put the frosting in the refrigerator and once its nice and cold, scoop out with an ice cream scoop.
- Choose your family's favorite red candy (we choose M&M's) and use them to make two angled lines on each cupcake (to resemble the stitching on a baseball)
**As an added bonus, be sure to choose cupcake liners that go with the baseball theme- in the above picture, the baker chose to use red checkered cupcake liners!

Noisemaker Craft:

Small Soda or Water Bottle
Beads, Charms, Glitter, Sequins, Other Small Items
Small Kitchen Funnel
Craft Glue

Start out by cleaning the bottle well and removing the label. Make sure the bottle is totally dry before you start this project.
Place the end of the funnel into the bottle and start filling it! Start out with about a cup of rice. You can add more or less if you like. Then, start adding any small items you would like to 'search' for in the bottle. It can be beads, charms, small toys, etc. Make sure if young children are helping you that they do not put any of the small items in their mouth. You can also add some sparkle to your bottle by adding glitter or sequins.
Once you have everything you want in your bottle, spread some glue around the threads on the neck and replace the cap tightly. This will prevent the cap from falling off or being removed by small fingers.
In the bottle above, I added several shaped beads. They are shaped like a variety of items such as dogs, boats, hearts, starts, etc. If you add special shapes like this, your noise maker can also be a game. Challenge your child to find specific shapes or colors by rolling the bottle around to reveal hidden treasures.

Paper Plate Baseball Player
Dessert-sized paper plates
Construction paper
Craft glue

The baseballs were constructed by stapling the edges of dessert size, white, paper plates. The children went to the scrapbox and decorated their characters. We followed with a creative writing activity in which they wrote about an adventure that their character had.

Macaroni Kid, online is a spring training craft contest. Subscribe to their newsletter by visiting www.macaronikid.com, choose the territory where you live, and then submit a picture of your best spring training craft by Wednesday, March 7 to LaurenS@macaronikid.com. All submissions will be posted in the ALL of the Valley's Macaroni Kid weekly newsletters the following week with the winner announced for the BEST craft! Winner will receive a family four pack to an Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training Game.