RSS

Category Archives: Crafts

Play dress. Re-purpose project

I like giving things new lease of life. And that makes me a hoarder. Here’s my new little project.

It pains me to know that kids are going to play with something messy in some nice clothes that most likely will now wash off and will be covered in stains. But if I make something out of something else, especially if I hadn’t spent masses of time on it – I don’t really mind them getting messy in that. Most of the times however it becomes their favourite item and they wear it all the time 🙂

I saved this baby-grow because no-one really worn it for too long – they were out of nappies by the age shown on it, and I liked the colour. So I just cut the bottom off it, added a couple of bottom layers from my old t-shirts by just cutting bottoms of t-shirts straight and slightly pinching them together to sew up to the top layer. All in all – it took me just a couple of evenings.

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Body Works

Idea for younger kids who is interested in how our body works. My kids are always interested in that subject and we have numerous books about it including the Usborn one with flaps Look inside your Body. I have seen this one translated into Russian, so would be interesting to get one for cross-reference.

Recently kids got hooked up on CBBC “Operation Ouch”. Here is an accidental study. Neva asked me to make fresh batch of playdough (I think she just wanted to play with it), which I did, and she didn’t want to colour it at the moment it should have been, but asked if she can mix the food colouring at the end. She chose Red. The result looked like human tissue covered in blood – she loved it!

She said she wanted to do a surgery on “Jude”, pointing at playdough. So I asked which part of the body is surgery for, and she decided – lungs, so I opened a page in the book we were reading earlier on the lungs page and we made lungs, then after a while of prodding and doing surgery with kitchen utensils she wanted to do heart, so we opened the heart page and I helped her to make one and also gave her some blue food colouring for the blood in the veins.

She was busy “doing her surgery” for about an hour if not more, until Mya finished her book and started interfering 😆 She has returned to do “Jude surgery” quite a few times since then. We talked about anaesthesia as well, because our “patient” needed to be put under 😆

 

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Crafts on AGA

We have a lot of candle wax lying around and multi-coloured crayons that we made from broken bits of crayons (which completely ruined my silicon moulds and did not captivate girl’s attention for long).

So, inspired by some Instagram videos, I suggested we make a candle.

First – we needed to pick a wick. We needed a tread that burned well and didn’t melt. I cut few lengths of thread from different materials and let Neva have a go burning each one to see which one suits our need better. We used a metal nut to attach the wick to and oiled the plastic pot we were going to use for the mould.

We chopped some crayons and wax from an old candle and put some in a metal measuring cup to melt and other bits in the candle mould for the colourful bits.

In our new house we have a range cooker which I am still figuring out how to use, but the hot plates on top seemed like an ideal temperature for this. So we poured the melted wax into the candle mould and left it to cool. Small person was very proud of her candle and took it with her to “listen and share” in nursery.

img_20180504_113148309101881.jpg

Neva got experimentation bug going and she wanted to see how things melt, we put baking paper on the hot plate and started dropping bits of crayon and wax on it, then decided to draw on the next bit.

Neva discovered that once cooled – the wax comes off very easily, so she had fun peeling it off the paper.

For the picture to stay intact – try doing it on a plain paper – the wax soaks in and doesn’t fall off, making a nice picture to keep. If you like this craft but don’t have an AGA with big hot plate – I think a big frying pan will do, you’d just have to cut circle to fit to the bottom and check that the temperature is not too high, so that child doesn’t burn her hands accidentally.

img_20180504_111249242276021.jpg

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Workout for little fingers. Shredding and threading.

Here is a few things we’ve been enjoying lately that develop hand and wrist muscles and help with grip.

I have cut lots of strips of coloured paper same width as our mini-shredder that I found in a charity shop and they had such fun turning these into lots of colourful shreds.

Shredding paper

Shredding coloured paper in mini-shredder

We didn’t know what to use them for at first, but they looked so bright that I kept them.
She used them for a while for her imagination basket and played unicorns in rainbows I think with some trucks and diggers in the mix.

Today we found them again and Neva cut out some cars out of cereal box and I punched some holes through it and she enjoyed threading brights strips of paper through the holes.

Lacing_cards_diy.jpg

DIY lacing cards

She was really proud of her work!

 

 

 

Tags: , , ,

Leaf art

I keep collecting colourful leaves to make something with, and N keeps bringing in her bounty as well, after every walk. I have a lot of ideas for them, but they end up just sitting there,
Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 26, 2017 in Crafts

 

Tags: ,

Workout for little fingers

This year we went to the PYO farm to get a pumpkin, but I was unorganised and we were too late – the ones on the fields were all rotten, but we were already there and kids wanted to PICK SOMETHING!

So, we found a lot of crops that were not being picked and were going to waste and we took a few things home. Our loot included few sunflower heads, some corn ears and some broad beans that were lying about in the field. Girls were particularly excited about these ones once they have discovered that under the dried out brown pods were very brightly coloured pinkish -purple beans.

We brought our treasure home and without delay they started peeling and shelling things. That was a good workout for their fingers!

We are going to throw in some conkers and some acorns and later on I’ll make them an autumn sensory bin. We haven’t had one for a while and girls love them! Hopefully the beans and corn wouldn’t start rotting. It’s quite peculiar thing happening in this neck of the woods – seeds tend to stat growing at the harvest time instead of saving their energy till next year.  I don’t quite understand it. Some of the corn that we picked started sprouting right on the cob, beans were sprouting inside their pods and acorns in our garden are rooting themselves to the ground! I need to look it up, I am pretty sure that’s not how plant’s self-preservation supposed to work…

After a while of shelling beans I matter-of-factly put some cocktail sticks out and engineering began! I started them off with building a square-based pyramid, hoping to go through some of the other 3D shapes, but they had their own plans, and I didn’t mind. (beans were very soft, freshly picked – this wouldn’t work with dried ones)

 

Tags: , , , ,

Autumn arts

We made some acorn deer today and learnt to use some tools (screwdrivers to make holes with and pliers to snap toothpicks with). Mya’s deer kept falling and she was getting frustrated. We looked at it’s legs which were all parallel and straight and talked about how much floor surface they are taking. We experimented with trying to balance on a balance board and decided that the stability is better when the legs are diagonal and spread wider, so they are taking more floor surface, I.e. the wider your support the more stable you are. We remembered examples from skiing and from some story book about snow shoes, where snow shoe surface was wider than foot surface therefore stopped you from sinking into the snow (not quite the same but similar principal). So we repositioned the legs and it stopped falling.

When the Deer was finished Mya discovered engraving. She sat for a while engraving something on the acorns.

 

Tags: , ,

Pop the letter!

We really like Styrofoam! We save white and black underlays from pizza and trays from fruits, and this is what we do with them:

First, we write on them with chalks (if black) or markers (if white), then we take a cocktail stick or something pointy and we start popping small holes along the lines, or drawing over the lines with the sticks.

It works great for fine motor skill development! They like the popping sounds, and after they are done with drawing – they usually entertain themselves with breaking the trays. Each time it breaks with a loud pop they squeal and giggle and keep going until only small bits are left.

At some point we used those bits as well to make wind chimes / outside tree decorations/ bird scares on a veggie patch together with the cut-up bits of drinking straws that we made when doing straw cutting exercise . They make a soft bell-like sound or maybe a whisper if you listen carefully.

IMG_9100

We tried cutting them with scissors for cutting practice – it works too!

Really want to try doing some Styrofoam etching with them next. Need a half decent roller for that and pigment ink. Anyone got some knocking about they don’t need?

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Crafts, literacy and writing, Maths

 

Tags:

Hot days in the garden

Hot days in the garden are definitely over. It turning very blustery here, but we’ll remember the fun and will repeat it next summer.

I have prepared this one day in advance with my younger child. She enjoyed pouring water into ice lollies moulds, choosing food colouring and dropping the colours in, watching the colouring drop to the bottom (when we shortly talked about density) then stirring the colour to dissolve it in the water. We didn’t have many colours of food colouring, so we used some old dried-out markers (washable) to make the colours that we wanted by dipping the nibs into ice-lolly moulds. I was expecting them to draw on paper, so I thought it would be ok. Don’t use anything that cannot be ingested if your child still puts everything in the mouth. I didn’t tell her what it was for.

 

Then we put them in the freezer. Next day I taped a piece of paper on a cardboard in the garden brought the ice moulds out, warned girls that these were not for eating and demonstrated how to draw on paper. They were very involved to begin with. As ice started melting slightly we did a bit of Pollack – I showed them how to do splats.

It was very hot and they were running around with not much on (hence not many pictures in this post), so it didn’t take much time for them to try painting with ice lollies on themselves. They wrote ABC and numbers on themselves, taking turns to write on each others backs and guess the letter or a number, then just started crazy painting their feet and hands and doing prints. You should’ve heard them laughing!

Definitely something I recommend doing!

Some colours came out very dull, I seem to be very unlucky with my food colouring. Can anyone recommend a brand of food colouring that produces great bright results?

 
 

Tags: , ,

Stained glass crafts

Here is an easy and fun craft you can do with bits of clear plastic and permanent markers.

I have collected clear plastic trays from fruit and other groceries and yoghurt pot covers for this craft and a massive set of Sharpies was going cheap at supermarket.

To do this you need to draw the outline of your drawing on one side of the plastic and let the child colour on the other side (otherwise the outline will be smudged by other markers).

 

If you are not good at drawing – you can trace over a picture in a colouring book like we did, or just let kids do their own design.

We drew butterflies and glued them to some thin bouncy grass-type sticks and kids were playing with them all day “flying them around”.

Additionally you can do some nature studies and print real butterfly designs to trace and decorate.

Girls couldn’t get enough of this, they’ve drawn on all the plastic bits I’ve collected.

Just make sure you protect your work place because they are permanent markers, and don’t let kids draw on themselves. Good luck!

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: