Much to my children’s disappointment, I am not much of a sweet tooth. So I struggle to be inspired to make sweet treats. But I figured we should do some ‘cooking’ for Easter, and this seemed simple enough for my likings. :)
They kids had lots of fun making mess with the icing and creating patterns on the Arrowroot biscuits. I just bought ready made icing – because yes, I am that lazy. :) Mini M&Ms and snakes for the stripes.
Inspiration for this project came from Alpha Moms blog. I thought I’d adjust it into an Easter themed project, given it is already that time of year.
All you need is some of the whitish milk or juice cartons. We actually used a cordial bottle for the grass. The stickers on the milk bottle where quite hard to remove and left a sticky residue. I managed to remove this with some mineral turpentine.
Once you have your clean pieces of plastic, draw or as we did, trace your shapes using a black permanent marker (Sharpie etc). Then let the kids colour as desired. Once coloured, cut away the extra plastic and you’re done! They turned out even better than expected.
We attached ours to the windows using double sided tape rather than suction cups.
Here’s a super quick and easy activity to put together to keep your toddlers and preschoolers entertained. All you need is some bottle caps and foam stickers (available from most $2 shops and craft stores). If you don’t have a stamp pad, you can spread out a thin layer of paint on a plate or add a few drops of water to a water colour tray like we have.
Check out these cute bugs the girls at All Tizzied Up put together on the weekend. Made from pipe cleaners, pom poms, wooden pegs, goggly eyes and tulle. So simple and so cute!
They have kindly taken step by step photos so you can be inspired too, to create your own colouring creepy crawlies.
I actually stole this idea from Mr3s current favourite show, Mister Maker. We used soup mix, but you could use lots of different things, dry lentils, rice, couscous, anything that is going to give you a unique texture and that is fun to run through your hands.
I just printed out some basic shapes from the internet. Keep them simple as you’re going to cover up any detail anyway. Smear the area with some craft glue and attach an goggly eye. Then let the kids sprinkle the mix over the rest of the glue area to completely cover it. Gently shake off any excess into the bin. These took about 24 hours to dry. Once fully dry, cut out. We created a simple background with some coloured paper and put them in $2 Ikea frames.
Everyone loves a sun catcher – well according to Pinterest they do! This is basically the same concept as the Valentine Hearts we did a few weeks back, but instead of random shapes, we used a punch to make stars and circles etc from the cellophane. Once laminated, we cut out smaller shapes and hung them from a branch with some beads.
Ms 5 cutting out the shapes with a punch
Sprinkle over the laminating sheet,
All spread out
Ready to go through machine.
Trace out some shapes with a marker then cut out.
Hang on fishing line or string of your choice
we added some beads for extra colour
Sun catcher kids craft.
This is yet another almost impossible thing to photograph, it looks so much more bright and colourful in real life. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, or maybe I just need to do a photography coarse, or even read the instructions for my DSLR…
This is another variation of our earlier Valentine Door Hanger , the main difference is rather than hanging the hearts from strings, we hot glued them to a flat ribbon. The finer details can be found in the previous post or by hovering over the images below.
Method and recipe for making the hearts can be found on the previous blog entry.
kneading the dough.
Bake for 2 – 3 hours at 120C
roll out to 7mm thickness and cut shapes.
Ms5 painting the hearts
Create a loop that will sit flat against the door.
We made 2 different variations of valentine door hangers, but both styles use the same materials. The hearts are made from salt dough, the same as those DIY Christmas ornaments you see all over Pinterest. There is plenty of recipes and methods available online. The bows are a basic bow that again you’d see on Pinterest. There is hundreds of bow tutorials all over the internet too, but I kind of made it up as I was going along.
We used the following recipe
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup fine table salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup chilled water
Mix all ingredients as you would biscuits, using some extra flour as necessary along the way to stop it sticking. Roll out 7mm thick, cut into shapes then bake at 120C for 2.5 to 3 hrs. Once cooled, we painted them with craft acrylic paint.
The top bow feature for this one was made by cutting 4 equal lengths of ribbon, putting a small line of hot glue in the centre of one at a time, folding each end into the middle to create a single bow shape. Then doing the same with the next ribbon, pilling them up as I went. You can see this in the photos. Finished off with a button.
Then it was just a case of threading the hearts, adding some extra ribbons and glueing all together at the back.
Mr 8 in the kitchen making salt dough (he did this all by himself, it is very easy)
kneading the dough.
roll out to 7mm thickness and cut shapes.
Bake for 2 – 3 hours at 120C
Ms5 painting the hearts
Create a loop that will sit flat against the door.
Small line of glue in the middle,
fold in each end onto the glue strip.
Finish off with a button
I must say I am quite jealous of all the projects the girls at All Tizzie Up are doing this holidays. I have been so swamped with work and other obligations I just haven’t had the time or energy to get any of the things I wanted to done. But that will change! In the meantime, I am very happy they are helping keep my blog active! Here is some cute little tin can men they made using recycled cans, wire, paint, beads and some bells.
Watch the slide show or click on the images for step by step instructions to make your own recycled can garden critters.
Here’s a cute fine motor activity for the little ones using recycled objects from around the home. Made by All Tizzied Up over the school holidays.
Hover over or click on the images below for more details.
Bottle caps of your choice, craft glue, a round piece of card board or plastic, pipe cleaners and goggly eyes
Let the kids glue the caps all over the circle shape
Glueing bottle caps
Glue goggly eye into caps at the top.
attache pipe cleaner or paddle pop legs using PVA or hot glue
Attache ribbon to hang
My crafty mum friend at All Tizzied Up has been very busy putting together some Christmas Craft projects with the family. Thought we’d share for inspiration.
They created 3 different trees from styrofoam cone shapes using buttons, ribbon, felt, and every crafters favourite tool – a hot glue gun!
The felt tree was created by layering leaf shape felt pieces working from the bottom up, then decorating with plastic jewels.
This one is simply a case of measuring out same lengths or ribbon, fixing with hot glue, then twisting, gluing again. Glue 2 of these together to create a flower type shape and attach to the cone. Again, finishing with some jewels to look like ornaments.
The button one is covered in aluminium foil, before attaching buttons all over with hot glue.
So if you are wondering what to do this weekend before Christmas, maybe get out the craft supplies and get crafty with the kids. Would make a great addition and talking point for your Christmas table on Wednesday!
We started making snow flakes from patty cake pans – as you do, they were so pretty, I figured we should use them for something more than making a mess.
I am sure everyone has made snow flakes before, so I won’t worry about elaborating on instructions. We used the tin foil patty cake pans, then laminated them so they wouldn’t break and could be strung up easier. I strung them up with fishing line, but any kind of string would have been fine. Pretty Cool results I think.
Ok, so the school holidays have not quite started here, but this looked like too much fun and I had a fairly light schedule for the day, so we gave it a go. The best part is, unlike normal play dough, it is not going to go bad when stored between uses.
The recipe I followed required Elmers Glitter Glue, but after searching everywhere in a 20km radius I was still empty handed. Apparently Elmers is available in Australia now, but from what I can tell it is only the white stuff, and I really wanted the clear version for this project. So I just used non toxic craft glue, added my own glitter and was thankfully able to achieve the results I was after. The recipe came from this delightful blog
Santa Slime Recipe
Combine the above ingredients in a bowl
In a separate bowl combine
- 3/4 teaspoons of borax
- 1 & 1/3 cups very warm water
Once the ingredients of both bowls are mixed, combine them and mix, the slime will form almost instantly.
- See more at: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/12/santa-slime-recipe.html#sthash.MROKZyw1.dpuf
As I mixed up the ingredients I found it very hard to believe it needed all that water – but it really did, and then some! Not sure if it was because I used so much glitter or because the make up of the glue I used was different than Elmers, but it turned out really firm, almost like play dough, and certainly didn’t ooze like I anticipated. After I got over the initial disappointment, I figured I could either spend another $11 on glue or try to fix it – had nothing to lose, so I added more water to a section of it in a bowl (which did nothing while cool) and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Yes, it worked, the slime took on more water and began to get runnier. I continued to do this in sections, increasing the time in the microwave and the amount of water until I had the desired texture.
The kids have been having heaps of fun with it, even the older 2. We ended up with about 3 litres of slime after adding all the extra water, so plenty to share between the 4 of them. If I make it again using the same glue, I will use twice as much water from the start, because adding some extra borax to thicken will be a lot easier than adding extra water was!
What we used.
The little ones helping decant the glue
Stirring in the gold glitter
After mixing the red glitter and adding the borax solution
Home made sludge
Storing for later.
Everyone was making all sorts of cool glass baubles last Christmas, but by the time I tried to source the actual baubles to do anything with, they were sold our or $6 each – errr, nah. But I found some in Spotlight in August this year and grabbed them so I didn’t miss out again!
I got the 2 different sizes available at spotlight, but for this project we just used the smaller ones. The process really is so simple it barely requires explanation. The beads are just plastic pony beads, you can find them in either the craft section or the ‘girls’ toy section of most variety stores. The ones that turned out the best were about 2/3 transparent beads and 1/3 solid colours. We did one with just transparent beads, but it ended up all kind of mixing together and turning brown, which was disappointing. If you don’t have a well ventilated kitchen, it would be a good idea to do these outside on the bbq, but the beads surprisingly don’t let off much fumes compared to other melting plastics I have played with. I had the oven set to just over 220c. You will need to keep checking on them every 5 – 10 minutes and turning as desired to create the marble effect. We used a silicone muffin and chocolate tray to position them after each turn and plastic tongs to handle them with. I ended up adding some extra beads to a few half way through the process, and just used a tea towel to hold them while they were hot.
Ms4 filling up her ‘rainbow’ bauble
Ready for the oven
Blue green and yellow combo
In the oven
The finished products
Green and Red – Christmas colours
Tie die baubles
Christmas tree decorations
DIY Christmas decorations
As they cooled down out of the oven, they did make a popping sound, which I thought was the glass breaking – but it was just the plastic separating from the glass inside a few of them. There you have it, marbled Christmas baubles.
This week I am excited to feature a project from a local crafty mumma from All Tizzied Up . She and her gorgeous girls have brought nature and some textiles together to create a colourful fall themed wall hanging.
They have gathered up some bark and leaves and painted the leaves while still fresh using acrylic craft paint. The paint has slowed down the drying out process and kept them supple so they don’t crack through the next few steps. The rest if fairly self explanatory, or run your mouse over each picture for more details.
Some lovely leaves and bark
MissM paints the leaves
MissM starts gluing on the bark to the trunk
First layer of bark complete
Coat with a thick later of PVA glue
Dust over PVA layer with saw dust or dirt for texture
Start gluing on the leaves
Alternating colours for effect.
Coat with another thick layer of PVA as a sealant.
Allow to dry.
Once all the collage was together, mum then filled in the surrounds of the tree with blue paint and there you have it.
I actually made this for the little 2, thinking it would keep them entertained for an hour while I got some work done. Turns out the older kids loved it too. Can’t really blame them, it feels cool and looks so pretty! I just used one standard pack of pasta, if you were doing this at a birthday party, you might want to use 2 or 3 for lots of kids. Separate into equal groups of as many colours as you have, then cook each pile at a time, rinsing the saucepan between colours. You don’t need a lot of water, so it heats up quick. The whole process only took about 30 minutes for 5 colours. More details if you run your mouse over the images. Enjoy.
Water, food colouring, pasta.
Add colouring, then pasta, cook as normal or a little less for firmer pasta
You don’t have to add oil, but it makes it extra slimy fun.
Ms4 having a play
Resisting the urge to eat it.
School holiday entertainment.
I love finger print critters, and had never actually made them with my kids. So this seemed like the perfect opportunity. A bit of parent help is needed for the finishing touches, but there is plenty of steps the little kids can help with along the way. You can click on the pictures for more detailed instructions, but it is all pretty straight forward as you can see.
Cut up some coloured card. We used wiggly scissors.
Ms4 put holes in each piece of card
Getting into it.
Ms4 making some finger prints.
Finger printed cards
Adding the details,
Adding the eyes – because everything is better with googly eyes!
Mr3 adding some eyes #finemotorskills
Ms4 bundling up the lollies ready for string and tag.
Fastened with string and tag added
Halloween treats bags
Ready to give out.
All we used was some card, white paint, googly eyes (and some sequins) silver paint pen, ribbon, clear cellophane, and lollies to fill.
I know many Australians still have not accepted Halloween, ‘it’s a silly American tradition’, even though it is not American, but anyway, they really should, because it is heaps of harmless fun and the kids love it. Our new neighbourhood really gets into it, I think I enjoy it more than Christmas!
But of course, it’s not just about the dressing up and lollies, halloween craft is lots of fun too. Maybe it’s because I am new to it, but it seems so much more fun than Easter and Christmas craft. Today I just did a simple project with the little kids as the older 2 were not home. I had another idea in my head, but have decided to keep that for later in the school holidays. I am hoping to get quite a few Halloween themed projects in over the next 2 weeks while the kids are off.
I cut out some Halloween shapes in the potatoes while Ms4 gathered the paint and plastic plates. The boxes were just from the grocery store, but they are available at many places, $2 shops etc. We had to allow each side to dry before doing the other side, as you need to apply pressure for best results, rather than trying to stamp the assembled boxes. Once both sides were dry we applied another coat of glitter paint, and some embellishments, again, one side at a time. The weather was nice today so the whole project only took a couple of hours even while waiting for things to dry.
Cut in your shape with a sharp knife, around 5mm deep.
then cut in from the sides until you hit the cut out,
Paint, boxes (or what ever you want really) potatoes.
Ms4 stamping away.
Ms4 adds some glitter paint.
Allow first side to dry.
Everything is better with googly eyes!
Add extra detail with a marker if desired.
I am pretty happy with the results. Would have liked some different coloured boxes for variety, and was disappointed we are out of black paint for the bats, but over all, not bad for an afternoons work.
The hardest part of this project was collecting the cans! To make stacking easier, make sure all 10 cans are the same height. Obviously you don’t need to cover the cans with paper, but I think it made it a bit more fun. I just cut some scrap booking paper to size, fixed with tape, and they’re done.
Coloured paper cut to size
Secure with tape
Ready to bowl
Miss 4 setting up.
Mr2 having a go
Ms4 having a bowl.
Ten Tin Bowling
Gross motor skills
Easy toddler activity.
This activity develops hand eye coordination, cognitive and gross motor skills. Once you’ve had enough, the cans can just go into the recycling! The kids loved the noise they make as they smashed to the ground. Older kids could keep score and make a more competitive game out of it.
My kids love fish and chips. But gone are the days you could feed the family from the local fish and chip shop for under $20. So we always make our own now. I am sure its not just me, but I hate crumbing things, fingers getting all caked up with goo. So, outsourcing it is! Even my 4 year old can do the whole process herself. So while it may not be the healthiest meal (we deep fry the fish) it could certainly be a lot worse, and their sense of achievement and the skill building is totally worth the mess!
Mr9 is cooking some pinking fillets here. He just cut them into small even sized pieces, so they should all take roughly the same time to cook through. Flour each piece so it is dry, then dip in an egg/milk mixture before rolling in the crumbs. You could also get the kids to make bread crumbs if you have a food processor. We don’t, so we are just using store crumbs.
Mr9 is actually mature and coordinated enough to use the deep fry, but I am particularly paranoid about hot oil, so I took over that part of the process.
Pink ling fillets cut to size.
Drying in plain flour,
Dipping in milk and egg mixture
Coating with breadcrumbs
Ready to cook
Keep them separate so they don’t stick together while cooking
Drain on paper towel.
Home made fish and chips.
And yes, we used frozen chips, shhh, don’t tell anyone.