Category Archives: Toddler and Preschool activities

Egg Carton Daffodils – School Holidays Craft

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School holidays!  Woot! First cab off the rank, these simple little daffodils made from egg cartons.

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All you need is an egg carton, paint, pipe cleaners or skewers, glue.  I used split pins to attach the centres to the petals, but you could just glue them too.  One carton makes 5 flowers.

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Cut the centres first, as shown above.  Then cut out 5 of the cups to make neat little flowers.  Daffodils technically have more than 4 petals, but I just worked with 4  as the egg cups have a squarish shape and it was easier to cut that way.

Paint the middle sections inside and out.  We used orange, but you could use any colour you like.  Then paint the outers a lighter colour.

Once dry, I poked some holes through the centre of each piece and using pliers inserted a gold split pin (my fingers wouldn’t fit in there, so had to use pliers).

For the stems, pipe cleaners would have been easier, but I decided to use some skewers wrapped in green raffia.  It gave them a more natural texture.  I secured the raffia at each end with some sticky tape.

Then it was simply a case of attaching the stems to the flowers.  I used hot glue for this.

 

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Wax and Water Colour Painting.

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The motivation and creativity has been lacking majorly around here lately due to a heavy work load, but I set myself a challenge to blog at least once a month when I started this. So as June rapidly drawers to an end, here it is!  Most people probably remember doing this at school, magic painting, hidden pictures, secret messages, all the same thing under different names.
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All you need is some plain white candles, paper and water colour paints. We used the really cheap kids water pallet ones.  Rather than just doing some random paintings or drawings, I figured we’d turn them into something at the end.  So we printed out some sea animal colouring pages, stuck them to card and got decorating.

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You really can’t see where you have been with the wax, but I encourage the kids to try to create patterns or shapes as best they could.  Once they were finished with the candles, they went over each shape with some water colour paint.  As you wash over the whole picture, the paint will not attach to the areas covered in wax, leaving you with an interesting effect.

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Once dry, I cut out the shapes.  Ms5 helped put holes in them with the punch and we strung them up on a mobile frame with some streamers to make an under water mobile.

In hind sight we should have painted both sides of the shapes, but Ms5 is more than happy with it.  She’s trying to convince me to put a screw in the ceiling near the fish tank so we can hang it there.  lol.

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DIY Hidden Object Game

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DIY Hidden Object Game

I saw one of these in a game shop last Christmas, I thought it was very cool but not “I’m happy to spend $40 on this” cool.  It just looked far too easy to make myself.  Turns out I was right. You could make these in any shape or size, and fill them with just about anything.  We had all these things in the house already, so it was fairly inexpensive.

 

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There is several methods for colouring rice on the net, but I was looking for quick and simple.  The blue and red we made with just food colouring and a dash of water, mixed well then laid flat to dry.  The yellow we used vinegar in place of the water (some recipes asked for rubbing alcohol but we don’t have any of that).  The yellow dried about 3 times faster than the other 2, so that is the way to go.  Instead of placing the trays in the sun, I just put them in the oven at 50C with the door open.  The red took about an hour to fully dry (it took the longest).  I did stir it around occasionally to prevent any sticking and distribute the wetter rice.

Mixing the colour and spreading out to dry.

While that way drying we hunted around the house for appropriate goodies to put inside.  We came up with 20 items.  The amount of items you want to use will depend on your container size.  I think we could have easily used twice as many, but it was still a good ratio.  The items varied in weight and texture.

It would have been easier to mix all the rice colours together prior to filling the container, but the kids enjoyed layering the different colours with a few objects between, then shaking to mix at the end.

The container we used was an old straw holder. You can buy them full of straws at the grocery store for around $4.  It did have a hole in the top, but this actually came in handy as a place to insert a ribbon and attach the key to what is inside.

I took a photo of all 20 items, shrunk it, then printed and covered in clear contact.  Attached to the ribbon on top.  If you were to just use a clear water bottle or similar, you could just tie something to the neck of the bottle.

The key

The key

Once everything was put in and we were happy with the level of rice, I taped it up nice and tight.  And that’s it.  Some of the lighter items are easy to find and often pop up to the top, but theres several things we have not managed to find again, like the smily badge and dinosaur!

The kids really enjoyed this project and were able to be involved every step of the way.  It was a bit messy, but over all a success.

Easter Biscuits – Kids in the Kitchen.

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Easter Biscuits – Kids in the Kitchen.

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.

 

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Kids Craft, Easter Egg Sun Catcher / Stained Glass

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Kids Craft, Easter Egg Sun Catcher / Stained Glass

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.

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We attached ours to the windows using double sided tape rather than suction cups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Own Bottle Top Stamps

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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.  

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Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

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Bugs and Bees and Butterflies! So Sweet!

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!

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They have kindly taken step by step photos so you can be inspired too, to create your own colouring creepy crawlies.

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Soup Mix Scale Creatures, Sensory Craft

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Soup Mix Scale Creatures, Sensory Craft

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.

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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.

 

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

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.

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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…

Valentine Craft, Love Heart Door Hanger Part 2

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Valentine Craft, Love Heart Door Hanger Part 2

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.

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Method and recipe for making the hearts can be found on the previous blog entry.

Valentine Craft, Love Heart Door Hanger.

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Valentine Craft, Love Heart Door Hanger.

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.  

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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.

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Tin Can Garden Men! School Holiday Project

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Tin Can Garden Men! School Holiday Project

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.

 

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Watch the slide show or click on the images for step by step instructions to make your own recycled can garden critters.

 

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Toddler Craft, Bottle Cap Beetles

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Toddler Craft, Bottle Cap Beetles

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.

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Hover over or click on the images below for more details.

 

 

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3 Easy Mini Christmas Tree Decorations

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3 Easy Mini Christmas Tree Decorations

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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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!

 

Christmas Craft for Kids, Snowflake Garland

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Christmas Craft for Kids, Snowflake Garland

 

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.

 

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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.

 

Make Your Own Sensory Santa Slime.

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Make Your Own Sensory Santa Slime.

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.

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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!

DIY Marble Effect Baubles, Family Christmas Craft

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DIY Marble Effect Baubles, Family Christmas Craft

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!

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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.

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.

Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

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Autumn Tree, Family Craft Activity

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.  

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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.

Once all the collage was together, mum then filled in the surrounds of the tree with blue paint and there you have it.

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School Holiday Fun – Rainbow Spaghetti!

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School Holiday Fun – Rainbow Spaghetti!

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.

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Halloween Craft For Kids, Finger Print Gift Tags

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Halloween Craft For Kids, Finger Print Gift Tags

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.

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All we used was some card, white paint, googly eyes (and some sequins) silver paint pen, ribbon, clear cellophane, and lollies to fill.