Monthly Archives: February 2013

Valentine Heart Activities for the Kids, with a side of FAIL!

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Valentine Heart Activities for the Kids, with a side of FAIL!

The concept here is very simple, so the results are totally worth it. Gather up any old crayons, or you could even buy new ones if you like, but with 4 kids in the house, we have plenty of old odd sets.  Let the kids remove the paper (strengthening fine motor skills for the win!) and snap or cut into small enough pieces to fit in your desired mould.  *make sure your mould is heat proof!

IMG_1115Heat the oven to around 120c, it really doesn’t need to be very hot. Place in the oven on another hard tray (like a pizza tray) because they will be super runny before they set again and you don’t want crayon spilt inside your oven – ask me how I know?   If you do happen to spill a few drops, wipe it off with paper towel straight away, much easier to remove it while its still runny.

Once they are all fully melted, remove from the oven to cool.  I put them in the fridge after a while, because I am impatient.  Then just press them out of the moulds and you’re done.

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And now for the fail.  Originally I wanted to make crayon rings, for something a bit different on valentines day.  So along with my heart tray, I ordered a ring tray.  We were all set to go and excitedly looking forward to the results.

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But alas, this tray must have been for the freezer only.  I was sitting at my desk and thought ‘what is that smell’ walked to the oven to check and holey smokes!  I opened the door quickly, at which point the lot burst into flames!  So I threw some water on it in my panicked state.  The results?

IMG_1079A house full of toxic smoke and a colourful mess to clean up!  Oh dear.  So please, learn from my mistake, make sure you check the temperature ratings!

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Valentine Craft for Toddlers

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Valentine Craft for Toddlers

Super quick and easy to set up, minimal mess and cute results.  Bend a cardboard tube, toilet roll for example, and fix the top with some tape to keep its shape.  If you have some heart shape cookie cutters, they will work too.  We also made 2 potato stamps.  Some coloured paper, paint and let them at it.

 

 

The potato stamps worked out much better, as neither of the younger 2 had the dexterity required to get the roll to print properly.  You could finish them off and write messages on with a sharpie as I did in the last image, or you could just use them as decorations rather than cards.

Wind Chime / Sun Catcher

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Wind Chime / Sun Catcher

Continuing on from the Christmas decorations we made a few weeks back, using the same principal we put together this wind chime or out door decoration.  I’ll spare too much description, as its all talked about in the previous post (linked above), and its pretty straight forward anyway.

So this time we just made all stars, the kids chose their colour schemes and I wasn’t too worried about a colour theme as such.  More colour the better.  Once cooled, again we drilled small holes into a corner of each one, then threaded some fishing line to hang from a branch.  I used a tiny dot of hot glue to keep the fishing line in position.  And that’s it!  Easy peasy.

This is about the 4th time we have made sun catcher type things, and every.single.time there is no sun when I go to take photos of it.  I will hopefully update this when the some decides to come out again.

Back to School – Book covering, (without the swearing)

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Back to School – Book covering, (without the swearing)

This really doesn’t require a tutorial, its more of a brag than anything.  There is a certain amount of nostalgia attached to covering school books.  The smell of that fresh new paper, shiny new pencils, no dog ears, all your books neat in a row.  Then to personalise them with pretty covers and name labels.  Yes, I looooved coving my books at school – says anyone that doesn’t have school age children.  That was me too, until my eldest son started 1st grade.  BUT THE TRUTH!  The truth is, contact is the DEVIL!  Thats right folks,  he walks among us, in the shape of a cylindrical role of pretty coloured sticky plastic.   What was once a lovely memory of my own child hood, now just about brings tears to my eyes.  I do not remember it ever being to difficult!  The bubbles, THE F’N bubbles, creases, more bubbles, AHHHHHH.  OMG.  So, after 3 years of torturing myself, my partner, and my walls (things were thrown) I finally got out early enough in the back to school season to get my hands on clear plastic sleeves.  There is a God!  He was hiding at Office Works the whole time.   A few rolls of gift wrap from the $2 shop and we are set!

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The boys had 20, yes, 20 writing books EACH this year.  The sleeves come in packs of 5, for around $3 a pack.  3 – 5 meter rolls of wrapping paper, $2 each at the Reject Shop. Scissors and tape.

Wrap the cover of the book just as you would with contact, but secure with sticky tape on the insides.  It took just under an hour to cover all of one child’s books.

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Slide the covers over the top, and you’re done.  (please excuse the revolting nails that badly needed refilling).

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No swearing, no bubbles, no torn covers, no bubbles, no books thrown, no tantrums or tears and more importantly, no bubbles.  Just lovely, shiny clean covered books, ready for the new school year.

 

Valentine Craft – Hanging hearts Wall/door Decoration

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Valentine Craft – Hanging hearts Wall/door Decoration

I saw something similar to this on Pinterest, thought we would give it a go.  I just used some scrap booking paper we had already, picked out 10 different pink patterns.  Using the paper cutter, cut strips approximately 1 inch wide.  Then folded them in half, ready to be rolled, as demonstrated by Ms 4 below.  The kids did them around a round pencil, but you can also curl them with a blade like you do curling/gift ribbon.  The blade was much quicker, but I was not letting the kids do that.

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Once both sides are curled towards the middle, fix the to sides together in the centre of the heart with a staple.  I didn’t worry to much about a uniform size.  Variety is the spice of life and all that.

You could use a coat hanger, pice of dowel, or even just a long stick for the hanging frame.  We used some mettle light extension rods we had in the shed, kept them thinking they would come in handy some day and looky here, perfect size for a door way!   I decided on 5 strings of 10 hearts, because lets be honest, the novelty was already wearing off making them after the first 10.

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Then came the tricky part, threading them onto the fishing line.  I temporarily hung the rod from a fan so I could manoeuvre around it easier.  Then threaded through the centre of the heart and tied a knot around where it is stapled together, so the line was centre.  THEN, using a needle, threaded the remaining line through the centre at the bottom of the heart, to keep the heart upright.  Thankfully putting fishing line through a needle is very easy!  The threading process probably took 10 minutes for each strand.  To finish off, I hung some sparkly gift ribbon between each row.  And there you have it!

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Beaded Mobile/Chandelier/Wind chime Family project.

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Beaded Mobile/Chandelier/Wind chime Family project.

Sorry if the beads are getting old.  I really made this up as I went along. I wanted to use the rings I had bought to make Christmas Wreaths but never got around to.   I thought this was something we could all do together and the results are pretty cute, although would do it differently next time.

 

Ending the wire

 

We threaded some plastic jewels with beading wire, to make the ends. Then created patterns with different coloured beads, around 20cm long.

ends ready for string

 

Finish off the ends by wrapping the wire into a loop around some needle nose pliers.  The loop needs to be big enough to not let the beads slide off, and to allow you to thread more string on in the next step.

Then I just tied them around the ring, suspended it with some gift ribbon and suspended a glass sun catcher in the middle.  All pretty straight forward. Ms 4 wants to hang it from her light, but as she has a light fan combo, there is nothing to hang it from.

 

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