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.
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.
All we used was some card, white paint, googly eyes (and some sequins) silver paint pen, ribbon, clear cellophane, and lollies to fill.
Here is another super simple meal idea that the kids can cook themselves. Most people would consider it a breakfast dish, but we have had it as dinner on busy nights or when we don’t feel like a huge meal.
All you need is fresh bread, lots of eggs (roughly 2 per person) dash of milk, butter or oil for the fry pan and what ever your desired sauce might be. BBQ, tomato, maple syrup and bacon!
In a flat bottom bowl, whisk the eggs with a dash of milk, soak the bread for a few seconds each side, then place into a hot oiled pan. Flip once the underside has started to brown and repeat. Easy as that!
* You don’t actually need to use milk, but I find it helps the egg soak into the bread quicker.
To be honest, craft is the last thing I was in the mood for this weekend. After some tragic news on Saturday morning, the tone of what was planned to be a fun 3 day weekend, soon turned into a very sombre one indeed. All I really wanted to do was hug my pillow and cry. But my children don’t really understand grief, so after 24 hours of my moping around, they were climbing the walls. I was inspired by this project from an activity I saw at school a few weeks ago, of individual owls as they related to the letter O (letter of the week). I thought a little owl family with the kids prints would look very cute.
The concept is quite simple like most of my projects, and as you can see in the photos below, so I wont go into too much detail. I let the kids choose from my scrapbooking paper a pattern they liked, but you could just as easily use plain colours. The background is just 2 school scrap books centre pages sticky taped together, then washed with blue water colour as demonstrated by Mr 8. Once dry, I ironed the paper to make it flat again. I drew the owl body and Mr 8 and I cut them out. The eyes were traced from a circular cookie cutter and cut out. The black dots made with a hole punch. I just drew one foot, then used it as a stencil for the rest of the feet, so they are all similar.
The kids then chose their wing colour. I placed the body on the background and had the children do their hand prints one at a time, starting in the middle. This way I didn’t have to worry too much about working out the spacing. Once they were all done, I sketched in a branch and Mr 8 painted it in. Then it was just a case of glueing eyes, pupils, beaks and feet. We added some leaves cut out from green paper to the branch and there you have it. A little owl family hand print keepsake.
Paper, Scissors, hole punch, water colour, coloured card and paper, glue stick, craft paint.
If you have got this far, thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post and it inspires you to do something just as fun and rewarding with your young family. But if I can just ask one small thing of you, next time the opportunity arises, please donate to childhood cancer research in your country. Currently only 5% of research funds go towards childhood cancer research, so please pinpoint your donations to this very important cause. This beast needs to be stopped.
I have been going to try out this home made chalk method for a while. When I picked up some new silicone moulds from Aldi last week, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try them both out!
Ideally disposable plastic cups would be the best thing to mix the plaster in, but I didn’t have any, so we just used some plastic cups we are not very attached to (IE, not Tupperware, lol). You can buy plaster of paris from any large hardware or craft shop for around $10 for a 3kg (which is heeeaaaaps, 1kg is more than enough for this project). Silicone or rubber ice cube trays, food colouring and something to stir with. Again, paddle pop sticks would have been better, but these skewers will do the trick.
Mix the food colouring in the water first, then add the plaster. Stir rapidly until its fully mixed, then poor into the moulds. The plaster will set in roughly half an hour, some water may rise to the top, you can just dab this away with some paper towel or tip the moulds after this time for it to run away. Then allow to fully cure in the moulds over night. We also experimented with some glitter in the chalk, for something a bit different. It actually worked quite well, although its really hard to capture the results with the camera.
Then simply turn out of the moulds and get drawing!
While we did the Tie Dying, I also started experimenting with a few other methods of colouring eggs using a home made dye using ingredients that almost everyone has already in their kitchen. These were some of the results;
These are obviously pretty straight forward. Dyed in a food colouring/vinegar/warm water mixture. Then a scrap booking embelishment stuck on. Would have preferred embellishments without the clear plastic behind them, but the craft shop didn’t have any like that and you can’t really tell from a distance anyway.
I love how these turned out. Just use leaves from the garden, lay over the eggs then cover with a stocking or pantyhose. I actually used some stocking I had on hand and didn’t even need to ruin them in the process. Dip dye for a few minutes and you’re done.
We actually discovered this dying method accidentally. After we had finished the Tie Dying from a previous post, we placed the eggs on this pre shredded crepe paper. Some of the eggs still had a bit of water in them from the boiling process, so when that ran out and wet the paper, the colour transferred onto the eggs! So I took it a step further, wet a hand full and covered them in it. The results are pretty cool I think!
The dying solution we used was 3 parts hot tap water to one part vinegar, with as much food colouring as you wanted, we only used about a teaspoon per large cup.
Some of the other patterns we created can be seen below.
Another very wet weekend has resulted in craft overload in this house. Today we made some little chickens. We will call them Easter Chicks, but they could really just be birds and would still be just as cute! All we used was some small styrofoam balls, paint, google eyes a pack of feathers and a few different glues and double sided tape. Oh, and some of those pre stuck felt shapes. First we put the balls on a skewer to hold them up to paint. The paint, like everything at the moment, took forever to dry, even under the ceiling fan. Then we added the eyes and beaks. It was a bit of trial and error with the glue, as some glue dissolves the styrofoam. But we got there eventually, with some scrap booking glue.
For the beak, we just cut off petals from a foam flower sticker (which you will see further on). We used several different methods to make the wings. For thicker wings I folded over a feather from the centre, and secured both sides together with some double sided tape. This worked well, but was a lot of fiddling around and you could see the tape through some, which I was not happy with. Others I just cut away one side of the feather, to make it more a wing shape. Then for the crazy birds I just stick the feathers straight in the side, to make them look like they were running. Way cute! Twisted some pipe cleaners to make legs and we were done.
Ms 4 wanted to make a nest for them, so I grabbed some sugar cane mulch and let her build one outside, she then sprinkled a few flowers around which I thought was a great idea, so told her to get more.
The coloured eggs are from another project we did this weekend, I will post more on them tomorrow. They finished it off nicely though I think.
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!
Heat 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
We threaded some plastic jewels with beading wire, to make the ends. Then created patterns with different coloured beads, around 20cm long.
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.
These really are too easy and turned out so well! I will be using this concept for some other projects as soon as more cookie cutters arrive.
We used a tupperware baking sheet under them, but I think any flexible non stick surface would do, (baking paper). Simply fill some metal or oven proof cookie cutters or moulds roughly 2 layers deep, and bake at around 180c. Keep an eye on them until they are all melted. The plastic beads we used did not emit any nasty smell and did not burn, even when I got impatient and turned the over up to 200c, however, make sure the area is well ventilated just to be on the safe side.
Try to pile the beads up in the middle slightly, but only leave them 1 high at the edges, to avoid any bits sticking to the sides higher than other areas (you can see where this happened on the small man) Once cooled, remove the cutter and there you have it. I ran cool water over them to cool them a bit faster and this didn’t damage the shiny finish at all.
The husband drilled some holes in the top for string, and there you have it.
We will make a stack of smaller Christmas coloured ones for the trees next year.
Beading is hardly new as a way to entertain the kids and improve fine motor skills, but I have never let them try it with memory wire before. For those who don’t know what that is, Memory wire is tempered wire that “remembers” its shape and retains its coiled form. You can pick it up really cheap on ebay and then just cut to desired length as required. Due to the fact its wire rather than thread, it also makes it much easier for the little ones to get the beads on.
Once cut to length, just turn the end over with some needle nose pliers into a loop big enough that it wont allow your chosen beads to slip over, or in the case of really big beads, as I have done above, making sure no sharp ends will dig into their little arms.
The kids just made single loops today. Mr 7 experimented with patterns and Miss 4 went random.
How cute are these? Mr 7s year 6 buddy made him one for Christmas. I had to give them a go with the little ones.
Super simple and we had everything lying around the house (I will admit I do buy wooden pegs just for craft, they are not much good for hanging out washing!)
We started off painting them assembled, but that was just silly. Paint all the bits first, THEN assemble once they are dry.
We even made a baby one with the mini craft pegs and mini paddle pop sticks.
I helped the kids in Mr 8s class make these at school, so thought we would give them a try at home. There is heaps of different recipes out there, so you can really make them any flavour you wants, but you want to choose a biscuit that doesn’t rise too much. We used a basic butter biscuit recipe.
- 125g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
I also added a sprinkle of cinnamon and all spice. I probably don’t need to tell you how to make biscuits. To be honest, they rose a little more than I would have liked, so might use a different recipe next time. The recipe also started with the usual ‘pre-heat oven’, but after mixing the ingredients you had to put the dough into the fridge for 45 minutes. What a waste of electricity having your oven running all that time?
Use any shapes you like, then a smaller shape inside. Pop a hard lolly (boiled lolly or jolly rancher etc) into the centre and bake on some baking paper at around 180 for only a few minutes. The lolly will melt in the time it takes to cook the biscuit. So simple.
If you live in an area of the world that is humid, these wont last long on the tree. So just eat them!
These are a really easy alternate to the traditional chocolate crackles. They are not as sickly sweet either, so adults can enjoy them.
All you need is 2 table spoons of cream (some recipes say thin cream, but either works) 200 or more grams of Mars Bars Rice bubbles (home brand will be fine) and thats it. I also add chocolate drops and coconut for some different textures, but that is not at all necessary.
Break up the bars and add the cream (I also added coconut at this stage). Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring at each interval to avoid hot spots (burnt chocolate). Once its all runny, you can either add the rice bubbles directly, or poor into another bowl that has the rice bubbles in it. This actually works better as its easier to distribute and you don’t end up with a heap of chocolate stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
Allow to cool slightly (you can put it in the fridge) so that you can roll the mix into balls. When its hot its just too sticky and you can’t get it off your hands. If you are going to add extra chocolate drops, do it when the mixture is cooler so they don’t melt.
Unlike most of our projects, where I get inspired by Pinterest or something else, I actually thought this up myself!
Really easy messy fun for all ages. Just take some coloured paper and draw some simple Christmas shapes. If drawing is not your thing, trace around some cookie cutters.
Cover inside the outline with a thick layer of craft glue. Smear around with a paintbrush or a finger tip if you don’t mind getting sticky.
Then sprinkle christmas theme sequins randomly over the glued area. Try to cover the outline as much as possible too.
When you can’t see much of the paper within the shape, give it a light shake. Then drizzle some more glue over the top to hold down any loose ones.
Allow to dry. We left them for 24 hours.
Once dry, Use some large sharp scissors, cut around the shape. If you can’t see the outline on the front, just follow the lines that went through the page as demonstrated above.
Once the shapes are cut out, we added some double sided mounting tape (commonly used for scrap booking) to give them a slightly more 3D effect on the card, but you could just use standard double sided tape or glue.
Position on the cards as you please, and there you have it. Sparkly Christmas cards. Mini ones of these would also make cute Gift Tags. Just line the other side with another piece of paper to write on and use a hole punch to make somewhere to secure with ribbon.
To make these decorated cards, all you need is a hot glue gun, strips of wrapping paper, card and either some large buttons or as we used, some plastic jewels.
Cut strips of Christmas paper, approximately 3 – 4 cm wide and 30 – 40cm long. Fold back and forth to create a zig zag, approximately 1cm wide. As demonstrated by Mr 7 below.
Once folded the whole way to the end, glue both ends together. You can get the kids to do this with craft glue, but I chose to use the glue gun as it dries so much quicker.
Once the glue has dried, put a circle of hot glue onto the card where you want to place your decoration
Carefully turn the paper in at one side and out on the other, to create a flower type shape. Trying not to let it all go at the same time as you can see on the right above. The first one is the hardest!
Then cover the back of your jewel of button with hot glue and place in the centre. Repeat until you have as many decorations on each card as you like. You can experiment with different thicknesses of paper to create bigger and smaller ones.
This year, with changing schools and doing my Ed support certificate, I spent a fair bit of time hassling the ladies in the school office. They are all very lovely and didn’t mind, but I really wanted to say thank-you. Also, there is the little 2’s day care providers. They only go one day a week, but they are great staff, so I figure they deserve some token of our appreciation. I originally thought of making some sweets and wrapping them up to share around the office/centre, but after Mr7’s teacher claiming the doesn’t eat chocolate, I am damaged. So I decided to find something small, that you don’t feel obliged to keep, but you can use and most people like – a votive seemed just perfect. I shopped around all the cheap shops hoping to find something that was affordable without looking cheap and nasty, then went to Dusk and found 6 packs of Christmas themed votives for $16.95. Which was about what I had budgeted for.
I grabbed a packet of Ferrero chocolates to top them off. Then just stocked up with some Christmas ribbons and gift tags. Not really sure what was going to work. After some trial and error, this was the finished product.
So our rainy weekend craft continued into Sunday afternoon. We started making Christmas decorations!
Materials; scrap card, and any shiny, sparkly or pretty things you have on hand! We had a pack of Christmas themed sequins from last year that came in handy
We just used a plastic cup to trace around, leaving a small section for the top of the bauble.
We all decorated 2 each. Some of the decorations had sticky stuff on the back, others required glue. The kids made sure they used 500 times more glue than they needed – as you’d expect.
Due to excess glue, we left them over night to dry. Yes, all that white stuff is glue.
Using a large piece of card board ($1.50 from a news agent), draw the silhouette of one side the tree, starting at the top of the page to get the most out of your $1.50
Fold in half down the centre of the tree and cut along outline, to create a symmetrical tree. Or, if you’re not OCD about that kind of thing like me, just draw a tree and cut it out!
Loosely position everything to make sure it fits, then start sticking. We used double sided photo mounting tape so we didn’t have to wait even longer for glue to dry. The tinsel is stapled at each edge.
And there you have it!