We have done a bubble painting project before for Easter, it is so easy and the results are always cool, so we have tried it again this time just using pink. We also used some pink paper as well as the white, where as last time we just used white paper.
Valentine Door Hanging,
Again I cheated and printed out some heart shapes, rather than drawing them all just so all the sizes were consistent. You could obviously trace around a cookie cutter too, but hey, did I mention I am lazy? I didn’t really measure out the ingredients for the bubble paint, it really was a squeeze of dishwashing liquid, splash of food colouring and a splash of tap water. Then let the kids blow bubbles in the mixture until the bubbles come up over the top of the bowl. Get them to quickly place the paper gently over the bubbles and the patterns will transfer to the paper. Instead of cutting each shape out first this time, we did the painting then cut them out after they were dry. Then it was just a case of attaching them to some gift ribbon with tape. I stuck them to the wall with blue tac.
Ms5 and Mr9 blowing bubbles in the solution
Bubble patterns, left to dry.
Cut out and attach to some string with tape.
Hearts on a string.
If you wanted to make these hang in a door way, it would be a good idea to paint both sides of the paper, so they can spin and still look pretty on both sides.
I was determine to do some Valentine craft today with the kids before we ran out of time. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do, but we couldn’t find the type of paper I needed. While picking up some other bits and pieces from the grocery store, we found A4 laminate sheets on special and decided to grab some for the craft cupboard. I had a look around Pinterest for inspiration and then it finally came to me, lucky we grabbed those sheets!
The steps are pretty self explanatory I think, but you can see more instructions by clicking on or running your mouse over each photo below.
Ms 5 cutting the cellophane up into squares.
I drew a large heart on the back of some silver card then cut it out with scissors.
I then cut the centre out with a Box cutter.
Ms5 placed the pieces into the laminate sheet, using the middle of the heart under to give her a rough guide of the area she needs to cover.
Mr3 having a go, not quite understanding ‘don’t crumple them up!’.
Ms5 puts the close sheet into the laminator.
Mr9 prepared the heart boarder with double sided tape.
Double sided tape on the frame.
Mr9 cuts away the excess ‘glass’ from the frame after sticking it down.
Stained glass heart window.
The similar projects I have seen on Pinterest use clear book contact, which you could also use if you don’t have a laminating machine. The laminate sleeves give a much clearer finish though. I was worried at first that the cellophane might melt as it went through the heat, but it was fine.
If you like working with fabric like my friends at All Tizzied Up , here’s a simple Christmas craft decoration you can put together with the kids that will last for years to come.
Once you have gathered the fabric you want to use, all you need is some styrofoam bells, ribbon, hot glue and sharp scissors and you’re ready to get crafty. The smaller kids can get working on the covering the loop while an adult does the hot glue bits. The rest of the steps are covered in the photos below.
Christmas themed fabric in your desired colours
Cut into squares
Pinch in the middle and dab with hot glue
attach to your bell
Work your way up the bell from the bottom
One complete bell
Trace out some felt to cover the bottoms
Cut and glue on.
Bells ready to go
Cut strips of the same fabric to cover the ring
Tie in pattern
Cut different lengths to hang bells
Attach to bells with glue and hang from ring
Cut lengths to hang ring
Attach to ring
Secure all strings together.
There you have it!
These are really simple to make and kids of all ages can help. Mr8 actually showed me how to make one, then we extended on the concept to create this hanging ornament.
It is really just 2 card board stars slotted into each other at right angles to create a ‘3D star’ as he calls them. But we made 4 different sized and hung them form some cotton. We covered each star with some paper from a themed wrapping pack, so they were not all exactly the same, but similar enough to ‘match’. The whole project took about 20 minutes for 3 of us and looks pretty cool! Further instructions available if you open or scroll over each picture.
Draw the star shapes on some card. We used cookie cutters to make it easier.
If using plain card, glue on some wrapping paper
Cut out and glue paper to the other side
Covering second side then cut out again.
Cut one star to the middle from one side, then the other star from the opposite side to the middle again.
Slot together and you have 3D stars
Hand on some string
3D Star Ornament.
Here’s a unique home made card idea that the whole family can get involved in. All you need is some card stock, paint (brush and roller), sequins or other bling and some tree shaped leaves. Glitter optional!
Coat the leaves in a thick layer of paint, we used white as I thought it would stand out nicely on the black card. Place the leaf, painted side down, carefully on the card, then roll over it with a clean dry paint roller to press down. Remove leaf and you should have a pretty leaf print. If you want to add glitter, do so now while the paint is still wet so it sticks. If you are creating more than one card, just give the roller a wipe with an old rag between leaves to remove any paint and avoid smudges. Once dry, let the kids decorate with sequins, we used PVA to attach them – done.
Coat with paint
Place on card and roll over to press down
Sprinkle with glitter while paint it still wet
Shake off excess glitter
Leaf print cards
Home made Christmas Cards
These are very easy to make and can be as fancy or as simple as you like.
I usually avoid glitter when doing craft. Sure it’s pretty, but after we use it, that stuff turns up all over the place for the next month. ‘The herpies of the craft world’ a friend of mine called it, I think she was right. But today I caved, because an angel needs her sparkle! Honestly, there was no template, just trial and error until I got the shape I was after. You can see the steps in the photos below. Double sided plates for the body would have made pretty dresses, but I couldn’t find any of those, so we stuck with white. Of course you could get the kids to colour them or even use a different colour glitter on the body too. But I was all glittered out after the wings alone!
Cut your plate something like this, that’s right, no pattern, trial and error was all I went by
Secure with tape or staples.
Apply a generous amount of hot glue to the bauble
Place on top of the body. Tie a ribbon around the neck once glue has dried to cover any mess.
Run some glue (we just used a glue stick) along the edges and sprinkle with glitter
Once the wings are dry, attach to the body.
Hang from a string
Paper plate craft.
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.
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.
Crepe paper results
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.
Boiling in water, food colouring and vinegar (later discovered boiling is not actually necessary)
Some foam stickers to create patterns where the dye cant reach.
Trying to keep the eggs afloat to only colour one side – not very successful!
The leaf wrapped around egg within stocking prior to dipping in the dye solution
covering in crepe paper.
Wet crepe paper
Crepe paper results
Cant have a craft project without glitter? Yes, actually you can and you should
Samples of some of the eggs we created
Eggsperimenting with dying EGGS!
Bubble painting is nothing new for toddlers and preschoolers, but we have never done it at home and I thought it would create a cute finish for some paper eggs.
Most people will have all this stuff lying around the house, so its a cheap activity too. Dish washing liquid, food colouring, drinking straws, paper (in this case egg shapes) a bowl and a splash of water. I just Google Image searched ‘easter eggs’ and found some egg shapes, copied into Word, adjusted the size and printed. Could have drawn them myself, but I was being lazy. The bigger 2 kids helped cut some out and I cut out the rest. The mixture is equal parts water, food colouring and detergent, you can use more water, but the less you use the more vibrant colours are achieved. Then the fun begins!
Simply blow the bubbles so they rise well above the sides of the bowl then place the paper flat on top. You may need to tip your bowl slightly to keep the straw submerged. Be sure to place the paper as quickly as possible. The bubbles will actually last quite a while if untouched, but the colour drops to the bottom quickly, so the longer you wait the less colour will transfer to the paper.
Samples of our creations.
Once dried (on a dry day they would only take a few minutes to dry, but due to never ending rain in Sunny Queensland, they took a lot longer) we attempted to punch holes in the top to string them up with, but due to the moisture in the air, the paper just can’t get crisp enough to punch as such, so we stuck small sections of straw to the back with sticky tape. This actually worked out really well, as it meant they face forwards rather than side ways all the time. We used some more coloured straws (cut into 3rds) to space the eggs out then alternated sizes along the way.
And there you have it. Its hard to take a photo of, but its really pretty. Currently hanging in the hallway. If the sun ever comes out again, I will take a photo of it in natural light to bring out the colours better.
What you need.
Mr 9 cutting out some eggs.
Blue bubble mixture
Miss 4 making red bubbles
Mr 8 getting his bubble painting on.
Mr 2 doesn’t quite have the fine motor skills required to keep the paper out of the liquid, so I let him play with a paint brush and the mixture to keep him happy.
Samples of our creations.
Each one is painted on both sides so you can use the garland in a walk way.
Attach straw to one side of eggs
Ready to thread on the string.
Ms 4 threading the straw spacers
Ms 4 threading the eggs on.
Easter Toddler and Preschool activity
Easter Egg Craft
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?
A 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!
Fill the moulds with small pieces of crayon
Mr 8. Cutting the crayons into smaller pieces.
Ready to go in the oven.
The melted down smaller than expected, so I topped them up with more.
The kids popped the cooled shapes out of the moulds
The finished products
Ms 4 with some samples
The original project
Ready to go in the oven.
5 minutes later
fail fail FAIL!
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.
Fill the metal cookie cutters
Ready for the oven
Drilling the holes for string
Ready to hang from the branch
The finished product
Starts in the trees
Trying to catch some sun on a cloudy day
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.
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.
Memory wire cut to length
Mr 7 threading some beads.
Ms 4 threading onto the wire
Mr 7s own design
Ms 4 modelling some bracelets.
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.
Add some eyes, a red nose and some pipe cleaner antlers.
We even made a baby one with the mini craft pegs and mini paddle pop sticks.
What you need
painting the reindeer
painting the reindeer
adding the eyes
adding the nose
The reindeer family
Reindeer eating some hay
Playing the the grass
Reindeer Toddler craft
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!
Mr 7 rolling the dough
Cutting out the shapes
Place on baking paper and add lolly to centre.
Poke a small hole in the edges if you’d like to be able to hang them on the tree.
Allow to cool
On DDs stick tree
The left over gingerbread men
In the light
Trying to catch the sun.
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.
Cover with a thick layer of glue
spread glue around
Sprinkle heavily with sequins
Covering with sequins
Drizzle another thin layer of glue all over
Allow to dry thoroughly.
Once dry, cut out the shape
Cutting out the shape
The cut out shapes.
Mr 7 actually came up with this by himself. He was not home when we did the leaf pictures, but he used that idea for inspiration.
Some craft glue, a marker, coloured paper, leaves and flowers and a brush.
I drew the basic outline for him, while he and Ms 3 collected some fine leaves and flowers from the garden.
Spread the paint into the area you want to cover.
Then he painted the glue on.
and start sticking
The finished product.
Too easy! Next time we might frame them. Or cut out the shape and put it on some different coloured backing.
Some craft glue, a marker, coloured paper, leaves and flowers and a brush.
Spread the paint into the area you want to cover.
and start sticking
Ms 3 and Mr 7 sticking on the flowers and leaves
The finished product.
Inspiration for this idea came from something I saw at Spotlight. They used buttons though, which looked good, but buying enough buttons for the project would have blown the budget. I can’t believe how expensive those things are?
Anyway, What you need.
styrofoam tree shapes, sewing pins, aluminium foil, sequins and sticky tape.
Spotlight also didn’t have any of the cone shape styrofoam in stock, so I bought that from Riot Art and Craft. They are available in different sizes, I just chose 3 small ones to avoid arguments.
Wrap the foil around the cone and secure with clear tape. I crumpled up a ball of foil before spreading it out on one, to create a more rippled affect. I actually prefer how that one turned out.
Once you have the foil secured and are happy with the finish, start placing the pins! Be careful when working at the top of the cone to point them down towards the bottom as you insert, so you don’t go straight through and poke yourself on the other side. The kids managed this fine, even Miss 3. We only had one ouchy, and that was actually me!
Thread sequins onto pin and insert.