Tag Archives: toddler

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.

Halloween Toddler Craft, DIY Treat Boxes

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Halloween Toddler Craft, DIY Treat Boxes

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.

 

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.

 

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Ten Tin Bowling! Recycled Cans – Toddler Activity.

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Ten Tin Bowling! Recycled Cans – Toddler Activity.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

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Home Made Chalk with an Easter Twist.

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Home Made Chalk with an Easter Twist.

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!

Ingredients and utensils.

Ingredients and utensils.

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!

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Decorated Eggs, Easter Egg Dying and Decorating.

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Decorated Eggs, Easter Egg Dying and Decorating.

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;

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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.

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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

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.

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!

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.

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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Christmas Decorations, Easy Toddler Activity

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Christmas Decorations, Easy Toddler Activity

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.

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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.

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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.

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We will make a stack of smaller Christmas coloured ones for the trees next year.

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Memory Wire Bracelets, School holiday and Toddler Activity

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Memory Wire Bracelets, School holiday and Toddler Activity

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.

 

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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.

 

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Easy Toddler Craft, Christmas Reindeer

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Easy Toddler Craft, Christmas Reindeer

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!)

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We started off painting them assembled, but that was just silly.  Paint all the bits first, THEN assemble once they are dry.

IMG_6126Add some eyes, a red nose and some pipe cleaner antlers.

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We even made a baby one with the mini craft pegs and mini paddle pop sticks.

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Classic Christmas Cooking – Window Biscuit Decorations

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Classic Christmas Cooking – Window Biscuit Decorations

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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?

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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.

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If you live in an area of the world that is humid, these wont last long on the tree.  So just eat them!

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Sweet Christmas Treats – Mars Bar Crackles.

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Sweet Christmas Treats – Mars Bar Crackles.

These are a really easy alternate to the traditional chocolate crackles. They are not as sickly sweet either, so adults can enjoy them.

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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.

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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.

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Home Made Christmas Cards – Kids Craft

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Home Made Christmas Cards – Kids Craft

Unlike most of our projects, where I get inspired by Pinterest or something else,  I actually thought this up myself!

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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.

Basic Christmas Shapes

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.

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Then sprinkle christmas theme sequins randomly over the glued area.  Try to cover the outline as much as possible too.

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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.

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Allow to dry.  We left them for 24 hours.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Christmas Cards, Kids Craft

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Christmas Cards, Kids Craft

IMG_6081I couldn’t get my hand on any decent glitter paint pens to finish these, so this is just part one of the process.

 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.

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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.

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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.

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Once the glue has dried, put a circle of hot glue onto the card where you want to place your decoration

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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!

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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.

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Teacher Christmas Gift ideas – part 2.

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Teacher Christmas Gift ideas – part 2.

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.

 

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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.

 

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Quick Kids Craft – Christmas Themed

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Quick Kids Craft – Christmas Themed

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.

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.

Spread the paint into the area you want to cover.

Then he painted the glue on.

and start sticking

and start sticking

 

The finished product.

The finished product.

 

Too easy!  Next time we might frame them.  Or cut out the shape and put it on some different coloured backing.

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Easy Christmas Craft – Mini Christmas Trees

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Easy Christmas Craft –  Mini Christmas Trees

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.

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Christmas Kids Craft, Flat Christmas Tree Decoration.

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Christmas Kids Craft, Flat Christmas Tree Decoration.

Cubby house Christmas tree

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.

Decorate the baubles

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.

Easy Christmas craft - drying

Due to excess glue, we left them over night to dry. Yes, all that white stuff is glue.

Draw half the tree

Draw half the tree

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 over and cut out the tree to create a symmetrical shape.

Fold the card over and cut along the line, so both sides are identical.

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!

Place ornament around tinsel.

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.

Kids craft Christmas Tree

And there you have it!

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Quick Toddler Craft – Tissue Paper Butterfly Mobile

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Quick Toddler Craft – Tissue Paper Butterfly Mobile

After 2 days of rain the daughter was really tearing her hair out – or was that mine?  I had plenty of work to do, but figured I best take some time out to entertain her.  Once again inspired by ABC Play School  They were making paper butterflies to blow in the wind, so I thought we’d just extend on that idea.

What you’ll need for tissue paper butterflies

What you’ll need; tissue paper (crepe paper would probably work just as well) pipe cleaners, scissors, plastic ribbon and a coat hanger (not pictured)

Twist the paper in the middle

Cut squares or rectangles out of the paper and twist in the middle – as demonstrated by Miss 3.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.  This is not entirely necessary, but I liked the addition of an extra colour and texture, as well as the antennae look it created.

Attach the string or ribbon

Attach the string or ribbonAT

Attach your string or ribbon, keep attaching as many as you would like.  We just did 3 on each string x 3 strings.

Finished

As a mobile

in the window

In the window

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And there you have it.  Took less than 10 minutes to create and she thinks they are awesome.