21 November 2013

Painted Wooden Spoons


So it's that time of year again. Time for craft and teachers presents. These are some spoons Miss 4 and Mr 6 painted up for teacher gifts. They had such fun doing it, and are very much looking forward to giving them to their teachers. Mr 6 is usually not a painter, but this is a project he really enjoyed.

27 October 2013

20 October 2013

Simple Rubber Band Gun and Ammo Pouch

I made these simple wooden rubber band guns with Mr 6 today. It was declared to be "epic" so many times I thought I'd share. I made a second one when Miss 4 came home, and the whole process (including "helping" took about 10 minutes)

26mm diameter dowel stick. 7cm long*
1cm square stick. 18.5cm long*
1 wooden peg
2 nails
*note: all the measurements are approximate, done by eye, and measured later. We used scraps we had handy.

You also need:
wood glue
hand saw
hot melt glue

1. Sand all edges
2. Saw a small groove horizontally across the end of the square stick (for the rubber band to sit in)
3. Wood glue and nail the other end of the square stick to the round dowel.
4. Hot glue gun the peg to the top of the square stick
5. Test it out and paint it.

For the target, we made holes in the side of a cubby house box, and I taped plastic bags to the back of the holes to catch the rubber bands. It made it easier to see which hole the rubber band had gone through, and easier to get it back.

I also made an "ammo pouch", which consisted of a simple rectangle of fabric sewn into a tiny bag (sew sides and a triangle across the bottom corners). I sewed a pipe cleaner in the top hem, which gives it a stiff feel, so the pouch can be pinched shut or kept open.

Good quiet fun that's not going to actually injure someone when the rubber band hits (unlike the wooden sword which was Mr 5's first suggestion for a wood work project). And all done before the kids lost interest. Definitely a great thing to make on a quiet or rainy day.

10 September 2013

Monster cans

Funny Faces
I was decorating the cans for the school fete knock 'ems stall. At first I thought I'd use things from computer games, but not wanting to breach any copyrights I eventually decided to make up some monsters instead. So here are my monster cans, made by cutting shapes out of coloured paper, gluing them on and using a marker pen to outline them. Finally I covered the cans in clear contact plastic.

09 September 2013

Tessellating Lions Canvas

The finished product of our lions tessellation canvas. Inspired by the lizards on Mrs Bearden's Art Room. Each child painted their own lion and then they were glued to the canvas. Let me know if you're interested in the tessellating lion, and I'll have a go at uploading it.

01 September 2013

School Bag Packing List Keyring

Our house can get a bit chaotic some mornings. Trying to remember which bits are meant to go into which bag on which days was proving to be a challenge.

So I made up these key rings so that no matter who was packing, they could check off all the contents before leaving. Even better, Mr 6 could check the checklist and (fingers crossed) bring everything back home again at the end of the day.

So simple and quick to make. Using Word I wrote up a list of things the kids needed every day, and a second list of things they needed on particular days. I made them roughly rectangular in shape, and printed them out. I cut them out and put them back to back before laminating, cutting out, and using a hole punch and key loop to finish them off.

11 August 2013

Kaleidescope Tutorial

Cheap, easy and quick; making your own kaleidoscope is a great activity to do with the kids. It took us about 20 minutes to gather the materials together and make 2 kaleidoscopes and the kids were very impressed with them.

28 July 2013

Hammering Out Flower and Leaf Prints

I saw this idea on Build/Make/Craft/Bake, and had to give it a go. I mean seriously, it's using a hammer to squash the colour out of natural things. How much fun could that be?

14 July 2013

Melty Bead Christmas Tree Ornaments

So it might not be Christmas season right now, but it is cold and wintery weather, and perfect for a bit of quiet indoor craft time.

I was very proud of Mr 6's own design of Christmas tree. I think he worked on it for a couple of hours.

Water Colour Pencils and Raindrops

This is the perfect activity for yet another rainy afternoon. The technique is easy, colour in a page using water colour pencils, take it out and hold it in the rain until you've collected enough raindrops on your picture.

11 July 2013

Balloon painting

I'd never seen balloon painting before (I've since seen a beautiful caterpiller on Pinterest using balloon painting). Anyway I thought I'd share Miss 4 and my experiences with it.

Tactile Chemistry

We started off with the plan of making fluffy stuff, using cornflour, shaving cream and food colour. We made up a bowl of pink and then made a second bowl of purple fluffy stuff.

Good fun in the making.

NOTE: Put the food dye on the shaving foam, not cornflour, this helps it to spread out rather than making a mixture with lots of little spots.

We moved the activity outside as it was obviously going to get pretty messy pretty quickly (and this helped the smell of the shaving foam dissipate too)

I gave Miss 4 a tray to get playing, and popped inside to get my camera. By the time I came out again, the two colours were mixed into one.

For a while this was great, but after half an hour or so Miss 4 found she couldn't really build the things she wanted to build with it.

06 July 2013

Peg Board Fairy Garden

I recently saw this lovely post at Made by Joel to use a peg board and twigs to make a play scene. The idea was still fresh in my head when we happened to be visiting relatives, and I noticed a couple of large peg boards beside some twigs collected by the fireplace.

23 June 2013

Birthday Funny Face Biscuits

A quick treat for Mr 6 to take to school to share with his class mates for his birthday. Quick, because he only decided at 5pm the night before that he'd like to take something.

I used a gingerbread recipe (the biscuits don't spread too much when cooking) and then iced them and added a malteser nose. Apparently they went like hot cakes. It's always nice when a last minute decision works out nicely.

20 June 2013

Minecraft birthday party

Mr 6 is right into anything he can play on the tablet right now, especially minecraft. So for his birthday party we had a bit of a computer game theme.

The cake was candy crush (because it was made with lollies, surely you can't get a much easier cake than that!)

We had one party game. I wasn't sure how it'd go, seeing as I'd just vaguely invented it in my head, but it worked brilliantly and all the kids, from the 1y/o to the 14 y/o wanted to line up and have a go.

Student parting gift

I was so happy how this one turned out. The photo unfortunately doesn't really do it justice. One of the students in my son's class at school is leaving soon, and so I asked the teacher if the kids could all write a few adjectives down to describe her, and I would make a word cloud key ring as a parting gift.

Adjectives are currently part of their curriculum, so the teacher thought it was a terrific idea, and in 4 groups the kids sat down and each came up with a huge number of adjectives describing nice things about the girl who is leaving. I couldn't just use a dozen of them in a key ring and leave the rest un-used, so I bought a $5 frame, painted it pink, decorated it a little and made one large word cloud with all the words.

I hope it makes her feel terrific while she's starting at her new school.

It would also make a terrific teacher's gift.

(Note: the swirl in the middle is where her name went, but I've removed it for privacy sakes.)

10 June 2013

Paint and Pastel Self Portrait

This is a portrait Miss 4 did a while back (when she was 3) using the beautiful tutorial at Deep Space Sparkle. Such simple technique but I really love the results. We used poster paints instead of tempera paints (not sure if/what the difference is there) but it seemed to give us the right results.

The best things about this technique were: starting with a U shape (rather than an oval), using 3 circles for eyes, mixing the skin colour and then testing it by putting it on Miss 3's skin, and the look on her face when she'd finished.

28 May 2013

Nature Rainbow Tree

A simple nice art activity. First we had a play outside and collected things of all the colours of the rainbow, plus some twigs.

I had thought we would just make a rainbow, but Miss 4 was quite determined it would be a tree. Just as determined as she was about the order of the rainbow; Red and yellow, pink and green, purple and orange and blue. I can sing a rainbow... I drew some lines to glue between and she did the rest.

But regardless of our differences in taste, it was a lovely art activity to do together and she was proud to show the results to Mr Crafty when he got home.

23 May 2013

Home made board game

What to do with somewhat sick kids on a chilly windy day? How about making your own board game?

We started with an A3 piece of heavy paper. I drew a track and Miss 3 coloured it in to match the activities for each square:

Pink - Go forward x spaces
Light blue - Take a "Spot What" card

Super simple landscape painting

This is Miss 4's painting using the super simple tutorial from Creative Learning (found through here)

We did it together, but I actually liked hers better than mine.

There are just 3 simple steps:
1. Sponge on watered down blue (the tutorial said water colours but we used watery poster paints)
2. Use a playdough cutting wheel to paint on green stripes
3. Use a cotton tip to paint coloured flower dots on.

A lovely way to experiment with different ways of applying paint, and cute results.

19 May 2013

Chromatography Art

Science Fun - Chromatography.

This week Miss 4 and I had a go at felt pen chromatography. It's so simple you only need kitchen paper, felt pens and water. And it's so fun we sat down for a second go when Mr 5 came home from school.

The idea is that you draw a block of colour on paper towel (about an inch from the bottom of the paper) and dip the end of the towel in water. As the water gets sucked up the paper towel, so do the

21 April 2013

A Pink Fairy Princess Barbie Party

Miss 4 had her birthday recently and is right into everything pink, princesses, fairies, Barbie etc. So I thought I'd share some of my birthday creations.

First of all the cake. We needed 2: cupcakes for the kindy birthday, and a cake for her party.

The cupcakes she designed herself, right down to the direction the strawberry needed to face, and I'm pretty proud of her efforts, I think they look fantastic. Although my cake recipe needed a bit of work..

For the party we baked some slices etc. but also these gingerbread star magic wands. Gingerbread is good for shaped biscuits because it doesn't rise and swell out of shape too much. The kids thought they were terrific. If I had been on M&M duty I would have chosen a different M&M pattern, but Miss 4 knew what she wanted to do, and so I left her to it.

The party favour bags contained a wand bubble blower, a cocktail umbrella straw,  a pencil with eraser, a couple of sweets and a necklace which I made. I had thought I could make them with Miss 4, but the ribbons were just too tricky to thread through the bead holes. But these necklaces were definitely the highlight of the bags, at least 3 of the little girls wore them all weekend. They cost about $1 to make, as the chunky beads were a little on the more expensive side.

We also made crowns at the party. I cut simple crown strips from shiny poster sized cardboard, and let the kids loose with stickers and glitter glue. It kept them busy and happy for about 15 minutes and when they were done, all the early party nerves had vanished.

And last but not least the Barbie cake. Well technically the Lottie doll cake, as that was the doll I was allowed to use according to Miss 4. I baked 2 round cakes and 1 cup cake, and then stacked them together and carved them out. I used an apple corer to take the centre bit out so that the doll's legs could fit in. I wrapped the doll's legs and lower tummy in plastic glad wrap before putting her in to stop the icing getting into her hip joints. I iced with pink butter icing and then the kids and I decorated with tiny marshmallows, some sugar flowers and butterflies and silver balls.

Usually I do the cake decorating all by myself, because I like the design control, but this one we did together, and it was definitely the most fun I've had decorating, and it was also declared the best birthday cake she'd ever had.

24 March 2013

Painting Easter Eggs

I blew about a dozen eggs for us to paint for easter this year. But when I took a look at them this weekend it turned out that I hadn't washed them thoroughly enough and they weren't too pretty. So I printed out an egg shape template instead, and the whole family spent about 2 hours painting them. Once they were dry we cut them out and hung them on a line across the corner of the room. Such a simple craft, but an excellent one anyway.

19 March 2013

Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

I had the kids home for a sick day this week, and came across this wonderful outdoor scavenger hunt from Muddy Boots, with some very good ideas in it. So I thought I'd share it.

01 March 2013

Personalised coffee cups

I first saw this on 2 Craft and 2 Create and thought it was a good idea, and so put the thought aside for a time when we wanted to create a birthday present for a grandparent.

At first I bought a bunch of multi-coloured permanent marker sharpies. The kids drew up some beautiful pictures. I cooked them, and then easily wiped them off with a wet cloth. Not happy. Moral of the story:

Don't use colours!

Second attempt in black and white and some even better pictures, a little baking (20 minutes on 180 C or 350 F), and we had our finished products. Personalised coffee cups, fit for any Mothers day, Fathers day or Grandparent's birthday.

21 February 2013

Threading and Patterning.

Today we started with a couple of cut out cards Miss 3 brought home from Kindy this week. She wanted to stick them together. I suggested that she punch some holes in the side and turn it into a threading. She suggested threading beads on and started pointing out the patterns she was making so I decided to introduce her to Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,...) and mirror patterning to add to her patterning, she finished it all off with some extra enhancements glued and stuck on top.

The result doesn't look all that impressive, but when you think about all the design decisions, fine motor threading exercises, counting, patterning, sewing lessons and a little bit of semi sidewalk maths thrown in, not to mention it was a very pleasant hour spent in the making, it was actually a super activity.

Paint Powder and a Squirty Bottle

Ever since seeing something like this on Playschool, I've really wanted to try it. Such a simple and fun activity. Get some powdered paint (we had tempura paint) sprinkle it on the paper and squirt with water. Hang it up to dry. Fun!

Note: This is messy, so a great one for outside.

10 February 2013

Home made reader

Early readers are fantastic for helping kids learn to read. But once they've read them, they've read them. I thought I could write my own reader for my daughter who is starting to read.

I called the book after her.

She adored it. Not only was it all simple words she could work out by herself (or with a little help), it was about her. What more could you want?

When choosing words I was careful to try and pick words that were simple to phonetically sound out like run and jump, rather than longer words that would leave her stumped and not feeling like she could read.

I used 2 pieces of A4 paper, cut in half, and folded in half (so each page was A6 size).

The text goes:

Miss 3
I am Miss 3.
I can run.
I can jump.
I can hug.
I can dance.
I can sing.
I am Miss 3.
I am great.

It took about 4 minutes to make, and was worth every second from the smile she gave when she'd finished reading it.

08 February 2013

Bejewelled Candle Holder

A lovely little activity. Use air-dry clay to make a candle holder and then stick jewels on using PVA glue. 

We use a candle to encourage the kids to eat well at dinner (eat their vegies, use good manners etc.). Those who eat well get a turn to blow the candle out.

03 February 2013

The Science of Air

I saw this experiment here and it's one of the best science experiments I've done with the kids (and beautifully described too). Mr 5 in particular kept on telling me how cool it was.

The gist of the instructions is to take an old plastic bottle and put a hole in the side, put a straw in the hole pointing upwards and seal the hole with blue-tac. Have a chat with the kids about gas/air and what's inside the bottle. Fill the bottle with water (until it's at risk of coming out the straw). Blow up the balloon and talk about what's inside the balloon, and then put the balloon onto the bottle and watch the water squirt out.

Not only did the kids seem to get the talk about air, they loved everything about the experiment. They filled the bottle up again and again and again. Then Miss 3 asked to put a second straw in, so we did that and talked about water pressure. And of course plenty of flower petals and leaves were added (because they were there, and to see what would happen - which wasn't a great deal).

A perfect bit of summer science.

Lottie Doll Dress Pattern

I recently came across the Lottie dolls by Arklu. Miss 3 is just hitting the barbie phase, and I was a bit shocked to really look at a barbie again for the first time since I was a child, and be confronted with THAT body shape. Not that I think I was psychologically damaged by playing with Barbies as a kid, but the Lottie doll seemed like a very nice alternative. So I got her one. 

She liked it, but to be honest it wasn't pink enough (I got the one with the dress sense I wish Miss 3 liked, not the ultra pink dress sense she has). I could see she would be much more loved if she had some pink changes of clothes.

But I can't find clothes for her without buying a whole extra doll!

So I made this pattern. It's my first go at pattern making, and so I'm very pleased it worked.

Click HERE to download the free pattern. It's designed to print to A4.

The steps I used to sew it together:
1. Sew shoulders (A and B) together using a stitch that stops the fraying.
2. Turn over and hem the arm holes (where the dotted lines are)
3. Hem the neck and bottom edge of dress, and also the seams down the back of the dress.
4. Sew sides of dress together, stopping at arm holes, using a stitch that stops the fraying.
5. Sew on a rectangle of velcro (hook and loop) to the middle of the two back flaps to keep the dress closed.

That's it!

The dress should slip on over the front of the doll a bit like a painting smock and be fastened with the velcro at the back. This way it's easy enough for Miss 3 to dress Lottie by herself.

Lottie Doll Dress Pattern

31 January 2013

Cotton Bud Tree Painting


Just a little painting fun. A few different ways to paint a cherry blossom tree or Jacaranda tree using only Q-tips (cotton buds). I'm sure the same could be done for an Autumn or Spring tree, if the colours are right.

Miss 3 thought it was great fun too.

And the usual way that Miss 3 finishes any painting time: some hand painting (followed by making some paint gloves for herself).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...