Friday, 31 August 2012

things I'm loving this week

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

seeing these everywhere
being outside with the kids more
a limo parked outside our house and the driver let the kids explore
Our pass to Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

making these with the kids, they're now on my bedside table


I start a new job on Monday teaching my own wee class- two days a week- perfect! 

for more things people are loving see:


Thursday, 30 August 2012

calm jars

I've seen these on the www a few times and since certain members of our household are prone to the odd 'wobbly' as my mum calls them, I thought they'd be useful.

1. Find a clean jar with a tight sealing lid
2. Fill to nearly the top with warm water ( ours took 3 cups)
3. add 2 small containers of glitter ( we also put some nearly finished glitter glue in)
4. add 2 heaped teaspoons of paste powder ( or already made clear water based craft glue)
5. add some food colouring
6. shake it- lots

The clear glue makes the water thick and you can see the glitter moving around slowly. The kids like watching it float and it's meant to calm them down as they do- we'll see!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

paper flowers

We made these this morning to celebrate Spring coming and to share as part of the colourmethere colour-me-happy-project for August.

Some are paper scrunched tightly into blossom shaped balls, some are painted and glittered segments of egg carton, some are circles cut from old magazines and scrunched, some are coiled strips of card- all of them are on straws : )

Monday, 27 August 2012

drawing with charcoal

the subjects ( favourite bed toys) are sitting up ready to go
willow charcoal, bought in the UK many years ago
get nice thick paper, look and draw, look and draw
that's the face and ears done
eyes one tusk and a trunk done
M's nearly finished
hands get pretty messy
M's lion portrait all done, (T's finished picture was camera shy)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

a tee shirt for dad

My husband is really hard to buy presents for, it gets harder the longer we're together as I keep having to come up with new ideas. This year, I wanted something personal ( from the kids) yet practical for Dad's day. We bought the cotton singlet and tee shirt from the warehouse for $5 each ( I wasn't spending much in case the idea was a flop). Here's what we did:

1. Put a thick wad of newspaper inside the tee shirt
2. Have the kids draw a picture in chalk on the front
3. Go over the chalk lines in bleach using a thin paint brush ( an adult needs to do this bit)
4. Let the bleach dry
5. Wash and dry separately as normal ( to remove the excess bleach and chalk lines)

The colour that the bleach changes the tee shirt too will vary depending on the start colour. I like ours, I won't make the hubby wear them out in public if he doesn't want to but there's nothing wrong with them for around the house- how proud will the kids be that dad's wearing something made by them!?

I'm also wondering if we could draw and cut out simple stencil shapes, place them on a tee shirt and spray the bleach on so it leaves an outline. We might try that with kid's tee shirts when the weather warms up a bit.

newspaper inside
kids draw in chalk
bleach on chalk lines

finished singlet -T's- a car on a road with a rainbow
finished tee shirt- M's portraits
a close up, it's really cool watching the fabric change

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

make a play pizza

This idea came from M and T getting a parcel today from Pop and grandma Bev. M took off with the box and came back asking for scissors so she could make it into a pizza box. I made them up a pizza each on card using a plate as a template.

They enjoyed talking about what they were going to draw on their pizza and M cut hers up into slices. T wanted his to stay as one big piece.

I love making this sort of thing. We played for ages. Some ideas we played with were to:

- pretend to call up and ordering our pizza on an old cell phone
- take turns being the delivery person and paying for the pizzas at the door
-pretending to eat pieces with really streeeeeetchy cheese
-play pizza restaurants
-host a pizza party for the toys

you couls aldo:
- draw up paper ingredients to add to the card base and play pizza chefs
- make up the same sort of thing but in felt so that it's more durable
-they'd make a cool pizza party invite (made smaller scale of course)

chocolate icing and onion flavour

onion, tomato, salami and cheese flavour
a squashed box from lots of playing
You could also go really fancy and make a paper mache pizza, here's the link thanks Molly Moo : papier-mache-pizzas

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Grass heads by Vikki

This is another mum's clever and fun idea that she adapted from internet wanderings to share at her kid's preschool, thanks heaps Vikki C.

The Montessori have been asking if any relatives have a craft they can share with the children. It took me a while to think of something three and four year olds would be able to make.  Finally came up with the idea of grass heads.  At the Montessori they have a letter of the week. This past week happened to be 'G', so they discussed what words start with that letter.  Perfect week to do Grass heads.
I did look on the net to get some tips.  Especially the easiest way and safest.  Most people make them with soil, which I did wonder if that was safe for little ones.  One site used sawdust, which I thought was a great idea, but when I went to buy it, not so easy (Bunnings and Placemakers have treated timber so not safe for the kids).  Somehow I stumbled upon using cotton wool, so finally I was set to go. I made one a week before I was due to help at the Montessori, which gave it enough time to sprout. I went with a pirate to keep the boys interested.  A dinosaur would have been fun too, or a fairy, or an animal, endless options really.

Here's what you need:

Grass seeds - I got a big bag of plain seeds, all the coloured ones have a fertiliser in them, which I didn't know if it would be safe?  You could just buy a lawn repair kit, which is smaller, but has fertiliser.

Stockings - any type and colour - I thought a leopard print would have been fun, but didn't have that :-). I've heard you can use socks, but sometimes hard for grass to pop through.

Cotton wool - preschool used cotton balls, but I used a roll of cotton wool that I got from the chemist, personally feel that worked better for shaping the head.

Yoghurt pottle - a great way to recycle.  I wanted to paint the pottles white then get the kids to decorate.  But didn't work for me, so I cut strips of paper/card then got the kids to colour them in and glued them around the pottle, probably turned out easier that way :-).

Coloured paper/card - to decorate the pottle.

Craft Glue - water proof, for sticking things onto the stockings.

Googly eyes - the kids could even put just one or lots and make them into monsters. 

Rubber bands - really small ones work well for making the nose or even ears, just pull some of the cotton wool into a ball through the stocking then band it.  As you saw that was a little full on for 15 kids at once, so we glued on balls for the nose.

Then any craft supplies for decorating - I used pipe cleaner to shape the eye patch, could also make glasses out of it, which I wanted to do for P's one.

To make them:

Put your hand through to the toe of the stocking then into the yoghurt pottle, so the toe is in it and hang the leg part of stocking over the sides of the pottle.  Put two teaspoons of grass seed into the toe of the stocking.  Now fill with cotton wool, you will need more than what fits in the pottle, so just pull out and continue filling as much as you want.  Some people use a mug for this process, but I thought easier for kids to just use the pottles they had.  Then tie the stocking in a knot and leave a dangle of stocking.  When you stand the head on the pottle the dangle will suck up the water you put in the pottle.  

I now made sure the seeds were spread nicely, its quite easier to manipulate them around the toe of the stocking.  Then decorate and leave over night so the glue sets.  Next morning wet all of the head then stand in the pottle of water.  Put on a windowsill.  Will take about five days to sprout.  Then just wait for it to thicken up and you can cut how you like - just a trim or make a mohawk.

Here's a cute video too- my kids love watching other kids crafting. I love how this kids says" diiiirt."

Saturday, 18 August 2012

take a toy parachuting

I remember making these when I was a kid, I can picture us using one of my brother's plastic toy soldiers and a hanky. I also remember trying to get higher and higher using trees, fences or the shed roof so the drops were more dramatic- hours of fun. I recommend buying a single hole punch, I've used mine heaps and it was $3 from the 123 mart : ).

You'll need these things, two pieces of string each cut to about twice the diagonal width of the paper napkin.

Stick sellotape to each corner to make them stronger and then punch a hole.

Make two knots to make 'handles' in one piece of string and tie the ends on to each corner. Tie the other piece of string to the first in the middle of the handles and then each the ends the other holes ( making a cross).
Attach your parachutist ( we taped the strings to the back of the toy too).
Take it somewhere high up and drop it.
So simple and heaps of fun!

Friday, 17 August 2012

dinosaur feet

Our boy needs no encouragement to be loud ( neither does the girl) but I knew they'd love stomping around in these cool dinosaur feet.

1. Cut out a dinosaur foot shape in card
2. Use that shape as a template for the second foot ( so they're the same)
3. Paint
4. When dry make holes in each foot. I had T stand on the foot and I drew a dot each side of his foot and made holes there.
5. thread ribbon through one hole and knot underneath- thread the ribbon through the other hole and do the same.
6. Thread two longer pieces of ribbon or thick string through each of the hole, again knotting underneath. These pieces need to be long enough for your kids to hold the ends of while standing up
7. Hopefully the pictures will make this all clear!

munch 100s and 1000s biscuit...paint....munch...paint..munch


Idea and possibly much better instructions from here : http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dinosaur-feet-craft