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Category Archives: Art and Craft

Easter Bunny Ears

I have made these with my girls every Easter. When we do our Easter egg hunt on Easter morning both girls wear there ears and use their Easter bunny baskets (Post on how to make these is to come soon!)

Cardboard

White paper or white paint

Glue

Collage material to decorate

Cut out a strip of cardboard about 5 cm wide and long enough to fit around your child’s head. Then cut out two bunny ears and attach them to your cardboard.

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I made mine out of a thin cardboard box then covered them in white paper. This was much easier than painting them white as it meant the girls could get straight into decorating them!

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Now it’s time to decorate! I find its best to leave the cardboard flat at this stage and once it dry you can staple the ends together to make a hat. Today we used texta’s to colour in the ears then glued cotton wool onto the middle of the ears.

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The finished product….

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HAPPY EASTER!!

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Body Outlines

This activity came about after my girls thought it would be a good idea to roll the new roll of paper across the lounge room and dance all over it. The paper ended up crinkled and ripped in places and wouldn’t fit on the easel (it was bought especially as it fits the easel…) So we had to come up with something to do with all this paper.

Olivia is very much into tracing her hands so we thought we would do this on a much larger scale.

What you need:

Large piece of paper (or two stuck together)

Textas

Scissors

Put the paper on the ground and ask your subject to lay down.

Once they are in position trace around them.  Once you have traced around them cut out the body shape.

Now decorate it!

Today we used textas only but you can decorate them with all sorts of materials e.g. paint, collage materials, magazine cut outs – to make funny faces or material scraps.

My girls lay flat but you can lay in any position and have some fun with the shapes. Once these were done my girls hung them on their bed room doors.

    

City Map/Drawing

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I saw this idea over at The Imagination Tree as one of their “invitations to play”. It definitely looked like something that would go well in our house.

My little man is not very interested in arty/crafty activities and while that doesn’t stop me doing them with him, it does make it difficult to maintain his attention for any great length of time. Do you have trouble engaging your boys in drawing/painting activities? It’s quite common but it is still important that boys get exposure to these sorts of fine motor activities in order to develop their pencil grip and literacy skills.

Which is why this activity is great. For us, it combined Thomas’ interest in cars as well as his imagination at the same time as developing his fine motor skills. Win/win. We also did this as a family which was even nicer. It’s not often that Daddy gets involved in our craft activities.

This is what we started with

Really easy to do…

All you need is:

A large sheet of paper (as big as you like)

Textas (or any drawing implement)

Floor space (preferably floor that can be scribbled upon and cleaned easily because inevitably it will happen as we discovered!)

Cars

Imagination

What you do:

Draw a road on to the paper and put the cars and textas on and let your child create their own little city…

This is our end product

Let you child guide the play and play alongside them. Thomas decided he wanted to draw a park with a swing and his preschool. He needed to put a speed bump outside the preschool so we cut a toilet roll in half and taped it on.

This is the preschool. We had to put in a car park and Thomas ‘wrote’ a ‘P’ for parking in each parking spot. I love this emerging literacy. When children begin to learn that a mark represents a word or a letter – such an exciting time! We also had to put in a pedestrian crossing and a fence around the preschool to “keep the children safe”. 

We added to this for days. I left it on the floor for about a week and it evolved. it started to get a bit ripped and tatty so I pulled it up so we can play with it again.

After a couple of days we added some little people to the play map as well. We had a lot of fun with the children going to preschool and to the park!

Ocean Playdough

 We have been talking a lot about recycling as Olivia has been talking about it at Preschool. With world’s Ocean day coming up on the 8th of June I thought we could explore the ocean.

We have talked about swimming in the ocean and what we can do to take care of the ocean. To further this discussion we have made some playdough and added some sea creatures to make it more ocean like.

This was my first attempt at making cooked playdough and I am really happy with how it worked out. It is a much smoother dough than the uncooked recipe I usually use. If you haven’t made your own playdough before this is defiantly something you should try.  The only problem I had was I didn’t have any blue food colouring so we have a green ocean.

 

What you need:

A batch of playdough(recipe below)

Sea creatures (I got a bag of about 8 creatures for $1 from Big W)

How to make the dough:

2 C Flour

1 C Salt

2 tbsp Oil

4 tsp Cream of Tatar

1 1/5 – 2 C Water

Food colouring

Mix the food colouring in with the water.  Add all the ingredients , but the water, to a large sauce pan and stir.

Over low heat slowly add the water until all combined.

The mixture may be sticky at this stage but as you continue to stir it will firm up.

Once the dough is coming away from the pot turn out on to the bench and lightly knead.

The dough should be stored in plastic wrap or a plastic container in the fridge.

  

The girls enjoyed this activity they made sand castles big waves and made patterns with the star fish.

We will do this activity again tomorrow and I will add some rocks from the garden and some blue crape paper.

Once the playdough is getting old and drying out a little I will add sand to if add another texture and to continue on with the ocean theme.

Flower Card

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It’s Thomas’ Nana’s birthday today so yesterday we made this very special card for him to give her. It’s really easy and fairly quick to make and looks really sweet.

What you need:

Cardboard cut into a rectangle and folded to make card

Cardboard or paper to do prints on

Green, yellow and other coloured paints of your choice (depends what colour flowers you would like)

What you do:

Paint child’s hand and make handprint. Be sure to lightly push each finger down to ensure print is made.

Dip fingers in paint to do finger print flowers making a yellow finger print in the middle of each flower.

Allow to dry and write your message on.

We did this in a bit of a hurry and I didn’t leave the handprint to dry before doing the flowers. If I did this again, I would let the hand print dry as we got a couple of smudges when we did the finger prints.

This would make a great mothers day card too.

Happy mothers day to all the mum’s out there!

ANZAC Day Poppies

ANZAC Day is a tricky one to talk about with young children. Talking about war and people dying is not something that we really want to expose to the very young too early and yet ANZAC Day is such an important day in Australia and one that children should have some concept of.

Finding activities that introduce children to the concept of ANZAC Day is a great way to open it up for discussion in an age appropriate way. Last year we made ANZAC biscuits using my Nan’s recipe. That was pretty special and we will probably do this again this year but I wanted to do a little more than just make biscuits.

I saw these poppies on a blog called  A Little Delightful. You can download and print the poppies from here which I did but I wanted to do something that was a little bit more hands on so drew some of my own (based on the template) and Thomas and his little friend painted them with red paint.

We talked beforehand about ANZAC Day and I told Thomas that ANZAC Day was about remembering the soldiers. We looked up ‘soldiers’ in our children’s dictionary. There are some lovely children’s books around about ANZAC Day. You can see a comprehensive list at My Little Bookcase.

What you need:

White cardboard

Red poster paint and paint brush

Black paper cut into small circles

Green pipe cleaners

Sticky tape

Glue stick

What you do:

Trace and cut out poppies. Depending on the age of your children, they may or may not be able to help with this process. Thomas at 3 is a little bit too young to be able to cut out a flower. We are still working on snipping :-).

Have you child paint the poppies with the red paint.

When the poppies are dry, place some glue in the middle and stick on one black circle. Attach a pipe cleaner to the back of the poppy with sticky tape.

Create your own display for ANZAC Day :-).

How do you discuss this important day in our history with your children?

Stained Glass Window

We were in the mood for a bit of craft this afternoon but I was in the mood to not make a lot of mess! This activity was perfect. Thomas got to do some cutting and sticking and there was barely any clean up afterwards.

What you’ll need:

Some cellophane of different colours

Contact

Coloured paper

Scissors

What you do:

Using a piece of coloured paper (ours was square but you could do any shape you like), cut out the middle leaving a border around the edge. I left a border of about 2cm.

Cut a piece of contact slightly bigger than the coloured paper and place the coloured side down onto the contact.

Cut cellophane into strips.

If your child is old enough, they can use child sized scissors to snip small pieces of cellophane to stick onto the window, otherwise you can do this step.

Then all you do is stick the coloured cellophane onto the contact. When you are finished, fold over the excess contact around the border and stick onto a window.

This activity is great for colour recognition, fine motor skills and scissor development.

I love to introduce and cement children’s understanding about different concepts using books. Children’s books can help children learn in so many different ways. If you would like to extend your child’s understanding or interest in colour, here are some examples of great books that explore colour:

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See” by Bill Martin and illustrated by Eric Carle,

“Nana’s Colours” by Pamela Allen,

“Rainbow Peekaboo” by DK books

“Wow said the Owl” by Tim Hopgood

and for something a little different,

“The Black Book of Colours” by Menena Cottin.

These are just a few books with colour as the central theme. I’m sure there are many more. Do you have any favourites?