RSS Feed

Tag Archives: creative with kids

Letter to Santa

I thought I would share this activity with everyone as Christmas is on its way and writing a letter to Santa is something my girls look forward to this time of year.  You can send your letter and use the service provided by Australia Post (details below) or you can reply to your children’s letter pretending to be Santa 🙂

I sit individually with both girls and write our letters. Lara tells me what she would like to write and I write it for her then she draws pictures for Santa. Olivia who is learning to write, writes some words herself and adds her pictures.  Once the letters are written the girls decorate them using pens, pencils, textas or paint.

Australia Post provides for Australian residents where you can post your letter in a red post box and Santa will reply. You can also down load Santa letter templates either coloured or black and white.  For more information see http://auspost.com.au/personal/letters-to-santa.html

Once your letters are written, addressed and stamped we walk down to the local letter box and post them. It is not long before Santa sends a letter back which is a very exciting day at our house!!

This is a great activity to do with children as it promotes language and literacy, creativity and imagination.

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.

    

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.

Worms!

About 6 weeks ago we set up our own worm farm in our back garden. My husband laughs at how excited I was and continue to be with the process he especially laughs at the thought of me handling the worms as I am not big on creepy crawlies.  I think  the overall idea started when the girls were helping in the garden and were excited to see the earth worms. I did a bit of internet surfing and found information about to setting up and caring for a worm farm.

I loved that not only is it an educational experience for the kids but a great way to recycle food scraps that would otherwise end up as land fill. In return you get worm wiz (worm wee!) which can be used as a liquid fertiliser on the garden. You can also use the worm poo (castings) as manure mixed with potting mix in potted plants or sprinkled around you existing plants. It takes about 3-6 months for the worm farm to be up and running so you can start collecting the castings. Saying that we have learnt a lot from our little wriggly friends in the short time we have had them.

The girls love peeking into the farm and seeing what the worms are up to. We have spoken about what the worms eat and the girls put left over scraps into our worm food container.   They are both keen to hold the worms and enjoy having their hands tickled by the wriggly wet creatures (Liv’s exact words) we have carefully pulled a worm out and put it on a piece of paper and watched how it has wriggled and dances around the page. We talked about his shape, colour, whether he is a boy of a girl and talked about where worms like to live. You don’t need to have a worm farm to do this activity as it can be done with earthworms found in every garden.

So to take this interest a step further we have done some worm painting today. This activity uses string to paint with rather painting worms as my sister Louise thought.   🙂

What you need:

Paper

String or wool

Poster paint

Water

Put some paint in a container and mix in a little water to make the paint the consistency of thickened cream. Wet the string and place it in the paint. I used gardening string and once it was wet it frayed a little this added to the effect but next time I think I will try it with wool.  Keep one end of the string out of the paint to use as a handle. Once the end of the string is wet with paint you can wriggle it along the paper to make wriggly worm lines and patterns.

             

During this activity we had lots of conversations about the colours mixing together, the patterns the string was making and the way that worms move.  Not only does this activity encourage communication, language and colour awareness , it develops fine motor control by using different methods and materials to paint with.

Fish

Hi Everyone!  Its been ages since my last post as we have had a busy few weeks with Christmas, New years and Liv starting Preschool! Over the last few weeks we also have been busy in the garden starting a worm farm and planting some veggie patches. I look forward to sharing our adventures and craft experiences with you over my next few posts.

Today my post is all about fish, Lara was mesmerised by them at the local pet shop even trying to pick them up through the glass. I like to extend on the girls interests in our craft experiences especially with Lara who is happy to paint a few lines on a page and be done.  From this activity we have extended it further by singing songs about fish, reading books about fish, The Rainbow Fish is a favourite, and used our new fish to make up our own fish stories.

What you need:

Paper plates – Plastic plates don’t work as the paint doesn’t stick.

Poster paint

Stapler

Foil

Paint brushes

Felt tip marker – or you can use googly eyes if you have them

Scissors

How to make the fish:

Separate the paper plates and use the scissors cut a triangle out of two plates. This space will become the mouth. Keep the two cut out triangles.

Place the plates to they are facing each other and staple around the edges. Place the two triangles together and staple them on to the opposite end to the mouth. These will become the tail.

Draw an eye on both sides of the fish.

Once the body is constructed you can decorate them any way you like. We started by painting the fish and once dry we painted some foil and tore it up then glued it on to the fish to look like scales.

Our finished fish:

Group Drawing

After a big morning of pizza making with a few friends and their kids (8 kids 4 years old and under!!)  I had my girls and my nice Emily to entertain for the afternoon. We needed an easy activity to do that they could all do and meant that I wasn’t run off my feet so painting wasn’t an option!!  So we got out some big paper, covered the table and the girls got creative.

What you need:

Paper – I have big sheets that you can get from art shops and newsagents. Or in you have a local newspaper printers nearby (we do!) you can buy rolls of newspaper that hasn’t been printed on, (kind of like butchers paper) Or you can tape together A4 sheets to make one big sheet

Tape – Masking tape

Crayons, pencils, chalk or textas

Tape the paper on to the table and put the crayons in the middle and get creative!

Today this activity kept the girls occupied for about 30 minutes. Then after my girls left the table Emily continued to fill the page with colour.

This is a great activity for not only the benefits of drawing but also allowing children to share a common space, learn about personal boundaries and sharing materials.

Getting creative in the kitchen!

This week we decided to be creative in the kitchen and made some Pumpkin Scones. Both my
girls love to help out in the kitchen at the moment they both love to help
unpack the dish washer. Lara packs away all the plastic cups and drink bottles
while Olivia sorts out the cutlery basket (I remove all the knives and any
other dangerous cutlery first) Children really enjoy cooking and being creative
in the kitchen and there are many “jobs” you can give them to help out so the experience enjoyable for everyone.

To start off have your recipes ready for both you the kids
to look at. Read the recipe together and get all the ingredients ready so you
can start. Do the same with measuring cups, spoons, bowls etc.

Pumpkin Scones

40g butter

¼ C caster sugar

1 egg

¾ cooked mashed pumpkin

2 ½ C self-rising flour

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1/3 C milk

2 tsp. of extra milk

Start with cooking the pumpkin and once cooled the kids can help
mash the pumpkin using a fork or a potato masher.

Pre heat the oven to 240 degrees and line a baking tin.

Beat butter and sugar with a wisk (Give the kids a wisk to do some mixing.)


Stir in pumpkin, then the dry ingredients and enough milk to
make a soft dough (the kids will enjoy using a wooden spoon to mix the dough.)

Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly (give the kids a little of the dough to knead)

Roll out dough to about 2 cm thickness and cut our shapes using a cutter. (The kids can help roll out the dough and use the cutters.)  To be a bit creative with your scones cut them out using different shaped cutters.

Place the dough on to the baking tin, brush with the extra milk (your little helpers can do this part) and bake for 15 minutes.

Once cooked allow to cool then serve with butter or a little cream cheese.

Once the scones are in the oven get the kids involved in
helping to do the clean-up. This can be helping put the utensils, bowls etc. in
the dishwasher, putting the bowl in the sink, using a cloth to wipe over the
bench, helping to sweep the floor. My girls both love to wash up so I half fill
the sink with a little detergent, just enough to make a few bubbles, and warm
water then I give them a bowl or cup and cloth and they help wash up. This
activity keeps them busy for a while; today it was enough time for the scones
to cook.

The scones are ready to eat; the kids can help here to. For
older children they can help spread butter on the scones. I use some plastic
(not very sharp) knives from Ikea. Today we ate our afternoon tea on a picnic
blanket outside which the girls thought was a great treat.

Other activities to do with kids in the kitchen:

Helping put the grocery shopping away

Helping with unpacking the dishwasher

Making their own lunch – choosing sandwich toppings, packing
their own lunchbox

Making their own dinner:meals that are social meals –
Tacos, home-made pizza, choosing which veggies to have with dinner.

For more great ideas, recipes and inspiration for cooking
with kids check out: http://www.cookwithkids.wordpress.com