This week Mr Z and I have tried out a new craft which we had not even heard of before. We were sent a Rainbow Wet Felting kit from Elsie and Fleur, which was an ideal after school activity while the younger two children were having a nap.
The kit comes with a selection of Merino wool and curly corriedale fleece, plus bubble wrap, template and instructions which will help you to make the project. This activity suitable for age 3+ but does definitely require some adult supervision and help. Mr Z who completed the project with me is 5 years old. More
Mr T recently came home with a bag of all his winter crafts and christmas work that he has done at nursery. I haven’t done these particular crafts with him so can not share the methods but here are all his finished pieces of work. He has made some lovely things so it will be nice to look back on, and may give a few ideas if anyone is looking for some examples of winter craft ideas.
Angel made from Doilies. This one is really cute!
Decorated Christmas tree in a pot
Salt dough Christmas tree and angel hanging decorations
Decorated 3d Star. I’m actually not too sure what this has been made out of. Any ideas?!
Decorated snow flake with scrunched tissue.
Decorated Christmas present.
These are all made by Mr T aged just turned 4 years. He would have had some help from his teachers, but Mr T loves to do crafts and when he wants to he will really concentrate and enjoys sticking lots of bits down. I’m always proud to see the creations he brings home and see what he has been up to.
I love taking part in Linkys, it’s something which helps you to feel part of the blogging community and if there are any newer bloggers starting out I would definitely advise you to look out for these and get involved. It’s a great way to find and chat to other bloggers, discover new and interesting posts, and get your content seen by a wider audience too – so it benefits everyone!
For something slightly different, I have decided to start up a Sharing Day on my Facebook page. Every Monday I will give the chance for bloggers, parents, or anyone interested to come along and share posts and ideas. I’m looking for crafts, activities, children’s play and learning ideas or anything along these lines – to fit in with the theme of the blog: In The Playroom: Playing, Learning & Having Fun! ie: Please don’t just come and link dump irrelevant content! 🙂
I will then go through and pin and share some of the great ideas to help my readers and followers to discover new blogs and new ideas. (If you link up through your blog Page rather than personal profile, it will be easier for me to share the pages.) I hope to get lots of you joining in and please do spread the word to help this become a success!
We love trying out new and different mediums for craft activities, so making sand art pictures with the kits from Kids Bee Happy was an ideal activity to keep Mr Z busy during the school holidays.
The kit contains two pictures; one small and one large size and a packet of ten sand art pens in mixed colours. It also includes a plastic sleeve and hook to attach so you can display it once the picture is finished, and two sticks which are used to peel off the different sections of the picture as you work.
Mr Z decided to do the small picture first, which is a Father Christmas design. His idea was to decorate Father Christmas in all different and unusual colours, to make a “really silly world, where everything is different.” I’m not one to stifle the kids creativity, so I let him go with his ideas rather than making him stick to the conventional Father Christmas colours. He really enjoyed decorating it in his own design and he found it quite funny to choose which colours he wanted in each place – like a pink beard!
The instructions are given with the kit and it is fairly easy to follow. I did help Mr Z a little and supervised him throughout the activity. Some 5 year olds may be able to do it independently, but for most I think some supervision is probably a good idea!
To get started, you choose the section you would like to colour with sand first, and lift up the yellow sheet from the front, just covering that section. This enables the sand to cover the area nicely without going over the lines into the next section and give a neat and effective finished result. Mr Z started with the sky which he decided to colour black, and we went on from there section by section. The sand pens are squeezable but to get more out at once, Mr Z decided to open the whole pen and shake some out, you can then spread it over the desired area by carefully shaking. Note: It’s recommended to do the activity on a tray, and this is why – as it will then be really easy to clean up all the shaken sand at the end.
Here’s the picture half way through – coming along nicely. As you can see, the bits which are not yet coloured still have their yellow cover to keep them clean until they are needed.
To complete the whole picture took us 45 minutes for the small picture. This may vary depending on how quick you work, but it seemed a good length for the activity as it kept Mr Z occupied for quite a while yet didn’t take forever for him to be able to see his finished result.
He enjoyed the activity and was quite proud of his finished picture, which he says looks awesome.
Before throwing away the left over sand in the tray, of course we had to use it for a bit of mark making as that is fun and seemed a wasted opportunity not to! You can also experiment with mixing the different colours in the tray before you get rid of the extra sand.
The Kids Bee Happy sand art kids are available from www.sandartcrafts.co.uk and start at only £5 for a kit like ours with one large and one small picture inside. This is good value, as both pictures combined will keep a child occupied for a good couple of hours+ and its a great easy way to experiment with new textures and different ways to make pictures. I think the activity would be enjoyed by children of all ages, whether boys or girls. It is not suitable for under 3s so do keep it out of toddlers’ reach.
Have you tried arts and crafts with Sand before? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments
Here are 13 of the most popular posts here on In The Playroom throughout 2013 (excluding any reviews, and giveaways) which I would like to share with you in case you missed any the first time around. Have a browse through if you have time, or pin for later. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on if you try out any of the activities!
The boys had recently been given some cookie decorating kits by their auntie, and as New Year’s Eve is approaching I thought making New Year’s Cookies would be the ideal activity to keep them busy for a while on such a cold and rainy day.
Our kit had star shaped gingerbread cookies, the perfect shape for any celebration. Of course you could make your own too. We had red and yellow icing to decorate, and star/snowflake shapes, and round red balls. Gold or silver balls would be lovely for a New Year’s theme too.
The boys all enjoyed decorating the cookies, and only a few of them got bitten into before they could be decorated (thanks to Mr R!)
Some very easy ideas for young ones are:
Icing the year
Icing new year’s messages
These can be decorated by adding balls all along the iced letters/numbers or kept plain and decorated at the edges
Decorating in star shapes
Fireworks designs – this will work better if you have more colours of icing, but is good for young one who want to just scribble with the icing
Here’s some of the finished cookies:
If you are looking for more fun ideas for kids at New Year’s you could try these Firework craft ideas, which also links to Edible Sparklers and Firework cookies if you are looking for more food based ideas.
I’m always looking for new creative ideas to try out with the boys, and the idea of spinning paint pictures appealed to me as soon as I saw it. We made these using a spinning art machine which allows you to create unique and really effective designs by squeezing paint onto the paper disks as they spin in the machine. I knew the boys would love to try this out.
This is the product that we used : The 4m Spinning Art Machine. See it on Amazon (UK / US)
Here’s what’s included in the box:
Also a plastic outer cover for the machine which is not pictured below
This was an ideal after school activity for Z and Mr T (ages 5 and 4) and it’s something that worked really well for two children together, as we found that one could drop the paint while the other was spinning the machine, and then they could switch roles. The machine is kid powered rather than battery powered, which is always good.
They both really enjoyed the process, and loved the results that were created. It gave quite different results from the usual painting activities we would be doing at home, with paint brushes, sponges, hand or potato printing. I actually found it seemed to be less messy too – Although you MUST keep the plastic outer tray on the machine or it would get very messy as the paint does fly off a bit if you spin it fast. With the plastic protector that paint is all contained and the area is kept clean. I also really liked that the machine is manually powered, it does not require any batteries at all. You simply press it, and it goes. It doesn’t need to be pressed with any particular skill or strength, which is good as T was able to manage this fine although he is slightly under the recommended age.
The results come out different every time and give a cool swirly paint splat effect. At first the boys did squeeze a bit too much paint out then they learned to use less. The 4 tubes provided are not very large, so once that paint is used up you may want to refill these. I was also thinking that we could try out adding different substances to the spinning disks like squeezy glitter glue which comes in a similar shaped tube, or even perhaps spraying paint on to the discs from an old household cleaner bottle. There is a lot of potential here to expand and try different ideas with the spinning art machine in your art sessions at home.
If you want to see the machine in action spinning around, have a look at this short video – as you can see Z was quite impressed with the machine.
These decorated tree cards are perfect for Autumn and apple season or can be adapted to a slightly more Christmassy shape as winter draws on! This simple paint and pom poms cardmaking craft was lots of fun for my boys aged 2 and 3.
To make your decorated tree card (apple tree or christmas tree) you will need:
Card cut into tree shapes. You can either do this yourself with a template or draw free hand, or get ready made shapes. Ours were ready made as a part of a vDabble box (see previous post about vDabble here)
Paint – We used red and green
Glue – We used both PVA glue and Pritt Stick.
Decorations for the tree – We used pom poms as baubles and strips of shredded tissue as tinsel. You could use real tinsel, sparkly pipe cleaners, sequins, glitter or anything else!
It’s ideal for younger children as it doesn’t matter where they place the decorations on the tree or how carefully (or not) they put them on, it will still give that decorated tree effect.
Mr R (2) and Mr T (3) really enjoyed all the painting and sticking. Mr T is getting much more precise now, and really concentrates! Mr R has almost covered himself as much as the card! This is a really quick and easy craft. We only spent about half an hour doing it this afternoon, but if I had given them more trees to decorate and a wider selection of decorations it could have kept them busy for ages! To make this into a Christmas card, simply write your message on the back – or you could mount the decorated tree shape onto a traditional folded card.
We love Fireworks night! With Mr T being in hospital recently we weren’t able to take the kids to a display this weekend (although hopefully the coming weekend we can!). Luckily, our next door neighbours had a display in their back garden last night which the boys were able to watch from their window so they haven’t totally missed out. Fireworks are one of the best parts of Autumn for me. Mr Z obviously feels the same, as watching the fireworks from the window he said they were “awesome epic wow” – which is quite a compliment 😀 As well as watching Fireworks, we could have lots of fun with Fireworks crafts
As well as watching Fireworks, sparklers, eating toffee apples, and wrapping up outside in warm hats and gloves; Bonfire and Firework Night crafts have to be an essential part of a British childhood in Autumn! Halloween is fun, but as far as I’m concerned – Fireworks night is the best!
Here are some of our Bonfire and Fireworks craft ideas: 3D Bonfire picture: Very simple – Craft Maize (its this stuff if you’re not sure) for logs for the bonfire then ripped up firey colour tissues, with glitter, stars and sparkle for a bit of extra Bonfire Night magic. This can be done even by quite young toddlers, if you guide them roughly where to stick things and could be made really intricate and cool by an older child. Black Paper and Chalk: An even simpler idea. Black paper for the night sky, and chalk for the splashes of colour zinging and zapping out from the fire works! Chalk shows up very strongly on the black so can be quite effective. Mr R (2) loved scribbling with the chalk, and the good thing is that any shapes and designs could work as fireworks really!
Paint and Glitter: For young children, simply shaking some glitter into their paint will give a more sparkley and firey effect to their painting, helping their Firework paintings to look more effective. Mr Z painted the whole sky dark blue and then added some dashes of glittery paint.
You can also do a chalk silhouette of the roof tops and then add the glitter and paint fireworks in the sky above.
With young children, sometimes it works best just to gather a range of suitable supplies and let them get on with it, rather than a very structured craft (depending on the child – my boys like their artistic freedom!)
So here’s some ideas of materials perfect for Bonfire and Fireworks Night themed crafts and pictures:
Coloured Tissues: Reds, Oranges, Browns and Yellows for fire. Any colours for Fireworks!
Maize, or real Twigs from the garden to make a bonfire
Autumn leaves to add an outdoors effect
Silver and gold card
Tin foil or shiny metallic sweet wrappers
Silver, gold or coloured stars – sequin stars or star stickers
For some other Bonfire and Fireworks ideas and resources Have a look at:
Earlier this week we were sent a Dabble Box to try out, from vDabble this was tailored towards Z’s age (5 years) but also fine for T at nearly 4. It’s perfect timing for the Dabble Box with half term here, especially as T is still recovering from his surgery and not allowed out of the house in case of infection risk, so I have needed to find plenty of things to keep the boys occupied in the house. A Dabble Box is perfect for that!
When looking through the 4 different activities included in our box, I decided to start with making Halloween candles. This is not something that it had ever occurred to me to make with the children. I really hadn’t realised that making candles could be so easy or achievable for children so young! It was a great activity, and everything we needed was right there in the box making it really convenient for me.
Here’s how we got on:
First we softened the wax in some warm water and then shaped it, and added the wicks. Mr T enjoyed snipping the wicks to the right size and they both really enjoyed moulding the wax into the shape they wanted. They did need a bit of help from me to get the wax softened up and rolled into a good ball shape. The sheet from the Dabble Box gave ideas to make Pumpkin, Witch and Bat candles. We didn’t follow this 100% because sometimes the boys have their own ideas so I give them a bit of leeway to do it how they like. They liked the pumpkin design best so we made a couple of Pumpkins and Mr T wanted to do a bat too.
Once they got the hang of it they were quite able to shape their wax and make their candles into the designs they wanted.
And they were really pleased with the results! As was I – the candles are pretty cute and it was great fun for us all to make!
I would never have really known where to buy candle wax from, or had the idea to do this activity so the Dabble Box was brilliant in giving us a push to do this. And we still have 3 more activities which I’m sure we will do before the week is over (of course I will share them on the blog too!)
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