Kids Crafts

Craft Stick Puzzles – A Rainy Day Kids Activity

We had quite a lot of rainy days this summer holidays. Most of the time we still got out and about, but we had a few indoor days where I found some activities to entertain the kids! I spotted THIS VERSION on Pinterest, and we adapted it to our styles!

Craft Stick Puzzles:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity

I wasn’t sure whether to call these popsicle stick puzzles, or lolly stick puzzles, or craft stick puzzles. What do you call them?!

We started with a roll of pencils, some craft sticks, paper, and a pen:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

You will also need a glue stick, a craft guillotine / scissors, a ruler, a pencil.

Step 1: Choose how many craft sicks you want to use by laying them side by side – we used 14:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Measure a piece of paper to fit the front of the sticks:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Draw a picture onto the paper. I gave my kids a piece each and didn’t give much instruction – I just said it would look good if the colour went up to the edges of the paper:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Little Miss (age 7) drew a space picture, and Cheeky Boy (age 4) drew a lot of scribbles which he says is a spaceship:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Cut the paper up into pieces that will fit onto your craft sticks. I measured them with a ruler and pencil, then cut them with a craft guillotine. Another way to do it is to stick the whole piece of paper across the sticks, then use a craft knife to cut between the sticks – I couldn’t find a sharp craft knife so I went for this method instead:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Glue on the back of each piece of paper then adhere it to a craft stick. Cheeky Boy needed some help to make sure he put enough glue on the paper:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss was able to do hers by herself:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Once the pieces are all stuck on you can put the sticks back in order. This took a while to work out with Cheeky Boy’s as it was a complicated scribble:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

So we added numbers to his sticks to make it easier to find the right order again – it helps him with number recognition / counting as well. I wrote the numbers along the tops of the sticks, and he had a go at writing them at the bottom:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then the puzzles were finished! They had great fun trying them out, and have showed them to their friends since too. I’d love to try this again in a couple of years to see how their drawing styles have changed:

Craft Stick Puzzles - A Rainy Day Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

I might make one for myself too!

Do you or your kids like puzzles? I love them and Little Miss likes them as long as they aren’t too hard. Cheeky Boy is normally not interested in them – he’d rather build stuff with bricks!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

P.S. I’m linking this up to the Tuesday Pintorials linky party!

Kids Crafts

Kids Focus Challenge – An Indoor Activity

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

I thought it would be fun to test how well my kids can focus! I put together a few activities to make a competition for them, and they had great fun. I will be keeping this in mind for rainy day activities!

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

We had four challenges – a puzzle, a tower building time test, a memory tray, and a music memory trial!

For the puzzle I made this outline (which you can download HERE):

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

And then I cut out some felt shapes to fill it in with. Sorry I don’t have a template for the shapes yet, but I will try to sort one out in the next couple of days! I just held my outline up to the window, held the felt over the top, and drew onto the felt with pencil to trace the outlines.

I made two puzzles so the kids had one each:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

I gave Cheeky Boy a 5 second head start and just said the first person to finish was the winner. I shouldn’t have given him a head start as he finished way before Little Miss, she particularly struggled with the areas where there were curves cut from shapes so the circles fit in. She kept ignoring the curved holes entirely!

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

The next challenge was who could build the tallest tower. They had baskets of bricks with the same amount in each, and 5 minutes on the timer to see who could make the biggest stack of bricks!

 Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

I didn’t give any head starts this time. At one point it looked like Cheeky Boy was going to win again:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

But by the end when the time was up, Cheeky Boy’s wobbly tower had fallen down, but the stronger tower by Little Miss was still standing:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

The next challenge was the memory challenge. They had two minutes to stare at a tray of toys to try and memorize them, then they told me what I could remember and I ticked the boxes for the ones they got right:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

Here they are memorizing the items, you can see that Cheeky Boy’s focus wasn’t great at this point:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

This game was too easy for Little Miss, but Cheeky Boy struggled, just look at his concentrating face:

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

He only got five because Little Miss whispered a few in his ear! Next time I would do different levels of tray, with more on for Little Miss and less on for Cheeky Boy.

The final game was a music challenge, I tapped a few notes on a xylophone and they had to try and repeat the tune. Little Miss was excellent at this but Cheeky Boy just kept playing his own tune!

Kids Focus Challenge - A Rainy Day Indoor Activity

I want to test them both some more with this last one!

Be Inspired:

Use felt or craft foam to cut some geometric shapes for a project

Try a memory challenge – find a photo and see how many things you can write down about that day / place / moment

Fill a heart with a mosaic of colourful shapes

How do you think you would have handled these challenges? My memory isn’t great so I think someone should test me with the kids focus challenge!

I’ll see you again soon,

Jennifer x

P.S. I’m linking this up to Motivation Monday!

Kids Crafts

Kids Craft – Crayons + Watercolours!

As my children are on their Easter break from school I thought we ought to do a kids craft activity. Every day they get a little crafty with their felt pens and stickers, but when they get to use Mummy’s paint’s that’s a real treat. I decided to show them what happens when you use crayons (you could also use oil pastels) and watercolours!

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

When you draw a picture with wax crayons and then paint over the top with watercolours the crayon resists the paint so you can still see the pattern through. This is like magic for kids (and I find it quite fun too).

We started with a box of crayons and Mummy’s watercolour paints to share, plus a palette, water pot, paintbrushes, and white card each. They had two scraps of white card to try the techniques out on first, then a big A3 sheet of card each for a bigger picture:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

This card is nothing fancy, just cheap white card. It will buckle after painting but will flatten out quite a bit if you stick it underneath something heavy once it’s dry!

They started on the scraps first, but you can’t tell my daughter to hurry for a practice piece, she wanted a perfect picture even on the small scrap. Cheeky Boy can’t do much except scribble and draw crosses / kisses:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once they’ve drawn some marks with crayon it’s time to start painting. I showed them both how to use the watercolours and Little Miss managed on her own, but I did have to help my son get the consistency right for the paint – he kept doing it too dry so it wouldn’t spread, or too watery so it had hardly any colour. Once I helped him mix it he went crazy with the painting though:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

He was smiling the whole time:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss had her concentrating face on though! This was when she’d moved onto her second scrap of card, where I’d encouraged her to scribble – she’d basically coloured in the flowers on the first scrap and not really tried out the resist effect of the crayons. So she tried it out here with white crayon as the resist:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky Boy moved onto his big piece of card and made lots of lovely swirls and marks with the crayon. At this point he was most interested in what colours we could make by mixing different hues together. Thumbs up for making purple:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss moved onto her big piece of card, but she was mostly colouring again. When she was using the resist she was painting along the crayon marks by following the lines rather than swooshing the paint across:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

When she said she’d finished I showed her that she could put a lot of water onto the brush to swipe across the picture – to make the colours blend a bit more and fill up the white gaps for her page which she had fun with.

Here are their finished pictures:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

This was a really easy activity that they were both able to try despite the age differences (they are 3 and 7 years old). It kept my daughter interested for longer but my son maybe had more fun as he was in his element making a mess! I had to keep reminding myself not to worry if they weren’t doing things how I expected – it’s more important for them to experiment and have fun, right?!

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m thinking this was an introductory session and I will have a go again with more of a project in mind – maybe lots of squares with different patterns on to make a collage. There’s some more ideas for how to use this technique by other bloggers HERE, HERE, and HERE.

In the meantime I will experiment on my own too – here’s my quick attempt:

Kids Craft - Watercolours + Crayons at Jennifer Grace Creates

I did use this technique on a layout a few years ago (called Funny Faces – HERE), and now I’ve reminded myself about it I think I’ll be using it more often!

If you want more ways to use watercolours make sure you come back on Thursday (the 9th of April) when I’ll be sharing a process video for a watercolour card.

See you soon,

Jennifer x

P.S. I’m linking this up to the Tuesday Tutorials #pintorials Linky Party!

Kids Crafts

Making A Waste Wizard – Kids Craft

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of crafty time with the kids. Here’s one of our latest projects, which Little Miss wanted to make for a local competition…

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was a fun project using recyclable items and crafty stuff we already had, so I’m sharing it as it can be something to turn to when the kids are bored!

Here’s the leaflet we received about the competition:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Basically you had to use recyclable items as the base for your project, and then you could add crafty stuff like paint and glitter on top.

We gathered together lots of bits that would normally go in our recycling bin:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

And Little Miss rifled through for inspiration. I am always determined to let my kids steer their projects rather than suggesting / guiding them too much – they always come up with things I would never think of!

Once she’d chosen a few bits she started building the body together using sticky tape (I sat beside her and kept passing her bits of tape):

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

We had to make sure the wizard stayed under 40cm tall per the competition rules.

He has an empty salsa pot and a soap bottle as the body, egg box arms (with a bit of newspaper padding) and a toilet inner cylinder as the head:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now Little Miss came out with one of those unexpected gems… she wanted the wizard to rattle. You have to pick the wizard up and say ‘abracadabra’, give him a shake, then you can hear the magic happening!

She found these milk bottle tops to make the rattling noise and taped them inside the salsa pot:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

She also chose a plastic cup for a hat. Then she started coating the hat and body (inc all the sticky tape) with newspaper and glue:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I helped out a bit with the paper-mache as it takes a while!

We left the wizard to dry overnight at this point. Then the next morning it was time to paint it all. Cheeky boy wanted to join in at this point so I gave him some paper and let him go crazy experimenting with the paint:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s what the parts looked like when painted:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Finally the wizard needed some finishing touches. The facial features were drawn with permanent markers. He had to have recycling symbols on somewhere so Little Miss stuck one on his hat and one on each armpit! I don’t think she was aiming for armpits but that’s what it looked like to me – I smiled and didn’t comment. She also made hair and eyebrows from newspaper, a wand out of cardboard, a beard out of an envelope (the printed inside), and a tie out of a ring-pull:

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

She added some glitter to the base of his cloak and to the top of his hat, then he was all finished (Cheeky Boy photo-bombed this picture, but they looked so cute I had to use it):

Making A Waste Wizard Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

The added fun with the glitter is that when you shake the wizard to hear him rattle you also shower magical glitter everywhere! Didn’t think about that but it seems appropriate.

There are so many ways to adapt the wizard / witch, I’ve seen a wizard with an owl perched on his head, a witch wearing recycled jewellery, and another wizard with a see-through body!

With this project, my birthday card using recycled items, and an activity making junk creatures at Rainbows, I’m all recycled out right now! Which is okay, because I just received some new-to-me scrappy items I bought in a sale, so I’m itching to use them. Time to break open the box.

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders – Kids Craft

This week I started volunteering as a leader for Rainbows, which is part of the Girl Guiding Association. Rainbows is like a club for 5-7 year old girls. I have been helping there for a few months as a mum helper, and my friend Rosie was the leader… but now Rosie is 7 months pregnant and needing some maternity leave. So I’m taking over as the main leader, though there are a few wonderful regular volunteers who will be supporting me thank goodness!

Tuesday was my first session of being in charge, the meeting lasts an hour so I had to plan out activities to fill that time. We are working towards a badge called the Rustle, Bustle, Squeak badge, all about nature and animals, so for our main activity we wanted to make bird feeders. Often when my kids have made bird feeders at nursery or school they have been pine cones filled with lard and coated with seed. I’m sure they do the job but they are a bit of a stinky, gloopy thing to be handed at the end of a day, so I searched for something more pretty…

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I found inspiration for these cookie cutter / biscuit cutter bird feeders from searching Pinterest and checking out a few blogs HERE, HERE, and HERE. So the idea is not original but I thought I’d share with you how we did it, and what measurements we used for the packets of gelatine I could get at Tesco. These photos are all from a practice run I did at home with Little Miss – to make sure it worked!

Here’s how to make these…

Step 1: Buy some wild bird seed (I bought a big bag from the local pet shop), and some gelatine / gelatin (I used Dr. Oetker’s gelatine 12g sachets which I found in the baking aisle of Tesco, there were 3 sachets in a pack):

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Keep the children back for this bit. Pour 115ml (approx) of hot boiled water into a large bowl, open a sachet of gelatine, and sprinkle it on top of the hot water, whisking as you do so. Keep whisking until the gelatine granules have all dissolved – to check this you can dip a metal spoon into the mixture then take it out and see if there are any granules on the spoon. If there are some granules left keep whisking, if not move onto step 3.

(For the Rainbows group we had 16 girls, so we used 4 sachets in 4 separate bowls, so we could split the girls into manageable groups.)

Step 3: Now the kids can start helping! Get them to measure 2 cups (240ml per cup) of birdseed into the gelatine mixture:

  Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Stir the mixture for 1-2 minutes so the gelatine soaks into the birdseed:

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

(For the Rainbows we had 4 girls per bowl, and each girl gave the mix 10 big stirs, this seemed to be a good length of time and easier for them to count themselves).

Check the gelatine has soaked into the seeds (it can depend on how absorbent your birdseed is) – it’s okay if there’s a little liquid at the bottom of the bowl, but if there’s a puddle you might want to add a bit more birdseed.

Step 5: Place some greaseproof paper on a tray (you can place the greaseproof paper straight on your counter / table but be aware you won’t be able to move it for 3-4 hours – a tray means you can move it out of your way):

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

(The Rainbows each had an individual piece of greaseproof paper which they wrote their names on, so when I took the bird feeders home to dry I would know which one belonged to which girl!)

Step 6: Use a spoon to start scooping the birdseed out of the big bowl and into the cookie cutters:

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

For the shallower cookie cutters we filled them right to the top, for the deeper cutters we filled them just over half-way. I’d say the seed mixture needs to be at least ½” deep inside the cutter.

Step 7: Take a little piece of greaseproof paper to stop the seeds sticking to your fingers too much, and press down on the mixture inside the cutters, making sure the corners are filled up. This pressing down stage is really important, if the seeds aren’t pushed together enough the feeders will crumble when you take them out of the cutters, so make sure they are nice and squished:

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

We managed to make 9 bird feeders with this mix (to give you an idea of size, the cat cookie cutter is 3″ tall, 2½” wide, 1″ deep):

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

(The Rainbows each made 2 bird feeders. I had to find 32 suitable cookie cutters! Luckily between me and Rosie we managed it – they did differ in size and shape a lot, but there was surprisingly few arguments about who got which cutter. It’s a good lesson on sharing anyway!)

Step 8: Push pieces of plastic straw into the feeders where you want the holes to be. Make sure there’s enough seeds around the straw to hold the hole together when it’s all dry – you don’t want the straw to be right at the edge of the cookie cutter (which is what most of the girls tried to do even though they’d been told first!). Also make sure the straw is pushed all the way through, it may get stuck on a big seed and need a gentle wiggle to get it to the greaseproof paper:

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Leave the shapes to dry for 3-4 hours (I had to bring the trays home from Rainbows to do this!):

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: After 3-4 hours, turn the cookie cutters over and leave to dry again for another 3-4 hours (I left them overnight at this point). After this you should be able to gently push them out of the cookie cutters and pull out the straws. If they feel a little delicate you could leave them for longer to hopefully harden up some more. Once they are hard you can thread through some string or ribbon and hang them in the garden:

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders Kids Craft at Jennifer Grace Creates

The birds will soon be stopping by for a snack!

My daughter was so chuffed with how these turned out. We hung a few in our garden and she proudly took a few into school to hang there.

The Rainbows haven’t seen there’s yet but I know they will be excited. I did have to do a bit of patching on 5 of the ones the rainbows had made – I wasn’t able to keep an eye on all 32 feeders during the meeting so some hadn’t been pushed down enough and went crumbly. I made another batch of mixture and fixed them at home so the Rainbows wouldn’t be disappointed, plus is gave cheeky boy a chance to make some too. We also spent the meeting talking about why birds have less food in the winter, and how some birds migrate – we played a version of Port & Starboard, but we changed it to ‘Hot & Cold’ for hot countries or cold countries, and had actions like flying, pecking, and nesting. It was a very fun evening!

Have you ever made bird feeders like this? Do you get many birds stopping by your garden / area?

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

School Homework – Making a Candlestick Telephone

Last week was a half-term holiday, and my 6 year old daughter had one piece of homework… to make a model of a Victorian invention. I googled a list of inventions and she chose to make a telephone…

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We went for the ‘candlestick’ style telephone, as the earlier telephones were a bit box-like, and the candlestick style was introduced in Victorian times too, so that was okay. Plus it could be made from a pile of junk – this is what we started with though I added a few bits during the project:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can also see here a sheet of images which I printed, just pictures I found on google to help us visualise the project!

First she drew around the cardboard tube (from inside a kitchen roll) onto the top of a plastic bowl (which was turned upside down):

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut the hole for the tube to go through, as the plastic was a bit sharp-edged when cut.

Then Little Miss drew a mark of the tube at the height she thought the cradle for the earpiece should go, and I cut a slit in it with a craft knife:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She pushed the cardboard tube inside the bowl, and taped it into place. Then she blu-tacked a plastic lid to the top of the cardboard tube:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I suggested we moved the lid down a bit so we could angle it a bit more, like the telephones in the pictures. So she did that and taped it into place. I did end up tucking a bit of kitchen paper scrunched into a ball underneath the blu-tack as well, as the plastic lid kept tipping down, but I don’t have a photo of that bit:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She cut the end off a paper cup to make it shorter, and then added some tape so we could attach it to the plastic lid at the top of the cardboard tube:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I made the cradle for the earpiece to sit on, by cutting an old hanger with wire cutters (be careful if you do this, protect your eyes and do it away from children in case sharp bits of wire ping off), and taping it to two shortened bits of kebab stick, one stick above and one stick below the hanger piece – for strength:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m not sure it was the best way to make the cradle but I couldn’t think of anything else!

We then pushed the kebab sticks through the slit in the cardboard tube, and added a big blob of plasticine to the ends of the sticks inside the tube. This acts as a weight so when the earpiece is lifted the cradle tips up – which would attract the attention of the telephone operator when you wanted to make a call! When the earpiece is put back it goes down again:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We took another paper cup for the earpiece, and Little Miss pierced a hole in the base with a pencil:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

And we attached string as the cable between the earpiece and the phone (I pierced the hole in the bowl). I scrunched up some kitchen paper and Little Miss taped it to the top of the ‘earpiece’ – so that it wouldn’t slide straight through the cradle:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now it was on to the fun part – decorating! I ripped up lots and lots and lots of tissue paper, and she used PVA glue to stick it over most of the telephone. I explained about overlapping the tissue paper and adding PVA glue to the top layer too so it looked smooth:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She did most of this but I did finish off at the end, doing a couple of the harder to reach corners and smoothing it over a bit more:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We’d left the paper cups because we figured we could paint them, but if I did this again I’d tissue paper all of it. The paper cups had a slight satiny effect which meant the paint didn’t stay on that well so we had to do a few layers:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the decorating was nearly done I added a lump of plasticine at the bottom of the cardboard tube, towards the back of the phone, to stop it tipping forwards:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then for good measure and to make it feel more realistic and heavy, I made a base for the phone, by getting Little Miss to tape some pebbles onto a circle of card the same size as the bowl, leaving a space for the tube in the centre, and space round the edge for the rim of the bowl:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

This was then taped to the underneath of the phone, and we tissue-papered over the tape. Our phone was now nice and sturdy:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

But it was too boringly black, so my daughter used a sponge dipped in gold paint to rub all over the phone, to give it a more brass / antique look:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I showed her how it was better to only add the gold paint in a thin layer, so the black still showed through, and she got the hang of that quickly. I did finish off the hard to reach places again though!

Then it was finished and all ready to make a call! Here it is with the earpiece on and off the cradle:

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She also had to fill out a fact sheet which will be displayed with the model:

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Even though this was quite a big project, as it took several day what with waiting for glue and paint to dry between layers, we both enjoyed the process. She’s learnt a few arty techniques, and I’ve found another reason for all the crafting supplies in my house! Bring on the next crafty homework… but not the maths. I don’t like maths!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Kids Crafts, Your Craft & Soul Events

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity

(This post is part of my Refresh Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)

When I decided on the theme for this event I knew I wanted to do  water activity for the kids, so I planned out something to keep both of them happy…

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

This appealed to Cheeky Boy’s love of pirates and Little Miss’ love of solving puzzles / treasure hunts!

This activity did take a while to put together, but it also kept them amused for a couple of hours, so it was worth it!

Here’s what we did…

I took a photo of one of their toy pirates, then pasted it into Microsoft Publisher to make some messages from him to the kids:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Each one was rolled up and tied with twine:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I put them into jars with foam numbers stuck on the front, I wanted them to look a bit like they were messages in bottles:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Task One: Was to build an ocean for the pirate to sail across on his search for treasure. I gave them a tray filled with stones, sea creatures, glass nuggets, shells, and a few seaweedy-looking weeds:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids had fun turning a paddling pool into an ocean, including trying to make an island with the stones and scattering the glass nuggets about as trick treasure:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’d seen a paddling pool like this turned into an ocean scene at the Momma’s Fun World blog, and I’d pinned it to remind me what a great idea it was!

Task Two: Next they needed to build a ship for the pirate. I’d piled up a bunch of sticks and I talked to Little Miss about which ones were the best shape. Then we tied them together with twine. She learnt a couple of things – that wood floats (I thought she knew that already) and how to tie a simple knot (she doesn’t normally have the patience to practice this):

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky boy had wandered off to find his toy boat from the bath while we were tying sticks together, but he soon abandoned it when he came back and saw our handmade boat:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was a bit wobbly but it floated!

Task Three: I’ve been wanting to do an ice excavation activity for a while, since reading THIS POST at Crumbums, though that one was on a much larger scale! So task three was to rescue a turtle and a seahorse from an iceberg.

I put the small toys into an old takeaway plastic container and put enough water in to half-cover them. I mixed in a bit of blue food colouring and glitter to make it magical:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

This went in the freezer overnight, then the next day I filled the container to the top, adding more food colouring and glitter again, and put it back in the freezer. You have to do it in two stages like this or the toys just float to the top!

When it came out of the freezer for the task it looked like this:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

I armed the kids with water pistols and they set to work:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss loved this challenge (she keeps telling everyone about it) even though she soon got bored of squirting them and kept tapping the ice with the gun instead. I was trying to stop her doing that though as I was worried some ice would fly off into her eye, I might need to get them some goggles before we do this again:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Task Four: This was a clue with directions to find the treasure. It told them to go South so we talked about where the sun was in the sky and how we could tell which way to go. They found the treasure easily after that:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

And finally they got their reward… we all shared a few sweets:

Water Play Treasure Hunt Kids Activity at Jennifer Grace Creates

Which made them smile a lot!

Be Inspired:

Use pirate or ocean themed products for your next project

Plan a list of activities for some kids or for yourself – scrapbook challenges that must be completed in order?!

Tie a bundle of things together with bakers twine

What do you think, would you like to go treasure hunting?!

Remember that commenting on this post, and any other over this weekend, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!  {NOW CLOSED}

I’ll see you again in an hour!

Jennifer x

P.S. I’m linking this up to the Tuesday Pintorials Linky Party!

Kids Crafts

Small Children have Big Dreams

(This post is part of my Onwards and Upwards Blog Event)

I’d been creating all these posts for this weekend, thinking about my hopes and dreams, my progress, and my change of attitude. I’ve got a post coming later about some of my husband’s goals. Then I realised I hadn’t thought to ask my daughter about her dreams! How could I forget?

Of course we had to make a fun way to record them… here’s some suns by Cheeky Boy and Little Miss (sorry this is another sunshine themed post, apparently I’m in a sunny mood today!):

Kids Craft Suns at Jennifer Grace Creates

Can you guess which one belongs to which child?!

Here they are having fun painting:

SONY DSC

It was a very easy craft! They just painted their paper plates yellow. Then when that was dry they drew ‘faces’ on with black pen – though cheeky boy’s is just a scribble! Then Little Miss cut out her own rays and I cut some triangles for my son’s sun rays. They glued them on to the back (with a bit of help!), and it was done!

We could have stopped there, and just had some happy sunshines to decorate our house with, but I wanted to use the back to record their hopes and dreams.

Well, Little Miss told me her hopes and dreams anyway, Cheeky Boy is too young for that so I just wrote some of the things he LOVES right now:

SONY DSC

Can you read my daughter’s dreams? They are:

To be a fairy

To go to the zoo

To be a ballerina

To go to the end of the rainbow

Ha! Some of these are more achievable than other’s I think, but I didn’t tell her that. I still want her to believe that anything is possible!

Be Inspired

Ask someone else about their hopes and dreams, you might learn something about them

Add some messy paint or other medium to your next project

Record you hopes and dreams in an unexpected place

Have you asked anyone else about their hopes and dreams lately?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any other over this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll see you again in 60 minutes! x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Kids Crafts

Kids Crafts at Christmas

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities Blog Event)

I love crafting with my kids at Christmas. My daughter always makes some cards, and there will be some baking involved at some point, plus each year we make some decorations. 

This year so far we’ve made these Peg Doll Angels:

I got the idea and tutorial from here. We jazzed ours up a bit, making the dresses out of white felt, which my daughter drew on and stuck sequins all over. She also drew on the faces and hair, and helped me cut the feathers. Then I wound on the halos and glued all the bits together using a hot glue gun.
I haven’t decided yet if we’re going to hang them as decorations or leave them as dolls. My daughter wants to give one each to her two best friends, so we’ll only be keeping one of them:
I’ve just realised one of the angels has a wonky halo in the photo, and it’s the one with the slight smirk. I think she’s been at the sherry!
My daughter has also painted a snowflake window decoration that we got from HobbyCraft, she was concentrating on it very well:
And I know we’ll be making our usual Reindeer – we draw around feet for the head and hands for the antlers, so each year the reindeer grow as my kids do! Eventually we’ll have a whole gallery of them, but this photo is from the first year we did it, using my hands and feet and my daughter’s:
They look very cute lined up on our wall each year!
Be Inspired:
  • Use feathers on your next winter project
  • Make a window decoration
  • Use your hands as a template for something, or do some finger painting!

Don’t forget that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED} – but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!
Have you ever done any crafting with kids at Christmas time? Any tips for what we can make next?
See you again soon – sorry the posts are running half an hour behind – I’m trying to catch up on finishing them off! x

Kids Crafts

Recipe – Pork and Apple Burgers

It’s been a long time since I posted a recipe on here, and I don’t really know why, as I love to cook, and I like to try and make up healthy, tasty meals for my family. I think perhaps I’m intimidated by the wonderful, detailed food I see some people blog about, where as my meals are just simple – but good – grub!
This one is a favourite in our household, especially when the weather is hot like it has been lately. The whole family can eat these juicy burgers – baby (10 months +) too!


Pork and Apple Burgers
(prep time 10 minutes (plus 30 mins chilling), cooking time 15 minutes)

You will need (makes 6 burgers):

500g Pork Mince
1 Dessert Apple (I used Gala this time)
1 Medium Egg
1 Tbsp Dried Sage
⅛ Tsp each of Salt and Pepper (leave these out if cooking for a baby or toddler)

To cook :

  • Take the pork mince and the egg out of the fridge (if that’s where you keep your eggs) and wait 5 minutes, so they’re not as cold when you are mixing.
  • Peel and grate the dessert apple, and squeeze the excess juice out using a paper towel. If the apple is too juicy the burgers don’t bind as well.
  • Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and knead them all together with your hands, until well combined, and all sticking together.
  • Break the mixture into 6 equal portions, and shape each one in your hands to form a patty. Place them on a plate, cover with cling film, and put in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a griddle pan to a medium-high heat, spritz with spray oil, and cook burgers for approx 15 minutes, turning a few times. The burgers are ready when the outsides are golden brown, and the juices run clear. Try not to overcook as they aren’t as juicy if they are cooked too much. (You could also cook under a grill, or on the barbeque!)
  • Serve on a bap with an apple chutney and some cheddar cheese. For lunch serve with a salad, for an evening meal add some potato wedges. 
  • For a baby (I’ve said 10 months + as my 10 month old enjoys these, but be aware I’m not a baby food expert, and remember to never leave a baby unattended whilst eating!) serve half a burger cut into chip-sized chunks, with peeled and steamed sticks of carrot and pepper:
These burgers taste so much nicer than any shop-bought ones that I’ve ever tried! 
I’m linking this post up with:
So what do you think – should I share more recipes on here? x