Kids Crafts

Kids Craft – Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts

I have this last Halloween post to share with you, before all the Christmas and Winter posts begin!

Here’s how to make some Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts with your kids (or use the same technique to make one for yourself of course!)…

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 1: Gather your supplies – a tee shirt each, some fabric paint and a plate to tip it onto, a paintbrush to stir, a black fabric pen, and some potatoes cut into Halloween shapes. We used a small circle as a spider, a larger circle / oval as a pumpkin, a tall oval with a zig-zag edge as a ghost, and two potatoes cut as bat wings to make a bigger bat:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

You will also need large pieces of card to put inside your tee shirts while you are painting – this stops the paint from seeping through to the back of your tee shirts:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Protect your work surface if you want to, then spread some black paint onto the plate:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Swirl the potato in the paint to make sure the design is covered in paint, then stamp it onto the tee shirts. Little ones may need help to make sure they use the right pressure when stamping:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Wash the plate and paintbrush and repeat the stamping with the other designs, using one colour at a time. I had to mix yellow and red to make the orange for the pumpkins, which taught Cheeky Boy about mixing colours too. You won’t be able to see the ghosts on a white tee shirt, but stamp them anyway as we’re going to fix that in the next step:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Do you see the black line at the top of the white tee shirt? That’s where Little Miss dropped her potato and it rolled across the tee shirt. They can be a bit slippery! We decided to pretend it was a spiderweb!

Step 5: Once the paint is dry (we left ours to dry overnight to make sure, but it will depend on your fabric paint), you can then add details with the black fabric pen. Make sure you draw an outline around the ghosts on the white tee shirt:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

We also added the spider’s legs, eyes and mouths on the ghosts and pumpkins, and Little Miss added a speech bubble too, which says ‘we are spooky’. We then also added a couple of white blobs of fabric paint for the spider’s eyes, which we left to dry for a couple of hours before putting a small black dot in the middle of the eye with fabric pen:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky Boy’s drawings were not as neat, but he was really enjoying himself so I just let him get on with it! I love the lopsided eyes he did, as they do look quite scary:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Set your fabric paint and pens according to the instructions – if you need to iron it make sure you protect it with a cloth (like a tea towel). Then test your tee shirts out, with some face painting for good measure, and a walk on top of a misty, breezy hill!

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were shouting ‘boo’ at anyone who walked past! These tee shirts could obviously be adapted to suit themes at different times of the year – snowmen and Christmas trees in the winter, Easter Eggs in spring etc. I’m sure we’ll be making more as they have loved wearing them!

Well I think we are all ready for Halloween. I will see you again soon to kick off the Christmas & Winter crafting!

Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

Halloween Monsters + Creature Consequences Game!

Hello all. Sorry it’s quiet here lately. As well as my part-time job in the school library and my volunteer work running a Rainbows unit, I am now also the Chair of the very busy PTA at my kids school. So my blogging is running a little behind. I hope I’ll find my groove eventually as my crafting and blogging is my haven from all the madness!

Today I’m sharing a new Try-It-Tribe project that me and the kids made with the help of Staedtler. We were challenged to design some Halloween Monsters, so we played a game of Creature Consequences (I’ll explain in a minute if you don’t know what that is) to come up with some ideas. Then the kids picked their favourites to copy onto white card, and coloured them in for us to stick up on the wall as Halloween decorations this year:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky Boy’s is on the left, and Little Miss’ is on the right, in case you can’t tell! I was actually quite impressed with Cheeky Boy’s monster, it’s the first time I’ve seen him concentrate on getting eyes and ears in the right places. I almost tried to explain that monsters could have eyes and ears in the wrong places, but I thought that would totally confuse him at this stage of his drawing development! He did give his monster a wind-powered water canon, so that was creative enough!

So we started our ideas with a game of Creature Consequences. Here are the kids all ready to go. Little Miss was super excited to be playing an ‘art game’:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m going to show you how the game is played – these drawings are all by me as no way would the kids let me take photos during game time, but normally you pass the paper around to another player between each fold.

1: Fold an A4 piece of paper for each player, so that it has 3 folds (four sections of paper). Basically fold it in half, then in half again. Then unfold it. Then, keeping it a secret (you shouldn’t be able to see each other’s drawings), each player draws a head at the top of the paper. You have to make sure the neck crosses the first fold slightly:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

2: Once you’ve finished the head you fold the paper a couple of times, so the head is hidden and all you can see is the little tiny bit of neck which you crossed over into the next section. Then you all pass the piece of paper to the player on your left, and draw a body in the next section, making sure the bottom of the body crosses into the next section:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

3: Repeat the folding and passing of the paper, then draw some legs:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

4: Repeat the folding and passing of the paper, and finish with some feet:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

5: Then the fun bit happens when you unfold the paper and reveal the monster:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s the monsters we ended up with during our game:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids giggled a lot when they unrolled the monsters!

This is a great game as you can play it with any number of players. You could also use it for developing characters for stories. Or there is a ‘story consequences’ game where you write a boys name, a girls name, what he said, what she said, etc… rather than drawing.

Creature Consequences is great for Little Miss’ age (7) but was a bit hard for Cheeky Boy (age 4). I certainly wouldn’t play it with more than one child of that age. I did have to keep peeking at his to remind him to cross the picture over the line just a little bit. But he really enjoyed it and I know it’s something we will play again!

After the game they all looked at the monsters and chose what bits they’d like to use on a big picture. So I gave them a piece of A3 card each and they got drawing. Here’s Cheeky Boy explaining how the wind-power is going to work on his monster:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

They used a combination of Staedtler pencils and crayons for most of the drawings, then finished off with some touches of gold and silver metallic markers, and Little Miss used a fineliner on hers too:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love how unique they are!

I made my own monster too, of course:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

He’s got gold toenails. I was really impressed with how well the gold metallic marker showed up on top of the purple pencil, these metallic markers are great if you want to draw on top of dark colours!

What do you think of our Halloween Monsters? Have you ever played Creature Consequences or Story Consequences?

I’ll have some more Halloween projects appearing over the next week-or-so! You can also check out the Staedtler Facebook Page or their Blog for more Monster inspiration!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

Kids Crafts

Making Alien Toys with Kids Fimo Moulds

Hello!

Recently me and my kids joined in with a Facebook competition on the Staedtler page, to try and be a member of their Try-It team of bloggers. We were excited to win a place on the team, especially when our box of goodies showed up:

Staedtler Try-It Tribe Goodies

Today I’m sharing our first Try-It tribe project – some alien toys using the kids Fimo moulds!

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

We had tons of fun making these, and we definitely picked up a few tips for how to use the moulds along the way too! For those that don’t know, Fimo is a modelling clay which you can shape, and then bake it in the oven to make it solid. This is kids Fimo too, which seems to be extra soft – great for making it easier to shape!

First we got all the colours of Fimo and the moulds out to have a look at:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

We chose which colours to use first. When I looked at the packets I was excited because they had a re-sealing closure… or they looked like they should. But actually all the packets just ripped when I opened them, so the re-sealing sticky bit was kind of useless. I ended up wrapping our leftover Fimo in clingfilm so it wouldn’t dry out. All my packets tore down the side like this:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

Top tip #1 – which it did say in the mould instructions – was to spritz the mould with a bit of water before putting the Fimo in, so that it comes out easier. We did try it with and without the water, and it was definitely A LOT easier to get them out if they had water sprayed inside first. I just used a garden water spray:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

I left the kids to do the moulds themselves first to see if they could do it on their own. But their natural inclination was to press the fimo down into the moulds using their fingers – which would mean you wouldn’t get the impression at the back of the mould:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

I then explained that the Fimo needed to be bigger – like a ball for the planet, or like a fat sausage for the aliens, so that you would get a 3D object with shaping at the back and the front:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

They both managed to press the moulds shut themselves – Cheeky Boy liked to press his against his belly:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the items came out of the moulds we had to remove the excess Fimo. We did this with a combination of pinching it off or using a modelling tool to cut it off (it didn’t come with a modelling tool, but we happened to have one). Then we smoothed down any bumps that were left over:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

One thing to note is that if you’ve sprayed the mould too much then the Fimo will come out a bit wet and slimy:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

We smoothed it out a bit then left it to dry for 5 mins or so, and it turned out fine.

A lot of the moulds have details that leave impressions on the surface, like eyes and arms on the aliens. However, these details tended to get lost when we were removing the excess Fimo and handling the models – I think this was partly due to the kids Fimo being that bit softer – it was easy to accidentally smooth the details out!

It was okay because it gave us a reason to use more colours and add our own details. Cheeky boy seemed to be especially good at this, he loved adding eyes, spots, feet, and stripes:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

I should also point out that we used baby wipes to clean our hands in between colours. After making a red planet Little Miss had to go and wash her hands as her hands were so red! It came off easily enough though.

The only mould that we had a lot of problems with was the stars mould – we couldn’t seem to get the excess Fimo off without losing the shape of the stars. This was our first attempt:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

And our second attempt – I did the larger star on the left by myself which is why it’s the neatest:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then of course Cheeky Boy decided my neat star needed some ‘spots’ and he proceeded to cover it in black Fimo blobs. Ah well, he was happy:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once they were finished moulding I baked the aliens and accessories in the oven following the packet instructions, and left them to cool before the kids had a chance to play:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s a little 30 second video of them playing with their new toys:

I don’t think Fimo is really designed to make toys – I know that pieces may eventually break or fall off. But as there aren’t any thin or fiddly bits on these they should last a while. The kids have been bashing them around in their games for a few days now and nothing’s broken yet!

Little Miss calls them her ‘miniaturisers’… which she thought meant that even though they were little they could do big things. She also likes the idea that they can turn things tiny, now that I’ve explained it! See, we are learning as well.

I was really happy with how much the kids enjoyed making these, and I was surprised by how much Cheeky Boy (who turned 4 a few months ago) could do by himself. We can’t wait to try our next Staedtler project! For more from Staedtler check out their blog HERE.

Of course I couldn’t let the kids have all the fun… here’s my alien:

Making Alien Toys With Kids Fimo Moulds at Jennifer Grace Creates

I think the kid’s ones are better, but I like my little alien too!

Have you ever tried using Fimo or modelling clay? I used to make earrings with it too so I might get Little Miss to make some jewellery next.

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

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

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

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