Archive | February, 2012

Five little speckled frogs

23 Feb

My collection of toilet and kitchen rolls is quickly taking over the whole house but they have so much potential so I hate to throw them out. This activity managed to get through six of them in one go.

The Limpet is only 2 1/2 and therefore still struggles with counting so I thought it would be good to combine a craft activity with a maths lesson. ‘Five little speckled frogs’ is one of our favourite songs so this seemed ideal.

I played around with a few frog prototypes but these seemed the most simple yet recognisable! The top of each toilet roll was squashed together and folded over. I cut the top of the head and eyes from another toilet roll and stuck it on the back. My daughter and I then painted them green all over. Her attention span wasn’t long enough for all five so I helped out.

When they were dry we added googley eyes, a red tongue and of course speckles. These were applied with finger paint and I was keen to take part in this bit too. But as you can see from the pictures, my daughter did a much better job then I did.


Toys and un-toys

22 Feb

My children, like most others, have lots of toys. Some of these have been quite expensive and a few are rarely played with. Despite having all this (mainly plastic) junk, my 10 months favourite things to play with are the TV remote, my keys and a sock.

I think most parents could probably say the same thing.

So a few months ago I created a treasure basket for him. It contains random items found around the house such as a large pebble, deflated helium balloon, ribbon, dryer balls, scrubbing brush and his favorite thing – a wooden spoon.

I have seen more creative people put together themed baskets like all wooden items or bathroom items but I was struggling to fill it as it was. I do swap things over every now and then to keep him interested.

These photos show him sat in the middle of his 2 baskets. One has normal baby toys and the other is his treasure basket full of un-toys. You can see which he prefers!


21 Feb

I adore miniature things and I love gardening, so what could be better than a mini garden?! I actually made one of these a few years ago and called it my moss garden as I didn’t know they had a proper name. But I’ve recently pinned quite a few (check out my garden boards on pinterest) so thought I’d have another go. The last one survived a few months then went a bit brown and looked very sorry for itself.

The jar I used isn’t ideal as you can’t actually see through it very clearly but it had been unused in the cupboard for a long time and it was all I had. I added some small stones at the bottom but I think I should have also added sand for extra drainage.

I then went exploring in the garden. Most of the finds are bits of moss from the top of plant pots and some from the top of the greenhouse. I managed to find the tiny tree like fern growing amongst the moss.

The gnome that now lives in it was a kinder toy that I got many many years ago and have saved. Standing up he’s a gnome and led down he’s a crocodile – brilliant!

Fairy tree house

16 Feb

As soon as I saw this tree house template on Pinterest I fell in love with it and wanted to make it. This link contains detailed instructions on how to make it along with templates to print out.

I had great fun making it and have now reluctantly let my two year old loose on it! Initially a lone playmobil man was the only occupant but then we had a real cold snap and some flower fairies moved in as they got too cold out in the garden.



It has had a few modifications and upgrades over the last few days. Flowers were added to the entrance, bunting was strung and as requested by The Limpet, a swing is now hanging on the top floor.


‘Stained glass’ butterflies

14 Feb

Before christmas all the supermarkets seemed to be having price wars on tins of chocolates, so we of course had to buy a couple. So what to do with all the left over wrappers?
We originally made some ‘stained glass’ stars for Christmas and they were so beautiful that they have only just been taken down. So I thought that some colourful butterflies might now look nice.
This was an easy activity for my 2 year old to do. I cut out the butterfly shape first and stuck it on to some sticky back plastic (contact paper). The Limpet then stuck the coloured sweet wrappers in all the gaps. I trimmed round the edge to tidy it all up and stuck them to the window.

A child’s own gallery

12 Feb

Now that my daughter is creating her own artworks we have dedicated a couple of kitchen cupboards to her best pieces. The kitchen gallery seems to be getting bigger and bigger so I decided to also make a dedicated space in her own room.

I currently really love bunting (who doesnt?!) so I thought I’d make some bunting which could double as hanging space for her pictures. I unfortunately can’t sow so made it from scrapbook paper. I added the letters and did little zigzags around each letter to give it a sown effect. Behind the bottom row of letters I have stuck on pegs so that her pictures can be easily displayed and quickly changed over.

Emotions sticking activity

8 Feb

My daughter is currently going through the terrible twos and is having the usual issues with frustration and independence. I’m fortunate that she doesn’t have screaming tantrums but she does burst into tears at the drop of a hat (quite literally!) So I thought I’d try and help her to understand her emotions a bit better and to learn how to communicate about them.
I went through some magazines that were going out for recycling and cut out faces of people looking either very happy or sad. Finding sad faces was quite tricky but I managed to find a few of children in tears from a parenting magazine. I divided a large piece of paper into two, one side for happy and the other for sad. Older children could sort more than two emotions but I felt that this was enough for my two year old.

Gruffalo paper bag craft

6 Feb

My daughter is currently Gruffalo mad so I had planned this activity in my head for a while. A few days ago she had run out of things to do and was saying “No” to everything I suggested. I then asked if she would like to make a Gruffalo and she very quickly said “Yes!”. Unfortunately I hadn’t actually got anything ready so I was frantically cutting and preparing as we went along.

I didn’t manage to get pictures of the making of him but it was very easy. I had originally planned to put eye holes in to turn him into a mask but didn’t have time and to be honest I don’t think she would have worn it anyway, although she has stuck it on her little brother a few times!

The main features to include are of course his terrible teeth, orange eyes, black tongue and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.

Baking tin printing

2 Feb

Our non stick baking trays had lost most of their non stickiness so we went out and bought a new load. So with the old tins I decided to do some printing. We selected our colours, squeezed on a blob and mixed it all round with a paint brush.

Then we got our paper and pressed it into the tin, patted it down to ensure it was fully covered and pulled up to review our print.

This proved to be one of our more successful creative activities and resulted in 11 different prints. Normally these type of activities last about 5 minutes so I was quite pleased.