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2012 in review

3 Jan

2012 turned out to be quite an interesting and productive year for me. It was the year that I started this blog which has inspired me in so many ways.

My top 5 posts from 2012 reflect the great year that we had in this country.

Olympic torch craft

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Garden xylophone

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London bus cardboard box craft

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Stained glass nativity

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And finally my Rainbow gnomes which proved so popular that I set up Pocket Treasures Facebook page selling these and other similar items.

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I don’t really know what 2013 will hold for me and my family but I look forward to finding out.

Season calendar gift

21 Dec

A quick and easy gift for children to make and give to grandparents is a calendar.

I wanted our calendar to be appropriate for the whole year so decided to represent each season with a tree. I cut out a simple tree shape which I used to draw around. Once we had 4 trees drawn on appropriate coloured paper The Limpet got to work finger printing.

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For spring we did pink blossom; summer was green leaves; autumn red, brown and orange leaves. And we finished with snow for winter.

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I added the calendar at the bottom and some coloured string to hang it up with. I think the grandparents will be very pleased.

Christmas pudding garland

9 Dec

This cute little garland was made to add a bit of festive fun to The Limpet’s room.

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It is made with one of my favourite and most used craft item – paper plates. I got The Limpet to paint five plates blown and then add black finger painted spots.

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It took a while to dry so in the meantime I cut out 5 white icing shapes from some fabric and 10 holly leaves. Everything else about this craft was done by my 3 year old.

When they were dry I punched holes in the top of each and threaded through a gold gift ribbon. Then The Limpet got to work sticking it all together. We used red pompoms for the holly berries and stuck them down with a blob of fabric glue.

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They certainly brighter up her room.

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Stained glass nativity picture

5 Dec

Today’s Christmas activity was to create a stained glass picture. We love creating these types of artwork. Last Christmas we did stain glass stars and just recently we did stain glass leaves with autumnal coloured tissue paper.

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This year I wanted to create a nativity scene. I googled some images to get a few ideas and then sketched out my design. When I was happy with the picture I drew it again this time on done black card and cut it out.

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I then stuck it straight on to some contact paper and The Limpet and I decided on the best colours from our stash of tissue paper. She enjoyed ripping strips of tissue paper and then sticking them all down.

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She was also very keen to help trim off the edges at the end – I reluctantly let her!

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She was very proud of her work and keen to test out the effect on the window.

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I also think it looks pretty amazing and was actually relatively easy to make.

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Star Father Christmas

5 Dec

Our latest activity on the advent activity tree was to make a Father Christmas decoration.

I had made something similar many years ago when I worked as a nursery nurse. I think that time round I had used a longer star and managed to fit in some buttons on his tummy. I had also cut out a belt which they stuck on. This time I let The Limpet draw most of the features as she has suddenly become very good at drawing.

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I cut out a large star from red card and a semi circle in pink for the face. Once she had drawn the face on and stuck it down she then added a cotton wool beard and some more for the hat. She then finished it off with black gloves, boots and a belt.

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Remembrance poppy craft

8 Nov

This week at our toddler group the craft activity was poppies for remembrance Sunday.

Because we have about 60 children attending I have to keep it fairly simple. Most of my crafts so far seem to involve a paper plate. This time I cut 2 curvy triangles out of the sides of a paper plate to create a very simple poppy shape. I provided cut up squares of red tissue paper and crate paper and a circle of black card for the centre.

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I set up this activity first for my own children. The Limpet placed her red squares in a very methodical way.

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I love seeing the differences in my kids creations, I think both turned out really well.

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Autumnal lanterns

7 Nov

Now that the clocks have changed we always have our tea after the sun has set. I find this time of year a little miserable, its the thought of the cold, dark winter ahead of us. So I decided we needed a bit more light in our lives.

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We created these lanterns with some balloons, PVA glue, tissue paper and wool.

I’ve seen a few similar things on pinterest and thought they look very pretty.

I blew up three balloons so they each had a small amount of air in them. We spread some Vaseline over the balloon first as I wasn’t sure how well the lantern would separate from the balloon at the end. We then covered the balloons in a watered down PVA glue mixture and covered with small squares of tissue paper. I deliberately picked autumnal colours. We kept adding more glue and more tissue paper and then decided to add some wool which we covered with a final layer of tissue paper then hung up to dry.

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Both children got involved in this activity although I did have to finish the lanterns off when they got bored.

When dry, I cut the top off the balloon and cut a neat circle around the top. The deflated balloon then pulled away easily from the lantern. The lanterns did initially scrunch up a bit as the balloon shriveled but I gently pushed them back into shape.

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I put a battery operated tea light in each one as I felt it was safer then a naked flame. They made a great table decoration at our firework party and we now frequently have our tea with the lights off and lanterns lit.

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Firework rocket garland

2 Nov

Bonfire night is just a few days away and this year we’ve decided to hold our own firework party. Hopefully the kids won’t be too scared by all the noise!

I decided our house needed a little decorating for the party and rockets seemed to be the most obvious thing.

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These started life as a humble toilet roll. I wrapped them in coloured paper and made little paper cones for the top of each one. Then The Limpet got to work on the decoration. It involved A LOT of glue so I was a bit too sticky to use the camera to take photos of their creation.

When they were dry I attached some ‘flames’ to the bottom and strung them up with invisible thread.

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Rainbow sunshine toddler craft

29 Oct

My regular readers may have noticed my recent absence. Well, I haven’t actually been anywhere, I’ve just been busy with other things. One of the things that has been keeping me busy is my new role in charge of creative activities at our church toddler group.

I’m really enjoying the responsibility but organising activities for children aged between 0 and 4 is quite a challenge.

One of the first topics we did was the story of Noah’s Ark. For this activity we did a sunshine and rainbow. I tried it out initially with my own 1 and 3 year old and it went quite well although I had to help the 1 year old quite a lot.

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The idea came from this post which I found via pinterest.

Here are a few of the ones made at toddlers.

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Scarecrow festival

4 Oct

I’ve not been blogging much later due to a number of things. Firstly we went away for a week and since returning I’ve had a lot of other projects on the go (I’ll go into more details about this soon…)

But I’ve still been busy trying to keep my little monsters entertained. Last weekend we all visited a local scarecrow festival. It is an annual event and this years theme was heroes and villains.

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Some people had gone to great lengths with their scarecrows and props. It’s apparently all just for fun and isn’t judged but I think the whole village is pretty competitive about it.

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There were a number of Olympic themed heroes.

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This garden was getting the biggest crowd for obvious reasons.

Another of my favourite ones was the child catcher complete with working cage – unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that one.

When we returned I thought it would be good to make a scarecrow picture with The Limpet. I decided to cut up different shapes for her to build her own scarecrow.

I didn’t want to tell her how to create it, however, I did think that the large pink circle I had cut out was a very obvious face. My independent daughter had her own ideas though and this was her finished creation.

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