Thursday, 7 August 2014

Harry Potter bookmark

There is something magical about snuggling up with your child and delving into the cover of an amazing fantasy or adventure story. I was ten when the first Harry Potter book was released and I remember staying up all night because I couldn't peel myself away from the book. I was lost in a world full of magic and now I get to experience this again with my own children. The way their faces light up when I am  reading to them. The excitement and anticipation they feel as they too are transported into a world where their imagination is their only limit.
I read a chapter of a book  at a time, (maybe a little  more at times when they just need to know what happens next) so bookmarks are very handy. I decided to do something a little different to the cardboard bookmarks we normally make so we weaved  some little Gryffindor scarves instead  :)

Weaving on a cardboard loom is super fun and easy to do. My little girl is 6 and managed to do this pretty much on her own.

To make the loom board I used cardboard from a cereal box. I then cut notches evenly spaced along the top and the bottom edge. Then take your yarn and wind it around the notches

The front should look like this
The back should look like this
I took some pics to write up a tutorial on how to weave but then I found this fab little video which I think explains it a lot better than I can in words.

Under over. Under Over :) 

To make Harry Potters Gryffindor scarf weave blocks of burgundy and yellow

To remove from the loom unhook the warp one at a time snip apart and tie in a double not. This will leave you with a little fringe on the end of the scarf. We tied extra bits of wool onto the end to thicken the fringe.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dinosaur fossils

Dinosaur fossils are great fun and  simple to make. They can be used to entertain in so many different ways. Hide them around the garden or sand pit for little explorers to find. Crafty kids can paint and decorate their fossils and make gifts, garden ornaments or jewellery out of them. You could even make a puzzle game and get the kids to match the dinosaur figures to the correct fossil.

We made our Dinosaur fossils using this simple Salt Dough recipe.

1 cup of plain flour
1/2  cup of salt
1/2 cup of water

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl

Add the water a little at a time until the mixture starts clumping together like the picture above. You may not use the whole amount. (the mixture should not be soggy)

Squish the mixture into a ball the same as you would when making cookies. The dough should not be sticky. If it is add a little more flour.

Flatten a bit of dough with a rolling pin or your hand.

Use some toy dinosaurs and squish them into the dough to make a imprint.

Put your fossils onto a try and bake in a oven at the lowest temperature for 3 hours. Alternatively pop them in the microwave for 3 minutes. If they are still soft pop them in for anouth 30 seconds and repeat until ready. For best results I would recommend using the oven.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Phonic Daisies

Phonic Daisies is a little activity I made for my daughter to practice her phonic knowledge.  I wanted a little activity that would help her recognise the different spelling of words that have the same phonic sound. This is something that she sometimes finds tricky. 

I cut out a pile of yellow circles and a pile of white petals. 

I wrote a phonic sound on the yellow circle and used 5 petals per circle to draw pictures related to the sound. Additional petals can be made for each sound to expand vocabulary and change it up each time the game is played. 

I choose to start off with the ee/ea and ai/ay sounds.
We concentrated on the separate pair of sounds individually  before grouping them together as a four. I gave her the two sound circles and scattered the ten petals across the table for her to assemble into pretty phonic daisies 

ai vs ay 

ai words: snail, train, nail, rain, paint   
ay words: spray, ray, say, tray, hay 

ee vs ea 

ee words: green, bee, three, tree, sheep
ea words: tea, sea, pea, seal, meat

I used a empty icecream tub to store our daisies and each week a new set of  phonic daisies with new sounds will be added.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Octonauts Water Pool Hunt

We had a fun afternoon in the sun pretending to be Octonauts. With the help of Peso, Dashi, and Tweak we used our fishing nets to hunt the pool for missing objects :)

I filled the activity table with water and a little bit of bubble bath to obscure their view slightly. I threw in some foam alphabets, sea creatures and random little items. I then gave the children little missions  to use their nets to find certain letters, items, or to spell words.

Under the sea

Mr Squid 

We painted paper plates and decorated them to look like sea creature. :)

Mr Crab 

Mrs Octopus
Mr Turtle 

Hand print fish

Hand print pictures are adorable and make lovely little keepsakes. We made some bubble print backgrounds and stamped some little hand print fishes,

Bubble Printing 

Bubble printing is a really fun technique using materials you will probably have around the house. 
Using a small container we filled 1/3 of the tub with water and added a blob of paint and washing up liquid. We then blew through a straw to create lots of bubbles/

Next  we placed a sheet of paper over the top to create our bubble piece of art.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Car Park Lotto

Car Park Lotto was a fun little game we made up to practice number recognition and adding up. 

I  drew six car park spaces on a sheet of paper and asked the children to pick numbers between two and six. (For children who are not confident with recognising numbers yet  add dots to help them along) 

We then rolled two dice and the children added the numbers together. If they had that number in their car park they get to park a car in that bay.

First person to fill their car park is the winner :)

Alternatively use numbered cards. You could shuffle the cards and call out the numbers or place them face down in a pile and let the players take turns to pick a number

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Cardboard princess shoes

My daughter like any little princess loves clip clopping about in her play shoes and was mortified to find that her beloved shoe collection were getting too tight. To turn her frown upside down we grabbed the craft box and set about making her some new shoes.

First of all I drew round her feet on a bit of cardboard and cut them out slightly larger.

She then mixed some paint colours and painted them.

Once the base colour was dry she added polka dots :)

We then cut out some straps by placing a strip of card over her feet and cutting it so there was a cm extra at either side to tape underneath.

She then decorated them with foam shapes and feathers.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Exploring track marks

My children love exploring track marks, it really appeals to there inquisitive minds. I was hoping to do this outdoors today so we could get a bit messier but the weather was a bit of a let down. Instead we taped brown paper to the top of the dining room table.

We then rolled the cars through the paint and pushed them across the paper to discover what kind of track they left.

When we do this outdoors we usually sent up a car wash using a tray of shaving foam, a ramp, a bucket of water, and a few plastic cups and funnels. Next time we get to do this outdoors I will share pics.

Sometimes we play detectives. I tell them a little story about a robbery or crime  that took place and the only clue is this track mark I found outside. I show them a picture of the track mark and their job is to find out who committed the crime by finding out which car has a track that matches the one from the scene of the crime.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Practising reading and writing with Flashcards

Making writing fun can be really tricky especially for children who don't want to pick up a pencil. I have found my kids prefer writing on small pieces of paper.

One of the activities my daughter enjoys is making her own flashcards. I give her a pile of small sheets of paper, various pens and pencils, and a pack of flash card for inspiration and to help with words she cannot spell
She will sit for a hour or so drawing pictures, reading words, and writing. She has a great sense of self achievement and is always really proud of her finished pack of Flashcards.