How to make a Toy Peg Chair

Check out this beautiful toy chair made of pegs. It was given to the children by their Granny who had had it for many years. How cute is it?!

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M asked to make one so we set about dismantling a load of pegs (15 to be precise) and began the process of copying, gluing and sticking. We used PVA glue to stick the pegs together.

We looked at the front and back of the chair and re-created each section. We made the area to sit on and then attached each section together.  I’ve called this post a ‘How to’ but really I’m asking you to do what we did and copy what you see and attempt to put together a chair.

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img_6707We made this chair over a couple of weeks. We had to let each small part dry before adding on to it or joining the parts together.

So if you’ve got patience and fancy giving this project a go take a good look at the photographs! I’d love to hear about it if you give this project a try 🙂

Maybe next time we will design a table!

How to make a Snow Globe

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Have you ever wondered how to make your own snow globe? Me neither!! Until… M had been desperate to make one so. We found out how to make one in this book Mummy & Me Craft in our local library, its full of fabulous craft activities, more of which we have and will be attempting in the future! To make a snow globe you will need a glass jar, a small plastic toy,  small stones, glycerine, felt. sellotape, superglue, aluminium foil, card and paper.

The LO’s made a background for their snow globes using the card and paper. They then wrapped sellotape around their background to ensure no water would reach the card and make it soggy. This worked well enough, some water did get through but the background stayed intact.

I glued the stones with superglue one on top of the other and onto the lid of the jar (the stones had to be the perfect fit!). I then superglued the plastic toy (pig) on to the stone. To ensure they were safely fixed I turned it over. The stones were put in place to give the toy some extra height in the jar.

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I mixed a teaspoon of glycerine into some water, this would make the water a thicker consistency and make the snow flakes fall slower. Z put small cut up pieces of aluminium foil into her jar and filled it up with the water and glycerine solution, leaving some space at the top of the jar for the stones and pig to fit.

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I put some superglue around the rim of the jar and then screwed the lid in place. We finished the snow globe off by sticking some felt around the lid of the jar. I used a hot glue gun for this though other types of glue would probably work. The children were happy with the end result. Here is Z’s.

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Thanks for reading! Have fun if you attempt this, I’d love to see your creations 🙂 Share with me on social media!

Ice Excavation Activity

img_6134.jpgMy children absolutely loved this activity. Although it needed a little pre-planning (which they were part of), this activity kept them busy for nearly an hour.

Collect (or get your children to) lots of small plastic toys. Put them into a large bowl and fill with water (leave about an inch at the top for the water to expand)! Put the bowl in the freezer.

The next day get a washing up bowl and upturn large frozen bowl into it. Give the children spoons and a squeezy bottle of warm water and let them get excavating!!

img_6139It took about an hour, and lots of warm water, to free all the plastic toys from the ice. img_6135What fun!! Thanks for reading!

How to make a fabulous den!

Okido magazine always has some fabulous activities in. This month their magazine is all about architecture.

M and Z had loads of fun creating this den made out of newspaper. First they made 25 long tubes from large newspapers.

We the attached them together, first creating an equilateral triangle and then adding tubes to make a row of nine triangles. We attached them together using a stapler, although later we had to reinforce it with sellotape.

We then has to attach the bottom point on one end of the row to the bottom point on the other end of the row, this created the 3 dimensional structure. We added more tube to complete the first section of the structure with a pentagon on the ground and a pentagon on the second layer, this was rather tricky and this was where the sellotape reinforcements came in.

We then made the star shape with the remaining 5 tubes. And attached these to the structure to make the roof.Processed with VSCO with s1 presetNow the den was complete and M and Z spend the next hour inside it looking at Okido magazines!Processed with VSCO with s1 presetThis den is rather little! I wonder whether it could be made bigger. I’m thinking another row of triangles?! I’ll get designing and make a mini one before attempting to make a big one. I’ll let you know how I get on!

We’ve previously made a rocket out of cardboard, which could constitute as a den, you can check out the pictures here. Also we’ve made an outdoor den from sticks, you can check this out here.

Have you made any dens? What was your most successful?

Collaborative Landscape Art

I love the work by landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy. It really draws together two things that I love… nature and art. This piece of art was parcially inspired by Goldsworthy.

I absolutely loved working on this art piece with a lovely group of children (aged 4-8).  It was wonderful to get their input in how the art should look and it was amazing to see their respect for the work they were creating.

I wanted the children to be able to get on and create and not to spend the majority of our time collecting resources to make our art. I collected a load of leaves, sticks the day before and raided our home of all collections of cones, conkers, acorns etc… and also asked others to bring along some resources.

We began by raking out the area so we could begin work. We then created the shape of the star and the heart.

The children soon became interested and got creative with the leaves, cones etc… One of the children suggested we added an I, so the picture became ‘I love stars’

The small star was especially susceptible to being knocked and had to be re-made many times. It was lovely to see that whenever it got knocked one of the children would rush to fix it.

We gave the ground a final rake before our piece was finished, this really helped create a good contrast between the ground and the art.

Beach Art – Painting Shells 🐚 

We recently spent a few days in North Wales where we stayed right next to the beach 🙂 which always puts a smile on my face.

We loved going to the beach and collecting a multitude of shells! Shells galore. This picture is just a small selection of our collection!


M and Z were thrilled when later that day I pulled out the Posca Paint Pens and actually let them use them! Posca Paint Pens are great as they keep mess to a minimum which still being able to create, they work especially well when travelling.

We had fun creating different creatures.

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and M made this cute little fruit bowl!


The next day M bought back a huge white rock from the beach which he plans to make into a monster! Watch this space!

What are your favourite beach craft activities? We may try them next time 🙂 Please comment below.

Sarah 🙂

 

 

5 Wild Activities for the Summer

1. Shake a tree and see what comes out!!

We took part in this activity as part of the RSPB WILD CHALLENGE.

It’s quite simple and a lot of fun. Find a sheet, put it under a small tree, or a tree with low hanging branches and shake. Look on the sheet and see what comes out. Use this resource to identify what you have found!

2. Paint some stones

Find some lovely smooth stones out in the wild. Use acrylic paint or/posca paint pens to decorate your stones. Finish them off with an acrylic varnish, especially if they will be living in the garden.

3. Pond or River dipping

You need a net and a tray for this activity. First of all put some pond/river water in your tray then use your net and see what you can find. Tip any finds into your water and have a good look. Also check out this great resource for identifying what you have found.

4. Decorate a stick

There’s so many activities you can do with sticks. We got some wool, ribbon and beads to decorate ours. Later in the day it had turned into a bow, the arrows were imaginary!

5. Get out the play dough and make a herby garden

You can either make your own, check out the link, or use shop bought. Find a herb garden and do some chopping. We enjoyed rosemary, mint, sage, blackcurrant sage, oregano and chives. Use all those herbs to make a lovely smelling garden.

What are your favourite Wild Activities?

 

 

Jurassic Kingdom

We were joking earlier today that maybe the dinosaurs would come alive and chase us. My son advised us not to wear red or the dinosaurs might think we were meat and try to eat us!

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We spent the day at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham where the dinosaurs from Jurassic Kingdom have come to spend a couple of weeks. They are touring round the UK so there’s plenty of opportunities to see them.

I thought I’d share small selection ​​of pictures and video from our day. I don’t want to spoil all the fun, just give you a taster.

​​​These animatronic dinosaurs are very clever and seem very life like. Each dinosaur has an information board with interesting information… Sadly no information of how to phonetically say all of the crazy dinosaur names.​​


​It’s always lovely to spend the day with friends, though the Botanical Gardens was super busy.

Little Missy spent a long time on excavating dinosaur bones and making a sandman. All in all a good day. Well worth visiting the dinosaurs! 

This only works with a good imagination 

We recently took this book ‘Grandfather Tang’s Story’ by Ann Tompert out of the library and started to explore using tangrams to make pictures.Processed with VSCO with s1 presetThe tanagram is an ancient Chinese puzzle. A square is cut up into seven pieces and then used to create silhouettes of a shape, that could be a person, a animal, an object. All seven pieces should be used, they should be touching each other, though not overlapping.

Our little munchkins made all the tanagram pictures in the book. Here you can see a fox, a fish, a rabbit and a swan. Some of the silhouettes really do require a lot of imagination to see what the picture is meant to be. We created a rather dodgy looking lion and the fish was a little bizarre.

In the world of imagination anything can be anything so I think we will be okay!

Our little munchkins started to create some pictures of their own. We did cheat on some occasions by not using all seven pieces.img_1567Tanagrams can be a great educational tool. Have a look at this article from Parenting Science for more information and ideas.

Do you know of any ancient games or puzzels that are fun for children? Please comment below

Thanks for reading

Sarah 🙂