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 🙂

Fishing for Sea Snakes


Don’t you just love the library? Most of the activities we are doing at the moment are seeming to come from books either me or Penguin have picked up from the library. This one I can take no credit for choosing, but it’s fantastic. It’s called Printing by Michelle Powell. Check it out! I so want to use all the ideas in this book. Might just have to keep renewing it!

Penguin took his time looking through the book. After I’d told him which projects were possible, he finally decided on making this fishing game. Penguin loves the cbeebies program Octonauts and subsequently knows so much about what goes on under the sea…geysers, lava tubes, the Mariana Trench. So this activity was right up his street.

The book offers templates for an octopus and a sea monster, however I thought penguin could do just as good a job drawing his own sea creatures. He drew an octopus, jelly fish, fish, a whale and a little family of sea snakes.


After he had drawn the sea creatures we decorated them by painting bubble wrap and printing it onto the card.

After the paint had dried I cut the sea creatures out and let Penguin loose with my sharpee’s to draw some lovely smiles.

We made fishing rods from sticks with twine tied to them (good knot tying practise for Penguin) and used these fabulous magnetic stickers to stick to the end of the twine. We made sure the twine wasn’t too long. The shorter the twine, the easier it is to fish! The game needed to be challenging but not frustrating.

We attached a metal paperclip to each of the sea creatures (the plastic coated ones didn’t work so well) and then went fishing!

In hindsight I would have used paper rather than card. With our fishing rods is was quite tricky to pick up the bigger sea creatures and as for the massive whale, that’s just not going to happen. I suppose that quite realistic though, I’ve never heard of anyone fishing for a whale with a fishing rod. So, use paper rather than the heavy card or use a super strong magnet.

What crafty/activity books would you recommend?


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