Tag Archives: cheap activity

Balloon Print Monsters

7 Feb

I’ve recently noticed that my darling Duckman is quite artistically inclined, which is something I wasn’t prepared for. Rooster, although he does enjoy art when he does it, he rarely seeks it out. Duckie on the other hand draws on everything, I am trying to teach him, with out much luck, that we only draw on paper, however he is rather free spirited and draws wherever and on what ever takes his fancy. Yesterday I discovered a master piece on our newly laid timber floor, thankfully it was done in pencil and will be easily removed.

balloon print

So with this new realisation, my February goal of more kid art and some one on one time with Duckie now Rooster is at school we embarked on balloon printing.

This is so simply and such fun.

All you need is

balloons

paint

a small cup or bowl to hold the paint

goggle eyes (optional)

markers

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First of all you need to blow up the balloon, not too big as it needs to be easily handled by little hands and it also needs to fit into the bowl of paint.

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Add some paint to your bowl.

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Dip the balloon into the paint and press it onto some paper.

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It does slip around so you need to be firm.

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We placed the eyes on while the paint was wet so that they stuck once the paint was dry.

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 You don’t need to use eyes, you could just draw them on.

Once the paint is dry use the markers to add personality.

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Easy peasy isn’t it?

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I am totally in love with the tie-dyed effect of this printing, and the texture of it. I think it would make some pretty rad wrapping paper.

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Little Duckie had a great time. Watching his creativity is super awesome. He turned his prints into a mixed media collage with the addition of some washi tape.


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Stained Glass Christmas Decorations

10 Dec

christmas decorationA few months the Minimen were right into craft activities, so I have been really looking forward to Christmas and all the great things we could make together.

However, things haven’t turned out the way I had pictured in my head. Their interest in craft has waned and I have been left to make by myself.

A couple of days ago I made these cute stained glass decorations using just some  clear coloured pony beads and an egg ring.DSC_1083

First I turned my oven on and set the temperature for the hottest setting.DSC_1086

I placed some baking paper on a tray and tipped the beads into the egg ring in a single layer. You could also use any metal biscuit cutter to make your decoration.DSC_1090

I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. After this time the beads were soft but not fully melted. I pressed down on them with the back of a spoon to squish them together more.DSC_1098

It easily removed from the egg ring and the plastic hardens up really quickly once out of the oven.

There were little gaps where I was able to thread some string to tie it to the tree.DSC_1097

I really like how it turned out, I was hoping that the different colours would melt together more, maybe they would if I wasn’t impatient and had left them in the oven longer…..that might be an experiment for another day.DSC_1096

The great thing about these decorations is that you don’t even have to put them away after Christmas. Enjoy them all year round by hanging them in a window to catch the light.

 

Home-made Water Colour Paints

20 Jun

There are an abundance of home-made paint recipes on Pinterest and since our store-bought water colours have been destroyed due to a little over zealous water adding and then subsequent colour mixing I decided to give one of these recipes a go.
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The one I chose comes from All Parenting. It seemed easy enough and they had very pretty pictures, which was what drew me to that particular one.

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  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of corn syrup (this is not available in Australia so I used glucose syrup, which is made from corn so I guess it is similar)
  • 1 cup of corn flour
  • food colours
  • a jug with a spout
  • ice-cube tray

How to make it

  • Put the baking soda in the jug
  • Add the vinegar slowly as it will bubble and you don’t want it to overflow
  • Wait until the bubbling stops and mix well
  • Add the corn syrup
  • Add the corn flour and mix wellDSC_0708

It is quite thick and gooey!

Carefully pour it into the ice-cube tray, don’t over fill it or your colours will mix together.DSC_0709

I used a toothpick to scoop up a little bit of colour and mix into each cube, some of my cubes were too full and they overflowed into the cube next to it.DSC_0711

They need to sit over night or maybe as long as a few days before they are able to be used.

After sitting overnight they had firmed up and were the consistency of firm jelly, not quite as wobbly as jelly but they are not chalky like store-bought water colours can be, which is sort of what I was expecting. They also had a thick layer on top that had not set so I used some absorbent paper towel to soak this up. Then it was time to try them out. I also think they must expand a bit as they set because some of our colours had migrated to the cube next door.

You can see here the colour migration, but this was almost completely fixed when I blotted the top layer

You can see here the colour migration, but this was almost completely fixed when I blotted the top layer

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I must say I wasn’t really expecting much but I have to tell you my expectation were far exceeded!DSC_0719

These paints are wonderful! We just dipped our brushes in some water dabbed them on the paint and away we went creating fabulous stories! (that is how Rooster likes to paint, we I make a series of pictures that tell a story) Today he told a story about an alien that was walking past a tree, then he went to a party and danced and ate party food, then went to the playground with his new friends! DSC_0730

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Any way getting back to the paint, the colours were vibrant and they behaved exactly how water colours should. I love, love, love them and will never go back to store-bought paints again.

They were easy to make and Rooster had fun helping to make them, he especially like adding the vinegar to the baking soda. The paints themselves were easy to use and you can make your own custom colours and another big plus, you know exactly what has gone into them and can be assured that they are 100% non-toxic! so what are you waiting for go and make your own!

Lets start things off with a name change….

12 Apr

Mr 4 has recently informed me that when he grows up he would like to be a Rooster, not a Doctor or Fireman or Carpenter but a Rooster so that he can wake everyone up.

Mr 1 has over his short life developed a duck obsession.

So, as they will grow out of Mr 4 and Mr 1, from here on they will be know as The Rooster and Duckman respectively. Collectively they will still be The Minimen.

Now to get on to today’s blog, which is brought to you by tears, broken eggs, bleeding lips and some bad weather.

Today the weather has been inclement so we opted for an indoor activity.

Salt dough Dinosaurs

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When I suggested this idea to The Rooster yesterday he was excited and couldn’t wait to get started. This morning he woke up and immediately asked if we could make the dough. So after a trip to the supermarket to get supplies, which also included the mother of all meltdowns from Duckman complete with broken eggs, bewildered looks from other shoppers and a lot of deep breathing from me, we came home and were about to get started when he then stacked it in the kitchen cutting his lip. After stemming the substantial blood flow and drying the tears we then were able to make our dough.

The Rooster did most of the work, pouring ingredients, mixing, rolling and cutting shapes.

Duckman just enjoyed being a part of something, poking the dough and playing with the cookie cutters.

As well as the dinosaurs we made a few stars and with the remainder of the dough I made some name plaques for them.

The shapes I only needed to bake for about 1 1/2 hours and the plaques closer to 2 1/2 hours

Now they only need to be painted, but that will be an activity for another day, I am tired and Duckman has finally fallen asleep, so I am going to relax for a while with a hot cup of tea.

This is the recipe we used

1 1/2 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup table salt

1tbp oil

2/3 cup chilled water

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Mix salt and flour in a bowl

add oil

gradually add water while mixing until dough forms

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turn onto floured surface and knead

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roll out

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and cut shapes

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Bake in oven at 120 degrees Celsius until they are hard

Sneaky peak…

25 Mar

I have recently outsourced a project to my mum, the Crochet Genius, as I don’t have the patience for it, and I received the first pictures yesterday. I am so excited I just had to share this one picture!

Image Any guesses what these fabric balls are going to become?

Fruitsicles….perfect for hot weather

24 Mar

These week I made some delicious fruitsicles for the Minimen.

  I have been wanting to make home made ice blocks for a while. This week was the perfect opportunity as it has been stupid hot and the supermarket had these super cute ice block molds on sale.

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  I asked Mr4 which fruits he would like in the ice blocks and his reply was “strawberries, grapes and orange”

So this is what I used

  • about 6 strawberries cut in half
  • 9 grapes
  • 1 orange
  • apple juice

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I used my stick blender to puree the fruit.

First I did the strawberries and I added a small amount of juice, then I did the grapes, to which I also added a little bit of juice. You probably don’t need to add juice but I thought it would make the texture more suitable for ice blocks.

Then I juiced the orange.

When putting the fruit into the molds I tried to layer the fruits, but without freezing in between layers they weren’t very well defined.

I put them in the freezer until frozen. To free them from the mold just run them under warm water.

These were a big hit with both the Minimen. They are so easy to make and such a great alternative to store bought ice blocks which are full of sugar, flavours and colours.

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These will definitely be making a reappearance in our house!

A string of Bunnies….making a cute Easter garland.

21 Mar

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Today I had planned this fun activity for the Minimen and myself, however, Mr 1 fell asleep and Mr 4 was in a mood, and although Mr 1 did wake up in time to stomp on some bunnies and Mr 4’s curiosity got the better of him, and he did glue some bunny tails on, I did most of the work myself.

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1. Gather your materials

  • coloured paper or cardboard
  • paint
  • scissors
  • pom poms
  • string
  • hole punch

2. Cut out a simple bunny shape

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3. Paint a pattern on your bunnies. I used a skewer to make small spots and stripes and the end of a fat pencil to make large spots.

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4. Glue the pom poms on.

5. Using the hole punch, punch out a hole from each ear.

6. Thread your string through the holes.

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7. String them up somewhere in your home

8. Enjoy them!

Salty rainbow snakes

16 Mar

Image  The Minimen and I had seen these salty snake paintings on TV the other day and thought we would give them a go.

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All you need is

  • paper, black works best
  • salt
  • glue sticks
  • water colour paints

To make them smear the glue on the page in any design you like, we did snakes since they are easy for younger children.

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Sprinkle the salt over the paper and press it down with your hand to make sure it sticks well. Tip off the excess.

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Using the water colour paint add colour to the salt. We started using a brushing action and found the salt was coming off the paper, so we switched to dabbing, which was better, but what worked best was to make the paints really watery and getting quite a bit on the brush and just holding the brush onto the salt. The salt soaked up the paint and stayed fixed to the paper.

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This activity was really great, both Mr 1 and Mr 4  were able to do it, so it would suit most age levels. It helps with fine motor skills, colour appreciation and sensory experiences, but most of all it was just fun!

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Paint chip update

16 Mar

 As promised, I finally got around to hanging my paint chip art works in the Minimens play room, and here is the finished picture.

I am really happy with how they look on the wall. Mr 4 agrees they look great but realistically I don’t think either he or Mr 1 are going to be spending much time pondering over and apreciating any of the art works that I put into their room.

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Eggs in cages

8 Mar

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This is a really cute and pretty easy Easter craft activity.

 Although this project would be a great activity to do with kids, I wanted to keep it a secret from my mini men as it will be one of their Easter Bunny gifts.

The things you will need to make your own little egg cages are some wool, craft glue, balloons, eggs or any other little treats you want to put in ( I tried some little fluffy chicks but their wire legs popped the balloon when I blew it up)

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The first, and probably hardest thing to do in this project is getting your treats in to the balloons. After you have managed to do this you can blow up your balloon to what ever size you like, I chose a small eggplant size.

For the wool, I cut a couple of long lengths and let them sit in the craft glue and wrapped them around the balloon and let them dry. Once they were dry I also sprayed a bit of hairspray on them just for some added firmness.

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Once dry I popped the balloon, in hindsight a layer of vaseline or something similar on the balloon before putting the wool on might have been a good idea, as the wool was stuck to the balloon and as the air came out of the balloon the little cages went out of shape. I was able to push them back into shape though.

If there are any little spots where the eggs can escape it is really easy just to add a little piece of wool to make the gap smaller and the cage more secure, and pick out any little pieces of dried glue with tweezers to tidy them up.

I am excited for he Mini Men to receive these, I know they are going to love them they are just too cute not to love!

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