Tag Archives: kids craft

Advent Calendar

28 Nov

This year has just completely gotten away from me, how did it get to be Christmas again already? I had such plans of Christmas craftiness and starting early but here I am in the last week of November and only just getting going!DSC_1061

So this year I wanted to make the Minimen an Advent calendar with a difference, instead of cheap chocolate or junky toys for the countdown to what is possibly the greatest day of the year for most kids, I decided to fill their days with fun (hopefully) events. Some of them are simple, like a trip to the movies or their choice of take out meal, others are much more exciting like a trip to an outdoor ice skating rink ( this is pretty special since Christmas is in the middle of Summer here) or visiting Lollipop Land.DSC_1053

To make the calendar I used a bamboo stick, any other type of stick would work just as well, DSC_1033paint,DSC_1034 glitter, DSC_1035string, Christmas ornaments DSC_1070and small cards and envelopes.DSC_1047

Even though it is the middle of Summer in Brisbane I love Winter themed Christmas decorations. I started by painting the bamboo blue, then once that was dry I painted some craft glue on the ends and in the middle and coated this with white glitter.DSC_1050

Using a silver marker I wrote each activity on a card and placed it in a numbered envelope.

I punched a hole in each envelope, attached a string and tied them to the bamboo. I added the snowflake decorations, hung it on the wall and took a bunch of photos of it.DSC_1068

I can’t wait to start opening the cards with the Minimen. I hope they enjoy this as much as I enjoyed making it. DSC_1067

Pinecone Art

9 Aug

Before starting this blog my Minimen showed very little interest in creative activities and when I started doing crafty things with them it could be difficult to gain their interest.

Now, after around six months later they are initiating activities themselves, like this afternoon on our way out of daycare, Rooster picked up a pinecone from the ground and while we were driving home he asked if he could paint it . Of course I was delighted and said yes.

As soon as we were home they bounded out of the car and ran upstairs to find some paints and brushes.DSC_0777

Rooster set everything up himself and both Rooster and Duckman happily painted away for all of about five minutes and together they created a lovely painted pinecone.DSC_0780

DSC_0786Duck man missed the pinecone occasionally, getting a bit more paint on the table






Duckman really hates dirty hands at the moment, this is him showing some concern over the paint on his hands.



This is the end result


Fab Finds Friday – 5 Activities for Boys

21 Jun

I am always looking for things to keep The Minimen busy and get them interested in things other than TV or destroying my house, which seems to be their two favourite pastimes. Recently I found the Kidspot website. Not only is it full of helpful parenting advice but is a wealth of kid friendly activities!

Naturally, I was drawn to the section “Activities for  Boys: Five things to make and do”

The five activities were

Make your own Lava Lamp

How to make Green Goey Slime

 we have already done this one check it out here

Make a Rubberband CD Car

Make a Cool Bubble Snake Maker

Make a fleet of Peg Planes

There are written instructions for all activities as well as short videos for those of you who prefer visual guides.

Along with these there are so many other craft ideas on this site, go have a look, I will definitely be getting many ideas from here in the future!

Have a great Friday, go get crafty!


Autumn leaf Printing

30 May

Autumn is just about over here and sadly, unlike other parts of the world, in Brisbane we don’t get the explosion of red and orange leaves all over the ground.

This week we wanted to make our own Autumn inspired paintings.DSC_0633

A few days ago I took The Minimen down to the park to collect some leaves of different shapes and sizes. It was a really wonderful experience for them running through the field and looking at the different plants and their leaves, they even encountered a dog on the walk which as always is a highlight of any day with these boys.DSC_0559DSC_0562










As we were too late getting home and it was dark outside we were unable to make our prints right away so I pressed the leaves in a book to keep them from curling up.

This morning we set our printing up, we lay out several sheets of paper on the table, squirted acrylic paint onto plastic plates (each colour got its own plate to avoid mixing them)DSC_0617

and we had a rolling pin.

We pressed leaves into paint and then onto the paper leaving colourful impressions when we peeled the leaves away.DSC_0618

We also sandwiched painted leaves between two sheets of paper and rolled with the rolling pin.DSC_0622

The prints worked best when the leaves didn’t have too much paint on them and had already been used for several prints.DSC_0625

I ended up doing most of the printing as The Rooster, although initially very excited about the project, once he had had a turn,  became distracted by creating “prints” with a wet washer on the deck instead and Duckman showed no interest at all, preferring to jump on the trampoline in the rain.DSC_0630

This project gave us some wonderful bonding time during our walk through the park and the printing allowed colour experimentation and gave them some simple print making skills.

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


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


Mix salt and flour in a bowl

add oil

gradually add water while mixing until dough forms


turn onto floured surface and knead


roll out


and cut shapes



Bake in oven at 120 degrees Celsius until they are hard

Pop, Pop, Pop….bubble painting

27 Mar


Today, after asking Mr 4 which activity he would like to do, it was decided that we would try bubble painting. I hadn’t done this since I was his age so we had a little Google to get the method and here is our efforts.

                                               1. What you will need

  • acrylic paint
  • detergent or bubble mix
  • straws
  • paper
  • water
  • plastic containers

2. Make a mix of water, paint and detergent.


I found the best pictures came when there was a lot of paint and detergent and just enough water to make the mix liquid. If you make the paint too dilute with water the pictures will be very faint.

3. Blow through the straws to turn the mix into some lovely bubbles.


  We got the best bubbles from the mix in the small container as it was deeper and we could really go to town with our blowing. The mix was shallower in the larger container and splattered a lot when we were blowing in them.Image

4. Gently press the paper onto the bubbles, I found we had to work quickly doing this as the  bubbles decreased quite rapidly.

5. Do it again with another colour!



 You could use this technique to decorate a variety of paper crafts, from wrapping paper to cut out shapes. It was fairly easy, a little messy and can be done quite quickly, which is good for kids as they sometimes don’t have the patients for longer craft activities.

A word of warning, this may not be suitable for younger children. I tried to involve Mr 1 in this activity also, with disastrous results…first he shoved his hands in the paint and spilt it everywhere and then to top it off he sucked through the straw rather than blowing and got a mouthful of paint and detergent. I think he ended up with more colour on him than the paper did!


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