Crafts

Crafts

All the crafts and activities included in the blog articles are also posted on this page for easy access. 

Treasure maps



Ageing paper is such a simple craft, but fun and effective.

We made these maps a few days before our second ‘Theme day Thursday.’

You will need:

Coffee grains (you can also use a tea bag)
Hot water
Paper
Paint brush
Lighter or matches (optional)
Pens and pencils

Instructions:

Mix one heaped teaspoon of coffee with half a cup of hot water (young children will need an adult to do this)
Paint the paper with the coffee mix
Scatter a few grains of coffee on the wet paper (optional)
Allow paper to dry
Draw your treasure map
An adult can then very carefully burn some of the edges of the paper, using a lighter or match. Just do small bits at a time, blowing it out quickly as you go. I usually do this over a sink.

Salt Gems

You will need:

4 tbsp course salt
1 tbsp PVA glue
2-3 drops of food colouring

Instructions:

Place it all in a food bag and squish together.
Take out lumps and place them on a plate to dry out for at least a few hours.
Enjoy your sparkly gems!

Ninja Theme Day Thursday

We started the day making costumes, head bands, belts, swords and shurikens. The swords we cut out of cardboard, reinforced with wooden dowels and used a glue gun to cover them in tin foil.



Then we did a couple of online martial arts lessons.



Next we made sushi!



After lunch we watched some videos about the real ninjas of Japan and listened to some traditional Japanese stories and music.


While the kids watched Kung Fu Panda 2 (thank you Netflix) I prepared some potatoes for making prints. We tried to replicate Hokusai’s famous prints of Mt. Fuji.



Finally, we drew Japanese flags and looked at atlases and other books we had, with information about the country.



A good time was had by all (although there still was some complaining that needed correcting!)

Lava Lamp 

You will need:
 
Gouache
Water
Baby oil
Alka Seltzer
 
Instructions:
 
1.Mix 1/2 tsp gouache with 75 ml water.
2.Add 125ml of baby oil.
3. Drop in 1/4 alka seltzer at a time.

 

Homemade stickers

You will need;

1/2 sachet of gelatine or 2 leaves
4 tbsp hot water

Instructions:

1. Draw and colour in the pictures You would like to turn into stickers.
2. Stir the gelatine in the hot water until it is dissolved. (Young children will need an adult to do this step.)
3. Paint the gelatine mix on the back of the sticker.
4. Wait for it to dry completely (about 3 hours).
5. Cut out the sticker, lick and stick it where you want. We decorated a toy box and some of the kids school workbooks.

Engineering Lessons

You will need:

Toothpicks

Mini marshmallows

Instructions:

1. Remind the children to be careful with sharps edges.

2. Have them make squares and triangles with the toothpicks and marshmallows.

3. Have them try to build towers and find out which shape and structure stands tallest or for the longest.

A Jar of Hope:

Recently somebody posted a fantastic idea on Facebook which we have implemented in our house.

We have a jar on the side and when we feel like we wish we could go somewhere or see someone, we write it on a slip of paper and stick it in our ‘jar of hope’.

Mostly it is just simple things like “play football at the home school group”, “go to the cinema”, “have a swimming lesson”, or “see our friends”. 

When all this is over we will take out each slip of paper and try to do what is written on it, or make steps toward it – and be thankful for the simple pleasures we will be able to enjoy. 

Bean Tepee

  • Place a folded piece of kitchen roll around the inside of a couple of glass jars and dampen it carefully.
  • Place three runner bean seeds around each jar between the glass and the kitchen roll.
  • Keep the kitchen roll damp and in a few days you will begin to see roots emerge from the seed. This is great for young children to see the stages of germination.
  • When the stem and leaves begin to appear, allow them to grow to around 5 inches before planting out.
  • Prepare an area of ground that gets at least 6 hours full sun, by digging to loosen the soil and removing any weeds.
  • Insert bean poles in a tepee formation and tie with string at the top to provide stability.
  • Plant the beans next to each bean pole and very gently guide the bean plant around the pole.  (Plant out at the end of April when there is no longer a risk of frost and keep the plants watered, especially when they go into flower).

Owl craft

You will need:

  • Air drying clay (you can also use salt dough for a cheaper alternative)
  • Thick felt tip pen lid
  • Lollipop stick

Instructions:

  1. Roll a small piece of clay into a ball
  2. Flatten it into a circle
  3. Use the pen lid to make semi circle patterns on the middle of the circle of clay to look like feathers
  4. Fold over a small piece either side to look like wings
  5. Fold down the top to make a face and shape the ears
  6. Press the top of the pen lid down in the clay to make eyes
  7. Use the lollipop stick to make a nose.
  8. Make a hole in the top with a skewer so you can hang your creations (optional).
  9. Allow to harden and paint if desired.

 

Christmas decorations



You will need;
Large cardboard box
Stanley knife, sharp knife or large scissors
Pencil
Paint

Instructions
1.Draw a large gingerbread man on your cardboard box.

2.Cut it out (depending on the thickness of the card a knife will be a lot easier than scissors).

3.Paint on a face, buttons and decorations. You will need at least 2 coats of paint.

 

Peter’s Boat Craft

 

 

You will need:

Sponge

Straw

Self adhesive foam sheets (we used these)

Glue gun

Netting (we used the net from a pack of nectarines)

scissors

Instructions:

1.Cut corners off the end of the sponge and make a hole in the middle to insert straw. 

2.Slide some netting onto the straw

3.Cut 2 triangular sails out of foam, and stick together.

4.Make a hole in the top and bottom of the sail using the scissors and insert the straw through them (alternatively stick the sails straight onto the straw, see pic above)

5.Use a glue gun (out of reach of small children) to glue the straw in place.

6.Decorate the sail (optional). 

7.Let the kids play with them in the sink/bath or paddling pool encouraging them to re-enact the bible stories.

 

Loo Roll Birds

You will need:

Toilet roll

Cardboard

Paint

PVA glue

Small glue stick or paint brush for spreading glue

Googly eyes

Feathers

Instructions:

1. Paint the toilet roll and cardboard in your chosen colours.

2. Allow the paint to dry and then cut a beak and feet shapes out of the cardboard.

3. Glue the beak, feet and eyes on.

4. Glue on a number of feathers to resemble wings and plumes.

These are some other simple craft ideas while you have got the feathers out. The first is painted paper cut into bird shapes. In the second the ‘F’ was cut from spare painted cardboard from the above craft.

 

Homemade Christmas gift ideas:

– Fudge (this recipe from Nigella is easy, tasty and adaptable)

– Roasted Spiced Nuts

– Mulled wine kit (you can dry your own orange and apple segments very easily in the oven)

– Honeycomb in a tin or bag (it is cheap to make and who doesn’t love it – don’t make it too early though or it will start to deteriorate)

– Homemade Christmas Pudding (love this recipe by Delia)

– Scented bath salts (add essence and a little colour to ordinary bath salt and put in a jar tied with ribbon)

– Homemade soap

– Hand painted plant pots

– Hand painted tote bags (use fabric paint and iron to seal)

– Homemade Christmas tree decorations (use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of air dry clay and poke a hole in the top. Once dry paint and add glitter, then tie with a ribbon).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree of knowledge craft

 You will need:

  • Circle of card (green works well)
  • The whole stem of a bunch of grapes that have been eaten
  • Sticky tac (Blu or white tac)
  • Gold leaves (you could cut your own from coloured card)
  • Sequences, gems or beads
  • 2 different coloured pipe cleaners
  • 1 small pompom
  • 2 small googly eyes
  • Glue

Instructions:

  1. For the tree: Stand  your empty grape stem on the card using a good sized lump of sticky tac.
  2. Attach gold leaves and gems to the end of branches using small pieces of sticky tac.
  3. For the snake: Twist together the 2 pipe cleaners.
  4. Attach the pompom to one end by pushing the end of the pipe cleaners through the middle of the pompom then folding over the ends of the pipe cleaners.
  5. Glue googly eyes to the pompom.
  6. Balance your snake on the branches of the tree.

Optional – decorate with small flowers from the garden.

Salt dough fossil dig

You will need:  

  • 250 g Salt
  • 250g flour
  • 125ml Water
  • Plastic dinosaur toys
  • Paint
  • Deep tray
  • Compost
  • Small spades/spoons
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper and pencil
  • Bucket
  • Net
  • Tweezers (optional)
  • Gardeners thread and tape (Optional)

 

Instructions:

  1. Mix together the salt and flour.
  2. Slowly add the water until it forms a doughy consistency. Then knead into a smooth dough. (You may need more or less water than that stated.)
  3. Roll into small balls and flatten slightly.
  4. Press different parts of the toy dinosaur into the dough to make impressions of their body parts – e.g. claw, face, tail, foot. 
  5. Allow dough to completely dry out overnight.
  6. Once dry and hard, have your child paint the fossils.
  7. Allow paint to dry.
  8. Bury the fossils in a deep tray of dry compost or mud. 
  9. Attach string horizontally and vertically across the tray to make a grid so the children can record which part of the grid they discovered the fossil like a real archaeologist (optional).
  10. Have the child gently dig up the fossils, sifting them in the net and brushing them clean with their paintbrush. Explain that fossils are very delicate.
  11. Children can draw their findings on their paper.

Crossing the Sea

 

This is a very simple and easy craft. However my kids really enjoyed it, retelling the story to each other, and closing the waters over Pharaoh’s chasing chariots!

It was simple enough for even my youngest (14 months) to be included. However, getting the older children to write out the Bible verses made it challenging for them too. 

You will need:

  1. Yellow and blue A5 card
  2. ‎Scissors
  3. ‎Clear tape
  4. ‎Smiley face stickers

 

Instructions:

  • Cut the blue card down the middle and tape each half to one side of the yellow card so the blue card opens and closes (like a cupboard). 
  • ‎Have children stick the smiley faces on the yellow paper to represent the happy Israelites crossing on the dry ground.
  • ‎Write snippets from Exodus 14:21,22 (optional).

 

Mosaic Alphabet Craft

With 4 children under the age of 6, there is an awful lot of repetition of the alphabet in our house. “A for alligator; B for bee…” I won’t bore you with the rest!

I’d like to share a simple alphabet craft. It encourages fine motor skills, as tots can practice cutting and sticking. It also teaches children shapes, simple mosaics and, of course, the alphabet. 

You will need:

– A4 card or paper
– Tissue paper
– Scissors
– Glue

Instructions:

1. Draw out a large letter on the card.

2. Have your child cut out small pieces of tissue paper. Encourage them to cut a specific shape, e.g. squares, triangles or circles (don’t worry if they are not very good at this just let them try and give them a hand if they need it).

3. Have them stick the tissue inside the letter.

Alternatives

+ Do this on tracing paper cut it out and hang in the window for a ‘stain glass’ effect. 

+ Try using coloured card, fabric, buttons or felt instead of tissue paper.

+ Draw a simple outline of an object or creature like a bee, let the child fill in with tissue, then write below ‘Bb is for Bee.’

+ Why not find a video on you tube about mosaics or stain glass windows aimed at children and turn your alphabet craft into an art lesson too.

Birthday Card Craft 

You will need:

  • A4 Card – any colour
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint (Watercolours work well and in my experience are less messy)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Yarn
  • Glue stick

Instructions:

  1. Fold card in half
  2. Cut balloon shapes out of masking tape, 3-5 per card and stick on the front of the folded card
  3. Let your child paint anything they like, encourage them to paint around the balloons
  4. Leave the paint to dry completely
  5. Peel off the masking tape
  6. Cut short strips of yarn, tie knots 1 cm in and stick onto the balloons (optional)