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Archive for the ‘craft with kids’ Category

Our favourite book at the moment is this one.

We read it every night and Estelle loves looking at the beautiful pictures.

It’s a story of the changing seasons and how during winter the little flower children are under the ground with mother earth sewing their spring clothes ready to bloom up on the earth when spring comes. And then when Autumn comes they return back under the ground and rest as little root children until the next year comes.

So I thought that we would make some little root children together to refresh our Autumn nature table. We made some very simple little standing dolls, I wanted to be able to make them quickly enough to hold her attention! We made one together, this is how we did it.

Get your stuff ready. We used tricot (fabric used for doll making), cotton string,  pure wool felt,  wool for stuffing, embroidery thread, some yarn, a needle and some scissors.

Cut a square out of the tricot. Roll a small ball out of the stuffing and place it in the centre of the square.

Squeeze the wool into a ball and tie it up with a piece of the cotton thread. It helps to wet the thread before tying, to get a tighter knot.

It should look like a little dim sim. Mmmm, dim sim…

Cut a rectangle out of the felt. Add any embellishments you would like to put on the body at this stage.

Stitch up the short side of the rectangle using blanket stitch. You will end up with a little tube like this.

Next cut a circle from the felt to fit the end of your tube and blanket stitch together. This forms the base of your doll.

Stuff this tube through the open end. Make sure you don’t overstuff making the flat bottom bulge, otherwise the doll won’t stand properly.

Next insert the head, put a running stitch around the top edge of felt and gather in tightly around the head. Slip stitch the head to the gathered row of felt to hold it in place.

Cut a thick line out of the felt and trim into a row of triangles. This will form a cap for the head.

Sew a running stitch along the straight edge and gather up until the ends meet. Stitch ends together.

Then crochet or finger knit a row with the yarn and double over to form a loop. Tie ends together.

First stitch this little yarn loop to the head and then place the felt cap over the loop and stitch into place.

It should look like this. Yay! A teeny, tiny doll!

While I was sewing, Alice did a bit of this.

And Estelle did a lot of this. And also a lot of stabbing felt with pins and spreading stuffing everywhere. Fun!

I made some friends for this little root child and we changed up the nature table the next day.

Estelle found a cicada shell at the park so she put him in a little boat on the table too. The bowl is full of all the leaves and gumnuts she collected.

It’s lovely to have this visual reminder inside our home of what is happening outside around us. Now every time we walk past we can imagine all those little roots making their way down back under ground to rest with mother earth.

It takes so little to create magic in the mind of your little one. And it is so much fun!

(All the supplies are from Winterwood)

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Last week we decided to make some lavender eye pillows. I felt like sewing and Estelle felt like sinking her hands into a bowl of rice (who doesn’t love to do that??) so it was a win all round. These were really easy to sew and turned out to be very kid friendly as Estelle had a great time mixing the rice and lavender while I did the sewing. We made 3 of them in about 45 minutes, which was just about the same time Estelle’s concentration ran out. Perfect.

I’ll include some basic instructions so you may feel inspired to make one too.

  • Gather all materials. You will need rice, dried lavender, fabric for inside bag, fabric for outside cover, a bowl for mixing and instruments for cutting out fabric.
    ( I chose to make the pillow with a cover so it can be removed and put through the washing machine.)

  • Get the very eager nearly 3 year old occupied with some rice and lavender pouring.

I didn’t measure exactly how much we put in but I would guesstimate it to be 2 cups of rice to 1/2 cup lavender. We had planned to make 4 pillows, but this only filled 3.

  • Cut out pieces of fabric. For each pillow you will need 2 pieces of fabric for inside bag 20cm x 12cm and 1 piece of fabric for outside cover 45cm x 14 cm. Actually you could make them any size or shape you like, this is just the measurements mine worked out at for a small rectangle shape.

  • Stitch along the two long sides and one short side of the rectangle leaving one short side open. Turn out.

Put in some lavender mix, only fill to about halfway or just over.

  • Tuck in the raw edges and stitch up the open end .

  • Next you take the long piece of fabric for the cover to the ironing board. Fold the raw edge of the short side in about 1 cm and press. Fold in again and press. Repeat with the other side. Stitch these down. Then, overlap the hemmed ends in the centre and pin with the right sides of fabric together.

  • Stitch down the open sides to make an envelope of sorts. Turn inside out,  pop in your bag of lavender and you’re done! Easy peasy.

Then put them in the fridge until after lunch when you’re feeling a bit tired, and covered in promite and peach, and take one to bed to relax with your ballerina bear.

I have been wanting some of these in the fridge for a while now, they feel lovely on your head when you’re a bit hot or have a headache.

I know what I’ll be doing later on….

 

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Every Thursday is craft day in our house.

Not that craft doesn’t happen on other days, this is just the morning that we always sit down and do an activity together.

Sometimes we work for a few hours, sometimes for only 20 mins, depending on the mood of the morning. Last week we made a window star.

I had planned on making a few, but one was as far as we got with it being an enjoyable project for everyone!

We started folding, I thought Estelle did a pretty good job of folding the paper in half!

Then Estelle got bored with the folding and got the pastels out of the cupboard to draw for a while. She liked watching me fold the pieces for the star.

Alice had some fun with the paper too. The kite paper has a nice smooth feel and makes a lovely crunchy noise.

As soon as the glue came out, of course Estelle wanted in on the action too!

Sorry Alice, no glue for you.

A star!

Now on the window, doing a great job of distracting me from all that washing I should take off the line.

And also making me feel very pleased with myself for cleaning the window the other day too!

Craft time with kids doesn’t need to be too structured. I find the simple projects are usually the best ones because it’s easier for a young mind to engage in, and not  so overwhelming that they don’t want to have a go.  Also, I find flexibility is the key to success. If they’re not loving where you’re up to with the project, let them find something they’d like to do if you want to continue on. There is no point trying to keep going with an unwilling participant. It is supposed to be fun after all!

If you would like to make some window stars to brighten up your home too, I followed this tutorial for the folding instructions and bought the kite paper (also called wax paper) from here.

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I love watching Estelle play. I love seeing her imagination bubble up and take her to another world where she is a farmer, or she’s going shopping, or for some reason there is a boy who is always eating her cake (??). Children are born with hungry little minds, uninhibited imaginations and full of pure, creative energy. The littlest thing can spark a whole new adventure. From a steiner perspective, for the first seven years of life the child lives in a dream like state, very much in their imagination. I can certainly see this is true in my little daydreamer! I think it’s so important (and fun!) to nurture and cultivate this power of imagination. It is wonderful to spend time with a kid who is full of ideas, stories and can create her own fun.

The other day we made some toilet roll binoculars.

Colour on the inside of the tube was definately important.

Determination with the sticky tape.

Do they work?

Yes, very impressed.

Then she packed them into a suitcase, grabbed her baby and went on ‘holidays to see birds’. Which apparently requires a scottish beanie. And because it was very cold there she kept coming home to her bedroom to pack more clothes.

I must admit I was somewhat horrified when I saw the state of her wardrobe after all of this ‘packing’. But, whatever! She played happily for a couple of hours. Such a simple little thing that inspired so much fun.  Awesome.

A few days later we made this from an egg carton.

A tractor for the farm!

Simple. Free. Took not much creativity or time on my behalf and led to a great story, which didn’t last very long because the baby got her hands on it and ate it. Soggy cardboard. Hmmm.

One of Estelle’s favourite things to do is choose something out of the kitchen, like a sieve or garlic crusher, and take it to her kitchen and pretend to use it.

Usually this involves a demonstration for her dolls and Alice. Funny.

I always look for toys that are open-ended, or that encourage a game. Not toys that are hard to make a game out of because they already do everything for you.

I try to keep toys to a minimum.Too many toys can be overwhelming and they end up sitting in the basket not getting used.

One thing I do is  regularly move around and change  ‘play corners’  so they don’t become boring and it’s like everything is new and exciting again.

Look at those farm animals all lined up in the barn (actually the gnome home) . So precious. And her baby tucked up so neatly into bed.

I love walking into her room and finding these little treasures.

This evidence of loving play is encouragement for this mama that I must be doing something right!

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