5 easy peasy craft activities

It’s raining here.  Cats and dogs.  My boys have completed two games of rugby before 9.30am and we are now home, showered, fed and bunkered down for the rest of the day.  A bit of easy craft (the kind I don’t have to think about too much) is definitely on the cards.

Here are 5 easy peasy ideas …

Duplo painting – everyone has their own plate with paint blobs on it.  Choose duplo blocks of different sizes, along with wheels, and you will have a great little masterpiece in no time at all! (courtesy picklebums.com)



Collect some leaves from the backyard or park and glue them onto pages to make animal shapes,  Add eyes, arms or legs as required and, voila!  We love this fish.  (courtesy marthastewart.com)

Balloon ping pong – add a paddle pop stick to a paper or plastic plate, blow up a balloon and play away! (courtesy theweekendhomemaker.com)

Lanterns – cover a glass jar with pretty paper then use a small flameless candle to play with it outside in the evening!  If raining, it also makes a gorgeous centrepiece for the dinner table! (courtesy picklebums.com)

Enjoy!

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may the (noodle) force be with you

Here’s a super dooper quick crafty idea that if, like me, you are constantly stuck in the middle of a battle of some kind between little people.  It might be a friendly pillow battle, a jumping battle on the trampoline, a food battle, a Lego battle, a REAL (mean) battle of wills, or a good ole light sabre battle!

If you don’t want to spend a mozza on a Light Sabre with all the bells and whistles, you can whip one up with the kids using a pool noodle and some electric tape.  Easy peasy. Done.

are we there yet?

After taking a little road trip solo with my three boys this week, I felt it was high time to share our favourite activities that keep everyone in our car happy (enough) and keep that burning question “are we there yet?” at bay.

Eye Spy With My Little Eye
This one has been a good ole favourite for decades!  When catering for younger kids who can’t yet spell, we adapt the game to spot something of a particular colour and introduce letters in due course.

50 Things To Do On A Journey
We don’t leave home without this little pack of cards full of fun games and activities.  Our favourites are;
– Who Lives There? (this one is great if you are stuck in slow moving traffic!)
Someone spots a house and then everyone adds their thoughts about who lives there including the owner, their pets, what they like to do etc

– In My Backpack
Start with “In my backpack I have …” followed by an object, then the next person repeats the first sentence and adds another item.  Eg, “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich, then “In my backpack, I have a soggy sandwich and a teddy bear”.  The sillier the better.  We usually have something slimy, something smelly and something dirty in our stories – one of the joys of an all boy family.

CD Books
I have a friend who swears by Paul Jennings CD books for her boys.  She says it keeps them quiet from Point A to Point B and we are LOVING that!  There is a huge range of CD books available for kids of all ages.  You can even get them personalised.

On our way home yesterday, with three tired little fellas in the back seat I put on our Sleep Stories CD and they were sound asleep within minutes.

I have also learned the hard way on solo parent trips that everyone must take a “wee stop” before departure and that everyone has their water bottle and some snacks handy.

Oh, and don’t forget your sunnies!

colour me happy (not bored)

This is (was) a piece of black and white wrapping paper I had bought for $4.95 and tucked away in “THE cupboard” because I just loved the design.

Little did I know it would come in so handy during our first school holidays.  It started with the first “I’m bored” from Dodo.  We sat down together with the paper and our favourite pencils and started colouring.  We left it out on the table and every time he said “I’m bored” he was to sit down and colour more.  We both love colouring in so it really just became a little game.

It’s still a work in progress but when it’s done I am going to scan it and print it on a canvas.  I reckon it will be a beautiful and terribly original reminder of our first school holidays together and our mutual love of colour and creating.

If you are bracing yourself for a long couple of weeks of “I’m bored” you might like  some of these favourite boredom buster colouring ideas all from our little store …

clockwise from top left:
seedling (new zealand) – my little book of BIG ideas $9.95
seedling (new zealand) – jumbo pastel pencils $19.95
djeco (france) – velvet colouring cards (you cant go outside the lines! great for learners) $9.95
french “colour your own” doll range – available in fox, robot or princess from $24.95

 

 

the drive in – coolest party ever

Growing up in Lake Macquarie (near Newcastle) a trip to the “local” drive in was a bit of a hike but most definitely a very special occasion.  My two sisters and I loved the fancy little speaker outside dad’s driver window, buying popcorn from the kiosk and being able to snuggle under our blankets to watch Herbie the Love Bug.

Drive-ins are few and far between these days but how is this for a fab recreation of one?  Makes the perfect setting for a ‘movie night’ party for the kids.  Here, a trampoline covered with a large white sheet makes for a fab screen and the little personalised cars all lined up in a row are just too cute for words.  You could take things a step further and ask guests to decorate or personalise their own car as part of the entertainment.

Either way, this party idea gets the triple thumbs up from my three little guys.

source unknown

saving for a rainy day

A rainy Sunday afternoon (as it is here) calls for a sanity saver for mamas and kids.  Making this game is an activity in itself, so that’s today sorted!  And the next time rain or cabin fever hits you’ll be terribly pleased with yourself that you have this fab little idea on hand.

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Write play ideas on paddle pop sticks and get your little one to choose one randomly.  Whatever they choose is what they play!

lollipop, you make my heart go giddy up

Our boys are all winter babies so we have a party a month for the next three months.

Yes, yes, we claim to have that “party every second year” rule but, inevitably, my inner child and imagination take over and before we know it, the invitations have gone out and I am attempting to decorate a cake waaaay beyond my capabilities.

So I’ve been perusing my favourite sites for inspiration and along the way stumbled across this little gem of an idea …

Lollipop balloons – so easy to make using a roll of cardboard (or plastic pipe), an inflated balloon and some cellophane over the top.  Secure cellophane with ribbon or tape and, voila!