01 02 03 The Princess and The Pickle: Half Term Crafty Bits! 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Half Term Crafty Bits!


With the half term holiday fast approaching (I’m sorry but yes, already!) I thought I’d share a few crafty ideas to keep the little ones entertained for 5 minutes (the rest of the 23 hours and 55 minutes of each day are up to you though.  Sorry!)

Super Shaker

We all know how much young children enjoy making noise!  I’m sure most of you will have, at some point, filled an empty bottle with some dry pasta or rice to make a shaker, but have you made a Super Shaker…? 

They are pretty much the same thing but as well as being noisy they are also interesting for babies and toddlers to look at. Filled with colourful bits of card, sparkly beads, buttons, glitter, pipe cleaners, ribbons, etc, they provide great visual stimulation.  I’ve even cut up some coloured drinking straws to put in this one and I also found a pack of out of date silver balls for decorating cakes in the back of the kitchen cupboard, so I’ve thrown those in too!  You could even add a few bells to make it jingle!

It can also be used to encourage babies to crawl by rolling it along the floor!  With toddlers you can play 'eye spy', for example, "Can you find the green ribbon?".  You could use a small bottle for younger babies to be able to hold, right through to a giant 2 litre shaker for a boisterous little monster like The Pickle! 

I had lots of fun making this one myself, but older children will enjoy helping too (The Pickle just wanted to eat the contents which was not helpful at all). 

*Obvious stuff you don’t need to know but I’ll tell you anyway:
Be careful not to stuff it too full or it wont make a great sound.   
Make sure the lid is tightly secured and always supervise baby.

Autumn Collage

Easy peasy!  Paint a leafy Autumn picture, look through some magazines, cut up some old cards, collect some leaves and get gluing!  This is something older kids can do by themselves.  The Princess made this magical night time creation without any help (although amazingly she needed help tidying her mess up afterwards…)

Bubbly Paper 

Mix together a little ready-mix paint, washing up liquid and water in a large but fairly shallow bowl.  Put a straw in and blow!  When there are loads of bubbles, place a piece of paper on top and hold it there for a few seconds until some of the bubbles have popped onto the paper.  Make a new mixture with a second colour and repeat the process.  Leave to dry and voila!  Bubby paper!  It can then be used for all sorts of things – to wrap presents, cover storage boxes, sticking on card to make a picture frame – the list is endless!

The Princess added glitter to this bubbly paper.  Glitter, of course, is added to most of her masterpieces.

*Obvious stuff you don’t need to know but I’ll tell you anyway:
This can create LOTS of mess.  Have a spare change of clothes to hand.  Possibly one for the kids too…
Don’t accidentally breathe in through the straw like I did.  The taste of paint and washing up liquid is not very pleasant.

Hand Print Flowers

This is a lovely idea for creating pictures to frame, or cards to send to family members.  I’m not going to bore you with how to use paint to make a handprint – that’s the easy bit (unless you have a wriggle bum baby who wont keep their hands still for long enough!) But when they’ve dried you can cut them out and stick them on some card, adding the stem and finger-print leaves, a few finger-print ladybirds, etc and even use the hand prints to make a butterfly’s wings.  Older children can get creative adding detail with crayons afterwards. 

*Obvious stuff you don’t need to know but I’ll tell you anyway:
Be prepared for mess, especially with babies and toddlers… You might need to touch up the walls with a fresh coat of magnolia afterwards.

Autumn leaf puppet

Collect some lovely colourful Autumn leaves and some twigs.  Draw and cut out a head and shoulders, stick on a skirt made of leaves and hair made of leaves.  Tape this securely onto a twig and use smaller twigs or the stalks of the leaves for arms. 

You could even add some beads, sequins or glitter to glam her up a bit!

Halloween Monsters

Paint or draw some brightly coloured 2p-sized circles and challenge the kids to create as many different monster faces as possible!  You could cut them out afterwards and use them as Halloween decorations.  Particularly good if you have more than one child, or when they have friends over, you can set a competition for who can create the most monsters in 5 minutes.  This could also be done on the computer for a bit of mouse practise!

 Have fun with your own little monsters this half term...!

This post is an entry into the Tots100 Best Western School Holiday competition.

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