Thursday, 22 June 2017

Felt Strips and KAM Snaps


Sometimes the simplest of ideas turn out to be wonderful resources for small minds and fingers. This is one such example although they are also teaching Jessica a lesson in patience and persistence because she's not a dab-hand at using snappers yet.


I made this set yesterday afternoon by cutting strips of stiff felt and attaching snaps to each end ensuring that each strip had both a male and female snap-head and that they weren't both face up on the fabric. This means that each strip can be wrapped into a loop and secured with the snaps. Alternatively you can attach the strips together or make felt chains like the one pictured at the top of this post.

I'd hardly begun making them when Jessica wanted to start creating. First on her list of things she could make with them was a house...


Then we made some regular polygons,



a few numbers and letters,


a kite,


and a very long snake that turned into a skipping rope later in the day.


With just one felt strip we had some lovely bangles,


two made a nice crown,


and three made a lovely belt for Jessica. I do not know how many I would need for a belt and I'm not going to find out!
 

Jessica also enjoyed playing with them without using the snaps using the felt strips to represent things like the sky or the ground. We have already played with them for ages and I'm sure that Jessica will come up with many more ideas once she can use the snaps more confidently. After all, as she told me this week, she does have a much bigger imagination than me! 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Classic - Painted Butterflies

We did an old favourite at Toddler Group yesterday. We painted, folded, squished and printed onto A4 paper before cutting the wings out and peeling the paper open. We stuck the bodies on with double-sided sticky tape then added a couple of Baker Ross' finest eye stickers. These make an excellent alternative to googly eyes when working with young children. They're always incredibly popular at Toddler Group. Everyone loves a sticker!

Jess made four of them! This one is my personal favourite...


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Adapting a Favourite

I have raved about these suncatcher kits from Hobbycraft before but we gave them a twist today. There was some great fine motor skills going on here as Jessica used pipettes to paint the mandala suncatcher.


She delighted in the sound effects and the bubbles. Her delicate squeezes meant, unlike me, she didn't pick up and expel all of the paint in one go so the craft wasn't over in a flash either. It's almost certainly not what was intended by the designers but I love it. 


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Ice Cream Anyone?

I took this idea from a very good friend of mine a while ago (thanks, Preet!) and Jessica has played with our set so much that we thought we'd make a set for her preschool. Each scoop of ice cream is a scrunched up A5 piece of construction paper. The flakes are straws wrapped in construction paper and the strawberry sauce are lengths of wool. I made cones from brown construction paper and then covered them in self-adhesive gold foil, which I love, from Home Bargains. We have also made them a set of ice lollies like the ones I shared last week too. So cheap yet there are hours and hours of fun to be had with them.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Toilet Roll Dragon Marionette

Introducing "Fire", Jessica's fire-breathing dragon marionette made from two toilet roll tubes. I wanted to give her spikes on her back but Jessica would not sanction it. She's too friendly for spikes apparently...




Sunday, 11 June 2017

Tacky Tie Cards

We're making Father's Day cards at Toddler Group tomorrow. Having used quite a lot of paint and glue recently I thought we'd go mess-free this time so we're going to be making tacky ties using sticky-backed plastic and tissue paper. I've double folded each card and cut out a tie aperture in each. The children will cut or rip the tissue paper and stick it onto the contact paper before mounting it in the middle of the card. I love them. Here are Jessica's attempts...


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Lollipops

When I collected Jessica from preschool today I was told that she'd been making pretend lollipops and delivering them to everyone this afternoon. This reminded me of a lovely activity I had seen someone do with their kids back in March (thanks for the inspiration, Liz!). I'd made a mental note to do it with Jess back then but somehow never got around to it. With the rain pounding down, today seemed to be a great time to give it a go.


I cut out the shapes and then left her to decorate them while I got on with dinner. Unusually, she didn't go too over the top on this occasion! She does love her stickers.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

Simple Pinafore Dress


I won't attempt to explain how I go about making these pinafores because I don't follow a pattern and I essentially make it up as I go along but I do enjoy making them and Jess is always thrilled with the results. I fully line her dresses and use snaps on the shoulders as fastenings. 


As usual I have managed to make this significantly too big but last year's dress still fits at the moment so I should imagine that she'll still be wearing this crazy cat dress next year.


One day I will tackle a pattern and learn how to use those dreaded paper templates. One day...

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Painting with Allium Seed-heads


This was SO much fun! I couldn't sit and look at the wonky allium seed-heads any longer so we cut them down between storms yesterday and played. These wonderful things were wands, hockey sticks and finally paint brushes. So much fun!



She rolled, smacked, rubbed, you name it. I know it's all about the process and we did have a lot of fun but I love the finished piece of artwork too.


The used seed-heads are beautiful and we've put them to dry in the conservatory. I'm hoping that the whole thing will dry out without wilting but I've never grown them before so we shall have to wait and see. 



Friday, 2 June 2017

Toddler skirt

Jessica chose this fabric from a lovely little shop in Wanstead and it's been sitting around waiting for me to do something with it. At a loose end last night I decided to make her a skirt so I sneaked into her bedroom, took a few measurements and then hit the sewing machine. 

This is a simple skirt made from a rectangle of fabric. Jessica's waist currently measures 20 inches so I cut a rectangle 40 inches by 12 inches plus a little extra for seaming on the length. I double folded and pressed the bottom seam before stitching. This ensured that I had no raw edges on the occasionally visible bottom seam of the skirt. At the top I made a single deep fold and secured it on the machine before feeding a 20 inch length of elastic through the length of the rectangle. I stitched the elastic at both ends of the skirt with the excess fabric ruffled in between. Finally I stitched the two short edges together to form the skirt and here it is...


I couldn't wait for the morning to see if it fitted so I sneaked back in (terrible mother!) and put it on her. Thankfully it was a good fit with plenty of room for her to grow in it too.


She doesn't look like it here but I assure you she was really excited to wear it today. She loves wearing dresses but she's only ever had a skirt once before believe it or not. I'm going to be making a whole lot more I think.


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