Wednesday, 31 August 2011

How to make Foam Frames.

I spotted a frame making kit at a reduced price & bought it with the thought "I'm sure we can make our own as well". I picked up a pack of foam from poundland as well as some foam shapes. On a day when Kai was getting upset because the big boys were playing big boy games that he couldnt join in I got them out.

Kai started off using the kit, decorating its frame while I cut out frame shaped pieces of foam - I kept to the basic rectangle hole inside a larger rectangle but I'm sure with a bit of time & patience you could cut some really intricate designs out.
While Kai decorated these frames I cut scrap card out, slightly small than the frame and stuck foam sticky pads along the edge, leaving a slight border and a gap at one end.

When Kai was done I stuck this onto the back of the foam
These pads leave a nice gap so a photo or picture can slide nicely in & be changed for another when you want

(Sorry for the blurry picture, my camera refused to focus in on the foam)
Finally I used tape to attach string to the back of the foam so the picture could be hung up

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Dyed Rice Pictures

Dying rice is EASY & I can think of a few ideas for it, one of the main ones being to make pictures with.

So, How to Dye Rice...
You will need:-
Rice (well dur!)
Liquid Food Colouring
Sealable food bags
Hand sanitiser (the no water needed, contains alcohol sort)
a tray lined with baking paper.

Put Rice in the food bag, add a squirt of hand sanitiser and a couple of drops of food colouring. Shake it up & squidge it round until all the rice is covered. If the colour isnt deep enough add a bit more food colouring, shake & squidge again. Repeat until you get the colour you want.
Tip out onto the baking paper, spread it out a bit and leave to dry.
When dry run the rice through your fingers just to seperate it all.

I printed out some colouring-in pictures onto card and let the kids loose on them with glue and the rice.
It kept them busy for hours. Kai's were simple pictures with large areas of colour whereas Zacks were a bit more detailed & complex which meant a bit more control and using single grains of rice in places.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Kids stress heads

Take a balloon, stretch it & fill it with play dough (you can find the recipe I use HERE). I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the spout off a cordial / fizzy pop bottle & stretch the end of the balloon over it, this holds it open nicely for you to poke the play dough through.
When its the size you want tie the end (without the cordial spout in) & hand to the kids to decorate.
Decorating can be done with marker pens, or items glued on. REMEMBER, gluing items on can impede the ability to squish the "stress head", or they might just fall off.

Heres what Zack & Kai came up with (Zacks is on the left, Kai's "Daddy alien, because it has a beard & Moustache" is on the right)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Week to the end of the Summer Holidays

Yes, only a week to go in this house, & my mind is already on the other side, the side that is planning what to do with 6hours kiddie free, even turning towards Christmas ideas :-O But thats a whole other blo post.

So, as I've had a lil break from blogging, how about I spend this week recapping on a few of theactivities I've been doing with the kiddies .... well, more like mainly with Kai as Zacks amused himself a lot of the time by going bowling, playing with friends etc etc

Lets start simple...
We did good ol' painting .... I find a good use for the abundance of charity bags we end up with is to put them over the backs of the chairs - that way, when Kai climbs down to go wash his hands, he doesnt get hand prints on the wood.

Gluing with sequins & confetti .... last year Kai decorated a mini wooden bird house with felt tips & stickers at our local shopping centre; This year he painted it & when dry added sequins & confetti.

I found some kits in Wilkinsons which were paintable plywood jigsaws, they were only £1!!!! bargain I thought. I chose a dinosaur one (Kai is crazy on dinosaurs) thinking Kai could paint the jigsaw pieces & Zack could paint the base. As it happened Zack was busy else where so Kai happily did both.
I'm sure if you are fairly adapt at using a hack saw or a jig saw you could easily make your own.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

CCW Challenge - Card for a Child

The theme at Creative Craft World is card for a child, and I was asked by the lovely Noonie to be Guest Designer. Most of the children in my family are boys so I make more boys childrens cards (obviously) than girls so this was prodominate in my mind.

Our Sponsor is Stitchy Bear Stamps, and I chose to use the gorgeous digi stamp, "got game".
I started off by printing off a few of the digi stamps & colouring in, then chose my favourite .... okay, okay, I chose my 2 favourites as I had ideas for both of them.

I had a sheet of card that had piano keys, musical notes etc on it in large in a kind of grunge style. I t was quite dark at one end & lighter at the other. This meant I could use it to mount the image onto the dark end (after inking the edges in black), and then twice more at the lighter end, finishing off with Happy birthday peel offs and mounting it all onto a dark blue (as I saw it a new-denim colour) card.

The second card I sat there with my thought process going .."football, dirt, mud, brown" So I mounted it onto two types of green to bring out the colour of his green attire. I cut out another piece of card very slightly larger then the mounted image and used it to mask the backing card (again in another shade of green), and placed on a Happy Birthday peel off to act as a mask as well. I inked it all over roughly in chocolate brown, hoping it would look like mud before removing the masks & finally sticking the image down.

How about joining in over at Creative Craft World with a Childs Card, you could win a selection of digi images of your choice.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Summer Holidays Week 1 & 2

The first couple of weeks into the summer hols are usually fairly quiet. Its spent rediscovering toys at the back of draws, at the bottom of tubs and reclaimed from the shed. This way Zack (12) and Kai (4) can normally keep themselves entertained. Of course for something a bit different I'll make a suggestion or grab something from my holiday stock pile to help them out. So what have we been upto?

The first few days of the holiday were spent visiting the grandparents. While at my moms I was helping sort some of our old toys out and decided to take my old My Little Ponies home to alter. They havent reached that point yet as Kai has taken a liking to them.
Kai gave them a bath...
...& drew them....

Before playing with them. So with finding my old toys out we have had 3 activities, washing them, drawing them & playing with them.

I told Zack I wanted him cooking a lunch, tea, & snack/dessert once a week (I think its very important for children to learn how to cook) so a couple of hours were spent scouring through my cook books & typed up recipes looking for ideas.
He has so far made Wesh Rarebit, prawn toast and both children have helped add topping onto a pizza.

One of the favourite "toys" of the fortnight has been playdough. I shall be posting a link to the recipe late today but it truely is fab stuff ... just like the bought stuff. Both children have played with it and a range of cookie cutters, rolling pins and other items to make imprints. Everything I needed to make it was already in the kitchen, and it took a mere 10minutes to make 4 balls, red, blue, green and yellow.

Homemade skittles! I saw this idea on pinterest so started saving up bottles. Due to having a smallish garden I opted for the smaller drinks bottles, peeled the labels off and swilled them out. When we had 12 I filled them all with water, then add red food colouring to 6, & green to the other 6.
I gave Kai a football and set him up with a set.

Over the other side of the garden I gave Zack a tennis ball to make it harder for him. He opted for a throwing motion to knock them down. They have tried this with them altogether and in placing them in different patterns.

My SIL kindly took us upto Carding Mill valley, I recommend taking the kids upto a stream on a warm day for a picnic (you can read more about it HERE)

A lot of shops are selling off their summer stock already at reduced prices. I bought this sandpit for £7.50p (was £15), and a few toys to go in it for £2.20p - I have since seen it sold with toys for £20 :-O
Kai bought himself a simple plastic golf set in a caddy for £2.50p
The sandpit took less than 1 bag of sand, and being spilt in 2 means there are less "he's got my bit of sand" arguements.

I know a lot of people out there arent keen on kids spending time on video games but I think as long as the amount of time they are on them is controlled then they can have a positive effect - obviously games should be age appropriate. It can help with their hand to eye skills, working out strategys, & working as a team.
My two had fun playing on Mario Karts, a firm favourite in this house.

I had previously thought there werent any cheap, local clubs this year for Zack to attend that would appeal to him, they were either sports he didnt enjoy or too young for him .... until my brother invited him to join his son at a Karate club near my Moms. So twice a week Zack is going to Karate. I've read him the riot act that if he uses it against ANYONE except in class then its over, but I think he's mature enough to use it wisely.

Check back later when I will be picking a few items on my long holiday list to explain a bit more &/or leave links to recipes.

How has your summer holiday been going? Been upto anything fun? Leave me a comment telling me all about it, or if you've blogged about it leave a link, I'd love to hear from you.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Rocking MY World Friday for loads of ideas

Carding Mill Valley with my lovely kiddie winkles, niece, nephew & Sister In Law

1/2 price mini sandpit in the sales (£7.50p, bargain!!!)
Finding new appreciation for old toys

Kai's developing artistic skills
My little Ponies
Zacks developing cooking skills (he made us prawn toast the other night, mmmmmm)
Warm Days
FABULOUS support & comments from both my twitter & blog followers, they really do make writing here well worth it.

So whats been rocking your world? Link up at Celtic House

Thursday, 4 August 2011

A fun yet cheap day out at Carding Mill Valley

Altogether my SIL & I have 6 children ranging from age 3 to 12, on average 2 years between each, so during the summer holidays we try & find the odd day out for them that will cater for all age ranges, & wont cost us an absolute bomb.

Last tuesday, when the weather was a tad mixed but still warm we decided to grab a quick picnic & take the kiddie winkles to Carding Mill Valley, which is part of the national trust. We quickly discussed what we'd each got in that could be shared on the picnic & got ready.

It cost £2.00 to park for 2 hours & £4.20 for all day. We parked up by the top car park, along side the stream that runs all the way down the valley. We then walked for literally 2 minutes past the car park, along the stream, which lead to a patch with a couple deeper parts of the stream (when I say deep, I mean only upto a 4year olds knees) and some lovely clear patches of grass along side, with no one around!! I have to admit, I did think people a bit crazy, the stream along side the car park was busy with children & adults yet 2 minutes walk away it was lovely and peaceful .... except for our little ones of course.

The older lads set about building dams to make one of the pools a little deeper. The two youngsters (Kai 4 & layla 3) were happy to paddle & throw stones in to make the water splash. Nik (my Sister In Law aka SIL) & myself busied ourselves laying down blankets, watching the kids & I even went for a paddle myself ..... water was fffffffreezing but I soon got used to it & when the sun came out it was delightful.

Picnic was water to drink, egg mayonnaise sarnies, ham sarnies, crisps, choc bar, frubes & strawberries - all of which we'd just quickly grabbed/made. We were nicely full after it & the kids were happy to play again. The bottles left from the drinks soon became water squirters & a water fight broke out.

When this was banned due to them getting a bit over zealous with squirting each other they explored the surrounding area. Kai found the slopes were perfect to slide down on his bum, he got a good speed up doing it
& was soon joined but not only the other kids but Nik as well.

Jai found a boulder in the water & I jokingly told him to pick it up to put on the dam .... he took me seriously. He & Zack managed to roll it half way up the stream which was no easy task.

We decided to pack up & see if the stream led to Lightspout Waterfall. It was quite a walk ... Zack & Luis being they're usual selves had to do it the hard way by literally walking in the stream to follow it. We followed the path that got a bit thin & rocky at times. Thankfully it did lead to the waterfall, which wasnt much more than a trickle, but we put that heavily down to the dry(ish) weather we've had. It did have a lovely lil pool at the bottom of it , & by this time the weather was roasting.

Along side the waterfall the path continues up rather steeply which the older lads followed before making their way round the back of the waterfall & down the rather jagged, steep descent over the otherside (this was not an official path).

The walk back was easier, once in the car it didnt take my 2 long before falling asleep.

I thoroughly recommend taking a visit to a stream with the kids if you can, on a hot sunny day its the perfect, cheap way to cool down.

Carding Mill Valley ..... a bit more information.
National Trust - Carding Mill Valley
BBC Shropshire, panoramic view.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Busy enjoying the hols

Oooo, I wish I'd been in some lovely waves like this, with lovely blue sky but obviously this is just a "make my blog pretty, a lil more interesting & a lil less like just a block of text!"
I know, I know, I'm running late on a couple of blogs but holiday fun (as well as jobs) have been getting in my blogging way.
Normal service shall resume on thursday, stick with me sweeties! (mmmm, sweeties!!!)
Still to come this week
Thursday: A cheap day out in Carding Mill Valley
Friday: Rocking MY week Friday
Saturday: A FORTNIGHT of fun
Sunday: Recipes & instructions on things to do with the kids.
Hope to see you there :-)


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