I was in a multicoloured lolly sticks kind of mood today - luckily we have a bumper pack of them in the cupboard. Phew.
For the porcupine card, I cut a body shape out of orange card and then we glued that and the orange sticks onto the blue card, added a googly eye and coloured in the nose.
The monsters on sticks couldn't be easier to make - just wrap pipe cleaners around sticks in whatever shape you fancy and add googly eyes (we used extra big fluffy pipe cleaners). Matthew's passion for googly eyes apparently knows no bounds.
For the tulips, we painted some bits of card first (quite subtle here but you could go wild), cut out the petal shapes when they were dry, and glued them onto green sticks. The vase is an empty plastic vanilla essence bottle with its top cut off. Matthew took ages decorating it with dotty stickers in an impressively painstaking way. Blimey. This is new.
Last week at The Little House in the Park we did some book-related crafts, to mark the end of Bath's Literature Festival. The Very Hungry Caterpillar was a good choice - everyone knows it, the story is nice and simple, and there are lots of colourful pictures to draw inspiration from.
First we made a lovely big butterfly, by blobbing lots of paint on one side of some thick folded paper and then pressing the two sides together to make a mirror print. We cut the shape out when it was dry, and added a pipe cleaner body.
Next we stuffed a stripey sock with scrunched up tissue paper, tied it with wool, and added googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae to make a caterpillar puppet. (This is Matthew's favourite: he likes bouncing it round the house doing squeaky caterpillar voices and finding new places to hang it.)
Finally, we made our own interactive version of the book. We started with a thin paint wash over both sides of a long strip of folded paper, and when that was dry we stuck the fruit on and cut out holes. The cover of the book is a green felt leaf with a pipe cleaner caterpillar nestled inside ready to take out and weave through the holes.
Ever since Matthew's first rapturous encounter with a hole punch, I've been trying to think of a nice crafty activity we could channel this passion into. Hm.
Recently I bought some A5 self-laminating pouches and have been wondering what I could use them for. Hm.
Bingo! I present you with: self-laminated dotty pictures. I did the shape cutting (obviously. He's 3), and Matthew did the hole punching and thereafter scattering of the dots. It was surprisingly tricky getting the pouches to seal without lumps and stray dots, but by about the fourth one we had it down.
I think they look pretty good but... that sunflower is a bit rubbish, isn't it. Good excuse to have another go sometime.
We have a surfeit of pipe cleaners in the house. A glut. An embarrassment of pipe cleaners. I don't know how it happened, but we should probably start using them instead of hoarding them (not sure what kind of situation I've been envisaging in which shedloads of pipe cleaners would save the day?).
Thought it would be fun to experiment with making animal finger puppets - here are the results. An octopus (actually an octo-alien - he has two more eyes at the back, Matthew was quite insistent about it), a bird and a butterfly.
I reckon the possibilities are endless though, really, depending on a) how adventurous you're feeling and b) the dexterity of the little fingers you're working with. How about trying mice, rabbits, frogs, lions, elephants... dinosaurs...?
This week's session at The Little House in the Park was all about Chinese New Year - tomorrow marks the start of the Year of the Snake. So we went snake crazy.
The one on the right is your classic paper plate snake - covered in tissue paper and cut in a spiral. This one has a separate head glued on and is tied to a stick for extra springy fun - Matthew held it on the way home and it twirled round and round in the wind in a very pleasing way.
The one on the left is a felt bracelet snake, made by Matthew's grandma, who came with us this week (there is NO WAY I would have been able to make that one during the session... far too busy trying to prevent Claygate). I think it involved winding lots of bits of wool round and then glueing a felt face on top. Seemed to keep her happy anyway.
The clay snake is all Matthew's own work and he's very proud of it. It's just a shame it keeps breaking into bits. His dad looked at all the pieces bemusedly and said "Oh. You made poo at The Little House today."
We made the two little pipe cleaner snakes when we got back home (obviously couldn't get enough of the whole snake thing). Just two pipe cleaners twisted together with - yes - googly eyes stuck on.
Happy Chinese New Year!
Matthew's been experimenting with trashy little cheeses lately. He mostly loves unwrapping them rather than eating them, so we end up with bits of cheese packaging (and bits of cheese) all over the place.
Now these latest ones - Primula Pods, I believe they're called - came in the most fish-like plastic packets imaginable. So we (I) sort of felt obliged to make something fishy with them.
The plan was to make a mobile, but for various reasons - I won't bore you with them - that turned out to be a bit ambitious, so we did a collage instead. Matthew got really into this. First we painted each fish a different colour (they could have done with two coats ideally, but I felt like that would be pushing my luck), then we sprinkled glitter on, and when they were dry we added spotty stickers and googly eyes.
We put glue all over a sheet of blue card, to make it nice and shiny, and then stuck the fish on, along with a few bits of crumpled up green tissue paper just to make it a bit more exciting. I could have gone on... but the boy had had enough. A good innings though.
Last week's session at The Little House in the Park was all about hibernation and hunkering down for the winter.
The spider's web is made from wooden skewers stuck into a conker, then wound round with wool of different colours. It was very therapeutic to make (I was deliberately blocking out Matthew unravelling all the other balls of wool in my peripheral vision). The spider is just four short black pipe cleaners twisted round in the middle, with its legs pushed into the wool.
The hedgehog is made out of clay, and his little den is a cardboard box painted with shiny autumn colours and then stuffed with kapok and straw. We finished it off by gluing leaves on top. Matthew always likes it when the clay makes an appearance - I think he'd be quite happy just spending the whole session making clay hair with the garlic crusher.
I fancy hunkering down for the winter. Wonder if the boy would be OK if I just crawled under the duvet for a few months?
Today's adventures at The Little House in the Park were of the spooky kind, in anticipation of Halloween next week.
The spider is made from pipe cleaners and furry fabric. You twist four pipe cleaners in the middle, wrap a strip of fur around, then use a long piece of cotton to wind all round the body and in between the legs to keep everything in place. Then you use a darning needle to thread elastic through the top layer of fur, and finish off with googley eyes.
The bat is cut out of black card, with some strips of netting stapled on top. Again we used a darning needle to thread the elastic through. You can't see in this picture, but the end of the elastic is tied to a stick so you can bounce and fly the bat around. Cool.
The pumpkin is just bits of torn up orange tissue paper glued onto gold card. We sprinkled some green glitter on top too so it catches the light. We were supposed to make it into a mask but didn't quite get round to that (someone lost interest and started running amok with all the stuffed toys. It wasn't me).