Thursday, 19 July 2012

Off on holidays to far north Queensland

How lucky are we going on holiday to the Daintree rainforest in far north Queensland for two weeks? We look forward to relaxing at the beach and getting up close to nature. So many tropical fish and amazing wildlife in that part of the world!

We hope to come back refreshed and with some inspirational art and craft activities in mind.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Teddy bear swings

While we continue to wait for our real swing to be built in the back yard (it is on my husband's to do list), we contented ourselves by making cardboard swings for Alex and Jasmine's soft toys.

We started with the bottom half of two cardboard boxes, some ribbon and duct tape.

We hung the boxes off our half built patio roof. The swings will have to come down as the roof gets built but for now it provides a perfect spot. Jasmine helped me decorate the swings with some stickers.

According to my kids their teddies love the new swings.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Rocks, diggers and a happy boy

While at Reverse Garbage the other week we picked up four containers of small rocks at $2 each. Such a bargain and perfect for Alex to play with - indoors and out. We poured the rocks in a plastic container and pulled out some of his favourite diggers and trucks.

He had a great time mucking around with the rocks for ages. Later he took the rocks outside and poured some on the grass so he could play with his trucks in the container and then zoom along the grass too.

It was a fun and easy activity. Though I must say I have found stray rocks all through the garden!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Simple but pretty fans

My kids love making fans. We seem to have made numerous fans lately with different coloured paper. We've been adding string and beads to make them look extra special. To begin, start with a piece of paper - square or rectangle will work. If using coloured paper, it can have the same colour on each side or different, depending on your preferences.

1: Fold edge of paper over so it is about 2cm wide. Continue folding the entire sheet backwards and forwards like an accordion.

2. Once you have folded the whole sheet, bend in half. You can glue together the centre sides or just squeeze together.

3. Wrap some string around the base. Tuck the end of the string under with a pencil or scissors.

4. Or, leave an extra piece of string hanging down from the handle and thread on some beads.

5. Happy fanning! See below for one of our double-sided fans - pink on one side and green on the other.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Melted crayons

Recently we tried melting crayons on hot rocks. The kids absolutely loved this activity. It was amazing to watch how the crayon colours dispersed on the rocks. Alex and Jasmine have been playing with their new pet rocks ever since. I dread to think where they will turn up each day - so far I have found them in their beds, hats, sofa and definitely under foot. For this activity you will need:
  • rocks (we bought some at Bunnings but next time we will try and find some at the park)
  • wax crayons
  • foil
  • oven
  • oven trays
Put the rocks in a moderate oven (180 celsius) on foil lined trays for 10 minutes. Set up a table with heat proof mats and a cloth to avoid any disasters. Bring the hot rocks to the table and press diffferent coloured crayons on them. Enjoy the satisfaction of giving the rocks a lovely new colour!

The rocks stay hot for five to ten minutes so you don't have a huge amount of time to get the colour on. I would recommend that you supervise children at all times for this activity.

Thanks goes to The Artful Parent again for introducing us to this activity. They have also tried melted crayons on baking paper and wood blocks - both of which look equally fun. I'll be keen to try that out other melted crayon activities sometime soon.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Ink and crayons - a perfect combination

We had friends over today so took the opportunity to experiment with a couple of different art activities using crayons. For our first activity, Kris introduced me and the kids to pastels. The kids covered an A4 sheet of paper with solid blocks of colour. This would become the bottom layer of the final picture. Using pastels allowed for a lively, rich finish.

Next the kids painted a black ink layer over the crayon. The black ink had a lovely glossy consistency. However, acrylic paint would also work.

About an hour later when the black ink was dry, the kids scratched a pattern on their page using a paddle pop stick. The rainbow colours looked amazing peeping through the dark ink.

What a great fun activity. So satisfying!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


The kids and I have been inspired by this month's National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) activities. We enjoyed a fun day out in Canberra with live music and dancing performed by Indigenous groups. The sausage sizzle, big yellow slippery dip and other rides were also popular and the Aboriginal art and craft.

I showed the kids some more pictures of Aboriginal art and didgeridoos on my iPad when we returned home.

Before preschool today we made some quick didgeridoos with cardboard rolls, coloured sticky tape and dot stickers.

We're still working on our skills in playing our didgeridoos!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Shaving cream patterns on the window

How fun is shaving cream! Very fun according to my kids. The sun was out and we had energy to burn so we took a can of shaving cream outside and started squirting on the windows and glass doors. The kids enjoyed the squishy, foamy mess. They drew some fun patterns with their fingers too.

When the shaving cream ran out the kids enjoyed using the hose to clean up. We recommend you give it a go, though perhaps not on a day when you're planning to have guests and would like sparkly clean windows!