Tie Dying

When looking for craft activities to do with my girls, I try to make them as entertaining as they are useful and educational.  Tie dying t-shirts, ticked all three boxes for us.  It is a simple and enjoyable activity to do with children and with the right equipment there will be very little mess.

I came across the “The Complete Tie Die Kit” by Creativity for Kids at our local toy store, and thought it looks like a winner!

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The kit includes:

  • Easy-squeeze bottles come with pre-measured dyes
  • Craft apron, table cover and craft gloves
  • Extra dyes, stencil, fabric marker, beads, embroidery thread and needles to create more projects
  • Extra Large T-shirt included – with instructions to create a bag, headband, smaller t-shirt all from the large tee!

Of course, you don’t need a kit, some fabric dye and plastic squeeze tubes will do the trick.

My girls and I went through their cupboard and picked out a basic white singlet for Emel & white t-shirt for Talia.

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Yes, they were excited 🙂 

Before you get started, you need to soak your garments in a salt + water solution for about 30 minutes, this will help set the dye. 

Next, choose your design.  The kit comes with the “how to” designs, but for the purpose of this post, we can refer to this very handy diagram:

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(photo credit: flickr.com/photos/weavingmajor)

Talia chose the “donuts” design and Emel opted for “bullseye”.

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Tie the elestic bands wherever you would like to colour.  For best results, get them on tight!

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Talia was 4 years old here, and she did a great job on her own needing little help from me.  Emel, who was 3 at the time, required more help, but was able to do all the fun bits on her own 🙂

 

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Once complete, we left them to set for 24 hours.  The following day, while still tied, I rinsed the tops under cold running water until the water ran clear.  Then untied the tops and washed them in the washing machine, again with cold water.

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….and the end result?  Two very happy little girls!  Next time you’re stuck for ideas, give tie dying a go 🙂

 

 

Fun Kids Keyboard

Like most mums, I love spending time with my kids. An added bonus is – many of my family and friends can attest to this – I’m a big kid myself so I have a knack for understanding kids and activities that will amuse them.

We all know children love pretend play and how beneficial it is for them. Which is what inspired me to make them their very own “Do Anything Keyboard.”

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I took a pair of old keyboards and spray painted them silver. I do most of my spray painting outside, in a box – that way the wind doesn’t carry the paint all over the place damaging other surfaces. For larger pieces, I use larger boxes, or go without and simply cover the area with drop sheets.

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Yous should allow 2 – 3 hours for the paint to dry. Always read the directions on the spray can, as times may vary. Dry times can vary largely based on weather conditions and the amount of paint you have sprayed, the thicker, the longer. It’s always a good idea to spray a few light coats rather than one thick coat. You will get more even coverage and a better finish.

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Once the paint dried, I decorated some of the keys by painting them using vibrant acrylic paint and added some number stickers.

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It was (and still is) a huge hit with my girls! They use their “new” keyboards as rocket controls, shop cash register, a computer keyboard or whatever else they want to be!

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