Spring Party Favor

Last year, I threw a Spring themed party for the kiddies together with my dear friend Eda of Plaited Heart. I was in charge of styling & decor and Eda made all the delicious and mostly healthy party food.  I will soon write up another post dedicated to the party that will showcase the delightful talents of Eda!

Being a Spring theme, I wanted the children to take home something to do with flowers.  Then it hit me, what better gift than for the children to plant their own seeds! 

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Here’s the how to.  I used:

* Flower Seeds

* Potting Mix

* Tea Light Candle Votives (I found them in packs of 6 at a discount store)

* Small glass capsules (to store the seeds) – I found these at a discount store, most craft stores also stock them.

* Twine (to wrap around the votive as decoration)

* Small fake flowers

* Craft paper to make the name tags

* Thread to tie the name tags to the votives

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I was lucky to find tiny shovels, forks and buckets at the hardware store to decorate and I think, complete the look 🙂

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The children loved them and as many of them were under 5 years of age, it was a fantastic way to teach them how plants grow and learn about Spring 🙂

Collect & Decorate

The streets of Melbourne are truly beautiful.  Each with it’s own unique character, their lovely stores, divine cafes and friendly faces.  I absolutely love that our streets are also lines with wonderful, huge trees.  Adding luscious colour and life to the otherwise grey pavement.  In summer, these majestic trees are full and vibrant.  In Autumn, they fill the streets with their golden leaves.  When out with my daughters, they love collecting the fallen leaves to later use in a craft activity or game. 

One particular Sunday afternoon, my best friend and I were out shopping in Smith St , Collingwood.  The large Sweet Gum Trees had dropped their seed pods all over the pavement.  They were too pretty for me to ignore!  In a crowded street, my best friend and I started collecting a pile of them.

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I had plans to display the seed pods in a bowl/vase or jar, but first wanted to add some colour to them.  I used a paintbrush and some acylic paint.  I left the stems on which made perfect handles while I was paining them.

 

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I painted most of them, but also left some unpainted.  Once dry, I removed the stems and filled a clear glass vase with my new colourful seed pods.
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A simple and virtually free DIY project that you can complete in under 30 minutes!  Your kids will also enjoy this 🙂

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 🙂

 

 

Printable Calendar

Like most kids, my girls, aged 5 and almost 4 years, love counting down the “sleeps” until their next event, outing, well…anything really!

Until now, we usually have hand written countdown charts (of about 10 days or so) for an upcoming special occasion.  We have also been learning about “months” and “days,” and so everyday I am asked, “is it still March mum?”  🙂 

I thought it is time for the girls to have their own personal calendars in their bedrooms.  The calendars would serve a few purposes.  First, it’s a great way for children to familiarise themselves with the months of the year & days of the week.  Second, it will help in teaching them which day of the month they are at.  It’s also an excellent tool for them to mark down upcoming events & occasions, and have a “months view” of what is to come.

I decided to make my own calendar for them, mainly because I wanted one that is A3 in size, which will give them a little more room to write in the boxes.  Also, I find store bought calendars have a bit too much going on.  The idea with these calendars is that my girls will also decorate the boxes with stickers when marking a special day, so I wanted the calendar itself to be pretty basic.

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I designed the calendar a month to a page, to fit an A3 page and used my daughter’s favourite colours (well, for this week anyway!).  I haven’t attached the pages together, which will further simplify its use. 

 

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My older daughter can write in her own events and decorate with stickers.  I will write in for my younger daughter and she can then decorate with stickers.

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I have created different colour combinations for you to save and print for your personal use.  Since we’re at the end of March, I’ve started the calendar from April. 

I hope your kids (or maybe you!) enjoy the calendars 🙂

A3 CALENDAR – Pink & Aqua

A3 CALENDAR Orange & Blue

A3 CALENDAR – Pink & Purple

A3 CALENDAR – Blue & Green

A3 CALENDAR – Blue & Aqua

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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