Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Learning Through Play

Kids Arts and Crafts: Blow Paint Volcano

By on February 14, 2018

"Mummy can we make something from my book?" Master A came to me with his Usborne Activities Dinosaur Things to Make and Do book desperate to make a volcano painting; he is dinosaur mad. He loves them and he loves making a mess so the two combined is just perfect! As it is half term and its raining (surprise surprise) we have plenty of time to spend indoors having fun. So we turned to page 12 in his book and a dinosaur volcano painting is exactly what we made, as well as a valentines related kitchen activity but I'll tell you about that in a different post.

Volcano Painting

Here are the step by step instructions and a video for how to create the volcano painting.

What you need

  • orange paint (if you don't have any you can improvise like we did - we planned to mix red and yellow, before we learned we didn't have any yellow paint either! So instead we mixed red and gold and tiny bit of white to get the orange colour for our lava).
  • black crayon or in our case a sharpie
  • paintbrush
  • straw

 

How-To

  • Mix your paints if you don't have any orange
  • Draw two thick lines for the sides of the volcano
  • Scribble between the two lines at the top to create the crater
  • Blob your orange paint at the top of the crater
  • Use the straw to blow the 'lava' up from the volcano like it has exploded
  • Run some orange paint down the sides of the volcano
  • Then we painted a Dinosaur sponge green and dabbed it on at the bottom of the volcano

 

Video

Learning Opportunities

As a registered childminder and a teaching assistant I often look for areas of learning in the activities I do with my littluns and this painting exercise was no different. This task is inclusive but by no means limited to the following learning areas I have identified.

Physical Development: Hand-eye coordination, control and movement is developed with an activity such as painting.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Having confidence in their ability, as well as understanding and delivering appropriate behaviour for the task, i.e. for this task - not jumping around throwing paint every where.

Literacy: Reading and following instructions

Expressive arts: Exploring and playing with a range of materials. Learning and mixing colours.

So as you can see a simple task such as painting a volcano is not only fun but provides great learning opportunities too!

Go on, give this one a go. Its great fun and took all of 10 minutes with limited mess! I would LOVE to see your paintings over on my Facebook page 🙂

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Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Rainy Day Activities | Seasonal

Love heart paper chain wreath

By on January 25, 2018

Wreaths aren't just for Christmas...

I started this activity with the intention of making a paper chain, after seeing it on Pinterest but the finished product turned into a wreath and we love it. This is a fun, simple and effective craft that is suitable for ages 6 + (with a bit of help from a grown up with the stapler) ad a perfect rainy day activity.

Like most of the home crafts we do at home this was done on a budget. In fact there was no expense at all as I only used materials that were available to me at home already.

 So what do you need?

  • Card
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Yep that really is all you'll need!

As shown in the pictures below I used fancy patterned card - this was a pack of various different designs that I have had in the cupboard for years. Yep years. I just haven't come up with anything to use it for.

You can get packs of card like this from most craft stores. I imagine I got this from Hobbycraft.

How to make the wreath:

Step 1) Choose your card and cut it into strips like so...

Step 2) Staple two ends together and gently bend the edges over, without folding the card, to make a love heart shape. Hold in place and put two more strips of card either side of the point and carefully staple together. As shown in the pictures below...

Step 3) Keep repeating this until you are happy with the length of the chain. Once happy, you can gently bend the chain round into a wreath shape and staple the point of the last heart into the dip of the first.

And there has is. A love heart paper chain wreath...

This is a really effective craft and you can have lots of fun with colours. We chose the stereotypical valentines colour of pink to represent love (awww)! Master E, who is almost 10, enjoyed participating in this and that is saying something! He is normally way too cool to join in with such activities!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did 🙂 x

 

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Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Seasonal

Heart Shaped Bookmark

By on January 21, 2018

We love books here at Mummy's Munchkins HQ, especially children's literature. So keeping in line with our valentines theme, our next craft is a heart shaped bookmark.

This is incredibly simple to do yet very effective.

How to make the heart shaped bookmark

  1. First you need two different coloured pieces of card. We chose red and pink.
  2. Then you need to cut out 2 heart shapes - 1 out of each piece of card and one larger than the other.
  3. Put some glue on the top third of the smaller heart and stick it in the centre of the larger heart. A standard glue stick should do the trick.
  4. Once dry, your book mark is ready to use...

Variations...

  • Use scraps of stiff material you have lying around.
  • Make a rectangular bookmark using the same principle as the heart shape.
  • For the Easter period you could choose to make an egg shape.
  • For the Christmas period you may choose to make a Christmas tree or holly leaf shape.

Whatever you decide to do and however you decide to do it the main thing is to enjoy the family time together. I would love to see pictures of your bookmarks so feel free to share over on our Mummy's Munchkins Facebook page.

We had a brilliant few hours doing this at home and I know you will too.

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Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Seasonal

Heart Collage Card

By on January 20, 2018

The children and I have decided to make our own heart collage cards for Valentines Day and wanted to share our ideas with you lovely lot.

Only three of my littluns joined in with this activity because my oldest son is far too cool to make a valentines card! Miss O is very arty so chose to make a pattern with tissue paper balls. Master A is a 'Cars' lover and used an old magazine he had to cut out pictures of the right colour and Miss P loves 'Peppa Pig', so did the same with one of her old magazines.

Here is how we made them along with some pictures of the finished heart collages.

To make these you will need:

  • Coloured Card - We chose A5 but you can use any size you like
  • Old magazines
  • Tissue paper - Red, Pink and White
  • PVA Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black Sharpie (optional)

Method:

Preparations

  • Rip up tissue paper into small strips and the screw up into little balls
  • Cut out any small pink, red or white pictures from your chosen magazine.

The task

1) Fold the card in half

2) Draw a heart shape in pencil on the front

3) Once happy with the size, shape and placement of the heart draw over it with the sharpie

4) Spread a thin layer of PVA glue onto the card within the heart shape

5) Stick on tissue paper (pack tightly together to avoid gaps) or use your pieces from your magazines

6) Leave to dry

And there has it your finished Heart Collage Cards.

We loved making these cards and will completed them by adding a little message inside for our Valentine. If you have a go at making these we would love to have your thought so please feel free to comment here on the post as well as share your pictures of your creations on our Facebook page.

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Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun

Quick and Easy, Child Friendly Trifle

By on December 31, 2017

The kids and I were looking through the cupboards for something we could have as a light dessert after our dinner. What with it being Christmas time I had ingredients in my cupboard that would make a trifle only I never got round to making one. So I decided I would make a quick and easy variation that is suitable for the children to eat. It took less than 5 minutes to make and took the kids less time to devour! Below is the 'How To' coupled with a video.

Ingredients

  • Trifle sponges
  • Strawberries
  • Squirty cream

Optional Extras

  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Custard
  • Jelly

Method

Break the sponges up into small chunks and slice the strawberries. Layer both ingredients in the glass, squirt on the cream and top with blueberries as shown in the video below.

Variation

I used what I had in my fridge and cupboards but you could make some jelly and pour this in and allow to set before adding cream. If you like custard you could always add this too, much like the trifle as we know it, just without the Sherry! (I know, I know but it is a child friendly version...)

The idea of this simple recipe is to keep it simple. Use what you have available to you by layering in grapes, blueberries and other fruits you have to hand.

Hope you enjoy and if so feel free to share 🙂

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Creativity & Crafts | Seasonal

Halloween Cup Cakes Recipe

By on November 14, 2017

Halloween Cup Cakes Recipe

Halloween cup cakes is one activity that I wrote about in my post, School Holiday Fun: Halloween so I have decided to pass on the recipe and how we made them.

Whilst I used this recipe to make Halloween cup cakes it can be used for a variety of cakes. On this occasion, as seen in the picture, I used it to make 4 large pumpkin and coffin cup cakes! They were delicious and because I filled the mould too high I was able to slice the top off making an extra two cakes; one each for all of us here.

The recipe can be used to make a 7 inch Victoria sponge, approx. 18 small fairy cakes or approx. 6 larger cup cakes.

I used a heat resistant silicone cake mould for the halloween themed cakes which is how they got their fabulous shape

Ingredients

  • 100g softened butter (I used Stork)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g self raising flour (sifted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 45ml (3tbsp) jam - Victoria sponge
  • 60ml (4tbsp) whipped cream - Victoria sponge
  • icing sugar - Victoria sponge

Recipe

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180*C / Gas Mark 4
  • Prepare your tins / cake cases. Using butter and grease proof paper, grease two 17 inch cake tins if making a Victoria sponge, or place your cake cases in a cake tray.
  • Cream butter and sugar together
  • Beat in eggs one at a time
  • Add 15ml (1tbsp) of flour with each egg
  • Gently fold in the remaining flour
  • Transfer equal amounts to your tins or cases and smooth the tops.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and golden (use the point of a knife to test if the cake is cooked through - put the knife through the centre of the cake from the top and pull it out. If it is clean the cake is done, if it comes out with mix on it leave it to cook a little longer)
  • If cooking Victoria sponge leave the cakes for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack then strip the grease proof paper of gently.
  • Put cakes in cases straight onto a wire cooling rack.
  • When cold, decorate / sandwich the cakes together with jam and cream and sprinkle on icing sugar.

Decorating Cup Cakes and Fairy Cakes

For the Halloween cup cakes we melted some , mixed in some gel food colouring and painted on with small - if you don't have these the unused children's small paint brushes will suffice.

Variation

Fancy making a chocolate sponge instead?

Just replace 25g of flour with 25g of sifted cocoa powder. Simples!

Readers Task

So, there is how I made the Halloween cakes and I would now like to set you a challenge...

I would love for you to make cakes using the recipe above and maybe even make your own variations. Send in pictures of your finished creations and they may be used on my Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest pages 🙂

Please note any post on this site may contain affiliate links. If you use the links they will cost you no extra but Mummy's Munchkins will make a small commission.

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Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Learning Through Play | Seasonal

School Holiday Fun: Halloween

By on October 26, 2017

Keeping the kids busy during the half term

I love it when the kids are home from school but keeping them entertained can be a mammoth task, this alone leaves some parents longing for the school break to be over with quickly! (Don't worry, we've all thought this at some point).

With this is mind I have listed below 6 Halloween themed activities that have kept my little munchkins entertained. I should point out though, trying to keep them occupied from the minute they wake up to the minute they go to bed is not advisable; you'll be completely worn out two days in and your children will keep expecting more from you. Let them know its ok to be bored sometimes and teach them to find their own fun and keep themselves busy.

Here is what we have been up to

  1. Pumpkin Picking

This is something we have never done before, I didn't even go as child so we decided to make our way to Pickwell Farm and see what the fuss is all about. Whilst Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm one thing was for sure, it became very clear to passers by that our children are city kids! Still, we had a great time and lots of giggles...well some of us!

2. Pumpkin Carving

This goes hand in hand with picking the pumpkins. We decided not to carve the ones we had just picked straight away as it was still a good week and a half until Halloween and they would have gone mouldy in that time. We all agreed that we would wait until the following weekend which also means it can be a daddy activity (phew). However, during the week we visited my grandparents and whilst there my auntie and my young cousins arrived with six small pumpkins.

So all the children designed their own pumpkin faces and got to work. Here are the finished items...

3. Bat Making

At the beginning of the week we made bats. An easy and effective arty crafty activity. All that was needed was black paint, black tissue paper, white card and white paper. As a variation you could make spiders.

4. Chocolate Wands

So this one didn't turn out exactly as I would have liked, mainly because I couldn't get the right coloured sprinkles in the shop and had left it too late to order anything online. Nevertheless, this quick and easy make was a fun Halloween themed activity.

As you can see by the picture - Orange and silver sprinkles would have been much more appropriate! Ah well at least we know they look good for Christmas...although not sure what kind of wand you would have at Christmas?!

5. Halloween Cup Cakes

These were delicious! I like to make my cakes from scratch and this was no exception. I had every intention of the whole task being carried out with the kids but they just weren't interested in the making part as much as they were the decorating! Once the mixture was made I poured it into a heat resistant silicone cake mould; I had a coffin mould and a pumpkin mould. Once cooked and cooled instead of using icing we smothered them in white chocolate that we had dyed with food colouring...the kids LOVED this part. Ok, I did too!

6. Castle Building

I hear you...this is totally not Halloween related but hey we can do other stuff during the October half term!

Whilst we were out failing to find orange and silver sprinkles for our chocolate wand, the children saw a build and colour your own cardboard castle and practically begged me for it. As well as the castle there was a fairy house, shop front and an igloo; I am not ready for Christmas related items so the igloo was a no go, the fairies were too girly for the boys and the shop front didn't have enough for each of them to claim some of it as their own. So what with the castle being the strongest contender for causing less arguments that's what I settled on.  We all agreed that each of them had their own side to colour in as they see fit and everyone is happy...except its now taking up my dining room!

We've had lots of fun this week, I never look forward to the kids going back to school, despite the incessant sibling rivalry and as usual their time off has flown by. So now I guess I better get planning for the Christmas break!

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Creativity & Crafts | Learning Through Play

Autumnal Sun Catcher

By on October 4, 2017

Autumn Leaf Sun Catcher

I'm sharing a fun and easy autumnal craft activity with you today, one I've not done before but one that I'll be sure to do again.

These autumn leaf suncatchers are lovely as they are suitable for children of all ages, making a great activity to welcome the new season and they really bring an autumnal feel into the house, as well as offering the chance to get outside to explore.

(Please note this post contains affiliate links)

What you will need:
  1. Paper plates
  2. Sticky back plastic
  3. Scissors
  4. Paints (in autumn colours)
  5. Leaves
  6. Hole punch
  7. String
  8. Sticky tape / blue tack (or just something that will hold it up)
How:

We started by painting the plates. ALL the children can do this from babies through to older children. Make sure you use autumnal colours - browns, greens, yellows, oranges, reds etc

Then I left them to dry. It is during this time that you can get out and explore your surroundings whilst collecting autumn leaves. My children and I have been collecting them for a little while so I already had some.

Once dry you'll need to cut out the centre of the plate. The younger ones will definitely need help with this but the older ones may like to give it a try.

Next you'll need to cut a circle out of the sticky back plastic. It'll need to be bigger than the hole in the plate. So to ensure it was I cut a circle almost as big as the plate. Again older children might like to do this bit themselves too.

Stick the plastic to the back of the plate so when you are looking at the plate on the side you painted it, the the hole is now sticky and it's here where you will stick the leaves.

Finally, using the hole punch, make one hole in the plate and pop the string through in order to hang it.

Purchase some of the items you need for this project here...

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Creativity & Crafts | Learning Through Play

Weather board fun (and its benefits)

By on October 1, 2017

I've created a weather board for my childminding setting and I just had to share it. The kids and I love it.

This post contains affiliate links and explains how I made the weather board, along with the learning benefits it has.

Not only is it fun pretending to be the weather man (or woman) from the television but it has so many learning benefits too...

Understanding the world

🍂It teaches the children to be observant and pay attention to their surroundings - the kids in my care will be able to set the weather each day and learn about the seasons, which they will also change when the time calls.

Critical Thinkers

❄️I will occasionally set the board myself, but will set it incorrectly. This will encourage the children to think critically, by not accepting what is in front of them for face value and having the confidence to constructively challenge what has been presented to them.

Physical Development

🌻the moving of the symbols will help develop fine and gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.

Communication and Language

🌞speaking about the symbols will encourage language development - talking about what each symbols is & means. As well as talking about the past, present and future (what the weather was like yesterday, how it is today and what could it be like tomorrow) and talking about what we know about the seasons.

weather symbols for kids

To create this board I simply googled 'weather symbols for kids' and this came up...

I cut out the symbols and discarded the words (although they could be used to enhance learning in other areas such as reading and spelling etc), then I popped them into a laminating pouch and laminated them.

As well as weather symbols I wanted pictures for the seasons too

This is what I found on google images...

Again I cut out what I wanted and laminated it.

Using blue tack I stuck them to my white board and hey presto the weather board is done.

Variations

You don't need a white board screwed to your wall at home to create this. I only have one as I've set this up in my childminding room. Here are some variations I've found on Pinterest...

Such a fun and simple activity with so many educational benefits for young learners without them even realising they are learning! Perfect!

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Creativity & Crafts | Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing

What Does Art and Crafts Look Like to You?

By on July 11, 2017
What does an arts and crafts day at home look like for you?

For me and mine crafts usually all for fun (and learning, but shhh don't tell them). It doesn't matter if a certain craft is considered 'girly ' or 'boyish' I just encourage my munchkins to do what they want to do and leave gender out of it.

For some craft work is therapeutic...

I'd like you to meet Jaycob.

Jaycob making his Dad a cushion for Fathers' Day

Jaycob turns to craft when he is feeling down. He was severely bullied at school which started when he was just 6 years old, making him very depressed to the point he tried to hurt himself. He had a lot of time of school for various reasons but during his time with his mum he learnt to sew amongst other things. Crafts helped him to recover, it gave him something else to focus on and gave him purpose.

Jaycob is now back at school and is a happy young lad again but still likes to get crafty. In the picture above Jaycob is sewing his dad a fathers day cushion which he loved making.

Thank you to Chrissie Lowery for allowing me to share part of your story - it's fantastic to see his energy being channelled into something skillful.

***************

As I mentioned previously I encourage learning when we decide to get crafty (not that the kids realise it) and nine times out of ten it involves getting out paints and brushes, coloured paper, scissors, sticky tape, PVA glue and 'stuff' to stick.

Our craft box often 'stuff' like this...

Normally speaking craft time at our house is adult-initiated but quickly becomes a child-led activity and I love it this way. I try not to influence them in their craft making decisions but offer them a safe and clean environment in which they can let their imaginations run free. Child-led activities help the children to grow and develop by allowing them to choose the resources they use, promoting independence and decision making skills, to name just two ways in which they learn from craft time. So whilst they are having fun they are learning too. Learning through first-hand experiences, not forced information.

Sometimes I like to shake things up for them and show them a new activity. For example we did potato printing a little while back.

For this activity they decided what shapes they wanted and I cut the potatoes. Here is an example...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left the craft box in the cupboard for this and got out the paints instead! Woooo paints! Who doesn't love paints? *cue rolling of eyes and anxiety attacks about the mess* This is why  I choose to use Crayola as it is washable. I always make sure the children wear aprons but, hey, they are kids and there is usually at least one spillage!

So there has it two very different takes but both with the same outcome - learning and happiness. Whatever your take is HAVE FUN with it!

Here are a few pictures of past arts and crafts activities from us...

Bottle Bottom Turtles

 

Glitter Card Making

 

A Beautiful Accident (we gathered the excess glitter together to pour back into the tub and this happened <3 )

Thank you for reading an thanks for using any of the links above, if you did. If you do we earn a few pennies which all help to keep this blog free at no extra cost to you. The products I have recommended are products I have used myself.

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