Monday, 9 November 2009

50 Paper plate crafts

Having just moved countries we had to leave most of our stuff behind in the UK and unfortunately our spare cash has been going on furniture and kitchen equipment but this week I managed to slip in some paper plates. Here is the "inspiration search" I did before we make our own stuff this week.

50 things for kids to make with paper plates

1. Pumpkin
2. Bumblebee
3. Easter bunny
4. Sunflower
5. Peacock
6. Canteen
7. Wreath
8. Handprint basket
9. 3D hearts mobile
10. Maracas
11. Snowman
12. Poinsettia (or other flowers depending on the colours you use)
13. butterfly lifecycle mobile
14. valentine heart crown
15. rainbow streamers
16. wall pocket
17. butterfly puppet
18. ladybird puppet
19. Angel
20. Owl
21. Duck
22. Rabbit mask
23. octopus
24. chinese pottery
25. mothers day flower pot
26. hickory dickory clock
27. same again but standing up
28. puffer fish
29. tambourine
30. stegosaurus
31. spiral snake
32. dream catcher (sadly no pictures)
33. cutlery windchimes
34. bird feeder
35. mini meals
36. paper plate pig (stands up)
37. orbitting object paper plate
38. hedgehog
39. emotions plates
40. paper plate porthole
41. noise maker
42. lantern (no pictures)
43. suncatchers
44. cat (no picture)
45. windsock
46. spider
47. turtle
48. fish bowl
49. apple
50. flying saucer

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Handprint crafts: Handprint bats

Halloween is over for another year. Along with everyone else in the entire universe we did the ubiquitous pumpkin carving again this year but as something different we made these cute little decorations. The idea came from as a text only version with no pictures ( - here's what we interpreted it as.

Learning the alphabet:alphabet frieze

How many millions of alphabet friezes are there in the shops -all cute as can be and costing a pretty penny most of them too. This is an idea for a basic lowercase letters only frieze that you can add your own pictures to later as you introduce each letter to your child. Of course I couldn't resist using it as cutting with scissors and taping with sellotape practise too!

We took plain white A4 paper and divided each sheet into six squares. In each of the squares we wrote a letter of the alphabet (in a random order). Next time I intend to use a tracer font(wherethe letters are made of dots) and get my son to write them in himself but I just didn't think of this until too late!
For the background we stuck sheets of coloured A4 together with sticky tape to make a long strip.
Get child to cut the white paper squares out and place in alphabetical order. Tape onto the background using sellotape.
Fix to the wall.

As an ongoing project add pictures/photos of examples of things that start with the letter from magasines or the childs own drawings etc in a line under each letter.

cooking with kids:Basic Chocolate Cupcakes

My eldest son loves making cakes. If his sister is out on a play date and he gets to choose the activity it is always making cakes or biscuits. Making cakes is magical for children- you get to make a sticky gooey mixture (breaking the eggs in is always fought over as is sifting the flour) then they put it in the forbidden oven and it changes into something that looks and feels totally different, smells wonderful and you get to eat it as well - an activity that uses all the senses. This recipe is a very basic chocolate cupcake which you can decorate when cool if you choose; I must confess this is usually what we plan to do but somehow they all get eaten before this happens! It also provides opportunities for counting out the cupcake cases, using a spoon to put the ingredients on the scale and older children can say whether more or less is needed with each ingredient, how much or how little you make of it is up to you.

The equipment you will need (apart from an oven!) - scales to weigh the ingredients, spoons to measure and mix with, a balloon whisk (or electric whisk) to mix everything together, a 12-hole baking tray and paper cupcases to put in it,large mixing bowl, sieve.
The ingredients you will need:
125g butter or margarine
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour (minus one large spoonful)
cocoa powder, about 1 large spoonful
splash of milk

Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius or gas 4. Lay out the cupcake cases in a 12-hole baking tray.
Have the butter or margarine at room temperature so they will mix easily. Mash together the butter and the sugar with a spoon until you can't see any sugar left (the more you mix it together the lighter the colour will become and the lighter the cakes will be, ideally it should be the colour of cream but don't worry if it isn't they will still taste good).
Break in the eggs and mix together with a balloon whisk or an electric whisk (obviously a balloon whisk can be used by the kids on their own) the mixture should change to a kind of paste, if it doesn't and is kind of curdled then add a small spoonful of your flour.
Take the 125 g flour and remove one spoonful - replace this with a spoonful of cocoa - not hot chocolate powder as this contains extra ingredients such as milk powder and sugar and won't give you a good chocolate kick. Sieve the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix quickly in with the whisk.
Take a spoonful of the mixture and hold it up above the bowl, turn the spoon over- the mixture should be wet enough for a dollop to drop off the spoon, if not add a splash of milk.
Divide the mixture between the buncases and put in the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes. The cakes are done when they look spongy and are firm not wet when gently pressed. Leave to cool before decorating (or not!) as desired.

Cutting and sticking:"Stained glass windows"

Age range: 2 and over with adult help
This one is an oldy but easy to adapt to a wide age range!
You will need:

Thick coloured paper or card (we used black and dark grey)
Cellophane or tissue paper
Scissors or craft knife
First decide on the design for your window. We used our names (we are trying to get our youngest to recognise his written name) but it could be any pattern or theme. Draw the design on the paper making sure that there are "bridges" to stop areas like the inside of the capital "A" falling out. Older children can draw their own design or use stencils to create your pattern. Cut out the areas you want to be coloured, if it is a simple design you can get away with scissors but you may need to use a craft knife.
Turn the paper over.
Get your child to cut strips of cellophane or tissue paper using the scissors (doesn't have to be neat) for younger children tear tissue paper.
Glue the strips over the paper so that all the holes are covered.
Stick on a window and let the light shine in!