Tag Archives: Crafting with kids

Craft Round Up: Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

At this time of year the trees are shedding their beautiful leaves. The pavements and paths are filled with crispy and colourful leaves and they are crying out to be used in crafts. Easy autumn leaf crafts are amongst my favourite kinds of craft, partly because it’s good fun to actually collect the leaves, then sitting down with the boys and having fun crafting something beautiful makes me happy. Here are some of my five favourite ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts.

Autumn Leaf Sand Art

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

We are firm fans of sand art and we loved doing this fab kit from Baker Ross. My top tip for sand art is to do it on a tray or a piece of paper so you can collect any stray sand to use again later. These sand art kits are fab, just peel the stickers off the leaf and sprinkle sand onto the sticky paper underneath. It requires some concentration and a steady hand, but my five year old loved it and I think he made some very beautiful autumn leaves.

Make your own Autumn Wreath

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

This is a great rainy day activity. Using some foam stickers from Baker Ross and a paper plate we made our own autumn wreath which I think looks pretty cool, and he enjoyed making it which is the most important thing.

Making Autumnal Alphabet Wreaths

autumnal alphabet wreaths

This is a craft I did myself (a grown up craft if you will), but you could easily do this with children too. I think this looks fab and it was really good fun to do too, it’s probably one of my favourite easy autumn leaf crafts. You can read my tutorial here.

Create an autumnal woodland wonderland

easy autumn leaf crafts

This is one of those easy autumn leaf crafts which is good to have up your sleeve for a rainy day. It was incredibly easy, but he had the best time making his woodland wonderland, who doesn’t love stickers? These woodland foam stickers from Baker Ross are great. We used them with some of the leftover leaf stickers from our autumn wreath and made our lovely woodland scenes. All I had to do was print out a silhouette of a tree and he did the rest.

Paint your own tree

easy autumn leaf crafts

I’m very fond of this one. We had so much fun going to the park and collecting a big bag of leaves. When we got home we had a hot chocolate and warmed up. We painted a big tree and then stuck leaves on it. This wonderful artwork is still hung up in our kitchen and it makes me smile at the memory every time I see it.

These are my ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts – what do you like to make at this time of year?

 
Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

I am a Baker Ross Ambassador.

Crafts: Autumnal Alphabet Wreaths

This week it has been dry, crisp and decidedly autumnal. During a walk around my local park I filled a bag with fallen leaves to do autumn leaf crafts with the boy, but as I’d gathered so many I wanted to make something by myself, for myself. So whilst the boys were out feeding the ducks, I spent a happy hour at the kitchen table making autumnal alphabet wreaths.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

These autumnal alphabet wreaths are really easy to make. I’m really pleased with how mine turned out. You can make whichever letter, or letters you want. I chose an A because our surname begins with an A. You could also do any shape you wanted. I’ve got plans to do a few more, maybe a heart and a circle.

You will need:

  • A piece of thick cardboard
  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • PVA glue
  • A paintbrush
  • Lots of leaves, a variety of shapes and sizes is best
  • A piece of ribbon

To make your autumnal alphabet wreaths:

With your pencil, sketch the letter or shape you will base your wreath on. You can make this as big or small as you would like, mine was around 30cm tall. Carefully cut out your shape, taking care not to lose any fingers. If a child is making this, ideally an adult should do this part.

Before you begin sticking your leaves to your wreath shape, it’s easier to fix on your ribbon. As I knew my shape would be covered in leaves I chose to staple my ribbon to the wreath, but you could tie the ribbon to the top, or make a small hole and thread it through if you prefer.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

Once you are happy with the cardboard base of your wreath, pour some PVA glue into a bowl and in sections paste glue onto the cardboard. As you start to stick the leaves on, dab a little extra glue on each leaf and stick the leaf to the shape. Try and choose an interesting mixture of leaves and cover any gaps. 

I found it useful to stop every so often and leave the glue to set a little before starting the next section. You may also find it helpful to lay a plastic tray or board on top of the leaves for half an hour or so, this will apply even pressure whilst the glue dries a bit and it shouldn’t crush the leaves too much.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

Once you’ve covered your alphabet wreaths, leave them somewhere to dry, preferably overnight. Once dry you can hang them up indoors. I’m really pleased with how mine turned out. It was really effective and would lend itself to lots of different and rather interesting shapes.

Autumn leaf crafts are some of my favorite things to so, I think the colours and textures are so lovely, it’s a shame not to make the most of them whilst they’re so vibrant.

autumnal alphabet wreaths

 

Easy Ideas for Halloween Crafts

One of my favourite things about Halloween, apart from being given an excuse to dress up, is Halloween crafts. It’s one of those occasions when you and the kids can go all out on the spooky stuff.

Last year me made a few different Halloween crafts, but our favourites were the Spooky Lanterns from Baker Ross which you can find out how to make here. They are still available this year on the Baker Ross website and they do look really effective.

halloween crafts

This month we’ve been starting to look at some more easy Halloween Crafts. We were sent a selection of Halloween and autumnal themed crafts to try (we will do the autumnal crafts in a separate blog post).

The Halloween crafts we were sent were –
  • Day of the Dead colour in mini gift bags
  • Halloween Dotty Art
  • Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits

halloween crafts

Day of the Dead has been very much in fashion for the last few years and is gaining in popularity. Indeed, last year I dressed as a Day of the Dead style zombie bride for Halloween. The little colour in gift bags (there are 6 in a pack) would be a great craft activity for a kid’s Halloween party, then they could fill their bags with sweets and take them home afterwards. 

halloween crafts

The Halloween Dotty Art kits would also be great for a Halloween Party (we are going to take ours on holiday with us over half term). The pack contains eight different Halloween designs (Monster, Spider, Cat, Ghost, Pumpkin, Owl, Bat & Skull) and packs of coloured stickers. You then stick the stickers on the spooky design and bring your Halloween picture to life. This kind of thing is great for strengthening little fingers and increasing dexterity, as well as being a fun activity you can do together without creating any mess.

halloween crafts

I love pom pom crafts, so I was pleased to find these Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits in my box of seasonal crafts from Baker Ross. The pom pom kit contains everything you need to make a spider, a bat and a pumpkin. 

Like most pom pom crafts they are a little fiddly to make and probably need a grown up to get it started and help tie it off at the end. Making pom poms is lots of fun and once you’ve snipped your threads you can start to see your spooky pom pom creature come to life.

The Baker Ross website has hundreds of easy to do craft kids for children and adults alike. Their kits are almost universally well designed and thought out, and there’s something for all ages, abilities and craft interests, often with minimal mess and fuss. For easy Halloween crafts, have a look at Baker Ross for inspiration.

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Win an Instant Flower Press from Interplay

Earlier this week I got my own Instant Flower Press from Interplay. The flower press is really easy to use and great for crafting whatever age you are (suitable for ages 8+). It takes less than a minute to press a flower using this kit and we had a lot of fun gathering the flowers, pressing them and then crafting with them.

Instant Flower Press from Interplay

You can read more of our thoughts about the Instant Flower Press from Interplay and get some ideas for easy dried flower crafts here.

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay costs £9.99 and is incredibly easy to set up and use, it comes with a detailed instruction booklet and everything you need to get flower pressing. It’s great for learning more about nature as well as being a pretty essential addition to my craft cupboard. 

For more information about the Instant Flower Press from Interplay, visit their website.

WIN an Instant Flower Press from Interplay

To be in with a chance to win an Instant Flower Press from Interplay worth £9.99, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

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3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive an Instant Flower Press from Interplay RR£9.99.
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Crafts: Dried Flower Craft Ideas

This week I became the proud and excited owner of an Instant Flower Press from Interplay. Admittedly it’s designed for children, but both my son and I had great fun with it and we’ve created some pretty little dried flower craft items yesterday afternoon with some flowers we picked on the way home from school.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

The Instant Flower Press is really simple to use and comes with an instruction booklet. You open up the press, put a layer of the felt pads and the pieces of cotton material in the plastic press, place your flowers inside. Put another layer of cotton and more felt pads (all supplied) and close the press. Pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’ve got dried pressed flowers. Slightly more moist flowers may take a little longer in the microwave, but once you start pressing your flowers you’ll quickly be able to judge what will take an extra ten seconds and what will dry more quickly.

As a child my Grandma had a flower press and I loved using it with her, carefully picking pansies from her garden and pressing them between thick parchment and screwing the press shut, then leaving it for months before seeing the fruits of our labour.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

With the microwave flower press the whole process is done and dusted in minutes and perfect if you need some pressed flowers for some quick dried flower craft.

Quick and easy Dried flower craft ideas

Pretty Jam Jar Candle Holders

You will need:
A clean jam jar
A selection of dried flowers and leaves
PVA glue
A paint brush

These are so simple. Take a clean jam jar and some PVA glue and a paint brush, brush the glue onto the jar where you want to stick your dried flowers. Carefully press the flower onto the glued area to stick it on, then gently cover the flower with PVA glue to seal it in place. Leave to dry.

You can be as creative as you want with this, I’ve left mine quite simple, but I love the delicate little blue flowers and the daisies. It took hardly any time at all to glue on, but maybe an hour to dry properly. They look so pretty and I can see me using this idea on so many things around the house.

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

Pebble Paperweight 

You will need:
A clean stone
A selection of dried flowers and leaves
PVA glue
A paint brush

Again, this is very simple. We have a pile of lovely smooth pebbles in the garden, so I picked one the right size and gave it a good scrub and left it to dry. Then I selected a suitable leaf which I’d dried in the flower press and brushed PVA glue onto the pebble and pressed the dry leaf into place. I left it for a few minutes to stick, then I painted PVA over the leaf to seal it in place and then I left it to dry properly for a few hours.

I’ve now got a lovely paperweight, or a pebble to stop my napkins flying off the table when we eat in the garden. 

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

Dried Flower Sun Catchers 

You will need:
A laminator and pouches or some sticky backed plastic
A selection of dried flowers and leaves

Borrowing a laminator I arranged some dried flowers in an artistic way in the laminator pouch, I then put it through the laminator a few times until I was happy. I then cut my A4 sheet down into a circle and using a clear sticky dot stuck it to the window.

It’s really quite pretty and I’ve got a nasty window in the downstairs loo which needs replacing, which I’m now going to cover in these lovely dried flowers to pretty the place up a bit!

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

These are just three very quick ideas I had for dried flower crafts that afternoon. I’ve got a few more ideas up my sleeve including some nice thank you cards and other papercrafts.

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay is a cracking piece of kit and if you enjoy crafting and have kids that enjoy crafting, then I can’t recommend it enough. The small boy went to school today with a bag full of dried flower pictures for show and tell and he’s loving showing off his dried flower craft to anyone who will listen. It’s nice to do something a bit different with him and importantly he’s really enjoyed it and got something out of it too!

Dried Flower Craft Ideas

The Instant Flower Press from Interplay costs £9.99, is suitable for ages 8+ (though my 5 year old used it happily with supervision) and is available from a wide range of retailers.

Note: We were sent the Instant Flower Press from Interplay for review purposes. All images an opinions are our own.

Easter Crafts for Kids (and grown-ups too!)

Easter has “crafts” written all over it. There are so many Easter crafts to make, from Easter cards to Easter bonnets and beyond. Easter has the benefit of having a long Bank Holiday weekend as well as a couple of weeks off school for the holidays. That means there are an awful lot of hours to keep the kids occupied, crafting is a great way to fill an hour or two, especially if they just need a bit of quiet time, concentrating on a task and creating something lovely.

We got cracking with some Easter Crafts over the weekend. We all sat down and decorated these Egg Mosaic Baubles from Baker Ross. The pack contains everything you need to decorate four of the polystyrene eggs, including the eggs, a selection of sticky squares, ribbon and plastic pins. 

Easter crafts

It’s quite fiddly to peel the backing off each individual square, so I peeled them off in rows or blocks, stuck them on the back of my hand and peeled them off as I needed them. The small boy didn’t like the idea of doing neat rows, so he stuck his on randomly, which I really like, and for some reason it made me think of Tetris the computer game.

Once the eggs were covered in the mosaic stickers I pinned the ribbons in place and hung them on a plant. I think they’re quite lovely and the certainly brighten the place up. The small boy is always so proud of his crafts and can’t wait to show them off to anyone who will look.

Later that day I was flicking through a craft magazine when I saw something I recognised. The Spring Blossom Tree kit from Baker Ross. Inspired, I got the kit out of our crafts box and made my first (and rather lovely) blossom tree.

easter crafts

The instructions are really clear and easy to understand. The tree, blossom and stand are all made from foam pieces, you stick the glittery blossom onto the plain coloured blossom and stick that onto the tree, and the stand just slots together. It’s very simple and very effective. I’m a sucker of cherry blossom, whether it’s made of foam or not.

We’ve got lots more Easter crafts and things to do over the next few weeks, so do keep an eye on our Instagram feed for new ideas and inspiration!

Valentine’s Day Crafts & Activity Sheets

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the small boy and I sat down for an afternoon of Valentine’s Day crafts and activity sheets to get us into the spirit of things. Generally Hubs and I don’t much go in for too many hearts and flowers, we’ve been together since 1995 so we’ve seen more Valentine’s Days together than most, but a heartfelt card and a small token gift is always the order of the day. 

We’d already started to make some cute heart shaped decorations using a heart decoration bead kit from Baker Ross. The kits include some nice long pipe-cleaners and lots of colourful beads. You thread the beads onto the pipe-cleaners and then bend into a heart shape. The kit comes with a little bell you can attach to the heart and some ribbon so you can hang it up. It was a lovely, fun activity which we did together. It was also great for helping to develop his fine motor skills which are essential with helping him to learn to write.

Valentine's Day Crafts

A reasonably quick but fun craft we did was to make these heart pets photo frame fridge magnets. Again these are from Baker Ross and they’re really easy to put together. The foam pieces and googly eyes all have peel off backs, so you just peel everything off and stick it together. The small boy enjoyed putting the frame together and making his doggy. He said he’s going to give his frame to Grandad on Valentine’s Day, because he loves him *heart melts*.

Valentine's Day Crafts

Again, the peeling and sticking actions are all great for those fine motor skills, and for exercising his pincer grip, we can’t get enough of that kind of thing at the moment.

Once we’d put our craft box away, we decided to have a go at some of the Valentine’s Day activity sheets we’d printed off from Twinkl, including the Valentine’s Day worksheet and the Valentine’s Day word and picture matching worksheets. These went down very well with the boy, we started with the word and picture matching, he spelt out every word and we looked at the pictures to see which we thought might match the word, he loves this kind of activity at the moment so I was glad we had a couple of sheets of these to do.

Valentine's Day Crafts

The worksheet was a little more challenging for him, he’s not a confident writer, so together we thought about some of the questions and how we might answer them. He verbally listed everyone he loved (dogs first, naturally) and then said his best friend was Daddy. He was getting tired by now, so we called it a day. I didn’t want to push things as that can be counterproductive. It was time for a cuddle and a walk in the park!

Valentine's Day Crafts

We both love our craft afternoons together. It’s lovely to see him focus on a task and enjoy sitting with me. These quiet moments with him are probably the highlight of my week. I think I know who my Valentine is this (and every) year.

Christmas Crafts: Make Your Own Reindeer Crown

Now the weather has taken a decidedly wintery turn I’m starting to get into the Christmas spirit. This weekend was an especially cold one, the small boy had a nasty cold and we decided to stay in, cosy in front of the fire and have a lazy weekend. Keen to get cracking with some Christmas crafts we busied ourselves by making a reindeer crown using hand prints and we were pleased with the results.

reindeer crown

The reindeer crown kits are available from Baker Ross and come in packs of 4 or 16. The packs contain everything you need to make the crown, except for glue, though we used double sided sticky tape because it’s quicker and there’s less mess than with glue.

The instructions are really easy to follow. Draw around your hands and cut out your hand print shape – I did the cutting because the small boy is terrifying with scissors or anything with a blade. The instructions suggest you use glue to stick the cut our hand shapes onto the headband, but I used double sided sticky tape for this. The other pieces, the ears, the reindeer hair and the holly and berries are self-adhesive, so the small boy peeled the backing paper off these and stuck them onto the headband.

Once he had finished he very proudly wore it around the house for a few hours, I think these make a nice alternative to the paper cracker crowns we are forced to wear for Christmas dinner, so I might make myself one to wear on Christmas Day.

reindeer crown

There was some parental supervision required with the cutting out of the hand shapes, but other than that he did the rest himself. It was something he enjoyed doing, he likes peeling and sticking things. It was pretty simple, but it kept him interested and entertained for a while. Another good and fun Christmas activity from Baker Ross!

 

Christmas Crafts – Making Snowman Mosaics

It may still only be November but I’m already starting to feel a bit Christmassy, I think it’s probably down to all the planning ahead of time so I’m less stressed later. They must be talking about it at school too as the small boy is all excited and ready to get stuck into the festivities. We’ve been busy baking Christmas cakes and starting to think about presents and decorations. One wet afternoon we sat and made some snowman mosaic coasters which I’ve decided would also look great as Christmas decorations.

The snowman mosaic coaster kit from Baker Ross contains everything you’ll need – a pre-cut snowman with a selection of foam stickers to stick on and decorate your snowman. If like me you want to turn the finished snowman into a Christmas tree decoration you’ll need a bit of ribbon and some sticky tape too.

Snowman Mosaics

Popping the foam stickers out of their sheet and peeling the backing off them is quite fiddly for little fingers, so it’s good practice for the small boy who has recently turned five. He did very well and managed to do most of them himself, only asking me to help him with the white circles, probably because there were lots and lots of them. This is a great task to help with hand-eye co-ordination and to improve dexterity and finger strength, which can really help with learning to write.

It’s a really simple kit and the snowman mosaics look really effective, too good to just be used as coasters, which is why I’m going to attach some ribbon so we can hang them on the tree once that’s up.

The snowman mosaics kits are from Baker Ross and come in packs of 6 or 18. It’s a nice tidy activity to do, it doesn’t require any setting up or any mess, just have a bowl ready to put the bits of backing paper in and you’re sorted. In fact I’ve put one in my bag for when we go out, it’s something we can do together while we’re having lunch that doesn’t involve an ipad. 

The thing I liked most about making the snowman mosaics was the chance to chat. We were both industriously beavering away on our snowmen, chatting away about school, Christmas and his recent birthday, and occasionally bursting into happy song. It was a fun half hour on an otherwise grim November day.

Review: Paint and Play Dinosaurs from Interplay

The small boy has recently been learning more about dinosaurs. We’ve been reading stories about them and watching Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies together. We’ve been talking about what they’d sound like, how they’d walk, fly or swim and what their skin would look and feel like. With  almost perfect timing we received the Paint and Play Dinosaurs set from Interplay to test.

paint and play dinosaurs

The Interplay Paint and Play Dinosaurs set contains three prehistoric dinosaurs to paint, two tiny terrified cavemen, a set of paints, a paintbrush and a dinosaur fact sheet to learn more about the dinosaurs you’re decorating.

paint and play dinosaurs

The set contains a T-Rex, Pterodactyl and a Stegosaurus. The dinosaurs are white and you can paint them however you want. I chose to paint the Stegosaurus and the small boy went for the T-Rex and the Pterodactyl. I chose to copy the markings on the fact sheet as best I could, he chose to paint them in his own inimitable style.

paint and play dinosaurs

We had tremendous fun painting our dinosaurs and talking about the different colours they might be. There was plenty of paint to use and it was all washable (which was good news for his clothes and my tablecloth). There was only one fine paintbrush, so I needed to raid my supplies, so that’s worth noting if you’re going to paint your dinosaurs as a group activity.

Painting them kept us occupied for a good half hour or so, plus there was lots to talk about and the fact sheet helped us find out more about the fearsome beasts we were cheerfully painting purple and orange. We had to leave them to dry before we could play with them properly, so we read some of his dinosaur books while we waited.

Paint and Play Dinosaurs

Ok, so our dino-depictions may not be 100% factually accurate, but they were 100% fun to do. It was a nice focussed activity which he enjoyed doing, but at the same time worked his pencil (paintbrush) grip, his hand-eye co-ordination and gave us the opportunity to have a discussion all about dinosaurs, where they came from and what happened to them.

The Paint and Play Dinosaurs set from Interplay is suitable for ages 4-7. The small boy is nearly five and I think this is spot on for him. There are quite a few different sets to choose from in the Interplay Craft Box line, so I’ll be choosing something else for him to paint for our next rainy afternoon together.

You can find more information about the Paint and Play Dinosaurs set on the Interplay website.

Note: We were sent the Interplay Paint and Play Dinosaurs set free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.