Tag Archives: kids crafts

Easter Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Easter. I’ve been looking at suncatchers for a while and I thought they’d be just the thing for those bright late winter days we’ve been having lately. Easter lends itself to glorious splashes of colour, so we made some colouful Easter Egg Suncatchers to cast some jewel coloured sunbeams across our home.

I printed a couple of Easter egg shapes out on acetate and cut them out. You can draw your own, but I’ve made my template available for you to download, which might make things easier for you. Here’s how we made our Easter Egg Suncatchers.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

How to make Easter Egg Suncatchers

You will need:
An Easter egg shape cut out of acetate or clear plastic
Selection of craft jewels or acrylic gems
Bostik White Glu
A piece of ribbon for hanging

Method:
Cut out your Easter Egg shapes and using a hole punch make a hole at the top. Thread a length of ribbon through the hole and tie a knot in it.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

You can have a design in your head, a pattern or colour-scheme that you like, or you can glue the gems on randomly, whichever you prefer. Glue them onto the Easter Egg shape using a dab of glue on the back of each one.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

Once you’re happy with your design, leave your Easter eggs to dry for a couple of hours. Once they’re dry, hang up at a window and prepare to be dazzled when the sun shines through your window.

Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

Here’s the dazzle on our wall from the sun shining through our suncatcher!

These suncatchers are such a lovely simple craft, they’re perfect for tots and right up to bigger boys and girls. My 7 year old really enjoyed decorating his. We were both thrilled when the sun came out and shone through our suncatchers, casting a wonderful dazzle pattern on the wall.

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Easter Crafts: Make Colourful Easter Egg Suncatchers

I am a Bostik Craft Blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Crafts: Easy Valentine’s Paper Heart Wreath

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Valentine’s Day. Last year I made a lovely découpage candle holder for Valentine’s Day, but this year I thought I’d make a Paper Heart Wreath.

I really like making paper wreaths, we have a place in the kitchen where I like to hang the seasonal wreaths I make. This is a little different to my usual style, this Paper Heart Wreath is put together with easy to make 3D hearts. It’s really quite easy to make, it looks very effective and it’s a lovely Valentine’s decoration.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

How to make a Paper Heart Wreath

You will need
Colourful paper, A4 size
Scissors or a craft knife
A ruler
Bostik Glu Dots
A length of ribbon

How to make your Paper Heart Wreath

Using a ruler measure the long side of your piece of paper and divide that length by 7. Measure out 7 equal widths of paper and carefully cut into strips using a pair of scissors or a craft knife. If you’re doing this with children then you may want to be in charge of this bit.

Fold each strip in half, make sure you’ve got a neat, crisp fold here, this will be the pointy bottom of your heart shape.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Using a glue dot, stick a dot at the end of your strip and bend the edges together to create the heart shape. Press the paper together so the glu dot is holding the shape firmly in place. Do this with all 7 hearts.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Take two hearts and stick them together using the glu dots. Then take your ribbon and using the glu dots stick the ribbon to either side of the two hearts. Make sure the ribbon is positioned so the ends will be hidden between the hearts. Using the glu dots, carry on sticking the hearts together until all 7 hearts are stuck together.

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

Your paper heart wreath is now finished and you just need to find somewhere to hang it!

I am a Bostik Craft Blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: Easy Valentine's Paper Heart Wreath

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

If you want to keep my 7 year old son entertained for an hour; give him a bowl of jelly beans, a packet of cocktails sticks, show him the rudiments and watch him build all kinds of wonderful things. Welcome to the wonderful world of jelly bean architecture.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

I confess, jelly bean architecture is not an invention of mine. When we went to the Just So Festival last year, my son spent a happy hour or so building with jelly beans. It’s something that we’ve revisited at home a few times since and it’s great fun; not to mention wonderfully educational and developmental!

You need two things to start building – lots of jelly beans (we get cheap bags of them from the petrol station, there’s no need to go gourmet with these) and lots of cocktail sticks. You will also need the knack. The first few times you try to spear a jelly bean onto a cocktail stick, chances are you will stab your finger instead. The trick is to hold the jelly bean on a flat surface and carefully press down, piercing the hard sugary coating.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

You should think of each jelly bean as a corner piece. You can probably fit up to four cocktail sticks into a single jelly bean. Whatever kind of structure you’re building, the only limit is your imagination.

We find it best to warm up by building some simple 3D shapes, pyramids and cubes are great. How many cubes can you stack on top of each other? Can you fit a pyramid on the top? Who will eat the last jelly bean? You can then move on to more complex structures. In the picture here Ben has built a fire station.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

Jelly bean architecture is perfect for budding architects and structural engineers. Anyone who is interested in building and construction, 3D shapes, maths, anything like that, plus it’s tremendous fun! It’s probably the most enjoyable STEM craft we’ve done together.

STEM Crafts: Learning with Jelly Bean Architecture

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Christmas is a time for crafting and creating with the kids. We love doing Christmas crafts and we were excited when we heard that ex Blue Peter presenter and craft queen Konnie Huq, had partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to create a selection of homemade STEM toys for Christmas.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Konnie Huq has put her Blue Peter powers to practice for a good cause, making Britain’s most popular Christmas toys at home for a fraction of the cost. The Christmas STEM toys she has created include –

  • Dissolving egg
  • Magnetic slime
  • Icosahedron bauble
  • Marble run
  • Balloon boat
  • Bouncy balls
  • Smartphone projector
  • Living gingerbread house
  • Kaleidoscope

Konnie has put together a set of free to download how-to instructions for all of the above crafts.

Konnie, who spent over ten years craft-making on Blue Peter, is supporting a campaign by the Institution of Engineering and Technology to inspire more children to consider careers in engineering. The toys are designed to make learning about science, tech, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more accessible and affordable. These handmade STEM toys – which include a dissolving egg, magnetic slime, a kaleidoscope and even a smartphone projector – are educational, as well as fun.

Making your own slime is so popular right now, but we thought we would try something a little different. We really liked the idea of building our own living gingerbread house.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Make your own living gingerbread house

You will need:
A number of plain sponges
Scissors
Toothpicks
Small plate
Seeds
Spray bottle (clean)

How to make a living gingerbread house
Choose one or two sponges to be your base. Fix them together with a cocktail stick, remember these are sharp so be careful of your fingers.

Choose more sponges to be the walls. Cut one sponge in half across the longest
side (i.e. make two regular rectangles, not two long strips) and fix those onto the shorter sides of your base with cocktail sticks. Fix two sponges onto the longer sides of the base.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Take two sponges and cut them down their long side on an angle so that they fit together to form the apex of a roof. Fix them together with cocktail sticks, put on the top of your structure and fix into place with more cocktail sticks. You should now have a house shape made of sponges. Put your house onto a plate.

If your house is a bit wobbly, you can secure it using a glue gun or some craft glue. If you have used glue, allow time for the glue to dry and set before you move on to the next stage.

Next, you need to cover the house with seeds. You can use mustard or cress but
there are many fast sprouting seeds, so the choice is yours. We chose cress.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

Dab some water onto the roof of your house and spread the seeds onto the roof.
Pour a little water onto the plate so the sponge base can soak it up. Check the
sponge is nice and moist. Then sprinkle the seeds onto the base.

Leave your house in a warm, bright spot for the seeds to germinate. Spray the house with water using a spray bottle each day, and pour a little water over the house if it feels dry. In a few days the seeds should start to sprout, in a week they should be thriving.

Crafts: Make Your Own Christmas STEM Toys

It’s so easy and lots of fun to make too!

 Disclosure: We were sent a shopping voucher to buy the materials for this craft.

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

This month Craft Merrily have set the Bostik Bloggers the task of creating a craft for Chinese New Year. I decided to try my hand at making a ‘Bolang Gu’ which is also known as a Chinese drum or pellet drum.

Chinese drums are small drums with two pellets or beads on the sides. You twist the long stick and the beads swing forward and back, rhythmically tapping the drum. They’re quite easy to play once you’ve got the hang of it and they’re really run instruments for kids to play too.

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

You will need –
Two paper plates (I used small side plate sided ones)
Red paint
Two beads
Some wool or thick thread
One stick, I used two chopsticks taped together
Decorations – I used gold paper, but you could add sequins, stickers, words, whatever you fancy
Sticky tape
Bostik White Glu
Bostik Foam Pads or Glu Dots

Method –
Paint the outside of your paper plates with red paint and leave to dry (overnight if possible).

Take your beads and your wool or thread and knot the beads so they are secure and won’t fly off when you’re playing your drum. Make sure the threads are long enough for the beads to be able to swing freely, but not too long that they could take someone’s eye out. Once you’ve done this, securely tape the threads to the inside of one of the plates at three and nine o’clock positions.

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Tape your stick to the inside of the plate at the six o’clock position.

Using Glu Dots or sticky Foam Pads, stick the plates together and press so they don’t fall apart.

Decorate your drum however you want. I found some lovely gold paper and cut out “2018” and stuck that on the front which I though looked quite nice.

Your Chinese drum is now complete and ready to play!

Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Chinese New Year is a real time for celebration. Here in Manchester there is always a big parade and there are lots of wonderful, colourful celebrations. It’s a welcome splash of warmth and colour at a very drab time of the year. The next Chinese New Year will fall on Friday 16th February 2018 and it is the start of the Year of the Dog. Will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

 
Crafts: Easy Chinese Drum Craft for kids

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

If you’re looking for a simple but quite beautiful Christmas craft, then by Jove I think I’ve got it! These lovely button Christmas decorations are really simple to do and look great hanging on a tree.

I belong to a craft group and we are always on the lookout for interesting things to make and do on our craft evenings. We spotted a picture of some button Christmas decorations and thought we would give them a try. All we needed were a huge box of buttons, some craft wire and a bit of patience to experiment.

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

How to make a button Christmas Tree

You will need – 
A selection of buttons, mostly green in different shapes and sizes
Fine jewellery or craft wire

Method –
Sort a selection of buttons to make your tree. You’ll need something to be the tree trunk at the bottom, I used two wooden buttons. You will also need green buttons in decreasing sizes and in a variety of shades of green.

I found it best to find the right buttons and lay them out in order before threading them onto the fine wire.

Take a length of fine jewellery or craft wire, approximately 8 inches in length. Double up the wire and thread one end through one hole on your base button and the other end through the opposite hole. Do the same with all the buttons in your Christmas tree stack until your Christmas tree is complete.

Top your tree with a brightly coloured button, or a star-shaped button if you have one. If you’re happy with your tree, tie a knot on the last button and another knot in the ends of the jewellery or craft wire to create a hanging loop.

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

How to make a button Bauble

You will need – 
A selection of buttons, in various colours, shapes and sizes
Fine jewellery or craft wire

Method –
Sort a selection of buttons to make your bauble. You’ll need to play about with your buttons a little to find a selection of matching buttons. You’ll need one fairly big central button, then some matching ones in various sizes and colours.

I found it best to find the right buttons and lay them out in order before threading them onto the fine wire.

Take a length of fine jewellery or craft wire, approximately 8 inches in length. Double up the wire and thread one end through one hole on your base button and the other end through the opposite hole. Do the same with all the buttons in your Christmas bauble stack until your bauble is complete.

If you’re happy with your bauble, tie a knot on the last button and another knot in the ends of the jewellery or craft wire to create a hanging loop. Easy.

These are a lovely, easy craft to make. One of my craft group friends also make a button Santa and a button snowman, but I’m all out of buttons ad I need to go and buy some more so I can make some more button Christmas decorations.

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: How to make Button Christmas Decorations

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Now it’s mid-November, I’m really starting to get stuck into some Christmas crafts. I made some beautiful button decorations at my craft club last week and over the weekend I had a root through my craft stash to see what we could make. I discovered a large and colourful lolly stick collection which were crying out to be turned into Christmas decorations.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

You will need:
A selection of coloured lolly sticks
Bostik Glu Dots
Assorted embellishments – glitter, stars, sequins etc
Bostik White Glue
Scissors
Sticky tape
Ribbon

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

How to make your lolly stick Christmas decorations

To make a Christmas tree, select some green lolly sticks and another stick for the trunk of the tree. With a pair of scissors carefully cut your lolly sticks to different lengths (see the photo). Using Glu Dots, stick a star to the top of your trunk and then stick the green branches across the trunk. Using white glue decorate your tree with sequins, stars and other embellishments. Leave to dry.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Once dry, carefully attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the tree using sticky tape. Your lolly stick Christmas tree is now complete.

To make a Christmas star, select some colourful lolly sticks, I chose pink. Using Glu Dots, stick the lolly sticks across each other to make a start shape (see photo). Using white glue decorate your star with sequins, stars and other embellishments. Leave to dry.

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Once dry, carefully attach a loop of ribbon to the back of the star using sticky tape. Your lolly stick Christmas star is now complete.

My son and I really enjoyed making and decorating our Christmas tree and star. It’s a lovely craft to do with kids and they can really use their imagination when it comes to decorating them. These lolly stick crafts are a simple but effective craft to do in the run up to Christmas.

I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this lolly stick craft from Craft Merrily. 
Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Crafts: How to make lolly stick Christmas decorations

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

Pom poms are a pretty easy thing to make and with a little imagination you can turn them into all kinds of different creatures and characters. This month I was tasked by Craft Merrily to create a Halloween craft. I’d been wanting to master my new pom pom maker, so I decided to make some pom pom spiders. They’re easier than you think and an easy craft to do with children.

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

We’ve all made pom poms before using two rings of cardboard you laboriously wind wool around, then cut, tie and you’re done. I’ve bought a set of pom pom makers on the recommendation of my friend Lucy – an expert pom pom maker. She is right, they really are a pom pom game changer!

Lucy showed me how to use the pom pom maker. You wind your wool around two semi-circles of the maker, then wind it around the other two semi-circles, clip them together, cut them and the tie them around the middle and you’re done. Easy. Not just easy, but quick and easy.

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

You can make your pom pom spiders as big or as small as you want (if you’re not sure how to make pom poms, there’s a video you can watch here). Use whatever colours you think would work best.

How to make Pom Pom Spiders

You will need –
Pom pom makers (or make your own cardboard rings)
A ball of wool
Scissors
Pipecleaner
Googly eyes
Bostik Glu Dots

How to make your Pom Pom Spiders –
Wind your wool around your pom pom maker, make sure you are generous with the winding. The more wool you use, the fuller your pom pom will be.

Before you cut and tie your pom pom, cut your spider legs out of the pipecleaners. I used four identical lengths of pipecleaner (which make 8 spiders legs). Twist the pipecleaners together in the middle and put them through the centre of your pom pom.

Cut the wool around your ring and tie you pom pom together tightly with a long length of wool. You should have a pom pom now, it may need trimming up slightly so it is even all over.

Using the Bostik Glu Dots and the googly eyes, stick eyes onto your pom pom spider. Bend its legs to make spiders legs. You pom pom spider is now complete. You can leave the long piece of wool on him or cut it off if you prefer.

Your pom pom spiders are ready for Halloween. Hang them around the house, make a pom pom spider garland out of them or decorate your Halloween party table with them. How would you use your pom pom spiders?

Crafts: Spooky Halloween Pom Pom Spiders

I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

With my small boy being a massive Paw Patrol fan (have you noticed?) our house is slowly filling with Paw Patrol toys and merchandise. The latest addition is a brand a new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set from John Adams Toys which was launched this month.

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

Paw Patrol fans will love the new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set. It’s a reboot of the classic fuzzy craft toy which you might remember from your own childhood. I think every adult I know gets misty-eyed about the happy hours they spent playing with Fuzzy Felt and I’m no exception. I had previously dismissed Fuzzy Felt as a bit too basic and a bit too old fashioned for my son. But I was wrong, completely wrong. 

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

The new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set costs £10.99 and is widely available in toy shops and online. The Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set contains four felt sheets with over 70 assorted felt shapes and a felt playboard. All you need is your imagination and you’re all set for hours of fuzzy fun. 

The felt shapes come in sheets and you can easily pop the pre-cut felt shapes out and arrange them however you want on the playboard. Come on, you know how fuzzy felt works, why am I explaining it? 

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

The Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set is suitable for children aged 3+ and I did think it would be far too basic and old fashioned for my six year old, but I was very, very wrong. He absolutely loved it, we sat in the garden for well over an hour playing with it. I went inside and left him to it for another half hour while I cooked our dinner and he happily played with it. He only stopped to eat and then was straight back on it again. It just goes to show, the classics are classics for a reason.

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the playboard is just A4 sized and I know my son would have loved something a bit bigger, perhaps an A3 board which folds down to an A4 size would suit him better. 

I am really pleased my son likes this Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set. It’s perfect for packing to take on holiday, especially knowing how long he will happily play with it. I know he will get great play value from this. If you’re wavering over buying fuzzy felt, don;t waver, just do it. I am astonished by how much he likes it.

You can watch my son playing with his Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set here on YouTube.

Disclaimer: We were sent this Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains an affiliate link.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

One of my son’s favourite things in the world is Paw Patrol. He’s been fairly obsessed with the TV series for about three years now. His love for Chase, Marshall, Ryder and the team is as long standing as it gets for a six year old. It also shows no signs of waning. He’s got quite a lot of Paw Patrol merchandise, but he’s always keen to add more to his collection. Over the Bank Holiday weekend we gave him a eZee Beads PAW Patrol set to try, but what did he think?

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

The eZee Beads PAW Patrol set was launched this year and costs around £16.99 for the set. eZee Beads PAW Patrol is suitable for ages 5+ and comes with three Paw Patrol designs to make – Chase, Marshall and The Look Out.

The set comes with –

  • 900 eZee beads
  • Bead tray
  • Plastic tool
  • Water sprayer
  • 3 design cards
  • Bead storage tray
  • Instructions

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

This new kit from John Adams allows you to recreate your favourite Paw Patrol characters with colourful beads. Just select a design card, push the beads onto the pegs of the tray and then spray with water. Then leave your beads to dry (and stick together). Once it’s dry, carefully remove your bead design from the tray. 

To begin with I helped him to get it all set up, putting the beads into the bead storage tray and showing him how to put the beads on the pegged tray. You’re supposed to slot the design into the bead tray and put the coloured beads on top of the design. But the cardboard design kept falling out and the plastic tray obscured it. We found it easier to have it next to the board and count the different coloured beads in each row.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

As with all bead crafts, this was a little fiddly for his small boy fingers. But that’s the point, bead crafts like this are excellent for helping to boost his hand-eye co-ordination as well as strengthen the muscles in his hands which will help to improve his pen holding and writing.

It was not too fiddly though. Once he got into the rhythm of it he methodically placed the beads into position. He really enjoyed bringing Chase’s face to life in bead form. 

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

Once he’d finished the design (which kept him very well occupied for over an hour) we sprayed the beads with water and left them to dry and stick together. When we’ve done bead crafts in the past they have always been the kind you have to iron, I’ve never been that keen on that if I’m honest. Whilst the results are pretty instant, a hot iron and an excited child are a combination which makes me a bit nervous.

The instructions say to leave the beads to dry for half an hour, but when I checked it was still a bit wet so I put it to one side for a few more hours. Once it was dry I used the tool supplied to try to ease the design off the bead tray. This was a bit tricky, I didn’t want to break his design. I very carefully teased the edges off with the spatula end and with the sharper end ran it underneath the beads to release them. After a couple of minutes of gentle persuasion the design came off the board and was admired by everyone in the room.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

He was really pleased with the results of his hard work, and rightly so. I was really impressed that he sat for so long to compete his design. The eZee Beads PAW Patrol set was really easy to use and contained everything you need. We liked it a  lot. It’s ideal for a bit of quiet, focused craft time and the eZee Beads are, well, very easy to use.

The eZee Beads Paw Patrol set from John Adams is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon.

Disclaimer: We were sent the eZee Beads Paw Patrol set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains an affiliate link.