Archive for March, 2012

Simple Paper Flowers

We got inspired by the arrival of Spring this week at our Crafty group. I wanted to work out a way to make paper flowers which were so simple that the children (4 and 5 year olds) could do quite a bit of the making themselves…

You’ll need various colours of tissue paper, pipe cleaners, odd buttons, and plastic bottle tops (the flat ones – as in the back of the photo below).

This is the most fiddly bit: first push a short end (about 1.5cm) of the pipe cleaner through one or two buttons, then fold it over and carefully push it back down the other hole in the buttons. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just fairly secure.

Now cut various colours of tissue. you can cut a few layers together, or individually. Try experimenting with different scissors, or different shapes – they don’t have to be round. Children could cut their own shapes and it really doesn’t matter if they’re not perfect, it’s more about the effect of the layers.

Now push the pipe cleaner roughly through the centre of the circles (or whatever shapes you’ve got). If you’ve made a lot of layers, you may need to do this in stages, so it’s not too tough to push through. If you hold the papers secure, children should be able to push the pipe cleaner through…

Make a small hole in a plastic lid. I used the pliers’ point to do this, or you could use a bradawl.

Then push the point through from the inside of the lid, to open up the hole a little from that side. Make sure it doesn’t get too big, but is big enough to be able to push the pipe cleaner end through.

Thread the lid onto the pipe cleaner, with the cup side heading toward the underneath of your flower, as shown here.

When you get up to the paper…

…continue to push a little further, and the flower will bunch up!


You can fiddle about with the layers a bit to get a look you like…

Happy Spring!


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Junk drink!

Mixing potions is a great activity for a rainy day… or any day come to that!

Sam decided to design a drink.

When it was ready he looked at it and pronounced “Yuk!” Maybe it needs some more work…

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Spin Painting with Ink

If you have a spin painter, you might like to try using watered down ink instead of paint.

We put our ink in pippet bottles to make it easier (and more fun) for Sam to use.

We got some really nice results which were a little different from the painted experiments we have done with the spinner in the past.

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Bath Icebergs

This is fun! We have been messing around with ice a lot. This is so easy you could do this with virtually any age children…

I got jugs of water, and I watered down some drawing inks in different colours and put them in pipet bottles, which you can buy from a chemist or pharmacy. (They are not essential at all – you could just use little cups of mixed ink, but the bottles were interesting for Sam to use and they lasted longer…)

He filled washed-out old food containers with water and ink colours. The more different shapes of containers the better as they add to the variety. Make sure they’re flexible plastic and don’t use anything precious. I used my measuring jug and it wasn’t flexible enough and it split down the side, which was quite amazing in itself to see how strong the ice can be…

The ink behaves very beautifully in the water.

Add some plastic animals…

…and you’re ready for the freezer.

Next day, head upstairs…

…pop them out…

…and take a bath!!


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