Archive for Stuff to Make

Bugs in the Stereo

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We made these guys from another of our taking-things-apart sessions…

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…this time, a mini stereo which my Dad, who’s the handiest person I know, just couldn’t fix.

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We thought that the speaker cases might be able to become bird boxes – so that might be another post…

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We ended up with these guys – it was as if they’d been hiding in the stereo all that time…

It’s made me wonder what’s hiding in other electrical appliances around the house…….hmmm….

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Ice garden

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This is a very fun thing to do with a collection of flowers and/or stones from a walk or from the garden…

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Arrange them in a tupperware tub,

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fill with water and freeze overnight. Then sit the tubs for a few seconds in a larger bowl or the sink with a couple of inches of warm water, to release the ice block.

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So beautiful! We kept it in the freezer for ages…

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Sam decided it made a perfect home for these critters…

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Shell bugs and their home

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Here are some cute critters and their home that we made with some foil, a hot glue gun and a bunch of seashells…Image

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…oh and some googly eyes of course!

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Shape some kitchen foil into a mini cave,

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add some shells using the glue gun,

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and move your critters in!

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You can even make them a pool garden to go outside!

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Birtley House Sculpture Exhibition

We visited Birtley House in Surrey to see a sculpture exhibition which they were hosting. Sam’s favourite was this kingfisher.

And I liked these mushrooms…

…and this cone.

We got some ideas for things we want to make ourselves, and have decided to turn our own garden into a sculpture garden. I reckon there is so much we can do with recycling – watch this space…

And I really want to work out how we can make one of these for Sam,

and one of these for me!

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Paper Planes

There’s a lot of paper airplane making going on in our house at the moment…

I’d recommend either of these books if you want to learn some more adventurous styles, available on Amazon for much less than everywhere else.

A mix of Sam’s own designs, and some from the book. We invented a game called ‘Across the Nile’. You sit on either side of a marked-out area (the Nile river – could be a rug or a piece of cardboard or a masking tape area on the floor), you start with say, ten points each, then you lose a point everytime one of your planes lands in the water whilst trying to cross. When someone loses all their points, the other person is the winner. We played it fast and furious – it was a lot of fun!

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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!

Voila!

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

Happy Spring!

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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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