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ACTIVITY: Stress Balls

ACTIVITY: Stress Balls

ACTIVITY: Stress Balls

The weather has turned, and we are beginning to get stuck indoors more and with that tensions seem to rise.  What was once easy to brush off becomes a little harder as we are all in each other’s space.  Recently, the kids reminded me of stress balls.  I remember using up all of mum’s rice when I was in primary school to make them they were so much fun so I decided to make them with the kids.  This time we used flour for some and rice for others to enjoy a different sensory experience.  The kids couldn’t get enough of them until my rice supply put a stop to their fun.  If you’re after something to do on a cold winter afternoon then grab a few basics and give these a go.

What you need:

  • Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Rice and or flour
  • Funnel

How to make a stress ball

  1. Get everything you need on a table.  Cut the top and bottom off a balloon so it looks like this;
  2. Insert the funnel end into a normal balloon and fill with either flour or rice.
  3. Tie the balloon up with a knot.
  4. Then using the cut balloon, place it over the filled balloon so it covers the knot for a little more added protection.

You’re done, now enjoy squeezing the ball when it all gets too much or just because you like the feel of it.

Happy Making!

Natalie

Sticky Easel

Sticky Easel

Sticky Easel

The afternoons are getting chillier as winter rolls on in.  For us that means less time outdoors after school so I’m trying to come up with ideas to keep the kids entertained and interested whilst the colder months pass.  I used to do this activity with toddlers when I was teaching but the ideas are endless and my two kids, now 8 & 6 recently enjoyed this version of it.

Equipment:

  • Contact, can be coloured, clear or patterned.
  • Masking tape
  • Things to decorate with.  Ideas include pom poms, wool, material, felt shapes, googly eyes, wrapping paper scraps, match sticks etc

How you do it:

  1. All you need is a window or glass door, something that the kids can stand in front of.
  2. Cut a piece of clear contact, remove the paper so the sticky side is revealed.
  3. Attach the contact to your window or door using some masking tape, so that the sticky side is facing the child, making them a sticky easel to use.
  4. Grab your container of decorating goodies and let the kids have some fun making sticky pictures.

The ways to use this activity are endless, cut out magazines and make healthy food charts, funny faces with cut out facial features and even practising shapes and letter formations by using wool scraps.  I also used to love doing this in autumn when the leaves had fallen, we would take a walk and gather some leaves and stick them on the contact.

I hope you have some fun with the kids with this easy and fun activity.

Natalie

Calm Down Bottles

Calm Down Bottles

Calm Down Bottles

I love how social media is filled with wonderful activities and things to make. This one came up on my news feed the other day and I thought it was a brilliant idea to help kids calm down. Everyone knows how lava lamps can keep you mesmerized so I figure this could be used in the same way. With the first week of term 2 over for us, Master 6 is in need of some chill out time or else he ends up having a meltdown. To avoid that I decided to make this and put it on the kid’s bookshelves. So when the need arises for some quiet time they can simply shake their bottle and wait for everything to settle both inside their bottles and their bodies.

What you need:

  • Recycled plastic jar or bottle.  I used old water bottles but am on the lookout for smooth-sided bottles.
  • 250ml Glitter glue I used clear gum and mixed glitter into it.
  • Glitter for adding extra sparkle
  • Food colouring
  • Warm water
  • Supa Glue
  • Mini Lego figurine or fairy (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Pour the glitter glue into the jar/bottle
  2. Add enough warm water to nearly fill the bottle
  3. Add some food colouring and glitter.
  4. Add the LEGO figurine or fairy and secure the lid.
  5. I used Supa glue to glue mine shut as I would hate to be cleaning up this mess!
  6. Give it a shake and watch the kids faces.

What do you do to help the kids calm down instead or meltdown?

Natalie

Craft: Fun Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns

Paper Lantern Fun

Winter means it’s time to spend a bit more time inside for our family.  As the temperature drops and the chill kicks in earlier each day I try and make the most of the day by getting the kids active outside after school.  That means that we’re all inside for longer and can lead to raised tensions in the house.  I’m always after something fun to make those moments as brief as possible and here’s one that we are going to try on the weekend.  These paper lanterns were a lot of fun to make with Miss 8.  We don’t own any pretty scrapbooking punches but i think our regular one did a great job.  We used our lanterns to light our dinner table on Saturday night and then the kids used them to fall asleep to whilst they camped out in the toy room.  It’s one of the things I love most about the cooler weather.  It means more craft and more fun together as a family.

If you’re keen to make these lanterns with your kids all you need is:

  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Stapler
  • Battery operated tealight candles

For full instructions head over to Kids’ Activity Blog.

What  did you do with the kids over the weekend?

Natalie

Christmas Hairstyles for Girls

Christmas is a wonderful time to get creative and whilst I tend to stick in the kitchen my sister-in-law introduced me to the Rudolph hair style and I was hooked.  Miss 7 and I got creating and inventing all sorts of Christmas styles we could make with this idea.    She has worn them to school this week and the result was loads of smiles.  She keeps making up more ideas so it looks like we have another date with the glue gun this weekend.  Just remember when you’re doing them to have the school hat handy so you get the bun in the right place to make sure the hat can still get worn at lunch and recess.  Miss 7 removed Santa’s hat to pop her own on instead at these play times.

Christmas Hairstyles for Girls

Christmas Hairstyles for Girls

Click the links to find out how you can make Rudolph’s face and Santa’s face in a hairstyle.

Get creative this weekend with the kids and look out for a couple more styles next week,

Natalie.

Santa’s Bun

Here is another variation on the Rudolph bun hairstyle that Miss 7 and I came up with.  It’s a little more labour intensive with the glue gun but shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to get the pieces together and the result is worth it.

Sanra Bun

Santa Bun

Here’s what you need:

  • White felt square
  • Red felt square
  • White doll’s curly hair (purchased at spotlight), could you cotton wool instead
  • 2 googly eyes with button loops, i found they worked better
  • pink pom-pom
  • small holly
  • white pom-pom
  • glue gun, hot or cold and glue sticks
  • scissors
  • baking paper and marker
  • 2 x pipe cleaner
  • bun styler
  • 2 hair elastics
  • bobby pins
  • bun pins
  • water sprayer
  • brush and comb
  • scrunchie optional
Instructions

Instructions

How to make the pieces for Santa’s face:

  • Using a piece of baking paper and trace around the bun styler and cut out.
  • Draw a santa beard shape so that it covers the bottom half of the style with the sides coming up in peaks and cut out.
  • Draw Santa hat shape so that it starts on the top half of the bun styler and extends up proportionally and cut out.  Put the beard and hat shapes on the styler to check the sizing and shapes, you want the shapes going to the edge of the styler.
  • Once the shapes are right,grab the red felt and trace 2 hat shapes and cut out. Next grab the white felt and trace around the beard shape and cut out.
  • Using a straightedge on the white felt cut out 2 rectangles that will go along the bottom edge of the santa hats. Trim the stem of the small holly piece and get pins, pom-poms and doll’s hair so that you can start gluing.

Eyes

  • Thread a bobby pin through the buttonholes on the googly eyes, put some glue over the top and leave to dry.

Beard

  • Take the white felt for the beard and cut a piece of the dolly’s hair that will cover the beard.  I do one half of the beard at a time.
  • Cover one half of the beard with glue and spread the hair over the top of the glue.
  • Glue the other half of the beard with glue and press the remaining hair down and move aside to dry.
  • Glue a bun pin on either side of the back of the beard, allow to dry.

Nose

  • Take a bun pin and the pink pom-pom.  Put a dot of glue on the pom-pom and press the pin firmly on the glue so that the loop of the pin is attached to the glue.  Set aside to cool.

Hat

  • Take the pipe cleaner and bend it into shape so that it follows the shape of the hat and trim the excess pipe cleaner off.  Place one hat shape down and glue around the outside and place the pipe cleaner on top of the glue.  The pipe cleaner will support the hat so that it stays stiff in the hair.  Allow to dry.  That is now the inside of the hate.
  • Take the other hat and make sure that you have the right side up to glue on so that when connected together the it makes a hat.  Glue along the square edge of the hat and place a white rectangle felt piece along the bottom.  Allow to dry.
  • Turn the hat piece with the  pipe cleaner attached over.  Glue the small holly piece in corner edge of the hat as in the picture.  Now glue the remaining white rectangle of felt along the edge of that hat.  Glue the white pom-pom to the top of the hat and allow to dry.
  • Glue along the back of the santa hat without the pipe cleaner and glue the two hat pieces together, allow to dry.
  • Glue a bobby pin on either side of the back of the hat and allow to dry.

How to make the hairstyle:

  1. Spray the hair with water and brush into a ponytail in the middle of the head, secure with a hair elastic.
  2. Thread the hair through the bun styler and distribute hair around the bunstyler.  Once the bun styler is covered secure with another hair elastic and pull the leftover pieces of hair firmly to neaten up the bun.  Wrap the leftover hair around the bun and secure with pins.  Wrap the red scrunchie around the outside of the bun.
  3. Push the pink pom-pom into the middle of the bun styler, pushing the pin towards the bottom of the bun.
  4. Next attach the beard, push the pins towards the bottom of the bun.
  5. Attach the hat by pushing the pins into the top half of the bun so that it sits with enough room for the eyes to be put in.
  6. Finally, push the two eyes into place.

Note the child’s school hat may not go over the style with the Santa Hat in place.  I asked Miss 7 to take it out before lunch and recess so that she could put her hat on and play. It took us about 5 minutes to do the style before school but it was so exciting that Miss 7 could hardly wait to see the photos. Hope you’re having some creative Christmas fun this weekend. Natalie

Rudolph Bun

Here’s a fun and easy Christmas hairstyle you can do with the kids.  Miss 7 and I made this one together and she loved wearing it to school.  If your daughter is wearing it to school then have their school hat handy so you can make sure they can wear their hat whilst wearing Rudolph’s face.

Rudolph Hairstyle for girls

Rudolph Bun

What you need:

  • Glue gun (hot or cold), glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • 2 Brown pipe cleaners
  • 1 medium – large red pompom
  • 2 x 18mm googly eyes, the ones with the button loop work the best
  • Bobby pins
  • Bun pins
  • Bun styler
  • 2 hair bands
  • Brush and comb
  • Water sprayer

How to make Rudolph’s face pieces

  1. Using the glue gun, put some glue on the red pompom, press a bun pin in the glue and allow to dry.
  2. Take the 2 googly eyes, if using the button ones thread a bobby pin through each of the button loops then place glue over the top of the bobby pin and button loop to secure.
  3. Take 1  pipe cleaner and cut it in half, these will be the antler stems.  Take the other pipe cleaner and cut into 4 pieces, these will be the antler’s.
  4. Holding the longer pipe cleaner, antler stem.  Twist a smaller piece of pipe cleaner, antler,  close roughly 2/3’s of the way up.  Take another small piece and twist it closer to the top of the antler stem and make a three-pronged antler as seen in the picture.  At the other end of the antler make a loop so that it looks like a ‘b’ shape and attach a bobby pin.  Using the other pipe cleaners repeat so you have two antlers.

How to do the hairstyle

  1. Spray the hair with water and brush into a ponytail, put a band in to secure.  Thread the ponytail through the middle of the bun styler.  Spread the hair around the bun styler and secure with another hair band.  Take the leftover hair and pull tight so that the bun becomes smooth.  Take the hair outside the bun styler and wrap around the bun secure with bobby pins.
  2. Place the red pompom in the middle of the bun, pushing the pin towards the bottom of the bun.
  3. Push the two eyes in the top half of the bun.
  4. Slide the two antlers from the outside of the bun so that they slide underneath the bun styler.  Secure with bobby pins.
  5. Ask the person to move their head from side to side to make sure it is all secure.

Be aware that the antlers may come home bent after a day at school.

If you would like to see a video tutorial of this style; have a look at this video.

I hope this hairstyle is a hit with your kids, Miss 7 loved it as did her friends and teachers.

Happy Christmas styling,

Natalie

 

 

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