Category Archives: Kits

Foam Christmas Spoons

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IMG_2860A found these foam spoon kits in Riot Art & Craft last week. She picked out two for her and two for L (who was not with us at the time). They were only a couple of dollars each, and they gave us an hour or so of Christmas crafting fun.

Each pack contained a foam spoon and all the bits to attach to the spoon to make a penguin, Santa or reindeer.

Sticking on the reindeer's head.

Sticking on the reindeer’s head.

The penguin packs had foam with a sticky backing so all we had to do was peel off the backing paper, and stick it where it had to go. The only problem with this was that the sticky area of the body pieces were much wider than the spoon, leaving the back of the body with nothing to stick to. The reindeer and Santa packs weren’t self-sticking, so we used craft glue to attach the foam pieces to the spoon.

Placing tiny bells on the reindeer's antlers.

Placing tiny bells on the reindeer’s antlers.

L and A very carefully followed the pictures to create their spoons. For some reason A’s penguin pack had two wings the same, instead of a left and right wing! She didn’t really care though, she just stuck the second wing on upside down and told me the penguin was waving.

Sticking on the penguin's beak.

Sticking on the penguin’s beak.

We have displayed these Christmas spoons up on the wall. They are very cute!

 

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Tie Dye

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Mirrored fold.

Mirrored fold.

IMG_9696We just had to try tie dyeing, it is so much fun, and it produces some beautifully unique and bright clothes. We used basic white cotton t-shirts and singlets for our tie dyeing, but it suits lots of other garments and cloth items too. I bought the tie dye kit from Educational Experience, as I wanted an all inclusive starter pack to help us get this fabulous activity right. This kit even came with a very handy DVD showing how to make some of the popular folds for tie dying.

L creating a swirl fold.

L creating a swirl fold.

All tied up.

All tied up.

We washed our shirts, and then folded and tied them up in various ways while they were still damp. L was quite good at getting her shirts folded, A needed a little help, especially when placing the rubber bands around the fabric. They tried swirls, scrunches and concertina folds. I also helped A place one of her singlets into lots of little puffs of fabric each secured tightly by a rubber band. I also tied up some shirts. My favourite to do was making the swirl.

Soaking in the soda ash solution.

Soaking in the soda ash solution.

The shirts had to soak in soda ash solution for at least twenty minutes. We did this in one of our large nappy buckets (a clean one!). While they were soaking we got our dyeing area set up. We did it outside to minimise the potential for getting dye on anything that it wouldn’t come out of, like the carpet. I laid down a muck mat on the grass, and the kids wore old clothes and art smocks, as well as gloves to protect their hands. The kit came with dye applicator bottles that required the addition of water and vigourous shaking to make the dye usable, so I did this, and then we could start. There were three dyes, red, blue and yellow, but these were easy to mix to make sections of purple, green or orange.

L dyeing the end of her bull's eye short blue.

L dyeing the end of her bull’s eye shirt blue.

Excess soda ash solution was squeezed out of each shirt as we removed it from the soaking bucket. Then it was ready for the dye to be applied. The kids enjoyed putting the dye onto their shirts in various colour combinations. It was very messy though, and even with the protective clothing, both kids had splashes of dye on their skin. A kept touching her face, resulting in numerous dye splotches on her forehead and cheeks, and L splattered some blue dye onto her legs. It didn’t wash off our skin with the first wash, but it was mostly gone by the following day.

Dyeing a swirly shirt.

Dyeing a swirly shirt.

Some dye ran off onto the plastic muck mat, so we opted to place our shirts onto cake cooling racks to help reduce the run-off dye from getting on the fabric where we didn’t want it. We also wiped down the mat with paper towel and washed dye off our hands in between shirts. When each shirt was finished receiving dye, it was placed into a plastic zip-lock bag to rest for about 24 hours.

After waiting a whole day, I rinsed the shirts out, removing excess dye. I removed all the rubber bands, and rinsed them some more, and then washed all of them in a regular wash. The first round of rinse water from the machine was still pretty blue, but it ran clear after that. I hung all the shirts up to dry. It was a spectacular row of colour hanging on my line. All the patterns came out wonderfully and the kids are so happy with them.

Spirals.

Spirals.

Scrunch pattern shirts.

Scrunch pattern shirts.

L's bull's eye.

L’s bull’s eye.

This is A's singlet that had all the little tufts of fabric caught in rubber bands. The whitish circles is where the rubber bands were.

This is A’s singlet that had all the little tufts of fabric caught in rubber bands. The whitish circles are where the rubber bands were.

The left singlet was folded in quarters and the right was vertically concertina folded.

The left singlet was folded in quarters and the right was vertically concertina folded.

 

 

 

Sand in a Bottle

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IMG_9460I had been sourcing supplies to try layering coloured sand in bottles, when I saw this kit advertised in the Scholastic Book Club (Australia). It was a good opportunity for the kids to try this craft activity on a small scale. The kit came with small bags of coloured sand, plastic bottles and stoppers, a little funnel and a styling stick. The sand was purple, orange, blue, pink and yellow.

Some of the bags of sand.

Some of the bags of sand.

Pouring sand.

Pouring sand.

Each of the kids picked a bottle and got started. Surprisingly we had very few spills of sand, and the kids were very careful pouring it into the funnel. They even took turns using the funnel to pour sand into their bottles. It was nice to see them sharing.

L's bottle.

L’s bottle.

A’s first bottle was very tall and skinny, so it didn’t take much sand to make thick layers. L made her layers reasonably flat, while A liked her layers to be angled. They were unable to use the styling stick on these bottles, as the shape of them prevented the stick getting to the edge to push the sand down.

Using the styling stick.

Using the styling stick.

A's second bottle.

A’s second bottle.

A filled another bottle and we were able to use the styling stick in this one as the sides were straight and flat. A would pour a few layers, and then scrape the stick down the inside to push some of the sand down through the layers, forming unique variations in the layers. This looked really good.

Once the bottles were filled, we placed a stopper in the top to prevent the sand escaping. The sand settled a little too. Then they were ready to be displayed.

This was a fun activity, and the kids really liked it. The only disappointing thing was that the plastic of the bottles wasn’t as clear as glass would have been. As we poured the sand into the bottle some coloured dust stuck to the inside of the bottles dulling the colours a bit. This was a fairly minor issue though, and it didn’t detract from the fun of filling the bottles with sand.

I would like to try this activity again using glass bottles and other colours of sand. The layers of sand in the bottles look fantastic displayed on our shelf.

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Pom Pom Bunnies and Chicks

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IMG_8836When we went into Riot Art & Craft last week they had a large display of Easter crafts, including some little craft kits. Each of the kids picked out a pom pom critter kit to make at home. L chose mini chicks and bunnies, and A chose some chicks.

IMG_8818IMG_8819There were some instructions on the back of the pack, but it would have been possible to complete the pom pom critters from the picture alone, given what was in each kit. We had to cut up some of the pipe cleaners to the right length, but otherwise everything was ready to go.

 

Adding the chick's bunny ears headband.

Adding the chick’s bunny ears headband.

L got started on hers straight away, getting the beak and little puffy cheeks onto her chicks. A asked that I help her with the glue, and making the pipe cleaners into the right shapes. Once I’d placed the glue, she put the pieces together carefully.

One of L’s mini bunnies experienced a small accident which left its face elongated, so L started calling it the ele-bunny. I think she just damaged the pom pom, making it a weird shape.

L's mini bunnies and mini chicks.

L’s mini bunnies and mini chicks.

It was a fun way to pass an hour or so, and once the pom pom critters dried, the kids had great fun playing with them. A even took her chicks to bed with her and cuddled them to sleep.

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Play Foam

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IMG_4925A received some play foam for Christmas. It looks like tiny coloured balls of foam, and is a little sticky. They had some of this at her playschool last year, and the kids all loved it. It had said something on the pack like, it never dries out, and doesn’t stick to floors, carpets and clothing, so it is an easy clean up. I know from playschool that if it falls on the ground outside, it is near impossible to remove the dirt, grass and leaves from it, and if you happen to tread on some and don’t notice straight away, it is very difficult to remove from the bottom of your shoe. With this in mind, I placed a muck mat down, and then put the play foam into one of our play tubs, just in case.

The play foam came in a pack that was sectioned into different colours. It did not stay in separate colours for very long though. A immediately started squishing it through her fingers, and mixing the colours, so soon it was rainbow play foam.

Squashing the colours together.

Squashing the colours together.

More squishing.

More squishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making cupcakes.

Making cupcakes.

She likes to roll it into little balls and sausages, and mould it into various shapes, but what she likes best is to squash it! She also used some muffin cases and made pretend cupcakes with some plastic straws for candles. She shared the pretend cakes out, and we had a little tea party. Then she asked me to help her roll all of the play foam into a big ball. Once we’d done that she put some straws into the ball, and told me she was making a hedgehog.

The big ball becoming a hedgehog.

The big ball becoming a hedgehog.

It was a pretty easy clean up, with any stray bits of foam being picked up with the big ball, and it didn’t stick to anything other than itself. I did take precautions though, and warned A not to move it off the muck mat.

A's hedgehog ready for bed.

A’s hedgehog ready for bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed playing with the play foam as well, I like the feel of it, and so did L. It is easy to mould into shape, and holds its shape well. It should keep for a long time for future play, so long as we look after it, and don’t let it get too dirty or fluffy.

 

Christmas Trees

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IMG_4030These Christmas tree shapes were in the Christmas bags from Riot Art & Craft, along with a container of Christmas card embellishments. The trees were a thin foam, and there were three each to decorate.

Foam tree shapes.

Foam tree shapes.

Embellishment pack.

Embellishment pack.

 

 

 

 

Some of the embellishments had paper backing that could be removed to reveal a sticky side to stick straight onto the tree or card. These bits of paper were very hard to remove, and in some cases, we actually pulled the sticky backing right off the embellishment along with the paper. After that we just used craft glue to stick the embellishments onto the trees.

Adding glitter glue.

Adding glitter glue.

Glitter glue in gold and silver added a final touch of sparkle to these great Christmas trees.

 

 

 

 

 

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A’s trees.

L's trees.

L’s trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Once they were dry we used blu-tack to stick them on our front door.

Snowman Hand Puppet

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IMG_4234L has been interested in doing some basic sewing of late, so when she picked out her little Christmas kit at Riot Art & Craft, she chose one that involved sewing a felt snowman together. The kit was to make a snowman hand puppet out of felt, and then decorate it as shown in the picture. This was a very easy activity for L, and she completed it quite quickly.

The felt pieces had little holes around the edges for the plastic needle to pass through. L asked me to tie a knot in the yarn at the start, and then she stitched around the edges of the snowman, making sure she didn’t miss any of the holes, and then I tied it off at the end. She got the yarn tangled a couple of times, but it was easy enough to undo and then continue stitching.

Finished sewing.

Finished sewing.

One of the things my kids like about doing craft is that so many craft activities require the use of glue, and this was no exception. Out comes the craft glue, and L was all ready to start gluing on the decorations straight away. I convinced her to put down the glue and lay out the decorations where she wanted them first, to see what it would look like before actually attaching them. Having a plan of action is normally a good thing when crafting 🙂

Adding stars to the scarf.

Adding stars to the scarf.

Gluing on the hat's pom pom.

Gluing on the hat’s pom pom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the adornments were glued down, L was very happy with the result, and rather impatient for it to dry! Finally it was dry, and she was able to use it as a puppet. This was a fairly cheap craft kit that has provided L with lots of amusement.

Ready to play with.

Ready to play with.

Reindeer Foam Mask

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IMG_4017While we were in Riot Art and Craft, the kids each chose a small Christmas craft kit. A picked out this reindeer foam mask, and L got a snowman hand puppet.

We opened the pack and tipped out all the pieces. For some reason there was no piece for the mouth in our pack. Luckily the pieces of foam from where the eye holes are cut out were in the pack, and we were able to cut one of these to make a mouth. A used some glue to stick on the nose, mouth and eye-lashes. Then when that was dry, we turned it over, and stuck on the ears and the antlers. It used a couple of pop-sticks to keep the antlers up straight, and a piece of elastic to hold it on the face.

It was very easy for A to make this mask, and she has been having lots of fun wearing it around. She loves her dress-ups, and it has been a fun addition to her wardrobe.

A wearing her new reindeer mask.

A wearing her new reindeer mask.

Riot Art & Craft Christmas Showbag

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I took the kids into Riot Art & Craft looking for some Christmas craft items. They had plenty of things that we could use, and we picked out some foam balls, sequins, glitter glue, and Christmas ribbons. But our best find was the Christmas Showbags which contain a variety of Christmas craft items worth over $40 (according to the label). These bags were on sale for only $15, so L and A got one each.

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I was quite impressed with the contents. Each one contained acrylic paint pots, sequins, four 3D foam shapes, including a wreath, glue, glitter glue, felt, foam tree shapes, Christmas stickers, a Christmas embellishment pack, metallic holly shapes, blank cards, cardboard ornament shapes, bauble and snowflake garlands and 3D cardboard reindeer. This was plenty for us to get on with our Christmas crafting, and we have put some of the items to good use already!

Showbag contents.

Showbag contents.

The bag also has a template for making a reindeer puppet too. We could cut out the template, glue it together and decorate it, but we have lots of other craft to do before we get to that 🙂

Terracotta Pots

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L's finished pots.

L’s finished pots.

The pot decoration kits we bought from Bunnings.

The pot decoration kits we bought from Bunnings.

I went to Bunnings looking for some terracotta pots for the kids to paint and decorate. There were lots of pots in all different sizes and shapes. And then we came across some kids craft packs to decorate three terracotta pots, including paint and rhinestones. That seemed like a very easy option, so we bought two kits.

The pots were only little, but perfect for L and A to decorate. We turned A’s pots upside down to make it easier for her to paint. She also painted the bottom of each pot. There was only one small brush with each kit, so we got out enough brushes to have one for each colour. That way we didn’t have to keep washing the brush all the time (it also meant we didn’t need a cup of water on the table that A could somehow manage to knock over…) A did some lovely painting on the outside of each pot, covering the entire surface. She used some sponge brushes to paint the little saucers for each pot, making smiley faces on them. L chose not to cover the whole of the pots in paint, instead she painted pictures, swirls and letters.

A painting her first pot.

A painting her first pot.

Painting the saucer.

Painting the saucer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

L painting a Christmas tree on one of her pots.

L painting a Christmas tree on one of her pots.

Once the paint was completely dry (which didn’t take very long at all), the kids got to add the rhinestones. Oh, how they love to decorate with rhinestones! We used PVA glue to attach the rhinestones. There was a mix of shapes, sizes and colours, and they used a variety on each pot.

Adding rhinestones.

Adding rhinestones.

More rhinestones.

More rhinestones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each kit came with some foam flower press outs to make up too. These could be used as a decoration in the pots if desired, but the kids wanted to put real plants into their pots, so the fake flowers were put aside to complete later to add to the vase they made a few weeks ago.

L and A want to give their finished pots (with little plant) to their teachers for Christmas this year, as an alternative to the traditional coffee cup or box of chocolates. The kids had a great time decorating them, and we hope their teachers will like them!

A's finished pots.

A’s finished pots.