Day #7 Sticky Stained Glass

sara le roux

 

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

So I reeaaally didn’t feel like getting the paint out today so I opted for a ‘mess-free’ activity for us to do. I love sticky backed plastic – it’s easy to prepare and it reminds me of ‘Blue Peter’ creations.  I always enjoy watching my ‘Little Explorers’ using sticky backed plastic to make colourful creations in class.  They look like stained glass windows – with a bit of extra sparkle thrown in!

What You’ll Need

  • Sticky back plastic – very reasonably priced HERE and also available from many stationery stores
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch – in case you want to create a hanging piece
  • Strips of paper/card for the frame – any colour!
  • Collage materials – anything you have in your stash! I’m using feathers, tissue paper (cut up), curling ribbon and also some rolls of ‘sequin cut-outs’.

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I really have no clue what these ‘sequin cut-outs’ are actually supposed to be called so if you know please do message me.  I got them from our local ‘Scrap-Store’ and they are made from the same material as sequins and actually look like a big roll of what would be left over after all the sequin shapes had been punched out of the roll – VERY WEIRD!

If you’ve never been to a Scrap Store then definitely look them up.  The Scrap Stores are social enterprises focused on helping the environment by reusing waste materials from businesses as resources for art and play. You never know what you will find! These places are an absolute treasure trove for your collage box for things like cardboard tubes, egg trays, bubble wrap, cellophane, material and all sorts of lovely crafty bits and pieces.  There are numerous stores across the country and we have a fab one near us in Leeds.  They normally charge an annual membership (ours was £6) and then in some you either pay by the basketful, and others (like the one in Leeds) charge by the item – in quantities such as ‘a big handful for £1’ (take someone with you who has big hands!).

The sticky back plastic needs to be cut out to the size that you want (we used diamonds) and then peel the backing paper away.  I decided to use a little piece of sellotape to secure it to the table after Boo tried to stick it to his face(!) and I had to explain a little bit about choosing colours and how ‘less is sometimes best’ after he began grabbing handfuls of tissue paper to stick down.

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When he was done decorating, the second piece of book covering was placed on the top to trap everything inside and then we used strips of card (and tape) to create a frame around it.  A few bits of ribbon tied onto it by Mummy and……..

Ta Dah!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Activity Time 15 minutes

Safety Tips:

Ensure that any collage materials that you are using are age appropriate and safe to be used by children

Encourage safe scissor use – especially if you are letting your little one have a go

Ensure that any ribbons which are tied to your creation are not long enough to cause a safety concern

Day #7 DONE! 93 to go!

Sara x

 

For updates on Sara’s 100 days of creativity become a follower of the Enjoy Creative Fun blog.

Day #6 ‘Puffy Paint’

sara le roux

 

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

So I have to admit that I’ve been wanting to try this for ages and just never got around to it!  There are quite a few different recipes for ‘Puffy Paint’ on the internet but I decided that we would try the microwavable one – just because it sounded pretty fun to ‘cook’ our art!

If you’ve never seen puffy paint before imagine what your paintings would look like if you could suddenly fill the colours with air like a balloon! 3D Art!!

What You’ll Need

  • Card – something a little thicker than normal as the ‘paint’ mix is quite wet
  • Paint/Food Colouring – you can use either but we wanted to have a go with both – as many colours as you like!
  • Plain Flour – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 3 teaspoons
  • Table Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Water
  • Bowl and spoon/spatula
  • Re-sealable plastic sandwich bags – you could also use piping bags but I just figured that the clean-up would be quicker if I could just throw them away :)
  • Elastic bands – so that I was doubly sure that the top of the bag wasn’t just going to pop open and ooze liquid everywhere!

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So I realised that it would probably take me 10 minutes to get the paint mix ready and if I got Boo involved in the mixing, things were going to get a little frazzled so I decided to do the prep by myself.  I mixed the flour, baking powder and salt together and added enough water to make a consistency close to pancake batter.

DSCF3269Next I divided the mix between 4 bags and added a few drops/squirts of each colour into each of the bags before sealing them and tying around the top with an elastic band.  Squidge and squish the mix inside the bag to get the colour all mixed in and you’re ready to go!  If you’re using the disposable bags then just snip one of the corners off the bag – just a tiny bit though otherwise it will go EVERYWHERE!

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Hand over the bags and some card to your ‘Little Explorer’!

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It was like Boo was icing a cake! Look at the pretty colour mixing!

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When you think that you have enough on each piece of card you simply pop it into the microwave for about 25 seconds – microwaves do vary hugely though so I did 5 second intervals until I could see that the ‘paint’ was no longer wet…

Ta Dah! Puffy Perfection!

Before cooking…

Before...

Before…

After!!

After!!

Before...

Before…

After!!

After!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Activity Time: 15 minutes

Safety Tips:

Ensure that your child is supervised so that the ‘paint’ doesn’t become an appetiser before dinner!

Wash hands thoroughly after finishing the activity

This activity is not suitable for babies or small infants

Day #6 DONE! 94 to go!

Sara x

Day #5 Snip Snip!!

sara le roux

 

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

Last week the lovely Liz Cairns, owner of The Creation Station South Ayrshire published a wonderful piece about ‘The Cutting Station’ and since Boo has recently started pre-school, I think it’s definitely time that we start working on improving his cutting skills.

Handing over a pair of scissors to your little one is always going to be a ‘hold your breath’ moment as you cross your fingers that it won’t result in a trip to the emergency room.  There are many things that you can do to encourage your child to develop safe cutting skills including using ‘self-opening’ scissors or ‘spring-aided’ scissors (with a rounded tip).  These scissors will help your child to understand the action needed to use the scissors but give them control over their cutting until they are ready to progress to standard scissors.

Liz’s suggestion of using straws is excellent.  It is an easy cut for a child, and the sound of plastic straw pieces dropping into the tub always creates an excited response.

What You’ll Need

  • Scissors – suitable for your child’s age
  • A container – we used a small flexi tub that we already had (available from pound shops) but any container will do
  • Items to cut up – anything that you have in the cupboards – straws, paper, card pieces, and old paint chart cards are great items to use for this activity.  We also downloaded some cutting skill sheets from the internet for this activity.

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Boo seemed a little confused that we weren’t going to be doing ‘make Mummy, make’ today, but once I showed him what the scissors could do he happily started cutting with an excited ‘Ssschnip (giggle) Ssschnip’ (giggle) each time he tackled a new piece.

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I think the hardest part with this activity is resisting the urge to just do the cutting for your child and not get frustrated when they don’t manage to cut on the line.  This activity was definitely a hit in our house and I will certainly be using it on a more regular basis with different materials to cut so that we can gradually build on Boo’s skills.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: 10 minutes – but this should hopefully increase over time :)

Safety Tips:

Ensure that you are using age appropriate scissors and materials

Supervise your child throughout this activity to ensure safe scissor use

Day #5 DONE! 95 to go!

Sara x

 

Day #4 Shake Shake Shake!!

sara le roux

 

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

 

I came across the idea of ‘calm down’ jars whilst I was at our local Sure Start Children’s Centre over the summer holidays.  They’ve been around for years but are so useful in helping to diffuse some of those ‘moments’ that little ones often have.  They also work for adults too – who could possibly still feel all stressy after watching that glittery galaxy in a jar!

There are so many different ways that these can be made that it’s worth taking a look on websites like Pinterest to see what works best for your needs.  I decided against the lava lamp option using alka seltzer or vegetable oil and went for the simple water and glue route – just in case we had a creative disaster!

What You’ll Need

  •  A Jar – I used a 1 litre glass ‘Kilner’ jar we already had in a cupboard but you could just as easily use a jam jar (which would actually be better for little hands) or a plastic bottle if you’re nervous about it hitting a hard surface!
  •  Glitter Glue – enough to cover the bottom of the jar.  If you can get coloured glitter glue then this will add even more to the effect
  •  Warm Water (and a funnel) – not too hot though!
  •  Food Colouring – just a few drops of any colour that you have in the cupboard to add to the ‘interest’ factor
  • Glitter – to give it more sparkle
  • Sequins – optional, but always lovely to watch swirling around (they also help to agitate the water mix)

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Boo squeezed the glitter glue into the jar.  I’d recommend picking up some tubes of glitter glue rather than bottles as it will probably be easier for your little one to squeeze a tube rather than trying to scoop big dollops of glue into a jar.

Squeeeeeze!

Squeeeeeze!

Next, fill the jar almost to the top with the warm water – the funnel was really useful as it meant Boo could have a go at pouring and the mess was minimised.  Add a few of drops of food colouring (I did this as I knew what would happen otherwise…. :) )

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Lastly, add the glitter and sequins for extra sparkle…

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Put the lid on really tightly and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE!!! I would definitely recommend that YOU do this initial shake up – the more shaking the better and I actually found it quite therapeutic!

Wow did I get some squeals from Boo!

He was totally transfixed with the swirly glitter and every time it settled I got requests for ‘More, Mummy, More!’  Eventually he figured out the secret to making it work and happily played for quite a while which gave me enough time to clear up!

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Prep Time:         5 minutes

Activity Time:     10 minutes to make and 10 minutes of playing

Safety Tips:

Check your bottle carefully before filling it to ensure that there are no sharp or broken parts.  Always re-check the bottle each time you get the ‘Calm Down Jar’ out to play with.

Ensure that your little one is supervised during the activity so that they don’t eat the glue or food colouring.

Wash hands thoroughly after finishing the activity

I would recommend that you seal the top of the jar or bottle with either hot glue from a glue gun, or super glue.  This way your little one can play with the ‘Calm Down Jar’ and you won’t worry about them opening the top and pouring the contents out onto your carpet.

This activity is not suitable for babies or small infants to make, but they can certainly enjoy the jar after it is put together – always supervise young children though.

Day #4 DONE! 96 to go!

Sara x

Day #3 ‘Clay Creations’

sara le roux

 

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

Something that I had never come across until I started The Creation Station (Penistone & District) is air-dry clay! How weird is that? We had delved into Play-Doh and squidged our way through endless amounts of salt dough but never had our creative hands on this…

It’s awesome!

For me the smell of it is like an instant flashback to my school days and creating all manner of things to be taken away by ‘Miss’ to that strange place called ‘kiln’ where it would be turned into a solid baked piece that I could take home and proudly present to my mother.  Unfortunately, at some point during her house move back in 2003 our treasures were mysteriously ‘lost’ never to be seen again – even though I was 25 years old I was still gutted! After having my own children I now truly hope that Izzy and Boo don’t expect me to still have ALL of their creations out on the mantelpiece long after they have left home!

What You’ll Need

  • Air-Dry Clay – This can be readily bought from any decent art and craft supplies retailer – (The Creation Station, Hobbycraft, The Range, Amazon, etc.)
  • Decorations – Anything that you have lying around in your stash – wiggly eyes, buttons, sequins, craft matchsticks, pipe cleaners, glitter, feathers – anything!
  • Tools – These are completely optional as you can always just use your hands.  We used a children’s rolling pin and cookie cutters that I had picked up years ago from ‘Wilkinsons’ but you could also use patterned rollers like the ones found here or tools like these

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Air-dry clay is a fantastic medium to use as you can just do so much with it!

Is your child into dinosaurs? Make your own scary Tyrannosaurous!

Love animals? Make a prickly hedgehog or fluffy cat!

This clay is one of our most popular choices for Birthday Parties and I have seen everything from whales to cats and aliens to teapots! It really is a case of letting your child’s imagination go wild.  If they don’t like what they’ve made you can just roll it back up and start over again – very budget friendly :)

On this particular day Boo decided to go with a totally flat creation and then (very carefully!) used the (craft) matchsticks, wiggly eyes and feathers to cover it…

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Who said they were JUST for rolling?

Who said they were JUST for rolling?

Looook Mummy! (clay under his nails)

Looook Mummy! (clay under his nails)

Look at the fine motor skills developing there!

Look at the fine motor skills developing there!

Glitter to finish…remember the tray I recommended in ‘Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere?’….hardly any mess!

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Ladies and gents, I would like you to meet ‘Sticky’ and ‘Fluffy’……….. :)

Sticky & Fluffy

Sticky & Fluffy

We just need to leave these two pieces to dry somewhere ‘safe’ (a.k.a. out of our children’s reach) for a couple of days and then they could even be painted too!

Prep Time:         5 minutes

Activity Time:     20 minutes

Safety Tips:

Ensure that your child doesn’t eat the clay – though I can’t imagine it tastes very nice?

Wash hands thoroughly after finishing the activity

This activity is not suitable for babies or small infants to sit and create with – though you can use air-dry to make really cute footprint and hand print tiles

Day #3 DONE! 97 to go!

Sara x

Day #2 ‘Straw-Tastic’ Painting!

sara le roux

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

 

Boo is pretty obsessed with straws (and blowing bubbles) at the moment and insists that he has one with most drinks.  I remembered that when I was little we used to paint with straws and create the most amazing pictures – such a simple activity that gets lovely colourful results!

You Will Need:

  • Paint
  • Paper – we’re using 100% recycled sugar paper
  • Straws
  • A small dish and spoon to mix the paint with a tiny bit of water

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So when it comes to paint, the best advice I can give you is to always know (and trust) what you are buying for your little one to use (and probably put in their mouths!).  I tend to stick to ‘Crayola’ for most activities as it is very washable and totally safe – it’s even gluten-free.  If I’m looking for something in bright neon colours I go for ‘Brian Clegg’ ready mixed paint – again it’s washable, but I’d always be careful of possible staining on some of the more delicate fabrics – don’t forget your painting suit/coat :)

This activity is so simple!  After I convinced Boo not to suck on the straw (oops purple lips!), I dripped some watered-down paint onto the sugar paper and off he went…..

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He was super excited!

I got demands for “more greeeeeen Mummy!” and “Poorple!”

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It gave me a great opportunity to talk to him about the colours and we looked at how they were mixing together and creating new colours.  I would certainly like to repeat this activity in a year and see how far he has progressed!

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Prep Time:         5 minutes

Activity Time:     As long as you like!  This kept Boo busy for 15 minutes which was perfect just before nap time (and not too messy to tidy up!)

Safety Tips:

Supervise your child to ensure that they are blowing down the straw and not drinking the paint like juice!

Day #2 DONE! 98 to go…. :)

Sara x

Day #1 ‘The Hairy Beastie’

sara le roux

by Sara le Roux,  Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District

 

Something that my husband and I have always agreed on is that we want to encourage our children to love reading books.  I have many fond memories of my childhood books such as ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘The Adventures of the Wishing Chair’ (Enid Blyton) – and to this day they still sit on my bookcase waiting for that wonderful time when I can share their magical adventures with my own children.

One of Boo’s current bedtime favourites is Eric Carles’ ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, so with this in mind I decided that we should attempt our own little hairy creature.

We love making cress-heads and recently came across a piece on Pinterest which took growing your art to the next level.  With a few tweaks to make it ‘pre-schooler friendly’ we made……..

Our 'Hairy Beastie' - wait until he starts to 'grow'!!

Our ‘Hairy Beastie’ – wait until he starts to ‘grow’!!

What You’ll Need

  • Compost
  • Grass seed (we used rye seed)
  • Black tights or knee-high stockings
  • Hair bands – nice and bright!
  • Pipe Cleaner
  • Wiggly Eyes x 2
  • Scissors & sellotape
  • Card (a very small piece for the face)
  • Plastic/paper cup or yoghurt pot
  • Spoon & bowl – for mixing!

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So I got Boo started with mixing the compost and grass seed – dirt and mixing – his two favourite things! We discovered that we had used WAY too much compost so you’ll only need about a quarter of what you see in the photo – we may have to make a whole beastie family to use it up!

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Meanwhile, I cut the bottom off the plastic cup and chopped one leg of the tights down to the size we needed (a little help was required from Boo!).  I pulled the cut end of the tights over the open (cut) end of the cup and created a funnel for Boo to feed the soil into the tights.

 

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Boo filled the ‘body’ of our beastie with soil mix and I tied on the hair bands at intervals to create some sections to the body.  This was a great way to practice his scooping and pouring skills and we also spent a few moments deciding which colour hair band we would use each time.

 

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We cut the pipe cleaner in two, twirled it around at the ends to make two antennae and then poked it into the ‘head’ of our beastie.  The wiggly eyes were taped to a small circle of card to make the face which was then taped onto the head section……. hmmm we may need to work on Boo’s sellotape dispensing skills J

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Tah Dah!!!

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All we had to do then was water our little creature and pop him onto the windowsill to start getting ‘hairy’ – UPDATES TO FOLLOW IN LATER POSTS!!

Prep Time:          10 minutes

Activity Time:     20 minutes (whilst our rice was cooking for dinner!)

Safety Tips:

Ensure that your child is supervised whilst mixing the compost so that it doesn’t become an appetizer before dinner!

Wash hands thoroughly after finishing the activity

Encourage safe scissor use – especially if you are letting your little one have a go with the scissors.  Be careful of the sharp edge of the plastic cup (after you have cut it!)

This activity is not suitable for babies or small infants

Day #1 DONE!  99 more to go…… :)

Sara x