Design your own tartan

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In celebration of Burns Night today have a go at creating your own tartan. You can use the templates below or see where your imagination takes you on a blank piece of paper. How many colours would you choose? Would your design be really simple or super complicated?

 

Design your own tartan

Download your Design your own tartan sheet here.

Design your own tartan2

Download your Design your own tartan 2 sheet here.

Now you have completed your design, can you count how many squares you can see or how many rectangles?

Join in the celebrations

Sunday will bring many celebrations across Scotland for Burns Night, commemorating the work of Scottish poet Robert Burns!

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To join in the celebrations we thought it would be a great idea to make our own set of bagpipes. Here is how we made it. Why not have a go at making one too.

You will need:

  • 2 A4 pieces of red felt
  • 2 A4 pieces of card
  • Double sided tape
  • A felt pen
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon/Crepe paper
  • Something to stuff the bagpipe – we used shredded paper but you can use anything soft that you have around the house.

 Step 1 

Position a piece of card landscape and cut it in three. Roll each piece into a tube and tape together. These will be your pipes. Make one tube slightly narrower at the end as this will be your mouth piece.

From the second piece of card make one larger tube which is more like a telescope, narrow one end and wider at the other end. Tape together. Then finally create one smaller tube. Draw the holes onto your larger pipe. This is where you will place your fingers to play your bagpipe.

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Step 2

Attach ribbon or crepe paper around one end of each of your pipes with double sided tape. This adds a bit of fancy decoration, though not necessary if you don’t want to include this bit. On the larger tube and your mouth piece make sure to attach the ribbon/crepe paper to the wider end.

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Step 3

Attach double sided tape to the edge of two pieces of red felt. Be careful not to remove the protective layer until you need to.

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Step 4

Attach the largest tube first in the bottom left corner. Peel back the protective layer on the tape and seal around the tube. Then move along the left hand edge and place in your mouth piece near the top.

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Step 5

Then attach the 3 remaining tubes across the top and seal the felt around each tube.

 how to assemble

Step 6

You will now want to stuff your bagpipe so it looks like it is full of lots of air. We used shredded paper, you could scrunch up newspaper or use anything soft from around your home.  If you have an old toy which is no longer used but squeaks, you could place the squeaker inside the bag so that it makes a noise when your child plays with it.

Step 7

Cut a strip of crepe paper and cut lots of slits into it for a tassle effect on the end of your bag pipe again this decoration could be left out. Stick this to the double sided tape and then seal up your bag pipe along the remaining edge. The felt may not match up exactly so you can either cut off a corner or scrunch it all up behind the tassles.

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Step 8

You can now add any more decoration to your bagpipes. You may want to decorate the pipes or add a tartan pattern to the felt with ribbon it is up to you. Let your imagination inspire you.

finished bagpipe

Now have a play with your fab new instrument! Can you play while you march?

14 ways to avoid children’s birthday party entertainment disasters

14 Questions to consider to ensure you don’t get ripped off and that you give a party your child and their friends will absolutely love!

Birthdays are a really special time and there is nothing as important or special than your own child’s birthday. Here at The Creation Station we have been privileged to share over 10,000 special days and help celebrate amazing children across the UK and in Southern Ireland since 2002.

We’ve put together 14 questions for you to consider so that the party truly inspires your child and friends and works for you, your family and your budget

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1. What is the best time to have a party?

Try to have the party around the usual time children eat, so around 11am to 1pm or 3pm – 5pm. This way all that lovely party food is more likely to be fully enjoyed and not wasted.

2. Is it better to have the party in the morning or afternoon? 

If you have a young child an earlier party can work much better. Late afternoon parties can often mean your child has to have to wait all day for their big party. This can leave them feeling very tired and overwhelmed when the party does eventually start.

3. Should I hire a hall or have the party at home?

For under 5 years olds – The parents tend to stay for these parties, which is lovely as you can get to know them a bit better, but it can make it a bit of a tight squeeze in your house. So it might work better to hire a local hall.

4. What sort of venue/ hall is best?

Try to pick a venue that has parking so you can load and unload easily and so your guests can be safely dropped off and picked up. It is worth putting balloons outside your venue so that people know where the party is. At Creation Station we have ran over 10,000 parties and run hundreds of classes so we have a pretty good idea about venues and will be happy to help with ideas.

969031_505974532791717_413873338_n5. How many helpers do I need?

With a party entertainer you won’t need to be there to entertain the children, but for an under 5 year old party, where the parents tend to stay, you will need to make all the parents cups of tea and coffee. It’s worth having some family members or friends to help with looking after the adults!

For parties for over 5 year olds, the parent tends to drop the child off. You may need to comfort any children who get upset or need extra attention.

Do ask for peoples contact details in case of an emergency, just so you are not left with a very distressed child that you don’t know and you can’t contact their parents. Also, if you are left with a child that isn’t yours at the end of the party you can contact the parent / carer to see if everything is ok and when they are coming to collect – They may have got delayed!
Your Creation Station arty party entertainer has a pre-printed sheet for you so it’s easy for you to collect these contact details at the beginning of the party.

6. How many children should I book the party for as I don’t know who can attend?

If you have an ideas of the size of party i.e. 10 or the whole class, this is a good guide to go on. Check with your party entertainer how many you will be charged for. As you can never guarantee how many children will attend at Creation Station we have ‘bands of numbers’ so you know what the cost will be for example 1-10 children, 10-15 children etc. – Your local party entertainer will be able to give you more details. You can also choose your party based on your budget with different fun art & crafts activity packages to choose from including; ‘Cool’, ‘Brilliant’ and ‘Awesome’

7. What about Safety?

Do check your party entertainer is DBS checked, this used to be called CRB checked. Do bring along a first aid box – you never know when an over excited child can slip and cut themselves. The Creation Station arty party entertainers are DBS checked, first aid trained and have their own first aid kit as well in a case of emergencies.

8. What information do I need from the parents?

It’s useful to check for any allergies and if it’s sunny bring some sun screen and ask the parents if they are happy for this to be used, or for older children you can ask them to bring their own.

9. How should the room be set up?

Thank you

Creation Station Thank You cards available

Most halls have trestle tables and chairs, so you can use these for the party food. Your party entertainer may need tables, and they will advise on the best layout for the room. If it’s nice weather and there is an outdoor space, you can move the party outdoors.
It’s a good idea to have a ‘presents’ table. If you are thinking of sending out thanks you cards, make a note of who the presents are from – it’s very hard to remember what everyone gave afterwards! Your Creation Station party entertainer can provide you with thank you cards to give out if you would like them.

10. What about sharing photos of the party on facebook?

Before you post on Facebook, just ask the other parents is that OK- it’s important that every child is treated with respect at the party and not everyone wants photos on Facebook.

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Creation Station Party Invites included

11. How do I know which party entertainer to book?
Professional party entertainers do this for a living and can take all the hassle and stress out of the day for you. Our entertainers are DBS checked and to save you extra time and hassle, your they will provide you with invites and thank you cards.

10. What should I put in the party bags?

Typically they are filled with small toys and sweets, and can take a lot of time beforehand, so try to keep it simple. Some party entertainers will supply goody bags so it’s worth checking before you make your own up. The Creation Station goody bags are supplied and filled with the amazing artworks that each child creates, providing a long lasting treasured memory of your child’s special day.

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Party Bags included to carry away all of their amazing creations

13. What activities will your child enjoy and if you are having a mix of girls and boys and different ages, what will work best?

Have a think if the activities you are planning will suit the mixed group. The Creation Station arty parties are tailored around your child’s likes and work really well with mixed aged groups and for girls and boys too. A good ‘Top Tip’ is don’t overwhelm the children, if you book too many activities the children can just run around in a frenzy.

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All activities suitable for boys and girls and adaptable for 1-11 year olds


14. How far in advance should I book?

Your child’s birthday date isn’t going to change so if you know you want to provide a party for them, do book in advance and it’s worth checking reviews. We typically have booking 6- 8 months in advance to ensure the availability.

You can see some of the hundreds of reviews on our Enjoy Creative Fun Blog and our website.

Do remember, the most important thing about a child’s birthday is of course, them and your love for them.

If we can help you make their day even more special we would love to help.
Here’s the details of our how to find your local Creation Station for more information on parties in your area.

Here’s to inspiring futures

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>>> Find out what happens at a Creation Station arty party!

Thank you

A massive thank you to Sara le Roux, Boo and Izzy for their amazing 100 days of Creativity. What an adventure!

I have to admit I have been trying out some of the makes along the way. Have you been keeping up with the journey of discovery? What was your favourite make?

Can you imagine taking on a 100 day challenge? What would yours be about? Exercise? Healthy Food? Making time to read? There are so many possibilities. We would love to hear if you have taken on such a challenge in the past or plan to in the new year.

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Try writing down your five top things you want to do this year and pin them up somewhere in your house! Having things written down as a goal makes them much easier to achieve.

Day #100 We Made It!

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

Wow!

100 Days – we’re almost all done!

It’s certainly been a challenge :)

I chose today’s activity to be all about reflection….

When we started this journey 100 days ago my aim was to spend more time with Izzy and Boo developing their creative skills, turning off the television and best of all, to just have fun together!

I’m a firm believer in taking time to reflect and look back on events – ‘taking stock’ so to speak.  We seem to spend most of our days racing around! Whether it’s working, shopping, chores, family – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve caught myself saying “I can’t believe its Friday already!”

My husband and I have a tradition that began the year we met.  Every New Year’s Eve we take a walk together before midnight. This used to coincide with when our dog needed to go out, but with the arrival of our children we now settle for a sofa chat with a glass of vino.

We sit, we chat, and most importantly we reflect on our past year.

If you’ve never done this before you should definitely try it – just sit quietly for a few minutes, and think about what you achieved in the last week, last month, or in our tradition – the last year!

Believe me, once you get started you’ll be amazed at what an eventful time you’ve had.  It’s always useful to have a close friend with you when you do this as its pretty much guaranteed you’ll have forgotten half the things you did because you were so busy at the time!

I love our annual ‘stock takes’.  It gives me the opportunity to pause and celebrate all the things that we have done (however big or small) and the challenges that we have overcome.  Every year we have been amazed at what we have managed to pack into the last 12 months and by reflecting, it’s almost like concluding a chapter before we start our next one…

We talk about our hopes for the New Year and what we would like to try and ‘get done’ – our big plan for the year ahead!

So with that in mind here are my ‘Top Five’ reflections on our ‘100 Days Of Creativity’ Challenge.

  1. I will no longer make assumptions about my children’s abilities – Boo and Izzy manage to surpass my expectations every day and are just plain awesome – I somehow have to learn to let them challenge and ‘stretch’ themselves each day and just be there to wipe some tears and keep cheering them on.
  2. Writing a blog is HARD WORK! Nevertheless I don’t regret starting the challenge as without the (self-applied!) pressure to finish it, I might have missed some of the many side-splitting laughter moments that we’ve had.
  3. Always have a backup plan! (or in my case a backup child too!). There were certainly a few days when Boo ran for cover when I suggested a ‘make’ so pretty quickly I learned to have a few different activities planned – painting, sticking, and sometimes even creative games, and fortunately one of them would normally peak his interest – failing that, Izzy was always happy to get involved :)
  4. Keep On Creating – Little and Often! I know from talking to other people, that one of the biggest factors holding people back from crafting at home is the prep and clean up time.  Most of my activities lasted no more than 15 minutes and probably took the same time to prep and then get tidied up.  This can be a little disheartening at times, but I promise you it is worth the effort.  Boo has gone from having a fairly ‘blah’ attitude towards arts and crafts to now being a bundle of excitement (most of the time!) when I suggest doing a ‘make’.  He points out pictures in magazines and programmes on the TV that show people who are painting or crafting and when we are out shopping he always spots the art and crafts materials.
  5. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. With all the best planning, not every ‘make’ turned out to be worthy of Pinterest.  I could post some absolutely classic ‘after’ photos of the cracked stepping stones, and the PVA sun catcher that we did in the jar lid – but I forgot to remove the inner card piece first!  It doesn’t matter – what counts is that we were having fun and taking part – however it turns out we will have a lasting memory of that day.

So there they are… my Top 5 Reflections.  I could’ve listed so many more though as this really has been a journey for all of us.

But we’re not done yet!

That’s the awesome thing about creativity – it’s a learning ‘journey’ -not just a day trip or a weekend getaway.  Izzy and Boo are changing so much every day and I can truly see how encouraging them to develop their skills to create, explore and problem solve will have a long-term impact on their developing little personalities.

So what next?

Well I’m going to sign off for just a couple of weeks and get things back to something resembling post-Christmas ‘normality’

But we’ll be back really soon with more Izzy and Boo adventures!

For now we’ll leave you with today’s exploration – we spent our time collecting most of our ‘makes’ together (some we’ve gifted and many others just wouldn’t fit on the table!) and remembering what we’d done…….

Sara, Boo & Izzy x

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Day #99 Sharing Creativity

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

We are in our last couple of days of the challenge and I thought that it would be nice for Izzy and Boo to share today’s activity and we could all make something that would remind us of our ‘100 Day’ adventure.

I happened to have a large canvas in my stash so we got to work creating our shared masterpiece….

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With an extra bit of ‘Mummy Make’ we produced a really lovely piece to hang on our wall :)

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Day #99 DONE! 1 to go!

Sara x

Day #98 Stamp! Stamp! Stamp!

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

We seem to have collected quite a large stash of toilet roll tubes over the last few months so I thought we would do a painting activity to use a few of them up.

What You’ll Need

  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Sugar paper
  • Paint – we used Crayola washable

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I squished and squashed the tubes into different shapes before I handed everything to Boo.

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We spent some time looking at each stamp and I asked Boo to name the shapes before we started to paint.

We mixed the paint colours and stamped all the different shapes using our tubes.  Boo seemed quite bemused that he wasn’t getting to use a paintbrush but that didn’t stop him exploring his new tools :)

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A really lovely activity which also helped to use up some recycled materials.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: 15 minutes

Day #98 DONE! 2 to go!

Sara x