Friday, 31 August 2012

Scarecrows - outdoor and indoor versions

On our way back from the park today the kids spotted a scarecrow in a school vegie patch. "That's scary ... I want one of those" says Alex. I explained that yes it is a bit scary so that the birds won't come near the vegies and eat them.

Once back at home we gathered up some supplies to make a scarecrow for our vegie patch. We used:
  • a broom,
  • some thick string, 
  • a spade,
  • a stick, and
  • old clothes.
First we dug a hole in the ground and stuck the broom in. Next we tied an old pair of pants around the broom with some thick string. Alex found a stick and I tied that perpendicular to the broom for the arms.

To finish off the scarecrow we pulled on a top and put a hat over the broom head. The kids wanted the scarecrow to wear one of their dad's shirts but I didn't want to risk ruining one of his favourites. Maybe we can have some fun re-dressing the scarecrow from time to time.

Since the kids can't really play with the outdoor scarecrow we decided to make two indoor versions using long paper rolls leftover from a fabric roll at Spotlight. We applied a similar approach as we did outdoors. We tied a stick around the paper roll using thick string.

Jasmine chose a pink dress for her princess scarecrow and a purple balloon for the face.

She drew on a face, decorated a crown for her and cut some ribbons for her hair. We used sticky tape to fix the balloon to the top of the role and to secure the crown and ribbons.

I had to explain to Alex that we have to play gently with our new scarecrow friends or they won't last more than a minute. You can see by Alex's expression below that he really listened and took this advice on board. Not!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Woollen pom poms

I asked my mum if she had any spare wool lying around. Luckily she had heaps so we tried making woollen poms poms with Alex and Jasmine. This is something I remember fondly from my days at kindy. I couldn't remember exactly what to do so refreshed my memory at

We used a CD to trace a circle on thin cardboard (left over cereal box). We made two pom poms so cut out four CD circles in total. Next we cut a small circle in the middle of the larger circles. It's okay to cut a slit in the large circle to make it easier to cut the smaller, inner circle.

After you've finished cutting, you put two pieces of cardboard together and then wind the wool around around the cardboard starting from the centre until the whole circle is covered.

Next you cut the wool on the outside edge of the circle.

Your pom pom will start to take shape. Wrap some wool around the centre, in between the two pieces of cardboard and tie a knot. You can now remove the cardboard. You can make the pom pom hang on a long or short piece of string. The pom pom may need trimming to even up the wool lengths.

Jasmine was pretty excited about the pom pom and patiently wound the wool round and round the cardboard. Alex was nowhere near as patient and preferred to watch mum and I make his pom pom for him. He was more than happy to play with the finished product.

Alex found it easier to have a go at wrapping wool around paddle pop sticks. This is another activity I recall enjoying as a small child.

We'll have to do some more practice and purchase some extra long paddle pop sticks so we can make the god's eyes over at Or long sticks from the garden would work too.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Liebster Award Nomination

Exciting news. My blog has been nominated for a Liebster Award by Temporary Waffle blog.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. What is a Liebster? The meaning Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the Questions that the person who tagged you created, then make 11 questions of your own for the people you tag.
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs!!

Here are the 11 facts about myself:

1. I love swimming
2. I couldn't live without chocolate.
3. I wish summer holidays would last forever.
4. I am addicted to the TV series "Mad Men" at the moment.
5. I wish I could sing.
6. I hate being woken up by our local garbage truck at 3am every Tuesday.
7. I love staying in my pyjamas all day on weekends.
8. I love walking on the beach.
9. I love watching the Olympics.
10. I love children's books.
11. I love coffee.

Answers to the questions I've been asked:

1. Do you have any pets? Not at the moment.
2.What's your favorite drink combination? Gin and tonic.
3.What's your favorite Fall activity? Bushwalking.
4.What's your favorite piece of clothing? Flowing long skirts.
5.What do you wish you could be doing right now? Eating pastries and drinking coffee in Paris.
6. What would you buy with $100? Some new bits and pieces for my kitchen.
7. What's your favorite dessert? Chocolate mousse.
8.What's your least favorite household chore? So many to choose from .... but mopping is the worst.
9.How many kids do you have/want? Two.
10.What's your most essential morning item? A large cup of coffee.
11. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Ten years older.

Now for the 11 questions I have for you to answer:

1. Of all the places you've visited, what is your favourite?
2. What are you reading at the moment?
3. What's your favourite type of cake?
4. Is there a food you hate? What is it?
5. How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
6. What inspires you?
7. What's a movie you'd recommend seeing?
8. How would you spend $1000?
9. When was the last time you went out dancing?
10. Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
11. What's your favourite flower?

My nominations are: 

Melting Moments
Neenish Arts
A Happy Wanderer
Holly's Art and Crafts Corner
Art and Ideas That Grow

Friday, 24 August 2012

Puppet show time

This morning, Alex bounded out of bed to have breakfast and get ready for the puppet show he was going to with his dad and a friend. I had to tell him that the puppet show was not for a few hours so he'd have to think of something fun to play with while waiting. "I know" he says "we can make our own theatre and puppet show" and off he went to find a cardboard box and paint.

We cut one of the sides off an old printer box and some of the flaps. Alex chose blue and silver paints. We decided to paint plain panels to start with. We talked about making extra props on paper which we could stick on the cardboard with blue tack for different scenes.

We pulled out our box of puppets.

There was a story about a very hungry crocodile that loved eating fish.

And a story about a sheep that gave up life on a farm to live in the ocean.

We took turns making up stories for nearly an hour. There was a lot of giggling. Not sure our script writing would appeal to everyone!

Monday, 20 August 2012

Moon poster

Tonight we made a moon poster. We've long been excited about the moon in my family. Alex and Jasmine often ask why the moon is so bright and notice how it always changes shape. After dinner, Alex and I wandered outside and discovered the moon was a tiny sliver, the smallest possible crescent.

We returned inside to make our poster. Alex also decided we should make a telescope. First we  found a piece of black cardboard and painted the word "Moon" on it. We then drew some different sized moon shapes on white paper and cut them out. This provided a great opportunity for practising the kids' drawing and cutting skills. We stuck the shapes on our black cardboard and easy as that we'd made our moon poster.

Alex made the telescope with a white piece of printer paper and sticky tape. He rolled and fastened it himself and though admitting it wasn't "real" it was "just right" according to him. My husband explained how the moon spins around the earth, well at least he tried to explain it, with a tennis ball and a globe.

Most importantly, Alex was very excited about seeing the moon and stars. He said he would dream about them all night and in his dreams he would catch all the stars and put them under his pillow.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Little kings with crowns and swords

Today our backyard became a land of castles, Kings and valiant battles. We had two little boys come over for a play. All of us made some swords using black, green and orange cardboard. We cut out the standard coloured cardboard and then used double-sided sticky tape to attach them to a more sturdier piece of cardboard from an old box I had lying around the house. This helped prevent any cases of floppy sword syndrome. Later we used glue and sticky tape to put a gem on each sword.

For the crowns we used pre-cut white cardboard crowns and decorated them with stickers and rhinestone gems.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Painting with masking tape

It has been such a windy weekend and with the kids sick with colds Rod and I thought it would be best to stay indoors. We've kept ourselves busy colouring in, making popcorn, making a mess, making more mess and playing with cardboard boxes. To satisfy our creativity we decided to do some painting on A3 paper using masking tape to create different patterns and shapes.

Step 1: Put masking tape on plain paper. We made a couple of "As" for Alex and then random patterns.

Step 2: Paint over the masking tape until you have covered the whole page.

Step 3: Peel off the masking tape. The kids really enjoyed peeling back the tape to reveal the fabulous white shapes underneath the colourful paint.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Woollen spider webs

Since coming home from holidays we have been doing all sorts of cleaning and sorting. We found some red and purple wool which the kids put to good use making spider webs on the bottom of their stools.

If we had more wool they would have loved to make an even bigger web around the dining table. Maybe we can buy more wool when next at the shops? But then again we are supposed to be sorting and culling rather than amassing more bits and pieces!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Beach sculptures

The kids had a fabulous time combing the beaches for "treasures" on their holiday. They found an assortment of shells, coconuts and driftwood. Alex made some mighty creations with driftwood - from boats, to canons, vacuum cleaners and castles.