Busy bag swap – my magnetic rainbow

I couldn’t wait to tackle this activity after the boys had gone to bed as I was so keen to see if Mr almost-3 would a) get excited and enjoy the new activity awaiting him and b) actually know how to do it – or at least learn how to.

So a friend had read about a busy-bag swap and asked a bunch of us if we were interested in participating. I had never heard of it but after googling and Pinterest-ing I soon discovered how awesome it looked and as I am always keen for a crafty challenge, this was right up my alley!

I searched around and finally decided I wanted to make a magnetic rainbow pom pom sorting activity. The aim (apart from having fun with little felt pom poms that are magnetic!) is to sort the coloured pom poms onto the matching colour in the rainbow.

What you’ll need:
A rainbow template – I got mine here
A colour printer
A laminator (though not essential but will make it a lot easier to do the activity)
Coloured felt pom poms (they need to be fairly sturdy pom poms – more on this below)
Magnets (I bought little round discs that are 8mm)
A hot glue gun (I guess super glue would work too – but I already have a hot glue gun…)
A cookie tray (to put under the template as the other magnetic item)

So, it’s as easy as printing the template, laminating it; gluing the magnets to the pom poms and having FUN – EASY!

So I set up my bench with my cookie tray, all my little magnets attached to the tray a few cms apart, my hot glue gun and my pom poms.

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I glued and stuck and I was done… Or so I thought! Some of the pom poms I bought (I had a few different brands) were a really soft felt and so when I picked up the pom pom it actually pulled off the magnet… The others I had were a tight ball and sturdy so grabbing the pom pom picked up the whole thing without pulling away from the magnet at all. So I will get some more of them but in the mean time in have a few (check out the green ones in the pic below) that look like those old troll dolls! which makes them kinda cool and they’re perfectly usable!

My little guy couldn’t wait to get sorting and LOVED IT! It was way easier for him than I expected but still kept him occupied for a good 10 minutes and he was pretty chuffed with his efforts!

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Some paper play

Two activities we tried just recently that involved paper and washable markers had a 50% success rate!

The one that didn’t really work (for us) but is such a cool idea and with better preparations perhaps and maybe just an older toddler and not both it might be loads of fun… Maybe…

Anyway – here it is in case it is perfect for your little one.

Drawing with cars

The idea is to stick a marker to a little matchbox car (or something similar) and draw with the car (or race the cars…?). I saw it here and couldn’t wait to try it out. But after a busy morning of swimming lessons, then some shopping and post office run the boys were a little irritable so I decided on a whim to give this a go. This meant I was trying to set up the cars with their markers attached and the paper to draw on with two little helpers! It would have been so good to have it all set up like this

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As you can see, by the end they were just using the markers and then they both drew all over themselves with the (thankfully washable) markers! And they didn’t spend a great deal of time on this activity – it just didn’t take their interest.. But we tried it!

The next one I tried a few days ago and absolutely loved it. It is paper towel drawing with a twist. I saw it here (one of my favourite craft blogs)

You need:
Paper towel
Washable markers (they have to be washable for the effect of this craft)
Water
A paintbrush

Let your little one draw on the paper towel and try to fill up as much of the towel with as many colours as you can.
Then let them paint the towel with the brush dipped in water.
The colours will bleed and create an awesome effect!

The photos don’t do it justice (and I have no action shots – just the end result)

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I’ll be doing this one again as it’s quick, easy, not messy and I think the artwork is so lovely – could be framed and hung or put underneath the glass top on our outdoor dining table!

Farewell for now, but I’m already looking forward to my next blog post which is an activity I’m creating for a busy bag swap – if you haven’t heard of it, check it out here

Pretty painting and mud cakes!

I dropped the little mister off at daycare the other week and before I had a chance to kiss and cuddle him to say goodbye he had sat down at a table that had some paint, paper and a potato masher on it. He was straight into it! I thought what a clever, EASY idea so decided to give it a go today and also looked for other household items that might make nice paint brushes so ended up with a dish brush and a whisk.

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I stuck some paper down to their little outdoor table and got the paints set up then let both go a little wild.

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The dish brush was a little old and the bristles squashed so the effect wasn’t as spectacular as I had imagined but the masher one was pretty cool! The whisk didn’t really work, but ah well!!

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So while they were already in need of a wash, what better timing than now to make some mud cakes!

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I shouldn’t lie – I didn’t actually initiate this one… It would have happened whether they were already dirty or not – my little chef is obsessed with baking these cakes!

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His kitchen is a mess, but that’s always a sign of a good chef right?

I have some paper / drawing crafts for the next instalment – so stay tuned, they aren’t messy at all!!

Clever crafty craziness!

So, like a million other mums out there with toddlers or pre-schoolers or young kids in general, I am always on the lookout for something different, challenging, exciting, educational or just plain fun to do with my two. I look back over the last few months and feel really proud of the effort I’ve put into finding and then executing stuff to do that will entertain or teach my boys in one way or another so thought I’d start writing about our daily shenanigans. If nothing else, I’ll love having this record of what we did during these precious years that I’m so grateful I can enjoy one on one each day with them.

So I’ll start by recapping some of the things we’ve done over the last few weeks. These things are EASY and quick and generally not very messy! I only attempt things that I can prepare quickly so that if I’m sensing I need to do something a little fun to keep the boys at bay then I know I can get onto it quickly without losing their attention.

I don’t have many photos of these activities as I wasn’t planning on writing a blog about them but future fun will be fully photographed!

The first is a coloured milk swirling activity. I can’t remember where I saw it, but here is what mine looked like:

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You’ll need:

A shallow dish
Full cream milk
Different colours of food colouring
Cotton bud
Dish washing liquid

Fill a shallow dish with full cream milk; add some drops of different food colouring;

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Get a cotton bud and put some dish washing liquid on the end then dip it in and keep swirling and watch the magic!

Truly beautiful.

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The next one is fireworks in a cup, it was pretty magical too! I saw it
here

So again, it uses items you will already have at home and is super quick and easy but so much fun with the little ones and big ones alike (aka me!).

You will need:

A glass
Warm water
Food colouring
Oil

These are the ever so difficult instructions (insert sarcasm here!):

Fill the glass 3/4 full with warm water.
In a separate cup put a few tablespoons of oil and add just a few drops of food colouring, then mix up with a fork a little.
Add the oil to the water and watch the fireworks display!

The photo doesn’t do it justice at all – try it out and you’ll see what I mean!

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We tried this a few times as the first time we had a little too much food colouring so it wasn’t as spectacular – so keep the drops to a minimum. I personally think lighter colours work better and look prettier. We also tried adding drops of food colouring to the glass after we’d added the oil and it does break through but is not quite as effective.

One final liquid based activity to finish this post (there are so many others I’ve tried, so will save them for anther day!) is ‘hopping’ corn. This was super cool – I was quite mesmerised and loved that it lasted a fair while! I saw it here

I have a video of ours but can’t figure out how to upload it plus it would’ve been a spoiler so here is a pic, but you really have to try it to see how great it is!

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You’ll need:
A jar
Water
Food colouring
Bi carb soda
Vinegar
Popping corn kernels

Fill the jar with water and add a few drops of a light coloured food colouring. Then add a handful (or more!) of corn kernels. Then a few tablespoons of bi carb and finally a few more tablespoons of vinegar. Then the hopping will begin!

I think this little tasting plate is a nice sampler of the EASY ‘tricks’ (as my little guy calls them) we have tried out recently. Lots more to come!