Christmas Crafts with a pre-schooler

Tuesday mornings is Mummy & Monkey time while LM is out with my parents at rhyme time, and it is often a time when the messy play or crafts come out as it means she can’t interfere or eat things she shouldn’t! It is also lovely one on one time with my Monkey. Last week we started our Christmas crafting and had a really lovely time.

I never know what crafts to aim for, I see some gorgeous things on pinterest etc. but I know a lot of the work involved would be done by me, so I tend to stick to simple things I know he can achieve and that he enjoys. So we spend a lot of time just finger painting or car painting haha! I decided on quite a simple actiity to start with that I knew he would enjoy. Making a Christmas tree picture. I cut out the triangles but I asked Monkey to snip at the bottom to be the branches and leaves. I thought this would be a good way to practice his scissor skills and I was dead impressed with the little snips he made. They were very deliberate and neat.PhotoGrid_1449505487227

Then it was a case of gluing and sticking see pretty bits on, something Monkey loves and does really well. We also stuck some cotton wool on for snow.


Monkey then asked to get the metallic pens out and I confess to thinking this would ruin the picture but he actually did well. I drew some tinsel and he drew some sparkly baubles and stars bless him.PhotoGrid_1449505933980 This didn’t take long so Monkey and I then had a quick look on pinterest together and he said he wanted a go at some pictures we saw of cotton bud painting,  so that was our next activity. I drew somestar shapes and then because he wanted to do it together we dotted and filled them in together. Again I was impressed that he stayed in the lines for the most part. Love seeing his development and he is growing up so much all the time these days!PhotoGrid_1449506057259

He then said he would like to do the same type of picture of a snowman and Christmas tree. So I drew the shapes for these (though I loved Monkey’s addition of a hat for the snowman!!)PhotoGrid_1449506278528 He did well at this though got a bit fixated on the black paint and wanted everything to be black. After a bit of encouragement (and yes a little involvement from me, but not much) we finished the picture then when he wanted to do another picture I let his imagination run a bit more and then even more with the next one!


Bit of of a devolution but who cares he was having lots of fun! I loved the arms he did on snowman no.2 and apparently the bottom one is also a snowman and the dots are his arms :).


Glittery Firework Picture

I have really been struggling to do any arts and crafts with Monkey lately. Now LM is on the move she wants to be involved with everything we are doing and I struggle to come up with activities that both a 1 yr old and a 3 1/2 yr old can enjoy (if you have any, please share them!). She only naps once a day now too and I am generally shattered by that point so not much crafting happens then. We do do things occasionally but I rarely blog about them now and I try not to feel too guilty as Monkey is doing plenty at preschool (he now does 1 full day plus 2 mornings a week) but have really been wanting to do something new and fun with him. Tuesday mornings my parents take LM to a rhyme time group and that has become Mummy & Monkey time so today we have been making a glittery firework picture.20151103_095247

Monkey has never seen real fireworks, and has only seen them on cartoons so to start with we watched a youtube clip of a fireworks display and talked about how noisy they are. I also explained about bonfires briefly so we decided to make a picture of a big fire with fireworks around. Monkey helped me tear and cut some red, orange and yellow tissue paper which we then glued to the paper to make the bonfire.bonfire

Then came the really messy bit. Glitter doesn’t come out in our house too often because it gets everywhere… but you can’t have fireworks without a bit of sparkle now can you? I showed monkey how to glue some lines and shapes on the paper and he chose the colour glitter to use. He loved pouring the glitter on and then tipping it off to reveal the picture underneath, gasping and proclaiming it was “magic!”fireworks 1

I tried to keep the mess to a minimum and tip the remaining glitter back into each container but there’s only so much you can do with glitter really. For the most part Monkey wanted me to do the gluing for some reason, but I actually preferred his shapes as they were more random so I really encouraged him to do the gluing. Because he enjoyed it so much we made a couple of other pictures just with fireworks on and I really loved his firework shapes.fireworks 2



20151103_101528Monkey loved touching the glitter and wiped it all over his face, saying “look, I’m all lovely and sparkly now!” haha love him.

So there we have it, a very simple fireworks picture. I’ve always loved fireworks and adored making pictures like this when I was a kid so look forward to making many more with Monkey and LM as they grow.


Paper Plate Lion Face

Monkey is a bit in love with The Lion king at the moment and actually that may be a bit of an understatement. He watched it so many times on holiday (usually on car journeys) that he is now parroting whole scenes at us.

“I stuffed, I ate like a pig – you are a pig” and “Look! Stamede! in the norge!” (Stampede in the gorge) His favourite is Scar (should we be worried?)”oh come on uncle scarf” “oh no no no no” “oh you are a naughty boy” and of course, he likes to roar, a lot! Another really funny phrase he has picked up on is where Timoon says a bug tastes like a pecan. He now randomly tells us his food tastes like “peacorn” lol. Not sure what that is supposed to taste like!

I do love The Lion King and we did encourage him to watch it (who doesn’t like singing along with Hakuna Matata??) but there is a limit to how many times I can watch it. What I did feel we could do instead though was make some Paper Plate Lions. I’ve never made any paper plate animals before and thought this was a good place to start, and capitalise on his current love of lions. (I know from previous loves that they never last long – in fact I think he may already be moving on to Monsters Inc!)

WP_20150713_005The paper plates we were using were pretty shiny, so I mixed some PVA glue in with the paint and thought that would help it stick. Sadly it didn’t and I assume I didn’t get the quantities right? I have never tried to paint on plasticky surfaces before and think I would try it with more glue next time! Anyway because that really wasn’t working I thought we should paint the back of one of the paper plates too – which worked much better.

While the paint was drying a little Monkey helped me cut some strips of orange card out for the main – he adores practising with his scissors and it is good for him to learn how to do it properly. We did have some that ended up being interesting shapes – but I have long ago learned that my perfectionist self has no real place with toddler/pre-school crafts! I then curled the strips of card a little with the scissors (think curling ribbon) which I think worked quite well.


I did try and stick some strips onto the plasticky plates too but they really refused to stick – but on the papery side it worked much better.


We had to leave them for a day to dry. I debated cutting out holes for eyes to make it a mask but Monkey said no when I suggested it. I asked if he wanted to draw eyes but he asked to stick some on. As we had run out of googly eyes I said I would draw them – at which point Monkey insisted I draw grumpy eyes and a grumpy face – not a smily face! (I said he likes Scar the best!!). He helped glue those on, made sure I made some ears, and drew on some cheeks (:)) and ouila! One Paper Plate Lion 🙂


Monkey adores it and loves running around making it roar at everyone! Just great fun 🙂

Do your kids like being lions? Do they come out with any funny phrases from films/tv?

Kidz ActivitiesLittle Hearts, Big Love

Making Egg Box Caterpillars and Butterfly Painting

When I knew that we were soon headed to London to see the Sensational Butterflies exhibition I knew I wanted to do some related crafting with Monkey in preparation. So I googled a few things and got some lovely inspiration from Twitter (thanks guys!) and then gave Monkey the option of making butterflies or caterpillars. He chose caterpillars so I showed him a few pictures online of different ones we could make – finger painting, pom poms etc, but he chose the ones made from egg boxes and tissue paper.

So I duly cut up an egg box (we have the big long 12 egg boxes and I’m not sure they are the best ones for the job as they were slightly one-sided caterpillars but it sufficed anyway) and some tissue paper, dug out some googly eyes from the bottom of the craft draw and we set off doing Monkey’s favourite thing – gluing and sticking!!

caterpillars 1

As mentioned I don’t think our egg boxes are the best ones so we tried making them two different ways – first with a long caterpillar but with holes down one side, and second with a short one as I folded the row in half and then taped it together. I’m not sure which is best or if it makes much difference actually, Monkey loved making both!

caterpillars 2

The first I chose the colours (note The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme) but the second one was Monkey’s choice and it had to be all red (his favourite colour).

egg box caterpillars

Googly eyes were stuck on, and apparently they needed to have a smily face too, and I wasn’t sure what to use so I just grabbed a couple of pipe cleaners, snipped short lengths to be bent into shape and we glued them on, which I don’t think looks too bad really!

We did then go on to do a bit of butterfly craft too, in Nanny’s birthday card. It was the first time we had done the traditional, paint one side and fold together, butterfly painting, but actually he did really well with it! He painted in the lines I told him too and splodged some lovely patterns on the right hand side and it looked lovely after folding toegther. then of course we had to do some more gluing and sticking with sequins and give it a smily face using some glitter glue 🙂