DIY Christmas Decorations
These DIY Christmas Decorations were lots of fun to make with the kids and also a gorgeous keepsake for years to come. They enjoyed putting their own unique details on each ornament and poking holes in the top with a straw.
We used a microwave playdough recipe from Kidspot. So much quicker and easier than stirring on the stove. We didn’t add food colouring before we cooked it as I split the batch into 7 pieces to make 7 different colours.
- food colouring
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- 60ml (1 tbsp) oil
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 tbsp cream of tartar
- 2 cups plain flour
1. Make the playdough as per the Kidspot directions on their website.
2. Split up batch into as many colours as you want. Put on gloves and add some food colouring to each portion over the sink. It makes a mess!
3. Roll out the colours and use cookie or playdough cutters to make the base shape. Then add contrasting colours to make different patterns. Poke a hole in the top of each decoration with a straw.
4. Place the decorations on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
5. Put in the oven on very low (120 degrees, without the fan) If the oven is too hot and the fan is on they will puff up and become hollow. The slower and lower temp the better. Ours took about 3 hours.
6. Remove from oven when they lift off the baking paper without sticking to the paper, allow to cool and thread with some string or cotton.
Playdough Party Bags
My youngest is about to celebrate his 4th birthday. This will be his first party. Brave or crazy!? There is a reason why he hasn’t had one so far…. July doesn’t offer the most reliable weather for park parties but we are holding our breath.
There will be a range of ages at his party, toddlers up to 10-12 year olds. The one thing that Master 4 wanted at his party was lolly bags with lots of lollies. So that is what he will get, along with the older children. The little ones however are getting a fun alternative. Hoping their parents will thank me for the reduced sugar load!
I have made rainbow playdough before in jars and gave that as party bags/jars at Master 5’s party but thought I would try something a a bit different.
Master 4’s party will have a crocodile cake so I thought it would be fun to make some playdough for the kids to take home and make their own crocodile (although they looked a little more like ninja turtles once rolled and squashed into the bag lol). We made 4 batches of playdough. I have a Bellini Kitchen Master (bit like a thermomix) and I used this recipe. So quick and easy!
This idea could be modified with any colour combination. Make your own…. fairy, vehicle, spaceship, animal etc. I made one example and took a photo of it, which we then used on the little thank you card.
If not for a party bag, this idea would be a fun rainy-day activity. Find a few goggly eyes and other bits and pieces and create your own unique character
This would have to be one of the more random things that we have done. I was filling the bins the other day and was about to throw this piece of styrofoam in the bin when I saw a potential tropical island oasis. It came from the bottom of a new dishwasher that we had delivered. They are ugly, useless pieces of packaging, however we put it to use….. for approximately 3 hours before it headed off to the tip.
We simply filled it with water, added some food colouring to the water (can add different colours to different sections to see what happens when they are mixed) and created some greenery by pressing sticks and leaves into the foam to look like trees and plants.
This seriously gave us at least a few hours of entertainment!
This is the timeline of the styrofoam’s last 3 hours
1.1st hour – Blue food dye, some sticks, flowers and plastic animals
2. 2nd hour- Red food dye, some sand, vehicles, sticks and plastic animals
3. 3rd hour – Big sticks, plastic hammer and chisel…… lots of little styrofoam chunks (beware of little kids… not very safe!)
4. Post 3rd hour – 2 boys collecting every scrap of styrofoam from the grass before our chooks and free-ranging rabbit got to them. Little discussion on non-biodegradable products and how foam does not break down, nor is very good for the environment
I recently ran a competition with my friend Lauren, a talented blogger over at Teacher Types. She is a fellow teacher and in her spare time blogs about the world of parenting and raising toddlers. She has a wealth of knowledge and ideas when it comes to raising little people. Need a craft idea? She’s got one. Stuck with what to read for a bed time story? She has a list. Need entertaining ideas when out to dinner? Check out her busy bags!
Below I have added three of my favourite blog posts of Lauren’s. Make sure you check out her website as there is so much more than I have shown you here.
The kids bored with their matchbox cars or have forgotten that they are sitting there, all lonely in a box somewhere? Grab a few, along with some plates, paint and paper! This is such a simple, yet fun activity to do with toddlers! Give each car a different colour paint and watch your toddler roll the car through the paint and then onto some paper. Look at the different patterns that the different wheels make. Find some other items that you could dip in paint and paint with . Maybe some plastic animals, bottle tops, kitchen utensils , gum nuts, or if all else fails, your fingers Have fun!