Last week, the Other Half went on a boys’ week to Germany, leaving Little Miss and I to our own devices.
I had had to work late quite a few evenings the week preceding this, meaning we hadn’t seen much of each other, so I said to Little Miss we could do whatever she wanted at the weekend.
“Crafts!” came the reply…
While I actually secretly enjoy crafts, I’m not naturally artistically gifted. But the Textiles teacher at school requested I didn’t consider Textiles GCSE, and the Art teacher on options evening looked genuinely alarmed when I appeared in at the Art Room door! (I wasn’t deluded, it was a cut through to the technology rooms, where I actually wanted to be.) Safe to say I will never be a craft blogger!
But I had promised. So, I dutifully started trawling Pinterest and crafty blogs for some simple, straight forward ideas I thought we could manage. I stopped by Tesco on my way home from work on Friday evening for supplies and (after an early start to drop Daddy at the airport, a quick trip to the market for bits and bobs for dinner and then a weirdly long nap time) on Saturday morning we were away!
Paper Plate “Ghosties”
Mess level: minimal
Prep time: five to ten minutes (depending on how many ghosts you’re prepping)
Activity time: five mins per ghost (depending on the child’s age/ability)
You will need:
- White paper plates
- White tissue paper cut into strips
- Either white paper and black pens to draw / cut out your faces on or print and cut out this free template
- Glue (we used Pritt Stick)
- String (to hang them up)
I was pretty pleased with these! They looked really effective, were really easy and minimal mess involved, just some glueing to be done, and a bit of threading (currently a big fad here). I cut all the bits and pieces out during nap time so she didn’t have wait for me to do so / try and steal the scissors and do it herself (another fad at the moment), which worked really well.
I pierced a hole in the top of the plate and Little Miss threaded the string through the top then told me where to hang her ghostie.
Pumpkin Potato Stamping
Difficulty: beginner to intermediate
Mess level: risky to frightening (don’t do this anywhere near carpet, while sofas, kitchen chair cushions or nice clothes!)
Prep time: five mins
Activity time: at least thirty mins
You will need:
- Potatoes cut in half
- Paper – the bigger the better
- Orange (washable!!) paint
- Black and green marker pen
Little Miss loves painting, so I knew I couldn’t get away with no painting activity if we were doing crafts. But I think I got a bit cocky here…
Potatoes stamps – either simply slice there so you have little round (pumpkin shaped) stamps, or if you’re feeling really snazzy, carve the faces out of the potatoes with a vegetable knife. (Obviously that’s not part of the kids’ activity!)
Squirt out your paint, dip your potatoes and get stamping! Once your pumpkins have dried, you can draw different faces on them all. Easy peasy.
Or, if like Little Miss your toddler gives up on the stamping part and simply starts swirling the paint on the page with her hands, then painting herself -?!- you can paint a few large pumpkins and draw faces on them instead…
We also had plans for Paper Plate Pumpkins painting, but we ran out of time. (And truth be told, I think one orange paint activity was enough…!)
Mess level: middling
Prep / activity time: this is a three stage activity, so requires some patience across the day
You will need:
- A pumpkin (any size)
- White paint
- Paint brushes
- Glue (super glue advised)
- Crayons in rainbow colours
- Hair dryer
The piece de resistance! Little Miss adores pumpkins – the love affair started last Halloween with Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere. So I knew I had to include a pumpkin related craft. I found this on Pinterest and thought it looked amazing. When I tentatively read through the instructions, I was surprised how easy it seemed, so I thought, ‘well, in for a penny…’
- Paint your pumpkin white. (A strong start to any craft.) Leave to dry.
- Once dry, glue your crayons round the stem on top – we went for a pretty, simply rainbow, but you could do all red for a truly spooky Halloween effect, blacks and purples for more of a night sky look or your kid’s favourite colour. Leave glue to dry.
- Make sure your pumpkins are on a large, disposable (newspaper?) or wipe-clean surface area. Plug in your hair-dryer and hold over the crayons. As they begin to melt, they will splatter everywhere but quickly settle into a stream down the sides. As the wax cools, it restick a to the sides of the pumpkin, creating a lovely textured effect.
Bonus extra for little ones – you can use this craft to discuss solids and liquids (heat a solid to the right temperature and it melts, cool it down, it becomes hard again. EYFS Science in action. Win.)
Already planning ahead for Christmas? Check out my super easy, homemade Felt Christmas Tree activity for uncrafty parents.