Easy Crafts With Children: What Does The Fox Say?

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Our decorations came down on December 27th for a number of reasons – not least because Freya couldn’t really understand that after Boxing Day our Christmas was essentially over for another year (bar eating the 400 mince pies that remain, of course).

We made many of our own decorations this time, including a sun catcher tree, which was a lot of fun, but after I packed them up and put them in the loft, our living room looked rather sad.

“What decorations could we make for the new year?” I asked Freya.

“Hmm, how about a fox?”

A fox? Well, that was a bit unexpected. We’d talked about new year and how there might be fireworks at midnight (or, as it turned out, most of the night) so I thought she might suggest that but, no, a fox.

I looked up a fox silhouette and then drew it on black card and cut it out before sticking it (with masking tape) on a clear plastic wallet. As Freya is so handy with her scissors now, I got her to chop up the tissue paper (the white was wrapping I had saved from a pair of shoes) into small bits and then coat the plastic with a watered down PVA.

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We also glued each bit (which she loved because she likes getting her hands messy) and stuck them on, giving the fox, which Freya decided was a girl, little white feet, tummy, face and ears so she looked like this.

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When she was dry, I peeled her off the wallet and thankfully all the bits stayed stuck together (yay). I added a couple of eyes and then stuck her to the window.

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I’ve been waiting to capture a sunrise through her but ever since we made her it’s been foggy or grey (I hope we haven’t jinxed it).

However, the fox still manages to brighten the room, so much so, I was thinking of making some more animals, maybe even a little garden scene. Freya really seems to like the cutting and sticking so it’s a win win.

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This was at sunset.

What do you think we should make next? Magpie, hedgehog, squirrel? 

Also, here’s a happy video for a Tuesday. I remember this came out when Freya was a newborn and, maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I found it very funny (and catchy). What Does The Fox Say?

Autumn To The Rescue: Fun With Leaves.

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Maybe it was the changing of the clocks, which I like to blame for pretty much everything, or perhaps it is just normal threenage behaviour but Freya has been a ball of fiery angst this week, just waiting to singe anyone who gets too close.

“You. Are. Making. Me. Angry,” she growled at me, when I thought I was doing something nice by buying her a new book (while she said she wanted that book she meant the other book, obviously).

I know it is a natural stage; she’s growing up, testing her boundaries, asserting her independence and so on but she’s usually such a joyful little soul, I don’t like seeing her so pent up.

When she was feeling calmer we talked about “big feelings” and how there are different ways to share them that don’t involve rage.

When that didn’t work, as on Wednesday when everything I did seemed to make her cross, I tried for distraction – and autumn came to our rescue.

We went to the park on Tuesday afternoon and, as Freya pretended to be Little Red Riding Hood (I was The Big Bad Wolf, naturally), I got her to pick up different leaves, of which there is obviously an abundance at the moment, and put them in her bucket (or basket, as she called it) to take home.

I like doing this not just because she can learn the names of different trees, feel all sorts of textures and pick out a variety of colours at this time of year but also because it connects her to nature. I know I sound like a right old hippie but I really think it is important.

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On Wednesday I spread out an old shower curtain on the living room floor (see, who needs a garden) and got some cardboard, glue and glitter and we started to make pictures as well as paint and colour the leaves. She was engrossed for an hour – and, even better, calm.

I then decided it might be fun to try and make a leaf crown (ah, Pinterest, what have you done to me?). I found a balloon, even though I hate balloons, puffed it up and put it in an empty yoghurt pot so we could begin sticking leaves around it. It was really messy, which Freya loved.

Once everything was dry yesterday I spotted the fatal flaw in my plan; the thing I really hate about balloons is when they pop. Obviously I was going to have to pop it to make the crown. I stood for a good few minutes next to that balloon with a pair of scissors but just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Luckily, Mark, who has no such fear, then came home from work. I asked him to sort it while Freya and I were in the living room.

We waited….

And waited…

But no pop came.

Eventually I went in to find that he had ever-so-gently let the air out.

“I know you don’t like the bang,” he said.

Ah.

As the balloon slowly deflated it took our crown with it until we were left with, er, this (not sure how to describe it).

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So not entirely a success from a crafting point of view but Freya was certainly happier than before so I’m calling it a win.

Are you making the most of autumn? What have you been up to?

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