Easy Monster Crafts For Children.

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When I was little, I was certain monsters lived under my bed – and I quite often got my mum and dad up in the middle of the night to check for me, which I am sure they were thrilled about (I know I would be).

Luckily, Freya is completely not fussed about anything that I would have found frightening and, in fact, Halloween is her favourite time of the year – facepaint, costumes AND chocolate (hmm, I’m beginning to see why she might like it).

When I heard the theme for first craft box the folks at Craft Merrily were going to send us (as part of our new role as Tots 100 Bostik Bloggers) was “monsters” I knew we were going to have some fun.

I’m not sure who was more excited when the box arrived (I think it might have been me) but we spent a very happy morning creating.

Here’s what we made:

Monster Rocks.

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There is a cool treasure hunt going on in Norfolk involving painted rocks.

Some of the designs have been amazing, like works of art, and I knew I wanted to do something with Freya and Monster Rocks seemed like a fab/easy idea.

You will need:

Rocks (remember it’s illegal in this country to take stones/rocks from the beach).

Acrylic paint or Sharpies.

Clear nail varnish.

Googly eyes (optional).

Bostik Glue Dots (optional).

First we gave the rocks a base colour. I wanted to do them all in primary colours but Freya was set on painting some white.

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When they were dry we added the detail. I let Freya do most of them but it was just too tempting to have a go myself. She’s only really just getting the hang of faces but monster faces were perfectly suited to her current skills. In fact I think hers are better than mine!

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We used the glue dots to stick the eyes on, which I am really impressed with (Freya could put them on so easily and there was no splodgy overspill when she squeezed a bit too hard) and we will definitely be using them again.

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What I hadn’t counted on was her wanting to keep the rocks for so long. I figured she would get bored after a day or so and we could hide them but they are still going strong. I will take the googly eyes off and draw them on when she is ready to release them, just in case an animal tries to eat them, so I haven’t varnished them yet.

I’m pretty sure this is happening all over the place now. If you’re interested, I would search Facebook, as that’s where the Norfolk group, which has more than 20,000 members, is run from.

Fimo monster.

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“What does a monster look like?” I asked Freya.

“Hmm, gross.”

“Ok, in what way. How many eyes would it have?”

“Maybe three. And horns!”

Right then! Challenge accepted.

You will need:

Two colours of Fimo.

Googly eyes.

Furry pipecleaner.

Bostik glue.

I’ve never used Fimo before but I knew it was modelling clay so I thought we should try and create the monster from her imagination.

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Initially it was quite tough to shape but once it was warmed up Freya managed to make two balls (one big and one small) from the red and then horns, eyes and a mouth from the white.

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We also made a white base to help him stand up (this was just a rolled out worm made into a circle). I poked two holes in his sides (using the pipe cleaner) for his arms.

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Then we popped him in the oven for 20 mins and when he was cool stuck googly eyes and then arms on by filling the holes with glue..

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I think it’s quite cool to keep and we will definitely be doing some more things with Fimo in the future.

Monster nests.

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You will need:

Cup cake cases.

Paint.

Feathers.

My new BFFs Bostik Glue Dots.

Glitter (optional).

Monsters have to come from somewhere, right? We decided to make nests for the eggs.

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Freya insisted on wearing her witch costume while we painted – although she would wear it every day if I let her. Thankfully she managed to keep the paint on the eggs (and her hands).

When they were dry she added some glitter glue before setting to work to make the nests.

She keeps telling me she can hear something moving inside so I am slightly worried every time I walk into the living room now, just in case there is a baby monster looking for a mummy to eat.

Toilet roll monsters.

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Empty toilet rolls are a favourite around these parts, they are just so versatile. It was a no brainer to make toilet roll monsters.

You will need:

Empty toilet rolls.

Pipe cleaners.

Little hands.

Lollipop sticks.

Patterned card.

Googly eyes.

Bostik glue.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, Bostik Glue Dots.

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First thing to do it cut the patterned card to size. Freya seemed to really enjoy this bit.

Gluing pretty much everything (including my fingers) seemed to go down very well too.

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Next it was time to add the hands and decorate them. Once again, I set her imagination free and let her stick whatever she wanted, wherever she wanted. I think the animal print one looks a bit like Rambo (not sure if I should be worried about me or her here).

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So there you have it, our first craft task completed. I hope you enjoyed, we certainly did. More next month.

We were sent a box of materials in order to make monster-themed crafts as part of our role as Bostik Bloggers. 

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Easy Crafts For Children – Making A Jam Jar Vase.

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As it’s just me and you here I’m going to make a small confession.

I have a bit of a thing…

For jam jars.

There I’ve said it. Once again I thank goodness we live in a flat because I think it’s an obsession that could quite easily get out of hand if we had more space – and, as it is, I probably have more than I would ever need. They seem so…useful. I find it nearly impossible to recycle them. Even though I’ve never made jam or pickled anything, and have no plans to do so, glass jam jars seem like a good thing to have to hand (just in case).

I use them to keep shells in, mainly (oh yeah, that’s another of my “things”), and to wash Freya’s paint brushes out. In fact, that’s what got me started on our latest “craft” activity.

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We collected some stones from the beach last year and decided to paint them. I imagined beautiful seascapes but expected more like colourful rainbows. What actually happened was that Freya mixed all the acrylic paint together and they came out sort of…brown. That’s ok. She had fun, that’s the main thing, and we can paint over them again.

While I turned my back to get a cloth to mop up a little spillage, she decided to paint the jam jar we were using to wash out the brushes. I didn’t think much of it at first but as I cleaned up, and saw my growing collection of jars lined up on the window sill, an idea came to mind.

Vases. Painted vases. Let’s call them “rustic”.

Using some more acrylic paint I got Freya to paint two of the jars green (we did this on the living room floor, on an old cardboard box, so she couldn’t accidentally drop them and hurt herself if they broke). I got some more colours out and just let her go crazy on the third one (which turned out, you’ve guessed it, brown). I then added some finishing touches (albeit with my rather limited skills, not to mention limited paint, as we’d run out of white) and I quite like how they have turned out, even if I do say so myself.

I modelled the decoration on (a much simplified version of) painted narrow boats, which we looked up and learned about on the iPad.

Originally I thought they might make a nice handmade Mother’s Day gift but I’m not sure they are quite good enough for that (and I think the paint might wash/chip off after a while) so I’m keeping them all for myself! They make a rather happy addition to the window sill (and they are a great excuse to buy flowers).

Do you have a use for jam jars that doesn’t include jam?

 

Easy Crafts For Children: Toilet Roll Bracelets.

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In all my years of parenting (yes, all three and a half) I have never come across anything as versatile as the cardboard thingie from the middle of the toilet roll (do they have a name? Innard? Tube? Core? You know what I mean) when it comes to crafts.

We have made binoculars, aliens, planes and used them as painting tools…

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…and now, in celebration of Norwich Fashion Week, dazzling bracelets.

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Freya is very much into anything pink, glittery or bejewelled (as well as mud, mess and the black felt-tip pen, just to balance things out) and already dictates what she will and won’t wear (trousers are out of favour at the moment).

If that carries on I can see her being interested in fashion and, even though I am not, I would happily take her to one of the fashion shows when she’s older, if she wanted to go. I was lucky enough to attend one of the events in previous years, as part of my job, and I loved the buzz just as much as seeing the clothes.

Anyway, as we had some toilet rolls in the recycling I thought we’d have a go at making some bracelets (which, like everything else, I first saw on Pinterest). They are the perfect fit for tiny wrists (and not so tiny ones if you cut a slit in them).

Another great thing about them is, once she’s finished playing with them, the “jewels” peel off to be reused again and the tubes can be recycled.

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What’s the best thing you have you made from the cardboard thingies? We are always on the look out for new things to try.