The Gift Of Giving Snowman Bag #BostikBlogger.

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This year Freya really seems to be getting into Christmas – not least because she’s playing Mary in her class nativity (I’m welling up already and it’s still a week away).

She’s written a letter to Father Christmas listing some of the things she would like but I wanted to let her know, in a gentle way suitable for a four-year-old, that it’s not just about getting new stuff and that giving is just as important.

My mum’s friend is involved in a charity that helps disadvantaged families so I thought putting together a little Christmas parcel for a child, with Freya picking out some of the items, might be a good way to make her think but not cause her to worry too much. She’s quite a sensitive little soul so I have to be careful about the way I broach things.

We were sent a lovely little cloth bag in our craft box from Craft Merrily, which we receive as part of our role as Tots100 Bostik Bloggers. As this month’s theme is Christmas I thought we could decorate the bag using some of the other bits and bobs from the box and then fill it with some treats for a child in need.

To make and decorate the bag, you will need:

A cloth bag.

Snowman shape.

Glittery card.

Gold leaves (or something for his arms).

Two googly eyes.

Bostik White Glu.

Gold card.

Gems.

White pom pom (or cotton wool).

Orange pom pom (or something for his nose).

Beads or sequins for his mouth.

A label.

To make:

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I don’t mind admitting I started off by asking Freya: “Do you wanna build a snowman?” (If you haven’t seen Frozen, it won’t mean much to you). She didn’t find it funny either.

It was only after we’d stuck on his eyes, buttons and made him a hat that I realised something was missing – his nose! Of course. I quickly found an orange pom pom to use.

Working out how to attach him to the bag is something I spent quite some time thinking about. Maybe I should glue him or sew him or a combination of the two. It was only when we had decorated him that I realised he had a sticky back (doh!).

IMG_4806After finishing off the decoration by sticking on beads for his smile and the white pom poms for snowballs, it was time to shop. We had some advice on what to buy and a mixture of practical and fun seemed to be the way to go. We are luckier than many people but still have a limited budget so we went to our local pound shop to get some things.

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We came home and packed the bag and I sealed it with some double sided tape so the items don’t fall out. I wrote on the label what age child it was aimed at.

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I know it’s only a little gesture but I hope it brings some joy to a small person this Christmas – and helps Freya realise how fortunate we are.

Please note: We were sent the box of craft items free of charge in return for a post. 

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Easy Crafts With Children: A Room Of One’s Own.

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I’m just about to start what feels like the epic task of redecorating our bedroom and living room but, as a sort of warm-up, Freya and I decided to make her “big dolls” a place to call their own first.

Thanks to various charity shop visits she seems to have amassed a little collection of Barbie-sized dolls but her wooden house is too small for them to fit into so, inspired by the Small Stories Exhibition, currently on at Norwich Castle, we found a cardboard box (not as easy as you might think these days) and got our craft on.

Our living room is painted all one colour at the moment and I really fancied having a feature wall this time so I collected a few samples of wallpaper, which have been stuck up in various places while I tried them out.

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Not wanting to waste the ones that clearly were not going to work, we reused one for the carpet and one for the feature wall in the dolls’ room and Freya painted the other walls (and herself).

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While that was all drying we started on the furniture. Freya’s feet have grown yet again and she recently got a new pair of school shoes and some trainers so we used the boxes to make a bed (Freya felt it was a too hard for them to lay on so we padded it and the headboard with cottonwool before covering it) and a wardrobe plus a toilet roll and empty ribbon reel for a bedside table.

Add in some decoration in the form of stick on butterflies, hearts, ribbon and curtains and there you have it – a room I would be quite happy to sleep in (were I a bit smaller).

Sometimes we make things that Freya only plays with a few times but this box had been a hit – she even tries to get in it herself. I’m tempted to try and make a little box kitchen or living room to sit next door.

Before that though I need to make a start on our actual rooms. I have a feeling decorating full size rooms is not going to be as much fun.

Any tips for hanging wallpaper greatly appreciated. 

 

 

 

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.