My boys invited a couple friends over for a playdate last week… and so, on a rainy and dark afternoon, I found myself with a house full of hyper children in need of a good activity. I ended up bringing out the Build-a-Robot kit we got from Little Scout and it was a big success.
The assembly is a bit tricky, especially for kids (it’s a good thing my sister was here to help me assemble it! I am so lousy at that sort of thing!), but once we put all the pieces together (which, indeed was not that tricky in the end — the cardboard pieces just slot together, no glue required!), the kids sat down for a good 30 minutes and painted it. I love the end result! And the kids were so proud of their creation.
How cute is this Christmas card my daughter made at her art class? It is such a simple idea — all you need is a bit of black ink on the thumb and a couple of markers and you have yourself some sweet little red nosed reindeers. I also quite like the paper the teacher gave them to draw on, but I reckon it would also be lovely on a plain white background.
One little tip: the art teacher scanned the card when the kids were finished and blew it up a bit, as a child thumb print is so small, it makes for a tiny picture.
I was very happy when she came hope with it as, just like that, my Holiday card dilemma has been solved!
Today I would like to share the Christmas Cards we made at home this year which I posted in eb&m this week. With craft paper and a sewing machine we made the envelopes, and the cards.
With a snowflake punch I garnished the cards a little bit.
And then Nico painted them!! Now we have to do some more, and we are waiting for the day to send them. I love receiving Christmas Cards in the mailbox. Don’t you?
Many people asked me about sewing paper. If the paper has enough weight you have no problem and it sews just perfectly!
- Maria Cañal
The holidays are around the corner and with it loads of presents to wrap. This craft project is a good idea to spend an afternoon with and it sure gives a personal touch to gift giving. Nico had a lovely time with such a big paper to draw on, all by himself!
And these papers make these presents!
Hope you like it!
After a very gentle autumn here in northern Spain, low temperatures arrived last week and leaves started falling from the trees. This is what we did a couple of years ago and it was such a success, we are willing to go on a leaf hunt to do it again!
The good thing is that leaves have many different possibilities to do many different ideas.
Last weekend we celebrated my son’s birthday. Today I would like to share the glasses I made for the day. It is a simple idea that helps the kids keep track of their own glasses!!!
I got the milkshake glasses in “La Fiesta de Olivia“. They are are so nice, remind me of some “old movies”!!. I just added a band of chalk paint to each of them.
And wrote the names of the guests!! It also works well in glass, but in glass the paint will go as soon as you wash it, which is good so you can use it just for the day of the party!!
Last May it was Sara’s 7th birthday, and she wished for a ’sewing’ party with her girlfriends. I suspect this has to do with the craft night I organise with a few of my girlfriends every 2 weeks on Monday night, which involves tea and homemade cake and lots of chit-chat. Sara loves the idea of it — she always lies awake in her bed, waiting until my friends are here and secretly joins us for a bit of cake and some knitting before I put her to bed for a second time.
For her birthday party, I decided to apple-stamp tote bags with Sara and her girlfriends. I prepared the bag linings beforehand (up to step 4 below), and cut and ironed the outside of the bags in preparation as well. At the party, we let the girls stamp their own name and apple design first. When the outside of the bags were drying (see photo) we played games and had cake. Afterwards, we let the girls sew the sides of the bags using Sara’s sewing machine (step 6 below). Nothing but two straight lines, but except for Sara, none of the girls had ever touched a sewing machine before, so this was a big success! I quickly sewed the lining to the outside of the bags so all the girls could take their personal tote bag home. It was such fun to see all the tote bags the next day at school – used as gym, book or lunch bags!
As for the making of — here is a quick how-to. I used this twenty-minute-tote-tutorial from the PurlBee for the basic idea. And in the meantime, I have been making more of these bags for personalised baby presents. Fun!
Last week I wrote in escarabajos bichos y mariposas about the little project we have at home. The florist of our neighbourhood gave Nico a plant as a present. That’s when we thought we were going to take care of it with love!. The florist told us it has to be watered once a week, so we decided to do it on Saturdays, and make a note to remind us.
First we bought the pot in Ikea, and customized it with some washi tape and bakers twine.
Nico made a note to remind us about watering it on Saturday. At home we use wood lids painted with chalkboard paint as note pads. (I will write about them in another post because they are wonderful!)
It already has a corner in our house and we hope to take care of it really well!!.
- Maria Cañal
My husband was introduced to Matt Sewell’s illustrations through work, and somehow we ended up stumbling upon his charming little book entitled Our Garden Birds which highlights 52 different garden birds found in Britain. On every page is a different bird illustration and a sweet little description about the bird and its charming characteristics (cute for kids and a handy reference for grown-ups as well!).
I sat down with my kids last week to look at the birds and point out all the ones we’ve seen in our own garden… and the kids were so taken by the illustrations and pretty watercolours that they decided to make their own birds. It was such a fun little project, and I liked their birds so much I ended up framing a few of them.
Most of the time the projects I do with Henrik are made up using found objects from around our house, which can be really fun and creative, but it is so nice to have everything that you need for a project in one kit. Not too long ago we received this clothespin doll kit from Even and Elise and I couldn’t wait to try it out. Henrik had such a wonderful time last month at Summer Camp building a Robot that I knew he would love making clothespin dolls.
The kit comes with paint, a paint brush, colorful pipe cleaners, small fabric and felt swatches, glue, buttons, lots of small pieces of sequins and other do dads, a mini wood house for decorating, and of course clothes pins.
My niece Emma was staying with us and it was the perfect project for both she and Henrik to work on. It was so nice to just give them the kit and let them make whatever they wanted. I didn’t have to do much just stand back and watch. Henrik made Robot and Ninja guys and Emma made dolls with skirts and dresses and long stringy hair. Another great thing about the kits (all mothers will appreciate this) is that the paint and glue cleaned up very easily.
Henrik and Emma had so much fun playing with their dolls that Maja and Hazel (our dog) had to come and investigate.
During the summer, it is very nice to go and look for shells at the beach. This year we got inspired by Martha Stewart and turned our shells into little Koalas. It is such a fun and easy DIY!
What you need for this activity is: shells, some beads for the eyes, and for assembly, a tacky, quick-drying glue works best. It is good to experiment with different combinations before gluing, so you find the one you like best.
We didn’t use the beads for the eyes, but it worked well, and this is what turned out. It’s also a nice little present to give to family when you get back from holidays!
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Rubber band gliders
Looking for some summer craft inspiration? I always browse our Ideas and Crafts boards on Pinterest when I need some good ideas. There are so many great ideas out there, and so many of them are so simple and do-able. Here are some of our recent Pinterest finds:
1. I love this idea of decorating train tracks. They look so cute and colourful.
3. Can’t beat some colourful sidewalk chalk on a sunny summer’s day! Idea found here.
4. There are so many DIY tutorials for creating cardboard playhouses on Pinterest. I especially love these images. And I also like this idea for a collapsible cardboard playhouse (great for storing away when not in use!).
5. For littler kids, how great is this finger painting project?! Just tape your child’s name onto paper and then let them go crazy with paint. Remove the tape, and voila! Their name in white!
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• The perfect onepiece swimsuit
We have made it to Ireland and back! Holidays in Northern Europe do mean un-spoilt empty beaches and spectacular scenery. They also mean a lot of rain and the need for creative parents to keep the younger family members occupied.
A classic rainy holiday activity: shell-necklace making. I think these have been made by every generation since pre-historic times. (I can actually imagine cave-dwelling mothers sighing while looking out of their cave at the rain outside and saying to their fur-clad kids: ”OK, why don’t we make shell necklaces as an activity today?”).
Anyway, it could not be easier, all you need are shells collected from the beach of all shapes and sizes, some nylon fishing thread and a tiny screwdriver/ drill to make holes in the shell (best left to the adults). A few shells might shatter whilst having a hole made in them, but the majority will stand up to the task and are ready to string onto the fishing thread.
Esther made some lovely shell necklaces last year mixing wooden beads with the shells, an idea I adopted as I got a little bit bored drilling holes after a while.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Coral and Tusk
I saw this cute idea in a book the other day. It is a folded flower shape that you can use for invitations, decorations, notes to loved ones, etc. — the possibilities are endless. I made a template which you can see (here).
Trace around the flower shape then mark the lines in pencil. Fold the card along all the pencil lines then you can shape into the flower. Let me know what you are going to use it for!
Last weekend I was in Paris for Playtime… and for a tiny bit of shopping of course. I picked up a few bottles of fluo paint as a present for my kids. Such fun! Yesterday we decorated some plain brown wrapping paper — it all looks so cool with a touch of neon! I found similar neon gouache online here — in case you’re interested.
I think everyone must have had some experience with spool knitting as a child? I remember enjoying it for a period, and I also remember it could be quite tricky to do (I think I had a homemade knitting spool)! Nowadays, you can get this ‘Wonder Knitter‘ from Clover, and it makes the whole procedure so easy for little (and big!) hands. It lets you use your thumb to rotate a disk on which the pegs are mounted, and keeps the yarn to a certain stretch automatically. And because of the grooves in the pegs and the hooked needle that it comes with, the yarn doesn’t slip away when flipping it over the peg. I bought one for Pim (5) a while ago, and he loves using it — every now and then I find him comfortably snuggled up on the couch, with his spool knitter. Cute!
My daughter’s first request when she walks in from her days at pre-school are invariably “May I have a popsicle?” or “May I paint in the backyard?”
I can easily distract her first request with a plum or some other lovely summer fruit, but I can rarely stave off her desire to paint (some days I just want to read books or do a puzzle with her, call me lazy!) Lately, she has been perfectly content putting on her bikini bottoms and painting her hands and feet, making the sweetest little prints for us.
Last year I invested in a wooden caddy with six glass jars and some watercolor paints and much prefer it to the messy little pans of paint we would run through. Plus, it just looks so much nicer. I’ll warn you now, the Nova Natural website is a little addictive, especially their dress-up and crafting sections!
I have always wanted to do bubble art, since I saw it here. It is a perfect DIY for this time of the year, it could even be a lot of fun to do outside. We tried last week and it turned out to be such a nice and simple project.
With really easy to find materials: we just need some bubble solution, food colouring and empty jars. And paper, of course.
Let’s the fun begin, and mix the colors with the bubble solution. Nico really enjoyed watching the water stained.
And now blow and blow bubbles. They splash onto the paper and make nice colours.
With some card board and washi tape, we made the frames. After they were done Nico thought he might add something else, and he made this drawing. I loved it. Kids always seem to have more imagination than us…!!!!
Hope you try — it is fun and easy!
We gave our oldest this Build Your Own Erupting Volcano set for his 7th birthday recently, and it was a huge, huge hit. What a like about it is that it was really a family activity and we spread it out over a couple weekends. The first weekend we built the volcano with the paper maché and then we let it dry over the week (the kids kept checking on it of course!). The second weekend we painted it, lacquered it, and then let it erupt! The anticipation had built up over the week, and it was so fun to watch the kids’ faces as it erupted.
Today is my first post here at Babyccino. I am so excited about being part of this amazing blog which I have followed for as long as I can remember. I want to thank Esther, Courtney and Emilie for thinking of me, and also to say hello to the other contributors! This is going to be so much fun!!!! So, for my first post I would like to share the project we had going on in our house a while ago. We decided to do some muffins, perfect for a picnic and for this time of the year.
My son and I love doing the weekend cooking together but this time, I prepared some crafts for him, so while I was cooking, he was crafting. I got inspired by Ratatouille, the lovely movie full of mice, and I found this perfect template here.
Here are the ingredients for both cooking and crafting:
For the muffins:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup corn flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
7 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only, divided
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
For the mice:
Felt, wiggly eyes, yarn or similar for the moustaches, Pipe cleaner
First peel the leeks and cut them into small pieces. Grate the cheddar cheese.
Preheat the oven to 190º C.
Sift all the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a small bowl mix the wet ingredients: the eggs lightly beaten, the melted butter, the honey and the buttermilk. Beat together, make a well in the dry ingredients and incorporate the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Stir in the cheese and 1 cup leeks.. Top each muffin with a few of the remaining leek rings and a spoonful of the remaining melted butter.
While this is happening, Nico is doing the mouse, very concentrated in his task.
The muffins are ready to bake. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking papers, I used colour ones. Then fill each about three quarters full. Heat in the oven for around 25 minutes or until tops begin to brown.
I can say we had a lovely morning. The muffins are delicious, even cold, and they make great food for going out. And the mice make great gifts. Nico gave all of them away in the same moment!