Friday, January 31, 2014

Dictionary Treasure Hunt

We have been working on words, spelling and writing recently.  At Christmas we bought a kids dictionary.  I'd been wanting to look at it with Matthew, and then came up with the idea of turning it into a treasure hunt.
I'm sure lots of us have different dictionaries so this wouldn't be something that could be printed out.  It is however very easy to do.
All I did was flick through the book and work out questions that might interest Matthew.
What is the first word in the dictionary?
What picture is on page 166?
What word comes after dragon?
What colour is the flower?
What is the plural of sock?
How many suitcases are there?
Is there a girl or boy on the swing?
What is the tiger standing in?
How many continents are there?
The last question I did was
What word comes after Friday?  Look here for the treasure.
The answer to this was Fridge.  If he looked in the fridge he would find the treasure.  I have a tube of Smarties tucked away for him to find.
I then decided to make a work sheet for him to fill in the answers.  But you could just write a list of questions and ask them.
I did this work sheet using word.  I made a table and entered the questions.  Then I just removed a lot of the boarders leaving a line for the answers.

We love doing word games so when ever I find something on the internet I save the ideas in Pinterest.  Look here for other ideas that we have saved to have a go at another day.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mouse Races

Today we were after an activity or craft to do with mice.  I had been thinking of this one for a long time but never got around to doing it.  So luckily we had the walnut shells already in our craft stash.
All you need is
Half walnut shells
wool or pipe cleaner for a tail
foam, felt, card or similar for ears
and wobbly eyes or permanent marker.
And to race them a slope and marble
 All you need to do is decorate your Walnut shell to look like a mouse.  We stuck a pipe cleaner on for his tail, cut a foam diamond in half for it's ears and stuck on wobbly eyes.  It is as easy as that.
We had a large sheet of stiff card left from an old Bed.  We turned this into a ramp.  Then all you have to do is put a marble into the walnut shell, put it at the top of the ramp and let go. 
We pegged a long sheet of paper to our board so that we could mark how far the winner of each race went. 
After a few races we started playing about with different angles to see what difference it made.  Matthew decided before we even started that if the ramp was steeper they would go faster and further.

Desk Tidy

Recently Matthew has really been getting into his drawing and colouring in.  The only problem was that he had all his pens in a box.  To find a colour he wanted he would empty the box all over the floor.

So I thought I would try making a desk tidy.  Not sure if it will make any difference but worth a try.

I raided our box of making supplies and found a couple of Pringles tubes and a gravy container.  I cut these to different sizes and then covered them in Papier-mâché to make painting them easier.

Once they were dry I painted them.  I decided that Acrylic paints would probably cover better and give a better finish.  Then some decorative sticky tape was added and they were stuck together using the glue gun.  I didn't think white glue would hold them well enough.  The glue gun also speeds things up as it sets so quickly.

I then left the desk tidy on his table with some foam letters to decorate in the morning.


 Now to see if he will actually keep the pens in it or still tip them all over the floor.

Here are a couple of pictures showing other desk tidy's we made when he was younger.


Magic Tree House books

In the Autumn holidays Matthew surprised me.  We had been to a second hand book shop and found a few Magic Tree House books.  Over the holiday he came into bed with me in the morning and started to read one.  He had been reading for a long time but only little bits.  So I was most surprised when he read this.  Ok we had been lucky enough to pick up book 1 of this series and it was Valley of the Dinosaurs which caught his attention straight away.  The book had 10 chapters and about 80 pages with only a few black and white pictures.  Over the holiday he went on to finish the story. 

I spoke to a friend about these books and found out they are best read in order.  Nan came to the rescue by sending the next 8 books out through the post.  He was so excited to get them.  As he now has a collection we decided to get carried away.

 As you may have seen we started off by making a tree house. And then to go along with the stories we had to add some books

Now we are doing a craft or activity to go with each book.

For Valley of the Dinosaurs we found some great Dinosaurs to make and decorate.  We have also made a Papier-mâché Volcano to go with some small wooden Dinos we had.

The Knight at Dawn  Matthew decided to make a picture of a castle.  We have also made one of an old packing box

Mummies in the morning we got carried away by making a Pyramid complete with Palm trees.

There is now a mouse in the story.  So this afternoon I think we will try making mice out of walnut shells and then try to race them.  Should be fun.

I have now started saving ideas in advance when I see them.  Especially when I know there is a hard subject coming up.  Must admit the Ninjas challenged me a bit in Night of the Ninjas.  I used to print out all these ideas but now I use Pinterest that makes things so much easier.   Here is the Magic tree house book activities board.

I also like these books because they are fiction but include non fiction information in them, so Matthew can learn things at the same time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Painting with Glitter glue.

The other day Matthew decided to get out some mandalas to colour in.  I find them on the internet and then just print them out.  This time I decided to do one at the same time.  I started off just colouring it in as normal.  Then I decided to fill in the centre with glitter glue to see what would happen.

The glue didn't have enough colour so I decided it was best to colour it in and then put glitter glue over the top.
I started with glitter glue just in the centre this was spread over each area with a small bush.  Then I got carried away and just squeezed the glue along the outer stripes.
After trying this and liking the outcome I moved on.  I had seen a great craft on Red Ted Art for making a Chinese Dragon Puppet.  She has even produced the dragon to print and colour just go to Red Ted Art to print it. I had been wanting to do this for a while but Matthew wasn't so interested.  That was until he saw the one I coloured in.
I started printing this on red card.  Thinking I could just add the glitter but it didn't show up.  So I printed it again on white paper, coloured it in and added the glitter as before.
I coloured each section and then squeezed a small amount of glue into one area at a time.  Then I got the small paint brush out again and spread it around the area.  This gave a really nice metallic finish.  It took a while to dry so I ran out of time to complete it.  I'm looking forward to finishing off the puppet tomorrow.

Thanks Red Ted Art for this great idea.  Looking forward to Matthew doing a show with it.

Here are other crafts we have Pinned to do in the future.  Pinterest

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Collage Pictures.

Today Matthew had kindergarten in the morning, came home for lunch and then had to go back again.  When he came home he had some snack and played with his train for a while.  I like it when he does this so I could actually sit down with a hot cup of tea. 
After a while he wanted a quiet activity to do, so I came up with the idea of doing a collage.
We have a large box of bits and pieces left over from other crafts and lots of different types of paper.
We then got his big roll of paper out and cut off a length for our picture.  In the end we decided to do a picture of a house.
We used some blue tissue paper for the sky, and cotton wool for the clouds.  For the sun we used some cellophane wrappers off chocolates and coloured pumpkin seeds.  At Halloween I had saved the seeds from our Pumpkin.  Thanks to Sugar Ants I was able to find out how to colour them. I knew they would come in useful for something.
We decided on a tree to go in the garden.  We had a look through our box and decided to use cocktail sticks.  Matthew didn't fancy the brown raffia.  For Christmas he had been given a bag of sequins.  In there we spotted some leaves.
The main part of our picture was the house made of paper and the garden.  We had small pieces of paper left over from making a mosaic picture so these became the grass and a swing in the garden.

Later on we were talking about what else we could have used.  Ideas such as sand, coloured rice and pasta were suggested.  Think we are doing a beach scene next time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spray painting

I'm terrible for saving things thinking it might be useful at some point.  This includes empty pump action hair spray containers. I had actually been thinking of this idea when I kept them so not totally mad.
My containers had a screw top.  So I just took the lid off and put in some paint.  I then just had to play about with the thickness of the paint, so that it wouldn't just clog up the nozzle.  Matthew was at kindergarten at the time I was working this out so no time pressure.  If I made the paint to watery the finished picture didn't have much colour. To thick and it didn't spray.
I then made a template with an old cereal box and a heart shaped hole punch.
If you don't want the spray to go over the edge of the template make it larger than your piece of paper.
I then did it the other way round and used the shape that was cut out.
Today I got this out for Matthew to have a go at.  I got templates out including a train that I though he would love to use.  But he had other ideas and thought it was good just to use the spray bottles. He decided it was graffiti (not so sure about that).
We covered the floor with a big plastic sheet and newspaper.
Then Matthew was let loose with the spray bottles.

For young children this might be a good activity to do in the summer outside.  Just handy we have a tile floor as some of the paint did miss the plastic and newspaper we put down.  Handy he had his back to the furniture.

Help with brushing teeth

Matthew is 6.5 and has already had to have a small filling.  He is not the best of kids when it comes to brushing his teeth so it is something we are trying to work on.  The other night I was thinking what I could do to try and teach him how to clean them better.  I sat down at the computer with google not expecting to find anything to help.
I searched on how to make a model of teeth and found this idea that I thought was ideal for what I wanted.  It even had a print out for the teeth.  On the print out there was some spare white paper next to the teeth.  To make it a bit sturdier I folded this over and glued it to make the paper double thickness.  I then cut it out and glued it all together.
At bed time Matthew was cleaning his teeth and at the same time I was cleaning these so he could see what to do.  He now wants to clean the model to show me he is doing it right.

I've also seen lots of teeth colouring pages

Monday, January 6, 2014

Egyptian Pyramid

Since Matthew got really good with his reading he has been enjoying the Magic tree house books. It all started because the first one was about Dinosaurs which he loves.  The second one was about a Knight.  He has just finished reading the 3rd book Mummies in the morning.  We have been trying to do an activity to go with each of the books. 
We have made Dino pictures, a castle picture and this time an Egyptian pyramid.
I could so easily have made a template myself for the pyramid but decided to cheat and use google to find a template.  As Matthew would say Google is a wonderful thing.
Having printed this out when Matthew was asleep we were ready.  I had also saved a bit of sand in the summer that would come in handy for a desert.

First I got him to cut out the template. 

We then used a ruler to help us make the folds.  I decided as it was a bit fiddly it was easier if I put it together with Matthew adding the glue.
It was then his idea to make it into a mini Egyptian Scene.  So we cut out a square from an old box and stuck the pyramid in the middle.
Now came the fun bit for him.  We put the pyramid inside a tray and added glue to the base.  Then like glitter we sprinkled the sand over the glue, and shook off the excess.
Matthew decided it needed a bit more.  So we decided to add some Palm trees.  I cut out oval shapes with a fold down the middle.  We then cut some slits along the rounded side and pushed a cocktail stick in the end of each leaf.  We used 4 on each tree.  I had hopped we could then just push the other end of the cocktail stick into the base, but our card wasn't thick enough.  So we used a bit of green play dough as that was handy.