- DIY Kids: Secret Messages with Glitter and Glue
- DIY Kids: Edible Art – Dyed Salt Project
- DIY Kids: How to Use Your Car to Make Dried Fruit
- DIY Kids: Make a Dreamcatcher
- DIY Kids: Make bath shapes from a veggie tray
- DIY Kids: Angel Xmas tree-topper from a toilet paper roll
- DIY Kids: 3 Personalised, handmade gifts – placemats, pot holders, and a bottle tote
- DIY Kids: Make your own hula hoop
- DIY Kids: Make an animal costume from a t-shirt
- DIY Kids: Make a cute little pal in a matchbox
- DIY Kids: How to make play food sushi from felt
- DIY Kids: Jewelery from T-shirts
- DIY Kids: No-Sew Bunting
- DIY Kids: Treasure Box
- DIY Kids: Recycled Money Cuff ( purse)
- Playdough recipe
- Craft of week : Edible painted egg
- Colouring Easter eggs with natural colourants
- Craft of week: Eggshell Mosaic
- Craft of Week: Marbled Eggs
- Crafts this week – Quilling & Marble Painting
- Craft of the Week: Diary Decoupage
- Craft of the week: Fashionista Fun!
- Craft of the week: blooming flower pots
- Craft of the Week-Tissue Paper Painting and Card Making
- Spring in the garden with kids
- Recycling idea with a plastic bottle cap
- Mandela Day in Orange Farm
- Week 4 : Making fun out of nothing with Nikki Bush
- Week 3 : Making fun out of nothing with Nikki Bush
- Week 2 : Making fun out of nothing with Nikki Bush
- Week 1 : Making fun out of nothing with Nikki Bush
- 20 recommended games to play with your kids
- Made in SA games for kids
- Lets make makarapas for the soccer World Cup!
- The family that plays together stays together!
- Make a mess and laugh a lot
Today’s project takes “glitter art” to the next level: making it into a pre-reading activity by drawing secret messages with the glue stick.
What You’ll Need:
Doing art with glue sticks and glitter is a classic pre-school activity. It works on fine-motor coordination as the child unscrews the glue stick cap, smears glue on the paper, and shakes glitter or salt onto the surface.
Large motor skills get developed as the child lifts the paper and shakes the glitter off (preferably into a cup so it could be used on the next project!)
Taking glitter art to the next level, this now becomes a pre-reading activity. You, the adult, take the glue stick and write a secret message on to the paper. Then hand it over and let the child discover the message by pouring the glitter on and revealing the secret!
What secret message would you write? You could also do shapes, numbers, or a picture. Leave us a comment below and tell us how this project turned out for you.
Today’s project addresses my question about the art project my son brings home from pre-school: “Nice, but what do we DO with that?”
If you would ever like to make something with your child that is beautiful and even slightly useful, this one’s for you. Once it’s finished, the salt can still be used on food.
The Dyed Salt Project is appropriate for children from about 2 years on up to adults — in fact, you may enjoy making one yourself!
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Dye the Salt
Salt takes food coloring very well. Pour about a cup of fine salt into a plastic mayonnaise jar and add 3 drops to start (from an eyedropper if possible). Screw the lid on the jar and shake shake shake! This part is fun for kids.
This is also an opportunity to teach your kids about colour mixing. Red + blue = purple, yellow+blue = green.
Step 2: Fill the Jars
This is great practice for fine-motor coordination. In our house, it’s also a chance to play “excavator and dump truck.”
Using a teaspoon, dip into the containers of coloured salt and fill up a glass jar layer by layer. Turn the jar so you can see the patterns you are making.
Try to hold the jar relatively still so that it fills up colour by colour rather than making a mishmash.
Step 3: Learning Points
Depending on the age of your child, this is a time to expand vocabulary into areas such as volume (“more, less, halfway, almost full, full”) and colour (“contrast, brighter, darker, same, different”)
It is also OK to taste the salt, to test if different colours taste the same or not, and to feel the salt with the fingertips and check the texture (“grainy, rough, smooth”).
Step 4: Finishing the Masterpiece
Scoop salt in layers of colours until the whole jar is full. If you leave too much space at the top, the salt will tend to slide around and mix (although the pixelated multicolour effect is also interesting, in case your child does decide to shake it up as mine did).
Cap your masterpiece with a shaker lid if you’d like to give it as a seasoning, or with a screwtop lid to serve as a decorative piece or perhaps a paperweight.
Post us a comment below if you try this art project, how old your children are, and what your wins and learning points are!
Today’s project is something completely different, but it will make sense to all of you who have been sweltering in our summer’s heatwave. What do you say when you’re stuck in the car? “This feels like an oven.” Exactly!
This project teaches kids about where food comes from and how most of our processed food could be replicated at home if we just had enough time and skill. For this project, we certainly have both.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Cut your fruit into thinnish pieces.
Step 2: Lay the fruit out on a cutting board. It’s OK if the pieces touch, as they are going to shrink in the heat.
Step 3: Park your car so it’s facing the sun.
Place the cutting board full of fruit on the dashboard.
Step 4: After 4 to 5 hours, check to see that the sun is still shining directly on the dashboard. If not, move the car.
Step 5: You can leave the fruit in the car overnight. Our tray took 2 days to dry out. But we even overdid it a bit, and the pieces were very crispy.
On the second day, or after 8 hours of sunshine, be sure to check the fruit and see if it’s dried to your liking.
Ours was so yummy and so much cheaper than buying dried fruit! It was a great lesson in solar energy as well.
Please leave a comment below to let us know if you try this recipe!
Today’s craft is a dreamcatcher, a beautiful and magical item that is supposed to “catch” nightmares as a spiderweb traps flies. Are your kids experiencing any anxiety in this time of transition after the holidays and the stress of “back to school”?
We made a dreamcatcher this week because my young son was complaining about bad dreams. I hope it helps him, and maybe it will help you and your child, too!
Our dreamcatcher uses items you can often find at a thrift store or hospice shop. It’s an easy make for children 3 and up. We’re showing you the basic version. You could add beads, feathers, or even small toys to help decorate it and make it more meaningful.
What You’ll Need:
Center your doily in the embroidery hoop.
With your child, choose the colors of the ribbons. If the kids are old enough, let them help with cutting the ribbons.
Step 2: Tie one ribbon from a corner or point of the doily to the hoop, loosely.
Continue around the circle of the doily, tying it on.
Step 3: Hang the dreamcatcher on the wall in the bedroom.
Do you have any other tips or tricks for kids who can’t sleep well? Have you ever tried “Monster Spray” with essential oils to squirt around the room before sleepytime? Please share in the comments below!
Today’s project uses an item many of us have around the house: a foam veggie tray from the supermarket. Cut it up into pieces and you’ll have a “free” source of foam shapes for the bath, which would cost you R50 or so at the toy shop.
It’s easy, but here are a few tips to make your project go smoothly.
Step 1: Choose your tray.
It’s best to choose a tray that is clean, without cracks or holes. If it’s sticky from its vegetables, you can wash it lightly with dishwashing liquid and then let it dry in the sun.
Step 2: Cut it into flat shapes.
Your tray has walls that go upward to hold those nice vegetables in place. Cut it down into flat pieces. Use a decently sharp scissors, not a knife (which would leave raggedy edges, as you can see in the photo below).
3. Cut those shapes into designs.
What works here is simplicity. I tried alphabet letters, but they fell apart because of the curves and the holes.
Go for geometric solids like rectangles, squares, and triangles.
An American educator from the early 20th century named Caroline Pratt said that children most enjoy working with shapes that fit neatly together. She called them “unit blocks,” and it’s what many wooden building block sets are based on today.
To obtain “units,” make one rectangle as your base. In half, that’s 2 perfect squares. Each square in half is 2 perfect triangles. Those will then all match up and give the child a feeling of satisfaction and “rightness.”
4. Play with them in the bath or on a tiled wall in the kitchen
When wet, these shapes stick to smooth surfaces such as a bathtub wall or tiles. You can re-arrange them to build cities, for example.
If you’re feeling educational, you can sort them by shape or count them up into columns and rows (certainly good preparation for learning Excel later on!)
Yes, veggie trays usually come in black only, but that offers great contrast.
These bath shapes won’t last forever, but they will give your veggie tray another chance at serving your family.
Do you have any recycling materials lying around, waiting to turn into wonderful craft projects? List them in the comments below and we’ll use them in upcoming DIY KIDS articles!
Today’s craft is a Christmas classic: an angel tree-topper, made from a small piece of cardboard such as a toilet paper roll. You could make a whole choir of these angels and place them on a shelf or mantel. They are quick, cute, and upcycled.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Make the angel’s body
Lay the cardboard tube onto a colored piece of paper or card. Roll it up and cut it to size, and then tape it in the back.
Step 2: Make the wings
Take the plastic doily and measure it against the tube. Cut a rainbow shape (an arc) so the top of the arc is the height of the tube. Center the tube on the arc and tape it into place.
Step 3: Make the head
Cut a piece of white paper the width of one-third the tube. Roll up this paper, draw a face on it, and tape it into place.
Step 4: Add a halo
Cut a circle from a yellow post-it sticky note. Tuck the circle into the top of the angel’s head. Tape it at the back to secure.
Step 5: Top your tree!
Merry Christmas from DIY Kids!
Today’s DIY Kids project aims to produce a personalised gift for someone you and your children love, such as a grandparent or an aunt. There are three gifts in this tutorial arranged in order of skill: easy, harder, and challenging!
As the main ingredient, we’re using an item easily found at a charity shop or in the sale rack at a discount store: 2 quilted placemats. By re-purposing these placemats, you can make either a) personalised placemats, b) pot holders, or c) a tote to carry a gift bottle of wine, juice, or olive oil to a party.
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Placemats
Place a large dollop of paint on a paper plate or polystyrene veggie tray. Encourage your child to dip his hand in the paint and make a handprint on the placemats. Depending on the child’s age, you could make a pattern or just print them randomly, as we did here:
The result is gift option one: hand-printed placemats!
Step 2: Pot holder
A quilted placemat folded in half twice makes a great hot pot holder. You could sew the edges together if you wish, but it’s more of a re-naming or re-purposing.
Step 3: Create a tote, first in a simple way …
A tote is a bag, with or without a handle. Start by putting the mats together, printed sides facing in. Sew all the way around three sides, leaving one short side open. Turn it inside out, and you have a standing bag.
Step 4: A more complicated tote
To make an even more professional-looking tote, you could choose to “box the corners” at the bottom of the bag and also cut a large handle into each side of the top of the bag.
Boxing the corners means making little bunny ears, sewing across them, and then cutting them off. It makes the bottom of the bag flat.
To create a handle, sew a huge buttonhole with your machine: zigzag down the long ends, and do a sturdy stitch about 10 times at each tiny end. Use a sharp scissors to cut a slit through, where your hand can then go.
If you have any questions about making these projects, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to clarify the tutorial. Have fun!
Today’s craft is money-saving, healthful and fun.
Hula hoops that you buy in a toy shop never work for taller kids or adults because the hoop is far too small. A hoop has to go all the way up to your chest, or even up to your neck, to really swing it. If you add weight to the hoop, it can actually work your abs and core muscles. Let’s hoop!
What You’ll Need
Step 1: Go to the hardware store
Ask where they keep the black plastic irrigation tubing, for gardens.
Step 2: Cut it to size
Choose the 1 cm tubing, and make a circle of it so it meets between your chest and your neck. Ask the hardware store employee to cut it for you. My tubing cost me R18.
Step 3: Buy a connector, but take the whole thing home first
This is what the connector looks like. It is a “male-male” and will help you close the loop. My connector cost me R3.
It is inserted into one side of the loop, but I’m taking it home to…
Step 4: Add a cup of water to the pipe and seal it up.
Adding water gives the hoop some weight, and that makes it much easier to swing than a light, flimsy hula hoop.
Connect the tube to the red connector and then seal it with duct tape.
I am 155 cm tall, and the hula hoop is 110 cm in diameter. See how it is as tall as my chest?
Step 5: Swing it!
Try it for ten minutes at first, listening to music. Raise and lower your arms. Once you get good at it, you can hoop for up to 30 minutes.
You might get a sore spot on your waist or hip, but for me that went away after three days. Keep at it and we’re sure to see a stronger core.
Please leave us a comment or post a picture if you’ve made your own hula hoop!
Today’s project involves sewing, but don’t be intimidated. You could use a sewing machine or a needle and thread.
Here are the instructions boiled down to the most basic version: Take a hoodie and add ears!
What You’ll Need:
Step 1: Make the hoodie
Take a hoodie that fits and lay it against the bottom hem of the t-shirt — this saves you lots of stitching by having the frame already sewn for you. Cut around the hoodie generously. Put the two pieces together with the wrong sides out. Sew the arched line together. Turn the new hood inside out.
Step 2: Make the ears
Cut one sleeve off the t-shirt. Cut that sleeve in half. Fold each small piece and sew it into a mini-hoodie, which will look like an ear. Sew each ear onto the sides of the hoodie head. If you like floppy ears, you’re done.
Step 3: Try it on
If you prefer perky ears, look at the black arrow in the photo above and add one stitch there to make the ears stick up.
Step 4: Add details, like a lion’s mane
Cut a strip from the bottom of the t-shirt, reserving the neckline and shoulders for the “body” of the costume. Take the strip and cut small slits into it; the strip will curl up nicely.
Align the strip around the frame of the face and sew it into place.
If you have additional fringe, you can tie it around the wrists and ankles.
Step 5: Paws
Take a sheet of craft foam and cut it to the size of the person’s foot. Shape a paw with a scissors. Cut an insert point.
The paw will lie on top of the wearer’s shoes or feet.
Enjoy making and wearing your costumes!
These animal costumes could be used for Halloween, a fancy-dress party, or imaginary play around the house. Which animal are you going to be today?
Today’s project is for those of us who love teeny-tiny cute things.
Cut a little bear or gingerbread man out of brown felt, and then create a bed for him inside a matchbox. Perfect to carry to school in a pocket.
What You’ll Need:
Cut a white rectangle the size of the bottom of the matchbox. This is the mattress.
Cut a small rectangular piece of colored felt for a pillow (yellow, here) and another larger one for a duvet (pink).
Cut out the shape of a bear or a gingerbread man from brown felt. Make sure it fits inside the matchbox (you might have to trim the legs or arms.
Step 4 (optional):
You can sew on eyes and a mouth. I just did one simple straight white stitch for each eye, as if the doll is sleeping. The mouth is a small series of red stitches.
If you sew, you can cut a small, head-shaped piece of brown felt and glue it onto the back of his head so that your knots don’t show.
Tuck your little doll into bed!
Here you can see him through a magnifying glass. How tiny and sweet!