Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Decoupage Easter eggs for children

It's a little bit strange to write about Easter themes, when I see all this snow outside. Somehow it seems more appropriate to write about Christmas activities . :)


For some time now, I've been collecting plastic eggs and trying to figure out what to do with them, how to make them more appealing. And then I saw this idea by Red Ted Art and decided to try something similar.

We started by making our own white glue. It seems as if more and more every day you can hear about the harmfulness of certain chemicals, being a part of even some children products, so I strongly believe the homemade version is much, much safer. In 5 cups of boiling water I added a mixture of 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of water and mixed it until it was smooth, dense and evenly distributed, with no lumps. I did not even wait for it to cool down, we immediately started using it. Holds surprisingly well, the smell is not sharp, can last for weeks in the fridge and it is really easy to clean.

We used advertising leaflets as a decorative material - we cut Easter motifs and used a brush to apply some white glue to plastic eggs. Our fingers were of a great help in smoothing the surface. Piece by piece, after about an hour, we got these beautiful, colourful Easter eggs:

We didn't strive for perfection and we did not smooth each wrinkle, because after all, these are children's crafts.

It is a great activity, because children can participate all the time, and in the end you get a really nice Easter decoration.

I wish you peaceful, pleasant, tasty and creative Easter holidays! And a lot of successfully dyed eggs, of course!

Feeding Big

Glitter, Glue & Paint

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Homemade playdough

Did you know that playdough can easily and quickly be made in your own kitchen? All you need is some flour, salt, water, oil and citric acid and edible colors (available in all major stores).

Of course, the store-bought playdough is not very expensive, so we can't actually talk on saving money with it, but since my toddler still puts everything in her mouth, I'm more happy (and more calm) with this kind of playdough. And another HUGE advantage of it is the fact it can be easily cleaned up after the play, just let it dry and clean it with a plain broom, it won't stick to floor, like the store-bought playdough does.

The required quantity of ingredients for homemade playdough: 

20 oz* of flour
5.2. oz* of salt
1.6 oz* of citric acid
0.02 gallons* of oil
0.13 gallons* of water
edible color - the type and quantity of your choice. 

*Note: originally I have used milliliters and grams, since we use the metric system in Europe, but I have recalculated it for you. Here is a great calculator for doing so.  

While waiting for the mixture of water, oil and edible colors to boil, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Kids will really enjoy if you let them to participate:

When the liquid boils, add the remaining ingredients and stir constantly until the mixture gains desired density. The absolutely best thing about this type of playdough is the fact that nothing can go wrong. If it's too sticky, just add flour, if it's too thick, just add some water. 

Allow it to cool (this is the worst part for the kids) and  you can start playing!

If you do not like the smell of it, you can add something that smells nice, for example, we use cinnamon, but you can use the vanilla sugar as well.

As you can see from the picture below, we managed to get a significant amount of playdough (the volume of the red container is 2 liter). 

Cake tins, empty plastic  candy boxes or from advent calendars - all that will make excellent additions to the game, and will also be a gret, creative way of recycling

P.S. I've participated in these awesome parties:

Serenity youPIN MEme

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seven toys you can make out of a cardboard roll

Nothing should be thrown away, and especially cardboard rolls since you can do wonders with them, and children will have a great time by participating. Octopuses, butterflies, necklaces, watches, owls, tunnels .... these are just some of the toys that can be made ​​out of a plain cardboard roll.

1. A wrist watch

Cut the roll in half, and if it is too narrow to be put on a child's hand, you can cut and slit the back as shown in the picture below. Draw the dial and the hands and that's it! It's a great idea when you want to teach children on telling time, and if you need more ideas for telling time, see here.

2. A Toy for developing fine motor skills

For this you will need a roll made out of a softer cardboard. Use puncher to make a number of holes in a roll (it doesn't matter if you have to bend it, you can easily restore it later to its original shape). Give your child a piece of wool or a string (IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not use a too long strap, especially if the toy will be used by children younger than three years, due to a choking hazard!)

Trust me, this is a kind of toy which can even occupy toddlers for a while. And it is also great as a pre-sewing activity, as suggested by this great blogger. 

3. A butterfly

To make the butterfly's wings, cut a piece of cardboard in the shape of the letter "x" as shown in the picture below and decorate it (the both sides) as you wish (children will especially love this part):

Paste the wings on a cardboard roll and draw the butterfly's "face". You can also add two tentacles. Ours had them, but they were soon gone, before mom managed to take photos.

4. Necklaces

I've already mentioned these as one of the activities for Valentine's Day, but there's no reason why it should not be done at any time of the year. Cut the roll into smaller rings, have children to decorate them and bead them on a nice ribbon. Help them to tie the string to get the necklace and do not forget to be cautious with small children, because of the suffocation risk.

5. Owls

Globally popular owls have found a place in our home as well. To make them yourself, just bend the top of rolls at the two opposite sides to get the ears (of course I forgot to take pictures while we were doing it, so look here for more detailed instructions) and draw their eyes, beak and wings. You can also use some collage paper for decorations.

6. A tunnel

These were also mentioned before, as a way of entertaining kids in the kitchen, but of course it can be made in any other room in the house. We've done it in the kitchen because our walls there are lined with thinn cork and it is easy to stick something like this, but it can be done on a window, on the wall, on the door or on a closet.

So we pasted the rolls by using glue dots and added some sticking tape to make it more resistant, and then threw the ball down the tunnel. There was a lot of screaming and laughing, the girls were really thrilled with this game.

 7. An octopus

Cut the bottom of the cardboard roll into 8 strips, fold them up and draw octopus's face with some markers. All set!

With so many sweet animals, it was not hard to play a zoo game :)

Need more ideas what to do with the cardboard rolls? Look here.

P.S. Check these great linky parties:

The Taylor House

Monday, March 4, 2013

Eight things I have learned from my family that I am grateful for

There are some things I've learned from my family, and for which I am very grateful for and I hope I will be able to pass them to my children.


1. About the School - it always has to be the most important thing to you


If you do not finish school, you'll face the bad choice of lousy jobs and wages insufficient to cover living expenses (which I have experienced in my student days and luckily didn't quit school because of  "a career" in McDonald's).

Never cease to learn and improve your skills. Always read something new.  Be a member of the local library. Learn foreign languages.

2. About the money - it does not grow on trees. You have to earn it. 


No one will give you the money for no reason. If somebody offers you money, there is some interest in this, and you have to check what kind of interest it is (or more clearly: Do not talk to suspicious strangers).

In my family, money has always been tight. Like most people, the 80s and the 90s were extremely difficult to us (and it is not much better these days) and I had to work so I could go to the university (see No. 1). Often I was furious about it, blamed politicians and I sometimes didn't show my best on the exams  due to being physically exhausted , but today I realize how it was a useful experience.

3. About the savings - you can only spend the money you have

This part I can especially thank to my grandparents, who remembered even more difficult times and who used to say that every penny needs to be rolled over twice before you spend it. Money buys the necessary things, and you should save the rest, "for a rainy day."

4. About the nature - Recycle.


Again, I thank to my grandparents who taught me to recycle. The fact I've learned it, is sort of responsible for starting this blog and for all the toys we made ​​from recycled materials .

Nothing should be thrown away, especially bread.  You can find a new purpose of each thing and if you must throw it away, take it to the appropriate container or a recycling yard. The nature is a gift from heaven, and you need you to preserve it.

5. About happines - it's in the little things


Money is needed to buy necessary things (see No. 3), but it can not buy happiness. A sunny day is a reason enough to be happy. And if you are done with all the work (see No. 7), you can go for a walk, what else do you need?

6. About a waste of time - long phone conversations, watching soap operas, reading gossip magazines and drinking at the pub are a waste of time, and not resting and relaxing, as it is now popularly called. Period.


 7. About leasure time - you can only get rest when you have finished all of your chores.

Going to the pub is not a "rest"  (See No 6). Chores are a necessity and must be done. Whining does not help, it only prolongs their performance. Get it done and then you can rest. Period.

8. About business- you're important to us, but the world does not revolve around you. 

When you get a job and start working,  your colleagues and employers will not dance around you or entertain you. The most important is the quality, not the quantity of work- the employer wants to see in which way  you can improve its performance, not how long you stay in the office. You need to work for yourself, not for the others. Someone else's job is always someone else's job.


It makes no sense to pretend that everything in my family was always perfect, because it was not, and there is not such a thing as perfection, but I'm really grateful for they taught me to deal with the difficulties in life, even when they are not there for me any more, and I think that's the most important task for any parent.

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