01 • 16 JULY 2006
1. Editorial: Boost your odds with craft!
2. MAKE: a bee mobile
3. MAKE: a pair of bee-noculars
4. COOK: some honey joys
5. MORE: bee ideas
|1. Editorial: Boost
your odds with craft!
are great at reminding us that we no longer have the same level of
control over our own lives as we used to.
But parents are cunning.
Even though we have remarkably little say over whether any given
day turns into a good one or a bad one, we all soon learn our
little tricks to boost our odds.
I've got several, most of which involve food, but by far the most
popular odds-boosting activty at our house is craft. This is
really very fortunate as one of my favourite things in the
whole world is
crafting with the kids.
also love coming up with new ideas for things to make and the
uber-organised mini career woman in me gets an inordinate amount of
satisfaction from grouping together our weekly activities under a
particular theme. The kids enjoy the focus and continuity of doing it
this way and truthfully, the challenge helps to keep me sane.
The idea behind this
newsletter is to share our activities with other parents of toddlers
and preschoolers. I suppose you could say I'm an evangelist
one parent to another, I hope that these particular activities boost
your odds to the same extent as they do mine!
So please, cross your
fingers, enjoy yourself, let me know how you get on, send in your
and feedback and tell your friends.
If you haven't done much
crafting before now you might find it useful to read my first three
articles on the kids
craft weekly website:
crafting with kids
• How to put
together a useful
• How to get
great milage from a weekly theme.
Happy crafting and see you next week!
a bee mobile
colourful bees look great in direct light – we
have our mobile
hanging underneath the lightshade in the kid's bedroom.
will get satisfaction from testing their fine motor skills while
toddlers may be suitably challenged by working on a single bee.
You will need:
- An old wire coathanger
- Thin ribbon or string
- Paddlepop sticks
- Kid's pvc glue and brush
- Textas or crayons
- Sticky tape
with the plump bee bodies. Cut out six ovals (about 5cm long) from a
piece of cardboard and have your little one decorate them with stripes
and colour. We also used some groovy holographic sticker paper which is
great if you can find it. When the stripes are done, glue each of the
ovals, lengthwise, to each of the paddlepop sticks.
make the bee's wings, cut cellophane into rectangles (about 10cm long)
and have your little one twist each of the rectangles in the centre.
Then tape the wings onto the bodies.
Make some little antennae
using segmets of pipecleaners folded in half to form a V and tape them
to the top of the paddlepop sticks.
Tape pieces of string to
the centre of each of the bees and then tie them, at even intervals, to
a wire coathanger that has been bent to form a circle and voila!
MAKE: a pair of 'bee-noculars'
different take on an old favourite is popular with toddlers and
preschoolers alike. I've found that it works most successfully if you
provide plenty of paraphenalia for extravagant decorating.
You will need:
- Two cardboard rolls of equal length
- Some strong 'adults only' glue
- A wooden clothes peg
- Some cellophane
- Paraphenalia for decorating (ribbon, lace, stickers, coloured match
- kids pvc glue and brush (glue sticks won't work for this one)
- Two beads or buttons
- String, ribbon or wool (optional)
Before you get started, glue the wooden clothes peg in-between the two
cardboard rolls. (Make sure you glue the two flat sides of the peg to
each of the cardboard rolls. The bottom of the peg should form the
bridge between the two rolls.) Allow some time for it to dry before
handing it over to the eager beaver.
When the time is right,
hand the binoculars over and have your little one decorate them with
stripes and stickers and other paraphenalia. If you have some yellow
cellophane on hand you can help to tape it to the ends of the rolls.
kids might have some trouble managing the binoculars while they try to
decorate them. If this is the case try lying them flat (the binoculars
that is, not the child) and working on one side at a time. Stickers and
textas tend to be easiest for younger kids to handle. Otherwise a lucky
parent will probably have to hold the binoculars steady while the child
wields the gluey paintbrush.
To make antennae, have your little
one wind the pipecleaners around a pen to form spirals. Then thread
them through the hole in the wooden peg and secure them in place by
twisting the wires together.
Add beads or buttons to the top
antennae or just twist the pointy ends over so them no-one gets poked
For older kids, thread the binoculars on a piece of string so that they
can be worn around the neck.
COOK: some honey joys
long has it been since you cooked up a batch of honey joys?
they're not the most nutritious snacks in the world but they're so easy
to make and
kids love to help with stirring and spooning the mixture into patty
Having said that I must admit that my daughter was most
interested in arranging the patty pans on the baking tray! This recipe
makes about 20 honey joys, or honey miseries depending on how your day
You will need:
- 4 cups of corn flakes
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 90g margarine or butter
- 1 tablespoon of honey
the margarine, sugar and honey together on a saucepan until the mixture
starts to bubble and froth.
Tip mixture onto the corn flakes and have
your little one stir them until they are completely coated in the honey
Help your child to spoon the mixture into patty pans.
the patty pans onto a baking tray and cook them in a slow oven (150
degrees) for ten minutes.
Once out of the oven they will be slightly
soft, but will become crunchy once they cool down.
• Dress up like a beekeeper
• Go on a bee-seeking expedition around your local
• Eat some fresh honeycomb
• Make a bee from playdough and pipecleaners
• Draw bees using fingerprints as the bodies
more ideas read my article on how
to get great milage from a weekly theme.
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