Thursday, 14 August 2014

Kids crafts - T-shirt decorating

Last year we tie-dyed t-shirts, this year we've used fabric pens (and we're tie-dying again) - it's such an inexpensive activity that I hope we'll be able to do a variation on it each summer...

Why not give it a go?

You need:

Plain white cotton t-shirts (we use school PE t-shirts from the supermarket at just a couple of pounds per pack)
Fabric pens (my local craft shop sold these - about £5 a pack)
Newspaper/scrap paper

1. Lay the newspaper inside the t-shirt. This will prevent your design soaking through to the other side of the fabric.
2. Grab your pens and draw! Or even write a message or joke.
3. Follow the instructions for setting the ink - usually running an iron over it, perhaps with a tea towel.

I'm linking up to #SummerSandpit on The Adoption Social:
The Adoption Social

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Kids crafts - Chocolate truffle curls

Who doesn't love a chocolate truffle? We all do for sure.

The other day we nipped into Morrisons for a few bits and Mini said that he'd liked to make something for the NC and I - all on his own. After frantically thinking about something that he was old enough to do by himself, that I could actually eat (on soft foods only at the moment), I recalled watching Hope and Greenwood on Friday night making truffles, ah - perfect.
So we picked up a pot of cream, and a few bars of chocolate, and headed home (though on the proviso that I would help with the hob job of melting chocolate).

So here's Mini's recipe for Chocolate Truffle Curls

You need:

200g dark chocolate
3tbsp double cream
25g butter
Cocoa powder

1. Put a bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure it doesn't touch the water. Break the chocolate and put it in the bowl with the cream and butter.

2. Let it all melt together, stirring every now and again. Mummy says this is called gan-ash.

3. Once melted, let it cool, then put it in the fridge.  (At this point mummy put a few tablespoons of the mix into another little bowl to try a flavoured truffle)

4. Once it's hard, take it out of the fridge and let it get a bit warm - mummy said it took about 30mins.

5. It should be soft enough to use a little spoon to scrape thick curls of chocolate stuff, and drop them gently into some cocoa powder. Use a spoon to cover them in cocoa then carefully put them on a plate. Mummy said truffles are normally round but I don't like getting my hands too mucky so we didn't do that.

6. Keep them in the fridge and eat when you want!

Mum's note:
I reserved some of the ganache and added a pinch of seasalt, 2 capfuls of gin and some freshly squeezed lime juice. It set softer than Mini's gananche but was still enough to make very soft truffles (and they're gorgeous!).

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Kids crafts - Collages and Sticking

Who doesn't love a bit of sticking and gluing? My kids often want to get the coloured paper out, a pritt stick and some random slips of paper.

So this week, I got a few boxes of odds and ends out of the craft cupboard, some pots of glue and a pile of sugar paper. Sometimes I need to structure craft activities else Mini flounders a little, even at 7, his collages often end up very random and he doesn't seem to have much of a clue what he wants to create - unless I suggest a theme...but often some free play like this is just what Mini and Dollop need to let their creative juices flow...and just enjoy spreading the glue, sprinkling on the confetti, getting feathers stuck up their arms, and peeling the glue off their fingers after...

Linking up to #SummerSandpit on The Adoption Social:
The Adoption Social

Monday, 11 August 2014

Kids crafts - Seaside Hanging

As most of you know, we live not too far from the beach. We visit A LOT.
Our favourite part of the beach we go to, has some sand - certainly enough to dig and build sandcastles, but is also very stony, with lots of pebbles, a fair sprinkling of shells, and a little bit of sea glass hiding between the pebbles.

Another part of the beach is particularly good for driftwood, and we've collected plenty in our time. So much in fact that Mini and I upcycled a plain boring wooden framed mirror by gluing driftwood to the edges, it now sits in our living room and is admired by many. 

During our visits over the last few months I've been nagging the children to collect stones and shells with holes in - and they've dutifully dug, picked and discarded appropriate beach 'memorabilia'. (The good shells and stones made it into buckets, pockets and shoes, and in turn across the boot of the car, the washing machine and the shoe rack but nevermind!) The purpose of these holey stones was to make a hanging with some of the leftover driftwood, as a reminder of our beach trips and as a summer craft for both fun and encouraging fine motor skills and patience through threading. And I was pleased to see that Crafts on Sea has shared a very very similar craft on her guest post for this week's #SummerSandpit on The Adoption Social.

Here's what we made:

Mini's beach hanging

We love them - we have one hanging in the window, and one hanging halfway up the stairs and they're just so simple to make.

You need:
Stones/shells/small pieces of driftwood with holes in
A longish piece of driftwood
Some string/raffia or ribbon

1. Cut the raffia/ribbon about 2-3 times the length of your driftwood. Tie this on each end, with a double knot to secure.

2. Using different lengths of raffia/ribbon, tie on shells/stones/short driftwood - as many or as few as you like. We found that odd numbers looked best. Hang wherever you like!

Oyster shells look really pretty and are often damaged with holes in.
If you struggle to find natural holes, you could always carefully drill holes in driftwood.
If you have a good twine then these could stand up to outdoor use as a windchime.

This took a good hour for the children to do, and they managed much of it themselves. They spent a great deal of time choosing which treasures they wanted to hang, and then the order they wanted them hung in. I'd love to see your photos if you make any....

I'm linking up to #SummerSandpit on The Adoption Social:
The Adoption Social