Dec 032015
 

Colorific

Christmas Countdown – Day 3

These last weeks of term are so incredibly busy that I can’t wait for the laziness of school holidays to start. For our munchkins holidays are all about late breakfasts, good books, playing outside, awesome family outings, yummy baking and of course loads of crafty fun. Colorific has lots of cool and creative gifts to put under the Christmas tree, here’s one for the girl who loves a bit of fairy magic:

Sparkletopia Jewellery Set

If you are afraid of glitter you better click away, because FairyLites Sparkletopia is all about sparkles, shimmer, glitter and glam and the best part is: no glue! This gorgeous collection of craft kits is perfect for young designers aged 4-9 and with prices starting at just $14.99 it’s affordable too.

Sparkletopia Secret Diary KitWith a new year about to begin now is the time to start a new tradition like keeping a diary. This gorgeous Secret Diary Set will help your little girl design a cute sparkly (lockable!) diary, perfect for recording big adventures, short stories and lovely dreams. Using the special fairy wand tool and plenty of sticky charms, gems, stencils and sparkle sheets this colourful set is sure to keep her busy these school holidays.

If you’re looking for a set to entertain multiple children (great for siblings, friends, family get-togethers or even parties) you can’t go wrong with the Fairy Jewellery Set or the Charm Set Assortment. Both packs contain a range of smaller ‘projects’ so kids can share the Sparkletopia fun. I know my girls would love wearing a necklace, ring or cuff of their own design so this is definitely going to be on our school holiday to-do list.

FairyLites Sparkletopia

There are currently five different FairyLites Sparkletopia packs to choose from, each pack contains all the tools you need to design your own unique creations: charms, jewellery, a jewellery cabinet and even a diary, go on and add a sparkle to your day!

To find out more about Colorific, to browse the FairyLites Sparkletopia range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.colorific.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 5 FairyLites Sparkletopia packs (RRP $24.99, choose from Fairy Jewellery Set, Jewellery Cabinet Set and Secret Diary Set) enter our giveaway below:

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Djeco Bead Kits: Cute. Creative. Crafty

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Djeco Bead Kits: Cute. Creative. Crafty
Apr 182014
 

Djeco

The tricky thing with Easter holidays is that you never know what the weather will be like. It can be sunny and dry, ideal for outside adventures, or you could find yourself stuck inside for days in a row thanks to wet and rainy weather. If you’re looking for something to keep the girls entertained indoors these school holidays I’ve got the perfect find for you:

Djeco Pearl and Bead Kit

These gorgeous new Djeco bead kits have only just arrived on the virtual shelves at Itty Bitty Box, in time keep the kids busy and mum sane over the Easter holidays. Do it on your own, sit down with your siblings or call a friend or two and meet up for a fun afternoon of Djeco jewellery making.

Djeco Bead Kits

Each Djeco Beads kit (RRP $27.95) is filled with pretty beads, pearls, ribbons, elastics, lockets and other sweet accessories to help you create a unique piece of custom made jewellery. Whether you love pastel and flowery, green and fruity, purple and mysterious or pink and bows, there is a perfect kit for you. There are four different sets to choose from, which one is your favourite?

To find out more about Itty Bitty Box, to browse the Djeco range and to order online visit www.ittybittybox.com.au.

Getting crafty with ‘bread dough’

 Home, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Getting crafty with ‘bread dough’
Jun 152013
 

Last week I shared on Facebook some photos of a little craft activity I did with the kids for hip daddy’s birthday (to be honest it was more for their own enjoyment but that doesn’t matter). They really enjoyed it and as a few readers emailed me to ask for the recipe I thought I’d share it here for all to enjoy.

Bread Dough creations ready to be baked

Bread Dough creations ready to be baked

Back at primary school in my home country The Netherlands I always enjoyed working with ‘brooddeeg’ which literally means bread dough. I was not sure what Australian people call it but some say it is called salt dough. Either way, the good thing about bread dough as opposed to regular play dough is that you can bake it in the oven and actually have a little piece of art that the kids can keep to look at or gift to someone else. Play dough is fun but my kids often get a little sad when they have to punch down the artwork they worked so hard on.

Fresh out of the oven, a little faded but still cute

Fresh out of the oven, a little faded but still cute

To make bread dough simply mix 3 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of salt, 1 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of (vegetable) oil. Once you have made this into a nice soft dough divide it into a few different sections and colour each section with a bit of food colouring (yes your hands will get pretty dirty!). I believe you can also use a particular type of paint but I didn’t have any on hand and this worked fine too.

Miss 2 showing off her handmade necklace

Miss 2 showing off her handmade necklace

Once your kids have decided on their final creations place them on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes on ca. 100C followed by 90 minutes on ca. 125C. If the dough creations are quite flat they should be dry and hard by then, if they are a little thicker and higher they might take a little longer. As I knew the girls would want to wear their shapes as a pendant I made a little hole in them before putting them in the oven. Great idea for Christmas tree decorations too!

I admit that it was a pretty messy activity and there was some washing up to do but the smiles on their faces made it all worth it.

Feb 252013
 

Ricky Riot

After five weeks at home the twins really had enough of school holidays, they couldn’t wait to get back to kindy. I was starting to run out of ideas on how to keep them entertained and being heavily pregnant I didn’t really feel like going out much, so I was keen to find some simple and affordable craft projects to do indoors when I discovered the cool craft kits from Riot Art & Craft. Move over Mister Maker, here comes Ricky Riot!

Ricky Riot Crocodile KitRicky Riot is all about fun, simple craft for kids with the help of easy-to-follow craft tutorials or, even better, with the ready-to-go Ricky Riot craft kits. With prices starting as low as $4.99 per kit the craft kits offer great entertainment for crafty little people without breaking the bank. Each kit contains everything you need to complete the project (even the basics like glue!) so why not keep a few different kits on hand for rainy days and unexpected little visitors (great idea for grandparents)?

Miss 2 concentrating

Miss 2 concentrating

Ricky Riot Majestic CastleWe tried our hand at the Ricky Riot Majestic Castle Kit and we had a ball. Although officially designed for ages 6+ my 4-year olds did really well, with help of course. Their favourite tasks where, surprise, surprise, the painting and sticking down the foil confetti. The mess was not too bad and the end result looked great! For a taste of some other great Ricky Riot craft projects watch Ricky Riot in action here.

The finished product

To find out more about Ricky Riot, to browse the different craft projects and to locate a Riot store near you visit www.riotstores.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 Ricky Riot Majestic Castle Kits visit www.rickyriot.com.au and answer the following question: Aside from the Majestic Castle Kit, which other Ricky Riot project would your kids like to make?

Submit your answer by leaving a comment below, your email address will not be published.

If you really want to win you can earn up to ten additional entries, please leave separate comments for each entry:

Competition ends March 25, 2013. Sorry, Australian entries only. By entering you agree to our Terms & Conditions.

Inside fun with Makedo

 Eco, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Inside fun with Makedo
May 082012
 

There really is no escaping the cold weather now and it is going to be tricky to find something to entertain the kids inside with for the next few months. Like most other kids my twins enjoy drawing, playing with playdoh or doing a puzzle and they always love building things. I have learnt that everyday items can make the best building tools so I try to keep a stack of cardboard boxes and empty containers on hand for building activities. Don’t worry, you don’t need messy glue or sticky tape, just grab a Makedo kit from Little Obsessions and your kids can start creating too!

There are lots of different Makedo sets available to create anything from small one-child project like planes, flowers, robots and animals to super cool big projects like a shop, playhouse, car and more. The Makedo connector system lets you use ordinary items from around the home and connect them to eachother using reusable clips and hinges. You’ll be surprised at all the awesome things you can make, once you start you’ll find that there are lots of things you can recycle.

Makedo kits are very well priced, starting at $6.95 they make really affordable gifts especially when you consider the reusable aspect of it. There are so many options with a handful of Makedo basics, it is a great way for kids to learn to use their imagination and come up with creative solutions. And of course it is also a perfect opportunity to teach them about waste, recycling and looking after the environment, double win!

Designed for children aged 5 and up the Makedo range is great for older children, both girls and boys, because there is nothing girly about being an ‘inventor’ is there? Little ones can enjoy Makedo too but they would need some help and supervision from an adult, you don’t have to worry about cutting accidents when shaping the cardboard as a special ‘safe-saw’ is included. A Makedo project will keep kids busy for ages and once finished just store the pieces for your next Makedo creation.

To find out more about Little Obsessions, to take a closer look at the Makedo range and to order online visit www.littleobsessions.com.au.

Hop Skip Jump

 Baby, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Hop Skip Jump
Nov 202011
 

It seems like a lifetime ago but before I had children I used to love spending time on crafty projects like quilting and sewing. It goes without saying that I was never very good at it but I always really enjoyed it and found it incredibly relaxing and sometimes the end result wasn’t to bad at all. If I had more time I would love to pick up this hobby once again, there are so many beautiful handmade things out there that I would like to attempt to make. Even if you are an amateur like me you could try the easy projects in Hop Skip Jump.

Hop Skip Jump by Australian mum Fiona Dalton features 20 absolutely gorgeous eco-friendly toys to sew. If you have visited Fiona’s blog before you will know that her work is unique, beautiful and timeless and a delight to both make and give to the special little people in your life. The designer toys in Hop Skip Jump are no exemption, any child would be happy to receive a lovingly made sausage dog called Doris, a tortoise called Harriet or a cute mouse called Eddy.

Fiona is passionate about doing her share for the environment so she uses as many recycled, preloved materials as possible and of course they are often cheaper too. She has used parts of an old woollen jacket, pieces of felt, second-hand linen and other bits and bobs to come up with a range of classic toys that will remind you of your childhood and are made to last. The step-by-step instructions are written in easy to understand language and are accompanied by clear drawings and photo’s. The photography in this beautiful, hardcover book is just gorgeous and will make your fingers itch to get started on a Hop Skip Jump project of your own.

All the patterns you need to create your own Hop Skip Jump toys are included on a separate sheet of paper, making it very easy to mark your fabrics. Patterns are stored in a handy envelope pocket at the back of this book so they won’t get lost. I tried my very inexperienced hand at putting together Eddy the Mouse from a small piece of fabric I had left, he is far from perfect but the kids think he looks great (they are just trying to be polite).

You can find Fiona Dalton’s Hop Skip Jump (RRP $35, published by Viking) in bookstores across Australia as well as at online book retailers.

Little Things For Busy Hands

 Eco, Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on Little Things For Busy Hands
Oct 142011
 

Just a few more days and the school holidays are over, a relief for many mums who have struggled to keep the kids busy whilst they were stuck inside due to the rainy weather. Sometimes it can be hard to come up with craft projects for kids and craft books are often not much help as you need a whole range of craft supplies, tools and machinery to make them work and most of them require lots of adult help and supervision too.

The new book Little Things for Busy Hands: 16 crafty projects for kids to make without a sewing machine! by Katie Evans contains 16 simple craft projects for kids that they can make (pretty much) by themselves. With the help of colourful images, step-by-step instructions (aimed at children) and clear diagrams children can create all sort of things. From mobiles to soft toys, jewellery to wall art and everything in between, this book will give them plenty of ideas to keep them busy.

What I really like is that the projects in this book often require just a few supplies and many of them can be ‘leftovers’: small scraps of fabric, a stick from the garden, a couple of pieces of used wrapping paper, some bits of wool. This leaves plenty of room for recycling items you would otherwise throw out and it keeps the costs down too (we all know most craft projects don’t hang around forever). The books also leaves a lot of room for variations, so you can easily replace some of the items by alternatives.

The paper beads are very easy to make, just cut a longish triangle out of coloured and/or patterned paper and roll it around a pencil to create your own unique beads. It will be a fantastic way to recycle all the beautiful wrapping paper that stays behind after birthdays or Christmas and it makes a real original piece of jewellery. Each process is carefully explained (it takes 5 steps to create the Paper Bead necklace) so the instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

Although the twins are a little bit too young to try their hands at these fun projects they loved looking at the beautiful images and instructed me to make them a wild thing puppet. I didn’t have any fabrics as beautiful as Katie’s, nor did I have any felt but with a few scraps of fabric and some ribbbon I made them a miniature wild thing puppet to fit their small hands. It took me just 1 hour and I am pretty happy with the end result (and they must be too because they took their puppets to bed with them last night)!

You can find Little Things for Busy Hands (RRP $24.95, 136 pages) in bookstores across Australia as well as at online book retailers.