Iced Flowers Sensory Bin

Iced Flowers Sensory Bin is not just full of fun to slide around, feel and melt, but it is truly a feast for the eyes. The best thing about this sensory bin? It’s penniless! Everything we used was from nature and the water in our taps. A fantastic activity for your Little Feet to get absorbed into, especially when the weather begins to lift.

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3D Pine Christmas Trees

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Fake it till you make it!

Walking home from nursery a few weeks ago, Little Feet A looked up at the trees and noticed that all the leaves had gone. She then added, ‘but the one outside our house still has all it’s leaves.’ Very observant! So then naturally we had a conversation about evergreen trees, pine trees and obviously Christmas trees! This conversation made me chuckle as I had thought of this craft about an hour previously and already had a pushchair full of pine needles, unbeknown to her. I love it when life’s beautiful symmetry alines like that sometimes!

So there is some prep for this and it is adult heavy however, it is a really fun way to spend an hour with your kids and both Little Feet A and B (4 and 2 years old) enjoyed getting involved. Also, there is no need to make it 3D, you can easily just do a 2D one and it is just as effective as I will show you below.

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What you need:

  • Cardboard from package, we used Amazon boxes

  • Contact paper (the stick back transparent paper)

  • Scissors

  • Pen

  • Pine needles from a pine tree.

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Instructions:

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  1. Go on a walk and find a pine tree. Collect a small bag full of it’s needles.

  2. Draw out a Christmas tree shape on your cardboard. Then draw a second small Christmas tree inside this one. There needs to be at least a couple of inches between the two. Cut around the outline of the Christmas tree and then cut out the smaller Christmas tree inside that one. See image above.

  3. Repeat this making sure that the next one is the same size but looks like the one on the right.

  4. Trace around the outline of your trees onto the paper side of the contact paper. You will need 4 lots of contact paper tree cut outs - too for each cardboard tree.

  5. Take the paper side of the contact paper off one of the cut outs and stick it to one side of your cardboard trees. Place with the sticky side facing up. Press along the cardboard to help it stick.

  6. Let your Little Feet stick pine needles on top the sticky paper.

  7. When they have finished, take another cut out contact paper tree, take of the backing and place it on top of the pine needles, face down. Press all over to help it stick, especially on the cardboard bit.

  8. Repeat with your second cardboard Christmas tree. When it is pine needle filled and contact papered up, use your scissors to cut out the contact paper in the vertical opening. This is where we will be slotting the Christmas trees together.

  9. One the Christmas that is whole, cut down from the tip of the tree a quarter of the way down.

  10. Now slot the trees together and there you have it!

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End result!

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Want something more simple?

Keep it 2d!

They are just as fun and effective. Bringing the outside in in an easy sensory craft.

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Ice Baubles - filled with bird seed

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So firstly, if you aren’t a member of the Woodland’s Trust, in particular the Nature Detectives Membership for your kids. Not an ad in the slightest, but it is £1.50 a month and every month your kids get a little pack sent out. A total bargain and great for getting yourself and the Little Feet out with a task in mind. Anyway, one of the emails I received this month had some festive ideas and one of them was creating icy decorations for your gardens. Well I got so excited about this idea. It is so simple and really easy to do. In their idea they used things like red berries and fern branches to decorate the decorations. In our version we have made it bird friendly and have filled them up with a seed mixture. The options are pretty endless.

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A while age I saw these silicone ice cube trays that were completely spherical. My imagination ran away with me when I considered the sheer amount of craft options that I could do with them. As with many things I buy, I always know if something will be useful at some point, even if I don’t know exactly what and when. Well as it it happened they were for this (as a start anyway!). Obviously it is not a requirement you this shape, any ice cube tray will do, even a plastic one. I just prefer a silicone one as it beats having to bang the ice cube tray on the side counter to get them out.

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What you will need:

  • Water

  • Ice tray (Silicone probably easier)

  • Seeds

  • Spoon

  • String

  • Scissors

  • Tree to hang them on

Instructions:

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  1. Spoon in your seeds into your silicone mould.

  2. Fill up with cooled boiled water. This helps the water freeze transparent as opposed to misty.

  3. Cut bits of string, long enough so that there is enough room to hang off a branch.

  4. Put both ends of each of your cut string into each section of the ice tray.

  5. Carefully place you ice tray into the freezer and leave to freeze.

  6. When frozen take them out of the trays and go outside and hang them up.

  7. Watch for birds or squirrels to see who has a nibble!

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DIY Nature Wings

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Join us and create some DIY Nature Wings with your Little Feet. We have created some Autumn ones, but you can do this craft again and again throughout each season using nature from each one. That way you can collect wings for every season and occasion.

It is likely the only thing that a lot of people will need to buy for this craft is contact paper. Contact paper is so versatile for crafting and we use it fairly regularly. It is a transparent sticky back sheet that is generally used for covering books. It is a bit like laminating - sandwiching something between two sheets of paper to preserve it. Whereas lamination requires a special device to melt it together, contact paper just requires smoothing with hands.

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Cardboard wise, we do a lot of our shopping online due to living in the countryside. As a result we receive so many boxes in the post that I am regularly recycling them for one craft of another. For this particular one, we flattened a box and tore off two sides to create the wings.

One evening before we went foraging for nature I drew out some wings on the cardboard and cut them out. I then traced the contact paper and that that out too so that everything was ready for the craft to be done immediately. I have learnt from past experiences, Little Feet are not good at waiting and things will just spiral into bickering if everything is not already done. I find that no one ends up enjoying it in the end. So where I can I try and have things pre-ordered and ready for craft time. This doesn’t always happen i might add! Life does get in the way a lot of the time!

After we had been pout foraging for pretty leaves and such, I peeled off one side of contact paper and stuck it down on one side of the wings, sticky side up and away they stuck. We are so chuffed with the way they turned out and both girls have put them on many times since we made them. A must for any dressing up box!

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What you will need:

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  • Cardboard

  • Scissors/craft knife and mat

  • Contact paper

  • Pen

  • Nature - leaves, feathers, flowers etc (they need to be as 2D as possible so no pinecones)

  • Ribbon

Instructions:

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  1. Go into nature with a bag or bucket and fill it up as much as you can with flowers, autumn leaves, feathers, anything that is as two-dimensional as you can find.

  2. On your cardboard draw out a set of wings and cut them out with your scissors or craft knife.

  3. Then in the middle of them cut for small circles for a space to thread the ribbon through to tie them onto your Little Feet.

  4. Cut out the wings, leaving a good sized border around them.

  5. Trace out the wings onto contact paper. Cut two lots of wings as you will need each side of the wing to have one.

  6. Take the back paper bit off the contact paper on two of then and stick then over the wing holes. Turn it over so that the contact paper is now on the back of the wings and the sticky side is facing up through the wings.

  7. Now you can let your Little Feet enjoy designing their Nature Wings. Place out all the items you foraged and allow them to fill up the sticky contact paper with nature.

  8. When they have finished, take off the other sides of the contact paper and stick them down, for the nature bits they have stuck down and the rim of the wings. This will secure all their decorations down and keep them from falling off.

  9. Thread your ribbon through each side of circlular holes and make an arm hole loop for each side so your Little Feet can just slip their arms through to wear.

  10. And there you have it, Nature Wings that you can keep for the entire season.

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This craft does take a little preparation from the Big Feet perspective. This is something I would suggest your prepare the night before you want to do the activity. The drawing of the wings, cutting out and measuring out the contact paper for each side of the wing takes approximately about 30 minutes. Though this preparation may be off putting initially, I do encourage you to do it before hand, especially if you have Littler Feet as we all know their impatience knows no bounds. From a personal point of view this impatience just rubs me up the wrong way and as a result we all end up being grouchy.

What we love about this craft is the nature of being able to keep it, hang it up with the rest of their dressing up clothes and reuse it again and again throughout Autumn.

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We recently went to a place called Studfold Adventure Trail in North Yorkshire and they have the most amazing fairy woodland, with little fairy houses scattered around. So we are loving the fairies at the moment basically.

If we had to join this craft with a book, all this talk of fairies has taken me back to my childhood and to quiet moments of reading Cecily Mary Barker’s Flower Fairy books. Her illustrations are so enchanting, they have always left such vivid mark on my memory. In fact I am pretty determined to buy a set for Little Feet A for Christmas. She adores her Peter Rabbit series and these are the same sort of size. Perfect for Little Hands.

Just to give you a lasting image and poem from her, ‘Flower Fairies of Autumn’ book:

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Cool dewy morning

Blue sky at noon,

White mist at evening,

And large yellow moon;


Blackberries juicy

For staining of lips;

And scarlett, O scarlett

The Wild Rose Hips!


Gay as gipsy

All Autumn long,

Here on the hedge-top

This is my song.

The Song of Rose Hip Fairy ,

Flower Fairies of Autumn

Cecily Mary Barker

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Autumn colour palette

Honeycomb Bubblewrap

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Getting talking about bees with your Little Feet by doing art!

Getting a conversation going about bees and their importance can be so simple. I started to talk about hives and honey bees with Little Feet A (4 years old). We talked about how some bees make honey in honeycombs in their hives. I asked is she knew what shapes made up a honeycomb. She didn't so we looked up the shape and it's name and then looked at pictures of hives and the bees honeycomb. I then asked if she was interested in creating honeycomb with bubblewrap and here we are. In the space of five minutes she learnt a new shape, some biology about bees, and learnt a new way to recreate a pattern in nature with man made objects. 

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What you will need:

  • White paper
  • Yellow and Orange paint
  • A paint roller
  • Bubble wrap 
  • A black pen 

 

Instructions:

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  1. Lay out your paper and place your bubble wrap, bubbles facing upward next to the paper. 
  2. Squirt paint all over the bubblewrap. 
  3. Allow Little Feet to roll the paint over the whole of the bubblewrap.
  4. Carefully lift the paint covered wrap and place it, bubbles down onto the white paper. 
  5. Apply gentle pressure all over the back of the bubble wrap, pressing the paint into the paper. 
  6. Peel the bubblewrap away and see your honeycomb print emerging! 
  7. Once dry, Little Feet A drew some bees inside the hive. This is optional! 
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Little Feet A's bees. The two large ones are Queen bees. With crowns on their heads...obviously. It's no wonder that she finds bee's so scary! I'd be terrified of them too if I thought about them like this! But there you have it. Honeybees in their hive. Send us pictures of yours! 

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Holiday Capsules

It's the summer holidays and beaches everywhere are scattered with people enjoying the sun, sea, sand and shingle. The sea has been beautifully cool in this hot summer we have been having. We have spent a few days at and near the beach, enjoying everything it has to offer.

If you are planning on spending all day at the beach then it is a good idea to have some ideas up your sleeve in case your Little Feet start to get itchy feet and to keep the play flowing. You won't need much in the way of ideas but a lovely holiday activity is to create a 'Holiday Capsule'. It is a great way to collect physical memories of your time away or visit somewhere. All you need is a container of some sort to collect some items from where you have been. We took with us a glass jar from I think The Works, which was the bargain price of £1.

We liked the idea of being able to see what was inside without having to open it. Alternatively, I love the idea of having a treasure box that can be squirrelled away and opened. In Little Feet A's bedside table the top drawer has become her 'treasure drawer'. Honestly I try and not open it as I despair at what she has in it. It's normally totally random, like hundreds of sheets of paper that have drawings on, a bouncy ball, feathers, sticks, special stones, pens, one shoe... you name it.

As we have been away at the coast, our Holiday Capsule is based around what we found at the seashore.

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The premise of 'Holiday Capsules' is simple, you just put in some things from where ever you have gone to visit. Being at the beach we collected sand, seaweed, shingle, rocks and shells. Little Feet B really enjoyed filling the pot up and it was a nice little 10 minute distraction. Plus searching for shells became an ongoing activity throughout the afternoon. 

What you need: 

  • A container; glass jar or even a small shoe box will do
  • Items from wherever you are visiting

Instructions:

  1. Remember to take your container no your holiday or day trip. If you do forget it, it's no biggie as you can just put them in a bag and transfer them when you get home. 

  2. Collect items from your trip. It can be anything from ticket receipts, polaroid images, sand, feathers, grass, stones, napkins and so on. Collect as much or as little as you wish. 
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