Wednesday, March 8, 2017

'My Color is Rainbow' inspired Necklaces


Have you heard of the new book by Agnes Hsu called 'My Color is Rainbow'? It is a beautifully illustrated children's tale that takes you through the colors of the rainbow whilst teaching children about the positive qualities of kindness. The little white arch learns that he can have more than one wonderful characteristic so by the end of the story he becomes RAINBOW.


Inspired by the beautiful illustrations which were the work of Yuliya Gwilym the children and I decided to create some pretty necklaces to go along with the story. Heres a quick 'how to' and a few more pictures of the necklaces. They would also double as great book marks if you aren't a necklace wearer.


You will need:

A copy of my color is rainbow
Sharpies
Shrink Film
Hole Punch
Necklace thread and beads



Step 1

We drew some of our favorite characters onto the shrink film with sharpies and colored them in. Once they are drawn and colored cut them out leaving a small space around the outside. Hole punch the top where you wish to hang them.


As well as drawing pictures we wrote the key characteristics about kindness from the book to add to the necklaces too. My son called these dog tags, and is now happily wearing his rainbow dog tags!



Once you have punched the hole bake the shrink film in the oven. It only takes a couple of minutes to shrink down. Get grown ups help around the oven. Watching them shrink is half the fun, they curl up first but don't take them out then, wait for them to uncurl before you remove them. If any are still slightly curled flatten while still warm.


Step 2

Once they are baked and cooled you can have the children thread them and add some rainbow beads.


We created some individual characteristic necklaces too with the traits that were written out.


And we couldn't leave the Rainbow Unicorn out...




We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, the colors are sure to delight and the positive kindness message that exudes from the pages are great lessons for young and old alike.


Spread Kindness


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Straight from the Pantry Anise Play doh and Pasta Fun



You can create some pretty amazing things just from your grocery cupboard. The next time your little one is complaining they can't think of something to do why not dig into your cupboards and create. This post came about because last week my kids were all at a loose end so I handed them some giant pasta tubes and told them to paint. We used neon acrylics to get these super vibrant colors but did you know you can paint pasta with food coloring and vinegar? No need to ever buy special paints again! Anyway I'll share what we did because this invitation kept them busy and led to a few other play ideas.




You will need:

Pasta Tubes (Rigatoni or the likes)
Paint - acrylic as shown, or dye pasta using liquid water color/food coloring and vinegar
No cook
Play doh - created using flour, salt, oil, water, food coloring, cream of tarter, scent

The Pasta


 Step 1

I don't have pictures of this part of the process but its pretty self explanatory. Get pasta, add children and paint. We used brushes - how conventional - you could easily bulk color the pasta in bags with paint, play a roll the pasta around game where you add pasta and paint and roll, you could splatter paint or dip it. Really the ways to paint the pasta are endless but at the end you need to end up with a nice selection of painted tubes. We stood ours on their ends to dry and once dry stored them in a jar.




The Play doh


Step 2

To make the play doh I followed our no cook method which you can read here in more detail. Since I learnt how to make this no cook dough I never buy shop bought any more. Yes, it doesn't last as long as store bought but my kids throw it around so much the shop bought never used to last long either. This dough is edible (although tastes yuk) and I know exactly what my little one is eating if they are still at the put it in your mouth phase. It is also so super easy to make, takes less than 5 minutes in my kitchen aid that even my kids make it for themselves these days!

This recipe requires the following:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tbl spoon oil
2 tbl spoons cream of tartar 
A few drops of black food coloring  
A few drops of Anise extract
Mix all together then add one cup of hot water

Whizz on high for a minute or two and your done. If its sticky add a little more flour. Keep in a sealed container until ready to use. This play doh smells so good, you of course could use any scent but the smell of Anise went perfectly with our jet black play doh and bright colored pasta.


The Invitation

Step 3

Let the kids loose with the doh and the pasta. show them how they can build structures using the play doh as glue or how they can create shapes and patterns in the dough using the pasta.











You could even jar a little up and give it as a home made gift.





Step 4

An alternative to play doh would be to give your child a jar of the colorful pasta and a piece of yarn, ask them to thread a necklace for that special someone.




I tape the end of the yarn to make it easier for little fingers to thread.





This activity can lend itself to all sorts of maths patterns, counting and early sequencing. Plus you end up with a pretty awesome necklace.


Have fun with it and if you make anything be sure to tag us on IG with your creations we would love to see them! Our IG account is @thebluebarn. 

Happy Making




Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trash Bots

So I've had sick kiddos home with me for over a week, all four of my kids has come down with the flu in various severity and so I've been having to rack my brains to keep them entertained without resorting to screens all week. This project was the result of one of those activities and was such a big hit with all 4 of them I thought it worth a quick blog post to share it with you guys. It really is super easy to pull together, and if you save your recyclables you could probably make one right now.



What you'll need:

A cardboard packet (the little mac and cheese boxes they sell are perfect, we also made smaller ones from a cream cheese box)
Paint (acrylic goes on better for covering the box labeling)
Stickers various shapes
Bottle caps etc for decoration




Step 1

Take scissors and cut around the center of the package on three sides, (side-back-side).


Fold the two sides back on themselves,


Step 2

Paint. You can do this however you choose. We painted the inside of the mouth one color.


And the outside a different color.


My hand model!



Step 3

Once the paints dry you can decorate. Stickers for eyes and nose


Bottle cap ears, whatever you have be creative.






And Play



We hope you enjoy them as much as us





Monday, February 6, 2017

Sew a Valentine Softie


Have you been following our sewing posts? Others include our sew a softie butterfly from last summer and our cookie cutter gingerbread play set this past Christmas. These posts are part of the 'Sew a Softie' campaign started by Trixi over at the website Coloured Buttons, she lives in Australia and is a sewing teacher dedicated to bring sewing to the next generation. She started these sew a softie challenges to encourage kids to start sewing, and organized a collection of bloggers to get together at various points in the year to share simple sewing projects aimed at children.  

So today we are going to create some pretty hand stitched flowers. These would make anyone smile and make a great alternative to fresh flowers this Valentines. Plus they last forever.




You will need:

Felt
Poly filler
Embroidery thread
Needle
Buttons
Wooden dowels
Print Template



Step 1

Placing two pieces of felt together use the template to draw one of the two flowers on to the top piece. Cut them out so you have two identical pieces. Sew or glue a button onto the middle of one of the flowers. 



Step 2

Begin sewing the two cut flower shapes together. Sewing all around the outside of the flower.



When you get so there is only one petal left to sew stop.



Step 3

Using glue attach the wooden dowel to the inside of the flower. We used the hot glue gun but a fabric glue would work as well. 


Once the dowel is in place and dried (if using a fabric glue) you can stuff the flower with the poly fill.


Once you have stuffed the flower we finished up stitching around the base of the flower. If its a little awkward around the wooden dowel get an adults help.


We finished our flowers off with a little ribbon and a love token. Who wouldn't be excited to receive one of these handmade gifts this Valentines?



Happy Valentines Day to you all 😘