Easter holidays are coming!

Hi with the Easter holidays coming up – I thought I would try and get some new projects on the site. In case anyone is looking for some inspirations and ideas to past the two weeks. Who knows what the weather might be up to. We will probably doing a mixture of going out and staying in.

Take a look at ‘Melted wax crayon pictures’, ‘Moon cakes’ (Inspired by a book we read) and ‘Easter Potato masher painting’ posted tonight. I cant promise but I will try and get some more projects on here in the next week.

I just want to say a big thank you to my worldwide followers on this site, Facebook, twitter and pin interest. Please don’t forget to follow if you don’t (so you can get any updates as and when), like and share. I do really appreciate it – it lets me know if I am on the right track. Please feel free to comment and post photos of your makes – especially if you like any of the projects and have given them a go.

emmas xxx.

Reading : inspired crafts.

In our house we are big readers, as a mum and someone who has worked with children it is something I am passionate about and I personally have very actively encourage! I started reading to my boys at the ripe old age of 6 wks and have actively done so ever since. Some people might think that is slightly crazy – However it really has paid of now!  I believe personally reading is such an important life skill and it can open many doors to other forms of learning, without the skill of reading a child can struggle to progress in other areas of life and learning. It is something as parents we can assist our children with, to release the burden on overworked and underpaid teachers – when we may not be able to assist with other school subjects!

It hasn’t always been easy, it has taken determination and will power at times! My eldest was a reluctant delayed reader due to early speech and hearing difficulties. For many years I read to him, choosing to put little pressure on him to actually read the book to me, pressure in my opinion and in what I have witness though work experiences would only had to lead to reluctance and a hatred of reading books when he was just not ready. Today ‘British Society and school system’ can place too much pressure on children and parents feeling they have to tick an expectation box by a certain age or being made to feel their child will not achieve great things/ meaning they have failed as parents or the fault lies with them. No parent or child should ever feel that way! Every child is different and they all develop at their own rate, Very few children if any really fits in the tick box – How can they? as no two children are the same. Quite often the child who is struggling does have a very determined parent offering the right support behind them. It just easy to see a child’s weakness as a parents fault and not look at the bigger picture.

In my working life I have met parents who are so proud and push that their children can read at the age of 2, thinking they are so clever. However very few children really understand what they are doing at that age when it comes to reading – they are reading by memory, picture recognition and don’t understand the context at all, These children sometimes, (not always) later on in school lead to switching of because they are bored, pushed to fast or actually never got the reasons behind the learning skills. I also have met children who have not learnt to read until the age of 9 and have gone on to get scholarships at Harrow and Eton school based on their later academic achievements. It does not mean one is brighter than the other or one will do better in life. As the 9-year-old may have been developing other skills early on that gives them the ability, push, desire and will power to succeed without pressure.

My point here is I personally chose not to succumb to pressure of others (I rarely do anyway) and waited for him to be ready in his own time. I focused more on teaching him:

How listening/ reading a book can be enjoyable, fun and what the purpose of reading actually was.

Understanding the context of books.

How – that when he could read, ‘He could disappear for a while in an imaginary world’ or ‘learn facts’,’

Learning to read would help him with reading everyday important stuff” and ‘in turn it would help him with writing/school work spelling/ grammar/ essay writing’.

Most importantly, that today it might make no sense and seem a impossible chore however that one day it would all become clear.

In the last year I have seen the results of all that effort, He finally enjoys reading to us and is a great clear expressionist reader. He now ‘gets it!’ and takes confidence and motivation from being able to read everyday things. My point is ‘It is worth it!’, dont give up as parents or thing why am I wasting my time! You are never wasting your time or effort it will pay of at some point.

My youngest on the other hand has found reading fairly easy and has not has as many struggles with learning to read. He struggles more with actually being engrossed with listening to a story. Finding a topic that really catches his interest along side his brothers is not always easy. Finding a topic that interest is half the battle to getting a child to listen. Reading to them separately has not worked in the past for us either in our house – both want to snuggle up at the same time and cannot be convinced to take that part in turns.

So Hence: recently we have been working our way though The Roald Dahl collection with my eldest (they take it in turns to choose the books we are reading together each night – We choose a book and read it to the end before starting a new one, so some books can last a while). The eldest really enjoyed it, however the youngest struggled to get engrossed either due to his age or the topic. We chose to make the book come alive with crafts inspired by the book – we quite often do this. Apart from being fun it makes the story more real, exciting and can help with understanding the context. The reluctant child then becomes more interested in turn. These ideas have included our own stickman (Stickman), Butterflies (The hungry caterpillar), boats (Toy boat), Erupting Volcano (when reading a fact books we explored how a volcano worked) etc… Over the next few weeks I will try to put some of our other ideas we have done in the project section – bare with me.

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When reading ‘The BFIMG_0305.JPGG’ by Roald Dahl, we decided to make our own dream jars which turned out pretty cool and Dream catchers (we cheated here and bought a kit) for our bedroom windows, plus we then did made some of our own extra dream catchers for the garden at a later stage. If your interested in having ago check out the project section, they will be there later today hopefully.

Enjoy!

emmas xxx

P.s don’t forget comment, share, like and follow!!

Useful tips I have learnt over the years doing Arts and crafts with children.

Well I am afraid we have no projects this week as we have kept ourselves busy with other things : Board games, homework playing playmobil and cars. However I wanting to write something…. Thinking cap on. I thought I would share some:

A few Useful tips I have learnt over the years doing Arts and crafts with children.

FINISHING TOUCHES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE – In my experience Pva Glue is not that great for sticking (Pitt stick and superglue work better) however it does have other uses. Pva glue (watered down 50/50) makes a great cheap and easy varnish for almost anything. It can preserve or can make children masterpieces look more professional in a very simple way. Pva glue mixed in with paint can make it easier to paint on certain surfaces i.e. plastic.

SAVE (yourself cleaning) – A little bit of washing up liquid mixed in with your poster paints before use, makes it easier to wash out of things.

ARTS AND CRAFTS WITH CHILDREN CAN COST AS MUCH OR AS LITTLE AS YOU WANT:

UPCYCLE / RECYCLE – Take a look at what you might be throwing out – Your everyday rubbish could be useful or turned into something arty. It can be cheap, fun and uses the imagination part of our brain.

In our house the motto is ‘There is a use for everything’. (well nearly everything). 

FRUGAL – Most of your children’s arts and crafts can be turned into an affordable keepsake and personal gift. Items can be made with a purpose or when you are having a clear out – before you throw … think! You might just have to think outside the box! For example a drawing in a frame can make a lovely gift or Excess paintings/ drawings can be turned into wrapping paper. Birthday cards can be homemade.

YOU DON’T NEED TO BE CREATIVE TO CREATIVE: You don’t need to be a creative thinker, crafty or arty to be able to create with your children. There are plenty of ideas on the worldwide web and various materials for sale to make your life easier. Just hit the search engine and explore. Somewhere out there –  there will be a simple idea out there that appeals.

CREATIVE TIME if you allow it provides a great opportunity for social interaction with your children and a great bonding experience.

Most important – have fun!

emmas xxx

Quick Hi!

IMG_20180313_130836.jpgIMG_20180313_130820.jpg Not the most exciting blog I am afraid Just really a quick hi! I am afraid I don’t have any new projects to add this week as life has been pretty busy. However this weekend we did tried some Origami unsuccessfully. It basically resulted in lots of screwed up paper everywhere – not even worthy of a photo. The boys got a book for Christmas and I thought they would enjoy it as they have a big love of making paper aeroplanes – In short Lets say it’s not for us. Maybe when they are a bit bigger we will give it another go. We also did some spotty pictures (another Christmas gift) this was a successful ten minutes of quietness as both boys were fully engrossed! So sometimes you win – some you lose!

Love emmas xxx

 

 

Just in time for mothers day!

    IMG_0087  When I was out in town today, I got chatting to a lovely lady (sorry I didn’t catch your name and apologies again – you caught me with a head full of many thoughts a mum on a mission with limited time) and I was telling her about these, hopefully you will see them in time and enjoy making them! If so please let me know how they go! You encourage me to get them on here hopefully in time for mother’s day. This week’s project was made with a purpose – to be given as a gift. A pen pot is a simple and affordable gift to make. It’s fairly easy and pretty much free to make as you only need 4 basic cheap materials: a clean jam jar or something similar (see project section for ideas), tissue paper, a piece of ribbon and some Pva glue. enjoy!

emmas xxx

Pom- Pom Animals

IMG_0251.JPGIMG_0297.JPG    Hi hope you all had a lovely week-end and have enjoyed the snow! I’m wishing it is now on its way out and spring just gets a move on so we can move into summer!

We have recently been working on Pom poms in our house.

   Pom poms are a traditional tried and tested activity that I remember making from my childhood they make a fairly simple and affordable project to do. It is a good way to use up scrap wool, whist being great for children’s co- ordination skills.. You only need a few basic materials: Card and some wool. We used the traditional method of cutting and making our own rings out of cardboard (An old cereal box). If you prefer you can buy official pom pom makers from a hobby shop, I have not tried these out but would love to hear if they are worth their money. We made the Penguin and turtle Pom Poms on a long car journey. I was pretty impressed as it was a spontaneous/ impressive ‘genius’ idea to do whilst in the car as it passed most of the journey, with the boys concentrating on the task in hand it turned out to be a fairly quiet ride ‘there was no – are we there yet!’. We did the finishing details the next day back at home. Then the boys asked to do some more (One is the planet mars, One is the ocean and the other one was just a pink one for mummy), though I think we are truly pom pom out now!

 Check out the project section if you fancy making one – I’m sure there are lots of animals you could make with these. I actually thought after making the 3 extra ones a pom pom caterpillar would be good – but as I said we have had enough of pom pom’s for a while.

As usual don’t forget to like, share or comment.

Enjoy!

emmas xxx