‘Under the sea’ birthday party.

   So the past week has been slightly busy preparing a ‘under the sea arts and crafts’ 6th birthday party. My youngest request created panic and fear how was I going to meet the exact brief? He is quite fussy and had quite a precise wish list – including the party must include a chocolate fish birthday cake (Birthday cakes are always a challenge due to older son allergies, I don’t particularly enjoy baking and have you ever tried to find a safe fun kids birthday cake which is free of may contain – its not possible: this one was made by me to ensure nut/egg free).

As you are probably aware from other blogs he loves the sea, sea creatures and boats. Lucky for me pin interest and Baker Ross came to the rescue with a few ideas to inspire. This was his first proper birthday party with his chosen friends (as he has normally opted for a day out or we have had a small family/friends get together) and I really wanted to make it special! My eldest son always seems to get the extra attention in general despite our determination to give them equal so I guess I was very much led by mummy guilt. Made easier by the facts I love Arts and Crafts. The result were :

 A Spotty Goldfish (made out of stickers and paper plates).IMG_1073.JPG

Stained Glass Tropical Fish / stain glass windows (wooden craft sticks/ tracing paper).IMG_1080.JPG

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 Sand shells (Baker ross).DSC_0823.JPG

Under the sea sticker pictures and dotty sticker pictures.

 

Wooden boats (painting).

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Some Fishing.DSC_0800.JPG

 

A Treasure hunt.DSC_0795.JPG

 

 

 

Pass the parcel.

I can now sigh a sigh of relief as the party received positive feedback, appeared a great success and all children enjoyed leaving proud with their Art work.

GOD am I glad it’s all over and they only have birthdays once a year!!

All individual handmade projects will be posted to the project section in time for anyone interested in giving them ago.

(links will be placed below- just click on the relevant one that interests you!)

A paper plate sticker fish.

Wooden boats.

Stained glass Craft stick tropical fish .

Catch a sea creature activity.

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Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2018 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Hobby craft free mini maker sessions and the British motor museum.

 

So sorry I have been of the radar for a few weeks now with the usual tasks presented at the end of a school term and the starts of the holidays taking over. I don’t know if it’s just me this seems to be more of a challenge now the boys are older. I am finally relaxing into the summer holidays and finally feeling the enjoyment of no school runs and the heavily dictated school schedules.

We have started a relaxed and flexible plan of attack for the summer holidays in place! So far:

 We have done a fun week-end with Cousins.

A Hobby craft ‘slime making’ session which the boys loved. From a mums point of view it was great – 1 hrs entertainment where everything was provided free of charge, led by a staff member and tidied up for us. For anyone local to a hobby craft shop I recommend these sessions for anyone who kids like Arts and crafts. As this summer they are running Mini maker sessions several times a week these are free – you just need to book via their website. We have booked into one session/ activity every week thought out the summer. A great excuse to get out, it doesn’t cost anything (especially if we resist the urge to spend in the shop – is that possible?) and someone else gets to clean up the mess for a change. Next week we are booked into  the Decoparge animals.

Also for anyone who might be interested ‘pets at home’ does something similar, which we have done in the past – The boys have always enjoyed them. However we haven’t booked into any this summer as we did the Easter one. If your a local reader I found the one in Abingdon worked well at bribing a shopping trip to Tesco / B and M before hand.

We have also been to the British motor museum on Tesco vouchers (so another free activity normally £39 for a family of four). It was not really my personal cup of tea or a full day out – however the boys enjoyed it, daddy included! There were plenty of Minis and land rovers. A picnic area outside for a picnic lunch. Are eldest enjoyed reading and discussing all the science behind ‘how a car works’ with me  (I think I waffled sufficiently my way though this one despite sounding like I knew what I was talking about!), whilst daddy enjoyed admiring all the cars. Whereas the youngest did his own thing enjoying driving like a racing driver (A mad one at that) in one of their mini ‘minis’ around the museum. We took part in the family trail and made 3D land rovers in the craft zone. It was a nice cool relaxed day out away from the heat.

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We have also dipped into and out of our first planned theme day, designed by the boys – more spread out to normal as I have two tired boys exhausted and effected by the heat. At present they are crashed watching a DVD. Then we have a dip in the sea planned (our pool in the garden) after when the temperature has dropped slightly. We have planned activities (chosen by the boys) based ‘around the sea’ and on one of our favourite books ‘Toy boat’. I will keep you in suspense I will post a separate blog and project area in relation to this as we finish it. So keep an eye out for it in a few days time. We then have a space theme day planned later in the week.

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emmas xxx

© 2018 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Simple and affordable summer holiday ideas.

 

For those planning ideas for the up and coming Summer holiday, here are some simple and affordable ideas you can put on your list (most can be found in my project section):

Outdoor creative play idea:

  1. Make your own Bubble mixture and blow bubbles. Easy Bubble mix.

2. Create your own Fairy Garden or Magical kingdom at the bottom of the garden or Make your own recycled fairy. Make your own magical Garden.

3. Build a den in the garden out of old sheets/ material or cardboard boxes.

4. Make some decorations to add to your garden Easy Fabric garden decorations.

5. Go for a walk/ bike/ scooter ride.

6. Play a game (tennis, football, hide and seek or pretend you are on an adventure i.e. go on a bear hunt).

7. Water play ( dunk in a padding pool, create boats to race(see projects), water fight etc).

8. Sand play.

9. Chalk drawings.

10. Create a Mud kitchen.

11. Create a bug hotel or bird house/ nest.

12. Have a teddy bear picnic.

 

Simple and affordable Summer rainy day ideas:

  1. Create something arty/ crafty (see projects).
  2. Do some cooking How to make your own Simple cupcakes..
  3. Explore science (see projects).
  4. Watch a DVD with popcorn.
  5. Make a summer activity jar An activity Jar for the school Holidays. .
  6. Play some games.
  7. Create a story.
  8. Have a themed day (see rainy day page / projects).
  9. Build a Den.
  10. Have a teddy bear picnic indoors.
  11. Read a book (create your own summer holiday reading challenge or join in the library  challenge).
  12. Create your own mini world to play with (out of Lego, playmobil, dinosaurs, cars, dolls, junk modelling etc).
  13. Playdough (Make your own), modelling clay or Sand clay.
  14. Draw, colour and/or paint a picture.
  15. Do some activity/colouring books.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2018 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Just a quickie – Been playing with the website.

Just to let you know, I’ve been playing with the website. I have made a few changes – hopefully for the better. I hadn’t been happy with the layout for a while and have just got round to playing/ experimenting (this is a pretty nervous/ daunting task for a novice). Hopefully it will make the site clearer and easier to nativate for everyone. My main task was to alter the project section as I really didn’t like the layout on my previous page, when playing and after resorting to getting some web tech help (I’ve been doing it alone to this point) I/we were unable to achieve what I really wanted after many hours of head scratching. I felt reassure that I was not being dumb as they were unable to create the page I wanted to, despite thinking it should be easy to do! So after going back to the drawing board I have come up with the present one! Slight different layout. Now you just need to click on the relevant topic your interested in and it will hopefully take you to a choice of projects. Let me know what you think? Is it for the better or not? Please let me know if you accoutre any problems? (so I can try and fix it!)

Many thanks emmas xxx

P.s I might continue to play with the website, little tweets here and there over the next few weeks- so bare with me.

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!!

How do I get my child to co-operate in Arts and Crafts.

pexels-photo-707193.jpegpexels-photo-240174.jpeg   One of my good friends said recently 

‘it is ok for you, your children want to do arts so they cooperate for you!’ .

    Well I can honestly say – yes my children do cooperate most of the time. However I can’t truthfulness say when doing Arts and crafts in the beginning, if this was because they love being creative or if It was because they knew they would get my undivided attention when we were doing a project. I am lucky in the fact, I am yet to hear the words ‘I’m Bored’. They have grown to really and truly love being creative in its own right over the years alongside exploring, playing, investigating and thinking outside the box. However in their words :

‘they also associate it with fun time with mummy because she enjoys doing it with us’.

   In all honest truth we all know how much attention a child gives to a task depends on whether they are enjoying themselves. Many children struggle when asked to do something they don’t want to do. Stating the obvious ‘Don’t make them paint – if they don’t like painting!’ Give them a choice, as this will empower them. A little creativity from ourselves or them can go a long way in turning something dull into something fun. Instead of insisting that they do it one way, involve them in the decision-making, make it more fun and interesting to them. It can be a great opportunity to test you and your child’s problem solving skills which in turn will improve their attention span.

So the big question we often ask ourselves as parents is ‘ Ok I’ve got their attention, we have found something they wanted to do. But really how do I get my child to sit and concentrate for more than two seconds? – my child only pays attention when they want to and this leads me to losing my patience!’. Well let me set the record straight, It’s not always as perfect as it looks or sounds in those parent books/magazines, websites, blogs or on TV. I sometimes lose my patience and wish I had not bothered. However I tend to find this is down to me!! Choosing the wrong time when Either myself or the boys are not really in the mindset. You know that time when they really want to make … and your just not in the mood, your Mind as a mum has a million things going through it, you’re tired cause you only got four hours sleep last night, there is something else you need to be doing etc. etc. and they have just got to make it right ‘here and now!’

So my advice is choose a time when they can have your full attention –

Give attention to get attention’.

   To really get a child’s attention the parents must really give their full attention. The best way to get them to pay attention to you or any given activity is to be physically close to the child. Being in close physical proximity whilst giving clear and concise instructions will help the child to focus better on what is being said. Don’t shout request from the kitchen to the living room, go to them, stand in front, make eye contact, be at eye level or touch their shoulder. As a parent give your time, the materials and the space to be creative. The materials don’t need to be fancy, A wide variety of simple materials can stimulate any child’s imagination and can develop their sense of touch. Yes painting can be messy, and it’s not an easy task to clean up but it’s a great activity for sensory development. Talk – having conversations can make it more fun and enjoyable for all. If your child doesn’t talk that easy and you’re stuck for a starting place. A good way to start may be to describe what you see, wait to see if your child responds, they may want to share more with you or just return to their work. You may need to accept that your interrupting may interfere with their working process. When children seem ready to share think of though provoking questions – it will be a great fun bonding experience for you and your child.

Time is so important, giving them your time and the time to do the activity with out to much of a time scale. It is Important to encourage your child to keep going and finish their artwork. However once your child says it finished its finished! Whatever creative masterpiece your child comes up with give your child lots of descriptive praise. Responding and encouraging positively will boost their self-esteem and encourages them to keep going. As I said earlier in another blog children and teenagers are naturally creative. Though their idea of creative maybe different to us as parents. We as adults really do need to accept that. Allow them to do it their way you may be surprised by their ideas! At the end of the day ‘What is art?’ Take time to appreciate their individual applied skills and talents to create something of perceived beauty and worth (even if it’s only in the eye of the beholder). The worth in whatever they have made may be visual or it could be a representation of their emotional opinion, or reflecting a moment in time, style or subject matter.

When we allow our children to paint, draw or make something their own way they can be free with colour, shapes and without technique. From this they will learn to trust themselves and their instincts. Arts and crafts with children allows us to see much more than a simple Art piece. If we observe careful with our eyes and ears. We can gain tremendous information about each child. If they see us having fun, we can create enjoyable experiences, memories and support development at the same time. My boys often surprise me with their thinking and how inventing they can be. Listening to their ideas teaches me so much about their own individual of thinking and ability.

Children love to be spontaneous when being creative, so follow their lead. But be aware there’ll also be times when your child wants you to be more involved in guiding them. By being actively involved, you are not doing it for them, see it as you can develop your child’s skills and understanding even more with words, suggestions and support. It is really important to send the message that there’s more than one way to do something. This lets children know they don’t have to conform to anyone else’s ideas and they can go their own way. It’s ok to make mistakes and we can learn from them

As parents we do have to accept someday you win and they may make amazing masterpieces you can be proud of, whereas other days you will lose and they might just make lots of unconstructive mess. However in their eyes they have had fun making something wonderful that they want you to be proud of. Most importantly they have had fun and may or may not have learnt something along the way. It’s all about having fun and learning about the world around them and not about being perfect every time. Some of the best art in the world is not perfect, it’s all about personal taste. Giving them your attention and letting them do it their way, will allow for strong bonding between yourself and them. In turn they will gain confidence to talk to you about anything, trust you and enjoy wanting to be with you, along side exploring activities.pexels-photo-179747.jpeg

‘Is it really a big deal if they want to do it their own way?’

emma s xxx

 

Keeping with the theme Simple and affordable – Body tracing.

IMG_0081    Hi, firstly sorry if you have just been slightly confused (so have I!) by the last project posted and this blog. I have been having a few technical faults – I will lay all blame with the Computer doing its own thing. Hopefully all is fixed now and is fully readable!

‘Don’t you just love them moments when you think wow that five-minute job was quick and easy – to only realise it hasn’t gone to plan instead five minutes turns into an hour’.IMG_0085

Essentially my blog today is just to let you know I have put another project idea in the project section. Sorry really wasn’t sure what to call this one. ‘Body tracing’  was the best I could do. This is very simple and affordable to make as it is easy and pretty much free to make as the basic materials can be found in your home. A good project for younger children. You could if you choose to, use it to talk / teach them about their bodies and body parts. For us it was just a fun project. We have done this project many times before and the ‘bodies’ end up on our boys bedroom door each time. The last ones needed updating as they had seen better days – there is only so many times you can repair them!  Christopher chose to turn himself into a space man and Louie became a superhero.

Please take a look at the project section. Don’t forget to like, comment, share and follow please. Thank you!

emmas xxx

 

Quick hi

Just a very quick blog, to say hi and keep you in the loop! This week I have been busy creating and extending my social media platform – I’m now on twitter and pinterest – take a look! Now its time to get back to working on the next blog and project – (rock painting) coming soon!

Ideas for displaying children’s art and craft work.

Displaying creative projects

– Ideas for displaying children’s art and craft work.

   We are all guilty of Now what am I going to do with this…. I don’t need it cluttering my house up. My particular personal hate is endless junk modelling or projects which involved a lot of glitter, sequins and pom- poms despite encouraging and allowing my children to make things out of them and loving watching what they make with it. A day after they have made it, I want it gone and they soon can easily find their way to the recycle bin with only the best being held on to. As a general rule in our house we do try to make projects I don’t mind having on display (though they do make plenty of the random kind). In their eyes it all looks good – even that randomly painted cereal box, that unbeknown to you is a super flying aeroplane. However as a mother let’s be honest here I only want the ones that makes my house look good, not clutter and a mess.

As I have mention in earlier blogs our house often resembles a children Art gallery and I do really love having my children’s Arts and crafts on display. Apart from genuine enjoying what my children create I believe it is important to remember children do feel proud and special if you enjoy their art work and show it off. In our house on a very regular basis the boys do make lots I don’t want to part with and I can never see myself at this moment in time ever getting rid of. I guess I hope when I put their work on display I am telling them so much unknowingly without words “mummy loves my art – I’m good at this”. Hopefully in turn they will become proud of their own accomplishments leading them to gain confidence in their abilities and good strong self-esteem. As a result they enjoy doing it and will want to do more to please.

Though we have arts/craft dotted all around our house at any given time that we have created and I personally love it, at times it gets too much, so we have created particular areas for different things.

So here are a few ideas I have done, to display/ store their masterpieces for their sake and mine:

Home art gallery – A kitchen wall/pin board for your child’s 2D artwork, drawings, collages and paintings. (The Kitchen door/cupboards in our house our for more personal extra special work created for mum by the boys).

Individual personal Art wall/ Gallery We also alongside the kitchen door use the boys bedroom doors as Individual personal Art wall for their favourite pictures or the most up to date.

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Frame your favourite drawing and put on display as a forever treasured keepsake I have Framed two (one for each boy) of my favourite extra special picture they did for me, each of these pictures were/are extra special and tell an individual personal story of a time, place, memory to me and the individual child. A treasured forever Keepsake.DSC_0485.JPG

Individual yearly Scrap book for all the endless drawings/paintings – The pictures that ‘I can’t bear to throw out and at the moment I want to hold on to!‘ or need to be moved from the doors to create new space. For each entry I stick it in the book – making sure it has a small description, date and name. As my memory might not always been there in years to come – I have already lost track how many scrapbooks we have in the boys individual keepsake box in the loft.

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A craft shelf– We have one ever changing shelf on our stairway for the best 3D craft models (the others live in the boy bedrooms).

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Re- gift – Re use pictures as wrapping paper (see projects for ideas), turn into birthday cards, pictures in frames or turn into gifts for family and friends.

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It sounds like it could be a lot of work, It doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you set your mind to it and find a little time to organise yourself. I actively involve the boys in this activity, Once set up it is easy to just add to and create your own child’s Art Gallery.

emmas xxx

 

Family Christmas hand wreath.

    Hi Hope you are all keeping warm and safe. We have enjoyed a few snow days, just chilling, playing, snowmen building, family movie times and creating a Christmas wreath as a family. I also managed to have some ‘mummy creative time’, in the evening I managed to decoupage an old white ikea table. which was in need of some TLC. Aim was to get it done in time for the Christmas tree to sit on – success thanks to snow days! Please take a look at the project page to see ‘how to make’ the hand wreath, enjoy making and don’t forget to share/ comment!            Love emma xxx

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