Saturday, December 29, 2012

Simple Fairy Playmat

One thing the girls asked for on their Santa lists this year were Tinkerbell Fairies. They are both fascinated by fairies and 'magical' things at the moment so we spent some time after lunch today making a fairy land for some imaginary play.
This mat was really quick and easy to make, you can use just about anything you have lying around the house and it doesn't matter if it isn't perfect. It's all about prompting creative play, so keep everything simple and movable.


* small turf mat
(we ask for cut offs cheap from our local turf shop. You could use anything though; felt sheets, towels, coloured paper, fabric cut offs, the top of a table)
* felt sheets
* scissors
* corks
* pop sticks
* pompoms
* small stones

You can literally use anything you have on hand. Ribbons could be rainbows or rivers, bottle lids could be boats or stepping stones, make a lake using foil or use things from the garden like leaves, gum nuts and sticks.

We used a small piece of turf off cut as the base of our fairy land but you can use anything you have on hand. I cut the felt pieces and the girls added their own elements like stones, glittery pompom flowers and fairy houses made from paper.

The girls wanted toadstools for their fairies to dance around so we made some using corks and felt. None of the pieces are attached, they can be moved easily to become other things when they aren't being toadstools.

We made a lake out of blue felt and Bubble made a bridge using pop sticks and stones. The sticks kept sliding off so we added some blutac (sticky tack) later on to hold them in place.

We made a few different types of rainbows using felt offcuts.

The girls liked the solid arch rainbow the best because they could use the arches separately as other things (a sunset, a cave, a magic mountain).

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Count Down - Whiteboard Bunting

It was the first of December here yesterday and we were busy putting up our tree and house decorations while listening to Christmas songs. Cheesy, I know, but still my favourite time of the year!
One of the first things to go up were our count down calendars, this year we are using our reusable felt tree calendar that we made a few years ago but I thought something a bit more interactive would be fun too.
This whiteboard bunting was very easy to use and both girls can practice their number writing over and over again. Best of all it can be packed away and used again next year!


* paper
* printer
* laminator and pouches
* scissors
* blutac 
(or string and tape)
* whiteboard marker

Other ideas:
Both Bubble and Squeak are good counters but if this is something your child is still learning you could add stickers to make this count down even more fun. Each day they could add the right number of stickers by counting them out and sticking them on themselves.

To make the count down bunting I made some designs on the computer and printed them out before laminating each sheet. Then they were cut out ready to be hung on the wall.
The templates to make the bunting are at the bottom of this post.

We hung up our flags using blutac (sticky tack) so we could easily take one down a day to do our tracing and then put it back up again.
If you don't want to use blutac you could easily tape the flags along a length of string instead and use removable hooks at each end.

Each bunting flag has a traceable count down number on it.

Bubble tracing our number one flag yesterday.
Because the flags are laminated and we are using whiteboard markers the girls can practice over and over again before we hang the flag back up.

 Two days into our Christmas Count Down!

(right click to open to full size and print)