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Saturday, 30 November 2013

Advent Calendar 2013

It was the eve of Advent - literally the evening of 30th November - and up until that point I hadn't felt particularly inspired to do anything special to celebrate the season.  I had pinned various ideas to my Pinterest board and I had purchased a few Christmas-themed craft supplies, but I was still waiting for inspiration (or motivation) to strike. Thankfully it struck that evening before advent and I wrote out these activity cards to put in the advent calendar for Wugs to pull out each day.

In order to build some flexibility into our days I didn't number the cards.  This meant I could swap the activities around if I needed to and use them for future advent calendars.

As Dooey was only 7 months old and therefore too young to enjoy most of these activities, I made some nativity craft stick puppets for him using a template from this site.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Coral Reef Small World Play

My little family has fallen sick today.  Dooey is congested and Wugs is out of sorts, so I thought we would take our small world play out on to the balcony and soak up some vitamin D.

I set up the coral reef scene by placing some small mats (a mini version of our bath mats) on the base of our plastic tub.  These have small suckers on the bottom and were a good alternative to glass nuggets which I can't find in Singapore.  I built the rest of the scene on top of the mats and placed a bowl of additional figurines and a bowl of pasta shells for Wugs to dunk in the water.

What we used:
Aqua-coloured plastic place mats
Shells and precious stones
Pasta shells (I used these simply because I didn't have many real shells, but it would have worked better with the real ones as the pasta shells made the water cloudy)
Coral reef/underwater-themed figurines

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Ocean Squishy Bag

We have been following an ocean theme at the moment with our coral reef small world play and bath play.  To extend the theme a little further and to take advantage of all that light pouring through our balcony doors, I wanted to see how Wugs would respond to an ocean squishy bag.

I emptied a tube of hair gel into a clear file pocket and added blue food colouring, squishing it about until the blue colouring had evenly dyed the hair gel. Then I added some coral reef/underwater figurines, sealed the top of the file and fixed it to the balcony doors with strong tape.  It looked like a mini aquarium on our balcony doors and Wugs enjoyed prodding and poking it and pointing out the fish.

What we used:
Coral reef and underwater figurines
Hair gel
Blue food colouring
Clear file pocket

(Note: I washed out the file pocket before I made my squishy bag to see if the file pocket leaked.  In retrospect, this was a bad idea as the pocket appeared to retain some of the water which broke up the hair gel at the top and corner of the file.  It probably would have been better to use a Ziploc bag inside a Ziploc bag (for double protection) rather than a clear file pocket).

Sunday, 3 November 2013

DIY Light Box

For a while now I've been enviously reading posts about all the fun children are having with light boxes.  We managed to find one in Art Friend the other week, but it's not exactly toddler-proof, so I wanted to create one that was a little more robust and portable.

What we used:
Large plastic, shallow and transparent box with a lid that fastens down securely
Battery-operated white lights (Christmas tree lights would also work)
Tin foil
Grease-proof paper

It was only when I embarked upon this project that I realised just how difficult it is to get hold of a shallow, wide, transparent box with a lid that fastens down.  Thankfully the box came to me!  We were having a belated celebration for my husband's birthday and had ordered some catering and guess what the chicken rice came in?  I had my eye on that box all the way through dinner, making sure nobody took it home with the leftovers!

I made our light box by fixing two sheets of tin foil across the inside and up the sides with sellotape.  Then I added some battery-operated white lights which I fixed to the sides. I sellotaped a sheet of grease-proof paper across the inside of the lid which had the effect of spreading the light around without giving off a glare.  I sealed the box by fastening down the lid and we were ready to use it.