Daddy’s Day

Father’s Day is fast approaching! The idea for creating a day for children to honour their fathers began with a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd. Sonora adored her father and, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, she felt Fatherhood should be recognised also.While there is a multitude of craft ideas for older children to make for Father’s day, it is quite difficult to find ones that are suitable for little ones.  So here are three fun and quick ideas for the little people to make for their daddies (with your help of course).

1. Make a hand print tree card or poster (that could be framed if you wish). This is suitable for 9 months +. You will need:

  • non toxic poster paint (you can have several colours if you like)
  • a paint brush
  • a piece of white paper (size is up to you)
  •  a piece of A4 brown paper ( or you could use a paper bag)
  •  scissors (adults only of course!),
  • a glue stick
  • newspaper
  • wipes

This is a super easy one, but of course, anything that involves children and paint is messy, so don’t forget to put on old clothes or an apron on your little one! Basically all you need to do is draw a rough outline of a tree on your brown paper ( it doesn’t have to be elaborate or detailed) and then cut it out and glue it onto your white paper. Then paint your little one’s hand with the paint and paintbrush and make a series of prints to make the leaves on the tree. alternatively you could just use fingerprints to dot on the leaves. The wipes are essential as most babies and toddlers will decide to take off and make prints on everything around them! You can write a message or a poem (go to underneath your tree. You could make an autumn themed tree using yellow, red and orange paint, a rainbow tree or traditional green.

2. Continuing on the whole hand print idea, you could make a hand print on a small canvas (easily bought at $2 shops) and take a photo of your little one holding it or sitting with it. The photo can then be made into a card by sticking it onto a piece of A4 card folded in half. The card and the canvas are a lovely gift also for grandparents. I did this when the Bean was only 2 months old and it’s something that is greatly treasured.

3. Last week The Bean had great fun covering paper in wheel prints. See on your marks, get set, go! We are now going to use all of that paper as wrapping paper and also to make a card to go with it. This one is only limited by your imagination and whatever you have lying around. I just folded a piece of blue A4 cardboard in half and then cut out a piece of the painted paper and stuck it on top (see the first photo). I’m then going to stick on a photo of the Bean and he is going to help me decorate it with star stickers.


making your own dye

Now, I know many people would wonder why you would bother making your own paint when there are many great products available that are cheap and non toxic. But the other day I was reflecting on how the Bean used the paint roller activity and his fondness for tasting everything, and I wasn’t happy about him putting the paint near or in his mouth. So I thought, what if you could make your own paint that is safe to eat? It sounds like a great idea – cheap, you know what’s in it and you can make as much as you need. But first i will need some dye.

So I discovered in my local supermarket (Coles) that they stock Queens natural food colouring, in a nifty little four pack. ‘Great!’ I thought. This will be too easy. But then I had a closer look at the ingredients and was a little startled to find that they had a high percentage of alcohol in them. Not so good. I also found out some more about them on the blog lets party.

So I did a little bit more internet hunting and  found 2 websites that sell natural food colourings, though they are a little more expensive. You can find them at Hullabaloo and healthy kidz if this is an easier option for you. I also went to my local health food shop and asked about them. The guy pointed them out to me but said that although they were natural he had no idea if they were organic or if they had alcohol in them, and as they had no ingredients list on the label, they were also a fail.

So, I  thought, ‘Surely there must be a recipe somewhere on the internet to make vegetable based dyes’. And sure enough, there are THOUSANDS of them. So, after reading through some of them i thought i would give it a go and make some green dye using spinach. At least if the dye doesn’t work, I can always freeze the cooked spinach to use later on for cooking. So here is the recipe:

Add 3 large spinach leaves (roughly chopped) to a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover the leaves. Boil for 60 seconds. Allow saucepan to simmer on the lowest heat setting of your stove for an additional 10 minutes. Let the water cool and then strain it through muslin or a wire mesh strainer. You can safely store the green food color in any glass container that has a tight-fitting lid.

The result looks like i have just skimmed some algae out of a pond, but i knew it wouldn’t be a vibrant green anyway. It was pretty easy to make and i would make it again, though i might try parsley as well. I’m hoping to use it in goop, play dough and of course, to make paint. i will be posting about these soon. I’m also hoping to experiment with more colours and would love to make a yellow and a red!

Roll up, roll up!

I love painting. Sure it’s messy, but what art and craft would be great without getting messy? Little ones love the textu


re of paint and it’s also a great way to start teaching them about colours. For this one, i used a small paint roller ( you can buy them at $2 shops, art stores and hardware stores) but you can easily make your own by attatching a piece of sponge or cloth with some rubber bands over a toilet roll or paper towel roll (cut to size).

You will need:

  • newspaper
  • a few sheets of blank paper (any size)
  • paint roller(or home made one)
  • a shallow plastic container or lid
  • non toxic poster paint (you can find it at newsagents and kids central also have a great water based one)
So, after the bean’s nap i put on one of his old shirts and took him over to his little tabel, which i had covered with newspaper (taped down the sides) and had placed the paper, roller and paint container on top. He watched me pour the paint into the container with absolute fascination and was keen to get his hands into it, which i let him do. He really enjoyed squishing his hands in it and then had a go smearing it across the paper. I then got a fresh piece of paper and demonstated how to roll the paint roller (without paint) and then gave it to him to have a go. He loved this as he is very keen on anything that moves or has wheels!
I then dipped it in the paint and showed him again how to roll it. He had a go rolling it a few times but wasn’t very keen on it, as he prefers just putting his hands into the paint (which will be great when we do hand prints). It was still a lot of fun and it was good to see whether he likes painting or not.