Showing posts with label nature crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature crafts. Show all posts

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gruffalo Crumble

Proof that we really do get out and about (and crafty) whatever the weather - today we attended a special party for the Gruffalo, to celebrate his 15th birthday! 

Despite rumbles of thunder and a torrential downpour of rain, we still had great fun and enjoyed all the activities, including (naturally!) some forest crafts. 

We made a few Gruffalo things, including a lovely log birthday badge, but our favourite activity of the day was making a clay Gruffalo using a mixture of craft and forest materials. 

You can make one at home if you have some air drying clay, salt dough or similar! 


1. Roll a large ball of clay for the Gruffalo's body, and a small one for his head. Secure together with a stick if necessary

2. Add two googley eyes (ideally orange, like in the book) and a tiny green pom pom for the poisonous wart on the end of his nose! 

3. Cut a purple pipe cleaner into small pieces, bend in half, and press into the back of your clay figure, for those "purple prickles all over his back"

4. Use two pieces of pine cone or bark to make his ears

5. Find some sticks with bumpy bits to give him legs with "knobbly knees", and some more sticks for his arms

6. Find some small pieces of twig, bark, leaves or other forest objects to give him his terrible teeth, and his black tongue! 

7. If using air drying clay, leave overnight and it should be hard by the following day

Do you have a great craft tutorial to share? Why not create a How To page on Squidoo? As the Little Crafty Kids Contributor, I'm always on the lookout for fabulous new craft ideas, and I'll be sharing all the best how-to's and reviews on the LCK Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

Happy crafting!  

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Crafty by Nature



 One of my favorite ways to craft is by using natural materials from the world around us. Every week my daughter and I head off to forest school and then have a wander through the forest afterwards, and invariably she will pick up some bits and bobs to take home and craft with!  


There are lots of gems to be found on the forest floor, from pine cones to twigs, leaves to moss. These can be used in so many ways - leaf printing, glitter pine cones in pots or to use on festive wreaths, nature cards and more! 

Our very own mbgphoto shares this tutorial on How to Make a Pine Cone Angel, which you can adapt to make into angels, fairies or elves with your little ones!

Another great source of natural craft materials is the beach. How many different ways can you get creative with a shell? Lots, I tell you! We've made sculptures and mini mermaids, painted pebble friends and treasure boxes, to name but a few things, out of the shells, pebbles, rocks and driftwood that we've encountered on our meanderings.  

Shells - image from JupiterImages Corporation
 Scarlettohairy shows us How to Paint Rocks in her craft guide, and for more beach-themed crafts, I put together a few ideas to get you started in my guide to Sea Crafts for Kids. You'll also find plenty of inspiration in Homemade Beach Craft Ideas by studentz, which includes lots of projects from basic to advanced, many of which can be adapted for children. Which reminds me, if you see a craft you like in a book or online, but it's for older kids or adults, don't write it off straight away - can you come up with a toddler or preschooler-friendly version of it?

Natural materials can be so much fun to craft with, and they can be excellent teachers, too! As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, during the Easter break we had a go at a willow weaving workshop at our local zoo, and came home with two lovely birds nests, which we've been using for all kinds of things. Needless to say, we learned a lot about how clever birds are at making their nests, and how they have to make them strong enough to hold the eggs and soft enough for the babies when they hatch! Greenspirit has a wonderful guide to making Bird Nests Crafts, which little ones would love to help with creating. 


Finally, even if you live in the middle of the city or miles from a beach or wood, you can still find nature's bounty on your doorstep! Find sticks and flowers in the garden, leaves from trees in the street or park... or combine nature and crafts by creating a mini indoor garden in a pot or barrel - perfect for small world play, nurturing green fingers and stimulating creativity! Think fairy garden, dinosaur terrain or even a Lego adventure park. There are lots of Miniature Fairy Garden Ideas to be had such as these by LoveEmbroidery.

Elsewhere in the world of nature, seedplanter shows us how to have Fun with Flowers, while vallain reviews these awesome Model Insect Kits, which once built would look great as part of a nature diorama for small world play. And I just love some of the ideas on lbrummer's Outdoor Crafts for Kids, especially the twig frame, garden markers made from sticks and the super cool grass house!

So, next time you are enjoying a walk out in the natural world, why not have a look around and see what treasures lie waiting to be found?

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