Thursday, 21 March 2013

Sight Word Bingo

So, who doesn't love a good game of bingo!! And with school age children, if you can encourage some early-word recognition along the way, then thats a bonus I think! This was my inspiration for my post, something fun and educational that we could all enjoy & was super easy to prepare!

The first part of planning this exercise involved putting together a list of 'sight words' and creating the bingo cards with these words mapped out on them. I did not use any particular resource to come up with these words, I simply used ones I thought were common & those Ive seen in children's early reading books. Im sure you could easily download a suitable list appropriate to your childs year level from the web - or ask their teacher!

Once I had the bingo cards individually mapped out, I found the brightest card we had (everything is SOOO much more fun when its bright!!), typed them out & printed them off. I used a total of 30 'sight words' and printed these on plain white paper also, ready for cutting & laminating.

I looove using my laminator when possible (dont ask me why??!) so laminated each sheet containing the bingo cards and also my list of words. You could do this without laminating - I just find the cards are not damaged nearly as easily if they are. Then, as you can see from my pic, cut up my bingo cards (8 in total), all of my 'sight words' and found some markers which are to be used to cover the words. We found these in our craft box & thought they would be just perfect!

All you need then is a box or bag of some sort to put in and mix up your words (we just used a sandwich bag), and you are ready to go! A super easy idea that the kids will love! I am planning to link printables for this activity to my post - so stay tuned! If you do make your own version, I would love to see it!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Kids Calendar

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe how long it has been since I've had the chance to blog! January has been a complete whirlwind, but with school resuming next week I am excited to have a little more time to get my craft-on!! 
Ive had this on my list of things to do for quite awhile & am glad I got it finished just in time for the beginning of the school term! A very simple idea that you can easily re-create yourself at home.
So here it is, a coded calendar for kids! A  calendar specifically designed to prepare your children for the activities each day holds. I have to mention I was given this idea from the wonderful people at 'Behaviour Tonics' & am forever grateful as it is proving to be a godsend in our house! No longer am I faced with the usual ' oh no, not that today!' or 'oh, I thought I had swimming today!!' Now my children can take a glance at their calendar and quickly identify exactly what's on. I love it!! you can see, this calendar is super straightforward and simple, just the way I like it. Nothing fancy - but serves its purpose. I chose a calendar template in Microsoft Publisher to which I then added images I sourced from the internet. In this case, the lunchbox is code for school, the fish are for swimming and the keyboard (which you cannot see in this most fabulous pic) is for piano. And as each day passes, we simply place a sticker over that date so we know we are then up to the next one. Easy peezy. I've kept mine in A4 size as this is all I needed and it now has a place on my daughters door. Publisher is such a fantastic resource though, there are many sizes & variations you could use - so why not give it a go! I would love to see what you come up with!! 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Teachers Gifts

 Wow, the school year is almost over!! With time getting away from me quicker than I had possibly imagined, I decided it was time to start on the teacher & teachers assistants gifts for my daughters class. I came across this wonderful idea on an American website that I cannot for the life of me remember, however, if I do I will absolutely post the details!! Anyway, this is my take on it.....

Your first step is to locate some kind of cups or glasses - I found these uber cool 'Vue' cups in Myer, which I absolutely love love love!! You could use pretty much anything you like, I think clear coffee mugs would be fantastic too. I plan on buying some of these cups myself as I think they would be great for milkshakes in the summer!! 

Once you have your chosen container, you then get to do the fun part - choose what to fill it with....beverage wise. I was originally thinking coffee sachets in different flavours but couldnt make up my mind as to which would be best, so went with a good 'old favourite of Twinings tea - everbody loves a good cup of tea (I know I do!!).
I went with English Breakfast & Chai simply because they are super yummy, but there are zillions you could choose! Given more time I would definitely have sourced some fair trade tea but when time is running out I think it's best to stick with something fairly simple and not too time consuming.

Now that the cups had been filled with yummy tea, it was time to add some final decorative touches. Again, I didn't want anything too 'loud' just sweet & simple. I have an abundance of brown paper at my place so cut 3 long strips of this, folded them in half and secured them around each cup, giving it the 'takeaway coffee cup' type look. And with Christmas almost here I thought it necessary to add a little red so used my 'hoot' tags I had pre-prepared and tied them onto my cup using fine red ribbon. I added a little note to the tag saying 'Thankyou for quenching my thirst for knowledge' - I got this from the original idea I saw online & just loved it, so had to use it myself. And there you have it....teachers gifts that are simple, practical and I think, super cute!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Advent Calendar

I can't believe how quickly 'that' time of the year is approaching!! It has been a complete & utter blur, it's almost unbelievable that we are about to start hanging up Christmas decorations. In saying that, I am a Christmas junkie. There is no other way to put it, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christmas. I love the holidays, the food and especially the quality time spent with family & friends. I also just adore a teeny tiny little bit that there is sooooo much opportunity to get creative in festive season!!!

In saying that, I wanted to share with you my very simple take on the 'advent calendar.' Nothing too fancy shmancy, but something that you and the kids can have a lot of fun with. My inspiration for this was from an amazing blog I am so grateful for stumbling across called All you need, is a large 
pin board, 2 X A3 sheets of paper, sticky numbers, tacks & Christmas decorations.

I firstly covered my pin board in the metallic red A3 sheet I'd chosen - I cut it so I could push it under the frame which was a bit fiddly but I got there in the end!! I then used my white A3 sheet to make individual gift tags, with the numbers 1-25 on them. I chose red vinyl stickers but foam or even flat sticker numbers would be fine. The next step is the one the kids were most excited about, we all went shopping for new Christmas decorations. You need 25 in total, one for each tag of which we used a mix of new ones and a couple of oldies we've loved from 
previous years. You then line up your tags in rows of 5 on your pin board and nominate a decoration for each date.

What I love about this is the kids 
can have fun with moving the decorations and placing them where they would like (well, until the 1st of December anyway : ) I used clear tacks to pin my tags at the top, and then hung the decoration from that so it hovers over the number. Next year, I am hoping that we will have made our own decorations to hang on the advent calendar......somehow we ran out of time this year!! I also used the vinyl letters to place the words Merry Christmas at the top of the pinboard to break up the cork look - but you could put anything you like.

And the end result.......ta da!! A very simple but super fun Christmas activity that everyone can get involved with. Ooohhh and your probably wondering what happens with the decorations - well everyday from the 1st of December the kids take the decoration for that date and hang it on the tree. And let me tell you that are just a little bit super excited to say the least!! So, why not give it a go - every Christmas needs a little bit of handmade. Ps. I bought 2 x packets of sticky numbers/letters without thinking there wouldn't be enough 2's & 1's so cut up a few of the letters to make more which worked fantastically as they are all in the same font.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Bath Cookies

This one is for all of you bakers out there! I'm always on the lookout for unique gift ideas, so when I came across this one I just had to try it out! Not only do I love baking cookies, but being able to put them in the bath is pretty damn cool too if you ask me! With Christmas coming up, this would be the perfect gift for a 'foodie' friend or family member. 
Due to copyright laws I can't re-produce the recipe I used, however, I can tell you that they are prepared and baked with the same method as an ordinary cookie, and stored in an airtight container until used. Then you simply place the cookie in the bath  when your ready to use it and watch it dissolve (be patient as this does take time).  You can use any essential oil of your choice, and in this case I went with Orange as it is my absolute fav.

Below I have listed the links for two bath cookie recipes I found during my 'googling' that I've  not yet tried, but sounded divine! If you do give them a whirl, I would love to hear how they turned out!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Sewing Tip - GATHERING

I cant believe how quickly these last two months have flown, and how 'not very often' Ive had the opportunity to blog! I promise though there will be a weekly addition now that I am a little more organised!
I had to add this little sewing tip before I completely forgot as I think it is SO VERY CLEVER! Over at one of my regular blogging stops, Dana Made It, I came across a very interesting tip on gathering. As I seem to be doing alot of this with my sewing projects lately I was very excited!
Instead of doing your usual long stitch from one end of the fabric to the other and then back again - Dana explains that if you change the tension on your machine to the highest possible & put your stitch on the longest, your machine will actually gather the fabric as you sew. AMAZING! I was a bit sceptical at first, but sure enough it worked perfectly! I will most certainly be using this method more often. I shared this tip with my mum who in all her years of sewing had not been aware of this - and she is now desperate to give it a go!! Maybe you should try it out too!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Warhol Dress

Hooray!! I have finally had some time to do some sewing, it feels like agesssss since I've touched my machine!! I had a couple of metres of this gorgeous coral polyester dying to be sewn so I headed over to a blog I love called Dana Made It, for a bit of inspiration. Definitely worth a look is this blog as she has some great tutorials & ideas, SO, it was here I found a FREE pattern for 'The Warhol Dress.' Now this is my take on the dress as I just loved the pattern & wasnt particularly interested in the applique, & I think it makes for a lovely summer outfit!! I had a little piece of stretch fabric leftover from a recent project, so used this for the yoke and made it a little longer than the pattern so I could have an extra big bow. This is a very simple project you could put your own creative spin on, and coming into summer is the perfect time to whip up a couple for your daughter, or as gifts!