Archive for Craft for non-crafty parents

Build a flat-pack town, you awesome craft parent, you!

Flat from the printer, but soon brought to life. Mum – you’re amazing!

It’s been a while between craft drinks – I guess inevitable now that my lovelies are off to school and the new focus is all education. This is actually my first craft printable for the year! I’ve picked up quite a few new readers in that time (hello & welcome!) and you all probably have no idea that this blog has an abundance of easy craft ideas to do with your kiddies.

I’m a pretty strong believer that creativity is important for kids, and I encourage all parents to join in for a half hour here or there. Even if you’re a creative numbnut, you’ll be able to tackle one of my projects in the Craft for non-crafty parents category.

Try not to think of it as a chore – it can be some really valuable family time, away from screens and other stresses. I’ve talked about the benefits of craft time before. The kids love it too – getting mum or dad to themselves for a bit is a rare gift these days.

So today’s bit of fun is a flat-pack town. Complete with street scene, two houses and a couple of tiny folk to keep little fingers occupied. Download the two-page PDF here. Enjoy!

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Leaving it all behind

'B' is for 'behind', 'beyond' and 'blocked'.

I love the parenting truth that once a stage or phase has passed, you totally move on and forget all about it. Or perhaps block it out of your memory, depending on how awful it was. Like the entire first eight weeks of having a newborn. Or the four months that I had ongoing mastitis (and a dependence on cabbage leaves). Or the 4.30am wake up stage, which lasted for a year or two (now of course, I can’t really remember specifics).

When you’re in the middle of these stages, they feel eternal. You are obsessed with them, googling specific questions like “3 month old baby poos only green moss-like substance”. Luckily someone else, somewhere in the world, has already had these issues and usually there are a stack of relevant answers to advise you. God knows what people did before the internet.

For a solid year, Mr Meat & Potatoes had night terrors. It was harrowing. Despite all my research that told me there was nothing we could do about it, and that it would pass and that there was no point trying to sooth him, we spent hours in his room, for nights on end, trying to pat, cuddle and talk away the unsoothable. It was a particular parenting lowlight that had us almost broken with lack of sleep and worry. But sure enough, in the space of two weeks it stopped. And we’ve never had to go back to it. Although on the rare occasion my children cry in the night, my heart immediately begins thumping and I feel the adrenalin surge again.

So too, now that Mr M&P is in kindy, I haven’t given school readiness another thought. Which is funny since last year I was so focused on it and made so many worksheets for him.

Possibly your kids were too young for them last year and you didn’t notice them. But this year, perhaps it’s your turn to focus on scissors and pencil grip and the alphabet. So here’s a rehash, of some of the sheets that I needed last year, that you might need now.

A lovely easy start to learning with some fun ‘spot the difference’ type visual discrimination pages

Is your little monster ready for school?

Basic scissors & numbers here

A Midnight Oils album cover? Maybe not, but numbers 1-10 nonetheless

Basic alphabet sheet here

Don't worry, the actual download is perfectly alphabetical.

More scissor work (with a certificate) here

Another award to stick on the fridge....

Basic shapes

Because a circle is always MORE than just a circle

Some numbers and colours here in a pixel colour-by-numbers

What will it be??? You'll have to download to see!

And no, I never did finish off the detailed alphabet sheets. On a quiet day I will though, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are letters A-F, letters G-L and letters M-R.

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Money doesn’t grow on trees (but you can find it in my books)

Last year Vegie Smugglers helped stacks of daycare centres and causes around Australia raise money. It’s simple. You sell the cookbooks and keep a cut of the sale price. You can take pre-orders and keep $10 of each book, or this year, I’m also offering pre-packed boxes of 20 books (any combo of VS1&2) and you can keep $12/book. How easy is that! Just have them sitting in your daycare centre or school canteen and sell throughout the year. Or get a box for your trivia night, cake table, anything that takes your fancy. Full details of the programs are on this easy-to-digest 1 page flyer.

If you think your daycare centre would be interested in the program but you baulk at saying the word ‘fundraising’ aloud (lest you are suddenly thrust the title of ‘fundraising committee’) I’m happy to contact the centre for you. I won’t even use your name (unless you want me to). I just need the centre name, the director’s name and a valid email address. As a thanks I’ll send you a free lunchbox planner (if you’ve already got terms 1, 3 & 4, I’ll put you down for a preorder on Term 2).

Of course, if you want to download the form and email it through to your centre on MY behalf, I’d be eternally grateful.

To help the healthy eating & living theme along I supply a stack of fun activity sheets that can be used in class or at home. To get a taster, here’s a couple of freebies…

vegie smugglers healthy eating worksheet

This fun worksheet will help them recognise their fruit & veg.

There’s a shopping list with pictures of fruit and vegies that your kiddie can colour, practice numbers on or stuff up their nose! And there’s also this colouring in sheet of how vegetables grow. All good info for your little ones (with a few cute critters thrown in).

On your marks, get set, GO!

And to give my 2012 fundraising launch a bit of a POW, I’m running a colouring in competition! Download the activity sheet and email me with your masterpiece and be in the running to win one of 2x $10 Bakers Delight vouchers. Easy.

So get to it! All referrals and colouring entries should be emailed to me (Wendy) at vegiesmugglers@gmail.com.

Huge thanks.
x

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A loo-roll baby cheeses

Perhaps you can tell that I’m not a church-goer, but I still thought it about time to wrench the kids away from Santa & presents and get them to focus a little on WHY we have this glutton & greed festival each year. So here you have it, a baby Jesus craft project made from a toilet roll. Those of you squeamish at the thought of reusing a roll handled by your grubby children who are newly-toilet-trained, may like to just cut a 10cm length from a giftwrap tube instead.

And Merry Christmas to you too, baby jesus...

He’s a bit more complicated than my usual projects, so I’ve done a few step by step pics to guide you….

First, download the loo-roll Jesus PDF. Next, print it out onto A4 at 100% (if you scale it, it won’t fit the roll properly). Colour and decorate anyway you like (I’ve gone for a tasteful nude today). Cut around the thick black lines.

The manger is pretty straight forward. Just fold on the dashed lines, place the flaps inside and tape into place.

Then tape Jesus’s face onto the top of a loo roll…

Place him on his clothing and wrap the long arm side over so that it shapes around his face…

Then wrap over the other arm…

Fold up the nappy and tape, then fold over the hood and secure that too. Just fold and tape down any gaping bits.

Cut up the paper scraps to make hay, or even better, raid the catcher on the shredding machine and make the little guy a comfy bed.

Aaaahhhh... comfy.

And there you have it, the REAL meaning of Christmas…

__________________________

Now to business for a second… Western states need to order books TODAY for pre-Christmas delivery. Eastern states have until Friday. Beyond that, the shop is open, but I’m at the mercy of the Australia Post gods and can’t promise anything. I’ll still be filling orders over Christmas. And feel free to keep buying, you’ll get the books in time for your new year’s resolutions.

__________________________

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And the winner is…

Thanks to everyone who entered the Christmas tree competition. I’ve been thrilled to receive so many entries! And what a clever bunch you all are. Let’s send email kisses and well dones to my runners up…

Thanks to Elizabeth for this fantastic effort...

Kirrily's advent calendar is SO much better than the store bought ones...

And Shannon's little boy shows the same amount of artistic talent as Mr Meat & Potatoes....

But my winner of the day is Rebekeh, whose daughter was clever enough to recognise the tree’s true potential as a princess hat…

And our winner... never missing an opportunity to be gorgeous.

So Rebekah wins the books and planners – my 3 runners up will also be receiving a term 4 planner – just in time to make the coconut ice for week 10.

Make sure you check back later in the week for more fabulous Christmas craft – I’m currently working up a craft sheet that transforms a loo roll into baby Jesus… I’m sure you all can’t wait for that one.

And remember, Christmas orders close off this week. To ensure pre-Christmas delivery, WA, NT & SA need to order by Wednesday 14th and the Eastern states need to order by Friday 16th.

Enjoy your Sunday,
Wendy
xx

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Christmas tree craft – and prizes!

o tannenbaum... o tannenbaum...

Is your tree up yet? We’re doing a fresh tree again this year, so I’m not buying it for another week. The kids are pestering me though (not being brats, just super-excited), so I’ve done up this little bit of Christmas tree craft to tide them over. It’s really simple. Just download the PDF, print, colour and tape or glue up. Wrap the star over a toothpick and pop it in the top of the cone.

It might make a cute addition to your Christmas table, or you could make little ones and stick name labels on for fun little place-tags. Whatever you do, make sure you snap a pic of it and upload it on Facebook or email me at vegiesmugglers@gmail.com and you could win a Vegie Smugglers prize pack, with both books, postage & all the e-books. Entries close December 10. ***I”M RUNNING THIS COMP AGAIN FOR 2013 – YOU’VE GOT UNTIL 8PM AEDT, DEC 20 TO UPLOAD YOUR ENTRIES!*** CONGRATULATIONS TO LEANNE QUINN! GORGEOUS FAMILY PIC, LEANNE!

Or if you can’t be bothered, just use the project to keep the kids busy for half an hour while you start your list for the (Christmas) Final Countdown. Bless.

Vegie Smugglers christmas tree craft idea

Click the pic to download the PDF printable

Mr Meat & Potatoes works on his competition entry.

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Ho Ho Ho

a christmas fairy made from a toilet roll

She's back! Ready to top the tree and guide you through the festivities...

Yes, believe it or not, it’s THAT time of year again. Truly frightening. Where DID that year go? I was just commenting to my best friend, “isn’t it great that my book reprint arrived nice and early”, then looked up to see his bewildered face as he reminded me that they were DUE late November and have ARRIVED in late November. He was looking at me with that astonished and troubled face that vaguely reads, “HOLY SHIT, I actually MARRIED her”.

So I’ve upped my game and now realize that Christmas is just 5 weeks away, and therefore I’ve only got about 3 weeks left to sell books so that they arrive neatly in time for Christmas. To encourage nice early sales and not a last minute rush, I’m offering giftwrapped bundles of Vegie Smugglers 1 & 2 with free postage until December 16. So really, don’t put it off.

And by the way, should you be DYING to meet me and discuss the intricacies of your family’s food battles, I’ll be at the Sydney Northern Beaches Mumpreneur market THIS Sunday November 27 at the Parkway Hotel from 9-1. The market space isn’t especially flash, but I’ll be there with free biscuits and colouring in sheets and there’s a stack of other businesses that you can come and support too.

Then on Sunday December 4, I’ll be at the Dulwich Hill Fair, outside Gleebooks between 10.30-11. Now there’s nothing that makes me feel like more of a twit than being asked to sign a book, but apparently that’s what I’ll be doing should you want a pithy comment such as ‘happy smuggling’ in your lovely new bookstore copy of VS. More importantly I’m always keen to have a chat and hear about which recipes are working in YOUR household and what I can do to help you out more in the future (and you don’t have to buy anything – promise).

PHEW. And with public announcements over for the day, let’s revisit Christmas. Last year I thrilled you all with this paper snowflake pattern and AWESOME loo-roll Christmas fairy. I don’t know about you, but I’M reloading my printer paper cartridge in anticipation.

Now, how are you all going on gift buying? I need some advice please, I have a 12-year-old sports-mad niece, a 10-year-old creative nephew and a 10-year-old niece who likes dancing to buy gifts for and I have NO CLUE. Currently they seem to enjoy iPods, iPods and iPods. But surely some of you out there have kids of that demographic and can pass on some insider knowledge. Many thanks.

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School holidays in the rain…

Finding a good hairdresser is SO hard these days.

I’ve had a houseful of girls over the last two weeks as Miss Fruitarian shows off her new home to a variety visitors.

With all the bad weather (did you know statistically, it does rain more during school holidays), we’ve been indoors alot, back to the old faithfuls of craft and drawing. To keep things interesting (and offer some variety for our guests who are possibly a little bored by Miss F’s endless drawings of herself on the pony that Santa is apparently bringing this Christmas) I’ve got this hair doodle page. Inspired by reader Laura, who emailed me about a similar one she’d seen, you can draw, paste wool or paper into a variety of hairstyles for a bit of fun.

Don’t forget a few other craft sheets which can fill in a half hour here and there. Why not try the spaceship dashboard (I just had to print 3 of them) and the astronaut foil collage dude or the fairy mobile. For a bunch of quick project printables, check out my ‘Craft for non-crafty parents’ e-book. You can find it in my shop.

Enjoy.

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Letters MNOPQR

More letters for your pre-schoolers to enjoy.

I’ve been a bit slack on this old alphabet thing, haven’it I? So at the risk of your kids only being able to write words that contain letters between A-L, here’s the worksheets for the next set of letters.

Promise I’ll try to get around to finishing the rest soon.

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We have lift off! (1-10 or 10-1 if you prefer)

A Midnight Oils album cover? Maybe not, but numbers 1-10 nonetheless

Just a quick pre-school worksheet this week – a break from the alphabet – a bit of early learning counting. The kids can practice their scissor work by cutting out the squares, then try to recognise the numbers and pop them into order (there are counting dots to help them) before getting to some good glue action with fabulously gooey pasting required on the second page.

Download the counting PDF worksheet here
.

_______________________

Like this project? You can find it, along with 39 other boredom busters in the ‘Craft for non-crafty Parents’ e-book. There’s a stack of silly fun stuff, projects that encourage healthy eating and a bunch of worksheets covering preschool education and school readiness. You can buy it at the shop now!

128 pages, 40 projects, 85 pages of printables…

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