Posts tagged craft

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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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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Why I love letters GHIJKL

educational worksheets for pre schoolers - letters g-l

I have been playing WAY too many games of 'words with friends'

Gee, how I just love kind labradors.

Gosh, haven’t I just kicked Lucas?

Generally, half ignored jackasses keep lampooning.

——–

Last week I disappointed many by only posting the alphabet worksheets for letters A-F. My only excuse is that I got bored drawing the pictures after that. But, egged on by guilt I finally pulled my finger out today and drew… well, just another 6 letters.

So here are the alphabet pages G-L. Which I hope you and your kids enjoy.

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The best things in life are ‘b’

Big boy bravely betters brain...bravo!

With a move across town, I’m full-time mummying for the rest of the year until Mr M&P heads off to school. He’s a good little thing and I’m a bit of a sucker for him, so it’s a glorious chance to make the most of these last few months before he becomes a big cool boy who says things like ‘whatever’ and banishes me to the school gate (with no public affection). At the moment I’m allowed to cuddle him and smother him in kisses whenever I want and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

So with no formal care or school readiness program, I’m trying to pick up the teaching mantle a little and find a bit of time most days to do a bit of basic learning. A while back I started on the alphabet, and today I’m starting to work a bit more on details. Perhaps you’d like to too – so attached are sheets A-F with a bit of colouring-in and some letters to trace.

We’re a bit alphabet obsessed in our house – each of us with our own set of favourite letters. I’m a big fan of ‘c’, with its cakes, cookies, cuddles and chocolate. My best friend is a staunch supporter of ‘b’ – boobs, beer, bums, bacon and bonfires. Mr Meat & Potatoes agrees with dad and thinks ‘bumhead’ is the funniest word ever. Further proving the ‘b’ point are bananas, boys, buses, batman and BANG! Which leads us off into onomatopoeia territory (boing, boom, bonk, buzz, beep). But that’s a whole other post.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks and I’ll churn out the rest of the alphabet too.

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Bookworm (and the need for school readers by Stephenie Meyer)

My kids snuggled up in my bed reading.... awwwwww

Miss Fruitarian has turned into a voracious reader. While she knew her letters in kindy, reading just pottered along at an average pace. But then towards the end of last year something just snapped into place. Since then it’s been an astonishing trajectory – helped along by the fact that she’s a nosy little thing and there’s nothing better than knowing what the road signs say, what mummy is writing in her emails and how to compile lists, lists and a few more lists laying out details for an upcoming 7th birthday party.

I’d like to take full credit, but can’t. It’s mostly her doing.

I’ve been a bit sporadic with library visits but have done well with daily bedtime stories and I have done my best to sneak off into my bed with a book on as many Sunday afternoons as possible (just trying to set a good example).

Scared by the wrath of Miss F’s teaching staff, I have however, been vigilant with the daily school readers. And BOY, aren’t THEY FUN… Yawn… I truly believe that if they were more interesting than “Jenny’s wobbly tooth” and “Plastics”, we would have much more active parent involvement. At the end of a busy day, the last thing we want to do is sit and hear a stilted rendition of “A present for dad”, complete with pictures of high-panted families from the early 80s.

If only the state governments would all pitch together and commission a series of readers by Stephenie Meyer or Jackie Collins. Wouldn’t that be great? Tales of Lucky Santangelo as a schoolgirl, scheming with baby werewolves who fight 5 year old vampires.

Anyway, I digress. Did you know that the number of books you have in your home is a huge factor in your child’s literacy levels? Really interesting article here.

So while my enthusiasm for reading painfully dull school readers may be low, I totally outdo the books-in-the-home quota. Moving house has made me realize just how many of the heavy, dusty things I own. Hundreds. Sure, they may be mainly how to draw manga ‘bishouju’ and 50 ways with salmon, but the research doesn’t seem too fussed on subject matter. I guess it’s a general indication of the importance placed on learning.

The research states, “A child whose family has 25 books will, on average, complete two more years of school than a child whose family is sadly book-less.” Interesting to ponder.

And encourage them along with this bit of craft. There’s three designs of bookmarks to have fun with.

A bookmark craftsheet – click to download

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Help! I’ve been invaded by papertoy monsters!

Filling all the surfaces with alarming speed.

Ever since I bought a copy of Papertoy Monsters a couple of months ago (I got mine at Kmart), there’s been a magical (and slightly creepy) spell cast over the house. It goes like this… at first there’s an eerie silence, only broken by the rhythmic screaching and cracking of the sticky tape dispenser. Then there’s whispered murmurs as my children confer conspiratorially. Then more silence and sticking. Then happy giggles. Next thing I know I come out of the laundry and find another creature called ‘grimp’ or ‘lyle’ or ‘yucky chuck’ gazing up at me. Each comes with a back-story. For example grimp is the result of a sea monkey kit breaking under a mound of dirty toys and clothes…”the sea monkey larva merged with a group of maggots living on an old Subway sandwich at the bottom of Butch’s trash heap…” Great stuff that is keeping the newly literate Miss Fruitarian and her delighted younger protégée busy for hours.

Here's a simple papertoy robot to help you get in on the act...

I thought I’d get in on the act too, and whilst my papertoy robot lacks the ooze of some of the book’s versions, he’s a nice simple starting point for us craft-challenged parents. And if you want to cast an educational slant, the dual cube construction is an interesting introduction into the concept of 3D for the younger kids.

... easy to make. Go you awesome craft parent!!!

While he works fine on normal paper, if you have some thicker card that will zoom through your printer, then your life will be a bit easier!

_______________________

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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Back to school – oh, what a shame… ;)

I don’t know about you, but these holidays have seemed quite long to me! Mix together the constant chatter, vague pestering, the odd sibling quarrel and you have a noisy mix that has filled my ears to bursting. It’s around this time each break that I start to think that a job in a proper office might be nice, you know, away with adults where people pester you via email and only at appointed times. And just when you think you’re on the holidays home straight, the NSW department of Education chucks in a student-free day which means I have to actually wait until Tuesday for a bit of blessed silence.

To get you back in the swing of things, here’s a recipe from the Term 3 menu planner – an easy beetroot spread that brightens up sandwiches and also works well as dip. And don’t forget to download the Morning Jobs sheets that you can stick up and help your kids be in charge of organising themselves in the mornings.

I’ll think of you all at 10am Tuesday morning when I’m sitting, sipping my cup of tea in the solitude. In fact, at that alloted time, let’s all give each other a (silent) toast.

Brighten up a dull lunchbox with this pink hit


Beetroot Sandwich spread

2 medium beetroots
125g low-fat cream cheese
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar

Preheat oven to 180C. Wash beetroot gently. Trim stems leaving about 3cm. Wrap each one in foil. Place on tray and bake for 1 hour until skewer can easily slide through.

Unwrap, cool slightly then peel and roughly chop. Pop into a stick blender (or food processor). Blitz. Add rest of ingredients and blitz until smooth and well combined.

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Strange, funny & healthy: Find out what gets searched for on Vegie Smugglers

The MOST searched for recipe - lentil sausage rolls...

With just over a year’s stats to trawl over, it seems like time for an EXPOSE (News of the World Style) of what does and doesn’t get searched for on the Vegie Smugglers blog.

Despite all the word combinations in the world, there are some definite patterns that emerge every week. Without fail, you are all trying to feed your kids sausage rolls, and preferably with lentils. You also like shepherd’s pie, lamb meatballs and recently there’s been a new wave of beetroot meatloaf fans. They are all great recipes – I hope you’re enjoying them!

...and the most downloaded craft worksheet...

Another search term that comes up regularly are ‘healthy worksheets’ and ‘kid’s shopping lists’ which link through to my visual shopping list. It is downloaded ALL THE TIME along with the plate worksheet. Other craft stuff that does well are the spaceship dashboard, the shoebox dollhouse and all of the loo-roll projects, in particular the snake and pirate Steve and wench Wendy. I promise to get back onto some more craft sheets soon.

...followed closely by pirate Steve and wench Wendy...

More bewildering was the search for ‘puff pastry toilet seat’, which I try not to ponder too long and since my post on wavy chips, I’ve gotten a few hits for ‘wiggly choppers’. You are a strange lot! More hilariously, I get a stack of hits from stoned teens in Mexico wondering how to ‘smuggle shrooms’ back over the US border. I adore the idea of them in their holiday accommodation trying to whip up my vegie slice. Let’s hope they include all of the grated vegetables.

...a dish favoured by stoned teens...

And the things that no one searches for that I wish they would? Well, the Ma Po Dofu probably doesn’t jump immediately to mind as a family classic, but if your kids like Asian flavours, I URGE you to try it. And the vegetable lasagne is truly tastier than any meat version you will try.

... and the dish that doesn't get searched (but really should)...

And what have been my most popular posts? Well, no matter how healthy we are, it seems we all love chocolate. You all visited the chocolate slice post last week, and similarly, the beetroot brownie last year was another crowd pleaser! Everything in moderation afterall!

..and there's always room for chocolate.

Thanks for all of your visits over the past year – and thanks to to my subscribers and those who join in both here and on Facebook. There’s a stack of new recipes around the corner as ‘Vegie Smugglers 2’ hits the streets and I’ll have a new batch of craft ideas too. Stay tuned.

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