maandag 3 februari 2020

Jumping kangaroo

I just got back from my trip to Australia and I have missed my nanny kids a lot!

It's always a good idea to talk with kids about different countries in the world and the diversity of nature and culture. I told them stories about our adventures in Australia and all the animals we have seen. My oldest nanny kid was intrigued by kangaroos and was keen to make one together.

I found a template and description of a jumping kangaroo on this website. I printed the template on thick paper, let the kids decorate the kangaroo with pencils, cut it out and attached the leg and paw to the body with a paper fastener. As a final step I used sticky tape to attach a straw to the body. All three nanny kids made a cute jumping kangaroo with a little joey in their womb. 

In the evening we used a torch to perform a shadow play with the kangaroos while telling funny stories about their adventures. We had such a great time and when the parents arrived home, one of the children shouted: “you need to buy a ticket for this show daddy!”.

woensdag 18 december 2019

Cardboard coffee cup reindeer

Oh deer, it's almost Christmas and a New Year is coming! My nanny kids and I love this time of the year so much! Yesterday during our reindeer craft activity my oldest nanny kid told me how cosy (a typical Dutch word) she found it with me. She made my heart melt. I feel blessed working for such a lovely family! I am sure we will undertake a lot of new adventures next year, I can't wait!

Inspired by this craft post in the Guardian we wanted to make a reindeer from cardboard coffee cups. 

You can read the instructions of the craft in the link given above, although we did a few things differently.   

My nanny kid was very curious what the reindeer would look like. Therefore, I decided to place the twigs beforehand so she could imagine the reindeer. We replaced the kitchen towel roll with cardboard coffee cups, the red fluffy nose for a red painted milk cap and we added a feather as a tail. Ooh and of course the colour is a huge difference. That’s what happens when your child picks a colour. The reindeer turned more or less into a My Little Pony :-)

zondag 15 december 2019

Christmas nativity scene

I found this cute and easy toilet paper roll Christmas tree craft on Red Ted Art. You can read all the instructions on their website. We didn't use paper confetti but sticky back foam sheets instead. Try to find some foam with glitters, it fits in the Christmas tradition very well :-)

We decided to build a nativity scene from Duplo and placed the mini Christmas tree beside Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus. It's such a fun and educative way to tell your little kids the story of baby Jesus! 

zondag 8 december 2019

DIY Advent calendar

We started the countdown to Christmas after the Dutch fest Sinterklaas on the 5th of December. It's so nice to tick down the days together! We decided to make a Christmas tree Advent calendar. In just a few steps you can create your own.

With just some cardboard, green and yellow paper, some decoration materials like red hearts or glitters, yellow paint, a cork, glue, double sided tape and colouring pens, you are ready to build and decorate your Christmas Advent tree!

Cut out three Christmas shapes. One from a thick piece of cardboard, another from a thin piece of cardboard and finally one from green paper. Glue or use double sided tape to stick the three pieces together. The thick piece at the back, the thin piece in the middle and the green paper at the front. Don’t forget to keep some left over cardboard. At the end you can use this to make a backing, so your tree will stand firmly.

Write down the numbers till Christmas Eve on a yellow paper. Draw a little Christmas tree and glue it on the green paper as well. Depending on the age of your child, he can do it himself. 
Now it's time to decorate the tree with yellow paint and shiny red hearts, glitters or whatever your kid likes. Let your child create dots by dipping the cork in the yellow paint and stamping it on the tree. Stick the hearts on the dots when they are still wet. Let everything dry and attach the cardboard backing with doubled sided tape as final element. Now it's time to countdown the days to Christmas! Let your kid scratch a number every evening before bedtime. Don't forget to undertake some fun Christmas activities together during the countdown period.

My nanny kid loved this activity so much! So we decided to make a Christmas card with kind of the same idea for her grandparents (see picture below).

Do you fancy to make a countdown Sinterklaas calendar as well next year? Save this post with a free download for next year!

maandag 25 november 2019

Toadstool cookies

In my previous post I promised to share a healthy 3D toadstool cookie recipe and here it is! Many thanks to my sweet sister for sharing this autumn recipe with me. She made 35 toadstool cookies with my little nephew as a school birthday treat and all his classmates loved it!

2 tbsp of coconut oil
2 medium size eggs
150 g oats
1 tsp baking powder
50 g spelt or almond flour
3 tbsp of liquid honey
1 tsp cinnamon
40 g raw pecans
40 g raw hazelnuts
75 g raisins

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz up until smooth. Scoop a little bit of the mix onto a lined baking tray and create a shape of a toadstool as shown on the pictures below. Repeat till nothing of the mix is left. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

zondag 17 november 2019

Paper plate toadstool

"Look how big that toadstool is! Is that someone's home?" That was where our conversation about gnomes started and our craft was born ;-) In this post I will show you how a child can easily make a toadstool himself.

Prepare paint supplies and the materials shown below.

Let your child paint the cardboard cup and the paper plate, while you cut some circles from the cottons. When your child has finished painting, let him put the cotton rounds on the roof of the toadstool. Do this while the paint is still wet, because then it will stick well.

When the paint is dry, you can pierce a hole in the middle of the roof (plate) and the stem (the cup) with a wooden skewer. Attach the parts to each other with a paper fastener and your toadstool is ready for his new gnome resident. If your kid doesn't have a wooden gnome to play with, check this tutorial to make one of a paper roll.

Paper roll gnomes - Repeat crafter me
Can't get enough of making toadstools? In my next post I will share a healthy 3D toadstool cookie recipe :-)

maandag 4 november 2019

Sint Maarten paper lantern

I work for a Dutch family in the Netherlands at the moment and my oldest nanny kid made a paper lantern for St. Martin's Day (Sint Maarten). It's a popular children's feast day in many parts of the Netherlands. On the 11th of November, armed with a hand-crafted lantern, children go door to door singing Sint Maarten songs. As a reward, they receive candy or fruit in return. 
Saint Martin is regarded as a friend of the children and patron of the poor in the Catholic tradition. If you are interested to read more about this topic, visit the website Finding Dutchland

To make a lantern you need the following items: 
Parchment paper
Glue or double sided tape
Cardboard strips in a colour of your licking
 Plastic bottle 
Light stick

Start with cutting off the top of a plastic bottle. Next you wrap the parchment paper around the bottle to determine the amount you need. Cut of the right amount of paper in the length and height and let your child colour this with crayons. When your kid is finished with the drawing, attach the cardboard strips on the top and bottom with glue or double sided tape. 

Glue or tape the ends of the cardboard strips together around the plastic bottle to create a lantern. Use a hole puncher to make two holes in the lantern. String a ribbon through the holes and attach a lantern stick like this. Now your kids are ready to collect some serious candy :-)

On the photo bellow you can see the lantern my nanny kid has made. On the right you see a tea light. You can make one with exact the same materials except for the ribbon. You also have to swap the bottle for a glass jar because of potential fire risk.

After we made the lantern we practiced Sint Maarten songs and before the activity we read the book Sint Maarten en het beertje. It's such an adorable story! The children's book is written in Dutch and you can watch the story in the video bellow.