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. 

zondag 27 oktober 2019

Toilet paper roll bat

Nananananananananananana Batman :-) Aren't these bats adorable? They are quick and easy to make with some empty toilet paper rolls, black paint, googly eyes, white foam/paper and glue.

Print or draw bat wings (see free printable link below). 

Bat wings template pdf one little project

Paint the wings and toilet rolls black and let them dry.


When the bat bodies are dry, attach the googly eyes with glue and make the teeth. I used white foam with a sticky side on the back, but a white paper and some glue will also do. The bats on top of my page are made by a preschooler. The ones below are a creation of the toddlers I work with.

We decided to make a baby bat finger puppet as well and created a whole bat family:-)

zondag 20 oktober 2019

DIY felt kite

Not only children enjoy doing crafts, as their nanny I highly enjoy this as well :-) I made this sweet little kite for the young children I work with, and they love it. If your children are older, they can easily make a kite themselves! 

Use two rhombus shapes of felt and sew them together. Use a different colour for the back if you like or let your kids choose any colour of their liking. I have used a blanket stitch (watch this tutorial), but it's not necessary. Before you stitch up the two parts, make sure you place a tail. In this case you can hide it between the two parts.
To personalize the kite, you can glue or sew a figure on the rhombus. I have chosen for a sweet smiley cloud and just attached it with some glue. If you prefer sewing, it's important to do this on a single rhombus and attached the other one after you are finished. 

Feel free to use my kite pattern below (see the link).

PDF kite

Depending on the age of the kids, you can decide to make a "real" kite instead of my little felt one. Follow the steps of the Westfield tutorial and your design kite is ready to fly. 

There are lots of books you can read together with the children that suit the theme. Look for an overview on Growing Book By Book. Or what about singing this five little kites song together? 

zondag 6 oktober 2019

Chestnut spider web & spider

Do you know what I like the most about autumn? All the materials you can collect in nature and use for crafts with your kids. 

What about making a spider and his web? Go outside to look for chestnuts and pick a rainy day to make this autumn craft. 

There are several ways to make a spider. Be creative with the materials that are available. I got inspired by RedTedArt. With just a pair of googly eyes and pipe cleaners, your kid can create his own spider. As you know spiders have 8 legs. Unfortunately our legs were a bit big, so we could only make four. Therefor we decided our spider has to live with just 4 legs :-) Would you fancy to make a spider web as well? You can find a description on the same website!

As addition to the activity you can educate your kids about spiders by telling stories, looking for webs in the woods or your own backyard. 

I drew a spider for my nanny kids and wrote the word "spin" (spider in Dutch) above it. He looks a bit grumpy, but he was not able to catch a fly in his web today ;-)

zondag 1 september 2019

Painted shell necklace

Going out to the beach and searching seashells is a perfect outdoor activity for kids. We cleaned the seashells in water and dried them in the sun. When dry, we stored the shells in a glass bowl to have them available for one of our craft projects.

One of my 16-month-old nanny kids, made a necklace as a gift for her godfather. You need some non-toxic paint, a cotton swab, a string and a marker.

I let the toddler paint the shell with a cotton swab. Let the shell dry and loop some string to the seashell hole. We were lucky to find a shell with a little hole. If you are not, use a small rotary tool (adults only) before you start with the craft activity. 

Don't forget to write the name of the child or a sweet message on the back and wrap it in gift paper. 

Wearing a necklace for children is not safe, but it's a really nice present for an adult! On the photo below my older nanny kid is showing to result of her little sister's craft work. 

zaterdag 17 augustus 2019

Anatomy activity

My nanny kids are very curious about what's inside their bodies. You can find a lot of interesting anatomy books, learning aids or crafts on the internet. Take a look at natural beach living for an overview and inspiration.Visiting a museum about the human body is also great to do!

We love to make 3D crafts and used the idea from hello, wonderful. Instead of using a paid printable, you can use this free resource from simple everyday mom. If you are looking for more free printable life-size human body organs, check out the website adventure in a book (see our example below). 

Have you ever heard about an apron showing most of the vital organs? Take a look at what children really want. This apron will raise awareness of the human body, it's a fun way to learn and perfect for doctor role play games. Next patient please ;-)

zondag 4 augustus 2019

DIY sun visors

Looking for a nice and quick summer craft? What about making sun visors with children? Follow the easy steps from CBC parents and turn your humble plate into a sun visor! 

Let your child pick the items to decorate the plate with. The only two things you really need are a paper plate and an elastic. Did you know that even babies can make their own sun visor? Use non-toxic crayons and you are ready to go!

donderdag 18 juli 2019

Baby rocks

Zijn ze niet onwijs schattig deze baby rocks van Handmade Charlotte? Ga eerst samen buiten stenen verzamelen en maak er vervolgens heel eenvoudig baby's van. In plaats van een veiligheidsspeld kun je de stoffen luier vastzetten met naald en draad of gebruik een stukje zelfklevende foam. De baby rocks zijn niet alleen leuk om zelf mee te spelen, maar eveneens een ideaal kraamcadeautje voor een broer of zus. Je kunt de baby natuurlijk ook bewaren voor het kerststalletje ;-)

zondag 30 juni 2019

Kinderportemonnee knutselen

Hoe leuk is het voor kinderen om hun eigen portemonnee te hebben en zelf te mogen betalen bij het boodschappen doen? Mijn nanny kindjes vinden het fantastisch en het portemonneetje is zelfs meegegaan naar Frankrijk op vakantie. Een ijsje kopen wordt dan natuurlijk nog leuker :-)
Je kunt een stoffen portemonnee maken of kopen en deze kleuren met textielstiften zoals het voorbeeld hieronder van Lobbes

Je kunt echter ook heel eenvoudig van een pak drinken of yoghurt een portemonnee knutselen zoals wij gedaan hebben. 

Bekijk het onderstaande filmpje voor een duidelijke uitleg.

zondag 26 mei 2019

Tuinkers mannetje en vierkante meter moestuin

Met de bodem van een lege fles, wiebeloogjes, gekleurd foam en een beetje potgrond, maak je dit tuinkers poppetje! Na een paar dagen geduld en water geven, kunnen jullie samen genieten van tuinkers op de boterham!

Kappertje spelen vindt ieder kindje leuk om te doen en de haartjes kun je nog eten ook. Hoe cool is dat?! 

Heb je wat meer ruimte en vind je het leuk en leerzaam om je eigen groentetuintje te beginnen? Maak of koop dan een vierkante meter moestuin. Aardbeien- en tomatenplantjes, sla, radijs, zonnebloemen en kruiden zijn altijd een succes! Heb je wat meer ruimte in de tuin? Courgette en pompoenen doen het ook altijd goed, maar hebben meer ruimte nodig. Gebruik houten ijsstokjes om de namen op te schrijven. Laat de kinderen zelf de zaadjes zaaien en de plantjes water geven!

vrijdag 26 april 2019

Simpele en gezonde pannenkoekjes

Een pannenkoek maken met als basis alleen ei en banaan? Klinkt super simpel en dat is het ook! Met dit recept van Vivian Reijs heb je in een mum van tijd een pannenkoek voor je kind gemaakt. Een beetje havermout toevoegen kan ook, bekijk het recept van deze variatie op Brenda Kookt. Met fruit en kaneel kun je de pannenkoek op smaak brengen, siroop toevoegen is eigenlijk niet eens nodig. Wil je ze wat zoeter maken? Voeg dan wat dadels toe aan het beslag voordat je het gaat mixen. Ben je net als ik dol op chocolade? Maak er dan chocolade pannenkoeken van door cacao toe te voegen aan het beslag. Een lekker en eenvoudig recept om bijvoorbeeld mama mee te verrassen op Moederdag!

2 eitjes
1 banaan
blauwe bessen
beetje kaneel
Optie: voeg 2 eetlepels havermout toe, dadels en/of cacao voor chocolade pannenkoeken

Zo maak je het

Kluts de eitjes en doe een geprakte banaan erdoorheen (eventueel havermout als je het recept van Brenda Kookt volgt). Cacao en dadels toevoegen is ook een optie. Voeg een snufje kaneel toe en bak de pannenkoek(en) in een beetje kokosvet. Serveer met blauwe bessen. Heerlijk!