Smurf House and Village

 

Smurf house and village is a fun toy to make from things you may already have at home.

It was inspired by Meemoo and Pook’s current interest, from watching it in German, plus seeing them on a recent trip to Brussels. This is not at all what I had thought we would do for week 4, see the plan!

The Smurf houses were fun, if a  little involved to make, but even Meemoo had a go. The best bit has to be that we are still playing with them a week later and have played with them everyday.

To make a Smurf House you will need:

Flower pots

Paint

PVA Glue

Hot Glue Gun

Foam Sheets

The first step is to turn the plant pot upside down,  cut out the door and window.  I used a craft knife to do this. Next  paint the pots your chosen colours. Mix the paint with a little PVA glue, this make the paint thicker and helps it to stick to the pot. Leave the pots to dry.  Then apply a thin coat of PVA, and leave to dry overnight.

Smurf House Decoration Time

Pook sat and helped me design the decoration and details for the Smurf Houses. All of the pieces were cut of of foam, I did not use a template the shapes were cut  by eye.

Pook was able to cut many of the simple shapes. Firstly we added foam around the doorways and the windows. Attach the foam using the hot glue gun. (Hot Glue guns are not suitable for children to use.)  Next we added flower pots  to the sides. The roof was attached last.

Making the Roof

First draw a circle on a piece of foam which is slightly bigger than the flower pot.  Add decoration spots to make it look like a Smurf house. It was easier to attach one edge of the roof, then the opposite side. This then leaves you with the slight rounded shape when the next 2 sides are folded in.

The roof took a bit of fiddling, I did have a few goes trying to get it to look right.

Making a Smurf village 

The Smurf Village was very simple to set up.  I found a large piece of green material and arranged the houses on it. Next I added small stones to make pathways,the inspiration came from seeing the shop windows displays in Brussels.

I made a small lake out of larger stones and small blue beads from a broken toy necklace!

Meemoo and Pook, have thoroughly enjoyed playing with it. Meemoo added all the small cakes from My Little Pony castle and then obviously the ponies came to live in the Smurf Village!

Stomp Dinosaur Stomp

We have stomped dinosaur stomped our way through week four of our Summer of Fun!

Here’s a quick reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:
reminder of what we’ve been up to this week:

Making Mondays Trip out Tuesdays Wacky Wednesdays Thinking Thursdays Foodie

Fridays

Make your own dinosaur bones out of salt dough. Take a trip to a natural history museum Do you remember the bones you made on Monday?  Dig for them today in your own dinosaur excavation! Make some frozen dinosaur eggs.  How do we get the dinosaurs out? Make dinosaur footprint biscuits.

This week required a little bit of planning, as some of our activities were done over a couple of days.

 Making Monday,

We began the week making a basic salt dough recipe (equal volumes of plain flour and salt, mixed with approximately half the volume of cold water until they form a soft, but not sticky dough). Miss N was tasked with using her salt dough to make dinosaur bones. I then baked these at 100C (fan oven) for 3 hours.

I used up the leftover salt dough in the evening to make some footprint tiles. After baking and cooling, I painted the footprints and left them out with the matching dinosaurs for the children to explore.

Trip Out Tuesday

We are becoming dinosaur experts after our trip to the National History Museum in London – an amazing trip out Tuesday! Meemoo Pook and I took the opportunity on Tuesday to visit to refurbished Natural History Museum in Luxembourg. While small in comparison to London we still had a great time.

 Wacky Wednesday

I buried Miss N’s salt dough skeleton in the sandpit, and set out scraping tools and brushes for the children to excavate the skeleton. Add an explorer’s hat, and Miss N looked every bit the expert archaeologist!

Gemma had less space, but still was able to do this brilliantly on a smaller scale too.

Throw in a little dinosaur movement (flap like a pterodactyl, stomp like a stegosaurus or run like a velociraptor) and you have a truly Wacky Wednesday!

Thinking Thursday 

We had so much fun playing and exploring with our Dinosaur Swamp with frozen eggs.

 Foodie Friday

We put Mr Z’s excellent mark-making skills to good use by making a basic shortbread biscuit, and pressing the toy dinosaurs into the dough before baking. We added a little icing to the imprints when the biscuits were cool, to make them pop! Yummy! I think Foodie Friday is a perfect end to the week!

 

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Next week we are exploring fairy tales and imaginary worlds – where will you travel to? Come and join us for our summer of fun, just sign up in the pop box on the right to receive your exclusive and free play ideas for next week straight to your email inbox.

Dinosaur Bath Eggs

Dinosaur Bath Eggs

I’ve been cheeky this week!  We’ve had so much dinosaur-based fun, that I’ve written an extra blog post so I can give you detailed information so you can have a go yourselves.  Trust me, it’s worth it – these are fantastic!

 

To make one dinosaur bath egg, you will need:

½ cup bicarbonate of soda

10 drops liquid watercolour

2 tablespoons citric acid (in granular form)

3-4 teaspoons vegetable oil

A small, plastic dinosaur

Baking paper

 

In a dry bowl, drop the liquid watercolour into the bicarbonate of soda. Next rub it with your fingers until the colour is mixed through.  Add the citric acid and stir.  Add the oil and rub it all together.  You should have a powdery substance that will hold together in a lump if you squeeze it hard!

In a cupped hand, put some of the powder and press it down.  Put the dinosaur on top, then keep adding the powder in small amounts and pressing hard. You need to do this until you have totally covered the dinosaur.  You will  have an egg-like shape.  Place very carefully onto a tray lined with baking paper, and leave to harden overnight.

We made several eggs in different colours, mixing the leftovers together to make multi-coloured eggs (which I think were my favourite!).  Miss N was able to make these with supervision. There were lots of problem solving skills used to find out the best amount of oil and how to handle the egg without it falling apart!

Now the fun really begins! 

We turned our bath into a dinosaur swamp, by adding a few drops of green liquid watercolour and some cut grass.  Both children loved watching the eggs fizz as they went into the water, and the force of the fizz made the water rise a fair bit.  We scooped up all of the grass at the end of the bath and made a nest in the corner for our newly hatched dinosaurs.

The older your children, the more detail you can go into about the chemical reaction taking place between the alkaline bicarbonate of soda, and the acidic citric acid.  It would be interesting to think about why adding the oil as a liquid when making the eggs doesn’t trigger a chemical reaction, but adding water does!

A note of caution: the oil does make the children and the bath a little slippery!  If you want a little less mess, then the children would have just as much fun putting the eggs into a deep bowl of water and watching them fizz away in there.

 

Summer of Fun – Ocean Activities

Week one of our Summer of Fun….phew what a fun filled week have just had full of Ocean activities.

In case you missed the newsletter this is what we have been up to

Ocean Week Activity Plan

Making Mondays Trip out Tuesdays Wacky Wednesdays Thinking Thursdays Foodie

Fridays

Sea themed salt Art

 

 

 

Take a trip to an aquarium or a local pet shop to see the fish. Can you make a raft for Moana to sail across the Ocean?

For under 3s

Coloured water play

What floats and what sinks?

Experiment with salty water.

 

Make Fishy Cupcakes

Here are a pictures of best bits of the Ocean activity week. We began our week with Making Monday, exploring the process of Salt Art.

Exploring coloured water in the bath.

Our Wacky Wednesday was a real challenge this week. It was tricky to figure out how to make a raft and it took lots of perseverance, but eventually with a little help there was success! 

Our Thinking Thursday was great fun, exploring floating and sinking, but then taking it too the next level by experimenting with salt water. All of this was aided by watching a quick bit of Go Jetters, when they visited the Dead Sea.

Foodie Friday ended the week with a yummy sweet fish cupcake!

 

Please share yours on Facebook or new find us on Instagram.

Next week we are off on an  Animal Adventure. Its not too late to join in the fun, sign up in the pop box to the left of you to receive your exclusive and free play ideas for next week.

Summer of Fun 2017

Summer of Fun 2017 is gonna be the best! Trust me on this.

Summer of Fun is  a simple set of play plans which are currently being fine tuned to help you have a fab summer playing with your little ones.  The play ideas are open ended and broad .

Whats the reasoning behind Summer of Fun 2017?

The idea behind Summer of Fun 2017  is that each day there is simple activity which can be a springboard for free play. Free play is the best, it is when your child or children are engrossed and don’t actually need you.  Free play is when a child is free to explore their ideas, thoughts, and make new connections about the world around them. So walk away and grab a coffee.

Summer of Fun is not about over planning children’s time and rushing from one thing to the next. It is not about adding stress to a busy life.

Summer of Fun is about finding a little time each day with your child to play together. They are designed to be simple to set up using basic items, paper, paints, glue and toys you already have.  We all know the oldest trick right?! Moving toys and playing with them in a new space or a new way opens up a whole new world of discovery. Yes I mean muddling them up and mixing all the tiny bits and pieces from sets together!  And it goes without saying that sometimes a mess is made, but the mess below led us to create our own paper.

Themed Days

Making Mondays 

Get all the craft mess out one one day and create to your hearts content!

Trip out Tuesdays

This does not have to be an impressive and amazing trip, some of the best days are the ones spent at your local park.

Wacky Wednesdays 

A day for Messy play, play dough, slime, gloop, we have got it covered!

Thinking Thursdays 

A day to give those Summer holiday brains a little work out with activities based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths!

Foodie Fridays

Spend a day in the kitchen cooking up a storm!

 

So why not join up and join in?!  It ain’t gonna cost ya!