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Do you want to get crafty at home these winter holidays? Here are three of the most popular crafts held at ‘crafternoons’ in Our Little Caravan. All of them are suitable for both boys and girls.
Washi Tape
What you’ll need:
Rolls of washi tape! The good news is you can get washi tape just about anywhere! Last year, after Christmas, I found rolls of it in places like Kmart and Big W for less than $1 for a packet of four rolls (amongst the Santas and Christmas tree patterns – there were polka dots and stripes). You can get fancier and pick it up in homeware boutique stores (the most you’ll ever pay is still less than $5 a roll) and at around 5 metres in length … that’s a whole lotta washi tape fun you can have. I’ve seen it at Officeworks, and Mozi as well of course as online. Even Costco has it (by the 30 roll of course);
Scissors (optional);
Wooden pegs;
Paper plate;
Piece of ribbon.

What to do:
Tear or cut strips of washi tape and place on the flat side of a wooden peg.
Peg the wooden pegs around a paper plate until it is full,
Tie with a ribbon and hang on your door handle.
Polymer Clay
What you’ll need:
Polymer clay (we use Sculpey Premo, as it’s the softest clay on the market, and therefore easy for children to work with);
Plastic knives;
Bamboo skewer (to make holes in the polymer clay beads);
Your hands!
String;
An oven;
Greaseproof paper.

What to do:
Working on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, start by slicing off little bits of clay with plastic knives.
Then, with clean hands, squeeze and blend the bits together. This is called “conditioning” the clay and takes some work, as the clay is a bit hard to begin with, but then softens with the heat of your hands. The more you squeeze and flatten, the more the colours start to blend. You can mix the colours together to create new colours … much like mixing paint colours. However, if, for example, you are a 10-year-old boy (my son), you might squeeze and flatten until your clay is now one not-so-lovely colour, a sort of greenish-brown.
When you are finished moulding your shapes, place them onto an oven tray and cook in the oven at 150C for around 20 minutes. Polymer clay is rather forgiving – if it’s slightly undercooked it’ll mean you can leave a fingernail mark if you press hard.
If you are making a bead necklace – add some string, and tie with a knot at the end.
Other things you can make are miniature pieces (for your miniature gardens), and even Shopkins! (you can save yourself a ton of money with THAT idea!)

Miniature Gardens
What you’ll need:
Shallow containers;
Icypole sticks and twigs can be made into fences, gravel and pebbles into paths;
Lids, tin foil or mirrors can be used to make a pond;
Sand to create a desert or beach;
Small rocks, old branches and pieces of bark to create a jungle/woodland feel;
Coloured aquarium gravel, glass pebbles or sand with shells and beads;
Glitter for frost or as fairy dust;
Polymer clay to make any extras;
Look among your smallest toys to use as props in your garden.

What to do:
Choose a container – you can make your garden any size you like, depending on your container. You can use an ice cream container, plastic plant saucer, old lunchbox, or even a jar (think mini terranium).
You can either use soil from the garden as a base, but if you want to play with this garden and bring it inside, I recommend making some uncoloured playdough to put in your container. Then you can add artificial plants as greenery, (those little plastic trees from the toy farm sets are great) and your other handmade pieces.
Children have a great imagination and there are lots of themes that you could choose.
Get your child to design their garden ideas on paper to get started. Here are some ideas:
Construction site with diggers, trucks, sand and gravel;
An enchanted garden with fairies, wooden toadstools, small animals;
Prehistoric garden with dinosaurs, volcanoes;
Jungle with lions, tigers, monkeys;
A traditional mini garden complete with paths, flower and vegetable beds and a scarecrow.

 

CHRISTINA DOUGLAS – My Little Caravan

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