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Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."

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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

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rainy day craft activity

How to make a recycled lighthouse model

how to make a lighthouse from recycled material

First day back after the Easter break for us, today. Did you all have a good Easter break? We had days out and craft activities. Inbetween, there was homework to be ticked off.

Not that all homework is run of the mill. There is nothing like a note home, requesting a model to be made. Now that is my kind of homework. My eight year old son’s holiday homework was to make a lighthouse. A first for us. We spent time discussing designs, ruling out anything too elaborate and choosing materials. We decided to use only items that we had lying around the house or garden. recycled materials lighthouse with detail 2

His design called for a conical shape. Using a wire grid from the garden, which was left over from a hen house repair, I made a cone. Lots of sharp wires, so I did this bit as I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to snag anyone.

Next, with the help of his sister, they papier mached the outside of the cone. Once dry, it was painted white. Red tissue paper (previously used as packaging material) was cut into strips and glued around the lighthouse.

seagull for lighthouse made from recycled materials

The light room, at the top, was made using two cardboard circle from a cereal box, stuck together, and the bottom of a plastic bottle. He added silver paper after I took these photos, to help with reflecting the light. The railings are made from another section of the wire grid and attached using masking tape, to cover any sharp ends.

how to make a lighthouse from recycled material 2

Eddie the seagull is very simple. He had to be lightweight, so I showed Youngest how to mix tissue paper and glue, and mould it into the shape of a seagull. Once dried, he painted it and added eyes using a Sharpie. Very fine florist wire was threaded through Eddie, so that he could be tied to the railings and have the best view.

Middle daughter joined in and made the tail of a whale, disappearing into the sea, using the same tissue paper and glue technique.

seagull on lighthouse made from recycled materials

I drew out a flat version of the boat, which Youngest cut out, folded and glued. The oars are matchsticks and the life belt is a Meccano washer, painted orange and white.

For the beach, he mixed glue and yellow paint with old sand from a very neglected sand pit in the garden. The sea is more tissue paper, this time from a clothes delivery. He painted it blue and green.

recycled materials lighthouse with detail

I think that’s it. As you see, all the materials we used were either destined for the recycling bin, or preloved. Even the windows were rescued from the scrap pile. Nothing bought specially for the project.  I love his design and the details he added. Apart from the wire and suggesting some materials, I left this project to him.

Youngest proudly took his lighthouse into school today. It was a fun sight to see the parade of red and white lighthouses going into class.

Linking up with Fiona’s Trash 2 Treasure linky
Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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An articulated hand project

testing the articulated hand Amazing magazineThe perfect project, I think, is one that combines creativity and learning. This STEM activity fits the bill. Middle daughter really wanted to make an articulated hand. I’ve seen the project before, but was impressed by how clear the instructions were in the Amazing! magazine. Middle is now of the age that she can follow the instructions by herself, with very little interference help from me.

making an articulated hand Amazing magazineWe used my glue gun to stick the straws to the cardboard. The only other change she made was using cardboard from a cereal box instead of corrugated cardboard. The end result is remarkably sturdy, and strong enough for everyone in the family to play with.

threading wool through an articulated hand Amazing magazineShe raided my dressmaking tools and found my loop turner, which is used to turn spaghetti shoulder straps the right way round. Having a latch hook at the end, it was perfect for pulling the wool through the straws.

back of the articulated hand Amazing magazine

We used the glue gun again to stick the rubber bands to the back of hand, so the hand will return to a flat state.

We recorded a video to show you how good the movement turned out. I’ve sped it up. It only takes 12 seconds.

 

Linking up with Fiona’s Trash 2 Treasure linky


 

If you would like to find out more about the Amazing! magazine, I have a competition running at the moment to win a copy of the magazine, so you can see for yourself. Competition open until the end of April 6th. Anyway, click here Now closed.

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Colourful Rainy Day Crafts

rainy day craft activities

There are two choices for how to entertain the children on a rainy day at this time of year. Either throw on the waterproof gear, go out and enjoy it, or break open the craft materials.

Here are ten of our favourite colourful rainy day craft activities to do with the children:fabric pompom rainbow garland2

1. Make a fabric pom pom rainbow bunting. We used coloured netting, but any strips of fabric should do.

A tshirt

2. Paint a tshirt. Could use an old tshirt or a pre washed new one. We used bottle tops and fabric paint to create a colourful letter on tshirts.

smiling dragonfly craft w

3. Make a mini-beast. We love dragonflies. Used a peg and felt tips to make our own version, which to this day, still live on the fridge, thanks to the magnets attached.

children decorated birthday cake

4. Make a graffiti cake. Break out the icing pens and gels. You provide the cake and they provide the enthusiasm.

toilet roll tube magnetic marble run

5. Gather up toilet roll tubes, paints, marbles and magnets to make a magnetic marble run. The more colourful the paint, the better. Hours of fun making and playing.

painted foot

6. Paint feet or hands and make colourful prints. We made cards ready to send on birthdays.

handful of painted acorn craft 2

7. Make a cardboard maze and paint some colourful characters to race around it. Ours are made from acorns, but it could be stones or anything that is small enough and round.

blow fish

8. Have a fish race. Just need paper, felt tips, string and a straw.

Origami mouse 18

9. Make an army of origami mice. Colourful paper and patience essential.

snail race wrestling

10. Make a circular snail racing board. As colourful as you like, although avoid textured surfaces as snails don’t like travelling over them. Easy to find snails on a rainy day. Just remember to return them from where ever you found them.

Hope you found something to brighten up a rainy day. Who knows. It may even scare away the rain clouds. No promises.

 

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Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.