Somehow we didn’t get round to a craft activity I’d planned for the weekend. Not sure why, but it did mean that everything was lined up for us to do it after school yesterday. It happens to have a St David’s day theme. We chose a folk tale from one of our welsh story books. As we had less time, I drew up some figures from the story on white paper and transferred them to black construction paper, before cutting them out.
BL and I taped a sheet of white tissue paper to a cardboard frame, we made. Not forgetting to tape on feet to help it stand upright.
By this stage it was dusk. TF ran upstairs to find his torch. I showed the children how to hold the figures up to the shadow theatre and shine the torch behind it.
It was lovely to see BL and TF working together, telling the story. They remembered all the details. It really was entertaining to listen to them.
Later, I lit the fire in the sitting room and they used that to light the stage. Looking through from the kitchen, I could see the effect was stunning. I couldn’t help smiling at the sight of teddies all lined up to watch the play. Once they had run through the play, they started to make up other tales between them. Always amazes me that even the most simple toy can stimulate so much. In fact, I think the simpler it is, the more imaginative play is inspired. Open ended play at its best.
I suspect that they will make more players for their shadow theatre and more tales will be performed by my little story tellers. One change I will make. Next time I’ll organize a mirror for the teddies to hold. Just so the stage hands can enjoy the play too.
Of course it doesn’t have to be just for St David’s Day, I’m tempted to make a dragon for St George’s day too. Any favourite story would be fun to make and perform. Which would you make?
I’m linking up with Karen’s #LetKidsBeKids. For simple play ideas for children, hop on over.
Also linking up with the wonderfully creative Sara at creative jewish mom and
to Tuesday Tutorials
With St David’s day just 2 days away, it was time to make welsh cakes, yesterday. BL loves to help me make these yummy cakes. She takes on the weighing out and cutting out.
Welsh cakes always remind me of visiting my welsh Grandma. She would have a batch ready in a tin for all the grandchildren. To me, these cakes still epitomize the perfect welsh cake. And always will. She used beef lard and fried them, which added the flavour. My adaption of her recipe exchanges butter for lard and I dry fry them. Flavour is less, but I hope the calorific value and fat content is less too.
It’s strange to think that my children’s idea of welsh cakes, will be my version and not hers. She died before they were old enough to sample the contents of her tin.
As promised, I am going to share my recipe for welsh cakes. In time for St David’s day.
1lb (450g) self raising flour
8oz (225g) softened butter
6oz (175g) caster sugar
3oz (80g) sultanas or currants
1 tsp of mixed spice
pinch of salt
splash of milk
makes about 30 cakes
- In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour and salt with fingertips (or throw into the food mixer) until it resembles breadcrumbs and no big lumps are left.
- Add the sugar, eggs, spice and dried fruit.
- Mix until it becomes a dough. If it is too dry, add a splash of milk. The dough should not be sticky, but easy to manage.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until the dough is about half a centremetre thick.
- Use a round cutter. I use an 8cm cutter.
- Pop them into a flat frying pan or, we use a bakestone griddle(see photo below). I line my griddle with a silicon baking sheet, so that I don’t need any extra fat to fry it in, but otherwise the pan will need a light greasing. They will rise slightly, but they don’t tend to spread.
- Cook over a medium heat. Too hot and they will burn before the inside cooks. Too slow and they will turn out dry. They should be a golden brown on both sides, so don’t forget to turn them.
- Once ready, remove from the pan, and cool the cakes on a wire tray, but they are even better warm.
Once the first batch is out of the pan, BL tends to grab a few and disappear. Soon after, her little brother will appear and help himself. Even the dogs queue up. Then I am left to cook the rest. That’s ok. BL knows how to make them and I’ve passed this recipe on to her.
Who knows. Maybe she will make my welsh cakes with her children. Maybe even talk about her welsh Great Grandma. I hope so.
The welsh cakes can be frozen. When needed, defrost. Pop in a tray and cover with tin foil. Warm them up in a medium oven, until sufficiently hot.
We like to celebrate St David’s day each year. If only by making a batch of welsh cakes, but if we can add a bit of crafting into the mix, then all the better. This year we are opting for welsh felt leek brooches. As St David’s day is next Saturday, we made our leeks this weekend.
They worked out so nicely, I’m going to share a step-by-step.
To start, you’ll need white felt, green felt tips, white thread, safety pin, scissors and a needle.
We cut a 2.5″ x 3.5″ rectangle from the felt.
Next step is to sew a line of running stitches as shown in photo, using the white thread. Make sure you anchor the thread at the beginning, by sewing three small stitches, one on top of each other, before you start the running stitch.
At the end of the line, pull the thread to slightly gather the end of the felt, then roll the felt up as shown. Don’t cut the thread.
Once it is rolled up, anchor the thread again with three little stitches on the spot, as shown in the above photo. Next sew two thirds along the long edge of the roll, to hold the roll together. Finishing off with three little stitches again. You can cut the end of the thread off now. This makes the stalk.
Using the felt tips, colour the top third of the leek, which is not sewn. Make sure you have done both sides of the felt.
Cut the leaves as shown above.
Next add the roots to the leek. I like to do this double thread, which means that the ends of the thread are even. Then sew as shown in the photo. This method will anchor the root to the felt.
Next sew the safety pin onto the back of the leek. I put it so that the join is covered by the pin. It is personal preference which way round the pin goes, but I prefer the head of the pin at the top.
Then Bob’s your uncle. Your felt leek is ready to be worn. For younger children, who cannot sew, the leek can be glued instead of sewn.
I know the children are looking forward to wearing their leeks on Saturday.
I’m aiming to post the recipe we use for welsh cakes later on in the week. In the meantime, if you’d like some more St David’s Day activities, take a look at some other of our craft and activities. Welsh cake recipe is here.
Linking up with Craft Schooling Sunday and LetKidsBekids. Giving the children time away for all the tech.