Homemade bowl and flowers

I love this display because it’s so fresh and spring like.

It’s also fun and cheap  to make.

I always like posting something which involves children helping and this post is no exception. With help even the youngest will enjoy making the flower petals from coffee filter bags and they will learn a little about chromatography at the same time!  The video instructions are on the link below.

How to make the filter paper flowers

Putting the flowers together is more tricky and a task for older children or adults.

The Bowl
The bowl is made entirely from string which is soaked in glue and wrapped around a balloon. The fun bit that kids love is the popping of the balloon once the glue has set!

The level of difficulty depends on the size of the balloon.  For the blue bowl featured above the balloon was well inflated making it trickier to handle.

At Christmas we followed the same procedure to make baubles but using much smaller balloons which are easier to handle.  If your children are small my suggestion would be to help them make the  smaller bowls which can be used for biscuits or Easter Eggs while you make the trickier large bowl.

The instructions to make the string balls are given in ‘child friendly’ format on the link below.  To make the balls into bowls all you need to do is cut them in half using either very strong scissors or a craft knife and then neaten the edges.

I hope you enjoy. If you do please add a nice comment !

Follow this link for the video instructions for children

For many more art, craft, science and learning videos please visit our channel:

The Jumble Fun Channel 

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Puppet Theatre

Take a cardboard box, a couple of wooden spoons and a couple of puppets. Add a small child and you have hours of fun, imagination and creative learning.

Don’t waste time making it ‘pretty’. If the kids are enthusiastic let them use it immediately. Decorations an£ backcloths can wait!

Who loves spiders ? 

Unfortunately. Not many people love spiders which is a pity because they work very hard keeping down the pesky insect population. Try looking at them differently and begin with making a fun one for Halloween. It will only take about ten minutes and the kids can help.

Click on this link to make your own Jumble Spider

Above: A ‘Cup and Saucer’ web

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Make a Snowman Lamp

This is a ‘sharing’ activity. I suggest you watch the video with your child then make the Lamp together. A glass jar is used and so care and supervision is essential. Children learn so much by sharing an activity. As you are making this together you will talk and ask and answer questions introducing new vocabulary. Memory will be improved as will their organisational skills and ordering and fine motor skills. Children will learn how to use different glues, about cutting and sticking, about safety., about making mistakes and trying again.

Very small children will be able to stick blobs of cotton wool onto the ball to make the head and will enjoy placing the eyes and buttons in 0lace.

What you need:

A glass jam jar.

Some cotton wool or stuffing from inside a pillow.

For the head: I used a string bauble I had left over from last year but a plastic ball would work fine.

For the hat: – Sticky backed foam sheet in black and a glittery colour (I used red) you can manage with black card and ribbon

White glue plus a stronger glue for the eyes and the hat if you are using card.

Eyes.

A scarf. I used the glittery red foam but you could use ribbon or a thin strip of fabric.

An LED light . I used a LITE cube.

A tip:

Only use a thin layer of cotton wool on the body so the light shines through.

Painting with Glue


This is fun for any age and the process can be adapted in so many ways for different effects. It is very versatile and even completely unplanned and random application of the glue by very young children, results in really great abstract pieces of art. (See below).


The best surface to use is a canvas board but very hard card works well too.

For small children use a small plastic container of glue which they can squeeze easily.

In the video I used a cheap set of paints produced for children.

Better results will be achieved with watercolour and acrylic paints give a stronger colour.

Glue can be applied to a white board or the board can be painted first and you can use as many layers of glue as you like.

Watch the video below:
PAINTING WITH GLUE 


For more Art and Craft ideas and learning videos see my channel:  http://tinyurl.com/funjumbles

Fine Motor Skills 

What are Fine Motor Skills ? 

The term Fine Motor Skills refers to the use and control of all the small movements we do with our hands and fingers (and feet and toes). A new baby has very little control of its hands and fingers but by about five or six months it is able to grasp an object with its whole hand.  At twelve months it will be able to pick up small objects using its thumb and index finger. This is the stage when babies repeatedly  ‘practice’ (often to our annoyance!) picking things up and dropping them. By the age of four most children can use a crayon, stack shapes, turn over pages and cut with scissors.

All these actions require the use of muscles in our hands and fingers.  Generally speaking the stronger the muscles the better are our fine motor skills and as our motor skills develop so does our hand and eye coordination.

In the Kitchen 
There are lots of activities which help to strengthen the muscles of the hand and fingers and also help with coordination and some of the easiest and most fun happen in the kitchen. Children love helping to cook and bake and it is a great way for them to strengthen their hand muscles in addition to absorbing many basic mathematical and scientific concepts.

If you think of all the different ways we use our hands when preparing food. Whisking cream, kneading dough, stirring soup, rolling pastry, spreading butter. The list is endless.

Even picking up small pieces of food involves fine motor skills and the more practice toddlers have the stronger their muscles will become. But we do need to ensure that we demonstrate the correct ‘tripod’ grip. Once children get into a habit of picking things up the wrong way, for example in the fist, it is difficult to correct. 


There are some very ‘fun’ activities involving food. 


Why not make mini fruit and veg or cheese kebabs using straws. The fruit needs to be firm rather than over ripe. Pears, firm bananas and kiwi, apple, Melon and avocado work well and half grapes or cherries or tomatoes can be used as the end pieces. 


Even placing pieces of bread of toast on a plate of scrambled egg to make a fun face is great practice and improves hand-eye coordination.


Playdough is a great medium for strengthening little muscles and for hand-eye coordination.

Practice the tripod grip when pulling pieces apart .


Exercise other muscles by squeezing and rolling and pressing.


One activity I’ve found very popular is illustrated here.  Different types of lines and circles are drawn on sheets of clear plastic. An assortment of wavy and straight lines, long and short lines plus different sizes of circles can also be incorporated into a design or simple picture.

Then pieces of playdough can be made into the correct shape and size to fit over the lines and dots.

Threading beads, pasta, rubber washers infact anything that has a hole and is safe is great fun. I like to have a lidded plastic box full of pasta tubes, beads, washers, together with plastic cord, coloured string, straws and pipe cleaners.


Children will happily play with this assortment oblivious to the fact that they are not only practising fine motor skills and improving hand-eye coordination but are also developing their creativity and learning about texture, colour and even basic number concepts! Not to mention absorbing lots of new vocabulary.

Cappuccino, Monks and this Gate in Spello

The Cappuccini Gate in Spello.

What’s the connection between this gate in Spello, a cappuccino, an order of monks and Lizzie Witch.

Well, if you are a child it’s all about frothy milk and Lizzie Witch so for children go to the programme here: Frothy milk

If you are an adult then read on!

Around 1520 a friar from Marche in Italy said that God felt that the lifestyle of friars of his day was not that intended by their founder, St. Francis of Assisi and He endeavoured to return to the original primitive lifestyle

The Church tried to surpress this movement and Friar Matteo and his followers had to go into hiding. They were given refuge by the Camaldolese Monks and later adopted the hood or Cappucio worn by that order as a mark of gratitude. From this came the name of the order. Capuchin Momks.

Legend has it that when a Turk army fled after marching on Vienna in 1683 they left lots of sacks of coffee beans behind. The coffee made with these beans was very bitter and so milk and honey was added to make it drinkable. The drink was called Cappucino after the capuchin order of Monks the habits of which also just happened to be the same colours as a Cappuccino.

Above: the road in Spello leading from the Cappuccini Gate.

Learn and have Fun with Bubbles

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Bubbles are so much fun and kids love them. It’s incredible too how often we come into contact with bubbles during our every day lives without even thinking about it. Bread making, whipping up cream, whisking egg whites, fizzy drinks, washing etc etc.

We see them and use them so often that we take them for granted.

But to children , they are MAGIC!

There is so much to be learnt from bubbles but to kids it’s all just good fun. A perfect example of learning through Play.

The theme of one of my learning programmes for preschool children has a theme of Bubbles. If you haven’t watched it yet you can use the link below to view.

BUBBLES. Stories from Jumble House

If you are looking for some more activities on the ‘bubble ‘ theme then here they are! I’ve made short videos on most of the activities so just click on the links to view.

Why are bubbles different colours?
My kids loved this activity!
We half filled a bowl with water and added lots of soap to make masses of strong bubbles. Then we placed our hands under a pile of bubbles and walked around inside and out observing how the colours changed. Children will realise quickly what is happening but they won’t probably know the term ‘reflecting ‘ so this is a good  opportunity to introduce and explain.

Are bubbles always round?



No matter how you try the bubbles you blow will always be round because they are free. There is nothing pushing on them. But, look at the shape of the bubbles on a bubble print. There lots of bubbles are squashed together and so push each other into all kinds of shapes.  Can you make a square bubble?  With a bit of an effort yes!  Learn how on the link below: 

Can you make a square bubble?

Where else do you find bubbles?
Play a game, ‘Spot the Bubbles ‘ . It can last a whole week!
There are bubbles everywhere!

Make some bread.  Yeast produces bubbles when it is given warmth, sugar and liquid. Make some bread using fresh yeast then they can appreciate the process.
Click on the link below the photo to watch how to make delicious ‘ Yummy Srummy Good for my Tummy Bread’!!


Make Bread with Maisie Jumble

Bubbles on the surface of a pond or lake.

Ask questions later like: ‘where do you think they come from?  ‘what is in the water that produces these bubbles? ‘

Click on this link to find out more:  What’s making the bubbles?

Some foods have bubbles.   Just look at a block of Aero chocolate!

Bread. Chocolate Mousse  You can make a fun bubbly jelly too.

So how do we get the air into the liquid?
Here are some good ways to demonstrate this:
Whipping   (cream and egg whites)
Blowing
Steam-like for Cappuccino.
Using a milk frother – .These little milk frothers are really good and providing the milk isn’t too hot Children can make themselves a frothy milk drink.

Bubbles, air and frothy milk 


Early Learning
Of course, while your little ones are discovering bubbles they will also be learning basic scientific and mathematical concepts like temperature, weighing and measuring, density AND accumulating lots of new words.

Halloween!  Make a super cool Lizzie Witch Lamp!!

Alfie shares the secret of his fir-cone weather station  and Georgie shows you how to make this super cool Lizzie Witch Lamp.

The Lizzie Witch Lamp

This is SO much fun to make. Quick, cheap and easy.

Don’t blow up the balloon too much if you are making it for the table but a large balloon is great for outside.

The instructions are on video. Click on the link below:
The video showing how to make a Lizzie Witch Lamp

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