Crafty fun at The School’s Kids Holiday Camp

Last week I had the opportunity to be ‘intern’ for the day and help out at the Kids Holiday Camp run by Megan Morton’s The School down here in Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent masterfully organised by the fabulous Ms Candy Sparkles.  

The camp ran for three days and the children could attend just one day or all three. Each day was different, but the day that I was there, the kids made dream creatures with the super talented Madeleine Stamer in the morning and sparkle terrariums with Candy in the afternoon among much more creativeness along the way like feathery & sparkly crowns, pom poms, dancing in the rain, eating hot cross buns and drinking hot chocolate.

Madeleine also drew an extra special Easter design especially for the kids in this class to colour using watercolours (you can see it in the top pic).  She has been generous enough to share the design as a free download over on her blog if you’d like to print it out for yourself.

Goose (aged 10) came along with me on the day and had a ball!  Goose made the delightful Pheonix dream creature in the picture above which is now hanging above her bed.  She is a huge fan of anything creative and her words at the end of the day were “Can we do that again?  No, let me rephrase that – when are we doing that again?”

The School in Sydney runs amazing classes for both adults and children covering all things creative and stylish and can often be found running classes in other parts of the country as well.  Candy is running a Kids Holiday Camp in Sydney too and there are still places left for Tuesday and Wednesday this week so if you’re a Sydney-sider, go and check out the website for more details coz I know your kids would just love it!

Being around kids expressing their creativity is something that I just can’t get enough of.

What have you been up to during the school hols?  Do you go crazy with activities or spend lots of lazy days in your pj’s or a mix of both?

If you or your kidlets are up for any Easter crafting, you might like to check out our Easter Craft Series for some fun and simple Easter themed crafts, recipes and activities.

P.S.  Big thanks to my beautiful friend Susannah for looking after Frog & Bear (as well as her own three kids) for the whole day so that Goose and I could go along to this.  Where would we be without friends like this ? xo

An Easter craft: How to make an eggshell succulent garden


Usually when we eat boiled eggs for dinner (a regular easy meal at our house) the kids like to turn the egg over when they’ve finished and pretend there is a new egg to eat. The unsuspecting recipient then gets a bit of a surprise when the spoon goes right through an empty egg shell.  They think it is hilarious and the joke somehow never fails to get old.  However, this time I asked the kids to keep their shells intact as I had a different plan for the eggshells…

Taking inspiration from around the web we made our own little mini eggshell succulent garden.
To make your own you will need:
- egg shells
- egg carton
- succulent cuttings
- soil or potting mix
How to:
1. Give your eggshells a quick clean (I just rinsed mine under the tap), let them dry and pop them into the egg carton so your egg shells remain upright.  If you don’t have an egg carton on hand, an eggcup or cardboard tube cut to size would also do the job.
2. Fill your egg shells with soil until they’re about 3/4 full.
3. Insert your succulent cuttings into the soil.  Succulents are one of those amazing plants where the roots just grow when a cutting is placed into soil.
4. Gently give your new creations a light spray of water using a spray bottle.  You will only need to spray your succulents every now and then as they do not like being too wet.
The eggshell succulents look pretty cool displayed in the egg carton and would also look stylish in ceramic egg cups.  We made our own egg cups by cutting a toilet roll into three and gluing on some origami paper.  I have a bit of a thing for origami paper, but you could use paint, fabric, wool or lace to decorate if you felt so inclined.   They are now proudly displayed on our window sill above the kitchen sink.
I was lucky enough to have a good friend who grows a great variety of succulents who gave me lots of small cuttings to play with, but if you can’t find any in a backyard near you, you will have no trouble finding them at your local nursery.
Have you ever planted anything in an eggshell?
You might like to try our mini Easter terrariums in a plastic egg too

I am currently running a series on Easter crafts here on the blog, so if you have an Easter craft you’d like to share in a guest post on Frog Goose and Bear – shoot me an email coz I’d LOVE to hear from you!

http://froggooseandbear.blogspot.com.au/p/kids-craft.html

*This post was originally published on Kidspot Village Voices on 6 October 2012.

This year’s handmade teacher gifts

Yesterday after school, the girls and I made some mini terrariums to give to their school and kinder teachers as Christmas gifts.  Making a handmade gift for the children’s teachers has become a little tradition here at FGB.  I purchased the jars from ‘Provincial Living’ for a few dollars and got the succulents, succulent potting mix, activated charcoal and pebbles from my local nursery.*  You can find a full tutorial here in the FGB archives.
Bear decided that he didn’t want to give a terrarium to his teachers, so he and I made some of our cheat’s chocolate Christmas puddings today to package up for his teachers as well as quite a few more to bring along to Christmas parties and to give to neighbours/friends.


I know handmade gifts are not for all, but I also know there are many who read this blog who share my love of handmade who may be looking for ideas so, along with the terrariums and chocolate puddings, here is a collection of handmade gifts that we’ve made in the past that would be perfect for Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbours or friends.  They are all simple enough for the kids to help with, inexpensive, can be made in bulk and more importantly, can be made last minute!  



Clay Decorations with their name imprinted




this tutorial is for Easter chocolates, but just switch the mould to a Christmas one and it is perfectly transferrable!
Other cool handmade teacher gift ideas that I’ve seen around the traps are these clay necklaces or teacup candles or bookmarks and to be honest I also think that a hand written card from your child letting the teacher know how much they have been appreciated could possibly be one of the best handmade gifts of all.

From a slightly different angle, a fabulous gift that I know a few friends have done is to give a charity gift card like this one for $10 which goes toward teacher training in a developing country or this one for $5 for education supplies.

Do your children give gifts to their teachers?
Am I the only crazy one who does handmade?



* I now have lots of soil, charcoal, pebbles and succulents left, so for those of you who know me in the off-blog world, if you would like to make some of these – feel free to pop over!

MINI FAIRY GARDEN TERRARIUMS

Yes, it’s been a while…

Just a whole lot going on over here at FGB headquarters.  Not the least of which a rather major hernia op and it’s recovery that has taken me a little by surprise and landed me on my backside along with a yearning for a much slower pace of life.  I am so grateful for the kind support of family & friends in the form of delicious dinners and most of all to my Mum & husband who have taken on quite an extra load.  Thank goodness for the school holidays and the slower days they bring.  We are cherishing them.  

This is what we got up to over the weekend…


What to do when the dampness of winter is creeping into your pavers?  Make mini fairy gardens of course!  I distinctly remember from my own childhood that fairies have quite a fondness for moss.

There are tutorials a-plenty on pinterest, but we found this one particularly simple and easy to follow and we happened to have everything we needed!

First we found some pebbles from our driveway & popped them in the bottom of our jars.

Then a layer of activated charcoal.*

Then a layer of soil.

And finally a layer of moss.

So that’s four layers – pebbles, charcoal, soil & moss.  All for drainage, etc so the moss will (hopefully) survive.  We gave it a little spray of water when we were done.
Then it was time to add a touch of ‘fairy’.

We had a small amount of clay left over so we put our hand to making toadstools.  We pushed a small toothpick into the clay to join the top to the stem and left the pointy end out to help it stand in the mossy garden bed.

We painted them red with white dots, of course.

Then added them to the fairy gardens, along with some pebbles, handmade clay signage
and miniature toys.

The kids were thrilled with their masterpieces!


 Some nasturtium umbrellas in case it rains.


We did add lids to ours later to save on watering and they are now being kept out of direct sunlight.

Have you made terrariums before?  Or fairy gardens?  How did they go?

For more kids craft ideas to occupy your kids these school holidays you might like to have a squiz at the FGB kids craft page.

* yes, we actually had that laying around!  Leftover from the filter of the abandoned fish tank of the long since deceased Fishy & Bishy.

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