Party bags

This blog is about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to bring up kids. It’s by Nicola Baird. See Info about all my books, including Homemade Kids, on Amazon here

I’m fired up I tell you. Just been cruising the stalls at our local festival, held in our local park. It was it’s 25th year and amazingly it’s never rained. Well not until 5pm today but that certainly didn’t seem to keep the crowds away. This year frog t-shirts were on sale, Somali ladies drummed and the church charged £4 for a plate of veggie curry and rice. Hundreds of local people attend – it’s become a real place to meet friends and acquaintances after the summer holidays.

Make your own wallet from a drinks carton
One stall, run by Hackney’s genius Eco-active team was showing kids how to fold up tetrapak cartons to make little wallets (sealed with a rubber band) or even to use as a bike puncture store kit. Oh it was genius and would be easy to do at a kids’ party. Here are some pix of things you can make from tetrapak on a fascinating website.

Make your own party bag from newspapers
Another great idea was to take a box (eg, a cereal box and to wrap it up, neatly, using two sheets of newspaper and then glue up. You may need some scissors to trim any over large pieces.

Leave one side open – extricate your box and then fold over the top rim about 1cm (or 2cm if you like) to provide a strong rim that you can punch holes into (using a hole puncher) on either side. Knot a piece of string and thread through to make a handle. Repeat on the other side. For tweenies the preferred length of handle allows them to hoik it over their shoulder so they are wearing their paper bag in a high fashion way.

You can make these paper bags look even more chic if you use a Hindi or Polish language newspaper.

There are more easy to run party activities for all ages of 11s and under are in my book Homemade Kids. But another great Eco-Active idea is to make insect finge rpuppets out of paper (just cut out a simple design like a butterfly, dragonfly or honey bee), get the kids to decorate and then fix to their finger with a paper ring.

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