Posted tagged ‘cheap child games’

3 tips on running an autumn craft event for kids

October 17, 2016

Now that I have teenagers it’s easy to forget how much attention and imagination you need to entertain and educate younger children – here are a few tips gleaned from the Apple Day where I helped run an activity at our nearby nature park. For more ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children follow this blog or get my book Homemade Kids, out of the library. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see www.nicolabaird.com

Apple Day activities at Gillespie Park have to be all about apples. I ran an apple bobbing stall and a nature pendant stall which got kids to decorate air dryed clay with leaves, sticks and seeds.

Apple Day activities at Gillespie Park have to be all about apples. I ran an apple bobbing stall and a nature pendant stall which got kids to decorate air dryed clay with leaves, sticks and seeds.

I love seeing kids getting dirty, but parents increasingly don’t. It’s a shame to hear an adult telling a child not to go in puddles or touch a plant in case they get dirty. My daughters definitely looked scruffy but they were allowed to explore properly. I generally dressed my kids in leggings or trousers as dresses are so restricting. That’s because you are much more likely to do spontaneous cartwheels, play football, climb trees, pick blackberries, face nettles or even kneel down to study something on tarmac/gravel if you are not wearing a dress. But at a public event kids are often quite smartly dressed up. Here’s how to help the children have fun without causing too many parents to get upset about their child’s outfit.

The Morrismen dancers turned up and invited everyone to join in. I have to admit that I abandoned my stall for a dance waving handkerchiefs. If you don't have fun at these big events you don't want to do them when you're asked next time.

The Morrismen dancers turned up and invited everyone to join in. I have to admit that I abandoned my stall for a dance waving handkerchiefs. If you don’t have fun at these big events you don’t want to do them when you’re asked next time.

1 BE PREPARED
This is the third year I’ve run children’s events at Gillespie Park Apple Day – an event which attracts a lot of young children (year 3 to babes in arms) and a few older ones. For some reason I always seem to find it hard to rope in a glamorous assistant so it makes sense to be prepared. And that means you might need:

  • A gazebo if it rains. This was essential as I was running a air-drying clay activity and rain would spoil the pendants. During the storm I also moved the apple bobbing under the tent. All of the apple day attendees were rewarded by a fine rainbow when the rain began to stop.
  • A bucket for hand washing (drying clay feels horrible), soap in a hand-pump and a couple of towels. I organised for someone to lend me three towels, and brought the final dry one out for the last hour. By the end of the day they were going to need some serious washing!
  • First aid knowledge... I refresh mine bi-annually. It’s always worth teaching basic first aid to children and teenagers can start learning it properly through the Red Cross or St John’s Ambulance training courses.
Making a nature pendant or nature medal.

Making a nature pendant or nature medal – an activity which suits all ages and skills and fitted in with the all-things-apple theme.

2 EXPECT CROWDS
It’s easy to show one child how to make a clay pendant. Ideally I try and show a group of three plus. It’s really nice when later in the day you see kids who’ve enjoyed the activity coming back and explaining to their friends or even cousins what to do. They do teaching with such pride!  To make it easy for anyone who will have to explain what to do to someone else, break down the task into stages so you can demonstrate with ones you’ve made earlier. That way visual learners and active learners can get down to the task while you re-explain to the ones that like words more. I had a round ball of clay; a flattened pendant with a hole in it and a finished item (which I failed to photograph, sorry).

Adapting the pendant idea from a circle or oval to leaf shape - and then pressing the shape of the leaf into it was suggested by an experienced Woodcraft Folk member.

Adapting the pendant idea from a circle or oval to leaf shape – and then pressing the shape of the silver birch leaf into it was suggested by an experienced Woodcraft Folk member.

3 TAKE TIME TO PRAISE WHAT NEEDS PRAISING
When you are working with 30 plus children – there were about 200 trying the Apple Day activity between 12-4pm, you soon notice the kids who think in a non-classroom manner. It was really noticeable that children who go to Brownies/Scouts like to follow lists so they can tick off tasks and earn their badges. The ones who go to Woodcraft Folk, even very young children, are skilled at using nature to inspire their art and can also tie knots. As lots of children are quite shy to have a go their parents will step in. This seems a shame, so I try to let the kids make their own art by suggesting their mum/dad does their own pendant. It seems to work and it’s nice for the kids to see that you don’t have to stop being artistic when you leave school.

Over to you
Hope these tips help encourage you to run your own local park or street party event with kids’ activities. Let me know what games work well for Autumn/Winter/Outdoor activities.

 

 

Ever made a stick man?

October 17, 2012

Decorate the wood pile with stick men (well ladies and lasses) kindling.

This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post looks at how to turn a stick into a gift. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting click here.

Two family birthdays are fast approaching, and not far behind these is Christmas. I’ll never be as organised as the people who shop for Xmas 2012 in the January 2012 sales, but I normally have stockpiled a few gifts by now. But not this year. Instead I’m hoping to pull lovely things out of the metaphorical bag without having to spend hours at the sewing machine (or equivalent, ie shops) in December.

I love the idea of giving new life to ordinary objects.

Forks are dull, but I love a collection of cutlery fringing a lamp shade. Old penny coins are just about worthless, but drill a hole in them, polish up and turn them into a necklace and they are become a fab piece of jewellery.

Clearly Nell, 11, has slotted into this way of thinking as she’s determined I should write up about her current passion for stick decoration. In previous blogs I’ve shared tips on how to make a wand and dye it with squashed blackberry juice. See here.   But if it’s rainy outside and you just want to settle down by the fire or woodburner it can be fun to draw on bits of kindling. Real sticks can be whittled while you watch re-runs of the Great British Bake-off, or use skinny pine off-cuts  to fashion extra large matchstick men and women (see pic above).

Younger children can be given a felt tip (or fat crayon) and put by a pile of logs – hopefully you will soon see smiley faces emerge. Nell says she likes the way it could be a toy, you can play with it and it has a nice woody feel.

Over to you
What would you draw on a skinny bit of kindling? Could it be made into a gift? I thought maybe they could be good dinner place holders, a crowd could be used for piling into towers, or 10 bunched together could make good seed row markers…


Get Fit With Azmain

“A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.”

SHOTS AND SHOOTS

SHOTS AND SHOOTS

Islington Faces Blog

Everyone has a story: interviews with people who live or work in Islington

making tracks

Boredom and Adventure

mum vs mom

A parenting & lifestyle blog

Bevin Court

Community restoring the past for the future

Just Go Places

Share Travel Experience

WORD

Islington Word Festival

Art Attack

Discovering art in everything

Second-Hand Tales

Spreading the love of all things thrifted, recycled, swapped and free

This Is Monkixx

Just another WordPress.com site

Bungalow Lil and I

Mother and Daughter writers, life, books, family and the Yorkshire Dales by fleur butler and lil butler

SWEETEN IT UP!

Must have desserts for people with a sweet tooth

Keats House Poets Forum

Poetry Lives Here!

Hollywood? Bollywood? No!! this time it's all about Nolly and Ghallywood!!

I believe that everyone knows Hollywood, and that a lot of people know of or about Bollywood (Indian movie Industry), but what about Nollywood and Ghallywood? In my blog it's all gonna be about the West African specifically Ghanaian and Nigerian movie industry.

%d bloggers like this: