Tag Archives: budget

The Softest Playdough and Printable Playdough Fun

Standard

I started my Christmas holidays today and have been craving some Mummy and sons time, so I thought we would do some fun play.  As it is terribly overcast and humid here in Brisbane, we opted for some indoor fun in the air-conditioning.

'Just think...summer's coming, and  everyday will be like Saturday morning!'

Both my boys love playdough.  Recently I saw a recipe for the easiest, softest, most beautifully smelling playdough.  It only has 2 ingredients, one of which you would never guess, and takes only a few minutes to make. You must give it a go….

Soft Playdough

Mix 2 parts cornflour (corn starch) to 1 part hair conditioner.

Knead until it comes together in a soft dough. At this point you can colour it with food dye.

Play!

Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables

It really is that simple.  I picked up a cheap conditioner at the shops that had a lovely smell and pink colour, so I didn’t have to dye the dough myself. Obviously, this isn’t a playdough for little ones who might be tempted to taste their dough creations.

The boys have spent the morning playing with this as well as some free playdough printables I found on the net.  I printed and laminated them so they will survive the holiday season.

Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables

You can find these playdough mats at Tot Schooling .  Another place to look is Busy Little Bugs.

Soft Playdough Recipe and Playdough Printables

 

The Playdough puppets are found at the Nuture Store.

What a lovely, simple activity for us to start the Christmas holidays with.

 

 

Advertisements

DIY Fridge Mats

Standard

I hate cleaning the fridge. Who doesn’t? With two little boys who like to poke around the refrigerator contents, spills and subsequent cleaning are frequent. Sick of the mammoth task of removing all the food, lugging and washing the massive glass shelves, I decided to have a go at creating my own fridge mats.

I found heaps of inspiration in cyberspace for DIY refrigerator liners. I settled on using thick  plastic placemats for mine.

I wanted a nice bright print and picked up these green chevron placemats and coasters at the Reject shop for $4 a set. DIY Fridge Mats

As my refrigerator shelves are so wide, I needed 3 packs of placemats to do the job. I carefully measured and cut the placemats to suit my first shelf and used these as a template to complete the fridge. It really wasn’t that big of a task. It was a little fiddly to get the initial measurements right, then it was smooth sailing.  DIY Fridge Mats

I just love how clean, bright and fun the inside of my refrigerator looks now! Unfortunately, the pictures do not do the project justice. We are having horrible weather here and there is no light to photograph in.

DIY Fridge Mats

DIY Fridge Mats

The placemats have nicely ‘clung’ to the glass shelves and do not move around when shifting items. Now when a spill occurs, instead of having it turn into a giant cleaning task, I just remove the placemats, give them a quick wipe down and return them to their place.

I just love completing a small project that I know will save me time and energy. The fact that it has also livened up my fridge is a happy bonus.

Have a great day.

 

 

Kids’ Activity Packs

Standard

Previously I have shared some of the activity packs I have made for my littlies (see here and here). They have been a Godsend as not only are they educational, they keep my monkeys entertained at times when I need it the most.

Last week I was out with a friend who showed me some ideas for some new activity bags. They got me so excited that I went out the next day to buy some supplies.  Once I started to rat around my local variety store, I was amazed at the inspiration I found sitting on the shelves. I went a little crazy – so unlike me. Ha!

Here are a few of the packs I have made up so far…..

Pattern matching – something Master O is doing a bit of now that he is in Prep. I raided the craft and sewing box to create this one. It is just some coloured wooden stars and velcro. I created some patterns in a Word document for boys to copy and laminated them to make them hardier.There Was a Crooked House Activity Packs

Matchstick Colour Match. A great fine motor and colour match activity for my 2-year-old, made with coloured toothpick containers and craft matchsticks.

There Was a Crooked House Activity Packs

But this was the one the boys got most excited over, a set of coloured keys turned into a fishing game. With the addition of numbers on one side and words on the other, I have made 4 skill games in one set – motor skill, coloured recognition, numeral recognition and sight word recall. After fashioning two magnetic fishing rods, both my boys can play the game that suits their ability level.There Was a Crooked House Activity Packs

Last night the boys didn’t even touch a toy or ask to watch their favourite afternoon show, all they wanted to do is give these a test drive.  Well worth the effort putting them together!

I have a few more packs on the go at the moment. I will share another 3 easy to create activity packs with you tomorrow.

Simple St Patrick’s Day Artwork

Standard

Last week I showed you a picture of the canvas print I picked up in the clearance section of a local discount store.St Patrick's Day Art and CraftThe plan was to transform it into a simple St Patrick’s Day artwork with the kiddies.

After surfing the internet for a bit of inspiration, we came up with this….

The kids got right into the task with Master O helping to paint the letters and trace the shamrock. St Patrick's Day Art and Craft

Initially, the plan was to just paint the shamrock, but on drying we found that the paint was cracking. Not wanting to persist painting to have the same problem happen again, we chose to cover the shamrock in buttons. Master C loved picking out the green buttons from my button collection – I couldn’t have dreamt up a better fine motor skills activity!St Patrick's Day Art and CraftSo this piece is now out on show and we are planning on some St Patrick’s Day treats for tomorrow.  We have made some hideous green cupcakes for morning tea and have planned a leprechaun treasure hunt with a horde of gold covered chocolate coins. It should be a bit of fun.

Happy St Patrick’s Day.

 

Bargain Buy Inspiration

Standard

It is no secret that I love a bargain. I am a bargain buy junkie – I get a complete rush from grabbing what I want at basement prices.

In the last week I have grabbed some little gems that I thought I would share with you.

I picked up these two Jamie Oliver bruschetta boards for $3 each at my local grocery store. I can see these getting a workout on the nights we fire up the pizza oven.There Was a Crooked House

These lovely patterned bowls were only $2 each from the Reject shop….

01There Was a Crooked House

Also at the Reject shop, I found this canvas print in the throw out bin.  As St Patrick’s Day is approaching and the kids and I have been talking about it, I thought we could fashion it into some sort of St Patrick’s Day artwork. Stay tuned….

There Was a Crooked House

I am always on the look out for cute partyware and these ice cream themed pieces just had to come home.

There Was a Crooked House

I have stocked the kids’ craft cupboard with two great items. The oh so versatile paper plate…….There Was a Crooked House

These four packs cost me 60 cents.

I also grabbed this 15 metre roll of contact for $2. I have pinned some great craft ideas using contact, so I can’t wait to use it.There Was a Crooked House

So there you have it, some of my favourite bargains of the week. What have you picked up for a song this week?

 

Organising Children’s Art Supplies With Tupperware

Standard

A while back I gave my pantry a makeover.  With the addition of the Thermomix in the kitchen, my pantry underwent a change.  There were a lot less cans and processed foods and a whole lot more basic ingredients. I desperately needed more storage containers and I was just not prepared to drop a grand on Tupperware to house it. As I hate to miss-match, the Tupperware I did own, came out of the pantry and went into storage.

Looking at the Tupperware taking up space in my storage cupboard today, I decided I had to make use of it.  I went to my most hated storage solution, the kids’ craft tub and decided that Tupperware might just save the day.

The old craft tub was huge and filled with a million bits and pieces. The half empty packets and the buttons and  beads laying loose made finding what I needed a challenge.

After a good purge and some help from the littlies to sort, we filled most of my spare Tupperware containers.

Using Tupperware to Organise Craft Supplies

Using Tupperware to Organise Craft Supplies

If our little collection of craft supplies should exceed our Tupperware collection, I will just pick up the super cheap knock-off version you can get in Kmart.

Kmart's Tupperware Knock-off

I love that I regained some space and made good use of the once wasted Tupperware.  I think that craft time will be a lot less painful with this storage solution. 

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

Standard

In the hope of avoiding  the shopping centre crush at Christmas time, I have well and truly begun my Christmas shopping.

In years past, my present buying had been a bit haphazard. This year I was determined to be organised by writing a list of gift ideas and items purchased, as well as keeping my receipts in one place.

I decided I needed a pocket book in which to keep this information. Instead of going out to buy one, I made one using left over craft paper from last Christmas.

The whole thing was really simple and quick to make.

I didn’t have any double-sided paper left, so I stuck some coordinated prints together to make three,  30 x 30 cm double-sided pieces of paper. If you wanted to do this,  you could use paper or light card and alter the size and number of  sheets to suit the size pocket book you need.

I folded the base of each sheet to make a little pocket.DIY Christmas Pocket Book

 

I held down and secured the sides of the pockets with a glue tape.

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

I folded each sheet of paper in half, using a ruler to get the folds crisp.

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

I stacked the pockets on top of each other and used the sewing machine to bind them together along the fold line.

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

This configuration of folded sheets gave me a good number of pockets to place receipts or vouchers and some blank pages on which to write my Christmas present ideas.

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

I have divided each spread up for the different individuals or groups/families I buy gifts for.

DIY Christmas Pocket Book

The front cover was screaming out for a little prettiness so my youngest helped me glue some buttons in a wreath shape on the front.DIY Christmas Pocket Book

This little book now lives in my handbag. I am never without my ideas list at the shops and my receipts can be stowed safely inside straight away.

How do you keep your Christmas buying organised?