Friday, 22 July 2016

My home made cardboard box princess play mat

Ok so I have to admit after making the space mat, I wanted to have a go at making a princess play mat.  Living with three males and having a male cat, I do sometimes have a little urge to be girly.

What I used:

  • Larger flattened out cereal box
  • Left over slate effect wallpaper to represent the pathways in the grounds of the castle
  • 2 x sheets of blue tissue paper
  • 1 x pack of funky foam (neoprene) from the pound shop
  • Glue gun
  • Sellotape
  • scissors
  1. After flattening the cereal box, I covered it with the wallpaper and secured with tape.
  2. I decided on what I wanted to include on the play mat  and cut the pieces out of the foam.  For my play mat I decided on a pink castle (but of course), a pond with goldfish (because the princess who lives here likes to sit by the pond and watch the fish), some flower beds (because she likes pretty flowers), a space for the carriage to be parked, somewhere for her best friend to guard the palace (her dog) and somewhere for her horse to graze and drink with a very large sunshine because the sun always shines here.
  3. I then measured and glued the tissue paper in place for the sky before gluing the castle pieces and sunshine on top.  
  4. I set out the pieces for the grounds on the board before gluing to make sure I was happy with the positioning. 
  5. Finally I added the finishing touches such as the grass, flowers and goldfish.
Unfortunately I don't have a horse or dog figure to add, but I cant wait to find some in the local charity shops.

Cheap, cheerful and ready for play.  Get your little ones involved in making the mats.  As they lie flat and can be stored easily you can make a few of these.  What about the following:
  • Zoo
  • Jungle
  • Road 
  • Dolls house - different rooms with printable furniture glued on from the internet
What else can you come up with?

My home made space play mat

So as promised here is my low cost / no cost home made recycled cardboard box space play mat.  As my boys are a lot older now i don,t have as many toys to add to it but i don't think it turned out too badly.  I have had so much fun putting this together this morning.

What I used:

  • Empty cereal box flattened
  • Left over wallpaper from when I decorated my sons room which happened to be space themed
  • Left over white wallpaper from decorating another room
  • Empty egg box carton used to enhance the craters on the moon
  • Scraps of wallpaper rolled into balls
  • Kitchen foil to warp around the wallpaper balls to make moon rocks
  • Sellotape
  • Pencil to create craters on the moon
  • Empty lime juice bottle for the rocket
  • Coloured paper and funky foam (neoprene) to decorate the rocket
What I added:
  • Alien finger puppets made for a previous project
  • Some of my sons Star Wars Lego characters
The empty cereal box....

Leftover space wallpaper from my sons room....

I used the space wallpaper to cover the cardboard box and secured with tape.....

Then placed another piece on the underside and secured with tape to make the play mat stronger....

After scrunching up scraps of the wallpaper into balls, I then wrapped them in the kitchen foil shaping them to look like moon rocks....

The recycled lime juice bottle ready to make the rocket....

The added white leftover wallpaper cut out to represent the moon and the cut up egg box to add to the crater effect....

Here is the bottle decorated with the coloured paper and funky foam as a rocket....

Then i added some home made alien finger puppets from a previous project to add to the fun ready for play....

Then I added some Lego Star Wars characters, a bit smaller than the aliens but heroes come in all sizes....

Crew on their way to help their buddies conquer the aliens....

One down and one to go....

It doesnt have to cost to develop imagination, creativity, small world play and language skills.  Look around your home today and see what you can come up with.  I would love to see your makes : )

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Home made peronalised book marks

I have just come across this fantastic idea on Pinterest.  How cool are these personal bookmarks? You could make these with your children to give out as gifts for them to use with their favourite book or yours.  Simple to make and fabulous to keep!

For more information pop on over to  They have lots of other fantastic ideas too!

Dinosaur home made play mat

A while ago I was asked to make a dinosaur play mat for a friends son which ended up as a sen bag which could be taken on holiday etc and had pockets to carry his dinosaurs as well as his name on.  

You don't have to be able to sew to produce a play mat that your child will love.  Here I have used scrap pieces of fabric left over from past projects and some very strong child friendly fabric glue.  The various textured fabric pieces add to the sensory play element of the play mat.  Mountains, rocks, palm trees, a river, a drinking / washing pool and a place to roam as well as a volcano of course.  Just add dinosaurs : )

Any old sheets in the cupboard?

What better way of going large when children need a canvas to paint.......look in the cupboards and see if you have any old sheets and set up the canvas in the garden.  Use small items in the corners of the sheet as weights to hold the sheet down.

You could also give the children cheap water spray bottles with watered down poster paints as well as a range of mark making items including paint brushes, washing up brushes, sticks, mini rollers, and anything else you can find that will be appropriate to use.

Pop on over to the artful parent to find out more as well as lots of other ideas

Cardboard box kids crafts

Well the Summer holidays have now officially started and no matter what we do to entertain our children we will still at some point hear those words....'I'm bored'.  I thought I would put together some of the fab ideas for easy low cost / no cost cardboard box craft ideas including one of my own makes.

Just pop to your nearest supermarket to see what size boxes they have that you can pick up for free.

This idea is from

Im just loving this amazing car made from cardboard.  Pop on over to to find out more.

Or how about this amazing cardboard box craft room?  Find out more at

This do it yourself dinosaur is pretty amazing too.  Pop on over to to find out more.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Home made portable dolls house

I wanted to make something out of my fabric scrap box that my friends little girl could play with when they popped round.  Something in the form of a play mat is what I was thinking but then I came across a pattern to make a transportable fabric dolls house.

You don't have to be able to sew to make something similar, good fabric, a sharp pair of scissors and some fabric glue is all you need to make something similar.

You will need a larger piece of fabric for the main house as you can see in the picture.  If you use something like felt for the house you can then glue your furniture pieces to each room.

As you can see the house has a bathroom, living room and bedroom but you could make anything you want.  There are plenty of templates on line for furniture pieces etc.  This is something you can get your little ones involved with when it comes to the planning and gluing.  Have fun!

Hand print art and crafts

Quick and easy crafts with hand prints is always a good art and craft activity to do in the holidays with the children.  Here are some of the loveliest ideas I have come across lately n the net........

This link is were I found this colourful parrot hand print art and craft activity.  How fab would these look on the wall?

How about these amazing Superhero handprint crafts?  Pop on over to...

Shell animal craft

Wow, these animals made from shells are just amazing!  So many different animals to choose from to make with your children.  Maybe its time for a trip to the beach.  Click on the link below to take you to the page.

Make your own paintbrushes

I have just come across this fantastic idea....make your own paintbrushes!  Every holiday time with the children when they were younger I would have ideas for activities but sometimes couldn't always find the paintbrushes.  This definatley wouldn't stop play again...I love it.  Pop on over to to find out more.