NurtureStore http://nurturestore.co.uk kids activities, art and craft, play dough recipes and more Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Fall writing station with leaf print books http://nurturestore.co.uk/leaf-print-books http://nurturestore.co.uk/leaf-print-books#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:00:05 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=21410 The essential ingredients for an irresistible fall writing station, including leaf print books for seasonal stories and sketching.

Fall writing station with leaf print books

Sometimes, simply regrouping what you have and presenting things in a different way is all the invitation children need to jump into long-forgotten materials. If you’re used to . . . → Read More: Fall writing station with leaf print books

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The essential ingredients for an irresistible fall writing station, including leaf print books for seasonal stories and sketching.

Fall writing station with leaf print books

Fall writing station with leaf print books

Sometimes, simply regrouping what you have and presenting things in a different way is all the invitation children need to jump into long-forgotten materials. If you’re used to rotating toys – or trying to give old things to charity – you’ve probably noticed that things your child hasn’t seen for a while get a new appeal when they re-appear. The same idea can be used to help make writing irresistible.

Start this new season by taking a fresh look at your writing supplies. Here are a few ideas you can use this autumn to set up an interesting writing station. First up: we’re making leaf print books.

IMG_2419How to make leaf print books

On a walk in the woods we gathered some beautiful leaves. We used them for some leaf print art and to make leaf crowns, but also had some left over.

fall leaf print craft

If you pick larger leaves, each individual leaf can be a good size to be a page to write on – a leaf of a book!

leaf print crafts

All you need to do to transform them into an autumn journal is punch a hole in each one…

leaf print crafts books

and use a split pin to thread them together. Bend the pin so it holds the leaves together, but gives enough room to open out the pages.

using leaf prints making books

You can make several autumn leaf books, using different colours and shapes of leaves. You could use your leaf books to:

:: note down signs of autumn you find on a nature walk

:: sketch things associated with autumn

:: learn sight words and spellings, by writing the words you’re working on, one on each leaf. Then use your leaf books as a prompt for works to practise with a seasonal salt tray.

:: try some creative writing: fill each leaf with all the words that come to mind when you think of autumn. Or dream up a poem and write a line on each leaf.

:: start a story on one leaf and then pass it to a friend to continue the tale on the next leaf.

:: as an art journal, with doodles on each leaf.

fall writing station autumn literacy ideas

Fall writing station

The leaf print books make a great addition to a fall writing station. You might set aside time each day to use the station, or have it available to use when your children choose to. Other things to add in to your writing station include:

:: pens and pencils in autumn colours

:: cute autumn stickers

:: little notebooks

:: post-it notes

:: washi tape

:: a list of autumn vocabulary words

:: other homemade books, make from card in autumn colours, folded into simple book shapes.

100+ fall activities for kids :: fall crafts, autumn sensory play, fall math and literacy games

 More autumn activities

For more season literacy, math, art, craft and play take a look at our archive of autumn activities.

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Pine cone math station http://nurturestore.co.uk/pine-cone-math-station http://nurturestore.co.uk/pine-cone-math-station#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:50:00 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=21392 This hands-on pine cone math station is a great investigation table that invites children to explore estimating, counting, size comparison, measuring weight and length, and recording data in a table – all while having fun.

Pine cone math station

We turned a bowl of pine cones, gathered on our walk in the woods, into . . . → Read More: Pine cone math station

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This hands-on pine cone math station is a great investigation table that invites children to explore estimating, counting, size comparison, measuring weight and length, and recording data in a table – all while having fun.

Hands-on math station using pine cones: counting, estimating, measuring and using units of length and weight, diameters, recording data, tables, and....fun!Pine cone math station

We turned a bowl of pine cones, gathered on our walk in the woods, into a hands-on math station. Depending on your children, you can set this up as a work alone, work in a team, or work with you activity. The pine cones are a lovely, sensory, seasonal material to use and provide a great springboard into all sorts of math work.

math station investigation

I drew up an investigation sheet to get my daughter started but you could also chat with your children to generate a set of questions together. Setting this out in a table gives children a chance to read the questions for themselves, and practise recording their answers in the table format: when you’re talking about the activity you can refer to the rows and columns.

I included a column for estimates as well as to record the actual amounts. Estimating is an important math skill in its own right – very useful for quick calculations and being able to check that any answer you come up with is not wildly off the mark. I also like to use it to encourage my daughter to have a go. I want her to feel comfortable and confident making a guess at the answer, not held back from trying for fear of having to get exactly the right answer and of making a mistake. Mistakes are good – they help our brain grow.

counting with pine cones math

Our first question was to see how many pine cones there were in our bowl. A child’s estimate may be quite wide of the actual answer, and this exercise helps them to visualise an amount and become familiar with values. You can talk about strategies to count a large number more easily. Here we made piles of five pine cones so we could quickly 5-10-15-20… our way up to the answer.

size comparison with pine cones math

Then we looked at size comparison, counting how many pine cones were big, and small.

measuring length with non standard units

Then we made the pine cones into a long line and measured them. My daughter loved this bit. As well as starting to estimate numbers, this gives an introduction to estimating length.

math activity using tape measures

And we measured with a tape measure, and talked about why we had both inches and centimetres on the scale.

weighing math station with pine cones

We included kitchen scales, so we could weigh the pine cones. We practised reading this scale, and talked about ounces and grams.

estimating math station with pine cones

We also hunted out the pine cone with the biggest diameter. My daughter made her estimate using sight firstly – a good exercise is visual measuring, especially of a slightly irregular shape.

measuring diameter math station

And then she checked her findings using a ruler.

recording data in a table

All the while she recorded her estimates and findings on her table. This let us talk about how we use cm and g to indicate different measures, and how we write fractions.

pine cone activities

And here’s the prize-winning pine cone – the one with the biggest diameter – with its winner’s bouquet.

100 hands-on, creative math activities for kids. For ages 0 - 10. organised into topics and seasonal themes.

More hands-on math station ideas

For more hands-on, multi-sensory ideas, come and take a look at out archive of math activities, which are indexed into topic and theme to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

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Join the I Am Super capes project :: Play Planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/join-super-cape-project-play-planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/join-super-cape-project-play-planner#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 07:00:28 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=21370

Share the positive power of play!

There’s an amazing project called I Am Super capes that is on a mission to deliver super hero capes to children fighting illness, difficult circumstances or dealing with a disability. They send imagination, play and encouragement to children who need a boost. I know you all understand the . . . → Read More: Join the I Am Super capes project :: Play Planner

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i am super hero capes

Share the positive power of play!

There’s an amazing project called I Am Super capes that is on a mission to deliver super hero capes to children fighting illness, difficult circumstances or dealing with a disability. They send imagination, play and encouragement to children who need a boost. I know you all understand the power of play, so will you join me to support the campaign? You can find all the details here. Thank you! ~ Cathy

Here’s this week’s Play Planner

Monday’s child is…

a super hero (will you help me and the I Am Super Capes project?)
Easy super hero cape tutorial - support I Am Super Capes children's organisation.

Tuesday’s child is…

making glow in the dark Halloween lanterns
Halloween lantern crafts :paper roll Halloween bats, cats and owls that glow in the dark!

Wednesday’s child is…

playing with ginger and cinnamon sensory salt
IMG_4749

Thursday’s child is…

playing with autumn play dough
fall play dough recipe

Friday’s child is…

creating autumn art
autumn art ideas

Saturday’s child is…

playing bat word games (see how at Fantastic Fun and Leaning)
at-word-family-game-for-Halloween

Sunday’s child is…

working on fine motor skills (see all the ideas at BabyCentre)
fall fine motor activities

Join me in the I Am Super capes project and share the power of play!

 super hero cape

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Easy super hero cape :: I Am Super Capes http://nurturestore.co.uk/easy-super-hero-cape-tutorial-for-kids http://nurturestore.co.uk/easy-super-hero-cape-tutorial-for-kids#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:00:36 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=21342 I believe in the power of play: to nurture children, help them learn, encourage them when they need it, lift spirits and sometimes bring healing. If you’re a regular reader of NurtureStore I know you’re as passionate about giving children plenty of time and opportunity for being creative, using their imaginations and learning through play.

Here’s a . . . → Read More: Easy super hero cape :: I Am Super Capes

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I believe in the power of play: to nurture children, help them learn, encourage them when they need it, lift spirits and sometimes bring healing. If you’re a regular reader of NurtureStore I know you’re as passionate about giving children plenty of time and opportunity for being creative, using their imaginations and learning through play.

Here’s a tutorial that shows you how to make an easy super hero cape that your children can use for lots of pretend play – but also an invitation to send the power of play to another child who could really do with a super hero boost, joining in with the amazing I Am Super Capes appeal.

Easy super hero cape tutorial - support I Am Super Capes children's organisation.

I Am Super Capes

The I Am Super Capes organisation was set up by my friend Claudia and is on a mission to send colourful, fun, super capes to children who could really benefit from a super hero boost. The capes are sent worldwide, and are made by people like me and you who donate an hour or so of their time, and a bit a fabric, to produce them.

super hero cape

Capes have already been sent to Mercy In Action in the Philippines and the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice in Ireland. Capes are also made especially for Little Heros: individual children, like lovely Sienna in the photo below, who are fighting an illness or dealing with a disability.

super hero pretend play

The next mission

The next mission is a big one. Working with Charly’s Bakery in Cape Town, and with support from Emirates Airlines, Claudia is planning to take 600 capes to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in South Africa. That’s a lot of capes – and an enormous amount of empowering super play that’s being sent to the children there.

How you can help #iamsupercapes

Will you join me in sharing the power of play? Will you make one extra cape and send it to I Am Super Capes to be part of their next mission?

The capes are VERY easy to make. Believe me, I am not great at sewing, but you can make one of these capes in an hour or so. You can use fabric you already have, or buy some especially for the project. You can make any colour you like, and in any child-sized dimensions. The only thing that is a must is to use velcro for the fastening at the neck.

You could make a cape for your child, and then one to send. If you are part of a class, group, WI, church or you can gather some friends together for a sew-off and you could make a few capes, even better.

i am super capes

The I Am Super Capes website is here at iamsupercapes.co.uk

Please follow the group on Facebook and Twitter: every like, re-tweet and share you can give them will help them spread the word and help more capes be made. You’ll also be able to follow the Cape Town mission and see the children there as they receive your capes.

Make your cape and send it to:

UK: Claudia Beard, I Am Super capes, Bourne View, Bourne Fields, Twyford, SO21 1NY

USA: Chantal Skipper, I Am Super capes, 3356 Flagler Circle, Midland, NC 28107

How to make an easy super hero cape

I followed this super hero cape tutorial to make cape, and it was nice and easy. Click through on that link for all the details, but what you will need to do is…

Use an old piece of fabric to make a template. Mine is about 26cm across the half chest, and about 60cm from neck to bottom. The capes can be any child size so you don’t need to worry about being too precise.

 

easy super hero cape

Use your template to cut out two pieces of fabric. You can use any bright and happy colours you like.

how to make a super hero cape

If you want, you can add on some extra super hero pizazz – my daughter drew some stars which we cut out of felt and fixed to one of the pieces of fabric.

easy super hero costume for kids

Pin the cape with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew up one side, around the neck and back down the other side. Leave the bottom open for now so it’s easy to turn the fabric right-side out again.

Pull the fabric through this opening, so your cape is now the right way out. Then top stitch all the way around the outside of the cape, including fastening up the open bottom edge.

make a super hero cape

Finally, stitch on some velcro at the neck. This is the only specific requirement: you can use any fabric, and any child size, but the neck fastening must be velcro – for easy of play, and safety.

super hero cape

Ta-da! One super hero cape, easy to make, bright and colourful, and about to head its way to one of the children in the Red Cross Hospital in South Africa.

how to make a super hero cape for kids easy

Can you join in? 

This week, next week, this month – will you make one super cape and send it to Claudia?

I’m so inspired by Claudia and her idea to use the power of play and imagination to encourage, nurture and send power to children who need a boost. Thanks so much to you too, for believing in the power of play and offering your support by joining in.

Please share a photo of your cape on Instagram, Twitter or the I Am Super Capes Facebook page using #iamsupercapes to help spread the word and so we can see all the fabulous capes.

If you are a blogger, share your cape post with us in this linky!


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Glow in the dark Halloween lanterns craft http://nurturestore.co.uk/glow-in-the-dark-halloween-lanterns-craft http://nurturestore.co.uk/glow-in-the-dark-halloween-lanterns-craft#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:52:37 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=21306 These glow in the dark Halloween lanterns are easy to make and look fantastic when they are lit up.

Glow in the dark Halloween lanterns crafts

We originally made a set of owl lanterns for the Lantern Parade at the Just So Festival. The design was inspired by the gorgeous owl lanterns made . . . → Read More: Glow in the dark Halloween lanterns craft

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These glow in the dark Halloween lanterns are easy to make and look fantastic when they are lit up.

Halloween lantern crafts :paper roll Halloween bats, cats and owls that glow in the dark!

Glow in the dark Halloween lanterns crafts

We originally made a set of owl lanterns for the Lantern Parade at the Just So Festival. The design was inspired by the gorgeous owl lanterns made by Kerstin over at Minidrops. Do hop over to take a look at hers because they are lovely and she uses a great technique to give the owl eyes more features. For my girls though, we simplified the design, and added in some Halloween bats and cats.

paper roll owl craft

To make the lanterns you will need some card tubes – toilets roll tubes, paper kitchen roll tubes cut to size, a piece of card rolled up: whichever you prefer. **If you want to make a glow-in-the-dark cat, owl or bat: check that your card tubes and tea light candles fit together (see below and of course only use battery-powered LED candles, no naked flames.)

Fold down the top of the tube to make some ears. And cut out some eyes, using scissors or a craft knife. My girls managed this by themselves, but with younger children you might prefer to have them draw on the eye shapes, and then you can do the cutting out.

paper roll bat halloween craft

For the bats and cats, paint the tube black. You could use water-based craft /tempera paint, acrylic paint, or even chalkboard paint.

toilet roll bat halloween craft for kids

For the bat lantern, cut out some wings from black card or craft foam, and use tape, glue or staples to fix them on to the back of the paper tube. Use chalk to add a mouth – maybe with some fangs!

toilet roll cat halloween craft

For the cat, a pipe cleaner poked into the side of the tube makes a good tail, and again you can use chalk to add a nose, mouth and whiskers.

toilet roll owl craft for halloween

We used marker pens and glitter glue to decorate our owl lanterns, adding wings by gluing on two pieces of card.

owl lantern craft for Halloween

**We used LED tea light candles (available from Amazon) to light up our lanterns and make them glow in the dark. It just so happens that the tea lights were the prefect size to fit our toilet rolls. If necessary, you could cut the back of your lantern and insert an extra piece of card to make it fit your candle, or instead of toilet paper rolls, use a piece of card which you can roll to the exact size of your candles.

glow in the dark cat lantern Halloween crafts for kids

My girls love the lanterns so much! A row of them in the window look fantastic, giving the right mix of spooky and cool.

glow in  he dark bat lantern Halloween craft for kids

More autumn activities

For more Halloween crafts and autumn activities, take a look at our autumn archive which is packed with ideas!

100+ fall activities for kids :: fall crafts, autumn sensory play, fall math and literacy games

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