30+ pirate activities: games, crafts, food & costumes

Shiver me timbers, have I got some fabulous pirate activities for you! With ideas from Nurturestore and a crew of kid bloggers from around the seven seas, here are over thirty five ideas you can use with your little pirates. There’s everything for some pirate-theme play and learning – pretend play, food, dressing up, story telling, sensory tubs, writing, action games and more. Click each link to to find out more and enjoy some fun pirate activities with your kids.

35+ pirate activities: games, crafts, food and costumes [Read more…]

Carnival of Junk Play

carnival of junk play
Welcome to the Carnival of Junk Play!

Come and share an idea and help us build a store of junk play ideas we can use whenever we need some inspiration. This link-up will be added to our Junk Play archive (click on the Junk Play button on the right hand column) so you can come back and use it whenever you need an idea.

1. Please link to your actual post, not your homepage. Junk play ideas only please – no giveaways or adverts.

2. Please add a link from your page through to this carnival, to invite others to come and share the ideas. You can grab a Play Academy badge from the right-hand column if you’d like.

3. Go and visit some of the other blogs listed and say hi.

4. Grab an idea and go play!

5. Don’t forget to come back next Friday to join in with our regular ‘anything goes’ Play Academy link-up.

Can’t wait to see what you’ve been playing!

Junk model horse riding stables

Recently Updated2

We’re getting ready for the Carnival of Junk Play on Friday 3rd December!

What do you think of our riding school? We have stables, jumps, a daisy filled paddock and some prize winning rosettes – and all made for free using re-cycled materials from our beloved making box. B has been off school ill this week and we needed a good ‘sitting down’ activity to keep us busy and cheer us up – and this is what we made. It was a totally spontaneous project, put together after a rummage through the junk box to see what materials we could find.

The base is made from a big piece of cardboard from a packing box, which happened to have a circular shape marked out in the centre which seemed to say ‘paddock’! The jump is made from two Smarties tubes, turned inside out,  with a wooden skewer, snapped in half and poked through the tubes to make the cross bars.

Recently Updated1

The stables are made from tissue boxes, and the one on the end which has proper stable doors is made from a teabag box. We covered them in sugar paper, held in place with sticky tape – as you know we can’t wait for glue to dry when we want to get playing. The prize winning rosettes are made from little gift bows salvaged from some presents, with a ribbon made from sugar paper.

Recently Updated3

We have a bucket with a pipe-cleaner handle, wool for straw and a biscuit tray cut up and stuck inside each stable to make a feeding trough (there’s probably a proper horsey word for that isn’t there?) The bunting is made from wool, old wrapping paper and held up on wooden skewers. And the paddock was painted with poster paint, sprinkled with a little glitter while it was still wet, and with some daisies (cut from a remnant of edging from my sewing basket) glued on.

Not all our junk models are this grand – L’s boat was very simple, but they both sum up what I love best about junk modelling:

it’s recycled, it costs nothing, it’s creative and it’s makes a toy with lots more play value to it.

see more

Want more happy handmade crafts?

Our Happy Handmade resource is bursting with colourful and imaginative crafts and DIY toys that are designed to add even more colour and creativity to your home. With easy-to-follow tutorials and free patterns and printables, you can read, make, and start playing today! See more of Happy Handmade here.

Make a 3-D picture frame

I’m always looking for ways to display children’s art. This week we decided to turn a cereal box into a 3-D picture frame to display our favourite pictures and also to be a treasure box to store an archive of our favourites.

I love to see the development of children’s drawings over time and I think it shows how they’re changing in their passions and what they observe about the world. The depth of this frame means lots of pictures can be slotted in front of oneanother so you can vary the display and file away the older pictures behind. And it’s all made by re-purposing the goodies in your making box.

Make a 3-D picture frame 

1. Take a cereal box and carefully open it out flat.

2. On the inside of the box, on one of the larger panels, use a ruler and pencil to draw out a rectangle. This will be where your picture shows through so leave a border wide enough to make a suitable frame.

3. Cut out the rectangle using a ruler and craft knife. Take care!

4. Now decorate all over the inside of your box. We used glue to stick on tissue paper, wrapping paper and silver star cutouts. Some pages from your favourite comic would be good too.

5. Once it’s all dry, re-fold your box with your design on the outside and fasten it up using glue or sticky tape. Leave one end open so you can insert your art works. We cut off the flaps at the open end to make it look neater when on display but you might like to leave them on so you can fasten up your frame and keep it as a treasure box when it’s full.

6. Adding a small blob of bluetac (or play dough) inside the bottom of the frame helps to stabilise it, so it doesn’t wobble over – and you can move the bluetac to the other side if you want to vary your frame between a portrait or landscape format.

7. Then fill with your favourite pictures and stand back and admire your masterpiece.

Complete art lesson plans, exploring great artists