Toddler Craft: Watercolour Garland

Come hell or literal high water, we were going to the beach today.  So we did.  We miraculously left the house at 10am (2 out of 3 of us even showered!) and headed to Newcastle prepared to face the wintery wild of the Mournes and build some sandcastles. WRONG.

As we drove it became pretty clear that the wind and rain was going to win the battle so we decided to huddle into Maud's Cafe for some brunch and a warm up before we braced ourselves and headed to the beach.  Something that amazes me is toddlers lack of weather-based fear.  Rain & wind: they pretty much eye-roll that forecast, so explaining to Levi that we might not get a long time out on the beach today was a bit foreign.

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After brunch, Dave went ahead to see how high the tide was after the floods from the last couple of weeks and he managed to find (not kidding) one square meter of beach that wasn't being swept by the tide.  So off we went.

We made approximately 3 sandcastles before I got caught in a huge unexpected wave and got drenched.  Dave and Levi laughed the whole way back to the car as I waddled behind in my wellies and jeans.

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We hit up a couple of great charity shops (hello handknit goods, Lee denim shirt and enamel cookware), played a few amusements and headed home.  By 2pm we were back in the warmth of our house and had the afternoon to take at our leisure.

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I've been working away getting our new 1950's Gumtree cabinet stocked up and organised (CAN YOU BE IN LOVE WITH A PIECE OF FURNITURE? I am.  More on that this week...)  with all my 'making' things in our craft room and Levi has loved coming up to 'help'.  I usually just give him a jar of buttons, some paper, loo roll and glue and he can pass a fair amount of time making something.  I'm finding his imagination so much more active these days - it honestly thrills my heart.

Today while we cocooned ourselves away from the wind and rain I headed back up there to do some more sorting with my shadow following closely behind.  We stumbled upon a handy little craft I thought I'd share for some of you that - like me - are always looking for engaging toddler-friendly crafts that can bring a bit of connection on a rainy, inside afternoon.

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It's really as simple as this:

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Let them loose with the paint - we use a watercolour set from the pound shop - it's really easy on the clean up and he loves the dipping-in-the-water part of the process.  It also takes less time for watercolour paint to dry if you are planning on doing something with the paper - which we were.

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Once it's dried (a couple of minutes), cut out some shapes - any at all.  I've been letting Levi use proper scissors (with a little supervision of course) for the last few weeks and he's getting the hang of it so he went to town on the paper.  I helped out and did some of the trickier shapes like diamonds and circles while most of his shapes ended up being triangular/squareish.

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Levi then sat on my knee and fed each shape to me as I ran them through the sewing machine, leaving a good bit of thread at one end, a good few stiches of loose thread in between each shape and a good bit at the end.

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Then ta-da!  We hung it up with his other bunting above his bed.

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It's always nice to think of other ways to use up your children's artwork, cause let's face it - there's only so much wall space.

Does anyone have any other ideas of how to use your child's paintings/drawings?  What other crafts have you found good to do together?

Mel