This is not what usually share on here but nothing feels very "usual" about our world right now so I don't think it matters!  Now that the schools have officially closed here in the UK, and with more people self-isolating, under full lockdown, or practising social distancing I  I decided to put together a little something that may help some of you if you are finding it hard to think of things to do with your kids with all of the added pressures you may be facing. If you don't already know I'm a homeschooling mama of an almost 5 year old and 1 year old and we love making things!

Before I list some of our favourite crafts I want to share some of our favourite online resources (I'll continue to add more as I think of them):

Cosmic Kids Yoga~  fun and entertaining yoga videos

Dad Lab~ great science experiements to do at home

Khan Academy~ great for maths, Nixie loves it!

Life-Size Skeleton~ this isn't free but it's well-worth the price and we had so much fun with it while learning anatomy

Story-Bots~ youtube learning animation 

The Artful Parent~ loads of creative ideas

Tree Tools for Schools~ an amazing resource for nature activities

Wild Wattle Folk~ amazing nature based craft tutorials (we make her candles and moon hangings and theres lots more i want to make!)


Some of our favourite games are:

Cheeky Monkeys

Crazy Chefs

Shopping List

Sight Word Bingo

We also love to play with Magnets, Lego, Beads, Puzzles & even little pompoms!

Planting beans in a see through jar is lots of fun and just planting seedlings together and keeping a nature journal

We Love getting messy with paint and Nixie has enjoyed this for years now! I know this activity may seem a bit scary to many of you but with a little preparation the cleanup isn't that bad! To make it easier for you you could even do it in the bathtub. We use Scola Paints and they are great and so easy to wash off.

but if you have younger ones who may still be putting things in their mouths you can also try this with yoghurt or our favourite condensed milk.Even kid friendly finger painting is a fun activity!

Also just painting pictures on paper,  canvas using water colours and mixed media such as found bones, sticks and  treasures is always fun too or even melting crayons using a blowdryer or making heart garlands.

We also love to make things out of  Plaster of Paris especially bowls!! We have so many of them around the house and they are great for putting our treasures in that we collect from the beach or the woods and they are really simple to make. All you do is cover a bowl you would like to use as a mould with cling film and then cut strips of the plaster of paris and dip them in water making sure you wipe off excess water and then place onto the bowl in overlapping strips until it has been covered at least three times. You can also do this on faces to make masks but make sure you cover your face in vaseline so that it doesnt stick to you.  Once it's dry then you can paint them and we use these acrylic paints (they are really easy to wash off of little hands and we use them for pretty much every art project, there was another brand that we liked called shuttle art but couldn't find it).

You can also make a bowl to show the layers of the earth which Nixie really loved too. I also found this tutorial how to make one using shredded paper (but we haven't tried it)

Cardboard is another great medium to use for making all sorts of things, we've recently been very into making dioramas and other cardboard crafts. We got a book from the library Out of The Box and made loads of things from it: Owls (but found a similar tutorial online, the only difference is we cut wings and feet out), Flowers (found a similar tutorial online) a bunny racing game, a Lizard family, a sealife diorama & our city of London which isn't finished was inpired by the book . We also made a woodland diorama and a little family of mice hanging out in a block of cheese (here's the tutorial) Nixie made one white because it was an arctic mouse visiting her friends...

Another favourite medium of ours is clay! Once we were learning about snails so we went to the beach to collect shells and then came home and made some. 

we also love to make bowls, wall hangings and dinosaurs out of clay

Recently we went to the woods to look for signs of birds nesting and came home with a bunch of material to make our own but it proved harder than expected so we ended up making one using clay!

and ever since discovering Wild Wattle Folk we've been making so many candles!

Pompom crafts are also lots of fun! either use a pompom maker or make your own so that you can have pompoms of different widths (my prefferred way) All you need is a long piece of wood and nails at either end and then wrap the yearn around them and once you've finished you tie yearn around the yarn you wrapped at diffrent intervals and then just cut, super easy!

Weaving is another thing we really love to do especially using sticks we've collected outside, here's a tutorial. Or we've used handmade cardboard looms. There's some images of some more of our weaves above in this post, I just didn't want to share it twice)

We've made little dolls out of wooden spoons and felt...(this one was Kevin's idea)

Using popsicle sticks for building structures can leads to hours of entertainment, it's the simple things!

Nixie went through an intense dinosaur phase this past year so we did lots of things surrounding that topic. We made a dinosaur out of paper mache, we made fossils so that she could become a paleontologist, she hatched dinosaur eggs, learned about volcanos, did lots of dinosaur crafts (including a dino candle from above)

We've made a bird feeder out of pine cones and bird seed (cover the pinecone in peanut butter and then roll it in seeds and then hang it up outside!)

and seed bombs

Nixie also has a deep love for birds of prey especially owls so we bought some owl pellets off of ebay and had such an amazing time dissecting them! (check out our bone mandala above using the bones we found!)

One of our favourite spring activities is to pick flowers and press them, you can do this the old fashioned way in between the pages of books or like us use a microwavable flower press which actually retains the colours much better (ignore the ugly burnt fabric which we need to replace we just haven't done that yet, I keep forgetting!). We love to make bookmarks with them using our laminating machine.

If you're like us and still have a bowl of conkers lying around from last autumn because they are still considered treasures then you can make spider webs, beads, and snakes with them like we did.

Last summer we raised butterflies so we did lots of crafts relating to that, here's one of our favourites, showing the lifecycle of a butterfly using pasta!

writing letters to loved ones we can't see can also be a lovely way to keep in touch

To help our little ones understand the importance of washing hands the bread experiment is a great one! 

We have created so many things over the years and I've only shared a few of them here, but as I think or remember of others I'll continue to add to this blog post. Another amazing photographer friend of mine, Antonina Mamzenko has also written a blog post titled "Staying Home with the Kids: The Coronavirus Lockdown Survival Guide" where she lists so many great online resources which will be very useful for older children, I highly recommend you check it out!  I really hope that this post will help or inspire some of you during this surreal time in our collective history. This past week we've been out in the woods building nests, dens and swings and maybe at some point I'll also create a post about some of our favourite nature activites...

Since it's still tadpole season here and something that we do every year is raise them and release the froglets I thought I'd share a link to an article I wrote for Run Wild My Child called "Nature Study; Raising Tadpoles with Kids"