Christmas Tree Tassel Decoration

Christmas was not celebrated much in USSR where I grew up. And even now, it is celebrated in January, based on Orthodox Christian calendar. 

Yet, celebrating New Year meant decorating the tree in December, preparing frozen goods, and having the same excitement and anticipation as people around the world have for Christmas. 

If you click on the link above, you will read all about unusual Christmas/New Year’s decorations we put on our trees. I remember clearly at some point we had curtain tassels hanging on our trees!

So today, to commemorate my childhood, I am going to show you how to make DIY Christmas tree Tassels Decoration. It is quick and your kids will have fun. Good thing? You can always use them later on your curtains!

What you will need:

A piece of cardboard

Scissors

White and colorful thread (ours is shiny!)

A needle

Instructions:

1. Draw and cut out a circle from your cardboard.

2. Using the white thread, secure it and roll over in all directions on the circle. Add the colourful thread. Roll as thick as you want your tassel.

3. Secure the ends. Now, using the needle with a thread, go under the treads on one side and secure the middle. 

4. Cut the threads on the other side and tighten the thread you used with the needle. Now you have just a bunch of threads tied up together!

5.  Adjust the treads to look like a tassel, and using white or colorful thread, roll over to decorate the tip which will keep the threads down. 

6. Now make a knot on which the tassel will hang, and cut the ends of the thread to even it out. Voilà!

These tassels will also make great decorations to put around the house!

Every year bloggers of Kid Blogger Network get together to celebrate Christmas and bring you some fun ideas for decorations!

Hop over to Mama Miss to see what other decorations the bloggers have made for you!

Check out other bloggers who posted on the same day with me:


 Rainy Day Mum

Preschool Powol Packets

My Bright Firefly

Happy Brown House

Castle View Academy

The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Schooling Active Monkeys

The Mama Workshop

Salt Painting Techniques

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This year I am taking time to collaborate with more projects that are in tune with my blog’s themes.

This month I am participating in two series. One of them is Painting Challenge: Fun Painting Techniques organized by Messy Little Monster.

I chose to work with Salt Painting Techniques. It is a very fun way of painting and it offers a unique sensory experience.

Supplies needed:

Construction paper
Brushes
Water paints
Liquid glue (we made a homemade glue)
Stick glue
Salt
Colourful chalk

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Preparation:

Since we will need colourful salt one way to dye it is to rub pieces of chalk against it. This way your salt will be dry and keep longer. The salt we used has been kept in an airtight jar for over 2 years!

Technique 1:

It is done with stick glue and salt. You can read more about it in one of my previous posts.

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Technique 2:

Using liquid glue, make splashes on the paper. Generously apply Colored salt. Fold the paper into half, wait few seconds gently pressing on the surface. Now open for the result!

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Technique 3:

Apply liquid glue on the paper. Sprinkle white salt over. Now, take the water paints and drip over the salt. The paint will spread on the salt and glue creating

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Please check all previous posts on painting techniques!

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Special Guest Thursday: Learning New Words Through Drawing {Multilingual Parenting}

Today I have a very special guest – Rita Rosenback from Multilingual Parenting!  Rita is a fellow blogger from Multicultural Kid Blogs Community I am also a part of. She is also a specialist in bilingual matters and I am very glad she agreed to share her wisdom with us!

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Children (and adults for that matter) learn better when they are having fun – this applies to any subject and for language learning this is particularly true. As a parent you are trying to come up with ways to engage your kids to learn, and especially if you are the minority language parent, you are constantly looking for ways to increase the language exposure time and to make sure that your child acquires an as extensive and varied vocabulary as possible.

One excellent way of learning new words is to draw a picture story together with your kid. – Before you say anything along the lines of “I can’t draw!” or “I wouldn’t know what to draw!” let me tell you that everyone can draw and your child will be delighted with anything you come up with. If you are really struggling with the start, cut our some pictures from a magazine or comic and build on those to make a combined storyboard and drawing. Also, don’t worry, your child’s imagination will lead the way in choosing what to add to your masterpiece!

Ask your child to choose a character who will be at the centre of your story, then place this animal, person, plant, car of whatever was chosen in the middle of the paper. Start expanding on your story by asking questions about your character. If you have a certain vocabulary topic in mind, steer the story towards it by making the questions lead the way. Let’s say you want to introduce different vegetables and fruits, make your character grow, eat, buy or sell them in your story. Or maybe your character could be a fruit looking for new friends! To make the words even more memorable you could have some of the fruits and vegetables ready as a snack for the day.

When speaking about the character use a lot of adjectives describing what it looks like: tiny, happy, surprised, yellow, round, soft and so on. Also make the verbs, the words for the action, more interesting by replacing the common ones with new ones: for example leap, bounce, skip, canter for jump; or stroll, step, march, stride for walk or go. If your child is a bit older you can use a dictionary to look up synonyms together.

After you have done this a few times you will have many lovely picture stories which you could put together as your very own picture book. Wishing you many creative moments with your little ones!

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The illustration is from Rita’s book “Bringing up a Bilingual Child” with the subtitle “Navigating the Seven Cs of Multilingual Parenting: Communication, Confidence, Commitment, Consistency, Creativity, Culture and Celebration.” (picture © Rita Rosenback 2014)

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Rita Rosenback is the author of “Bringing up a Bilingual Child” and she blogs at www.multilingualparenting.com where you can find tips and advice on raising your children to speak the family languages. She also visits schools and community groups to give speeches and lead workshops for parents and teachers on the topic of bilingual children. Rita was born in the Swedish-speaking part of Finland and now lives in Derby, England. She is the mother of two adult daughters who speak Swedish, Punjabi, Finnish and English.
You can connect to Rita and follow her over these social networks –
TwitterLinkedInFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Creative Tuesday: Mother’s Day Upcycle Flower and LadyBird Craft

I am back to Creative Tuesday with a lovely

Mother’s Day Flower and Ladybird  Craft!

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I learned upcycling art in the most natural way – through re-using my daughter’s art creations to wrap presents, using cereal cartons, egg cartons, plastic bottles and other handy things from around the house.

Growing up in Russia we didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day per se, but we celebrated Women’s Day on March 8th. It is only when I moved to China I heard about Mother’s Day. But until now I get constantly confused when it is, so I thought it was last Sunday (May 5th) while apparently it is on May 12th! 

So, my daughter and her friend, and later – tots in my class, made this lovely Mother’s Day craft using miss T’s art creations, cereal boxes and left-overs from other crafts.

What you need:

Cereal box for foundation

(cut out one large rectangular or square piece)

Your child’s paintings or drawings

Scissors

4 larger circles and 1 smaller circle

(you can use upcycle material or new paper)

2 cut-outs shaped as leaves

1 piece of paper that will serve as a stem

Glue

Red and black pencils or crayons

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How to do it:

1. If using A4 paper  with art, fold into half length way and cut into thin-ish strips. If using A3, first cut it into 2 and then follow the same instruction as with A4 paper.

2. Apply some glue at the tip of the strips and glue the tips together. Separate the unglued sides. Repeat as many times as you need to make petals.

3. At the top corner of the foundation, apply some glue and glue the petals to create a flower. 

4. Take one larger circle and glue it in the middle.

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5. Glue the stem and the leaves.

6. Anywhere where you have free space, glue on large circle for the body and smaller one for the head. Fold other 2 large circles into half, put glue only on one side of each circle, and stick them on top of the body to create wings.

7. Now the most fun part  – coloring! Color the middle of the flower yellow or orange or whatever color the child likes. Color the stem and the leaves green. Color the ladybird red, draw smiley face and antennae, draw black dots on the wings.

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You can personalize this craft with writing the child’s name and a greeting.

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Do you have any Mother’s Day Craft to share? Post your link in the comments or simple send me a picture

and I can share it on my blog/Fb page!

 

Abstract painting

I think the first abstractionist ever was a child. Really. Abstract painting is just so natural for children – they splash the paint on the paper and mix it up, smudging and creating the most beautiful paintings. These paintings are in fact the most precious and the ones that are fast-forgotten: the mass-production is so overwhelming that it is hard to keep up with everything!
I tried keeping “the best”, but to me they are all the best and equally beautiful! As my daughter grows these paintings take different shapes and there is a story to them too.

I find abstract painting very interesting and engaging. It is also usually self-initiated and requires minimum intervention.

Here are some ideas for abstract play:

1. Finger painting. Experiment with different types of finger paint. You can find lots of recipes online (check Our Blogger Friends for some blogs references). It’s also a great way to introduce sensory play.

2. Paint brushes. Get a bunch of different sizes and width. Start introducing from thicker to thinner. This also helps with fine motor skills development.

3. Sponges. You can get regular dishwashing sponges, cut them up or use whole. Some companies make special sponges in different shapes with handles.

4. Tooth brushes. A great way to recycle your old tooth brushes!

5. Cotton and cotton buds (also known as q-tips). 

6. Pieces of cloth. Dipping cloth in paint and smudging on paper? It’s a dream come true!

7. Straws. The well-known blow-paint activity where you put a blob of paint on paper and blow on it gently through a straw. 

As you can see, abstract painting has so many ways. You have probably done it already with your little one but didn’t know that was it!