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Sneaking in the learning

Car Park Craft Finished

Car Park Craft Finished

 

My eldest loves crafting, my eldest loves maths, my eldest is not buying into doing homework for ‘fun’.

But guess what, I am a sneaky mummy and I have figured out that crafting with some hidden learning can pass under the ‘No Homework’ radar – *rubs hands together like the evil genius that I am*.

Here are two ideas that we have been making to practice our numbers and shapes homework.

Shape monsters

Shape Monster Feeding

These cheeky monsters just love gobbling up shapes and are really easy to make. Get creative with this one to make monsters hungry for colours, words or numbers depending on the age of your child. Just change what they are hungry for – heck even nouns and prime numbers if you have a clever clogs.

This one is also great of you have kids of different ages because it works right from basic colour and shape learning all the way up to the really tricky stuff.

Shape Monsters You Will Need

You will need:

  • Thick plain card (if you seem to have shares in Amazon like me then an Amazon delivery box is perfect)
  • Thinner coloured card
  • White paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Goggly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Sticky tape
  • Toilet rolls

How To:

  • Cut out a large triangle, rectangle and circle in the thick card.
  • Cut out mouth shapes in the card. Make sure they are high enough to sit about half a toilet roll behind.
  • Paint the shapes different colours and allow to dry.
  • Cut the toilet rolls in half and attach one half to the back of each shape at the bottom. This is the cup to collect the shape tokens and also helps the monsters to stand up.
  • Stick the goggly eyes on the shape monsters.
  • Cut out teeth in the white paper and attach to the mouths with glue.
  • Cut out shape tokens in colour card to match the shapes of your monsters.
  • Feed the monsters.

 

 

 

Number car parking

Car Park Instruction Colours

If your kids are anything like my boys you will have a house full of tiny little cars. This car park craft is fun to make and they will play with it for hours. Our car park sorts the cars by colour or number of cars in each space. To take it up a notch for older children why not write sums in each car park space and ask them to park the number of cars to make the answer.

Car Park You Will Need

You will need:

  • Grey card
  • White paper
  • Assorted coloured card
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Selection of toy cars

How to:

  1. Stick together four sheets of grey A4 paper to make a large sheet. Or be more organised than me and buy a sheet of A1.
  2. Draw black lines on the card to mark the different lanes. We drew 6 lanes that were 6.5cm apart.
  3. Cut out small rectangles of white paper and glue on the lanes to make road markings.
  4. Cut out squares of coloured card and stick at the top of each lane to make the car park spaces.
  5. Write numbers on each of the car park spaces.
  6. Park yours cars.
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Not just paint and glue

Rock Monsters

Rock Monsters

It’s official, pebble monsters are feminists. Not just that, they are outdoor adventurers, lovers of mud, mathematicians, artists and excellent sharers. And they go to show that crafting is not just about making. These cute little guys have given my kids and I a whole day of fun, and lots of lessons along the way.

We have spent today making pebble monsters. Josh loves nothing more than a good rock and wanted to go hunting for one to give to his Dad when he got home from work. A plan started to hatch and soon we had the idea to make pebble monsters.

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Our crafting started with a walk in the woods to find stones. Crafts often get associated with indoor activities to pass the time on a rainy day, but this one got us out of the house and exploring. Josh isn’t the biggest fan of getting mucky but his quest for the perfect stone made sure he forgot about that. He was squelching through mud and dipping his hands in puddles to wash the best stones. As we collected the stones we had to keep count and work out how many more we needed so it was a great way to practice our adding and subtracting too.

While we walked and searched for stones we also chatted and generally put the world to rights. Josh’s friend Sarah joined us for the painting part of the craft, but was at ballet in the morning. Cue a long discussion about why boys can’t do ballet because it is for girls and you have to wear a dress. We stopped our stone search to watch some YouTube clips of male ballet dancers and Josh was satisfied that boys could do ballet. “They are very strong and can jump really high. Superman could be a ballet dancer but he decided to be a superhero instead.” By the end of our chat we were in agreement that boys and girls can do the same things. Josh is keen to clarify that is everything apart from weeing standing up, and I can’t argue with that.

 

Painting our rocks

Back at home, we washed the stones and, with the arrival of Sarah, set to painting the stones. First, we had to share out the stones, making sure the biggest and sparkliest ones were dished out fairly. Then we started painting – Josh started with the dark blue paint, of course. While the paint dried we treated ourselves to a snack and a drink before decorating them with goggly eyes to bring them to life and make them all unique.

A really simple craft and a great day had by all. Thanks little pebble guys.