PRESENT DAY MOMS

KIDS CRAFTS

Calm Jars

KIDS CRAFTSEmily DaFoe
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CALM JARS 

Picture this, you’ve just entered the supermarket on a mission with your toddler to get the weekly essentials and your child walking alongside starts throwing goodies into the cart;  a Peppa Pig complete hair and body wash set, 4 lipsticks for her make-up collection (ummm she’s 4!), sparkly hand wash, a men’s razor, and other random and unnecessary objects into the trolley. You gently remove the contents ‘not this week honey, mommy doesn’t have the money for it and you really don’t need all those things’ ‘but MOOOOOOM, I need that lipstick and, and, and, ANDDDDD the next minute she’s crying and making a scene as she drops her little body onto the floor. As you try and calm her (or him), the panic and emotions escalate until you feel yourself also about to lose your cool.

As a mom I’m sure you’ve experienced difficulty helping your children to control their emotions. Tantrums, being difficult, sulking, anxiety, aggressiveness:  are all behaviors that occur when a child experiences strong, raw emotion they can’t control. Whilemany children misbehave because it gets them the golden egg —a present, food, candy or simply attention— other kids have trouble staying serene as they are highly sensitive beings.

Wherever your child falls on the above spectrum a great way to help them stay omni-present or to cut a tanty in half is with the Calm Jar. I made this with my first child when she was about 2 and every six months or so we’ve made a new one. When she’s having a moment, we get our calm jars and shake them, then sit and slowly watch the glitter settle to the bottom. I’ve explained the glitter represents her mind and when she gets angry or frustrated her emotions swirl around, but if she just breaths and stays present in the moment, sitting still, that like the glitter falling into back into place and gently settling, so will her emotions. 

TIP: I suggest using plastic bottles for little ones and supergluing the top to the bottle to ensure a nasty little wet glitter bomb eruption does not occur all over your beautiful white bedspread. Just sayin’.

MATERIALS

  • Recycled Plastic or Glass bottle (depending on your child’s age)

  • 6 ounces of glitter glue (pick your kids favorite color)

STEP 1:   

Firstly, I set up the table for the girls and set out all the glitters and materials. Because this project uses boiling water, I need a distraction while I’m doing that part, so I let the girls play with the glitter. We lay out an old sheet under the table and let them pour out and play with extra glitter later during the craft.

STEP 2:   

Pull the plastic wrapper from your chosen recycled bottle. I soak mine in soapy warm water for about an hour beforehand, remove the sticker and then scrub the leftover sticky residue off gently with a scourer.

STEP 3:   

Once my bottle is ready, I then have one of the kids help me squeeze the entire contents of the glitter glue into the calm bottle. This takes some balancing so if one can hold the bottle and the other squeeze the glitter glue you can manage to transfer it from the glitter glue to the plastic or glass bottle with little overflow.

STEP 4:   

Wrap a dish towel around the plastic or glass bottle. Carefully, pour boiling water into the plastic bottle. I typically do this away from the girls as you can never be too careful. Fill the boiling water to the top. Most plastic bottles will morph shapes with the heat, so make sure the dish towel stays but. 

STEP 5:   

Carefully stir the glitter glue through the hot water with the chopstick to break up the glue. This will make sure it isn’t clunky and you will get a nice separation with the water when you shake it later when its finished. Make sure you stir it well.

STEP 6:   

Let the water cool before you bring it back to the craft table so the little one can add the fine glitter particles.

STEP 7:  

Once they have added the glitter, add a thin layer of superglue to the top of the bottle and screw the lid on tightly.

STEP 8:   

Let the superglue dry for about 30 minutes and after that your little one will have their very own CALM JAR, to shake whenever they need to and help stop a tantrum in its tracks!

Crafts and crowns

KIDS CRAFTSEmily DaFoe
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Crowns are a fun and whimsical way to get crafty with your kids. I love watching my daughter pretend play when she puts on a flower crown. It’s almost as if the crown has secret powers, trees become fairy lands, she becomes the princess, and I become the Queen (of course). The great thing about making crowns and flower crowns is that you can almost find everything you need at home. We collect feathers, shells, flowers, rocks and have little piles around the house. I rummaged through our Christmas decorations and gathered up our piles of ‘found things’ to create a crown fit for the princess of Neverland. 

My son is a real ‘boys boy,’ and declines to have flowers on his head. However, we were still able to create a magical crown for him by leaving out the flowers and adding more shells and feathers to his crown. 

INGREDIENTS

COST

Approximately $6 for the wire and ribbon

TIME

Approximately 30 minutes

METHOD

STEP 1:

Measure out your wire 2 lengths in diameter around your child’s head. 

STEP 2:

Wrap your wire around your greenery, adding to the greenery every few inches so that the length of your greenery lines up with your wire. Remeasure the crown around your child’s head and join the ends to create a circle.  

STEP 3 :    

For Girls: Start adding your flowers in little bunches. Use small portions of wire to hold them in place. Be mindful to keep the ‘pokie’ edges on the outside of the crown. During this process we used crystals (that were already attached to wire from last years Christmas wreath), and we added them to my bunches of flowers. We completed the arrangement with a peacock feather in the middle of the crown to give it more drama. 

For Boys: We pulled apart the same wreath making ornament and used its pre-wired gold leaves and positioned them around the crown. For the middle of the crown we made a feather bouquet and tied it with wire and then positioned it in the center of the crown. We then drilled two holes in a shell and thread wire through the shell to hold it in place. 

STEP 4:  

For Girls: Use your ribbon to tie a bow to the side of your crown and wrap the ribbon all around the back of the crown until it meets the other side and then secure with another bow. 

For Boys: Cut up your old t.shirt into strips, and tie the strips together to create a long ‘ribbon’. Thread the ‘ribbon’ through the holes of your shell, evenly distributing the ribbon so that the shell marks the half-way mark. Start wrapping the strips around the crown, and finish by tying a knot to secure your ribbon to the crown. 

TIPS 

Have fun with your crown, you can cover it entirely with flowers or opt to make a partial crown as I have. My kids don’t enjoy the ‘pokiness’ of crowns so I have learnt over time that threading ribbon softens the crown for their royal heads.

Start collecting ‘found items’ with your kids when you go on walks, and before you know if you will have an abundance of feathers, shells, rocks and gems to add to your crown.