If your daughter is having a friend over for a play date this weekend, why not suggest these two creative projects from best-selling kids activity author Dawn Issacs that get our thumbs up – trust us, you’ll thank us for keeping them busy. Even if it’s just for a while.
Plait wool dolls
Wool may make fine jerseys and scarves, but it’s also ideal for legs, heads and arms – at least if you’re making a doll!
You will need:
- A piece of stiff card or a small notebook
- To start your creation, first find a piece of card or a small notebook to wrap the wool around. And remember, whatever you choose will be the same height as your finished doll.
- You will need to wrap your wool around it between 30 and 50 times. The taller the card or book, the more times you should wrap it.
- When you’re done, slide the wool off your card or book and then cut across all the fibres – so you’re left with a bunch of wool all the same length.
- Twist this bunch in the middle and bend it in half, then take a short length of wool and tie it tightly with a knot just below the twisted section before cutting off any long ends. This will form the head.
- You can now leave most of the wool in the middle, but separate two equal sized bunches to form the arms. These need plaiting and then tying with another piece of wool when you feel they are long enough.
- You can trim the ends to make “hands”.
- Now tie another length of wool around the large middle bunch to form a waist.
- If you leave the doll like this, the wool will form a skirt. Or you can split it into two equal sized bunches. If you plait these separately and finish them as you did for the arms, these will make legs and feet.
- Of course, you should feel free to personalise your dolls. You could pull some strands out from the head to make hair, or perhaps you could plait pieces of wool and then add them to make a crown, or a tie or a belt.
Make a pomander for mom or granny…
Pomanders may look very pretty but the very best thing about them is how they smell. Well, unless your top 5 lists of “stuff I really hate the smell of” includes both oranges and cloves, in which case this might not be for you.
You will need:
- Double-sided sticky tape (optional)
- A wooden skewer
- A toothpick or old ballpoint pen
- Ribbon (optional)
- If you’re using a ribbon decoration then first stick on the double-sided sticky tape so it goes all the way around the orange from top to bottom (but keep the backing strip on). You can also add another two pieces of tape to intersect the first loop and divide the outside of your orange into quarters if you wish.
- Now decide how you want to decorate your orange: you could follow the lines of the tape or how about adding a star, a face or even your own initial?
- Mark out your pattern by puncturing holes in your orange every 0.5cm using the nib of an old ballpoint pen, a wooden skewer or toothpick.
- Push a clove into each hole – they should be next to each other but ideally not quite touching as they’ll move nearer each other when the orange dries.
Tip: As the orange shrinks when it dries you may need to retighten the ribbon.
Activities used with permission from 101 Things for Kids to do Screen-Free by Dawn Isaac (Kyle Books); Photography by Kate Whitwaker. Available from www.octupusbooks.co.za.
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