Pipe Cleaner Critters

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

I have been very lucky to have some wonderful teachers in my life, both as a child as an adult. This little craft always reminds me of one of my favourite years in primary school. Year 3, in the class known as “3BC”. I was turning eight, it was 1986 and life was good. Miss Cosh and Mr Bentley were a big part of that. While pipe cleaner critters are probably not the best representation of their teaching awesomeness, they are a little reminder for me of how happy I was that year. Here’s how we made them.

Pipe Cleaner Critters

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

You will need:

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

  • a pencil
  • two pipe cleaners in different colours
  • two googly eyes
  • a glue stick

Photo tutorial:

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky} Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky} Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky} Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky} Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

You’re all done! Now enjoy playing with your critter, or use it as a pencil topper.

Pipe Cleaner Critters {via Octavia and Vicky}

Want more fun ideas for kids? Just download your copy of the Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook. Watch the 30 second video and buy your copy now or find out more.

Three to Five Playful Preschool ebook - 25+ Playful Preschool Activities

Musical Play and Activities for Kids

In honour of my brother Ryan, I welcome Debs from Learn with Play at Home and her post about music for kids.


“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Music really is magical. It has a way of touching us to our core and making us feel certain things. It can ignite a power and strength within us, make our hearts soar or crush our soul in an instant. The power that music holds is something not to be talked about but to be experienced and I feel that a life with music is a richer life indeed.
It is almost an automatic thing in young children that when they hear a tune or an upbeat melody, their body wants to react and move with the music. There are so many fabulous ways that you can involve music in your children’s life that all bring different areas of learning, skills and experiences together. Below are a collection of gorgeous ideas, activities and crafts that you can try to bring a bit more music and magic to your child’s life.
Make a music wall (Paint on the Ceiling)
DIY Palm Pipes (Deceptively Educational)


DIY Rainsticks (Danya Banya)
5 Musical movement games (Learn with Play at Home)
Paper plate tambourine (Craftulate)

DIY Dinosaur Castanet Craft (Triple T Mum on Learn with Play at Home)
5 ideas for outside music play (Let The Children Play)
Song to help learn colours, letters etc (I can teach my child)

DIY Tin drums (Red Ted Art)
Teaching kids how sounds are made (Kids Activities Blog)
Musical water play (Kid’s Play Music)

Happy music making,

Debs :)



Debs is a Primary School Teacher on family leave with her 2 young children. She is passionate about Early Childhood Education and believes firmly in the importance of learning through play. She is the author and creator of  LearnwithPlayatHome.com which is a resource full of activities and ideas with handy tips on how to further promote learning with play. Above all, she believes that learning should be fun. You can also find Debs on facebookpinteresttwitterinstagram and google+.

Tissue Box Guitar

In honour of my brother Ryan, I welcome Nae from Adventures at Home with Mum and her kid made tissue box guitars.


Kid made tissue box guitar

Do your kids love Music?

Whether it be a song on the radio, a beat, Mums Singing, clapping or making their own music with pots and pans most kids enjoy music. Just like adults, music is good for the soul. It is tied to the rhythm of our heart and can help motivate us, release tension, express feelings, exercise, and lift our spirits.

My 4 year old, Dimples, has a taste for music. I often catch him wiggling his booty and singing to a song that’s stuck in his head or trying to ‘break dance’. Recently he had a visit from a music man while he was at preschool and got to see a range of different guitars and musical instruments that inspired him to make his own music at home. It got very noisy, until we crafted this cute tissue box guitar. It’s still musical but has a pleasant strum and kids can dance and jump about like a rock star with it. Here is how we made it:

Kid made tissue box guitar

Tissue Box Guitar

Step 1– Attach a paper towel roll or similar to the narrow side of an empty tissue box. Your tissue box is your guitar body with the hole as the face of your guitar. We did this by cutting one end three times, spreading it slightly open and taping it down on the box.
Step 2– Pull 2 large rubber bands over each side next to the guitar fretboard (paper towel roll) to become your guitar strings
Step 3– Wrap, cover, paint and decorate your guitar however you like. If you’re not covering it in any way you might want to add a bit of masking tape over the top & bottom to secure the bands into place.
Step 4– Ask a grown up to use a craft knife on the top of the paper towel tube big enough for you to insert 2 or 3 paddle pop sticks in that represent the guitar turning pegs.
Mission Complete!

Kid made tissue box guitar

Now you have a crafty guitar to play. Try making up your own song and dance to go along with it or put on a performance to one of your favourite songs. You are now a crafty guitarist, have fun.
Renee is an Australian stay at home Mum to Dimples and Miss Cherub, and author of the fun blog: Adventures at home with Mum. She is a hands on Mum who loves sharing playful ways for children to learn during the early years and has a little bit of everything on her blog from messy sensory play and extreme paint to active and outdoor fun. Renee has a Psychology degree and various study attainments in childcare, personality development and effective parenting, she wishes to work with children in the future but for now she is enjoying watching her children grow and learn at home. You can also find Renee on Facebook or Pinterest.

DIY Striped Frames

DIY Striped Frames - hand made by kids

Hand made gifts from kids is one of my favourite treats. Since becoming a parent I’ve always looked forward to getting those hand-made-with-love covered-in-glue-and-tape-and-paint-and-glitter type gifts that I remember making at school. I also love making them with Pebble and it’s one of our favourite ways to spend time together.

DIY Striped Frames - hand made by kids

Somehow though, Father’s Day crept up on me this year. Here in Australia it’s always the first weekend in September. Every year. So you think I’d be all organised and on top of it, right? Um, not so much. So it was that Pebble and I were having a very enjoyable and slightly manic painting session on the Friday before Father’s Day. She had an absolute ball and these striped frames turned out just gorgeous. Here’s how we made them. All three of them (for Grandad, Grandad and the Number 1 man himself, Daddy).

DIY Striped Frames – hand made by kids

You will need:

  • wooden picture frames – we bought ours from the local cheap shop for a couple of dollars each
  • paint – we used these colourful no-drip paints given to us by Micador and some poster paints from our supply
  • masking tape
  • paint brushes
  • a bucket of water and a cloth, for quick clean ups
  • old newspapers

DIY Striped Frames - hand made by kids

How to make your DIY Striped Frames

  • Spread out some newspaper in your art space. We had a beautiful almost-Spring day, so we worked outside.
  • Use the masking tape to create a striped pattern on your frames.
  • Stand back and let the kid go nuts with the paint.
  • Leave the frames to dry COMPLETELY. This is where I had to employ the help of  my hair dryer – like I said, we were a bit last minute! No time to waste!
  • Peel off the tape and admire your gorgeous frames.

DIY Striped Frames - hand made by kids

Now all you need is something to put in them! Pebble drew these super cute portraits of Grandad, Grandad and Daddy. My favourite part is the “kisses” on their shoulders. See those ‘x’ marks?

Dislaimer: Micador sent us some paints to try. Thanks Micador! I’m under no obligation to use the paints or write about them and was not compensated in any way.

If you’re looking kid-made gifts then check out these nifty ideas:

Cocoa Mix with Printable Labels Coffee Filter Flowers Photo Puzzle Gift DIY Science Kit Homemade Coconut Ice

When life gives you lemons…

10 ways to cook learn play and create with lemons   Welcome to your weekly dose of gratitude! I’m choosing to focus on everything bright and sunny in this dreary winter weather. I’ve got a bowl full of fresh lemons on my kitchen counter and there are so many possibilities! For something a little different this week, here’s a bunch of ways to bring sunny, lemony goodness into your day, because I’m grateful for lemons!

lemon delicious pudding (Baby Mac)

lemon scented play dough (Laughing Kids Learn)

homemade lemonade (Learning 4 Kids)

lemon ricotta muffins (Frills in the Hills)

slow cooker lemon chicken (Planning with Kids)

lemon and sultana biscones (2 Plus 1)

hummus and tabouli (Just for Daisy)

zucchini pasta with lemony garlic sauce (Fat Mum Slim)

lemon butter and lemon craft (Mummy Musings and Mayhem)

lemon science play (One Perfect Day)