Tissue Box Traffic Lights

I was just flicking through some photos from the last few months and I stumbled across these shots of Pebble and our Tissue Box Traffic Lights. These were so easy to make and lots of fun to play with.

Tissue Box Traffic Lights

Please excuse our garden bed, we’re really hoping to get a veggie patch going in there one day, but don’t hold your breath! I don’t have any gardening posts just yet, but I’m sure you’ll have fun making these:

Tissue Box Traffic Lights

You will need:

An empty tissue box
Black cardboard (or black paint)
Green, orange and red paper
A glue stick
Scissors
A pole/length of wood/old broom

To make the traffic lights:

1. Wrap your tissue box in black paper.

2. Cut out four large circles in each of the red, orange and green paper. Glue them onto your traffic light.

3. Cut a small hold in one end of the tissue box, large enough for your pole, and thread the pole through. I used a little blu-tak to make the end stick to the inside of the box.

4. Plant your traffic light into the garden. If you don’t have a garden you could stick your traffic light to a wall, stand it on a ledge or on prop it a chair.

5. Play!

This craft and play was initiated by Pebble’s growing interest in colours, as well as her understanding of traffic lights on the road. She had learned what each colour meant and she practiced that using her own traffic lights in the backyard. She rode up and down the veranda and shouted out to herself “GREEN GO!” and “RED STOP!”.

Tissue Box Traffic Lights

Doesn’t that sun shine look gorgeous? We haven’t had much sun in Adelaide lately. Is the sun shining where you are?

How to: Make a marble run

Recently my cardboard tube collection had reached an all time high. I get kinda excited about these things. I decided to put these tubes to good use, and the first thing that came to mind was a marble run. Of course Pebble helped me, and this is how we did it.

How To Make a Marble Run

You will need:

  • cardboard tubes (from inside paper towel, glad wrap, wrapping paper, etc)
  • strong tape (I used plumber’s tape that we had laying around the house. I bought it in a pack of three from my local supermarket for less than $5).
  • a large sheet of strong cardboard or a cardboard box to create your marble run on (or stick it straight on the wall or fridge, if you dare!)
  • stickers or markers for decoration (optional)
  • other junk materials for creating interest to your marble run (optional)
  • marbles (also, optional, apparently! Keep reading….)

How to make a marble run

1. Cut your tubes into 10cm widths and then in half length ways, so that you have several open, curved pieces of cardboard to make your marble run. This part is not very toddler friendly, so why not set up your toddler with some of the cardboard tubes and a packet of dot stickers. Hours of fun, right there!

How To Make a Marble Run
{yep, PJs again}

2. Stick your marble run pieces to your cardboard box/sheet/fridge using the strong tape. You will need to stick each piece so that it is sloping downwards just enough to allow for each marble to roll, and so that it catches each marble as it falls from the piece above. There is probably some kind of mathematical trick to this, but we just used trial and error. Our tape was silver, and I used it to cover each piece before sticking it to the box. This made it stronger and, with some coloured dots, more pretty :)

How To Make a Marble Run

3. I also used a cardboard tube left whole to create a “tunnel” for the marbles to fall through, as well as a cut open plastic bottle as a funnel, and a plastic cup to catch each marble at the bottom of the run.

How To Make a Marble Run

4. So, your marble run is all ready for some marbles. This is where I kinda hit a snag. Yep, only I would create a marble run when we DON’T OWN ANY MARBLES!). Luckily we were able to improvise. I had some smarties and Cadbury Mini Drops (I heart those!) which were just right for the job. Pebble doesn’t really eat chocolate, she just likes to play with it (sorting the colours is a big hit), so I didn’t need to worry about the ‘toys’ disappearing. Do you know how hard it is to find marbles in the shops?! I looked all through our local mall and couldn’t find them anywhere. The search continues!

Have you made anything with a cardboard tube lately? Do tell!

Toddler Colour Collage

Toddler Colour Collage

Pebble has been OBSESSED by colour lately. She groups everything by colour – her dolls, teddies, dress ups, crayons, crafty bits, bowls, spoons, food – you name it, it’s been sorted. This weekend I found myself with a stack of junk mail and some big sheets of coloured card board (thanks Aunty Jade!) and knew just what to do with them. Colour collage!

As an invitation to play I set up some cut out pictures from the junk mail, extra catalogues, a glue stick and a sheet of card, then put them out ready for Pebble to start playing. It was a Sunday morning and she was still in her PJs (a common theme around here – I do dress my child occasionally, I promise!). This was the perfect quiet activity as Pebble was feeling a bit flat with a cold.

While I had a goal in mind with this activity – colour collage – who knew where Pebble would want to take it! Sure enough though she was soon putting the colours together into groups. She stuck down a few pictures, spending concentrated moments with glue stick in hand, applying just the right amount, then sticking her pictures in the perfect spot. A bit of a perfectionist, is our kid – she doesn’t get it from me! After about four pictures though, she wandered off, taking a fistful of pictures with her. Pebble started to sing about macaroni, and was stuffing the pictures into her pencil pots… ok! So we had a little mini macaroni play, stopped for a drink of milk, and left the collage for a bit.

Collage supplies

Not long after Pebble came back to visit the collage, ready for another go. This time she was directing the colour placement as I did the sticking. We made a fun and game of Mummy not knowing what colour each picture was, or where to put it – silly mummy! I love hamming it up :P We searched for new pictures in the catalogues and Pebble chose which ones to cut out and stick.

Choosing just the right one - toddler colour collage

Then she started telling me about each picture, so I grabbed a pen and wrote down some of what she was saying. She was very curious to see her words appear on the page (and I caught myself in a very school teacher moment, whoops, just can’t help myself).

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Finally she wanted to share her collage with Daddy. Paul sat on the floor with her, but Pebble was much happier to drag a chair over and sit on it, pointing and “teaching” Daddy about all the pictures. “I did lots and lots of teachin’, Mummy!”. Yeah, she did.

show and tell for Daddy - colour collage

But wait, there’s more! Did you know that catalogues make great mini cubbies? Well apparently they do. You just need to hide your head under one and you’ve got a really cosy cubby. Who knew it was that simple?

collage cubby

Have you made a collage lately?

Do you like wearing your PJs on a lazy Sunday morning?