Chances are you might have a couple of extra loo rolls around the house at the moment, so we’ve pulled together an activity a day to put them to good use.
1. SHAPE STAMPING
To get started Shape Stamping is a super simple & really quick activity to set up. Just reshape 4 or 5 rolls into shapes – square, rectangle, triangle, heart & circle are our favourites. Then dip the ends into different coloured paint and off they go.
Great for making cards to send to friends or grandparents while we’re in isolation.
2. CREATE A CREATURE
Loo Roll creatures are another quick & easy activity to pull together at a moments notice. They’re also great for getting your little ones to explore their creativity.
Bunnies, bugs or crazy monster creations, whatever your little ones would like (& craft supplies allow). You will need some coloured card & paper, googly or sticker eyes and any other decorations you have to hand. Set them out on a tray with some glue.
Then wrap the rolls in coloured paper, cut out any features like ears or antennas from card ready to glue on, then embellish however you would like.
3. CARS, ROCKETS & THINGS THAT FLY
Similar to creature creating, there is also a huge range of vehicles that can be made from loo rolls.
Why not try a racing car (check out the link below for instructions) or how about a space shuttle or our favourite a flying rocket!
To make the flying rocket you will need a loo roll, some coloured card & coloured paper, maybe some glitter pens or stickers if you have them.
Wrap the roll in coloured paper, cut out 4 rocket wings and decorate. Make a cone of card for the top of the rocket, but leave a good gap to thread the string through. Thread your rocket onto your string, then hook up your string, making sure it’s nice and tight.
Do a dramatic countdown & blast your rocket off along the string. See how far you can get it to go.
Follow this link for instruction to make racing cars: https://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2013/04/toilet-paper-roll-race-cars.html
4. BIRD FEEDER
Attract some wildlife to the garden, for little, eagle eyed nature watchers, with a homemade bird feeder. You’ll need a loo roll, some peanut butter (or coconut oil/sunflower butter), birdseed mix and some string.
Start by covering the outside of toilet paper roll with peanut butter (or substitute). Then roll the peanut butter covered toilet paper roll in the birdseed until covered. It works best if you get a really thick covering of seeds.
Finally thread a piece of twine through the toilet paper roll and hang somewhere ideally out of reach of squirrels.
5. SEEDLING PLANTER
Another quick and easy idea for the garden is to create some little biodegradable seedling pots out of loo rolls. Plant seeds in them, then as the seedlings grow you can transfer them directly into your garden as the ‘pot’ will decompose in the soil.
To make these you will need a parent to help with the snipping. Start by making four cuts in the roll about a third of the way up. Then fold the cut area on the bottom like you would to close a box. Then fill with some light potting soil and add your seeds.
Sit them in a waterproof tray or dish on a nice sunny windowsill, keep them regularly watered and watch the magic happen. Once the seedlings are strong enough you can transfer them to the garden.
6. FLYING FISH
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, why not try making some of these beautiful windsock fish from Squirrelly Minds. Little ones might need a bit more of a hand with these ones but they are a really nice thing to make together.
All you’ll need is a few toilet rolls, some coloured tissue paper (we love the craft it mini tissue squares from Baker Ross), some double sided tape or glue & some string.
You’ll find full instructions here: http://squirrellyminds.com/2013/05/03/koinobori-japanese-flying-carp-diy/
For something much more complicated, but well worth the effort, why not make your own kaleidoscope. Children will love looking at the beautiful coloured patterns they can create simply by spinning their kaleidoscopes.
This one works better with a paper towel roll but it can still work with a toilet paper roll as well. Head over to this link for detailed instructions:
We’d love to see your creations so please keep us posted on our Facebook page & group. Happy crafting x
Wow what a week! Full of emotion and uncertainty for all of us, but do not stress the Little Starlings family is here ❤
Whilst we have had to temporarily close our Little Starlings doors for now and say goodbye to some of our truly amazing children earlier than anticipated, we will be back as soon as we are able and stronger than ever!
In the meantime, we are putting together a whole bunch of awesome activities for you to do at home for the time being. And not forgetting the importance of getting out in the fresh air, we are also sharing some exercise ideas and outdoor activates to help burn off some of the pent up energy. We hope you have fun on this unexpected adventure and stay safe.
Image credit: @simplemostsite
ANIMAL SHADOW DRAWING
Get outside in the sun and draw around some animals and dinosaur shadows. Easy peasy and will keep them entertained for a while. Be brave and get out some paints so they can be really creative!! Fingers crossed the sun shines or the shadows won't come out to play.
Image credits: www.stylemotivation.com & IG:@messylittlemonster
Rock painting is a craze that everyone is talking about & there is also a really lovely local campaign going on #TCRox which is perfect for encouraging children to get out on our local common, find painted rocks & leave own little ‘stones of cheer’ for others to find. Something we all need a bit more of at the moment.
You simply paint a rock or pebble and leave it somewhere for someone to find. A simple, but brilliant idea! Don’t forget to share photos of your creations on the @tcroxlondon Instagram page using the #TCRox & #GetOutside hashtags.
TIPS FOR PAINTING ROCKS
Rocks or Pebbles can be purchased from hardware stores and garden centres - please do not take them from beaches or river beds as this is illegal and adds to coastal erosion.
1. Smooth rocks are the best to work with
2. Wash your pebbles in a mild detergent and leave to dry
3. Use acrylic paint, nail varnish or permanent marker pens
4. Make-up brushes are good to use and can be found in pound shops
5. Protect your finished designs with a layer of PVA glue
6. Don’t forget share a photo on the @tcroxlondon Instagram page
This really is a great activity for all the family young and small. Happy painting!
Don't forget to keep checking back on our wonderful new Little Starlings Family Facebook group, along with out Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming news, information, fun and activities.
Keep safe and see you all soon.
The children have really enjoyed the introduction of our transport theme and we've had a fantastic week at Little Starlings learning all about all the different forms of transport and how we get from A to B. There have been some amazing creations coming from our craft tables & some really imaginative play.
So its perfect timing for all our budding train enthusiasts, both big and small, that the Brockwell Park Miniature Railway has reopened this week!
You may not have realised that there is a wonderful miniature railway right on our door step, which makes for a great family day out. These beautiful little trains will take you on an adventure that starts at Herne Hill Gates and goes on a loop to the famous Brockwell Lido.
All this for a £1 ticket and under twos travel free when accompanied by a paying adult. Winner all round I think!!
The railway is open to the public on weekends only. The first train of the day runs at 11am and the last train runs at 4pm.
The best way to get there is by tube, which is just a two minute walk from Herne Hill station. There is also free parking on Sundays, and the Lido offers 2 hours free parking as well if you're planning to drive.
There are also some nice places to eat or grab a coffee the area surrounding Brockwell Park, or if the weather holds, a good excuse for a picnic and a run around in the park.
ALL ABOARD, TICKETS PLEASE!!
Find out more: https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/attractions/brockwell-park-miniature-railway-ee1dd3b0
Books can be a great escape, transporting us to limitless realms where anything is possible. They can stretch our imaginations, challenge our beliefs, rattle our fears, unlock our ambitions and open our eyes.
They can also teach us, not just facts and theories, but offer us new perspectives and challenge our beliefs.
We also know that regular reading with our children helps develop and broaden their vocabulary. It also encourages children to be creative in using their imagination to visualise a stories setting, understand the characters, and anticipate how the story might unfold.
A story can be a great way to help a child explore, express and understand their emotions, or to cope with challenges and big changes in their lives like starting school, a new sibling or even a tragic loss in the family.
Stories can also be useful in helping children understand anti social or dangerous behaviours like biting or hitting and offer them strategies to managed their frustrations or help get to the cause behind the behaviour.
Here are some of our favourite stories to help little people understand and manage big change or challenges:
UNDERSTANDING & MANAGING EMOTIONS
The Colour Monster: A Story about Emotions by Anna Llenas
This is really lovely story about a poor little colour monster is a little bit mixed up. He is red, green, yellow, blue and black, all at the same time. It's making him very confused and he doesn't know why.
With the help of his friend the little monster is able to see that the colours are his feelings, and he can sort them out by identifying each one separately and understanding how it makes him feel.
This simple tale about friendship also helps children to identify and explore feelings of happiness, anger, sadness, calm and fear.
In my Heart - a Book of Feelings by Jo Witek
This lovely die-cut heart book explains what an emotion feels like, physically, inside. For example: "When I get really angry, my heart feels like it's going to explode! Don't come near me! My heart is yelling, hot and loud. This is when my heart is mad." Toddlers will be able to practice identifying and verbalising their own emotions.
UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENCES, EMPATHY & SELF ACCEPTANCE
Goliath: The Boy Who Was Different by Ximo Abadia
Goliath worries about how different he is to everyone else, he’s convinced he doesn’t fit in and he searches far and wide for answers. On his journey he discovers that it is our uniqueness that makes us special. This is a story about strength, courage and self-belief.
Neon Leon by Jane Clarke
This a tale about a little chameleon who is worried about fitting and goes on a journey through loneliness, learning about himself & finding his place in the world.
The story teaches children empathy by involving them in helping Leon on his journey - by counting his steps, encouraging him to get some rest, and giving him lots of reassurance when he's feeling down.
Max and Bird by Ed Vere
Max is a kitten & kittens chase birds – don’t they? This lovely little tale challenges ingrained beliefs and how a friendship can’t be built no matter who (or what) you are. It teaches children that what is really important is who a person is on the inside.
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
This is a beautifully written, simple tale about a boy and a penguin and their growing friendship. Oliver Jeffers has a brilliant way of getting into a child’s mind and thinks out each scenario as a child would, cleverly engaging children who instantly relate to the little boy.
The Journey Trilogy by Aaron Becker
These three beautifully illustrated wordless books provides children with an amazing canvas to create their own story as they follow a lonely girl & her magic crayon which unlocks a magical work of adventure. Themes of loneliness, self-discovery, courage, trust and friendship can all be explored through these beautiful books.
Reading wordless picture books is also the first step in your child learning to read, building key skills in critical thinking, understanding, prediction and storytelling. Find out more about reading wordless books with your children here: http://bit.ly/2TqNGMf
STARTING SCHOOL - MANAGING TRANSITION
Starting School by Janet Ahlberg
One of the first books to be recommend to parents when they have a child getting ready to transition to school. This enchanting picture book gently reassures children by taking them through what they can expect when they first start school through simple text and lovely colourful illustrations.
Harry & the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow
The Harry & the Dinosaur series is much loved by boy & girls alike, and for children, seeing one of their much loved characters move onto school helps to give them the confidence that they can do it too.
The story beautifully addresses the topic of being nervous about this big change, and that they’re not alone in this feeling, while showing children what they can expect and how much fun school can really be!
MANAGING BIG FAMILY CHANGE
Always Forever by Alan Durant
Bereavement is a very difficult topic for young children to understand and as it generally only arise at a time of grief, this makes it even harder to help explain what is happening. This lovely story of Mole, Hare, and Otter who are overcome with grief after their friend Fox dies, helps to explain the sadness of the people around them and helps children realise that their loved ones can live on in their hearts and their memories.
There’s a House Inside my Mummy by Giles Andreae & Vanessa Cabban
This is a truly delightful read to help little ones get ready for the arrival of a new sibling. The story is told through the eyes of the soon to be big brother.
It's wonderfully illustrated and simple to read but yet answers all those unanswered questions that your little one might be anxious about "sometimes me and mummy like to cuddle on our own, and I tell him that I love him through her tummy telephone.
I bought this for my son who was 17 months old when his new sister arrived and he loved it.
Happy reading 😀