Sunday, 26 April 2015

Hi there! Welcome to my first blog.

Thanks to the suggestion of others I have started blogging. It's somewhat scary, it's like letting people see through a window into my creative mind, my own private ideas available for all to read. However I feel ideas should be shared and if my crafts can be useful to others, then please use them.

As the blog title suggests, my toddler crafts are mostly related to biblical stories. My husband (an Anglican minister) and I run Toddler Praise, a toddler service and Mum's and Tot's playgroup, at one of his churches; St Luke's Scarborough. Find us on Facebook at Toddler Praise, St Luke's church Scarborough. This we have been doing for over 5 years. In that time I have produce many craft activities for the children but only recently making them in relation to the days story.

I try to make the crafts as simple as possible. They need to be suitable for 4 year olds to do independently, while 1 year olds can have a go with adult help. I also make them simple as they need to be completed within a short period. Our toddler group has a small budget, meaning our crafts need to be as cheap as possible. Crafts materials can be very expensive but I am a firm believer in recycling and using whatever is available. We do buy in more expensive materials for special occasions when we are making gifts or needing stickers for Christmas or Easter scenes.

So this is a blog about cheap, simple crafts that are suitable for ages 1 to 4 years and are largely related (but not exclusively) to a biblical story.

This first craft is very simple indeed but our toddlers parents were very impressed with it. The story is one of Jesus' post resurrection appearances to the disciples. This week we heard about Peter and the disciples going fishing at night but not managing to catch a single fish. As the sun begins to rise over the surrounding hills, they spot a figure on the beach. This person tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The disciples do so and immediately the net fills with fish. Realising it is Jesus, Peter being his impatient, impetuous self,  jumps out of the boat and swims ashore, the boat of disciples following. They all have a breakfast of fish, then Jesus takes Peter aside and gives him the chance to make amends for his denial on the night Jesus was arrested, by asking Peter three times if he loves him.

For this story I wanted a craft that was as impressive to the children, as the disciples would have found their nets suddenly filling with fish. I looked at my various craft books for a magic trick that could be adapted but found this craft in the Usborne  book of 'Science Things to Make and Do.' I thought that trying replicate the fish filling the disciples net would be a fun activity for the toddlers to do.
Fish swimming to the net
Swimming Fish

Materials required:

1.    Thin card for fish

2.    Thicker card for fish template

3.    Scissors and pencil

4.    Wax crayons

5.    Washing up liquid or other liquid soap

6.    Cotton bud

7.    Large tray with water

8.    Watering can/bucket to fill tray with water.

9.    Fishing net
Making card fish

·         Draw half a fish from head to tail onto card and cut it out.

·         Make a symmetrical fish template, by drawing around the half fish then flipping it over and drawing around it again to make a whole fish.

·         Use this template to draw and cut out many fish on thin card.

·         The children should colour only one side of the fish with wax crayons. Do not use felt tips as these will run in the water.

·         On the underside of the fish, at the junction of the tail fins put a blob of washing up liquid with a cotton bud. The bigger the blob of washing up liquid the faster the fish will move, but don't put too much on.

·         The fish need to be put in the water next to each other and at the same time, aiming towards the fishing net.

Here comes the science bit; the washing up liquid breaks the water tension on the surface of the water, propelling the fish forwards. Any fish behind another fish will not move far due to the fish ahead having broken the water tension. If a second run of fish is needed, then replace the water otherwise it will not work.

It's unlikely all the fish will end up in the net but this is a fun activity to do with toddlers or older children and the parents really enjoy it too.
For the full video clip  of our swimming fish see our Facebook page:


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