April 10, 2014

O is for Octopus

My alphabet posts are in no particular order. I'm going to do the letters that Little One has already covered at school. You can find letter "a" here.

A long while back we did some activities O is for Ostrich and not wanting to be boring, I decided this time around to focus on an Octopus. 

First off we did this awesome paint activity, which Little One loved. He was completely oblivious to the final idea I had in mind and simply enjoyed the process of it. I often remind myself that it's really the process and not the product that's most important. Us mommy bloggers tend to want a nice final product to photograph for our blog and we can forget that it's about these little people and the p.r.o.c.e.s.s. :)

To do this activity, I took acrylic paint, mixed it with some water so that it was runny, and gave him some syringes. As you can see from the picture, the activity was a hit. I then took some white paper and, with his permission, rubbed it over his paint creations. The result was some pretty paper to make an octopus from. 

I would love to tell you that he enjoyed cutting out the tentacles and sticking on the suckers... but he was not at all interested. So the final craft here was all my doing. I cannot lie. :)

He does like having the picture up in his room though, so I'm glad about that.

The next craft was this cute sock octopus - a Soctopus! I first saw this idea on Pinterest and I love sock softies. I've made a few before (a bunny, a cat, a caterpillar/butterfly and a snowman). You can see them here, if you like.

Follow the wonderful and easy directions for the octopus at The Gold Jellybean. (I just didn't do that last part, where Shaleah added pipe cleaners to the tentacles).

Till next time, have fun!

April 2, 2014

The Lego Movie Memory Game


So we have been having a super holiday and have spent a lot of time relaxing at home,  playing,  crafting, watching TV. 

We have also been to see The Lego Movie and my boys LOVED it. I managed to get through the movie without being thoroughly bored or agitated (been there!), so it's not too bad for grown-ups either. :)

We came home with the theme song "Everything is AWESOME" ringing in our heads and the boys were also super-psyched to play Lego. 

I had spoilt each of them to a minifigure after the movie and thought it would be fun to use the cute sheet of characters to make a Memory Game. Little One has just recently started playing Memory Match and really enjoys it, so my guess was that the game would be a winner.

Good call. The boys loved it.

To make this you will need two sheets of characters from inside The Lego Movie minifigure packets. Cut them out and paste them onto punched-out circles. If you don't have a circle punch, cut small squares of white cardboard. It will work just as well.

I knew that if they played with the cards as much I expected, the cards would get damaged quickly and they would also not be very easy to pick up from the table. To get around this, I stuck the circles onto bottle tops using Prestick (stick putty).

We all ended up playing the game - even the Dad. Easy Mommy-made Fun!

Have you checked out The Lego Movie website yet? Pretty cool. You can even create your own Lego movie character. Till next time, have fun!

PS. Have shared this at The Weekly Kids Co-Op Party.

March 25, 2014

Getting crafty with Shopping Bags

I really like Woolworths' re-usable shopping bags. Besides using them for shopping, I use mine as going-out bags to throw in extra clothes for the kids and I also love using them as beach/swimming bags. I have even made a few as Baby Shower gifts for friends, because with baby there is always so much stuff to carry around. And, I don't have a picture, but I once gave one as a teacher appreciation gift - I chose a black bag and added a nice red felt apple.


You can even decorate your bag to match a season or a special holiday.

All the designs here were cut out from felt (except for the bunting - I used an old pair of jeans for that one) and glued on with my glue gun. Really easy and fun to create. :)

Have you ever decorated or embellished a re-usable shopping bag? I'd love to see it. 

Till next time. 

PS. The Christmas tree template you can find here at Whimsy Couture Sewing Blog and the bunny here at Punkin Patterns.

March 22, 2014

A is for Astronaut

We recently moved and have been settling into our new life, so blogging and crafting with the children has definitely taken a back seat for awhile. But, I plan to be making a super-duper effort to get back into the swing of things here on the blog and of course with the kiddos. Going to join me?

My little one is now 5 years old (oops, I mean 5-and-a-half... he constantly reminds me!) and in his Grade R/Reception year at school. Here in South Africa our school year starts in January, so his first school term has just ended and we have a wonderful 2 week break coming up.  He has been very busy with a new letter of the alphabet every week at school and to consolidate what he's been up to in class, I want to do some extra alphabet activities at home. I plan on sharing these with you, as we tackle different letters of the alphabet. 

To start off ... a is for astronaut.

An easy alphabet craft inspired by one I saw at totally tots. Little One blasts off to the Moon :).

We chatted about that very first landing on the moon and looked at some pictures on the internet. The paper we used was black mat paper from an old photo album. It was perfect for drawing on with chalk. The chalk led us outside and Little One continued writing on the paving. An easy fun way to practice letters.

Next project. Puffy paint. I have wanted to try this for ages, so this idea from Allison at  No time for Flash Cards was perfect. 

No lies, this was messy! 

The Recipe:
125ml/half-a-cup of white glue
375ml/one-and-a-half cups of shaving cream
A few drops of acrylic black paint
Mix it all together.

I cut open a cereal box (like Allison suggested) and Little One had great fun spreading this all over the cardboard. I was really surprised that he enjoyed the texture of it so much.

We made the moon craters with a bottle top. Go over these a few times while the paint is drying to get a nice effect. We left it to dry overnight before playing on the surface the next day.

Another very easy and fun astronaut craft is to make toilet roll astronauts. Cut and glue some white paper to a toilet roll and draw some astronauts (and aliens if that takes your fancy) . Both my boys enjoyed this activity.

Don't you love the vintage spaceman? (top picture) He is from my husband's childhood. :)

For more space ideas, check out my Pinterest Outer Space page.

Till next time.   

PS. Have shared this at The Weekly Kids Co-Op Party.

December 23, 2013

Missing In Action


In case you have been wondering why, the shortest version of the story is - We are moving. Not up the road; not elsewhere in our Province (which is similar to a State), but rather right across the country, to a place I visited last for a short holiday in 1991... hehe... that's nervous laughter. 

My husband moved up eight months back and I have been single parenting (sort-of) for all this time, with him commuting home about once a month. We are finally, thankfully, all together again as a family and moving to our new home in January. So I am afraid it will continue to be rather quiet here on the blog for a little while longer. 

I want to wish all of you a very BLESSED and PEACEFUL Christmas. I really appreciate you reading and following Love and Lollipops. I hope to be back blogging, playing, creating and sharing with you in the New Year.

Be safe till then, 

November 29, 2013

Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm {and a craft}


Before November is over and out, I want to share this absolutely awesome family outing we went on a couple of months back. The Le Bonheur Crocodile Farm must be one of the Cape's best kept secrets. 
If you haven't been, you should go :). 

The venue is so pretty - they offer weddings and birthday parties. You can order a picnic basket, or like us, simply have lunch at the restaurant, where you will find Croc pie and Croc springrolls on the menu!

We went on the guided crocodile pond tour and learnt so much about the African Nile Crocodile. On tour you even get to touch a baby croc. The kids did this with ease. I, on the other hand, had the hibbie jibbies and couldn't wait to hand the croc back. (There's nothing cute about a baby crocodile!)

The pond tour was highly informative. Something we learnt was that one of the differences between an alligator and a crocodile, is that the crocodile's teeth are more visible than the alligators, when his jaw is closed.

 Another nice activity offered is catch and release fishing in the dam. All in all a super outing and very reasonably priced. 

Our outing was followed by a fun activity and craft. We made some simple crocodiles with pegs. Little One painted and I glued on teeth and eyes. Next time, I'd make the teeth smaller, as they got all bent when we opened the croc's mouth. 

 For Little World Play, we recreated the croc pond tour with blue rice, our peg crocs and duplo people. 

Till next time - Happy playing.

October 11, 2013

Spring time Kindness

Late Winter and Spring are truly beautiful in the Cape. With our wet Winter, there is simply an abundance of green and fields of wild flowers all over. I am in awe of God's incredible gifts to us in this beautiful place. 

I do the school run three times a day. Each drive takes me past our local garden Centre and they often have trays of flowers right on the road, encouraging the passersby to come in and shop. At this time of year it's usually Petunias and Pansies... I love Petunias and Pansies.


For this little project I collected as many small plastic pots as I could (people seem to be happy to part with these) and I painted them white. The boys and I planted Petunias and I then gave them to anybody that I thought would enjoy them - just as a random act of kindness. I mostly gave them to people I know well, but want to do this again and bless some unsuspecting neighbours. Just leave one on their doorstep with a sweet note. That would be fun to do with the children. :)

One six pack of Petunias is very inexpensive and can bring six smiles... six different smiles. :)

Is it Spring time where you live? What kind of Spring time fun do you get up to?

September 29, 2013

Cowboy Fun {Part 2}

 Cowboy fun continues here...

 Cowboy pages from Making Learning Fun. (love this website!)

Desert Diamond Back Snake craft also from Making Learning Fun. This is a great fine motor activity - lots of cutting and sticking.

Found these customizable worksheets at twistynoodle.

And we read about the spiny giants of the desert (saguaros) and did this fun cactus craft  (Idea via Pinterest). Little One really enjoyed this activity.

For more Cowboy fun, here are some great links:
Cowboy cut-outs by made by joel
The windowsill desert from Spoonful
Tiny teepees from youaremyfave

September 20, 2013

Cowboy Party


I promised you part 2 of our Cowboy fun and it's still coming, but today I'm sharing this Cowboy themed party we attended in July. It was hosted by my lovely friend Grietjie for her son's 4th birthday. The details were fantastic and the games so much fun. Don't you love the cake? It was baked by a friend and I think it's too cute.

The decor was super - Oh how I love those cow-hide balloons :).

 Love the popcorn bags.

Grietjie is a very gifted artist and she drew these designs on simple paper plates - so clever and very effective.

Oh and these boot shaped biscuits (sigh). Hand-painted by the hostess - I kid you not.

 This mama always has the best ideas and she created lots of birthday fun for her guests. There was "Pin the moustache". 

Aim for the cans and knock 'em down.

Shoot that flame out.

Taking a look at these two rather forlorn cowboys, all I can think is, "Gosh darn it, those wily bandits sure are difficult to pin down."  (The one on the left is the birthday boy. The one on the right is Little One.)

And Grietjie also made these super hobby horses (pattern via dandee)

Super party hey? Till next time, heeehaaa! 

September 11, 2013

Cowboy Fun {Part 1}

Earlier this year, Little One was into cowboys, so I created some fun activities around the theme. Here are some of the things we got up to. 

Cowboy paper doll via MakingFriends.com.

Cowboy memory match game via Homeschool Creations.

A sequencing game. Spot the sequence and then continue it. 

A memory game. Show the items for 15/20 seconds, then cover. What can he remember?

Another fun idea with these little plastic toys is to hide duplicates around the room and send the kiddos to find them. This is a fun way to teach new words like wigwam/cactus/camp fire etc. 

And we made a WANTED poster-  although little one doesn't like being a baddie :)

Books we read:
(This last one we haven't read ourselves, but it comes highly recommended.)

Part 2, coming soon.
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