Friday, 28 September 2012

The (almost) end to the Magic!

Well, it's been a fantastic week, filled with fun games, yummy food, tricky crafts, and enthusiastic children eager to come back for more! Today, Ropes Crossing Church's week-long program for kids (4FAMILIES) came to an end... And what better way to end a great week than with fairy wings, dragon capes, bright green afros, polka-dot pants, a super quiz, and chocolate!!

Morning tea craft today was magic wafer wands. These were wafer sticks, dipped in icing (originally my intention was melted chocolate, but after much thought, there wouldn't have been a way to keep the chocolate melted without it being potentially dangerous, so chocolate icing was suggested, and it actually worked out really well). Once the tips of the wafer sticks were dipped in the icing, the children had the choice to roll it in sprinkles. I liked the way the wafers were set up today (already in the icing), so took a photo:

I was very excited to be able to make my own magic wafer wand :)

Looks a bit like a giant mutated match stick, though..

Craft today included magic wands and bookmarks with the memory verse on them. A nice and simple task, with some cutting, colouring and sticking. A nice, quiet final craft, which once it was announced that it would be the last craft, there were many "ohhhh"s. I'm glad they've been enjoying them!!

Tamara with her crafts
Ben said that he made this for me :)

Of course, there were children who took the basic instructions, and designed something amazing and I am (again) blown away by the creativity shown! Here's a double star magic wand:

Because it was the last day today (and from experience with kids parties, Bingo is definitely a winner), I created some Magic themed Bingo cards. This was time consuming, but so worth that time and effort! The most time consuming was making sure no two cards were the same! Here's what one of the Bingo cards looked like so you get the idea of the fun that was had... Especially when the 'counters' were M n Ms!

God has been so so gracious to our church this week, providing us with many keen and confident leaders; with lots of children to come for the fun; and just enough sleep to get us through the week!

If you would like notifications of when new blog posts go up, then please 'like' my Facebook page: Created Creative.

If you would like to see more photos of today's Magic, please visit Ropes Crossing Church's Facebook page :)

I am looking forward to next year's 4FAMILIES School Holiday Program, but while I wait, I'm excited to announce that this Sunday, a real magician is coming to church! And I'll be making some magic-themed cupcakes for dessert! :)

Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 8:39b

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Circus. Afro. Polka dot. Circus!

To get into a CIRCUS frame of mind, I recommend you watch/listen
to this before/while reading on:

THURSDAY - God's Power over Death
(because Circus tricks are death defying!)

My brain for Circus related ideas circled around: Tightrope. Juggling. Animals. Trapeze. Acrobats. Clowns. Madagascar. Clowns. Juggling. Tightrope. Clowns...


Morning tea craft today was an ice-cream cone clown. This idea (sort of) came from the kids dessert menu at Silver Spur Steakhouse, which is: a scoop of ice cream (in a bowl), with an upside down cone on top (for the clown's hat), smarties and 100s & 1000s for decorations.

Ours today was similar, but an upside-down version of that, so to speak! The children started with their cone, then had a scoop of ice cream on top, dipped half of it into 100s & 1000s, and on the other side added smarties as eyes, and teeth/lips lollies as a mouth. Well, that was the initial idea...

Being a designated 'ice cream scooper' today, I was not able to wander around and find the best ice cream clowns to take photos of, and, by the time I got to my children (who I'd shown the instruction sheet to prior to today, so knew -I think- what they were doing), they had pretty much finished them! Not to worry. I'm sure you can imagine what it might have looked like anyway... I'm certain they were delicious, even if some 'clowns' had 3 eyes and Smartie mouths, like this one :)

Craft today started with juggling balls! I thought that preparation was the key for this craft, so made plenty bags of rice so there were enough for 3 for every child (because you can't juggle with 1 or 2)...

I called this my 'Juggling Ball Production Line':

Rice was measured and put into bags
Bags were tied up
The tops of the bags were snipped
Bags were counted, and grouped into 10s
As I started, my rice measurements were pretty consistent... But really, after about 20 (or 30, I lost count many times) near enough is good enough!! ... 'Give or take' was certainly my mindset during this repetitive preparative task!

While I was snipping the tops off these multiple bags of rice, though, I couldn't help but be reminded of a Dr Seuss book we often read to our children: One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. In particular the part where the little 'Zeds' need a hair cut every day because their hair grows so fast...

Anyway, here's the set up for the craft:

Some of the craft today ended with ripped balloons, uncertain faces, confused leaders, and rice all over the ground... There were plenty of rice bags to use, but this was certainly a tricky craft for small children (and some adults!)... Lots of help/supervision was needed, so I was unable to take photos of my children actually making their juggling balls, BUT, a lot of the children were so keen for their juggling balls to work that they had managed all by themselves and even cut holes in their top layer balloons for extra effect/colour!

Here is Tamara with her finished (I think I even made two of those) juggling balls:

Next craft was clown puppets. This was a much simpler task! I had printed out outlines of the clown's upper body for the kids to colour in, cut out, and stick onto a brown paper bag. I had ample amounts of coloured wool in my pantry, so cut that up to use as the clown's hair. I found some craft pom poms that were used as noses, or on the tops of the clown's hats - it's near the end of the week, so it didn't really matter!

Here's the outlines for the clown:

And here's my finished clown, and a child's finished clown
(who had time to make it colourful):

If you would like notifications of when new blog posts go up, then please 'like' my Facebook page: Created Creative.

If you would like to see more photos of today's Magic, please visit Ropes Crossing Church's Facebook page. There's only 1 more day of creativeness and mag left, so if you are local to Ropes Crossing, why not come and join us! :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Harry Potter!

This week has (so far) been one of the most exciting, exhausting, challenging, inspiring, encouraging, and creative weeks of my life! That is because at this time each year, Ropes Crossing Church holds a week-long School Holiday Program to entertain children in Preschool to Year 6 during the first week of the holidays, and this year I have been made responsible for morning tea craft and craft for each day (I'm sure I've mentioned before that I love themes)! The theme for this year's program is 'Magic'.

WEDNESDAY - the Magic of Wizardry and God's Power over Evil

While we were planning this week and looking at the idea of magic, of course wizards and witches were mentioned! And what other popular books/movies to relate that to than Harry Potter!

From there, my mind went to things we could make and create in that theme (Harry Potter), and having seen a few of the movies, I thought of owls (and broomsticks and potions and rats and snakes - but owls are less creepy and more cute). So most of my input for the day was pretty much related to owls...

I've been waiting weeks for this day to come since working out what we were going to be making, creating, and eating!

Morning tea craft was an owl cupcake! Not too long ago, I went to an owl themed baby shower! Served for dessert were these owl cupcakes. They looked absolutely amazing and far beyond my own creative ability... Intrigued, I took one home as a souvenir (and so that I could have a proper look at it without the context of many unfamiliar faces). After further (in the privacy of my own home) investigations, it actually looked fairly simple -but effective- and something that I could do!

I thought that it may have been tricky, though, for children to manage, but I was pleasantly surprised when they were all having a great time doing exactly what they needed to do! I made an instruction sheet for them to refer to, and also demonstrated with a cupcake of my own (sometimes to see something being made is better teaching than simply showing what the finished product should look like)...

Preparing for this particular morning tea craft, I baked and (for the first time!) froze dozens of cupcakes that I had made a week beforehand (in one of my 'I am too excited to wait, so I will organise myself now' moments)... I wrapped them by the 1/2 dozen in freezer bags, making sure that I followed exact instructions from this blog, which told me that when I thaw them, I should take them out, and unwrap the cupcakes 1.5 hours before using them (I am so glad that they did all the hard work researching the best method of freezing and thawing cupcakes so that I didn't have to!)

My instruction sheet:
And I made sure that there was plenty of chocolate icing :)

The kids were so so clever with their cupcake-decorating skills! I may need to recruit them in the future! On a side-note, I really do underestimate what children can do. I think I need to stop doing that because here's a couple of the owl cupcakes the kids made today:

I think this is Tamara trying to be an owl, with her owl.
Craft was, again, an owl. But made of cardboard this time, instead of cake...

Here is my demo owl before gluing everything on; before I added the split pins for the wings so they could 'flap'; and before I had bought proper craft eyes. The eyes in the photo below were made from brown mini M n M's, and not long after this photo was taken, my 2 year old ate those mini M n M's...

With different shades of brown cardboard, and owl outlines I had printed out, I traced onto each piece of cardboard (30 x 30cm) 3 owl body outlines, and 4 wings, which I balanced out later by tracing more wings and less bodies on other sheets. I mix-matched the owl pieces, so that only a few out of 50 would look the same :)

The production line of putting things into bags began again, and luckily I still had about 100 bottle lids from my collection that I was super happy finding something to actually use them on! There were owls with white eyes, yellow eyes, blue eyes and pink eyes! And they all looked really great!

This is Ben and Tamara mid-craft, and their finished crafts:

And, as per usual, there's children who come up with even more awesome ideas that I don't think of, and just do them and show me... One clever girl, who wears glasses, drew glasses onto her owl! And, Harry Potter wears glasses! I'm not sure if it was to match her or match the Harry Potter theme, but her owl looked absolutely brilliant:

To add to the craft today, we also made wizard hats. They were different coloured party hats, with gold & silver star stickers, and glow in the dark stars stuck all around them. Luckily I didn't use one up for a demo hat, because there were so many children today that we used up all the hats and all the stars!

Here's Ben wearing his wizard hat:

And, of course, Jonathan didn't want to miss out on any of the fun, either... So he ate my demo cupcake, and insisted he wear the last party hat, but without stickers because he was tired and didn't want any.. No problem. Smile for the camera? Not a chance!

If you would like notifications of when new blog posts go up, then please 'like' my Facebook page: Created Creatively.

If you would like to see more photos of today's Magic, please visit Ropes Crossing Church's Facebook page. There's still 2 more days of creativeness and magic, so if you are local to Ropes Crossing, why not come and join us!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How to train your (fairy) dragon...

TUESDAY - God has Power over Creation

Today at 4FAMILIES, we looked at things in creation that God has the power over (which is, uh, everything). But, sticking with the theme of MAGIC, we looked at things that related to magic, such as leprechauns, fairies, goblins, dragons and elves.

Again, lots of planning and shopping and organising and I have bags (there were actually 3 extra than the picture shows) of ingredients and supplies :)

Morning tea craft was <insert drum roll> Fairy bread! But with cookie cutters, so the children could make shapes like circles, hearts, squares, rectangles, and stars. I did consider trimming the crusts, but that would have been far too much effort, and there was actually no real need as the kids ate the crusts! This was fun (to watch) and it wasn't until afterwards, looking at some fingers that were covered in butter and 100s & 1000s, that I forgot how potentially messy this may have been to make... Oh well. Fairies sprinkle their glitter dust everywhere (in the movies I've watched anyway) so a few hundred thousand sprinkles everywhere is only to be expected :)

Again, I made an instruction sheet for the children to refer to (not that they needed it at all) which I had put spots all over to indicate 100s & thousands:
This is a fabulous, fabulous fairy bread shape made by one of the girls today:

And of course - plenty of bread, butter, and 100s & 100s left over for the leaders to enjoy the benefits of a sugar high as well!

Craft today was a plastic cup dragon. I got this idea from Google, and tweaked it to be a bit different/easier to replicate 50 times... I can't remember which website I got this from, but here's the idea that gave me the idea:

I really preferred not to have to cut the sides off the dragon heads (x50), so that was one thing different; and I couldn't find a single hole punch, so the straws were just taped to the bottom of the cups... Then... It occurred to me that dragons breath fire! And I had orange streamers! I cut a piece off, and stuck it to the inside of the cup - for a flame (albeit floppy). I was so excited!

I made some eyes to print out, and attached them to the top of my dragon. My son, whom I was eager to show this craft to, said "Cooool. We're making a pig with an orange tongue."


Back to the drawing board I went to make it look like a DRAGON... Not a pig.

Then the idea popped into my head about wings! I could add wings! There, that looked (slightly) more like a dragon... And then Ben, my 9 year old son (who was likely looking over my shoulder the entire time) suggested to add teeth. I cut up some yellow cardboard into triangles, and as I was sticking them on, Ben interrupted me to say that I should fold the tops of them down before gluing... What a creative kid I have! I was so thankful he was around at the time for feedback and insight.

I had other coloured streamers that I cut up to use as the dragon's tail. Finally it was done! Now to organise the supplies into 50 bags so that all the children had what they needed to make their dragon craft.

This is my finished DRAGON:

And then the dragon craft production line began:

Whenever I've organised craft, I try to bag supplies needed to make what we're making prior to the day - it means more hard work before the day, but less mucking around on the day, and today I actually had a few minutes to sit down and chat with people while we waited until craft time started - which was lovely!

The kids did such a great job with this highly complicated craft! And the leaders showed magnificent confidence in helping the kids with what they needed to do when they had only seen the craft for as long as the children had before we got started!

Once more, I am so encouraged and inspired by children who come up with creative ideas that I didn't originally think of! Here's a photo of one dragon, who's maker had the idea of cutting the orange streamer into strips to make it look more like fire! Brilliant!

Here's Ben with his dragon (making sure he showed me his streamer tail as well, that he twirled together before sticking on):

Jonathan had lots of help with his craft (in fact, he just sat there and waited until it was made for him), and once it was made, all he would say was "Raaahh" while proudly holding up his dragon, and then he tried to fight his dragon with all the other dragons near him. Funny to watch! Not so funny when it's your child being unintentionally inconsiderate of the hours and hours of hard work to make sure every child had the exact same amounts of everything to make a super amazing craft, to then bash it into other people's crafts you feel the same way about! ... But points for his patience and manners, anyway :)

And last but certainly not least... My darling daughter, silently 'roaring' (and holding this pose as I took 4 -or more- photos of her to see how long I could keep doing that and keep a straight face) and her dragon craft:

Another great day at the School Holiday Program!

If you would like notifications of when new blog posts go up, then please 'like' my Facebook page: Created Creative.

If you would like to see more photos of today's Magic, please visit Ropes Crossing Church's Facebook page. There's still 3 more days of creativeness and magic, so if you are local to Ropes Crossing, why not come and join us! :)