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 ISSUE 78   •   20 OCTOBER 2009  
   This issue: garden activities


1. Editorial
2. Teeny tiny bunch of flowers
3. Banksia pets

4. Garden in a jar
Simple scarecrow

1. Editorial

Hello and welcome to another issue of Kids Craft Weekly!

We've just come to the end of two weeks of school holidays and this issue of Kids Craft Weekly features some of the fun garden-related activities that we got up to. Technically not all these ideas are crafts but they have all been undertaken with a crafty spirit which I figure is the main thing :)

We had such a fantastic time these holidays – it's going to be hard to adjust back to early mornings and rushed school drop-offs. The next few weeks are going to be particularly busy around here as I'll be finishing off the two new Kids Craft Weekly Christmas PDFs for 2009.

One of the PDFs is all about child-made Christmas cards and features 20 pages (yes!) of ideas and inspiration including heaps of amazing and innovative cards that I have received from subscribers over the past few years.

The other PDF, a thorough revision of last year's popular Christmas Craft, will have even more advent ideas, more decorations, more gift tags and a whole new section on crafty gift ideas for Christmas. I'm very excited about both of these books and hope that you will be too!

Both books will go on sale in the first week of November – I'll announce the happy news via newsletter. Excitingly, the next newsletter will also contain details on how to participate in the Kids Craft Weekly annual handmade card swap, now in it's fourth year.

Through the swap, families send handmade cards to ten specific addresses, and in return, they receive cards from ten other families. It's free to join in of course, and I'm sure previous participants will vouch for the fact that it's a tremendous amount of fun and an incredibly rewarding experience.

But that's enough about the *next* issue – it's time to enjoy this one! I hope that you find some inspiration and creative energy from these new garden ideas.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Teeny tiny bunch of flowers

I came across this wonderful idea in a book but I can't for the life of me remember which one. The idea is to go out into the garden and encourage kids to get down low and find the tiniest flowers that their little eyes can spy. Ella and Arky had an absolute ball with this activity and it has proved to be a great incentive to get them to come with me to take the dogs for a walk.

You will need

• some keen little eyes
access to nature
a pair of scissors
a thimble, bottle cap or other tiny object to use as a vase
• some flower-arranging music


1. Go for a long and relaxed walk in your neighbourhood and get the kids to gather a selection of teeny tiny flowers along the way.

2. When you get home, use scissors to cut the stems to appropriate lengths and give each child a vessel to use as a vase.

3. Pop some happy music on and let them get into the process of flower arranging. Here is Arky's fabulous flower arrangement:

And here is Ella's teeny tiny bouquet:

3. Banksia pets

On one of daily walks we discovered a number of old banksias lying underneath a tree and the kids immediately decided that we should take them home and create a family of hedgehog-like pets! I'm very glad that I agreed to this idea. Our little hedgehog family have now become a permanent addition to our mantelpiece.

You will need

some old banksias or similar, such as pine cones
colourful wool and/or string
white felt
small pom poms


1. Cut some colourful lengths of wool and string and start to wrap them around the banksias or pine cones.

2. Keep winding and wrapping until it feels right.

3. Cut out some eyes from white felt and add some pupils with a black marker.

4. Pop the eyes on – you can glue them if you wish but we found they stayed in place very well on their own.

5. If you have any on hand you can also add a small pom pom nose.

6. And here's our little family of banksia hedgehogs. Aren't they cute? 

4. Garden in a jar

I have vivid memories of my mother making amazing terrariums when I was a child. I also remember that we were never allowed to touch them! These little gardens in a jar are like terrariums for children. Kept moist with spray from a water bottle they may survive for a while – but more likely than not they will be mucked around with far too extensively to flourish. But that's the idea.

You will need

a glass jar
rocks and pebbles
a spade
some moss
small toy animals or other tiny objects to decorate


1. Wash and dry your glass jar. Soak to remove any labels.

2. First of all add some large rocks.

3. And then some small pebbles.

4. Use a spade to dig out a small amount of moss from your garden or nearest mossy location – you won't need very much. Then press it down into the jar.

5. Add some water and decorate with small animals, other plants, or various bits and bobs. I think it would be cute to add a little sign or flag made from card, toothpicks, coloured markers and tape.

Arky later decorated his with tiny colourful flowers from the garden – they looked gorgeous pressed into the thick moss.

5. Simple scarecrow

For over a year I've been working on transforming our large, boring, barren backyard into a productive garden with personality. Our lovely new scarecrow which we made from Ella's old, well-worn and very much loved Dorothy the Dinosaur pajamas has made a big difference to feel of the garden.

While standing back to admire the finished scarecrow I said to my neighbour "Gosh I hope we don't get reported for crimes against Wiggles' merchandise." She quickly replied "Oh don't worry. If you hear the big red car toot-toot chugga-chugging down the street you can always rush out and pull it down."

You will need

two large sticks, one larger than the other
old pantyhose cut up into strips
an old pillowcase
some old gloves
some old clothes
a permanent marker


1. First things first, tie the two sticks together using the old pantihose.

2. Dress the sticks with the scarecrow's clothes.

3. Have fun filling the clothes up with straw. You can tie off sleeves and trouser legs using more pantyhose strips.

4. For the head, half fill an old pillowcase with straw. Then put it aside for later.

5. Next step is to bang the headless scarecrow into place in the garden.

6. Once it's firmly in the ground tie on the head (using the pantihose strips again) use the marker to draw a face. You can really see in these pictures how much Ella is enjoying herself.

7. Add your finishing touches. We popped on some old mismatched gloves along with a hat, You could also add a scarf, wool for hair, a vest or any thing that takes your fancy.

I should add, you don't need to have a vegetable garden to justify building a scarecrow. It's a really fun project for the whole family to get involved in and they look great in any sort of garden. Even a patio garden!

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