02 • 23 JULY 2006
1. Editorial: Desperate times require desperate measures
2. MAKE: a night sky scape
3. MAKE: a daytime telescope
4. COOK: a starry fruit and cheese platter
5. MORE: night sky ideas
|1. Editorial: Desperate
times require desperate measures
things ever get completely crazy at your place?
Our most feral time is usually towards the end of the day when the
kids are hungry and tired, but dinner is still 30 minutes off.
I recently came across a great idea that has helped to restore calm to
even our most desperate times. It's called the crazy container and it's
a very simple concept.
All you have to do is sit down and think of some fun activities and
crafts that can be done with very little preparation. Then, write down
the name of each of the activities on individual cards and put them
into a small basket or box.
When things are going downhill fast, avert impending disaster by having
your little one select an activity from the crazy container.
It's a simple but brilliant idea that has saved many late afternoons in
If you're interested in starting your own crazy container you might
want to check out my list of no
fuss craft ideas. Choose the ideas that appeal most to you
and you're well on your way to having your very own disaster aversion
If you have your own no fuss craft ideas please email me and let me
know. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas to throw into the
In the meantime I hope you enjoy the 'night sky' ideas in this issue of
Happy crafting and see you
a night sky scape
You will need:
• a sheet of black cardboard
stickers for young kids
art supplies that work well on black paper such as glitter glue, gold
and silver pens, white pencil or crayon, holographic paper, sequins etc
is a simple and fun craft for kids of all ages.
Provide your little one with a sheet of black cardboard and suitable
craft supplies to make a picture of the night sky. If you don't have
any black cardboard on hand you can get your little one to paint a dark
background on a sheet on cardboard.
Young children will probably get plenty of joy from simply sticking
stickers on the cardboard. Older children may want to try to cut out
their own star shapes from aluminium foil, or to draw in details such
as shooting stars, rockets and planets.
My three year old particularly enjoyed shaking glitter onto her star
scape and cutting moon shapes from holographic paper. If you hang the
completed picture in a prominent place (like on the fridge) it can
provide a great reference point for any other 'night sky' activities
during the week.
sky scape (age 15 months)
Ella's sky scape (age 3)
MAKE: a daytime telescope
You will need:
• a sheet of thin black cardboard
stickers or glitter glue or silver and gold pens
and or toothpick
Roll a small sheet of black cardboard to form a cylinder and tape it
securely. This cylinder will form your daytime telescope.
Then, cover one end of the telescope with black cardboard. We did this
by tracing around the outer edge of the cylinder, cutting out the exact
shape and taping it securely to the end. Try to ensure that no gaps are
left around the edge because you need to block out all light for
Hand the telescope over to your little one for some thorough
Once the decorating is complete, show your child how to prick holes
into the cardboard at the very end of the telescope. For best results
use a pin and a toothpick so that the holes are of different sizes.
Retrieve pin and toothpick from your child before they get completely
carried away. Then, have them point their telescope to a source of
light (window, lamp etc) and they will be able to see the stars!
Coincidentally I just saw a new episode of Play School where they did a
similar thing but in reverse. Instead of using a black cylinder they
used a torch so that you could switch it on and off to see the stars.
COOK: a starry fruit and cheese platter
You will need:
• star shaped cookie cutters (or a sharp knife and
• a selection of fruit suitable for cutting into
shapes eg, melon, apple, pear
• skewers or toothpicks for older kids
• slices of cheese
I've started making the kids a 2.30pm fruit and cheese platter to tide
them over till dinnertime and so far it's been a tremendous success.
You can make this healthy afternoon treat even more fun by cutting the
fruit into slices and then cutting them into star shapes with a cookie
cutter. Older kids will enjoy helping you to cut the shapes and can
then use skewers to make starry fruit kebabs or star fruit piles.
To complement the theme, cut out slices of cheese in the shapes of
crescent and full moons.
But a word of warning, your child may insist on star-shaped fruit every
day from this point onwards!
night sky ideas
• Make star or moon shaped biscuits
• Step outside after dinner for a ten minute family
star gazing expedition
• See if you can buy a star fruit at the green
• Make star and moon shaped potato prints
• Visit an observatory or planetarium
more ideas read my article on how
to get great mileage from a weekly theme.
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