As soon as I saw the(adorable) lil’ mushroom house that I saw here I knew I had to make my own. I used empty oatmeal containers the way Valerie did but I covered ours in some of the kid’s old paintings.I sewed mushrooms caps for them out of old t-shirts that were too raggedy for the donation pile.
The girls love playing with these and I was able to make some fairies to go with them and also a few landscapes which turns this into a nice little play-set.
The landscapes also came from t-shirt scraps and were super simple to make up, I just cut the shapes I wanted and stiched them on.
I made our fairies from corks, fabric bits and paper and I wrote more about that here but it’s a pretty simple process.
I also made some little forest people from a baking soda dough recipe that I found here. I formed the bodies, dried them out in a 200 degree oven and then painted them with acrylics. They get played with a lot and have held up pretty well, we had one break but it was repaired with all-purpose glue and that’s still holding up.
Gizmo doesn’t use these the way I thought she would- she usually doesn’t use the mushroom caps as caps but prefers them as beds or doors instead. She also likes to stack the oatmeal containers on top of each other to form a tower. I’m hoping to make a few new mushroom caps with cardboard inside to make doing this easier. Right now they work okay but there is an occasional topple that can be frustrating.
I keep the play set in our kitchen drawer and Gizmo also has access to shells, marbles and play dough to further expand her play when she wants to.A good thing about this play set is that the pieces can be rearranged differently whenever it gets played with- if shells are used one day they might not be the next- sometimes there a little pond in the village,,,, sometimes there’s not. But my favorite thing is listening to Gizmo when she is playing with this set and all of the interesting stories that she gives to the fairies. It puts a really big smile on my face because the stories are her own not what she’s picked up from a television show or a movie. She’s not inhibited by what someone has told her the character has to be, she’s deciding on that herself.
lovely Friday nature table linky-hosted by The Magic Onions
This week I’ll be sharing a few Halloween ideas with y’all. We’ve been having alot of fun getting our house ready for Halloween. I’m also trying out a few ideas for my daughter’s birthday this month. I think this candy jar would make a cute halloween gift for a teacher or the host of a Halloween party.
I started with an empty plastic coffee jar that I cleaned out first and then filled with candy corn and chocolate eyeballs.
The web is two coffee filters that I drew a spider web onto with a permanent marker. I glued this onto the jar’s lid and held it down with a rubberband and then yarn.
The spider is just an egg carton that I painted and then poked with 4 inch pipe cleaner segments for the legs. Small bits of pipe cleaner added contrast. Googly eyes finished him off and then I stuffed the inside of the carton with tissue and glued him on the top of the coffee filter web.
This little spider guy would be cute in lots of places, I can see him on a wreath or a table display. The kids and I might even make a couple more to go around the house.
When I was a teenager we received a catalogue full of the most beautiful all- natural baby products and handmade felt or wooden toys. Clearly the thing was delivered on accident to our address but I’m happy that it was. I cannot tell you how much time I’d spend sat on the couch pouring into it’s hand drawn pages. Sometimes if I had extra spending money I’d get a money order and order presents for a niece or nephew. A well crafted puzzle or a small hand made trinket that I felt proud to run my hands across before I wrapped it.
And even though I swore up and down that I was never, ever, ever getting married and having kids…in the the back of my mind a thought lingered.If I did ever have kids? My kids would only Ever play with toys like these. No plastic,bright, noisy toys for us, thank you very much!
Of course that thought flew out the window the first time my oldest grabbed at a brightly colored, plastic rattle in the Wal-Mart baby aisle. The thing was brash and garish and not only did it light up, it played music too. The kid loved it to bits and I folded. My dreams of felted elven dolls in baskets made of pine branches met my reality of plastic and easy and well…cheap. Those handcrafted,finely made toys( from Sweden as it happened) were just slightly out of my budget.
Don’t think I didn’t try knocking out some homemade renditions of them myself…but the Kid wasn’t impressed. And I was humbled into not trying that again. Till now. You see now that my oldest is older she thinks that it’s kind of cool when I make toys with my hands. It even inspires her to try and make some herself.
My youngest has always liked what I made with my hands, that became clear the first time she pried the mermaid figurines off of her handmade mobile. We eventually put it up and she got them back to play with once I was sure she wouldn’t choke on the pieces.
Now my girls still have a ridiculous amount of plastic, clanging, light up monstrosities…but they also have things that I have made them myself and things that they have found or made themselves added to that mix. And I am more then okay with that.