In between visits with lovely friends in the mornings and lazy afternoons in the garden, we have also been spending lots of time getting “crafty” in the kitchen. Cakie now opens the drawer and pulls out all of the paints, brushes, pots and her apron and lines them up on the table ready for action. She then tracks me down and says “painting, painting, painting!” until I get the message!

Most of the time I just give her sheets of coloured card and paper and encourage her to choose for herself what she would like to do and with what materials. This typically results in a beautiful creation of paint, pens, glue and glitter, topped off with bits and pieces from the Jar of Wonder (yes, it needs capitalisation.)

A recent, beautiful creation which is in desperate need of a good frame.

Ahhh, Jar of Fabulously Crafty Goodness. It needs refilling often!

But on other occasions I have something in mind and recently we have been adding more story and singing props to the collection so that we can use them in story and singing time (aka all the time!)

Here are the things we gathered to make a rocket. Hello Jar of Wonder (again).

Sheets of brightly coloured tissue paper, chunky felt tips, sellotape, gloopy glue (the type that peels off your fingers-fabulous), a water bottle, jar of wonderful bits and pieces and some beautiful sparkly golden paint.

First we tore the tissue paper into smaller pieces (good for fine motor development!) and then coated them in glue. We wrapped them around the bottle in layers until the plastic was covered and then decorated in sequins, fluffy things, foam shapes and letters until we ran out of interest! Then Mummy added scrumpled yellow and orange tissue to the bottom with tape and Cakie painted all over it with mounds of golden paint (cue renewed interest!) We hung it outside to dry where it spun around in the wind waiting for take off.

We are using this with the song “Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon” and “On Bonfire Night” (a firm favourite!) It would also work well with the books “Red Rockets and Rainbow Jelly” (Sue Heap and Nick Sharrat) and “Whatever Next?” (Jill Murphy)  – some of my favourites to read to children. There are probably zillions of others too just waiting to be discovered!

And recently we tried to think of something creative to do with the huge collection of kitchen roll tubes that were collecting in the recycling bag under the sink.  So, out came the paints in their little chocolate pudding jars (don’t tell anyone how many we’ve eaten!)….

Cakie painted the tubes with some help from Mummy to fill in the gaps…

I cut them into little pieces making lots of fun toys in the process…

And then we had a go at threading them onto string to make a long necklace. Cakie only managed to do it 2 or 3 times without help, but it is a great motor skill activity, especially for slightly older children. Just look at the concentration though!

And voila…a lovely necklace!

Which, when she lost interest in it, I turned into numbers for playing with instead! This game lasted for much longer and was enjoyed a lot. She shuffled them, stacked them, rolled them, hid them, lined them up and pointed at the numbers, generally saying “two, two, two, nine” most of the time! 

It’s lovely to see the little cogs turning!


  1. Rachel says

    Thanks Anna, I like the ideas with the tubes. I’ll start saving mine for Joel to use! R x

  2. says

    Where do you buy supplies for the Jar of Wonder? I’ve been getting craft bits and pieces in Sainsburys but the range isn’t particularly large.

  3. says

    Rachel I’m sure you will come up with some lovely ideas- let me know what you do with him!
    Sarah I will pop a few links to sources into a separate post as I can’t link in comments. I agree about Sainsburys- rubbish!

  4. says

    Wow, I love the bottle rocket! Just found your neat blog…or should i say your messy blog, lol! I am a mama who makes messes, too, but usually by myself…you are inspiring me to get my toddler in on the fun. Nice to “meet” you!

  5. says

    Ha ha, thank you Millie and nice to meet you too. I Hope you have plenty of fun making some mess (and some lovely memories too!)