Spin Drums – Craft Activity


During one of the lazy monday mornings in the summer vacation, Santoshi announced that she wanted to do a craft activity. It has been a long time since we made the dragon eggs, so I looked in to the pins in my craft board. I found this to be perfect for the day. As usual, I have improvised it to suit the materials that I had.

We became hunter-gatherers and collected these for the activity:

  • Cardboard
  • Sticks
  • Beads
  • Thread
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Tape
  • CD and Pen for the circle shape
  • Crayons and markers for decoration


How to do:

Step 1: Using the CD and pen or pencil, mark the outline of a circle and cut it out. You will need three circles for each spin drum. I used the box that came with Lapcare Multi Function Stand.

Step 2: Get the handle ready – I used some thin twigs from our garden which were not very strong, so I added a thin metal wire and taped them together.


Step 3: Decorate one side each of two of the circles. The third one would be sandwiched between the other two circles.

Step 4: Punch two holes in the third circle and make a thin slit for the stick to sit in – like this:


Step 5: Add beads to the thread and tie them to the circle at the holes punched. Insert the stick in the slit and secure using tape. Add glue to the wrong side of the outer circles.


Step 6: Stick the outer circles on either side of the middle one and add some weight on top so that they stick well together.


After an hour, ta-da, your spin drum is ready!!

Santoshi made one for herself and I made one for my younger daughter Anjana.


The activity was a lot of fun and so were the spin drums!

Thanks for reading the post and do let us know your comments.



Dragon Egg Craft Activity


It is summer time in Chennai and my elder daughter Santoshi’s summer vacation has begun already! She decided not to go for a summer camp since I am not working anymore. So, apart from a little writing and maths worksheets, I started looking into craft activity pins in Pinterest and have saved many ideas in here.

The first activity for this summer was making a Dragon Egg based on this pin! I liked this idea because the pictures were impressive, it was easy to do and not a very expensive project.

Things used:

  • Modelling clay (purple – my daughter’s favourite colour)
  • Gems and beads for decoration
  • Old newspaper as filling (instead of foil; I didn’t have foil)

How we did it:

  1. Crush a sheet of newspaper into a ball.IMG_20170413_131558
  2. Use clay to wrap it and gently bring it to the shape of an egg. IMG_20170413_131747
  3. Decorate with gems and beads. IMG_20170413_132711

I did a small one to serve as a demo. Then, she did hers.


The best part was not even the eggs. She wrote in her notebook about the activity. I helped her only with the spellings.


The dragon egg activity took just about ten minutes. The write-up took another ten minutes. Not enough to keep her occupied throughout the day, but it did give a lot for her to think and talk about. She told everyone about the egg and we also had to rescue the egg from my younger daughter Anjana.

How much did this activity cost us?

  1.  The clay was INR 27 and we had used only about a fourth of what came in the box. So cost of clay is only INR 7
  2. Gems and beads – INR 10 for the little pink beads and INR 20 for a flat gems. Again, we still have lots of both items left. So, INR 10 together for gems and beads.
  3. Newspaper – a local newspaper delivered free at out doorstep.

All these total to INR 17, which is roughly 25 cents (converted to USD). Not bad, right?

Thanks Adventure-in-a-box for this fun activity!!



Sponge Craft Activity


This is a simple craft activity with a piece of sponge (rectangle shaped ones which are used for cleaning). We intended to make a princess teddy bear holding a magic wand but what we created looks more like a cat than a teddy bear.  Anyways, this is how we did it:

Things used:

  • 1 piece of sponge
  • thread (or a few rubberbands; i prefer to use thread in place of rubberbands)
  • colour paper (for skirt)
  • eyes
  • small strips of cardboard
  • popsicle stick
  • stickers for decoration
  • glue, a pair of scissors and markers (pink and black)



Step 1: Tie a piece of thread about 1/3 from the top.  Tie the thread tightly. This step is where the


Step 2: Tie the top corners using the thread to make ears.


Step 3: Using the colour paper, make a pretty skirt and tie it around teddybear’s waist using the thread.  Decorate the skirt. We used a small piece of the paper crown from a restaurant.


Step 5: Glue the eyes, nose (made of cardboard) and draw the mouth using the pink marker. We also added a crown (sticker with cardboard backing – glued to the forehead) and a magic wand (popsicle stick with a sticker at the top end – glued to the skirt).  You may choose to add a bow or flower in place of the crown.


I know, (to my horror), I just could not understand what creature we ended up with. Anyway, my daughter Santoshi loved it!!


DIY Christmas tree costume for toddlers


The second day of enjoying life as a stay at home mom of two kids was marked with another diy project. How exciting!

Thanks to cyclone Vardah, schools are closed until next Monday but the day care is functioning as usual. Since my two-year-old is so bored at home in spite of having her sister along with her all the time and her own iPad, she was eager to go to day care. Good for me!

When I went to drop her at day care on 15 December, the notice board read ‘please send the children dressed up for Christmas on 16 December 2016’. I didn’t fully understand what was meant by ‘dressed up for Christmas’. So, I asked the person in-charge and she said, “oh, anything Christmas-related”.

We don’t celebrate Christmas and we did not have any Christmas-y tshirt or a frock for Anjana. Santoshi, my elder daughter, had an idea – punch a few holes in a carton for Anjana’s legs, wrap it up with paper and ribbons and Anjana’s could be a Christmas gift. Good idea, but won’t work for a 2 year old and definitely not for Anjana.

I thought of buying a Santa Claus mask and team it with a red tshirt and a pair of red leggings, but it was easy too common. Reindeer or sleigh? No way, too complex and too little time. And, more importantly, no internet! Internet connectivity has been affected since Monday 12 December 2016 and we do not know when it would be restored [finally restored on 23 December].

But, a Christmas tree? Yes, it could work. Cardboard, green paper, decorations, etc. – all these were already in my stationery and craft boxes. I was a bit sceptical about using cardboard because even Santoshi couldn’t bring it back in one piece [the fin in the mermaid costume never came back and the Veena in her Saraswati costume came back home only after two days, that too in a bad shape]. Actually, my problem wasn’t whether it would come back. It was more about the costume staying in place at least till the end of the photo session at the day care.

The crayon costume that I had made for Anjana in November 2016 was a hit because it was easy to make and no hassles in putting it on. So, I decided to make the Christmas tree in a similar fashion – using fabric as the base.

What I used:

  • Green fabric
  • A small piece of brown fabric
  • Pipe cleaners – 2
  • Headband
  • Decorations [flower, leaf shaped]
  • Colour paper [for decorations and gift wrapping]
  • Glitter foam sheet in red colour for the star
  • Cardboard strips [as gifts]
  • Glue
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1: Lay the green fabric flat and fold it over so that there are two overlapping layers, with the wrong side [or the inside] on top.

Step 2: Measure the height of the tree from to to bottom and mark the top and bottom ends on the fabric. Since my daughter was already at the day care, I used the crayon costume for vertical measurement.

Step 3: Mark the width on the fabric – I used one of Anjana’s tshirts.

Step 4: Fold the fabric over once again – now you should have four overlapping layers.

Step 5: Keeping in mind seam allowance, draw the outline of the tree. Since the fabric is already folded, draw only a half of the tree. The costume is intended to cover the toddler from bottom of the neck to ankle [give or take an inch or two]. So, the maximum width could be the bottommost branches of the tree [close to the calf muscle] and the tree bark below that.

Step 6: Draw another outline of the tree considering the desired seam allowance. I have used about half an inch of seam allowance.

Step 7: Cut [all four players of fabric] along the outer lines.

Step 8: Open the fold – you will have a full tree.

Step 9: Right sides of the fabrics facing earth each other, sew on the outer lines. Do not sew the part marked with x in the pic and do not sew on the bark portion either.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 for the inner lines.

Step 11: Snip small triangles out as shown in the pic. This is needed so that when the fabric is turned right side out, the seams will lie flat inside.

Step 12: Turn the tree inside out [remember the portion where we did not sew – that’s the space using which we are going to turn the tree out]. Ensure that the corners are pulled gently out so that you get the intended shape. Mine didn’t come out so well, but it’s OK.

Step 13: Sew a piece of brown fabric as the bark of the tree,
Step 14: Decorate the tree in any manner as you wish. I glued some craft items.

Step 15: Cut a star out of the glitter foam sheet and paste it to the headband with a cardboard backing. Step 8 onwards in crayon costume will show you how to do this [paste the star in place of the triangle in crayon costume].

Step 16: Using a few cardboard strips, make small boxes, wrap them with paper, add a ribbon or a glitter tape in place of ribbons, glue them to the bark to resemble Christmas gifts under the tree. The dark green one is the cap of a baby shampoo bottle, he he.

Step 17: Pin the tree to the toddler’s clothes using safety pins. I have pinned it to the t-shirt at the top and the end of the branches, leaving the last branch and the bark unpinned so that the costume would not hinder movement.

If you are using felt, it could be a no-sew project. Ignore all about seeing on the instructions above. Cut the felt to shape of a tree, glue the bark portion, glue all decorations and attach it to the toddler’s clothes.

Here is my little Anjana with the christmas tree pinned on to her t-shirt.

The Christmas tree could also be a cute wall decor if you wish to repurpose it!


Paper craft – fruits


Another craft activity with color paper.

My daughter had learnt a song about fruits in her playgroup which goes “orange, apple, pineapple fruit salad…”.  She loved the song and because of the catchy tune, I liked it too.  Whenever I took her along for grocery shopping, she enjoyed identifying the fruits and vegetables.  So, we decided to do a craft activity for a few fruits.

What we used:
Colour paper, glue and scissors

We had decided on apple, watermelon, banana, strawberry, orange and grapes.  So, I cut the fruits out of colour paper and gave it to my daughter for sticking on a sheet of paper.

We didn’t have the exact colour for some fruits, especially strawberry and grapes.  My daughter still enjoyed the activity.


Depending on the fruits / vegetables known to your child, you could add more to the list.


Foam Popsicle

Hi again!

Craft time was becoming the bonding time for me and my daughter.  During our recent visit to our favorite store, we bought a set of thin, colorful sheets of foam.

We got our usual tools out – a pair of scissors, ruler, pencil, a lid (for circle shape) and glue.

The dark brown sheet was cut into long, thin rectangular popsicle sticks and the beige color was used for waffle cones.  Rest of the sheets – we imagined them to be the ice cream or popsicle of the flavor that they closely (or somewhat, in a few cases) resembled – orange, blueberry, strawberry, kiwi, etc. And, for fun, a star and a heart here and a butterfly and a flower there.

While gluing the popsicle and the sticks and the waffle cone and the ice cream, we tried to stack up one flavor on top of another and tried different shapes too – trapezoid, star, heart, circle, semicircle, square, rectangle and triangle.


This was done a big sheet of brown paper. We had it rolled after the glue tried in order to save space.

Cut the shapes in advance and give it to kids with glue and a sheet of paper each – could be a fun game at a birthday party or during a play date.

You could also talk about how ice creams and popsicles are child made.  You could also involve your child the
next time you make popsicles!


Corrugated Paper Train


Another weekend at home and thanks to my pregnancy that left me grumpier and weak, I didn’t have the energy to run around and play with my daughter as she would have liked it.  So, we had to settle for another craft activity with color paper, glue and scissors.

This activity also helped her in recognition of shapes – rectangle, square, circle and semicircle.

We looked at clip art images of trains and selected the easiest one in terms of shapes.

We chose black for the wheels, white for the windows and some random colors for the engine and the train compartments.  With a ruler and a lid, I cut the shapes out of the corrugated paper.

Looking at the clip art image, she fled the pieces on to the sheet of brown paper and voila, our paper train!