Tea Party Place Mat Craft & Pretend Play

Tea parties are a big part of our daily pretend play. My daughter loves hosting them for her dad and brother and I thought it was time to jazz our tea parties up a little. This tea party place mat craft for kids is seriously simple! Stickers are such a great art material once kids have passed the ” I will eat everything I touch” phase. They offer wonderful fine motor development and at an age where everything turns into a huge mess stickers are virtually mess free.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a tea set ( play or real if you have it) , some party napkins , clear contact paper, stickers ,and scissors. I also grabbed a few real cookies as a surprise for our guests at the tea party.
  2. Start by putting stickers on your napkins. She was very specific about which stickers she would put on each place mat since she was making them for her dad and brother. I made one for myself at the same time. Crafting along side toddlers is a great way to model how to do the craft without direct instruction and those power struggles that toddlers are so famous for. 
  3. After she decided they all had just the right stickers on them I cut a large piece of contact paper  and laid the napkins sticker side down on it.
  4. Then added a second on top to sandwich the napkins between the sheets of contact paper. Make sure the napkins have enough space between them so you can trim .Pressed and cut .
  5. Then it was time to set the table.
  6. All ready! Time to invite the guests.
  7. Play!
  8. I hid the Oreos in the play kitchen and after everyone was seated I told her to open the oven and get the cookies. Of course everyone thought I was referring to play cookies and it was great to see such a simple surprise delight all the guests.
  9. The play continued until my son invited us to a Lego building party in his room. Which was fun but as you can see not quite as refined as our tea party.

 

 

Fast & Mess Free Glitter Ornaments

christmas ornament

 We had fun making these Christmas ornaments and the best part there was no huge glittery mess! Christmas ornaments beg to be glittered and I don’t know about your schedule but mine just got crazy so I don’t have as much time for glue to dry , no need, these have zero glue. Both my kids love making these and even though we used them as ornaments they could easily be made into gift tags too.  I was inspired to make this after seeing this candle project from The Ivy Cottage on Pinterest.

  1. Gather your materials. I used card stock for the circles, I wanted to make sure the tape would stick permanently and knew from experience that it does on card stock. Also used glitter provided for me by the folks atcraftprojectideas.com , ziploc bags, scissors, hot glue and gun, and pipe cleaners. I had ribbon in the picture thinking I would hang them with it but the pipe cleaners were perfect!
  2. Start by drawing and cutting out the ornament. I made circles but any shape would be fine.
  3. Add the tape, it goes without saying I added it for my daughter but I also had to help my 5 year old the first time. The tape was so sticky .
  4. Add the glitter to the zip lock .
  5. Shake! Can you tell she loved this?
  6. add more tape.
  7. Pop it in the next color of glitter .
  8. Shake.
  9. Keep going until they are just the way you want them. 
  10. My son told me his has lightsabres fighting on it.
  11. As you may be able to tell after it was dark and sugar plums were dancing in my kids’ heads I hot glued some pipe cleaners on for hooks. 
  12. Hang up on your tree.

Mess Free !

Spotty Spider

I am always looking for ways to do crafts that are friendly to those who are squeamish about mess. I don’t fault you if you are, my hands are always covered in paint, or markers and I usually have glue or sparkles somewhere on me. I get it, so we did this craft for those times when markers and paint just won’t work, and even though we used glue for the eyes, you can buy stick on ones and avoid the mess and drying time!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper plate, 4 pipe cleaners, glue , 2 googley eyes and some color coding labels ( they are circle stickers found in the office supply section and way cheaper than stickers).
  2. Start by handing your child some stickers and the plate – and let them go for it. After my son did about 3 he said “glue” so I asked him if he could stick a red one, then a green… and he got back into it and covered it with no more prodding.
  3. Grab the glue ( or the stick on googley eyes) and add some where you want to put the eyes.
  4. Add the eyes.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Once they are dry enough to handle, poke 2 holes in the edge of the plate and thread a pipe cleaner through, zig zagging both ends, Repeat for all 4 .


Books !

“The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle was a favorite of my son’s from the get go. We have the board book edition and what I love about it, is that the spider web in it is raised and offers a sensory element to reading the story. This is a story of hard work, persistence and also helps reinforce animal sounds. Perfect for toddlers !


“Diary of a Spider “ by Doreen Cronin is a very clever book with some pretty funny bits of humor that I laughed my way through. It was too long to hold my son’s attention but older preschoolers would love it. The overall theme is that spiders aren’t all nasty and that they have fears too, a great lesson for kids !

Mess Free
Spider Cookies!

These treats were originally made for Halloween but they fit so well with today’s theme! They use pre made sandwich cookies to minimize mess and for me it helps avoid the copious amounts of cookie dough I ingest every time I bake.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sandwich cookies , shoe string licorice, some gummy candy and /or jelly beans.
  2. Open up two cookies and discard the sides with no yummy middle icing.
  3. Cut your shoe string licorice into 8 legs of the same length and stick them in the white icing on one cookie.
  4. Pop the other open cookie on top ( so it’s double stuffed now… you could also just use double stuffed to start with) .
  5. Cut some green gummy candy into small circles. I am using sour apple licorice.
  6. Pop it on top of the cookie to make eyes.
  7. Add small bits of the shoe string licorice for the pupil.
  8. OR you can cut a red jelly belly in half and pop those on for eyes. They stick well if you lick the bottom ( so you may not want to do this version if you are serving these to guests) .
  9. OR you can add green gummy candy for the eyes and top it with the very end of a red jelly belly.
  10. Enjoy.