The weather forecast for last Thursday was, for want of a better word, pants! So, knowing the toddler and I would most likely be holed up in the house all day to escape the perpetual downpour, I decided to do something drastic – I planned a craft activity the night before!
For those parents who are super organised I appreciate this is no big deal. For me though, sorting a creative activity that’s a bit more involved than getting the colouring books out has been on the to-do list for weeks. So I decided that rather than get wet outside, we would instead have fun with some fishes!
To help me with the task in hand I’d taken to Twitter, where 30 Plus Mummy helpfully pointed me in the direction of Activity Village, a fab website full of free activities, printables, crafts and game ideas for parents (and teachers). It’s been a great discovery. You can search by theme or keyword and there are materials to tie in with popular topics, holidays, special events and seasons. Here I found a set of fish templates which I downloaded and then printed onto coloured card and cut out ready for us to paint and decorate in the morning.
The great thing about templates is that once you’ve got them sorted the next bit is really easy… you just get the paints and sparkly bits out and have fun! And the shapes are always much more appealing to Little Miss than a plain sheet of paper. Note to self: must make more use of printable templates! Activity Village has a whole section devoted to templates, there are loads to chose from including plenty of different animals.
So the next day, while the heavens opened, we got stuck in to painting our new fishy friends. Once Little Miss got bored of the painting we let them dry as we washed up the pots and brushes – always a key part of the painting activity as it gives her the perfect excuse to spend half an hour playing with water in the sink, one of her favourite things. This is fine by me as it keeps her happy and occupied!
After that our fishes were ready for us to add some final flourishes and a bit of sparkle. You could use glitter if you’re feeling brave – I couldn’t face the mess! Or instead use stickers. Little Miss absolutely adores stickers so the compromise worked well for both of us. We also stuck on some all-important boggly eyes so our fish could see where they were going.
We then got a cardboard box and put coloured tissue paper in it to make a home for our fishy friends. Fuzzy pipecleaners added to our little aquarium. If I’d thought about it the night before we could have printed off a greater variety of sea creatures – like this crab and maybe a seahorse or a turtle! Little Miss then decided to join the fishes in their aquarium and add even more stickers to the mix!
So there you have it, a very easy and simple activity that kept us both out of mischief for the best part of a wet morning!