As some of you may know, I recently had a very short trip to Australia! I am fortunate enough that I was able to go down under for a lovely friend’s gorgeous and fun wedding and that my family where able to stay behind and look after the children. Lucky me. Although I had a week “off” from everything and concentrated on “doing nothing” and catching up with my friend, I did “get inspired” whilst out there… I found both a lovely book written by an Indigenous author, as well as find some “Good Luck Stones” as a small gift for the children. I thought that the good luck stones my serve as inspiration for the children… little did I know quite how much! Within 25minutes of handing them their gift, we were already painting….
First to the book!
The Crow and The Waterhole, by Ambelin Kwaymullina. When travelling, I love picking up “local” books and I chose this book for several reasons –
1) as I was hoping to do an Indigenous inspired craft, I wanted an indigenous inspired book to go with it.
2) the book was published by Freemantle Press – i.e. a local publisher
3) the story and illustrations themselves appealed to me… so:
The story is of a crow, that spies (itself) in the waterhole, but thinks that this beautiful and courage bird is “someone else”. She sets off to try and be a “better bird”, always encountering “other” crows in the local ponds and streams.. until one day the kookaburra points out to her, that it is her all along – she is brave and couragous. She is beautiful. She just needs to look at herself. I love the story, as it tells children to look and see that they too are wonderful eventhough “others always seem to be better”. It also features classic Australian “characters” – the gum tree and the kookaburra! The illustrations are beautifully vibrant and an in many ways the most beautiful part of the book.
Read more about the author here.
As mentioned, I found some little “Good Luck Message Stones”, that I thought the children may like – they are small, colourful and pretty. With lots of lovely detail.
I handed the children one each and to my surprise, Pip Squeak in particularly, was nuts over them! She kept on demanding Red Ted’s stone too… and once in her grasp wouldn’t let go of it. I decided we had to paint some more straight away.. then they could each have several. So within about 2 hours of my landing back in the UK we were already painting away. The Englishman was impressed and secretly pleased to have “handed the kids back over” to me!
I underestimated this craft big time. They LOVED the original stones. They LOVED the painting. They LOVED using marker pens to add detail. And they LOVE playing with all the stones. So much so, that we already “lost” one before I could take a photo of the finished product… and then had “tears” when I tried to take a photo of them all together 8 hours later as Pip Squeak absolutely did not want to hand them over.
I guess stones are wonderfully tactile, add some bright colours and they are irresitable.
My kids are only 3.5yrs and 20months old and our final stones reflect this. Imagine what a 10 year old could make.. do have a go! I know, some time in the future, we will do these again!
Materials: Stones, acrylic paint, marker pens
If you do not want to use acrylics, the “crayon and hot stones” method would look great too – heat the stone in the oven, carefully hold crayon ends to it and let them melt and cover stone… you may have to play with the heat a little to get it just right. But recommended this to a friend and she made some BEAUTIFUL stones with her kids (aged 3yrs and 1.5yrs).. we are yet to have a go.
Paint your stones and let them dry. We did 3 different colours – pink, blue and green.
Red Ted decided to draw a bridge, a man, some rainbows and lots of squiggles.
Pip Squeak LOVED the permanent marker… resulting in lots of uhm, permanent marks on my “new oilcloth”… hey ho. Guess that is what the cloth is there for. Pip Squeak only wanted to use black and did decide to do lots of dots when I pointed out the detail on her original stone. Red Ted wasn’t so keen on dots… Surprisingly she did NOT paint all over the original. *phew*.
Oh and she totally refused to give the pen back.
And… isn’t that arm simply scrumptiously chubby?!?!?
Red Ted is so proud he takes the above photo (I just cropped it a little).
Trying to take our “final shot photo” – small hands kept creeping in!
Red Ted’s stones are on the left. Can you see the large pink one – that is the bridge! Below it, you have the green stone with the little man.
Pip Squeak’s are on the right. Can you see the dots on Pip Squeak’s large green one?
And surprisingly, we now have no more fights over the stones! They both have enough!
For more Kid’s Craft ideas, click here for a full list. If you have been crafty with your kid’s be it at home, in the kitchen or outdoors, I would love for you to link up: