It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Because Mary is a devious, devious woman

The older children have been making something for their parents for the last week and a half. We’ve spent a little time each day adding another layer, building up the tissue and glue. Yesterday we added the sparkles on the outside, and we’re done!


Beautiful tissue-paper bowls! (From my latest blog crush, Kids Craft Weekly.) Then we made a trip to the dollar store for things to put in the bowls, with the stipulation that they be light. Sturdy these things are not, though they’re not quite as delicate as you might think, given the materials.

And through all this the parents have not discovered what it is we are making. The children have not spilled the beans, they have not once uttered the word “bowl” in their parents’ presence.

I know this with utter conviction.

Know why?

It’s not because I’ve told them “Shh! Don’t tell! It’s a secret!” Ha! It is to laugh. Anyone with toddlers knows how utterly pointless that is. To anyone under the age of six, near as I can make out, a “secret” is something that, when you tell everyone about it? You WHISPER.

It can be a stage whisper, audible to THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, but if you whisper while you’re telling it, it’s still a SECRET.

So. I have not attempted to get them to keep a secret. Though the very thought of someone attempting to do so does bring tears of Christmas mirth to my eyes. Ho, ho, ho!

No. What I have done, see, is to mislead and divert.

We are not making bowls. Nope. Not at all. See that first pictures? Do those look like bowls? Of course not! Bowls are not bumps! Bowls are dents. We are not making bowls.

No, no, no! We are making igloos. Lovely igloos made from purple, pink, and yellow tissue paper, respectively. Igloos decorated with sparkles, then turned ‘upside-down’ and filled with (variously) Christmas crackers, shiny ornaments, star-studded garlands and/or popcorn. Mary has never, ever called these things anything other than “igloos”. And neither have the tots.


We have looked at pictures of igloos. We have tried to build some out of snow. We have talked about the Inuit, and how they mostly live in regular old houses now.

And the children, they have told their parents ALL ABOUT IT. Of course. Their parents know EVERYTHING about IGLOOS.

And nothing, nothing at all, about bowls.



December 22, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, crafts, parents | , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Hallowe’en crafting, yet again

Today’s craft! Hallowe’en sun-catchers.


clear Mactac (shelf paper)
orange tissue paper
black permanent marker

(Click on pictures for larger images.)


1. While the backing paper is still on the Mactac, draw a pumpkin outline on the plastic with your marker.

2. Let the children tear the tissue paper into bits. (Or you can, if they can’t.)

3. Children pat the bits onto the sticky side of the Mactac, mostly within the boundaries of your line.

4. Cut another square of Mactac slightly larger than your pumpkin. Peel off the backing.

5. When the children have filled in their pumpkin, press it to the peeled square. Cut square to match pumpkin.

6. Let kids draw face. (Or you can, or you can skip the face.)

DONE! Easy, huh? Even the 13-month-old did this one. (His isn’t shown here, not because it turned out badly, but because, needing more one-on-one attention than the older kids, he did his after the 3-year-olds did theirs. But no, I didn’t do it for him. He poked each of his orange bits into place with his very own pudgy little fingers. His does not have a face.)

Note: you might need to bind the edges with clear tape, to keep the sides together.

October 28, 2008 Posted by | crafts, holidays | , , , | 2 Comments