Saturday, April 25, 2020

Mother's Day Collage Sticky Heart Card

My girl's have always loved creating cards for family and friends for birthdays or special occasions. The great part about this is that our family members, myself and grandma included, love anything handmade, so handmade cards or pictures can also make the best presents. The girl's favourite type of card to make, other than a standard drawing, is a sticky card where we decorate a sticky shape on the front of a card. We've made so many over the years and this one is the collage sticky heart card they made their grandma for Mother's Day.


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SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED


- Paper
- Scissors
- Sequins {optional}
- Confetti {optional}
- Stickers {any design}
- Crayons or pens





You can use any colour combination of materials you like for the collage sticky heart card. We used mainly green items as the girls were making this card for their grandma and her favourite colour is green. You can also use any embellishments you like to decorate the card. We raided our craft stash and the girls picked out some heart and flower sticker sheets, green heart confetti and some green, purple, silver and orange sequins to go with the green tissue paper. I set up all the collage items in a dip tray so it's easy for them to see everything and pick which pieces they want to use.

HOW TO MAKE A STICKY HEART CARD


1. Fold a piece of paper in half so it makes a card.
2. Draw a heart shape on the front of the card.
3. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape.
4. Stick contact paper to the back of the heart cut out {so the heart at the front of the card is sticky}.
5. Decorate the sticky heart with scrunched up tissue paper, stickers, confetti and sequins of your choice.



I left the design completely up to the girls and they added bits and pieces onto the heart wherever they wanted. The beauty of a sticky card is that because of the clear contact paper there's no glue required so once the actual card is made, kids can decorate it with very little help. I tore the tissue paper into strips and the girls scrunched it up into little balls themselves before sticking it on. Decorating the card is a great fine motor work out for kids as they scrunch the tissue paper, stick it on and when they pick up the sequins or peel off the stickers. All of those actions help with developing pincer grip and hand strengthening which are skills needed for writing at school.



The girls simply wrote Gma on the front of our card, which is what they call grandma. However if you want to write a special mother's day saying on the front you could try any of the following. Of course you can substitute them all for grandma as well.

  • I Love You To Pieces
  • Happy Mother's Day
  • Mum You're The Best
  • I Love You Mum

The girls have also made red and pink sticky heart cards for valentines day. The beauty about this card is that every single one will always be unique even if you make the same shape. They can also be made in different shapes, for example a flower or star.








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Monday, April 20, 2020

Earth Day Paper Plate Craft

Earth Day is an annual event held on April 22nd around the world. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and this years theme is climate action. Earth Day is typically celebrated by showing support for the environment which people can do in many different ways. Community groups often come together to facilitate a volunteer clean up day and support environmental charities. Due to the current world situation community get togethers are not possible, but Earth Day is going digital with many online events being hosted throughout the day at earthday.org

Of course it's still easy for families to individually celebrate Earth Day at home. Some hands on ways to celebrate Earth Day include planting a tree or some vegetable seeds, recycling, creating a compost bin in the backyard, setting up a worm farm, or by making a homemade bird feeder, butterfly feeder, or bug hotel. We're a pretty environmentally friendly family and have done a few of these activities already, as well as some environmental small world play, so when my girls asked to do some craft over the weekend I thought it was the perfect time to do some Earth Day crafting.

I came up with this idea by following my girls interests and using craft items we already had around the house. The girls both love painting and we have an abundance of paper plates, so I decided to combine the two and create an Earth Day Paper Plate Craft that we could all do together. It's a great visual reminder for them that we all have the ability to change the world and we're all responsible for making sure it's looked after. It was also a great process art craft with lots of fine motor practice which could easily be replicated in a classroom setting.


*This post contains some affiliate links*


SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED


- Wooden pegs
- Cotton balls or pom poms
- Green & blue paint
- Skin colour paper
- Paintbrush
- Clear glue
- Scissors
- Pencil



The items needed for this craft are readily available at craft stores, dollar stores, or online from my Amazon store. You can also easily substitute items based on what you already have available at home, for example by using a glue stick instead of clear glue, or use a cut up sponge to paint if you don't have access to any cotton balls or pom poms. I would recommend using washable paint as it's easy to clean up if things get messy. Also a splash mat or old newspaper on the table and an art smock may be beneficial if working with younger children who may get a little too artistic.


HOW TO CREATE AN EARTH DAY PAPER PLATE CRAFT WITH KIDS


1. Paint the Earth by dabbing blue and green paint over the entire paper plate. We googled images of Earth so we had a starting point, but realistically if the paper plate has blue and green it's going to look close enough to the Earth. You may have to do a second coat of paint if your paper plate has a wax coating. Using the pegs and pom poms helps to naturally develop pincer grip by grasping the top of the peg to paint.

2. While the paper plate is drying trace around your hands on the skin coloured paper with a pencil. If it's a bit wobbly once you take your hands off the paper just go over it again with the pencil and smooth out the edges. My 6yr old traced her own hand prints and did mine and then I smoothed out the edges.



3. Cut out the hands with scissors. This is great scissors practice for kids and it doesn't matter if they don't follow the lines perfectly as the hand prints will be glued onto the plate with the pencil side down. Once the hand prints are cut out flip them over and place them on top of the plate until you are happy with their position. They should go on the side towards the bottom to make it look like you're holding the world in your hands.

4. Paint some glue onto the hands on the side with the pencil. We found the easiest way to do this was to pour liquid glue into a container and use a paintbrush to evenly spread the glue over the paper.

5. Glue down the fingers onto the front of the paper plate then flip it over and glue the bottom of the hands to the back of the plate. When you do this you will find the the hands are squared off where they fold over, but don't worry that will be fixed when they're dry.

6. Finally, once the hands have fully dried, trim the straight sections to make them curved along the edge of the plate. Now your masterpiece is complete and ready to be displayed.


Our finished paper plate Earth's are being proudly displayed on our art wall in the loungeroom along with all our other April art. I really love how the hand prints are a great way to remember how little the kids hands are, I think we'll redo this activity every year so we can see how much they've grown. 

MORE EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES TO TRY






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Friday, April 17, 2020

How to make a DIY Recycled Bird Feeder

Want to attract more birds to your garden? Don't worry you don't need to go and buy a fancy bird house or bird bath, you can attract them with something as simple as a toilet paper roll or a milk bottle. You can make an easy DIY bird feeder from recyclables with an empty milk bottle and a few items from around the house by following the steps below.

We've been spending so much time at home lately and the girls have become really interested in the wildlife that visits our yard. They love watching the birds, bees, dragonflies, ladybirds and butterflies that visit our garden. A few weeks ago we made our own DIY butterfly feeder to attract more butterflies and they've been so excited checking it all the time, so we decided to make our own DIY bird feeder from things we had around the house too.

*This post contains some affiliate links*


SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED



We use a 3ltr milk bottle every week in our house so instead of recycling one I washed it out and let it dry to use for our bird feeder. If you don't have an empty milk bottle you could use an empty juice bottle, cordial bottle or a cardboard milk or juice carton. I used a long lacing string to tie ours up to hang because I couldn't find our jute string at the time, however any string would work. Everything we needed to make our bird feeder I found at home for free, however if you need to buy anything it's all relatively cheap to source from a stationary shop, hardware store or even most supermarkets.




HOW TO MAKE A DIY BIRD FEEDER USING A MILK BOTTLE


1. Gather all of your items together in the one spot. Fill a small bowl with birdseed so it's easier to fill the bird feeder once it's constructed.



2. Use a sharpie to mark out the area to cut out so the birds can access the feeder. We marked out both of the larger sides of the milk bottle approximately 1.5cm from the side and bottom edges and continued a small way past the handle height to allow room for birds to fit into the feeder.



3. Cut into the pen outline with a stanley knife and use scissors to continue cutting out the shape. If you're confident enough using a stanley knife you can use it to cut out the entire section. Once both sides are cut out you should have a relatively open milk bottle with plenty of access for small birds.



4. Tape around the edges where you've cut so they're not sharp and won't harm birds if they touch the edge. We did this with plain clear sticky tape, but you could use washi tape for a decorative touch.

5. Use a hole punch to punch a hole on either side of the bottle. Thread the wooden screwer through to make a perch for birds to land on. Tape it in place if the hole is bigger than the thickness of the scewer, so it doesn't slide out.

6. Hang the bird feeder with your choice of string. We poked 3 holes into the top of the milk bottle so it would hang straight because we were hanging it over a pipe out the front in our garden. How you hang it will depend on where you want to hang it. You can hang it off a tree branch, tie it to a fence, or hang it to a pergola beam or gutter. Wherever you hang it make sure it's up off the ground and away from any pets so that birds will feel safe coming to land on it.



7. Fill the bird feeder with seed in the base of the milk bottle up to the scewer.







We set up our bird feeder out the front above our garden, because birds frequently sit on our garage roof near there, and it's easy for the girls to look out the front window and see it without going out and disturbing them. It's only been up for a day so far and while we haven't caught any birds on it yet, there are a fair few empty seed husks inside the milk bottle so I think we've had some sneaky visitors already.


OTHER FUN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH KIDS


- 30+ Free Activities to do Outside
- Make DIY Chalk Paint
- Make a DIY Butterfly Feeder




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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

DIY Chalk Paint

Are you always finding broken bits of chalk laying around? Chalk and crayons are notorious for breaking apart as kids use them, and just like broken crayons, chalk can be repurposed. Don't throw out all the little bits and pieces, collect them up and make some DIY 2 ingredient chalk paint.

Like a lot of other families lately, we've been spending a lot of time stuck at home. However, it's good for the soul to get outside and escape the four walls of the house, so we decided to chalk paint our front pathway. Making the chalk paint itself is just as much fun as painting with it, so it's like two activities in one. It not only brightened my kids day, it also brought some joy to our neighbours as well.


*This post contains some affiliate links*


SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED


- Water
- Chalk pieces
- Ziplock Bags
- Mallet or hammer
- Muffin tin
- Paint brushes


We already had quite a few bits of broken chalk accumulated so we had more than enough to make some paint. In fact we had everything we needed to make chalk paint at home already so it was a 100% free activity. I used a muffin tin as a paint palette for the chalk paint because it's big enough for 6 different colours and each hole is deep enough to make quite a bit of chalk paint, however if you don't have a muffin tray you could use bowls or even old recycling containers like empty yoghurt tubs.





HOW TO MAKE DIY CHALK PAINT



The first thing you will need to do is separate the chalk pieces into individual ziplock bags by colour. Try to squeeze out as much air as you can and seal them.



Next take each bag one at a time and hammer the broken chalk down until it's a crumbly powder. The kids did most of ours using a little wooden mallet, but you could also use a mortar and pestle, hammer or a plastic dish brush {yes I really used one}. Just remember not to hit it too forcefully as that may break the plastic bag and then you'll lose the powder. Slow and steady wins the race. We did this part out in the kids mud kitchen so we could clean it up easily if they accidentally made a mess.



Once all of the chalk has been ground or hammered down into powder, put each colour into a different hole in a muffin tray. You can see from our picture that some colours ended up being a finer powder than others {the kids couldn't ground them up as fine, but didn't want any help}. You really want to aim for the consistency of the pink or white chalk as it will make a better paint mixture, as the bigger chunks won't dissolve properly. 



To turn the chalk powder into chalk paint, simply add water slowly and mix the powder into the water with a brush. This should make vibrant paint colours which I can best describe as similar to a creamy watercolour paint. Next all you need to do is add some paint brushes and get creative!



I set our chalk paint up with a different paint brush for each colour and told the girls not to mix them. Evidently I forgot 2yr olds have no self control so that lasted all of about 30 seconds before the toddler started mixing the brushes into all different colours. I'm happy to report though that unlike most other paint, chalk paint colours don't seem to get completely ruined by stray brushes and accidental colour mixing. I was honestly expecting them all to turn poo brown colour after she got to them.


Painting with chalk paint was a great activity for my toddler as she was working her fine motor skills by alternating between a fisted grasp {shown in the photo above} and a palmer grasp as she used the paint brushes. I deliberately used chunky paintbrushes to encourage this, and so that the chalk paint would go onto the concrete in thicker brushstrokes so it was easier for them to create pictures. My 2yr old mainly drew lines, squiggles and circles {which are all great pre-writing practice} while my 6yr old was drawing love hearts and messages for our neighbours. Of course I got in on the action and made some chalk paintings and messages too {can't let the kids have all the fun}. 



Our chalk creations dried nice and pastel and have been on the footpath for over a week  now. It lightly rained once which washed them out a bit, but hasn't completely washed them away. If you do chalk painting and want to change the images or just get bored of it, it can be completely washed away with water. The girls loved it so much that when our current paintings have washed away I think we'll do some more {we're even thinking about chalk painting the bricks of the house into a rainbow to join in on Rainbow Trail Australia}.

FOR MORE CREATIVE ACTIVITIES WITH THE KIDS TRY THESE




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Friday, April 10, 2020

How to Play with a Grimms Rainbow: Over 50 Play Ideas

Without a doubt one of the most popular wooden toys available is the Grimms large rainbow. But why is it so popular? Should you buy one? Who are Grimms? How do you play with a Grimms rainbow? Don't worry, by the end of this post I'll answer all your questions and you'll know everything you need to know to determine if you need a Grimms rainbow at your place {or school/daycare}, including over 50 ways to play with a large Grimms rainbow.
Grimms large wooden rainbow
*This post contains some affiliate links*

WHAT IS A GRIMMS RAINBOW?


Grimms Spiel & Holtz Design {more commonly known as Grimms} is a world renowned family owned German toy manufacturer. They've been designing, manufacturing and selling wooden toys since 1978 and they're now stocked in boutique toy stores all over the world. Grimm's specialise in open ended Montessori and Waldorf inspired toys made from sustainably sourced wood.

When people talk about a Grimms rainbow they're most often referring to the large 12 piece coloured rainbow. However Grimms also have large rainbows available in pastel, natural, monochrome and sunset {which is a slightly smaller 10 piece inverted coloured rainbow}. Each of the different types of rainbows also come in small, medium and large versions so there's a rainbow option for everyone. The play ideas I've included in this post are all for the large size rainbow and most can be done in any colour way, with the exception of the colour sorting ideas which obviously won't work with a natural  or monochrome rainbow.

Grimms traditional rainbow, pastel rainbow, monochrome rainbow, natural rainbow and sunset rainbow


Each Grimms Rainbow is hand carved from lime wood and stained with non-toxic water based colours. Each individual arch is hand dipped into the colour glazes that leave a velvety-rough surface as they penetrate the wood fibres. The slightly rough surface is maintained by not adding a protective vanish, which is what makes the Grimms Rainbows so easy to stack. It also allows the natural grain markings of each wood piece to remain as a distinctive feature. Every Grimms Rainbow truly is unique.

As each rainbow is handmade and thus takes a while to manufacture, stock is often sold out. Stores across the world only receive new shipments every few months and they quickly sell out as demand is so high. Luckily there are now quite a few online stores that sell Grimm's rainbows, our favourites are The Creative Toy Shop, Lime Tree Kids, Growing KindEntropy Toys and Tiny Paper Co. The Creative Toy Shop and Amazon ship internationally.



IS THE GRIMMS RAINBOW WORTH IT?


The main reason this question is asked is because the Grimms rainbow is quite an investment compared to other toys. Is it worth saving up and spending the extra money on a Grimms rainbow vs say a Kmart version?  Is it really worth all the hype? 100% yes!

Contrary to popular belief, the Grimms Rainbow is a lot more than an expensive piece of decor to sit on the shelf. The rainbow is probably one of the most open ended toys on the market, and by the end of this post you'll see why. My kids are constantly blowing me away with the creations they make using the rainbow, and us adults have spent just as much time playing with it too. 

The Grimms Rainbow is not just some arches of wood, it's whatever your child wants it to be. It's a building toy, a sorting toy, a stacking toy and is perfect for imaginary play. It can be a tunnel, a house, a bridge, a wall and so many other more intricate animals and objects {continue reading to see what I mean}. It can also be played with flat on the ground, vertically or be made into 3 dimensional objects.

By engaging in play and exploring the rainbow and its possibilities children are naturally learning and developing a wide range of skills. While they're playing with a Grimms Rainbow they're exploring maths and engineering concepts, they're problem solving to place the pieces in just the right way. They're learning about balance, counter balancing, weight, height, spatial awareness and sequencing. They're classifying by size and colour and they're actively thinking outside of the box.

WHAT IS OPEN ENDED PLAY?


Open ended play is play where the child is an active participant with no right or wrong way to play and no specific outcome. Open ended play is when children are free to express themselves in any way they like and can be creative with the objects they're playing with. For example when building with blocks, playing with a stuffed animal or using a cardboard box, each time the play will look different depending on the child's imagination.

Girls playing with plastic building blocks that look like large lego pieces.


The Grimms Rainbow is a perfect open ended toy because there are numerous ways to play with it and the possibilities are only limited by each child's imagination. Of course there is the set way to stack the colours so they make a rainbow, but that doesn't mean children have to stack it that way and that's not the only way to play with it. You'll see by the end of this post that there's many other out of the box ways to play with a wooden rainbow.



LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES WITH A GRIMMS RAINBOW


- Problem solving
- Colour recognition
- Spatial awareness
- Hand/eye coordination
- Improves concentration
- Sorting & classifying
- Balancing objects
- Counterbalancing
- Hypothesizing
- Imaginary play
- Sequencing


50 different Grimms Rainbow play ideas



SIMPLE WAYS TO USE THE GRIMMS RAINBOW


Baby stacking grimms rainbow pieces


When we first got our Grimms Rainbow my youngest was about 18 months old and her favourite thing to do was just sit on the floor and move the pieces around to different spots. She used to explore them on their side, upside down wobbling them back and forth and upright as arches.

Grimms large rainbow displayed as a mountain.

One of the first ways we manipulated the rainbow was to create a rainbow mountain. To do this you just need to push each piece out so half of each arch is under the next piece. This makes a 3D rainbow which looks like a descending rainbow mountain. The kids like to add peg dolls and their Grimms Friends to make them climb the mountain.

Grimms rainbow horn
You can also change the rainbow mountain into a rainbow tunnel by curving all the pieces to the left. It kind of reminds me of a french horn too.

Grimms rainbow used as a painting guide

When my eldest daughter was 4 she used the Grimms Rainbow as a visual reference while painting a paper plate rainbow. It was an easy way for her to learn what order the colours of the rainbow go.



WHAT CAN YOU SCULPT USING A GRIMMS RAINBOW?


It seems a bit odd at first to imagine a wooden rainbow can be converted into a 3D version of something else, but it is entirely possible.
Grimms rainbow 3D flower sculpture

We made this grimms flower using everything except the two small purple pieces. It looks really realistic, but yes it does annoy me a little that the green is at the top and the red is at the bottom because I think the colours would look so much better inverted. I think this would be great to try out with the sunset rainbow as the greens would be at the bottom and petal colours would be at the top.

Grimms rainbow 3D flower stack
The girls saw lots of other flower stacks while we were scrolling Instagram and they wanted to try one so we made this flower stack together. This is another really simple one for the kids to make as most pieces balance onto each other without rocking the stack. See Wooden Toy Play's flower stack here for a slightly harder version.

Wooden rainbow crested wave stack
I love, love, love this swirl creation from my Insta friend Jana {Playroom Stories}. To me it looks like an ocean wave breaking. She even stacked two rainbows on top of each other like this, see them here.


Bear stack using the Grimms Rainbow

The girls begged me to make a bear for them so we made this {slightly lopsided} bear stack. It was relatively easy except the blue left ear piece is a bit temperamental and falls off quite easy, I'd recommend adding that piece last so it doesn't keep falling off as you add the facial features. You call also make this one flat on the ground and use some grapat rings as eyes.


My daughter made this one a few years ago and told me it was a rainbow playground. I love how kids imaginations aren't constrained by logic. If you look closely though the red and orange pieces look like a slide, the blue on the right is a bridge and the stack on the left is a climbing frame.


Grimms rainbow eyeball sculpture using a plastic ball
This grimms rainbow eyeball was actually an accidental creation by my 6yr old. She was initially trying to recreate the circular ball run {see bottom of this post} but then realised when she added a plastic ball that instead of a ball run fail she'd actually created an eyeball.


3D tree using the Grimms large wooden rainbow
I made this rainbow tree using 9 of the pieces when the kids weren't around. Use the biggest red piece as a base to balance the bottom of the tree pieces up then balance the smaller pieces on top.

Car made from a Grimms rainbow

You can even make a 3D car with the Grimms RainbowMarta on Instagram made this one. I've included the empty sideways view so it's easier for you to recreate at home. Be careful when you add the toy though because you don't want to collapse the car.


Grimms rainbow stacked as a person.

I'm so in love with this man my 6yr old made. She says this is a grimms rainbow dj because the bottom arches are his arms doing the decks at a party. I think it's pretty cool and it was really easy to stack. You could also make just the face and balance that on it's own.



HOW MANY WAYS CAN YOU STACK A GRIMMS RAINBOW?


This question is similar to how long is a piece of string? There is no specific number. The possibilities are endless. There are so many ways, and people are coming up with more ideas every day. My children come up with weird and wonderful creations all the time. To get you started though here are 17 different ways to stack a Grimms Rainbow that myself, my kids and a few friends from Instagram have created.


Semi circle grimms rainbow stack

My very first ever attempt at a rainbow stack was this semi circle stack. It looks pretty easy {and it is compared to a lot of the other stacks in this post}, however you still have to play around with the placing of each piece so the weight is counterbalanced right. Using the smallest piece to prop up the others makes it a lot easier.

Leaning semi circle rainbow stack
Of course when I started trying to stack the rainbow Trent had to have a go at it too. He tells me his version of a leaning semi circle stack is a lot better than mine because it was waaaay harder to get right. I don't know, you guys can be the judge on that.

Walk the arch grimms rainbow stack
This stack is called walk the arch because it appears as though all the colours are walking around the biggest arch. I first saw it on Jana's page and it looks deceptively easy, however it isn't. You have to start on the left then stack the red, orange and yellow piece and then finally carefully add in the green arches. It's a very delicate balancing act.
Grimms smiley face see-saw rainbow

My daughter created this smiley face seesaw stack by herself. She was trying to get it to balance and rock like a seesaw then realised after she added the blue pieces it looked like it had eyes and a nose. It rocked like a seesaw when she gently pushed it on the end.




Grimms wide arch stack about to fall

This wide arch stack might look relatively easy, but it's not just a stack, it's also a trick. If you line up the pieces correctly when you tap the very centre piece they'll fall perfectly back into place one by one to rebuild the rainbow. Spoiler alert, ours did not collapse properly and was an epic fail! If you want to watch it go to this post and click across to the video. It was probably more fun watching it fail {well for me, not Trent}.

Grimms rainbow reflections stack
This reflections stack Jana first created is actually pretty easy to do. Stack the bottom smaller pieces and then add the red piece and slowly balance each of the other arches inside. When you're finished it looks like the rainbow under the red arch is a reflection of the top one.

Peacock stack using the grimms large rainbow

I made this stack on a whim just fiddling around with what the arches could do. I dub this one the peacock stack because it totally reminds me of a bird fluffing it's tail feathers to show off. To make it you need to stack the arches under and over from red to the first purple, then slot the last 2 pieces into the remaining gap.

extended swan wing stack using large rainbow
This is the extended swan wing stack because it looks like a swan wing when they're outstretched. It looks even more impressive if you have two rainbows and stack them inverted side by side like Jana did here. If you look closely you'll see it's the same as the stack above just positioned vertically instead of horizontally.




To make this Grimms rainbow wide tower I just haphazardly stacked the pieces from largest to smallest on the left and right side from the bottom piece. Then I placed our Grimms friends onto colour coordinating sections. This one took a bit of patience, but I was doing it for an Instagram Grimms challenge so I persevered until it worked.


Grimms rainbow vertical stack using large rainbow
If you get bored of the low stack ideas, go high! The easiest way to stack a grimms rainbow vertically is to place all the pieces {except the smallest} on top of each other from biggest to smallest. It's a bit tricky at first {especially with a toddler constantly trying to knock it over} however, once you get the hang of it you'll be able to balance it like this in no time. Then it's time to move onto the more trickier stacks.

spiral stepped tower stack using the large grimms rainbow

Another fun way to vertically stack the Grimms Rainbow is this stepped spiral tower my Instagram friend Jana made. To make this one you'll need to stack all the pieces on their side moving each piece further to the right to maintain a centre of gravity. It may look relatively easy, but it's harder than it looks. Have a look at her post here to see what it looks like from above.


After seeing Jana's creation above, my daughter decided to make her own basic version of a stepped tower stack. She's been working on it non stop for two days before she got it to stack perfectly and now she won't stop making it. She said the sides look like steps for people to climb up. FYI this is actually quite a challenging stack for a 6yr old, but I've never seen her so determined or concentrated on one project for so long.

The girls made this bendy beanstalk stack with me. They started trying to make a lop sided stack themselves when I suggested we try and make a bendy stack that goes right then left like a zig zag. This is the best we could get it without it collapsing. 

My friend Jana from Playroom Stories also made this stack and dubbed it The Leaning Tower of Rainbow. How amazing is it? I haven't attempted this one because I'm almost certain I don't have the patience and I think it would involve a lot of swears. Jana managed to do it with this rainbow and the Grimms sunset rainbow, check them out here.

Grimms alternating circle stack with large rainbow

This circle stack has been my arch nemesis for months now. I've tried to stack it so many times and failed. I ended up conquering it with the help of my 6yr old {yeah I cheated}. I got her to stabilise some of the pieces for me as I added more on top and then thankfully it stayed together once we got to the top. Mission complete, finally! I think Alison and Dion were the first ones to make this stack.
Grimms tall circle stack
I made this tall circle stack late at night when the kids weren't around to "help". The cat still managed to knock it over because he kept trying to kiss it {boy did he get a shock when it came crashing down}. I ended up semi cheating by using the centre piece to balance the bottom circle. It did stand without the piece there, but not long enough for me to grab a photo.




Rainbow smoke stack tower using large grimms rainbow


If you have the patience of a saint and a lot of kid free time then I dare you to try this rainbow smoke tower that @love_of_wooden_toys first created. This one is Jana's, she's hands down the queen of rainbow stacking. I seriously don't know how she did it. There's a sneaky tip on her post here though if you're game enough to try it.



DIFFERENT WAYS TO SORT WITH A GRIMMS RAINBOW



Grimms rainbow animal habitat sorting

We often use the grimms rainbow to sort habitats for our animal figurines. The easiest way to do this is by stacking the different pieces into green {land/grass}, orange {desert/Africa} and blue {ocean} towers to differentiate between types of habitats like the photo above. It could also be done by using the pieces to make coloured rings and put the relevant animals inside the rings.
Grimms rainbow spiral colour sorting

The Grimms rainbow is great for colour sorting other smaller objects. I made this colour spiral with the rainbow and gave my big girl a basket of small toys and she colour sorted them all into the correct colour arch. For this one we only used 6 of the 12 pieces, however I've also seen colour sorts done by joining the 2 dark red pieces together, green pieces together and blue pieces together to make different colour circles for sorting. For more colour sorting ideas for toddlers check out this post.

My 2yr old made these colour sorted stacks all by herself without any direction. She was playing with the rainbow arches on the floor and next minute I looked up and she had successfully colour sorted and balanced each stack. Not going to lie, I was super excited when she did this!

My eldest made these colour sorted circles with the arches and then balanced them upright. There was so much problem solving and critical thinking that went into making these as well as colour and size sorting. These are the same type of circles I've seen people use for colour sorting when they're laid flat on the ground.




IMAGINARY PLAY: WHAT ELSE CAN A GRIMMS RAINBOW BE?


The Grimms Rainbow is more than just a rainbow and a stacking toy, with a little imagination it can be transformed into so many other objects. Ever wanted to be a mermaid? Now you can. Can a rainbow be turned into an animal? Yes, lots of them!



One of the first things we did with the rainbow when we got it was turn my then 4 year old into a mermaid. If your child is small enough {and will willingly lay down still} the rainbow pieces can be stacked over their legs to create a rainbow mermaid tail. We had a little fun with some props and took some photos of her as a mermaid to show her friends at kindy.

The kids toys can get in on the rainbow tail action too with this criss-cross rainbow tail. To make it criss-cross the rainbow pieces from the smallest up until the dark orange piece, over the top of a stuffed toy or doll. Then put the largest red piece straight across at the top. Make sure the top half of the toy or doll is sitting out above the tail.


Animals made from the grimms large rainbow. Crab, elephant, octopus, fish, dinosaur, owl, bird, koala and many others

Another really fun way to play with the Grimms Rainbow is to make rainbow animals. Hands down the best Instagram account I've found when it comes to making animals is The Way We Play. Gemma is a genius! The majority of her grimms rainbow animals are made using only the large grimms rainbow with the occasional addition of grapat rings or food pouch lids. The 12 above are only some of the many animals she's created, follow her on Instagram to see the rest of the menagerie.


We use our Grimms Rainbow as part of small world play set ups all the time. Sometimes we use all the pieces as an actual rainbow backdrop and other times we use certain colours to represent hills, tunnels or the sunset.

This is an example of where the girls used part of the rainbow as a tunnel for their train track. Not the best of photos because both the toddler and cat were doing their best to destroy it as quickly as their sister was setting it up. It was fun while it lasted though.

Grimms rainbow basic circle ball run


This is a really simple way to turn the rainbow into a circular ball run. Roll a small ball or marble along the gap between the pieces and it will spiral around til the end. If you search #grimmsmarblerun on Instagram you'll find heaps of ball run ideas using the Grimms Rainbow from super simple ideas through to mega elaborate ones that incorporate other items like the building boards and semi circles.


50 plus Grimms rainbow play ideas for kids and adults


Now you've got a huge taste of ideas to make with the Grimms Rainbow, let me excite you even more by saying there are so many more ideas out there. Regardless of whether you want to stack, build or create with the rainbow, if you search #grimmsrainbow or #createwithgrimms on Instagram you'll find loads more inspiration. If you want to follow specific Instagram accounts who are awesome at Grimms rainbow creations, I suggest you check out @playroomstories, @the.way.we.play, @familyinmissio, @_simply_bea_, @grimms_creations, @woodentoyplay and also @wander.mi.trio {who does awesome stacks with the smaller rainbows too}.


WHERE TO BUY GRIMMS RAINBOWS IN AUSTRALIA






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