Getting Crafty With Meadow Kids Mini Stencils

We recently received a Great Gizmos Mini Stencils set from Meadow Kids to review with my 5 and 3 year old girls. While this set is billed as ‘for girls’ which is evident from the over abundance of pink in the packaging, they are suitable for anyone who likes fairies, flowers, butterflies, dresses, crowns, shoes and other frilly and generally ‘girly’ things. stencils

The Great Gizmos Meadow Kids Mini Stencils set comes in a self contained box, which opens up as two drawers. In the drawers are 12 x stencil sheets with over 150 stencil shapes, 20 x sheets of framed paper (A6? If that’s a size), 6 x small sized colouring pencils, 1 x pencil sharpener, and a selection of blank cards and envelopes.

The stencil sheets and paper come in two spiral bound booklets, which is great because the stencil sheets can be left in the book and used that way, or removed and returned as needed – which I did the first few times, then decided they could live quite comfortably in the drawers without my interference!

The stencils are very thin, which initially I thought would see them break really easily, or they’d just be a pain to work with, but I was surprised by how solid they are. They are quite durable.

Great Gizmos Meadow Kids Stencils

Great Gizmos Meadow Kids Stencils For Girls In Action

I also thought the small size of the sheets would make them hard to hold onto while drawing the outlines, but the stencils all have a matt-style finish, which means they grip plain white paper pretty well and don’t slide around the page much.

I like that the kids can use the framed pages for practice or for adding to the envelopes, and obviously the card and envelopes are ideal for getting kids sending ‘letters’ to family and friends, which my two thought was a great plan.

Great Gizmos Meadow Kids Stencils For Girls Sample A

Great Gizmos Meadow Kids Stencils For Girls can make an artist out of me yet 😉

If you’re not excited by the pink set, there’s also a ‘for everyone‘ set and a blue set, both of which have over 170 stencil shapes, along with all the other bits. But thefor girls’ set is certainly good for most things girly girls like!


Learning Colours – Using Uncooked Pasta

In our quest to learn colours but not have to spend much money on the process, I’ve discovered a few tutorials on how to colour pasta in such a way that it is bright and bold and fun looking. The problem is, the majority of these methods include the use of rubbing alcohol, or surgical spirits, in the dye process. I find this less than ideal when you’re working with something for a two year old, quite frankly, so had been searching for an alternative.

I found one in the form of vinegar. Using simple white vinegar you can colour pasta with a little food colouring. It’s non-toxic, and toddlers aren’t overly keen on eating it after the first attempt anyway! (Unless they particularly like the taste of vinegar, perhaps!)

The process for making it is extremely simple, and I’m’ not going to walk you through it – you can see the original tutorial here – but will say this: You put pasta, a spoon of vinegar and food colouring in a bag, mix it up, leave it to air dry and play,  play, play. Easy peasy.

Here, however is what I do want to share with you. Our coloured pasta:

Doesn’t it look lovely?

And the games you can play are pretty endless. As a colour learning exercise, it was important that we discussed the colours and used a lot of repetition – children learn best by doing.  So we:

1) String the pasta

Making pasta necklaces is as old as childhood – or pasta – itself.  I decided that we’d stretch our fun out by saving that particular delight for another time, and on our first (and subsequent) pasta play efforts, we just strung the colours in different sequences, sometimes with me recommending colours, other times with Ameli just going for it and telling me which colours she was using.

2) Sort the pasta

Another fun game and amazingly engaging is sorting pasta into the appropriate colours. We just played with three colours here, but it was still a good sorting activity and again we were able to talk about and name the different colours.

3) Free play

The power of free play is amazing. When I leave Ameli to unguided play, she comes up with all sorts of things – like stringing up the pasta and then dragging it around the living room behind her calling it a car. Amazing.

What other games could we play with our coloured pasta?