Monday 22 August 2011

Get your craft on

(Goblin is 22 months)
I have been feeling crafty this month. Here are a few things I have made for Goblin. He is currently 22 months.

Felt Counting fish

I found the idea for these Felt Counting Fish from "Counting Coconuts" 

I did mine slightly differently using the washers as the eyes and stuffing them with the remnants of felt left over from cutting the fish out. The beads were an ebay purchase - random bead bag bought by weight. The felt was also an ebay purchase from the felt fairy.
It took about a week to make my ten fish, I do my craft projects in front of the telly after Goblin has gone to bed so the quality and speed tends to vary depending on whether there is anything good on TV. 

Goblin was not interested in these at all when I first showed them to him which was a bit disappointing. But the other day Goblin's little friend came over and she really liked the fish and played with them until Goblin tried to steal them back (his current motto with play dates seems to be "what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine"). Obviously Goblin is way too young to understand the counting aspect of these fish but since his friend showed him how much fun they can be he has really enjoyed fishing for them. He uses a magnetic fishing rod from a Melissa and Doug fishing puzzle we already have. 

I have put the fish in a baby shoe box with the fishing rod and some number flash cards. I am (probably rather optimistically) hoping that eventually Goblin will learn to match the fish to the flash cards and fish for the right number when shown the card. But for now it is good fine motor skills practice just trying to pick them up with the magnetic rod.

Alphabet bean bags

I made some alphabet beanbags. I have been wanting to make some of these for a while but i had been faffing about not having any material to make them out of. Then the other day I remembered we have about 10 navy blue bed sheets that don't fit our super king sized bed (we bought them to use as table clothes at our wedding six years ago). So I got chopping and here are the results. These took quite a while. I cheated and used a sewing machine to sew up the bean bags but I did hand embroider the letters (mainly while watching The Killing - so it was slow going as The Killing is very good). I stuffed them with split green peas, haricot beans and yellow lentils that I had been storing in a big tub for Goblin to use when practicing pouring. 

Here is a little aside - these photos are Goblin pouring lentils and beans aged 20 months. As you can see, it started off well but rapidly got very messy. I have since discovered that the best way to do this activity is on a big blanket. Then any spilled beans can be bundled up in the blanket and poured back into the tub. 

Goblin loves the feel of the lentils and beans and we have also had fun burying his plastic animals in the mixture, searching for them and then matching them onto animal flash cards (more on this another time). One thing to note if you are going to do the bean/lentil activity -  don't use dried kidney beans. Apparently they are poisonous and can give your child a nasty stomach ache if they ingest them. Goblin still puts everything in his mouth so kidney beans were a big no no. We went for what ever beans were the next cheapest at the super market. Morrisons had green split peas for about 40p a pack - WIN!

Anyway, the bean mix has been sitting around for a few months so I used it to stuff the bean bags and I will buy some more at a later date. The tub that held the bean mix now holds the bean bags. I have some beautiful alphabet  flash cards from the illustrator of the hungry caterpillar.

I have been getting three cards out and three bean bags and trying to get Goblin to match the letters. So far no joy but he likes throwing the bean bags and he likes repeating the letter phonics if i say them. I'm hoping the cards and bean bags will come in useful when he's a bit older.

Story Stones
I saw the idea of story stones at Pre-school playI loved them so much I rushed off to Morrisons to buy some pebbles. Yes I know I should have taken Goblin for a walk and carefully searched out beautiful smooth pebbles to decorate. And by all means do that if that's your thing, but I like instant gratification so for 99p I got about 40 flat shiney pebbles. I then printed out pictures using Google images and picasa photos. Originally I glued the pictures on with PVA glue and put a layer of glue on the top to make them shiney, but Goblin put them in his mouth as soon as he discovered them and I rapidly decided I needed a more industrial sealant. So I purchased some quick dry clear gloss varnish from B+Q. It costs about £5 and works a treat - and you can use it to glue the pictures onto the stones too. And here are the results. 

I think Goblin is still a bit young to use these stones for actual story telling, I don't think he'd have the attention span (but I will try). However, he loves holding them and staring at them. I was surprised how much he liked them and played with them. The photo only shows a few of them. I made a metric ton of them. He really liked all the transport ones and kept shouting "Fire eh eh" (which means fire engine), and I'd hand him the fire engine stone. 
Today, while at Nanny's house, he somehow managed to break the fire engine stone in two. I will have to make another - I guess that may not have happened if I had taken the time to search for real pebbles rather than buying them at the supermarket. 


  1. Ray, your craftwork is brilliant, these are such good ideas, loving the alphabet beanbags and the story stones particularly.

  2. You have so many great posts. I love being crafty too, even when it's a project for my two year old. This post caught my eye because of the story stones. I have so many collected rocks right now and I've been trying all different things with them including heat embossing which I think you saw on my blog recently. I love this idea of using varnish and cut-out images to dress up the rocks. I've been trying to make a train out of our rocks to go with some of my son's train books and this is the perfect solution. I also adore those alphabet bean bags. So creative!


I have decided to turn off comments on the blog as I am being inundated with spam. I do this with sadness as I love genuine comments from readers. If you would like to leave a comment please email me at or visit the TamingtheGoblin FaceBook page (you can access it through the FB icon in the top right corner of the blog homepage).
Thank you for taking the time to read the blog.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...