Cardboard roll cuffs toddler craft

I volunteer with a local baby and toddler group, and my main job is to help organise the arts and crafts table. This week we’re doing decorated cardboard roll cuffs (inspired by Kids Activities Blog), and the mums tend to prefer a sample of ‘finished product’ so they know what they’re aiming for. So Child 1 (she’s been promoted) and I settled down this morning to make some example cuffs for the group to use as a reference.

Things you’ll need:

  • cardboard tubes (recycling!)
  • coloured paper
  • PVA glue and glue spreaders (popsicle sticks work as well)
  • sequins, spangles, beads (I made some very basic and not-at-all-durable paper beads), googly eyes, any small things you have that will stick
Recycle a cardboard roll into a cuff for your toddler to decorate and wear with pride. Cut a cardboard roll up the middle, then into the size you want; Apply glue to the roll, then stick on a strip of coloured paper; Trim the coloured paper to fit, then start decorating.
  1. Cut a cardboard roll up the middle, then into the size you want.
  2. Apply glue to the roll, then stick on a strip of coloured paper.
  3. Trim the coloured paper to fit, then start decorating.

We made six cuffs. It kept Child 1 occupied for an hour — with me helping her — while my mum looked after Child 2.

The perfect hard-boiled egg for a toddler’s lunch

hard-boiled eggs

I usually share lunch with The Child if we’re eating at home. And egg mayonnaise tends to feature once a week or so. If you’re picky and don’t like the grey bit that surrounds the yolk of an egg that’s been boiled for too long, here’s how to get the perfect hard-boiled egg:

  1. put an egg (or two) in a saucepan;
  2. add cold water;
  3. put on the heat;
  4. when it comes to a boil, turn off the heat;

    Tangent: do not go do something distracting while you’re boiling said egg, you may forget and your eggs will boil dry. Just sayin’.

  5. Leave the eggs for five minutes; then
  6. drain the saucepan and rinse the eggs in cold water until they’re cool enough to peel.

Add mayonnaise (one teaspoon per egg), plus whatever flavours / seasoning you like to make a yummy egg mayonnaise. I add dried onion and garlic, paprika, and a bit of shredded ham if I have it in the fridge. Other possible additions are: sun-dried tomatoes, cornichons, capers, pesto… look in your fridge, really, see what’s there.

‘Block’ dolls busy bag

With the baby coming any day now (I hope), I decided heading out every single day with The Child was likely to kill me. Not just because she knows I can no longer run after her — so she treats me to these evil grins and cackles (“You can’t catch me,” she actually says) — but because I’m so knackered when we get home in the afternoon that standing up and cooking dinner becomes impossible, and the frequent takeaways are simply not good for us, and boring as hell.

So today is a stay-at-home day. I’m glad I’ve made some busy bags that The Child actually likes, one of them is a set of ‘dressing up’ block dolls, but I’ve tweaked it to my own cheapskate frugal ways.

DIY block dolls from CherylStyle

First, I downloaded the images from CherylStyle (now Everyday Dishes and DIY), then sent it to my local photo-processing place to print as two a4 sheets on photo paper.

All that follows is fiddly, and took me a while to complete. I cut all the squares out, then used thinly-spread PVA glue to adhere them to a couple of sheets of corrugated cardboard (i.e. flaps from a box). I then cut them out again, and then stuck book-covering plastic over them for durability.

It would have been quicker if I’d bought some blocks, but a) I didn’t want to spend more money if I didn’t have to; and b) they fit in a clear, flat pencil case. I also expect that if The Child actually went to sleep a little earlier in the evening, I might have had more free time.

The Child played with them for well over an hour the first time she encountered them, and now they hold her attention for a minimum of 20 minutes, which in my world is 20 fewer minutes of, “I NEED to watch grown up Dora, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE”.

(For the kid who prefers robots to dressing up, there is also a free printable set of colour your own robot blocks from Plenty of Paprika. If you don’t mind splashing a bit of cash, Olliblocks are adorable.)