Chocolate Muffins, Painting with Conkers & Magic Carpets

This has been a week for hibernation since my kids have been sick. I rediscovered my love for Activity Village and all the fun activities they have for kids. They girls did some Autumn puzzles and it kept them entertained for a while. Even when they are off sick, they still seem to be incapable of resting, so it’s a good way to keep them amused. They also had play doh mats, so you can make dough leaves to add to a tree, fruit to add to a basket, etc.

I’m addicted to the chocolate muffins from Starbucks, so I decided to make some of my own (minus the melted chocolate on top – although I might attempt that next time.) I’d never made them before and they worked out really well and were easier to make than I thought. I didn’t have any sour cream, so I improvised with yogurt and it tasted the same 🙂 Since they’re mini muffins it feels like you can have more than one too 🙂

I printed off some leaf templates for the girls and we did some dye art with tissue paper. They just painted patches of the paper with water, put autumn coloured pieces of torn tissue paper on top and then painted more water on top of the tissue paper. We left them to dry overnight and it did dye the leaves autumnal colours 🙂 I first discovered how well tissue paper works as a dye when the girls used it on our kitchen table – it’s still there about a year later 🙂

We went for drive thru coffee since proper outings haven’t been an option 🙂 I got a real Starbucks chocolate muffin too 🙂 I think making my own just reminded me that they existed and increased my need for one 🙂 My daughter is really into playing any card games at the minute, so we played one while we had our car coffee date 🙂 We drove to the beach and just sat and watched the sea with the windows open to get some sea air without going for a walk 🙂 It was really peaceful watching it 🙂

We also tried conker painting for the first time. We just used poster paints and painted with conkers instead of brushes. They make cool effects depending on their shape and which side you use 🙂 I made a couple of prints too because it was soothing 🙂 Painting like a kid is definitely one of my favourite things to do 🙂 It quickly descended into handprint painting and mess making too, as it always does 🙂

I decided to get the girls to help me with one of their jigsaws since they’re incapable of sitting still when they’re sick. I thought it would keep them in one place for a while, but they left me to finish it alone 🙂 I actually found it really therapeutic and it was more satisfying because I’ve never finished one of the thousand piece ones 🙂 (Plus the girls left me in peace for a while because they wanted me to finish it for them :))

We made some magic carpets from the girls’ art box. They got some dark blue paper for the carpet and had to decorate it with gummed paper and pastels. The girls liked the novelty of using paper they got to lick. Usually I discourage my daughter from eating paper so she was happy about it. (I don’t know why she still tries to do that at the age of six, but she does.) I really like when you give kids the same materials and the same project and they come up with completely different interpretations of it 🙂

This afternoon, we made some funny puppets from the girls’ art box too. They had to use lolly sticks, split pins, collage and patterned paper to come up with their own silly puppets. They made some really quirky ones and they loved it so much they were making them for longer than an hour (which is practically unheard of with my kids :)) I love the way doing those kinds of crafts with them slows my mind down and I find myself in a really good mood afterwards 🙂 (It’s also a good excuse to get out of cleaning :))

Our week has been very crafts-based, but that’s one of my favourite ways to spend time, with coffee, music and candles 🙂

Just a reminder that there are three of my art prints still available on my Etsy if anyone is interested.

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