Ooh la la la la… (if you don’t have small children you won’t know what I’m on about) this week we’ve been mostly MAKING stuff. I know! Me doing anything “crafty” with the kids is almost unheard of because I find it deeply boring and I’m also one of those really annoying people who wants things done properly and so can’t stand to see a tiny child sticking a wheel onto, say, the roof of a picture of a car. I irritate myself no end. But this week, I don’t know, something came over me – maybe it was Christmas spirit, maybe it was just that there was nothing good on the TV, but we’ve been crafting.
On Monday, Joe wanted to make a sandcastle and I figured we could fashion a sandcastle picture with some brown paper. But then Harry said, “If you want to be even more creative…” and wrapped some brown paper round a cup. So we made a 3D sandcastle and it was ace.
Later the same day, I decided a snow fight was in order, but there wasn’t any snow. So we made snowballs out of kitchen roll and much fun was had. (Particularly when David came home and as soon as he opened the door, me and Joe let him have it with as many “snowballs” as we could hold.)
On Wednesday, I decided to take inspiration from Zoe at the wonderful Playing by the Book and make cornflour gloop. I first did this at a Parentcraft class I did a few years ago and was fascinated by it, then I made some for Harry when he was a toddler, but he wouldn’t even touch it. It’s really easy, literally just cornflour and water and I also bought some red food colouring to jazz things up a bit. I put down a blanket and newspaper and we all rolled up our sleeves (“Yike Katy!” – Joe) and dug in. It feels so peculiar – my favourite thing is rolling the gloop into a ball between my palms and then letting it melt through my fingers. Joe and Harry liked it dribbling off their fingers in long semi-solid strands. We must have played with it for about an hour and then I told them to go up to the bathroom, touching as little as possible. I totally forgot that Joe still uses his hands to help him up the stairs: two little pink powdery handprints on every step!
Last time I was in the library, I grabbed Nigella Lawson’s Feast because it was right there at the door, I love Nigella and I love, you know, food. I read through it, admiring the recipes but thinking there’s no way I could make any of it and then came across Granola Muffins. I’m a recent convert to granola and it’s now my second-favourite breakfast (after peanut butter and jam on toast) so I was intrigued. Last night I remembered to borrow a muffin tray from my mother-in-law and this morning I checked we had all the ingredients and, miraculously, we did (except for buttermilk, but I googled and found you can use 1/4 milk 3/4 yoghurt instead).
Joe came to help – “Mixin’, Mama!” – and it was all pretty straightforward. In the oven for 25 minutes and they actually came out looking like muffins. Last time I tried to make muffins they were stodgy, incredibly heavy, and almost inedible. These were a bit dry and chewy, but actually pretty nice. Harry declared his “Delicious”. Joe agreed that his was “Deeyicious” adding “Muffin nice, Mama!” I’m not surprised he was surprised.
And then, bolstered by the success of the muffins, we made salt dough stars. I’ve been meaning to make salt dough for ages, but didn’t realise it was actually quite as easy as it is. This didn’t go quite so well, with Joe getting annoyed when his stars stuck to the table and screwing up Harry’s stars in protest, which resulted in him going to bed for a time out and staying there for a two-hour kip! Harry and I finished the stars though and, while they were in the oven, all was peaceful… (Harry watched The Sarah Jane Adventures and Deadly 60, while I watched Parks and Recreation, read Rachel Johnson’s A Diary of The Lady, and did the washing up.)
We’ve just now decorated them and although it didn’t take very long, we all enjoyed it. And now we’ve got some star decorations for next year’s tree. Rainbow Hair at the front and Starface at back right are Harry’s; Rainbow Star in the middle and Santa back left mine; and Bonfire on the right and Stabbing on the left are Joe’s 😉 (Rainbow Hair is my favourite.)