Ayyam-i-Ha DIY Gift Wrap


It is that exciting time in our family when we welcome Ayyam-i-Ha – a Baha’i holiday that is celebrated for 4 days right before the last month in the Baha’i Calendar, The Fasting Month.

We have planned whole lot for the next 4 days:

1. I usually prepare 4 small gifts for each day of Ayyam-i-Ha
2. From the beginning of February, we do an Ayyam-i-Ha countdown and decorate our Ayyam-i-Ha branch with flowers.
3. We prepare decorations.
4. We invite friends over and go out for meals.
5. We sing, dance and play and spend these days in joy and happiness.

Today I would like to introduce to you the last minute craft you can have your children help you with – an Ayyam-i-Ha DIY Gift Wrap. I love making my own wraps and this particular wrap can be made for any holiday or celebration!

Materials needed:

– thing sheets of paper (I used soft paper for calligraphy)
– water colors and brushes
– finger paints and stamps

How to make it:

There is no strict rule! You can either use water colors with more water and a brush to make dots on the paper. Or you can use finger paints to draw designs or stamp the paper.


Dry your paper properly. It may crumble a bit so thinner paper is better. Our soft calligraphy paper dried within minutes.


Wrap your gifts now!

Happy Ayyam-i-Ha to you all!

painting eXperiments {A to Z Raining Day Activities}

 Painting Experiments
My children love painting. Playing with water paints, acrylic paints, tempura, finger paints – you name it! – is the most favorite time pass. 
When the weather is not good outside we color and paint. And we experiment with paint.Painting Experiments 11
Here are some useful tips on painting experiments:
1. Warning: painting experiments ARE messy! But you can contain the mess to an area by designating it and covering with newspapers or plastic table covers.
2. Try various paints and painting techniques:
make finger paint
– try painting with tempura paint
– try abstract painting
– explore with salt painting
– involve various objects in painting, e.g. q-tips, roller sponges
– paint on objects (seashells, rocks, leaves)
– have some fun with messy-less zippy painting
3. I am not kidding you when I say that your painting experiments can last for hours! So enjoy this experience thoroughly as it never gets old!
This post is a part of the A to Z Rainy Day Activities Series by a number of KBN Bloggers organized and hosted by Something 2 Offer!

rainy days

Be sure to check out other posts associated with each letter of the alphabet. In this post I linked X to eXperiments!
Take a look at the next post in this series: Y is for Yarn Maze by one of my favorite blogs Little Bins by Little Hands!

Salt Painting Techniques


This year I am taking time to collaborate with more projects that are in tune with my blog’s themes.

This month I am participating in two series. One of them is Painting Challenge: Fun Painting Techniques organized by Messy Little Monster.

I chose to work with Salt Painting Techniques. It is a very fun way of painting and it offers a unique sensory experience.

Supplies needed:

Construction paper
Water paints
Liquid glue (we made a homemade glue)
Stick glue
Colourful chalk




Since we will need colourful salt one way to dye it is to rub pieces of chalk against it. This way your salt will be dry and keep longer. The salt we used has been kept in an airtight jar for over 2 years!

Technique 1:

It is done with stick glue and salt. You can read more about it in one of my previous posts.


Technique 2:

Using liquid glue, make splashes on the paper. Generously apply Colored salt. Fold the paper into half, wait few seconds gently pressing on the surface. Now open for the result!


Technique 3:

Apply liquid glue on the paper. Sprinkle white salt over. Now, take the water paints and drip over the salt. The paint will spread on the salt and glue creating


Please check all previous posts on painting techniques!



Creative Tuesday: Painting with Q-tips

Welcome to Creative Tuesdays!
Today I will talk about a very good creative activity that helps with eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills development: painting with Q-tips. I am sure you have heard or even done it before. It is simple, quick to arrange and very engaging. The only downside I found is that so many q-tips get wasted. So in order to modify you can just use a toothpick or a matchstick with pieces of cotton attached on top and the toothpick and the matchstick can be reused until they break!
Painting with q-tips
How to arrange the activity:
1. Find some paints – any paints will do. We used finger paints which were a bit old and didn’t work well as finger paints anymore. You can also use home made paints, acrylic paints, water paints, tempura paints – anything you wish!
2. Set up the work space: prepare few sheets of paper (during painting activities we go through at least 3-4!), set the paints and enough q-tips for each color your child will be using.
3. This is a half-supervised or independent activity. I would recommend it to children from 2+ years old and up (though my now 2 year old also enjoyed it since she was about 1.5 years old; but needed  to be supervised 100%!) and the amount of supervision depends on the age. With younger children choose fewer colors and demonstrate them how to do it, plus keep an eye on them. With older children more colors create more fun and room for imagination!
4. At the end when you are done with q-tips, you can use some scotch tape and make a q-tip collage. Or simply stick the q-tips at the bottom of the paintings and display the paintings on the wall!
I hope you enjoy this activity with your children. It doesn’t require a parent to be super creative or crafty, it is simple to gather the materials and set up the work space as well as relatively easy to clean up!

Creative Tuesday: Revisiting Home Made Paint

I shared with you previously that we made home made paint and had tons of fun with it!
Today I’d like to revisit as this activity took place few more times at our house and it was always great fun!
It is especially useful as a non-supervised/half-supervised activity for older siblings (4 + in my experience but would of course worker better with older children) when you have a new baby!
Home made paint
Here are simple steps:
1. Mix the ingredients.
2. Pour them into paper cups and add needed color (could be food coloring or actual paints).
3. Grab a big piece of paper and paints and have fun!
The beauty of this paint recipe that it WILL come off easily so if you get it on the surfaces, all you need is wet wipes and/or damp cloth to wash the stains off. And they easily came off my daughter’s clothes as well after running them in a wash cycle.

Creative Tuesday: TP Roll Tree

As you have noticed I have been really trying to come up with very simple craft activities that any parent or other adult can supervise and explain easily to the child.
tp roll tree title
Today I will show you how to make a TP Roll Tree. I have seen some images of these trees here and there but I haven’t found a source on how to actually make it so I went ahead and did it my way. If you have this activity on your blog or know of someone who has previously posted this activity  -please mention in the comments!
TP roll tree
For this activity you will need a TP roll, a piece of construction paper cut in a shape of the tree top, some paints (you can use crayons, pencils or markers if you like).
Here’s how to make it:
On TP roll make small cuts where you would insert the tree top.
Insert the tree top.
Using small paint brush and colors, place many colorful dots on the tree top. You can also pain shapes of leaves, flowers and fruit if you like.
Decorate the TP roll aka tree body.
Let is dry. It makes a lovely decoration and you can create a whole forest for a play later!
I hope you enjoy making this activity with your children!

Creative Tuesday: Pencil Holder

pencil holder
We had an absolute blast making these pencil holders in my English class! They are easy and made from upcycle and left-over materials.
What you need:
TP roll
a piece of cardboard paper
a piece of construction paper
a CD
markers, crayons or paints
How to make it:
1. Take TP roll and cut one side into 8 pieces, about 1 inch long. Fold them up to resemble octopus legs so the roll can “stand”.
2. Using a CD, trace 1 circle on cardboard paper and 1 circle on construction paper. Cut them out.
3. Using the other side of TP roll, trace the circle right in the middle of the construction paper circle. Cut it out.
4. Fit the construction paper circle over the TP roll all the way down to the “octopus legs”.
5. Apply A LOT of glue on the cardboard circle and the “octopus legs”. Press both circles together tightly. Use clothes pegs to secure the circles in order for glue and paper to blend better.
6. Using markers, crayons or paints decorate the TP roll body.
pencil holder1
You pencil holder is ready as soon as the circles are stuck well together!
This activity takes between 25 to 60 minutes depending on child’s skills of cutting, glueing and decorating!

Creative Tuesday: When To Start Real Paints

There are so many wonderful activities for babies and toddlers to introduce them to safe, edible and fun finger paint and homemade paint.


The question I am often asked by parents is when it is safe to introduce *real* i.e. commercial paint, especially such as tempura and acrylic.

Continue reading »

Creative Tuesday: Painting Together

I am back with Creative Tuesday Series!


Painting together1

Today I want to talk about painting together with your child. In fact, doing all sorts of activities together with your child.

Miss T loves drawing and painting. Now that she is almost 5 she can draw, color and paint on her own which is a great opportunity for mama to do some chores and attend to miss A’s needs.  However, we still like to get together and do some painting. It is usually spontaneous and requires no preparation: we just grab paper, water, paints and start creating!

Painting together

What does painting together give us? It gives us a chance to bond. We review colors, shapes, name objects. We also let our creativity flow. We chatter about things that we want to paint or want to do together. All in all, painting together for us is a chance to have that needed mother-daughter time. Being a home-stay mom who takes care of 2 children, I rarely get a chance to do something with miss T alone, just the two of us. So we spend quality time during our painting sessions and let our creativity burst out in all its colors.

How do you spend quality time with your child/children?

Creative Tuesday: Mother’s Day Upcycle Flower and LadyBird Craft

I am back to Creative Tuesday with a lovely

Mother’s Day Flower and Ladybird  Craft!


I learned upcycling art in the most natural way – through re-using my daughter’s art creations to wrap presents, using cereal cartons, egg cartons, plastic bottles and other handy things from around the house.

Growing up in Russia we didn’t celebrate Mother’s Day per se, but we celebrated Women’s Day on March 8th. It is only when I moved to China I heard about Mother’s Day. But until now I get constantly confused when it is, so I thought it was last Sunday (May 5th) while apparently it is on May 12th! 

So, my daughter and her friend, and later – tots in my class, made this lovely Mother’s Day craft using miss T’s art creations, cereal boxes and left-overs from other crafts.

What you need:

Cereal box for foundation

(cut out one large rectangular or square piece)

Your child’s paintings or drawings


4 larger circles and 1 smaller circle

(you can use upcycle material or new paper)

2 cut-outs shaped as leaves

1 piece of paper that will serve as a stem


Red and black pencils or crayons


How to do it:

1. If using A4 paper  with art, fold into half length way and cut into thin-ish strips. If using A3, first cut it into 2 and then follow the same instruction as with A4 paper.

2. Apply some glue at the tip of the strips and glue the tips together. Separate the unglued sides. Repeat as many times as you need to make petals.

3. At the top corner of the foundation, apply some glue and glue the petals to create a flower. 

4. Take one larger circle and glue it in the middle.


5. Glue the stem and the leaves.

6. Anywhere where you have free space, glue on large circle for the body and smaller one for the head. Fold other 2 large circles into half, put glue only on one side of each circle, and stick them on top of the body to create wings.

7. Now the most fun part  – coloring! Color the middle of the flower yellow or orange or whatever color the child likes. Color the stem and the leaves green. Color the ladybird red, draw smiley face and antennae, draw black dots on the wings.


You can personalize this craft with writing the child’s name and a greeting.



Do you have any Mother’s Day Craft to share? Post your link in the comments or simple send me a picture

and I can share it on my blog/Fb page!