hintsandthings.co.uk »Nursery

Interesting and innovative ways to amuse children over five – games and things to do.

wpe2E.jpg (5011 bytes)






When using powder paints if you put a very thin coating of
petroleum jelly on exposed areas of skin the paint will be a lot easier to remove when you
are finished.

Thanks to Loretta M. Byrd

Egg Hunt

Pierce eggs with a needle or pin, both ends through shell.  
Hold over basin and gently blow through one of the holes to force the egg out of the shell
the other end.  Paint/decorate the shells (the children can help you do this) and
then hide them in the garden/house for an egg hunt.

Make your own sherbert/rainbow powder.

  • Sherbert
    – use a cup of icing sugar, mix with 2 teaspoons of citric acid
    and 1.1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. (Don’t use too much baking powder
    as it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste).

  • Rainbow Powder – use granulated sugar instead of
    icing sugar and mix different batches in pretty colours.  You can then pour the
    different colours into a small jar to make an attractive gift.  Or you can dye the
    whole lot yellow with food colouring and use it to make lemonade powder (this tastes just
    like the sweetshops’ lemonade powder that you don’t seem to get anymore).

All you need now is some liquorice to dab into
it – I remember it well.

  • Make interesting keyrings etc. by shrinking yoghurt pots and crisp
    packets into strangely attractive little dwarf packets by placing in an oven on a very low

Thank you Bekki May

I recently received an idea for using old CR Roms from Ms.
Catherine Kennedy which reminded me about making pom poms as a child.

  • Cut out two circles of cardboard to the size of the pom pom
    required (remembering the larger the ball, the more time and wool it will take).  Cut
    a hold in the centre of both circles.  Put the two disks together and wind wool
    through centre hole, over edges and back through centre hole.  Continue in this
    manner until disks are completely covered with wool and the centre hole is full.  Cut
    wool around outside edge, between two disks. Gently separate the two disks in order to
    allow you to tie through middle. Pull disk completely off (or cut away) and you are left
    with a pom-pom.
  • Dab a large blob of paint onto a sheet of paper and show the child how to create a
    design by BLOWING very gently with a drinking straw.  Use different colours to create
    different effects.
  • Draw an outline of an animal or any other object onto a piece of stiff paper.  Cut
    coloured paper, or an old magazine into small square and then show your child how to stick
    the coloured paper inside the outline to make a mosaic picture.
  • Thread a piece of ribbon, string or shoe lace with large buttons, painted cotton reels
    or suitable dried pasta, to make a necklace in seconds.
  • Mix one part washing up liquid with three parts warm water to make bubble mixture. If
    you don’t have a “blower”, twist one end of a piece of wire into a circle and
    form a handle with the other, MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO DANGEROUS SHARPS ENDS or,
    alternatively, unbend a paper clip or use a plastic covered bag tie to form a
    circle.  Dip into the liquid and blow.
  • When in the bath, rub soap between hands until there is a lot on both hands, dip quickly
    into the bath water, put hands together palms touching, gently pull palms apart leaving
    just index  finger and thumb tips touching forming  an “O” shape, do
    this until a soap bubble forms in the “O” shape, then blow gently into a big
  • To make a pretty box, line a shoebox and lid with felt, coloured paper or old material
    and let your child glue sequins, shells, cut out shapes, or buttons to the outside.

  • Cut out finger shaped outlines from felt, scraps of material or cut the fingers off old
    gloves, sew together to make puppets that fit over the top of a finger.  Paint, sew
    or stick on facial features.  If you cut out one side of a cereal packet this can be
    used as a theatre for the puppets.
  • Collect flowers and leaves, place between sheets of greaseproof or kitchen paper and
    press inside a heavy book for about 48 hours.  These can be made into pictures or
    placed in a scrap book.
  • When cooking little cakes with small children, pour the cake mixture
    into a jug as this makes it far easier for the child to pour it into the
    cake tins by themselves.

Thanks to Julieann Mcmillan for this

Other suggestions for
ways to amuse younger children under the age of 5