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6 hands-on sensory tray activities you’ll LOVE

Sensory Hex Tray Blog

Bring on the tray play! Versatile, engaging hex trays give children endless learning possibilities. Also known as a tuff tray or sensory table, the humble hex tray is an open-ended, moulded plastic tray typically in a natural sand colour with a hexagonal shape inspired by the shape of honeycomb (you can also get a charcoal hex tray). 



Why tuff trays are a crowd favourite 


These trays are great for both indoor and outdoor use. (Our ‘hex tray’ features UV-stable plastic which is fade resistant). Use it on a tabletop, on the floor or with a metal stand. Add playmats (textures, roadway, rainbow, chalkboard) or bring your own imagination to the table!!! Self-contained hex trays make the perfect platform for messy play, small world play, sensory exploration and nature play. We’re looking at sensory exploration in this blog as it’s such an important part of early childhood development, allowing children to explore using their senses of touch, sight, smell, hearing and sometimes taste! Hex trays are ideal for creating sensory experiences due to their shallow compartments and ability to contain various materials including water (keep a towel or two handy)! Let’s dive into our sensory activities. 


Explore the deep blue sea 


Transform your tray into a mini underwater world. Some important days in the calendar give you a great reason to make a splash! World Reef Awareness Day on 1st of June is focused on protecting the world’s coral reefs. Then World Oceans Day will be celebrated on 7th of June this year to raise awareness about the critical role our oceans play in sustaining life on Earth. These days give you a wonderful opportunity to teach about our world’s shared oceans and our personal connections to the sea. Fill compartments with blue-tinted water, add sea creatures, shells and stones. Encourage children to explore marine life, discuss ocean habitats and learn about sea creatures’ characteristics. Introduce concepts of buoyancy, sink and float, and understanding of the marine ecosystem. 


Activity 1: Sensory ocean tray 

In this messy play experience, we combine small world wonder with elements of STEM magic. 


Ocean Hex tray


You’ll need:   

Hex Tray & Stand (SUN201K)  

Blue Craft Dye (EC102)    

Ocean Counters (LER0799)   

Watercolour Sponges (NAR089)   

Plastic Slip Syringe (SER1016003)   

Grassy Stones (TH9130)   

Transparent Shells (GUW8081)   

Zip lock bags (sandwich size)   

Muffin pan or freezer-safe bowls   

Shaving Foam  

Bicarbonate of soda  



Let’s make it!   

  •  Add a few ocean counters to a zip lock bag and fill with water. Secure tightly and lay flat in the freezer until frozen solid. Repeat for desired quantity.
  • Add ocean counters to a muffin pan (or bowl) and fill each section with water. Carefully place in a freezer until frozen.
  • Shake 2 x 1kg boxes of bicarbonate of soda into the hex tray.
  • Time to set the scene! Arrange the transparent shells, remaining ocean counters and grassy stones in the hex tray.
  • Remove the muffin pan from the freezer and let sit for several minutes; the ice shapes should slip out easily now, and to the hex tray scene.
  • Remove the frozen sandwich bags from the freezer, carefully remove the bag from the ice, discard the bag safely and add the ice bricks to the hex tray scene.
  • Add a splash of blue craft dye to a jug of water and gently pour into the hex tray over the bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add desired amount of shaving foam into the hex tray.
  • Add a few cups of vinegar (we used double strength) into a bowl accessible for children to fill syringes with and squirt into the water. Done! You’re ready to explore.


TOP TIP – If you’re enjoying this messy play experience indoors, keep a towel nearby for quick clean ups as the morning/afternoon progresses.  



Celebrate World Environment Day 


This event on the 5th of June has become the largest global platform for environmental outreach. Join the movement! Use your hex tray to explore climate, weather patterns, global warming, animal habitats, marine pollution, overpopulation, sustainable development, wildlife and plant life. Create a miniature landscape representing different climates, from deserts to rainforests. Use natural materials like sand, moss and small plants to illustrate ecosystems. Discuss the importance of preserving the environment and the role each child can play in conservation efforts. 


Activity 2: Wonderful world sensory tray 

Create a small world sensory tray with creatures great and small roaming the earth! 


  World Environment day Hex tray


You’ll need:   

 Hex Tray & stand (SUN201K)  

 All Weather Magnifying Glasses (GC4600)  

 Blue Magic Sand (CS1501)  

 Green Magic Sand (CS1502)  

 Natural Magic Sand (CS1500)  



 Animal & insect figurines   

 Pebbles (PNP055)  

 Pine leaves (SH9512)  

 Wooden farm fence (LB0021)  



Let’s make it!  

  •  To make the ‘soil’, add ½ cup of cocoa to the natural-coloured magic sand and give it a good mix through.  
  • Add all the different coloured sand and straw to the hex tray (we’ve sectioned the tray into wild animals, domesticated animals, ocean animals and insects, with each different coloured surface representing the land, sea, grass, and farm.  
  • Create a happy habitat by adding rocks and plants etc. to form a small world scene. Get creative! You might have some shells or flowers etc. on hand to add different colours, textures, and aromas.  
  • Carefully place the animals into their habitats along with magnifying glasses and you’re ready to play!  



Sensory Stories: Use your tray table as a storytelling prop for sensory narratives. Fill compartments with materials representing elements of a story about our world, such as cotton balls for clouds, blue water beads for the sea and small figurines for characters or animals. Encourage children to engage in imaginative play as they manipulate the sensory elements to retell the story or create their own narratives. 



Sensory nature play  


Using found objects in nature for sensory exploration is awesome, particularly in autumn and winter! Fill compartments with vibrant leaves of various shapes and colours. Encourage children to touch, feel and sort leaves based on texture, size and colour. Stimulate senses and promote descriptive language as children engage in tactile experiences with nature’s seasonal beauty. Explore the textures, scents and colours of each of nature’s treasures. 


Activity 3: Nature sensory tray 

Bold colours in autumn and winter offer an enticing invitation for children to explore. 


Nature Hex Tray


You’ll need:  

Hex Tray & stand (SUN201K) 

5kg bag of white rice 

Red vegetable dye (AFS126) 

Yellow vegetable dye (AFS140) 

Baking trays  

Baking paper 

Large zip lock bags 

Branch circles

Pine Cones

Natural leaves

Insect counters (TEB6013) 

Masking Tape (DP0504) 

All-Weather Jumbo Tweezers (GC4604) 

All-Weather Magnifying Glasses (GC4600) 

Eco paper cups (JM850) 


Let’s make it!  

  • Add coloured rice to the bottom of the hex tray and decorate with the natural resources, leaves and insect counters.  
  • Adhere lengths of masking tape over the top of the tray, creating a maze for children to work through.  
  • Place a pair of tweezers, magnifying glass and paper cup at each station for children to search and collect objects. Done! You’re ready to explore.  


How to colour rice:  

  • Add 4 cups of uncooked white rice to a large zip lock bag.  
  • Mix desired amount of vegetable dye powder with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and dump into the bag.  
  • Seal the bag well, then shake it around until the rice is coated in colour.  
  • Pour the coloured rice onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and spread out evenly. 
  • Leave to dry thoroughly for a day or so depending on the weather. To speed up drying time stir the rice around on the tray a few times to ensure air can access each grain as it dries, or place in the sun etc.  


TOP TIP – If children are helping to shake the bag of coloured rice, it can be a good idea to double bag (place the sealed zip lock bag of rice into another zip lock bag and seal again). 



Bring early literacy to life 


Transform your hex tray into a literacy wonderland to support phonics and early reading skills. Fill compartments with letter tiles, phonics cards or literacy manipulatives. Engage children in hands-on activities to match letters, form simple words and explore letter-sound relationships. Encourage storytelling and imaginative play to enhance language development and literacy comprehension. 


Activity 4: Alphabet fishing sensory tray 

With this tactile activity, children will be reeling in their alphabet catch in no time. 


Alphabet Hex tray


You’ll need:  

Hex Tray & Stand (SUN201K)  

Cotton Sensory Sand 6kg (EC234-6) 

Magnetic Letters (QT5452) 

Fishing Rods (ZZ001S) 


Let’s make it!  

  • Tip the cotton sensory sand into the hex tray and spread evenly. 
  • Evenly spread desired number of magnetic letters over the sand.  
  • Place the fishing rods around the outside of the hex tray, inviting children to fish a letter. Done! You’re ready to explore.  


TOP TIP – Younger children developing their hand eye coordination might enjoy working with magnetic wands to fish out the magnetic objects.  



Colour sorting & sensory exploration  

Use your tuff tray to introduce the concept of colour recognition and sorting. Fill compartments with an array of colourful objects such as buttons, beads or pom-poms. Prompt children to sort objects by colour, count each group and discuss colour shades and variations. Foster cognitive development and early mathematical concepts through hands-on colour exploration activities. 


Activity 5: Colour sorting sensory tray  

This tray activity combines tactile exploration with classification skills and fine motor dexterity. 


Colour sorting Hex tray


You’ll need: 

Hex Tray & Stand (SUN201K) 

Sorting Bowls & Tweezers Set (TEB6332) 

Sea Life Counters (TEB6012) 

 Vegetable Dye 

Assorted Pom Poms (SH1374)  

Popping corn 


Baking tray 

Baking paper  



Measuring cups  

Measuring spoons 


Let’s make it!  

  • Add the coloured corn, pom poms and sea life counters to the hex tray.  
  • Place the matching Sorting Bowls & Tweezers around the 6 sides of the hex tray as ‘stations’ to invite children to collect the corresponding-coloured items. Done! You’re ready to explore. 


TOP TIP – The vinegar coats the colouring onto the corn evenly and acts as a preservative to stop the corn from spoiling. It’ll last for ages! When you do finally finish, why not try sprouting the kernels in the veggie garden!  


How to colour corn:  

  • Pour a 400g bag of popping corn into a large jar/jug (old coffee jars work well).
  • Add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar (or 1/2 cup of double strength vinegar). Add a little more water if needed to completely cover the corn in liquid. 
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable dye/food colouring to the jar and give it a good stir.  
  • Leave to soak for 24 hours, pour into a strainer, and give a good rinse under the tap (the coloured water can be used for painting if desired).  
  • Pour the corn onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave in a warm sunny spot to dry thoroughly (stir the corn around to ensure all surfaces are dry) and then store in an airtight container/zip lock bag until ready to use.  



Texture Play: Fill compartments with a variety of textured materials such as colourful sand, rice, pasta, cotton balls or kinetic sand. Encourage children to explore the textures using their hands or even their feet for a more immersive experience. Discuss the differences between smooth, rough, soft and hard textures, fostering descriptive language and tactile awareness. 

Calming activities: Create calming sensory experiences using soothing materials like lavender-scented rice, soft fabric scraps or water with a few drops of essential oil. Encourage children to engage in calming activities such as running their fingers through the rice or feeling the texture of the fabric, promoting relaxation and emotional regulation. 



Exploring pre-writing & First Nations symbols  


Activities that explore cultural perspectives are fantastic to incorporate into your tray time. Fill compartments with symbolic items like animal figurines, traditional artwork or Indigenous symbols. Encourage children to explore the significance of each symbol, engage in storytelling inspired by Indigenous culture and practise pre-writing skills by tracing symbolic patterns. Develop fine motor skills and cultural appreciation in an inclusive learning environment. 


Activity 6: First Nations symbols sensory tray 

This activity combines fine motor skills development with the exploration of literacy using Aboriginal symbols cards. 


First Nations Hex tray


You’ll need:  

Hex Tray & Stand (SUN201K) 

Red, Yellow and Black sand (EC706, EC708, EC701) 

Easi Grip Brushes (CS2566) 

Aboriginal Symbols Cards (RICA1302)


Let’s make it!  

  • Empty the 3 containers of coloured sand into your sensory tray and gently smooth out.  
  • Place an Aboriginal Symbols Card and Easi Grip Brush at each ‘station’ for children to recreate.  
  • Use the Easi Grip brushes (or fingers for tactile memory) to recreate the symbols.  
  • Enrich the experience using language. Talk about the symbols; what they look like (is the symbol created with wavy lines, circles, dots, curves etc.), what does each symbol represent (meeting place, water, animals etc.) Can you tell a story using the symbols? What symbols can you find in the learning environment? Done! You’re ready to explore. 


TOP TIP – Younger children will benefit from the chunky barrel of the Easi Grip Brushes while older students will find a thinner brush more comfortable to handle. 



And so over to you for tuff tray time! We’re so excited to know what activities you use your tray for to encourage sensory exploration, messy play and small world play in your centre. What’s your favourite activity? Which will you be trying first? 




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How to build the ultimate indoor play space in your kitchen corner

Pretend play Blog header

Kids in the kitchen! 🌽🍳 Bringing play-based learning to life 


Children learn best through play. It’s a vital part of early childhood that encourages children to learn, develop and grow whilst having fun. In The Early Years Learning Framework, play-based learning is a central focus, and emphasises the intentional role of educators in enriching learning. (EYLF practice: Play-based learning and intentionality) 


Bringing a kitchen corner to life in your centre creates a stage for pretend play, role play and open-ended play that encourages imagination, language development, social interactions, sharing, as well as a sense of belonging and identity. A wonderful pretend play space allows educators to achieve EYLF outcomes such as: ‘Children are confident and involved learners; Children are connected with and contribute to their world’. So what are we waiting for? Time to whip up the ultimate indoor kitchen play space. 🍳 


Hot trends to look for in kitchen sets 


Trend: the real deal! 

They might be ‘pretend’, but the trend is for real-look play kitchens. This comes through in details such as soft close hinges, real tapware and contemporary materials. Love!! 


Trend: open furnishings 

Another trend is for open furnishings, allowing easy access to shelves and cooking play essentials! We love this, as it creates a visual feast that inspires play easily. 


Trend: modular 

Versatility is king with these new play spaces. Modular elements you can build and shape how you like to accommodate your space and move around to keep things fresh! 


Our top dream (play) kitchens… 


Coastal & cool  

This new Norwegia Spaces Coastal Kitchen Island & Bench Set has breezy fresh vibes for days. It leans into the trends with real taps and versatile kit elements (that also complement the Natural Spaces and other Norwegia Spaces ranges). Shop the set or the Bench and Island separately. 


8953_MulticulturalFood Set


Urban & awesome  

Urban chic, early childhood-style! This new Norwegia Spaces Urban Kitchen Island & Bench Set embraces the industrial look with its modern materials, black & white look and clean lines. Shop the set or the Bench and Island separately. 



Flexible & fun 


The Natural Spaces Open Play Kitchen Set of 4 is so versatile. We adore the open furnishings and modular aspect of this set that has a beautiful natural aesthetic! The set includes a kitchen bench, stove, sink and cupboard. Move them around however you like to inspire play! 


8953_NS Open PlayKitchen



Take a peek at the whole range: Kitchen & Home Corner Furniture 


Let’s get cooking! 

Now it’s time to stock up the cupboards and cook up some fun learning! We’ve handpicked 10 colourful food, health and nutrition sets to invite role play, conversation, open-ended play and group activities.  



1: Multicultural on the menu 


8953_MulticulturalFood Set 


Teach little ones respect for diversity and cultural responsiveness through role play & discussion with the Multicultural Food Set. It includes a Chinese Food Set, Japanese Food Set and Italian Food Set. Each set features food, plates, condiments and a menu. Each play food set is also available separately. 



2: Tuck into bush tucker 


Bush Tucker Resources


Play snap, read, prepare a pretend meal and chat about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander perspectives with this new Bush Food Kit. It’s focused on learning about traditional Aboriginal bush food in a tangible and fun way, encouraging role play while opening conversations about First Nations People and their culture. 



3: Teach about food allergies 


Food allergies resource


Help the little ones in your care learn about Food Allergies & Intolerances with this engaging card game. There are eight cards with food intolerances, 45 food cards, ambulance cards and more.  



4: Food bingo! 


Food bingo resource


For early literacy skills, association skills and critical thinking, you’ll love having a pack of Bingo (with 72 food items) in your kitchen corner. Each tile has an image on one side and a name on the other, so that children can practise learning associations with visual and verbal cues. There are flexible play options to suit children of various ages and abilities – match picture to picture; or word to picture. 



5: Match or sort the fruit & veggies 


Matching veggie resource


This new Fruit & Vegetable Match set lets little ones play and learn at the same time. There are 28 colour-printed wooden tiles, perfectly sized for small hands. Match the pairs, play a memory game or use the tiles to practise sorting food items: fruit vs veg; various colours; sweet vs sour vs savoury; seeds vs no seeds… it’s up to you! 



6: Learn about the food groups 


8953_The Food Group Book Pack


Potatoes, eggs or sour grapes?! Learn about food groups in a fun way with The Food Group Book Pack. This bestselling picture book series serves up a plate full of laughs, adventures and lessons with empowering and charming stories. There are seven books… from The Couch Potato to The Smart Cookie to The Big Cheese! 



7: What’s for breakfast? 



Get puzzling and prepare a yummy meal with My Breakfast Tray. This new tray from Andreu Toys will be so popular in your kitchen corner for pretend play. (Andreu Toys are committed to inclusive education, with a clear intention of promoting diversity). The wooden tray is served up with all its accessories, including toast, fried egg and more. Did someone say yum? 



8: Chop! Chop! Let’s hone those fine motor skills! 


Food cutting resource


With the Joseph Joseph Chopping Board Set, chop away with this licensed replica of Joseph Joseph’s colourful Chop2Pot folding chopping board. This fun set includes a safe-to-use Elevate knife and four pieces of ‘choppable’ food. It uses ChopPop™️ play food technology for safe play with no hook & loop fastenings or magnets in sight! 



9: Cake & coffee… let’s brew this!


Tea & coffee resource


With a cake mixer, tea set and coffee set in Melissa & Doug’s Wooden Appliances Set, you can mix it up or cook up some mud pies! Melissa & Doug’s hand-crafted designs use durable wood and other specialist materials that are popular with educators and children alike. 



10: Wrap your food & nutrition learning up in a bow  


Nutrition Curriculum Kit


Get the cupboards ready! Our Nutrition Curriculum Kit will help you stock up on all the pretend play food you could need! You can also teach students about healthy eating in a hands-on way. There’s a huge set of play food that includes meat, breads, poultry, dairy, sweets and condiments. There’s a 36-piece container of fruits and vegetables, plus a wooden play food crate featuring the five food groups. The kit also includes a floor mat showing the healthy eating plate, with food cards and teacher notes. It’s such a valuable resource to teach about nutrition! 


Head here to see even more Play Foods & Shopping ideas, Play Kitchen Accessories and Food & Nutrition activities. 


Key food, nutrition & health dates for your calendar 

We know your little learners will use their play kitchen every day, but these annual days are a perfect time to delve deeper into the world of kitchens, health, nutrition and food! 

🥕 National Eat Your Veggies Day – 17 June  

🍓 National Nutrition Week – 16-23 October 

🥑 International Chef’s Day – 20 October 

🍇 More fun food days this year 


We can’t wait to hear how you create your play kitchen corner!

For more inspo, check out our Brilliant Learning Spaces booklet


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Celebrating Matariki in the Classroom

Matariki Craft leaderboard

Haere Mai! Today we’re exploring arts & crafts inspired by Aotearoa New Zealand and the dynamic Māori culture. With some basic supplies, and a few simple steps, you’ll soon have a classroom full of creations inspired by the Land of the Long White Cloud.

We’ve got crafts for Matariki, the famous cluster of stars heralding the start of the Māori new year. Make your own feathered Piupiu or experiment with weaving & Raranga techniques. New Zealand’s national identity, the silver fern, has been honoured with clay. And of course, we have the unique and utterly adorable Kiwi. That’s only a hint of what’s to come…

Let’s get started!


Folded Stained Glass Matariki Star


Paper folding activities are brilliant for fine motor development as well as cognitive strength (improving perception, logical thinking, focus and concentration) all of which benefit children’s mastery of curriculum outcomes.

Celebrate the Matariki Star Cluster with these captivating 8-point stars. Made from stained glass craft paper, they let light shine through the colours, creating mesmerising folded lines and shades from light to dark. Satisfying to look at and make, you won’t want to stop at one!


Choose 8 pieces of Stained Glass Craft Paper and cut them into squares (alternatively use square shaped paper).

Fold one piece of paper in half (point to point) and then open out.

Fold the paper in half again (the other two points together) and then open out again.

You will now have 2 folds (in a cross pattern from all 4 points) in the paper to guide your next steps.

Turn the paper to face you like a diamond.

Fold the right side corner into the centre (the east point to the middle line).

Fold the left side corner into the centre (the west point to the middle line) creating a kite shape.

Glue these two sides down using a tab of glue stick.

Repeat steps 2 to 8 for the remaining 7 pieces of square paper.

To assemble the star, glue stick each side together, placing each piece on top of the previous one.

The final piece should tuck neatly under the first piece to finish off.

Done! Your Stained Glass Matariki Star is ready.


*TOP TIP – If you’ve chosen Stained Glass Paper to craft with and cutting it down into a square, the trimmings make the most beautiful additions to other crafts – feathers for birds or Piupiu skirts, lanterns, stained glass collage and more.


Featured Products;

Stained Glass Craft Paper – Pack of 24

Creatistics Glue Stick 25g – Pack of 12



Celebration Dough Stars


We use our hands all day, every day and so developing strength and dexterity in those small hand & finger muscles is critical for carrying out all the daily tasks we need to do. Working with dough (and dough tools) is a brilliant way for children to develop their fine motor muscles. Kneading, squeezing, pulling, pinching, rolling and snipping are all powerful ways to strengthen hands and fingers – all while nurturing creativity as children make & create.

To celebrate Matariki, we’re making sparkly dough stars! When your dough stars are finished, you’re ready to squish them up and make them all over again! Any teacher will tell you that the squishing of dough creations is just as much fun as making them!

However, if you’d like to make permanent stars to take home, simply swap the Creatistics dough for Silk Clay or Magiclay which will dry and harden when exposed to air. When you’ve finished playing, simply shape into stars and set aside to dry – don’t forget to poke a hole in the top for hanging thread and beads if desired too.


Choose your desired dough colours and portion out for each child.

Sprinkle glitter and glitter stars on the table, inviting children to dab their dough on them and mix through as desired.

Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough to roughly 1cm thick.

Using the star or shooting star cookie cutter, press gently into the dough until its cut all the way through.

Gently remove your glitter star and admire.

Repeat as desired!

*TOP TIP – Creatistics glitter shakers make it super simple for children to sprinkle their own glitter and stars in small ‘bite size’ portions developing their autonomy as their experiment with different sensory mediums.


Featured Products;

Creatistics Skin Tone Dough

Creatistics Pastel Dough

Metal Cutters


Glitter Stars



Stained Glass Art Stars


There’s just something extra special about stained glass art. The cheerful colours bring joy to the learning environment, and when the sun reaches just the right spot in the sky, it shines through all those beautiful colours to light up the room in festive rainbows.

Super simple to make, these Stained Glass Art Stars can be crafted using a few basic craft materials, and yet they make a huge impact in a classroom celebrating the start of the Māori New Year. Read on to make your very own Matariki stars.


Using a pencil and ruler, finely mark 1cm lines running the length of the black card.

Carefully cut along the pencil markings, making black card strips.

On a flat surface, arrange 5 strips of card into a star shape, with the ends touching.

To secure your star apply a touch of glue stick where the strips of card meet.

Gently apply glue to one side of the star.

Place Stained Glass Craft Paper or Cellophane onto the star, gently pressing into the glue to hold in place.

Carefully cut away the excess stained glass paper or cellophane, leaving a neat edge that can’t be seen from the other side.

Continue steps 6 and 7 until all the open sections (windows) of the star have been filled with colour and trimmed to fit.

Gently apply glue stick to 5 more strips of black card, and gently lay them over the back of the decorated star, sandwiching the ‘stained glass’ inside.

Using scissors, carefully trim the stars points into clean edges.

Set aside to dry thoroughly.

The stars can be stuck to windows or hung in the classroom by attaching a string or ribbon loop to the top point.

Done! The perfect Stained Glass Star is ready.

*TOP TIP – Cutting the stained glass paper into quarters, or cellophane into smaller pieces will be more manageable for younger ages to work with.


Featured Products;

Mount Card Black 220gsm A4

Stained Glass Craft Paper

Assorted Cellophane

Creatistics Glue Sticks



Metallic Glitter Glue Stars

Matariki Metallic Glitter Glue Stars

Celebrate the start of the Māori New Year with a classroom shining bright with Matariki stars. With a simple cardboard base, aluminium foil covering and glitter glue embellishments you’ll soon be on the way to having your own night sky constellation. Keep as they are to stick to walls and windows or punch a hole to attach hanging thread for dangling from the ceiling, in any which way they’ll be a sight to behold!


Using thick cardboard, draw or trace the shape of a star with a pencil and carefully cut the shape out with scissors.

Apply a small layer of glue to your star and then carefully wrap with aluminium foil, or foil sheets – folding the foil over the points of the star until both sides are covered (adding dabs of glue as you go will help the overlapping edges stay firm.

Set aside to dry thoroughly.

Use glitter glue to draw lines over the aluminium foil, creating sections and patterns. If using different coloured foil sheets, create glitter glue lines directly over the edges of each coloured paper.

Set aside to dry thoroughly.

Use a hole punch to create a hole, and thread desired length of metallic yarn through to hang.

Done! Your Metallic Glitter Glue Stars are ready.


*TOP TIP – Creating stars of different sizes to represent the various stars in the Matariki cluster, transforming your learning environment into the night sky.


Featured Products;

Large Poster Board

Foil Roll

Foil Sheets

Glitter Glue

Washable School Glue



Cardboard Weaving Baubles


Not just a weaving activity! These Cardboard Weaving Baubles foster the development of creativity, fine motor skills maths knowledge too! That’s right, your students will be learning their times tables as they weave. Simply use the 10 points around the bauble to multiply and weave a pattern. Each point represents the last digit of each of the times tables. Included in each pack are teacher notes and images to follow along.

Pair your baubles with packs of bold primary coloured yarn, and supplement with individual colours of our choosing, in orange, pink, purple, dark blue, light blue, grey or brown. Older students might like to use embroidery thread to create their weaving works, offering a more refined finish. Leave as simple yarn weaving or add some sparkly embellishments as desired. Let your inner creativity guide you along.


Choose your desired coloured weaving bauble.

Cut long lengths of your chosen yarn/thread, wrapping it around the bauble and tying the end securely at the back.

Start to wrap the yarn around the bauble, letting the notches guide your pattern.

When all your notches have been used, securely tie the yarn off at the back and snip off the excess.

Choose to finish off with some embellishments or keep on weaving.

Choose a contrasting coloured yarn, cut a medium sized length, and tie one end to some yarn in the middle of the bauble, tucking the tail end under to hide.

Weave the contrasting coloured yarn over and under the first coloured yarn, creating a weaving pattern as you make your way around the circle.

When your contrasting yarn runs out of length simply tie another colour on and keep on weaving (remembering to tuck the tails under your weaving design).

When you’ve run out of bauble room to weave, tie off securely and tuck the last tail in to hide it.

Finish off by tying/ or gluing a short length of yarn/string or ribbon to the top of your bauble in a loop to hang it from.

Done! The perfect Raranga bauble is finished.

*TOP TIP – Younger students will find shorter lengths of yarn more manageable, while older students will feel capable to experiment with longer yarn lengths, complex patterns and colour formations.


Featured Product;

Cardboard Weaving Baubles



Matariki Clay Stars

Matariki Clay Stars

Air dry clay, cookie cutters, wooden stamps, and glitter glue – yes please! So many crafting favourites feature in this extra special Matariki clay star ornament activity. The end results will proudly adorn the classroom and then taken home where they’ll be treasured for years to come. They’re so much fun to make you’ll soon have one for all your loved ones!


Using a wooden rolling pin, roll out a handful of air-dry clay until it is smooth and flat (roughly 1cm thick to ensure your decorations are sturdy).

Press the star cookie cutter shape into the dough and press firmly until it cuts through the clay.

Gently remove the excess clay (this clay can be used again or used to make extra embellishments including clay beads).

Next, gently press star block print stamp into the clay star and lift, creating an indented pattern.

Using a skewer or the pointed end of a pencil, gently poke a hole in the top of your star (ensuring your hole is large enough to thread your chosen cord or twine).

Lift your decoration and gently smooth down the edges with your fingers (a little bit of water on your fingers will help with super smooth edges).

Set aside for 48 hours, or until completely dry.

When the star ornament is completely dry (clay will lighten and feel firm to the touch) add a thick layer of glitter glue to the surface, letting the glue flow and sit in the indented pattern.

Set aside to dry for 24 hours.

Adding several layers of glitter glue (and setting aside to dry between layers) will add extra shine and lustre to your decorations.

When your ornament is completely dry, thread your desired length of metallic embroidery thread through the star, and tie in place with a knot.

Done! The perfect Matariki clay star decoration is ready.

*TOP TIP – Gently pressing rhinestones into your wet clay decorations will add an extra special touch to your stars.


Featured Products;

Air Dry Clay 1kg

Glitter Glue


Cookie Cutters




Sparkly Matariki Popstick Stars


Pop stick crafts have been a part of our childhood for generations – and rightly so! Their versatile open ended possibilities act like a blank canvas, allowing children’s imaginations to craft them into the most amazing things. Working the thin pop sticks (and embellishments) into place will build children’s focus and concentration, developing their fine motor dexterity along the way too. Work planning and design into your creations to build STEM and STEAM focused lessons too!

Keep a natural feel with plain pop sticks or go for a bold statement with coloured pop sticks, which ever crafting style you choose, your pop stick Matariki stars are sure to brighten the sky!


Count out 5 or 6 Paddle Pop sticks per star and arrange them into their star formation as pictured (the tips of the pop sticks meeting up with each other to form the points).

Use strong craft glue to adhere all the parts of the pop sticks that over lap/touch each other.

Set aside to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

When thoroughly dry your star will be strong enough to handle and decorate.

To decorate, apply a layer of paint and/or strong glue to the front of the star and stick on your desired number of embellishments.

Finish off with some dabs of glitter glue – the more sparkles the better!

If hanging your stars in the classroom, tie a length of string, cord or ribbon to one of the points and firmly tie off making a loop to hang.

Done! The perfect Matariki star is ready.

*TOP TIP – Younger age groups will find Jumbo Pop Sticks and Bio Glitter easier to handle than regular sized pop sticks.


Featured Products;

Paddle Pop Sticks – Pack of 1000

Glitter Glue

Strong Craft Glue

Glitter Stars

Mixed Rhinestones

Star Sequins



Iron-on Bead Stars


Iron-on Beads welcome children to create. They work like open-ended craft materials, inviting children to arrange them into any number of scenarios. Perfect to make jewellery or key tags, trinket bowls, coasters, embellishments and so much more – literally anything your imagination desires. And with so many colours to choose from, children can experiment with creative design as they work with colour and pattern making.

And this star shape is perfect to celebrate Matariki! The beads easily arrange on a bead board; just lay on a piece of ironing paper and with a quick iron over, the beads melt together to hold their shape. It’s super easy! Children can also use them as traditional beads, incorporating weaving into their works as they stitch through the bead openings – ideal for beaded jewellery or finishing off a hanging decoration.

Available in so many shades, choose from vibrant colours and the handy vibrant pack, pastel colours and the handy pastel pack or bright neon if you’re feeling like some flare. And for younger age groups, they might find the jumbo sized beads more workable along with their jumbo sized square bead boards.


Arrange the iron-on beads into a star design on the star shaped bead board.

Warm a household iron to high making sure the steam is off.

Cover the design with a sheet of ironing paper and iron over until the beads start to melt and fuse together into a colourful and flexible shape.

Allow your design to cool before removing from the bead board.

Your Matariki star can be made into a magnet by sticking a self-adhesive magnet to the back, or turn your star into a hanging decoration with string and beads.

Done! The perfect Iron-On-Bead Matariki Star is ready.

*TOP TIP – Hot irons are not for young children. Have an adult help or complete the ironing steps.


Featured Product;

Creatistics Iron-on Beads Pack



Air Dry Clay Fern Dish

NZ Clay Fern Wall Hanging

Clay is valuable resource, inviting children to form their creative imaginings into solid works to treasure forever. It’s a beautiful way to connect to nature too, ethically using the resources our world offers in meaningful ways.

Air Dry Clay can make all sorts of wonderful works without the hassle of expensive kilns too. It’s also the ideal medium to make small plates and bowls, like these beautiful NZ Fern dishes– acting as desktop paperweights or handy holders for keys, coins, jewellery, and other small items. Not to worry if you haven’t got ferns close by, feel welcome to use any plants or flowers significant to your local area so that your clay dishes will reflect your own deep connection to the land.



Divide 1kg Air Dry Clay packets into roughly 6 portions.

Using a rolling pin, and a flat surface roll out each portion to roughly 1 – 2cm thick.

Lay a cutting of a fern onto the clay and gently roll over the fern so that it leaves an imprint.

Carefully lift the fern off the clay.

Gently cut away excess clay with clay knife.

Gently lift the fern dish off your flat surface and use a little bit of water on your fingers to smooth the edges.

Gently place the clay into a shallow bowl (be carefully not to press the clay into the bowl)

Set aside to completely dry for a few days.

When thoroughly dry, decorate with paint and glitter glue as desired and leave to dry.

When thoroughly dry, coat with PVA Washable School Glue or Crystal Clear to provide a barrier to dirt, tarnish, wear stains and moisture.

Done! The perfect Air Dry Clay Matariki trinket tray is ready.

*TOP TIP – Appyling a dark shade of paint to the fern imprint and a light shade to the background will make the fern detail pop from the background.


Featured Products;

Air Dry Clay 1kg

Glass & Tile Paint

Crystal Clear

Creatistics Poster Paint – Green



Woven 8 Point Matariki Star


Paper weaving uses the same ‘over and under’ techniques of textile weaving, taking basic materials and weaving them into beautiful artworks. Just as stunning as the Matariki star cluster in the early morning sky during New Zealand’s mid-winter months, your classroom will look spectacular covered in stars. They also make the most adorable bunting, simply attach the stars to string or ribbon and hang around the learning environment for smiles as bright as the sky. You can even add a touch of bio- glitter or glitter glue to add a sparkle to your designs.

We’ve added the written step by step guide below; however, you might find working through the many videos online for ‘paper weaving stars’ visually helpful. Paper stars may look and sound tricky to make but you’ll soon have plenty!


Choose 4 colours of craft paper strips and using a ruler, draw a feint pencil line down the lengths of the strips and then cut along the lines. Take 4 of those strips to make 1 star.

Fold the 4 strips of paper in half, creasing down the middle.

Lay the first strip down in front of you on a table with the fold pointing to the left and the open end pointing to the right.

Take the 2nd strip of paper and pointing the fold towards you open the ends and sandwich the first strip inside the 2nd strip (you will now have an L shape), take the 2nd strip a few cm down the length of the 1st strip.

Take the 3rd strip of paper and pointing the fold to the right, open the ends and sandwich the 2nd strip inside the 3rd strip.

Take the 4th strip of paper and pointing the fold away from you and end towards you, fold the 4th strip of paper around the 3rd strip.

Slide the ends of the 4th strip into the loop pf paper in the 1st strip.

Gently pull the ends of all four paper strips to tighten your weaving. It should look like a pinwheel shape (a square on the inside and the 4 paper strips pointing N, S, E and W).

Starting at the right side lift the top flap of paper and fold it to the left across the middle of the star.

Repeat step 9, moving clockwise around the star lifting the top flat of paper and fold it upwards across the middle of the star.

Finally, you’ll fold down the flap at the top of the star, but this time tuck the end of the flap inside the loop of paper created by the first flap you folded. Gently pull it all the way through to complete this stage.

To make the points of the star, take the top right strip and fold it backwards or under to make a right angled triangle and crease.

Fold that same strip down at a right angle again so that it forms a triangle shape (leaving a tiny gap running down the centre of the triangle will help with the next step).

Fold the triangle you just created in half towards the centre of the star to create 1 star point.

Fold the end of that strip under the first square of the centre it’s sitting on top of and trim off the excess.

Repeat steps 12 to 15 for all the star’s points (you’ll finish with 8 points).

Done! The perfect Woven 8 Point Matariki Star is ready.

*TOP TIP – Using 4 colours of paper will help you to work through each of the steps, keeping track of your weaving as you go.


Featured Product;

Craft Paper Strips



Paper Weaving


Weaving is a living artform, techniques evolving and adapting through time right up to the present. And with so many different paper options to choose from, your woven paper artworks can be as imaginative as you like. From pastel to fluorescent, bright, coloured, kinder, nature, nature trail or even magazines and newspapers as some of the options, everyone’s Raranga patterns will reflect their own unique style. Weave in straight lines or switch it up with 45 degree angles and formations for more complex patterns. There’s no end to options once you get started.


To make the weaving frame, use a ruler and lead pencil to draw 1cm lines running the length of your paper (an A4 sheet of paper will fit 20 lines, giving you 21 sections).

Carefully cut along these lines – DO NOT CUT THE WHOLE LENGTH – make sure to leave a 1 to 2cm section at one end.

Use sticky tape or washi tape to attach the frame to your desk to hold it still.

With a contrasting piece of paper (as many colours as you like), repeat step one, drawing 1cm lines down the length of the paper.

Carefully cut the contrasting paper lines the whole length (these long strips will be your weaving paper).

Weave your contrasting paper through the weaving frame, weaving over and under the whole way along.

Carefully push your weaving paper up the frame so that it sits flush with the top.

Repeat step 7, each time gently pushing your paper up so that it sits flush with the previous row.

Continue weaving until your weaving frame is full.

To finish off, use a glue stick to adhere the edges in place (or sticky tape/washi tape).

Snip off the extra ends if desired.

Done! The perfect Paper Raranga artwork is ready.

*TOP TIP – Older students might like to work with even thinner strips of weaving paper (or even A3 paper), while younger age groups will benefit from wider weaving frames and strips.


Featured Products;

A4 Coloured Cover Paper

A4 Kraft Paper

A4 Pastel Paper

A4 Skintone Paper

Plastic Ruler



Sparkly Shooting Star Wands


Aotearoa proudly boasts a stunning night sky. With little to no light pollution in many parts of both the North and South Island, the night sky appears closer and beautifully clear. If you watch closely, you might be lucky enough to see a shooting star.

These adorable shooting star wands combine papier mache techniques with paper art to make a sturdy prop ideal for both classroom decoration and pretend play! For this craft experience we’ve used the stars from the Papier Mache Christmas Ornaments (20 stars), using the remaining ornaments later in the year for Christmas crafts, but you can easily substitute the stars for cutting out your own with a few layers of thick cardboard, or upcycling delivery boxes.


Apply a good layer of glue stick to one side of the star and press onto a piece of foil paper, using your fingers to smooth the surface.

Roughly cut around the star, leaving some overhang to fold over the back of the star.

Apply glue stick to the reverse side of the star and press the overhang foil down.

To neaten the reverse side of the star, use the star to trace and cut a star foil, pressing it down on the reverse side to cover the folded edges.

Cut 6 long and thin lengths of tissue paper, and glue them to the back of the star using school glue.

Add another dab of school glue to the back of the star and press a pop stick into the glue and over the ends of the tissue to sandwich them in place.

Set aside to dry.

When thoroughly dry, decorate the front of the star with rhinestones, glitter stars and glitter glue.

Set aside to dry for 24 to 48 hours.

Done! The perfect Sparkly Shooting Star Wand is ready.

*TOP TIP – To turn your wand into a decoration, omit the pop stick and add a loop of ribbon to hang.


Featured Products;

Papier Mache Christmas Ornaments

Metallic Foil Sheets

Creatistics Glue Sticks 25G Pack of 12

All Purpose Washable School Glue

Mixed Rhinestones 100g Pack

Glitter Stars – 100g Jar

Coloured Tissue Squares

Paddle Pop Sticks Plain



NZ Shrink Film Keychains

NZ Matariki Shrink Film Keychains

Shrink Film works like drawing on a piece of paper – only so much more fun! When you’re finished with your design, simply cut it out, punch a hole in the top (to thread into), and bake in the oven. You’ll see your design shrink before your very eyes! When it’s completely cooled, you’ll see it’s now a durable hard trinket ready to transform into a myriad of things.

Necklaces, bracelets, key chains, bag trinkets or car rear view mirror accessories are all super simple to make. Just thread some beading cord or leather through the hole, add some beads and finish off with a key chain as desired. Keep for yourself or gift to loved ones, these super simple decorations are sure to delight!

Read on to make your very own Matariki Star keychain – or Kiwi, NZ fern or anything your imagination desires. There’s no limit to your creations.


Draw your star keychain designs onto the shrink using the matte side with coloured pencils or permanent markers (feel welcome to use a star template for precise measurements).

Carefully cut around design and punch a hole to attach the beading cord.

Pre-heat oven to 150°C.

Place your star designs on a lined tray (matte side up) and bake.

Plastic will begin to shrink after 10 seconds, watch carefully! They will shrink to approx. 60% of the original size.

Remove from oven once plastic has flattened and set tray aside to cool completely before handling.

Thread beading cord through the shrink film stars and add desired number of beads.

Firmly tie the cord onto the key chain to hold everything in place.

Done! The perfect Matariki Star keychain is ready.

*TOP TIP – Coloured pencil markings will darken in the oven; a very light shading is all that’s needed for bright vibrant colour.


Featured Products;

Clear Shrink Film

Coloured Pencils

Key Chain

Natural Beading Cord

Wooden Coloured Beads



NZ Clay Wall Hanging

NZ Clay Fern Wall Hanging

The shape of the New Zealand silver fern has a significant meaning – a sense of attachment to homeland along with the frond’s upright stance standing for strength, stubborn resistance, and enduring power. Not just beautiful, the fern plant has many uses. It’s trunk, foliage, sap and spikes have all being used for countless generations, making this stunning plant the ideal choice for our NZ Clay Wall Hanging. We’ve chosen to use the fern’s fronds just as they’re unfurling to signify the start of something new.


Using a rolling pin, roll out a handful of air-dry clay until it is smooth and flat (minimum 1cm thick to ensure your creations are sturdy).

Gently press a New Zealand fern (or desired NZ flora) into the clay – a rolling pin can help press the plant into the clay.

Gently lift the fern off the clay, leaving its imprint behind.

Carefully cut your rough clay into a circle or square – using a template or plate can help with precise measurements (excess clay can be used again or used to make extra embellishments including clay beads for hanging decorations).

Gently press a skewer through the top of the clay to form a hole/holes to thread wire or hanging cord into (ensure your hole is large enough to thread your chosen cord or wire).

Lift your decoration and gently smooth down the edges with your fingers (a little water on your fingers can help).

Set aside for roughly 48 hours or until thoroughly dry.

When the clay ornament is completely dry (clay will lighten and feel firm to the touch) decorate with paint and glitter glue, allowing the darker shades to settle into the indented pattern (a light shading first, and going in again with a darker colour can help the pattern to ‘pop’).

Set aside to dry for 24 hours in between painting/gluing.

When your ornament is completely dry, thread your desired length of wire, cord or twine through the decoration, and tie in place with a knot.

Done! The perfect NZ Flora and Fauna inspired Air Dry Clay decoration is ready.

*TOP TIP – Older students will likely enjoy using wire to form a hanging loop, while younger students might find it easier to work with twine/cord or ribbon.


Featured Products;

Air Dry Clay 1kg

Glass & Tile Paint

Crystal Clear

Craft Wire



3D Paper Kiwi

3D paper Kiwi

These adorable Kiwi’s offer children the ability to make their own creation bursting with personality. The free form shapes and choice of materials will make sure every bird is unique. We’ve used coloured paper to form our 3D Kiwi, but felt sheets are a terrific alternative for young students experimenting with textiles. Younger children might like to make a two dimensional Kiwi, working with flat paper and omitting the layers with padding inside. The beauty of this paper Kiwi activity is the ability to adapt it to children’s ages and abilities. Read on to make your very own national treasure, unique to New Zealand.


Put 2 pieces of A4 brown paper on top of each other and carefully draw a large rough egg shape with a circle attached (this will be the Kiwi’s body and head).

Keeping both pieces of paper together, carefully cut along the drawn line.

Fold a darker shade of paper in half and roughly draw a Kiwi’s legs.

Carefully cut the Kiwi’s leg out, keeping the paper folded so you’ll have 2 legs.

Apply glue stick to the perimeter of your Kiwi’s body & head.

Place the 2 legs at the bottom of the body and add a small number of tissues or kitchen roll to the centre.

Gently place the matching body & head shape over the top of the 1st, smoothing down the edges to keep the legs in place and the tissues inside.

On another piece of matching brown paper, roughly draw 2 wings and cut them out.

To make the look of feathers, cut long thin fringing slices to the lower part of the wings.

Apply glue stick to the top of the wings and press onto the body.

On orange or a lighter shade of brown paper roughly draw a long beak (a thin carrot shape), and carefully cut out.

Apply glue stick to the top of the beak and press it down onto the Kiwi’s face.

Apply a small dab of school glue onto 2 x joggle eyes and carefully place them on the Kiwi’s face.

Done! The perfect 3D Kiwi is ready.

*TOP TIP – Free hand drawing rough shapes to make the Kiwi will give each of the creatures their own unique personalities.


Featured Products;

Skintone Paper

Creatistics Brown Cover Paper

Creatistics Black Cover Paper

Creatistics Glue Sticks Pack of 12

Joggle Eyes

All Purpose Washable School Glue Pack of 12



Air Dry Clay Kiwi

Air Dry Clay Kiwi

These adorable clay Kiwi’s make beautiful keepsakes, their solid heavy form also doubling as the perfect desk paperweight. The open-ended block of air dry clay adapts to children’s imaginings so they can make their own individual creations. No need for bulky or expensive firing kilns! Simply mould the clay, set it aside to air dry, add some paint and embellishments and you’ll have your very own clay work that’ll last a lifetime.


Using your hands, roll a good palm sized chunk of clay into a rough ball shape, flat on the bottom to stand upright.

Set aside to dry thoroughly for 48 hours (over the weekend is ideal).

When thoroughly dry, your clay will harden and lighten.

Paint a layer of brown paint onto your Kiwi (using long paint strokes with darker shades to form feathers) and set aside to dry for 24 hours.

Cut a beak and feet from the felt sheets and attach to the clay body using strong craft glue.

Paint on eyes or glue on joggle eyes to bring your Kiwi to life and set aside to thoroughly dry.

Done! The perfect Air Dry Clay Kiwi is ready.

*TOP TIP – Older students might enjoy working with intricate clay work, forming the beak and legs out of the Air Dry Clay rather than adding felt details.


Featured Products;

Creatistics Air Dry Clay

Felt Sheets

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue

Total Wash Beige Paint

Total Wash Brown Paint



NZ Eco Plate Birds

NZ Eco-Plate Bird

Made using eco-friendly sugar cane plates and FSC paper, these environmentally conscious birds reflect New Zealand as a leader for sustainable practices – they’re also super cute!

We’ve chosen blue to make our bird, using The South Island Takahē as our inspiration, but there’s so many incredible bird species that call New Zealand their home. Which one is your favourite?


Fold the Sugar Cane Plate in half, forming a semi-circle that’s able to stand on its own.

Cover the plate with a good layer of paint, choosing the shade of your favourite bird native to New Zealand.

Set aside to dry.

Cut a beak out of coloured paper (we folded the paper and cut a triangle, with the fold opening and closing to form the beak shape).

Cut long lengths of coloured paper to firm the bird’s tail.

Glue the beak and tail to the underside of the bird, hiding the ends of the paper where the eco pate folds.

To form the bird’s feathers, rough circles out of the tissue, with long scissor snips to form fringing to mimic feathers.

Glue your feathers into place with school glue (a few layers of feathers will bring authenticity to your works).

Lastly, glue on two joggle eyes to bring your birds to life.

Set aside to thoroughly dry.

Done! The perfect NZ Eco Plate Bird is ready.

*TOP TIP – Folder older students with competent scissor skills, or adults only – To curl the bird’s tail, open a pair of scissors as wide as possible and place the blades against a strip of paper, gently press the paper onto the blade and scrape it along the strip towards the end. Repeat as desired.


Featured Products;

Large White Sugar Cane Eco Plates

Small White Sugar Cane Eco Plates

Tempera Poster Paint – Set of 12

Gloss Paper Squares – Pack of 360

Coloured Tissue Paper – Pack of 100

All Purpose Washable School Glue

Joggle Eyes Assorted Stackable Container



Kiwi Paper Bookmarks


Perfect for book lovers AND for encouraging reluctant readers to turn the page, these sweet little Kiwi’s would love to join in on your reading adventures. We’ve used A4 sheets of Skintone paper cut down to squares to make our Kiwi’s, but any easily foldable square paper will work (Pattern Paper Squares, Origami Paper, Rainbow Paper Squares etc). Perfect for a rainy day, after school hours care or to reignite reading time, these DIY bookmarks will be a hit anytime!


Choose your desired paper square.

Fold the square in half to form a long triangle – folding tip to tip, rather than edge to edge).

Turn your triangle so that the long length is at the bottom and the tip of the triangle is pointing up.

Fold the left and right corners to the tip of the triangle (this will give you a square shape with two flaps).

Fold these two flaps back down.

Flip down one of the top sheets so that tip touches the long length and crease.

Fold the flaps you created back up and tuck into the bookmark. This will create a pocket that your Kiwi will slot onto the corner of a book.

Cut a beak and feet out of another sheet of paper and attach to the Kiwi bookmark with glue stick.

Draw on eyes, or glue on joggle eyes to bring your Kiwi to life.

Set aside to dry thoroughly.

Done! The perfect Kiwi bookmark is ready.

*TOP TIP – For visual learners, there’s plenty of videos online showcasing how to make corner bookmarks. Search for ‘origami corner bookmark’ and follow the steps, you’ll soon have your very own critter guarding your favourite book.


Featured Products;

Pattern Paper Squares – Pack of 500

Creatistics Glue Sticks 25g – Pack of 12

Joggle Eyes Assorted Stackable Container



Woven Wall Hanging


The Weaving Loom & Wool Kit of 10 includes everything you need to make 10 stunning woven wall hangings. Featuring beautiful calming shades of wool & wool roving to weave through the loom, your students will be well on the way to mastering textile projects. The simple weaving used here can be easily adapted to incorporate Raranga, Tāniko, Araoaki, Whatu and Whiri for advanced students exploring Māori weaving techniques.

Once your students woven wall hangings have decorated the classroom, they’ll surely be treasured at home for years to come.

Read on to work through the steps below to make your very own Woven Wall Hanging, also available as a handy illustrated PDF printout to follow along.


Choose the colour of wool that you’d like shown at the top of your wall hanging. Wrap this wool around the look starting from the top corner and ending at the bottom opposite corner in vertical rows.

Tie the ends together diagonally in a double knot at the back of the loom.

Slide the wooden dowel under the vertical rows of wool on the front of your loom. This will hold up the strings, making it easier to weave.

Create a row of fridge along the bottom of your wall hanging using a few lengths of wool for each (the more lengths of wool you have will make the fridge fuller).

Lay the middle of the fridge lengths of wool over 2 of your vertical rows of wool and loop the right and left ends down and up through the middle.

Pull down on the ends to form a knot. Continue creating a row of fringe all along the bottom.

Begin weaving rows of wool above the fringe using the large tapestry needle. Change colours of wool as you work to create a lovely pattern. Tip: don’t weave too tightly to avoid warping the edges once you take your wall hanging off the loom.

You can weave by threading the wool under one vertical row then back over the next vertical row or over and under 2 rows at a time to create a different texture.

For each length of wool you weave onto the loom, leave a small length of wool on either side that you can tuck in.

After each row you weave, use the wooden comb to push the wool down the vertical rows to lay flat along the previous row.

When adding the wool roving, weave using your hands instead of the needle and loosen each weave to make it bubble out. You can use the full width of the wool roving provided or separate it into thinner strips.

Once your weaving is close to the top of the loom, remove the wooden dowel.

Turn the loom over and cut along the middle of the back vertical rows.

Tie off each pair of strings in a double knot as close to the weave as possible. Do this along the bottom and the top. This will prevent your weaving from falling apart.

Cut off the loose ends of each pair at the bottom only. Keep the top lengths long to hang.

Take a length of wool and tie it in a double knot around the top strands of wool.

You can trim the fringe along the bottom straight or in a diagonal line or keep it wild.

Done! The perfect Woven Wall Hanging is ready.

*TOP TIP – Stick to calm colour tones or brighten your creations by weaving in through bold primary coloured yarn and bright felt string.


Featured Product;

Weaving Loom & Wool Kit of 10



Cardboard Weaving Loom


Weaving works by interlacing two sets of yarn interlaced at right angles – it sounds tricky, and looks tricky, but once you get started, you’ll see that it’s a super simple and brilliantly effective artform.

For our Cardboard Weaving Loom we’ve used various colours from the Weaving Wool Set of 6, Assorted Acrylic Yarn (includes 6 balls of yarn – black, white, blue, green, yellow, and green) and then supplemented the colours with individual shades including grey, brown, orange, pink, purple, dark blue and light blue. Lots of coloured yarn to choose from ensures students can bring their creative plans to life.


Start by attaching a length of yarn to the back of the cardboard weaving loom at one end (pointed ends) secure with sticky tape.

Run the yarn through the ‘v’ shape down to the opposite ‘v’ at the other end (horizontally/ top to bottom of the cardboard loom).

Loop the yarn around the back of the pointy ‘v’ and then tun the yarn back up to the next ‘v’ shape at the opposite end.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have threaded through every ‘v’ shape.

Secure to the back of the loom with a piece of sticky tape.

To begin weaving vertically, choose a length of contrasting coloured yarn and attach to the back of the cardboard loom with a knot, or sticky tape.

Thread the contrasting yarn through the 1st yarn, weaving over and under.

You can change coloured yarn at any stage, making sure to tie off in a knot to hide behind the weaving (you can also weave the ends back into the design).

Once you have finished creating your pattern, you can tie off securely and thread the ends back into the design.

Unhook the yarn from the pointy ends of the cardboard loom, cut them in half and tie off securely with a double knot.

Done! The perfect Cardboard Weaving Loom design is finished.

*TOP TIP – To turn your weaving into a bookmark, add some extra lengths of yarn to make a tassel at one end, or turn into a wall hanging with a length of dowel.


Featured Products;

Cardboard Weaving Loom – Pack of 10

Assorted Acrylic Yarn

Black Yarn

Grey Yarn

Brown Yarn

Orange Yarn

Pink Yarn

Purple Yarn

Dark Blue Yarn

Light Blue Yarn

White Yarn



Wooden Pendent Threading Kit

NZ Wooden Pendant Threading Kit

Using the same motions as weaving, the Wooden Pendant Threading Kit uses students’ knowledge of ‘over & under’ to make wearable art. The kit includes all you need to make 30 wooden pendants including 6 different pendant designs, embroidering thread, leather cord and embroidery needles. Make a necklace for yourself or as a gift or mix it up with key chains to jazz up your keys or bag. How will you decorate yours?


Cut a length of embroidery thread and thread it onto the needle.

Begin threading, leaving a length of thread at the back to tie securely.

Keep on threading in and out, forming your desired design (short lines, long lines, cross crosses and more).

Change colours as desired, tying off securely at the back each time.

When your design is finished, tie off securely one last time.

Attach a length of leather cord (long enough to fit comfortably around the wearers neck), and tie of securely.

Done! The perfect Wooden Threaded Pendant is ready.

*TOP TIP – Keep the design simple or make it as intricate as you like by layering different colours and experimenting with Raranga techniques.


Featured Product;

Wooden Pendant Threading Kit



Clay Star Photo Frames


Pre-made from clay, these Star Photo Frames act like a blank canvas for children to decorate. The smooth surface lends itself to all sorts of artistic mediums – paint, markers, glitter, embellishments and more. They can be as advanced or simple as you like for even the youngest of students to get involved. Pop in a photo, drawing, poem, or message and either hang from the supplied ribbon or sit proudly with the included stand at the back. You’ll have a stunning Matariki keepsake to hold in your heart forever.


Fill the front of your star with colour as desired and set aside to dry.

Apply a thin layer of school glue to front surface and sprinkle with glitter stars and set aside to dry.

Open the backing and remove the protective piece of paper.

Insert a photo or drawing (round, measuring approx. 53mm diameter – the same size as the protective paper), and close the backing.

Done! The perfect Clay Star Photo Frame is ready.

*TOP TIP – Use the round frame protective paper as a template to cut your photo or drawing for the perfect fit.


Featured Products;

Clay Photo Frames Stars Pack of 10

POSCA Marker – Pack of 8

Glitter Stars

All Purpose Washable School Glue



Matariki Glass Lanterns

Matariki Glass-Lanterns

Make your own custom Glass Lanterns, the perfect symbol for lighting & brightening the path for the Māori new year. In packs of 6, these glass lanterns come supplied ready to go with their attached handles. All you need to do is choose how to design yours. Decorate with glass paint or markers or use tissue paper or cellophane to cover with colour. Glue on some sparkly stars and you’re ready to go. Pop in a tea candle or LED safety light and your lanterns will light up the night sky beautifully.


Give your glass lantern a good clean to ensure the surface is ready for painting (soap and water, or methylated spirits work well), and set aside to air dry for 24 hours.

Paint your designs onto the surface of the lantern using glass paint and markers as desired.

Set aside for 24 to 48 hours to dry thoroughly (over the weekend is ideal).

To fully set your artwork, place the lantern in a cool oven and set the temperature to 150 degrees Celsius. Once temperature is reached baked for 30 minutes then turn off oven and allow to cool before removing.

Use a strong glue to add any embellishments to the outside of the lantern, Star Sequins are ideal to celebrate Matariki.

Set aside to dry for 24 hours.

Add a tea candle or safety light (depending on child’s age).

Done! The perfect Matariki Glass Lantern is ready.

*TOP TIP – Glass & Tile Paint gives terrific coverage, while Glass & Porcelain Makers create precise lines and detail.


Featured Products;

Glass Lanterns – Pack of 6

Glass & Tile Paint

Glass & Porcelain Markers

Star Sequins

Strong Craft Glue



We hope you’ve enjoyed the latest collection of crafts to celebrate all things Aotearoa New Zealand and are bursting with inspiration to get started. See you next time, Kia Ora!



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Admin powers activate: how to achieve boss-level office organisation in 2024


Being a school admin means being MANY things. Every day, you call, coordinate, communicate, order, organise, file, budget, laminate, print and distribute (that’s for starters). We see you, admins! You need to be ORGANISED! We’ve pulled together some new and popular resources to help you achieve boss-level organisation this year. Time to activate your admin superpowers. 


Storage sorted in style


Let’s start with refreshing your storage. There’s a new range we LOVE that lets you modernise your tubs, trays, baskets and caddies. It’s our Colours of Australia collection and it’s gorgeous! It’s been created in a natural, earthy colour palette with the five colours (Mallee, Coral, Mountain Gum, Snow Gum and Ocean) representing the beauty of this country. The best news: all the pieces are stackable, durable, lightweight and versatile. Functional beauty, all yours, in sets of five! We think you’ll love these too. 


Storage caddies


Connector Tubs keep stationery items easily accessible, making them an ideal addition to your office environment. Pens, scissors, pencils, glue… these tubs keep everything in order. 

Plastic Book and Storage Tubs will be your office filing BFFs. What you’ll love about these sturdy Storage Tubs is their high back, perfect for storing taller books, catalogues and folders. 

Versatile is what these Small Plastic Caddies are about. They have so many uses around the office and adjoining areas. As well as storing office equipment and stationery, they can be a great holder for little student favourites (like fidget toys – see below!). 

Multifunctional storage Literacy Tubs will be endlessly useful – on your desk, in the cupboards, on the shelves – wherever you need to file and find office paperwork at your fingertips. 

Every educational office needs a Tote Tray or ten! These space-savers can house all your essentials and supplies. (You just know that educators will want this new range in their rooms too for all their organisational needs). 



WHY NOT: Continue the look in your office decor 

AUS rug

Why not extend your earthy office theming with a new Colours of Aus Rug? Choose squares or circles… whatever you prefer! These new additions to our range will look stunning in any office, reception area or foyer. They’re hard-wearing and durable too, made from high-quality cut pile polyester blend with a non-slip latex backing. Each one measures 4 x 3 m making a welcoming and calming sight in your space (and very matchy with the new storage tubs which is lovely!). 




Stock up your ‘Slick’ Bay…


As an office admin, we know it’s part of your day to help little people who don’t feel their best or sometimes have medical emergencies. So, let’s make sure you have the slickest, most organised sick bay around. 


Easy Fill First Aid Kit  

First aid kit

This metal wall-mounted cabinet is your go-to First Aid Kit. It comes fully stocked with all the essentials and can be easily refilled by using the colour-coded visualiser located inside the cabinet. You’ll love this visualiser! It lets you easily see what’s out of stock without having to perform a stocktake as the contents are easily seen, colour-coded and the use by dates are visible.  



Grab and Run First Aid Kit Soft Pack 

soft first aid kit 

This is your on-the-go grab and run First Aid Kit. It’s also an ‘Easy Fill’ kit, simply refilled by using the colour-coded visualiser inside the pack. 




Allergy Buddy Rapid Access Medical Panel & Pouches 


Allergy Buddy Rapid Access Medical Panel & Pouches

For any sick bay, you’ll want the Allergy Buddy Rapid Access Medical Panel, designed to display, store and rapidly access vital medicines and emergency information (such as medical alert ID card and a child’s Action Plan). When hanging, it’s 42 cm wide x 82 cm long and weighs 1.6 kg before the contents are added. The panel has the flexibility to be mounted on a wall or can be removed, folded into a satchel bag with the quick release clips, ready for mobile use!  


Each Allergy Buddy Individual Pouch has room to hold a child’s emergency allergy medications such as EpiPen® (Adrenaline Auto-Injector), Antihistamine, Asthma Medications (Ventolin & compact aerosol spacer chamber). These pouches fit on to the Allergy Buddy Rapid Access Medical Panel where you can have six at one time. 




Premium Snake Bite First Aid Kit  

Premium Snake Bite First Aid Kit

Situated in a snake or spider-prone area? You’d be smart to keep this Snake Bite First Aid Kit handy. The sturdy portable case with internal fold-out compartments is splash resistant for all conditions. Inside are premium latex-free snake bite compression bandages with indicators, ensuring quick and correct application. There’s a full colour snake and spider identification sheet, a treatment guide and additional items like a foam-padded splint, shears, a permanent marker, CPR mask and a whistle for attracting attention in emergencies.  



Clean like a dream 


We know the health and hygiene of your educational facility often falls to you. Ordering the right cleaning supplies can be tricky. Relax! Stock up the janitorial closet with these new cleaning essentials and you can tick cleaning off your admin list. Once you get these in there, your work is done! These Australian-made MTA newbies are ultimate by name and ultimate by nature!  


Ultimate Neutral Cleaner Concentrate & Spray Bottle 

Ultimate Neutral Cleaner Concentrate & Spray Bottle

This is the perfect pH-neutral solution for maintaining cleanliness in your educational environment (and doing less harm to the global environment). It safely and efficiently cleans all hard surfaces, from nappy change areas to floors. And being a concentrate, it really goes the distance! It only needs 20 ml of concentrate from this 5 L container to a 500 ml spray bottle and then fill the rest with water. Then spray away! This all-in-one replaces the need for a spray and wipe, disinfectant, floor cleaner and bathroom cleaner. For floor cleaning and mopping, dilute the concentrate at 40:1.  



Bamboo Bio Wipes 

Bamboo Bio Wipes

We think you’ll love these Bamboo Biodegradable Wipes because they tick all the modern cleaning boxes – they’re thick, absorbent and environmentally friendly. Made using natural biodegradable bamboo fibres (and of course plastic-free cloth and packaging!), each roll contains a whopping 45 metres of wipes, complete with 90 easy-to-tear perforated sheets. Choose from blue, green or red!  



Student support (and smiles) 


It’s nice to have some smile-making resources on hand to keep students occupied and feeling supported when they turn up at your door or office window. Sometimes, they have a little bit of dwell time (when they’re in sick bay or waiting to be picked up) or maybe you just want to have a little something to greet them when they turn up in the office. 

Puffer Stress Ball

Soft rubber air-filled stress balls are all the rage, as you know! Puffer Stress Balls are ever-so-soothing, sensory resources and come with a messy foam finish that makes them oddly attractive and likeable. Pick up a pack with four balls in purple, red, blue and green to keep on hand for little hands aged three and above. 

Flick Sticks.

Have the coolest office or reception area around, with these calming, silent and satisfying sensory Flick Sticks. With the ability to tap, twirl or play with their rubbery fibres, they’re known to reduce stress and anxiety which can be helpful in an office scenario. They also relieve tension and provide an outlet for excess energy. These cute fidget toys attach to screens, windows, surfaces and keyboards thanks to a suction cup that keeps them in place. 

Magnetic magic balls

This expandable Mindfulness Magic Ball can teach children to follow their breath (one of the key techniques of mindfulness practice). This can be so helpful in the office if a child is anxious or a little stressed. Designed in a soft colour palette, little ones will love the addition of the Mindfulness Magic Ball in an office, reception or foyer space. Suits little ones aged 3 years and above. 


Love these? Find more Handheld Fidget Resources here for your office space. 




Teachables Magnetic Whiteboards, Coloured Markers & Mini Erasers Kit 

 Teachables Magnetic Whiteboards, Coloured Markers & Mini Erasers Kit


Doodling, drawing and dreaming… we think this kit could be a great addition to your office or reception area while you’re supporting students as they wait. The kit includes 12 small hand-held magnetic whiteboards (25 x 30 cm), 12 coloured non-toxic markers and 12 small erasers. The whiteboards have a wipe-clean white surface so they can be enjoyed again and again and again. 




Waiting room wows 


An organised and inviting waiting area is soooo easy. And now it can have all the wows too. Just follow our tips and your office waiting area will take on a life of its own while educators, parents, carers, visitors, guests or students are, well… waiting.  



Bring in some cultural touches

New Zealand Landscapes Cushions

Add some New Zealand-themed visual focus points in your waiting area with this set of three stunning velvet feel New Zealand Landscapes Cushions featuring the beautiful imagery of Tania Niwa. This set of scatter cushions features a different photo on each side celebrating the ferns, volcanic beaches and paua of the country. They will add a pop of colour and cultural connection in any office. 




Create a warm, welcoming space 

Shapes and Words Carpet

 Isn’t this bright, vibrant Shapes and Words Carpet a great solution for your waiting room area?  Another great advantage of a beautiful carpet is the sound muffling qualities versus a traditional wooden or tiled floor. No need to hear distracting footsteps all day long! We think The MTA Spaces Shapes and Words carpet will be a favourite for little office visitors who are exploring early literacy and numeracy. While they’re waiting, they can brush up on their basic skills in colours, shapes, letter recognition and naming. It comes with a range of shape related words along the border to keep them busy too!  


Like any hard-working carpet, it features a thick and durable nylon pile with a sturdy rubber backing for strength and support (it’s a great size too for most foyers or reception spaces measuring 195 x 240 cm). Coloured Space Carpets are designed in Australia and manufactured using lead free dyes. 



The ideal office sofa exists!  

Aalto Double Sofa

No waiting area, foyer or reception area would be complete without a durable sofa lounge… or more if space permits! The Aalto Double Sofa is part of the flexible modular Aalto range of upholstered fabric ottomans with back rests. Just like carpets, using furniture such as upholstered ottomans helps to reduce noise and improve acoustic levels in a space by partially blocking sound waves and absorbing them.  


This range of Aalto ottomans, poufs and sofas features commercial grade, high quality upholstery fabric that includes a grade 4 stain protection treatment to help prevent stains. Handy! Other practical features include a FSC sustainable timber frame and supportive, comfortable padding. The Aalto range is available in a variety of colours which can suit almost any room setting or configuration. This double lounge sofa chair measures 120cm long x 60cm deep x 80cm high, comes with lockable castors as well as plastic feet, allowing for flexibility. Combine two of these comfy chairs together to make a larger sofa or combine with our single sofa.  





Versatile displays for all the things! 

hoto Frame with Stand The super handy and versatile two-sided Photo Frame with Stand can display any number of messages, information, images, updates… you name it! Available in A4 and A5, these frames will work hard delivering important messages. Simply slide in the notice and pop them on any stable surface.  

Duraframe Sign Holder

Every office window needs a large sign holder. Voila! The Duraframe Sign Holder is perfect for displaying signs, notices or artwork on glass. The frame can be attached to glass with static and is easily removable. Your signs can be read from both sides of the glass and are perfect for windows, doors with glass panels or even glass boards. This winner frame comes in A3 size and is available in a pack of two, but it’s also available in an A4 size.  


Need more ideas for noticeboards? Check out our full range of Noticeboards here. 



Fabulous faux-liage 

Fabulous faux-liage

Some say fake, we say fabulous! Here are some faux foliage facts:  

        • FACT ONE: If you want a low-maintenance forever friend, an artificial plant will smile at you 24/7 from its corner.
        • FACT TWO: Studies prove that exposure to nature, even through images, positively impacts our mood and disposition. Since artificial plants mimic nature, they will also elicit these responses.
        • FACT THREE: Faux indoor plants can be stress-busting. Because they can improve mood, they can make you calmer and more composed, thereby lowering stress levels. Experts advise that having lush, beautiful plants close by is one of the simplest ways to de-stress after a difficult or tiring day
        • FACT FOUR: Did we mention they are virtually maintenance-free? (No water, fertiliser or sunlight needed!). 


    • The Ficus Artificial Plant is available in two sizes (90 (H) cm or 180 (H) cm) depending on the space you need to fill. a gorgeous artificial Ficus Plant makes a bold statement and effortlessly transforms a room into a veritably verdant haven! The full, bushy structure and canopy of leaves make your ficus a natural focal point and a key part of a luscious setting.  Prefer a palm? Renowned for bringing a burst of lush tropical life to any setting, this Artificial Palm evokes the relaxed vibe of sunny coastlines and balmy climates. The 100 cm tall Outdoor Artificial Palm Tree is a natural fit for contemporary decorating in the office, with its breezy appearance and life-like fronds that sway with a suggestion of movement. Brings the aesthetics of the sun-drenched tropics into your everyday. Who needs a green thumb!? 




Personal organisation 

Finally, it’s hard to achieve boss level organisation and activate your admin superpowers without a few personal organisation faves. 


Multi-purpose organisational pouches  

Multi-purpose organisational pouches

These Teachables Pouches are made of durable, flexible EVA mesh, with a quality zipper that’s designed to last. Store stationery, reward stickers, notes, office essentials and documents. Use A3 for large documents; A4 for standard-sized papers; A5 for on-the-go compact organisation; DL size for envelope-sized essentials.  




2024 Planner  


Every year, we create these much-loved MTA Early Years & Teacher Planners. They’re the ultimate organisational tools, developed in tandem with teachers & educators. But school admins can also find these the perfect premium quality A4 spiral bound planner with 53 week-to-view spreads and important dates/term dates for 2024/2025. Perhaps keep a planner or two on hand to welcome new and casual teachers as well? 



So there you have it. Office organisation sorted. Of course, MTA has a LOT more to choose from (with 27,000 educational resources for teachers and educators and over 1,350 new resources in 2024 alone). Tell us anything else you’d love to make your office sing, and how you’ll achieve boss-level organisation @modernteaching



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6 easy heartfelt, handmade Mother’s Day gifts Mums love and little ones love to make 

8924_MTA_Mothers Day Craft_Header Blog

Every mum is a gift. But on Mother’s Day, it’s their turn to receive some love in the shape of a special gift.  

Help your little learners say “I love you, Mum” with these super simple craft activities. Key tags in candy colours. Wooden flowers that always bloom. Sweet note holders that cradle special messages. These handmade gifts are an easy way for children of all ages to showcase their love and creativity and have been designed to make educators smile too! They’re colourful, fun ideas we take you through step-by-step. 


Get ready to dive into a world of glitter, glue and gratitude as we turn this Mother’s Day into a magical moment for educators, children and mums alike! 


Mother’s Day Note Holder 


8924_Mother’s Day Note Holder


We all know that mums are busy bees. So, what better gift to give than a note holder that keeps notes and special messages organised and doubles as a colourful and floral appreciation of all the hard work they put in? 


You will need:  

Mum Note Holder 

Pastel Paint 

Pastel Paper 

Felt Flowers 

Bio-Glitter – Set of 8 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue  

Masking Tape 



Assemble the note holder by slotting the two MUM sides into the stand. 

Apply your desired shades of pastel paint to the sides and stand and set aside to dry. Repeat paint application as desired.  

Lay a length of thin masking tape across the front of the MUM lettering roughly 2/3rds of the way down. Press down gently.  

Spread a layer of glue to the MUM letters below the masking tape line and sprinkle Bio-glitter to cover the glue. Shake off excess and set aside to dry. 

Use a pencil to roughly draw a small leaf shape onto the pastel paper, fold the paper several times (to a workable thickness to complement scissor skills) and cut out the drawn leaf. You will now have multiple leaves. Repeat as desired. 

Use strong craft glue to adhere the leaves and the desired number of felt flowers to the note holder and set aside to dry. 

Done! The perfect Mother’s Day Note Holder is ready.  


*TOP TIP – When shaking the Bio-glitter over the MUM Note Holder, lay a piece of paper under it to catch the excess glitter. You’ll be able to put the glitter back in the bottle to reuse.  




Wooden Flower Bouquet 


8924_Wooden Flower Bouquet


To show everlasting love for mums on their special day, gift something that lasts just as long with an everlasting flower bouquet! Plus, the original wooden flower bouquet can double as a jewellery display for another crafty day. 


You will need:  

 Wooden Flower Bouquet

Creatistics Acrylic Paint Set 

Felt Flowers 

Pastel Pipe Cleaners 

Matt Paper Squares 

White Silk Clay 

Paper Magiclay Candy Colours 

Tacky Glue 




Assemble the Flower Bouquet by slotting the flowerpot into the stand. 

Apply your desired shades of pastel paint to the assembled flower bouquet and set aside to dry.  

Snip 2 x green pipe cleaners into 3rds to make 6 x short flower ‘stems’.  

Turn 6 x felt flowers upside down on a flat surface and squeeze a big blob of tacky glue to the back of each flower. Gently press the ends of the pipe cleaner stems into the tacky glue blobs and leave to dry overnight.  

Weave and twist the flower stems through the pre-cut holes and twist around themselves to keep them in place.  

Use small dabs of tacky glue to secure the paper leaves in place, making a bountiful-looking bouquet of flowers. Set aside to dry.  

Use a small handful of white silk clay with a small amount of candy-coloured Magiclay to knead and press down onto the stand to add texture as desired (handy to press additional embellishments into as desired). 

Done! The perfect Wooden Flower Bouquet is ready. 


*TOP TIP – Extend the activity for older students by enlarging the flowers using matte paper squares. Simply draw larger flower shapes or thin strips to loop for petals and glue to the back of the felt flowers before adding the pipe cleaner stem.   





Rose Gold Key Tags 


8924_Rose Gold Key Tags


These personalised Mother’s Day keyrings turn an ordinary key chain into an extraordinary keepsake. What’s more, they’re super colourful and eye-catching, so mums can say goodbye to the days of misplaced keys! 


 You will need:  

Rose Gold Lobster Key Tags 

White Silk Clay 

Paper Magiclay Candy Colours 

Leather Cord 

Alphabet & Number Stamps 

Assorted Coloured Tassels 

Dough Scissors 

Plastic Lacing Needles 



 Knead a portion of white silk clay with small amounts of candy coloured Magiclay to make pastel tones.  

Use a small handful of your pastel silk clay to gently press flat, keeping the thickness roughly 1 – 2cm.  

Use dough scissors to cut out a heart shape (Use a pencil or skewer to roughly mark out the heart shape to guide cutting lines if required). Gently press the edges to smooth them.  

Press the Alphabet & Number stamps into the heart to imprint ‘MUM’ or ‘I LOVE MUM’ etc. as desired. 

Poke a skewer through the top of the heart and wiggle around, making a hole large enough to thread the leather cord. Set aside to dry out.  

With the offcuts from the heart and your remaining pastel coloured silk clay, roll into large round ‘beads’.  

Poke a skewer through the centre of each hole and wiggle around to form a hole large enough for the leather cord to thread through. Set aside along with the heart to dry out for 24 to 48 hours.  

Time to assemble! Cut a length of leather cord roughly 30cm and thread through the heart and secure with a knot. Thread on several beads (plastic lacing needles will assist the cord through the beads if needed) and then tie to the Rose Gold Lobster Key Tag. Tie off with several tight knots. Cut off excess cord.  

Cut another length of cord to attach several beads and one coloured tassel to the lobster keychain, again tying off with several tight knots. Cut off excess cord.  

Done! The perfect Rose Gold Key Tag is ready.  


*TOP TIP – For younger age groups feel welcome to omit the beads and use a cookie cutter to help form the silk clay shape.  




Wooden Flower Pop Mum Pot 


8924_Wooden Flower Pop Mum Pots


The creative possibilities are endless with the blank canvas of a flower-shaped paddle-pop stick and a flower pot. Children can write their sweetest Mother’s Day messages on the pots and then customise the beautiful flowers! 


You will need:  

Wooden Flower Paddle Pop Sticks 

Porcelain Flower Pot

Glass & Porcelain Markers 

Creatistics Pastel Paint 

Pastel Pom Poms  

Pastel Buttons 

Creatistics Pattern Paper Squares 

Green Crinkle Paper Shred 

Adhesive Rhinestones 

Green Silk Clay 



Draw or write messages onto the porcelain pot using Glass & Porcelain markers and set aside a few hours for drawings to air dry.  

Bake the pots in the oven at 150 degrees C for 30 minutes, turn oven off and allow to cool before removing (this ‘sets’ the markers to reduce wear and tear).  

Apply pastel paint to the Wooden Flower Paddle Pop Sticks and set aside to dry. Repeat application as desired.  

Use craft glue to decorate flowers with pastel buttons, beads, pom poms, rhinestones and pattern paper. Set aside to dry.  

Fill the pot with Silk Clay and gently press the flower pop sticks into the clay just enough to stand up. 

Add a few squeezes of craft glue on top of the silk clay and gently press Green Crinkle Paper to cover the clay. Set aside to dry.  

Done! The perfect Flower Pop Mum Pot is ready.  

*TOP TIP – Personalise further by adding a photo to the centre of the Flower Paddle Pop Sticks. Simply print out in a small size and snip around the children’s faces to fit the centre of the flower stick.  




Mother’s Day Yarn Card  


8924_Mother’s Day Yarn Card


This activity is a two-for-one special! Children can pick between two beautiful options, but no matter which they choose, mums will love this heartfelt card. 


You will need:  

Pastel Acrylic Yarn 

White Cards and Envelopes 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue 

Mini Pop Sticks 

Pastel Coloured Cardboard 

Creatistics Glue Sticks 

Jute Hemp Twine 





On an old cardboard box, draw 3 x tulip shapes and cut out carefully (alternatively, use coloured cardboard if you haven’t got any boxes handy).  

Cut a workable length of pastel yarn and either tie around the centre of the tulip or use masking tape to attach yarn in place at the back.  

Wind the yarn around the tulip until it looks full and colourful. Either tie off at the back or use masking place to hold down.  

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of the tulips.  

Cut a piece of coloured cardboard to fit the front of the card, roughly 14(L) x 9(W)cm, and glue to the front of the card. 

Use strong craft glue to adhere 3 x mini green pop sticks and the 3 yarn tulips to the front of the card, along with a jute hemp twine bow around the pop sticks. Set aside to dry.  

Draw/write MUM a Mother’s Day message inside the card.  

Done! The perfect Mother’s Day Yarn Card is ready.  


*TOP TIP – Cardboard boxes are thick enough to hold their shape for young children to wrap the yarn around. Young children might also enjoy working with a larger sized tulip shape to match their fine motor skills. 





Using a pencil, draw a heart onto the card.  

Cover the entire heart shape with craft glue.  

Snip workable lengths of pastel yarn and lay over the glue, working from the outside of the heart to the inside until all the glue is covered.  

Set aside to dry.  

Alternatively, draw a heart shape onto the coloured cardboard, cover in glue and lay shorter lengths of yarn horizontally across the heart working from the top to the bottom until all the glue it covered. When dry, carefully cut out the heart shape, snipping off the excess yarn at the same time. Your heart is now ready to glue onto the white card.  

Done! The perfect Mother’s Day Yarn Card is ready.  


*TOP TIP – This activity is for all ages! Younger children will enjoy working with short pre-cut lengths of yarn, sticking them into glue applied in a heart shape.




Handprint Shrink Film Key Chain  


8924_Handprint Shrink Film Key Chain


Kids grow up so fast! This Mother’s Day, give a personalised lasting memory with this handprint keychain. It’s a meaningful way to celebrate the connection between children and their wonderful mums. 


You will need:  

Clear Shrink Film 

Creatistics Acrylic Paint 

Creatistics Paint Brushes 

Key Chain 

Assorted Colour Tassels 

Natural Beading Cord 

One Hole Paper Punch 



Use a brush to apply paint to children’s hands (a brush will ensure an even coat of paint for a crisp handprint).  

Press painted hand down onto the shrink film and lift hand off to reveal the print. Set aside to dry. 

Older students might like to write the letter M on either side of the handprint, spelling out MUM with the handprint in place of the letter U. 

Carefully cut around each design and punch a hole at the top.  

Preheat oven to 150°C. 

Place the design on a lined tray (matte side up) and bake.  

Plastic will begin to shrink after 10 seconds, watch carefully! They will shrink to approx. 60% of the original size. 

Remove from oven once plastic has flattened and set tray aside to cool completely before handling. 

Thread the beading cord through the shrink film decoration, add a tassel and tie firmly to a key chain. 

Done! The perfect Handprint Key Chain is ready.  

*TOP TIP – Coloured pencil markings will darken in the oven; a very light shading is all that’s needed for bright vibrant colour.  




We hope you love getting crafty this Mother’s Day and creating these 6 fun activities. If you’d like to download the step-by-step activity pack pdf, click here. Happy crafting, and please share your crafty Easter creations with us @modernteaching. 



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Cultural resources showcase – what’s new & inspiring in 2024 

Cultural blog header NZ

Authentic resources in the cultural space can be so creative! We love hearing how you use them with your students and children to engage, teach and tell stories. With a strong focus on embedding cultural perspectives into the Early Childhood Education Curriculum, Te Whāriki, our goal, as always, is to support you in your teaching practice.  



New Zealand’s national early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, is based on the principles of empowerment, holistic development, family and community, and relationships. It’s a bicultural curriculum that affirms the identities, languages and cultures of all children, whānau, kaiako and communities. 


From this bicultural foundation, the early childhood curriculum affirms and celebrates cultural differences, and aims to help children gain a positive awareness of their own and other cultures. It enables all peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand to weave their perspectives, values, cultures, and languages into the early learning setting. 


We’re excited to show you what’s new this year and how to make the most of these resources. From books and manipulatives to puppets and decor, we’ve rounded up the best new cultural resources in 2024 right here. (Remember to check out our tried & trusted favourites too!) 


Magnetic magic 


We have a new selection of interactive magnetic manipulatives from Learning Toolbox that are as educational as they are fun. They’re awesome to help with the development of fine motor skills, plus these durable magnets adhere to any metal surface or whiteboard, so you and your little learners can use them in lots of zones. These magnet sets create a wonderful bilingual learning system to aid learners and educators. Each Māori word magnet shows the English translation in small text as a learning aid. Translations are listed on the back of the packet to help educators. Each set fits and works beautifully with other magnets in the range. 


Magnetic NZ Maori Months  


Learn the words for months of the year in te reo Māori with this 21 magnet pack. These are perfect as part of setting up a daily room date! 


Magnetic NZ Maori Animals  


Discover the words for every day animals in te reo Māori with this 63 magnet set. Help your little ones learn the names of farm animals and pets, as well as well-known native animals.  


Magnetic NZ Maori Weather  


Discover the weather and seasons in te reo Māori with this 24-magnet pack. With fun images and the words for today and tomorrow, this set is ideal for interactive fun and daily practice.  


Magnetic NZ Maori Emotions  



Koa means happy. Manahau means excited! Help children discover words for feelings and emotions in Māori with this 35 magnet pack. It’s great for increasing vocabulary in Māori, as well as practising emotional literacy.  


Mix & Match Magnetic Families 



With modern family vibes and a variety of skin tones, the children in your centre can have fun mixing and matching these 32 illustrated double-sided blocks to create contemporary families, work on their fine motor skills and develop hand-eye coordination. The blocks have powerful embedded magnets, making it easy for children to put together families as unique as their own. Lots of fun ahead! 



Puppet play 


Puppets make a great way for children to learn through watching or play. Puppets have the potential to improve language skills, creativity and social awareness. Children love to have ‘conversations’ with a puppet. They’re at the heart of role-play, and each verbal interaction with their puppet encourages language development too. 

With comfortable and super soft cushioning, these Māori boy/girl puppets each wear a taonga representing strength and courage. Each is dressed in a traditional Māori kapa haka outfit. We love these puppets and think you will too! 


Hand Puppet Māori Boy  hand puppet boy




Hand Puppet Māori Girl




Cultural dolls 


It’s been shown that having a cultural variety of dolls in a learning environment encourages a child’s self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-esteem and cultural identity, which are critical for a child’s development. Culturally diverse dolls are used to enhance children’s connection to the stories and elicit their understanding of the social diversity being raised through the doll’s stories.  

Designed in collaboration with Takapaukura, a Māori Education consultancy, these first two gorgeously soft and cuddly dolls are each dressed in a kapa haka outfit. Each wears a taonga, representing strength and courage. With embroidered detailing and soft fabrics, these dolls are great for learning through play. Each doll is 40 (H) cm, made from 100% polyester fibre and can be gently hand-washed in water. 


cultural dolls


Kapa Haka Boy Soft Doll  

The boy doll’s face is doing a gender-appropriate kapa haka expression of a whetero and pute.  

Kapa Haka Girl Soft Doll 

The girls doll’s face is doing the gender-appropriate kapa haka expression of a pukana. 

Pasifika Girl Soft Doll 

This Pasifika-themed soft doll wears a red and white floral outfit with a matching hairband.  

Maori and South Pacific Dolls and Puppets Set of 5 

Why not enjoy the whole set?! The new MTA ‘kit saver’ lets you set up your cultural play space with the set of five kapa haka dolls and puppets, traditionally dressed and ready for role-play! 



Books and games 


These new resources bring Māori and Pacific stories to life, as well as well as celebrate Aotearoa’s birds and nature. They make great new cultural resource additions to your book library that your little readers will love. Pull up a seat, and let’s read and play! 


Matariki Card Game Set 

Matariki Card Game Set

The pre-dawn rising of the star cluster Matariki is significant to Māori and is referred to as ‘Te tau hou’, the new year. (Matariki is the Māori name for the Pleiades, a star cluster in the constellation Taurus. Pleiades, the Greek name for the cluster, comes from seven sisters of Greek legend. This is reminiscent of the Māori and Pacific stories that say Matariki is a mother surrounded by her six daughters). These card games encourage children to learn the 9 stars of Matariki and the history behind them. They include the classic card games of Go fish, Who am I? and Memory, all with a Matariki theme! 


The Promise of Puanga: A Story for Matariki 

The Promise of Puanga: A Story for Matariki

This beautifully illustrated book tells of a bright new star in the winter sky – Puanga, cousin to the Matariki sisters. Each year, she appears to the people of Aotearoa, a special sign for those unable to see Matariki, that winter and the Māori New Year are coming. This addition to Scholastic’s Matariki range introduces readers to the Puanga star, which is celebrated for Māori New Year and the coming of winter in place of Matariki along parts of the West Coast of New Zealand. 


How Maui Found the Secret of Fire 

How Maui Found the Secret of Fire

Here, iconic author and illustrator Peter Gossage tells the beloved Maori myth about Maui and Mahuika, the goddess of fire. Maui the trickster wants to know what will happen if he puts out all the fires in his pā. When his people wake, they’re angry and Maui must go to the volcano to visit Mahuika, the goddess of fire. Peter Gossage’s superbly retold stories of Maui are New Zealand classics. 


Counting for Kiwi Babies 


Counting for Kiwi Babies

This lovely best-selling bilingual English-Māori board book for young children and babies is a great addition to your centre’s book nook. Children can count from one to ten in English and Maori with the help of unique New Zealand birds. Beautiful pictures of New Zealand birds are the perfect introduction to numbers and counting for Kiwi babies! 


Pukeko Counts to 10 

Pukeko Counts to 10

Pukeko Counts to 10 is another beautiful bilingual counting board book for young children featuring the birds of Aotearoa, from poet Ben Brown and illustrator Helen Taylor. Your little readers can go and visit Pukeko, and count up the birds together in Maori and English! It features durable card leaves that little hands love and gorgeous page designs that assist developing minds with nature, number and word recognition.  


Te Reo Reward Certificates  

Te Reo Reward Certificates

After a busy day of learning, congratulate your little hard workers and achievers with Te Reo Reward Certificates. Brightly coloured and fun, these A5 certificates will be highly prized rewards and recognition of effort! There are six designs and 30 matte paper certificates in a pack. Time for rewards! 



Freshen your space 


Culturally themed decor in your early childhood space makes for an inviting and inclusive environment, so children feel represented! Once you set up some basics (that we have right here!), encourage your little learners to personalise their space through artwork and creations, further fostering their sense of ownership and pride.  


Maori Alphabet Wall Border 

Maori Alphabet Wall Border 


Those little minds can practise the Māori alphabet with this easy-to-hang wall border made from high-quality gloss card. The bold, bright images make it easy to see from a distance, which encourages young learners to be excited about the alphabet in Māori. Simply stick or staple these on the wall in their correct order. The pack of seven sheets (each 10.9 cm tall x 51.5 cm long) makes a full wall border that’s 3.6 m long! It’s durable, colourfast and designed in New Zealand. 


Pasifika Wall Border 

Pasifika Wall BorderThis Pasifika Wall Border is also a great way to decorate your space to reflect a multicultural New Zealand and add a Pacific touch! Also New Zealand-designed, this border pack of seven sheets is made from the same high-quality gloss card as the alphabet border pack and measures the same!  


Good Morning Bunting 

Good Morning Bunting 

And now for some bunting! This beautiful hand-made Good Morning Bunting teaches how to say good morning in a range of different languages and looks at some of the traditional clothing children might wear. It Includes Māori, Japanese, Indian, Australian, Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese! 


Consider your centre’s walls and borders sorted!! 



Fly some flags! 


However, you might want to also add a flag or two to your cultural repertoire and walls! These iconic flags measure 150 (W) x 90 (H) cm with fastenings attached at one end to easily wear as a cape (when they’re not on the walls or up a flagpole!). They’re made from polyester and an environmentally friendly ink with a UV resistance level of 6-7 (so they can live up to 6 months outside before fading occurs). 


Māori Flag 

Māori Flag

The Tino Rangatiratanga flag is known as the national Māori flag. The design represents the balance of natural forces with each other and represents the Māori people as a whole. 


New Zealand Fern Flag 

New Zealand Fern Flag

To add to your flag kit, and represent your allegiance, this New Zealand Silver Fern Flag is a great way to show support for New Zealand teams.  


New Zealand Inspired Cushions 

 New Zealand Inspired Cushions Who’s ready to get comfy and relax? These durable foam-filled cushions help educators to create an authentic environment that represents both local and wider communities. Create comfortable play spaces, reading areas or furnish your reception space! This set of three features Fern, Fantail and Koru designs, inspired by New Zealand scenery and landscapes. Naturally, the cotton/polyester covers are ready for rough and tumble, so they’re removable and machine-washable in cold water. Big tick!  

Extra good news: These cushions have been treated with an antimicrobial product that can kill up to 99.9% of odour-causing bacteria and help prevent the infestation of dust mites. This treatment also inhibits the growth of mould, mildew, and fungus. (This treatment will wear away over time with washing, so it won’t last forever. It will depend on how often the cushion covers are washed and how they are dried.)



Ready to support your teaching practice with some amazing new cultural resources? Hit the links and please let us know how your children or students connect with these authentic resources.

Happy teaching! 


Shop the Cultural Shopping list

Discover more of MTA’s cultural resources here. 



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Have A Crafty Easter With These 6 Egg-citing Craft Activities

Easter blog header

Break out the bunny onesie, because Easter’s coming! It’s time for hat parades, egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and colourful craft egg-tivities!  

Here are 6 egg-cellent, egg-straordinary and egg-stra special craft activities to help little crafters create gifts, ornaments, cards and other seasonal cuteness. They’re easy, and they produce beautiful Easter treasures! Let’s hop right into it…  



Wooden Weaving Bunny


Wooden Weaving Bunny


You will need:  

Wooden Weaving Bunny 

Pastel Paint 

Pastel Acrylic Yarn 

Plastic Lacing Needles  

Joggle Eyes 

Pastel Pony Beads 

Green Silk Clay 

White Silk Clay 

Mini Carrots 




Assemble the Wooden Weaving Bunny by slotting the bunny into the stand.  

Apply your desired shades of pastel paint to the bunny and stand, and set aside to dry. Repeat paint application if desired.  

Cut a workable length of yarn roughly 40cm long and thread one end onto a plastic lacing needle. Tie the other end around a section of the bunny with a firm knot at the back. 

Thread the lacing needle with its yarn through the pre-cut holes of the bunny, weaving in and out all over as desired.  

When there’s only a short length of yarn left, remove the plastic threading needle and tie onto the bunny with a firm knot at the back.  

Repeat steps 3 to 5 with as many colours of thread as desired.  

When you’ve reached the last length of thread, begin by tying the end to the bunny and then slot a pastel bead onto the yarn, setting it in place at the front of the bunny while weaving. Continue adding pastel beads as desired and tie off the end of the yarn firmly at the back.  

Mix green and white silk clay together to form a pastel green and press down onto the stand to cover the surface.  

Use craft glue to adhere joggle eyes, a pom pom tail and a few carrots.  

Done! The perfect Weaving Bunny is ready.  


TOP TIP: Younger age groups can swap the beads for ready-to-use foam or felt shapes with a dab of glue. 




DIY Stencil Cards



You will need:  

Easter Stencils 

Pastel Coloured Cardboard 

Creatistics A4 White Cover Paper 

Pastel Paint 

Creatistics Glue Sticks 

Connector Colour Markers 

Stationery Scissors 

Bio-Glitter – Pack of 12 



Pour a small amount of pastel paint onto a flat surface (painting trays, plates, etc). Use a brush or roller to even out the colour. 

Lay an Easter Stencil over a piece of white cover paper and secure in place with a bit of masking tape.  

Gently dab a sponge into the paint (avoiding large blobs).  

Gently dab the sponge over the stencil, making sure to sponge all the sections of paper through the stencil’s cut-out pattern.  

Carefully remove the masking tape and lift the stencil off the paper. Set the paper aside to dry.  

Fold a piece of pastel cardboard in half (two short lengths together) to make a card.  

When the paint has dried, cut out the stencilled shape and use a glue stick to attach to the card.  

Use coloured makers, Bio-Glitter and joggle eyes as desired to add detail to the cards and set aside to dry.  

Done! The perfect DIY Easter Stencil Card is ready.  


TOP TIP: For early childhood-aged children not yet confident with scissor skills, pop the stencil directly onto the pastel card to paint the pattern. 



Sponge Print Fridge Magnets


Sponge Print Fridge Magnets


You will need:  

Easter Sponges 

Pastel Cardboard

Wooden Pegs 

Self-Adhesive Magnetic Sheets 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue 

Joggle Eyes 



Pour a small amount of pastel paint onto a flat surface (painting trays, plates, messy mats, etc) and use a brush or roller to spread the colour to an even layer. 

Gently press an Easter Sponge into the paint, then lift out of the paint and gently press down onto the cardboard. Lift off once more, leaving the painted print on the cardboard. Repeat as desired with each shape to fill the paper. Set aside to dry.  

Use the leftover paint or POSCA markers to add detail over the dried paint (an orange beak, patterns on the eggs, etc) and set aside to dry.  

Feed the dried painting through a laminator and set aside to cool down.  

Carefully cut around the shapes.  

Use strong craft glue to attach a wooden peg to the back of the laminated shape and joggle eyes onto the chick & bunny and set aside to dry.  

Peel and stick a self-adhesive magnet to the back of the peg.  

Done! The perfect Easter magnet is ready.  


TOP TIP: Easter sponges are wonderfully versatile! Sponge the shapes onto cards, wrapping paper and Easter Hats. Or snip the prints out and paste them onto pop sticks for adorable storytelling props! 



Wooden Diorama Frame 


Wooden Diorama Bunny


You will need:  

Wooden Easter Diorama Frame  

Pastel Paint 

Pastel Acrylic Yarn 

Pastel Pom Poms 

Glitter Foam Flowers 

Sequin Flowers 

Adhesive Rhinestones 

Green Crinkle Paper Shred 

Joggle Eyes 

Mini Carrots 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue 



Yarn Chick, Bunny & Egg Ornaments 


Yarn Chick and Bunny

You will need:  

Creatistics Pastel Paint 

Pastel Acrylic Yarn 

Wooden Easter Ornaments 

Joggle Eyes 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue 

Matt Paper Squares 

Coloured Tissue Squares 

Pastel Pom Poms 

Natural Beading Cord 

Paper Magiclay  



Cover the wooden ornament in a layer of pastel paint and set aside to dry. Repeat paint application as desired. 

For the Bunny and Chick, cut a workable length of yarn, wrap it around the wooden ornament, and tie it with a strong knot.  

Wrap the yarn around the ornament until it looks full of colour (if needed, add another length of yarn). Tie the yarn off securely at the back.  

For the Bunny – snip three lengths of beading cord 10cm in length, tie a knot in the middle to make whiskers, and press a small amount of pink Magiclay around the middle to hide the knot and make a nose. Attach in place with craft glue, along with two joggle eyes. Set aside to dry.  

For the Chick – scrunch two tissue squares from the centre to make the wings. Fold an orange paper square in half and roughly draw a foot. Snip the foot out (you should now have two) and snip a small triangle shape along the remaining paper’s fold to make a little beak. Attach the feet, wings, beak and two joggle eyes in place with craft glue. Set aside to dry.  

For the Egg – use the craft glue nozzle to ‘draw’ lines and squiggles on the surface, carefully placing short lengths of yarn over the glue. Finish off with a few pom poms and set aside to dry.  

For each decoration, snip a short length of beading cord, thread it through the pre-cut hole and tie it into a loop to hang. 

Done! The perfect Easter Yarn Ornament is ready.  


TOP TIP: Taping the yarn at the back of the ornament with masking tape periodically will provide support for children with emerging fine motor skills. 



Roller Print & Yarn Bonnet


Easter Bonnet


You will need:  

Easter Rollers 

Cardboard Easter Hat 

Creatistics Pastel Paint 

Pastel Pom Poms 

Pastel Acrylic Yarn 

Bio-Glitter – Pack of 12 

Tacky Glue 

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue 

Painting Tray 



Pop-out each piece from the large sheet of card. 

Use brushes or sponges to apply a thin layer of pastel paint to the pieces and set aside to dry.  

Pour a contrasting-coloured paint onto a messy mat or painting tray and use a brush or roller to smooth the paint to an even layer. Only a little paint is needed to make smooth prints.  

Gently roll the Easter Rollers in the paint, ensuring an even layer of paint over each raised shape.  

Roll the paint-loaded Easter Roller over the cardboard pieces, leaving behind its colourful print. Repeat as desired and set aside to dry. 

Use the strong craft glue nozzle to ‘draw’ wavy lines over the crown and brim pieces, snip lengths of pastel yarn and gently press into place using the glue lines as a guide. Use the craft glue to ‘draw’ lines and shapes to shake Bio-Glitter onto, and small blobs of tacky glue to adhere the pom poms. Set aside to dry. 

To assemble, sticky tape the scalloped crown piece together by the tabs, making sure it will fit the brim.  

Sticky tape the tabs on the bottom of the crown piece to the underside of the brim. 

If desired, sticky tape the tabs on the top circle to the crown piece (making a shelf to hold extra decorations). Set aside to dry. 

Done! The perfect Easter Hat is ready.  


TOP TIP: There’s no need for precise designs! The free-form style of this Easter Hat craft is wonderfully open-ended. 



We hope you love getting crafty this Easter and creating these 6 fun activities. If you’d like to download the step-by-step activity pack pdf, click here. Happy crafting, and please share your crafty Easter creations with us @modernteaching. 



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Celebrate Summer With 7 Handmade Craft Activities Full Of Sunshine And Fun!

Header Summer blog

From sand art to a paper plate sun… try some quick, cool fun over the long, hot summer. Celebrate the colours, textures and feathery, fluttery creatures of summer with these 7 super-easy craft activities. Designed for little hands to deliver a big result, share your summer craft handmade creativity and tag us @modernteaching! We love seeing your style! So roll up your sleeves and dive in! We’ll guide you through each summer-loving step.



Sand Art Jar


Sand Art Jar

Summer in a jar! This is so simple, dreamy and impactful. Making a humble jar take on summer sand beach vibes is so easy! It will look so cute on a shelf and teaches children about colours, patterns and textures. Follow along step-by-step here.


You will need:

Glass Storage Jar

Creatistics Coloured Sand

Dispenser Bottles with Cap

Creatistics Strong Craft Glue



Take the lid off the glass jar and set aside.

Use a spoon or dispenser bottle to pour layers of coloured sand into the jar one at a time.

Use as many colours and layers as desired until the jar is completely full.

Apply a thin layer of Strong Craft Glue to the rim of the lid and tightly screw onto the jar.

Wipe away any excess glue and set aside to dry.

Done! The perfect Sand Art Jar is ready.


TOP TIP – Make mesmerising layers by tilting the jar slightly in different directions when adding each colour of sand.



Cardboard Tube & Paper Plate Butterfly


Cardboard Tube & Paper Plate Butterfly – 1

Make a family of adorable butterflies and watch your heart flutter. These butterflies can be as colourful and imaginative as you like. Why not create a summer theme wall for your butterflies to fly free?


You will need:

Cardboard Tubes Assorted

Unwaxed Round Paper Plates

Assorted Joggle Eyes

Multicoloured Pipe Cleaners

Pom Poms

All Purpose Washable School Glue

Collage Paper Shapes

Tempera Poster Paint

Masking Tape



Using lots of bright colours, apply paint to a paper plate and a cardboard roll and set aside to dry.

When thoroughly dry, cut the paper plate into quarters to make the butterfly’s wings (children old enough to be handy with scissors might benefit from drawn-on cutting lines to follow).

To assemble the butterfly, use strong glue to adhere the four wings to the cardboard roll body and two joggle eyes.

To make the antennae, fold one pipe cleaner in half and adhere two pom poms to the two ends with strong glue.

Stick the antennae to the inside of the cardboard roll with masking tape.

If desired, use strong glue to decorate the wings with scraps of paper, snipping them into shapes as desired and set aside to dry.

When thoroughly dry, personalise further by drawing a mouth and any other features as desired.

Done! Your perfect Butterfly is ready.


TOP TIP – To hang in the learning environment, poke a skewer through the back of the butterfly’s cardboard tube body and thread a length of string through.




Birds Nest

Birds Nest


This sweet bird’s nest with a family of little birds is so much fun to make and looks great. Where will your summer birds nest live? Have fun with your colourful, feathered friends as children learn about textures, colours and different ‘homes’.

You will need:

A4 Creatistics Brown Cover Paper

Gloss Paper Squares

Short Feathers

Joggle Eyes

All Purpose Washable School Glue

Masking Tape

Creatistics A4 Orange Cover Paper

Acrylic Brown Yarn



With brown cover paper, cut one rough semicircle shape and set aside.

With your gloss squares, use a round object (measuring cups work well) to trace and cut out circles – one large and one smaller. Two circles will make one bird. Set desired quantity of circles aside.

Take an orange gloss square, fold it in half and cut small triangles along the folded line. These will open out to make the bird’s beak. Set aside.

Snip short lengths of brown yarn (each roughly 5(L)cm) and set aside.

Ready to assemble! Use all-purpose washable school glue to adhere the pieces together – 1 larger circle to make the bird’s body and one smaller to make the head with a beak. Add feathers for wings and yarn to create a cosy nest.

Add two joggle eyes to each bird and set aside to dry.

Done! Your perfect Birds Nest is ready.


TOP TIP – Young children with emerging scissor skills might enjoy working with a selection of pre-cut shapes to assemble, or paper eye stickers instead of joggle eyes.



Pony Bead Snake

Snakes craft, Blue background

Snakes alive! Beads make a great basis for craft activities, developing fine motor skills in young children and encouraging creativity. Watch a slithering (but friendly) snake come to life in this summer craft activity children will love. Slither along step-by-step here…


You will need:

Multicoloured Pipe Cleaners

Pearl Pony Beads

Assorted Joggle Eyes

All Purpose Washable School Glue



Thread the 1st bead onto the pipe cleaner and bend the very end around the bead, securing it in place to prevent the rest of the beads from falling off.

Thread 28 more beads onto the pipe cleaner to form the snake’s ‘body’.

To make the head, thread six beads of the same colour and then curve back around to form a head shape (three beads on each side of the head) and firmly twist the pipe cleaner around itself between two beads at the snake’s ‘neck’.

Bend the remaining length of pipe cleaner back to poke out through the middle of the head to form a tongue.

Use Washable School Glue to adhere two joggle eyes onto the head, and an extra dab of glue as the tail and head to secure for play and set aside to dry.

Done! Your perfect Pony Bead Snake is ready.


TOP TIP – These adorable snakes aren’t just for craft! They make wonderful props for children’s dramatic play and recounting of favourite stories.



Paper Plate Rainbow Sun


Sunshine Craft, Yellow background

Here comes the sun! With some crepe streamers and paper plates, little ones can create a salute to the sun! Encourage environmental awareness and how Planet Earth and the sun work together. Children have freedom creating the sun’s friendly face too. Use this craft activity time to teach about weather, heat, clouds and rain (and rainbows!).


You will need:

Unwaxed Paper Plates

Tempera Poster Paint

Creatistics A4 Yellow Cover Paper

Assorted Crepe Streamers

Creatistics PVA Washable School Glue

Cotton Wool Balls

POSCA Black Bullet Marker



Cut one paper plate in half to make the sun and paint it a bright, sunny yellow.

To make the clouds, glue several cotton wool balls to either side of the paper plate’s flat surface and set aside to dry.

To make the sun’s rays snip yellow and orange paper into long tringles, and either glue or sticky tape them onto the back of the painted plate.

Cut strips of crepe paper roughly 30cm in length to make the rainbow, one each of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Arrange the crepe paper into rainbow form and glue or tape the lengths to the back of the sun’s flat surface so they can hang down.

Finish off by personalising your sun further with a smiling face.

Done! Your perfect Paper Plate Rainbow Sun is ready.


TOP TIP – To turn your paper plate rainbow sun into a 3D hanging artwork, simply paint another half plate to glue to the back of the sun, punch a hole through the two sides and hang it in your learning environment with a length of twine.




Spinning Paper Cup Windmill


Spinning Paper Cup Windmill – 1

This craft activity lets children create an adorable windmill complete with moving paper blades. Not only is this handmade activity fun, but it also helps children understand basic motion and wind energy (and maybe they can see some famous windmills around the world!).


You will need:

Jovi Basic Tempera Paint

Paper Fasteners Split Pins

Cardboard Colour Squares

All Purpose Washable School Glue

POSCA Bullet Marker Pack

Spring Assisted Scissors



Decorate a paper cup with brightly coloured paint and set aside to dry.

To make the windmill’s blades, cut two lengths of coloured cardboard (each length measures 9cm long, 2cm wide at the ends, and 1cm wide in the centre).

Use a skewer to poke a hole through the centre of each blade and push a split pin through the holes. Use a dab of school glue to secure the windmill blades to the pin and set aside to dry.

Use markers to decorate the dried windmill cup with windows, a door and any other desired features (remember your windmill will stand upside down).

Use a skewer to poke a hole through the front of the cup, roughly 1.5cm from the top (the bottom of the cup).

Push the split pin (with blades) through the cup’s hole and secure it in place, opening the fasteners inside the cup.

Done! Your perfect Spinning Paper Cup Windmill is ready.


TOP TIP – Make light work of making windmill blades by cutting out a template for preschoolers to trace around or have pre-cut blades ready for younger years.




Wooden Peg Creatures

Wooden Peg Creatures

Peg-tastic animals and shapes! In this fun activity, creativity and imagination will run wild as children create their own little creature that has a spiky feature or rays. How about a “peg-asus” with pegs for wings (see what we did there!)?


You will need:

Wooden Pegs

Cardboard Colour Squares


Large Glue-On Eyes

Creatistics Acrylic Paint Pack

Tacky Craft Glue



With a pencil or marker, draw your desired creature that features spikes, such as a dinosaur, echidna, hedgehog or a sun.

Carefully cut the shape out.

Use Tacky Craft Glue to attach joggle eyes to your creature and set aside to dry.

Using coloured paint, cover the wooden pegs in your desired shade (green for a dinosaur, yellow for a sun, etc.) and set aside to dry.

Use markers to add desired details, such as fur, feathers, scales, facial features, etc.

When the pegs are dry, peg them into position on your creature.

Done! Your perfect Wooden Peg Creature is ready.



TOP TIP – Young children with emerging scissor skills might enjoy working with pre-cut shapes or paper eye stickers instead of joggle eyes.



So, hands up who’s ready for hands-on summer craft? Enjoy these 7 handmade summer craft activities and if you’d like to download the step-by-step activity pack pdf, click here.

Happy crafting over summer and make sure to share your crafty summer awesomeness with us @modernteaching.


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The Hot Dozen Resources You’ll Want For Your Centre In 2024


At MTA, we love listening to you and understanding what you care about in your early learning centre. We know you’re juggling a LOT of things – budgets, funding, resourcing, staffing and caring for those little growing minds. Our team has curated a fresh dozen resources for all budgets and needs we think you’ll love in 2024. Most importantly, these resources hit the big trends right now: 

  • Creative play – open-ended play, role play and creative expression are crucial elements of early childhood learning. Play provides children with opportunities to improvise, imagine, connect, explore, enquire and make discoveries.
  • Sensory play – resources that support babies, toddlers and preschoolers to process information through touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing encourage children to learn, develop and grow whilst they’re having fun. 
  • Cultural learning – understanding our world and accepting different cultures is an important skill for any child. These resources allow children to understand their local communities, as well as the larger world through creativity and play. 
  • Motor skill development – Construction resources, puzzles and games are a great way to promote fine and gross motor skills, as well as cognitive skills, such as problem-solving and logical thinking.  



1. Dot Art Markers 

Child with dot maker paints


These are a no-mess, water-based, non-toxic paint-style marker that are fun and easy to use and are a 2024 must-have for your art trolley! MTA’s Dot Art Markers promote early childhood development and layered learning. Expressive art skills, planning, hand-eye coordination and colour recognition can be enhanced using these markers. Gentle dabbing creates dazzling dot patterns while brushing produces a painted look. Children can mix, layer and blend their paint colours while the ink is wet to create a unique mess-free masterpiece. Just as importantly, these bottles are easy to use with a twist-off cap and splash-free, no-spill bottle.  

Why you’ll love: All you have to do is dot, dot, dot to create art!  


Featured Product:

Dot Art Markers



2. Baby Path Activity Kit

Child playing with Wooden sensory toy


This brilliant Baby Path Activity Kit lets you create an exciting activity centre (or attach panels to the wall) which guides the youngest learners through sights, sounds and tactile sensory exploration. There is endless fun and discovery to be had. With the Colours panel, toddlers learn about early numeracy with size and colour. The colour bars can be turned 360º which adds movement to exploration, providing both a kinetic and a visual challenge. With the Guitar panel, the world’s smallest musicians can produce pleasant sounds using strings of different lengths. The Tinkle panel allows the bars of different lengths to chime and create brilliant sounds. (Suits children aged 12+ months.) 

Why you’ll love: It keeps curious minds engaged  


Featured Product:

Baby Path Activity Kit



3.  Tell a Story Magnetic Board 


This enchanting Tell a Story Magnetic Board set encourages creative play and storytelling while opening up conversations on the different roles within our community. It’s versatile too, with both magnetic and chalkboard options that are perfect for open ended play and role play. With a generously sized hanging magnetic chalkboard as the background, this durable, long-lasting set includes 75 thick wooden magnetic pieces that include a cross-section of people from different ages, genders, ethnic background, professions as well as buildings, vehicles, trees, animals and more. (Suits children aged 3+ years.).  


Why you’ll love: It’s the ultimate storytelling board to let imaginations soar


Featured Product:

Tell a story Magnetic Board



4. Polydron Giant Octoplay

Children playing with construction game in garden

This construction set from Polydron represents giant fun. It’s excellent for large-scale constructions, as each of the 40 giant plastic octagons slot together. Watch children build large constructions quickly and easily with these natural-toned giant octagons. Polydron’s timeless products have earned the respect of educators and children around the world for over 30 years and are the foremost supplier of geometric construction shapes to schools and early childhood education centres. (Suits children aged 2+ years).  

Why you’ll love: Lets children design, construct and problem-solve in a beautifully expressive way 


Featured Product:

Giant Octoplay Construction Set



5.Teachables Rainbow Squares Sensory Pads  

Child holding sensory squares


The rainbow has never felt so in reach before! Rainbow Squares Sensory Pads are a fun, sensory resource that can be used on light boxes, or as a calming fidget tool. Children press on the squares and watch the coloured oil move through the coloured liquid squares for mesmerising exploration. These squishy, captivating sensory pads are a wonderful way to support children’s creativity and open-ended play. (Suits children aged 3+ years.)  

Why you’ll love: Supports sensory learning, calming and creativity  


Featured Product:

Rainbow Squares Sensory Pads




6.Giant Emotions Fishing Game 

Children playing with magnetic fishing game in garden


Happy? Sad? Angry? Worried? Encourage conversations and the exploration of emotions with this Giant Emotions Fishing Game. Children hook the discs with their fishing rods and identify the emotion they have picked. Engaging in collaborative play with the Giant Emotions Fishing Game will provide opportunities for children to build on their motor skills and hand-eye coordination while developing critical social skills including empathy. A variety of skin tones in the Giant Emotions Fishing game authentically communicates the values of equality and inclusion authentically in children’s play.  

Why you’ll love: Encourages exploration of emotions 


Featured Product:

Giant Emotions Fishing Game



7.Sorting Bowls & Tweezers Set  

Sorting bowls and tweezers


Perfect for hand-eye coordination and sorting skills while improving hand strength, the Sorting Bowls & Tweezers Set consists of six colourful bowls and matching tweezers. The tweezers help develop pincer grasp as well as fine motor skills needed for daily living. By working on grasping, picking up and releasing with the tweezers, children are developing hand-eye coordination. As a result, children become more proficient with tasks like handwriting, drawing and forming numbers. Time to get sorting! (Suits children aged 3+ years.).  

Why you’ll love: Lets children sort, classify and work on hand-eye coordination the fun way 


Featured Product:

Sorting Bowls & Tweezers Set



8.Doron Jumbo Knob Toddler Puzzle Set

Toddler Puzzle- DL1569K

What makes the Doron Jumbo Knob Toddler Puzzle a must-have is its clever and thoughtful design. It’s specially designed for young children and those with special educational needs. The extra thick and large pictures are silkscreen printed directly on the wood. Extra large easy-grip knobs make for effortless removal and placing of the pieces. In the set of four puzzles, there are classic themes of fruit, vegetables, wild animals and pets. This puzzle set offers a great way for young children to develop fine motor skills, visual and memory skills and categorising skills. (Suits children aged 18+ months.) 

Why you’ll love: It encourages sorting skills and visual recognition  


Featured Product:

 Doron Jumbo Knob Puzzle Set




9.Percussion Set 

Percussion Musical Set in basket

Say hello to a musical must-have. This assortment of percussion instruments will help children make sweet, sweet music. It includes a tambourine, a wood shaker, a jingle stick, a pair of wooden maracas, wrist bells, an egg shaker, a pair of claves, a triangle with striker and a pair of cymbals. It has everything you need to inspire wonderful musical expression, including an educator-friendly plastic carry back with back straps for hands free portability and easy storage. When children play music, it creates a time for the child to be heard, be creative, be part of a group, show listening skills, patience and most of all fun. (Suits children aged 3+ years.)  

Why you’ll love: Helps children make music come to life easily 


Featured Product:

 Percussion Set



10.Teachables Light Box  

Light box with colourful seashells


A light box is a must-have for any early learning centre and makes the perfect backdrop for exploratory sensory play. This light box is the perfect size to allow little hands to try different items on the surface and create shapes and amazing light shows. The clever design is not only compact and light, but it also has an outer raised edge to support messy play. It includes a USB adaptor and can be used with mains power or with a power bank.  

Why you’ll love: Allows exploratory sensory play to come to life 


Featured Product:

Light Box



11.Rainbow Bricks  

Rainbow blocks


Watch children develop their fine motor skills as they build colourful designs with these Rainbow Wooden Bricks, designed to capture their imagination. Crafted from sustainably sourced rubberwood with a kaleidoscope of colourful transparent acrylic inserts, these blocks offer so many creative possibilities. The natural warmth and tactile appeal of the wood provides a sensory experience that stimulates young minds. With their perfect size and weight, these blocks are easy for tiny hands to grasp. The inserts encourage visual perception and introduce early concepts such as colour recognition and pattern matching. They’re also wonderful to use on a light box. (Suits children aged 12 + months.)  

Why you’ll love: Visually stunning rainbow bricks captivate little learners 


Featured Product:

Rainbow Wooden Bricks



12.Stockholm Spaces Play Kitchen 

Children playing with wooden kitchen


Built to inspire endless kitchen role play, MTA’s Stockholm Spaces Combination Play Kitchen includes a cooktop, oven, sink, fridge, microwave, cupboard and benchtop spaces all in one handy unit. It features turning knobs and realistic designs to inspire delicious imaginative role play. The Stockholm Spaces range is practical with an innovative design, made from birch plywood and lacquered for easy cleaning. Many furniture pieces in this range are made from sustainable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) timbers. This results in an environmentally friendly and sustainable furniture choice for your centre and the environment.  

Why you’ll love: This beautifully designed play kitchen inspires endless role play 


Featured Product:

MTA’s Stockholm Spaces Combination Play Kitchen





To find out more about these resources, or other MTA resources, talk to an MTA Rep or take a look online. Do you still have funding? Maybe these resources could fall within your centre budget. Here’s to a beautiful 2024 in your early learning centre. 


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Deck The halls: 9 Christmas Craft Activities That Bring The Festive!

Christmas Craft

From wreaths to snow globes, it’s time to get Christmas crafty with these 9 elf-approved activities! While Santa is busy in the North Pole preparing for his big appearance, that’s the cue for all of us down here to plan our festive season arts and crafts. We’ve put our Santa thinking caps on and come up with 9 fun craft activities to bring the joy and merry! They’re as easy to make as kicking back on a sleigh ride with jingle bells on! Little creative minds and hands ready? Let’s gooo!


Elf cup

Christmas Craft Elf Cup

We took a poll and 100% of Santa’s elves LOVE it when you create little craft versions of them! These finished elf cups look wonderful sitting on a shelf (naturally), on the Christmas table or near the tree. White eco-paper cups are the basis of these cute decorations, painted in green. Then you build your elf’s legs, feet, and cheeky head and hat.


You will need:

White Eco Paper Cups

Christmas Paper Chains

A4 Coloured Cover Paper

18mm Joggle Eyes

Strong Craft Glue

A4 Kraft Paper

Assorted Christmas Pom Poms


Let’s make it!

Cover your cup in green using a marker or paint and set aside to dry.

To make the elf’s collar, cut a strip of white cover paper 28(L) x 3.5(W)cm, and then trim zig-zags into one edge (triangles measuring approx. 1.5cm, with each point roughly 1.5cm apart).

Wrap your zig-zag collar around the top of the cup, attaching with glue at the back.

To make the elf’s legs, take 2 strips of Christmas paper chain and fold them back and forth to make a zig-zag fold.

Use a dab of glue to attach the legs to the base of the cup.

To make the feet, fold a piece of black cover paper in half and draw one point elf shoe with a pencil, cut the pencil markings out, giving you two shoes.

Use a dab of glue to attach the shoes to the very end of the zig-zag paper legs.

To make the elf’s head, cut a piece of brown Kraft paper approx. 15(L) x 26(W)cm, wrap it into a cylinder with an overlap of approx. 2cm, and either tape or glue in place. Pop it into the cup.

To make the hat, free draw a wonky triangle shape (measuring approx. 26cm at the base, going up to a point. Our elf’s hat measures 14cm from the base line to the point).

Cut out your elf hat and glue it onto the top of the elf hat, overlapping the hat onto the Kraft paper.

To make the arms, use the excess paper from the hat and Kraft paper. Cut two strips of brown craft paper measuring 9(L) x 1.5(W), and 4 x coloured paper lengths 8(L) x 1.5cm.

Layer the Kraft paper and coloured paper together – 1 coloured on the bottom, Kraft in the middle with the ends poking out and another coloured on the top, gluing together. Repeat to make the second arm. Use a pair of scissors to round off the brown Kraft paper to form the hands.

Make a small 45-degree fold on the tops of the arms and glue to the elf cup body.

Free draw two ears on the brown Kraft paper – with 0.5cm excess to fold back and glue to the elf’s head.

Finish off by adding a smile and gluing on 2 joggle eyes, a pom pom on the hat and set aside to dry thoroughly.

Done! The perfect Elf Cup is ready!


TIP: Modify for younger age groups with pre-cut shapes or templates to snip out.



Felt initial decorated stocking

Christmas Craft Felt Initial Stocking

Hanging a Christmas stocking is part of the magic of the season. Making your own initialled one, or one for a family member, makes it even more special. The beauty of this craft activity is it gives you a beautiful item to cherish that is as functional as it is decorative.


You will need:

Cotton Stockings

Christmas Felt

Pastel Felt

Embroidery Thread

Assorted Acrylic Yarn

Supertac Glue 550ml


Let’s make it!

Draw the first letter of your name onto a small piece of paper in a thick font.

Lay the paper onto a small piece of pastel felt, and carefully cut the paper along the line cutting the felt at the same time.

Using the same paper stencil method, snip out the shapes of holly leaves, berries, and any other Christmas-themed decorations as desired.

Place a piece of paper inside the stocking, to prevent the back and front from sticking to each other while using glue.

Lay your design pieces onto the cotton stocking and when you’re happy with their placement, use strong Supertac fabric glue to adhere them in place. Set aside to thoroughly dry.

To make the tassel, cut a piece of thick cardboard to 10(L) x 12(H)cm.

Take your chosen colour of yarn & embroidery threads and wrap it around the longest length of the card right down the middle (you can secure the end with a piece of sticky tape to help start you off).

Continue wrapping around 15 times.

Take 3 strands of yarn roughly 30cm long and tie them together with a knot on one end. Tape them to the table to hold in place and plait the three lengths together until you reach the end. Tie off with a knot.

Take your plaited yarn, and gently bring the ends across the width of the card, bringing the thread underneath the wrapped thread at the top of the card and tie a firm double knot.

Cut the threaded yarn at the bottom, freeing it from the cardboard.

Take 3 more strands of thread measuring 30cm and wrap these around the bundle of tassel thread approx. 2cm from the top of the tassel. Tie off with a firm double knot, letting the ends fall to become part of the tassel. Trim if needed.

Tie the plaited lengths at the top of the tassel to the stocking’s hanging loop, just inside the top of the stocking, letting your tassel hang down the side.

Done! The perfect Christmas Stocking is ready.


TIP: Younger age groups might enjoy gluing pre-cut shapes & embellishments to their stockings including Christmas Holly, Pom Poms, Buttons and Glitter Glue.

Christmas Holly

Pom Poms


Glue Glitter




Gingerbread house terracotta pot ornament

Christmas Craft Terracotta Pot Ornament

This gingerbread house ornament is so cute, it’s bound to be a big favourite for little hands to create and give them a tremendous sense of pride in their work! It would look great sitting on a desk, a shelf, coffee table or a windowsill! These little terracotta pot ornaments also make perfect seasonal gifts for loved ones!

You will need:

Terracotta Plant Pots

Fine POSCA Markers

Christmas Jingle Bells

Assorted Christmas Ribbons

Crystal Clear


Let’s make it!

Lightly draw your design onto the terracotta pot with a lead pencil – white snow around the rim and fallen snow coming down around the top edges, a little door, candy canes, gum drops, lollies etc. as desired.

Use the white POSCA paint marker to fill in the large white snow areas.

Use the colourful POSCA paint markers to fill in the brightly coloured details, letting your pencil markings guide your art and set aside to dry.

Apply a layer of Crystal Clear to the entire surface of the pot to provide a permanent barrier to moisture and wear & tear and set aside to dry.

Cut a 20cm length of Christmas Ribbon, form a loop and push the two loose ends through the Jingle Bell.

Feed both loose ends through the hole at the top of the pot, trapping the Jingle Bell on top.

Use strong tape or glue to adhere the loose ribbon ends to the inside of the pot.

Done! The perfect Gingerbread House Terracotta Pot Ornament is ready.


TIP: Further personalise your decoration with embellishments, glitter or writing as desired.



Gingerbread pop stick houses

Christmas Craft Gingerbread Pop Stick HouseNo holiday season is complete without a gingerbread house – the sort you can eat and the sort you can treasure, like these! Whimsical and looking oh-so-delicious, these quaint pop stick houses make beautiful seasonal displays. They’re so pretty to hang around the classroom, on the Christmas tree at home or to gift as thoughtful presents!


You will need:

Paddle Pop Sticks Plain

Choc Fudge Brown Classroom Splash Acrylic Paint

Strong Craft Glue

Wooden Coloured Beads

Assorted Felt Sheets

A4 White Cardboard

Christmas Candy Colour Chenille Sticks

Fine POSCA Marker

Assorted Felt Christmas Stickers

Red and White Bakers Twine


Let’s make it!

To assemble the pop stick house – trim 9 pop sticks to 2/3 of their original size.

Lay 8 of the trimmed pop sticks in a row and use strong glue to adhere the 9th trimmed pop stick across the bottom (to hold your 8 pop sticks together). Allow to dry.

When your glue is dry, flip over and glue 1 whole-length pop stick to the top of the trimmed pop sticks, covering the trimmings.

Trim 2 more pop sticks to 2/3 of their size and glue these to form a triangle-shaped roof (one end each on the sides, and the other end together to form the roof’s point).

When the glue is dry, trim 4 more pop sticks to fit the roof’s triangular frame, and glue in place. Allow to dry.

When the glue is dry, flip your Gingerbread House over – it’s now ready to paint the front in your desired shade of fudge brown. Set aside to dry.

Now it’s time to make all your decorations. We’ve used coloured wooden beads to decorate the roof and doorknob, felt sheets to make the door, bakers’ twine to trim, Christmas felt stickers and candy colour chenille sticks. The sweet treats have been made using POSCA markers on white cardboard which have been cut out and glued into scraps of white felt to raise them up.

Use strong glue to attach all your decorations to the front of your Gingerbread House and set aside to dry thoroughly (the wooden doorknob might need a 2nd blob of strong glue to hold in place).

Lastly, flip your Gingerbread House over, cut a length of baker’s twine and attach to the back of the house to form a hanging loop) and set aside to dry.

Done! The perfect Gingerbread House Decoration is ready.


TIP: Older age groups might enjoy using glue guns to assemble their houses and decorations.



Iron-on beads tree baubles and Christmas wreath

Christmas Craft Christmas Wreath

Have you tried making iron-on bead ornaments? It’s a really simple and fun creative activity, allowing for all sorts of patterns and shapes. You arrange the Christmas-coloured beads on the peg boards to make your desired pattern. You’re then ready to fuse the beads together using a hot iron (adult time!) to make a long-lasting ornament to adorn classrooms, homes or the beloved family Christmas tree.

Baubles – you will need:

Christmas Iron-on Beads Kit

Red and White Bakers Twine OR

Christmas Ribbon Rolls

Wreath – you will need:

Christmas Iron-on Beads

Square Bead Boards for 5mm Beads

Ironing Paper for Iron-on Beads

Christmas Ribbon Rolls


Let’s make them!

Arrange the iron-on beads into a design on the bead board.

Warm a household iron to high, making sure the steam is off.

Cover the design with a sheet of ironing paper and iron over until the beads start to melt and fuse together into a colourful and flexible shape.

Allow your design to cool before removing from the bead board.

Peel the protective layer off an acetate sheet and cut two pieces to the size of your frame.

When cool, thread a length of yarn through one of the beads, creating a loop to hand, and tie off (a skewer will help to remake a hole if the beads have completely melted.

Done! The perfect Iron-on Beads Christmas decoration is ready.


TIP: Make sure you have an adult to help or complete the ironing steps.



Snow globe

Christmas Craft Snow Globe

Do you collect snow globes? Do you have one special one? Have you made one before? A snow globe makes a perfect lasting seasonal treasure for little ones – or a perfect gift for friends or family members. You can make whatever scene you like for the inside of your snow globe, although we went with a snowman! However, you can let your creativity run wild with your perfectly preserved snow globe creation!


You will need:

Snow Globe

Oven Bake Polymer Clay

Glitter Shakers Tubes

High Temp Glue Gun

High Temp Glue Sticks

Christmas Rhinestones

Christmas Ribbon Rolls


Let’s make it!

Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry thoroughly before using the clay.

Soften the Polymer clay using the warmth of your hands, kneading until it is warm and workable.

Shape the clay into a Christmas scene (a snowman, candy canes, reindeer, Santa, presents, a tree etc). Make sure it’s able to fit inside the snow globe (we’ve made a snowman, 2 candy canes and a platform).

Carefully lay your designs onto a flat baking tray with baking paper.

Put your finished design into the oven and bake at around 130 degrees Celsius for 15 to 30 minutes (baking times may vary depending on the size of your chosen designs).

Let your creation completely cool before handling (any rough areas can be sanded or touched up with paint as desired).

Using a hot glue gun (or strong glue that will be waterproof when dry), adhere your Christmas creations to the inside of the snow globe lid, and set aside to dry.

Fill the snow globe with water and glitter as desired and tightly screw the lid to the globe (securing the lid to the globe with a hot glue gun will add complete security).

Decorate the base of the snow globe with sequins or ribbon as desired.

Done! The perfect Christmas Snow Globe is ready.


TIP: Make sure to have an adult help or complete the steps requiring an oven.



Pop stick nutcracker ornament

Christmas Craft Pop Stick Nutcracker

This is such a simple but adorable ornament to hang on the Christmas tree! Do you know the story of the Nutcracker? It tells the story of a little girl called Marie (Clara in some versions) and her toys. In the original story, Marie’s toys come to life on Christmas Eve and a Nutcracker figure helps lead the fight against an army of mice! One of the main themes is about the power of imagination. Marie leads people through a magical dream, who see the wonder of Christmas through her eyes.


You will need:

Foam Paint Brush Set

Jumbo Pop Sticks

Mini Paddle Pop Sticks

Fine Art Student Acrylic,

Fine POSCA Markers

Gold Bullet POSCA Marker

Strong Craft Glue

Red and White Bakers Twine


Let’s make it!

Use a lead pencil to lightly mark out the Nutcracker’s details on 1 x jumbo pop stick (the face, jacket, pants and shoes) and 2 x mini pop sticks (the arms and hands).

Use acyclic paint to block out the colours (washi tape can help create crisp lines) and set aside to dry.  Washi Tape:

Use fine POSCA paint pens to decorate the details – yellow for the uniform’s buttons, black to make the eyes etc. and set aside to dry.

Lay the pop sticks face down, arrange them into place and use strong tape or glue to hold them in place, and set aside to dry.

Remove the handle from the foam paint brush, add a small squeeze of strong glue inside, and slide it onto the Nutcracker’s head.

Attach a loop of baker’s twine to the back of the ornament with strong glue (we’ve poked the ends into the back of the sponge hat) and set aside to dry.

Done! The perfect Pop Stick Nutcracker Ornament is ready.


TIP: A small pop stick cut in half and running along the back of the Nutcracker will help the body and arm pop stick pieces stay in place.


Paper Jingle Ornaments

Christmas Craft Paper Jingle Ornament

These paper crafting favourites will look beautiful hanging around the classroom or on the Christmas tree at home. They can be made in so many different shapes and colours too! Christmas is all about jingle bells and these are a perfect way to bring your own personalised jingle bells to life!


You will need:

A4 Coastal Cardboard

Tinsel Pipe Cleaners

Christmas Ribbon Rolls

Gold Christmas Bells

Paper Punch One Hole

Silver Craft Wire

Supertac Glue


Let’s make it!

Draw your Christmas decoration shapes onto cardboard and cut out (make sure to leave room for the tinsel and bell in the middle, and a hanging hole at the very top).

Use a compass or small round object to draw a circle in the middle of the decoration (roughly 3.5cm diameter).

Cut out the centre hole (fold the cardboard slightly, make a snip and then use the snip to insert your scissors to cut around the circle line). Discard the trimmings.

Cut a short length of beading wire roughly 4cm long, thread a Christmas bell onto the wire, fold the wire in half and push one end through the cardboard decoration, roughly 1cm above the cut-out circle. Twist the two ends around each other to hold the bell securely (trim if needed).

Cut a sparkly pipe cleaner to approx. 15cm in length and bend around to form a circle to fit around the cardboard decoration centre cut out. Twist the ends around the circle neatly. Use strong glue to attach the sparkly pipe cleaner to the cardboard decoration and set aside to dry thoroughly.

When dry, use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of the decoration and tie a length of Christmas ribbon, forming a loop to hang.

Done! The perfect Paper Jingle Ornament is ready.


TIP: It doesn’t need to stop there! Add as much decoration and sparkle as you like with drawings, embellishments and glitter.


So, there you have 9 beautiful Christmas craft activities to give you decorative goodies that young and old alike will love. Hang them, place them, gift them, share them, enjoy them!

If you’d like to download the step-by-step activity pack pdf, click here.

Happy crafting and seasonal wishes and please share your crafty seasonal awesomeness with us @modernteaching


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