Using just a handful of easily sourced materials, this activity is fun, affordable and very easy, even for children who are very young. When your toadstools are completed, littlies will enjoy using them in their fairy games. Better still, if the weather is nice, why not take them outside? Perhaps some real live fairies will be attracted to your garden!
Time: As this activity involves painting (and therefore drying time needs to be factored in), it's best stretched out over a few hours or even days.
Age: Any Age
Several small paper picnic bowls
A selection of different sized cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet paper (a combination of large and small sizes is ideal)
Child-safe paper scissors
Acrylic paints in various colours
Paint brushes and / or sponges in various sizes
Felt tipped pens in various colours
Optional: glitter glue, glitter, stickers, craft gems, old gift-wrapping paper (of flowers or butterflies for cut-out embellishments) and a glue stick
Cut doors into one side of the cardboard rolls, if desired, to create fairy doors. Younger children will probably need help to do this.
Using masking tape, firmly attach cardboard tubes to the bowls. We took quite a while doing this, applying the tape at various angles and in different positions, so the toad-stools wouldn't fall apart later on.
Once the cardboard bowls and tubes have been securely taped together, you can start painting the toad-stools. This part of the activity can get very messy and aprons are strongly recommended. Please note that the bowls sometimes warp slightly as the paint is applied, especially if it's very wet or heavily applied. Encourage children not to be disappointed as this just increases the finished toad-stools' rustic charm. We painted a single bright colour for the toad-stools' roof and then left them to dry. Be sure to also paint the stem.
When the first layer of paint has dried, we started to apply further decoration. We kept the designs simple and added dots of various sizes, very basic flower patterns and paint splatter decorations, created by flicking paint from an old toothbrush. Either use these methods, copying our designs from the pictures, or create your own. Alternatively, you could use felt tipped markers to create patterns on your toad-stools. Remember to decorate the doorways in the stems.
If you used paint, leave your toad-stools until they're completely dry.
When the final layer of paint has totally dried, further decorations can be applied. This can include stickers, cut-outs (of flowers, butterflies, etc) from old gift-wrapping paper, glitter glue, glitter or small craft gems.