How To Create Cute Toilet Roll Characters

This week we have had fun creating characters from empty toilet rolls. There’s so much inspiration online here’s what we came up with.

You Will Need:

  • Toilet roll tubes
  • Pens, pencils
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • paper
  • Tape/glue

Renn really wanted to make a butterfly so we started by drawing out some wings on a coloured piece of paper. We folded it in half so we had symmetrical wings. We used the cardboard tube to make sure we made them the right size.

drawing butterfly wings on paper

After we cut the wings out we put blobs of paint on them.

Paper butterfly wings covered in blobs of coloured paints

We then carefully folded the wings in half and pressed down. We carefully peeled open the wings and it revealed a beautiful mix of all the colours.

Painted paper butterfly wings

As the wings were drying we set about making the body of the butterfly. We painted it and stuck on pipe cleaners for antennas. Once it was dry we added eyes and stuck on the wings

Painting a toilet roll for the butterfly's body

Toilet roll butterfly

We then had lots of fun making other characters. Then we were able to make up stories with the characters we created.

Monster, owl and a fox toilet roll cardboard tube character
Alien, butterfly and owl toilet roll cardboard tube characters

How To Make a Mayan Mask

One of the tasks from school this week was for the kids to make a Mayan mask so I thought this might make a good blog post. We had lots of fun looking at images with the help of Google and I really believe that the way to nail this activity is all in the design. We also split the activity over two days. A day for designing and a day for making the mask.

You Will Need:

  • Paper and card (cereal box is great card use)
  • Pencil and coloured pens, pencils, chalks, oil pastels
  • Tape and stick glue (a stapler is very handy but not essential)
  • Scissors
  • old magazines (optional, but make fun mosaic patterns)
  • Imagination and patience!
materials of paper, card and pencils

Start by having a good look at Mayan masks online and look at things like colour and shape. Some of them have animal shapes in them and use small mosiac tiles.

Child's drawing of a mayan mask

Then draw your design on the paper and give it colour. This is a very useful exercise as it will really help when you come to making the mask.

Child's mayan mask drawing

Once you got a finished design you can now think about how to make it as a mask. Look at the shapes you have with it and start to cut those shapes out. We found it much easier to cut the shapes and colour them as we went, then all the pieces can be assembled.

We looked at the size of the feathers compared to the face and discovered they were about the same length. Renn started by drawing and cutting out the feather headdress and then we drew around a plate to get the right-sized shape for the face. She coloured in the feathers and the face and we found some gold card for the earings and front on the headdress. Having her design made it much easier for her to understand the process and what she needed to do next.

Colouring the feathers for our Mayan mask

Wilf’s wanted his mask to be more three dimensional so we made slits at the top corners and folded them in securing the card with a staple. He then used his design to redraw the features and then he used paint to colour his mask. He then added coloured feathers to the top of the mask and we secured them with tape.

To fit the mask to the face I used a cardboard headband. You cut strips of cardboard and measure it around the child’s head. Then you put a central band across. This stops the mask from falling down over the eyes and it always seems to work better than elastic as it’s more structural.

I was really proud of their efforts and they were very pleased with the finished results. Hope you have fun making your masks, feel free to share your efforts on our social media pages.

How to Make A Family Postbox

The idea came to me when my youngest said she wished she got more things in the post. So I suggested we make our own postbox and anyone could put a letter inside for any member of the family to discover.

It was then she said that she would also like to use the postbox so she could post how she was feeling. Given what is currently going on for everyone right now I decided what a great idea this would be to help children write or draw about how they were feeling. So here is how we made our own family postbox.

You will need:

  • A little box
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Stick glue
  • pencil
  • Extra card
  • Split pin
  • Modelling clay
Materials needed for the postbox

Start by cutting off the top flaps of the box to create an opening. Then wrap it using the paper and tape. For the top of the box cut down the wrapping paper and glue it into the inside of the box to make the opening. This will be where you post your letters.

Gluing the paper inside the top of the box

Next you can cut out a little flag. This will serve as a marker when someone has put something in the postbox. You can make a hole in the side of the box using the sharp pencil and the modelling clay and then in the flag too.

Making a hole in a piece of card using a pencil and modelling clay

You can then use a split pin to attach them together. If you don’t have a split pin then you can use a piece of thick wire folded over on itself. (but make sure the hole isn’t too big) or use a hair slide/grip at the opening of the box to hold the flag upright.

Finished postbox

Then all you need to do is start writing or drawing little things to put in your postbox. You can put in hearts, mini chocolates, pictures from magazines you really like, draw a little picture, theme a letter from their favourite character, put in inspirational quotes, tell them if they made a great choice. Be as creative as you can as they will really appreciate the kind words they find in the postbox.

Wrting a letter to put in the postbox

Remember to keep some of your favourite things that are sent in the family postbox. We did this activity over 6 years ago and I found an envelope with things we had written as I tidied the art area and the kids spent ages looking through them and reading the messages. It was so heartwarming.

items from the family postbox