My name is Elise and I am the author of the blog, Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds.
In 2006, when I was six months pregnant with our first child, we made the decision for me to resign from my position as a Deputy Principal in a secondary school. I had ten years classroom experience and was looking forward to my new "job" as a mum. We had our first daughter, Savanna in September 2006, our son Blake was born in July 2008 and on Easter Sunday this year our baby girl, Taleea was born.
My children really are miracle workers as they seem to have awakened the creative side in me ( it was laying pretty dormant pre children). I now see everyday items as objects we can transform through our craft activities. I get excited about thinking up original ideas and creative projects for us to do. I enjoy spending time creating games and learning opportunities. My children have proven to me that inspiration to play, learn and create surrounds us and these abundant sources of inspiration makes for a whole lot of fun and creative experiences.
Some of our most memorable and fun activities include:
Photo above: As part of our activities to celebrate Australia Day Savvy and Blake had a go at some Aboriginal inspired dot paintings (after we viewed some pictures and photos from our books) on our boulder wall in our backyard, Grandad was on hand to help out.
The calendar is an excellent source of inspiration for us and most months see us crafting away in order to celebrate a day from the calendar. You can check out all of our crafts inspired by the calendar on my blog by going to the "arts and crafts" tab in the navbar at the top of the blog and then selecting "calendar" from the drop down menu.
Speaking of calendars, it reminds me of a post I wrote titled: 10 Ways To Use Calendars With Young Children. Early next year, when calendars are drastically reduced in price I will certainly be replenishing our supply of these. We have found quite a few additional uses for our calendars and shortly I will be writing another blog post about some more ways we have used our calendars this year. Stay tuned for that!
Everyday items have also proven to be inexpensive sources of inspiration for us.
Photo above: I used some gift wrap to make this box for Blake who was 21 months at the time. Blake is puppy obsessed. I used some gutter mesh over a shoe box and then covered the box in some canine paper. Blake can now thread some of the puppy pieces onto pipecleaners and poke the pipecleaners through the mesh.
We also used some sheets of gift wrap for an eye spy game and an activity to help Blake learn his colors.
Photo above: A simple file folder game I made for Blake using the same gift wrap to help him learn his colors. I would ask Blake to find a particular color dog house to place one of the puppies into.
I collect paper tubes - you just never know when you are going to need to craft with one. Just another example of an everyday item that can be transformed. We upcycled the humble toilet roll into a bouquet of flowers and a couple of butterflies to boot.
One of our favourite things to do is recycle items so that we can use and enjoy them.
Earlier this year Savvy made a "fairy village" while Blake decorated a dog house.
Making and playing with our fairy village and dog house creations.
To celebrate the start of spring we transformed some our yogurt containers into vases.
I also like to create learning activites for our children and share them on my blog. Downloadable activities can be accessed on my blog by going to the "learn tab" in the navbar and then scrolling down to the "printables" option. An example of a printable activity that I created is a nature scavenger hunt that we enjoyed as part of our learning activities to celebrate the New Year. The purpose of the scavenger hunt was to find examples of new beginnings in our backyard.
Photo above: This time we completed the scavenger hunt with Grandad in his backyard.
Pour yourself a cuppa, stay a while at Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds where you can check out the ways in which the calendar, nature, other countries and cultures inspire our arts and crafts. You can also see a plethora of learning activities (maths based, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, our alphabet adventures, sensory activities, our themes and more) as well as our play ideas.