January 2014

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Easy Australian flag craft idea: hands-on way for preschoolers to learn about Aussie culture and Australia Day.

Preschooler craft idea: a washi tape and glitter Australian Flag

JJ is quite fond of our beloved flag, and has had one masking-taped to her bedroom door for a few months now. So I thought it might be fun to create a preschool-friendly version of an Australian flag as a fun craft activity in the lead up to Australia Day next week.

Supplies to make an Australian flag

* Contains affiliate links to similar products used.

We used:

I cut the star stencils out of thin cardboard. Make sure that the two largest stars have seven points, and the smallest star has five points.

Because this was a product-oriented craft, I made one before hand for JJ to copy from. I’ve learned from experience that this saves us from having a mid-craft meltdown. (She doesn’t like to be told or shown how to do something. Having something to copy from still allows her to do her version “all by herself” without verbal instructions from me).

Here was my example.

Australian flag made with coloured construction paper, washi tape, glue and glitter

And here is JJ making her own. She did ask for some help: I cut the pieces of tape, and I positioned and held the stencils down while she glued, but otherwise she did it on her own.

Preschool craft: Australian flag

She used lots and lots of glue! Sprinkling the glitter was the hardest bit for her. She finds it hard to judge how hard and high to shake, without hitting the paper. She previously struggled with this when we decorated Christmas baubles as well. I’ll have to plan more glitter crafts so she can practise some more.

While she crafted, we talked about how the bit in the top left is called the Union Jack which is England’s flag, and that Jack starts with the same special letter as JJ. We talked about how all the lines of the Union Jack cross in the middle, and JJ said it looked like a star. We counted the stars, and also counted the points on each star. I told her that the seven pointed star is called the Federation Star.

Here is JJ (3.5 years old) with her finished Australian Flag, just waiting for the glue to dry. Doesn’t she look proud as punch!

Kid-made Australian flag



For more Aussie craft ideas, you might like to check out our Australian activities archives page – we’re adding new ideas here all the time.

Here are some other fun Australian ideas from some of my Aussie blogging friends, that you might like to check out too:

I also regularly pin Aussie activities on my Australia for Kids Pinterest page.

And a big happy Australia Day for the 26th Jan!

xx Danya

* This post contains affiliate link(s) to similar products used. An affiliate link means I may earn advertising / referral fees if you make a purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you. It helps to keep this little blog afloat. Thanks for your support.

Easy Australian flag craft for kids - perfect for kids learning about Australia or Australia Day

After the kids had finished making a mess of the backyard playing with the Sensory Foam Dough, I still had a bit of shaving cream left in the can. Too much to throw away, but not enough to keep….

So then this happened.

Shaving cream play in the bath tub
(no filter)

I might have accidentally put in another entire can as well….

Playing with shaving cream
(black and white)

We’ve played with shaving cream in the bath before. It’s lots and lots and lots of fun.

She loved the feeling of it oozing between her fingers. She loved the feeling of it on her body, particularly on her feet and between her toes. She loved the thrill of sliding around the bathtub, and trying to walk from one side of the bath tub to the other without slipping over.

A few of her bath toys might have slipped and slid their way around the bath tub as well.

Shaving cream sensory play

Great for a sensory explosion on a hot summer’s day. She certainly looks like she’s enjoying herself, doesn’t she?

Idea for a hot day: shaving cream play in the bath


DIY Foam Dough - mouldable, yet crumbly

One of my goals for this year is to do some more sensory play with JJ and Bee. (Sensory play encourages the use of various senses; to look, hear, smell, taste or touch while they play).

Sensory doughs are an excellent medium to explore the sense of touch. Some are oozy, some are crumbly, some are soft. And some explore other senses as well, like smell and taste.

I’ve tended to shy away from making our own dough at home for too long now: I feared the mess; I feared the prep work; I feared that the effort will be greater than the reward. But after seeing how much JJ and Bee liked the Play Snow last month, I’ve decided to put fears aside and let the kids get messy!

And so it was extremely timely when my friend Dayna from Lemon Lime Adventures put out a 12 Months of Sensory Dough challenge. Yup, I’m in!

Want to play too? Well, the idea is to make a different type of sensory dough each month, starting with Foam Dough for January, Cloud Dough for February, Edible Play Dough for March, and so on.

So what is foam dough?

Glad you asked. 🙂

Cornflour + shaving cream + food colouring
It’s cornflour + shaving cream + (optional) red & blue food colouring (because JJ is obsessed with purple).

(Just to make things confusing, what we call cornflour in Australia, is called cornstarch in America. And what what we call cornstarch in Australia is called cornflour in America. The one I mean is white and powdery, not yellow and powdery…)

Mixing! A beautiful sensory mess
Mixing it together is more than half the fun. Shaving cream is so fluffy to touch and smells so clean! And watching the red and blue colours mix together is a great colour mixing lesson.

We used a 500g packet of cornflour, but I didn’t measure out the shaving cream. I just kept squirting and squirting and squirting until the mixture looked about right.

foam dough
Once it’s all combined, foam dough is crumbly, yet mouldable. With shaving cream being a main ingredient, I was expecting it to be fluffy or sticky, but it isn’t. It’s soft. It’s very similar in texture to Play Snow, but the shaving cream made it more fun to make.

I provided JJ with some paper cupcake cups / liners / cases (what are these things called again) and of course she made a birthday cake and told her joke.

Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Abbey who?
Abbey birthday cake!

Hilarious. Or at least JJ thinks so.

Foam dough birthday cake with stick candle
She discovered that if you turn the cupcake upside down, you can make a sand castle. They work much better than most of the ‘real’ sandcastles she’s tried, as there is no need to add any water.

So she proceeded to make about a hundred.

Making foam dough sand castles
After a while I brought out a few letter cookie cutters. We talked about how the letter F makes a ‘f’ sound and I asked her if there was anything she could see that started with a ‘f’, and she immediately said Foam Dough. Yay! Learning the starting sounds of words is one of the first steps to reading, and is something that JJ is enjoying toying with at the moment.

F is for foam dough
Given JJ’s sensory obsession of feeling things with her feet, this was always going to happen. And so we counted toes.

Footprints in foam dough. Counting toes.
Once the feet were in, well, there’s no stopping! Lucky that I had set it up outside. 😉

Foam Sensory Dough - let the kids get messy!
Want to play along? Then make some – it’s fun! Yes it’s messy, but if you do it outside, and close enough to bathtime, then it’s manageable. I don’t know why I was afraid of the prepwork – JJ did all the mixing for me! And was it worth the effort – every single bit.

And a tip from a non-pro? Wash your hands before you pick up your camera to take photos, or risk getting powder all over the $1000 camera lens. Oops.

Best of the Best Sensory Dough

Enjoy the beautiful sensory mess!

xx Danya