Tag Archives: children

A Tale of Two Fairies – Part 2, A Guest Post.

30 Dec

Keen followers might remember a post a few weeks ago entitled ‘A Tale of Two Fairies’, in which I told the story of my mum’s 25-year-old Christmas fairy, and the new one I commissioned for her from Curious Pip to allow the old fairy to retire. Mum was thrilled with her new fairy and put her straight up in pride of place on the tree, while the old one was lovingly taken down and wrapped up in her box to be cherished. 

My mum works in a primary school and told some of the kids all about the fairies. They were amazed at how old the original one was, (25 years is an absolute age to an eight-year old!), and that £4.95 was such a lot of money back in the 80’s when we bought her from our local John Lewis. They were so inspired by the tale that she decided to take both the fairies in to school for the kids to see, which sparked off some project work for them to do. Allow me to share with you, my mum’s own account of the kids encounter with our festive, family fairies!

Now that the festive season is over for another year, I just had to let everyone know about my joy at receiving a new fairy for the tree.

My lovely daughter, Jennifer (aka Mistress of Monsters) delighted me with a home crafted, personally commissioned, brand new fairy courtesy of Curious Pip. You have probably already read about it in the blog and have seen the pictures but so much more has happened since then.

I work in a primary school and recounted the story of the fairies to a small group of year 5 children that I work with every day. In order to inspire them, I took the old and new fairies in to school.

They handled the fairies with due reverence and such care for children of that age. I think they really believed the fairies had genuine feelings (which of course they do).

We spent  a long time discussing the fairies and they had lots of things to say about them. They sympathised with the old fairy and suggested other jobs for her to do, so she would not feel neglected. The final decision was that the old fairy could be ‘Official Present Protector’.

I wish I‘d had a camera with me, because they all sat open-mouthed when I produced the new fairy from a tissue lined box.  Curious Pip has a new group of very young fans.

I am sure this will not be the last time that I use the fairies to inspire something in the children.

A Big thank you to Jennifer and of course, a BIG THANK YOU to Curious Pip.

The kids even wrote a poem about the pretty pair, and did some drawings too, fabulous!

She used to be the one on top

And now she’s down the bottom.

Someone else has muscled in

Don’t you think that’s rotten?

But if you think, she is quite old,

She needed to retire.

The bottom of the tree is best for her

‘cause it’s nearer to the fire.

The new fairy looks resplendent

Atop the Christmas tree,

But we’ll never forget the old one

She was very special you see.

Santa will think it very strange

But we’ll make it understood

That he’ll just have to get used to it

‘cause she’s here to stay for good.


Charity Critters

24 Jul

Keen followers may remember me posting about my mum and her lovely sock creatures. She started making them last year and soon amassed quite an army of them.

When I was back at home a couple of weeks ago for a visit, she was proud to show me a project she had been working on at the primary school in which she works as a learning support assistant (it happens to be my old primary school, and hers too!). She had got all the kids busy making sock monsters to raise money for charity, and what a great job they had done. She tells it much better than I do.

Well here it is…. my very first guest blog, albeit for my daughter. I am not as good a writer as Jennifer, but I’m going to give it a go!

I work in a primary school in Reading and, at present, I am attached to the year six (62 eleven year olds). Over the past three years they have all been very supportive of one of their class mates. Matthew has leukaemia and has been very ill. He has spent a considerable amount of time in Lion Ward at The Royal Berkshire Hospital, so I thought that before they all go off to their secondary schools it would be great to raise some funds for the ward.

Having been inspired by Jennifer to make sock monsters last year, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I started planning how to make 62 sock critters. I spent a long time working out which children should go in which groups and at what time. Even more time was spent shopping for socks, ribbons, buttons and stuffing, but everything was in place and we got started.

Some days they drove me mad asking ‘is it my turn to do the socks?’

I would just point to the timetable and tell them to check for themselves! They were all excited about making their  critter and, yes the boys were just as excited as the girls. The beauty of this craft activity was that although we followed two simple basic shapes they all look totally different.  Although somebody should come up with a fool-proof way for children to thread their own needles!!

Here is a picture of the complete set.

Do they remind you of anything?

All the sock creatures were given names that developed as they were made. Each child succeeded in making their sock into a creature however good or bad their sewing skills were. Some children have gone home and driven parents mad to go out and buy socks and stuffing to make another.

I hate to single out any of the creatures because they are all fabulous, but some of them are so good I can’t resist….

Top row :- Captain Spotty. Megan, Monacle

Bottom row:-  Droopy, Stripey, Button Eyes

Button eyes was actually made by a boy with fairly severe autistic problems, but as you can see, he made a super job of it. This sort of activity seems to bring out the best in all the children. I had no problems with their behaviour, which it has to be said, has not been the best over the last year.

The local newspaper sent a photographer  to record their efforts and we raised £134.88.  Pretty good I reckon!

Of course the teachers have said that it would be a great activity to do every year!! Thank goodness I will be retiring soon!! (I loved it really).

So it just goes to show. Never underestimate what kids are capable of, or what they might be interested in doing. Craft is fun, therapeutic, and good for all those who dabble in it, and I hope that the kids who made these monsters will remember that feeling and take it on into later life. Well done Mummy Monster!

Homes for Monsters

19 Feb

Two of my beloved monsters went to a good home this week. They were bought as gifts for these two little’uns. I hope they are not going to be a bad influence and tempt the kiddies into following their monsterous ways……….