Make and Take Versus Pinterest!

Why come to a Make and Take Workshops?

In the age of smart phones, Google and Pinterest there is surely nothing a parent can’t do at home?

Hoping to respond to the eternal eye-rolling, deep-sighing and ‘I’m bored’ cry from children, or the, on the ball, super organised, super motivated, super-caffeinated parent looking to provide all of the entertainment, fun and stimulation, all of the time, can do with a quick online search in an instant?

Absolutely right. 18739920_1462810007115473_1307968060486169004_n (1)

There are unending search engine pages of crafts, activities, DIY , cheap and cheery things to be found online.

In fact a lot of the inspiration for the work I do comes from blogs I read, Pins I have filed away, posts I have liked.  Also a lot of further reading and study I have done in my own professional development has been inspired by what is trending in Early Years, what people are blogging, pinning, sharing etc, is often based on some nugget of being beneficial to child development and has led me into fascinating rabbit holes where I get lost in research, journal articles and peer reviews.

I would urge you to do the same – pin, share, like away, if you love it, if you think children in your care would love if, if it inspires or motivates you, chances are it will for children also!


The difficulty often comes in turning these ideas into reality, into making that playdough, setting up that invitation to play, sourcing those cute little resources; and what if it doesn’t work?  Who really has the time in between wiping, feeding, cleaning, lifting, transporting, loving children all day to hoke around pound shops for glue just to find its not strong enough and your lovely resource falls apart after a few minutes play, or the food dye doesn’t create lovely vibrant colours, or the paint stains where it shouldn’t and doesn’t wash off where it should!!!  It can be demoralising, inadvertantly expensive and time consuming.

I have been working in Early Years for about 15 years now, and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of make your own resources.  I have failed at fail proof recipes, things have not blended, adhered, gelled, melted, set as they were supposed to.  I have tweaked, and changed, added to and removed, altering most recipes, activities and instructions I come across; sometimes through necessity if I have not had specific ingredients to hand and have had to improvise, other times through design when I have required a different outcome of quantity, colour, texture etc, and sometimes out of haste and even laziness when I have thrown something together in a ‘that will do’ fashion.


The outcome of all this trail and error has been that I have spent a lot of time, effort and if I am honest, money;

  • Researching fun, stimulating, developmentally appropriate activities for all ages and abilities
  • Sourcing the materials, ingredients, equipment needed to do this is the most cost effective, yet accessible way online, locally, second hand and where possible repurposed and free!  Believe me I have trawled the internet and shops comparing price per unit, I have bargained like you wouldn’t believe at carboot sales and I have appealed, begged , borrowed, pleaded and fund raised for the rest!
  • Road tested every combination of method I could conceive of to tweak each recipe or activity to make it fit for purpose i.e. suitable for the child/ group. This has involved many all nighters experimenting in my kitchen, burnt fingers, stained clothes, and a fair bit of wear and tear to equipment!
  • Finally I have road tested and gotten approval for them all on the various groups and individual children I have worked with over the years –


What I have ended up with is a fairly substantial bank of child-friendly, child approved, economic, developmentally stimulating and fun recipes, activities and resources.

Over the years, and very often in Stay and Play Workshops parents and carers have asked

  • How do you make that?
  • Where did you find/ buy that?
  • I would love to do that, but I am not crafty/ creative/ no time/ no money

So now, I am going to share the years of experience, knowledge include tips, tricks and how to’s that I have acquired.  It is my passion and privilege to work with families with young children, I aim to support families to connect with their children, to provide stimulating experiences in a safe and nurturing environment, simple!


So, what are the benefits of attending a Make and Take Workshops versus using Pinterest etc to source your play activities and resources for young children

  • I have already done that, a lot, like, loads, I don’t think I can stress quite how much time and effort I have spent looking for ALL OF THE IDEAS linking to themes, seasons, children’s interests (and believe me some children’s interests can be obscure!)
  • I have amassed many, many, many resources, I have ALL OF THE THINGS to colour, texture, add to, enhance play provision, bits and bobs to choose from – think of me like a veritable pix ‘n’ mix of all things sensory.  Coming to a Make and Take Workshop means you get to see resources, handle them, choose how much to use, have another go if you change your mind.  Things that aren’t really possible when standing in a shop aisle of adding to online basket, its hard to choose how much and what will go together!   In fact, I think it was when our home reached critical mass with ALL THE THINGS, that my own children were never going to be able to use, and my long suffering husband could build no more shelves for, that I decided to share the wealth i.e. ALL THE THINGS at workshops and so All Of Me Sensory was born out of storage necessity!
  • At workshops, there will be lots of
    • examples of sensory resources for you to handle and explore, to help inspire your own choices;
    • there will be lots of resources to choose from when creating your own resources; there will be detailed and fool proof (says the fool!) instructions to help you create your own resources;
    • plus me to demonstrate, and support you as you do, with ALL OF THE STORIES of my own creative bloopers, guaranteed to boost your self confidence;
    • did I mention coffee and cake???
  • There are even some lovely sensory resources to buy should you wish to

How to get involved in a Make and Take Workshop?

  • Book your own, bring to together some friends, family and colleagues for a few hours of fun and collaboration at your own venue or at our partner venue – click here for details
  • Book into one of the planned events – click here for details 
  • OR drop me a line below for more information


Carly x






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