Green Magpie by The Scrapstore Birmingham

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The magazine of imaginative play for creative young minds Spring 2021




the green choice for craft resources 0121 236 2917 @scrapstorebirmingham

Dear Green Magpie friends, Welcome to the first edition of the magazine for creative young minds! Birmingham PlayCare Network has been championing for the child's right to play since 1995. As a registered charity based in Birmingham we support all children to access high quality play environments. Our facility provides us with an endless supply of resources and materials that are donated by local businesses to reduce waste to landfill. Some of these resources have been used to create the ideas in this magazine. We know that 'Scrap materials and play ‘props’ provide the stimulus and building blocks essential for wild play to be effective. In artificial spaces they are provided by the service you provide.' Bob Hughes 2011. We also know that the more bits and bobs children can play with, the more creative they will become. Please enjoy having a go at some of the activities included but remember small children will need to be supervised and older children might need a little bit of help. We are all experts in play because we all have one thing in common - we were all children once and have played at some time in our lives. At this challenging time why not give play a go - try not to worry about what the end product will look like - remember it's the process children go through that is the most important part of play. Have fun, have a go……… let's get playing.

In this edition we have teamed up with Sport Birmingham who are the strategic lead for Birmingham, working to harness the power of sport & physical activity to improve lives across the city. Physical activity plays a vital role in keeping children healthy, happy, and safe as we emerge from the coronavirus restrictions. Any movement that significantly increases your child’s heart rate is great, and we’ve included some simple activity equipment & ideas in your pack. The Chief Medical Officer recommends that children (5 – 18 years) should engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day across a week; and that infants (5 years and under) should spend 180 minutes per day doing physical activity of any intensity. Proudly supported by GRANTHAM YORKE TRUST

egg box portraits

You could also try making a garden of mushrooms….join Kevin & Tina in this great video – just scan the QR on your phone with your camera……

1: Things you could use: •

Egg boxes

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Tissue paper Crepe paper

Sticky vinyl



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Paint & glue Elastic bands

2: Cut up your egg boxes & create your mask……who is your character? it an animal, someone in your family, or an alien from another planet?....... 3: Use glue or staples to hold things

in place. Are you going to paint your mask? You could use different coloured paper to decorate your character. When you’ve finished, why not create a story? What adventures will you have together?

Bear Hunt Map

1: Using the materials in your pack or things from around the home, create a map to follow the story of ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen. Stimulate the senses with the different textures. We used sweet wrappers for the trees but you could also make potato prints for the forest. Ikea den building ideas

As an alternative, you could make a similar map & go on a walk in the park to look for different things including…….. Grass, mud, water, trees, snow…. Come home & build your own cave. Are you the bear? Roar when someone comes near!

Wriggly Fish

1: Gather different sized paper cups. Paint your paper cups in a base colour & allow to dry. Cut your foam tube in half lengthways ~ dip in contrasting paint & print onto your cups to form scales. When dry, poke a hole in the top of each cup. 2: Cut a tail shape + 2 fins out of thin blue foam. Make a hole in the top of the tail. Double the cord, threading through the hole in tail first. 3: Tie a knot. Thread on one button as shown (leave 2 bigger & 2 smaller buttons for eyes.) Thread cord through hole in smallest paper cup. Repeat for each segment & pull cord through the top to hang & wiggle your fish! Staple or stick on 2 fins. Using 2 largest buttons, stick on to the white sticker & cut to shape. Glue on smaller black buttons & then glue onto the fish head. Wiggle & have fun !

You will need: • Various sized paper cups • Cord • Buttons • Thin & shaped foam • Scissors • White stickers • Paint & glue

Stick Buddies 1: Collect some interesting sticks from the ground, to make your stick buddies, & cut to size. Paint your sticks if you’d like to, & let them dry.

2: Hold your arms across the back of your body & using wool or elastic bands, secure them together with a criss-cross motion. Check out our video on how to make a stick buddy here

3: Using bits of fabric, elastic bands & wool decorate your stick buddy. Make large loops with wool, tie in the middle, & snip ends to make hair. Glue in place or use an elastic band to secure.

Does your buddy like to dance? Pop on some music & dance around together…….

The Youth Sport Trust have developed Activity Cards if you fancy testing your skills and replicating a PE lesson at home. Use this QR code

Sock Worm

1: You will need:

1: Fill your sock with stuffing from the inside of a cushion or use old bits of cut up clothing. 2: Secure the open end with an elastic band. Form sections along the length of worm with more elastic bands. 3: Using the blue foam – dip one end into some paint and print onto your sock to make eyes ~ If you don’t have the blue foam, then you could use a potato print. 4: Tie ribbon around the elastic bands to decorate your sock worm….

You could play catch the worm with a friend. If you want to make him a bit heavier – add a little bit of uncooked rice……….… How far can you throw yours? Run, run………….make sure you catch him, or he might wiggle away!

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One sock stuffing elastic bands ribbon paint

Plant Pot Weave 1: You will need: • Small & medium paper cups • Plastic cup • Chunky wool • Lollipop stick

If you’ve enjoyed this ~ check out our video on making an easy cardboard weaving loom here

2: Take medium paper cup & cut an odd number of slots from rim to base. Open it out & flatten so it looks like a sun.

4: Pass wool under & over each of the spokes. When you have woven approx. 1 inch, turn over your weave & bring sides up to make it look like a cup again. Tie on more wool to continue weaving ~ bring any knot inside of cup now. When you reach the top, just pass your wool between the slots & it will hold. Make a hole in the bottom of your small paper cup, fill with soil & plant a seed (you could use a fruit or veg seed from your kitchen). Label it with your lollipop stick. Give it a little drink of rainwater & pop the plastic cup over it to make a little greenhouse. Place on a windowsill & watch it grow, keeping soil moist! Nurture the new life you have created.

3: Tie a length of wool on to one ‘spoke’ with the knot facing away so you can’t see it. Keep the cup flat on the table to start your weave.

Pearl Pearl has been a volunteer with us at The Scrapstore for 3 years. She’s joining us for a chat about her crafting!

Crafting is fun!! It's great that at the end of a day you can look at what you have made and say, "I've made that. I've got something to show for my effort.”

However it looks, it shows that you've tried and if you're not happy with it you can try again. When I make fairy houses I start by going foraging ~ looking for twigs, bits of bark, moss, acorns, cones, anything you think might be useful to decorate a fairy house. Then you need a nicely shaped log of wood & some glue. Doors and windows can be drawn or painted on or made with lollipop sticks or twigs. Bark is good for the roof or anything similar. Then use your imagination....add flowers, cones, moss, acorns, washing lines, swings……anything you fancy!!! When I make a fairy house I either give it to someone special or put it in my garden. Some people keep them in the house but fairies do like to live outside best of all!! Scrapstore has been wonderful for me, it's given me so many just never know what going to turn up there next & what you’ll make. I've always loved making things. When I was a child my brother and I used to make objects out of plaster of Paris and rubber moulds and then paint them (we used to sell them to our aunts and uncles!!!) When I became an adult and a mother, I used to make toys for my children. Their dad was a joiner and cabinet maker, so he made things for them too. I think we got as much fun making them as the kids got from playing with them.

Rocket Flinger 1: Cut your orange foam to the desired length. Use a nail to poke a large rubber band through the foam so it sticks out on both sides Video tutorial

2: Loop each end of the rubber band around the foam to hold it in place securely. Using a second rubber band attach it to the first one – like attaching a luggage tag – this will be used to fling the rocket

3: Make your rocket fins (x 3) out of the thin foam. Cut slots in the orange foam and slide into place. 4: Hold together with the vinyl or tape & decorate your rocket as you want !

Pull back firmly against the rubber band as shown. No need to push it forward. We found that using a good, strong rubber band makes your rocket go further! Have fun!

Paper Chain Snake

1: You will need: • Patterned paper • Red Velcro • White stickers / paint • Scissors • Glue / tape / stapler

2: Using template below, cut lots of strips of paper for body segments. (dotted template)

Tip ~ Why not cut out legs, feed through chosen segments & staple in place to make a lizard too !

Cut 1 longer strip & add a point for the tail. Cut 1 piece with head both sides as below.

3: Cut a tongue from the red material. Glue or staple the head together with the tongue inbetween. Add paper chain body segments, gluing or stapling them together. Add tail & paint or stick on eyes.

Can you slither on the ground like a snake? Sssssssss……..


Change for Life also offer some great 10 minute shakeup games that are led by Disney characters. Use this QR code:

Jumping Bunny 1: You will need: • 2 cups • Card • Tissue paper • Elastic band • Glue • Paint

2: Cut 4 slits in the rim of your paper cup. Cut 2 pieces of rubber bands slightly longer than the width of the cup. Next, tie a knot at each end of both pieces of rubber band. Slip the knot into a slit, & pull the rubber band to the slit directly across from it & slip it in. Repeat with the other elastic band piece.

3: Time to decorate your bunny. You could paint it or cut up pieces of sticky vinyl & stick them on so you have a patchwork bunny! Use card to make the ears & glue or staple in place. Paint your bunny’s face or use a sharpie pen to add the eyes, nose & whiskers!

How to make your bunny jump….. Use the second cup as a base. The rubber bands from the bunny cup will rest on the bottom of the blank cup. Pull down your bunny, then release to watch it jump !

Can you jump like a bunny? How high can you go?

We hope you’ve enjoyed making these crafts ! Before you recycle your magazine & left-over materials – why not pass them on to a friend to use?

Special thanks to all our donors & volunteers who make this possible. Credit: for zip brooch on cover Sue Grindley For the resources in this edition we especially thank: GRANTHAM YORKE TRUST

Are you a business who would like to donate your CLEAN business waste to help reduce waste to landfill AND positively contribute towards children’s play, contact us at