At a recent beach trip we had some craft supplies and these delightfully simple Gumnut Octopus proved to be a very easy and fun activity.
Firstly gather some gumnuts (there is a large gumtree in the middle of Kingston Beach if you are keen to combine gumnut hunting with a beach octopus adventure.)
Choose your favourite gumnut and cut 4 lengths of string. (at this point your intelligent little marine biologist is almost certainly going to correct you – everyone knows octopuses have 8 tentacles, not 4!)
Tie a knot in the middle of your 4 lengths of string (so all 4 are joined, leaving 8 ends hanging from your knot)
Insert the knot into the hole of the gumnut (depending on the size of your gumnut and the thickness of your string you may need to tie a double knot to make it the right size to stay, we found 1 knot suited some gumnuts, 2 knots worked better for others.)
Simply attach some eyes and you have your little critter ready for his ocean adventure.
This activity was a winner for Anica (5yo with arthritis) as her knees were not on their best behaviour on this particular day and it gave her the chance to do something special while her friends ran and played in the sand. Later the other children came to investigate what we were doing and created their own creatures, but Anica is developing a real sense of ownership and accomplishment for these type of activities that let her quietly distract herself from more challenging things in her world at this time. She has even written her own blog on how to make a wombat, which I’ll post with her help shortly.