How to make a magical twig ball lantern

How to Make a twig Ball Lantern

Whether you love fairytale multicolour twinkles or a soft, golden firefly glow, a twig ball lantern can add a really enchanting touch to a party, wedding, or festival. No party to decorate for? Hang them in a corner of your garden to add a touch of magic to long, summer evenings. You don’t need specialist equipment, a willow tree wood or vineyard full of grapevine to make them either – the kids and I made ours with trimmings from the common garden climbers that regularly take over our back yard.

Want to make some too? Of course you do – everyone needs a twig ball lantern in their life! So read on for the full tutorial…

A colourful twig ball lantern hanging in the garden

This beautiful twig ball lantern was made just with cuttings from the garden and a string of cheap LED lights.

Continue reading

Hazel Village soft toys – review

A Hazel Village friend

Woodland animals and children go together like jam on toast – and never more so than when the animals in question are the charming, quirky, soft and cuddly organic cotton toys from Brooklyn company, Hazel Village. So when the equally charming Yoyo & Flo asked if we wanted to review one of their organic woodland animal toys, I couldn’t say no!

Hazel Village soft toy, Flora Fox, with cardboard gypsy caravan

These utterly charming woodland animal toys come from Brooklyn company, Hazel Village.

Continue reading

Peaceable Kingdom Board Game – Co-operative Play

‘Race to the Treasure’ Board Game Review

Have you ever wondered why we get kids to play board games that pit them tooth and nail against one another, when we’re otherwise so keen for them to work and play together? I certainly have! Often, playing board games with my kids makes me feel less like I’m raising the Brady Bunch, and more like I’ve birthed the next Addams Family. While the thrill of a win can raise one child up, inevitably another is cast down into deep disappointment and rage (oh my goodness, the rage!).

Thankfully the lovely One Hundred Toys has come to our rescue – sending us a game by the ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ board game company to review. Peaceable Kingdom create co-operative games requiring kids to work together, rather than competing against each other, to win. How intriguing – and possibly sanity-saving! Perhaps with these games we could find that nirvana of family harmony I’ve heard so much about. Read on to find out what we thought, and if both siblings are still alive to tell the tale…

Peaceable Kingdom board game 'Race to the Treasure'

No, you don’t get our big pile of treasure with this game (sorry!) but the kids do get to have lots of fun working together to win.

Continue reading

Eco Glitter Lino Printing with Kids

An Earth Day Art Activity

For this year’s Earth Day, we used our new environmentally-friendly eco glitter, sent to us by the lovely people at Eco Glitter Fun, to make these super-sparkly lino printed fishes. Read on to see how we did it and to find out more about our Earth-friendly sparkles!

eco glitter and child-made lino print picture

Earth-friendly art for Earth Day!

Continue reading

A Kid-Made Pancake Recipe for Pancake Day

Making Pancakes With the Kids

You might call it Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras in French), plain old Tuesday, or – just down the road from us – Race Day, but for my family it can be called only one thing… Pancake Day! For us, Pancake Day is a bright spot of festivity during that dull, grey period between Christmas and Easter, and the kids absolutely LOVE making (and eating) the pancakes. If you’ve never made them before, don’t be put off by the idea of having to toss those babies – pancake making is a cinch, and the toss isn’t as hard as it may look. Read on to get the recipe and our top tips for the perfect flip!

Pancakes! A Kid-Made Recipe for Pancake Day

Pancakes – with classic lemon juice and sugar, or decadent syrup?

Continue reading

No-Plastic Play Dough Play!

All-Natural Toys, Tools and Accessories for Play Dough

In our efforts to go plastic-free, we took a hard look at one of our favourite activities to see what it would take to have plastic-free play dough play-time. It turns out this is so easy to do – We’ve found all sorts of alternatives to plastic right here in our own home, as well as out in the garden, and it is amazing what you can find in charity shops or thrift stores once you start looking. Replacing our mountain of plastic play dough stuff with an all-natural kit was really easy, and what we’ve got now is far more open ended and even more fun to play with! So read on to see how we play with play dough without without a single bit of plastic…

Plastic-Free Playdough Play Kit

Playing with play dough needn’t mean getting out a pile of plastic toys!

Continue reading

Kid-Made Play Dough for Lazy Parents

Quick and Easy Uncooked Play Dough Recipe

Do your kids love playing with play dough? It’s the rare child that doesn’t, right? Play dough is such a great sensory and learning experience for kids, and great fun too. But have you tried making your own play dough with the kids? If, like me, you find the idea daunting, don’t be put off! It really is so easy to make, it’s literally kids play! While we used to love playing with the store-bought dough, we now use this simple, uncoooked play dough recipe to make our own. Fancy trying it? Read on to get the easy, no-cook recipe my children love to make…

A recipe for kid-made and no-cook play dough

Making play dough is as much fun as playing with it!

Continue reading

Winter Flower Craft – Snowdrop Bottles

The kids and I been talking about winter a lot lately, inspired by the grim, cold and grey weather, the bare branches and muddy fields. But though we’re at the bleak midwinter stage of the year, there are still signs of life for the kids to find. Some of the prettiest are the early snowdrops that are just beginning to bloom – we’ve spotted the first few flowers, and many more green stalks with buds about to open. We’ve used these lovely flowers as inspiration for some indoor crafting, and also made a bunch of our own junk-model snowdrops out of a few empty bottles and some straws. Two simple and sweet little activities that are great for practicing fine motor skills. Read on to see what we did!

Make snowdrops from paper or plastic bottles

Why do one snowdrop craft when you can do two?!

Continue reading

Happy Birthday Brick – Lego Cake Recipe!

Everyone’s favourite toy turns 60 this year! Sunday, 28th January 2018, marks the 60th anniversary of the patent approval for the form of the Lego brick that we know and love playing with today. To celebrate this great achievement (and because we need little excuse to party) we’ve made our own Lego brick – fixing the only downside to Lego (it’s made of plastic – boo!) by making ours out of a far more environmentally-friendly material… Cake. Yes, it’s a giant Lego brick cake – Yum!
Read on to find out how to whip up a Lego brick cake yourself – it’s so easy, you can do this even if you’re an absolute baking beginner.

Lego brick birthday cake recipe

This impressive-looking cake is a doddle to make!

Continue reading

Christmas Busy Box for Kids

Setting up an Easy Tinkering Tray for Seasonal Crafts and Activities

With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to set up a Christmas busy box or tinker tray for my youngest that would help keep her occupied, entertained and engaged over what can be an overwhelming time for little ones. Our Christmas Busy Box was quick and cheap to put together, yet offers priceless opportunities for the kids to explore and create using the simple supplies set out for them – and with this on hand there’s always something to distract them and keep them occupied. It’s so easy to do – and you can easily make one using things found around the house. Read on to find out how.

Christmas themed busy box or cutting tray for children

Putting a themed busy box of craft materials together is quick, easy and cheap!

Continue reading