How to Make Willy Wonka’s Hat…

Instructions for a DIY Wonka hat like Gene Wilder's

You only need cardboard and glue for this quick but impressive make – soon we’ll all be rockin’ Wonka Hats!

I’ve been making a few odds and ends with the kids over the holidays in preparation for this September’s Scarecrow Festival (yes, I know it’s still only August!). Last year I managed to rope in friends on my street to do Alice in Wonderland scarecrows. This time our scarecrows will be characters from Roald Dahl’s books, in celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday. I’ve got grand plans for our tableau (which will be a character and scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and one of the things I wanted to include was Willy Wonka’s iconic hat, laid casually on his desk as if he’d just popped away for a moment. Making the Wonka hat turned out to be surprisingly easy – read on to see how I did it!

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Star Wars Party Games That Won’t Trash Your House

ideas for a star wars party for kids

You can have a fantastic, fun-filled Star Wars party in your home without disastrously epic lightsaber battles and kids in permanent hyperdrive… Here’s how we did it!

G-man’s birthday this year happened to coincide with the release of arguably the most anticipated film of the century – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And since we’re all big Star Wars fans here, he absolutely had to have a Star Wars party.

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Make Toy-Food Mushrooms Out of Stuff You Already Have!

Our kids love cooking up meals in their play kitchen, and one of their greatest pleasures is mixing up the ingredients.  We’ve had great fun stocking their kitchen with all sorts of little bits and pieces that can be stirred in a mini cooking pan with a handful of other things; pompoms for meatballs; soy sauce fish containers for, er, fish; strands of wool for spaghetti, and so on.  I’m always on the lookout for new things to include! The other day I had an absolute brainwave, and came up with this easy-peasy, quick, and essentially FREE way to make these fabulous play-food sliced mushrooms.  Want to make some DIY play food too?  Read on!

make play food sliced mushrooms out of wine corks

Make the kids some sliced mushrooms for their mud kitchen, out of just a handful of wine corks!

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Hoop Tree – All Washi-d Up!

Revamping a  DIY Sorting and Counting Toy

As T-Bird is getting older and has now thoroughly mastered the challenges of our DIY baby toy, the Hoop Tree, I wanted to spice things up a bit by injecting some colour and adding a colour matching/sorting game element. I considered painting the hoops and branches, but that would have been far to much work. Being lazy, I went for a quick ‘n’ dirty fix instead. We already have some larger wooden rings decorated with trailing ribbons, so, to make these a little different, this time I went with washi tape

DIY toy for babies and toddlers - wooden mug tree with hoops wrapped in washi tape.

DIY colourful toy for toddlers out of a mug tree, curtain hoops and washi tape!

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Vintage Loveliness… Bucket Chair

Quick and Colourful Washi Tape Fix for Tatty Chair Legs

I lucked upon a lovely old bucket chair in my local vintage emporium recently, and have been in a quandary ever since as to what to do with it.

I was thinking of painting the original pink woven seat a funkier, brighter colour, but when I’d given it a good clean, it was in such good condition that it seemed a crime to cover up.  The legs, however, were a rather tatty silver that was knocked and peeling in places.  Recalling another recent project that I’d almost painted, I got out my washi tape instead.

vintage bucket chair with owl cushion

Our vintage bucket chair – so comfortable for night feeds, and so much fun for them once they’re bigger!

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Play Simple… Hoop Tree

Instant Homemade Toy for Toddlers and Babies

Toys are great. We love toys in my house and I’ll freely admit we spend far too much time and money buying far too many toys for our kids. That said, when it comes to inspiring engaging play, I’ve found the tried and tested simple play opportunities provided by everyday household objects will keep our youngest sproglet absorbed just as long as any toy, and often even longer.

Baby playing with mug tree covered in wooden rings

Make a Hoop Tree for babies and toddlers out of a mug stand and wooden curtain rings.

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