How to Make a Giant Bubble Wand

A DIY ‘Tri-String’ Giant Bubble Wand

Making a giant bubble wand is the easiest thing in the world, and all you really need are a few sticks and some string! These kid-made tri-string wands make the biggest bubbles I’ve ever seen – the kids won’t be able to resist playing with these all day long… Read on to find out how they can make their very own giant bubble wands, with our totally home-made and plastic-free tutorial!

child making giant bubbles with tri-string giant bubble wand

Making giant bubbles is child’s play with our diy giant bubble wands!

Continue reading

HABA ‘Master Building’ Wooden Marble Run

Reviewing the premium HABA wooden marble run

We LOVE marble runs, and over the years have amassed a few different versions. Wooden marble runs are usually considered the best of the best – not only do they look and feel beautiful, they also offer far more flexibility, challenge and play-possibilities than their plastic counterparts. Wooden marble runs can be quite an investment though, so what is it that makes them so special? We were very privileged to get the chance to review one of the best – and biggest – sets around when the lovely people at HABA sent us their Master Building set, plus one of the many add-ons that are available. Read on to see what we thought of this HABA marble run, and if it’s as special as (let’s face it) it looks…

HABA Master Building Marble Run set in its box

Reviewing the Master Building wooden marble run set for HABA

Continue reading

Essential Toys – Marble Runs

Why a marble run is such a marble-ous toy.

A marble run is one of the toys I consider essential for children of any age, offering as it does a wide range of play and development opportunities whilst simultaneously giving a sensory experience too. But understanding why and how these toys are so great is vital if you want to encourage kids to play with them and help them get full value from the activity. Read on to  find out more about the benefits of this type of toy, and how to find the perfect set for your child.

Wooden marble run. Text 'Essential Toys: Marble Run'

Marble runs are great fun, and great for helping kids learn and grow!

Continue reading

Conker Comets! Autumn Fun for Kids

Have your kids conkers gone wrinkly? When autumn comes around my kids just can’t help collecting bucket loads of shiny horse chestnuts, but they start to loose some of their charm once the shrivels (as we like to call it) sets in. There are only so many games of conkers we can play, so, to avoid being buried alive by these puckered leftovers, we’ve found other ways to make use of them. One of our favourites is to turn them into Conker Comets… Probably the most fun you can have with conker – and it makes a great bonfire night craft too! Read on to see how we do it.

Brightly coloured conker comets - kids' conker activity

A quick, easy and fun autumn conker activity to use up all those wrinkly old conkers!

Continue reading

How to Conquer Playing Conkers!

At this time of year, our local park is littered with conkers (otherwise known as horse chestnuts) – at times they are literally (and rather painfully!) raining down on us. Who can resist prising open spiky cases for that thrill of discovering shiny brown nuts inside? My kids certainly can’t, and so over the first month of autumn we tend to accumulate a big pile. And what better way to make use of this autumn bounty than through a smashing game of conkers?  We love it so much, I had to share it with you. So read on to discover all the do’s and don’ts, rules and the cheats, hows and whys of playing conkers!

Horse chestnuts threaded on butchers string for playing conkers

How to conquer playing the traditional childhood game of Conkers!

Continue reading

How to Make a Magnificent Forest Mini Den!

My kids love making dens when we’re out in the woods, yet there are times when it’s not practical or possible to make one that’s kid-sized. But we don’t let that stop us – instead, we just think smaller… Read on to see how to make an adorable mini den!

Preschool girl building mini den in forest

Making a mini den in the woods is a fun way to introduce den building to kids!

Continue reading

HABA Terra Kids – Real Woodworking Tools

We love a bit of woodwork with the kids – whether out in the woods, at forest school, or at home with a bit of softwood, so we were very happy when One Hundred Toys asked us to test out a pile of fabulous-looking, kid-sized real tools from HABA. Read on to find out why we’re now eschewing pretend tools for the real deal.

Boy using saw at a worktable in a forest

HABA’s folding saw is kid-sized and just right for taking to forest school.

Continue reading

Leaf Painting – Quick and Easy Nature Craft

Leaves painted bright colours, with a stick used as a paintbrush

We love leaf painting! Use natural materials like leaves, sticks and stones as the canvas for your kids’ artwork!

Painting is a great activity for young children. It’s a fantastic work-out for their imagination, and helps them practice their fine motor skills, as well as helping to develop their understanding of colour, shape, texture and viscosity (yes, wet paint WILL drip onto the floor/your clothes/the dog’s dinner…). We do a lot of painting in our house, and love finding different things to paint – after all, flat paper can be SO last earlier-this-morning. We try to bring natural materials into our play at every opportunity, and painting is the perfect thing for this as its easy to find natural objects to decorate. Stones, sticks, pinecones, shells… you name it, we’ve painted it. Leaf painting is an absolute favourite, though, and something that we do all the time – read on to find out why!

Continue reading

How to Magic Up a Perfectly-Imperfect Mud Kitchen Today!

There are images of some amazing mud kitchens out there on the web, and it’s very easy to fall down a rabbit hole of great ideas without actually ever making one for your child. I was certainly guilty of it, until one day my sister stopped by and interrupted my description of the great mud kitchen I was going to make (one day), by pulling together a few things lying around in the garden and making one in about thirty seconds! My kids have been playing with it ever since (we’re talking for years now!), and though I still dream and plan of a more beautiful and robust solution, they’re out there having fun today – and they really couldn’t care less that it’s not perfect.

So read on to see what you need to make a mud kitchen right now, and I guarantee that you’ll have enough stuff already to get your kids playing today!

child pouring muddy water into saucepan in mud kitchen

Mud kitchens are great for kids so get them playing dirty today!

Continue reading

Playing with Stories – Why We Love Our DIY Playdough ‘Bog Baby’ Kit!

If you’ve read ‘The Bog Baby’ by Jeanne Willis and Gwen Millward, you’ll know that bog babies are round and blue, with goggly eyes, spiky tails and ears like a mouse, and their wings are no bigger than daisy petals. This magical book is perfect for inspiring creative model making and small world play, while at the same time gently encouraging children to explore what it means for a thing to be wild and free. Read on to find out how to make a home-made play dough bog baby kit with our play dough recipe and basic craft accessories – not only are they great fun, they also make fantastic and original gifts when given with a copy of the book!

Book 'The Bog Baby', home-made play dough bog baby kit, and fishing net

A magical story about two children who find a mysterious wild creature, ‘The Bog Baby’ is perfect inspiration for creative play!

Continue reading