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!
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…
Playing with play dough needn’t mean getting out a pile of plastic toys!
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…
Making play dough is as much fun as playing with it!
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!
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.
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.
A magazine subscription can be the perfect gift for children who are otherwise drowning in heaps of new and old toys. My kids love magazines, but too often it’s the shiny (and short-lived) ‘free’ gift on the front cover that attracts them, rather than the content of the magazine. There are a couple of exceptions out there, and one of our favourites is the very brilliant Okido magazine, so we were thrilled when we were invited recently to become Okido Amabassadors. Read on to find out what makes Okido so different, and why I think their Christmas Subscription Package this year is one of the best around.
We were very privileged to get the chance to review one of the best – and biggest – marble run sets around when the lovely people at HABA sent us their Master Building wooden marble run set, plus one of the many add-ons that are available. We LOVE marble runs, and over the years have amassed a few different versions, so the kids were more than happy to get stuck in for this review!
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? 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…
Reviewing the Master Building wooden marble run set for HABA
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.
Marble runs are great fun, and great for helping kids learn and grow!
Bonfire Night is a very special night for our family; it’s a birthday for one of the kids as well as probably my all-time favourite event. Who doesn’t love fireworks, bonfires, roasted chestnuts in a paper bag, and (let’s not underestimate this thrill for kids) going out after dark for all of the above on a crisp and cold autumn evening? So when I saw this vintage edition of the ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’ book, I had to buy it – read on for a look inside!
Front cover of Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson