How to plan the best kids treasure hunt ever!

A kids treasure hunt is a great activity for mixed age groups, as even little ones can get involved.

But if you’ve ever been on a hunt where a few bolder and quicker kids scoop up all the loot, leaving the rest trailing behind in tears, then you’ll know that there’s a trick or two involved in keeping things fair and fun for everyone.

Want to know the secret? Read on to find out!

Kids treasure hunt in a fairy garden at Mannington Hall, Norfolk
How to make simple but bee-utiful bee pendants from air dry clay!
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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.

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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
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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!

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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!

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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?!

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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!

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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!

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Book Love: ‘Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night’

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 vintage children's book Topsy and Tim's Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson

Front cover of Topsy and Tim’s Bonfire Night by Jean and Gareth Adamson

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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

Make a throwable comet out of conkers and tissue paper!

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