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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DIY Sparkly Spiderweb Stamping!

We’ve combined two of our favourite activities – threading and printing – to make these autumnal and spooky spider-web pictures. They’re simple and quick to make, and the best part is you can make them from bits and pieces that you’re bound to have already. Read on to see how we did this fabulous spiderweb craft!

Sparkly spiderweb stamping

Use a simple, homemade stamp of a spiderweb to create glittery web art!

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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!

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DIY Mini Doll Food – Made from Wine Corks!

Do your kids love having little picnics with their toys? Mine do, but what they don’t love so much is tidying away, and those little bits of teeny tiny doll food often go astray. So instead of buying them more, why not try out our quick and easy DIY solution? All you need is a bottle of wine and some paint…

Maileg toy mouse having cheese and cake picnic outside a toy bell tent

Make a lovely play picnic for your child’s toys – all out of wine corks!

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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!

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A Home-Made Harry Potter Party Bag

DIY Harry Potter party bag

Make your own Hogwarts inspired goodies for a Harry Potter party bag or trip to the Studio Tour.

G-Man didn’t want a birthday party this year, instead he wanted to visit the Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour, in Leavesdon, just outside London. So we took him and one friend along for a magical day out in January 2017. As it was his birthday treat, and as we knew beforehand that everything there would be exorbitantly expensive, I put together a Harry Potter party bag for the boys to supplement their pocket money purchases in the tour’s shop. There are tonnes of ideas for Potter gifts on the internet, and not only was it great fun to do (and a big hit with the kids) it also saved us a whole heap of pennies.​

If you’re planning a trip yourself, or are lucky enough to be hosting a full-on Potter Party at home, have a look at our DIY wizard treats for a little Hogwarts-style inspiration!

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Roald Dahl Scarecrow Festival

Mike Teavee inside TV set - Roald Dahl scarecrow

Mike Teavee – first person to travel by television! Or should that be Wonkavision?

Every September, members of our local community are invited to make and display a scarecrow for the annual festival, and then everyone troops around all the houses looking at what we’ve all done – which is actually a whole heap of fun, and also involves a stop for tea and cake at the Community Orchard, making it even more fabulous. This year’s event was only a few days after what would have been Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, so of course our scarecrow had to be Roald Dahl themed!

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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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