How to Make a Glow-worm Lantern

Glow-worms and fireflies have to be among the most magical creatures around. Living creatures that glow; is there anything stranger or more wonderful?

When we discovered there is a native British (or rather, European) glow-worm, we were inspired to make a lantern version, that shines just like the real thing.

Quick and easy to do, they are a great way to inspire children to learn about real glow-worms and the magic of phosphorescence. Read on to find out how to make them!

Continue reading

How to make a real magnifying glass

Make your own magnifying glass

A magnifying glass has to be one of the most useful, thought-provoking, and inspiring tools you can give to a child. This hand-made diy magnifying glass is both pretty and functional, and each one is also completely unique.

And forget the kids, adults love these too!

Read on to find out how to make them.

A fabric-covered diy magnifying glass
Lovely tools, like this home-made magnifying glass, make using them a pleasure.
Continue reading

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 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…

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. However conkers start to lose 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!
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. But there are times when it’s not practical or possible to make one that’s kid-sized. Yet 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

One Hundred Toys recently asked if we would test out a pile of fabulous-looking, kid-sized real woodwork tools from HABA. The kids and I love woodwork. We’ve had woodwork fun out in the woods, at forest school, and at home with a bit of softwood. So we were more than happy to oblige!

Read on to find out why we recommend real tools instead of pretend ones every time.

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

Leaf painting is an absolute favourite, with my kids, and something that we do all the time.

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.

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…).

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!
Continue reading