Sunday, 13 April 2014

Fun in the park, complete with egg and spoon races!

Last week was the first week of the Easter Holidays for us, and it seems to of gone by in a flash! I managed to keep the children entertained everyday, with no arguments or moanings of being bored!

What a miracle! 

One of the highlights of last week for Chester, was a picnic in the park with his School friends. 

We all arranged to meet up in the park, and we couldn't of picked a better day for it, the sun was shining and it wasn't windy! 

The children soon went off to make dens with sticks and grass! I love this kind of play, they really had to use their imaginations and, for most of the time, they all got on really well and played nicely together! 

It was nice for all of us Mummies too. We got to chill out and have a catch up, whilst watching our children. It's lovely really, not only do the children seem to get on so well together, all of us Mummies do as well! I was so nervous when Chester started School, and really wanted him to make some friends and get on well with everyone, this has happened and I couldn't be happier for him. I was also nervous for myself too but I needn't of worried as everyone is so lovely and easy to talk too. I feel like we have both settled into School life really well! Phew! 

We finished off the picnic in the park with a few egg and spoon races! With chocolate eggs of course! 

So week one is over and week two has just begun! I have lots instore for this week, it's going to be a lots of fun, hopefully the weather will be kind to us as I have lots planned for outside! 

How has your Easter holidays been so far? 

REVIEW: Little Tiger Kids: Baby Animals Sticker Activities & FarmAnimals Sticker Activities books.

We have been noticing a lot of animals around us recently, what with Millie and her baby panda obsession (yes that is still going), and lambing season being underway, a lot of our discussions seem to be about animals at the moment.

We were recently sent Little Tiger Kids: Baby Animals Sticker Activities & Farm Animals Sticker Activities books. They are new out this month and are aimed at Children aged 3-5 and RRP at £6.99.

Each book has 80 pages filled with activities, doodles and learning activities. Over 200 photographic stickers are also included!

As its the Easter Holidays I thought that now would be a great time to get the books out, on those rainy days they have proved to be very popular with Chester (who as you know is 5), but also with Millie who is only 2. 

Obviously Millie is really only interested in the stickers and all the pictures of the animals, but even so they kept her attention for a large amount of time. Chester is very inquisitive, he loved the little challenges. For instance in the Farm book it asks if you can match these items to the farm animal or crop that they come from. So we had lots of long discussions about where the wool came from, eventually agreeing that it came from a sheep of course! Chester is also a fan of Dot to Dot so these were also a favourite with him!

These books are really fun and have captured both of my childrens attention. We have used them lots, yet they still have lots left to do. 

I think that they are great, not only because they keep the children occupied, but also because they are helping them learn through play. Its promoting not only problem solving skills, but also language development. I remember one page in the baby animals book asking you to count the flowers. I did this with Millie and she did a great job at counting, and was so pleased with herself when she managed to count all four!

In conclusion, we have really enjoyed these books. For the amount of content they have in them I think they are totally worth the £6.99. I agree with the 3-5 age range, actually I would even go as far as saying a 6 year old would still be attracted to these books too. Whilst Millie enjoyed the books, at 2 she is a little too young for some of the activities. They are great for using at home or even for long travel journeys. In fact they are coming with us on our 3 hour trip to visit my parents next week!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Flora Buttery Family Funspiration Activity Guide

I love my family life, I get to stay at home in the daytime with Millie (and Chester when he is not at School), but I would be lying if I said everyday was perfect! Its very challenging being an (almost) full time stay at home Mum. I am constantly looking for inspiration for ways to keep the children entertained, especially in the School holidays. This Easter Holidays I have been lucky enough to have some help with that inspiration, in the form of Flora's Family Funspiration Activity Guide .

The guide features 15 activities that require no more than 5 items (most of which are everyday items that you would have in your home) and take just 15 minutes to prepare. The activities are aimed at children aged 3-11, but there are also little tips to make the activities a bit simpler for younger children or more challenging for older children. Fab for me as Millie really loves to join in with everything Chester does, so I can adapt some things for her too!

The activity guide certainly gave me inspiration! I plan to do as as many of the activities as I can with the children, it is going to give us lots to look forward to in the summer holidays! But for now I want to tell you about a couple of the activities we have done so far and will certainly be doing again!

The first one I decided to do with the children was on the first really rainy day of the holidays. It was the Secret Den. As soon as I read about this activity it reminded me of something similar my Sister and I used to do as children. It brought back loads of happy memories.

All I needed was an old sheet, some cushions, a rug and some clips (it also stated safety pins, but I didnt need them). On the how to do it section it suggested using dining room chairs to make pillars to throw the sheet over, so this is what I did. After I created the den I called Chester and Millie in and they were VERY excited! I noticed that we had a few soft toy animals, so I told the children that we were in a den in the middle of the jungle and the animals needed saving!

That is all that I needed to say, Chester's imagination then took charge, with Millie hanging on his every word, we were soon on a rescue mission! Two naughty snakes had captured the animals and we needed to save them!

As the morning went on, we also needed to provide the animals with medical care as the snakes had bitten them!

We had a picnic lunch in the camp, I rewarded the children for their hard work saving the animals with animal shaped biscuits!

We had a great morning, I was amazed at how long the children were happily playing along and using their imaginations. Needless to say both Children have asked if we can make a den again!

The second one is no surprise given my love for baking! It was the Easy Peasy Cupcakes! Chester had some friends coming over to play in the afternoon and keeping him entertained was proving difficult. He kept asking are they coming yet, when are they coming, is it time yet. On repeat! So I had a quick check for ingredients in the cupboards and we set about making the cakes!

They were extremely easy to make, both children loved making them, and it passed away enough time to keep them busy until the friends arrived!

So to conclude I would totally recommend this Activity guide, it has certainly inspired me. When you have run out of ideas, it is really nice to have something to turn to and say 'oh yes thats a great idea and really easy to do'! That's certainly what I was saying!

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REVIEW: My Little Box of Springtime Stories

My Little Box of Springtime Stories is an adorable carry case which includes five Easter-themed springtime stories. Released this month, recommended for ages 3-6 and priced at £9.99.

The stories are Fred and the Little Egg, Babbity's Big Bad Mood, Rosie's Special Surprise, A Duck So Small and Dora's Chicks.

As mentioned above, these books come in their own carry case, which we loved. We went to stay at my Aunts at the weekend and we took the carry case with us, it didn't take up too much room and we had five stories to choose from at bed time!

Our favourite of the five stories has to be Fred and the Little Egg, its a sweet story about a bear cub who wants to hatch his own egg! Millie loved the Dora's Chicks book because she loved looking at the pictures on each page and trying to find the missing chicks! We were distracted lots by this book, because of the amount of lovely farm animals to spot!

What I would say about these books is that they are filled with words. For me that is not a bad thing as I LOVE to read. For Chester, and especially Millie it was hard to keep their attention until the end of the story. So I would say that the age recommendation needs to be aimed a little higher, maybe aged 4-7.

The books are paperback with glossy covers and non glossy pages inside. The inside pages are a little on the thin side and for this reason I would not let Chester or Millie hold the books themselves as I could see them easily getting ripped by accident.

For £9.99 I think the books are priced correctly. You are getting 5 really lovely stories in a lovely carry case for that price. I can honestly say my only negatives are the suggested age range and perhaps the quality of the paper used. The stories are perfect for this time of year, Spring, where baby animals are seen a lot. We talk about animals a lot and these books have fueled the animals talks further.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Skylanders Swap Force, Chesters very first character unboxing video!

As you all know, Chester is a HUGE skylanders fan! In fact we sorted his collection today onto shelves and I realised exactly how Skylander mad he is!!

Chester is always watching Skylander videos on Youtube, mostly the ones about unboxing characters and also some playing the game.

Today, Chester did his very first unboxing video! For Lightcore Grim Creeper! He was very excited!

So what do you think?

Do you have Skylander mad children too?!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Make your own pom poms!

One of the memories I have from my own childhood is going to summer holiday clubs and making our own pom poms. I have always wanted to make them with my own children, so when I looked out of my window and saw rain this morning, I thought it was an ideal time to teach them! 

All you need is some cardboard, some wool and some scissors! 

I cut out some circles from the cardboard, you need two per pom pom, so make sure each size is cut out twice. Then cut the middles out of your cardboard. 

You need quite a bit of wool. I ravelled it around my fingers until it only just fit into the whole in the circles.

We tied 1 end of wool to the cardboard ring, and the wrapped the wool around the circle, by pushing it through the hole in the middle and back round. 

Even Millie joined in...

When you have run out of wool or space to push wool through, tuck the end of wool into your weave. Then cut the edge of the wool, where you should find your 2 cardboard rings. Use these as your guide to finish cutting all the way around. 

Cut a length of string and place it inbetween your 2 cardboard rings, tie it tightly and secure with 2 or 3 knots. 

Then push your pom pom out of your cardboard ring! 

They are really easy to make, we used multicoloured wool to get this effect. We are going to use the pom poms to make some Easter crafty things! 

What do you think?!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Easy Hot Cross Buns

Last week you may remember I posted about our Hot Cross Bun Loaf. Well this weekend we went to visit my Aunt and Chester really wanted to show her how to make Hot Cross Buns. We did everything the same as the loaf, apart from the fact we didn't brush milk on top of the buns before placing them in the oven, and we only put in the oven for around 20 minutes. If you are interested in baking these, please do click through to the recipe here, and please let me know how you get on!

We shaped the dough into 12 equal sized balls and left them to rise....

We then mixed out cross paste and put onto the buns....

Put them into the oven on 180 degrees for around 20 minutes, and they came out like this....

They were DELICIOUS!!! Lovely and soft, perfect texture and much nicer than shop bought!