Really easy Pumpkin face – halloween pumpkin free printable, have a go by clicking here for our FREE downloadable template just print off, and cut out the shapes, in fact, print two, and use one as a template for your pumpkin this year too!!
So, we decided to make some Papier-mâché hot air balloons… that’s how it started out, all good intentions.
So 7yo being the possibly more crafty of the two (yep, the 5yo is crafty in other ways, say no more) got stuck right in….
1) We made the glue: mixed one cup of flour, and two cups of water, and a teaspoon of cinammon (that way it smells nice too)
2) We ripped the newspaper into strips
3) 7yo took off his brand new hoodie as he didn’t want to get it mucky
4) We pulled each strip through the ‘glue’ and let it drip back into the bowl (AND all over the garden too, much to SAHD’s delight)
5) We layered and layered until the balloon (Oh, I didn’t mention that bit did I? – blow up a balloon, and balance it on a bowl to stop it blowing or rolling away) was covered in paper mache.
Then we had to leave it to dry for a day (which is where 5yo lost interest, so I’d say stick with one layer if you’re not bothered about keeping the masterpiece for ever!)
We learnt an important lesson here, on Day 2 when we went back to add another layer, 7yo’s balloon had shrivelled, but we layered on some more paper mache…. MISTAKE, with no balloon inside to hold it’s shape this happened…
Not to be out-witted by the wilted balloon, 7yo spun it round (phew, was waiting for a tantrum) and said he would make it into a meteorite – which is what he did! Job done…
Thanks to Maggy at RedTedArt for continuing to encourage us to ‘get crafty!’
For as long as I can remember, our eldest son has been pestering us for a mobile ‘phone.
We have resisted by telling him that he cannot have one, in fact does not need one…until AT LEAST he is at secondary school….
Well, that came around quickly… September was looming, so we started to look around for an affordable ‘phone for him. And found this Pay as you go on Three and a rather funky Nokia Lumia 520 Cyan perfect for ‘Big School’ (I’m guessing I will not be allowed to refer to it as big school anymore right?) So the plan is to get that for him for September as promised.
Anyway, end of Year 6, and the school takes the class of 28 children off to France for a week, and what does 11yo do a month before he is due to board a ferry? He leaves his MP3 player in his jeans’ pocket and ummm, I washed them, in the washing machine…And, yes, it no longer works.
And the poor thing was beside himself! “How can I listen to music on the coach trip to France?”.
So we checked with the teacher, and without the SIM card, he has been permitted to take the mobile phone away to France with him… Fingers crossed it comes back in one piece, and YES, he WILL be ceremoniously emptying every pocket before ANYTHING goes into the washing machine this weekend! And watch this space for a new Instagrammer – he can’t wait to get started 🙂
So more brilliant Juice carton crafts today from the 11yo – who wanted to make a lamp…
Not any old lamp though, it had to be a blue narwhal of course, complete with pointy horn.
The milk carton is in itself waterproof, so will be coming camping with us this year apparently!
If you and your kids would like to have a go at this you will need:
1) Juice carton, or milk carton, empty (!) and rinsed.
2) Acrylic paint
3) Googly eyes
4) Scalpel (and a steady hand)
5) Battery powered tea light So 11yo got busy cutting the holes for the eyes. And cutting the shape of the mouth, with a fold back to make the tongue. The *Narwhal’s (a whale!) ‘tusk’ was created by twisting a piece of paper into a cone shape and sticking into the hole left by the juice carton lid.
The narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium-sized toothed whale and possesses a large “tusk” from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia and according to 11yo, is blue.
Pom pom Bunny has been very popular, we’ve made LOADS of them, and they are pretty easy to make (particularly if you have a pom pom maker!)
This is a really good Easter Craft, fairly straightforward, and much coveted amongst the kids’ friends. And very simple instructions to make the pom pom bunny.
You will need:
– Two pom poms, one large for the body, one smaller for the head.
– Googly eyes
– Pink Hama bead/Perla bead or similar, a small pink or red button will do.
– Contrasting fabric for the ears.
Make the two pom poms, either in the traditional cardboard doughnuts, or using a fork, or a pom pom maker. We used a hot glue gun to adhere the two pom poms together. You could stitch them together too…
Glue the eyes and attach the ‘whiskers’ and little pink nose with a strong glue.
Using pinking shears, cut the bunny ear shapes, and scrunching them to create creases at the bottom, secure them together with a piece of wool (the same wool as the pom poms so that when you tie them to the bunny’s neck, you won’t see the join).
I think this really makes the pom pom bunny quite unique, and it’s a great way to upcycle old bits of fabric – in fact you may recognise this blue fabric from the leaping rabbits denim pocket purse we made recently too – click here to check that out, you won’t be able to resist having a go at that!.
Family friendly places to visit with kids – something I search for when we’re in London for the weekend – this weekend was no exception, so we made our way to the British Museum, to look at their amazing Egyptian collection, and the Rosetta Stone.
One of the most famous objects in the British Museum. The Rostta Stone is a broken piece of a bigger stone slab. And carved in different scripts and helped experts learn to read Egyptian hieroglyphs. Fabulous architecture both old and new and great for Key Stage Two kids! They have a brilliant online presence too, for those who are unable to visit.
Our next stop was the Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue. There is a bit of a comic book ‘thing’ going on in our house – and there really is something for everyone in this amazing store, certainly Family Friendly! and we didn’t leave empty handed – the boys were so excited and slightly overwhelmed by the stock, needless to say, Marvel comics did well out of us!
Child Friendly restaurant
On the way home, we popped into Pho restaurant in Soho, 163-165 Wardour Street, and I’ll let the kids’ reviews and photos tell you more – needless to say, we were wowed from the off, with enticingly graphic colouring-in sheets, and the most delicious fresh juice combinations.
We fought over the summer rolls, and the pork balls, and squid starters, and we were amazed at how reasonably priced the Kids Menu is – with main courses from £2.70.
The Soho restaurant has a great atmosphere, and the decor is fab – we rather liked the faux fireplaces – which came into their own as the light started to fade outside – the staff were brilliant, and were really warm with the children, who enjoyed the attention, and having their own menus.
11yo however did go for the hottest Cà-ri a Vietnamese curry packed with veggies & mushrooms, topped with nuts & served with fragrant broken rice – needless to say, he didn’t need any ADDITIONAL Chilli sauce, which he’d been previously eyeing!
The side order of Rau muống xào, stir fried morning glory (water spinach) in garlic, was delicious, and enjoyed by all four of us.
It certainly is a family friendly restaurant, so much so, the kids’ have hand written their own reviews here:
For dessert, we were told that the Banh lá dứa pandan pancake, with roasted coconut, was fabulous, and it so WAS! Served with honey & ginger or coconut ice cream (we had both) – it was quite exquisite… And quite bonkers to have a green pancake!
The kids had sorbets whilst we enjoyed a traditional Vietnamese coffee, a Cà phê: which is entertaining in it’s own way too, served with condensed milk – and a little filter contraption – clearly very photogenic, as was the whole experience to be honest!
Fairy Tale crafts – taking inspiration from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves we decided to upcycle a charity shop mirror and create the famous Mirror Mirror on the Wall….
This was a fabulous team effort, and my son now proudly has this Fairy Tale Craft beauty hanging on the wall in his bedroom.
You will need:
Old sheets of newspaper
Stronger glue, (I recommend a glue gun!)
1) Roll the newspaper sheet diagonally from the corner, using the cocktail stick to get you started, so that the roll is nice and tight. When the cocktail stick starts to disappear inside the paper, gently pull it out, and continue to tightly roll the newspaper to create a long ‘stick’ – the first of MANY!
2) Flatten the ‘stick’ using a hard surface.
3) Taking your cocktail stick, start to roll the flattened ‘stick’ into a tight spiral, securing it with glue as you get to the end of the spiral.
4) When you have enough of these spirals, you can start to build up the pattern around the mirror – we found that the glue gun was the best tool for this!
You could also spray paint the spirals, however we like the newspaper spirals in their natural form!
So we’ve gone all churchy and made these lovely stained glass window style cards…. cutting shapes from the card, and gluing coloured tissue paper behind the apertures. Eek… I let the boys use a scalpel! These look fab with a tea-light popped inside (battery operated for safety) or stuck to a window.
As a family, we like to play games together… we like the classics (of my youth)… Monopoly, Connect 4, and anyone remember ‘Sorry’?
My parents always bought a new ‘family game’ every year, and I’ve carried on this tradition with my own children.
This time last year, we bought Pucket – an amazingly fun game, you pull back the elastic to fire your wooden pucks through a gap in the middle of the board (the ‘gate’), and when all of your pucks have got through… before your opponents’, you’ve won! It’s manic, and massively funny to play. We can highly recommend this game 🙂
Now the makers of Pucket, ETGames, have a new game… it’s called ‘Bridget’ and the boys LOVE it… 11yo opened it on his birthday, they figured out the rules – taking it in turns to add the bricks to get across the board with their ‘bridges’…they insisted we took it with us to the restaurant for Birthday Supper with Daddy… and excitedly explained the Bridge Building Strategy Game to him. “A three dimensional noughts and crosses” which I seem to lose to a 9yo and an 11yo…grrr.
(When not playing the official game, they use the bricks to create characters and funny faces!!)
It’s produced following the same Fair Trade principles as the production of the Pucket game, and packaged in a small organic cotton bag, perfect for taking with you on your travels, and Bridget is carefully hand-crafted in the UK – in fact, it’s quite a thing of beauty!
I’ve recommended this to several friends who have already purchased the Bridget for Christmas pressies, and my Brother in Law will certainly be getting one from us too this year!
If you can recommend any other classic games you think my family, and the boys age 9 and 11 may like – please comment below, thank you 🙂