A very handy pumpkin!

Continuing with our Halloween theme, me and my niece decided to make a pumpkin the other day. She wanted to make it to take home to her mum but didn’t want to use paint or printing techniques. We decided to use hand shapes instead to make a cute, personal pumpkin!

To make your handy pumpkin you will need orange card, green card, scissors, paper, pencil, glue and felt tip pen.IMG_2682

Draw around the child’s hand onto the orange card. We did four hand shapes. You may need more if you have a younger child or want a fuller looking pumpkin! Then draw around the hand onto green card. You need two green hand shapes as these will be the pumpkin leaves. Next cut out all your hand shapes and start arranging them on your paper how you would like them.IMG_2687Once you are happy with how they look, stick them into place with glue. Then draw a face onto the pumpkin.IMG_2688IMG_2691My niece loved making her handy pumpkin and her mum loved receiving it!

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Halloween hand-prints!

We love hand-printing in our home and thought we would do some Halloween inspired prints this week. I love how you can turn your hands into pretty much anything with just a bit of paint! We turned to Pinterest for a little inspiration and found some fantastic ideas, including bats, cats and witches to get us started!

I was looking after my nephew and niece for the day too and the two girls were super excited at the prospect of turning their hands into something a little spooky!

To make your spooky hand-prints you will need – paint, paintbrushes, paper and black felt tip pen.

My daughter decided to make a witch hand-print so set to work painting her whole hand green. She then printed down on the paper. She then painted on the hair and a hat. Once the paint was dry she drew on her witches face with black pen!

IMG_2702 IMG_2704My nephew and niece wanted¬†to do some Frankenstein prints. They painted the palm of their hands green and their fingers purple (don’t paint the thumbs for this print). My nephew needed some help with this as he is only 22 months!IMG_2679 IMG_2681

They then printed onto paper and added some ‘screws’ at the side of Franks neck. Once dry, we added the face!IMG_2699 IMG_2711 IMG_2712The kids loved their Halloween hand-prints and we cut them out and popped them up around the house!

We hope you have a fantastic Halloween!

A little computer problem!

I thought I better keep you guys updated as to why I haven’t posted for a few days. I am still here, just unable to upload any pictures ūüė¶ My computer has gone a little crazy and will not play nicely, no matter how much I beg it to or how nicely I ask it! It won’t allow me to upload or view any of my photos. I am a little disappointed as I have more crafts for Halloween to post about. ūüė¶ I am working on it so hope you will all bear with me! Hopefully it is something that can be easily fixed!

Pizza fun!

Yesterday me and the kids decided to make some pizza for lunch. I prefer to make our own pizza dough usually, but I spotted a box of ready made pizza bases in my local shop the other day, which were discounted by a huge amount! I bought the bases for absolute pennies, so I thought I would give them a go! They were too big a bargain to miss!

I love making pizzas with the kids as they love having the freedom to create whatever they want on their pizzas. They can let their imaginations go wild! My daughter loves making faces on her pizza and my son likes making patterns with the different toppings. They really like the fact that they have helped prepare and make their own lunch, and tend to eat a lot better if it is something they have helped to make themselves! pizza quote blog

If you want to make your own pizza base I usually use the recipe below as it is so quick and easy.

Pizza base recipe – 375g plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 7g dried active baking yeast, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs caster sugar and 225 ml warm water.

Mix flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in oil and water. Knead into dough, then roll into your base shape. Top with your desired toppings. Bake for 20 – 25 mins at 190 c.

Once you have your base you can choose what toppings you would like. You will need a tomato purée / tomato and herb sauce and grated cheese to spread over your base to stop it burning. My son and daughter also chose tomatoes, ham and sweetcorn to add to their pizzas. I put all the different toppings into different bowls so that they are easily visible, and the kids can get into them easily. IMG_2636IMG_2640

The kids love decorating their pizzas in their own styles!IMG_2643 IMG_2644Once the pizzas were fully decorated, I baked in the oven at 190 c for about 10 minutes as we were using the ready made bases. Usually I bake for about 20 minutes when using our own home made pizza dough. IMG_2650IMG_2652

We served our pizzas with salad and garlic bread and they were yummy! No leftovers at all! I was pleasantly surprised by the ready made bases. They were super easy and tasted nice enough (not as good as our home-made ones though)!

A yummy, tasty meal which the kids loved!

Beep Beep – A fruity car!

I got creative at snack time for my little boy again. I decided to turn his fruit snack into cars for him!

Most followers of my blog know how much I love getting creative with food, and what a big believer I am in making food fun for children. My son has been very fussy with food in the past, which is why I started trying to make his food more interesting for him (Hey, I was a desperate mummy)! I was so chuffed that it worked and he improved, that I kind of ran with it! I love making food more interesting now as it has made such a difference to my boys eating habits! My daughter loves it too, even though she has always been a fabulous eater and needed no extra encouragement. It is a lovely, fun way to serve a snack!

To make his fruity cars I used grapes to make a road, pear to form the cars, banana for the wheels and strawberry for the windows! I also added a cheese savoury biscuit to make a sunshine.

fruit car

My little boy loved his vehicle themed snack and it zoomed off in no time! A very big hit!

Spooky footprint ghosts!

Yesterday, I decided to make some spooky footprint ghosts with my two year old nephew. It is a super simple and cute activity for very little ones!

I love making footprints with the kids as they are so lovely to keep and to look back on as they grow. There are some beautiful poems which you can add to footprint pictures and crafts, especially if you are making them as gifts for family or friends. The poem below is one of my favourites¬†–

Two little feet with ten tiny toes,

Isn’t it strange how quickly time goes?

Footprints so small but this will not last,

I change each day, I grow so fast,

These two little footprints will help you recall,

How little I was when my feet were this small!

Author unknown.

To make your spooky ghost footprints you will need – black card, white paint, paintbrush and felt tip pen.

Begin, by painting your foot in white paint. (My nephew loves this part as he finds it super tickly! Lots of giggles here)!

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Next, print the foot down onto black card. Once they are dry, draw on the ghosts eyes and mouth! IMG_2615 A super simple print activity and a nice way for the very little ones to get involved with Halloween! These would also look lovely cut out and placed around the home to decorate!

Happy printing!

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Lollipop stick dolls!

My daughter loves dolls! They are the first thing she reaches for when she arrives home from school, and the one thing she wanted to take away on holiday with us along with her colouring pens! She also loves drawing and creating, so a perfect craft idea for her, is making her own lollipop stick dolls!

I used to love making lollipop stick dolls when I was at school and I knew my daughter would love it too! She decided to make a ballerina for herself and a pirate doll for her brother.

You will need – lollipop sticks, felt tip pens, pipe cleaners, material / felt scraps, glue scissors and tissue / crepe paper.

Make your lollipop stick doll by choosing a lollipop stick and adding ‘clothes’ from the material scraps. For the pirate doll, my daughter used a piece of blue felt for shorts and a piece of red felt cut into shape for a pirate bandana. Secure everything in place with glue. She then drew on a stripy top with felt tip pens, as well as the facial features, eye patch and shoes.loli doll3

She then added pipe cleaners for the pirates arms. (You may need to use a little sticky tape to secure the arms).loli doll4

loli doll5

For her ballerina doll my daughter chose to use a square of blue felt material for the top, and purple tissue paper wrapped around the stick to form a skirt. Again, she used pipe cleaners for the arms. She added shredded tissue paper for the hair, and drew on the facial features and shoes.

loli 1loli doll 2

We love these home – made dolls and my son and daughter have both played with them for hours since. They are a lovely way to get the kids involved in making their own play things, and the nice thing is that they can design any doll they wish. My daughter is already thinking of new dolls she can make! The possibilities are endless!loli dolls

Halloween Jack – o – Lanterns!

This weekend my daughter and niece were feeling rather creative and wanted to do something Halloween themed! We decided to make some pumpkin paper lanterns in preparation for Halloween. They make wonderful decorations for around the home and are pretty simple to make!

The origin of Jack – o – Lanterns is still not known, but there is a wide belief that they originated in Ireland, where turnips and beets were carved into. Jack – o – Lanterns were believed to protect your home from spirits and vampires.

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There is a fantastic poem called ‘The Pumpkin’ written by John Greenleaf Whittier in 1850:

Oh!-fruit loved of boyhood!-the old days recalling,

When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!

When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,

Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!

To make your Jack – o – Lanterns you will need – A4 orange card, black paper, glue, scissors, stapler and a pencil. You will also need a hole punch and thread / wool if you are going to turn your lanterns into bunting.

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Start by folding your orange card in half lengthways and then cut slits along the folded line. Make sure you leave approximately 5 cm at least, at the edge of the card.IMG_2583Once you have cut slits along the folded line, open the card up and roll (width way) into your lantern shape.IMG_2586 IMG_2590Once it is rolled into the lantern shape, staple both ends to hold in place.IMG_2589

On black paper, draw the eyes, nose and mouth for the lantern and cut them out.IMG_2592 IMG_2593Using glue, stick the face onto the Jack – o -Lantern.IMG_2597

You can now staple a strip of card to the top of the lantern to form a handle.

IMG_2601If you would like to use your lanterns to make some spooky bunting make plenty of lanterns and use a hole puncher to make two holes in the top of each of the lanterns (one on each side of the lantern).IMG_2591IMG_2602Next, thread some ribbon / string through the top of your lanterns and hang the bunting up! I use sticky tape to hang up our bunting! IMG_2604We love our Halloween bunting!It is a fantastic way to decorate your home with your little ones and without spending lots of money. Double bonus!

A little Autumn break away

Firstly, my apologies for not posting for a few days! Myself, the hubby, the kids and Sammy the dog have been on an Autumn break away to one of our very favourite parts of the world – Cornwall, UK. We had a fantastic time, even if it did fly by! Isn’t it funny how a week of work feels so much longer than a week of play?! It felt like we had only just unpacked, when I was packing up again!

We stayed in a little caravan in Newquay on Hendra holiday park. It caters for families and couples, and is very family and child orientated which really shows through in their daytime activities and evening entertainment, as well as right down to the finishing little touches.

There were three fantastic play parks, one of which included a climbing wall, which were all well equipped for children of different ages. IMG_2207 IMG_2195There was also an indoor pool and outdoor pool which looked fun, but unfortunately we didn’t get chance to use them as both the kids had colds so we decided to give them a miss!

Each morning there was a chance to ride on the land train (for free) which took you on a little tour around the park. This was a big hit with my little boy especially, and made even more fun by the holiday parks mascot, a large cuddly hippo called Henry, joining us for the ride! A really cute touch for families!IMG_2167

The evening entertainment was brilliant for the kids, and my daughter was super excited that one evening they had a little tribute to ‘Frozen’. This is one of her favourite films, and she was incredibly happy to get a cuddle from her favourite character, Elsa!IMG_2466During the days we explored the attractions in the surrounding areas. One of our very favourite places we visited was Dairyland Farm world, Newquay. It is an amazing place for children and when you pay once, you can then get in free for seven days! We thought it was amazing value as there was so much to do there. We visited again before going home on our last day and we could of easily spent longer there.

In Dairyland there is SO much to do, including…….

A¬†farm with opportunities for the little ones to meet and feed animals…..

IMG_2285 IMG_2274 IMG_2279a tractor hay ride (great fun!), play equipment and farm vehicles to explore, IMG_2297 IMG_2241

milking time for the cows (this is a must see and very educational for the little ones), a HUGE soft play centre,

IMG_2235a brilliant maize maze and some fantastic museums.IMG_2305 IMG_2313 IMG_2319

This place is completely worth a visit if you are ever in the area. A great value day out which will keep the kids (and yourselves!) entertained for hours and hours!

We had such a lovely few days away and enjoyed every minute! Some very much needed family time away together. I feel like our batteries are charged back up again!

Right, now I suppose I better head off and start on the enormous pile of washing……….