Cling film painting!

We love using different materials to paint with and the activity I am sharing with you today is one of our favourite ones! It is super simple and uses things you are most likely to already have in your home. I carried out this activity with children aged 8, 6, 5 and 2 years and they all loved it! (Adult guidance will be needed).

To make cling film paintings you will need – cling film, paints and paper.

Begin by squirting out small dots of different coloured paint onto a piece of paper. My kids love this  – just be careful you don’t squeeze too much paint out!

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Next get a piece of cling film (big enough to cover your paint) and place it on top of your paper. Then use your hands to push down the paint on top of the cling film. This is a fantastic sensory activity without the mess. The kids get to feel the paint squelching without getting messy! Brilliant for kids who don’t like feeling wet / paint / mess on their hands!

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I love this activity as you get a different result each time. It is very unique! The kids choose which way to push and squelch the paint on their paper! Once you are happy carefully peel off the cling film – this may need some adult help.

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I always find the kids love this bit the most! The surprise on their faces when they see their art work always makes me smile!

You can make some stencils to use with your paintings too. We cut out some shapes from card, stuck them onto the paper using blu-tack, squirted the paint around them then carefully remove the stencil. My daughter especially liked using the heart shape.

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The kids also made name prints by cutting out the letters of their names and printing around them. These looked fabulous and I am going to buy canvases for them to do these again, and make art work for their bedrooms!

We had an afternoon full of cling film painting, they asked to do so many we ended up with enough to wallpaper my hallway! Here is a ‘small’ selection of part of our afternoons artwork! We hope you like them!

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This activity was loved by all the kids, showing that it really does appeal to lots of different ages. I made quite a few paintings myself and it is so therapeutic. I could have sat and printed all afternoon! Give this activity a go – I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

 

 

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A Woodland afternoon!

Last weekend the beautiful sun had finally started to shine (hooray!) and me and the hubby wanted to take the kids out for a cheap afternoon somewhere. I had seen a free local Woodland  open day advertised in my facebook feed so we decided to head over there and spend the afternoon exploring the woods!

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When we arrived we were greeted by a very enthusiastic man from the Woodland trust who immediately dragged lined us up for the guided wood walk. (To say he was quick is an understatement – our wellies had barely touched the ground)! This did feel a little strange as we regularly go for woodland walks, so to be guided around felt odd! We did learn quite a bit though and the kids loved listening to the different birdsong. There was a man from the RSPB who helped the kids identify between the different songs. The children were also given guides for them to keep which helped them identify different creatures and different woodland trees.

After the walk we browsed the stalls, which included home – made jam and honey for sale, bat boxes, cakes and cookies (we spent a few pennies here!), kids lucky dip, pick a stick and face painting! Everything was really reasonably priced. The admission was free so you could spend as much or as little as you liked. My daughter wanted her face painted (my son is never too keen on this so decided against it this time). She chose to have a fox painted (keeping in with the woodland theme!) much to the lovely face painting lady’s horror. She said she had never done a fox before – we think she did an amazing job! My daughter loved it and got lots of comments afterwards!

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There was also a stall giving away free wooden bird boxes. I was so impressed! It’s not often in this day that you get something so lovely for free! You could choose to have a ready made one or one that needed building. We chose a bird box that needed building – Daddy was very eager to help the kids build it at home!

The kids loved helping Daddy make the bird box and it was a lovely activity to encourage them to work together. They are going to paint it together soon too, when we have the right type of paint so that it will last and look pretty longer!

We had a fantastic Sunday afternoon and I will certainly be looking out for the next one!

Paper plate crab!

We love making things from paper plates as they are so versatile and hold endless craft opportunities! One of my favourite things to make with the little ones are paper plate crabs. They look so cute and the paper plate works really well with this craft. My kids love making these simple little crabs and I think they are a lovely craft to make now the sun is starting to shine a little more!

To make your crab you will need – paper plate, paint, felt pens and coloured paper.

Start by painting your paper plate. My daughter chose orange for her paper plate crab.

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Leave the paper plate to dry. Cut out two circles from coloured paper and draw on the eyes with a felt pen.

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Next fold a strip of paper (to make a concertina effect), then glue it to the back of one of the eyes. This will make the eyes pop out, giving a 3d effect! Repeat with the other eye.

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Once the paper plate is dry stick the eyes on with glue and draw the crab’s mouth on with a pen. Next cut out some legs and pincers from coloured paper then glue onto your crab!

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My little ones love their paper plate crabs and they are a wonderful simple activity to do. The kids even took theirs outside and played in the sunshine with them! For more animal craft ideas please take a peek here!

 

Trampoline Chalking!

This idea came up on my Facebook news feed a few days ago and I thought it was a super idea! We have all done the whole chalking on the footpath thing as kids and have probably done it with our own little ones so I thought this was a brilliant new take on it! All you need is some kids chalks, the trampoline and some imagination!

Let the kids free with the chalk, draw and colour to their hearts content on the trampoline base and the next lot of rain will wash the artwork away! Such a simple idea but we loved it!

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The kids loved the freedom of being able to chalk on such a large area of space. I loved seeing how they worked together to create what effectively became a pretty cool mural! We will definitely be repeating this activity! A lovely way to create a piece of group art!

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A new member of our family!

I thought I would share a little post about the newest member of our family! Yesterday we collected a beautiful baby rabbit who needed a forever home. My daughter has wanted a rabbit for such a long time but we have been waiting until we felt she was old enough to help take care of it. When I saw that that this rabbit needed homing I decided to take him in. My daughter is ecstatic! The joy and love on her face is lovely to see.

My daughter has decided to name him Peanut. He is three months old and is completely gorgeous! He has settled in really well already and my daughter is in complete and utter love with him!

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I have a feeling Peanut will be very much loved!

My second Infinity Dreams Award!

I am over the moon to be nominated for my second Infinity Dreams Award by my lovely blogging friend Lynne at Lynne’s Recipe Trails. If you haven’t already visited Lynnes blog I highly recommend you do. Her blog has some amazing recipes and her food always looks so good! It makes me hungry just looking at her wonderful food! She is always incredibly welcoming and makes you feel right at home. I am honoured to have met Lynne. Thank you again Lynne!

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Rules for the Infinity Dreams Award:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back.

Post the award badge and rules.

Tell 11 facts about yourself.

Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.

Nominate 11 other bloggers and set questions for them.

 

11 facts about me!

1 – I am a married mum of two wonderful kids. A daughter aged eight and a son aged five. I love spending time with my kids and I feel truly blessed to have such amazing children.

2 – I love running! I started running when my sister signed me up for Cancer Research UKs Race for Life. Having never run previously (apart from the obligatory half hearted attempts in games lessons at school) I knew I needed to train. I caught the running bug and I now run for sheer pleasure. I love having that time, just me and the outdoors. I am currently training for another race raising money for Cancer Research again, but this time it is a race in mud with a few obstacles thrown in. I cannot wait!

3 – I catch the train to work each day as I cannot drive. I hate not being able to drive but I just don’t seem able to get rid of my nerves about  the driving test. I have given up on lessons for a while now as we just cannot afford them currently but I hope it is something I will return to in the future. My driving instructor said I am a really good driver, I just panic when he mentions the word TEST!

4 – I live in a small village in Wales, UK and I love it! It is quite rural and the beach is less than 50 metres from our home. I know I am incredibly lucky. It is my haven.

5 – I am a nursery nurse and I work mainly with the 2 – 3 year olds. It is my dream job as I get to be as creative and messy as I want and get paid for it! My little group of kids are incredibly crafty and we produce the best art displays ever!

6 – We have a few pets who are family members! We have a Chocolate Labrador, a Leopard Gecko and we will be collecting a gorgeous baby rabbit this evening who needs a home. My daughter is incredibly excited!

7 – I used to love dancing and went to lessons when I was a little girl. I loved tap dancing the most but also did jazz and contemporary. I don’t really dance much any more and I do miss it. The closest thing I get to dancing now is Zumba on the Wii!

8 – I love reading. I am one of those people who will read anywhere (and get really irritated when other people keep trying to talk me whist I am reading)!

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9 – I love going on holiday in a caravan by the seaside. It reminds me of my childhood and I still love it now. We try and take the kids on holiday in a caravan every couple of years and Cornwall is our favourite place to go. Memories!

10 – Me and my hubby got married for under a £1000! We were engaged for years and years and trying to save up a decent amount of cash was proving to be impossible. So we decided to bite the bullet and do a budget wedding. (I know this is not to everyone’s taste but by this point we just wanted to be married. Getting wed was the important thing to us, not all the fuss and glamour)! We had some help from very generous friends and family. Each of our bridesmaids dresses were loaned to us, our gorgeous wedding cake was given to us as a wedding gift from my amazing friend, we did all the food ourselves including little cupcakes, I bought my dress from a second hand store and I did my own hair and make up. I have a friend who is a vicar and she did our wonderful service for us in her church. My brother in law did our photography as he is a keen amateur photographer, and we had our wedding photos taken at one of our favourite places near to where we live – the ruins of an old abbey. Completely free to get in and we knew it should be relatively quiet as we were out of the main tourist season. I was so happy with our photos, they turned out beautifully! We bought a very cheap gazebo and held the reception in my mother in laws garden – this was risky as we needed half decent weather but we took the risk and it was a gorgeous sunny day – phew! Everyone said how lovely and beautiful our wedding was. One of my friends even said she wished she had done the same as us – she had spent an absolute fortune on her wedding and regretted it. I think sometimes people lose sight of what is really important about getting married. I loved our wedding!

My questions from Lynne!

1. If there was one aspect in your life that you could change, what would that be?

I wouldn’t change anything. I try so hard to be thankful for everything that I am blessed with and not to dwell too much on things we haven’t got or would change as it just leads to stress and anxiety. I am blessed in my life and thankful.

2. What is one piece of advice you would give to your children as they grow up?

Don’t listen too much to other peoples opinions. When I was younger I found myself constantly worrying what other people thought of me. As I have got older I have realised that people will always have an opinion and you can’t please everyone. If you aren’t hurting anyone or yourself then it is basically none of their business!

 3. Is there anything adventurous you would like to do in life, if so, what is it?

Ooh this is a hard one! I’m not the most adventurous of people but I would like to go on safari in Africa and go Whale watching in Iceland. Do these count?!

4. Sweet or Savoury?

Savoury – Cheese is my nemesis!

 5. What surroundings do you prefer when writing, reading or studying?

I prefer peace and quiet (and a hot cup of coffee!) but as a busy mum I tend to get noise, noise, noise and a cold cup of coffee!

 6. If money were no object, where would your next holiday destination be and why?

Whale watching in Iceland. I am mesmerised by these beautiful creatures and would love to see them in their natural habitat. Iceland is probably the best place to see them and there are several species there.

 7. Each zodiac sign portrays certain characteristics for people.  What is your star sign and do you feel your star sign captures the real you?

I am a virgo! Virgo traits include reliability, kindness, hard working, loyalty and shyness. Everyone who knows me says I am a Virgo through and through so I do believe my star sign is indeed true to myself. Virgos also have certain likes and dislikes which are spot on for me! I like cleanliness, nature, animals and books, and cannot stand rudeness and being centre stage (walking the aisle on my wedding day filled me with dread)!

 8. Do you have any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?

Whoops! I have answered this in my facts! 🙂 I have Sammy our Labrador, Charlie our Gecko and the bunny will be called Peanut!

 9. What is one thing that annoys you?

Rudeness! This is my pet hate. It is one thing that is sure to get to me. It costs nothing at all to be polite and to use good manners. Being rude will get you nowhere in life!

10. Fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction. I love escaping in a really good book with a wonderful plot!

 

My nominees!

Zoale

hannahbananacrafts

sewloveable

cookswithevie

lifewithtwopickles

Ruthiescraftingcorner

missyscraftymess

whatsfordinnermoms

caderidrisholiday

lifebellissima

sadiesnest

I love all of these blogs and really enjoy catching up with them. They are all very unique and lovely so go take a peek and say hi! If you have already been nominated I apologise! No pressure, but if you would like to take part that would be great!

My questions for my nominees – 

1 – What is your dream job?

2 – Which is your favourite meal of the day?

3 – What do you like best about blogging?

4 – Do you have a specific goal for this year?

5 – Have you met anyone famous?

6 – Favourite hobby?

7 – Favourite place to be and why.

8 – Your favourite person / people and why.

9 – Outdoors or indoors?

10 – Your favourite thing about yourself.

Thanks again to the lovely Lynne for nominating me!

I hope you are all having a fantastic Friday!

 

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – a snack!

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I love getting creative with food! It helps encourage my kids to eat well, and really helps fussy eaters to try new foods. Take a look at my food ideas page for inspiration on encouraging kids to eat healthier and for family food ideas and recipes.

For snack time this morning I decided to make my own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for my little ones to munch on! I used cucumber slices for the catepillar’s body, a strawberry slice for his head and grape pieces as the antennae and mouth. I also added raspberries to form the ground and some more strawberries as butterflies.

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The kids loved their story themed snack and even asked for more. A fantastic way to encourage kids to eat!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

A wonderful day out!

I decided to take the kids on a day out yesterday as an Easter holiday treat. I decided to take them to one of their favourite places – Gypsy Wood, near Caernarfon in Wales. Gypsy Wood is a children’s activity park which isn’t too far from our home and since we visited just over a year ago, the kids have constantly wanted to go back! I went with my little ones, both of my sisters, my niece and nephew and my mum, so it was a real family day out!

As soon as you enter Gypsy Wood you feel like you have stepped into a magical wonderland! The park is always immaculate and is obviously well looked after. The staff are friendly and are fantastic with the kids, which is such a bonus in places like this!

There is a lovely model railway which the kids can control by pressing the different buttons. It is brilliantly interactive and hands on!

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Watching the trains!

The play equipment is excellent. There are ride on vehicles, slides, a zip wire, climbing frames, trampolines, see saws – you name it they have probably got it! There are so many opportunities for the kids to use their bodies to navigate the equipment – it is brilliant! My son especially loves the ride on vehicles and the huge amount of space he could ride them!

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There is also a little train that you can ride which takes you on a journey around the park whilst you try and spot the owls and fairies along the way. This was a big hit with the kids! (and was my favourite thing there too – Hey, it means you have a chance to sit down for five minutes! As a mum this is a huge plus)!

The displays of fairies, elves and other magical creatures are brilliant. They really make you feel like you are in some magical woodland. So much for the kids to spot and see!

There are also plenty of animals which you can buy bags of feed for an extra charge. My two year old nephew loved feeding the goats especially!

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My daughters highlight of her day was riding a donkey. As a huge animal lover this made her so happy. Her face whilst riding was a picture! One of those moments which will stay with me forever I think! (She used to be incredibly shy, so much so that some people believed she was selectively mute. Out of our family home she literally would not speak). Since moving to her present school just over a year ago, she has completely changed. Her confidence has grown so much and she converses to people she meets now – just like the lady in charge of the donkeys. She has always wanted to ride but has never had the confidence to do it, so this was quite a big moment for her. I felt quite tearful watching her. Sounds silly as it is something most kids do at a much younger age, but for me as her mum it was wonderful to see!

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There was also a place to practice long jumping which was good fun. The kids enjoyed a bit of healthy competition with their jumping skills!

I thought another lovely touch was the ‘giants’ footsteps. We followed the trail of footsteps which led you to a huge giants chair which you could clamber up and sit on. Really great fun for the little ones!

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Following the footsteps!

We had such a lovely day and enjoyed some hot chocolates from the little cafe to warm us up. If you are ever in the area I would highly recommend Gypsy Wood for a brilliant day out! I hope you are all having a fun Easter holidays whatever you are up to!