I am a big fan of DIY candle holders and luminaries. They are brilliant for lightening dark days. There is something magical about candlelight. This is something that the Danish know all about with Hygge – apparently, they burn more candles than any other country in the world.
Do you love valentines? I think that once you strip away the commercialism Valentine’s day is great. Anything that promotes love is great in my book and I am delighted to share with you over 20 Cute and Fun Valentine’s Day Heart Crafts.
We had so much fun making this Kandinsky inspired tree with some of the felt scraps that I have. This is a super process art for working on scissor skills, especially as felt and circles can be tricky to cut.
There is something magical about fairy gardens. To have your own little world with fairies, plants, moss, doors furniture and a little bit of pixie dust. As an adult, I have a huge love for fairy gardens and I know that they enchant most children too. They are also a great way to encourage children to garden.
Do you have a dedicated workspace or craft room at home? I have just got a proper desk from Lakeland Furniture to replace the Ikea table I was working at. I am lucky that I am able to do my job from home and where I work has evolved over the years. Initially, when the boys were younger, I worked at the kitchen table or wherever they were playing. I had a laptop and used that to do my work and I kept all out arts, crafts and work stuff in a large cupboard in the dining room. It worked really well for me to be able to put in more »
Looking for valentine craft and activities for kids? Well look no further I a complete resource of them all in one place for you here. As I do more I will make sure that they are added, so make sure you pin or bookmark this page. I love learning, creating, making and baking seasonally and you might not celebrate valentine’s day, but love is forever eternal.
Do you let your children bring in the New Year? My boys are now ten and nine and try to stay up until Midnight, but never make it! We have a small celebration with our best friends and their four boys, so we do lots of new years eve crafts and activities with the kids.
We are minions mad here. We have loved the cheeky adorable minions since the first time we encountered them! Today we have a fab free minions colouring book printable to share with you. perfect for after you have seen The Minions Movie! We also have a fab round up of Minion crafts and activities to share.
Reindeer food is one of our Christmas Eve traditions and we love to make it as much as the boys love sprinkling it outside for the reindeer. We have great fun each year making it for family and friends and this year I am excited to share with you 7 great free printable labels for you designed by The Purple Pumpkin Blog using the same designs as our Advent Acts of Kindness. Traditionally it is just oats and glitter, but, we live in a pretty rural area and we stopped putting glitter in our reindeer food a few years back. Now we use other things to make it pretty more »
I am a book lover, I always have been and it is one of the things that I have always wanted to foster in my children. We have books everywhere in The Mad House. You can not go into a room without there being books.
I don’t know about you, but I never realised there was so much you could do with post-it notes. I was challenged by them to create three crafts or activities using their new Full Adhesive Notes, otherwise known as FAN. These notes mean you can adhere the whole note to the surface of your notebook or wall, meaning it will stay put for longer!
Remembrance Sunday seems to have jumped up on me this year. I think due to having half term a week late. I love to use the time that we craft as a family to talk about things and making poppy crafts with the boys always gives me the opportunity to discuss the need for remembrance day and this year has even more significance after our visit to the site of the Armistice over the summer.
225g icing sugar, sifted
115g Condensed Milk
Gradually mix the icing sugar together with the condensed milk. We used the mixer for this on slow.
Add peppermint extract to taste and knead until smooth.
Dust a clean surface with icing sugar and roll out the mixture to 5mm thickness. Cut into shapes with small cutter (the boys chose hearts and bells).
Leave in a cool place to dry for two to three hours.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.
3. Drizzle the peppermint creams with the melted chocolate
Allow to set.
This keeps refrigerated for up to three weeks.
With the weather getting colder, now is the time to make some plans about activities and crafts you can do on the darker evenings to keep your children occupied and keep. My friend Becky at Baby Budgeting has produced her first ebook which is jam packed full of 50 ideas of things to do with under 5’s in Autumn on a budget. I have a copy and it is a great resource for when you are struggling for ideas. Click here to get your copy best of all it is only £1.50. You could also do some marble painting, which doesn’t have to be messy. Why not have a go at more »
The Eldest MiniMad had his last day at preschool (nursery) on Friday and he has really enjoyed the time he spent there and I so wanted to tank his two teachers for the fantastic time he has had. He would run there on a morning and not want to leave when I collected him 2 hours later. I know many people do not agree with presents for the teacher, but it was an effort to show the appreciation I have for them and also the fact that I entrusted them with my Perfect First Baby. MiniMad never does any arts or crafts at preschool, I guess that is due to the more »
Cruises: The Perfect Family Holiday?
Cruises are becoming more and more popular for family holidays as many providers have begun to cater for younger couples with children. It is wise to check out the range of cruise deals available for families from some of the well-known cruise lines. Some operators may run from Italy, for example, but children travel free, so costs are cut substantially. Discounted rates usually apply for kids from a large number of liners anyway, just like they would from accommodation providers on the mainland and seats on aeroplanes.
A major benefit of cruises is that there will be few added costs once the upfront reservations have been made. Entertainment, meals and snacks are generally included in the price. Any tours and excursions plus alcohol consumed on the ship will, however, cost extra, so you should bear this in mind if you have a larger group. Cruise liners are like floating holiday villages, and there are sure to be restaurants or buffet bars on board to suit the most picky child eaters. If mealtimes are problematic, it’s possible to allow them to choose their own eating venues, while adult members of the party enjoy the refinements of dressing for dinner and dining in fine restaurants on board the ship.
Many cruise deals offered during school holidays include full daily entertainment for kids in clubs, with regular sports or arts and crafts activities. It is wise to check out the programme of activities available with each particular cruise company and choose an operator that is best suited to the interests of your own kids. From water slide areas where the children can make new friends to tours of the ship and video game lounges, they are sure to have a blast.
Cruises can be a great choice of holiday for the extended family as well – while the kids are allowed to roam around the ship and take part in the activities on offer, parents and grandparents can take time out to relax around adults only pools, in the spa or in any of the comfortable bars or coffee lounges on board the cruise liner. The older generation will appreciate the sheer luxury available on the liner and will also be able to take the time to pursue activities at their own speed rather than rushing around after the grandkids. This is a fantastic way of having a family holiday without spending all of your time together!
When the ship is in port, each member of your party will be able to participate in exciting explorations of cities, seaside villages and wonderful beaches in whichever part of the world the cruise liner docks. So perhaps cruises really do offer the perfect family holiday, although the best way to get the most out of your holiday, as with any trip, is to do some research. Not all cruises accept families, while some specifically cater for multi-generational parties, and some are very child focused (eg. Disney cruises). Shop around a bit to find the option best suited to your own particular tastes.
I am a huge lover of creative pursuits and getting boys involved in crafts and arts. In today’s digital age I think that being creative is even more important, but do acknowledge that sometimes it can be hard to engage your children. I have lots of arts and craft materials at home but love great craft kits. So in conjunction with Bright Minds here are my top five from Djeco.
If you are anything like me that you do not throw anything way and I have a box full of felt scraps. Felt is such a beautiful material and perfect for making things with as it doesn’t fray. After using some of our felt scraps to make our Kandinsky inspired trees I decided to come up with some other ideas for using scraps of felt.
One of the things that I love about the school holidays is the amount of time we get to spend together as a family and it reminds me that I need to make time for the kids during term time.
The summer is a great time to encourage your kids to scrapbook. Each year we record the holidays and our adventures in our own summer scrapbook. The new craze is smash booking. So here is how to smash book with kids.