childrens craft

Free Printable Father’s Day cards 21

I understand that not everyone wants to do arts and crafts with the kids, but I believe that we all have a creative gene somewhere and that creativity is a muscle and the more we use it, the bigger it gets!  Father’s Day is a great time to get a little crafty with the kids and to make it simpler for you I have teamed up with SnapFish to bring you a free printable Father’s Day card for you, in fact I have two for you to choose from.

three free printable fathers day cards

glove monsters facebook

How to make Glove Monsters 26

In our hall we have a basket which is filled with hats and other things depending on the season and this week I took all the winter hats, gloves and scarfs and swapped them for the summer caps and hats and I was left with two odd gloves, that were missing their mates.  So I decided to upcycle them and make some glove monsters.  And yes, I know that it is June and I am only putting away the winter stuff, but it has been a really odd Spring in the UK this year and we have had hail in May!

dream catcher

A home made dream catcher made my Mini 7

Not only did two years classrooms flood, but the library and ICT area also flooded. The dining hall has been turned in to a storage area and the school has been unable to serve warm meals. All this uncertainty has resulted in a very anxious Mini. This partly shows by him being filled with bravado and the other side with issues sleeping.

So in addition to working on stopping him being a reluctant sleeper and doing things to prevent nightmares, we also made a dream catcher together. When I say we, what I mean is I held the tape and chatted to him whist he made his own dream catcher.

We used, some wood from a plant in the garden with tape to make into a circle (ish) and then mini used rope to tie round it. He then strung some pretty beads on to string and attached them.

Whilst he concentrated on making the dreamcatcher we talked about their history and all the things that have been worrying him.

How to make a sourdough starter 4

Inspired by the Hairy Bikers, Mini has decided that he wants to make sourdough bread, which means that we need to make a starter. So We have started the process and at the moment we are on day two and MAria (as Mini named her) is currently sat in the airing cupboard.

Mini never does things by half so we received sourdough starters on line and he decided to use one from the BBC (as they often use this site for recipes at school).

He also decided he need to keep on top of what day it was so used our new A4 flexible magnetic chalkboard from First 4 Magnets, which was only £3.49 (they send it to us free) and stuck it on the fridge so he could see it and tick off after he had done what needed to be done each day.
We would love for you to join us in learning how to make sourdough bread, like Helen at The Crazy Kitchen has. If you do, please let us know by leaving a comment and you can follow our progress over on The Mad House facebook page or Instagram.


How to make a Pinecone Owl and other pinecone crafts 13

Maggie at Red Ted Art (who has a new craft book out) hosts a weekly Google + Hangout and this weeks was all about Pine cone crafts. Mini has been studying nocturnal animals this week, so we decided to make a pine-cone owl.

This is one of those crafts that you can adjust dependent on the age of your child bu cutting out all the felt (or foam) and allowing them to glue it or they can cut it out and glue it too. I made templates for the boys to draw around on the felt with a soft pencil and they cut out the felt themselves.


Felt (or craft foam) in yellow, brown and orange
googly eyes
Glue gun or glue (Maxi uses a glue gun, but mini uses craft PVA)

Cut out in yellow a figure of eight shape for the base of the eyes larger than your googly eyes and stick the eyes to it.
Then using orange felt or foam cut out a small triangle for the beak and curves with points which are the owls feet.
You cut out a square in brown for the owls hat – approximately 2 inches in size, but this depends on your pine cone.
Cut two triangles for the owls wings

pinecone door

number games

Number games for Children

Both my boys love numbers and math. We have been working with Maxi and the school to show his workings out, as he has always said that he just sees the answers to math questions in his head. As he gets older points are often given for using the correct method and for showing the workings in exams.

One of the ways we do this is by playing games. I recently picked up a great little bingo set at the charity shop, which both the boys love top play. They use it for making up their own number games. They add the numbers, add up the lines when they score to work out who is the winner and just generally have fun with the numbers and the counters. When I was growing up I loved bingo too, I used to tag along with my cousins when they visited and go to the arcades to play bingo. Nowadays they play online at sites such as

There are lots of other number games you can play with children including:

Domino’s – great for number recognition, counting and strategy
Cards – you can play lots of card games with children, from basic snap, which is great for number recognition to something more difficult such as two’s and eights. Cards are so portable and are great to have in your handbag.
Dice – a pair of dice is great to carry in your bag. You can use them for very basic sums by getting your child to throw the dice and add, subtract, divide or times the two numbers.
Monoploly is great for introducing children to the concept of money and they often do not realise they are using maths skills whilst playing.
Battleships is a fantastic game for introducing children to co-ordinates. Perfect for playing before they have to use graphs.
Skittles or ten pin bowling. You can make your own skittles from bottles and give them numbers. This can help number recognition and addition skills for scoring.
What are your favorite games to play that reinforce maths skills?

Fingerprint thank you cards 6

In fact it took less time and effort to make the cards than it did to hassle them to filling them in. I really do want the boys to have good manners and thank you cards are part and parcel of receiving gifts in The Mad House, but at six and seven I feel that the responsibility for writing them should come down to the boys and that I no longer should have to send them in their behalf, but what a palaver. I ended up nagging and nagging them to get them done.

Do you make your children write thank you cards? If so how do you encourage them to complete them?

fingerprint cards


Kids get Arty – Kadinsky 6

So when Mini asked if he could have the watercolours out to paint and started painting concentric circles in squares, I decided to sit down and we had a fab discussion.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) was a Russian-French painter. His style of painting originally belonged to expressionism, and is sometimes included in symbolism. Kandinsky was one of the artists who gave shape to the abstract art in the early twentieth century.

Kandinsky was inspired by music. So whilst mini was painting I popped on Vivaldi’s four seasons. We talked about the fact Kandinsky thought that each colour has its own language and expression. Kandinsky tried to convert musical compositions into paintings. He heard colours in music and he saw music in colours. Mini told me that black must be sad music.

We also talked about the fact that paintings do not have to be of things or people and can be looked at in lots of different ways. I loved the fact that it is something that MIni could easily mimic and didn’t feel that there was a right or wrong.


Crafting with Boys 5

I love crafting. More than crafting myself I love crafting with my boys. I love watching them get all excited about the things they make and the way that they glow with pride when they present people with their finished makes. Being creative isn’t something that should be left just to girls and I have and do encourage my boys to be as creative as possible. for me this means not only with art work, but with cooking, making music and just life in general.

Sometimes though I find that other things take over and we need something that we can fit in with Beavers, reading and being outside, this is where Yellow Moon comes in to its own. More often that not they have perfect craft activities which are quick and the boys can do with minimal or no supervision.