Seven Great Kids Outdoor Painting Activities

Now I know that now everyone is as relaxed as I am when it comes to kids painting and the mess it can create.  But the summer is a great time to try and lower your worry factor and get painting outdoors. The key to being more relaxed is preparation, so get a big bowl of soapy water and a towel ready for cleanups.  I have even been known to take the hosepipe to the boys to clean them up or bath them in the paddling pool. We are big fans of the large rolls of paper that you can get from Ikea. Great Kids Outdoor Painting Activities
  1. Painting doesn't always have to do done with a paintbrush and by using carpet squares you are introducing  new textures to your child.
  2. I love the idea of painting with water pistols.  it would be fab to cover the fence with paper and it would be great fun too.
  3. If you want to contain the mess to a specific area, they way not try ball painting in the paddling pool.  This is on our to do list for the summer holidays.
  4. We love sidewalk or pavement paint.  it is so easy to make your own and is just so much fun and a different take on just using chalk
  5. How about using bouncing balls to paint with.  This is another activity on our summer to do list.  It is a great skill to pick up wet and slippy bouncing balls.
  6. My boys love to feel paint between their toes and we often make footprint wrapping paper.
  7. When you are feeling a little more adventurous, then give this fantastic Ice cube painting with insects ago.  It is is wonderful activity that would be perfect for a warm summer day.
  hop for hope

I am happy to be participating in HOP FOR HOPE,  which is a blog hop dedicated to Savannah Hope who is the new daughter of  Heather from Crayon Box Chronicles.  Savannah Hope was diagnosed in utero with life-threatening birth defect of the diaphragm, congenital diaphragmatic hernia.  You can read more of Savannah Hope’s journey here.

You can also connect with Heather & Savannah Hope here:

Facebook - Donation Page - Blog

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Pinterestingly – Pins I’ve found interesting this week #2

Mini turns eight on Tuesday and is having a football/soccer party for his birthday, so I have been busy pinning lots of ideas for the party this week. world cup activitiesfootball soccer ball pinatasoccer football cakesatchelsbored printableloom band projects   Not following me, then feel free to: Visit Jen Walshaw's profile on Pinterest. Also why not join in.  What have you been pinning this week:
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Child Safety Week

Next week is child safety week.  What is that you ask, well it is an annual campaign run by The Child Accident Prevention Trust who are the UK leading charity in this field.  This year is focussing battling morning mayhem. saftey heros I am working with Betta Living to help publicise this as it is a subject close to my heart, especially after an incident we had last week.  Let me tell you about it.

Mornings in The Mad House

  I am not a morning person, seriously I walk round in a haze until I have had two cups of tea and a shower. Mini takes after me and we are often prodding him 5 minutes before we have to leave the house as he will get dressed and go back to bed!  Maxi, however, is an early riser, often up before even MadDad gets up at 6am for work. The boys are becoming pretty self sufficient when it comes to mornings now, they mostly get their breakfasts and have even started to use the toaster.  Well I am growing men! Last week, we had some waffles left over from the weekend and Mini popped them in the toaster whilst I was upstairs in the shower.  The first I knew that anything was wrong was the smoke alarm going off and Mini running to tell me that there had been a fire in the toaster, but Maxi had dealt with it. The waffles had not gone in the toaster straight and had been unable to pop up automatically as they got stuck and being full of sugar they set fire. Thankfully we have a fire blanket in the kitchen and Maxi had use that and turned off the toaster.  I rushed out of the shower to find that he had even opened all the windows and the back door. Amazingly Maxi had covered how to deal with kitchen hazards at Cubs a couple of weeks previous, but it could have been much worse.

What Can you Do?

  Take a look at your morning routine and figure out the hazards that you can reduce. The Child Safety Week website has some great resources.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust have two competitions running for Child Safety Week:

Post brought to you in conjunction with betta living

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Silhouettes made easy using the Cricut Explore

I have always loved the silhouettes you see of people and they have always intimidated me.  But I decided that I needed to get over my fear and figure out how to make a silhouette much easier to make and bam I decided to have a go at making them on my Cricut Explore The fact that is was coming up to my MIL's birthday really spurred me on to give silhouette making a go. Silhouettes made easy using the Cricut Explore 1

How to turn a photo into a silhouette using picmonkey

  Firstly I took pictures of the boys in profile against a light coloured wall. Then in picmonkey using the posterise setting I transformed it, using two colours and 100% detail. Mini had a shadow due to his hair, so using the clone tool I erased it out and  pow I had a pretty decent silhouette. mini silhouette how to

Uploading an image to the Cricut Design Space

  siloutte 1 Go to design room and start a new projects.  Then click on the upload on the left hand side and then we want basic upload for the silhouette. siloutte 2 Before you upload the image you get a page showing you the steps for uploading, just click on to "continue to step one". siloutte 3 You need to then click on browse at the lest and pick the image you want to upload, which will appear in the box. siloutte 4 Click on simple image and then continue to step two siloutte 5 You image will them appear larger on the screen in a square with the sides hatched out.  This is the area that is going to be empty. As our image is high contrast, we are able to just use the  select & delete wad on the areas we want to disappear siloutte 6 Once we only have the part of the image on screen we want, then it is time to continue to step 3 which is saving the image siloutte 7 This is where you give your image a name and tags (especially if you are going to upload lots of images). insert image Then you get to tick the image you want on your design space to work on and insert image siloutte 8 Then the silhouette is in your design space to edit the size if you want to.  I bought my frames from Dotcomgiftshop and they were under £6 each as I wanted a traditional style to go with my MIL's home. The card was matt black from Viking Direct and is 240 gsm heavy cardstock. Silhouettes made easy using the Cricut Explore The beauty of the new Cricut Explore is it does a fantastic job of cutting all the minutiae making the silhouettes look so fantastic. We love these so much, that I made another set for our home and as I had already imported the images to Design Space it took all of five minutes to load the paper and print them off. 3.
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Pinterestingly – Pins I’ve found interesting this week #1

NewPinterestinglarge600 Hello guys, I love Pinterest and use it far too much and pin  lots and lots of things.  So I decided to start a new series sharing the pins that I have really loved over the past week. Mum in the Mad House Pinterest I am more than happy to make this a weekly pinning party if there is enough interest, just leave me a comment below and I will change the post. 486952396958442954869523969584844848695239695809272236319377212370534869523969584941248695239695833003 As you can probably see from this weeks pins I am looking to reorganise our tiny hall as after eight years in our home the hooks have fallen down! We are also obsessed with the World Cup and Fathers Day and I am busy planning for the summer holidays.  What have you pinned recently?
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FIFA World Cup Crafts and Activities for Kids

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

I have two football mad little boys and also a football mad husband, so with the spirit of a family night in, I decided that I better join in the fun and get involved with the FIFA World Cup family fun.  We have a family game night once a week and decided to use the #BigMatchPlanner as an opportunity do lots of FIFA World Cup Crafts and Activities with the boys. coca cola in tesco Firstly we went shopping for Coca-Cola  to make our obligatory Coke Floats (they are a family night staple).  We went to Tesco to purchase Coca-Cola’s 1.5L 4 pack promotional product as part of our #CollectiveBias shop.  They are great value at £4 for four 1.5 litre bottles.  Mini was very excited as we don;t regularly shop at Tesco!

FIFA World Cup Crafts and Activities for Kids

  Fifa world cup crafts and activities for kids The World Cup is a great way to introduce some learning in to children and my boys are geography obsessed, so we are taking this opportunity to discuss which continent the country is from, their flag and the language they speak. We have some excellent sticker books with Flags on and use them a lot. We also have been having great fun with our Flags Game too.   learning the teams flags We crafted and made medals, bookmarks and  coloured in our own football kits (craft stuff came mainly from Yellow Moon and Viking Direct) Making medals Looking for more inspiration for crafts, activities and learning involving the world cup, then take a look at my Pinterest board: Follow Jen Walshaw's board World Cup 2014 crafts, learning and activities for kids on Pinterest. Mini turns eight on the 24th June and we are going to be having a football party and I have been looking at the #BigMatchPlanner and now have so many ideas of what to cook and games to play.  It is a fab resource and perfect for anyone hosting a get together (no matter how small) over the World Cup.  Not only does it suggest food options for the relevant counties, but also music, flags and games too. 3.
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Dad Rocks Paperweight

It doesn't get much simpler than this Dad Rocks paperweight for fathers day.  As you know if you are a regular reader I feel that homemade gifts are the way to go for gifts that are meaningful. dad rocks paperweights Materials:
  • Rocks or stones - we found these on our local beach
  • White pen - ours is a Uni Marker White
How to make:
  1. We put our stones in the dishwasher to make sure they are super clean.
  2. Then add your text.
See I told you it was simple! dad rocks father day gift   For other fathers day crafts and ideas take a look at my Fathers Day Pinterest Board Follow Jen Walshaw's board Fathers Day on Pinterest.
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What does Daddy want for Fathers Day?

This was the question I put to the MiniMads this weekend.  I asked them what would MadDad's #FathersDayDreams be. #fathersDayDreams They sat down and had a think and they had a think:
"A visit to Thorpe Park" was Maxi's first reaction. "Is that not what you want, not what Daddy would want?" I asked. "Well, if we are happy, then he is happy" Oh yes he is a wise child!
After some more thinking and me reminding them that this was Daddy's dreams not theirs, this is what they came up with (do have a watch it is only 30 seconds long):

Braun are running an amazing #FathersDayDream Competition

  To be in with a chance of winning an amazing prize to celebrate with your dad this Father’s Day, why not create your own father's Day message and tweet it to @Braun #FathersDayDreams and #Braun, the more creative and fun the better! Here is ours:   Prizes will be awarded to the entrants who, in the opinion of the judges complete the competition as a whole, in the most apt, unique and original way. There will be 4 winners each receiving a prize tailored to the Father’s Day Dream submitted.  The prize will be for the father and entrant and total prize will be up to a maximum value of £3,000. Only one prize per household. Full terms and conditions for competition entry can be found here.   ph-series-3-feat-380s-4-wet-and-dry-x-cdn-en-2

MadDad reviews the Braun Series 3

  Over the last year or so MadDad has been clean shaven, grown a beard and shaved his beard (as he said they were far too common). When he is clean shaven, he needs to shave everyday for work and shaves with either a wet blade or with a shaver (not a Braun). He has been using the Braun Series 3 for the last week and is really impressed with it.  You can use it in the shower (which he loves) and he finds it really intuitive to use.  He doesn't need to stand at a mirror to shave and he has been really pleased with the cut as have the boys.  They both hate it when Daddy has stubble, preferring a three day growth or a smooth shaven face! Previously he didn't like foil shavers as he felt they pulled rather than cut, but not so with the series 3 as it has a triple action free float system, where three independently moving cutting elements adapt to every facial contour and effectively cut both long and short hairs with every stroke. He has put his old shaver away and will be using this from now on, which I think is as good a review all in all. 3.  
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#BigMatchPlanner Twitter Party, 10th of June, 2014 at 1pm

Do you love a good Twitter Party?  You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about how to prepare for the big match with Coke from Tesco!  On Tuesday the 10th of June at 1pm BST, please join us for the #BigMatchPlanner Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing your fun FIFA World Cup plans and giving you a chance to win prizes! #BigMatchPlanner-Twitter-Party-6-10 With two football mad boys and a football mad husband, I know that they are going to be glued to the TV over the Fifa World Cup, so I am either going to have to join them or be a little sad Jen all on my own, although I am planning on getting some crafting done during some of the games! coke floats I have always had a thing for Coca Cola and the boys enjoy the occasional coke float (everything in moderation), we are going to be be celebrating the World Cup with a coke in The Mad House and I would love for you to join me in celebrating at the #BigMatchPlanner Twitter Party. Join me and RSVP for the #BigMatchPlanner Twitter Party on SoFabChats!   DATE: Tuesday, the 10th of June, 2014 TIME: 1-2pm BST PRIZES: 5 - £60 Tesco Gift Cards EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 - £30 Tesco Gift Cards HOSTS: @mum_themadhouse, @keepupjonesfamily and @cherry_o GUEST HOSTS: @kiddycharts and @Jessies_kitchen RULES: #BigMatchPlanner Official Rules RSVP & PARTY GRID: #BigMatchPlanner Twitter Party Page How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats! TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party - sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page! TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page! TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible! TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for chance to win! TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party! TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns - they are slower paced and easier to follow! TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend! Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!    
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Win a break at Center Parcs

We fell in love with Center Parcs when we visited Whinfell earlier in the year.  It was a perfect family holiday and had something for everyone in the family. Center Parcs are currently giving people the opportunity to win a break a the Center Parcs Village of their choice with the #wincpbreak competition which they are running on twitter and the Center Parcs facebook page. How to Enter For people that have been to Center Parc's previously share a photo on either twitter or facebook using the #wincpbreak hashtag of what you would be doing if you were at Center Parcs today. If you haven't visited Center Parcs don't worry you can enter too, just share a photo of you and your family spending time together using #wincpbreak hashtag on either twitter or facebook. Make sure you use the #wincpbreak hashtag on and tweet it to @centerparcsuk. Center Parcs will be taking over Waterloo train station from Monday 9th to Friday 13th June and any of the photos submitted with the hashtag #wincpbreak could be used on the largest indoor motion screen in the UK. At 40 metres long and 3 metres wide, it will showcase the photos while highlighting the variety of activities available at our Center Parcs Villages. The small print: To find out more visit the competition website.  The closing date for the competition is midday on Friday, 13th June and once the competition has closed, two winners will be selected at random from all the entries received. My Entry: It has been really hard to choose just one photo from our fantastic break.  We all loved it for different reasons.  The boys adore the activities and for them it would be the high ropes.  MadDad loved the setting and the  fact that we could do activities as a family.  Me, well I loved the spa and taking time out on my own. mini center parcs So we put our heads together as a family and decided this snap of Mini in the Sub Tropical Swimming Paradise.  We all had a blast in the pool.  There is something very something really special about riding the rapids and going outside on an evening in the water, plus I have water babies and we had to fight to get them to leave. CenterParcs Family Blog Club Disclosure: We are Center Parcs family bloggers
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