Autumn and Winter picnic food

As a family we love picnics and just because the weather is cooler in Autumn and Winter it doesn’t mean that picnicking has to stop.  No indeed for us it just means that we move to more warming food and sometimes we have them inside on a rug and sometimes we have them sat in the boot of the car! In fact having an Autumn picnic is in our Autumn Bored Jar!  We also carry a pop up tent in the back of the car and it is great for picnicking in when it is windy. We keep the food simple warming and filing.  We have a couple of flasks that more »


So where those Startrite shoes made for scooting? 1

You may remember we have been working with Startrite on seeing how their boys school shoes hold up.  Well they have been wearing them for eight weeks now and I thought I would share with you how they have been wearing. I am going to preface this by saying that the boys last pair of shoes didn’t last six weeks and they scoot, walk or bike to school.  They play football with them on the MUGA (astroturf) at break time, so I didn’t hold out much hope for ANY shoes. So this is how the boys shoes looked at week two. And this is how they look after eight weeks of more »


Pinwheel Poppies – A Remembrance, Armistice or Veteran’s day activity 23

Both my boys take part in the annual remembrance parade as Cubs and this year it is the 100 anniversary of the start of World War One.  This has really captured the boys imagination, so we made Poppy Pinwheels. Remembrance Day, Armistice Day or Veteran’s Day as it is sometimes called is November 11th. Materials: Red paper Brass Paper Fasteners Black Sharpie Green Paper straws Hole punch 1/8 inch How to make a pinwheel poppy


The Small Stuff – October Edition 12

Wow what an October it was.  The mildest one I can remember and we had a great time even through all the sickness that plagued us during the month, however, as always the small stuff is what made it a month to remember. We started our month with an epic trip to London with Superbreak, in fact it was the best family weekend we have ever had in London.  We saw the poppies at the Tower, saw the amazing Matilda, visited the Art of Brick and stuffed ourselves silly!


Keeping your kids teeth healthy this Halloween 12

Halloween is becoming more and more popular and my boys are at the age where they love trick or treating and lo9ve eating all the sweets and tweets they get. However, there is a negative side to all these sugary foods and drinks that they get and it is important for me to help them keep decay at bay. Bupa are also aware of this and a recent survey by them revealed that nearly half of mums (46%) are worried that their child might be addicted to sugar. This research also found that 50% of mums have used the story of the Tooth Fairy to encourage their kids to brush their teeth. more »


Melted wax poppy craft, a remembrance day activity 15

Here’s an easy poppy craft, which is a great Remembrance Day activity for children. We have made a display of poppies and a paper plate poppy wreath, but you can use the same technique to make a poppy brooch by added a pin on the rear or a display of poppies for your home, church or school.  The mini mad’s will be taking the poppies to my mum’s grave in remembrance of her. These poppies were inspired by the fab wax paper flowers at Homegrown Friends. How to make melted wax poppies with Kids


Cardboard Tube Firework Art 16

We love loo roll and cardboard tube crafts so after our Salt Art Firework we decided to try some cardboard tube firework art. Materials:


10 Kid friendly apple recipes – Cooking with kids 10

We live in a new build house, well I say new build, it was when we moved in eight years ago.  One of the first things we did to our garden was plant an apple tree.  We have watched that tree grow each year hoping for apples and finally this year we got more than the three we have previously had from it. The boys have been desperate to pick the apples for over a month and we have had to hold them back.  Eventually they had a fun afternoon picking all the apples they could and eating a fair few too.  MadDad had to hoist them up to pick them more »


Salt Art Fireworks 26

I have seen salt art on a lot of blogs and have really wanted to try it with the boys. With Guy Fawkes and Bonfire night on the horizon it was the perfect time to try some salt art fireworks. Materials Glue – PVA, Elmers or school glue Table salt Watercolour paints Droppers Black Paper How to make Salt Firework Art


3 Brilliant Tablets for Tweens and Teens 13

As much as I advocate for screen free time we are quite a technological family and I do allow my boys time on screens and they both adore technology, but totally agree with Sunshine and Hurricanes that technology is a privilege not a right.   Over the last few months the MiniMads’ have been reviewing tablets and we want to share with you our top 3 tablets for tweens and teens. But I also believe that my boys should have access to tablets and technology and we have been putting them to the test over the last couple of months and I want to share with you our top three tablets more »


Scratch Paper Fireworks and Make your own Scratch Paper 22

Do you remember making your own scratch paper when you were younger?  Well I certainly do and it is great fun to make with your kids and perfect for Firework pictures too. Whilst we were making the fireworks we talked about how dangerous they are close up, but how colourful and beautiful they are. I love how the boys made a completely different picture from the same starting point. How to make your own scratch paper


Jam Jar or Mason Jar Halloween Lanterns 28

With the darker nights and the clocks due to go back, we love brightening up The Mad House and one way we do that is with Jam Jar/Mason Jar Lanterns or tealight holder. These Halloween lanterns are really easy to make Look great too, so I have teamed up with Betta Living to show you how you can reuse any old jars that you have. What you need to make Jam Jar or Mason Jar Halloween Lanterns


Orlando with eight and nine year olds (not Disney) 17

Can you believe that it is nearly a year since we all went on holiday to Orlando.  We spent 2.5 weeks in Florida with my Brother, Sister in Law and Niece and I just realised that I never actually shared anything about our holiday! We had an amazing time and the boys loved every minute of it.  So what apart from Disney did we do!


The perfect family weekend in London with 8 and 9 year olds 16

As a family we love London and we love visiting, however, as we reside in the frozen North of England it is a long journey and sometimes weekends can be stressful and hectic.  Not anymore as thanks to Superbreak we had the perfect family weekend in London and I want to share with you what made it so special. Make it for all the family What made this weekend so perfect (even with Mini feeling under the weather) was there was something for everyone in the family.  We talked about what we all wanted from the weekend before we started planning and discovered that we all wanted to do different things. more »


The power of printing without a computer – Canon Pixma MG7150 Review 9

We use a lot of technology in the Mad House and one thing that we have been trying to do more lately is less reliance on screens, so having the ability to print activities, colouring pages and papercrafts without even turning on the computer or tablet is amazing. For the last three months we have been using the Canon Pixma MG7150  for our printing requirements and one of the benefits of this printer is its LED screen and ability to print directly from the printer using a series of child friendly menus without even turning on the PC.  The amazing thing is that this piece of technology has actually reduced the boys more »


Kid friendly slow cooker recipes and a giveaway 288

We are now over two weeks in to #Crocktober and we have been making the most of our slow cooker crockpot.  As a busy mum I love my slow cooker and it is perfect for family meals. Slow cooker jacket potatoes


Paper plate Autumn/Fall leaf wreaths 26

An autumn paper plate leaf wreath is the perfect fall activity or craft to make with your kids whatever their age.  Paper plates remain one of my favorite ways to make wreaths with kids due to their affordability, but also their flexibility.   What you will need to make your paper plate wreaths


Autumn/fall leaf sun catcher 19

The Autumn sun is a lot lower in the sky and now is the perfect time to make some wonderful Autumn/Fall leaf sun catchers. The boys and I have such fun making these sun catchers and they are really effective and look beautiful when the sun shines through them singing the colours on to walls. Materials Cardstock – we used black leaf template Coloured Cellophane (this is one of the reasons we save sweet wrappers) glue

Autumn sun catcher. Make a beautiful cellophane sun catcher to celebrate fall. The black background really makes the autumnal colours pop. This is a super fun DIY craft activity for kids.

15 Tips for washing your kids hair 20

We have all been there.  The screams and tears over hair washing and that was just me not the boys!  Well I am here to let you know that it gets better and now at eight and nine my boys can wash their hair on their own and we no longer have any issues so here is what worked with us to make washing kids hair much easier. 15 Tips for making toddler hair washing less stressful