Salt dough valentine candle holders 34

Our solstice tealight holders were so much fun to make and we loved using them, that we decided to make some salt dough heart shaped candle holders for valentines day.  This recipe for salt dough will make about 10 candle holders. These are so much fun to make and  were so simple that the boys made them by themselves with only help lifting in and out of the oven.


Free kids coding lessons 19

Coding is now on the school curriculum, my boys really enjoy coding at school and when we were offered the chance to  try out a free kids coding lesson with Barclays code playground we jumped at it. Within two hours (one for Maxi) both of the boys had created a game with the help of the Digital Eagles.  The boys attended a 2 hour session with the Digital Eagles along with a group of around 10 other kids of varying ages and they had a blast.


How to make a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas 27

We love making pieces of art that we can display seasonally in The Mad House.  Last year we made a family fingerprint heart canvas and I have been thinking about making a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas since then.  We finally got round to making it and it was so much fun to make and perfect for displaying in our home.   How to make a family fingerprint relief heart art canvas


Weetabuddies – it is OK to play with your food! 21

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet one in six kids in the UK do not eat breakfast.  I have two very different kids in this house, Maxi will not leave the house without breakfast and Mini would skip it given the chance.  So we jumped at the chance to become representatives for Weetabix and help promote their Weetabuddies campaign and have a go at creating our own Weetabuddy. Weetabix have created the ‘Weetabuddies’ to encourage families to get creative at breakfast whilst having a healthy start to the day. So what is a Weetabuddy?  They are a range of characters to make breakfast a little more fun! You can meet all more »


Fingerprint heart ornaments 43

adorably simple fingerprint heart ornaments made using baking soda clay. They are really easy and inexpensive to make and make great keepsakes or gifts.  We are using our as part of our valentines cards. How to make your own fingerprint heart ornaments


Getting organised in the New Year with Journl and our Merlin Annual Pass 57

One of my intentions for 2015 is to be organised, but to also have less clutter in my life.  Now the boys are older, I no longer have to carry around a large bag with lots of paraphernalia, so I have gone back to a small bag and some days no bag at all and the only things that I carry around with me are my purse and my phone. So for the last couple of months I have been using an app called Journl to help me be more organised.  Since becoming a mum I went back to using a paper diary and notebook, but I realised that it made more »


Homemade thank you cards for kids to make 16

I believe very strongly that children should be taught the importance of thank you cards, not just to keep up the tradition, but as a lesson in thankfulness and taking some time and effort to sit and think about the person who gave them the gift.  I find one of the best ways to do this is making homemade thank you cards with the boys and using the time to talk about why we are grateful for gifts we are given. We pulled this collection of homemade thank you cards together for everyone who would like some inspiration for cards that kids can actually make themselves.


How to make a Family fingerprint heart art canvas 23

I am a sucker for making art as a family and love things that we can display seasonally, just take a look at our family art christmas tree to see what I mean.  This family fingerprint heart art canvas is so simple to make and is perfect for making together as a family. How to make a fingerprint heart canvas


Chaos cleaning for busy Mums 23

Housework, cleaning and organisation, hate it or love it, the one constant is that it has to be done and seen as I can not afford a cleaner it mostly falls down to me.  In the past we have gone from control freaky clean, to total mess depending on my mental state!  Now we are somewhere in between.  The house is not always clean and tidy, but it is lived in and can be tidied in a flash. Want to know my secret? Today I am going to let you in to my tips for what I call a chaos clean.  You know the manic clean that you have to do more »


Fingerprint Monster thank you cards 24

Do your kids send thank you cards?  The MiniMad’s send thank you cards their have made every year.  Last year it was thumbprint Robin thank you cards, this year it is fingerprint monster thank you cards. We love giving fingerprint monster cards as they encourage people to get creative and add their own monsters to the blank fingerprints.  Plus these are easy to make, if you have smaller children they can just do the fingerprinting and you can add the rest. How to make fingerprint monster thankyou cards


The benefits of team sports for kids 17

Maxi is a junior football player and he has been with his football team from when he started playing as an under 7. He has been training since he was four years old. We are so lucky that his team mates are a great and they are a wonderful team, but being in a team is a great experience for him and he has learned a lot. The benefits of team sport for kids  


Christmas 2015 11

Part of the reason I blog is to record the moments, to be able to look back on them and to cherish every single moment. This Christmas has been a quiet one for The Mad House, but wonderful and very family centric. The older I get the more I realise that the joy I experience is really bound to the boys having fun and my family unit and dear friends that I hold dear.


New Years Resolutions and Intentions for Families 11

This week we have been concentrating on our thoughts, dreams, feelings and goals by planning our resolutions and intentions for the New Year.   This is a great activity for all the family. New Year Resolutions for Kids


New years wish crackers 5

My boys adore crackers and our homemade crackers were such a hit, we decided to make a variation for new Year, so here you have our new years wish crackers. Instead of jokes, these crackers each contain a wish we would like to come true in the coming year. We also filled them with festive confetti and of course a paper hat, We customised our hats with 2015. Make your own New Year’s Wish Crackers


New Year paper plate countdown clock 1

Do you celebrate the New Year with your children? As my boys are getting older they are starting to be involved in our New Years celebration and I thought that a paper plate countdown clock would be great fun to make and use. What you need:


Christmas, it is all about the presence not the presents 1

The older I get the more I realise that Christmas is not all about what you give or get, but about being there with your family. This was compounded with a health scare and even more when my mum died at Christmas four years ago.  So now MadDad and I focus on our presence rather than the presents. Growing up my dad always told us the following rules and this is something we have tried to instill in our children.


Cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice 3

We live in Northern England and during this time of year it is dark and we love to light up our home with candles and decided to make some cornflour dough tealight holders for Solstice.  Maxi decided to make them in the shape of the sun to celebrate the shortest day and welcome the lengthening of the hours of sun we would receive. We used our white clay recipe, which is really easy to make, so much so that Maxi made it himself and once the dough had cooled down we used cookie cutters to shape our tealight holders.


White clay dough. Corn Flour dough, a fab alternative to salt dough 3

We have made corn flour dough before, but using salt, however, I was keen to find a different recipe with more of a smooth texture that was a bit more malleable for the boys to use. We have tried Nurturestore’s 2 ingredient white dough  and love it, but we also tried the following white clay recipe and the boys decided that this is their favorite go to salt dough replacement. How to make white clay:


Be inspired to cook with your kids and win an eBay voucher 4

I hope that my previous post about crafting with your kids this Christmas inspired you to get creative with your kids.  Now for part two! So what else I am inspired by at this time of year, well if you are a regular reader then it will come as no surprise to you that it is getting kids in to the kitchen and creating with them, baking making and having fun. Creativity is part of my make up.  It runs through my veins and has since I had the boys.  One of the biggest things I want my kids to remember is having fun making things.  I also want to to have more »


Holidays are coming – Give a little happiness 11

Holidays are coming, holidays are coming, holidays are coming, its always the real thing…………… You know when the Coke advert comes on that Christmas is on it’s way and now even the Coke lorry tours the country.  We have never seen it, but Cass from Diary of a Frugal Family has. This year however, I have to say that I adore Coca Cola’s new advert, has made a big impact in The Mad House.  The mini mads are forever to be found singing “let’s make someone happy”.  Have you seen it?