As a family, we’re always trying to save as much as we can. We can’t necessarily afford to put a great deal aside each month, but it’s always so reassuring to have a little bit put away for things like holidays, days out, and, of course, Christmas and Birthdays. But, with the children growing up quicker than I ever thought possible, and things like university, moving out and, dare I say it, weddings, looming ever closer on the horizon, I’m trying to find ways in which we can cut back and save more.
I love decorating seasonally and also with the dark nights, I am a big fan of using light to decorate too. Last year we made some super simple jar lanterns for Halloween and we decided to add to them this year. These Halloween lanterns are really easy to make Look great too and are a fantastic way to reuse any old jars that you may have.
One of our annual traditions is making a Gingerbread House at Christmas and decorating it. It is such a fun activity and we decided that doing it only once a year was not on and a poor use of our mould, so we decided that for the next year we are going to make a seasonal house and this is our haunted gingerbread house. We had so much fun making and decorating it.
I have talked before that it can sometimes be frustrating as a parent when you want to instil a love of books and reading in your kids and they are reluctant readers. Over my years as a parent I have struggled to reconcile the fact that Maxi is not a book worm like I am and that Mini has become. However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t read, just that he reads in different ways. I have also learned that I need to find something that engages him and with the new Star Wars movie coming out later this year these Star Wars books really did.
I love baking and cooking with the boys. It is something I did with my Mum and I am sure that she did with hers too. I have had them in the kitchen with me since they could sit in a high chair and we always have lots of fun baking. I especially love baking and making with them at Christmas. Just take a look at these fabulous Christmas tree cupcakes that Mini made and decorated. Another one of our annual traditions is making our not to gingery gingerbread, which we use to make Gingerbread houses and reindeer cookies.
I love introducing the boys to simple, but delicious meals that they can add to their homemade cookbooks and cod and potato hash ticks all our boxes and it is ridiculously tasty for something that only includes three main ingredients! Plus it does you that potatoes are more than a bit on the side.
Do you love fireworks? I have such fond memories of the annual firework displays that used to take place on the stray each November 5th when I was growing up. Cold toes, hot chocolate from the flask and sparklers in gloved hands. I remember looking at the sky in awe at the beautiful bright bursts of colour and them making the fact that I was cold so worthwhile. We loved making these zip tie (cable tie) firework sculptures, just look how beautiful they are and they were super fun to make too.
One of the great things about children is their imagination. How stones become treasure, dandelion clocks are fairy wishes and every rainbow has a pot of cold at the end. So we decided to make some craft stick fairy doors to welcome the fairies in to our garden this summer.
We first made hairy hot dogs or scary spaghetti back in 2009 (just look at how cute and small Maxi was back in 2009) and they have become an annual Halloween tradition here in The Mad House. They are super fun to make and something that the boys can make on their own now they are older. Making these is great fine motor skills for children of all ages too.
I love creating and decorating seasonally and I also like a little of the unexpected in my home. So I have created this fab toilet monster for halloween.
We are making the most of the good weather at the moment and trying to make things that we can use in the garden and this bubble snake maker is so fun and easy to make from things that you will already have in your home, all you need to do is add a sprinkle of imagination.
Can you feel the change of season in the air. Autumn is certainly upon us and this fab pumpkin paper plate lacing craft is a great way to celebrate the season and decorate for Halloween too. A craft like this is perfect for working on fine motor skills.
I am really lucky that I have two boys that take no encouragement to be sporty and active. They love being out playing with their friends and often only return home if they are hungry or it is dark! For the last three weeks the MiniMads have been testing out the Yvolution Y Fliker Lift. Want to know what they thought of it? Read on…
We love baking and these vampire bite cupcakes are perfect for Halloween and super simple to decorate (I feel a little embarrassed even doing a tutorial for them), but they are perfect for baking with kids and you can let them take over.
We love glue resist art projects, one of our favorites was the watercolor leaf garland we made last Autumn and this year we decided to try a variation using black paper for our glue resist pumpkins.
Parenting is the hardest job I have ever had. In fact it isn’t really a job as I can not resign, can I? So anything I can do to make it easier is great by me. In the past I think parenting hacks were often just called tips, but no matter what they are called I totally dig finding new ones. I used to think that some of these hacks were just old wives tales (like the vapour rub on feet), but when you have a child coughing at 3am, you will try anything!
Do you love Autumn? We are lucky in the UK to have four distinct season and I adore how different each one is. I love the low cost and no costs seasonal family activities too so I have decided to do a graphic for our 50 Autumn Activities for Kids.
Themed parties are always such huge successes for children. They beat bog-standard bashes hands-down, because normally they encompass something a kid truly adores. Harry Potter, Disney princesses and superheroes are just a few of the popular themes that come to mind.
We love decorating for Halloween and this super simple clay ghost tealight is a fun craft activity perfect for kids to make.
How much do your children know about how other kids their age live in different counties? I am going to admit that my boys are somewhat sheltered when it comes to poverty and the rest of the world. I am also going to admit that it is my fault that this has happened, that I have protected them from a lot of the things in the news. But now they are nine and ten, I feel that they are old enough to learn more about the world and the people in it.