Woodland Walks With Kids

A few weeks ago on a very soggy Friday we took the kids for a nature walk at Wilderness Woods. We  made a little video of our tips for exploring nature with little ones.

What are your kids favourite things to do on walks?

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

Back to School Craft Round up

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The summer holidays are nearly over and another school year will soon be starting. For one half of us this means starting school for the very first time. For the other, it’s into year one with a child who suddenly seems very grown up, after a summer that suddenly seems to have vanished. So we thought we’d do a little round up of our favourite back to school makes from the web (like we did last year!):

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Mini Makers: DIY Stamping Kit

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We’re sharing another project from our Big Book of 100 Activities today, and this one is a really simple idea for something that is fun to make, fun to play with and reusable. Triple boom. Kids can draw and cut out their own stamps then use them with ink pads to make their own pictures.

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Squirty Chalk Paint

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We’re sharing extracts from our books every month (so you buy them) and this month we’re doing a project from our Big Book of 100 Little Activities – which may just be our favourite one. But don’t tell the others. So we’re sharing a great quick craft for summer holiday boredom-punching-in-the-face fun: our squirty pavement chalk. This is super messy outdoor fun paint that creates wonderfully bright pictures. You can paint onto corrugated card or directly onto paving slabs. It won’t stain the slabs but it does need a little scrub to remove! You can use old sauce bottles or find empty ones online.

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Life in Pictures: Rain. Lots of rain!

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Trying hard to think of a way to start this post without sounding like a big dull dudd moaning about the weather. Ummmm. Nope, the weather has been crap and we are moody about it. These pictures aren’t the best, but I am putting them up anyway because they were meant to be sunny lovely! We went to a hot air balloon festival and I had visions of artisicly styled colourful photos and happy picnicky kids. But there were no balloons. Just rain, and wet people, looking for balloons. The face says it all.

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Animal Mirrors

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I saw these absolutely adorable little cork board bear mirrors on Hellobee.com a few weeks ago and I thought they were so cute, and I wanted them. So I thought I’d have a go at making my own, with hardboard instead of cork for a little colour. Which meant me + a jigsaw + total disregard for safety = probable disaster, and I had a few visions of it going horribly wrong and either sawing off a finger or part of my kitchen worktops (yep, I did it on my kitchen worktop. M-O-R-O-N). But thankfully they turned out pretty okay! I don’t think they’re quite as nice as the cork ones, but Amelie seems to think they’re the best thing ever.

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Mini Makers: Paper Cup Mermaid

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We love a good craft challenge. So when Hobbycraft sent us this giant box of craft goodies for kids and asked us to come up with something we emptied the contents onto the table, made a cup of tea and stared at it for a while waiting for inspiration to hit.

We’ve been crafting together for many years now so our tastes seem to have a merged into one! Once we began pulling out bits of craft materials they all seemed to fit together into this rather glam mermaid.

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Mini Makers: Shaving Foam Marbling

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Oh. My. Days. We recently discovered the easiest and most addictive way to marble. Shaving foam and food colouring and BAM you’ve got yourself a full marbling kit. For free! We love it and kids love it because it involves mess!  And we even made a little vid to show you how:

You SEE?! Once you start marbling you won’t be able to stop!

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Life in Pictures: Camping in a Heatwave

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Last week, when it was hotter than the Maldives, we and our friends decided to go camping for the weekend. Which sounds like a little bit of a silly idea when I write it down, but actually it was really lovely. The only time it was the opposite of lovely was at the crack of dawn every morning, when I woke up in a pool of sweat feeling like I’d been hit by a sledgehammer due to the insane temperature of the tent. And both times I attempted to combat the situation by opening the tent. And both times that woke my kids up. Ugh.

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Mini Makers: Superhero Badge Father’s Day Card

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All dads are superheroes. To our kids, their Daddys can do anything, fix anything, make anything and we love watching their little eyes twinkle with a love and wonder you only get when you’re 5. So with Father’s Day on Sunday we thought we’d get our littles together to make a quick superhero card complete with a BADGE.  As everyone loves a badge, right? We used shrink plastic, which is so much fun to do with kids as it doesn’t take long for the magic to work and they love watching it wriggle and curl.

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Kids Activities: Water & Oil Experiment

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Here’s a really simple but fascinating kids activity which will keep your kids entertained longer than an episode of Peppa Pig! Dropping coloured water into oil makes a cool lava lamp style effect, without the lava… or the lamp. We show you how to do it in our latest video!

Laura & Tia xx

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Bubble Art Projects with Trunkaroo

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If you’re regulars to our blog you’ll know that we do a lot of crafting with our kids. And we mean A LOT.  It’s basically the only way we know how to entertain our kids. So when the lovely people at Trunkaroo contacted us to ask if we and the Buttons wanted to try out one of their kids craft kits we jumped at the chance. You see, whilst we do do a lot of crafting with them, our craft cupboards are chaotic due to overuse and the kids can get stuck in a craft rut – Harper constantly wants to make/paint/draw rainbows and Amelie is a little obsessed with drawing princesses. So the idea of neatly packaged activities through the letterbox sounded good to us.

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Lined Drawstring Ballet Bag

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My two have recently started ballet classes. Super cute they are too, running around flat footed thinking they look like the sugar plum fairy. I’d been hauling all their stuff to ballet lessons in a plastic bag, so I decided I should make a bit more effort and make them each a little bag. I tried quite hard with these ones. They better like ballet! This lined drawstring bag is super easy and quick to make. And the applique comes with a free template! All seams are sewn with a 1cm seam allowance unless stated. You will need:
  • 20in x 15in outer fabric
  • 20in x 15in lining fabric
  • 20cm square matching fabric for applique
  • 20cm square bondaweb
  • 2.6m yellow cotton tape or ribbon
  • yellow embroidery thread
  • Applique ballet shoes template
  • safety pin
1. Attach bondaweb to the back of the appliqué fabric. Trace the template onto the paper backing of the bondaweb and cut out. Line the appliqué onto the front of one of the outer pieces, in the centre and iron to adhere.   2. Blanket stitch the appliqué onto the fabric using coordinating embroidery thread. I cheat and use my machine for speed but I do think a hand stitched finish looks nicer. Laziness won for me (mainly because I was making 2)! I realised at this point, with my spotty fabric, that this looks a little bit like a ninja! I quite like it, ballet bags in disguise…   3. If you want to personalise the bag by stitching a name onto the front, now is the time to do that. As I was making one for each of my girls I wrote their names under the ballet shoes in pencil then backstitched using yellow embroidery thread. 4. Pin the two outer pieces right sides together. Sew along the bottom of the bag. For the 2 sides, leave 2 (3cm wide) gaps – one 3cm from the top and one 3cm up from the bottom of the bag (as shown in the illustration below) and sew. These are for the drawstring. Pin and sew the lining fabric right sides together as well, leaving an 8cm gap in the centre of the bottom of the bag to allow you to turn the fabric (as shown). Trim the corners and any excess fabric and press the seams open.  5. With the seams flat – you can pin if you want to be sure – sew a neat box 5mm around the top drawstring openings of the bag. 6. Turn the lining fabric the right way out and insert it into the outer fabric so that the right sides are facing. Make sure the seams are lined up, then pin and sew around the top of the bag. 7. Turn the bag out through the hole in the lining fabric. Stitch the hole closed and insert the lining into the outer fabric. Press, then neatly top stitch around the opening. 8. To make the channel for the drawstring, sew another line all the way around the bag, just underneath the drawstring opening. 9. Cut the length of strap in half to create 2 x 1.3m lengths. Attach a satefty pin the the end of one and feed it into one of the openings. Bring it all the way round and back through the original hole. Repeat with the other piece in the other hole. 10. Take one of the pairs of straps, make sure it isn’t twisted, and pin the end inside the corresponding bottom hole on the bag, with about 2.5cm of the strap in the hole. Hand stitch in place.   Hooray! Un petit sac de ballet! Tia x P.S. If you also have a little ballerina, you might like this ballet duffel bag from Laura – super cute.

Stitched Birthday Badge

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My lovely little thing turned 5 yesterday. FIVE! Five years on the planet. Five years of being a mum. Five years since a labour that wrecked my body forever. Only five little rainbow years. She was very excited about the whole thing, about going to school and having everyone sing the birthday song, about being able to wear her sparkly shoes and about putting on her birthday badge and erm…. hang on, what now? Birthday badge??

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Life in Pictures: St. Ives

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So we had a little holiday in St. Ives, Cornwall, for a week and it was lovely and now I think I’d quite like to live there. We left at 4am due to my (slightly OTT) panic about getting stuck in a jam with two bored kids on a journey that already takes 6 hours. But we arrived at 10 (unable to check in till 3…) in a bit of a daze and feeling slightly jetlagged/drunk on tiredness. So we had ice creams for breakfast and sat there feeling confused for a few hours.

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