This is a really simple Halloween spider picture idea which T made in nursery. He was very pleased with it so I thought I would share the idea.
The wool is tied at the back of the picture like this:
This is a really simple Halloween spider picture idea which T made in nursery. He was very pleased with it so I thought I would share the idea.
The wool is tied at the back of the picture like this:
Top That! Publishing have a great selection of books for children and sent over a couple of Halloween activity books for Mr Z (5) and Mr T (3) to try out in the run up to Halloween.
Mr Z tried the 3D Dot-to-Dot Spooky Adventure
And Mr T tried Monster Mansion – A sticker story activity book.
The 3D dot to dot book is a story book with the dot to dot activities incorporated on every page as the story progresses. It tells the tale of Max and Molly going on a spooky funfair ride and having an exciting adventure where they end up rescuing a princess!
Mr Z loves numbers so dot to dots are one of his favourite activities, and he completed the whole book in one afternoon! He will still be able to go back and colour the pictures and read the story again though so the book is not finished yet.
There is quite a variety in the dot to dot pictures, from horses, to witches, to fairies, to ghosts and skeletons – so although they all maintain the spooky theme we did not find that the book gets repetitive.
At the back of the book is a sheet which you can press out to make your 3D glasses, to then look at the dot to dots and they seem to pop out from the page a little more. It is recommended to use thick black pen to make this effect show up more, so I made sure that Mr Z did use the correct pen so as not to miss out on that!
There are more titles in the 3D dot to dot series, on different themes. I would definitely think of buying these for Mr Z in future as he has really enjoyed it, and I do like to see the children busy with a good activity book!
Mr T’s book, Monster Mansion, also has a story with activities mixed in. This story is actually more advanced so will be more suited to Mr Z to read. It is all about a young girl called Emily who accidently wanders into a Monster mansion where all the scary creatures are planning a party!
Mr T really loved the sticker play scene included in this book. At the back of the book, you can fold out a section to make a long play area suitable for sticking and resticking the stickers. There are plenty provided as there are 4 full pages worth of stickers, including ghosts, bats, furniture and more. Mr T particularly liked the door way stickers! He also enjoyed the colouring page and having a go at the maze activity.
Both books are great and it’s good that there is plenty of variety in them so children will definitely find some activities in there that they enjoy. These books would be ideal to keep kids entertained over half term especially with Halloween falling right in the middle of half term.
I love to see them both sitting together, each busy doing their own work quietly and happily! We will be doing a lot of this kind of thing over half term, as Mr T is going into hospital to have his grommets put in tomorrow and will need to rest at home for 2 weeks afterwards, so we won’t be having a lot of trips out planned. I do find these kind of books ideal for those kind of weeks, and once they get absorbed into the activities its great how long it will keep them occupied for!
Do you ever fancy a holiday that is a bit different? If you are day dreaming about holidays these rainy winter days why not let you mind wander a little further, all the way to… Storytown!
Sykes Cottages have 3 new imaginary Fairy Tale cottages
I would love to tell you all about our imaginary stay in The Shoe Cottage situated in Storytown
The Shoe Cottage is a deceptively spacious property, although it has only 2 bedrooms it can sleep up to 20 people! So it is great for those extended family trips, as long as you are all fairly close! Also suitable for those with many kids or for school or brownies groups. We easily managed to fit in all the family, it was very cosy! The children loved to roam around inside the shoe and slide down the red slide in the outdoor play area again and again!
As you can see, inside the Shoe Cottage, the beds are arranged to cleverly make the best use of the space! There was a double room on the upper deck for me and my husband, which has great views of the surrounding country side. It is only accessible by ladder, so it is suitable for the more adventurous. The children’s bed were all in the lower area shown above.
Although it is not the most luxurious property it is clean and tidy and very well kept. The owner is an old lady who was happy to welcome us and provide some tasty and healthy broth for all of the guests to welcome us to her home!
The Shoe Cottage is situated in a charming Fairytale location in an untouched corner of Fairytaleshire. It is a great destination to explore Storytown’s mysterious towers and castles and to walk in the nearby Enchanted Forest where there are plenty of adventures for the little ones as far as their imaginations can take them!There are horses available if you want to ride around and explore that way, or you can even get detachable wheels for the shoe and take your whole cottage around with you! As this is a really traditional area of Storytown, you might be as lucky as we were to find some pixies, gnomes and talking animals on your travels in the woods! We found them friendly enough to join in with a small picnic with the children which makes some great unforgettable memories!
The Shoe Cottage is ideal for a Christmas or Winter holiday break, to add a touch of magic and fantasy to your festive season!
Unfortunately, due to popular demand the Shoe Cottage is already booked up for all the imaginary holidays this year. But if you keep your imagination on hand and keep daydreaming, maybe you can go next year! 😉
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Disclaimer: As a thanks for sharing our review on the Shoe Cottage, we will be given some vouchers to buy the children some fairy tale books
A good quality maternity and breastfeeding pillow is one thing I wanted when I was pregnant but never got! Next time I have a baby (hopefully! as I would love #4 at some point!) I would definitely want to treat myself to one as they look so comfy.
Theraline have a great range of maternity and nursing pillows with 6 different varieties and loads of colour and design choices.
My best friend has just had a baby one month ago (he is so cute! :D) so she was sent a Theraline Plushy Moon breastfeeding pillow to test out which she has been using since he was born.
She has been getting loads of use out of the pillow and these are her thoughts:
This cushion has been amazing for us. Not only does it serve itself well as a breast feeding pillow but also as a back support for me and support for my baby when he wants to be upright or lay down. It is a clever design with nicely hides all the marks of feeding and more. It is a soft fabric which makes it comfortable for me and baby. I couldn’t ask more from a cushion. The only negative is that you can’t remove the cover to wash.
Even though you can’t remove the cover – you can actually put the whole pillow in the washing machine to wash, so you will be able to keep it fresh!
If you would like the chance to win a Plushy Moon Breastfeeding Pillow for yourself, please enter via the Rafflecopter below.
This app is based on the award winning tv series Dipdap. It’s a drawing app but quite different and quirky. To play, the child completes the animation by drawing in the objects, then the character interacts with the drawings they have done.
Mr Z (5) enjoyed this app, as he also enjoys the show which comes on Cbeebies and he has also seen it at school.
It’s an interesting idea and definitely a fun one to play with.
You can see more here on the website.
This is a lovely app with great graphics, all about exploring space. It aims to get children enthusiastic about space, and help them learn a little along the way.
We currently have a competition to win one of 10 codes to download this App for free, along with a magazine. For more details of the competition and to see a full review have a look here.
These would definitely be Mr T (age 3)’s favourite apps! There are quite a few available, and we have a few including Hero of the Railway, Misty Island, and the Thomas Game Pack. These include a variety of activities from colouring to e-books, matching games and puzzles. The graphics and quality is very good, and for a little Thomas fan, these apps are definitely worth downloading.
This is one of the first apps I downloaded when I got my iPhone and it is a great educational yet fun app. It is really easy to use and encourages children to form letters and numbers accurately and to start to spell simple words.
This is a great one, and a long awaited app from me and my boys as its not always easy to play flash games via a website on tablets, so it is much easier to play CBeebies games on this app than via the website. The app includes games featuring the Octonauts, Tree Fu Tom, Alphablocks and Something Special
6. Touch n Sing
This is a great free app, which is expandable with extra song packs. It is easy for even younger toddlers to use and was lot of fun for my 2 year old. For a full review, click here
7. Eggs on Legs
This is a great Maths game, enjoyed by Mr Z (5). You can choose between difficulty levels, and between addition, subtraction, division or multiplication. You then simply choose the right number to crack the egg!
This is another of the first games I downloaded when I got the iPhone a couple of years back. At the time it was really enjoyed by Mr Z and now my 2 year old Mr R likes it. You can buy some of the games separately but this complete version includes 30 categories. My favourites to focus on tend to be the simple ones like colours, shapes, letters and numbers but there is all sorts on there like bugs, food and transport. It is a really simple idea, prompting the child to “touch the blue square” or whatever else – and rewards them with a clapping cheering sound when they get the correct answer. Once they get enough correct, they will earn a sticker. There are also flash card modes but mine prefer the quizzing.
You can read more on the Toddler Teasers website
This is a classic app appealing to all ages! As it is so simple, even little ones can play. It is ideal now in the Autumn as we come up to Bonfire night! You simply touch the screen to make fireworks. You can make shapes and write letters with the fire works too, and it is affected by how much pressure you put on the screen so you can control the effects.
This app includes 5 animal puzzles, a memory game with 20 cards to flip, to match 10 animals and also a find me game with 12 animals. This is only available on iPad not iPhone! As I only realised when I went to download it to try it out, so Eileen’s children from ET Speaks from Home have kindly tested it out for me.
Extra Bonus: Make Time to Play
This app is not so much for the children, but it gives loads of play ideas for parents – so a handy one to have for those spare moments when you need a new idea! It contains over 365 ideas and is free.
If you have more any suggestions or app reviews, please add them to the comments section or the linky below!
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I love apples, as do Mr Z (5) and Mr R (2) who get through so many apples as snacks! We got involved in the Waitrose campaign by cooking a simple Apple Pie at home with some seasonal apples. This is so easy to do and the children love to eat it with custard. Apple pie is a classic Autumn recipe that all the family can enjoy.
If you want to get a little more ambitious, Waitrose have sent me another Apple recipe which I can share with you:
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30-35 mins
Total: 50-55 mins
1. Preheat the oven to 180c / gas mark 4. Butter 2x 200ml pudding basins and line the base of each with a disk of parchment. Cut 6 squares of kitchen foil about 15x15cm in size, butter one side of each square and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 150g of the sugar with the butter until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, then the flour. Strain the ginger, saving about 3tsp of syrup, and finely chop. Peel, core and dice 1 apple. Mix it into the cake mixture with the ginger.
3. Cut the top and bottom from the remaining apple. Cut the apple into 6 horizontal slice. Sprinkle the remaining sugar onto a plate and dip the apple slices in, to coat thickly. Place a slice into the base of each basin.
4. Divide the cake mixture between the 6 basins and level each surface. Cover tightly with tin foil squares. Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins or until risen and spongy to the touch. Leave to rest for 2-3 mins. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edge of each sponge and turn out. Drizzle with the reserved ginger syrup and serve with a dollup of creme fraiche.
Tips: Use smaller apples so that when sliced, the pieces easily fit into the base of each pudding basin.
To get even more ideas of how to cook with your seasonal apples, have a look here at Waitrose Recipes
It’s Apple season and Waitrose are working to help educate children about the benefits of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Apple season is a little later than usual this year, due to the weather conditions we have had but as Alan Titchmarsh explains in the video below, this is actually a good thing as it has produced a bumper crop of great quality apples!
I love Pringles but when I think of my favourite flavours I normally think of savoury varieties, so when we received a special package with some new Pringles flavours I was quite intrigued to see new sweet flavour Pringles in mint choc chip and cinnamon!
Both flavours are definitely immediately recognisable and live up to their names. Before you try it, it’s hard to imagine a Pringle tasting just like mint choc but it really does – just in a crunchy pringley kind of way!
It’s hard to choose a favourite from the two flavours as I like both in their own way, but if I had to pick I would probably say Cinnamon is my favourite. I love the smell and taste of Cinnamon and it is lovely for the festive season!
All the family have tried these new flavours of Pringles and enjoyed trying something new. The reactions were mixed with Mr Z and Mr T but Mr R has definitely loved them!
They can be eaten straight from the pack like normal Pringles but as they are sweet and as Mint Choc always reminds me of the ice cream flavour I decided to try it with some ice cream too, using a couple of the Mint Choc Pringles as a wafer!
This did work well and the flavour went quite nicely! There are lots of ideas you could try and Eileen from ET Speaks from Home has given a few suggestions too in her post here.
Why not give them a try, and let me know what you think!
These new Limited Edition sweet Pringles flavours are available to buy now (just launched this weekend!) with an RRP of £2.49 for 190g but they can be found on special offer in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons throughout the festive season!
The Dove Self Esteem project has been around since 2004 and is still going strong with a message that is as important as ever. Its aim is to help girls over come their beauty related anxieties, and to feel confident about their bodies and about themselves to enable them to reach their potential and not let themselves be held back!
Any regular readers of the blog would know that I don’t have any girls myself (I’m a mum of 3 boys) but I still have a lot of support for the campaign. I think body confidence issues are something which a lot of adults still carry with them, myself included, and can affect anyone and everyone. Of course teenage and pre-teen girls are really susceptible to this and it is only right that Dove focuses on them a lot in their campaign.
One of my good friends and favourite bloggers Jenny from the Brick Castle took part in the Mumsnet Blogger campaign to share some thoughts on this issue. As she has more experience with 7 kids, 5 teenager and 3 girls, I would rather link over to her post. It’s quite long but a good read, and definitely worth a look:
I would also like to share this sponsored video from Dove, with a powerful message
Disclaimer: Although this is a sponsored video, I am only paid per view and it is not a lot! I genuinely like the video and support this campaign, so that is why I am sharing it with you all!
As the winter months creep closer, keeping warm while keeping heating costs down is the usual struggle for many households. It has been reported that further price rises are on their way for energy – never a good thing when many families already have enough strain on their finances! With little ones, it’s not an option to leave the house cold or chilly.
To help ensure warmer homes this winter, Safestyle Windows have produced the Winter Warmer Checklist in 12 easy steps. This can be downloaded as a PDF via the link above, then print it and check it off at home to make sure that you are doing all you to can to ensure a warm home at the cheapest price!
Looking at the list, I have to say there is more we could be doing in our home! We have a new boiler which should help and we do have double glazing but the others are something we could think about introducing to help with our energy bills!
What about you?
Like many children, my boys love Justin Fletcher and always find his shows hilarious. Now he has a new DVD out called Jollywobbles Car Wash featuring 6 new episodes which comes to over 1 hours playing time:
Jollywobbles is a slap stick comedy sketch show, showing Justin getting into all sorts of silly situations accompied by his faithful car. You might be familiar with the show from Cbeebies! This is the 2nd Jollywobbles DVD to be released. My boys do have the 1st one already so its great to add another to their collection.
All of the boys find Jollywobbles funny to watch, and enjoy this type of humour. I think it will appeal to most children between 2-5 years. Here’s Mr Z relaxing by watching a bit of Jollywobbles after school
To be one of the 3 lucky winners, enter via the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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