Posted on

The Creative Play A-Z: F.A.Q

If you’re on Facebook and Instagram, why do I need to buy this book?

Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest only provide a snapshot of play ideas. The Creative Play A-Z guides you through activities step-by-step and provides information on the educational benefits.

Buying the e-book also gives you access to an exclusive Facebook group where verified purchasers can discuss and share ideas.

What age group is this e-book designed for?

The book is generally aimed at children in the 2-4 age group. My 2-year-old daughter has been fully engaged with all of the activities featured, but you will know best when your child is ready for these activities. Continue reading The Creative Play A-Z: F.A.Q

Posted on

Why we LOVE wooden toys

The best toy I’ve ever bought the children? Without a doubt, the Grimm’s large rainbow. Wooden toys have a longevity that makes them particularly appealing to me, a mum of three children.

When my eight-year-old son was small, I fell into all of the parenting toy traps possible. Our house had turned into a plastic city, full of noisy, garish toys that he would lose interest in almost immediately. By the time Zoey was born six years later, there was nothing left from Harrison’s baby and toddler years to pass down. Continue reading Why we LOVE wooden toys

Posted on

We built a zoo…

Inspiration often strikes when we have a billion tonnes of recycling to use up! After so many trips to IKEA recently, we have a serious surplus of cardboard. Whilst we always recycle, it seemed like a shame for these huge canvases to be immediately consigned to the yellow bin.

With another baby on the way, I’m not as up for massive messy projects (literally really, since I can no longer hoist myself off of the floor!) so we made use of the dining room table to make ourselves a zoo. This project was inspired byDiscovery Table Week 8: Zoo! Continue reading We built a zoo…

Posted on

Discovery Table Week 9: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is the penultimate week in our discovery table series and I couldn’t finish without featuring another of our favourite books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle! We have LOVED sharing the tables on the blog each week but with a new baby on the way, these posts will finish after 10 weeks. Not to worry though, as we will be keeping them going in real life – just keep an eye out on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

 

First look:

IMG_20180321_094828.jpg

This week’s table features a lot of play food! At the recommendation of my insta-buddy Julie Curtin, I decided to feature Eating the Alphabet alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a way to explore healthy eating and occasional foods.

The inspiration:

The very lovely Johanna from Hello Pear sent me these gorgeous story stones and they’ve already proved a massive hit with both my children and one of my students too:

IMG_20180321_094244.jpg

Story stones are a fabulous way of helping children to retell stories in their own words. With my student we combined the stones with these days of the week blocks – both are available from Hello Pear. 

IMG_20180322_115540.jpg

 

Food glorious food!

For the rest of the set-up, I simply gathered together a range of play food into a felt IKEA shopping basket that would fit the  ‘healthy’ and ‘occasional’ categories for the children to sort:

IMG_20180321_094329.jpg

Want more? 

Check out the rest of the discovery table series by clicking on the links!

Discovery Table Week 1: Baby Clinic

Discovery Table Week 2: The Alphabet

Discovery Table Week 3: The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Discovery Table Week 4: The Ocean Waves

Discovery Table Week 5: Rainbow

Discovery Table Week 6: Nature

Discovery Table Week 7: Music

Discovery Table Week 8: Zoo!

Posted on

Hopfest: Easter Week Egg-stravaganza!

 

IMG_20180219_151912.jpg

Do you remember all the way back to December when we did Craftmas? Well this is kinda the same and kinda different because now it’s all about Easter and springtime fun! There’s an awesome crew of kick-ass craft ladies involved again, you can find links to the Instagram feed at the end of this post.

We’re Welsh and as daffodils are basically the national flower of Wales AND a springtime flower, we decided to make this beautiful bouquet for you. Being heavily pregnant (at the time of writing this) meant that a simple craft was an absolute necessity this time around. I was also really keen to use recycling as they key element. Something about having another child makes me hyper aware of environmental issues, so we’re really striving to reduce, reuse and recycle materials wherever possible!

So here’s what we made: egg carton daffodils that can be made into a bouquet or presented as a wreath, as shown here:

IMG_20180220_091408.jpg

You will need:

  • An egg carton (ideally for a dozen eggs)
  • Hues of non-toxic acrylics in yellow
  • Green chenille sticks/ pipe cleaners
  • Glue gun and approximately 3 glue cartridges.
  • Ribbon
  • Pompoms
  • Embroidery hoop or cardboard
  • Green felt

 

Step 1: Paint your egg carton

IMG_20180214_102852.jpg
We used hues of yellow and orange to make the daffodils. We didn’t buy any extra paints, but made the most of what we had in the craft cupboard.

Paint the egg carton in its entirety as you will using all of it to make the daffodils! We decided to paint the whole thing first and then cut out the sections. Afterwards, we added details to the individual cartons.

IMG_20180213_103557.jpg
After cutting, you’ll be able to go back over the carton and add details. Note that you need the smaller, central dividers too!

 

Step 2: Glue guns at the ready!

IMG_20180214_182323.jpg
Add glue both underneath AND on top to make the stems extra secure.

 

Grab the larger ‘egg cups’ (seriously, my pregnant brain is struggling to describe these!) and glue green chenille sticks to the underneath of each. Unless you have an older kiddo around, this is best left as an ‘adult job.’ Harrison (aged 8) helped with this part.

 

Step 3: Assemble your daffodil

IMG_20180214_190150.jpg

I cannot tell you how seriously tempting it is to just write ‘glue the smaller thingy into the larger thingy.’ Thank goodness for photographs! Okay so, place a blob of glue onto the end of the smaller cone shaped sections and place in the middle of the egg cups. You might need to hold them in place for a little while until dry.

 

Step 4: Arrange prettily

IMG_20180219_151912.jpg

Place in a vase and use as a center-piece on Easter Sunday or give someone special a bunch of ever-lasting Springtime flowers.

 

ALTERNATIVELY…

Go the full distance and turn the daffodil bouquet into a springtime wreath.

IMG_20180219_152437.jpg
You will need an embroidery hoop, pompoms, green felt, green pompoms and your pre-made daffodils.

For this part, we simply wrapped the stems of the daffodils around the hoop, then glued the flower head in place. To cover over any wooden gaps, we used strips of green felt for petals and pompoms as extra decoration – because when isn’t there a good excuse to use pompoms?

IMG_20180221_110827.jpg
The final result!

I hope the ramblings of a heavily pregnant lady weren’t too off-putting! If you want more ideas please check out the following links:

Before you throw that away…

Simple Mother’s Day Crafts 

To follow along with Hopfest, use the hashtag #hopfest on Instagram or hit ‘like’ on my Facebook feed.