Review: The CoLiDo 3D Pen – a Perfect Gift for Creative Teens

A review of the CoLiDo 3D pen

When I first read about the 3D printer, it blew my mind. A printer that makes actual solid objects – how is that even possible? And yet, for today’s children it’s not only a reality, it’s commonplace – my daughter’s school owns a 3D printer, and the kids get to use it in DT lessons. Mind. Blown. Now though, 3D technology is available at a sensible price to bring home for kids to experiment with, in the form of the 3D pen. I spotted the CoLiDo 3D pen in a review on After the Playground, and I instantly knew my …

Read more

How to Create a Stop Animation Film for Christmas

Don’t you love a good Christmas advert? As much as The Snowman, and Elf, waiting to watch the newest Christmas adverts has become a marker of Christmas – the start to the festive season, and our kids want them played again and again throughout December. But this week has been even more exciting, as they’ve had the chance to make their own, courtesy of a fab stop animation kit from Sainsbury’s. Sponsored post with Sainsbury’s. Inspired by the stop animation film of their own Christmas advert, and its message around spending more time with family and friends over the holiday, …

Read more

3 Things to do with Kids at Half Term in London

As the half-term holidays loom, frazzled parents know that unless they keep children busy and having fun, a week off can easily turn into a struggle to get through till term starts again. But it doesn’t have to be like that, provided you have a few plans to keep them active and engaged. Here are our tips for things to do with kids at half term in London. Scroll down for a list of ideas from elsewhere around the UK. Things to do with Kids at Half Term Try a Freaky Rivet day out Freaky Rivet is an organisation dedicated to …

Read more

Guess the cost, and win my exclusive craft shopping haul with E.ON

GIVEAWAY NOW ENDED It’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending when out shopping for things you love. Whether it’s a jacket you’ve been staring at in a shop window for the past few weeks or that impulse purchase on the way to the checkout, your tightly controlled budget can quickly be forgotten – and this doesn’t just happen on the high street. With months of darker, colder evenings ahead, it can become all too easy for energy bills to rise far beyond the expected – especially as there’s no price tag to keep you in check. So, I …

Read more

7 Easter Gift Ideas for Kids without the sugar fix

Genius backpack - the perfect alternative Easter gift

Hold the chocolate! I swear I saw a Creme Egg on sale at our local garage on New Year’s Day. Although I love chocolate as much as the next person, I hate how there is so much of it in my face every time I walk through a shop door. It creates a desire that wasn’t there to begin with, and when you have kids in tow, the compulsion to stuff themselves with sugar is a never-ending battle. Which is why, every Easter, alongside a small token from the Easter Bunny, my kids look forward to a different kind of …

Read more

Costumes and ideas for World Book Day

World Book Day ideas: Saucepan Man from the Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Our school stages a non-uniform “come as your favourite book character” day every year on World Book Day. In 2013 World Book Day will be on Thursday 7 March, and the Bug has been pondering his costume for a while. Would he wear my cast-off from a previous year? His answer was no, on the basis that not only has he never read the Faraway Tree (I know, right?!!), but that the saucepans have not fared too well for their 2 year secondment to the loft… So we were stuck, wondering what the best character would be. We don’t have …

Read more

Valentines Day crafts for kids

"pink fudge hearts for Valentine's day"

Are you the parent who gets up early on the morning of Valentine’s Day to post an ‘anonymous’ card through the door addressed to your child?  It’s a harmless activity and makes them feel good about themselves. But this year the Bug and I have made our own Valentines, and so can you. From full-blown candy-crush to simple Valentine’s card, kids can make it themselves, or with minimal adult support. Obviously you can’t spoil the dream by asking them to write a card to themselves (you can’t opt out completely parents!), but you can help out if they want to …

Read more

How to recycle your Christmas Cards

"how to make home made decoupage greetings cards"

Mummy hates waste. You name it – we recycle it. Last Sunday’s chicken roast? Sandwiches. Then stir-fry. Finally, soup. We have been subjected to the weirdest menus in the name of not wasting leftovers. You know that rule that says you can only cook meat twice before it must be discarded? Well, Mummy doesn’t. We’ve even once been served two-day-old bubble and squeak (with added bacon) sandwiched between a couple of pasta sheets, masquerading as a veggie lasagne. Our house is full of random buttons, screws and blue-tack remnants, and the tiniest snippet of paper has to go into the …

Read more

How to make a pirate eye patch

How to make a pirate eyepatch

Those of you who know me well are aware of the fact that Mummy is rubbish at craft. So it’s lucky for the Bug that we know Stacey, who has written us a guest craft tutorial today on how to make a pirate eye patch. It’s so simple, I’m pretty sure even Mummy could do it! Ahoy shipmates! Pirates are very popular at the moment. This cheap and easy-to-make eye patch will come in very useful for children’s parties or fancy dress. It is simple enough to make with your children although some of the cutting out is a bit tricky. …

Read more

How to tie dye with natural colours

Tie dye done with natural colours

Our school is twinned with a school in the African town of Kano. Often during learning we talk about Kano, and the things that children learn there. Sometimes we look at photos of life there and the things which are typical of people in the town. Our teacher is quite spontaneous and loves to craft (once she filled an entire table with school glue and got us all to throw glitter at it to see if we could make a clear collage!) so when we got talking about photos we had of the people in Kano sitting around pits in …

Read more

Things to do with kids in cold weather – making icicles!

When the snow is fresh on the ground it is the best feeling in the world. Kids whizzing down powdery slopes, squealing in delight, not noticing the cold. Chucking snowballs and building snowmen, until we are breathless and rosy-cheeked with cold and laughter. Then home for hot chocolate and an argument about who got the most marshmallows. But when it gets colder, and snow turns to dirty ice, it is no longer fun. So as the weather looks set to get colder again, here is something you might want to do with the kids this weekend – Icicles! You will …

Read more