My boys enjoy arts and crafts but are not exactly talented in the subject- but that doesn’t mean they do not attempt to draw or make things.
Art is all about expressing your self, being as creative as you want and to enjoy yourself.
The boys came home with a letter from school a few weeks back, inviting them to participate in an art competition – called take one picture
The oldest boy was very excited about it and straight from the start knew what he wanted to do, the youngest one wasn’t very confident and said that he couldn’t draw or paint and was useless at art. This upset me, children are not useless at anything they just need encouragement and assistance in finding the right medium for them to use.
The task was to create a picture using ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ by Georges Seurat’ as inspiration.
They boys tried painting a water-colour picture but they was not very happy with the outcome. So I pointed out that if they wanted to do pointillism then using an ear bud might work.
Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.
They experimented on a scrap piece of work first and then they were ready for the final picture.
Dipping their ear bud into the paint and then dabbing it onto the paper to create a series of dots that made up an image
First, they did the outline of the shapes that they wanted in the picture
Then, they filled it in
Dabbing away with the ear bud – creating little dots
I think it is really effective
I am loving the eldest boys final picture.
He has said that he doesn’t really mind if he doesn’t win because he is very happy with the final result and would like to display it in his bedroom later on.
This type of art medium can be used for any pictures, and for any ability
During school holidays, kids are always on the go and need to stay refreshed. My boys are very active and always on the go, keeping them hydrated whilst they are doing physical activities is very important to their health.
‘Fruit Shoot has launched It’s My Thing, a campaign that celebrates real kids doing what they’re passionate about and champions their self-expression and individuality.
Research commissioned by Fruit Shoot revealed that 80% of UK parents think that children are under too much pressure today, with 80% also agreeing that this pressure is limiting their creativity and individuality.
Parents love Fruit Shoot because with real fruit and an on-the-go format, it gives them the freedom to let their kids do their thing. Therefore, we want to start a conversation about modern childhood and parenthood and support parents who want their kids to have the freedom to discover and indulge in their passions (their ‘things’) and not feel pressured to follow an expected or set path. We want to celebrate kids who are doing their thing and encourage parents to let their kids’ have the freedom to express themselves.’
Fruit Shoot want to support parents to let their children express themselves and find the ‘thing’ that they love and enjoy doing – because finding their thing is everything.
Robinsons have been Working with kids nutritional expert Jo Travers, together they have developed a range of top tips on staying refreshed during the half term, how much children should be drinking, and highlighting the importance of doing so whilst taking part in fun activities.
Did you know that the amount of fluid a child needs to drink depends on many factors including their age and gender, the weather and how active they are? Children aged 5-11 should be consuming about 6-8 glasses of water a day.
A recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetable juice should be limited it at one small glass (150ml) and they should really only be drunk at mealtimes. The best choice of drink to keep hydrated throughout the day is water – this doesn’t provide extra energy or risks them harming their teeth
Here are some of Jo Travers Top Tips For Keeping Kids Hydrated
The boys and I was invited along to join in with an activity session at The Castle Climbing Centre, where the children got to sweat it out and take part in a 90 minute climbing experience. Fruit Shoot Hydro was there to help them stay refreshed
The sun was shining so it was quite a warm day so even more of a reason to stay hydrated whilst working up a sweat.
The boys enjoyed their session of climbing, pushing their bodies to the limit. Learning new techniques meant that they needed to keep hydrated, not just for energy but to keep them focused on the activity as well.
Climbing is definitely something that I should get my son into, he absolutely loved it and was in his element being able to climb the walls without Mummy telling him to get down. He just has a talent for it; with good techniques and a natural ability to climbing. We have obviously found ‘his thing’
Castle Climbing is an amazing place to go and experience indoor climbing, run by ‘climber’ for ‘climbers’. Housing over 450 roped and lead routes from 8m to 13m in height and an extensive range of bouldering surfaces. Set over 5 floors – with floor to ceiling climbing walls for all abilities.
what’s not lo love about climbing, my little monkeys were in their element
After the boys had tried their hands at the sport, they was treated to some light refreshments and of course a bottle of Hydro to help them quench their first after some strenuous climbing. They enjoyed the drink going in for more and also grabbing an extra bottle for the journey home. I encourage the boys to drink water all the time, it is our preferred drink but I was very happy to give them the Hydro Fruit Shoot as it has no added colouring, flavours and sugar.
The key benefits of Fruit Shoot Hydro are :
It is a natural flavoured spring water drink
No artificial colours or flavouring added
Zero sugar – gets a big thumbs up from us
Each bottle has a re-sealable cap; handy for on the go, lunch boxes and hand bags
We had a lovely day at Castle Climbing Centre, learning how to keep the children hydrated whilst they are keeping fit and experiencing a new sport.
Num Noms are all about crazy food creations, the little cute, scented characters are all about creating your own flavour fusion by mixing a little num with a little nom. It’s a recipe for mischief with so many different combinations.
We’ve seen the Cronut (donut and croissant combination), a genius idea, which brought together two of our favourite pastry items into one amazing desert. Next it was the turn of green tea cake, for the slightly more health conscious, which saw a refreshing cake born from a popular hot beverage. More recently, Marks and Spencer introduced the Croloaf, a loaf of bread make out of croissants –yum!
But they are old news and now it is time for Num Noms fans to take to the kitchen and create their own Crazy Creations inspired by the different Num Noms themes and flavours.
We was invited along to join the next Num Noms foodie campaign. we were challenged to get creative in the kitchen to combine the wackiest of flavours and make the tastiest of food combination.
First we had a look through the num noms menu for some inspiration
We picked out the num noms that we wanted to work with and then set to it in the kitchen to create our foodie masterpiece
We picked out
Maple Sugars who is from the doughnut family
Bunny carrot who is a veggie
Softy Mallow who is a marshmallow
And we came up with a carrot doughnut with a blueberry and marshmallow centre
2 cups plain flour
1/4 caster sugar
2 carrots grated
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium egg
oil for frying
Combine the dry ingredients together; flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg
Add in the oil, milk, carrot and egg and mix well
Heat the oil in a pan. Test the oil with a crumb of bread, if it sizzles and turns brown it’s ready.
Using a tablespoon, drop the mixture a spoonful at a time into the hot oil. Don’t over fill the spoon as i found that the smaller the better for the doughnut to be cooked all the way through
Fry until light brown all the way around the doughnut, about 2 minutes each side.
Remove from hot oil and drain on some paper towels
Cut a little hole in the bottom of the doughnut and push in a blueberry and marshmallow
Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and drizzle with maple syrup
These doughnuts are super yummy! They are soft and very tasty. Perfect for an afternoon treat or to put into pack lunches.
What better way to get your children into the kitchen then getting them to create a num nom crazy creation.
Why not join in on the num nom fun, simply create a crazy creation using num noms as your inspiration and share on social media using #numnomscrazycreation dont forget to tag @NumNomsUK
Num noms are cute, scented little collectible squishy figures that when mixed together create a flavour fusion. Stack them up to create your very own wacky flavour combination.
I have never come across such a toy that smells so divine, they make me hungry just looking at them let alone the delicious aroma that comes from the cute little characters.
As soon as you open up the packaging the first thing that gets you is the smell, oh my they smell delicious. It’s like walking into a sweet shop or ice cream parlour, they smell so sweet and yummy.
We was sent a Series 3 Lunchbox to review
There are 85+ Num Noms to collect in series 3. The Nums are cute little squishy characters and the Noms are either scented stamps or eraser. Stack the Nums on top of the Noms and create over 1500 sweet combinations.
To celebrate Starwarsreads Egmont have invited along 10 bloggers to participate and help promote the Star Wars books during the month of April ready for Star Wars Day on May the 4th. Egmont have asked us to join them.
With a house full of boys this campaign seemed like an ideal one for the boys to get their teeth stuck into, especially when I found out that one of the books that we would be receiving was a ‘Make & Do’ book. I am always encouraging the children to not only read a good range of books but also to become more creative in their artwork.
The Star Wars Make & Do book is ideal for budding artists, young and old. I love a good craft and this book has some amazing crafts to try out. My son and I couldn’t wait to make up a finger puppet from the book.
Joseph is a Yoda fan, he is, so obviously this was the first activity we tried. The instructions are easy to follow, numbered and illustrated. It tells you the list of materials you will need.
Firstly we drew around my sons finger on a piece of paper to get the size of the finger puppet. We cut it out and used it as a template to get Yoda’s body and cloak. I drew the shape of Yoda’s head using the picture on the book as a template. Using the template we cut out two heads on green felt. The only thing we did differently to the instructions was to use a glue gun to attach the body together and a material felt pen for the face instead of using a needle and thread.
Once gluing all the pieces together we added on Yoda’s hand, eyes and lightsaber
What do you think of our mini Yoda Finger Puppet? We love it and so does Big Yoda
I couldn’t wait to attempt in a drawing so decided upon trying to draw Obi Wan. Following the step by step instructions, I summoned my skills to sketch the wise warrior.
The Art Pad is on the right hand side of the book and the activity book on the left hand side.
I am pretty chuffed with myself. It was a quick sketch and only took me about 10 minutes. I absolutely love activity books like this
Check out this flippy
It truly is an awesome book that will help you create cool crafts, design your own masterpieces and bring your own ideas and drawings to life.
Relive the story of Star Wars with The Force Awakens Illustrated Story Book. In The Force Awakens, Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister first order has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. With the support of the Republic, General Leia Organa leads a brave resistance. She is desperate to find her brother, Luke, and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.
This book has beautiful illustrations, at first I thought they were photographs from the film but when you look closely you can see that they are drawings
Every page has an illustration on it, making it an ideal book for children to follow. It is intended for children from 6 through to 8. My children are 5 and 9 and they both enjoyed flicking through the pages and looking at the cool pictures. This book consists of 125 pages, which doesn’t have many words to read but that’s just what a story book is.
The Star Wars Rogue One Book is aimed more for the older children, a junior Novel that doesn’t contain any images leaving your children to use their imagination when reading it. Relive the excitement of the film with this action packed story. The rebel alliance has learned of the existence of a terrifying imperial weapon, capable of destroying entire planets: the Death Star. A thrilling tale of ordinary people who choose to do an extraordinary things.
These book will make a perfect addition to any child’s bookshelf.
As i said at the beginning of the post that this was a starwarsreads campaign with 10 bloggers involved, take a look at http://icklepickleslife.co.uk to read what they think of the books that they were sent, also try your luck with in their giveaway too
Egmont are giving a lucky reader the chance to win the Make & Do book as well as Adventures in Wild Space books for young readers
For a chance to win these awesome books then enter via the rafflecopter
World Book Day is closely upon us and it’s time to start thinking about what costume your children will be wearing on the day. My boys normally like to make up a costume from clothes that they find from in their wardrobe but this year my middle boy has requested a rather different costume. Which was perfect as we have been challenged by Egmont publishing to create a Star Wars themed Costume for World Book Day.
Last year we made a last-minute costume by raiding the wardrobes, particularly looking for clothes that were in neutral colours and created Luke Skywalker. This costume has been used many times over the past year and didn’t cost us a penny.
This year, the boy has requested Yoda. This year I am prepared. I ordered some fleece material from Ebay and once it arrived I got out my sewing machine and stitched away.
You will need:
Beige Fleece Material- mtr depending on how tall your child is. and the width of the material. We ordered a metre at 150cm wide
Emerald Green Fleece Material – 1/2 mtr 150cm wide
Brown long sleeve t-shirt
Dark coloured trousers
Sewing machine or needle and cotton to hand sew
White chalk or material pen
I found a pattern online from www.fleecefun.com that I adapted to fit my son. I used his dressing gown as a guide for the measurements and just adjusted the pattern where it needed it. The pattern can be printed out and stuck together to make one big one.
Place the material down on the fold and put the pattern on the top. The back needs to be cut on the fold to create one piece and you need two pieces of the front. Use pins to keep it in place and draw around with your chalk. This is where I adjusted the pattern and moved it about to the length and width I wanted. Cut out the pieces. You will only have one back and two fronts
2. Place the two fronts down on to the back. Tack into place.
3. Stitch along the under arm and side seam and the sleeve to secure the front and back together. Turn inside out. You can finish off the edges with a hem but I just left ours as the material will not fray.
4. Cut out a long piece of the fleece for the belt.
Et Voila! You now have a jacket fit for a Yoda
Yoda Head and Ears:
I used an old wooly hat to draw around and to get the size of Yodas head.
Lay the green fleece material down on the fold and place your ear pattern on top. Secure in place with pins. Draw around with chalk and cut out the pieces. You should have 4 ear pieces and two head pieces.
2. Stitch around the edge of the ears
3. Turn them inside out so that the seams are on the inside
4. Now you need to give the ears a shape by pinching in the straight edges and stitching in place
5. Place the ears on top of one of the hat pieces, facing inwards.
6. Place the other hat piece on top to form a sandwich. Secure all in place with pins
7. Stitch around the edge. Turn the right way round.
8. I stitched a band of fabric along the bottom of the hat as it didn’t quite fit my son’s head and we wanted it to be bigger
We found that the ears go a little lopsided like a dogs but this can be corrected with a little bit of starch or adding in some wadding when stitching the ears together.
The last thing we needed to do to finish off the costume was to paint his face green.
I painted his face green and then added on some lines to make him look a little older.
We was asked by Egmont Publishing to choose a Star Wars Character to dress up as on World Book day to celebrate the release of the new book The Cold. The book is due out in March and is the latest to be published in the series of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books. Read about the first two that were released last year here
‘The Adventures in Wild Space takes place in the period betweenStar Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. Star Wars fans can meet a whole host of new characters, including a new droid, CR-8R, and a new villain, Captain Korda. It follows the Graf family Mum, Dad, Daughter and Son whilst they tour wild space as galactic mappers.
It is a time of darkness. With the end of the Clone Wars and the destruction of the Jedi Order, the evil Emperor Palpatine rules the galaxy unopposed. After their parents were kidnapped by the ruthless Imperial Captain Korda, young explorers Lino and Milo Graf set out to find them’
The Cold is the fifth in the series of the exciting junior novels written by Cavan Scott. Siblings Milo and Lina have picked up the trail of their kidnapped parents – but an ambush in the depths of Wild Space leaves them stranded on a desolate planet. With an old enemy out for revenge can they survive THE COLD?
The series is ideal for any young Star Wars fan out there. My boys are aged 9 and 5, both have really enjoyed reading the books. They are full of adventure, action packed and fun to read.
I find these Star Wars books are always good for those reluctant readers as they are so gripping and adult like but simple enough for children to understand and read. The illustrations are in black and white and simple but just right for the books.
The books in the series are ideal for children from the age of 8. Although, my son is 5 and he enjoyed reading them, just occasionally asking for help on a few words and for explanations on what some of the words meant. The characters are fun and make the stories exciting. The books are quite short which helps keep the child’s attention and with few illustrations they are ideal for those readers that are moving away from stories that are highly illustrated. They help children make predictions about the future content without looking at the pictures to help them.
Egmont are offering one of my readers the chance to win a full set of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books
Looking for more Star Wars Fancy Dress inspiration for World Book Day Take a look at Princess Leia by We Made This, R2D2 by ET Speaks From Home, Hans Solo by A Strong Coffee and a Storm Trooper by Ickles Pickles.
This post is an entry for the #vickstricks campaign
The cold and flu season is well and truly on us. It’s that time of year when the snuffles, aches and pains begin to surface. Not that there is any particular time to catch a cold as it seems my children can come down with the symptoms of a cold any time of the year.
Being a family of five, when one comes down with the sniffles, we all do. It can go round the family faster than Usain Bolt running 100ms. Working in a school myself, I can be sneezed in the face up to 10 times in one day. I understand the importance of keeping our immune systems strong in order to fight any nasty germs that may want to enter our bodies. That is why we make sure that we eat our five a day to keep our immune systems healthy and we always drink lots of water. I have to be extra careful not to catch any nasty bugs going around due to the Cancer treatment that I have received. Radiotherapy can damage many of your organs and cause many problems like lowering your immune system. I make sure that we take multivitamins and cook with fresh ingredients, adding in garlic and turmeric which help with fighting bad bacteria
When our children are feeling poorly, as parents we try every trick in the book to keep them entertained and make them feel better, especially when they need to be back in school so that they don’t miss out on too much class work.
Britmums have set a VicksTricks challenge, they want to know what I do to entertain my children when they are ill and make them feel better, as well as wanting to hear what my parents did to soothe me when I was young and not feeling too good.
I was sent a parcel to help me with this challenge. Inside was a story book, a selection of fun finger puppets and a bottle of first defense.
At first sign of sniffles grab the first defense and tissues
finger puppets for quiet play and a book to read
Firstly as a family we try our best to stop a cold from developing. As soon as I hear a sniffle or a sneeze we do the following
Drink as much water as possible. Warm water is best and always place a slice of lemon into it to flavour it up but it also helps strengthen the immune system. Keeping yourself hydrated will help the congestion and keep the nasal passageways clear
Take a tsp of warm honey in the morning. This helps with sore throats and reduces the coughing
Up the intake of fresh fruit especially apples, bananas and oranges. Did you know that one apple has an antioxidant effect equivalent to 1500mg vitamin C. Bananas are a good food source for fatigue and help keeps our bones strong. A good way of getting all this goodness into the children is by a smoothie. Blend it all up and drink away. I also find that if the child helps make the smoothie they will be more inclined to drink it especially if it’s a funny colour. This helps support the immune system.
Mug cakes are ideal to make with the children. We make one made from bananas, peanut butter, cacao and honey. Not only do they taste good but they keep the children entertained without stimulating them too much, the least sugar the better. They are nice and warm and healthy too.
Place some Vicks Vaporub on the underneath of their pillows and rub a little onto their backs. This helps them breathe a little better, which is always worse at night when they become congested up from laying on their backs and helps them drift into a good nights sleep. It has one of those smells that you remember from your child hood and it is a staple product that is always in our bathroom cabinet
For us adults, at the first sign of a sniffle or sore throat we drink our special home remedy of garlic, ginger, lemon and honey in hot water. Sounds horrible, tastes not as bad as it sounds but works well.
Also plenty of rest helps our bodies fight the infection. We always bring the bedding down to the sofa, turn the tv on and watch a good feel good movie.
Lots of love and affection. There is nothing more than a cuddle from your parent when you feel under the weather. Research shows that a kiss and cuddle from a parent can releases oxytocin and endorphins, which are ‘feel good’ neurochemicals. I am 38 yrs old and still to this day yearn for a hug from my Mum, it makes me feel warm and loved.
Time together. When snuggled under the blanket, with a hot water bottle and vicks vaporub rubbed onto the back we lay down and read a book. We often fall asleep before we finish it but sleep plays a good part of the healing process. Children do not need anything that will over stimulate them when they are feeling unwell. Company of a loved one is enough. Colouring is always very good too as it relaxes the children and takes their minds off of the sniffles and sneezes
I remember when I was a child, my Mum used to give us a glass of warm milk before bedtime whilst she read us a story. The one thing i will never forget is the time she spent with my siblings and I when we was ill, she would keep us busy when our strength was back with making crafts or baking cakes.
Vicks believes that traditional love, fun and laughter are the key to comfort your children when they aren’t feeling themselves. That’s why Vicks have developed a series of sharable #VicksTricks magic videos that are simple, easy and great fun to replicate at home! Laughter is good for the soul, just as Katherine Mills explains in this magic video. watch what she does with a banana
Vicks consumer research looks at the most common home remedies with British parents. Here are the findings:
• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC
And when it comes to keeping children entertained:
• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)
Family Psychologist Corinne Sweet highlights that “one of the most powerful antidotes to sickness developing further, is parental care and concern.”
Corinne advises that “listening to a story or watching a film is a good idea, as it is soothing and promotes laughter (an immune booster). But don’t let them play video games, watch scary films or spend hours on screens. This will keep their minds over-stimulated, when their immune systems need gentler stimulation and rest.”
Laughter and Love is the best medicine needed to gain strength to fight bad bacteria oh with a little help from Vicks Vaporub too 😉
This post is the entry for the #vickstricks campaign. Photos and words are my own.