A Very Disney Easter

Our Easter break in this household lasted three whole weeks, three weeks I hear you say!!! Yep three weeks. My wife works in a private school and they have longer and different holidays from state schools. As Oliver attends their Pre-Prep he also got three weeks off. 

As you can imagine keeping the kids entertained for three weeks was difficult but we decided to take advantage of this and aside from the days out and doing lots of crafts we also decided to educate the boys in some Disney Classics. 


Both of our boys love Toy Story, Cars and anything Mickey Mouse but beyond that they know very little. We have a family trip to Disneyland Paris coming up later this year and both myself and my wife have become worried that they won’t know any of the characters that appear in Disneyland. 

The first movie we decided to show them was The Lion King. This is probably my all time favourite Disney Movie. Oliver started off by saying it was going to be boring and that he wanted to watch Cars for the hundredth time. However once it started he was hooked from beginning to end, Leo on the other hand was hooked as soon as the Disney logo appeared on our TV screen. He loved it and even made a roaring sound whilst using his sign language to sign animal. A very proud Mummy and Daddy. 

The following day we decided to stick The Jungle Book on (we had a sort of unofficial theme going on that weekend). The boys both loved this. They loved the songs and the music and both went and got a Baloo the Bear soft toy we have from when we bought the DVD a few years ago. 

I toyed with the idea of the animated version of Beauty and the Beast but am worried it might be on the scary side for a four year old and a two year old. 

Following on from The Lion King and The Jungle Book we also watched the Toy Story Saga and both Cars movies during the course of the holidays. 

We also had Oliver’s class mascot stay with us for the three weeks who just so happens to be Minnie Mouse so we truly had a very Disney Easter. 

Make Your Own Easter Wreath

Out of the two of us my wife is the more artist one. I have lots of ideas but lack the skills and confidence to implement them when it comes to practice. 

Keighley just after Christmas said that she wanted to make an Easter Wreath this year. Well this last week she did make it and here we tell you have to make one of your own. 



What You Need

  • Metal Wreath Frame
  • String
  • Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue
  • Various Easter themed Decorations 

What To Do

Keighley started by wrapping string around the wire Wreath frame using hot glue to secure the string to the frame. 

Next using the hot glue Keighley stuck some plastic eggs on to the string to create a pattern. This was followed by some card grass that she laminated and was stuck on the underside of the frame. 

In front of this Keighley stuck to chicks and a ‘Happy Easter’ sign. At the top of the Wreath Keighley stuck a couple of hair bows which she framed with two plastic butterflies. 

Why not have a go at making a Wreath yourself, we would love to see them. 

Make Your Own Easter Cards

We do love Crafts in our house, the kids love everything from colouring in through to painting and everything in between. 

Recently Keighley and the boys sat down and made some Easter cards to give to people. The boys loved using their new Tuff Tray, that Keighley bought at the beginning of the Easter holidays, to make these as  the bits and pieces they used could be spread out in front of them and they could just pick what they wanted to use with ease. 

What you need

To make the cards you will need the following items: 

  • A5 sized card
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Easter themed shapes and pictures
  • Coloured papers


What to do

  • Start by taking the A5 sized card and folding it in half to create a card shape. 
  • Then using the glue stick on whatever you want to. For example you could cut an Easter egg shape out decorate that then stick that on the front of the card. 
  • Finally get your child to write inside the card and then give them out 

Make your own Cress Eggheads! 

Our eggs ready for decorating, unfortunately only one made it

The Easter Holidays are officially upon us and as such Keighley and I are trying to find ways to keep the kids entertained. 

An easy one for us is doing crafty stuff as both boys love crafts and also making stuff. 

My mum made cress egg heads with myself and my brothers when we were kids and it was always a firm favourite with us. It always brings fond memories of my childhood and as such I thought the boys would love to make them as well. 

Oliver colouring in his egg
What You Need: 

  • Colouring Pens or Paints
  • Egg Cups
  • As many empty Eggs as you want to make
  • Either Cotton Wool or Kitchen Towel
  • Cress Seeds
  • Any other craft stuff you want to use to decorate your eggs. 
  • Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue.

What To Do

These are really easy to do and can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. We had everything in the house to make ours except the cress seeds which cost 99p in our local Range store, although you can get cress seeds anywhere that sells garden products. 

Firstly start off by making sure your egg shells are completely washed out and clean of any eggy residue, once dry place them in egg cups for support. 

Then using either paint or felt tip pens you can start to decorate your egg to make it as colourful and bright as you want. (If you use paint you will have to wait for it to dry before continuing on with the following bits) 

Once you have made your eggs as colourful as you would like you can then use other items to give your eggs their own unique personality. Oliver decided he wanted to make a spider egg and asked me to stick on lots of eyes. 

Spider Egg!

We then used coloured pipe cleaners to make the legs and used hot glue to stick them one to the shell. 

Unfortunately Leo accidentally broke his egg by pushing to hard with the pen he was using and it exploded in his hand. So we used the next best thing for Leo which was an over sized Kinder Egg inner capsule. 


Leo coloured the capsule in and then asked me to stick the two eyes on and asked for the red bobble nose. We then used pipe cleaners to turn it into a duck. 

Ducky

Once the outside of your egg is liking how you want it to then it is time to turn your attention to the inside. 

Take either your cotton wool or kitchen towel and take a piece small enough to fit inside the egg and then moisten it under the tap with cold water. Once this is wet enough place inside your egg. (Be careful not to break your egg at this stage)

Once you have done this the final part is to add the cress seeds to the top of the cotton wool or kitchen towel and then gently moisten them with cold water. 

Cress seeds

Make sure you water every day but don’t over water otherwise the cotton wool or kitchen towel will eventually start to smell. After a couple of days you should start to see the cress sprouting and within a week you will have your very own cress head. 

Make Your Own Play Dough!


If like our boys, your children love to play with Playdoh you will know just how expensive it can get to replace the colours when the kids either mix the colours, embed the Playdoh into the carpet, or the favourite one in our house, leave the lid off and for it to go dry.

So imagine our delight, when, at Leo’s toddler group, they made their own Play Dough using ingredients that everyone has in their cupboards. 

We took the recipe home with us and we’ve made some at home and it cost us nothing, and the best bit is it cost us nothing! That’s right nothing! We had all the ingredients in our cupboard. It was so easy too. 

Here’s how to make your own Play Dough:


What you need:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 table spoon of oil
  • Food colouring


What to do:

  1. Pour all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl 
  2. Add the cup of water
  3. Add the tablespoon of oil
  4. Add a food colour if your choice of colour 
  5. Mix all ingredients together until a smooth mixture (similar to that of custard) we found a fork was better for getting the smooth mixture then a spoon. 
  6. Once you have a smooth mixture, cover the bowl and put in the microwave for two minutes. 
  7. Remove from microwave and check under the top layer, if it is still runny then put back in the microwave for another minute. 
  8. Once cooked and Playdoh like then leave to cool in bowl
  9. It is now ready to play with. 


We made Blue, Red and Green (although it turned out a yellowish colour). 


The boys loved making it and also playing with it. 


If you have a go let us know how you get on. 

Make Your Own Halloween Wreath. 

Every year my Mother in Law throws a Halloween Party for the kids and their cousins and friends and this year is no exception. 

With that in mind my Mother in Law set about making decorations for the party. 

In this post she describes how she made an amazing Halloween themed wreath. 

What You Need: 

  • Spider Wreath    £1 


  • 10 Inch Wreath Form £3.80 for 10 


  • 2 Metres Stiff Tutu Fabric £1.78 per metre 


  • Glitter Chenille Sticks £1


  • Ribbon (Left over ribbon from a previous craft activity was used here however you can pick up Halloween Ribbon from eBay or HobbyCraft) 
  • Hanging Halloween Decoration £1
  • Witches Hat £2.50 


What you need to do: 

1: I started by cutting the stiff netting into strips about 3 inches wide then cut each strip into 10inch long pieces. To attach to the wreath I folded the piece in half put the looped end under the wreath wire and pulled the two tails through and pulled so it was tight against the wire I filled the outer ring then the inner ring and used all 2 metres of fabric. Fluff the fabric up to create fullness. 


2: I then added some ribbon and attached to the ring using the same method I dove tailed the ends of the ribbon and sealed the edges by running a lighter quickly along the edge of the cut ribbon.


3: I wrapped the chenille sticks around a pencil to create a spiral and then twisted 3 together and attached to the wreath by just twisting the ends of the chenille sticks around the inner ring.

4: The spider at first was just going to adorned with a bow but I see the little hat whilst I was out shopping and thought it would be nice to use on the wreath. I took the head band off by just snipping the piece of material that was attached to the band it came off easily and neatly. I attached it to the spider by using the wire hanger on the spider I popped it through the back of the hat and then twisted the whole thing ( spider & hat ) around the inner ring securing it firming in place in the centre of the wreath.  


Ensure you tuck the ends of the chenille sticks right under so no wire is sticking out any exposed wire could scratch your door for extra protection stick your blue tac over the points where you have attached the chenille sticks

Total Build Cost is £7.88

Photos and Writing by Joanne Tansley. 

A Spookily Thrifty Halloween!

Tips for Halloween on a budget. 

Welcome to A Spookily Thrifty Halloween! 

With Halloween now less then a week away we thought we would spend the next few days giving you hints, tips and craft ideas to help keep the cost of those Halloween Parties for the kids down. 

We are covering everything from Decs and Food through to Costumes and Music. 

So stay tuned to our spooky blog for money saving tips this week. 

DIY Project: Refurbishing A Kids Garden Bench.

A couple of years ago we bought Oliver a kiddies sized garden bench. 

Well after two years of standing up to the great old British weather it was in need of a bit of TLC. 

So off to a well known DIY store we went to get some bits for the bench. 

Well the easy bit was the brushes, however when it came to what colour and product to use we struggled. The question was, Did we just sand it down and revarnish or paint it in a colour that the boys chose? 


Well in the end we decided to paint in a colour that Oliver chose which was blue. Shouldn’t have been a surprise really as it’s his favourite colour. Luckily because of he size of the bench we could paint it with a couple of tester pots so the price for this including the brushes was around £5 for the whole job as I already had sand paper at home. 

We started out by sanding down all the wooden slats, we should have really taken the bench apart but it was a knightmare to put together when we first got it and I wasn’t about to relive that knightmare after painting. 

So once we had sanded down all the slats I quickly wiped them down with a damp cloth to remove any excess dust and then the fun of the painting began. Oliver loves this bit and once I had pointed out that he had to do between the slats as well kept reminding me that I was missing them. 


It took us around 45 minutes to paint the bench and then we left it to dry in the sun. 
Next morning Oliver went out to check on the bench and called Leo out to have a look. Both the boys love their freshly painted bench and it should be good for another couple of years now. 

Great Garden Bird Feeder

A great little craft Oliver made in nursery last year and one we will be repeating at home. Its so simple and helps the local birds by giving them a tasty dinner.

image 

Its a bird feeder made from bread peanut butter and bird seeds. 

Toast the bread, cut out a shape using shape cutter. 

Spread on the peanut butter and sprinkle on seeds. 

Then if wanted tread thru some string to hang up out of reach from the cats and dogs.

Modelling Chocolate

  
Written by Mummymiles

Modelling chocolate or chocolate play doh is a craft Oliver loves doing with my mum.

In this photo my mum made simple flowers out of the chocolate play doh which Oliver then Stuck on to a Easter egg (which my mum made) using melted chocolate before cutting out some shapes himself to stick on..

To make chocolate play doh you need:

  • 20oz of melted chocolate (dont over melt it) 
  • 6oz of corn syrup which you can get from the baking section in Asda. 

Mix both together being careful not to over mix once it starts to come together wrap it in clingfilm and leave in the fridge to set over night the next day kneed the chocolate and your ready to go!! 

If you want coloured chocolate use white chocolate and add food dye. Enjoy! 

Warning it will melt quickly…