Olympic champions

Crafty, kids, let's pretend
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We’ve got olympic fever. Team GB are doing so well, I think it’s great for the children to get caught up in the patriotism and enjoy good, competitive sport (rather than the politically correct non-competitive nonsense).

Mind you, having just learnt to cycle, it’s quite difficult trying to explain to no.1 son why the sprint cyclists seem to want to go amazingly slow…

Nonetheless, I thought we ought to start early for 2012 by having our own home grown gold medallists.

We were sorting out school clothes (as I’ve learnt from last year not to leave it till the last minute) and found that the polo shirts that seemed to be enormous 12 months ago, are somewhat ‘skinny fit’ now, but were too good to simply throw straight in the bin. So with the help of my Sharpies, and a bit of imagination, I created these:-
olympic medal shirt olympic shirt back
Everyone’s a winner!


It’s a Perler

Crafty, kids
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Are your little ones fans of those irritating beads that get knocked onto the floor and take hours to pick up? The ones that you make into a picture and then melt with the iron (note: learn from my mistakes. Don’t ever try to iron them without the ironing paper. They don’t look so pretty stuck to the iron!)

Well those beads are one thing which No.1 son will sit for ages and delicately arrange, but he sometimes gets stuck for ideas…and so do I. Hence when I came across this site, I thought I ought to share it as there are ideas for everyone here!

Pop along to the Perler website and check out their Projects section.

Perler Projects image

The mini roll express

cooking, Crafty, food, kids
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Inspired by a recipe in Big Cook’s Cook Book (“Big Cook Little Cook”) caring No.1 son wanted to make a surprise train cake for his little brother. The main ingredients were 2 large Swiss rolls, but being wheat free myself, I didn’t really want to go to that extent because I knew 2 small boys could not polish it all off before it went stale.
So, in order not to disappoint thoughtful No.1 son or lucky recipient No.2 son, I adapted it a little…

For each train, you’ll need:-

  • 1.5 mini rolls
  • a piece of flake
  • a couple of cocktail sticks
  • some icing
  • 4 smarties (or any round sweets)

The photo pretty much shows how it’s done – the whole roll is the main part of the train. Insert a cocktail stick up the middle of the half roll and stick it in the back of the whole roll. Ditto the flake, but put this near the front (if you find the flake is splitting, just ditch the cocktail stick and push it in to the whole roll hard enough to break the chocolate coating and stand up). Then a blob of icing for each smartie to stick to, and we’re ready to rock and roll!

Mini roll express
Chew chew choo choo!

The Chinese laundry

Crafty, games, kids
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It’s been a wet day. The poster paint masterpieces have been churned out but you need somewhere to dry them. Worry no more. All you need are some pegs and a long piece of string.

My pegs have holes in the handles so I just fed them onto a piece of string, tied it between the curtain pole and the light fitting and there you have it. Just make sure the pics are dry enough so the paint doesn’t run off the paper when you hang it up!

Chinese laundry washing line

Trading up to a Dyson?

Crafty, food, kids, Thrifty
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As word of my wacky ideas sweeps the nation*, a friend sent me the fo article. I thought it’d be great at this time of year when people are snapping up bagless vacuum cleaners in the sales. What do you do with all those vacuum cleaner bags stacked up in the cupboard that will be useless now?

Simple! Follow the pictures below. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words…

Ice cream holder instructions
Read the rest…

All I want for Christmas….

Crafty, games, kids, let's pretend
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….is a cardboard box.

Honestly, we sit watching advert after cheesy advert for ridiculously expensive toys (I’m not mean, but I consider anything over £30 for a child to be outrageous and a waste), and I know that despite all the ‘I would like that one please Mummy’ ‘I’d play with it loads’ etc etc that after at best, a week, it would be gathering dust in a corner.

But, bring home a cardboard box (free from work or a supermarket) which is large enough to fit a child in and you have a multi purpose toy. We’ve had it as a toy box, a garage, space city, a space rocket, a fire station, a house, a dog basket, a den….the list goes on and on.

It’s recyclable, reused and reeeeeeeeet great 😉

Bob the Builder would be proud (hmmm…it hasn’t been Sunflower Valley yet!)

Say it with flowers


Well there’s nothing more a lady likes more than flowers, so here’s a way to surprise and delight at little expense. We used them to say thank you to all the staff at nursery (the novelty had worn off after making the 20th flower!).

Single bloom

So, you’ll need:-

  • lollipop sticks (or I’ve found posh coffee shop wooden stirrers are a cheaper alternative!)
  • tissue paper (assorted colours)
  • sticky tape/glue stick
  • small yoghurt drink bottle (for the vase)
  • green paper
  • foam shapes for decoration

Read the rest…

Santa cam

Christmas, Crafty, kids, let's pretend
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You’ll like this one – it’s a crafty idea. That’s crafty, as in ever so slightly sneaky 😉

I know it’s depressing to think of Christmas in October, but let’s face it, the toy manufacturers are already plugging this years ‘must have’ toy during the commercial breaks.  If, like me, you’re increasingly fed up of ‘Mummy, I want one of those’, then here’s a tip from a colleague of mine (I can’t take the credit for this one, even though it’s sheer genuis!)

The only thing you’ll need is a house alarm motion sensor – the kind a lot of new builds have installed as part of the integral house alarm where the red light comes on if it detects movement within range.  In the scenario above, when faced with the 3rd ‘I really need one of those’ within the last 5 minutes, point to the sensor and say ‘That’s Santa cam – when the red light is on, he’s watching.’ Then it’s up to you to embellish the story to suit your circumstances.

I just live in fear of coming home to find no.1 son up a ladder dismantling the sensor to try and find Santa…….

The dinner time gallery

Crafty, food, kids
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Well it’s been a busy time for us and continues to be the most frenetic time of year. But there’s always time for a little artistic work at meal times. I like a challenge, so no.1 son suggests a giraffe:-

*hums the theme tune to Take Hart*

Giraffe pudding

Followed by the next day a ‘smiley face’ dinner (this treat is normally reserved for puddings only, but hey, I can do that with a roast dinner…..)

Roast dinner face

and not to be defeated by a request for snowmen:-

Snowmen puddings

Big cook little cook – eat your heart out!

Island hopping

Crafty, games, kids, let's pretend
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No, nothing to do with the Caribbean, rather another easy-to-make-way-to-help-active-children-get-rid-of-some-excess-energy game. It’s ideal for one of those days when the weather prevents you from going outside.

All you need is:-

  • plain paper
  • a few fleece blankets (I told you they would feature again!)
  • felt pens, crayons or pencils and
  • a little imagination

Blankets for island hoppingPieces of paper for island hopping


  1. draw a picture for each blanket (coloured square will do)
  2. cut or rip them into individual pieces
  3. write as many ways as you can think of for moving between the blankets (islands)
  4. cut or rip them into individual items
  5. place the blankets around the room (eg on the sofa and across the floor)
  6. hold up a piece of paper showing one of the blankets and one showing a way to move
  7. the child has to make their way from where they are to where they need to be without stepping in the sea (carpet)

They’ll soon learn to recognise the words and you don’t need to be Picasso to draw something they’ll recognise as a specific blanket – as the photos demonstrate!

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