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

Keep your children on a leash

kids, safety, Thrifty
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We’re big into Bob the Builder. You know the score – reduce, reuse, recycle. So when I was just about to ditch the toddler wrist strap that was languishing in the back of the cupboard, I’m glad I didn’t!

No. 1 son was becoming a keen cyclist, to the point of wanting to cycle everywhere. Now I’ve got no problem with a bit of exercise, but the downhill run into town from home was a bit tricky with one hand on a bike and the other on the pushchair. So I turned to the wrist strap and figured I could use it to strap one end to the bike and the other to me (steering the pushchair more confidently with 2 hands!). You do have to be careful where you fix it to the bike in order not to interfere with the brake cable or the handlebars (on the main upright just below the handlebar junction seems to work best).

It’s great for controlling downhill speeds, and slightly less great (depending on whose viewpoint you look at it from!) for towing them back up the hill :s