#Win Alternative Easter Gifts for Cool Kids

Cool stuff kids march

It is always good to have alternative Easter gifts up your sleeve, that aren’t chocolatey…I have some to win too!

Okido is the arts and science magazine for kids. I had banned kids’ magazines in our house because they are generally impossible to actually write on with any pen known to humans, a bit rubbish, focussed soley on telly watching, pink/blue, covered in plastic tat, expensive, insulting, boring and lacking in anything that is going to set my children’s minds on fire.

How refreshing then to receive Okido. Beautiful pages you can write on, lovely layout, bright colours, colouring pages you would want to colour, art, cooking, science ideas. The stories, poems and illustrations explore emotions beautifully. Continue reading

Make Christmas Candles with Baker Ross

make candlesIn a wonderful moment of blogging serendipity, Baker Ross sent me the exact items my daughter had eagerly circled in the craft catalogue she brought back from school. So we spent a happy Sunday afternoon together learning how to make Christmas candles which will make lovely presents for someone!

It really is easy, soften the wax squares in a bowl of warm water, and off you go. Continue reading

Make a little birdhouse in your soul

Baker Ross, the amazing online craft emporium, sent us some rather sweet cardboard birdhouses to decorate. We were inspired by the birdhouses decorating the walls of a local National Trust place we love, The Ride cafe and indoor play area at Belton House, near Grantham:

A long while back I contributed to the design of The Ride, from a parent’s perspective, so it was great to see it in action. Belton is an incredible place for kids, both the indoor and outdoor play areas are really imaginative.

Back to our birdhouses…we had great fun painting them using really bright acrylics by Giotto, from Baker Ross. I love that they come in a handy cardboard carry case:

The paints are so bright and funky and go on beautifully. I even got involved, so here is Mr G’s, birdhouse, mine and Miss L’s, all lined up to welcome us home, in the porch. We’ve moved on to decorating wooden picture frames with crystals, sewing passport covers and making gifts for father’s day next, so I will keep you posted!  The Summer range from Baker Ross is out now, loads of lovely new projects and plenty of time to stock up before half term!

Check out some of our other Baker Ross adventures!

Easter Survival Pack

National Trust/ Simon Burgess

I’ve been sent some lovely bits and bobs recently which I thought might come in handy for the Easter holidays. Best bit is lots of it is free, or really cheap and can be ordered, or organised online. It’s the little things right? Continue reading

A day of special deliveries.

I wrote a Lovebombing post a few weeks ago about the idea of Lovebombing, a book I read about by Oliver James which champions the idea of resetting a child’s emotional thermostat by spending time together where they decide what you do.

I actually still need to read the book, but I find myself adopting the concept. With Miss L school can make our bond feel a little disjointed so holidays are a time to recharge. We also received a surprise package which made our second day of ‘lovebombing’ even more successful.

Yesterday Mr G was at nursery.  Miss L has had the list of things we would do written out since the start of the week. It included finding her goggles, going swimming, eating a pack lunch, buying sweets, watching a film and doing some sticking together. I had a conference call at 10am, but she suggested she made the packed lunch while I was working.

I was woken by the doorbell, peeked through the curtains and saw Mr A  accepting something from a Parcelforce courier. Miss L came running upstairs with a big box. ‘It’s for you, can we open it?!’ Continue reading

Our Baker Ross Gallery – Festive Fun

We’ve had a fab time again with the materials from Baker Ross. I have been posting our efforts as we have gone along, on facebook and Instagram. Miss L is busy colouring in the make your own cracker set ready for next week, and being someone who rarely follows instructions for long, she’s turned the animal outlines from the colour your own mobile into giftags.

I love Baker Ross kits for those moments when they need a quick fuss free distraction. L and her cousin enjoyed making these woven creatures together when L felt a bit left out on Mr G’s birthday:

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Continue reading

Crafty and oh so quiet with Baker Ross

Baker Ross sent us some lovely craft kits to review over the summer.  I was really impressed, not just by the kits themselves and the great prices, but by the way the people at Baker Ross sussed out my kids.

The Baker Ross Gallery at Alexander Residence

Pirate masks for Mr G, bug themed badges for nature mad Miss L.  Plus they are both MAD about sand and sand art.

I’ll confess we rarely buy craft kits, instead my kids are used to me plonking a load of scraps and a pot of glue on the table and waiting for inspiration to strike.   Although Baker Ross also sell all the supplies you might need for that kind of free form craft too.

I was really interested to see how they found these kits. I think they both found them deeply satisfying, it was like the craft equivalent of a Maths lesson, with lots of matching shapes and planning patterns.

They loved matching up the sticky dots to the picture, peeling back the sticky panels and applying the sand to make sea creatures, colouring the badges with the gorgeously rich and grippable felt tips, lining up the foam sections of the pirate masks, scraping patterns into the scratch art door hangers and car bookmarks.

I also enjoyed this kind of craft more than I expected, especially over a busy summer when I had little time to myself.  It was really satisfying to have something I could hand over quickly when we needed some calm.  They liked the fact that they could work out what to do for themselves and direct themselves largely.

I would be tempted to invest in a few things for half term, and in preparation for Christmas. Especially when I saw what great value they were. There are some great themed sets which would make excellent presents for nieces and nephews or come in handy for those Winter mornings when it’s too cold for the park and Mr G’s friends pile round for a play date. They would also be great for parties or party bags, the set of 10 scratch art door hangers for example is only £3.40.