Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Making a Rag Rug Wreath with Ragged Life

One day last week I had the pleasure of spending the day learning how to make a rag rug wreath with Elspeth from Ragged Life and some lovely bloggers (Maggy from Red Ted Art, Ali from Kids Chaos, Liz from Me and My Shadow and Emma from Mummy, Mummy, Mum).

The supplies
I won't go into too much detail about how to make a rag rug wreath, because Elspeth does a much better job of explaining it on her website.  But I will say that I had a lovely time learning how to make it, it was not difficult to do, and it was just nice to make a grown up craft for a change!  (I don't even remember the last time that I did that!)  

Making a start
Saying that, with two kids at home I clearly have not had a chance to finish it.  All of my good intentions of spending some time everyday doing a bit more have not worked!  So instead of waiting until next Christmas to tell you about it, I'm showing you now so that you might have a chance to have one done in time!

The finished wreath!  (Not mine, lol, this is one that Elspeth made!)
You can get all the supplies and follow the directions from Ragged Life, or you can sign up for a workshop and have a crafty afternoon like we did.  I highly recommend this option (especially if you have children at home!) as you'll get some dedicated time to learn and get a real start on your project.  And be sure to show me what you make!

* This is a review post, we were invited to a Ragged Life workshop to make a rag rug and share our experience. *

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Our Sunday Storybook - Baa Baa Black Sheep

We've been reading a really cute little book from Parragon this week, it's another little finger puppet book, and this time it's Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Ivy absolutely loves these little finger puppet books!  She likes to grab onto the little sheep as I read her the story, and even dances around if I sing it to her.  Ethan likes to join in the fun too, and because the story is just the song, he can pretend to read the story to Ivy too, which he loves!

* This is a review post, we were sent Baa Baa Black Sheep from Parragon to review and write our honest opinion, it also contains an affiliate link to buy the book. *

What have you been reading this week?  Please link up and join in the fun!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Writing a Letter to Santa

Today we wrote our letters to Santa!!!  It is definitely an important tradition in our house, and it was lots of fun to involve Ivy in the fun for the first time.  I printed out some letter templates from Sparklebox and let the kids have fun 'writing' their gift requests to Santa.

Ethan has asked Santa for a set of Frozen figures and Ivy is asking for a pram for her doll. We will be posting our letters through Royal Mail here in the UK, see here for more details. You must send your letters with a stamp and all of your return address information for a reply from Father Christmas.

If you would like to write to Santa Claus in Canada, be sure to send your letters by December 16th to this address.  For more details from Canada Post, read the information here.

In the USA it's a slightly more complicated system of writing the letter from Santa yourself (he is just a bit too busy to write them all) but sending it off to get a postmark from Alaska. Please have a look at the USPS website for all of the details

If you're in Australia and you would like to send a letter to Santa be sure to put your return address on the back of the envelope and send it to the address below.

If you're in France I believe that you all have to do it all on La Poste website but that you will get a reply from Pere Noel in the post.  

Please let me know if there are other countries that I should add to my list!

* This post contains affiliate links to Amazon, so you can get a start on your Christmas shopping too! *

Friday, 21 November 2014

Oaty Snowman Sensory Play

I'm always looking for ways to get Ivy involved in all the fun that Ethan and I are having. The other day Ethan made snowmen with play dough, which Ivy couldn't really take part in as she is still putting everything in her mouth.  I much prefer for her to play with edible materials, just in case she does get a big bit in her mouth (though I do discourage her from eating any of it!)  

So I had a search around the kitchen and decided that some regular porridge oats mixed with water would have a nice squishy consistency, and could be rolled into balls to make snowmen.  I set it all up in our builders tray and held Ivy back while I showed her how to roll the balls to make a snowman and added a few accessories.

Then I set Ivy free and she went straight for the oats, ready to explore.  She loved it, she was picking it up and squishing it through her fingers right away, and of course she was trying to taste it as well!  I did manage to make a few different sized "snowballs" with her before she ate too much of it!  It is a great sensory material though, hopefully next time she'll be more used to the process and we'll be able to play a bit longer!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A - Zebra Toddler Trampoline - Review and Giveaway

Ethan has been having lots of fun playing with his A-Zebra Toddler Trampoline from Worlds Apart.  It's a small indoor trampoline with a handle to hold on to while he jumps up and down.  But what makes it unique is the zebra on the front of it, and the fun sounds that it makes whenever you jump on it!  You can buy it for around £40 from Amazon, which makes it really good value for money.

Ethan loves to bounce up and down on it, and the sounds that it makes always make him giggle.  It's a great way for him to get some exercise in the house on those cold and rainy days as well.

The recommended age for the trampoline is 12 months and up, but as Ivy is already standing quite steadily and loves to bounce, she's been having a go on the A - Zebra Trampoline as well!  She has the biggest smile on her face and she bounces up and down just by bending her knees the littlest bit.

The A-Zebra Trampoline would make a great Christmas gift, and lucky you might just be able to win one!  Enter below and tell me what you're planning on buying your little ones for Christmas?  

Open to residents of the UK only.  

* This is a review post, Worlds Apart sent us the Zebra Trampoline to try out and to write an honest review.  This post also contains an affiliate link to purchase the trampoline on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Peek-a-boo Ball

Ivy loves to play peek-a-boo!  She is at such a fun age that she is pretty much loving any sort of game at the moment, so we're making up new things to play all the time.  It's at around 9 months old that babies start to realise that things are still there, even if they can't see them (it's called object permanence) and it makes playing peek-a-boo a lot more fun! Now when I hide my face behind a blanket she tries to pull it down to check if I'm still back there, and the same works for other objects.

So we made up a game that we're calling 'Peek-a-boo Ball' and of course Ethan loves to help me and to play the game with Ivy.  It just involves hiding a few of her favourite sensory balls (a small flashing one and a larger bumpy one) under buckets and blankets and anywhere else that we can think of.

We try to hide the ball in lots of places, and Ivy always finds it!  Then we all clap for her when she does (she learned to clap about a month ago, and I still think it's the cutest thing ever!)  It's a great game to increase Ivy's confidence and knowledge as well as having fun and giggling all together.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Learning Resources - Primary Science Lab Set - Review

We love to try out new toys, and as Ethan gets older and we get to play with more challenging and interesting things.  We've been playing with the Primary Lab Set from Learning Resources, and we are loving it!  Being able to do real little science experiments at home is so much fun.

My favourite thing about the set is just how realistic all of the equipment is and that Ethan now has his own little goggles, magnifying glass, beaker, test tubes, tweezers and pipettes. There are also a set of activity cards to give you a few ideas for experiments to start with, as well as more ideas that you can download from the website

We've done a few of the experiments already, one that Ethan really liked was the 'dancing raisins' the involved putting some raisins into some sparkling water in the beaker, he used the tweezers to pick up the individual raisins and put them in.  Then using the magnifying glass to observe the raisins moving up and down as the bubbles stuck to them and popped.

We also made up some of our own experiments, mostly just putting different liquids in the test tubes and mixing them together.  Ethan loves pouring things through the funnel or using the pipette to drip a liquid slowly into the test tubes.  I could see Ethan enjoying this set for a long time to come!

* This is a review post, we were sent the Primary Lab Set from Learning Resources to play with and to write an honest review. *