Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Fire Truck Box Craft

Ethan just celebrated his fourth birthday with a fire truck themed party!  I wanted a fun box to hold all of the party bags in, so of course we decided to decorate a box to look like a fire truck!


  • large cardboard box
  • red paint
  • white card
  • string
  • washi tape
  • black foam sheet
  • contact paper
  • red tissue paper
  • glue
  • scissors

The first thing that we did was to paint the box bright red!  Ethan and Ivy were both able to do this one, getting red paint all over every part of the box inside and out until it was completely covered.

Next Ethan cut out some large pieces of card to be the front and back windows.  I didn't give him any instructions to do this, but he quite cleverly held the paper up to the box to measure where he should cut it.  Then he cut some smaller windows out for the sides of the fire engine.

Next he used a glue stick to attach the windows to the fire truck.  Again this was something that he was able to do all by himself and quite proudly place the windows wherever he liked.

I was talking to him about how to make a ladder, and thinking that we might use some kind of sticks or something, then Ethan suggested that we use tape to make a ladder!  I thought that was a great plan and worked much better than what I was thinking of doing, so I let Ethan measure out the tape where he wanted it and I helped to cut it where he said that I should.

Next we traced around a bowl on some black foam sheets to make four circles which Ethan and I cut out together (as his children's scissors don't go through the foam easily) but he led the way around the foam with me as we cut.

Ethan chose where to stick the wheels and used PVA glue to stick them into place.  I then squirted a swirl of glue on the back of the truck and Ethan and I stuck a piece of string all along it together.  I also used some contact paper with red tissue inside it to make the sirens to go on the side of the fire truck.

The fire truck looked great when it was finished and it was the perfect size for holding all of the party bags at Ethan's fire themed 4th birthday party!

I love that Ethan did almost all of this by himself and he was so proud that he'd done it as well.  It has so much character because it's all his own work and it meant so much to him that he helped out with the decorations for his party.  I'll be posting lots more about Ethan's birthday this week, but if you can't wait for more inspiration, take a peek at our birthday board on Pinterest:

Follow Play & Learn Everyday's board Children's Birthdays on Pinterest.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Spooktacular Pony Tales

It's October and we're already getting excited for Halloween, so of course we were excited when we were offered a copy of the new DVD My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Spooktactular Pony Tales to review and to offer in a competition.  It comes out on DVD and digital download today!

The DVD includes six different episodes of My Little Pony, all with a bit of a spooky theme to them.  The kids loved sitting down to watch the DVD, a great way to keep busy on a rainy afternoon.  Then they ran around pretending to be ponies for the rest of the day, and talk of Halloween, costumes and trick or treating has started in our house!

You can enter to win your own copy of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Spooktacular Pony Tales by entering via the Rafflecopter entry below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ethan's Fourth Birthday

I haven't been around much because it's been all about birthday and party planning around here!  Ethan had a fantastic fourth birthday and a super fun party on the weekend, so now that things have calmed down I'm excited to be sharing lots of that with you this week. 

Here's a sneak peek of the cake that I made him, he absolutely loves Paw Patrol so that had to be on his cake, and he didn't have a Rubble toy yet, so I went for the ever popular Cadbury Fingers around the sides and Smarties on the top cake, being dug up by Rubble's digger.  Ethan was so excited when he saw it!  We had a lovely day out for his birthday and then a super fun party with friends, it was the perfect birthday weekend!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pet Rocks

I remember making pet rocks when I was little and absolutely loving it. It's such an easy craft to set up, perfect to do outdoors on a sunny day and the kids end up with something they've created that you can put on a shelf in their room, or they can actually play with (because it is quite robust, unlike most of our paper crafts that don't last long once played with!) 

To start all you need are some nice big rocks, I find that ones that are quite smooth work best, but bumpy rocks could give more character. You'll need a selection of paint in nice bright colours that will cover the rock well and any other additional decorations that you might like.  Googly eyes work quite well, or some glitter glue to draw features on.

Ethan started by painting a frog, he covered his rock in green paint and then used the glitter glue to draw him a nice face.  While he was drying Ethan painted another rock in bright yellow to be a bumble bee!

For his bee he used black paint to add the stripes and little eyes.  Now he's got these two adorable rock creatures that he can play little games with and not worry about them coming apart.  He's already asking to make more pet rocks, so you may see a few more of our creations on Instagram soon!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Miffy's Adventures

We love Miffy, and so we're very excited that she's getting her very own TV show on Tiny Pop starting this Friday 2nd October.  It's called Miffy's Adventures Big and Small and we can't wait to watch it on Friday evening.  We've even got a Miffy toy to giveaway (details below).

The show couldn't come at a better time, with Miffy's 60th Birthday celebrations this year (we made her a cake!) And it just looks like it's going to be fantastic!  (See the sneak peek video below.)  Miffy's Adventures Big and Small will be short episodes of just 7 minutes each, perfect for little ones to just have a nice quiet show before bedtime.  The show features Miffy and her friends going on adventures together and learning about the world around them.


If you're too excited about the show to wait, you can join in on a Twitter party on Friday afternoon at 1pm.  Just follow @Miffy_UK for more details.  There are prizes to be won and a chance to find out more about the show, I'll be taking part too, so be sure to follow me @PlayLearnToday.

And because I just want to spread some Miffy love, I get to give away this adorable Miffy Sensory Toy!  So head over to my Instagram page @playandlearneveryday and find the photo of Miffy for more details.

* This is a collaborative post, Miffy have provided me with this sensory toy to giveaway so that I could write the post.*

Monday, 28 September 2015

Cardboard Box Rocket Ship

We love playing with cardboard boxes, they are definitely the best things at keeping the kids busy for ages!  We recently moved to a new house and were using our wardrobe boxes for a good couple of months before actually getting around to buying wardrobes.  So Ethan was very excited when he saw four massive boxes come down to the garden for him to play with, and right away he said 'let's make a rocket ship!'

It's so simple to get him started but just opening up the box for him, putting him inside and giving him some crayons and markers to start creating.  He wanted to draw controls for the rocket ship, buttons and a steering wheel so that he could drive it.  I wrote the numbers from 10 to 1 for him so that we could point at the numbers as we did a countdown.  Ivy joined in and scribbled around the rocket as well.  Ethan asked me to cut a window into the rocket so that they could see the moon.

They both climbed inside and pretended to take off and fly into space together.  They closed up the door so I couldn't even see them, but I could hear them playing and having fun together.  

We didn't end up with something that looked like a rocket ship to anyone else, I could have got out the silver paint and spent the whole day making the box look like a rocket, but instead they just got to play in it all day long.  We put the boxes away and Ethan continued to ask to have them out to play in every day.  It really doesn't take much to create a fun place to play and learn.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Back to School with Ellie and Eddie

As the colder weather sets in it's time for us to deal with eczema and dry skin again.  It's also time for the third book in Aveeno's Ellie and Eddie series to come out.

This time Ellie and Eddie are handling their dry skin in the autumn when they're back at school in The Dry-ventures of Ellie and Eddie - Dry Skin Lessons.  It's a great little story showing how Ellie takes her cream to school with her, how she keeps track of when to put it on and just how many children need to use cream for their dry skin.  Ethan was really interested in it and asked lots of questions about Ellie's school in relation to his preschool.  It's definitely a good reminder for him that he's not the only one that needs to put cream on during the day to keep his skin feeling nice.

This is the third book in the series of books that Aveeno has put out to help children with dry skin to understand why they have to use their cream and how much it helps them by relating to the characters in the stories, which can all be downloaded from their website.  We've reviewed the previous two books Bye Bye Dry Skin and Happy Skin Holiday and have found them really helpful. 

* This is a review post, we were sent a copy of the book and a sample Aveeno product to try out and to write our honest review.*