Izzy is a big fan of Lego and has been helping me come up with ideas for a potentially Lego themed birthday party – it’s still 4 months until she turns 5 but its never too early to start planning! So I ordered some Lego themed silicone ice cube moulds and this week we have used the minifigure mould to make chocolates and crayons. I’m still waiting for the brick mould to arrive but can’t wait to try that one out too.
1. First collect up all the broken crayons lying around the house – I recycled Izzy’s – or you could buy a big box of cheap crayons. Remove the paper wrappers and snap or cut into smaller pieces.
2. Fill a silicone mould with either all the same colour or a mix of different crayons – I used a mix of colours so the minifigures would have a yellow head and then a different colour top and trousers. As Izzy draws with them the crayons will change colour. When the crayon melts it will spread out and fill the mould, so overfill slightly.
3. Bake at 200 C in the oven for around 6-8 minutes. Keep checking on them and remove before they start bubbling up. After a couple of minutes when the crayons have started to melt, you can add extra crayons if there is space in the mould. Putting the mould on an oven tray will make it easier to get in and out of the oven.
4. Carefully remove the mould from the oven and leave until it has cooled and the crayons have set. It looked like all the colours had mixed into one on the top of the mould, but when I removed them I was really pleased with how they turned out.
5. You could do this with any silicone ice cube mould, although the crayons may take longer in the oven depending on the size of the mould.
1. Melt some chocolate and put into plastic disposable piping bags – we used a mix of milk and white chocolate.
2. Fill the mould to the top, wiping any excess chocolate away with a knife/kitchen roll. Izzy added sprinkles to the bottom of some of the moulds before topping with chocolate.
3. Put the mould in the freezer for 10 minutes, then pop the chocolates out of the mould onto some greaseproof paper.
4. Repeat until all the chocolate is used up – if the chocolate starts to harden just pop in the microwave for 20 seconds.
5. Store in the fridge – and enjoy!
A series of unfortunate events
We have been having a shocker over the past few days! On Thursday I was rushing back to the car park when Izzy face planted the floor. I then had to carry a very heavy and inconsolable 4 year old with one arm while pushing the pram with the other, and got back to the car 14 minutes late – the traffic warden was already writing out the parking fine when I arrived, bleeding and crying child and all!
Friday didn’t get any better. Clara headbutted a chair, getting a nice little bruise on her forehead. Which is all part of finding her balance and exploring. However, back at home, Izzy shouted that Clara was climbing up the stairs. I ran through just in time to see her half way up, teetering backwards on the edge of the step before half falling, half back flipping down the stairs. She hit her head on the way down but I caught her just before she reached the ground. Typically, she only cried for 20 seconds, while I’m still shaking 3 days later!
Yesterday just topped it off. Before we even left the house, Clara headbutted the wall (she was running round with a baseball cap over her eyes). While we were enjoying a nice trip out to the Lake District, Izzy fell over and got bitten by a hungry goose. Relieved to be back home, Clara then somehow ripped the flap of skin behind her top lip and was bleeding everywhere! So we had a family trip to A&E, Izzy in her pyjamas and everyone else in blood splattered clothes.
Luckily everyone is fine, although my nerves have taken a beating!
Trucks, face painting and play dates
Izzy was lucky enough to have 2 play dates this week, plus lots of time playing with her cousins at Grandma and Grandad’s house, and a visit from Nana and Grandad. She made a decoupage lighthouse (I didn’t know what one was either) at a craft workshop and played with some school friends at the soft play. We spent Saturday at Stobart Fest in Carlisle, where there were lots of Eddie Stobart trucks, and on Sunday we had a picnic in the Lake District. So its not all been mild peril!
This week on the blog…
Beat the boredom with 10 things to do in the school holidays
Izzy is starting full time school this year so I’m really enjoying our last few weeks together and just wish we had more time to do fun stuff. However now we are halfway through the summer holidays, I know some parents will be praying for the start of term! So here are some ideas for things to do with the kids during the holidays.
1. Teach kids about food and plantlife by helping them to grow their own. We are currently growing tomatoes, sweet peppers and coriander, and Izzy loves watering them and seeing how much they have grown.
2. Picnics are always a winner with my 4 year old. It doesn’t matter what the weather – if it’s raining we simply put a blanket out in the living room and eat sandwiches and treats from a cakestand.
3. Help the kids to make a kite – which you could then go to the park to fly. Stick two drinking straws together to form a cross, use sticky tape to attach a diamond shape cut out of a plastic bag, and securely tie on some string.
4. Bake. Cakes, biscuits – anything that kids can really get involved in. They can help measure the ingredients, mix, decorate – and of course lick the spoon afterwards!
5. Try your hand at face painting – and let the kids try it too. They could paint each other’s faces, or yours if you don’t mind looking silly! (I did clean this off pretty quickly – I had visions of the postman knocking on the door and getting a fright!)
6. Make a ‘Big Art’, like on Disney Junior’s Art Attack. Use clothes, towels, toys, plastic plates and cups – anything that’s easy to clean up again!
7. Make a fairy house out of whatever you have lying around. Izzy’s is made from a teabag box, with coloured paper inside on the walls and a square of leftover carpet for the floor. The roof is made from two paper plates and a toilet roll tube covered in paper mache, painted brown and decorated with some cardboard leaves.
8. Make a goal to learn something new by the end of the holidays. A few words in another language, a short tune on a musical instrument, how to spell some new words, how to ride a bike or tie shoelaces.
9. Have a dressing up day. Pirates can go looking for treasure, fairies can pretend they live in pixie hollow and build a makeshift house out of sheets, and camels…. well they can do whatever camels do, of course.
10. Have a family film night. Or afternoon – especially if its raining! Get out the blankets, snuggle on the sofa with hot chocolate and popcorn and watch a new film – or more likely in our house one that we have seen a million times already! (Frozen, anyone?)
Fun at the Gincase
On Thursday we went to the Gincase, which is a farm park in Cumbria. Izzy and her friend Charlie were running around hand in hand, feeding the animals while Clara tried to keep up. They groomed a pony and bottle fed a goat, and had tons of fun on the soft play. Clara went down a slide (I think for the first time) and she was laughing her head off. I think Izzy’s highlight had to be going on the zip wire, which I thought was pretty high for a 4 year old!
This was our first free weekend after about 6 weeks of hen and stag dos, weddings, weekends away and birthday celebrations. So Hubby and I took it in turns to have lie ins, did some shopping, gardening and housework and generally enjoyed just having some free time after what has felt like a manic couple of months. I even got time to go for an impromptu coffee with my friend, although most of the time I was running about trying to stop the kids wandering off. Not exactly a relaxing catch up! Saturday night was curry night, and we enjoyed yet another fab curry from The Spicery. I know I’ve probably raved about them on here before, but my Hubby is always going on about how the curry subscription I bought him last year is the best birthday present ever. Basically each month you receive the spices and recipe to create a curry and side dishes for 4 people. You still need to buy the fresh ingredients, but it’s a great way to try some different and really tasty curries. And considering I was strictly a tikka massala girl before, and I’m quite fussy about food, I really enjoy them.
This week on the blog
Concerned your kids are not getting enough exercise when you are cooped up in the house all day? Read 8 ways to keep kids active when its raining.
Kids, like adults, need to keep active. According to NHS guidelines, children under 5 should be moving for at least 3 hours a day – this includes light intensity activity (walking and standing), as well as higher intensity activity (running, jumping, dancing, swimming etc).
When its raining outside it can be easy to spend the entire day stuck in the same room, doing static activities and generally being lazy. And I do love lazy days. However, any type of movement is better than none, so here are some simple ways to help keep the kids – and you – active even when its horrible weather outside.
1. Register for a Change for Life 10 Minute Shake Up pack. We signed up and received a Frozen themed activity pack containing a ten minute timer, a sticker chart, stickers and activity cards. Everytime your child does 10 minutes of exercise, they can add a sticker to the chart. Its a good way for us grown ups to try and fit exercise into our days too – I can’t really manage to get to the gym with two kids but we can certainly be active together!
2. Throw a dance party. Put on some tunes (even Disney, though Izzy loves a bit of Uptown Funk or anything by Taylor Swift) and dance around like fools.
3. Get the kids to put on a dance show. They can have rehearsals, make up their own routines and dress up. This not only keeps them active, but the ‘rehearsals’ keeps them busy while you
have a cup of tea get some jobs done.
4. Try some yoga with Cosmic Kids on YouTube. The videos use storytelling to create gentle and fun yoga routines for children. Even Clara tries to join in!
5. Play some active computer games together – such as Wii Sports. They will be having so much fun playing the games they won’t even realise they are exercising!
6. Rope them into helping with the housework. Make it fun by putting on some music, setting a timer and/or turning it into a race. A clean house is an added bonus!
7. If you feel like braving the weather and leaving the house, check out what activities are on at your local sports centre, take the kids swimming or let them run off some energy at the soft play as a treat.
8. If all else fails, get out the wellies and the waterproofs and chuck the kids out in the garden to let off some steam. (I however will be watching from the dry kitchen with a hot brew).