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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Our 1st Giveaway!

I'm thrilled to announce our 1st giveaway, an Usborne book(s) up to the value of $19.99 & free shipping. I was lucky enough to win the Pin it! Preschool Scavenger Hunt on Pinterest with a pin to kandinsky inspired art project which has been re-pinned an amazing 659 times to date! As the scavenger hunt is based in the US lots of the prizes are only for US residants, hence why I am offering my prize to my US readers. 

If I were to choose a book for Joseph (4.5) I would choose this Lift the Flap Atlas as he really loves globes at the moment & flaps are always a hit.

For my car obsessed Daniel (almost 3) It would have to be Look Inside Cars this would keep him happy for hours!

Which Usborne book would you choose for your little ones? Let us know in a comment below for an extra entry.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

x Jo x
p.s. If anyone would like to offer us prizes or products to review please e-mail us on

Magic Fish

 I've seen several posts on pintrest about using a white crayon & water colours to make magic pictures & decided fish would be a good time to give it a try. I set the boys up with their watercolour paints, a brush & water. Note to self: buy non-spill cups, as we had a spill shortly after starting!
 I used white card as I knew the boys would end up getting it very wet, which they did mainly in an attempt to get the colour dark enough to see the magic fish picture. I did try to encourage blues/greens but was over ruled, Joseph (4.5) is very fond of his black. I wonder if he will grow up to be a goth?
 I was really disappointed with the effect of these fish, I had put an upper & lowercase F on the picture & scales & weed, but it didn't really show! I think with these paints the boys use to much water & not enough paint. I also think a sharper crayon might have helped. Next time i try this technique I will use pre-mixed water colours, either food colouring or ready mixed paint watered down. However once I cut them out they looked a little better & much more like fish.

Do you like the new 'You may also like...' feature at the bottom of my posts? Its from nrelate. I am also now finally on twitter & would love it if you could follow me.

x Jo x

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Small World Aquarium

Firstly apologies for my lack of posts recently We have been quite busy recently including prepping for Daniels birthday party which I will be posting about in a couple of weeks.

We have started working on the letter F, however fitting in activity's has been as hard as posting about them! An aquarium small world box (from my small potato's) was one of the first I found on pintrest & have been collecting clear box's (without holes) since, however once i saw it all set up it occurred to me that take away or sandwich boxes would have worked just as well!

 So we started out with our 6 plastic 'tanks' all the fish we could find (includes Duplo, Lego & bath toys) Some plastic pond weed, rocks, & 2 types of aquarium gravel. I let the boys decide what fish would live in each tank & what gravel etc they would like.

We then used a small watering can to add water to each tank. 
I still find it really hard to let them do things by themselves, even if they are making a mess, but trying to take photos helps keep my hands busy!

We then decided that some people (Duplo, Happyland, & Little People) would like to come & visit our aquarium. And the fish needed more food, so lettuce leaves it was...

They then needed a net to catch the fish & check they were well.

 This was one of our most successful small world boxes to date, they played for over an hour & didn't even leave it when the door bell went. 
We kept it out for the next day & it evolved in to transferring the stones between the tanks & i even think they were creating food & selling it to each other at one point. Most of the water stayed in the main box & other than the odd bit of gravel on the kitchen floor was mess free :-)

x Jo x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sprouting seeds

 While we were at Nanny's house the boys started some seeds sprouting. Nanny had done this before & thought it would be fun for the boys to watch their seeds growing. They used a mixed pack of sprouting seeds/beans from a health food shop, & chose which seeds they wanted to put in their jars. We then covered the jar using net from a new bath puff, but you can use muslin or similar & held it on with an elastic band. 

We soaked the seeds over night & drained them off in the morning. We put them in a warm place on their sides dark is not necessary but not in direct sun light.They then needed rinsing twice a day, lots of fun! 

We started to see shoots while we were still at Nanny's house & then packed them up & brought them home to grow some more. Within 5 days the seeds had filled the jars & were ready. We tried some raw & weren't impressed however our rats loved them! We will grow some again & might try them stir-fried with some soy sauce.

For more detailed sprouting info take a look at this site.

x Jo x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spring is finally here...

The boys were thrilled to see that the Daffodils that we planted in the Autumn were finally in flower. They have been checking them for months & they have been on the point of flower for the last couple of weeks, & finally opened at the weekend when the weather warmed up a little :-) 

Loving Joseph's sunglasses & wellies combo!

I thought I would also share a picture of my orchid (with some shop daff's), this is the first Orchid that I have kept happy long enough to flower again!

Now the weather is getting a little better we are looking forward to spending lots more time outside & will hopefully be sharing some fun ideas soon.

Happy Spring

x Jo x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Trip to Devon

After Easter I took the boys down to visit my Mum in North Devon. The boys love their Nanny and her house. They enjoy finding lots of little treasures (fossils, clocks, harmonicas etc.) & also watching the wild birds that visit her garden. Nanny even has a tame black bird that likes to eat cheese, its really nice for the boys as we cant feed the birds because we have cats, one of which is an avid hunter!

We were quite lucky with the weather it was dry but very cold in the wind! My Mum has lived there since I was 3, so I love to get the opportunity to take the boys places that I loved a a child. We went to a local park & had our first Hockings ice cream of the year. Hocking's is the best ice cream in the world & you must try one if you are ever in North Devon.

We visited The Milky Way, which has changed a lot since I was young, mainly the lack of cows now, but as it was such a cold day we were glad that most of the activity's were indoors. While we were outside we even saw a little bit of snow, in APRIL!

On the warmest day we visited Croyde park. After we had eaten our picnic the boys found a big pile of sticks & started to build a den with Nanny. Although since Joseph is convinced that it was in fact a climbing frame that they built. The boys had great fun & were building using the sticks & dry grass for over half an hour.

Now we are back home we are getting back to our letter of the week, so will be looking at the letter F.

x Jo x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Car Theme Party Ideas

Daniels 3rd birthday is only a month away now & he has asked for a racing car themed party (after falling in love with a cake at the supermarket). We have hired a local hall as once you have a couple of families our house is full & we would like to let him invite about 10 friends. We hired the same hall for Josephs 3rd Birthday I think we had almost 20 children & babies. Joseph didn't ask for a theme so we hired a bouncy castle which went down well, but with that many kids it was a little crazy!
I have been busy pinning ideas to my Party Ideas board on pintrest, so I thought I would write about my favourites in case anyone else has a car obsessed little boy!

I totally love these cardboard box cars, however we are lucky enough to know the lady who runs the toddler group at the hall so have free use of their toys. So we will have enough ride in/on cars & trikes for all the kids. They also have a couple of car play mats & garages which we will also set up.

Again I love this road & was planning on making similar as a race track, however as my husband and mum pointed out it might not last long with the kids riding cars around on it & could become dangerous. So I'm going to go with using just masking tape to make the road/track, I think it will depend on time on the day as to how fancy it gets!

I 'm going to make some of these cool road signs & have been saving cardboard tubes just for this. I love the traffic lights, not sure if mine will be working though.

I'd also like to have a go at making a beanbag toss like the one above, as I'm sure we would be able to use them lots after the party.

I love this table design, I've just got to track down some cones, if anyone knows of a UK shop that sells these please let me know. (I bought some from ELC in the end)

Moving on to food, I've already got a car shaped cookie cutter & found these fab ideas (which again depend on time the day before). I'm also going to make some mini toothpick checkered flags

I already have a box of cars for the favours (or party bags as they are called here in the UK) but love the idea of the traffic light play dough.

I really need to get my bum in gear & start organising this party. I know that Daniel is going to love his party, he is looking forward to it so much he is inviting everyone he meets & random people on the TV!

If you have had a car party or have any ideas I would love to hear them.

x Jo x

P.s. To take a look at which ideas I used for Daniels party click HERE.