Activities · Craft Activities · Father's Day · Gifts

Father’s Day Crafts for Children!

Father’s Day is this Sunday so this week I have been doing some Father’s Day crafts ready for the weekend! With the three year old we did some modelling with some air dry clay.

I got my three year old nanny charge to mould the air dry clay into a small coaster for his daddy for his cups of coffee. You may need to help your child with this. I gave my three year old a pen to poke some holes around the edge as decoration but you could use their fingerprints instead. I helped him poke some letters that said ‘we’ and ‘daddy’. We left a space in the middle between the letters to print his thumb prints to make a heart shape.

We let the coaster dry out in the utility room which is the hottest room in the house. The drying out only took overnight for us but it can take a couple of days. Some people like to put their air dry clay into the oven to speed up the process. The oven method is OK but it can be risky. You don’t want your model to dry out too much and crack or bubble.

Once dried out you will need some paint. We used black and tangerine as they are their daddy’s favourite colours! We used a little bit of red to paint the heart.

My six year old nanny charge painted a canvas for his daddy. My six year old nanny charge has been learning about Africa at school so he painted a picture of Africa. When he had finished he painted ‘I love daddy’ to make it extra special.

The three year also came home with a Father’s Day card and gift from nursery today too. The gift he made was his hand print. Either made from salt dough or air dry clay again! The handprint was moulded round to make a bowl. How cute is that?

I hope you all enjoy Father’s Day this Sunday and I hope you try out some of these craft ideas. I have planned a Father’s Day/birthday BBQ for the family and my other half. So in total we have 17 people coming over to our new house!

If you have enjoyed this post please SUBSCRIBE and SHARE! Don’t forget to look back at some of my other posts too. Such as coloured shaving foam paintinghow to make Oobleck or Mother’s Day crafts.

Activities · Play · Sensory Play

How to make Oobleck! 

This post is how to make Oobleck! Making Oobleck is so easy and quick to make and you only need two ingredients! The ingredients are probably in your kitchen cupboard already too 🙂

You may have noticed from my previous post on coloured shaving foam painting that I bought a book called ‘150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids’ that you can buy here. I used the same book again to get this recipe 🙂 there are so many recipes in here. Including different types of Oobleck you can make including glow in the dark Oobleck!

You only need cornflour and water. You can mix some food colouring or paint in too to make it colourful. If you don’t use any food colouring though it’s edible – although it wouldn’t taste nice I presume. But that means babies would be able to play with it and if they eat it, its ok.

Oobleck is a great mixture for kids. The texture is rather strange, it’s like liquid but when you squeeze it, it hardens. Then it melts again! Oobleck is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, egg free and soy free too! If you use tapioca starch instead of cornflour it will be corn-free as well.

We mixed a little bit of cornflour and water up inside three bowls and added a little bit of paint in each one. We used red, blue and yellow. Although the red turned out more like a pink colour. I allowed my nanny charge to mix the Oobleck to reveal secondary and tertiary colours 🙂 he was able to recognise green!

I set out baking pans for him to experiment with. He said he was making some cakes.

As you may remember from some of my previous posts I have spoken about my nanny charge not liking getting his hands dirty. Recently he has been more comfortable getting dirty and experimenting with different textures. After watching me squish the Oobleck, he started copying me. He started grabbing handfuls of the Oobleck and watching the mixture turn solid when he squeezed it and turn back into liquid when he held it loosely.

I hope you have enjoyed this post why don’t you take a look at some of my other posts such as toilet training tips or dyed spaghetti play.

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Activities · Sensory Play

Coloured Shaving Foam Painting

I have just bought a new book from Amazon and it’s amazing and I highly recommend it! It’s called ‘150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids’ and you can buy it here. The first activity we did from tis book was coloured shaving foam painting!

All you need for coloured shaving foam painting:
  1. Shaving foam
  2. Food colouring – however we didn’t actually have any… so we just used a little bit of ready mixed paint

I used a muffin baking tray to put the shaving foam paint in. Just squirt a little into each section. We used the gel shaving foam so we stirred the gel to make a foam. Add a few drops of food colouring or paint into each section and mix together.

It only takes 5 minutes to set up and you probably already have the items at home.

I did this activity with my three year old and my six year old nanny charge when he finished school. I used to same foam paint too.

The three year old loved this activity. At first he started using the paintbrushes I provided but then he started using his hands.

I think the three year old enjoyed the feel of the foam. He was squishing it in his hands and rubbing the foam all over his picture. He has never been one for getting dirty but he made an exception for this foam painting!

The six year old also enjoyed joining in. He was very careful and very precise where he wanted to paint. When he had finished he called it his ‘masterpiece’. He was showing me the outcome when he tried mixing the various foam paints.

Once the boys were finished it was so easy to clear up to! I wouldn’t recommend doing this activity with babies though. Just because the ingredients aren’t edible and babies may eat the mixture!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Don’t forget to go and check out the book on Amazon and possibly think about buying it. It’s worth every penny. It’s perfect for nurseries and schools too.

Please go and check out some of my other posts. You may like dyed spaghetti play or mess free painting activity. I would love it if you could subscribe and share my page too!

*Please note that this post does contain an affiliate link but all views and opinions stated are my own*

Activities · Recipes

Bitesize Pizzas Recipe!

One of my nanny charges (6 year old) favourite foods is pepperoni pizza! He likes to do activities with me after school so I planned on making some bitesize pizzas with him. Plus they would some tasty snacks!

Ingredients for bitesize pizzas:

  • Wraps
  • Tomato puree
  • Cheese
  • Ham

You could add a variety of different stuff though! You could use pepperoni, peppers, tomatoes, chicken, sweetcorn or mushrooms. My nanny charge is just a bit fuzzy with his food!

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. We used a small drinking cup to cut out small circles out of the wraps. Pop to circles into a muffin baking tray.
  3. Spoon some tomato puree onto the pizzas and using the back of the spoon, spread around.
  4. Grate some cheese and sprinkle it on top of the pizzas
  5. Add your toppings! As you can see we only used chopped ham. Unfortunately we couldn’t find any mini pepperoni.
  6. Pop the bitesize pizzas into the preheated oven and cook for 10-12 minutes
  7. Enjoy!

These bitesize pizzas are great snacks. They could be popped into the children’s lunch boxes for school too.

We didn’t actually pre grease the baking trays beforehand but as you can see they still came out fine!


These are so great as you can make them so different each time or but a variety of different flavours during each batch!

They turned out so yummy! Especially when they are still nice and warm. We may have left ours in there for an extra couple of minutes. Hence the tiny bits of burnt cheese!

These are really quick to make, they took about 10 minutes to prep and 10-12 minutes to cook. So roughly 22 minutes in total!

If you like this recipe why don’t you take a look at the others? Such as our mashed potato muffins or jam tarts.

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Activities · Nannying · Sensory Play

Dyed Spaghetti Play

Last week was a busy one. But our favourite activity last week was dyed spaghetti play!

This was the first time I actually tried it out and it’s very easy to make. You can make it in three easy steps.

You need these for dyed spaghetti play:

Method:

  1. Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions
  2. Once the spaghetti has cooked, separate the spaghetti into separate sandwich bags and pop a few drops of food colouring in each separate bag
  3. You will need to seal the sandwich bags and using your hands mix the food colouring into the spaghetti. Leave for at least 5 minutes to let the spaghetti absorb the dye. The longer you leave it, the brighter the colours will be.
Tip: You can add a little bit of oil to stop the spaghetti from sticking together!

Voila! In three simple steps you have made some dyed spaghetti, perfect for sensory play. I gave the three year old some scissors to encourage him to cut the spaghetti. A great way to encourage his scissor and motor skills. The dyed spaghetti will last for a few days, however the colouring will fade a little. So you get to reuse it again!

You could make the dyed spaghetti at home or it could go down a hit if you work at a nursery! Could you imagine all those happy little faces when they see this?!

Sensory play is beneficial to children because:

  1. It is important for your child’s learning and development
  2. It stimulates all your child’s senses at once
  3. Sensory play encourages your child to play, explore and investigate
  4. It can be a calming influence on children and can be therapeutic

If you have enjoyed dyed spaghetti play why don’t you try my Dinosaur Ice Excavation activity or sensory bottles next?

Activities · Baking · Craft Activities · Nannying

20 Ideas to do with your Children When it Rains

When it rains we all know as parents, grandparents, nannies, childminders or other childcare professionals it can be a pain when to rains. Being stuck inside all day can send you all a bit crazy! So I have put together a little list of rainy day activities for you all 🙂

Don’t threat though. There are still PLENTY of things you could do to stay entertained.

See below for 20 rainy day activities

  1. You could just brave it and play out in the rain! Stick your welly boots on and your rain macs and go and explore outside! Make a mud cake, go on a bear hunt, search for creepy crawlies and splash in those puddles! However, this could not be for all of you out there. Which is fine because there are still plenty more ideas.
  2. Junk modelling! Get your recycling box out, some sellotape and your craft box and encourage your child to build something! A space rocket, a car, binoculars, a fairy wand. Anything!
  3. Painting – if you haven’t got any of your own paint in the house, you can make you own. You use half a cup of flour, half a cup of salt and half  cup of water. Divide the mixture up into pots, bowls or even sandwich bags and add a little bit of water colour or food colouring. If you don’t want to get paint everywhere or you have a child who doesn’t like getting dirty try out this Mess Free Painting Activity.
  4. Play with play dough. Make your own play dough – or use ready made play dough. You can use play dough cutters. You could even get out some candles, your pretend tea set and make some play dough food!
  5. Baking – bake some cookies or a cake. Baking is one of our favourites, it’s fun and it encourages the kids to practice weighing out ingredients and practice their numbers. Take a look at some of my previous blogs to find some various baking activities such as Banana muffinsJam TartsGingerbread men or Cake trains.
  6. Make your own homemade bird feeder – we made these last week and it was so much fun! The birds are loving them too.
  7. Cooking – Similar as above and I encourage my nanny children to help cook or bake even when it’s not raining. Encourage your child to help prepare and cook dinner. A good way to promote healthy eating and your child’s cooking skills.
  8. Build a fort. Grab some blankets, cushions and snacks!
  9. Make your own puppets. You could sew your own or you could use some old socks. We all know we have a couple of random socks with a lost mate. Once your puppets are finished you could put on your own puppet show.
  10. You could make you own candles. I have made them with my nanny children before and they loved it. It made a wonderful Mother’s Day gift too.
  11. Watch a film together – perhaps a good old Disney film?
  12. Good old fashioned colouring. My nanny children (the twins) love a good colouring in book
  13. Put on a show. I have introduced ‘shows’ with my nanny children. We dress up using the fancy dress clothes, wigs, jewellery and turn off the lights and grab some torches. They hide behind the curtains and I shine the torches on them as they come out to sing, dance or act out their favourite stories.
  14. Pretend play – my favourite would have to be pretend food. Such as playing shops, pretend cooking, playing restaurants or even having a tea party!
  15. Play a board game. My nanny children’s favourite ones are ‘guess who‘, ‘pop to the shops‘ and of course the legendary ‘hungry, hungry hippos‘! 
  16. Another easy one – gloop play. Gloop is so easy to make and you only need two ingredients. Water and cornflour. But if you want to add colour just pop some food colouring in. I suppose paint could work too for colour. Pop two cups of cornflour into a bowl and one cup of water. Mix together – get your child to help! It’s messy, but so much fun. Plus a great sensory activity.
  17. Water/sand play. Get your kitchen bits out too, jugs, measuring jugs, measuring spoons, cups and different sized containers. A great activity as meets your child’s learning needs in so many ways!
  18. Make your own sensory bottles – click the link to view how to make them.
  19. Make music. Whether you use your own musical instruments, you take out the pots and pans from your kitchen or you could always make your own – such as your own rainmaker or guitar.
  20. Make your own jewellery. You may have some old beads and some string lying around the house to use. Or you could hand dye some penne pasta or macaroni and thread that onto some string.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and if you want more ideas let me know!

Activities · Nannying

Homemade Bird Treats

This week my nanny child and I made some homemade bird treats. It’s very simple and you don’t need many items at all. It’s a nice little activity to do with children to encourage them to be interested in wildlife.

You need these items for the homemade bird treats:

  • Unflavoured gelatine powder
  • Wild bird feed
  • Water
  • Cookie cutters

Method:

  1. First you need to mix the gelatine powder in a saucepan with a little bit of water. I used two sachets of the picture above. 
  2. Once the gelatine and water has blended together, it’s time to mix in the bird feed. Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool a little.
  3. Meanwhile, you could pick the cookie cutters you would like to use for the bird treats. We picked a car, a train, a gingerbread man, a teddy bear, a star and square. Once you have picked the shapes you want, set the cookie cutters flat on a plate.
  4. Once the mixture had cooled enough, I let my three year old nanny charge spoon the mixture into the cookie cutters. We used a straw to poke a hole at the top of each bird treat so once dried we could add some string through to hang up.
  5. Once you have spooned the mixture into the cookie cutters just pop the plates into the fridge for at least an hour for the mixture to set.
  6. Once the mixture has set you can use some string to thread through the little hole made. Tie up the string and hang up outside for the birdies!

I think they look really sweet! Let me know how it goes for you and feel free to share what shapes you decide to pick!

If you like this post why don’t you take a look at other activities I have done with my nanny children. You may enjoy our Dinosaur excavation activity or my post about Harrypottermous!

Activities · Days out · Nannying

Easter Break: Part Two!

Easter Break Part two!

We have finally finished the first Easter half term week! And breathe… If your a parent or in childcare make sure you try and have a rest over the weekend for the second week.

Thursday

Thursday was a lovely and sunny day. The perfect day to visit the zoo! We visited Port Lympne Zoo in Hythe. I took the boys and one of the six year olds friends from school. They had a school project to complete over Easter to find out 5 facts about an African animal. My charge decided to pick a Giraffe and his friend picked a Cheetah. If you haven’t visited Port Lympne before, it’s worth it. Half of the zoo includes a safari – land rover trucks drive you around open safari zone. You can spot Giraffes, Rhinos, Ostriches,  Zebras and more. I have visited Port Lympne’s sister zoo before – Howletts – which is on flatter land which makes it easier to walk around.

 

School project time!

As we were on the safari truck the children got their notepads out and started writing down notes about what facts to use! My nanny charge liked the fact that Giraffes have blue tongues.

 

After we went on the safari we stopped off at the cafe to grab some lunch. Don’t attempt to try and find the restaurant on the map – it doesn’t serve food any more! Just stick to the cafe by the buggy park, it serves hot and cold food and is right next door to the children’s play area.

We finished up our lunch and finished the walking route and the maze. Well I say we finished, We couldn’t find the dinosaur trail section. By this time it was almost 4pm and I knew the safari trucks would soon to stopping and it was getting late, so we had to call it a day. By the time we made it back up to the top of the zoo and had the kids face paints done and spent what felt like an eternity in the gift shop, we made it back to the car an hour later! Then after dropping off the six year olds friend we made it back home for 6pm. By 7:20pm I had cooked tea, the children had eaten, I had given the boys a bath and got the three year old to sleep. I think I deserve a medal.

Friday

Today we visited the trampoline park again with another one of the six year olds friends. We booked two hours this time round because one hour never seems enough for the boys. We had pizza for lunch and ice lollies to cool down. After we finished bouncing we went back home and played out in the garden to enjoy the rest of the sun before we had to take our little friend home.

Friday was a lot more relaxed day. I still got home and was fast asleep by 9pm though…

Enjoy the rest of your Easter Half term!

Come and look at what we got up to the first half of our Easter here.

Activities · Craft Activities · Gifts · Mother's Day · Nannying

Mothers Day Crafts

Hiya everyone, Mother’s Day is almost here!

This week I have been busy with my nanny children making some Mother’s Day crafts.

With my first nanny family we baked some shortbread cookies and I had the trio decorate a banner saying ‘Happy Mother’s day’. I then got them to pose with it so I could take a picture. Then I went to get the nicest picture developed (organising three children who are five years old and under in a photo is harder than it looks!) I then bought a pretty frame to put the photo inside. Mum loved it and keeps it on her desk in her office.

With my second nanny family (the boys) we bought a decopatch box to decorate with some decopatch tissue paper! The box would be a little jewellery box. We also made some jewellery for her new jewellery box made from air dry clay. See below what items we used and click the links to view more!

 

We also made a heart shaped necklace by using air dry clay. We used a cookie cutter to get the shape and used metallic purple paint too. If your choose to use metallic paint just be aware it can stain clothes so just be careful. You can use any type of paint though. If you see closely I got the boys to put their thumb print in the shape of the heart too, how sweet!

We also decided to make the same as the heart necklace but just make it into a keyring instead!

I hope you have enjoyed all of our Mother’s Day Crafts and that your Mum has a lovely Mother’s Day!

If you didn’t read my previous post about what the children made for mothers day last year for Mother’s Day then take a look here… Candle Making.

Activities · Nannying

Imaginative Play: Cooking

My three year old nanny charge loves his trains and cars and often uses imaginative play with those. But although he has pretend food and a play supermarket he just doesn’t play with them. So I thought I would give it another go and change things up a little to encourage him to play with it!

There was a little bit of cardboard that was on top of the recycling pile so I just used that. I used two different sized saucepans and drew around them on top of the cardboard to resemble cooking hobs. Then found a child height chest and popped the cardboard on top.

Time to get cooking!

I provided saucepans, cooking utensils, wooden spoons, cutlery, plates, cups, bowls, pretend food and a little bit of real food.

 My three year old loved it. He started to pretend to cook, dish up food, pour drinks and eat!

 

If you don’t already own some pretend food you can find it here. This pretend food set is great because it comes with a pretend knife and chopping board so you can cut the food up, how fun!

If you have enjoyed this imaginative play activity why don’t you try my dinosaur ice excavation activity!