Harry and The Robots (Book & Craft)

Here is a little blast from the past – I was tidying through some images on my computer and spotted this little cutie – our Harry and the Robots book and simple craft to go with it!harry and the robots and robot junk modellingHarry and the Robots is part of a cute little series of “Harry and the..” books for young children (probably 2yrs – 5yrs?). Harry has lots of little friends – in this story it is Robots – they are inanimate objects that come to life when no-one is watching. In this story, Harry’s toy robot needs to be sent off to be repaired. Is is sad to see it go, so his wonderful Granny suggests that he make his own.. but that night Granny is taken ill and to hospital.

The family is confused and saddened, but Harry NEEDS to make those robots now more than ever. Eventually he does… and then they go to visit Granny in hospital, they come to life… and help Granny become better.

A sweet story of childhood innocence and one that both my children ADORED.

One day after reading the book, my son jumped up and said “I want to make a robot like in the book”. We rummaged through our recycling box to see if we could find different parts to make the robot. When you look closely at the book cover, can you see which robot we tried to have a go at?!

It was super simple and fun. We taped all the different parts together (easier than gluing). My son was SO happy with the result.

 

Make Your Own Zoo – Crafts for Kids

As many of you know, we are great fans of crafting.. we love nothing better than taking “old things” from the recycling box and turning into something new and wonderful…. We particularly like to craft with TP Rolls and have occassionally dabbled in Egg Carton Crafts (here and here). So when the publisher of this lovely little book – Make Your Own Zoo by Tracey Radford – asked if we anted to check the book out, I knew we simply had to… especially since both kids are now getting to the age, were they ADORE browsing craft books and picking out what they would like to make next.Cardboard Zoo Craft Ideas for Kids (12)

Cardboard Zoo Craft Ideas for Kids (11)

 

The Book is categories into – Safari Crafts, Jungle Crafts, Aviary Crafts, Aquarium Crafts and a nice section about making enclosures and scenery (to complete your Zoo craft efforts!Cardboard Zoo Craft Ideas for Kids (13)

My kids excitedly grabbed the book off me and then disappeared off with it for a few days. I could hear the occassional Ooh and Aah. There really are LOTS of super cute and clever little craft projects in this book. The kids had a go at making a panda on their own (a little tricky ON THEIR OWN, they are only 7 and 5), but I feel they managed v well, esp when they decided to substitute glue with tape!Cardboard Zoo Craft Ideas for Kids (7)

Love all the TP Roll crafts – thsi Giraffe is adorable…Cardboard Zoo Craft Ideas for Kids (2)But I have to say, I particularly like all the different birds – who would have thought you can make so many different cute little flying critters from an egg carton!?

All in all a sweet book for those that love to craft with recycled materials.. great for my kid’s age group – or for grown ups making for a play set for the kids.

I do think the kids need a bit of help cutting and sticking… but then again, that is what a nice craft session  is all about – sitting down together and getting crafty!

 

V&A Museum of Childhood (London) & National Doll Day

As many of you may know, we are a GREAT FAN of London and all the things that London has an offer to do with the Kids. Yes, London is busy and YES, London is expensive.. but if you plan your day right, you can have a fabulous day out at little cost. As “Sarf Londoners”, one place we had not had the time to visit was the V&A’s Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. When the lovely PR at Baby Born invited us to come along for National Doll Day, I thought it was finally the opportunity to make the “trek”.

It turns out, that it wasn’t much of a trek at all – as Bethnal Green is on the very handy and super fast CENTRAL LINE and the Museum of Childhood itself is only a stone’s through from the tube.

ENTRY IS FREE too, which is always a bonus.

Museum of ChildhoodWe had a fabulous time. I have to say that the Museum was much much MUCH better than expected. There is a great permanent exhibition of toys throughout history (until very recently too – we spotted things from 2013!). The kids adored see the toys and seeing if they could find things that they have or “already know from Daddy’s old toys”. The Museum is also “handily” interspersed with little activity stations and things to do – from a sensory area, to pretend tea, to robot mechanics and even a Sand Pit! The kids can dress up and create a puppet show or go on rocking horses.

If that isn’t enough, the Museum (on a Sunday), as lots of activity sessions for kids – we heard one singing session going and caught the Shadow Puppet show too.

As part of our day with the team at Baby Born, we had a go at Paper Doll making and playing with the new dolls out on the market. Though my kids were very shy at the Paper Doll making event itself, we took ours home and 2 weeks on, we have been colouring and cutting more and more and MORE paper dolls (printed off the internet). I am amazed at quite how much they have enjoyed this little arty project and for how long it has been going on!

Here is a little video we made about the Museum!

Such a fabulous day out and fantastic way to celebrate National Doll Day!

Thank you for luring us to Bethnal Green to finally visit this amazing museum and for the chance to get to play with all the latest Baby Born dolls!

Busy About Town

In my house, I FREQUENTLY call myself the pack horse, or the mule. Dumb enough to carry everything around for everyone. I am always handed things to hold, carry, keep store.  I am a moving dustbin and the carrier of everything. Something needed to be done…. I finally got round to getting *myself* a nice backpack for basically EVERYTHING (this is after my previous one, pre children, was stolen by my husband – arrrgh). Luckily the lovely people at Pink Lining to mercy on me and sent me one of their GORGEOUS Pink Lining Bags. Woohoo. I am so excited and so lucky!

When the bag arrived, it looked deceptively small. I was just a wee bit concerned… five days of Summer Holidays later, and I am more than pleased.. sturdy, pretty, spacious and so full of uses:11836796_10153507497166085_2990615146781193419_n

Day one – a tennis racket carrier (also contains, water, snacks, tennis balls and waterproofs).11816318_10153507496951085_8997657371522610975_o

Day Two: a Swim Bag Carrier – enough for two children to go swimming – contains, swim towels, hats, goggles, water, snacks, purse and a book for me to read11850752_10153507496566085_942712703885186962_o

Day Three – heading into town – yep, it don’t look big, but it has PLENTY of room for packed lunch for three (neatly packed of course).11039875_10153507496226085_4029754405699016221_o

Day Four: ah some me time.. whilst the kids complete their Art in Park session, I go for a little wander, enjoy the flowers and collect some pine cones for future crafting…11701117_10153507495961085_836606114677494976_nDay Five – a quick nip to the local supermarket for some, ahem, puddings.

Job done. Ruchsack is comfy to wear, looks oh soooo lovely AND is simply too practical. I am a pack horse, but a pretty one!

 

Days Out With Kids – Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum (London)


As we finally hit our stride this Summer holidays we are ready to go out on adventures and explore. There SO MANY things for the kids to do and see in London. And as “city dwellers”, I particularly enjoy seeking out activities for the kids that brings them closer to the wonders of Nature! One such Day Out, is a visit to the National History Musuem‘s Sensational Butterflies.

Sensational butterflies-037-310315

You are invited to “Step through the tropical greenery as the exhibition takes you on the transformational journey of one of nature’s most incredible life cycles. Following the trail leads you past munching caterpillars, jewel-like chrysalises and interactive displays, while hundreds of striking butterflies and moths flutter above your head.”

We have had the pleasure and amazement of observing the Butterfly Life Cycle before (you can order “caterpillar kits” online!) – but we never cease to marvel at the sheer wonder of it. This year, we didn’t have the opportunity to “observe the Butterflies” at home, so it was nice for us to go to this butterfly exhibition. The kids were excited to see the different Life Cycle stages right before the eyes.. My daughter actually saw a butterfly hatching (the others missed it). In some ways the experience here of seeing – caterpillars, cocoons (and so many different ones) and final butterflies, was more exciting as they didn’t have to wait days between the stages! The magic was happening right in front of us in the short time we were there.

AT Scientist butterfly House -008-150413

The children were also delighted that the wonderful butterflies, would land on our rucksacks and on one occasion on one of the children’s heads – staying there for AGES! It was quite magical (and looked like a butterfly fascinator!).

This exhibition is truly beautiful, spectacular and memorable. I love that not only can you simply enjoy the beauty of butterflies, but that you also get to learn about butterflies and their life cycles – see and observe for yourself. Learn about “friends and foe” and what butterflies and caterpillars eat. Right up close to nature. As kids that grown up in a city, these connections are so important to them (and me as their parent).

If you are considering a visit to London this Summer, I totally recommend you come along to the Sensational Butterflies, it is too beautiful to be missed. Combine it with a visit to the Dinosaurs at the National History Museum.. and then if you have time, head over to Hyde Park and check out the gorgeous Serpentine Gallery and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. The combination of these things makes for a FANTASTIC family day, creating treasured memories.

Disclaimer – we were invited along on a press trip to see the Sensational Butterflies.