How to Make Welly Plant Pots

I am a GREAT fan of gardening with kids and every year the kids and I make an effort to at least grow SOMETHING. Usually we have a go at growing sunflowers, tomatoes, beans and potatoes. We also have TONS of strawberries in the garden (they grow like weeds), some raspberries, a little apple tree and and a blueberry bush. We don’t get MUCH food from the garden, but we get enough to make it fun and interesting for the kids. I think it is very important for kids to understand where food comes from and what effort goes into growing it! We are by no means expert gardners, but like all activities with kids, it isn’t about being an expert, but about having a go and hopefully having fun! Last year the school nursery created this Welly Planter Wall.. and I thought it would be nice to share with you how to make welly plant pots! Welly planters are such a fun way to garden with kids!!!How to make welly plant pots! It is easy and fun and great way to upcycle!

We have a whole post about a recycled container garden over on Red Ted Art and 5 Thrifty Garden Ideas here. Like with all these things, gardening with kids should NOT be expensive, yet it is easy to get carried away and spend a LOT OF MONEY! Don’t… keep your pennies for buying seeds and keep the rest as simple as possible! If you do get tempted.. you could always get a little garden set like this for your child’s birthday or as a “no chocolate” Easter gift:

no candy easter gifts - kids garden tool set

Kids Garden Tool Set! This is so cute and simple.  US Readersfollow / UK Readers (similar) (affiliate links)

Now onto our welly planters and the best way to make them!

How to make welly plant pots – you will need 

old wellies (preferably ones you can no longer pass on!)

stones

compost

a drill of sorts

and of course seeds or small plants

How to make welly plant pots:

Like with all recycled containers that you use as plant pots, you will need to create a “drainage” system. You don’t want water logged plants. So..

  1. Begin by drilling a few holes on the bottom of your welly. Of course adults should do this.
  2. then fill with some stones or broken pot pieces. Take care NOT to clog up the holes
  3. Fill with compost.
  4. Plant your seeds.

Your wellies can either be free standing or hung up!

No Candy Easter Basket Ideas

I don’t know about you, but when we had “baby’s first Easter”, I was horrified at the amount of chocolate we received on behalf of the BABY! As my kids got older, it only got worse. In the earlier years – when they were toddlers and preschoolers,  I tried to avoid too much candy and too much chocolate and ensure they received some quality little gifts instead. It made for a far less unhealthy Easter Sunday! I thought I would put together a list of these no candy Easter basket ideas and hopefully these will help you too! You will see that they are a mixture of practical Easter gifts (so as not to “spoil them”), durable and educational Easter gifts (so they get something out of if it) and little “party bag” type Easter gifts – gifts to have fun with, “use up” and not to clutter up your house (man, how easily your house gets cluttered!!!).

When it comes to birthdays and Christmas, “they say” give them

  • something to wear
  • something they need
  • something to want
  • something to read

And I think you can apply this to Easter (on a much smaller scale of course). So here.. here we go No Candy Easter Basket Ideas!No Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Avoid too much Chocolate at Easter and take a peak at these wonderful ideas from Carrot bubble wands to squeaky egg shakers. Lots of fun quality ideas.

Affiliate links added for convenience!

No Candy Easter Basket Ideas

no candy easter basket ideas

Crayon Rocks – We have a set of these and they are so WONDERFULLY Tactile and fabulous to do art with. Make super little gifts too. (US readers / UK readers)

chick drinking cup

Chick Trainer Cup (There is a cute Bunny Version too!) US Only

no candy easter bucket ideas

Carrot and Chick Bubbles – US ONLY – but similar “Easter Egg Bubbles” for UK Readers!

alternative Easter gifts

BEST TODDLER TOY WE HAVE HAD. We were given a (similar) set a few years back.. and though simple, my kids delighted at it and have played with it for YEARS. Even now, they won’t let me “pass it on to friends” yet, as they enjoy playing with it in their toy kitchen and at pretend picnics! US readers / UK readers 

no candy easter gifts for toddlers - egg shaker toys

Wonderful Egg Shaker Toys made from wood! Adore the designs that these come in (especially the Ladybird!!) US Readers (4 or 10 pack)UK Readers (four in pack) 

shakers

Shaker Toys for babies and toddlers – what an ADORABLE new baby gift – these are textured, brightly coloured and make 3 different sounds. WONDERFUL US readers US readersUK readers

no candy easter baskets for toddlers

We are GREAT fans of Jellycat Bunnies and confess to own quite a few in our house (at least 6!!!!). I particularly like the “small ones” – they are so cute and perfect for taking everywhere… and come in all colours and designs. US Readers, for UK Readers the MEDIUM bunny is better priced!

no candy gifts for easter - easter bunny bib

Adorable Easter Bunny Bib! US readers / UK readers (similar)

no candy easter gifts - kids garden tool set

Kids Garden Tool Set! This is so cute and simple. Get kids interested in the garden and growing things! US Readers / UK Readers (similar)

no candy easter gifts (2)

Get a Kids Seed Start Kit to go with it. This Bunny Garden is ADORABLE!! US Readers Only

no candy easter gift ideas

Grow your own Nasturtium in this cute Zinc Watering Can (other flowers available too!) US readers / UK readers

no candy easter ideas

STACKING DUCKS – a great bath toy – lots of ways to play and learn: Pour, stack and float and parents can use it as a rinse cup too! Lovely!! US readers / UK readers

easter books for kids

Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs – a bright and jolly lift the flap book. With simple and delightful illustrations US readers / UK readers

easter books

That’s not my bunny – when my kids were growing up we **adored** the “That’s not my…” series. We had a number of them and this little bunny version is simply PERFECT for Easter. It has many textured pages with a repetitive text that will appeal to toddlers and preschoolers. US readers/ UK readers

(Or That is Not My Lamb – US readers/ UK readers)no Candy Easter Basket ideasHatch your own characters – Hatching Eggs – there is a selection of 6 different characters that “hatch over time” (yes, I get the fatal flaw, that bunnies down come from Eggs.. BUT my kids LOVE this sort of toy and it is a great NO CANDY Easter Basket alternative). US readers / UK readers

no candy easter basket ideas -dinosaurs

Hatching Dinosaur Egg – this is such a fun “experiment” for kids. Love it. US Readers (comes in packs of 12) UK readers (individual)

Here are some ideas of GIFTS YOU CAN MAKE for your Easter Baskets:

  1. Easy Bean Bag Juggling Chooks
  2. Easy Dinosaur Soap Eggs
  3. Easy Stone Ducks Play Set

Valentines Day Books for Kids

Yes, it is that time of year again to dig out the Valentines Day Books for Kids!!! We have a handful of lovely “love themed” books to read with the kids all year round, but Valentines Day is a great opportunity to dig them out again and talk about those we love and what Valentine’s Day actually means! I love discovering and reading new books with the kids all the time (and we have rather a huge collection of kids books in our house, I can never resist to get a new one…). But we do try and do a mixture of “new books” for our “Home library”, as well as reserving books at our local library and discovering new reads too! This year, I want to get each of the kids a Valentines Day Books for Kids, that they can bring into school with them and donate to the School Library. Here are a selection of some of the sweetest, cutest, but also FUNNIEST Valentines Day Books for Kids out there are the moment!!!

Valentines Day Book for Kids - a wonderful way to explore love and friendship with children and discuss the meaning of Valentines Day!

Affiliate links added for convenience!

Valentines Day Books for Kids

books about love - I Love You to the Moon and Back

I Love You to the Moon and Back (US/ UK)

I Love You, Stinky Face - valentines day booksI Love You, Stinky Face (US/ UK)

Consider love - valentines books for kids

Consider Love (US/ Uk)

valentines day books for kids - Won't You Be My Kissaroo

Won’t You Be My Kissaroo (US/ UK)

Valentines day books for kids - the night before valentines day

The Night Before Valentine’s Day (US/ UK)

Valentines Books For Kids - the Valentine's Bears

The Valentine Bears (US / UK)

Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch - books for valentines day for kids

Somebody Loves You Mr Hatch (US/ UK) (Here is a Valentines Activity to go with this book)

My Heart Is Like a Zoo - books about love for kids

My Heart Is Like a Zoo (US/ UK)

Love Monster - a book for valentines day

Love Monster (US / UK)

friendship stories for valentines day Penguin and Pinecone

Penguin and Pinecone (US/ UK)

Guess How Much I Love you - valentines day books for children

Guess How Much I Love You (Amazon Best Seller too!) (US/ UK)

Books about love for kids - Roses are Pink and Your Feet Really Stink

Roses are Pink and Your Feet Really Stink (US/ UK)

adorable books for kids - never to little to love - stories about love  

Never too little to love (US / UK)

There was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose - a fun book about love and valentines day

There was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose (US / UK)

valentines books for kids - the day it rained hearts

The Day it Rained Hearts (US/ UK)

So, I hope these Valentines Day Books for Kids are just what you are looking for! We love making things special with the kids.. you may also like to take a look at these Valentines Cards Kids Can Make? Find 25+ of the best and simple card making ideas for kids. You will find all sorts – cards for tots and cards for preschoolers, cards for older kids and cards just for you. Giant cards and small cards. Keepsake cards and printable cards.. take a look and get making!!

14-Valentines-Day-Cards-for-Kids-to-Make

You may also like these “No Candy Valentines Printables“:

No Candy Valentines Day Printable Ideas, these little gift ideas and play on words are genius!

Let’s Get Crafty Crafts for 2yrs olds+

As many of you know, I can’t resist a nice craft book review.. so when Cisco asked if I would like to take a look at two of the books in their Let’s Get Crafty series for 2yrs olds, I knew I wanted to take a look. Yes my kids are older now (6yrs and almost 8yrs) and YES, I have a host of craft inspiration at my finger tips over on Red Ted Art – Kids Crafts.. but I am always curious. Especially when it comes to the 2yrs old age group – which is bit of a tricky age to craft with. They are SOO WILLING and often not THAT able (yet). And crafting together, should, well be TOGETHER after all, right?

Also, my kids are at an age, where they are starting to have little craft sessions of their own.. so a book full of simpler projects is JUST RIGHT for them.

Check both titles in this Crafts for 2yrs olds series out online: UK Readers/ US Readers

crafts for 2yrs olds (3) crafts for two year olds

Crafts for 2yrs olds

So what did we think? Firstly.. my daughter went off with both books for a good read. That is usually a good sign. I can usually tell how good a book is by how long it engrosses her.. and she stayed engrossed for quite some time.

Finally, I managed to take a peak at the books and wrestle them off her and have a browse.

crafts for 2yrs olds (2)

The book really is filled with a great set of crafts for young kids. I love the combination of inexpensive materials and recycled materials, such as cardboard tubes to make bracelets and juice cartons to make ships.

I would say that there are a lot of childhood “classics” in here – like handprint trees and paper birds. But they are all wonderful childhood classics for a reason – and I feel every child SHOULD make these at one point in time.

The activities are easy, so the majority can be completed by a child, with help from an adult and I think these crafts and ideas would be particularly useful in a nursery and Reception class setting – where one teacher has to help many..

crafts for 2yrs olds (1)

The Felt and Fabric book is similar – felt is a GREAT material for younger kids to work with, as when you buy the right quality, you can glue it together instead of the need to sew. Similarly, if you are embarking on a how to learn to sew journey, then felt is also great for small hands getting the needle through the fabric.

Again, the projects are cute – I would say more diverse than in the paper book, but at the same time, suspect that they probably would require a bit more support from an adult. That doesn’t make them any less fabulous mind you!!

So if you have young children at home or work with young children, both these books would be a great resource!

Check both titles out online: UK Readers/ US Readers

DISCLAIMER: we received the copies for free in return for a review

How to Learn Your Times Tables

Yes… we are in the midst of the DREADED TIMES TABLES learning. Every child has to go through it at some stage, and boring as it is, I feel that learning your times tables WELL is a bit like learning to read – not quite of course, but if you can do your multiplications tables easily and well, SO MANY maths problems of the future intuitively fall into place. Divisions and fractions are ALL ABOUT your times tables, if you can see the relationship between numbers, you will find these topics much easier too. If you know that 6 x 4 = 24 and 24 = 4 x 6, but also 3 x 8 and 12 x 2…. well, there is all sorts of things you can work out………

So, boring as it is for my kids, we are LEARNING OUR times tables.. and we are LEARNING THEM WELL.

Unfortunately that involves a LOT OF learning by rote. I get my son to write them out over and over again ENDLESSLY. But we also use a some apps to practice the times tables.. we like SqueeblesTT  and 10 Monkeys (though my son doesn’t like the time pressure this comes with). I  also ask him multiplications randomly.. and focus on some of the really “hard to remember ones”.. for some reason, I feel that that is 8×7 and 8×8. We are also learning all our squares (2×2, 4×4 etc) as they give you reference points and have worked out tricks to remember the 9s.

All good. But it is still PRACTICE.

Here is a fun little game from the National History Museum.times tables learning game (5)

I was really keen to see if my son would like it.. and I confess to asking the PR for a review copy, they kindly obliged (thank you PR!!!).

times tables learning game (1)

The back comes in sets of 12 shiney cards and one set of 1, 2, 5, 10 cards. It has instructions of how to play about 5-6 different games and how to vary the difficulty level. Which is great. I feel that we have mastered out 1, 2, 5 and 10s.. BUT still like this round, as it gives my son much reinforcement and confidence to then move onto other combinations.

He REALLY enjoyed playing it (to my great surprise, as after all, he is till doing his times tables) and I think that this is a GREAT addition to our times tables learning. Especially, as it really introduces the “random element” of knowing your times tables well.

I think this would be a GREAT resource in schools – for group work or for one one – especially those children struggling to learn and practice at home!

Love them

DISCLAIMER: we received the game free of charge!