P is for Pirate – Dress Up Pirate Craft

The Girl has been “doing” Pirates at school – they have a big ocean and under the sea theme going over the coming weeks and all the children seem to be really enjoying it! Next week they get to dress up as Pirates, Mermaids or underwater creatures and they are all looking forward to it very much! We have been exploring lovely pirates books and had a fun little pirate craft to do (as part of their homework) – the kids got to dres up their own pirates using a basking “gingerbread man template”. A simple activity, that looks wonderful. You could make a set of these and string them up as pirate bunting, or stick them onto the front of cards a pirate party invites.

Pirate Books and Crafts for Girls and Boys

We also read some lovely pirate books.. here are some of our favourite:

pirate books for girls

US Readers 

UK Readers (affiliate links)

A great book all about a little Pirate girl Molly. The meany pirates capture Molly and try and hold her for ransom.. but little do they know who her mum and her auntie and her cousin and her granny and and and.. are… they are the fiercesome pirate ladies.  A great story for aspiring pirate girls. You see, you don’t have to be a boy to be a pirate.

This book went down VERY well when I read it to The Girls reception class.

pirate books for girls and boys

US Readers

UK Readers

(affiliate links)

A book written in prose, this tells the story of a little girl who is the only one in town to befriend the new temporary neighbours. The rest of the town are filled with prejudices and dislike for the neighbours, only to find that they are hardworking, kind and generous. A great moral to the story.

Both really great stories!

More Pirate books to check out

10 Little Pirates (US Readers, UK Readers)

The Night Pirates (US Readers, UK Readers) – girl pirates steal the front of the house!

Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs (US Readers, UK Readers)

And here our Pirate Craft

This is super easy to set up – you will simply need some crafty bits and bobs – fabrics or coloured card, some glue (glue stick should work fine too), some gems if you have them, some foil for sorts… feathers would be great for hats or parrots…. wool for beards… see what you have and let your imagination run wild as you create your very own PIRATE! Harhar.

pirate crafts

pirate crafts for kidsAfter all our pirate girl books, The Girl, still decided on a big bearded boy pirate.. but that is just fine! Have a great piratey day!

LOTS more Pirate Crafts ideas here:

100 Days of Play – Get Active with Music

DancingWell, so excited that it is our turn to share our play activity with you today. You can find all the info about the 100 days of play in my earlier post.  Since then we have had 16 great play ideas which you can see on Sun Scholars’s PLAY page. I also wrote  about the Importance of Play (Part 1) and Part 2 over on Red Ted Art. Go over and have a read and see our play ideas there!

mommy playdate button

The play challenge is about simple play ideas that you can do on a daily basis. Some may be more extravagant, others may be 5 minutes worth of simple playful fun. I love it when we play and also get active.. so I challenge you to:

  1. Putting on some music that the kids love
  2. And have a DANCE!!!!!!
  3. Go wild. Go crazy. Have FUN.

I am sure it will leave you feeling invigorated and the kids will love the attention! We did just this at the weekend. But as I was mid silly dance (and really you do not want to see me doing my silly dance), I share with you a little dance the kids did about 18 months ago. But you get my drift!

So. Off you go and have a boogie!!

It’s Play Time – The 100 Days of Play Challenge!

So.. the next 100 days are all going to be about PLAY!! Hooray. What child doesn’t love to PLAY. Sun Scholars launched this play challenge, to get her playing more with her kids. So we thought we would get together and motivate other (busy) mums to play more.

mommy playdate button

The problem is that day to day life is busy. There are school runs to go, meals to cook, work to do, chores to be completed. Where is there time for play?! The challenge is to get you to commit to play – in whatever way works for you – if you are a working mum with a busy schedule – then maybe you can find 15 minutes at the weekend. If you are a stay at home mum (with an equally busy schedule), maybe you can squeeze in 5 minutes of daily play before you do the dishes?

The play challenge is also a great time to think about “one on one” time, which is invaluable quality time with each of your children.

To help you on your play journey, we are hosting a 100 Days of Play over at Sun Scholars – each day a different blogger’s play idea will be featured. Don’t feel you HAVE to do this every day. But come and take a peak to be inspired by these ideas. Especially, on a day, when you just don’t have the play motivation.

We have also started a 100 Days of Play pinterest board – where we will share the Play Blog Post ideas – and if you have any photos you would like to send, it, please share them on our Facebook pages to add to the pinterest board! Either on Sun Scholars or Life At The Zoo!

If you need ideas on the go. Try out Play Apps such as

Spit-Spot-new-screen-shotiphone appsThe Spit Spot Activity App:

This clever little App lets you search by Type, Duration, Age or location.

Type gives you Activity, Food, Pretend, Noisy, Messy and Thinky ideas

Age – let’s you chose <5, 5-8 and 8+

Duration – between 10- 60 minutes and

Location -lets you choose between indoors and outdoors. The ideas vary from simple to complex – e.g. let your kids take photos on your phone, to building your own crazy golf.

imgresMake Time To Play

Similarly there is also a the “Make Time To Play” App. This one has another set of play ideas – sorted by age groups, number of players, duration and whether you are out and about, at home or in car! Many play ideas are familiar to me already – but that doesn’t make them any less good. The app is a great “reminder” of what games to play as and when. Ideas range from “Car Snap” to “Creating Collages” and “Treasure Hunts”.

And keep checking out Sun Scholars’s PLAY page for all the latest posts.

Sooo what is stopping you? It is time to PLAY!!!

These bloggers will be taking part:

SunScholars . Frogs, Snails & Puppy Dog Tails . Playful Learners . Train Up a Child . Fantastic Fun & Learning . Scribble, Doodle & Draw . Learn. Create. Love. . Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas . Nothing if Not Intentional . My Little 3 & Me . Buggy & Buddy . Sun Hats & Wellie Boots . Twodaloo . True Aim . The Educators’ Spin On It Blog Me Mom .Life At The Zoo . Putti’s World . Kitchen Counter Chronicles . Triple T Mum . Busy Kids Happy Mom . Crystal’s Tiny Treasures . Rainy Day Mum . Momma’s Fun World . My Little Bookcase . Craftulate . One Perfect Day . MumCentral . Artchoo! . Little Artists . Simple. Home. Blessings. . JDaniel4’s Mom . NurtureStore . Me & Marie Learning .Child Central Station . Mamas Like Me . Making Boys Men . Powerful Mothering . Craft to Art . 3 Dinosaurs . Domestic Goddesque . Lessons Learnt Journal . Royal Baloo .Smiling Like Sunshine . Adventures at Home with Mum . B-Inspired Mama . PragmaticMom . Eazy Peazy Mealz . Gluesticks . TheBoy&Me . Learning is Messy . My Nearest & Dearest . Growing Book by Book . How to Run a Home Daycare . Here Come the Girls . Think Magnet Dandelions Picked . 123 Homeschool 4 Me . Our Ordinary Life .Parenting with Professor Poppins . 2 Little Hooligans . Fun-a-Day! . The Non-Martha Mamma . Angelique Felix . My Very Educated Mother . Creative Playhouse . Go Explore Nature . Zing Zing Tree . Sense of Wonder . Childhood 101 . Crayon Freckles . KZ & Me . Serenity You . This Mumma’s Life . Leapfrog & Ladybugs . Blue Bear Wood .Growing Together . KC EDventures . Mommy Lessons 101 . Nature & Play . Like Mama Like Daughter . Mums Make Lists . From Wine to Whine . Messy Kids . Babble Dabble Do . Sugar Aunts . Teaching @ Home . Preschool Powol Packets . Clothed in Love . Curiosity Creates . The Magnolia Barn . Strong Start . Toddler Approved

Pocket Playground – 50 Ways to Entertain Your Kids with 8 Items

Oooh, when the lovely people from Ribena, sent me this list of “Pocket Playground” ideas… I knew I had to share it with you…. I love the idea of carrying 8 different items and being able to turn these 8 items into 50, asyou go play opportunities. Read all about the importance of play here: Ribena Plus Play Report – a fantastic resource and source of information for any parent.

I am telling you – the next long train journey or holiday we go on, I WILL be taking the play list, plus the 8 items with me! FABULOUS!

(it helps that we have these exact same dollies already!!!!)

Ribena Plus Pocket Playground

  1. Coloured threads (at least 3 colours)
  2. Coloured paper
  3. Drawing / colouring pencils
  4. Small wooden shapes and building blocks
  5. Modelling clay (or homemade playdough)
  6. Beads (under supervision)
  7. Cardboard pieces
  8. Toy people

50 things to do with the Pocket Playground 

1.   Make a bracelet using thread and beads

2.   Play ‘hot and cold’ by hiding toys and answering hot or cold to questions from other players trying to find them

3.   Create your very own board games using cardboard, pencils and wooden shapes / people as pieces

4.   Weave your own friendship bracelets using coloured thread

5.   Long hair is perfect for braiding using the coloured thread

6.   Play a game of cat’s cradle using thread

7.   Design and decorate your own paper crowns

8.   Create a town for toy people using the modelling clay to make trees, houses and streets

9.   Create your very own game of snap using paper and pencils

10.Make paper airplanes and see how far they fly

11.Learn the art of origami and make a bird with flapping wings

12.Make masks with thread and paper and decorate them with beads and drawings

13.Make a concertina fan with paper and colour it in

14.Build a castle / spaceship / house with wooden blocks

15.Create famous landmarks with the blocks and modelling clay. Who can make the Eiffel Tower or the Angel of the North?

16.Build a house for the toy people using cardboard, modelling clay and pencils

17.Make impressions in the modelling clay with things from around your home, garden or things you have collected on family days out e.g. shells, leaves and tree bark

18.Take leaf, bark and coin rubbings with the paper and pencils

19.Push small items (match sticks, buttons, paperclips, paddlepop sticks, googly eyes) into the modelling clay to create faces or weird and wonderful sculptures

20.Create a modelling clay bakery. Make cupcakes, doughnuts and pastries

21.Create the alphabet or spell your name using moulded modelling clay

22.Build a tower with the blocks. How many blocks can be added before it tumbles down? Who can build the highest tower?

23.Shut your eyes and identify the shape of the blocks by hand. It’s not easy!

24.Create a dream catcher with cardboard, beads and thread

25.Create a ‘magic bird’ spinner – draw a bird on one side of a circle of card and a cage on the other.  Make two small holes in the centre and pull through the thread, making loops for fingers at each end. Wind up each piece of string (by spinning the card round) and then, once wound up, pull the string tightly at each side – the bird will seem to appear in the cage!

26.Create medals for games, using the cardboard, modelling clay and string – first, second and third – and use these for whoever wins!

27.Make a rattle – attach beads to a piece of card using the thread and attach to a pencil.  Then when you twist the pencil between your fingers, the beads hit the card and make a sound

28.Wherever you are, arrange some objects and draw a still life picture with the paper and pencils

29.Make a cardboard robot, using the thread to hold it together and beads for eyes.  And give it modelling clay hair

30.’Names in the hat’ – everyone writes names of well-known people on pieces of paper, folds the paper and places in a hat or tub.  Then take it in turns to pick a name out and describe that person without using the initial letter or any rhyming words. Go through as many words as possible in a time limit

31.Use the thread for finger knitting. Make mini scarves for the toy people

32.Make mini pom poms with the thread

33.Create an imaginary mini sweet shop using beads as sweets

34.Make your own beads using modelling clay and thread

35.Make a mini game of draughts

36.Create sculptures of your family using the modelling clay and beads

37.Write down some objects on pieces of paper and fold them over. Take it in turn to pick an object and mould it from modelling clay. The other player(s) have to guess what you have moulded

38.Make your own Bingo game using card, paper and pencils

39.Draw lots of circles on a piece of paper. On the first go one player draws an object – e.g. cat.  The next person has to guess what it is and then draw another object in the next circle which begins with the last letter (so perhaps a tiger) and so on

40.Draw a well-known person e.g. a TV, celebrity, sports star or politician – everyone has to guess who it is!

41.Have a game of noughts and crosses or hangman

42.Make a fortune teller – folding your paper into a ‘rose’ and using it to tell the future!

43.Play a game of ‘Boxes.’ Draw dots randomly all over the paper. The first player draws a line between any two dots, and draws another dot in the middle of that line. The next player draws a line between any two dots, and puts a dot in the middle of that line. No lines may cross each other but they don’t have to be straight, so they can loop around other lines. Only three lines in total can emerge from any one dot. The dots put in the middle of the lines already have two lines connecting them to the two other dots, so they can only have one more line. The game continues until no more lines can be drawn. The person who draws the last line is the winner

44.Play ‘Why? Because.’ Each person writes down a question beginning with why (for example, ‘Why do dogs bark?’). Fold the top over to hide the question, and pass to the next player who, without looking at the question, writes an answer starting with Because (for example, ‘Because chocolate tastes good’). Then read out all the questions and answers – there’ll be some funny answers!

45.Play a game of ‘Monster Consequences.’ Draw a head on a piece of paper, then fold and pass on. The next player draws a torso and passes it on. The next person draws legs and the next draws feet. Open out the paper and see what monsters you’ve created

46.Play a game of ‘Written Consequences.’ Along the same lines as Monster Consequences but instead of drawing a monster, write down in turns: well known man’s name, well known woman’s name, a particular location, he said, she said and then the consequence. An amusing story should unfold!

47. Trace around your hand and adorn your drawn hand with jewellery, either drawn on or using the beads

48. Put on a play with the toy people and the objects

49. Make little drum kits with the wooden shapes and pencils

50. Play ‘Mini Boules’ with by rolling beads. Use the paper as your boules green

What do you think? Isn’t this simply FABULOUS? So many great ideas in one little bag of “bits”. Hooray for Pocket Playgrounds and on the go games and activities.

This is a sponsored post

Apple Playdough

Well.. you know that The Imagination Tree is my huge Playdough inspiration. I did make some “scented cook playdough” on Red Ted Art many moons ago, but The Imagination Tree’s NO cook playdough is far superior and SO easy to make!

apple playdough

The Girl ordered some Pink Playdough. Her playmate ordered some Green Playdough. And then I thought: ooooh Apple Playdough!! Especially since the girl LOVES playing with sticks and leaves. Here we go (with this No Cook Recipe).

apple playdough

Thank you The Imagination Tree for continuing to inspire me to PLAY and not “just” get crafty with my kids!!!