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#Blogmas – Handmade Chocolate Treats

#Blogmas – Handmade Chocolate Treats

Both Chris and I have worked this week so haven’t really done a lot of Christmassy stuff with Isabelle so I said that we would do some crafty things at home. The first on the list was to make some handmade Chocolate treats to give as gifts to family.

Chocolate Orange Christmas Puddings

I pinched this idea off a work colleague as I thought they looked really great and who doesn’t like a Chocolate Orange.

Here’s what you need:

  • Chocolate Oranges (as many for the number of people you want to make for)
  • A big bar of white chocolate for the topping. Again the amount will depend on how many you are making. We made 5 and used a large bar of milky bar
  • Either ready made holly cake toppers or red and green icing to make your own.
  • Cellophane wrapping/bags to put them in
  • Ribbon for tying

We unwrapped the chocolate oranges and put them in a bun tin so that they didn’t roll away.

If making the holly and berry toppers yourself, cut these out and set to the side for later.

Melt the white chocolate and put a spoonful on the top of the chocolate orange allowing it to drip down the sides.

Add the holly and berry toppers and put into the fridge until set.

Wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbon.

Perfect and simple to make.

Christmas Chocolate Block

I’ve seen these many times on pinterest so we decided to make our own version.

What you will need:

  • A square shaped tin lined with greaseproof paper. We lined ours with foil as we found the empty greaseproof paper box in the cupboard.
  • Lots and lots of chocolate – We opted for three large sized bars of Galaxy, one had rice crispy bits in and the two other were milk chocolate.
  • White chocolate for a bit of swirling on the top
  • Toppings – We opted for Cadbury’s Snow Balls, Maltezers reindeers, sprinkles, silver balls, pink sugar crystals and red edible flakey glittery type cake toppings

Melt the milk chocolate and pot into the tin making sure that it covers the bottom.

We then melted the white chocolate chocolate and swirled it through the milk chocolate.

Bash up the Chocolate snowballs and sprinkly willy nilly on top.

All other toppings just get added to the top – perfect for the kids to do.

Pop into the fridge and wait to set.

Once set you can break into pieces and add to a cellophane bag as a lovely chocolate gift, or you could do what we did and sit in front of the telly and scoff the lot!

Enjoy x

 

Craft – Easter Pom Pom Painting

Easter Pom Pom Painting.

With each school holiday, the craft box inevitably comes out especially if it’s raining.

Isabelle loves all crafts so I use Pinterest as my inspiration for new ideas for us to do together.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

I saw the pom pom painting and wondered if it might have been a little bit young for her at six, but she absolutely loved the idea.

What I tend to do now is set up our ‘station’ with all the materials that we need and usually she’s over the moon at having something new to try.

What you will need:

White card
Wooden pegs
Poster paint
Craft Pom Poms

Pinch a pom pom with a wooden peg and allocate to the colour. You will need the same number of pegs and pom poms for each colour you choose.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Drawing an egg shape onto the card, use the pom poms to create a pattern of your choice.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Isabelle mixed it up a little bit by using different sized pom poms.

For younger children and pre-schoolers this would promote good hand eye co-ordination. Isabelle took it one step further by creating not just Easter Eggs, but dinosaur and alien eggs as well.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Once the eggs were dry we cut them out. I was going to make them into Easter Bunting but Isabelle thought that it would be a good idea to make an Easter Egg hide and seek game so we did that instead.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Happy Easter!

Lisa x

Mila & Pheebs Kids Boxes

Mila & Pheebs Kids Box Review

One of the things that Isabelle and I like to do together is arts and crafts. There isn’t a day that goes by without Isabelle drawing a picture, colouring or making something.

Arts and crafts is our go to thing to do when we haven’t got anything planned or it’s pouring down with rain.

Mila & Pheebs Stationery & Activity Box Review

 

Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Kids Box

Isabelle has inherited my love of stationery, and like me loves pens, notebooks, folders, clipboards and little pots of paperclips that we may never use.

When we were asked to review a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box we were very excited.

You can subscribe to Mila & Pheebs so that each month your child gets a surprise themed box through the post addressed to themselves with lots of lovely goodies inside. Even better, the box fits through the letterbox so theres no chance of missing the postie and having to collect it from somewhere.

One of the other things that Isabelle is obsessed with at the moment is kids Youtube videos. She usually watches surprise boxes being opened which are mostly American Girls opening ‘blind bags’ which contain all kinds of Disney Princesses, Shopkins or other such things.

Recently she’s started to talk in an American accent, and I’ve caught her loads of times pretending to make her own videos so I thought I’d give her a chance to have her 15 minutes of fave and let her introduce what came in the Mila & Pheebs box so over to Belle!

I’m a huge fan of kits like this which can easily be packed away to do on a journey, taken to Grandparents house or brought out for rainy days.

Each box is packed full of all you would need to complete the task and has several different things in the box to do.

We got:

  • A pencil with a donkey rubber topper
  • A really cute cow rubber which comes apart (including detachable nose)
  • Colouring-in sheets
  • A horse hand puppet kit
  • Animal shaped crayons (Isabelle called these rubbers in the video)
  • Farm Animal foam stickers
  • A maze and wordsearch sheet
  • A piggy notepad with pigs to colour in
  • Plain cards and envelopes
  • Sheep decoration kit
  • A felt chicken paperclip (might have pinched that)
  • Glittery farm animal stickers

So as you can see, you get a lot for your money.

Mila and Pheebs Review

You can subscribe to the boxes which you will receive each month, and each month has a different theme. You can also unsubscribe at any time for times when you may be away. There is also an option to buy a one off which would make a lovely gift.

We had great fun making the horse which we did on a day after school when the weather was a bit pants and Isabelle fancied something fun to do. I was quite intrigued watching her with her concentration face on, determined to do the sewing part from beginning to end.

Mila and Pheebs Review

 

Mila and Pheebs Review

The Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Box gets the thumbs up from us!

AND if you like what you’ve seen/read then you can get 10% OFF your first subscription by adding ‘babynotincluded’ until 31st March – would make a fab Easter Egg alternative.

Lisa x

*We were sent a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are 80% Isabelle’s and 20% mine.

Kids Crafts – Build a Bottle Bird Feeder

Kids Crafts – Build a bottle bird feeder

Easy to do kids craft. Make a bottle bird feeder using things that you’re likely to already have around the house. Pop it into the garden and keep an eye out to see what birds visit your garden.


Sainsbury’s Bank Guide to Build a bottle bird feeder

We’ll let you know how we get on and please show us yours on our Facebook Page and we’ll reveal ours as well. 

Lisa

 

Valentines Day Card Craft

Valentines Day Card Craft

Valentines Day Card Craft – With Valentines Day just around the corner what perfect excuse to get the kids to be a spot of crafting by making their Valentines Day Card.

Valentines Day Card Craft

What you will need: 

  • Either pre-bought cards or white card folded in half
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Coloured tissue paper

valentines_day_card

What to do:

Depending on the size of your card, cut a large heart shape to fit.

Cut up the tissue paper into small squares. We used pale pink, bright pink and purple.

Screw up the pieces of tissue paper and glue onto the heart shape.

Valentines Day Card

Keep going until you’ve covered the whole heart.

Glue the heart into place on the card and voila!

valentines_day_card
All you need to do now is decide who you’re going to send it to.

Lisa x

 

Sensory Play – Cloud Dough Recipe

Cloud Dough Recipe

This cloud dough recipe is a great one to make when you haven’t got anything planned using things that you would usually have at home already.

You will need:

All purpose flour
Vegetable oil
Oil based food colouring or powder food colouring
Mixing bowl
A tray for play

Cloud dough can be made by mixing 1 cup of vegetable oil to 8 cups of flour.

cloud_dough_recipe
To make coloured Cloud Dough, divide the mixture between the amount of colours you require.

cloud_dough_recipe
Based on this ratio we made three colours so used 1/2 a cup of oil to 4 cups of flour and mixed the colour into the oil before adding to the flour.

Cloud Dough Recipe
Once mixed, add to a tray or sensory bin and let the kids loose. Give them a selection of cutters, spoons, cups and play things and let them enjoy. We used shells, pebbles, biscuit cutters, playdoh shapes, plant pots (for making sand castles) and then added some glitter which Isabelle really enjoyed.

cloud_dough_recipe
This is perfect for the garden and any spillages can be hosed away. This can be kept for as long as your little one will play with it and will not harm them if they have the odd sneaky taste.

The dog even got in on the action and as you can see he thought it was a tasty treat.

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

 

 

Rainbow Bubble Snakes

Rainbow Bubble Snakes

Rainbow Bubble Snakes – I’ve seen these on a few blogs recently so thought I would give it a try with my daughter who is a huge fan of bubbles.

Rainbow Bubble Snakes

What you will need:

  • An empty plastic bottle
  • Duct tape or elastic band
  • A sock
  • Washing up liquid
  • Food colouring

Cut the end off your plastic bottle and put the sock on the end (we had quite a selection to choose from).

rainbow_bubble_snakes

Secure with either duct tape or an elastic band.

rainbow_bubble_snakes
In a tray or washing up bowl mix some washing up liquid with water (a good squirt).

Dip the sock end in the mixture and gently blow.

To make rainbow bubbles, add a few drops of colouring onto the sock before dipping into the mixture.

rainbow_bubble_snakes Make a few and see who can make the longest bubble snake.

The colour didn’t work too well but the kids really loved making these and we would definitely do it again on a stay at home day.

Just a quick note that younger children may need reminding to blow rather than suck. It doesn’t taste very nice.

Lisa x

 

Baby Sensory Play – Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

Entertaining your little ones can be tricky sometimes and the abundance of colourful plastic can be overwhelming for your baby or toddler. These easy to make Baby Sensory Bottles will give them hours of fun.

Hands up if you’ve bought a present and the box gets more attention than the actual gift. Babies and children have the most amazing imaginations and the simplest of things such as emptying the pots and pans and a wooden spoon can give hours of fun.

Not all play things have to be conventional ‘toys’ so we’re going to bring a series of ideas for sensory play and crafts to keep your baby, toddler or pre-school child/ren entertained.

Baby Sensory Bottles

What you will need:

  • Clear plastic bottles
  • Rice
  • Oil (can be whatever edible oil you have in the cupboard)
  • Food colouring in colours of your choice
  • Glitter
  • Sparkly Craft Items
  • Beads
  • Superglue
  • A funnel

Shaky Sensory Bottle

Before you start you will need to colour the rice. All you have to do is measure out how much rice you will need to filling the bottle you will be using so that it’s about three quarters full and then separate it into bowls and add a few drops of food colouring. You may need to leave this for a little while so that the colour doesn’t transfer onto the bottle.

Baby Sensory Bottles

In the meantime you can choose what you would like to add to your bottle. We added a selection of coloured glitters, pom poms, coloured plastic beads and a selection of craft sequins and shapes.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Once the rice is dry, using a funnel (I used a jug as I don’t have one) add the rice to the bottle and with a bit of superglue screw the lid on. We finished this off with some coloured tape to make it extra nice.

And Shake………..

Baby Sensory Bottles

Water Sensory Bottle

For this bottle you need to fill up your bottle to about a third of the way up and add a few drops of food colouring of your choice. We added some coloured glitter to make it extra pretty. Then fill the bottle with the cooking oil of your choice leaving about an inch gap at the top. Again add a bit of superglue before screwing on the lid, and we added some coloured tape for prettiness.

Baby Sensory Bottles

AND Shake…… the water and oil will separate giving a lava lamp effect.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

We’d love to see your Sensory Baby Bottles so either leave a comment with a pic or pop over to our Facebook Page and upload one.

Lisa x

 

 

Easter Crafts – An Easter Bonnet

Easter Crafts – An Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Now that Isabelle’s at preschool we have all the usual parent pressures such as having the best World Book Day costume and baking a batch of fantastic cakes at the drop of a hat for the Friday cake sale.

We love arts and crafts and make all sorts on a regular basis, but when you have to put it out the for the world (ok school) to see the pressure is immense.

So where do you look for inspiration?

Pinterest has become the first place I look when in need of any ideas. I’ve even set up an Easter inspiration board so pop over for some fab bits that I found.

Our hat ended up lookjng fantastic but it was really easy to make and won Isabelle first prize in her preschool Easter Bonnnet Parade.

Easter Bonnet

We bought an easter craft kit from Sainsbury’s which was £5.00 and came with all kinds of foam bits and bobs. Isabelle being Isabelle didn’t want to follow any of the instructions so did her own thing.

Easter Bonnet

She was so eager to start that she didn’t even get dressed before we started.

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

The tissue paper was so easy to do. She’s a bit glue happy and slops it on but tissue is really great to work with as it doesn’t really matter if it rips. just scrunch it up and carry on!

Easter Bonnet

So after a LONG while when all the glue was dry we added the individual pieces such as the rabbit and flowers with just a bit of help from Mummy.

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Here is the finished hat from all angles.

Easter Bonnet

And a very happy Isabelle x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk