Toddle About Blog

Rainbow Town Craft for Children

If you prefer to use print-ready doors and windows, you can download the free printable from www.boxofideas.uk/town

If you prefer to use print-ready doors and windows, you can download the free printable from www.boxofideas.uk/town

Spread joy and help the planet by making a rainbow town full of colourful buildings, shops and homes. A fun DIY kids craft made out of household recycling.

You will need:
* Recycled boxes and cardboard tubes.
* Coloured paper
* Glue or tape
* Scissors
* Anything to add colour (paint, crayons, markers etc)
* A black marker to draw the doors and windows.

Instructions:
1. Wrap the boxed and cardboard tubes with paper.
2. Colour-in and cut-out your windows and doors, then paste then to the boxes or cardboard tubes.
3. For the roofs, tape a piece of paper to the top of your boxes and tubes.
4. Place your buildings on the floor if you want to be able to move them around or glue them to a big piece of cardboard if you want to make them stay in one place. Old pizza boxes are great for this!
5. Use your creativity and whatever recycling bits you have to add any extra details to make your town unique. For example, use milk bottle lids to make decorative plant pots!


Box of IdeasRodrigo Macias is the Early Years Teacher behind Box of Ideas, a website full of fresh activities and inspiration for outstanding Early Childhood education. Check out all the ideas and free resources at boxofideas.uk

Review: Stib Inspirational Colouring Pencils, worth £6.95

Stib Inspirational Colouring PencilsReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Katie Guest.

On receipt of these pencils, the first thing that struck me was the cure, natural looking tube packaging which would attract a variety of ages. On opening the tube, I was surprised to find now only a dinky set of chunky colouring pencils, but there was also a sharpener and a lovely activity sheet.

As stating on the packaging, each pencil is printed with an inspiring word. Each word matches with a ‘Stibler Animal Character’ all of which are printed on the activity sheet. Sadly most of the activities were a bit too advanced for my just-turned 2 year old, but for an older child (probably 3+) I think it would keep them entertained for a good while! Continue reading

Scrumptious Slime

Scrumptious SlimeThis slime slows like liquid but can be rolled like a solid – and the best part is that it’s edible!

Here’s what you’ll need:

* Saucepam
* Plastic Sandwich Bag
* 10g (1 tbsp) Cornflour/Cornstarch
* 45ml (3 tbsp) Chocolate Syrup
* 395g (14oz) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Instructions:
1) Pour the mil into the saucepan and heat on a low heat.
2) Slowly stir the cornflour into the warm milk. Continue heating and stirring over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
3) Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate syrup.
4) Place in a sandwich bag and refrigerate.
5) Once cold, roll and squeeze into any slimy shape you want – and watch it flow! Continue reading

Mister Maker Melon Fans

Watermelon FanHead into Summer and cool yourself down with a gigantic melon slice!

YOU WILL NEED:

  • White paper plate
  • Glue stick
  • Green and dark pink colouring materials (paints or markers)
  • Black dot stickers
  • Wooden lolly stick

Follow our handy instructions to make a Watermelon fan:

1. Fold and glue a paper plate in half.
2. Colour the folded plate to look like a watermelon slice
3. Colour the rim of the paper plate green, to look like the rind.
4. Leave a small border white and then colour the centre of the plate pink, to look like the flesh.
5. Add black dots to the pink section of the melon to look like the seeds.
6. Glue a lolly stick to the back of the plate to make a handle.

 

 

Continue reading

Summer Events for Families and Their Little Ones

Summer-FunMake the most of the Summer Holidays with these great days out.

Northamptonshire

Outdoor Cinema
Saturday 21st July: 10.30am – 6.30pm

Pack some popcorn in your picnic for the annual Family Cinema Day. There will be two sessions during the day, starting with Paddington 2 at 10.30am, followed by Coco (both PG). The afternoon screening will begin at 3pm with Coco, followed by Paddington 2.

Entry is Free.

Daventry Country park, Northern Way, Daventry, NN11 2JB.  01327 871100.  www.daventrydc.gov.uk/countrypark Continue reading

It’s Welly Time: Winter Days Out and Half Term Activities

Whatever the weather, wrap up, go out and most importantly, have fun!

Whatever the weather, wrap up, go out and most importantly, have fun!

Get your woollies and wellies on and brave the winter weather to enjoy these fab days out.

Northants

Mini Meadows Farm: Lambing
From February half term.

Bottle-feed lambs and meet other cute newborn animals in the baby barn. Explore the exciting new indoor play area and don’t forget the larger animals will be waiting to meet you! £5 entry (under-twos free). £1 a bottle.

Naseby Road, Northampton, NN6 6HZ.  07824 393517.  www.minimeadowsfarm.com

Continue reading

More Than Just A Mess

During messy play, babies and pre-schoolers are given creative freedom.

During messy play, babies and pre-schoolers are given creative freedom.

By Jo Powell, (BA Hons, PGCE), founder of Arty Splats

Messy Play might look like just a chance to play and get mucky, but it is actually a huge educational opportunity.

Messy play can often conjure up negative images and can be seen as stressful and hard work for adults, both at home and in childcare settings. Looking beyond the mess, it is well documented by education experts, such as Bernadette Duffy, that messy play makes a huge contribution to babies’ and pre-schoolers cognitive and creative development.  Engaging in high quality messy play experiences also helps children’s development towards their Early Learning Goals as set out by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Messy play involves children using all of their senses in the process of exploration in which they use materials to manipulate and mould.  Messy play is unique as it offers all children a chance to explore rich textural experiences regardless of language, age or ability.  There is no right way to engage with the materials on offer so all children can feel part of a group. This type of play benefits all babies and pre-schoolers but is also recommended by professionals such as dieticians to address ‘fussy eating’ and sensory processing issues.   Continue reading

Find out where you can meet Santa this Christmas

Where's SantaChristmas is on its way, which means Santa is Coming to Town! If you would like to know where you can meet him in Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, read on…

Where to find Santa in Northamptonshire

Santa Special Trains
Sunday 26th Nov. Every weekend in December up to Christmas Day.

Come along to visit Santa in his Magical Grotto and then take a train ride along the Northampton & Lamport Railway from Pitsford and Brampton station. Every child will receive a present from Santa, a soft drink and biscuits.

Northampton & Lamport Railway, Pitsford & Brampton Station, Pitsford Rd, Chapel Brampton, NN6 8BA.  www.nlr.org.uk

Continue reading

Simply Fang-Tastic: Halloween, Tuesday 31st October.

Party Pieces HalloweenThrow a devilishly fun Halloween party for your little ones this year with some of these fantastic ideas from Carole Middleton and our friends at partypieces.co.uk.

FREAKY FANCY DRESS

Your little one may not be ready to trick-or-treat on their own, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the Halloween fun. Costumes come in all shapes and sizes and there are even ones for the smallest of babies. Spidery temporary tattoos are also hugely popular.

If you have a few children to entertain try setting up some trick or treat ‘scary stations’ around the house and garden for them to enjoy. Simply hide an assortment of toys and treats along the way. Our particular favourite is to fill buckets with squidgy jelly eyes, slippery sweet snakes plus a good handful of plastic spiders and creepy crawlies – eek!

You will no doubt get some bogeymen visitors to your house too, and kids love the opportunity to scare these unsuspecting ghouls. Decorate your front door to let your neighbourhood know you welcome trick or treaters. Little ones will love answering the door to all sorts of crazy creatures and handing out the treats. Continue reading

REVIEW: Lift-the-Flap and Colour Books: Forest & African Animals, £5.99 each

Lift-the-Flap Colouring BooksReview written by Toddle About VIP Club member, Caroline Temple.

We were excited to get two lift the flap and colour books, as it’s a concept I’ve not come across before. I’ve got an 18 month old (Jacob) and a 4 year old (Ben), these books are aimed at 2 years plus, so it was a challenge to keep Jacob away from them as we were colouring, as he loves lift the flap books!

As these books are story books that we were potentially going to be reading in the future, I wanted to make sure that they looked half decent, so I helped Ben more than I usually would! The upside of this was that I enjoyed the colouring too. We are big natural history fans in this house, so I had high hopes as these books are published in association with the Natural History Museum. Continue reading