Toddler Printable Library in a Box!

If like me you have a child that absolutely adores libraries, stickers, stamps and books then I have the perfect Toddler Printable Library in a box for you!

Joss loves our local library and asks to help stamp the books when we pop in on a Saturday, I wanted to recreate this as a play activity we could do during her quiet time at home. She’s really into role play so this will make a nice change from playing ‘shops’ for a while!

I made Joss a little Library Box with bookplates, a date stamp, library cards and stickers and other stamps so that she can play ‘librarian’ at home, and now you can too!

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These Toddler Printable Library cards and labels are free for you to download and print as many times as you like! Just paste the label onto a shoebox, cut out the cards and bookplates and fill your box with stamps, ink, pens, stickers and hey presto, your little one is a Librarian!

Library label

library cards Printable cards

I’d love to see what you add to your own library boxes, if you print them pop back and let me know how your library play goes!

 

Natural ice lollies for babies with Nuby Fruitsicles

Nuby Garden Fresh

Nuby’s new Garden Fresh range gets a big thumbs up for promoting home cooking, designed for less waste so that home prepared food can be stored and frozen it prides itself on supporting Mummy Made Goodness.

We try to avoid processed foods where possible and I’ve always made home cooked meals for Joss so this range has big appeal taking you from preparing and storing through to serving up foods for your little one. New products like the Fruitsicles for making fresh ice lollies at home join old favourites like the Nibbler and weaning spoons, the range is really versatile and comes in lovely bright appealing colours for kids.

We often meet with friends we met through the baby led weaning group I co-run, we get together once a month or so to share food with our little ones, we sometimes get joined by new mums who are interested in baby led weaning and share recipes and ideas for home cooking that the whole family can enjoy (it’s where the idea for these potato pancakes came from, saving leftovers to make something totally different!).

Natural ice lollies for babies

As we’ve been having a spell of good weather I prepped a big batch of Fruitsicles for our meeting last week, as well as our famous fruity pack a punch toddler flapjacks! In keeping with the all natural theme we had bowls of blueberries and raspberries, yogurt smoothies and homemade houmous, yum!

The fruitsicles I prepared were jam-packed with fresh strawberries and two oranges that I had whizzed up in my blender, I kept it to a fairly thick pulpy consistency and then popped spoons of the mixture into the moulds. Each Fruitsicle is filled with two teaspoons of pureed fruit and so they’re great for portion control for babies and toddlers, and the soft grip handles are perfect for little hands.

fruitsicles

We met in the park and started with the Fruitsicles before they melted, they were a big hit, I had one too (for taste test purposes of course!) and these all natural ice lollies were really fruity and naturally sweet! I later made up a batch using some of the leftover yogurt smoothies but they were so popular they were gone before I could get the camera out (natural yogurt, banana and raspberry if you’re wondering how they were made!)

fruitsicles 2

Giveaway time!

Nuby have kindly given me a bundle of Garden Fresh products to give away including:

  • Fruitsicles

  • Nibbler

  • Suction Bowls

  • Coverall Bib

  • Grip N Sip Cup

win a nuby weaning bundle

If you’d like to get your hands on this huge bundle of goodies simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget and leave a comment on this post

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT – WELL DONE EMMA!

T&Cs – UK entries only, there is no cash alternative, winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter and informed within 24 hours of competition close

Fabric transfer paper gift ideas

These 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas were inspired by some great tutorials over at Wolves in London, Sabrina’s blog is a great resource and so I have to start this post by thanking her for introducing me to a great new craft addition! If you’re of the crafty ilk I urge you to check out her tutorials

I have been beavering away with making gifts for a while now, part of my moneysaving plan for birthdays and ahead of this Christmas I have been trying to make as many cards, gifts and wrapping as possible. I sort of hit on a slow period this Summer and decided to look around. When I saw Sabrina’s lovely fabric transfer projects I had to have a go and made a list of fabric transfer paper gift ideas. As I was going for a low cost base I picked up transfer paper in Poundland. Two sheets for a quid made all of these projects plus I have made a further ten tags, five mini cards and countless fabric drawstring bags! Essentially I pasted all the images I wanted to print into a Word document and adjusted the sizes til they fitted on two pages, then I printed them and cut out the images ironing them onto my projects as and when needed.

I sourced my images from a range of places, including by searching for ‘free vintage printables’ on Pinterest.

Here’s my rundown of 5 fabric transfer paper gift ideas

Five fabric transfer paper gift ideas

1 – Vintage sweetheart print gift tag with lace and pearl embellishment

Ironed onto some plain calico and then cut out and layered onto fabric this sweet tag was then embellished with a piece of lace from my stash and some pearl braid which I use for so many projects but picked up from my local fabric store for a bargain 5p a metre in their fantastic sale. I have since made oodles of these little tags, they make simple presents look really special!

2 – Children’s party favours or travel storage bags

I made this little calico bag in about ten minutes to store Joss’ farm puzzle pieces which kept getting lost. She loves this simple pig print and I think it would look great on a tea towel too! These would make cute party bags filled with sweeties or a little colouring book and crayons

3 – Fabric cards

This does what it says on the tin, I have loads of fabric samples and often stitch them freehand onto card but don’t always have complementary Happy Birthday stickers, instead I typed and printed up some Happy Birthday motifs to add to my cards!

4 - An Axolotl’y Fabulous Tee

Joss’ favourite word is axolotl, for those not in the know an axolotl is a ‘walking fish’ and there is one at our local museum. Joss loves them, she also loves printed tees but the chances of me ever finding an axolotl tee were pretty slim, now she has one! I know this won’t be for everyone but it’s made a Mama and her Girl very happy!

5 – Fabric drawstring storage bags for shoes, undies, you name it!

These become an altogether nicer gift for the addition of a little ironed on motif, this beachcomber print is perfect for my seaside loving girl and stores her precious cuddly toys, I made myself one with a print of a pair of special shoes and another to give as a gift with the recipient’s name printed on.

I hope you like these fabric transfer paper gift ideas, if you have a go yourself do let me know what you make!

Toddler pinwheels for picky eaters

Real Life

I’ve been re-blogging this post about how to handle not being able to breastfeed for World Breastfeeding Week 2014 which comes to an end this weekend.

Joss has been a bit off colour lately and consequently has eaten very little. My toddler pinwheels for picky eaters are great for lunches and Joss usually plays with them, then eats a bit. If she is involved in making them and sprinkling the cheese then even better, she’ll be more interested in eating them as she had a hand in making them!

toddler pinwheel fussy eaters

Ingredients

Sheet puff pastry
Grated cheddar
Ham
Tomato puree or two tablespoons of passatta

I cut my puff pastry sheet in two and freeze half, the other half makes eight pinwheels. Unroll the pastry and spread the tomato onto the base, then top with slices of ham and then with grated cheese, my trusty cheese sprinkler Joss likes this bit!

Don’t overfill as the next stage is to roooool the sheet of pastry like a swiss roll, then slice into eight chunks, lay each out on a greaseproof papered baking sheet.

Bake at 180 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes then cool and serve, or store for the next day or two for packed lunches.

Blog life

I had tea with Beth from Betty and the Bumps and Hannah from Mums Days yesterday and they got me thinking about where my blog is going. I have a new list of questions and some things I am working on, like my blog traffic. In the short term I have posts coming up on handling toddler fears and a competition coming up too.

Inspiration

I have been reading some inspiring ideas on writing as posted by Beautiful Misbehaviour and giving some thought to a challenging post I’d like to draft

Mums' Days

– See more at: http://mumsdays.com/#sthash.KOYZpbwP.dpuf

Kiddycharts Blog

Getting crafty with The Creation Station!

This is the first in a series of posts about getting crafty with your kids, and where better to start than getting crafty with The Creation Station’s founder Sarah Cressall!

As well as running a growing business Sarah is mum of three boys and so I’m very grateful to her for taking time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed about crafting with children; her passion for nurturing creativity and design shines through!

Sarah Cressall and family

Sarah Cressall and family

Offering children’s arts and craft classes and parties The Creation Station is all about encouraging children to have a go and to try out their own ideas encouraging sensory play, experimenting and interacting with others through art. With franchises nationwide there’s sure to be a class near you!

I asked Sarah five burning questions about craft with kids and here’s what she had to say:

1) Do you have any advice to offer mums and dads or carers who feel they’re not very creative in getting started with craft with their children?

It can feel overwhelming to know where to start. The best advice is really to just see creativity as a journey of learning. It’s really helpful to see creativity as just exploring and experimenting rather than focussing on a specific end product. That helps take pressure of trying to teach, and turn it more into enabling a fun opportunity to learn together though play. With some newspaper and old clothes and some creative materials it’s amazing to see what happens. A relaxed atmosphere really helps the ideas, creativity and giggles to flow.

2) What are your favourite ideas for summer themed craft activities?

Ooo! I’ve loads! I love children being able to enjoy doing creative stuff together. I love having friends round and letting the children get out all the painting tools and buckets of water and water painting the garden!

Chalk drawing on the patio is fun especially if they make a draughts board or hop skotch, or drawing a target to throw balls into.

As my boys have got bigger origami water bombs have gone down really well. Also letting the children paint each other faces – and the grown ups is great fun. Important to remember to wash your face if your popping out to the shop though! Really it’s about finding creative play opportunities that they can really get involved in and have fun. The magical thing about creative fun is it inspires all ages. We find our family fun sessions work really well for families who maybe have a 2yr old a 5 yr old and a 8 yr old cousin who’s visiting. Everyone does it in their own way – and that’s how true creativity is nurtured and developed.

Brilliant butterflies from Creation Station

Brilliant butterflies from Creation Station

3) I get really excited about all the possibilities for crafting with my daughter but sometimes feel she’s a little too young for them, what would you say is the best way to introduce babies and toddlers to craft and messy play that’s age appropriate?

What’s lovely is your passion and enthusiasm will come across – and that’s a wonderful way to play with babies, toddler and children of any age! The sensory development through hands on creative play is a wonderful way for babies and toddlers to learn about their world. So some ideas are to introduce a range of safe materials and textures. It’s helpful not to have any expectations of making things. Just sharing, talking about and exploring the different shapes, sounds, textures, colours, smells is a wonderful fun, bonding experience that you can both enjoy and grow through.

Fun for all ages with The Creation Station

Fun for all ages with The Creation Station

4) Many of my readers have children of different ages and at different stages, are there ways to involve children of different ages in the same activities?

That’s such a great question and one that many families naturally have to deal with. Our approach to nurturing creativity is a bit different to others. Instead of starting with the end in mind we encourage a journey of thinking. One of the magical aspects of arts and crafts is that every person can use materials in a way that inspires them. So a 2 year old could create with card board boxes and paper and glue in a completely different way to an 8 year old, and they both feel really proud of their creations.

5) And finally do you do any ‘grown up’ crafting in your spare time, and if so what do you like to do?

I love design and the arts and still love making things myself. As a family we are trying to build an outdoor cinema in the garden- well, the plan is a deck and roof and a projecter. We’ve had great fun knocking down the old shed, sawing and building the deck and roof and painting it. As far as smaller projects go I’m often inspired by what I see within our franchise network. We’ve been working on our favourite top tips and and ideas and are now writing them up and sharing them through our soon to launch Creative Sparks site (Ed.- sounds exciting, watch this space!)

Huge thanks to Sarah for sharing her crafting insights, she gave me real food for thought about a journey of thinking that I would extend into other areas of my parenting and our play and learning together.

I’d love to here from readers about the activities they try out with their little ones – what activities does your family enjoy?

Disclaimer: I interviewed Sarah to gain ideas for my readers, this is not a sponsored post but a post for the love of craft! All photos were supplied by The Creation Station

I dream in citrine, where blog props find new homes

This weeks Mumslist comes to you from Etsy, namely my new store!

Real Life

OK, there’s not much on there yet but I finally set up an Etsy store. I Dream in Citrine does two things, it allows me to feel better about the vintage treasures I’ve accumulated over the years and it helps me move them on to new owners as blog photo props, now I just need to put some time into stocking it!

I dream in citrine

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/idreamincitrine

Blog life

I’ve had to accept that between now and September I can’t blog daily, and I’m OK with that. I’m hitting a critical point in my working year and that can take over into home life if I’m not careful, so I need to free up a bit of diary space to see friends and arrange playdates and may need to use the odd spare hour for reading instead of blogging. Popular posts continue to be my crafty ones, including these washi tape ones

rp_washi-tape-pocket1.jpg

Inspiration

I’m browsing/reading the Calm Things blog at the moment; I’m in a busy place so I need calming influences in my life!

Mums' Days

- See more at: http://mumsdays.com/#sthash.QVf4yUtN.dpuf

Toddler Octopus Craft and Fuschia Flowers in an Octopus’ Garden

Joss and I took out crafting outdoors with a playdate this week, she and a friend made handprints which we cut out and made into fish with buttons for eyes, with some tissue paper and card (and washi tape, standard) we made an octopus for each of them.

under the sea toddler craft

While they were busy with toddler octopus craft I snapped a few of my yarden favourites, vibrant fuschias.

fuschia flowers fuschia flowers

toddler octopus

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mumslist feat Mollie Makes Blogging

Real life

Remember this post featuring Nelly’s gorgeous new piglets?

Well they got big!

index

This has been my week, Farm, home, lunch, park, Farm Saturday-Wednesday, then Wed-Fri it was work, home, dinner, Farm, park…

Not that I mind, it’s repetitious but Joss loves this latest routine and all this fresh air and running has yielded some good lie-ins!

Blog and Inspiration

Rolling these two together this week, I treated myself to Mollie Makes Blogging because I couldn’t get to Britmums (boo!) I was glad I had a voucher as £9.99 for a mag is a lot but I’ve dipped into it all week!

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I love Mollie Makes and blogged about the shoeclips I made with my latest kit, I loooove them!

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Do you regularly buy any magazines for inspiration?

Mums' Days

- See more at: http://www.mumsdays.com/#sthash.G7Ecz7rZ.dpuf

Envelope Gift Bags for Father’s Day

Who knew you could make a gift bag from an envelope in less than five minutes? How About Orange inspired these Father’s Day envelope gift bags made from a plain envelope and some washi tape, but you could use stamps or stickers too!

Sweets are readily eaten in this house, and Mr B likes Wine Gums especially. I think these gift bags make good sweetie bags or a smart way to present an awkward to wrap small gift.

How to:

Seal an envelope and cut off a quarter inch from one side. Decorate your envelope. Fold both sides an inch in towards the middle and then fold the base (the uncut end) an inch too. Then pop your hand in the opening and push the base up as shown in this vid :) then stick down the corners with a little tape, fill and seal before handing to your lovely loved one!

Nautical envelope gift bag

Envelope gift bags