November 8th is S.T.E.A.M. day – celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. CM was excited and intrigued to receive the Project Mc² Ultimate Spy Bag. I get to live a life of both worlds, promoting the importance of technology and … Continue reading
CM. Offered the opportunity to review Disney Star Darlings. It’s true. Nothing could go wrong. Based on the characters from Disney Star Darlings, CM received three of the five adventurous girls from Starling Academy – Sage Scarlet and Libby.Disney Star Darlings … Continue reading
CM is a massive fan of crafts was so excited to receive Interplay’s myStyle Keepsake Lockets to review. Very familiar in design to her Surf Style jewellery which she loved, she was ready to get making straight away.The set contains materials … Continue reading
It’s been the most ridiculous countdown to the summer holidays, the children have been exhausted and tempers have been nearest to frayed. There’s been a little light at the end, with Sherman Cymru cleverly programming the world premiere of The … Continue reading
myStyle Surf Style Jewellery set was a perfect introduction to jewellery making for CM. Whilst it is designed for children aged 8+ the fantastic part of the set is that the projects are of varying difficulty, meaning that at age 7 CM was able to make some bracelets and necklaces, supervise others, and have some wonderful additions to her beach-themed additions for her school project.On being presented with the third element of her beach themed project, CM quickly got to work looking at the projects, deciding to whom she would gift each, in what colour way, and in what order we should do our making.The set contains everything you need bar a pair of scissors. From lengths of two thicknesses of cord, jump-rings, beads, clasps, and pendants- the instructions even have a handy ruler across the top of each page to help you out.
There were parts of each project which CM was more adept at than others. The projects which have charms as their focal points were more focused on single knots, which CM was able to create and got to grips with threading beads and manipulating jump rings.And CM was really pleased with the fruits of her labour, and mine. Some of the projects are more straightforward, and perfect for 8 year-olds. The effect of your efforts is pretty and particularly complemented by the pendants included in the set.The overall result of projects which can be undertaken between a 7 year-old and their mother is shown below. It was a good project for us to work on together. Some (where there were plaits) took more effort from me than her, others were just me making sure she had her knots and measures so the bracelets were of a good size.
There are other projects which are more testing, which is a natural progression in the suggested projects. I have to admit on a few even my patience was challenged. Much of this is due to my lack of spacial awareness and appreciation- but in honesty some projects have been returned to the case for another look on a brighter day.But then were the projects where as soon as she had finished making her brothers demanded they were theirs.The myStyle Surf Style set retails at £9.99. Making 12 projects it is value for money and has the ability to stimulate creativity in young people. The range of projects available to create ensures it offers stimulation to a broad age range.
Disclosure: We received the myStyle Surf Style set for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views contained are our own.
To go with the starfish made from papier mâché, CM decided to create a seascape. I feel the need to declare my fault from the outset, I misunderstood her instruction for how the sand should be represented, and the fault with this starfish craft canvas is entirely mine. And no, my seven year-old does not control me.So, the way this should work is that if you laid it down on a sandy beach it would be an extension of your next footstep. Think horse racing in Mary Poppins.
We started (as always) with reasonably priced acrylic paints and a canvas from Home Bargains, and set to work creating the sand and the sea.I messed up a little at this point. CM asked to incorporate orange, to show the difference between wet and dry sand. As she added the first, I added a second. I really shouldn’t have. It didn’t work. There would only be one part of dry sand. And I apologise sincerely for this oversight.CM then set to work creating the starfish, by this point I had learned my lesson – to let her get on with it or only follow instruction.
With a printable starfish template the first starfish to take shape was the one which would take the most time.The sequin starfish was a good idea because it would create sparkle. But it also took a lot of sequins and pins. I have to admit to helping out on this one. As did the boys. I contributed by picking up spilt pins. And trying to add order to their efforts. I should know better. The next was more straightforward. A golden starfish using glitter glue. I didn’t think this one through. As soon as CM had created her starfish I put it aside to dry, forgetting it was glue and that the template would adhere to the canvas. The starfish has a lovely outline as a result.
The final starfish only came about because I finally gave into CM’s demands for DohVinci. In fairness to her I’ve been putting her off since before Christmas convinced it would be like the Moon Sand I’d previously thought was a good idea.
Fortunately DohVinci is something which I can just leave her to get on with.
And so, CM has a piece of art.
Full of stars.
I love the button art craft that I see on Pinterest. So it seemed such a good idea to try to create a Hot Air Balloon with a 7-year-old for a school project about transport. Or something like that. This was a complete first attempt, but the price of canvases at Home Bargains, and keeping the button and yarn tubs well stocked meant it felt a good idea.
The first thing was to find a printable template and the materials we needed- buttons, embroidery yarn, sticky glue and a blank canvas.Once we had found the template, we cut around the outline and tacked it onto the canvas with washi tape. We then began gluing the buttons to create our balloon. It turns out we weren’t as considerate as we might have been. CM quickly decided on the colours she preferred- and my button collection disappointed her. Additionally her preference (as per the outline) was to use small, pastel buttons. This is quite a task. Adding a large button every now and again helps patience levels. Realising your button collection is mainly primary colours increases frustration.But she did it. The space was filled with buttons- with large buttons making the task easier.
And then we waited for the glue to dry to transparent, and removed the template.I had aspirations for the basket. Or biodegradable plant pots cut in half, covered in thread and glued to the canvas in 3D.
Time was not on our side. So I left her to. Template tacked to the canvas. Lines created to the basket, with the help of glue, the thread became the basket.In fear of a fail. glue covered the basket again to ensure it was a part of the canvas. And the art work was created – our button art hot air balloon craft:
It’s that time of the term- end of school projects- this time the theme is your favourite part of the seaside. I had fantastic ideas of visiting lots of local beaches and creating a layer jar, which is of course why we ended up making a papier-mache starfish.CM decided her favourite part of the beach is starfish. Not that I can actually remember us seeing one, but hey ho. And so as we came up with a few starfish based crafts, we of course ended up echoing previous projects with papier-mache.
This was a new one on me. I’ve only used papier-mache with balloons before, so I was left scratching my head.
We started by finding a starfish template we liked, fortunately there are a few to choose from at Kidspot. I drew a pentagram on a piece of cardboard, and we created the starfish shape around it. A bit of care with a pair of scissors and we had our base.Next was to figure out how to make it 3D. We made rolls of newspaper and cut strips in various lengths. We made a paste using one part plain flour to two parts water, mixing to ensure there were no lumps.I was really impressed with the finished result, it was as messy as always, but we did end up with a starfish. Once left to dry overnight, we then added honey nut loops with craft glue to create the familiar spiny skin.Once we had the starfish created we moved on to the next part- painting. One of CM’s favourite pastimes, a key consideration was getting the colour just right. With close inspection, we added white and yellow to our orange because we didn’t want the colour to be too bright.But something a little special was a part of the brief, so adding a layer of gold glitter paint was a necessity.And with that CM was pleased with the finished result. Effortlessly integrating on the beach.
This week was an odd one.
At the beginning of the year hubby and I decided that he would take each child away for a week solo.
It’s a really odd thing.
Spending time with a child is a rarity once you have more than one.
And it seems even more so when you have twins.
It would appear there is an inbuilt human response that twins should never be separated.
And yet, I remain absolute that children are individuals.
Regardless of ‘twin’ status. Siblings will need to be considered in a family environment.
And me and him fortunately agreed, it would (and will) do our children the world of good to have some one-to-one time with a parent.
It helps with trying to figure out half-terms, when my parents can help and I don’t need to use up my scarce annual leave. (That’s not requesting the sympathy vote, I work compressed hours so do get a day with them).
In February, Mr J and CM went to home to Todmorden.
Over Easter we all went back.
And this half term, with our Tod friends also away, Mr J and E treated themselves to a holiday (more of that to follow).
So, this week, Tuesday was our ‘Yes’ day. With CM & B.
CM & B were besties up until B started Reception, so much so that I worried about E. It now seems that B’s confidence (no doubt gained from his bestie) is his downfall.
But fortunately this week has offered some restoration of this relationship. A friendship remains in tact.
Phew. And so,we arrived home after our ‘yes’ day. Fortunately, our ‘yes’ day included acceptance that chores needed to be fulfilled. And so walking the dogs was a compromise.
As long at they got to spend time on the beach.
It wasn’t much of a compromise.
Another milestone is upon us. The first of the milk teeth has fallen.
It has the sharp intake of breath.
One of my boys, my babies, has lost his first milk tooth.And of course he couldn’t be prouder.
As I hold back tears.
He really isn’t old enough yet.
His first milk tooth didn’t fall out of its own accord.
For I am a mum of boys.
He went out on his scooter the other month, and scooted towards the beach he scoots towards most days.
But this was the day he’d stumble and catch his tooth on the handlebar.
And we’d have a rushed trip to the dentist.
And it would be ok, he could wobble it when it was less tender and it would fall out.
Then they’d be the phone call.
That (somehow) he had collided with a child on lunch break at school.
And it looked painful. His tooth.
Coincidentally, he’d had a check up booked for the dentist that afternoon.
Of course it was the other front tooth.
And so it came to be.
Two wobbly front tooth.
The head contact had won the race.The best bit about these siblings?
A big sister to show you the way!