|FUN|frozen sensory bin - guest post from Becky

Today we have an awesome sensory bin from my bestest blogging buddy Becky 3princessesand1dude you may or may not know that Becky makes a mean sensory bin, did you ever see her easter one??  
I have to admit I'm a tinsey bit jealous that Becky's got girls as I just adore this bin, I'm sure T would enjoy it but he just wouldn't appreciate it like a little lady would ;)
And those jar lids - inspired!! Will definite be borrowing that idea!
Over to Becky:
If there's one thing we love its a sensory bin! You can find more of our Sensory Bins HERE!
As I started to put together this Winter Themed sensory bin, I became more and more inspired by Disney's Frozen which meant a few more bits been added!

What you need:
Decorative Crystals
Decorative Diamonds  (I got all the above from Home Bargains for less than a pound each!)
Snowflake Table Confetti (left over from Christmas!)
Fairy Lights
Assorted Blue Pom Poms
Hama Bead Snowflakes (lots of online tutorials available) 
Loom Band Snowflakes (lots of online tutorials available)
Jar Lids with Printable Frozen images stuck inside (again lots of free printables online)
The one thing I haven't mentioned above is that I lined the box with a silver table cloth I found in Wilko's for like 19p after Christmas.
The best thing about a sensory bin is that you can do what you want with it! You can add all of the bits above, you can add little pieces at a time, you can take stuff out that doesn't fit for your children.




Do you use sensory bins in your play? Whats your favourite kind of sensory bin, I'd love to hear your ideas!
Becky Wilkinson

|CREATE|owl hand warmer

This isn't really a tutorial for how to make an owl hand warmer, I just wanted to show you this hand warmer which I made for T, with a cold spell approaching I thought it would be nice to have a little hand warmer in each pocket to keep him warm!

This can be made using any small felt pattern really, I created this owl by taking bits from various owls on pinterest (and I think his ears are too big!)

My owl is the same size as the robin decoration I made at Christmas which you can find here, you could use the robin pattern to make this too!
 I filled him up with pearl barley, but I'm seen that you can use beans or rice too.  Once you have your design, sew up your character leaving a small gap to add your filling.
They need 40 seconds in the microwave to get nicely warm and not too hot for little hands.
This is T's 'I don't want a photo for your blog Mummy' face!
And this is him giving us a demo of putting the hand warmer in his pocket - after he'd been bribed with chocolate!

These would make really cute gifts too, I'm thinking about making some for gifts for next Christmas.  I think they'd also be good for when you come in from the snow as a super quick way to warm up!
I'm linking up to  #toddlerapprovedtuesday

Stopping at two

|#toddlerapprovedtuesday|week 4 2015


Welcome to this weeks #toddlerapprovedtuesday a big thank you to everyone who linked up last week, it was great to see some more new faces! 
For my showcase this week I have chosen Bug hunting from becoming a stay at home mum.  I love hunting for mini-beasts in the garden, I cannot wait until the spring as I have lots of bug related activities planned for T to enjoy!  

And In honour of T I couldn't let a week go by where there was a batman post and not choose it!  This batman post from Daddydaydream.com is very entertaining and just look at that picture, I love it!  I had to send the hubs over to read this one too.

Same rules as usual, link up as much as you like as long as it's toddler, pre-school or little person related! Include the badge and use the hashtag when sharing, if you don't have a blog post, just use the hashtag in other social media and tag either Becky or Myself or Both! And we'll re-tweet, re-post, favourite, like etc! 




I'll be back a little later on with a post of my own for #todderapprovedtuesday


I've had this idea bubbling round for a bit now.
I ran it past Becky my #toddlerapprovedtuesday co-host and asked her if she was up for co-hosting and here we are! :)

The ideas is to hold a themed monthly twitter party where you can tweet blog post links, photo's or just a little description of parenting ideas around that month's subject.  We all know how busy people are and so a monthly linky will also run to allow you to continue linking your posts for that subject, in case you can't make the twitter party.  Becky and I will choose our favourites and will both create a monthly showcase post, I'll also create a home for all the posts and will continue to advertise through twitter or pinterest shared boards.
You don't have to include the badge in your blog post if you don't want to but spreading the word and re-tweeting would be really appreciated!

The link will be up on both our blogs on the first Monday of each month.
So, we're thinking the first theme will be 'children's snacks' from babies to toddlers to schoolchildren to family snacks, tweet your blog post, pictures or just a description, use the #parentideaswap and we'll re-tweet and post all linkable entries to my #parentideaswap pinterest board.
The twitter party will be held 8-9pm on the first Monday of every month, first starting on Monday 2 February.
A few future themes we have in the pipeline are:
1. Children's snacks
2. Busy bag ideas
3. 10 minute crafts & activities
4. Organising your play/craft things
Do let me know if you have any other ideas we can add to the list :)
So?  Who's in?
Leave me a comment or tweet if you'd like a reminder at the weekend :)

|#kidsstickerswap|christmas sticker swap round-up

We had a fab sticker swap at the beginning of December, everyone received their sticker packs in plenty of time for Christmas so there was lots of sticker action going on over on our facebook group.
We had some fabulous cards from Lisa, Hendrix & Cailan, and Hedrix created an awesome dinosaur picture, I love the idea of using art and stickers together.
Becky showed us her children stickering her husbands RC car and a great sticker bingo game she made for her road trip to Bluestone, Wales.

Gill shared a great idea she found on facebook to teach children how to put their shoes on the correct feet, I certainly need to try that one!
Clare's little tots made thank you cards and decorated paper plate Christmas trees with stickers and Georgia showed us how clever she is at sticking within the letters of her name.

Elsie & Rosie in New Zealand made some wonderful washi tape Christmas trees, I love this idea and we'll definitely be making some next year!

Albie & Teddy made some lovely cards, and Albie stickered his baby brother Teddy, who looks so cute!  Albie's Mummy made him a great reward chart to use some of his stickers.

Jack made some fab Christmas placemats for his family.

Caitlin made some lovely Christmas cards too.

We've been busy with our stickers too, we borrowed Hendrix's idea and made some thank you cards by painting sky & hills and adding dinosaurs.
And T tried out his fine motor skills by adding stickers within the number 3.

As you can see we all had lots of fun during December.  We are having a little break for a couple of months, but we are about to get the #kidstravellingcraftswap underway which will be followed by an Easter sticker swap, if you are interested in either of these, just leave me a comment or email me.

|#thelist|the list week 4 - 2015

5 new reviews/opportunities sealed this week
4 new reviews/opportunities applied for
Page views UP!
Comments UP!
My favourite post this week is my cotton wool polar bear 
My most popular post this week is my kids travelling craft swap 
I've worked with 2 more lovely bloggers this week massive thanks to Clare at clareslittletots.co.uk for a fab guest post for peppermint playdough and Snowflake tape paintings from Laura at Wafflemama.blogspot.co.uk
Massively motivated at the moment.
Too many ideas to execute, what a wonderful low to have!
T still doing well with going to bed, still wakes 2-3 times but straight back to sleep, no midnight meltdowns thank goodness
K has had her English & Geography results back both A's
Hosting our Valentines play date this weekend
T been naughty at nursery
I'm still off work until next Wednesday (could be a high too!)
Started to de-clutter, got rid of loads and organised and found homes for most things, still a long way to go be I've made a good start.

Lots of wasted food this week.
Another great, positive week.  Loving being a blogger.
The List


I'm still off work and have been signed-off until next Wednesday. In-between extreme bouts of lethargy, I've surprisingly had periods of energy and restless feet!

I've managed to put this to good use by purging lots of clutter. I've sorted and re-organised our craft and activity supplies, I've made a jolly good start on clearing some clothes and our bedroom is starting to feel a bit more serene again. Our recycling bins are full and its a lovely feeling!

I also went to my Grandparents house with my Dad to help him clear the house for the new owners. I must admit I thought I'd be upset when the house they had built 60 years ago was sold, but surprisingly I feel nothing really. Poor Grandma can't visit so Dad's having to make a guess as to what she'd like to keep along with the obvious, photos, jewellery etc

We did laugh when Dad said he'd found 18 kettles, all broken and put back in their boxes, bless Grandma, no idea what she thought she was going to do with them :)

Maybe I'm scared of inheriting my Grandma's hoarding habits and that's what gave me the extra energy to have a purge! ;)

The Reading Residence

|CREATE|weekend box club review

Weekend box logo trans

T loves his weekend boxes, he is only just 3 so right at the bottom of the age range for boxes but this doesn't stop him from enjoying them though.
Before I take you through our weekend box, I just want to share a couple of statements I've found on the website which I think say it all really:
'The Weekend Box philosophy is 'Enhancing You and Them time; not replacing it'
Andy Stephenson founded Weekend Box after looking for gift ideas for his four nieces and nephews: nothing seemed to embody the mix of healthy living, green and creative content that he feel is so important to child development so he quit his job and launch Weekend Box - the rest is history!'
As a parent always looking for original, interesting things to do, the weekend box is a wonderful addition to the planned activities I make sure I do with T.  The beauty of the weekend box is the complete surprise when it drops through the door.
I love that you need very few extras to your weekend box in order for you to do the activities, this makes it fantastic to keep for rainy days or holiday's.  The fact that they are 100% Reusable & Recylable really appeals to me, we also try to use our creations to make something else which you see more of below!

T doesn't know when his box is due so it's a lovely surprise for him and a for a few days after he always asks if he has one in the post box!
So onto our 'Aztec Box' grand un-opening
The packages in this photo are not from the Aztec box, T had ripped them open and was in there before I had a chance to take a photo! 
Each box contains:
4 project bags
4 project cards
4 completion stickers
1 certificate
1 finished sticker
Here are the 4 project cards from our Aztec box, they give clear, precise instructions, and our 13 year old loves helping his younger brother without any additional help from us. 
The first thing that happens when our box arrives is T rushes into the living room and asks me to open the box - he knows that he shouldn't rip it open because I don't want him to rip the certificate and sometimes there are additional things on the lid so I don't want him damaging that.

Once the box is open, T passes a project card to me whilst he opens the same colour bag, I then have to call out the things needed and T 'checks' them off the list, yes he really does shout 'check' for everything!

Inside the box are 4 project completion stickers and 1 finished sticker, T loves sticking on his stickers as each project is finished.

We've never actually coloured in the certificate, but inside the packaging is a certificate which can be coloured and cut out.
Well that's an overview of what to expect from your box, here are the projects from the Aztec Box.

The Aztec mosaic coaster was the first project we did, the project bag contained foam sheets & pieces of paper.  This project called for patterns to be made on the pieces of paper, T didn't quite get this, and his cutting skills aren't that great yet so I cut some squares and triangles for him to stick down, which he really liked to do.
The next project pack was for Aztec hot chocolate, the bag contained some spice mix and sweet mix and called for mixing chocolate with boiling water and milk.  We actually didn't have any chocolate so I used regular hot chocolate mix and added in the spices, we extended this activity by smelling and tasting the spices before hand and talking about what they were (I'm sure there was nutmeg and cinnamon in there!) and I showed T what they looked like before they had been ground.

The Aztec parrot's were a huge hit, the bag contained googly eyes, paint, feathers and coloured paper although we used ready mixed paints for this one.  We each painted our loo rolls and whilst waiting for them to dry we looked up a bird mentioned on the project card, a Quetzal we found pictures of it on the Internet and talked about it being endangered. 

When our loo rolls were dry we added feather and googly eyes, T then cut the beaks and we stuck them on, I glued on my feathers first, and as you can see T copied when I put my feathers exactly! 

He is very proud of his parrots!

Finally we made Aztec pattern prints, in the bag were, paint & brush, coloured paper and string.  T didn't really get this one to begin with so I created the pattern 'stamps'.

Once they were dry T was very keen to add his paint and start stamping!  We used ready mixed paints for this one again.

We made lots of pictures, T even took one of the stamps into nursery for 'show and tell' and some of his friends had a go.
To extend this activity we cut up the pictures and stuck them to blank cards to make thank you cards for T's birthday presents.

Weekend Boxes are £7.50 each, you can order your first box free by using the link below:

you can subscribe to fortnightly or monthly boxes.
I'm sure you've guessed, I really love this idea and the projects have been very popular with T and his older brother!
Apologies for such a long post, I weekend boxes are something I really do feel passionate about and as such I wanted to make sure that I covered as much as I could.
Disclaimer: I am an existing subscriber but was given a complimentary box in return for this honest review.

Mami 2 Five