Entertaining the Kids, thanks to Twinkl

I always stress out when the kids start their half term holidays, mainly because I am always at a loss at what to do to help keep all the kids entertained. Having the age range of 18 months to 10 years old doesn’t help either. This is because normally the activities I have planned for the older kids are too hard for E and baby to take part in and vice a versa.

That was until I told about the great website Twinkl  

 It is and amazing education resource site that can be use for home education or by teachers and parents that what to help their children learn and get the best they can out of education. The site is aimed at children under the age of 10 and is full of great ideas and activities for all children of all ages and levels of education and ability. 

I really enjoyed taking a look around the website to see everything it had to offer. I love the fact that it had resource for the EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3, EAL and best of all SEN. Because it meant that I could look at and print off resource to help all my children (including Baby) with their education and that there were activities for older kids and print out flash cards to help Baby.   

   

I also enjoyed the new feature that means you can create your own learning resources on Twinkl create based around thinking you and your family enjoy or for any upcoming projects you may want to work on together.

There are 3 levels of subscription on the website, such as:

  • Free Membership – this allows you access to a majority of the resources 
  • Gold  Membership – this is the low cost high quality option and cost £29.95 a year
  • Platinum Membership – this allows you access to all the resources and cost £44.94 a year

Plus they have a forum in which you can talk to professionals or fellow parents and home educators to support each other and swap ideas as a community.

My boys were super excited when they saw all they even had a MineCraft activity and resource section and begged me to start printing them out!  

 

They were very eager to start building their own little MineCraft world. 

I was just happy with how easy it was to navigate throught such an brilliant site that has an abundance of ideas, activities and study aids that you are bound to find something to keep the whole family happy and also make learning a easier and more fun experience for everyone. 

And thanks to Twinkl I was able to make it through another half term with some happy and entertained children.

I really suggest you take a look and see for yourself just how great the site truly is.

Nikki x 

 

Disclaimer… For this review I was compensated with a Platinum Membership, but all opinions are my own.  

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Weekend box review

Being a mum of four, I struggle to find fun, exciting and age appropriate activities to keep every one of my kids happy.
Also while T and P have scouts and swimming lessons, poor baby and E have no real after school activities or weekend clubs. This means I am left with a bored 3 year old who is dying to take part and join in with her brothers. (Baby is happy as long as we play peekaboo or sing nursery rhymes)

That’s why when I got the chance to sign up and review the Weekend Box from the WeekendBoxClub, I knew instantly that E and P would love it.

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The Weekend Box is a box of educational and fun activities that help teach children in the process.
It is aimed at children aged between 3-6 years of age, and were created by a uncle that want to give his niece and nephew a fun, educational gift that would keep them engaged while teach them about the world around them.

Our box was themed around Aztecs

Because the box had a theme it made the whole experience more fun and I was able to teach my kids some history with out them actually realising. I did this by simply explaining who the Aztecs were and where they originated from as we did the activities.

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The box was filled with 4 activities that all had there own little fact sheet explaining what to do, as well as some fun facts and tips.
With each activity sheet you were give a list of what you would need, such as scissors, glue and card etc.
The great thing about the Weekend Box is that most of the materials you need are sent in little packages that are box labeled and colour code to match the activity sheet. (This made my life so easy, even if it did mean the kids wanted to open them all and mixed them all together!)

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Luckily I was able to keep their excitement at bay with the promise of Aztec hot chocolate (one of the activities) when we finished our first lot of activities.
On each information sheet there was a difficulty rating that was indicated by the number of stars. I gave E all the easy activities to do as she was younger and P tackled the more difficult ones.
Both kids loved it and got straight stuck in to what they had to do.

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E made the Aztec parrots, While P made the Aztec prints.
I was really impressed with the fact that we were sent the materials for each activity and amazed by all the fun ideas.

We were sent everything except the glue and scissors. For the Aztec prints and parrots the information sheet stated you could use card or empty toilet rolls but if those weren’t available you could you the weekend box itself, because it all made of card and is 100% recyclable.

I really loved this fact and we tested it out with the prints. (I went for easy option of toilet rolls for parrots)
It stated how long each activity would take and the first ones said about an hour. For use they took much longer because we had to wait for glue and paint to dry before we could carry on with the next step.

Even though it took longer then it was meant to though it was still fun and the kids were easily entertained with colouring in the certificate that they were sent once they completed their box.

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After we had left things to dry and had finished our colouring E’s parrots was ready to finish. Sadly P’s glue on his print was still really wet and we had to finish it the next day.
He was fine with it though

The next day he got on with finishing his prints and attempting to do his second task of making a coaster. While E and I made the Aztec hot chocolate.

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I was given the instructions and told what ingredients I would need. E had great fun smashing the chocolate and adding all the spices we were sent. It smelled lovely and I really wanted to try it but apparently it was far too tasty to let mum or dad have any and the kids drank it all.

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The only bad but happened when P finished his print and tried to do his Aztec coaster task.
This task had a 4 start difficulty rating and P got frustrated because the foam wouldn’t cut into the shapes he wanted he got annoyed and gave up. Then he proceeded to pull the foam into little pieces and stick them everywhere but the card that was provided.
This meant we didn’t finish the task and I wasn’t able to get any photos.

Even though P had got like this, I don’t believe it had anything to do with the Weekend Box and had more to do with the fact, that he and his big brother had been keeping each other up late the night before and he tired, irritable and really wanted his hot chocolate.

I would totally really recommend the Weekend Box and I am planning on ordering more in the future because the kids , especially E really enjoyed it. Even if we did only manage to complete 3 of the 4 tasks properly.

With this review I was given a promo code so that if any of my readers wanted to they could order their first WeekendBox for FREE.

Just use the code NICOLA184
*(this is for new customers only and just one free box is allowed per household)

I really hope you take a look and order your free box. So you can see how amazing they are for yourself.

Nikki x

Disclaimer…

I was not paid for this review, however I was given the product to keep in exchange for my honest opinion of the item and it’s features.

We're going on an adventure

Messy play mornings

Over last few days I have been right well but this morning I decided that even though I felt horrid still I was going to make some fun for my girls.

I decided I was going to leave them in their pj’s and let them have some messy play. That way they only had to get changed once and it saved my washing pile from expanding even further.

So after the older kids left for school I got some shaving foam, a towel and some toys. I say Baby and E on floor and then squirted the foam straight on to my laminate flooring.
I did think about put plastic sheeting down or their messy mat but my floor needed steaming and the foam worked as a extra layer or soap.

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The girls loved it. E got out her plates and made some impressive foam pie and cappuccino. She the proceeded to try and feed me it repeatedly. After lots of “hmmmm” and “yummy” she finally gave in when I said I was full to burst.
Baby just kept trying to eat it. Every had full of foam went straight to her mouth. It became a fun game of catch her before she managed to eat it. (She did a few times)
After a good 20 minutes of this game. I decided it was time to clean up and to get E ready for nursery.
Also it was almost time for Mr Tumble on CBeebies. I was so shocked that Baby really got into it today and watched to whole show.

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She was transfixed which really made me happy because it will really help her to pick up makaton signing and language.

So this morning was a busy, fun and messy morning. It was great.

What do you do for messy play fun?

Nikki x

let kids be kids


What’s the story

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“Magnificent”

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This is the word my step daughter A used to describe the days she has spent with us and my boys gave alternative such as great, fun, awesome, mad and splendid.

Here is why:

It’s been half term this week in our house and so far the weather hasn’t been that great. We all know how stressful and frustrating it is when it rains during the school holidays.
The kids get bored and fed up. While us mums are ready to pull our hairs out due to the constant nattering, bickering and questions (that all seems to be about the same thing or we have already answered for the 100th time!)

Luckily this week I got my ahead of myself and managed to check the weather on my iPhone app and plan activities accordingly.

Go Me!

Which is very unlike me. Organisation is not a strong suit of mine (although I do try).

So my task for this week was to come up with fun ideas to keep all the kids entertained but across age range 0-9years.

We just relaxed the first weekend cause the weather wasn’t too bad the older kids got to ride their bike and played in the garden.

Our half term fun started on Monday. Where we all split up into different groups. T went on a long bike ride through the woods with hubby and his friend, P went to my sister to play with my nephews and A, E, Ivy, grandma and I went to a sensory Leeds.

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Tuesday was the only nice day we have had all week so far. So we woke up and made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (T and E helped) before the older 3, grandma and I went on an adventure to dinosaur discovery and the local garden centre.

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They had great fun exploring, digging and finding out about dinosaurs. They had little dinosaur suit they could put on and pretend to be dinosaurs. The kids loved the dinosaur head you could move around and pretend to eat the wild life, shrubberies and grandma!

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We then went home and baked some more.

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We did a prepacked box of rockie road buns and some chewy smartie cookies with a recipe I got from Netmums.
The kids loved baking and the buns turned out great, the cookies not so much, they got slightly burnt. (mummy got a little distracted after the fun of the day and forgot about the cookies in the oven)

Wednesday it was raining so I made some homemade play dough and I let the kids have fun while I prepared an indoor picnic for us to have in the living room (since we couldn’t have one outside).

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The kids loved it and this is a direct quote, said it was

“The best day ever!”

Even Ivy managed to join in and have a few bits to gum to death.

We finished off the day watching film and chilling out.

Thursday, I needed to get out of the house. So we all went to the local indoor play area Funsters where we go on a regular basis. Mainly because the kids needed to run around and blow off steam. I talked the kids into wearing their wellies to the play area, so that on the way home they could jump in puddles and have some simple childhood fun.

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with a quick stop off at the park which was on our journey (we were already wet from the puddles, so why not?)
Clearly the kids burnt off any left over energy on the walk/play home. It was at this point that A came up with this brilliant word Magnificent and I loved it.
so when we got home we got changed and enjoyed sound hot chocolate to warm us through after all the wet fun.

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I then let the older 3 play on the Wii, while E and Ivy played with their toys on floor.
(I somehow managed to get some housework done in this time of tranquility as they all played nicely and quietly. It was amazing)

That leads us to now. I have some plans for tomorrow but it depends what happens when we get up. That may be a future post.

This week has been great fun though even if it has been busy and I must say the word magnificent fits because the tribe have played nicely and got on well. We have managed to do so much and enjoy every second of the time we have had together. I am actually a little sad for it to be over in the next couple of days but will also be glad to get back into my normal routine.

What have you been upto?

Nikki ❤

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall




The Reading Residence

Homemade play dough

Here is my recipe for homemade no cook play dough.

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2 cups of flour (will need additional flour when kneading)
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
1tbsp of oil (vegetable oil will do but baby oil works too if you run out like I did today)
Food colouring (how much depends on how bright you want the colour)

Add flour and salt together, mix water, oil and food colouring and then pour it into mixture. Mix together until smooth and add additional flour until you have a kneadable dough. Then sprinkle flour on a flat surface and knead until you are happy with it. Roll into a ball.

Then let the kids have fun.

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Nikki ❤

Half term and Easter holidays.

As the school holiday approached I was oddly optimistic that everything would be fine and the school holidays would be as enjoyable as the pervious one. Being full of play areas, family time and fun.

As you can guess it wasn’t at all like that. On day 1 I was awoken by my 9 year old (who seems to be going on 16) with an attitude and that’s how my half term began. The first week was a misery with daily tantrums, hourly outbursts of attitude and a very shouty, unhappy mummy. All my plans were put on hold because I couldn’t take my children out into the world and have them decide to do a runner or for T not to get his own way and start screaming “your the worst mum ever, I hate you!” (which seemed to be on repeat the first week). I knew that adding disapproving stares and fellow parents tut’s would just tip me over the edge. So I saved myself the let the ground open and swallow me whole moments and opted to stay in. I did explain to my children why they were missing out and punished my kids accordingly because they knew their behaviour was wrong!

And then finally the day came that I had waited for, the day where they started to behave and we managed to have a good family day. It had only taken over a week! It was as if someone had come in the night and swapped my argumentative and disobedient boys for ones that wanted to go out an play, wanted to be good and didn’t think I was the bad guy.

So the second week was full of fun with only the odd blip of misbehaving.
We did arts and crafts, plus P learnt to ride his bike, we had a movie night and on Good Friday we managed to make it to a play area near us called funsters.

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On the Saturday we had my friend round with her girls where we made Easter rice crispy buns and we spent the afternoon in the park.

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That evening my friend and I had a fun. Once the kids where all asleep we decided to share a bottle of wine to blow off steam and put the worlds to rights. We talked well into night and the 1 bottle quickly turned into 2. We finally went to bed after 1 am, slightly tipsy and knowing I was going to pay in the morning for drinking more then a couple of glasses.

I was very much right and the next morning I woke up groggy headed with a creeping hangover that got worse as Easter Sunday wore on. It didn’t matter how I felt though because the Easter bunny had to turn up to hide the eggs in the garden for the hunt. So at 8am I was hobbling foggy headed hiding foil covered eggs around the garden while the kids still dozed in their beds. I didn’t even put all the eggs out and I saved at least half for a hunt the next day :). Later that day we had my nephews 6th birthday party, which was murder with a hangover. (Being surrounded by 50 screaming kids while my head pounded was my punishment for the second bottle of wine) Fortunately by the end of the party and a strong coffee later my head started to lift and I was starting to feel more normal again.
After the party I spent my time at home while my kids went off to a Easter fair with their grandma.

The next day was Easter Monday and again I went out into garden hiding eggs so my kids could have another hunt and I could hopefully snap some pictures but they ran around so fast finding the eggs that they were a blur for the most part. However I did get a some lovely pictures of my mini Easter bunny 🙂

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We had a lovely family roast and some friends round for tea. It was really fun and I enjoyed to company (with no alcohol in sight!). Then it was back into the usual routine as my boys were back to school the next morning.

It was once they were all bathed, bedded and asleep that I managed to finally get some cleaning done that I hadn’t been able to do the last 2 weeks. I cleaned the bathroom, scrubbed my sofas and wiped down all the mucky kiddie prints off the doors and walls. I did all this because then I was able to enjoy my first day with my kids back at school.

I do love my kids whole heartedly but after the ups and downs of the last 2 weeks, today was a much needed break that I thoroughly enjoyed 🙂

Hope you all had a lovely half term and Easter holiday 🙂

Nikki ❤

Easter prep and fun

Today I have spent the day running around supermarkets getting the last bits an bobs for Easter. We have a Easter buns to make, a Easter egg hunt and a nice roast dinner planned. We also have my nephew’s 6th birthday on Sunday too so it’s a busy busy weekend and is hopefully going to be full of fun.

We started it today with a little arts an crafts

I found this is in Asda for £2

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It kept the kids entertained for a while with colouring and decorating their masks and putting together their baskets.

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Here’s the finished results of masks an baskets.

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It’s been fun today (even if I have a headache now)and it’s been the prefect day to do it as the weather has been hit an miss all day 🙂 so it was jigsaws this morning and now we are chilling watching flintstones on TV.

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Hopefully tomorrow will be just as fun, with more fun filled activities and if weathers nice we will hopefully go and meet some friends for a day in park.

Nikki ❤