Browsing Category

Crafts

Crafts, Days Out, Farms, Home, Outdoors, Parks, Shows, Unusual

Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!

Halloween Half Term week

Halloween Half Term Days Out

Looking for ideas for Halloween Half Term? Here is a list of some of our favourite spooky and unusual days out over Halloween Half term in and around Essex.

Farms

Barleylands Farm Park are running Pumpkinfest during the Halloween Half term week. Halloween themed activities and a free pumpkin for each child. They have two spooky evenings Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October packed with thrills, spills and chills for tots to young teens.  With family friendly activities including Huge Fairground Ghost Train, Haunted Fairground House, Boo Barn, Witches Walk, Haze Maze, Spooky Toddler Story Time, Creepy Reptile Cave, Halloween Disco and spooky games. Book tickets online.

Hopefield Halloween at Hopefield Animal Sanctury on 29th October 11:00-16:00.  Halloween event with Fancy Dress Competition, Haunted Bus, Halloween arts and crafts and mask making fun, Halloween themed Love On The Rocks and fantastic face painting. Entrance: Adults: £6, Kids: £5, Under 3s are FREE.

 

 

 

Pick your own pumpkins

Cammas Hall Farm at Hatfield Broad Oak  you can pick your own pumpkin, enjoy a tractor and trailor ride, get lost in their Maize Maze, face painting or maybe make your own Halloween mask. Don’t forget to stop off for a Halloween treat in their Tea Barn.

The Pumpkin Patch at Basildon or Colchester. Free entry and open every weekend during October 10-4pm.

 

Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half TermThe Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half Term

 

Take a ride on a Halloween Train

Audley End Miniature Railway

Ride the spooky train deep into the woods to visit the witches. Every ticket includes craft making, face painting, story telling, a visit to the dance tent and a gift for every child. Book online.

Epping Ongar Railway, Ongar

Are running 3 spooky ghost train events during Halloween Half term. Saturday 28th October 2017 (day + evening), Sunday 29th October 2017 (day only), and Tuesday 31st October 2017 (evening only). Don’f forget to visit the Halloween marquee at North Weird, where there is magic shows throughout the day, face painting, a silent disco and, for the grown ups, a bar. Each child receives a gift. Book online.

Audley End at Halloween Half Term

 

Essex Police Museum

Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford are offering Halloween crafts, make your own scary mask and trick or treat bag. Fancy dress welcome and free entry to the museum. £2 per child. 21st, 25th and 28th October 10:00 – 16:00.

Check their Facebook page for further details.

 

Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust have many Halloween Half Term activities across all of their centres, here are some of our favourites.

Hanningfield Resevoir have plenty of activities running through the Halloween half term, check their website for further details. Spooktastic Family Trail. Solve the spooky clues and track down the creepy creatures of Hanningfield Nature Reserve? Trail sheets £2.50 per child. Sun, 22/10/2017 – 10:00am – 3:00pm. No need to book.

Haunted Hanningfield on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 10-3pm. Follow the spooky trail through the woods to the spooky House, dare you go in? Halloween treat for the brave. Bug hunting, Pumpkin carving and Halloween crafts in the Visitor Centre. Donation £8 per child. No booking necessary.

Belfairs Woodland Centre have Horrible Halloween crafts, drop in for some Halloween crafts on Saturday 28th October 10am -2pm.

Haunting Halloween at Langdon Nature ReserveSat, 28/10/2017 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm aimed at children 6yrs+. Follow the self-guided trail but beware of things that go bump in the night! Finish with stories and marshmallows at the camp fire. Three sessions available starting at 6pm, 6.30 or 7pm (younger children are advised to attend the earlier sessions) Family event aimed at children 6yrs+, must be accompanied by an adult at all times. £7 per person, booking essential.

 

Haunted Hanningfield Halloween Half TermHaunted Hanningfield Cabin Halloween Half Term

 

Halloween Book Reading

Free Book reading event of ‘The Seven Sisters’ by Sibel Beadle, local author of children’s book series ‘Witchy Travel Tales’. With craft activity and book signing at Barleylands function room on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October and Saturday 28th and 29th October at the following times each day: 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm and 1-1:45pm.

Broomstick Making

Make your own broomstick at Norsey Wood. Tuesday 24th October. 1pm – 2:30pm. £2.50 per child. Prebooking required.

 

Spooky Fest Wat Tyler Country Park

Spooky Fest running Monday 23rd October 2017 until Sunday 29th October 2017, 11am until 3pm. Three halloween themed mazes with live characters. Step back in time and walk around the haunted house, looking out for ghosts, ghouls and all things that fright. Meet the 2017 freaky clowns in the extra large Circus. Hook a duck, have your fortune read and see if you can escape the never ending corridors. Introducing the new vampire village. See the vampires hide out, rotting corpses, and spooky effects. Book tickets online. Children 4+ £5 each includes a sweet treat.

 

Lullingstone Castle & World Gardens

Lullingstone Castle just over in Kent is hosting some Halloween magic on the last day of the season. Pumpkin carving, spooky house and garden tours – perfect for all the family. Tom will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Fancy dress is welcome. 29th October 12-8pm.

Hedingham Castle

Halloween Weirdness and Wondercraft at Hedingham Castle. 10  Halloween themed workshops, creepy creatures, bash the rat or smash the skull, gooey cauldron of ghastly gunk, slithering reptiles, gory face painting, scary stories in the castle dungeon and a spectacular fiery finale! 10% discount when booking online.

 

Magic Shows

Monday Mayhem at Orsett Hall. Halloween Children’s Party with AJ Entertainers. 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Entertainers, Balloon Modelling, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts, Mini Disco. Tickets £8.50, book online.

The Magic Frostie Halloween Show on 23 October at 14:00–15:30 at Wickford Community Centre. A Halloween themed show filled with music, Puppets, Balloons, Mind-Blowing Magic. Book online.

 

Thank you for reading ‘Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!’

Pumpkins Halloween Half Term

 

 

Crafts, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo 24/09/17

My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo this week is of mine and Eden’s milk carton elephants we decorated at Billericay Art Trail today. They were coloured in using Sharpies.

There were lots of free crafts to try and we had a fantastic time. There were lots of brilliant artist’s work on display and we met lots of talented and friendly people. A great day out for free in our local high street! We already can’t wait to get involved next year!

Please meet our colourful Elephants! Now I just need to find a home for them both!

Thank you for reading My Sunday Photo

Linking up with:

Photalife
Crafts, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

Tips for an awesome Trolls Party

trolls party

Trolls Party

So it seems that we have all fallen in love with those gorgeous, bright, colourful characters from Trolls. In particular Poppy has found her way into many of our children’s hearts (even the adults)! This year we took Eden to see a Trolls in the cinema and she was instantly hooked. All the singing, dancing, bright colours and glitter made it an infectious mix. So I wasn’t surprised she opted for Trolls party for her 5th birthday this year.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy

 

Here’s how we made our party Trolltastic:

 

The Entertainer

We had Poppy the Troll come and visit us from Fizz & Giggle Parties. Poppy was so much fun, she sung and danced and played so many games with the children. The kids were up and dancing the whole time both girls and boys. They played with a parachute, did the limbo, pass the parcel and musical statues. The kids all had a truly amazing time! Poppy even did glitter tattoos whilst the children ate their lunch.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy the entertainer

The Decor

I think with Trolls definitely ‘more is more’. So plenty of colour, lots of detail and making it very busy. The cake table with rainbow tissue paper flower backdrop makes a great photo background for taking pictures on the day. The table was layered with a tutu skirt to the front and coloured foam flowers scattered on the top. You can buy tissue paper flowers quite cheaply and they make such a pretty and bright decoration. You can buy similar tissue paper flowers here. I also made a rainbow balloon tower with Poppy sprouting out the top. I’d never made one before and watched a video on YouTube. It wasn’t too bad to make but it involved ‘a lot’ of balloon tying!!!

Finally we bought some rainbow bunting from a local pound shop and hung it around the hall and some cheap personalised banners from eBay, around £4 for 2.

The food, cake table and backdrop was set up by The Party Kitchen. They did such an amazing job and we were thrilled with how it all looked.

 

Trolls Party cake display table

Trolls Party cake display table

 

The Cake

So the cake had 4 different colour sponges inside and was covered in multicoloured buttercream that I blended to make a kind of marble effect. Trolls is set in the forest with wonderful flowers and mushrooms so I added lots of brightly coloured flowers and mushrooms to my cake. I made them all different colours, I tried it keep it quite random. I rolled long strips of coloured sugar paste to create a rainbow and white balls for clouds. Green grass was piped around the bottom of the cake. To finished it off and I bought Poppy rather than struggle to make my own. I think she looked great on top of there.

 

Trolls Party Poppy princess cakeTrolls Party rainbow cake layers

 

The Food

There are so many options to make your food bright and colourful. Fruit platters always make a wonderful bright display.

We had flower shaped sandwiches, brightly coloured cupcakes and chocolate dipped biscuits with sprinkles at our Trolls party.

 

Trolls Party food flower sandwiches

 

The Party Favours

I knew I wanted to include a Trolls Pez in the party favours. Eden absolutely loves Pez and collects the different characters. I bought a mixture of 3 characters, Poppy, Branch & Glitter Guy. I made wands by filling skinny cello bags with skittles as they are such wonderful bright colours. I topped the skinny cello bags with multicoloured stars with a personalised sticker to match in with the rainbow theme. You can buy the skinny bags and toppers on The Candy Bag Shop’s Facebook page.

I found these rainbow popcorn style boxes and instantly knew they would be perfect as our favours.

I also popped in some bubble wands I found in a local pound shop, a Trolls keyring I bought on eBay and some chewy sweets. The kids were thrilled with them.

 

Trolls Party Party favour trolls pez and rainbow boxTrolls Party Rainbow party favour boxesTrolls Party sweet wands

 

The Outfit

I found this brilliant unicorn costume online which was brightly coloured with sequin lined skirt and rainbow arm and leg warmers! So much fun. Although Eden didn’t wear the unicorn headband. We opted for a rainbow colour bow instead.

 

Trolls Party Edens unicorn outfit

 

Thank you for reading ‘Tips for an awesome Trolls Party’

 

Pin me for later:

 

Trolls Party

Crafts, Days Out, Eating Out, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17

weekly round up bracelets

My weekly round up

Well I have to apologise… it’s more like my two weekly round up (possibly verging on three!). Since the school holidays hit I’ve literally been on auto pilot and my feet have barely touched the floor. I’m exhausted to say the least. I’ve been juggling days out, working, the gym, volunteering, parenting, party planning and the odd bit of housework! So with all that going on I have to confess. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for the last couple of weeks.

So it’s been jam packed so far. We’ve had my husbands family come to stay for the first week. They travelled down from Scotland hoping for some sunshine sadly, all they got was rain! We soldiered on and went on plenty of days out braving the truly rubbish British weather! We still had a fantastic time.

Week 1

During the first week we visited the Fairies and Elves festival at Audley End Miniature Railway… it was a truly magical day. A ride on the train through the woods followed by lots of fun with the fairies, you can read about it here.

weekly round up audley end fairy and elf festival

We also got some more use from our Merlin Annual Passes and visited Chessington World of Adventures. The rain meant few queues so was great news for us! Read our review on the Merlin Annual pass here.

weekly round up eden at chessington

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Barbican Centre to meet ‘Buttons’ the animatronic Cadbury Cow. We had a life drawing class with illustrator Rose Blake and stuffed our faces full of chocolate! My kind of day! It was part of Cadbury’s ‘Adopt a Cow’ campaign. You can read more about it here.

weekly round up cadbury adopt a cow Buttons

I’ve also recently been invited to try out our local David Lloyd club, so have been making the most of it. It’s been brilliant taking Eden along to the kids club classes and I’ve been able to train with my husband in the gym. It’s really taken the pressure off childcare during the school holidays. We even tried out the squash courts and I managed to hit myself with the racquet! The bruise is still going strong after a week. ha ha. Read more about it here.

weekly round up david lloyd gymweekly round up david lloyd squash courtweekly round up david lloyd selfie collage

Read

Well I’ve recently been enjoying reading a new blog ‘whinge whinge wine’. Fran has been making me laugh out loud this week and choke on my coffee. Not forgetting her amusing Facebook posts… the Ta Ta towels were quite an eyeful! I love looking out for Fran’s posts!

Watched

I am volunteer befriender for Age UK and regularly visit a wonderful elderly lady called Beryl. She is 90 years young, just celebrated her birthday this week. We have a lovely bond and natter away for hours each visit putting the world to rights. During the school holidays I’ve taken Eden with me to meet her. Initially I was nervous that Eden might get bored or play up but she has made me very proud. It was so warming to watch the two of them together. Reading books, laughing, joking, colouring in and having a cuddle on the sofa. It was simply magical. Eden told me as we left ‘she is a very nice lady isn’t she mummy’ and I tend to agree with her!

Heard

About million questions every day from my almost 5 year old. My brain needs a rest! Enough said!

Wore

Well I think this adorable outfit with matching headband from Next has to be my ‘wore’ choice this week. I just loved Eden in this outfit with lemon leggings and matching cardi. I think she look so adorable. Doug my husband passed comment that she looked like a little washer woman! What does he know?!

weekly round up eden in next dressweekly round up eden in next dress and headband

Made

Eden made me the prettiest little friendship bracelet. She also made herself a matching one too. She used up all the heart charms on my one so didn’t have enough for her own! I love it, Eden can be so thoughtful, I will treasure it forever.

We also went on a Scrapbook Safari at Hylands House, set in the Park. Unfortunately it was in the rain so wasn’t a great time to see the grounds! But after getting soaking wet outside we got to go into Hylands House. Eden got to make scrapbook pages about the trail, this weeks theme was ‘under the sea’ and we made a cardboard fish. The least waterproof type of fish!

weekly round up Our friendship bracelets
weekly round up eden at hylands house nature trailweekly round up cardboard fish and scrapbook

Ate

We returned to one of my favourite afternoon tea spots, Camelia Hotel in Southend. We were thoroughly spoilt with the warmest, freshest scones straight out of the oven! Served with a huge cup of clotted cream, just as they should be! Read more about my favourite afternoon tea spots here.

weekly round up camelia hotel afternoon tea

And lastly

We have partied hard over the last few weeks. Many of Eden’s friends are turning 5 so we’ve been busy attending all the parties. Best is yet to come though as Eden’s will be next week! I cannot believe that my little pickle will be 5! That went by in the blink of an eye!
So next week I will be busy making the cake, balloon towers, card and a Playdoh surprise egg (oh god help me!). The last one took me about 4 hours… you can see Eden open her last one here! What am I thinking doing it again, I must be mad?! I’ll blog about it and let you know!

weekly round up eden and balloons

weekly round up party table and cakes

Thank you for reading ‘My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17’

Linking up with My Little loves

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
Crafts, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My Weekly Round Up with Little Loves

My weekly round up

So this is my first Weekly Round up. Wow what a week it has been. I feel like my feet haven’t touched the floor and my brain hasn’t switched off. At the start of the week was Eden’s last day in Reception before they moved up to Year 1 for the last two weeks of school. It was an emotional good bye to her wonderful teachers and teaching assistants. They have really made her first year a special one. I must confess I did cry, I knew I would but I feel so sad my little one has finished her first year at school! Where did that year go? I feel like it was just yesterday I was standing at the gate taking her first day of school pics.

The rest of the week has flown by in a blur of school runs, shopping, the gym and lots of working from home. We’ve been making so many teacher gifts this week at at The Candy Bag Shop.

Read

Well Eden has been reading to me lots this week, her reading is really surprising me every day! She seems to be really picking it up and remembering more words without having to sound them out. I love that this is opening up a whole new world for Eden, she has been a book worm since she was just a baby! Even now one of her favourite days out is our local library. It’s so exciting that soon she will be able to read all these books!

Watched

I watched The Labyrinth with Eden, tucked up and cosy on the sofa together. I’m so pleased she seemed to like it as much as I do. Labyrinth was one of my favourite films growing up. It was originally released in 1986 so I wouldn’t have been far off Eden’s age when I first watched this. I love the film so much I even bought myself this little gem this week! The Sarah & the worm Pop Vinyl figure. The little worm was one of my favourite characters in the film, he is too adorable, ‘Allo’!

My little loves Sarah and the worm labyrinthMy little loves the labyrinth movie

Heard

This week I heard some lovely words from Eden, she melted my heart! I saw her coming out of class carrying a big cardboard box. Initially my heart sunk, yet another ‘creation’ brought home from school. I thought to myself ‘WTF is that and where the am I going to put it?’.

As she came out of class beaming with pride at her new creation, aka ‘the glitter box’. I was wondering how long I’d have to keep it before it could find its way into the recycling bin! And then she hit me with it….

‘Mummy, I’ve made this for you as I want to say thank you for all the lovely things you do for me’. Well I melted, what a kind and thoughtful little girl she is growing into! Boy, did I feel guilty about plotting the ‘end’ of ‘the Glitter Box’!!!

However when we got home I was allowed to open the box. It contained a half coloured picture and a million pieces of sparkly bits of paper and sequins. She then proceeded to tip them all out onto the lounge carpet!

Sorry to say the box is no more!!!!!

My little loves Eden's glitter box

Made

This week I was kept super busy with teacher gifts both with my work and for Eden’s teacher gifts. I made personalised cotton tote bags with glitter vinyl, these cute little retro sweet filled milk bottles and packaged it all up in these pretty little hampers. I had to watch videos on YouTube to learn how to make the hamper bows but didn’t quite like them so just ended up making up my own. Not perfect but I think they didn’t turn out too bad.

The Candy Bag Shop teacher gifts

The Candy Bag Shop teacher milk bottle

Wore

This week I wore a gorgeously bright yellow frill top from Next. It got lots of comments which was nice, so it brightened my day in more ways than one!

My weekly round up next yellow frill top

Ate

Well I eat low carb and one of my favourite low carb places for breakfast is Creme in Leigh. I often go here with my dad for a coffee and a catch up. I always choose their ‘Low Carb’ brekkie, the steak is always cooked to perfection!

Also love to go there on on a cheat day as their cakes and shakes are out of this world!!

My little loves Creme low carb breakfastMy little loves cream leigh
And lastly

I’ve realised that I’m absolutely rubbish at hairstyles for Eden and I need to maybe think about getting myself booked onto some sort of course to learn braiding!

Linking up with:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
Thank you so much for reading my weekly round up and Little loves!
Crafts, Family Life, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

How to – Scrapbooking for kids

scrapbooking for kids

Why Scrapbook?

I absolutely love taking photos of my daughter. I’m the first to admit that I do go a little mad taking hundreds of photos, I just don’t want to miss a thing. I want to capture every milestone, every trip, day out or funny moment. It’s surprising how much you do actually forget. This is why I want to talk about Scrapbooking for kids. It’s not only a great way to document your adventures but it is a brilliant way of getting your little ones involved too.

Photos

So once the photos have been taken, they are no good to anyone stuck on your phone or a portable hard drive! I actually want my daughter to see and look back on all those wonderful moments too. So each month I go through my photos and print a bunch of my favourites. I use two mobile apps that print your pics for free and you just pay for delivery. Each month you get a renewable allowance. I’m sure there are others on the market but these are the ones I use:

FreePrints – you get 45 free 6×4 free prints to use each month. Delivery is £3.99.

Snapfish –  you get 50 free 6×4 free prints each month. Delivery is £2.99.

Using your prints

So once you’ve got packets of photos arriving through the door, what next? I really wanted to involve my daughter so thought Scrapbooking would be perfect. Rather than display them in a boring photo album, I thought a scrapbook decorated by her own fair hand would be so much more personal.

Where to buy

I used to scrap book myself years ago and if there’s one thing I remember, it was super ‘expensive’! We didn’t really have many options to purchase decorations and supplies so it meant the majority of the products were from the USA making it an expensive hobby to have. The shops that stocked Scrapbooking products were also few and far between. Great news is, it’s now cheap as chips to scrapbook! We have an abundance of shops that stock really cheap craft items. Most supermarkets have a craft aisle now and pound shops have a great range of craft and Scrapbooking products. Every time I pop into a pound shop I buy a couple of packs of stickers or embellishments. That means I can add to our ‘stash’ without paying out huge amounts in one go.

Scrapbooking for kids stickers
What you need

Well, when you’re Scrapbooking for kids it’s best not to make it too complicated for the younger ones. We started Eden’s scrapbook when she was just two years old. We kept to using just stickers so she could stick them in by herself quite easily, rather than making a gluey mess!

First off you need a scrapbook album, anything between 8 to 12 inches is perfect. Thicker card pages are recommend rather than paper, but it’s your scrap book so your choice. The one we use was £1 from a pound shop and about 10 inches square. It also has a nice ribbon to tie the book close.

You’ll also need a pen to write what the page is about, a glue stick to glue in your photos and then some packs of stickers or embellishments to decorate the pages. I often save tickets and stickers from our days out and stick them in too.

Scrapbooking for kids what you need
Decorating your pages

Initially the control freak in me wanted to step in, takeover and make it ‘perfect’, especially when Eden was so small! I had to fight against my instincts and just let Eden be creative, in the end this is what makes them perfect. On each page, Eden selects which photos she wants to use, sticks them in and chooses her decorations. I normally just help out with writing the labels for her page, but I’m sure she will be doing this herself very soon.

Scrapbooking for kids Eden sticking

Scrapbooking for kids Eden creating page

Scrapbooking for kids

Scrapbooking for kids Eden with finished page

Some pages are of course more beautiful than others but each one is created with love. I treasure Eden’s scrapbooks and it’s something that Eden loves to do, she regularly asks ‘Mummy can we do some Scrapbooking today?’. I’m only too happy to oblige, I look forward to looking through them all in years to come and treasuring every captured moment together.

Here are some of Eden’s wonderful creations:

Scrapbooking for kids selection of pages
Scrapbooking for kids scrapbook page

Thank you for reading ‘How to – Scrapbooking for kids’.

Pin me for later

How to -Scrapbooking for kids
Em x