Tag Archives: kids crafts

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

With my small boy being a massive Paw Patrol fan (have you noticed?) our house is slowly filling with Paw Patrol toys and merchandise. The latest addition is a brand a new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set from John Adams Toys which was launched this month.

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

Paw Patrol fans will love the new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set. It’s a reboot of the classic fuzzy craft toy which you might remember from your own childhood. I think every adult I know gets misty-eyed about the happy hours they spent playing with Fuzzy Felt and I’m no exception. I had previously dismissed Fuzzy Felt as a bit too basic and a bit too old fashioned for my son. But I was wrong, completely wrong. 

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

The new Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set costs £10.99 and is widely available in toy shops and online. The Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set contains four felt sheets with over 70 assorted felt shapes and a felt playboard. All you need is your imagination and you’re all set for hours of fuzzy fun. 

The felt shapes come in sheets and you can easily pop the pre-cut felt shapes out and arrange them however you want on the playboard. Come on, you know how fuzzy felt works, why am I explaining it? 

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

The Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set is suitable for children aged 3+ and I did think it would be far too basic and old fashioned for my six year old, but I was very, very wrong. He absolutely loved it, we sat in the garden for well over an hour playing with it. I went inside and left him to it for another half hour while I cooked our dinner and he happily played with it. He only stopped to eat and then was straight back on it again. It just goes to show, the classics are classics for a reason.

Toy Review: Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set

If I had any criticism at all, it would be that the playboard is just A4 sized and I know my son would have loved something a bit bigger, perhaps an A3 board which folds down to an A4 size would suit him better. 

I am really pleased my son likes this Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set. It’s perfect for packing to take on holiday, especially knowing how long he will happily play with it. I know he will get great play value from this. If you’re wavering over buying fuzzy felt, don;t waver, just do it. I am astonished by how much he likes it.

You can watch my son playing with his Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol set here on YouTube.

Disclaimer: We were sent this Fuzzy Felt Paw Patrol Set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains an affiliate link.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

One of my son’s favourite things in the world is Paw Patrol. He’s been fairly obsessed with the TV series for about three years now. His love for Chase, Marshall, Ryder and the team is as long standing as it gets for a six year old. It also shows no signs of waning. He’s got quite a lot of Paw Patrol merchandise, but he’s always keen to add more to his collection. Over the Bank Holiday weekend we gave him a eZee Beads PAW Patrol set to try, but what did he think?

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

The eZee Beads PAW Patrol set was launched this year and costs around £16.99 for the set. eZee Beads PAW Patrol is suitable for ages 5+ and comes with three Paw Patrol designs to make – Chase, Marshall and The Look Out.

The set comes with –

  • 900 eZee beads
  • Bead tray
  • Plastic tool
  • Water sprayer
  • 3 design cards
  • Bead storage tray
  • Instructions

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

This new kit from John Adams allows you to recreate your favourite Paw Patrol characters with colourful beads. Just select a design card, push the beads onto the pegs of the tray and then spray with water. Then leave your beads to dry (and stick together). Once it’s dry, carefully remove your bead design from the tray. 

To begin with I helped him to get it all set up, putting the beads into the bead storage tray and showing him how to put the beads on the pegged tray. You’re supposed to slot the design into the bead tray and put the coloured beads on top of the design. But the cardboard design kept falling out and the plastic tray obscured it. We found it easier to have it next to the board and count the different coloured beads in each row.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

As with all bead crafts, this was a little fiddly for his small boy fingers. But that’s the point, bead crafts like this are excellent for helping to boost his hand-eye co-ordination as well as strengthen the muscles in his hands which will help to improve his pen holding and writing.

It was not too fiddly though. Once he got into the rhythm of it he methodically placed the beads into position. He really enjoyed bringing Chase’s face to life in bead form. 

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

Once he’d finished the design (which kept him very well occupied for over an hour) we sprayed the beads with water and left them to dry and stick together. When we’ve done bead crafts in the past they have always been the kind you have to iron, I’ve never been that keen on that if I’m honest. Whilst the results are pretty instant, a hot iron and an excited child are a combination which makes me a bit nervous.

The instructions say to leave the beads to dry for half an hour, but when I checked it was still a bit wet so I put it to one side for a few more hours. Once it was dry I used the tool supplied to try to ease the design off the bead tray. This was a bit tricky, I didn’t want to break his design. I very carefully teased the edges off with the spatula end and with the sharper end ran it underneath the beads to release them. After a couple of minutes of gentle persuasion the design came off the board and was admired by everyone in the room.

Toy Review: eZee Beads PAW Patrol

He was really pleased with the results of his hard work, and rightly so. I was really impressed that he sat for so long to compete his design. The eZee Beads PAW Patrol set was really easy to use and contained everything you need. We liked it a  lot. It’s ideal for a bit of quiet, focused craft time and the eZee Beads are, well, very easy to use.

The eZee Beads Paw Patrol set from John Adams is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon.

Disclaimer: We were sent the eZee Beads Paw Patrol set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This blog post contains an affiliate link.

Craft Round Up: Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

At this time of year the trees are shedding their beautiful leaves. The pavements and paths are filled with crispy and colourful leaves and they are crying out to be used in crafts. Easy autumn leaf crafts are amongst my favourite kinds of craft, partly because it’s good fun to actually collect the leaves, then sitting down with the boys and having fun crafting something beautiful makes me happy. Here are some of my five favourite ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts.

Autumn Leaf Sand Art

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

We are firm fans of sand art and we loved doing this fab kit from Baker Ross. My top tip for sand art is to do it on a tray or a piece of paper so you can collect any stray sand to use again later. These sand art kits are fab, just peel the stickers off the leaf and sprinkle sand onto the sticky paper underneath. It requires some concentration and a steady hand, but my five year old loved it and I think he made some very beautiful autumn leaves.

Make your own Autumn Wreath

Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

This is a great rainy day activity. Using some foam stickers from Baker Ross and a paper plate we made our own autumn wreath which I think looks pretty cool, and he enjoyed making it which is the most important thing.

Making Autumnal Alphabet Wreaths

autumnal alphabet wreaths

This is a craft I did myself (a grown up craft if you will), but you could easily do this with children too. I think this looks fab and it was really good fun to do too, it’s probably one of my favourite easy autumn leaf crafts. You can read my tutorial here.

Create an autumnal woodland wonderland

easy autumn leaf crafts

This is one of those easy autumn leaf crafts which is good to have up your sleeve for a rainy day. It was incredibly easy, but he had the best time making his woodland wonderland, who doesn’t love stickers? These woodland foam stickers from Baker Ross are great. We used them with some of the leftover leaf stickers from our autumn wreath and made our lovely woodland scenes. All I had to do was print out a silhouette of a tree and he did the rest.

Paint your own tree

easy autumn leaf crafts

I’m very fond of this one. We had so much fun going to the park and collecting a big bag of leaves. When we got home we had a hot chocolate and warmed up. We painted a big tree and then stuck leaves on it. This wonderful artwork is still hung up in our kitchen and it makes me smile at the memory every time I see it.

These are my ideas for easy autumn leaf crafts – what do you like to make at this time of year?

 
Five Easy Autumn Leaf Crafts

I am a Baker Ross Ambassador.

Easy Ideas for Halloween Crafts

One of my favourite things about Halloween, apart from being given an excuse to dress up, is Halloween crafts. It’s one of those occasions when you and the kids can go all out on the spooky stuff.

Last year me made a few different Halloween crafts, but our favourites were the Spooky Lanterns from Baker Ross which you can find out how to make here. They are still available this year on the Baker Ross website and they do look really effective.

halloween crafts

This month we’ve been starting to look at some more easy Halloween Crafts. We were sent a selection of Halloween and autumnal themed crafts to try (we will do the autumnal crafts in a separate blog post).

The Halloween crafts we were sent were –
  • Day of the Dead colour in mini gift bags
  • Halloween Dotty Art
  • Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits

halloween crafts

Day of the Dead has been very much in fashion for the last few years and is gaining in popularity. Indeed, last year I dressed as a Day of the Dead style zombie bride for Halloween. The little colour in gift bags (there are 6 in a pack) would be a great craft activity for a kid’s Halloween party, then they could fill their bags with sweets and take them home afterwards. 

halloween crafts

The Halloween Dotty Art kits would also be great for a Halloween Party (we are going to take ours on holiday with us over half term). The pack contains eight different Halloween designs (Monster, Spider, Cat, Ghost, Pumpkin, Owl, Bat & Skull) and packs of coloured stickers. You then stick the stickers on the spooky design and bring your Halloween picture to life. This kind of thing is great for strengthening little fingers and increasing dexterity, as well as being a fun activity you can do together without creating any mess.

halloween crafts

I love pom pom crafts, so I was pleased to find these Halloween Pom Pom Decoration Kits in my box of seasonal crafts from Baker Ross. The pom pom kit contains everything you need to make a spider, a bat and a pumpkin. 

Like most pom pom crafts they are a little fiddly to make and probably need a grown up to get it started and help tie it off at the end. Making pom poms is lots of fun and once you’ve snipped your threads you can start to see your spooky pom pom creature come to life.

The Baker Ross website has hundreds of easy to do craft kids for children and adults alike. Their kits are almost universally well designed and thought out, and there’s something for all ages, abilities and craft interests, often with minimal mess and fuss. For easy Halloween crafts, have a look at Baker Ross for inspiration.

We are Baker Ross Ambassadors.

How to Scrapbook – Project Craft at Paperchase

Paperchase (purveyors of beautiful stationery and arts and crafts materials) have recently launched “Project Craft”, a series of special crafting workshops for adults and children. The Project Craft sessions are currently only available in three flagship stores – Manchester, Glasgow and London, but they should be rolled out to a high street near you soon (check the website for details).

Being an occasionally crafty type, I was invited along to their Manchester store for an evening of crafting and cupcakes. The Project Craft workshops cost from £10 and include all the craft materials you will need for the session. Current Project Craft workshops include –

  • How to scrapbook
  • How to make a tissue paper pom pom
  • Card making with dye-cutting, lino print or foil
  • How to make kids crafts
  • How to make paper flowers
  • DIY stationery

A small group of happy crafters sat in a quiet corner of the store, next to the little cafe upstairs in an area set aside for Project Craft. We were there for the “How to Scrapbook” workshop, which costs £20 and includes a scrapbook and some materials. You are also advised to take along some photographs, old tickets, paper keepsakes and souvenirs that you might want to incorporate into your scrapbook.

project craft

If you’re a bit of a hoarder of tickets and little bits of paper, a scrapbook can be a lovely way to keep it all together and make something of your memories. At the workshop you create at least one double page layout and learn lots of useful tips including how to arrange your photos, layer pages and embellish your scrapbook with different products.

Sadly I’d forgotten to bring some things to scrapbook, but undeterred I rifled through some magazines and had a good rummage through the papers and embellishments they had. Thankfully I managed to forage enough nice things to make a few pages for my scrapbook.

project craft

There was expert tutelage from the Project Craft team at Paperchase. They gave an overview of the scrapbooking process, showed us some examples and sample templates and set us to work creating our masterpieces. There was always someone on hand to give advice and encouragement when required. I was the only scrapbooking virgin in the room, but I didn’t feel too far behind the others and whilst what I created was probably a bit basic, I was happy with the results. 

project craft

Whilst my crafting heart probably doesn’t lie in scrapbooking, I did enjoy the process and I think this would be a nice thing to do with my son. Something we can use to document our days out together and something we can use to look back on in later life. I really like the idea of scrapbooking holidays and visits to museums and such like with him. 

My scrapbooking might not be perfect, but it was very enjoyable and I learned a few things that I will take forward with me. I enjoyed my little taster of Project Craft at Paperchase and I will be booking in to try the lino print craft workshop soon.

Project Craft Workshops are available at Paperchase in Manchester, Glasgow and London, with more stores to follow soon. For more information visit the Paperchase website.

Note: I was an invited guest of Paperchase and I was not asked to pay for my workshop place or materials. All images and opinions are my own.

Easter Crafts for Kids (and grown-ups too!)

Easter has “crafts” written all over it. There are so many Easter crafts to make, from Easter cards to Easter bonnets and beyond. Easter has the benefit of having a long Bank Holiday weekend as well as a couple of weeks off school for the holidays. That means there are an awful lot of hours to keep the kids occupied, crafting is a great way to fill an hour or two, especially if they just need a bit of quiet time, concentrating on a task and creating something lovely.

We got cracking with some Easter Crafts over the weekend. We all sat down and decorated these Egg Mosaic Baubles from Baker Ross. The pack contains everything you need to decorate four of the polystyrene eggs, including the eggs, a selection of sticky squares, ribbon and plastic pins. 

Easter crafts

It’s quite fiddly to peel the backing off each individual square, so I peeled them off in rows or blocks, stuck them on the back of my hand and peeled them off as I needed them. The small boy didn’t like the idea of doing neat rows, so he stuck his on randomly, which I really like, and for some reason it made me think of Tetris the computer game.

Once the eggs were covered in the mosaic stickers I pinned the ribbons in place and hung them on a plant. I think they’re quite lovely and the certainly brighten the place up. The small boy is always so proud of his crafts and can’t wait to show them off to anyone who will look.

Later that day I was flicking through a craft magazine when I saw something I recognised. The Spring Blossom Tree kit from Baker Ross. Inspired, I got the kit out of our crafts box and made my first (and rather lovely) blossom tree.

easter crafts

The instructions are really clear and easy to understand. The tree, blossom and stand are all made from foam pieces, you stick the glittery blossom onto the plain coloured blossom and stick that onto the tree, and the stand just slots together. It’s very simple and very effective. I’m a sucker of cherry blossom, whether it’s made of foam or not.

We’ve got lots more Easter crafts and things to do over the next few weeks, so do keep an eye on our Instagram feed for new ideas and inspiration!

Valentine’s Day Crafts & Activity Sheets

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the small boy and I sat down for an afternoon of Valentine’s Day crafts and activity sheets to get us into the spirit of things. Generally Hubs and I don’t much go in for too many hearts and flowers, we’ve been together since 1995 so we’ve seen more Valentine’s Days together than most, but a heartfelt card and a small token gift is always the order of the day. 

We’d already started to make some cute heart shaped decorations using a heart decoration bead kit from Baker Ross. The kits include some nice long pipe-cleaners and lots of colourful beads. You thread the beads onto the pipe-cleaners and then bend into a heart shape. The kit comes with a little bell you can attach to the heart and some ribbon so you can hang it up. It was a lovely, fun activity which we did together. It was also great for helping to develop his fine motor skills which are essential with helping him to learn to write.

Valentine's Day Crafts

A reasonably quick but fun craft we did was to make these heart pets photo frame fridge magnets. Again these are from Baker Ross and they’re really easy to put together. The foam pieces and googly eyes all have peel off backs, so you just peel everything off and stick it together. The small boy enjoyed putting the frame together and making his doggy. He said he’s going to give his frame to Grandad on Valentine’s Day, because he loves him *heart melts*.

Valentine's Day Crafts

Again, the peeling and sticking actions are all great for those fine motor skills, and for exercising his pincer grip, we can’t get enough of that kind of thing at the moment.

Once we’d put our craft box away, we decided to have a go at some of the Valentine’s Day activity sheets we’d printed off from Twinkl, including the Valentine’s Day worksheet and the Valentine’s Day word and picture matching worksheets. These went down very well with the boy, we started with the word and picture matching, he spelt out every word and we looked at the pictures to see which we thought might match the word, he loves this kind of activity at the moment so I was glad we had a couple of sheets of these to do.

Valentine's Day Crafts

The worksheet was a little more challenging for him, he’s not a confident writer, so together we thought about some of the questions and how we might answer them. He verbally listed everyone he loved (dogs first, naturally) and then said his best friend was Daddy. He was getting tired by now, so we called it a day. I didn’t want to push things as that can be counterproductive. It was time for a cuddle and a walk in the park!

Valentine's Day Crafts

We both love our craft afternoons together. It’s lovely to see him focus on a task and enjoy sitting with me. These quiet moments with him are probably the highlight of my week. I think I know who my Valentine is this (and every) year.

Christmas Crafts: Make Your Own Reindeer Crown

Now the weather has taken a decidedly wintery turn I’m starting to get into the Christmas spirit. This weekend was an especially cold one, the small boy had a nasty cold and we decided to stay in, cosy in front of the fire and have a lazy weekend. Keen to get cracking with some Christmas crafts we busied ourselves by making a reindeer crown using hand prints and we were pleased with the results.

reindeer crown

The reindeer crown kits are available from Baker Ross and come in packs of 4 or 16. The packs contain everything you need to make the crown, except for glue, though we used double sided sticky tape because it’s quicker and there’s less mess than with glue.

The instructions are really easy to follow. Draw around your hands and cut out your hand print shape – I did the cutting because the small boy is terrifying with scissors or anything with a blade. The instructions suggest you use glue to stick the cut our hand shapes onto the headband, but I used double sided sticky tape for this. The other pieces, the ears, the reindeer hair and the holly and berries are self-adhesive, so the small boy peeled the backing paper off these and stuck them onto the headband.

Once he had finished he very proudly wore it around the house for a few hours, I think these make a nice alternative to the paper cracker crowns we are forced to wear for Christmas dinner, so I might make myself one to wear on Christmas Day.

reindeer crown

There was some parental supervision required with the cutting out of the hand shapes, but other than that he did the rest himself. It was something he enjoyed doing, he likes peeling and sticking things. It was pretty simple, but it kept him interested and entertained for a while. Another good and fun Christmas activity from Baker Ross!

 

Christmas Crafts – Making Snowman Mosaics

It may still only be November but I’m already starting to feel a bit Christmassy, I think it’s probably down to all the planning ahead of time so I’m less stressed later. They must be talking about it at school too as the small boy is all excited and ready to get stuck into the festivities. We’ve been busy baking Christmas cakes and starting to think about presents and decorations. One wet afternoon we sat and made some snowman mosaic coasters which I’ve decided would also look great as Christmas decorations.

The snowman mosaic coaster kit from Baker Ross contains everything you’ll need – a pre-cut snowman with a selection of foam stickers to stick on and decorate your snowman. If like me you want to turn the finished snowman into a Christmas tree decoration you’ll need a bit of ribbon and some sticky tape too.

Snowman Mosaics

Popping the foam stickers out of their sheet and peeling the backing off them is quite fiddly for little fingers, so it’s good practice for the small boy who has recently turned five. He did very well and managed to do most of them himself, only asking me to help him with the white circles, probably because there were lots and lots of them. This is a great task to help with hand-eye co-ordination and to improve dexterity and finger strength, which can really help with learning to write.

It’s a really simple kit and the snowman mosaics look really effective, too good to just be used as coasters, which is why I’m going to attach some ribbon so we can hang them on the tree once that’s up.

The snowman mosaics kits are from Baker Ross and come in packs of 6 or 18. It’s a nice tidy activity to do, it doesn’t require any setting up or any mess, just have a bowl ready to put the bits of backing paper in and you’re sorted. In fact I’ve put one in my bag for when we go out, it’s something we can do together while we’re having lunch that doesn’t involve an ipad. 

The thing I liked most about making the snowman mosaics was the chance to chat. We were both industriously beavering away on our snowmen, chatting away about school, Christmas and his recent birthday, and occasionally bursting into happy song. It was a fun half hour on an otherwise grim November day.

Halloween Crafts – Making Spooky Lanterns

It has become something of a tradition that we have a little Halloween party each year. We schedule it during half term so it gives the kids a chance to get together and have fun, and us mums get to catch up with each other. I provide the house and some basic drinks and snacks, the other mums bring extra snacks, craft activities and games, one even taught a dance routine last year! In preparation for the party we’ve started doing some Halloween crafts at home and making some things to decorate the house with for the party.

We were sent a pack of four Halloween lanterns to make from Baker Ross. They have a really interesting selection of Halloween crafts to make and I particularly like the “day of the dead” themed crafts which might be more enjoyable for older children.

There were four different designs of spooky lanterns in the pack on different coloured card. The designs were punched out of the card and we needed to push out the design and glue the “stained glass” tissue paper on the inside of the lantern windows. This was really easy and good practice for little fingers doing a semi-fiddly job.

My top tip would be to fold the creases of the spooky lanterns where they have been scored before you start gluing and sticking, if you pre-fold them so they’re ready it makes things much easier later on.

halloween crafts

Once you’ve glued the tissue paper stained glass into place you should leave it to dry for a few hours. Then the instructions say to glue the flap on the lantern in place to create the box shape. We glued ours, but in the future I’d probably use double sided sticky tape – much easier, quicker and less sticky. 

Once the glue is dry, following the instructions, fold the lantern together and affix the stick and glittery string. You can pop an LED tea-light in if you like, but I think it looks rather fab on its own. We’ll make the rest of the lanterns and hang them from the ceiling for our party! 

The boy really enjoyed making these with me. The instructions were clear, but he did need a grown up to help guide him and to do some of the tricky folding. He loved the result though and proudly showed off his lantern to everyone who would look. This was a great Halloween craft activity, something different for us to do which we both enjoyed!