Easter Gift Baskets #BostikBloggers

We used all the felt from our #Bostikbloggers kit last week to make Easter themed felts, but we still had loads of goodies left over in our box from CraftMerrily, including all the embellishments – eggs, buttons, flowers – that are as much Spring as they are Easter.Easter Gift Baskets

We received a miniature basket, some ‘hay’ as my children call it, but it’s not hay! It’s the stringy stuff though, and a supersonic glue. It’s called Bostik Blu-Tack Fast Tak and seriously, this glue is like Spiderman got it on with superglue. Get that stuff on your hands and you spend the rest of the day clinging to everything around you. It’s effective though.

For these gift jars or gift baskets we made egg shaped biscuits, which the children and I decorated. You could make anything though – Jellybean Fudge is pretty and looks kind of egg shaped too. Or if you don’t have time to make something, fill it with chocolate eggs.Easter Gift Baskets

We then stuffed the ‘hay’ into the baskets, leaving enough overlapping so the glue has something to cling to. You could glue the strips in, but I didn’t really find that necessary. It clings quite well on it’s own. These little baskets are only big enough for about 2 – 3 tiny eggs, so don’t over fill it. Easter Gift Baskets

Spray the glue (or use your regular glue) to the eggs, and lay them inside the basket.Easter Gift Baskets

Fill a jar with biscuits, fudge or other Easter treats.

Easter Gift Baskets

Thread a strand of the ‘hay’ through the basket handle and attach it to the jar. You could wrap it around the lid of the jar so that there’s easy access, or you can seal it by threading it through the clasp.

Give your friends and family their beautiful Easter gifts!

We receive a craft pack as part of the #BostikBlogger project once a month. This contains craft materials and Bostik glues to hold it all together.

NEW! Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine Review

If your little one is a fan of Andy’s Wild Adventure on CBeebies, Immediate Media have a treat in store for them: The new Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine which launches today.

What they tell us about Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine:

Andy's Amazing AdventuresThis magazine is aimed at 3 – 6 year olds, and the magazine is based on the extremely popular CBeebies shows Andy’s Wild Adventures, Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and the forthcoming Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures and will cover all of Andy’s adventures.

In each issue, Andy will be their trustworthy guide as they explore the world and even travel through time, meeting creatures, facing dangers and solving problems along the way. It is packed with puzzles, stickers, colouring, stories and comes with a great free gift with every issue.

The magazine is based on the 7 key areas of learning that support early years development so it’s full of fun things while also supporting the readers’ learning.

What did we think of Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine?

We’ve received the first edition in advance of today’s launch, and the first thing I noted about the contents were that they are spot on for their target. My 6 year old finds all the puzzles and activities easy, but not boring and my 3 year old finds them challenging enough to do together, so I think it’s perfectly targeted.Read more: NEW! Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine Review

Amy And The Feelings Basket Series – Book Reviews

I’ve mentioned Amy and the Feelings Basket before, specifically The New Arrival, about the arrival of a new baby, but there are actually more Amy and the Feelings Basket books in the series. We have The New Arrival, Dad’s Leaving, Brave Beats the Bullies and Starting School.

Amy and the Feelings Basket is a series by Debbie Kinghorn, an NLP Child Therapist and Learning Practitioner, illustrated by Louise Grundy and Sofie D.

This series of books, predominantly aimed at ages 4 – 8, includes stories with emotive topics and encourage children and parents to explore these difficult topics together.

Feeling Basket Inside

The Magic Basket, the first book, opens with Amy crying on her bed because she doesn’t want to become a big sister. Her mother brings her a piece of cloth, which opens up into a blue magic basket. Amy puts her hand in the basket, and out comes Curious -a personified feeling who guides her through how to explore what she’s feeling. Being curious, Curious asks her what she was doing when her mother came in, and next thing you know, another feeling – Sad – comes into play. Curious and Sad help explore her feelings of worry about why her parents want another child, and help her realise that maybe they’re not trying to replace her, but ‘add to’ her. It’s quite a lovely message.

The New Arrival happens a few months later, obviously when the new baby enters the story and Amy learns to be a loving big sister with the help of

In Starting School*, Amy deals with the prospect of starting a new school.  Confused and Confident help her prepare for the big day, and everything works out.

Brave Beats the Bullies is self explanatory, as Amy Thorpe is bullied at school and how she stands up to the bullies, and while it may not deter their behaviour, she adapts how it affects her.

Dad’s Leaving is kind of sad – specially in light of my own recent separation, but it does deal with the topic of dad leaving very well. This story introduces Finn, Amy’s neighbour, whose parents are splitting up. Finn deals with feelings of confusion, rejection and curiosity in this book, which helps him come to terms with the changes in his family.Read more: Amy And The Feelings Basket Series – Book Reviews

Easter Felt Crafts- #BostikBloggers

When I was a child, my dad made us a big felt board on the back of a Carrom board and we spent hours playing with felt shapes, making up and telling stories using this board as our base. We had a huge bag of different felt ‘stories’, but now, 20 years and two continents later, I can’t begin to image what ever happened to all of that. Unfortunately I don’t really view myself as particularly crafty – I mean, I can’t make a lady bird out of felt, or a fish out of felt, for that matter… but a little bit of Pinterest and Google later, I realised I probably can make them out of hearts, and I can make hearts!

In our BostikBloggers box we seem to receive some felt sheets every month, so with last month’s box I made these heart-based-animals.

Bostik Bloggers February

This month the theme is Easter, and our box contained yellow and pink felt sheets, so I made some Easter eggs, spring flowers, bunnies, chickens and a duck. Easter Felts

I need to buy a nice large felt sheet for the girls to be able to use their felt shapes properly, but with any luck, and a bit of practice, I will be able to make them many more shapes in the weeks and months to come.

For these I didn’t really follow a pattern as such – I just free cut, which meant I made some mistakes, but in general you can see what they’re supposed to be. Easter Felts

My girls really loved their Easter shapes, despite Ameli thinking the bunny is a bit creepy looking, Aviya figured since it was pink it had to be fine. Perfect logic in my book! I know they’re not perfect, but they are fun, and that’s good enough for me.

My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book – Book Review

If there’s one thing that was going to be an indisputable winner in this house, it was always going to be My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book*, which we received as part of our Parragon Book Buddies mail this week.My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

What we love about My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

Well, where to start! My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book gives you 128 pages of fairy tale themed activities. The book is shaped (rather than just a square book) which always adds a fun element, for whatever reason, and is as you would expect, full of colourful illustrations. while it’s clearly a fairy tale book, it doesn’t feel overly girlified, meaning it’s not sickly pink. It stood out to me that the background of the cover is blue, which I really liked, subtle though it is.

The book is divided into four chapters – The Three Little Pigs, The Princess and the Pea, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Essentially this means that the activities, games, searches, mazes, colouring, counting games, drawing activities and more are all themed along the story. Each page contains a line of the story, and there’s an activity for each page. Each story has similar activities, but they are themed on the different stories, so it doesn’t feel terribly repetitive. Added to which you’re unlikely to do the whole book in one sitting, so that’s not a problem at all. Noticeable in this book was the absence of stickers, which seem to be a staple of all activity books, but the children didn’t miss them and I didn’t miss peeling them off the living room floor.

This book would be great for cold and rainy evenings, or great if you’re headed somewhere on a road trip this half term. Or in fact just as a screen break during what promises to be a rainy half term! It’s sure to be a winner with fans of fairy tales, and will provide a good few hours of entertainment.

My Giant Fairy Tale Activity BookWhat we don’t love about My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book

Honestly, looking for something to dislike in this activity book would be being pedantic. There’s nothing in it that was offensive or not to like. Except maybe Hansel and Gretel’s candy house. It made me want to lick the icing off a cupcake. Bad Hansel and Gretel.

Where can I find My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book?

Published in December 2015 by Pavilion books, My Giant Fairy Tale Activity Book has an RRP of £9.99, and is available at that price from Amazon. The Book Depository has it for £4.71 delivered.

The Incredible Journey Free Printable Resources

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on The Incredible Journey – by working on, I mean ‘reading’! We’ve also done a few other activities – a board game and an animal categorising ‘game’. I’ve also made some of our usual printable activities to share with you.

I remember reading The Incredible Journey as a child, and finding it disappointing compared to the movie, and reading it now as an adult I can see why – it’s not as Americanised as the movie – the characters have names you have to think about and they don’t talk as their movie-counterparts do. It’s not a long book, but it’s not always easy reading either. It’s a beautiful story of love, courage, friendship and perseverance and purpose though, and well worth reading together.

Below you will find letter writing practice sheet, a crossword that asks questions about the story (you won’t be able to answer this from watching the movie) and an easy and a difficult maze and finally, a word search. This is a harder word search, because some of the words go backwards.

To download a worksheet, just click on the image. It’ll open a PDF in a new window for you to print.

The Incredible Journey Writing Practice

Children can trace the letters to help them learn the sizing of letters compared to each other, or simply just to practice.

The Incredible Journey Handwriting Practice

The Incredible Journey Crossword Puzzle

An 11 clue crossword puzzle – the answers are at the bottom of the page. I thought rather than use a second page, just pop them on the bottom and fold the footer area over so little eyes can’t see the answers.

The Incredible Journey Crossword

The Incredible Journey Mazes

There are two mazes here to choose from – a simple one here and a tougher one. Pictured is the harder one.

The Incredible Journey difficult maze

The Incredible Journey Word Search

This word search is a little harder than the ones I normally do, I think, because the words run back to front and from the bottom up. I don’t normally like doing them this was as I think it’s confusing for younger participants, but it’s how it worked out this time.

The Incredible Journey Word Search

If you’ve enjoyed these activities, remember to check the rest of the tag for The Incredible Journey resources

Incredible Journey.

The Incredible Journey Board Game

I’d been trying to think of a way to do a story board around The Incredible Journey that showed the highlights and the progression of the story, but everything seemed to be a bit over Ameli’s (6yo) head, so I had the idea that a board game with the general outline of the story could work and so The Incredible Journey board game was born.

To play this game, you’ll need to print out the image below (landscape is best). You will need a dice and two or three markers. You can use small animal toys or pompoms or whatever, really. The game works well with two or three players.

The rules are pretty simple – start at Longridge’s House, throw the dice and move the required amount of spaces. If you land on a text space, follow the instructions and if not, carry on, each taking a turn until everyone’s helped Bodger, Luath and Tao find their way home.* The bad things that happen to the animals might cause players to have to miss a turn or go back a few spaces, while helpful humans help them progress. The only exception is when Tao is swept away by the river – land on that one and you can immediately skip 7 spaces to meet up with the canine friends.

We found that only playing with the dice up to 4 made the game last longer, so if we rolled a five or six, we just rolled again.
The Incredible Journey Boardgame

Click here for printable version of The Incredible Journey Board Game

*In the movie, Homeward Bound: The Incredibly Journey the animals had different names, Bodger is the young dog instead of the old one and is called Chance, Luath is the old dog, instead of the young energetic Labrador, and is called Shadow and Tao is called Sassy.

We designed this game and have been playing it as part of our study unit on The Incredible Journey

We hope you enjoy this little DIY board game!

Incredible Journey

Classifying Animals Into Categories

We’re busy reading The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford which starts off with a passage describing the landscape around Ontario, Canada, and the wildlife found in the forests.  I decided this passage was a great place to do some ‘classifying living things‘.

“… all these human beings together are as a handful of sand upon the ocean shores, and for the most part there is silence and solitude and an uninterrupted way of life for the wild animals that abound there: moose and deer, brown and black bears; lynx and fox; beaver, muskrat and otter; fishers, mink and marten. The wild duck rest there and the Canada goose, for this is a fringe of the central migratory flyway. The clear tree-fringed lakes and rivers are filled with speckled trout and steelheads, pike and pickerel and whitefish.”

I grabbed a bunch of photos from Canadian Geographic and put together a sheet of pictures with categories to divide them into.

Click here to download the printable worksheet.

I recommend laminating the cards. Canadian Animals

Create columns and sort by:

⦁ Bipedal animals and Quadruped animals
⦁ Nocturnal or Diurnal animals
⦁ Terrestrial or Aquatic animals
⦁ Herbivores, Carnivores or Omnivores
⦁ Conservation Status – Common or Endangered

And because most of us haven’t done Animal Sciences in some time, here are the Cambridge Dictionary Definitions to help you out. (Us mamas have to stick together!!)

  • Biped – an animal that walks on two legs
  • Quadruped – an animal that walks on four legs
  • Nocturnal – active during the ​night
  • Diurnal – active during the day
  • Terrestrial animals –  ​living on the ​land ​rather than in the ​water or ​air
  • Aquatic animals – ​living or ​growing in ​water
  • Herbivore – animal that ​eats only ​plants
  • Carnivore – animal that eats only animals
  • Omnivore – animal that eats plants and animals

Incredible Journey

 

Valentine’s Craft Ideas #BostikBloggers

I was really pleased to find out that we’d been selected to be Bostik Bloggers again this year, and our first box is Valentine’s themed. It may be about a month off the celebration of love, but it’s never too early to get started, so here are some Valentine’s Craft Ideas for you!

Valentine’s Heart-flakesHeart Flakes

These are as individual as snow flakes, but they’re fun to make.

You’ll need equally sized strips of paper, preferably of the double-sided variety. Fold them in half without squashing the middle, and glue the loose ends together. Once they are secure, glue the strips together – you may find it easier to glue them at opposite angles (so in a figure of eight) rather than all together like in the picture bottom left.

When they are all glued together you’ll have a circle of loops (bottom middle) and then push the middle of each loop to the centre, giving the middle a little squeeze to make a heart.

Add a loop or string to hang the heart-flake from. Read more: Valentine’s Craft Ideas #BostikBloggers