Fun Ways To Celebrate Winnie The Pooh Day

Today was National Winnie the Pooh day, and my girls and I spent the day celebrating that willy, nilly, silly old bear.

Winnie the Pooh DayWinnie the Pooh has a very special place in my heart,because my mom used to love Winnie the Pooh, and we’ve visited Pooh Corner and Pooh Sticks bridge in Ashford, Kent, a couple of times, one of them to release a lantern after my mom died.

My kids love Winnie the Pooh too. Ameli’s first cinema experience (that wasn’t mum & baby cinema, and was in fact something actually for children) was Winnie the Pooh – and then there was her 2nd birthday party too… so you see – lots of reasons to love Winnie the Pooh and commemorate Winnie the Pooh day.

1. Winnie the Pooh Playdough

Winnie the Pooh Day

I used this playdough recipe, but doubled it and left out the cocoa powder, then split it into three parts for yellow, blue/grey and pink. I gave the girls a set of Winnie the Pooh cookie cutters and off they went

2.  Make Honey Cookies

Winnie the Pooh Day

These honey cookies are so delicious! They are superbly quick to make, and the kids like squishing them down. We left these plain, but my favourite is topped with glace cherries – the kids like them with chocolate.

3. Tigger Hop Game

Winnie the Pooh Day
It’s been so rainy and grim the last few days and we’re trying to get over and away from all colds and sicknesses so we decided to keep our fun and games indoors. With apologies to the neighbours downstairs, I put X’s on the floor with a start line and a finish square. The girls got to hop up and down the hallway from X to X, just like Tigger. This game was especially loved because I spend half my life telling them to STOP STOMPING!

4. Pooh Bear Picnic

Winnie the Pooh Day

If you go down to the woods today… we won’t be there, because we were staying indoors, as I said above. But we had to have a teddy bears picnic, and it had to include a lot of honey! So we made honey comb, honey muffins and honey cookies. And they were all delicious!

5. Quizzes and Puzzles



Word Search honey pot



Click on these printable worksheets to download and enjoy them!

Happy Winnie the Pooh day!

Matilda’s Chocolate Playdough – Fantastic Playdough Recipe!

I’ve made many a batch of playdough in my time, but I’ve never been excited enough by a recipe to write it down, and I’ve never actually kept a batch in the fridge for more than a day or two, until I recently discovered a very simple recipe that is silky soft and fantastic.

It’s also the first time I’ve actually ‘cooked’  a playdough, but it won’t be the last. I’ve adapted this recipe from Imagination Tree, largely because I didn’t have enough salt or any cream of tartar, but I’m also hoping the exposure to Epsom salts will make sure my little people don’t run out of the magnesium and other benefits that come from Epsom salts.

Since we’re working on Matilda right now, I decided to go for a chocolate playdough so that we could make the chocolates Miss Honey remembers her father having after dinner – the same ones Miss Trunchbull now keeps to herself.


Matilda's Chocolate Playdough - Fantastic Playdough Recipe!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup Epsom salts (you can use normal salt)
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water - added a little at a time
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • teaspoon glycerine for that silky shine
  1. On a steady heat, add the flour, salt, and oil in a large mixing bowl
  2. Add the cocoa
  3. Add the boiling water then into the dry ingredients
  4. Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
  5. Add the glycerine
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone.
  8. If it remains a little sticky then add a more flour a little at a time until it's right.

Miss Honey's Playdough Chocolates

You can hardly tell which picture is from the movie, and which is playdough, according to the 3 year old ;)

For more Matilda themed activities, click on the image below:


Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Activities – Chocolate Bath Salt

Chocolate Bubble Bath is such an easy win with the kids. As part of a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory day, it’s a perfect way to end the day too.

Although you only add about 2 tablespoons of cocoa to your bath water, it’s more than enough to fill the bathroom with the aroma and scent of chocolate, but it’s also not that sickly sweet smell you’d get from chocolate sauce, for example. In addition, Epsom salt is great for pulling aches and pains out of the body, but more importantly – it helps induce a deep sleep! Can you hear me parents? A deep sleep!DIY Chocolate Bath Salt

It’s the simplest ‘recipe’ ever too – you can get the kids to make this one up.

All you need is:

1 cup Epsom salts – great for inducing deep sleep

1 tablespoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)- for a bit of a ‘fizz’ as it hits the water

2 tablespoons cocoa powder – for that chocolatey yumminess

You can’t really go wrong on this. If you have a bit more Epsom salts or a bit less baking soda, it’s not the end of the world – it will still work just fine.

Put the Epsom salts into a sealable jar, add the baking soda and the cocoa powder and shake for a few seconds till it’s all well combined. Pour into a warm bath and top up with your regular bubble bath – you’ll have the bubbles on top, and the chocolate below.


Study Unit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Find more Charlie & The Chocolate Factory activities here.

Gelatin Bird Feeders For The Garden (With Recipe)

I love the idea of helping out nature, though living on a lush green Island with rolling hills and meadows, it can be hard to imagine that we need to. But, because here and now we might not need to, doesn’t mean I don’t need to instil a wish to protect our wildlife in my children. At five and three they are perfectly capable of learning how, and now is the time that they are still so full of enthusiasm, so it’s the perfect time to do it.

Recently we’ve been talking about birds and how birds fly, and the different types of birds and all that, so it seemed fitting to make gelatin bird feeders for the garden, though this is something we’d normally do in Autumn. We don’t actually have a garden either, so we’ve just hung them in trees around us.
bird feeders

These bird feeders are made with gelatin, as they last a little longer than for example peanut butter, and gelatin isn’t harmful to the birds – and probably helps their beaks grow stronger too!

We’ve made them in cookie cutters so that we can play with the shapes, and have fun with them. Since we live by the sea, we’ve even had a few ships to hang in the trees.


Tip: Don’t hang them in direct sunlight. If it gets too hot the gelatin begins to melt. Also, press as much together as you can in one shape to hold them tightly together. Gelatin Bird Feeders

How to make gelatin bird feeders:

  1. To make the birdfeeders, plan on a packet of gelatin (powder) to a cup of bird seed. So if you’re making two cups (500ml) bird seed, add two packets of gelatin and so on.
  2. Prepare the gelatin to the manufacturers directions, but only add 1 cup of water to one packet of gelatin (250ml water). (Or double if you’re making double) It needs to be thicker than jelly to hold it all together. Once the gelatin has melted, leave it to cool for a couple of minutes, then add in the bird seed. It mustn’t be runny and since your seed may differ to mine, just add more if it’s too wet and liquid.
  3. Stir in well till all the seed is coated, then scoop in to your waiting shapes.
  4. We scoop half the amount needed to fill the shape, then add a length of string, before adding in the rest of the seed, so that the string is in the centre when you pull the shape out of the cutter. Press down firmly to compact everything as much as possible, before setting aside overnight to dry.
  5. Don’t leave in the sun or it may melt again.
  6. Carefully remove from the cutter, and hang somewhere to enjoy.

Google ‘garden birds’ in your local area and see if you can find a checklist of what you should be able to find in your country. Keep an eye on your bird feeder and see how many local birds you can spot in your garden.

We love the RSPB’s ‘First’ Series of books. They are perfect for small people.  And why not turn it into a full experience by using a bird watching kit to really feel like a nature explorer.


Skills - Sensory Skills - Explore Nature Skills - Creativity

Do You Wanna Build A Snowman? Disney Frozen Olaf Cake Pops

Disney Frozen Olaf


The Frozen fun continues here and today we made Frozen Olaf cake pops. I made my gran’s no flop cake a few days ago, but didn’t have time to do anything with it. I made some icing, and put the whole lot in the Thermomix to make it into cake pops. This morning we covered our cakes in simple icing – icing sugar and water – and left them to dry. We could have used fondant icing or white chocolate to cover them ‘perfectly’ but I thought it was sweet enough as is, really.  Next up I mixed icing sugar and food colouring to make the noses, ears and buttons.Disney Frozen Olaf

Once the icing was dry, I put everything out with an invitation, straight from the movie. Ameli asked ‘Can we eat them now’ and I said, no… you have to ask something else. She looked for a moment and with a big grin said, “Do you want to build a snowman?”

With all the parts done, building the snowman didn’t take terribly long, but it was fun. We put them on a tray of marshmallows  before tucking in to it for desert. Yum fun. So… do you wanna build a snowman?

(It was mentioned to me recently that our pictures and projects aren’t as fabulous as other bloggers, and perhaps I should make a ‘blog’ version of things rather than photographing what my children have done. That kind of defeats the purpose, as far as I am concerned. I’m a real mum, with real children, doing real crafts. We’re happy enough!)

Skills - Creativity Skills - Social SKillsSkills - Imagination Skills - Sensory


The Carrot Cake Catastrophe – Stories And Cake Recipe {Book Review}

One of my friends told me once that she loved my blog, because I don’t post perfect crafts and that makes her feel like a normal mama when their crafts and projects don’t come out perfect. Well, this one is for everyone who ever has not-as-planned-cakes.

Carrot Cake CatastropheWe received The Carrot Cake Catastrophe by Elizabeth Dale (Author) and Gemma Raynor (Illustrator) from Paragon a few months ago as part of the Paragon Book Buddies project and today we decided it was time to go read it.

Instead of making it into a standard round cake, however, we poured the cake dough into gingerbread man shapes, since our PlayLearning theme this week is around the human body

Well, it didn’t really work out. The dough is way too moist and the resulting cake way too crumbly for it to work that way. It was still absolutely delicious though. So our cake may have turned out a bit of Catastrophe too, but it was still way, way better than Grandpa’s cake from the book.

In this story, a little girl and her grandfather decide to make a cake for her mama’s birthday. That’s all fine and well, but with his glasses on Grandpa can read the instructions, but not identify the ingredients, so he ends up adding soap instead of butter, and so on. Yum. They head into the garden for fresh, juicy carrots, and stir them into the batter – without grating or chopping! It’s a recipe for disaster, for sure.

In the end the birds eat the cake – apparently they don’t mind the soap – and Mama saves the day with a previously baked cake.

At the end of the book there’s the recipe Grandpa and the little girl followed, with instructions, so you can make it at home too.

It’s a very basic carrot cake, making it ideal for little bakers. Even though I’m a very proud and happy Thermomix owner, I think it’s essential that Ameli and Aviya learn to cook the ‘old fashioned’ way, including weighing, measuring and a bit of elbow grease.

The sign of a great children’s book for me is when the girls remember it later. We had to walk to the shop for cream cheese for the icing, and Ameli laughed suddenly, saying she’s glad we didn’t put soap in our cake! She asked me what ‘bitter’ meant (I said it would probably taste bitter from the soap), and asked about the meaning of other words… I love when they learn without knowing they are.

An all round lovely story, great for preparing for birthdays as we are this week – can’t believe Aviya is coming up for two!  – and just a bit of fun and a laugh. Lovely.

 Disclaimer for reviews


Sugar Free Treats For The Weekend

I told you some months ago that I had written an eBook. With Christmas, my mother’s sudden passing and everything else that’s been going on, I just haven’t had a chance to tell you about it, so I thought I’d do so now – hopefully giving you something to stave off the sugar cravings, and have guilt free snacks, and stick to whatever resolutions you may have made for the new year.

Bliss Balls For Beginners has 21 recipes for mostly sugar free, gluten free, dairy free bon-bon style raw treats.

The recipes are split into three categories – the chocolate ones, the booster ones and the speciality ones. These recipes cover everything from minty chocolate bliss balls, to peanut butter filled chocolate bliss balls, goji berry bliss balls, inverted carrot cake bliss balls, chilli chocolate bliss balls and plenty more.

Some favourites from others who have tried the recipes have been the Raw “Ferrero” Bliss Balls and the raw Chocolate Coconut “Bounty” Bliss Balls.

In fact there has been some wonderful feedback on Bliss Balls For Beginners. Have a look at these:



The Homesteading Hippy:





There are two buying options in GBP and US$ for Bliss Balls for Beginners, should you want a copy for yourself. Either click on the Kindle or the PDF versions below.


in US$:

Bliss Balls For Beginners

in GBP:Bliss Balls For Beginners

BUY THE KINDLE VERSION IN US $Bliss Balls For Beginners

BUY THE KINDLE VERSION IN GBP:Bliss Balls For BeginnersIf you have it, love it, or have tried the recipes, let me know what you think!

Mulled Wine And Russian Tea Gifts

With all that’s been going on here, I have not had much time to be or feel Christmassy, or get far in the whole Christmas gift making endevour. One of the things I have managed to do, however, was prepare mulled wine spices and the tea-total version, Russian Tea spices, for our December food swap.


It made quite nice gift parcels, and even if you just make a batch for yourself, it fills the house with a beautiful aroma and makes a most delicious wine or tea. The tea is a wonderful alternative to mulled wine if you can’t drink or want an alcohol free alternative. It’s worth making, totally.

Bliss Balls For Beginners – 21 Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free Recipes

I’ve finally done it! Eighteen months in the making and here I have for you Bliss Balls For Beginners.

Bliss Balls For Beginners offers 21 recipes to get you started on raw, healthy, good-for-you snacks loved by adults and children. They are fast, easy, no bake, no cook recipes that put treats on the table in under five minutes and keep in the cupboard for weeks. Dairy free, gluten free and sugar free options will make sure you have empty trays at each party, with no sugar crashes or bad ingredients.

Bliss Balls – they can be squares or shapes too – are unbaked, uncooked balls of yumminess, perfect for children to make and particularly perfect for times when there’s a call for treats: Halloween, Christmas, Easter or birthdays.

Bliss Balls make for lovely gifts – like healthy truffles. They are easy for children to help with too.

Some of my favourites from the book are the chocolate coconut ‘Bounty’ balls, the chocolate orange balls, carrot cake balls and my absolute favourite: the Christmas Cake Bliss Balls – all raw and full of healthy and nutritious ingredients!


in GBP:

in USD: Balls For Beginners


BUY THE KINDLE VERSION IN US $Bliss Balls For Beginners


Bliss Balls For Beginners

Have a thought, question or idea or would like to write a review on this eBook? Please email me at diaryofafirstchild (at)