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Rainbow Bubble Snakes

Rainbow Bubble Snakes

Rainbow Bubble Snakes – I’ve seen these on a few blogs recently so thought I would give it a try with my daughter who is a huge fan of bubbles.

Rainbow Bubble Snakes

What you will need:

  • An empty plastic bottle
  • Duct tape or elastic band
  • A sock
  • Washing up liquid
  • Food colouring

Cut the end off your plastic bottle and put the sock on the end (we had quite a selection to choose from).

rainbow_bubble_snakes

Secure with either duct tape or an elastic band.

rainbow_bubble_snakes
In a tray or washing up bowl mix some washing up liquid with water (a good squirt).

Dip the sock end in the mixture and gently blow.

To make rainbow bubbles, add a few drops of colouring onto the sock before dipping into the mixture.

rainbow_bubble_snakes Make a few and see who can make the longest bubble snake.

The colour didn’t work too well but the kids really loved making these and we would definitely do it again on a stay at home day.

Just a quick note that younger children may need reminding to blow rather than suck. It doesn’t taste very nice.

Lisa x

 

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home By Ty Schmidt

It’s something everyone always told me would happen, but I didn’t believe until it happened to me. My dear 18-month-old son has developed into something they all said he would. A sponge. From the ground up, that is what he is on a daily basis. He picks up everything, from words and actions to a general understanding of all things happening around him. And while this is super (just what any parent of a toddler longs for during those sleepless nights of newborn-hood), it comes with its fair share of considerations.

Among them is how best to keep this young mind occupied with all things learning while he’s awake. He still sleeps enough to make most adults envy him, but how do you engage him while he’s awake. If your answer is PBS Kids or Disney Junior, you’re not alone. But you shouldn’t have to live that way, and neither should your toddler. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, the Wild Kratts, or Curious George. Each show has its own empirical charm. Yet there is more you can be doing with these warm summer days than learning how George most efficiently packages a grocery bag.

Summer Activities for kids

Live a little this summer by keeping these fun summer activities in mind:

DIY season. With the exception of the dead of winter when literally nothing else is going on, summer is one of the best times to get those creative juices flowing. Siphon them into something meaningful with a do-it-yourself theme to at least one day a week this summer. It doesn’t even have to be the same day. Just choose one day a week when you indulge in all things creative (like a homemade water slide) and really bring it to life.

Summer loving. For most of us, summer is a time that involves making the most of water. As a Midwesterner, one comes to appreciate the water of summer, be it in pools, water balloons, water tables or basically any form. Find ways to embrace the simplicity of water this summer. You won’t regret it.

Camp comes home. Channel your inner child and embrace what he or she shares with you about fun things you did to stay occupied in the summer months. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but things like a family campout in the backyard or family game night outside can fill those hot summer nights with a purpose that breathes life into everything you do.

Get cooking. I didn’t cook much with my mother growing up, and I wish I had. While I refuse to live vicariously through my children, I have already decided to involve them more in the food preparation for our family as they grow old enough to understand the purpose behind what they’re doing. From chopping the ingredients to a fresh homemade salsa, to understanding what grows in our garden, it is never too young to start teaching little ones about where food comes from and the importance of eating well.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com. Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Baby Sensory Play – Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

Entertaining your little ones can be tricky sometimes and the abundance of colourful plastic can be overwhelming for your baby or toddler. These easy to make Baby Sensory Bottles will give them hours of fun.

Hands up if you’ve bought a present and the box gets more attention than the actual gift. Babies and children have the most amazing imaginations and the simplest of things such as emptying the pots and pans and a wooden spoon can give hours of fun.

Not all play things have to be conventional ‘toys’ so we’re going to bring a series of ideas for sensory play and crafts to keep your baby, toddler or pre-school child/ren entertained.

Baby Sensory Bottles

What you will need:

  • Clear plastic bottles
  • Rice
  • Oil (can be whatever edible oil you have in the cupboard)
  • Food colouring in colours of your choice
  • Glitter
  • Sparkly Craft Items
  • Beads
  • Superglue
  • A funnel

Shaky Sensory Bottle

Before you start you will need to colour the rice. All you have to do is measure out how much rice you will need to filling the bottle you will be using so that it’s about three quarters full and then separate it into bowls and add a few drops of food colouring. You may need to leave this for a little while so that the colour doesn’t transfer onto the bottle.

Baby Sensory Bottles

In the meantime you can choose what you would like to add to your bottle. We added a selection of coloured glitters, pom poms, coloured plastic beads and a selection of craft sequins and shapes.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Once the rice is dry, using a funnel (I used a jug as I don’t have one) add the rice to the bottle and with a bit of superglue screw the lid on. We finished this off with some coloured tape to make it extra nice.

And Shake………..

Baby Sensory Bottles

Water Sensory Bottle

For this bottle you need to fill up your bottle to about a third of the way up and add a few drops of food colouring of your choice. We added some coloured glitter to make it extra pretty. Then fill the bottle with the cooking oil of your choice leaving about an inch gap at the top. Again add a bit of superglue before screwing on the lid, and we added some coloured tape for prettiness.

Baby Sensory Bottles

AND Shake…… the water and oil will separate giving a lava lamp effect.

Baby Sensory Bottles

Baby Sensory Bottles

We’d love to see your Sensory Baby Bottles so either leave a comment with a pic or pop over to our Facebook Page and upload one.

Lisa x

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – What the Ladybird Heard – Julia Donaldson

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – What the Ladybird Heard

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson is one of Isabelle’s absolute favourite books. We bought it for her when she was two and we took it to France with us and by the end of the two weeks she could recite the whole rhyming chorus word for word and never tired of it.

So What did the Ladybird Hear?

Well I won’t spoil the story, but it involves two Robbers, a Fine Prize Cow and friends and a Ladybird…..in a singsongy way with fantastic illustrations.

We have the book in hardback and as well as the story which can be read in a singsongy way, each page features the ladybird with glittery bits on it. We like the repetativeness in the books as these are well remembered and Isabelle joins in with reading the sort.

Both of us were amazed when we saw  What the Ladybird Heard at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter not so long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, with many of the children in the audience reciting the chorus part of the story.

Like many we have a fair few of Julia Donaldson books and whilst all of the stories are well written with fab illustrations, Isabelle loves finding the characters of the other books within the pages which overlap.

Reading Age – Toddler – Hmmm, Isabelle is 4 and I would say we have plenty of reads left in this book.

A Megawatt Huge Thumbs up for this book!

Lisa x

* Please note this is an affiliate link, but all opinions belong to Isabelle and I.

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Trixie Ten by Sarah Massini

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Trixie Ten by Sarah Massini

Trixie Ten by Sarah Massini – We are huge book fans in our house and between us we could probably start our own library. Thank goodness for the invention of the kindle or we would seriously be over-run and possibly be featured on that hoarding programme.

As we are such fans, I thought that we would share some of our favourite books that we’re currently reading to Isabelle (AKA Belle).

So just a little bit of background. Isabelle is now four and thankfully loves being read to. She’s got a very inventive imagination and always has lots of questions on anything and everything. Therefore we have to keep this little mind busy, hence the ever-growing library.

As a fellow mum (or dad) there are a few books on the shelf that you could probably read without even looking at the words and Trixie Ten is one of them.

All the little characters in the book are made from fingerprints. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but know that the book has a really catchy sing-songy bit that you and your child will be repeating after a few reads.

Trixie Ten definitely gets the thumbs up from us, even if we do have to accidentally lose it every couple of weeks so that we can mix the night-time routine up a little bit!

Happy reading x

Lisa x

*Please note this is an affiliate link, but the content of the blog and opinions are our own.

www.babynotincluded.co.uk Birthday Celebrations

Happy Birthday Celebrations at www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Today we celebrate our 8th Business Birthday and last week we celebrated our son’s 16th birthday which just goes to show how quickly time flies by.

From a little seed as they say. We’re not quite an oak tree yet, but we’re definitely past the bendy sapling stage. We love bringing new products to you and hope you will come back time and time again and even tell your friends.

We appreciate and value your feedback and opinions so if there’s something that you would like to see on the site then do let us know and we will see what we can do.

We’re hoping and planning to get out and about from behind the computer screen in and around the Exeter area with various markets and fairs. We’ll keep you posted on this.

Don’t forget that every Newsletter subscriber is entered into a monthly draw of £10 to spend on site so if you’re not already subscribed here’s the link to do so.

As well as the blog we’re available on Twitter and Facebook so pop over and join in the conversation. The Royal Baby is hot topic at the moment.

So to mark the occasion we’d like to offer you all 15% Off Everything on site.

Just add: happybirthday at the checkout.

Our Birthday Celebrations Sale includes everything from our Inch Blue Shoes to our range of Sock-Ons.

Happy Shopping x



Easter Crafts – An Easter Bonnet

Easter Crafts – An Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Now that Isabelle’s at preschool we have all the usual parent pressures such as having the best World Book Day costume and baking a batch of fantastic cakes at the drop of a hat for the Friday cake sale.

We love arts and crafts and make all sorts on a regular basis, but when you have to put it out the for the world (ok school) to see the pressure is immense.

So where do you look for inspiration?

Pinterest has become the first place I look when in need of any ideas. I’ve even set up an Easter inspiration board so pop over for some fab bits that I found.

Our hat ended up lookjng fantastic but it was really easy to make and won Isabelle first prize in her preschool Easter Bonnnet Parade.

Easter Bonnet

We bought an easter craft kit from Sainsbury’s which was £5.00 and came with all kinds of foam bits and bobs. Isabelle being Isabelle didn’t want to follow any of the instructions so did her own thing.

Easter Bonnet

She was so eager to start that she didn’t even get dressed before we started.

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

The tissue paper was so easy to do. She’s a bit glue happy and slops it on but tissue is really great to work with as it doesn’t really matter if it rips. just scrunch it up and carry on!

Easter Bonnet

So after a LONG while when all the glue was dry we added the individual pieces such as the rabbit and flowers with just a bit of help from Mummy.

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Easter Bonnet

Here is the finished hat from all angles.

Easter Bonnet

And a very happy Isabelle x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Fantastic Non-Toy Christmas Gifts for Children

Fantastic Non-Toy Christmas Gifts for Children

Fantastic Non-toy Christmas Gifts for Children. Hands up if after Christmas you could do with an extension just to fit in all the new Stuff that the kids get.

It’s lovely that friends and family natural want to buy something as a gift at Christmas time but does it always have to be a physical thing?

Here is a list of alternative Non-toy Gifts that you can buy or recommend for friends and family to buy for your little ones.

1. Cinema Gift Cards

These are ideal for older children and will give them something to look forward to do with their friends.

2. Classes

The possibilities are endless. This could be for swimming lessons, gymnastics, trampolining, ballet, football, cricket, badminton, tennis. I could go on…..

fantastic_non_toy_christmas_gifts_for_children

3. Concert or gig tickets

Surprise the teen with tickets to their favourite band.

4. Theme Park Tickets

These don’t have to just be for older children. These could be for the smalls for places like Peppa Pig World or Cbeebies Land and make a great family day out.

5. Sports Events Tickets

Do your children have a favourite football, rugby or cricket team. These are likely to go down a storm and could double us a joint father son present.

fantastic_non_toy_christmas_gifts_for_children

6. Books

You can never have too many books, especially for bedtime story reading. We love books and could probably open our own library, but we always welcome more.

7. Tickets for local activities

Petting zoos, Farms, Swimming, Indoor play areas, Crazy Golf and activity parks. Whatever activities your children are into these will be great when you don’t have any plans. Even better, you could buy an annual membership.

fantastic_non_toy_christmas_gifts_for_children

8. Clothes

Both of ours at 4 and 15 have an interest in clothes and are quite particular about what they wear. The 4 year old likes sparkles, pretties and skirts or dresses that are swishy and the 15 year old is particular about the brands that he wears. Makes an ideal gift for any age.

9. Paint your own Pottery

We have a lovely place near us where you can sign up for a class such as jewellery making, canvas painting or pottery painting. All the materials are included and you come away with your creation.

10. A Camera or Video Camera

All kids young and older would like this as a gift. My daughter has one which also has themes such as moustaches and big ears or backgrounds to the pictures taken. It’s fun to do as well.

11. Magazine subscriptions

This is an ideal present for everybody from pre-schoolers to your in-laws.

12. A watch

Help them to learn the time which is a useful and essential life skill as well as a great accessory.

13. A Journal or Diary

Not something that I’ve ever done, but I do have a bit of a thing for gorgeous notebooks.

14. Recipes and ingredients

Write or print out a recipe and put together the ingredients. You could even include some utensils or an apron.

15. Craft Supplies

The possibilities are endless with anything from chalk, paint, glitter, card, paper, coloured pipe cleaners. Collect loads of bits and bobs and put them  together as a bit of a craft treasure trove.

16. Musical instruments

Have the kids been begging to learn something. The cost of these dependent on the instrument can be pricey so would make an ideal gift.

17. itunes voucher

Are you forever paying for music or apps like us. A voucher of all amounts would be a great gift for a teenager.

18. Coupons

Put together your own little coupons with things written on them such as shopping trip, baking session, craft session for your little ones to cash in. Great for rainy days.

19. Movies

DVD’s are ideal for watching together. Wrap them with some cinema style snacks and snuggle down to watch together.

20. Money

Set up a bank account or give them the cash to do what they please with. Sometimes for older kids this could be to go towards something expensive such as the latest games console, phone or other bit of technology that takes their fancy.

If you have great non-toy Christmas gift ideas of your own, feel free to pop a comment.

Happy Shopping

Lisa x

 

The day we found the Gruffalo at Haldon Forest

The Day we found the Gruffalo at Haldon Forest

We’re quite lucky in the South West that we have a lot of places at our disposable to take the family. Although it gets a bit tricky having a 3 year old and a 15 year old, and now with the pup thrown into the mix don’t make for an easy family day out.

Thank goodness for Haldon Forest park!

We didn’t take the teen with us this time as he had other plans but off we trudged with Isabelle and the dog in our boots and armed with coats, umbrellas and treats for the dog.

When we got there, we had a little surprise as the Discovery Trail (the easiest at 1.5 miles) had been set up as a Gruffalo hunt with clues and things to do along the way. This was the easiest of trails so perfect for Isabelle and a nice walk for us.

Isabelle and I standing by the snake from the Gruffalo trail
We found the Snake!

There were loads of families there and lots of people whizzing up and down on bikes for the different tracks (none of which I would try).

 

There were ample places to stop if you were to take a picnic and pleasingly we didn’t encounter any rubbish, apart from one poo bag (why do people go to the effort of bagging it up only to leave it there!).

 

#southwestdaysout

It was dog heaven for Charlie who saw lots of other dogs along the way including a huge group of Shar pei dogs (belonging to several owners ? dog group).

We saw the Gruffalo’s den and met Mouse, Snake, Fox, Owl and sat on a singing seat. We also played on some giant wooden xylophones and hid from Daddy and Charlie in a maze.

And did we find the Gruffalo?

Yup and he wasn’t scary at all.

#southwestdaysout

We ended the day with a gorgeous ice cream and a bowl of water and treats for Charlie, then home for a roast dinner.

Think we’ll go for one of the harder routes next time.

Lisa x

Originally posted 15.07.14