Sunday 28 April 2013

Sensory play with Dinosaur Island

After the success of my beach sensory tub, I remembered an idea that I'd had for a long time - to make a Dinosaur Island small world play scene for a long time, ever since I saw this amazing Dinosaur Island post over on the wonderful Filth Wizardry.

Dinosaur themed sensory play for toddlers

I looked it up again when I was writing this post and I was surprised to see how many elements I'd included in my own Dinosaur Island - it was obviously all stuck there in my head somewhere! So here is how I made Harry and Mia their very own Dinosaur Island.

Dinosaur themed sensory play for toddlers

For the base I used the lid from our sand and water tray. Something like a tuff spot (affiliate link) would also have worked really well, although there would have been a lot more space to fill.

I made some playdough (using this simple recipe from The Imagination Tree) with plenty of black food dye for a volcano centerpiece. I used some red and yellow shredded paper left over from Easter baskets for the lava. Then I placed a shallow plate filled with water for a lake, and the rest of the island was built around that.

To fill the rest of the tray I used some black dyed rice around the volcano which was leftover from our firework sensory tub. That meant that it did have stars and glitter in it, but that didn't matter! Then I made a beach with some cheap mashed potato mix, and added porridge oats and shredded wheat to make some different areas on the tray. I put some stones at one end and some green shredded paper for vegetation. I had also bought some value noodles, so I cooked up a few and put them in a shallow bowl to one side.

The scene was finished with all our plastic dinosaurs, some of which were mine when I was little!

Dinosaur themed sensory play for toddlers

Harry played with Dinosaur Island for a long time. He was surprisingly tidy, which was nice after all my hard work. He told me that he was 'making up stories', and I eavesdropped on a few which was wonderful. His favourite part was the volcano, and he liked how he could make dinosaur footprints in the playdough.

While Harry was playing with it I occupied Mia on the floor with some of the dry materials and some pots to pour things in and out of. I didn't want to let her anywhere near it! But after a few days when Harry was finished with it I let Mia at it. She enjoyed playing with it too although the dinosaur significance was lost on her, she just enjoyed grabbing handfuls of everything, filling up the volcano and throwing it all about.

If you are interested in making sensory tubs or small world sensory play then you might like this post that I wrote on my other blog which is all about sensory tubs for toddlers and has links to lots of resources. You might also like to see this tray repurposed for gardening themed sensory play.

Saturday 27 April 2013

A penguin craft for "Ping Pong Are Best Friends (Mostly)" book review

We've been talking a lot about penguins lately. Mainly because we've been playing our walk to pre-school game, and because it's been so cold still the talk has turned towards Antartica. We also received the book Ping and Pong are Best Friends (mostly) by Tim Hopgood to review by Tim Hopgood, so I thought that I'd introduce a bit of a penguin theme.

The book is about Ping and Pong who are best penguin friends. But no matter what Ping does, Pong always does it better. So Ping becomes discouraged, until he finds out that there is one thing that Ping is the best at.

Harry loves being read to, but he is also starting to show an interest in reading for himself. He's a way off actually learning to read yet, and I'm not pushing him in any way, but I've found that if I read him a simple story a couple of times he can repeat it back to himself with surprising accuracy. This story was perfect for that because it is so easy to understand, with lovely clear illustrations. The story also has an important message about the importance of friendship.

After the success of our book inspired Lucy Ladybird craft the other week, I thought that this time we'd try a penguin picture. This time I let Harry do all the cutting out, which was really good scissor practice for him. Then he cut out lots of small squares in white and we used them to make an igloo, before sticking on cotton wool for the snow. Lovely!

Mixed medium penguin craft for children

We were sent the book to review, Amazon links are affiliate.

Thursday 25 April 2013

Cross stitch lavender bag

Cross stitch lavender bag craft

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know about my never ending cross stitch sampler. I can't remember exactly how long I've been working on it, but it was a Christmas present and I definitely received it before the Christmas that I was heavily pregnant with Harry. So that puts it at around Christmas 2007, which would make sense because my previous sampler was finished in summer 2007.

The sampler is large, although not enormous, but over the years I've worked on it in mad bursts of activity before putting it down for a little while to concentrate on other projects. It has definitely taken a back seat after the birth of each child. Although I've browsed other cross stitch patterns, and I have another one in mind for when it's finally finished, I've always been a faithful stitcher and only worked on my sampler.

Until that is I bought a little cross stitch kit in the sales this year. Cross stitch kits can be very expensive, and as it was only £2.50 I couldn't resist. It was so little, and it seemed a shame to put it aside until I'd finished my mammoth project, probably several years away. So I worked on it and finished it over several sessions.

I'm really pleased with it, I think that it's very sweet, and it felt very satisfying to have actually finished something. I can't help feeling bad about my sampler though. I'm going to need to do some serious work on it now to assuage the guilt!

Cross stitch lavender bag craft

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Review - Brabantia WallFix outdoor laundry dryer

Since we moved house last winter I've really missed our old outdoor washing line. I'm ashamed to say that when we moved we bought a tumble drier, and I've not dried laundry outside since. So when I was offered the opportunity to review the Brabantia Wallfix Wall Mounted Dryer (affiliate link) I jumped at the chance.

The best thing about the Brabantia WallFix is how convenient it is. I've toyed with the idea of buying a rotary dryer, but I know that I would be too lazy to put it away properly. The Brabantia WallFix is fixed to the wall ready for use, the box opens with the touch of a button and the dryer folds out easily to hang the washing.

Neither of us are particularly handy with a drill, so fortunately my Dad stepped in and took care of actually fitting the WallFix to the wall for me. Included in the box is a cardboard drilling template (make sure to open the box all the way to find it) which makes positioning the holes for the screws easy. Detailed instructions are supplied, although Dad did find it a bit fiddly to install.

You need two people to install it, as someone needs to support the dryer arms while the other screws the mounting plate into place. Make sure when installing that the person who will actually be hanging the washing is present so that you don't end up with it too high! Also check that you are locating the dryer in a sunny spot to make the most of the drying potential.

There is a bit of a knack to the opening and closing, but once you've sorted it the WallFix is very easy to unfold and put away. We have a large capacity washing machine which I have a tendency to stuff full, so I was pleased to find that my entire load fitted easily on the dryer with extra room to spare. I even needed to go out and buy more clothes pegs! The total length of drying space is 24 metres, and the three outer lines are 120cm long. It wasn't quite wide enough for our super kingsize bedding, but then I'm not sure that I'd be able to find a dryer which is! It easily held the other single bedding that we have. The dryer feels very solid, and can definitely cope with the weight of all that wet washing.

We were also supplied with the sturdy WallFix storage protection box. The storage box looks smart and neat, and being wind and weather resistant offers sufficient protection for the WallFix. Installation is fairly straightforward as it clips on to the WallFix once it has been installed on the wall. The dryer arms fold neatly inside, and there are some ties to hold all the lines in place.

I love how it goes from this:

Review - Brabantia WallFix outdoor laundry dryer

To this in just a few seconds, and with all that space for hanging clothes!

Review - Brabantia WallFix outdoor laundry dryer
Because the WallFix is so easy to pop open I can see me using it year round, for example if we've been doing some wet messy play and I want to dry something out a bit before my next load of washing. I'd really recommend it!

Review - Brabantia WallFix outdoor laundry dryer

I was provided with the Brabantia WallFix and storage box for review, Amazon links are affiliate links.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Petworth House and Park

Last weekend, The National Trust opened many of their properties for free. We decided to take the opportunity to visit Petworth House and Park, probably our closest property and somewhere that we had never been before.

Petworth House, situated in Petworth, West Sussex, is a 17th century mansion set in a 700 acre landscaped deer park. It is famous for housing an important collection of paintings and sculptures, and the largest herd of fallow deer in England live in the grounds.

It was one of the first warm days of the year, and the car park was busy when we arrived. We paid £3 for parking, but considering that our entrance was free we felt that was very good value. One thing that I've noticed about National Trust properties is just how friendly the staff are. As we walked into the house with the pushchair and Harry in tow, a lovely lady stopped me to tell me all about the extra things they have going on for little ones, and the staff around the house all made an effort to interact with the children.

In most of the rooms there was a box with some kind of activity - dressing up clothes, a miniature room furniture to move around, a Henry VIII jigsaw to do in front of the actual portrait, some plastic tableware to practise setting a table for a formal dinner. Harry loved finding the boxes in each room and seeing what was inside to explore, and they really helped to engage him with his surroundings. There were also cuddly puppies hidden around the house for the children to find - I was quite pleased to spot our first one until a gaggle of children behind us cheerfully announced that he was puppy number six!

We spent a good amount of time looking around the house, and Harry was never bored. Mia also loved being allowed out of the pushchair to walk around, under close supervision of course!

Petworth House and Gardens

When we had finished seeing the house we sat out in the garden and had a picnic. It was probably the most relaxed meal that we have ever enjoyed, the children sat happily on the rug eating their sandwiches and we soaked up the warmth from the sun. When we had eaten we set out to explore the large park. Harry did brilliantly, he's not the best when it comes to walking but we walked a very long way. There is a large lake with ducks to feed, and then we climbed a steep hill up to a wooded area with some ancient trees, including one that was hollow inside, and a fallen tree trunk which children could climb on.

Petworth House and Gardens

We had a really lovely day. I am gradually becoming more relaxed about our days out as the children get older, and I am enjoying being out as a family much more. We haven't bought Merlin passes this year, so we have a whole list of local attractions that we are hoping to visit and I'm really looking forward to it now that it's all becoming easier.

Did you take advantage of the National Trust free weekend? Or did you find another way to enjoy some rare sunshine?

Saturday 20 April 2013

Juggling - A big one and a little one

I won't deny that I find being a stay at home Mum hard work. I've had periods of working part time since having children, so I've experienced that other life where you can spend the day sitting quietly at a desk, perhaps enjoying a hot drink and an uninterrupted chat with other adults. Some days now, the only real life conversation that I have is with the postman or the checkout assistant.

One of the things that I find hardest to manage is that I'm not very good with babies and toddlers. I just don't know what to do with them. I'm full of ideas, crafts and activities, but I need an appreciative audience, and young toddlers frustrate me with their inability to follow instructions and short attention spans. I love having all this time with Harry to spend doing fun things, but it's so difficult to concentrate on him when there is toddler Mia demanding just as much, if not more, attention.

Before Mia was born, and when she was a baby that still had naps, Harry and I used to do jigsaws together, play simple games, do crafts, read books. Now we simply can't do any of these things while she is around. She sits on jigsaws, she takes them apart, she won't sit still and be read to.

I feel like my time is spent constantly juggling the different needs of the two children. I need to talk to Harry, he loves having things explained to him and learning how things work. He enjoy sitting down quietly and crafting or playing. Mia is more into physical play, being chased around, playing hiding games, climbing on things.

I find it difficult to do crafts or playdough with the two of them at the same time, mainly because Mia eats everything. They do both enjoy messy play, as long as I make sure that I put out two of everything, but Mia usually bores first and has to be taken off for a bath, leaving Harry playing alone without any interaction from me.

I feel terribly guilty that Harry is missing out on a lot of one on one interaction, playing games, perhaps working on learning some letters and numbers. But I also feel guilty for thinking that Mia is in the way, and of course she doesn't receive any of the individual attention that Harry had when he was her age.

So at the moment, my parenting is all about juggling - trying to keep both little ones occupied, entertained, and secure in the feeling that they are receiving enough of my attention.

Children playing at water table

Friday 19 April 2013

Book review and craft - Lucy Ladybird by Sharon King-Chai

Lucy Ladybird (affiliate link) is the debut picture book from writer and designer Sharon King-Chai. The story follows Lucy Ladybird, who is different to the other ladybirds because she has no spots. She goes on a journey through different seasons, collecting some brightly coloured spots from her friends along the way. When she returns home, she is sad when she realises that she is still different to her ladybird friends with their black spots. But when the other ladybirds see her they like her new spots so much that they decide it's actually best to be different.

Lucy Ladybird is a firm favourite in this household already. The story is simple, and what really makes the book special are the gorgeous, bright illustrations. The final page is a fold-out surprise page - a marvellous spread of  cheerful ladybirds and other insects covered in their colourful spots. Once Harry discovered this he couldn't stop unfolding it to look at it, and Mia was captivated by the bright colours.

Lucy Ladybird book review and craft

This is a book which immediately lent itself to a related craft activity. We cut out simple ladybird bodies from red card, then I cut out a head, face and lots of coloured spots. The little ones glued the spots onto the ladybird body, then we glued all the pieces together and drew on a face. I love books that you can do more with than just reading!

Lucy Ladybird book review and craft

There is also a Lucy Ladybird website to enhance the enjoyment of the book further, including some colouring pages to print. Lucy Ladybird will also soon be available as an interactive e-book. It's definitely a book that I can recommend!

We were sent a copy of Lucy Ladybird to review.

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Making dinner with small children around - help!

I'm writing this post to get it out, because I'm struggling with something. All I want to do each evening is to prepare a healthy, nutritious evening meal that everyone will eat. But even setting aside the fact that all my children will eat for dinner is pasta, I find it so difficult and stressful to make the dinner with small children around.

I make dinner for 6pm so that we can all eat together when my husband comes home from work. Then we can put the children to bed straight after, and have a longer evening together. This means that all the food preparation and cooking has to be done while the children are around. I just can't work out how other people manage to make dinner with children around.

If Harry is at pre-school then Mia wants to be in the kitchen with me. She sees me taking out the cooking things and drags herself over a chair so that she can stand at the counter. If I try and involve her with the cooking she grabs everything and throws it about, or else she is on the floor, pulling at my leg and screaming. Of course if I'm stirring something hot on the hob then she needs to be kept well away. Anything that I give her to occupy herself with at the table, for example crayons or stickers, she becomes easily frustrated and screams when she can't do something. Because she has dropped her nap she's always pretty grumpy at this time anyway. I end up feeding her snacks to keep her occupied, meaning that she's not hungry when dinner finally makes it to the table.

If Harry is around too then it is slightly easier. I put the television on in the living room and they play together in there while I'm in the kitchen. Except that I can't see the living room from the kitchen, so I am constantly going back to stick my head around the door to check on them. This is necessary, because entertaining themselves involves activities like using the bin to climb on to the window sill to see out, or running along the back of the sofa. Even if they do happen to be sitting quietly watching television I'm still constantly on edge anticipating a meltdown when one of them sits on the other or they are both fighting over the same toy.

To be honest, it's mainly Mia that is the difficult one. Harry understands, and he will sit quietly in front of the television. I know that it's just a stage, and it won't be long before Mia is the same, and then I'll be able to concentrate. But it causes me so much frustration every day that I dread late afternoon!

Does anyone have any tips, or is it just another stage which I need to wait out?!

Monday 15 April 2013

Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular

At the weekend, we were lucky enough to be able to take Harry (aged 4) to watch Walking With Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular at Birmingham NIA. Originally we had intended to take Mia as well (nearly 2), but fortunately some willing babysitters meant that we were able to enjoy the show without worrying about a fidgety toddler!

Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular show

I was still a little unsure about taking Harry. I was aware that the show could be quite intense, and I was a bit worried as to how he might react. Fortunately my misgivings were completely unfounded, and Harry absolutely loved it, as did Ram and I.

Walking With Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular is based upon the BBC television series. The arena show originated in Australia in 2007 and has played across the world since. An actor playing the part of a paleontologist takes the audience through a 200 million year history of the Earth, covering the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods. You are introduced to the different environments in each period, the climate, the vegetation, and of course the dinosaurs.

The show features ten large dinosaurs, five suit dinosaurs and five baby dinosaur puppets. The dinosaurs are life size, and some of them really are enormous. Having the narrator on stage at the same time really helps to show the scale.

Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular show

I was absolutely amazed at the spectacular appearance of the dinosaurs. They roam around the stage in such a lifelike fashion. Although several do fight, there is very little real violence and it's usually more about posturing. There are also some touching moments of tenderness between mother and baby dinosaurs. The show is aimed at families, and even when the great T-Rex makes an appearance there is some humour there to dilute the dramatic tension.

The staging of the show really is fantastic. I loved watching the Pterodactyl swoop through the sky, and it was fascinating to watch the smaller suit dinosaurs darting about. The scenery, although simple, really brought the different periods to life - from stark rocky landscapes to lush vegetation. The narration was perfectly pitched, being both informative and yet still simple enough for children to understand. Harry loved learning some new facts about his favourite dinosaurs, and repeating them back to us. There was a fair amount of chatter in the audience, but that didn't impact upon the show (it was definitely loud enough to drown out any audience noise) and in my eyes was a reflection of just how much people were enjoying it.

Walking with Dinosaurs - The Arena Spectacular show

I would say that as advertised the show is suitable for children aged three and up. It's not just that it's a bit noisy and intense (which it is!) but young children don't always have the attention span or the interest to keep them going for even the short periods between actually seeing the dinosaurs. There were plenty of children in the audience from around Harry's age, and they were all enjoying it. Free earplugs for children are available upon request.

The show is expensive to stage, and this is reflected in the ticket prices. We sat fairly near the front, but plenty of cheaper tickets are available and I would imagine that the view from higher up would be just as spectacular. There are also video screens showing details in close-up. The show lasts about an hour and a half with an interval.

We received complimentary press tickets for the show.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Felt name picture - Harry

It seems like a very long time ago that I blogged about the felt name picture that I made for Mia. I was (and still am) very proud of it, and it sits on her windowsill. As I wrote in that post, one of my next projects was to make a felt name picture for Harry too. I actually made the felt letters at the time, and then they and the blank frame ended up together in a plastic project bag and were forgotten about. I found them again when I was looking for a frame for my washi tape frame project, and it was only a quick job to finish off the entire name picture.

Felt name in frame - Harry

As I mentioned in the washi tape frame post, underneath it's just a cheap wooden frame from Ikea (Ram). Instead of glass it has thick plastic, which is obviously better when I'm making something for the children's rooms. The letters are cut out from felt and sewn together. I chose a font that I liked in Word (in this case emboldened Bookman Old Style, which is the font that I use in pictures on this blog) and brought them up on the screen in the size that I wanted, then traced through onto paper to make a template to cut around. Cutting out the letters was rather fiddly, you do need some very sharp scissors.

Felt name in frame - Harry

Then the letters are just glued to a plain cotton background fabric and inserted inside the frame. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, perhaps it does look a little busy but it's bright and cheerful and Harry loves it. I'm so glad that I finally got round to finishing it for him!

Here is the felt name frame that I made for Mia:

felt name frame mia

Wednesday 10 April 2013

The walk to pre-school

In January Harry started a new pre-school. His old one was moving sites, and it made sense to move him to one nearer our house, where he will meet children that he will be going to school with.

It's about a mile away, and every day since he started there we have walked in, or rather he goes on his scooter while I push Mia in the pushchair. Now that the clocks have changed, I've been trying to pick him up on foot as well. He's a rather reluctant walker, but when he does start school I'd like us to walk there and back, so I want to build up his stamina a bit before September.

It takes us about 20 minutes to get there, I make him jump off the scooter for the last bit along a main road. I'm really enjoying these walks. Because Mia is in the pushchair she is out of the way, and she's pretty happy to just sit there (unfortunately on the way home is a different story!). It means that I get a nice opportunity to have a bit of a chat with Harry without needing to entertain Mia at the same time.

He's sometimes a bit clingy when I drop him off at pre-school, so we talk about all the fun things that he's going to do that afternoon, and what his favourite activities are. Recently we've started playing a new game, which is based on the weather that day. If it's sunny then we pretend we're walking through the desert. We've not played that one much lately, instead we've been pretending to walk through Antartica and under the sea. We talk about the things that we can see, and when we approach a road, instead of saying "are there any cars coming?" I'll ask if there are any camels, or penguins, or sharks coming.

These last few months before he starts school are passing so quickly, and it's all making me feel a bit soppy!

Monday 8 April 2013

Coffee filter chromatography

My Dad was a chemistry teacher, and when I was little he used to take us into his classroom during the holidays to do some simple science experiments. One of my favourites was coffee filter chromatography, and remembering how much I enjoyed it I decided to have a go with Harry. Of course the science behind it went completely over his head, but he loved seeing 'what's inside felt tip pens' and keeps requesting to do it over and over!

Coffee filter chromatography with children science experiment

It is so quick and easy to do, all you need are some white coffee filters (affiliate link), felt tip pens in a variety of colours and a glass of water. If your child is impatient then I'd recommend having a practice by yourself first, as some pens work better than others. In particular it's generally the darker colours that give the best results. Basically, you are separating out the different components of the ink in the felt tip pen.

Cut the coffee filters into strips as long as you can make them. Using the felt tip pen make a largish blob about halfway down. Then dip one end of the strip into the glass of water and wait for the water to soak up towards the pen mark. As the water reaches the colour it will begin to spread out and hopefully the different inks in the pen will spread out in a nice flared pattern, with the lighter colours at the top. Place it onto some kitchen roll to dry out.

You can experiment with different types of pen and try different types of marks to see which ones give the most interesting results. You could also try using several different coloured pens on the same piece of coffee filter. Here are some of our prettiest papers:

Coffee filter chromatography with children science experiment

Saturday 6 April 2013

It's not just about losing weight...

On the 1st of January this year I started dieting. I didn't have a huge amount to lose, but since having Mia the weight had been gradually creeping on. I used a calorie counting app on my phone, and we re-joined the gym. By sticking strictly to my daily calorie limit, the weight came off steadily and fairly rapidly. I'm not going to go into the figures as weight is so individual, but about a month ago I reached my goal weight. I lost around 11lbs, returning to the weight that I was before having children. As a bonus, all that time at the gym means that I've also pretty much regained my pre-baby fitness levels.

My husband has been dieting too and he's also doing really well, he's now firmly below his own goal weight. As part of our new healthy eating regime I cut down our portions at dinner, took out a lot of the extra cheese that I use in cooking, and stopped doing so much baking and evening snacking.

It's brilliant, and I'm so happy that I've lost the weight. I am definitely slimmer, I can fit back into clothes that I had pushed to the back of the wardrobe, and I've even braved the gym in leggings. I don't think I'll ever lose my wobbly tummy though, unfortunately between the two children my poor old stomach muscles were  left pretty battered!

But now I think the really hard bit has begun- maintaining the weight that I am now. I've already started eating more now that I'm not in 'diet mode' and a couple of cakes have emerged from the oven this week. Of course the more sweet things that you eat the more you crave them, and as you eat more your stomach gets larger and so you feel that you need to eat more. I know how easy it would be for me to put it all back on again.

I'm hoping that if I continue to go to the gym (I have to, it costs enough!) and keep weighing myself regularly I'll be able to keep an eye on things and cut back for a week or so if I notice the weight piling on.

How do you maintain your weight, do you have any tips for me?

Fitness accessories

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Washi tape frame

I knew that it wouldn't be long before everything plain that I owned was decorated with washi tape! Next up was this washi tape covered picture frame.

Simple washi tape frame craft

After making my washi tape butterfly box I've been looking around for inspiration, and I found a plain Ikea picture frame which is part of a project which has been forgotten for a while. These Ram frames are very cheap in Ikea, I bought them a little while ago but I'm sure they were only a couple of pounds for a pack of three. They are completely unfinished though, and they only have thick plastic instead of glass.

plain ikea ram picture frame

Covering things with washi tape is very easy, because if you make a mistake you can simply pull it off and start again, even reusing the same piece of tape. You need to do a bit of planning if you are using tape with stripes on, to make sure that they stripes all go the way that you want them to. I decided that I wanted the outer edges of the frame covered with washi tape, but I didn't need the inner edges to be covered.

I used two different tapes to cover it - thicker tape with stripes and thinner plain tape. I was really pleased with it! Next was to find something to go inside the frame and it turned out to be this Felt Name Picture - Harry.

Washi tape frame simple craft

Monday 1 April 2013

Easter Egg hunting

I have very fond memories of the Easter Egg hunts organised for us when we were little (and not so little) by my parents, and so it is definitely something that I'll be doing each year for my children.

I have decided that I won't be starting an Easter Bunny tradition; he seems to have morphed into something akin to Father Christmas, bringing not just chocolate eggs but also baskets full of presents. Instead I took the children to Asda and let Harry choose his own Easter Egg, so he is very clear where it has come from!

Because of the differences in age and ability between Harry (4) and Mia (22 months), this year I organised two Easter Egg hunts. The first was aimed more at Harry. I took all the Easter Eggs that I had for them, both from us and other family members, and made them the grand prize. Then I put together a series of clues which I hid around the house in plastic Easter Eggs leading to the eggs. Last year I drew a picture of where to find the next clue, this year I stepped it up a bit and wrote out a proper clue, things like "Is it morning yet?" which led to his Groclock, or "Socks on!" which is one of Mia's favourite phrases at the moment and led to her sock drawer. He caught on pretty quickly and loved looking for the clues.

Small child hunting for Easter Eggs

For the second Easter Egg hunt Harry and I hid tiny chocolate eggs around his bedroom and they used small baskets which we made at toddler group to collect the eggs in. Harry was really keen to help Mia find the eggs, and he helped me to make some arrows on pieces of paper to point to where the eggs were. Of course she didn't pay much attention to the arrows, but once she realised what she was looking for she was charging about grabbing eggs, including ones from Harry's basket to his dismay!

Small child hunting for Easter Eggs

Finally, this year I decided that there was no point sitting around and waiting in vain for someone to buy me an Easter Egg, so on our trip to Asda I treated myself to one just for me. The first time I have had my own proper Easter Egg in ages!

Did you do an Easter Egg hunt yesterday?