dobble-card-game

Do you know dobble, the round card game?  Anya was recently gifted this game and we love it for so many reasons.  Dobble is a simple card game where you have to find the matching symbol between one card and another. Each card has only one symbol on it that matches every other card in the deck.  It sounds pretty easy but dobble is harder than it looks.  It’s all about being observant and quick!  You can happily play with just two players but the more players you have the harder it gets to win.

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how to decorate with fairy lights bedroom

Fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas.  They add a little touch of magic and fantasy in any room, especially a kids room. And for a kids room, I always want lots of magic, fantasy and whimsy – a space that feeds the imagination, where endless adventures feel possible.  Little twinkling fairy lights do just this.  It can be a boys room or a girls room or a shared room – by adding something as simple and inexpensive as fairy lights you can add a touch of magic.  Here are a few fun ways to decorate with fairy lights in a kids room:

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Valentines yogurt hearts

February 8, 2016

valentines frozen yogurt bites

I like to mix up the kind of sweet treats we eat with healthy ones as well as pure indulgent ones in the mix. My latest healthy sweet treat obsession is frozen yogurt bites.  Lately we’ve become obsessed with the stuff even though it’s winter!  With Valentines day coming up, I thought it would be fun to make heart shaped versions of our frozen yogurt bites.

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best picture book series

When I find a good picture book I end up buying a few copies to give as birthday gifts too.  Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam is one of these picture books that is just delightful.   Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam are a pair of robber dogs.  In the dead of night they creep around town with big plans to rob banks, book shops and bike shops.  But… they are hopeless robbers!  After one too many failed grand plans, Shifty McGifty & Slippery Sam realise that crime doesn’t pay but cupcakes do!  The book is written in rhyming text and is a sweet and funny little story with a simple moral take out. The illustrations are playful and fun and this book is equally great to read to kids or let 5+ readers read by themselves.

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clever toy storage living roomAt the end of each day do you despair at the sight of your living room?  Is it full of toys, craft materials, dressing up clothes, bits of lego and everything else that comes hand and hand with kids?   If your home is like mine, then the answer is probably a big, fat yes (please tell me I’m not the only one).  Kids love to play near their parents and this is true even for older kids.  Even if they have the coolest playroom in the world, they will bring their belongings and play right where you are.  And if you’re anywhere near the living room, then chances are each day your living room turns in to a bomb site!

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DIY pom pom hair clips

February 2, 2016

DIY pom pom hair clipsI was recently gifted a pom pom maker and I can’t even begin to tell you how many pom poms I’ve made.  I thought it was about time I did something with them and so here is my first pom pom DIY that I want to share with you.  These DIY pom pom hair clips are so easy to make and so pretty!  I’ve made so many that I’ve started gifting them too and they’ve been really fun little handmade presents to give to Anya’s friends.  I’m also loving the idea of using these as pretty little party bag treats.

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letterbox flower bouquet

“Have you said thank you?” is the line I often find myself saying to my seven year old when she receives a gift or she’s leaving a party or a play date.  She’s a well mannered child and does remember to say thank you most of the time but I still remind her just in case.  It’s our job as parents not only to teach our kids good manners but more importantly to lead by example.   I’m sure most of us are polite and always remember to thank our friends and family for the obvious things like gifts, their hospitality and their help. But what about the little things?

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beautiful blue kids rooms

White, soft pastels and light greys are some of the most popular colours for kids rooms and nurseries.  It’s not hard to see why – I mean who doesn’t love those colours and they’re easy to decorate with.  But if you’re after something a bit more unique, more striking or more daring, there is no better colour than blue – lots of it in deep, dark and bold shades (we’re not talking hints of blue or baby blue here!).  I’ve noticed a growing trend in blue kids rooms, bedrooms, living rooms, hallways and even kitchens and I’m so drawn to it.  There is something so cool and calming about this colour even in it’s darkest shade and so it’s ideal for any age, any gender and any space.

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best nature books for kids

Are your kids in to myths and facts?   My seven year old is obsessed with them so we have recently made up a dinner table game called ‘myth or fact?’.  We each take a turn to come up with a statement and the others have to guess whether it’s a myth or a fact.  The statement can be about anything, any subject, any topic – the challenge lies in coming up with facts that sound like myths and vice versa.  It’s really fun seeing what Anya will say as she sometimes comes up with things that neither Richard or I are sure whether it’s a myth or a fact.   And other times her statements are so random, they are hilarious! She gets some of her info from one of her current favourite books –  The Amazing Human Body Detectives  – that I wrote about last year.

bug detective book

That book was such a hit in our home and yours (so many readers emailed me to say they had bought it and their kids loved it too) that when I discovered the other book in this series I had to get it for Anya and of course share it with you.  Called Bug Detective: Amazing facts, myths and quirks of nature – this Bug Detective book is packed with interesting facts and myths about bugs, insects and minibeasts.  Did you know that worms don’t have lungs or that ladybirds have poisonous knees?  Or if you weighed all the ants in the world, they would weigh more than humans (wow, that I did not know!).  All the info is presented in a fun and engaging way with great illustrations. There is a lot of info on each page but it’s broken up in to bite sized chunks making it easy for kids to read and understand.

bug detective book maggie li

The Bug Detective book also comes with a magnifying glass so kids can search for the extra, often tiny, details on some of the pages – making it even more fun to read.  I highly recommend it especially for inquisitive kids who will devour this book and spend hours buried in it!  If you’re in the US, you can find the book here and in the UK find it here.

giving your child choices

I recently read an article (I can’t remember where) that talked about raising happy kids. All of us want happy kids, right?  One of the things the article mentioned was the importance of giving your child choices, especially younger kids (say under 10) who have little or no control over their lives.  This point really stood out for me.  Kids really don’t have much control over their lives, do they?  They are told what to eat and when, at school everything is structured and decided for them, they attend extra curricular activities that perhaps parents choose for them. They are told what time to go to bed, what time to get up, when to shower, when to do homework and the list goes on.  While some of this stuff has to be decided for them (if I left mine to decide when to shower, it would be never!) I’ve realised it is possible to give them more control.

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