Entries Tagged as 'Toys'

"wooden toy puppet set"colourful elephant mobile nurserywooden stars stacking game

Today it’s a colourful start to the week with these beautiful wooden toys and decorations.  For me, the simplest toys are always the best.  They allow a child to use their imagination and what is better than that?  These toys which include stacking stars and wooden puppets are not only beautiful to look at but are just the kind of toys that encourage all kinds of pretend play.  And then there are the sweet decorations including that colourful elephant garland.  These wooden decorations and toys are the creation of New York based designer Laura Rodriguez who wanted to make designs that were playful and simple and that appealed to the whole family.  Laura’s creations called Luez designs are meant to bring a smile to your face and a bit of cheer to any room in your home which is exactly what they do.

make your own tic tac toe game-ebabee

This is such a simple DIY that I wasn’t sure whether I should post it here.  But I decided that since it’s quick and easy and you get a fun little game out of it, I would share it.  In fact it’s easy enough for the kids to do by themselves so with that in mind here is our Valentines inspired DIY tic tac toe game.

DIY valentines crafts for kids - ebabee

We are big fans of all kinds of games in this house – from the more involved to the really quick ones.  But I find that when time is short and Anya is still insisting on playing a game (like at bedtime) I like to pull out the quickest little games.  The ones that we regularly play are snap, connect 4, tic-tac-toe and a few others.  Since I have all the other games but not a tic tac toe board I thought why not make one.  And with Valentines day coming up, I chose to go with heart counters.  So you can make this for Valentines but of course you can play with it for ages after.

DIY tic tac toe game - ebabee

The instructions are very simple. The make this DIY tic tac toe game I bought some wooden heart craft shapes from ebay which I painted red and black.  I then got some thick card to make the board.  I cut the card in to a square and also cut strips of the same card to make the dividing lines.  You can also use washi tape for the lines as I was planning to but then I quite liked the simplicity of the black and red colour against an all white background.   And that is all there is to it!  I think it makes a sweet little Valentine craft for kids to do with or without you.

A couple of years ago for Anya’s birthday, Richard and I thought that she would love a dolls house so we decided to make one as that is so much more personal than buying one.  Richard painstakingly made the dolls house out of some wood he bought, we ordered wallpaper samples to line the walls and we even made teeny tiny furniture from bits of wood and small toy blocks.  We had my mum-in-law knit mini blankets and we made little cushions and pillows from foam and fabric scraps.  Because it was going to be a surprise for Anya, we did most of the creating at night, often staying up till the early hours to get it finished on time.  Lots of love, effort and time went in to this handmade DIY dolls house.  On her birthday with much excitement and anticipation we gave it to her.

Anya’s initial reaction was one of joy and we felt happy she had a dolls house as we knew that every little kids loves a dolls house, right? Wrong. After playing with it for about half an hour, the dolls house was never looked at again.  Ever.  It’s now been given to charity and I am hoping some other little kid is enjoying it.  That’s the thing about kids though – you never know what they will like!  We will not be making any more dolls houses ever again (we are scarred for life : )  but if you want to try and make one here are some fabulous ideas to get you inspired and I really hope you have better luck then me:

DIY cardboard dolls house

A DIY cardboard dolls house is an inexpensive option and you can be very creative with it like these two examples show.  The first cardboard dolls house is a simple construction from cardboard boxes.  I love the colourful windows and doors but you don’t have to stop there – you can add as much colour as you like.  Maybe paint the whole house white and then add the colours around the windows.  In the second dolls house, each room is made out of a basic box and if you tire of one room you can just get another box and make a new one.  Also there’s no limit to the number of rooms you can add.

DIY house shelf dolls house

This is such a simple and cute idea.  Really easy to make, these DIY house shelf dolls houses can be decorated with wallpaper samples or paint and you can even have different floors on the larger shelves.  I love the idea of hanging these on the wall so they are at the perfect level for play and they look great too. 

DIY bookshelf dolls house

Using an old bookshelf is another way to make a fabulous dolls house.  But like the picture above you can easily turn an old bookshelf in to a fire station or police station too.  I love how the roof is painted on the wall so you don’t need to create a roof from additional wood and the bigger the book case, the more rooms you can have.

"Ikea hack DIY dollshouse

This is a fantastic Ikea hack.  This is a basic Ikea bedside table that’s been turned in to a modern and fun DIY dolls house.  The furniture too is from Ikea but you could always make your own.

DIY dolls house in a suitcase

Last is this really clever DIY suitcase dolls house.  It’s as fun as any of the others and it’s so easy to store away too.  The front of the house can be decorated with chalkboard paint and chalk like this one or you could create windows and doors with washi tape and add lots of colour too. 

There you have some of really fun ideas to get creating your very own DIY dolls house.  Even though I won’t be making anymore dolls houses anytime soon, I’m still loving these ideas.  My favourite is the house shelf – I think it looks so adorable and doubles up as really cute decor too.  What’s your favourite?

Three little pigs

November 11, 2014

"three little pigs soft toy"

Something very cute for you today.  Soft toys have become quite an obsession in this house of late.  Anya cannot go to bed without at least five to accompany her.  There’s often hardly any space left on the bed for her!  And each week her bed companions change so that ‘nobody feels left out’!  I like the reasoning of a five year old mind.

"maileg pig in a tin can"

With her birthday and Christmas being very close to each other, it always means I have to plan for more than one set of gifts to give her (if you can help it, never have a December baby).  Right now I’m thinking birthday gift and I’m loving these pigs softies.  From one of my favourite kids toy and decor shops, their collection of pig soft toys is second to none.  From baby bacon in a box to that pig in a tin.  How cute!  And while I maybe thinking birthday gift, that red pig is such a great Christmas present too.  My favourite though is the three little baby bacon in a box. They look good enough to eat (sorry, couldn’t resist)!

Polar bear themed decor

October 27, 2014

"bear themed decor kids room"

Polar bears as we all know are one of the most dangerous creatures on earth but they look completely the opposite.  They look so soft and furry, cuddly and cute that it seems impossible that they could harm.  Dangerous or not, they do make adorable decor for a kids room.  They lend themselves to all kinds of kids stuff from bedding to cushions and so much more.  And besides their cute looks, I love the whole black and white colour scheme which is both modern and stylish.  So today I’ve picked out some of the best polar bear themed decor for a kids rooms.  How fun is that bookshelf?

1.  Bear head wall art | 2.  bear print baby blanket | 3. polar bear plate | 4. bear soft toy cushion | 5. polar bear cushion | 6. the last polar bear poster | 7.  bear duvet set | 8. polar bear bookshelf

Cute games on the go!

October 1, 2014

"tic tac toe travel game""travel chess game for kids""travel memory game for children""travel sized checkers game"

Do your kids constantly ask to play board games?  In our home Anya loves to play games.   If I agreed to it, she would have me playing from morning to night.  I normally enjoy playing with her, that is until she loses.  Then it’s tears and grumpiness and everything that all five year olds do when they don’t win.  But I can’t blame her too much because I still don’t like losing!  Who does?  Games also make fun birthday gifts especially when you don’t know the child too well so recently while searching for a gift I came across these adorable games.  So cute aren’t they?  With bright colours and cute illustrations most of these handmade games are small so they’re perfect at home or on the go too. 

The Summer holidays have been here for a couple of weeks now and are a welcome break from the routine.  With the beautiful UK weather, we’ve been indulging in lots of outdoor time.  But since I work from home, I can’t take Anya out morning to evening every day as I need to find time to work.  If you work from home, you’ll know that the constant questions, demands for food and expressions of boredom make working nearly impossible or at least means you take three times as long to do anything!  While the TV and ipad are good at keeping her distracted, I like to use these in moderation.  So instead I’ve been stocking up on a few creative little activities which I’ve started giving her when she needs something to do.  Nothing complicated, just the very simplest little things I’ve bought which she can create with by herself.  I thought I would share the three that have been the biggest hits so far:

"best activity books for children"

Let’s Make Some Great Fingerprint Art is such a fun book.  The book is packed with loads and loads of ideas for making art with your fingers.  All you need is a colourful inkpad and a pencil to complete the pictures you create.  Anya loved this book and takes it out nearly everyday since I gave it to her.

"indoor-Summer-holiday-activities"

I spotted this massive jar of beads in Ikea a while ago.  They’re not exactly beads but mini tube shaped bits that Anya has used for all sorts of creations.  From making jewellery to sticking them on paper to make pictures, this jar has so many uses.  Anya has also used these beads to make up counting by colours kind of games.  But be warned, every time they come out, you’ll be treading on little bits of plastic for days to come!

"ways to keep kids occupied in Summer holidays"

This last one was a bit of an impromptu made-up thing but Anya loved it so I thought it was worth sharing.  I needed to get on with some urgent work so needed her occupied.  I just made a huge sheet of paper, pulled put some poster paints and told her to have fun.  She ended up painting with her fingers and had a ball.

How do you keep your kids occupied?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

"6 etsy favourites"

Here are 6 things I’m currently loving on etsy:

1.  vintage floral baby shorts | 2.  monochrome fox brooch | 3.  black and white rainbow pillow doll | 4.  linen polka dot pouch | 5.  personalised wooden toy boat | 6. deer girl kids room poster

Games on the go!

July 15, 2014

"portable travel games for kids"With the Summer holidays coming up and all the traveling many of us have planned, I wanted to share these fabulous portable travel board games with you.  Apart from being beautiful to look at, the best part of these games is that the board is made of fabric and doubles up as the bag to store all the wooden counters.  What a clever and practical idea especially for taking on long road trips or even plane and train journeys.  A French creation, these games include checkers, chess and tic tac toe.  Recently, they have also introduced some colourful card games that are just as easy to take on your travels.  Anything that makes long journeys easier has to be a good thing!  These board games are available in many countries and you can see all the stockists here.

"vintage furniture and toys for kids"

This is probably one of the best vintage shops I have come across.  They have a lovely selection of vintage toys and furniture for kids as well as some stunning vintage pieces for the home too.   That vintage child’s desk is stunning in it’s simplicity as is that ride-on wooden car.  Most of the pieces in this shop are one of a kind and very hard to find.  If you love vintage furniture then I highly recommend this vintage shop.

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