How to make an Easter Bonnet with Grandchildren

April 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Easter wouldn’t be complete without an Easter bonnet and although there are many readymade ones available in the shops and online there is nothing better than spending an afternoon making your own with grandchildren, especially when the weather is as miserable as today.

I like to get extra crafty when I make an Easter bonnet because I remember having to parade around in my Easter bonnet as a child so I incorporate lots of different crafting techniques. But you can make your bonnet as simple or as complex as you like.

Classic Straw Hat Easter Bonnet

Classic Easter Bonnet

The Basics- I prefer to use a basic straw hat as a starting point for an Easter bonnet- purchase one from Hobby Craft– but having searched the web I’ve found that other people make their hats from scratch. I found one lady who used a paper plate to create her bonnet which was surprisingly successful. So be resourceful and consider using things from around your home.

Customising- You’ll need lots of Easter themed accessories for your bonnet- chicks, bunnies, eggs, flowers. For anyone who is super crafty and has lots of time you could make your own accessories. My ideas include crocheted chicks, hand painted bunnies and flowers made out of colourful felt. But if you’re pushed for time simply purchase an Easter craft kit from a good craft shop or online from Amazon which will include readymade Easter poppets.

Remember that you’ll need to securely attach all of your accessories so invest in decent glue. My top tip for straw hats would be to stitch things on where possible as it gives an overall tidier finish.

Finishing Touches- As a finishing touch I always add a little ribbon around my Easter bonnet as it’s a traditional and easy way to make your Easter bonnet look complete. Plus you can hide any mistakes under a tidy strip of ribbon.  And for extra point in a bonnet parade add a handful of fresh flowers- lavender and daffodils look lovely and are easy to find.

I hope you have a wonderful time making your Easter bonnets and please feel free to post a photograph of them here as I’d love to see what they all look like…

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Easter Activities- Easter Egg Hunt

April 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The school term has ended for Easter I imagine that most parents and grandparents will be trying to think of activities that will keep their children happy and entertained during the Easter break.

For me Easter is a great time to get creative because there are so many things to make- Easter bonnets, handmade Easter baskets and decorated eggs. But my favourite Easter activity has always been a classic Easter Egg Hunt. I have fond memories of hunting for eggs as a child and it’s something which I’ve done with my own children and grandchildren during Easter time.

Easter Egg Hunt

Hold your own Easter Egg Hunt

What’s brilliant about an Easter Egg Hunts is that it can be as simple or difficult as you like, the entire family can get involved and it’s an activity which will be a guaranteed hit with children of all ages.

This year’s Easter hunt has been made extra easy to prepare as Cadbury’s have created an Easter Egg Trail Pack which is downloadable from Cadbury’s Easter Trail website. The pack includes bunny footprints which are prefect for leading younger children to hidden eggs, a selection of Easter themed clues which are good to use if you’ve got older children to entertain plus quizzes and jokes.

I’ve organised many Easter Egg Hunt in the past and would most certainly recommend using Cadbury’s Pack because it so convenient and really well put together. All you need to do is download and print out the pack then get onto the important task of hiding lots of chocolaty eggs around your house or garden.

Easter Egg Hunt for grandchildren

Invite friends and family around to the Easter Egg Hunt

Top Tip: I always use a selection of small, medium and finally a large prize egg in Easter Egg Hunts but note that most supermarkets currently have special offers on Easter treats so shop around.

Alternatively you could make your own Easter Hunt creatives – get children to colour in pictures of Easter Eggs, Bunnies and Chicks and think up some clues which could help lead them to the hidden eggs. This would be a nice way to pass an afternoon before the Easter festivities!

And don’t be put off by the prospect of miserable weather. Remember that Easter Egg Hunts can be held inside your house or in the garden so the wintery conditions shouldn’t spoil the fun!

Halloween Happenings here in Stoke-on-Trent

October 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I’ve been looking into half term events in my surround area of Stoke-on-Trent and I’m delighted by the huge variety of things to do- all local, all offering something beneficial and all sound largely enjoyable for both myself and grandchildren.

Emma Bridgewater Factory-

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Famous for her polka dot designs and kitch finishes Emma Bridgewater creates her pottery master pieces right here in the city. Attracting visitors from all over the Emma Bridgewater factory is open to explore and this half term has a special Halloween theme.

pumpkin archBoasting lots of creative activities children are encouraged to get into the spirit of Halloween with fancy dress as those in costumes are welcomed to enjoy time in one of the Emma Bridgewater decorating studios free of charge.

Additionally, the Emma Bridgewater team have created a rather spectacular pumpkin arch –the perfect place to pose for a family photo- and are willing all guests to guess the weight of the pumpkins.

With face painting and mask making facilities this really is a creative day out for the children. If you’re interested in learning more about how the factory works then I’d recommend the factory tour– a wonderful half term afternoon here in Stoke-on-Trent.

trentham estateTrentham GardensA huge local attraction Trentham Gardens offers lots to its visitors. A walk around the beautiful lake in the crisp autumn is a particularly nice way to spend time with loved ones.

Right in time for Halloween Trentham Gardens’ are hosting a ‘Wild Weekend’ complete with scary street performers, pumpkins carving and Halloween treats at the Monkey Forest, which children will undoubtedly adore.

The Potteries MuseumFor most the local museum is a brilliant place to retreat to during school holidays and The Potteries Museum is no different. Located here in Stoke-on-Trent the museum is a local hub for arts and culture and is currently in the midst of British Ceramics Biennial 2011 exhibition.

For half term, and not forgetting Halloween the museum is hosting ‘Who’s Afraid of…’ which will see children’s favourite baddies from Captain Hook to Cruella De Ville roaming around the museum. Children can also get their faces painted and take part in Halloween craft workshops during half term.  

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In additionally this Saturday The Potteries Museum is taking part in The Big Draw, a campaign which gets people drawing, thinking and creating wonderful ideas which will be displayed on a Halloween inspired giant spider web at the museum.

I think all of these local events are brilliant ways to keep children entertained during half term. For me a visit to the local museum is a great way to keep heritage facilities in your local area alive. Admission is generally free so why not go alone and see what’s on.

Half term Halloween happenings National Trust

October 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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National Trust square logoHalf terms offers the perfect chance to spend time with Grandchildren and this week there is plenty of fun activities to participate in as Halloween is just around the corner-sewing kit at the ready for those last minute costume alterations.

I’ve read lots of ideas ranging from expensive trips away to affordable activities closer to home. So this week I’ll be sharing a couple of my favourite Halloween happenings which you and your family can enjoy this half term.

My Halloween happenings suggestions- National Trust

For family days out I rely heavily upon the National Trust as their heritage centres really are wonderful places to explore from beautiful countryside to breath taking properties and gardens. The National Trust offers so much character and charm that it’s hard to resist visiting.

This Halloween the National Trust is celebrating in style with various events across the country all with a spooktacular theme. Activities are dependent upon which properties’ you choose to visit but they are all fantastic family fun.

Halloweebn face paint

Ranging from fancy dress competitions, face painting, ghostly tails, scary storytelling, twilight tours, Halloween themed craft workshops and a pumpkin lantern parade the National Trust has plenty to offer. All which will be brilliantly authentic set in such statues properties and historic settings.

There is plenty of Halloween fun to explore within the National Trust; I would suggest researching events which are close to you. Most admissions fees are standard however, some do vary so it is always best to check beforehand. For more information visit National Trust website.

School holiday activities with Grandchildren- Fun days out!

July 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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School holidays are right around the corner, which might be a frightening thought for parents. However, for grandparents school holidays are a great chance to spend time with grandchildren.

Next week is really exciting for me as my Grandson Sam is visiting from Italy whilst on summer break. Making sure we spend quality time together and have a great fun is really important. So I’ve come up with some great ways to spend time with your grandchildren over the holidays.

Alton Towers logoFun day’s out-

Theme Parks- Treating grandchildren to a day out can be great fun. Lucky for us one of Britain’s best theme parks, Alton Towers is located locally. However there are lots of different theme parks across the UK aimed at all different ages from Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventure and Lego Land. These days out can be quite expensive so look out for offers and discounts to make your day more affordable.

monekey forestWildlife centres- Wildlife centres are always a hit with children. Chester Zoo has always been a favourite amongst the family for years- perfect if you’re looking for a fully day out. Otherwise Trentham’s monkey forest is great for an afternoon trip. Enjoy a stroll around the forest while the monkeys wander around freely. A superb trip and great way to introduce children to animals.

Cinema trip- Every grandparent will know how much children love a trip to the cinema.  This week the final instalment of Harry Potter is released offering the perfect chance to catch a film. 3D films are also a great choice when going to the cinema with children- even if you do look a little funny in the glasses.

I’d recommend doing a little research into your local cinema to see different offers. I know that many local cinemas offer a selection of deals or promotional offers which are generally only available on specifics days or times. These offers are great when taking children out as they provide for a little extra spending money on the pick and mix stand.

visiting monkey forestThroughout the week I’ll be coming up with more activities for summer holidays including family days out, fun in the outdoors and ways to entertain grandchildren at home.

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