The Highway Rat Activity Trail

The Highway Rat Activity Trail

As far as family days out go, you can’t get much more frugal than a walk in the woods. Last week we decided to follow the Forestry Commission’s Highway Rat Activity Trail. We had a lovely day out, got some fresh air and exercise, and Ollie even learnt some new skills.

For those of you who don’t know, The Highway Rat is a brilliant Julia Donaldson book about a mean rat who steals all the food from the local animals. Ollie loved the animated version that was on TV over Christmas, so when I saw there was a Highway Rat activity trail, we had to give it a go! The trails are in forests and woods all over the country, and you can find your closest one on the Forestry Commission website. read more

Screen Free Activities For Winter Evenings

Christmas might be over but winter is definitely here to stay a bit longer! I’m already longing for summer and Ollie has started climbing the walls after being trapped in the house all week thanks to bad weather and illness. Keeping him entertained without hours of CBeebies has been a challenge!

One of our resolutions as a family is to reduce screen time this year. While I don’t mind the kids watching TV or playing on consoles some of the time I don’t want them to be glued to their screens every second of the day. But, on cold and wet wintery evenings, it can be hard to think of ways to keep them entertained. So, I asked some fellow parenting bloggers for their favourite family activities: read more

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments

How to make salt dough ornaments

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Making salt dough ornaments is a great Christmas activity for kids of all ages. It’s easy to prepare using just a few ingredients from your kitchen, so it’s very frugal too. I also love the fact that it only uses natural ingredients, so it won’t be a problem if your little one decides to taste it!

How To Make Salt Dough

Ingredients:

1 Cup Of Plain Flour
1/2 Cup Of Salt
1/3 Cup of Water

Just mix the ingredients together in a bowl, and knead it for a few minutes. I’ve found it works best if you use lukewarm water and mix it in slowly. You want it to be firm enough to work with and not crack when you roll it out. If it’s too sticky just add a bit more flour, or more water if it’s too dry. You can also add a few drops of food colouring if you like to colour the dough. read more

Brilliant Books For 2 Year Olds

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Books are a huge part of our home life. I’ve been obsessed with reading and books since I was a kid and Ollie seems to be the same. I love cuddling up on the sofa and reading a book together before bedtime. It’s the perfect way for us to get some quality time together while he winds down for the day.

I also love how cheap you can find books these days. I find the best places to buy are Amazon, The Works, supermarkets and charity shops.

At 2 years old Ollie’s already got a pretty impressive book collection but there are certain books he’ll choose time and time again. So today I’m sharing our favourites: read more

How To Get The Best Black Friday Savings

Black Friday is undoubtedly one of the best times of the year to grab a bargain. I’m sharing my best Black Friday tips to help you save big this year!

A lot of people think Black Friday deals might not be all they’re cracked up to be. Yes it’s true some retailers do use sneaky tactics to increase their profits, but it is still possible to get some great bargains. Personally I think if you do it right you can save a fortune…just make sure you’re not dragged into the madness and end up buying things you don’t need! read more

Fruit And Vegetable Printing

Fruit and vegetable printing

This week we’ve been getting crafty with some fruit and vegetable printing. It’s a nice simple activity but always goes down well in our house. As always, it’s an activity that can be done with items you already have at home making it very thrifty!

I dug some fruit and veg out of the fridge and laid them out in our tuff tray with some bowls of paint.

The fruit and veg we used was mostly yellow and orange, so I used yellow and orange paint too for a nice autumn feel.

What To Use For Fruit And Vegetable Printing

You can use pretty much any hard fruit or vegetables. I chose peppers, apples, celery, a mini ‘munchkin’ pumpkin and sweetcorn. Potatoes, carrots and squash all work well too. read more

Mark Making With Coloured Salt

Mark Making with coloured salt

Mark making is an important activity for toddlers. It  lets them practise the skills they will need for writing in the future. Mark making can be done with all sorts of different materials – not just pens and paper! It helps develop fine motor skills, lets children express themselves and can be lots of fun!

We’ve been doing a lot of mark making lately with glittery sensory bags and mess free painting, but this week I thought we’d try something a bit different.

Coloured salt is good for mark making as the texture and colour of the salt provide an interesting sensory experience. Children make their own marks with their fingers, or with different objects. Plastic cutlery, wooden spoons and even paintbrushes work well too. read more

Fizzing Messy Play – George’s Marvellous Medicine

George's Marvellous Medicine - Fizzing Messy Play

Today is Roald Dahl day which is basically a big celebration of all things Roald Dahl related!  It’s celebrated every year on 13th September – Roald Dahl’s birthday. As he’s my favourite children’s author, I thought we’d get involved with a themed messy play activity!

I’ve loved Roald Dahl’s stories for as long as I can remember. As a child I would read them over and over and never get bored. I loved the magic, the nonsense and the horrible characters. I can’t wait until Ollie is old enough for me to read them to him at bedtime! read more

How To Stick To Slimming World On A Budget

How to stick to Slimming World on a budget

I started Slimming World a few weeks ago in an attempt to lose my baby weight…. and I’ve just lost my first stone! I’m loving it so far but a lot of people have asked me if it is possible to stick to Slimming World on a budget.
The short answer is yes! I’ve already found ways to save money on our monthly food shop and I’m not spending any more now I’m on Slimming World.

I feel healthier, I’ve got more energy and I’m losing weight without that much effort! read more

Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts For Any Budget

Father’s Day is only a few days away and I know there’s going to be lots of people who haven’t sorted their gifts yet! There’s still time to find the perfect gift to show your Dad, Grandad or father of your kids how much they are appreciated. It isn’t always about spending loads of money, it’s just showing them how much you care.

HOMEMADE
If you’re on a budget or want something truly personal, homemade is the way to go. Get the kids to make their Dad a card or present. A handmade drawing, handprint card or cake are all cheap and easy ways for kids to show Dad how much they care. read more