29.2.12

Rainbow Beads

Last year we discovered these little beads..... I think they are commonly known as hama beads or perler fuse beads.  I purchased ours from IKEA and they were called Pyssla beads. They are all the same thing as far as I can tell.  Anyway.... 


They came in a big tub like this....


with peg boards in various shapes. 


Basically, you just put the beads on the pegboard in whatever shape you desire.  The beads need to be touching each other, unlike the photo below, as you then place a piece of greaseproof paper (it comes with the set) on top of the beads and iron it for about 10 seconds on a low heat, peel the paper away and the beads all stick together.
There is a detailed tutorial here if that did not really make sense!


The kids made some coasters.  Frog (3) and Bear (4) made the multicoloured ones and needed only a very small amount of help.  Goose (8) then decided to make the heads of her two best school friends to give to them.   They can be attached to key rings or even used for a completely different purpose and threaded and woven to make bracelets like Kate from minieco.


I just checked out perler beads on ebay and there are many!  Including lots and lots of peg boards in many shapes and sizes for only a couple of dollars.  You can also purchase them from craft stores and of course, IKEA.

For more kids craft ideas, check out the FGB kids craft page right here.


P.S.  I just had to blog today just so that I could have a blog post on the 29th of Feb - you only get that chance once every four years!

24.2.12

EASY PEASY BANANA POPS

With the hot, hot weather in Melbourne this weekend and bananas back to an affordable price, we've made some quick and easy banana pops!


Simply peel bananas, chop in half, stick in a paddlepop stick and pop it in the freezer for a few hours.  


A perfectly healthy summer treat!  
This same method also works very well with large strawberries - 2 or 3 to a stick.  
I'm sure it would work well with a multitude of fruits!


As with most of the ideas on this blog - this one came from my Mum.  She always has a box of these in the freezer at her house for when the kids come to stay.  Thanks Mum!  ;)
I have also seen something similar on 'playschool' with the bananas dipped in honey and then rolled in coconut which might well be worth a try also!

What do you do on summer days when it's very, very hot?
I think we might just have to get the black plastic out again...

23.2.12

First Day of Kinder...

Today little Frog finally got to start kinder!
I cannot believe that it was a whole year ago that her big brother started kinder.  


Frog has been so keen for so long and now she finally gets to go all on her very own.  


They've had a bit of slow & staggered start and then she had gastro the night before her first full day, much to her devastation, then school sores before the next one!  She has been so desperate to go that she's been packing her own backpack, with hat, snack & water bottle, just to drop her big brother off at his kinder.*


The same backpack that her big sister used 5 years earlier, that is way too big for her but she insists on having.  This child is hilarious.  She is so independent and so full of character.  She does not stop talking for most of the day, decides her own fashion and insists on doing almost everything all by herself.


My little girl ("I'm not little Mummy, I'm big!") is growing up so quickly and I can't quite believe that she's a kinder girl already.  I'm loving this age (I think I say that every year!)




* Frog is in 3 year old kinder and Bear is in 4 year old kinder.  Yes, I will practically live there this year!  That's what you get for having children only 15 months apart!

21.2.12

A SUMMER ICECREAM PARTY {the activities}

Goose turned 8 years old at the end of January.  Eight!!!  I actually contemplated not having a party after the mass of activity over Christmas & New Year..... but how could I not?!?!?!!

You've seen the food from the party and now we have the activities...


Santa's gift of fun & bright nail polish in Goose's stocking was the colour inspiration for this party - for some reason they just spoke 'ice-cream' to me.  So, of course we had to incorporate them into the party activities...


As guests arrived they could have their nails painted...


...apply an icecream tattoo*


...colour in some icecream colouring pages 
(these gorgeous free printable colouring pages can be found here)


...make their own paper icecream van
(these fun icecream van printables can be found here)


...play a quick game of icypole 'memory' (no photo) (made using this free printable)


...or pin the cherry on top of the icecream sundae!


Then we played...

The Flour Game:

1. Fill a large bowl with flour (any kind will do).
2. Tip it upside down onto a plate and pop a lolly (sweet) on the top.
(I thought a jaffa looked a bit like a cherry on the top of an icecream sundae)


3. Get the kids to sit in a circle and take it in turns to carefully take a spoonful of flour and return it to the bowl one at a time. 


4. If your spoonful causes the lolly to fall, then you get to eat the lolly... without using your hands!!!


5. Pop all the flour back in the bowl and repeat as many times as you like, so make sure you have a whole packet of lollies.


6. You will find that some try really hard not to make it fall, but others (see below) like to deliberately make it fall whenever it is their turn!  The child loves to get messy!


Then we went outside to wash it all off with some water pinatas!


I had plans to make this icecream pinata, but after two failed attempts, we decided that a water pinata would be much easier and possibly even more fun on a hot day!**


Made by hanging garbage bags on each corner of the hills hoist clothes line and filling them with water via the hose.


Then we played a relay game with water bombs...



...followed by a good old fashioned backyard slippery slide!

Black plastic, a hose & some dishwashing detergent.


This is an activity we did all the time as kids and with the drought in recent years here in Australia it has been very hard to do the same with our children.  The restrictions here in Melbourne have been reduced and you can now water your lawn with a handheld hose with a trigger nozzle attachment at any time of day... so if the kids happen to be running in front of that hose at the same time I am watering the lawn...


They had soooo much fun and in hindsight I really should have just had this activity only and skipped the rest!


Click here for more icecream party pics!

If you'd like to see some of our previous parties here at FGB headquarters, head on over to our DIY kids party ideas page!






* I am so excited about these tattoos - I made them myself - I really & truly did!  I'll be doing a separate 'how-to' post very soon - stay tuned!  Addition Oct 2012 (finally) - more info on making your own tatts here.
** Did I mention it was approx. 37 degrees!  Thanks to Family Fun for the idea!
*** leftover from the space party - I love reusing & recycling for parties!  You can purchase some from your local hardware store.

19.2.12

A SUMMER ICECREAM PARTY {the food}

Every year on Goose's birthday the temperature is always around 35-39 degrees celcius*... which is pretty hot!  So this year, instead of fighting it, we thought we'd just embrace it with lots of icecream and lots of water based fun!



As per usual I'll share this party with you in a few posts.  


Food first.


The food for this party was very simple & basic.  The party was held in the afternoon at 2pm, so no main meal was required and the weather was so hot that I didn't need to bother with hot food.  We had the usual party type fare of popcorn, chips, watermelon, strawberries, dip & biscuits/carrot/celery and on top of that we added a few fun ice-cream themed treats... 




Chocolate Icecream cupcakes.  
Chocolate muffins cooked right in the cones.

Icecream shaped fairy bread.  
Fairly obvious, but the 'cone' was made from rye bread and chocolate sprinkles and the 'icecream' with white bread, a scone cutter and rainbow sprinkles.


To Drink:
Water bottles - covered in printable icecream paper from here.
Spiders (AKA icecream soda)- umbrellas & straws always add a bit of fun.


We also had delicious and totally healthy pure fruit icecreams made from frozen fruit (mango, banana, rasberries, pineapple & strawberries) in Granny's juicer.


After lots of water games it was time for some icecream!  I had shown Goose a few cake ideas that I'd found via pinterest and this gorgeous icecream cake over at One Charming Party blog was her favourite.


To make the cake, I softened a 4 litre tub of vanilla icecream and squished it into a large springform pan that was lined with a plastic bag and popped it back in the freezer.  Then I removed the icecream from the pan mould,  popped it onto a round cake board and smoothed the edges.  For the top I used, another dollop of icecream, lots of ice magica waffle cone and some sprinkles on the top. 


Tip #1 - don't take too long on this part (like I did) as it melts very quickly on a hot day & icecream starts poking through the layers of hard choc and you have to re-choc! 
Tip #2 - don't cover the entire top of the cake with ice magic as candles stick more easily into icecream!


The fantastic editable & free icecream parlour printables that I used can be found here.



The icecream cake was served in icecream cups with wooden spoons or waffle cones dipped in chocolate, sprinkles & nuts.


and a multitude of toppings...




For more icecream party pics & details stay tuned!

Click here if you'd like to check out some more FGB parties.




* that's around 100 degrees faranheit folks.

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