All posts filed under: Craft

Planning a Halloween Party

Since the boy was a newborn, we have hosted Halloween parties for friends at home. By “friends”, I mean little people the children know; we’ve never had an adult Halloween party. In all honesty, I don’t really see the point of them. Halloween, in my eyes, is just another way of having fun with children. If it weren’t for my two, I highly doubt I would pay it any attention at all. Here’s a photo from our initial foray into Halloween partying… Clearly, the boy was not impressed. Miss J, however, has always been a fan. Each year since, we have had a few friends over during the week leading up to October 31st. I try to incorporate crafts and fun foods, and there is usually time for a themed movie, though the children often lose interest in this after a while. Perhaps this year, at the respective ages of four and almost six, they will sit through a whole DVD? Just in case, we have Room on the Broom, Toy Story of Terror and Monsters …

Autumn Bucket List

Following on from the success of our summer bucket list, I have decided to plan one for autumn. I absolutely adore autumn; I’m not sure I can even adequately put into words just how much I love it. We are an outdoorsy family, and autumn is great for so many al fresco activities, including puddle jumping and leaf kicking. Alongside this, it is also a wonderful season for snuggling up with hot drinks, pretty crafts and fabulous food. We have already made a start on our autumnal activities by completing a yummy task I have been meaning to do with the kids for ages – toasting marshmallows over a candle. In my opinion, this should be top of anyone’s autumn bucket list! Here are the rest of my plans for this beautiful season: Fly a kite Catch leaves Collect conkers Dance in the rain Splash in puddles Collect leaves and sticks for a bonfire picture Make edible sparklers Build a bonfire on the beach Pick a pumpkin from the local PYO Chase your shadow Watch the sun …

Miss J’s End Of Term Teacher Gifts

We are big believers in homemade gifts over shop bought here at Smiles and Trials. We love to receive them and we love to give them, particularly to older family members and, pertinently, to teachers. For Christmas, Miss J presented her teachers with small organza bags filled with homemade fudge, which seemed to go down very well. So, when I asked her what she would like to give them as end of term thank you gifts, it came as no surprise that she chose another edible treat. Homemade chocolates. These are simple to make and the process can be achieved by young children under adult supervision. We found a silicone chocolate mould and bought 300g each of white and milk chocolate. To make the chocolates, we started by melting the milk chocolate over a pan of simmering water. We added a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to make it a lovely silky texture rather than allowing it to become grainy. Next, Miss J spooned the mixture into the silicone mould. We allowed this to …

Easy Peasy Jam Tarts

I am always meaning to do more baking with the children, particularly the boy. Today, we finally managed something. OK, so it is by far the easiest bit of baking we have ever attempted, but it was an activity well-received and a craft perfect for the upcoming Valentines season. The boy took great delight in rolling out the pastry which, incidentally, was shop-bought puff sheets. We then used a circular pastry cutter to make the base of the tarts, pressing them into a muffin tray. The boy added jam (apricot, strawberry and lemon curd). He then used another pastry cutter to make the hearts to go on top of the jam. I brushed the pastry with milk and baked the tarts at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes. Once cooked, they were lovely and golden and puffy…I suppose the latter was to be expected! This was a quick, simple craft and a great introduction to baking for tiny tots. To make these even more ideal for Valentines Day, you could always dye the hearts red …