Monthly Archives: September 2013

Kids Craft & Fun: Fishing Game

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After a little holiday at the beach last week, where we caught a lot of fish, the boys were itching to go fishing again.

Kids' Craft: Fishing Game

Kids' Craft: Fishing Game

Stuck in the house, I had to resort to some crafty, fishing fun.

I had on hand some cardboard fish cutouts.  I let the boys go wild with these, some glue and a whole heap of paper confetti.

Kids' Craft: Fishing Game

Kids' Craft: Fishing Game

Kids' Craft: Fishing Game

Once they were sufficiently decorated and dried we went about making our artwork into a fishing game.

I attached a large paper clip to the mouth of each of the fish.  I then fashioned a fishing line out of some string and a large magnetic clip.  I chose this magnetic clip over any other magnet because it was large and heavy, making it easier for the kids to wield and ‘fish’ with successfully.  This was also the safer option of all the magnets I had around the house – I didn’t want to use one that was small enough to be swallowed by the kids or our dog.

Crafty Fishing Fun

Crafty Fishing Fun

The kids love playing this game.  It kept them entertained for ages!

Crafty Fishing Fun

Crafty Fishing Fun

Beyond the Nappy / Diaper Bag: The Kids’ Bag

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I gave away the whole nappy bag caper quite some time ago.  I hated that thing. It was undoubtably premature, my youngest isn’t yet two and is still in nappies. It has led to some very embarrassing and annoying events like my son doing a number two, five minutes into a play date and I didn’t have a spare nappy or packet of baby wipes.  Or the time I picked up the kid’s spoon I hadn’t yet cleaned and placed it, complete with yoghurt blob, into my handbag and on top of  my favourite designer purse.

So it was these school holidays that I decided I needed to get my act together.  I assembled my outing must haves and placed them in a kid’s backpack.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Backpack

 

Take a look what I put inside……

  • Nappy wallet.  This one has a built-in changemat and holds our nappies, wipes, scented bags, hand sanitiser and nappy cream

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Eating out Pack.  I picked up this three sectioned pencil case on clearance at Target.  It holds my children’s cutlery, plastic straws, disposable bibs and hand sanitiser.  I often throw the stray sachets of sugar, sauce and salt in here too. You never know when they might come in handy.  The cutlery set I love to use when out is  Fuel Primary Snap Flatware. It niftily snaps together for easy and compact transport.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kiddapotomus Tiny Diner Placemat. I love this thing! I have always hated the idea of my kids eating at restaurant and food court tables.  I don’t think they are particularly clean and kids always drop their food.  This is the solution.  It is a suction-capped placemat for kids.  It is wide enough that their hands and food won’t touch the table. It has a nifty little channel to catch any spills which doubles as a holder for the mat when it is rolled up.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Enjo Little Laundry Pack. Another love of mine! This little pack will remove any spill on your clothes while you are out. It comes in a nifty little pouch with a travel sized fabric fibre and miracle cloth. A true lifesaver and means I don’t have to carry a change of clothes around in this bag.  For those too-big-to-ignore clothing problems, I keep a change of clothes in the car kit.

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Kids’ ID bracelets. I pop these on the kids whenever we go somewhere with big crowds. It has my mobile number on it just in case they become lost.  You can pick these up from lots of places on the net.Beyond the Nappy Bag: Packing for Kids
  • The Mommy Hook. A great little invention that helps keep all your bags together in one place.  I often use mine to attach the kids’ backpack to the shopping cart or pram

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

  • Baby wipes. What would we do without baby wipes?!

Beyond the Nappy Bag: Kids' Pack

The only thing I don’t carry in here that I would ordinarily pack in a bag such as this is sunscreen and insect repellant.  As we live in a super sunny part of the world, I have found it easier to keep large pump packs of sunscreen and insect repellant in the boot of our car and use it before or after we arrive at our destination.

So hopefully, now that I have all these items corralled into one handy backpack, I can avoid those unfortunate and embarrassing parenting events.  Time will tell 😉

 

Cooking With Kids: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

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To keep my little ankle biters occupied this morning we made cupcakes.  Special cupcakes. Cupcakes baked inside ice cream cones.

I had seen these floating around Pinterest and decided that they were a must try.  The kids were so excited and gobbled them down enthusiastically.

You can make these as simple or as creatively complex as you wish.  The boys and I just used a vanilla sponge packet mix and jazzed it up by adding a few hundreds and thousands to make the batter speckled.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

You can bake your cupcakes in any sort of ice cream cone.  I decided flat bottom cones were easier to handle, stand and were more likely to cook evenly.

I used a tall square baking pan to hold the cupcakes while they baked.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

 

While this worked well, next time I will try Allison from the  House of Hepworth’s suggestion (seen below) and I will explain why later.

House of Hepworths

It is important not to overfill the cones.  Ours were a little overfilled.  I think it is best for the cake to rise to either level or just below the top of the cone so you can get the finished cupcake to look more ice cream-like.

Once baked and cooled, I piped on vanilla icing in the shape of an ice cream swirl.  We drizzled some melted chocolate on top to look like sundae sauce and topped the ice cream off with a Malteser and choc finger biscuit.

They all looked spectacular and oh so ice cream-like until they toppled when I tried to move them.  As the cones are top-heavy, you need a stand, like the one thought up by Allison. Next time I will be popping by the dollar store to get myself an alfoil roasting tray.

Here is one of the prettier looking cupcakes after the toppling incident.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

 

And here are my monkeys devouring their holiday treat.

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

 

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

 

 

School Holiday Planning

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Today is the last day of term for Queensland school children and teachers, which means my son and I have two weeks of holiday fun to look forward to.

To make the most of our freedom we always try to have a bit of a game plan organised. These holidays we decided to be uber-organised and draw up a bit of holiday planner.

It all started with a brainstorm of the things we could do…..
School Holiday Planning

We then scheduled what we could into a calendar for the holidays.

There are some great free calendar printables out there to download if you don’t want to go to the trouble of constructing your own. Maybe take a look at the ones at Learning4Kids, The Organised Housewife and Activity Packs.

The teacher in me saw a learning opportunity so we constructed our own.  It was a great way to teach the days of the week, the concept of time, not to mention letters and spelling.

School Holiday Planning

We didn’t over-commit ourselves with fun. Sometimes it is best to go with the flow. There were certain events, like seeing a movie, we had to a schedule into days where my youngest, who is too young for the cinema, would be going to childcare.

The calendar is now hanging and we are excited to start our holiday fun.

School Holiday Planning

Remember to stop by the blog from time to time over the next fortnight to see some great kid activities to keep your kidlets entertained on their school holidays or weekends.

Snack Attack: Cheesy Polenta Chips

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Some time back I had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and my sister ordered polenta chips for the table to share.  Oh. My. Goodness! They were divine!

I was determined to return post-haste, order a bowl to myself, and devour,  margarita in hand.  I was dreaming.

So last weekend I decided to have a go at making my own polenta chips.  There are lots of recipes out there, some healthy, others not so.  I decided to go with one of the healthiest and tastiest looking ones.

This recipe from Lose Baby Weight is baked, not fried and allows you to sneak in some vege, in my case, carrot. For those of you with a Thermomix, Fun With My Thermie, has also adapted this recipe.

They look pretty tasty, hey?

Homemade Polenta Chips

To go with these crunchy little morsels, I made some guacamole.  I also made this healthier by mixing the avocado with no-fat natural yoghurt, lemon and chilli.

These were a winner with the whole family.  It took a little prep, but it was well worth the effort.

By far our favourite chips of the bunch were the ones that were ‘overcooked’ and really crispy.  Next time I think I might cut the polenta into quite thin chips and cook them a tad longer. I don’t think it will be too long before I get the chance to try out this method 😉