Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

I saw a picture of mitten Christmas tree ornaments and thought it would be a really sweet way of tracking growth in the early years, but also a personalised gift tag that can be kept by adding the child’s name and age so we set about making just that: personalised mitten gift tags.
Mitten Gift TagsRead more: Handmade Mitten Gift Tag Crafts #BostikBloggers

DIY Childproof Christmas Ornaments #Bostikbloggers

I can’t really believe we’re already at the ‘Christmas crafts’ stage of the year’s Bostik Bloggers, but here we are! We don’t even have a Christmas tree yet, but we have been making ornaments using the goodies from our Bostik Bloggers craft box.

I seem to have amassed a collection of polystyrene balls and stars over the last year, and thought they might make a nice Christmas tree ornament – specially since they’re shatter proof and won’t add much weight to the Christmas ornament box.
DIY Childproof Christmas Ornaments

Read more: DIY Childproof Christmas Ornaments #Bostikbloggers

Luxury Role-Play Gifts For Kids

My girls are very independent and can happily get lost in their own role-play games for hours. So long as I provide fresh water and some snacks from time to time, they can spend whole blocks of days lost in their small world game play – you know, where the toys in front of them are a whole world? Some of their favourites for pretend play right now are a dolls house and a play kitchen, but over time there have been other favourites, like a parking garage with a vehicle lift and a wooden tree toy with platforms and swings.

I thought I’d share some of the best luxury role-play gifts for kids that they’ll come back to again and again.
Read more: Luxury Role-Play Gifts For Kids

The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas {Book Review}

The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas is a funny Christmas story for kids – the kind that sees them giggle as you’re reading, making it fun for adults too.

mouse-that-cancelled-christmasRead more: The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas {Book Review}

Dear Santa, We Won’t Be Sending You Wishlists Again

I’d be hard pressed to accept being called a scrooge when it comes to Christmas. From the 1st of December I throw myself heart and soul into it and aside from a few tough years there, we’re back on track. Last year we had three advent calendars on the go for each child (Lego/Playmobil, Book Advent and chocolate!) and this year we’ve make a big song and dance about advent, with everything from interactive movie nights to Christmas Tree Festivals to tea with Disney Princesses. We go all out and end with a lovely (hopefully) Christmas Day.
This year we did something different and new: I had each child write or dictate their Christmas letter to Santa, filled with everything their little hearts desired. This is something I will never do again.

Admittedly, previous years the children were smaller, but they also had TV which exposed them to more advertising than they have now with Amazon Firestick (no advertising) or Netflix (little to no advertising). Of course, in previous years they’ve still mentioned things they wanted, but it’s never been a formalised list, and this year, with this list looming at me from under the Christmas tree, I feel thoroughly deflated, because I know that there’s no way I could possibly provide everything on it, so it feels like I’m a failure as a parent, and I am already awaiting their disappointment come Christmas day (actually, I’m not – I told them straight out that they wouldn’t be getting everything on the list!) but they still have hope!

Ameli’s (7) list included a bunch of toys she’s obviously seen on YouTube, including the £59.99 Hatchimal (are you kidding me?) and a new camera since the battery on hers has stopped charging.  There’s a request for some Dan TDM books (the girl is obsessed), so I’ve happily obliged and was pleased to find them reduced on Amazon. Bonus.Read more: Dear Santa, We Won’t Be Sending You Wishlists Again

Stockings Brimming With Sweets

My four-year-old has suddenly cottoned on to the idea of Christmas stockings. Whereas in the past they have been purely decorative parts of Christmas, this year she’s insistent that they will be filled with gifts flowing freely from the bounty of the North Pole, and that Santa himself is going to fill them – she even suggested we keep them downstairs so that the big man doesn’t have to waste time heading up the stairs after dropping the gifts off in the living room. How considerate of her.

I tried to explain to her that historically, the stocking would contain an orange because ‘in the olden days’ oranges were a rare treat that only rich people could eat regularly. (Or there’s the version that said Saint Nick heard of a man with three daughters who couldn’t afford their dowry, so he threw some gold down the chimney and it happened to land in their stockings set out by the fire to dry, so now we put oranges in stockings to symbolise the gold the generous St. Nick gifted) But aside from not believing me, she is not at all interested in this version of a Christmas stocking. No, you see, her stocking will be overflowing with sweets.

I am of a mind to buy her a much smaller stocking. Read more: Stockings Brimming With Sweets

Emails And Phone Calls From Santa With The Portable North Pole

We’re huge fans of The Portable North Pole around here, and this is the third year we’ll be using this website to enhance and enrich Christmas for my seven and four-year-olds.  For a long tim,e I wasn’t sure what I was going to tell the kids about Christmas. I have many friends who don’t do the whole ‘Santa’ thing, and that’s of course, entirely their choice. For us though, it kind of took care of itself when, at 4, Ameli declared that she didn’t really believe in the existence of Santa, but that she’d be happy to pretend for her sister’s sake.  (This is the same child, mind you, who believes 100% in the existence of the tooth fairy!) Portable North PoleRead more: Emails And Phone Calls From Santa With The Portable North Pole

Book Advent Calendar With Activities #Bookmas

Every year we do a book advent calendar to get us in the mood for Christmas. While we might have a chocolate calendar too – immediate gratification and all that – and sometimes a Lego, Duplo or anyone of a number of no-chocolate advent calendar options, the book advent is the big thing.book-advent-calendarRead more: Book Advent Calendar With Activities #Bookmas

Easy Christmas Decorations – Bostik Bloggers Christmas Edition

Our Bostik Bloggers box this month arrived full of Christmas goodies, so we decided to dive right in and start making little Christmas decorations.  I thought it would be a good time to use up some bits left over from earlier in the year too, so it’s a bit of a mix and match, but these are all easy, quick and simple ideas.Simple Crafty Christmas DecorationsTry these simple Christmas decorations

Read more: Easy Christmas Decorations – Bostik Bloggers Christmas Edition

Dreamworks Trolls Fancy Dress Wig & Friendship Watch Review

Halloween may have come and gone, but in our house, every day is just another opportunity for fancy dress. One of my neighbours recently exasperatedly commented that she’d never seen my children not dressed as fairies or other fictional characters! Since we recently watched Dreamworks’ Trolls we were all too happy to try out (or is that try on?) some Trolls fancy dress.

Trolls is a very light-hearted musical movie. It’s set in a plastic fantastic, super colourful world,  with ultra happy characters – all but one – who go through a series of stresses, most of which is the immanence of becoming supper to the Bergens, a larger, uglier race. The trolls escape, forge a new life, and soon forget the dangers of the Bergens in the happiness of their new home. Of course, this leaves the Bergens sad and miserable (they believe you can only be happy by eating a Troll), and eternally in search of the Trolls. During one loud and carefree party, the fireworks attract the Bergens, and Troll-world is thrown into disaster again. Poppy, the happiest troll ever born, and Branch, her extreme opposite, set off to rescue their friends, and so starts a journey in which these unlikely allies begin to understand each other and find the love they’ve been searching for right under their noses. The Bergen king finds himself in his own Cinderella story with a scullery maid and the Trolls help him realise his love for her, and in the end the good guys win, the bad guys are banished, traitors are found out, the humble inherit a kingdom and everyone goes home happy, and singing one of the multitude of pop songs incorporated into this Dreamworks musical.

[youtube xyjm5VQ11TQ]Read more: Dreamworks Trolls Fancy Dress Wig & Friendship Watch Review