Tag: christmas gifts

Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments

Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments

You may remember from last year that we made Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments. Its something we do every year and it always ties in nicely with teachers end of year gifts and homemade sentiments for family and friends.

This year I was inspired by Sugar and Paper Parties insanely gorgeous sugar cookies, I’m not one to attempt anything like the masterpieces that Liezl creates (well actually I did and they looked like a dogs breakfast), so we decided to make ornaments for the tree with our snow globe cookie cutter. (Because painting is alot easier then icing 🙂 )

Apart from putting in the oven and taking it out again, this is literally one craft the kids can do by themselves from start to finish.

The Recipe has 3 ingredients and is SUPER easy:

4 cups flour

1 cup salt

1.5 cups water

  • Preheat your oven to 100 degrees Celsius.
  • Combine all of your ingredients and knead. If your dough is too dry add a little bit more water.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1.5 cm
  • Using a cookie cutter of your choice cut out your shapes, if you are making handprints, use a side plate to cut a circle first and then have your child place their hand on that circle.

  • Using a straw, make a hole in the top for where you want to hang your salt dough ornament.
  • Bake for about 2 hours. If your ornaments are still soft to touch, put back in for another hour. (It will depend on your thickness how long you need to bake for. The thinner ornaments will take less time but thicker may take more).
  • Once cooled, decorate as you wish. We used our favourite Dala paints, the acrylic works best and lots of  glitter, especially at Christmas time.
  • Finish with a varnish.

I normally do this over 2 or 3 days. The first day we roll and make bake our ornaments, on the second we paint and on the third day I spray it with a coast of clear varnish.

To end off our homemade gifts we made simple cards. Christmas Trees easily painted with plastic forks.

Remember to head on over to :

Justamamma for more easy christmas cards for kids

Ali from Earth to Ali Photography for her utterly gorgeous salt dough foot and handprints 

This.is.bentleys.world for her ridiculously cute toilet roll crafts

Minimatissediaries for dreamy pine cone painting

Michelle from Mayalief for her exquisitie homemade wrapping paper

The Ultimate Kids Christmas Gift Guide

The Ultimate Kids Christmas Gift Guide

Its officially “Gift Guide Season” and I have been scouring the best toys across leading suppliers in South Africa to compile my gift guide for the Christmas Period. To make your life a little easier I’ve divided them into Toddlers, Kids and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math).

Toddlers

That’s every cute age where they don’t reaaally understand what the Festive Season is all about, but they do enjoy ripping wrapping paper apart quicker then you can put on a nappy! I speak from experience when I say these are fabulous from ages 1 to about 3, my little niece even has a few of them!

Here are my top picks:

From Top Left to Right:

Mini Mickey Plush Toy from Prima Toys (avaliable at all leading retailers) // Leap Frog Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket R259 // Leap Frog Sweet Treats Learning Cafe // Playdoh Kitchen Creations Spinning Treats Mixer R329 // LeapFrog Popping Colour Mixer Truck R429 // Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Microphone R199.99 // LeapFrog Water & Count Veggie Garden // Playdoh “Wavy the Whale” Set R219

 

Kids Selection

I haven’t separated these into “Boys or Girls” as I really don’t believe girls should only play with girls toys and boys with boys. Children should be allowed to play with whatever they choose too! There are so many incredible toys out there, and I know I haven’t even included half they things my son asks for on a daily basis, including a “Paw Patrol Helicopter”, however, these are some of my top picks:

From Top Left to Right:

From Mattel we have the Barbie Colour Surprise Doll. Available across all ethnicity’s and body shapes, children can spray and style Barbie’s hair however they please! R489.99 // Prima-Toys Scruff-a-Luv is still one of my favourites. They arrive as a sad, matted ball of fur, but once you bathe them, dry them, brush them and love them, you’ll discover what kind of pet they really are and reveal their true beauty R360 // The Hot Wheels® Track Builder Epic Challenge Race Crate contains everything needed
for creativity, building, imaginative play, and problem solving R789.99 // Super Hero Super Stretch is one of my boys favourite, Stretch him, pull him, tie him in knots. When you release him he uses his amazing stretch to slowly return to his normal shape. R509 // Baby Thando speaks both English and IsiZulu and has proven to be one of the most popular dolls of this year R699 // Fingerlings come in a wide range of different animals including dragons, panda’s and monkeys. See how they react when you swing them, pet them, rock them, startle them or hang them upside down. R399 // Transformers are everywhere this year and Hasbro has released the Power Charge Bumblebee. Action figure converts from robot mode to
classic Volkswagen Beetle mode in 17 steps so kids can amp up the power in 2 modes R949 // LOL Surprise have taken the world by storm. Children unwrap the ball finding a surprise in each layer. Prices vary dependent on the type you buy.

 

 

From Top Left to Right:

Thomas & Friends Perfect for early childhood fans, this shiny assortment of durable die-cast Thomas & Friends large engines is suitable for age 3+. RSP: 114.99 // Treasure X, I love the sensory element to this toy! Treasure X is the ultimate surprise-reveal collectible with a multi layered reveal process, cool figures, and the chance to find REAL treasure! // Join the buzz with the Bumblebee Showcase Helmet that captures the cool swagger of the loyal Autobot scout R1400 // Barbie Dream Camper -The signature pink Barbie® DreamCamperTM transforms from a camper van into a campsite play set with the push of a button R1949.99 // The Barbie® Cooking & Baking Ultimate Kitchen is a must-have kitchen play set for little chefs aged 4+, complete with its Barbie® chef doll and 20 accessories R829.99 // The My Little Pony Equestria Girls fashion dolls, each dressed in a stylish outfit, complete with fashion accessories that match their character personalities // Little Live Pets: These little dogs are the cutest pups around. Lil’ Cutie Pups are full of life and love to show off their own personalities as they scamper about, beg and play with you.

STEAM RANGE:

This is an absolute passion of mine! Doing STEAM/STEM activities with my boys and broadening their thinking and problem solving skills. My educational gift guide from last year still has some fantastic choices that are still in store, added to my list from this year you’ll have no shortage of ideas.

 

 

From Top Left to Right:

VR Real Feel is the ultimate in experience in 3D. We got the racing one for my son for his birthday and the graphics are incredible! It works alongside your mobile phone and can be bought in a variety of options, including fishing and racing. R649.99 // Tower Products has an incredible arts and crafts range for kids, available from most leading toy and craft stores. Prices from R34 // V-Tech Light and Flight Discovery Globe . As they pretend to travel the world, the globe teaches kids basic geography skills with colourful lights, playful phrases and cool sound effects. R725 // GeoSafari Bug watch R349 // Magna Tiles are a firm favourite in our house. The options to create are endless ! Well worth the price! R2489 // Tower Products delivers again with their fantastic range of STEM home kits. Make your own slime, crystals or snow! R68 // I’m seriously crushing over National Geographics range of exploration sets. It varies from Dino Digs to Volcano sets and Shark Tooth Kits from R199 on Takealot // Toby Tower’s Bath Crayons are perfect for Picasso creations in the bath! RSP 60.

 

My top educational gift list ideas

My top educational gift list ideas

With Christmas coming up in less than 34 days I thought it was a great time to do a round-up of some of my favourite educational toys.

Personally I prefer gifting educational toys, not that my boys don’t have a ton of cars and remote control gadgets but I prefer toys that allow them to Continue reading “My top educational gift list ideas”