Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

Yo, this is how I do Christmas! Whatever is easy and fun, that’s my gig. Like these GLITTERY white chocolate Christmas trees. Pebble only eats white chocolate (personal preference, strange child), so she thought these were fabulous. The kids had fun stirring and pouring and licking and sprinkling. Here’s how to make these cute glittery trees (though they barely need instructions!).

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

You will need:

  • 250g good quality white chocolate (I buy it in blocks and break it up, but it’s up to you, melts are good too)
  • edible gold glitter
  • Christmas tree chocolate mould

Method

  • Melt your chocolate using your chosen method. I am a bit old school and put the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. I’ve had mixed results with the microwave!
  • Pour the chocolate into the chocolate molds* and leave in the fridge to set. Or if you’re super impatient, like me, put them in the freezer.
  • Pop the set chocolates out of their molds and onto a plate then sprinkle them with the edible gold glitter.

Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees

* I totes confused myself about the correct spelling of ‘molds’ and I hate getting spelling wrong. The internet says ‘mould’ and ‘mold’. Who knows? Help a girl out, please!

Note: if you’re thinking of colouring the trees green, like I was, be careful with water based food colourings. I used the squeezy bottle kind and we had to throw away a whole block of chocolate because it seized. Boo hoo! I hear that gels work well but I haven’t tried it. Good luck!

Don’t you think these would make a super sweet Christmas gift?

Easy Halloween Mason Jar Lantern


Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

This morning Pebble woke up and we had our usual morning chat as she lay in bed. She asked the same question she asks every day: “What are we doing today?”. I told her what we had planned (not much!) and mentioned that it’s Halloween today. “HALLOWEEN!?”. She was up in a flash and asking for help to make her Halloween costume. She wanted to be a witch and chose a ‘witchy’ dress from her wardrobe and had some (a lot!) of help to make a hat and a broomstick. The result was one happy kid!

Then we started planning some decorations to let our neighbours know that we are are open for Halloween business. This easy Halloween mason jar lantern only took five minutes to make.

Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

Easy Halloween Mason Jar Lantern

You will need:

  • a large jar
  • cardboard
  • a bandage
  • scissors
  • double sided sticky tape (or regular will do)
  • blu-tak
  • a tea light candle
  • a lighter or matches

How to make a Halloween lantern

  1. Remove the lid from your jar.
  2. Wrap the jar in the bandage and secure with the double sided tape.
  3. draw and cut out a spooky face from cardboard and slide the shapes underneath the bandage strips. Use tape to secure if needed.
  4. Blu-tak the tealight candle to the bottom of the jar and light it (always practice fire safety around children).

There you have it! Five minutes later and you have a super cool Halloween decoration. I’m thinking of some more designs to make Christmas lanterns too.

For more Halloween lantern inspiration try these:

 Tell me about your favourite Halloween memory. 

 

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

Rocky loves to draw. He will physically climb onto the table to reach Pebble’s drawing materials and then happily wander around the house looking for things to draw on. As long as it’s NOT paper. I’m adding that particular behaviour to the very long list of things that Pebble didn’t do. Or did once then listened when I told her not to. I guess it’s a boy thing? A second child thing? Or just a Rocky thing. It’s who he is and I will embrace that (sometimes through gritted teeth as he throws his toys, climbs on the furniture and smashes …. everything).

I wanted to make the concept of drawing on paper more appealing to my little bruiser and had an idea to do some large scale drawing. Here’s how it went.

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

You will need:

  • an extra large piece of paper (we used a roll of paper that I got from Ikea)
  • drawing materials, for example chunky pencils, crayons or markers (we’re using Micador Washable Oil Pastels #notsponsored)
  • sticky tape
  • an eager toddler
  • adult supervision!

How to:

  1. Stick the large piece of paper to the floor using sticky tape. I suggest sticking it along the entire perimeter of the paper to make sure it stays in place.
  2. Get out the drawing materials and have a go with them together.
  3. Sit nearby, give them lots of time and space to explore, chat about their marks.

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

These oil pastels are awesome, the colours are bright and they mark the paper really easily. I love how Rocky grasped three in one hand while working with another. The tongue poking out is pretty cute too.

Rocky drew happily for about 10 minutes or so, which is a pretty good chunk of time for a 19 month old to stick at anything. Then he started to experiment with drawing on the wood floors. I redirected him to the paper. He threw a crayon at me. Activity over. #keepingitreal

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers
Rocky is unimpressed that I have taken the oil pastels away. Obviously.

The best thing about these oil pastels is that they wiped up with a baby wipe with no problems at all.

Disclaimer: Micador sent us these oil pastels to try about a couple of years ago now, and they’re still going strong. They did not pay me to mention their products or ask me to endorse them in any way. I’m giving you my honest opinion on them because I love sharing products that I genuinely love and use.

Wondering when to introduce your child to drawing? Try reading these tips for drawing for babies and toddlers.

Do your kids like drawing on the walls?

Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

I’m pretty open about the fact that these days, I rarely set up paint play for the kids. It was much more common occurrence before Rocky came along. These days it’s watercolours all the way! They’re so easy to set up and clean up, I just can’t resist. But Pebble misses her REAL paint, her sloppy, slide-across-the-page paint. Last week she asked if we could get the paints out I said ‘yes’. She almost did a double take!

Rocky hasn’t had much chance to explore these paints before, so we set up tray of paints, some paint brushes, some paper and I left them to it stood nearby to make sure Rocky didn’t eat it or tip it on his head. The paper was very quickly abandoned in favour of smearing the paint across the old coffee table that we use for outdoor art and play. Finger painting, hand painting, belly, elbow and feet painting!

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and PreschoolersTips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

At times it got a little crazy. Rocky decided halfway through that he’d like to play with the space hopper… while still covered in wet paint. Then he stumbled around the backyard and landed hands first on the BBQ, leaving his sticky wet paint mark on it’s cover. But apart from that we did ok – we got messy without getting MESSY!

After some fun with smearing, Pebble turned back to her paper and starting printing. She also made some paint resist art work on the coffee table by splodging, smearing and slopping paint on top of a piece of paper on the table, then pulling the paper back to reveal a perfectly rectangle space beneath.

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Once the kids were getting tired of the painting we added a big squirt (and then another and then another) of dish washing liquid and turned the hose onto the table. Their excitement was renewed as the paint frothed and soaped and bubbled. They played together until the table was all clean, then played in the suds as they gurgled in the grass. Then I threw both kids in the bath and scrubbed them clean! Here are my tips for happy paint play with toddlers and preschoolers:

Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers Tips for Paint Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Tips for Paint Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

  1. dress in old clothes (that includes you too!)
  2. distract the kids with something else and set up all the equipment before you invite them to play
  3. have a bucket of water and an old towel ready for clean up (or play near a hose)
  4. remove anything from the area that you don’t want to get covered in paint (including space hoppers!)
  5. breathe! Relax! Let it go! Mess is good!
  6. make cleaning up part of the play and get the kids to help
  7. go straight in to the bath after play and get scrubbed up
  8. distract the kids some more while you clean up yourself and the rest of the mess if needed (a snack and a pile of books or a favourite TV show work for me).

Do you embrace messy play? Or do you avoid it like the plague?