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Children's Crafts and Activities Product Reviews

Sand Art Children’s Activity Subscription Box Review

We have been gifted this wonderful sand art subscription box from Stephanie Keeble, Kids Bee Happy Independent Consultant 

These sand art subscription boxes can be ordered and delivered straight to your door. The kit includes 6 bottles of coloured sand, 5 sand art pictures, a bag of picks to take the stickers off with and an instruction leaflet.

The sand art is easy to set up and so simple to use it even kept my girls busy for hours. On each of the cardboard pictures there is a layer of backing paper that has been laser cut for each element of the picture. 

Using the pick tool you can peel off each little piece of backing paper to reveal the sticky card underneath. Then use the sand bottles to shake a bit of the coloured sand onto the sticky patch. You can then shake off the excess and repeat the process on the next piece of the picture. 

These pictures are easy to do and my girls 8, 10 and 12 years old managed to get on and do them by themselves. Occasionally they asked for a bit of help when it came to removing a small piece of backing paper but apart from that they were able to get on with it by themselves.

I would advise doing the activity over a tray or if you don’t have one then the box that these are delivered in works great for keeping the extra sand in. There was plenty of sand for my girls to do all 6 pictures and we still have some left over in each bottle.

I would highly recommend these packs to anyone looking for a simple but fun activity for their children to enjoy. If your children let you, I would advise giving them a try yourself. They are great for adults too and a lovely calming activity to get the creative juices flowing.

The cards come in resealable packs that you can put the sand art back in and seal them up to keep safe after you have finished. I didn’t realise this until afterwards when my 8 year old had already ripped the pack to shreds. So I would advise opening them yourself to ensure you can use the packs afterwards. 

Even with a tray you will still end up with a bit of sand and sticker backing over the floor and table but these are easy to sweep up and are worth the 5 mins of cleaning up for the few hours it kept my girls busy. 

The smaller pictures have printed on the back messages that you can add your name to and then send on to someone as a gift. Great for giving to family members to cheer them up and let them know you are thinking of them.

You can order your sand art subscription box by contacting Stephanie on Facebook or Instagram – 

Stephanie Keeble, Kids Bee Happy Independent Consultant – Facebook

Awesome.sand.creations – Instagram

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Why not also take a look at my other posts

Art is good for the soul (even if your not very good at it)

How to make decoupage hearts

How to make Hama Bead bowls

The Love/Hate Children’s science experiment

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Children's Crafts and Activities

VE Day Celebrations with The Royal British Legion

To celebrate VE day whilst we are still all in lockdown the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) charity has created their Tommy in the Window campaign which is to thank and celebrate our national heroes both past and present. They have arranged an array of festivities leading up to VE Day and on the day itself.

The RBLI are asking families to take part in the VE celebrations by placing a carefully designed statue of a first world war statue Tommy in their windows and to join in with some family fun activities they have arranged. 

Here are some of the family fun activities that RBLI have put together as part of the VE day celebrations – 

89 year old Former Royal Marine and WW2 veteran George Bradford has found memories of VE day which he shares; “VE Day itself… It was sunny. Everyone was celebrating and we were all going in and out of everybody’s houses. There were balloons and union flags everywhere. I think they even started street parties. We didn’t have all that many cakes but there were a few. Not a lot as there was still rationing. Everybody was out in the street. Nobody made you go to bed – not on that day.” 

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Why not also read my other posts –

Poem for Captain Tom Moore

Lockdown poems

Poem for an amazing mum

Pete the Cheeky Parakeet! My journey to getting my first book published

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes and how it can help reluctant readers

Categories
Parenting Advice

Homeschooling Activities

As we have all been thrown in the deep end of homeschooling our children and our struggling with what we should be doing, me included. I wanted to share with you a couple of homeschooling activities that have worked well for us this week. 

To make clear I have no teaching qualifications or knowledge of the curriculum I am just a parent doing the best I can and I am writing this post to share the learning activities we came up with that my girls enjoyed doing. Of course there was a lot of activities we tried that were a complete failure too. 

Research on different Countries 

We started this activity by getting up a world map, I then covered my daughter’s eyes while she pointed at the screen and whatever country she pointed to we would learn about. 

Once we had a country picked we made a poster of that country, drew the flag and then searched up on Google to find out facts about that country and add them to the poster. 

At first we did a poster together however my girls got into the activity and wanted to do it by themselves. Altogether they did posters on Canada, Mexico, India, Portugal, Chad and Italy finding out some amazing facts about each country. 

Animal A-Z

I set my girls the task of writing down a list of animal names from A-Z with 2 or 3 for each letter. They used Google to search these up and found out about new animals they had never heard off especially for the unusual letters. 

As an extra they then picked one of these unusual animals and did a poster writing down facts they found out about it. 

Jewellery shop

My girls enjoy making things so I bought some beads, charms and string for them to make bracelets. They used the different colour beads to think about patterns when making their bracelets. 

After we made them we discussed selling them at a stall and what price we should sell them at and I explained about profit. 

We then worked out from the cost of what I bought the beads for how much each bracelet would cost us to make and from their how much we would need to sell them for to make profit. 

This is a great activity to get them learning business skills from a young age, showing them how maths is important and used in everyday life and also to get them being creative. 

It doesn’t have to be bracelets you could make anything your children are interested in and then do this little activity. 

Write a silly rhyme

My girls seemed to enjoy this little activity especially as the rhymes they were writing were silly. My 8 year old just wrote a lot of small 2 line rhymes but it got here thinking about words that rhyme. 

My 10 and 12 year old managed to write a full silly rhyme each which they enjoyed as it gave them a giggle when writing. 

The YouTube channel 

My girls like most children these days are desperate to get a YouTube channel of their own and while I am not quite ready to let them have one just yet I used this to create a learning activity. I set them the task of coming up with a name for their channel and then creating a logo to go with it. 

I have to say I was so proud of what they came up with they really put their heart and soul into it. As well as drawing out a logo they then found a drawing app on their tablets and worked out how to use the layers and created their logos digitally. 

I won’t share their logos in case they do want to use them but below is some pictures my 10 year old made using the drawing app.

These were made on the app by my 10 year old
This was made on the app by my 10 year old

Create a comic

My girls abosutley loved this activity and made some fabulous comics it kept them busy for a while. Now I would love to say I came up with this task straight away and they got on with but it didn’t happen like that. 

I originally set them the task of writing a poem about lockdown that didn’t go down to well and then I changed it to write me a story about anything. Again this was a failure and all they did was write a title then moan for 20 mins. 

That was when I thought about getting them to make a comic instead. They all love drawing and comics have minimal writing so it was perfect. They still had to think about story lines and planning out their stories into the boxes they just got to do a lot less writing.

Learning Animation

I signed up for free accounts with The Khan Academy where the girls learned how to do animation and basic coding. This is a great way to get them started on the basics for coding and computers. My girls really enjoyed these activities my 8 year old needed a little bit of help but my 10 and 12 year old were able to follow the tutorials and get on with it unaided.

I do feel it is important to install a good concept of money and the basics of business in them from a young age, which is often missing from schooling. So lets try are best to embrace this homeschooling opportunity and focus more on some of the learning elements they don’t get from from school.

We have also found that the topmarks website, BBC bitesize website and The Human Heroes app have all been great homeschooling learning aids.

Please do share any activities that have gone well for you and your children or any useful websites.

Why not also read my other post –

Review of the educational Human Heroes App

A collection of lockdown poems

Ways to help with mental health and anxiety during CV-19

Review of Dino Rangers treasure hunt by Wonder Adventures

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes and how it can help children who find reading a struggle

Review of Jo Middleton’s fabulous new book ‘Playgroups and Prosecco’

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

A Simple, Fun 30 Day Reading Challenge by Reading Unravelled

I do enjoy a good reading challenge and anything that can help inspire children into finding a love of reading is worth doing. There are many benefits to reading and it can open lots of doors so it is important to get children enjoying it as early as possible. 

When I found this fun reading challenge that was created by Reading Unravelled I just had to share it with you all as it is brilliant. 

These challenges are simple, fun and can be undertaken by children of any reading level. Children and adults alike will enjoy taking part in these challenges and if you share a picture of you doing the challenges either using the comments on the Reading Unravelled Facebook page or using the #readingchallenge30days on Instagram you will be in with a chance of winning a prize. You can also be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of either of my children’s books Pete the Cheeky Parakeet or The Book of Silly Rhymes.

Below are some examples of the challenges that have been set, you can start the 30 days at any time and you can follow the full challenge on the Reading Unravelled Facebook or Instagram page

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Why not also read my other posts –

Lockdown poems

Poem for an amazing mum

Pete the Cheeky Parakeet! My journey to getting my first book published

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes and how it can help reluctant readers

Categories
Children's Crafts and Activities

Homeschooling Challenge

I am setting the challenge for any child aged 12 and under to write me their silliest rhyme.

The only rule is that it has to be a minimum of 4 lines and rhyme.

Every child that completes this challenge will receive an Ebook copy of my book ‘The Book of Silly Rhymes’. Please send your entry to cheryl@thesimplemum.com before 5pm on Friday 3rd April 2020 to receive your free Ebook.

P.s there is no judgement on this it is a bit of fun and all entry’s within the time frame will receive a free Ebook.

Have fun and I can’t wait to read what you have all come up with.

Why not also read my post –

Why I wrote The Book of Silly Rhymes

Being a writer with dyslexia

My journey to getting my first book published

Categories
Product Reviews

Review of ‘Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt’ by Wonder Adventures

We have been reviewing the ‘Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt’ by Wonder Adventures. The Dino Ranger Treasure Hunt is an interactive hunt for children using online videos to give children clues to find the treasure.

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The website is easy to sign up to and everything you need for the interactive hunt is easy to access. The instructions are simple to follow and the hunt doesn’t take too long to set up.

At the beginning you will need to print of the dinosaur puzzle pieces and the clue cards then hide them around the area you are using for the hunt with a piece of the dinosaur bone puzzle underneath each clue card. There is also certificates that you can print off to give to the children at the end if you want to. After that you have printed and hidden the clues you just need to gather the children to watch the interactive videos.

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For younger children aged between 3-8 years old this is a great interactive hunt and if they are into dinosaurs then they will really enjoy the activity. The first video is the longest and has an introduction and shows the children how to walk like a dinosaur the rest of the clue videos are short to ensure that the flow of the hunt is kept up. After all the clues have been worked out and the puzzle pieces found the children then need to work out putting all the bones together to make the dinosaur.

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To finish off the hunt there is the Dino rap interactive video to get the children moving like a dinosaur and rapping along.

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This interactive hunt is good fun, easy to set up and children can follow along. This interactive hunt would be great for a party where you could divide the children into teams or partner them up to work together. The package costs £12.00 so for a party activity it is inexpensive and will keep the children entertained and active.  

I used my laptop to play the videos and that worked well but if you have a big group of children, you may want to consider putting it on the TV instead.