Easter Crafting with Baker Ross

Easter crafts are always fun for the children and Baker Ross have a wonderful choice of easy to make kits that always look great when finished.  For Easter there is everything from cross stitch card shapes, make your own jigsaws, and some rather lovely scratch art birds.

With Spring finally here and the sun starting to shine in the garden, the children couldn’t wait to paint the Wooden Apple Bird Feeders.  These little wooden house shapes have a metal pole across the centre upon which you can place an apple and then hang from a tree for the birds to eat from.  We have plenty of birds in our back garden so we couldn’t wait to get these up in the trees to see the birds enjoying them.

baker ross easter 1With birds in mind, we had some really lovely scratch art bird kits, perfect for Easter crafts, that the children love to do.  The scratching is really simple to do and my 5 yr old sat eagerly creating a pretty design on his birds wings.  The scratch art effect underneath the main colour is rainbow coloured which is really fun and bright.  He also enjoyed making designs on the Make your own jigsaws.  The first one he made was a volcano with lava coming out, not particularly Easter themed, but a design he thought up himself and enjoyed doing.

baker ross easter 2I love the Baker Ross cross stitch kits.  A simple piece of shaped card that you colour in, and then cross stitch on top with a chunky plastic needle.  8yr old Miss M loves these and tried the egg shaped one first.  These are bright and fun and make a great gift for grandparents at Easter or are also great hung up as Easter decorations.

baker ross easter 3As usual Baker Ross have provided a great selection of crafts to do for Easter.  We also got some golden coloured plastic eggs which we plan to hang some ribbon from and put a little chocolate egg inside and then hang around the garden as part of our Easter hunt.  I’m sure they will prove highly popular with the children and lots of fun on Easter Sunday!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Easter Fun at Saltram House National Trust

For us as a family, Easter wouldn’t be the same without a visit to one of our favourite national trust properties to follow an Easter trail.  The children love them, it’s great to be out in the fresh air and there is always a pleasant atmosphere at the national trust properties.  We visited Saltram House in Plymouth last weekend for the children to follow their Easter trail.

saltram 1Once the children had their maps they were off, running along the paths looking for the clues.  It didn’t take long for Miss M to spot the explorer hat hanging from a bush and Mister B found the magnifying glass hanging from a tree on the lawn.

saltram 4On the lawn we spotted a small marquee tent and ventured inside to find a couple of sand pits arranged as an “archaeological dig”.  Each sand pit had the pieces of a puzzle which we needed to find and then complete the puzzle.  My two couldn’t wait to start digging and were soon passing me pieces of puzzle – a really fun activity!

saltram 3Back onto the Easter trail and Mister B was the first one to spot the spade stuck in the ground.  He loved looking for the objects and carefully marked them off as he found them on his trail map.

saltram 5I just love the beautiful plants and flowers that can be found in National Trust gardens and here are just a few that I saw here today.

saltram 2And this tree was simply stunning!

saltram 6We had a wonderful day wandering round and the children loved the trail, especially at the end when they collected their chocolate eggs!

saltram 7

Having fun with a Chocolate Easter Egg Kit

Thanks to Stay in Devon, we were sent a Make Your Own Chocolate Egg kit to play with.  Having two young children who love baking and getting messy in the kitchen this was ideal and they couldn’t wait to get started.

stay in chocolate eggsThe kit came with two bags of chocolate buttons, a bag of sweeties and four half egg moulds.  I cut the moulds in half so they each had two halves for their egg.  I then melted the chocolate buttons in the microwave before we spooned a small amount into each mould and swirled it around to cover all of the sides. We then left it to set for ten minutes before adding another layer.  In total we put three layers in each mould.

stay in chocolate eggs 2We left the chocolate egg moulds in the fridge overnight to thoroughly set, before turning them out in the next day.  I was surprised at how easy they slipped out of the moulds, which I guess is partly due to the thin layer of oil that we wiped over each egg mould before starting as suggested in the instructions.

stay in chocolate eggs 3Miss M and Mister B were both keen to put the sweeties inside the egg so after dividing them up they filled an egg half with the sweets whilst I placed the other half of the egg on a hot baking tray to gently melt the edge.  I then carefully placed the two halves together to form a whole chocolate egg.

stay in chocolate egg 5Miss M then insisted we decorate the outside too, so we found a tube of Smarties in the cupboard which she proceeded to make face designs with to stick on to the eggs.  We used a small amount of melted chocolate to stick them on.

Ta da – Miss M with the finished eggs!!  Both children really enjoyed making these and can’t wait to crack them open on Easter Sunday.

stay in chocolate eggWe received the chocolate egg making kit from Stay in Devon as part of their #stayinhappybunnies campaign

Tractor Ted Easter Activity Book – Review and Giveaway x 5

Tractor Ted is a cute green tractor that lives in Tractorland and gives children a great insight into tractors and farming life through a series of books, dvd’s, clothing and more.  We were exciting to receive Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 2, a special Easter edition of the series of activity books from Tractor Ted.

TT Easter Book coverMy first impressions of Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 2 were really good. Firstly I loved the quality of the book, a high gloss cover and thick, durable pages inside covered in brightly coloured illustrations.  Also the size of the book is quite handy compared to usual children’s activity books, as it’s easy to carry around and gives younger children just a one activity per page to concentrate on.Tractor Ted 1It’s aimed at Early Years children and I feel that Mister B who’s 3 and a half next month is the perfect age to carry out the activities within the book.  I also feel that the activities have been well thought out and put together, giving a great variety but also being of an appropriate level for Mister B to do.

The book shows children about farming and all things related to Easter time, such as baby animals and Easter themed recipes.  There are also counting activities, colours, matching, mazes, recipes, colouring in, writing skills and baby animal recognition.  I am really impressed with the variety and quality of this activity book.

Tractor Ted 2Mister B has loved looking through this book, taking in the information from the pictures and really having a good practice of his writing skills.  Even big sister Miss M joined in beside him copying the same words on a piece of paper and guiding him through the writing.  She’s also keen to try out the recipes at the back of the book, being an eager cook.  I can honestly say I’d recommend this book for a 3/4 year old to get to grips with pen skills and learn about animals and farming.  Of course Mister B was loving all the tractors and enjoyed picking out his favourite coloured ones.

Tractor Ted 3Tractor Ted have kindly offered 5 copies to give away to my readers, so if you have a little one who’d love to learn more about farming, baby animals and boost their writing skills then why not enter to win one below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

UK only
Winners will be selected by Rafflecopter at the end of the giveaway.
Winners will be contacted within 48 hours of the giveaway ending and if I am unable to make contact within 14 days, then I may pick an alternative winner.
Your details will be passed to Tractor Ted who will be responsible for sending out the prize.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the book in order to write the review.

Easter Baking ideas for children

We were challenged by izziwizzikids.co.uk to come up with an Easter activity video for children and decided we would love to do some baking as this is one of Miss M’s favourite pastimes.

I wanted to keep the recipes really simple so that Miss M could really feel like she was baking on her own without mummy interfering every 2 minutes.  So this is what we came up with:

Firstly we chose to make some Easter chocolate nests using Shredded Wheat:

6 Shredded Wheat
180g Milk Chocolate
60g butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Mini eggs for decoration

Step 1: We crushed the Shredded Wheat into a bowl
Step 2: We melted the chocolate, butter & golden syrup over a low heat
Step 3: Add the liquid ingredients to the Shredded Wheat and combine
Step 4: Spoon the mixture into cake cases and add decoration – leave to set in a fridge for a couple of hours.

Next we made some Easter bunny and flower biscuits:

100g butter
100g castor sugar
1 egg
275g plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence

Step 1: Cream the butter and sugar together
Step 2: Add the vanilla essence, a beaten egg and the flour to the creamed mixture and combine to form a ball of dough
Step 3: Roll out the dough and use cutters to create your biscuits
Step 4: Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 190C
Step 5: Once the biscuits have cooled, decorate using royal icing or ready made icing tubes and a variety of sweets/decorations

These recipes are very quick and simple and are ideal for children to follow.  Miss M even cracked the egg perfectly herself without the numerous shards of eggshell mummy normally has to spoon out of the mixture!!  A fun element of baking for Miss M is that she loves to get her hands stuck into the mixing bowl which we achieved when crushing the Shredded Wheat and mixing/rolling out the biscuit dough.

Miss M’s favourite bit was when mummy let her loose with tubes of icing and a plate full of sweeties to decorate the Easter biscuits.  It kept her occupied (and quiet) for a considerable amount of time and she had great pleasure and pride in showing us her finished results.

I think baking is a great activity to do with the children, one that gives them a sense of achievement with the finished result and gains them valuable skills in the kitchen.  Baking for an occasion is always added fun and helps with creativity.  Any cakes and biscuits made for Easter make ideal gifts for the children to give to friends and family – particularly grandparents who are always proud to see their grandchildren’s homemade efforts.  We tested out these recipes on Grandad and Miss M proudly wrapped her handpicked selection of goodies for Nanny to take back for him after her visit to us last week.  His verdict – delicious!

Here is our video: