Easter Activities for Children

Easter is a lovely time of year with so many things to celebrate. While Easter is traditionally a Christian festival many people also use the time to enjoy family meals, celebrate spring, have egg hunts and eat chocolate!

All of these things are wonderful and I hope to incorporate them all into our Easter celebrations this year.

I have a 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son so want to do crafts and activities that are suitable to their ages.

Here are some ideas of Easter activities to do with children.

Make Easter cards
Card making is fun and easy to do with young children and a whole range of different craft supplies could be used. I have some stick on Easter shapes and ribbons that can be used. Also hand print flowers or sponge stamps to create bunnies, chicks, flowers etc. These would all make lovely cards to send out to loved ones.

Easter Baking
There is a whole range of Easter baking that could be done. The most obvious one for young children is to make bird nests out of cereal and melted chocolate. These are normally filled with mini chocolate eggs. I will be making these soon but have chosen to use Jelly Babies Chicks to put in the nests as these are more suitable for young children. (Not that I give my children sweets frequently) Mini eggs can be a choking hazard, so it is best to avoid these when making with young children.Cereals that could be used to make the nests are rice cereal, cornflakes, shredded wheat or even oats.

Easter shaped cookies are also good for young children to help make and decorate.

Have a Last Supper Meal
This is something we are planning on doing as a family on Maundy Thursday. There will definitely be red grape juice and flatbread. I am still researching what other foods we could eat that would be similar to what Jesus would have eaten. If anybody has any ideas or suggestions I would be grateful. We wanted to have this meal as a chance to connect with our faith and explore the Easter story in more depth.

-Make Easter Bonnets
I always remember making Easter Bonnets when I was a child and really enjoyed the activity. I have a distinct memory of making a green dome shaped hat which was a hill and then I added 3 crosses to it. I was about 7 years old when I made it and was very proud of it! For my daughter I have bought a pink hat from a craft shop and then together we have stuck on bunnies, chicks, bees and ribbon. If you have several children you could have an Easter bonnet parade where they parade their handmade/ hand decorated Easter hats.

Make Easter Decorations
It’s lovely to decorate the home for different festivals and Easter should be no exception. In lots of craft shops you can buy eggs for decorating. These are great for hanging on houseplants or if you have an Easter tree. I am thinking about different decorations we can be making over the next few days and hope to share them with you. In the past I have made daffodils from card and used cuttings from card egg boxes to be the centre of the daffodil.

-Have an Easter Egg Hunt
This is one of the most traditional things to do with children at Easter. For this I will be hiding small foil wrapped eggs around the home for my children to find and collect.

Make an Easter Play scene
If you read my last post… Easter Story Play Scene, You will see our playset involving some paper mache pieces. Paper mache is a great craft to do with children. I chose to make a play scene of the Easter story but you could make other play scenes based on spring time, eggs and the Easter bunny. Imagination is key and lots of different things can be made from paper mache.

Enjoy a Springtime Walk
This time of year spring flowers are emerging and it’s lovely to see them growing. Perhaps you could make a checklist of different flowers and have a walk around your local area and see if you can spot them growing in gardens and parks. Also if you live near the countryside it’s a lovely time to see lambs in the fields. Ducks and other waterfowl may also be nesting soon, so if you live near a pond you could look out for that.

I have so many ideas but if I shared them all it would be such a long blog post! Perhaps if I have any more Easter ideas I will write another blog post!

As we move forward towards Easter we will be reading the Easter story more and also learning about spring time and baby animals.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and that I have given you some inspiration! I really enjoyed writing this post to share with you.

Katie

DIY Embellished 1st Birthday T-Shirt

It was my son’s first birthday this week and I wanted to make him something special to wear to commemorate the day.

I have a sewing machine that I got last year but haven’t used it a lot. I am wanting to get more confident with using it so I can go on to make better things.

I decided I would use a basic t-shirt that my son already had (and will probably grow out of soon) and sew a number 1 onto it.

I had a bunch of clothes that no longer fit my children and hoped to use some of this fabric to create the design. We had a Gruffalo themed party and my son had an old Gruffalo vest so this was the perfect piece of old clothing to use.

I drew a number 1 on the vest and roughly cut it out. I then pinned this to the t-shirt, folding the edges under to give a neat finish. Lastly I put this onto the sewing machine and carefully sewed the number 1 onto the t-shirt using a zigzag stitch.

Overall I am impressed with the results, it’s not perfect but it made a memorable t-shirt for my son’s first birthday. It also meant I didn’t buy new clothing as I was able to upcycle and upgrade which is a great thing to do.

It’s really good to be able to use items we have and be inventive instead of having to buy new things all the time.

Thanks for reading,

Katie

This Week’s Happenings

This week has been quite productive and I have been busy doing different activities – including cooking which I have made posts about this week. Here are some of the other things I have been doing this week.

Sowing and Growing –

I have been keeping a close eye on my seeds that I sowed last Friday. Over the last few days several of the tomato seeds have germinated, resulting in little seedlings that are growing quite quickly. There doesn’t seem to be anything happening with the aubergine or chilli seeds but it has only been seven days and it may be that it’s not quite warm enough even with the clear lid. I may have to move them to a sunnier spot – although keeping them out of reach of little hands may be an issue!! They are currently on the worktop under the boiler but the kitchen doesn’t really get a lot of sunlight.

I am also planning to grow some microgreens indoors and have been saving my used butter tubs to grow these in. I was inspired by an article in the November issue of the Kitchen Garden magazine and have decided I will give it a go. I have plenty of different seeds to try.

Sewing –

My cross stitch towel project is coming on well. I had hoped to have it finished by the end of March but with the progress I am making it should be finished well before then.

Crafts –

We didn’t get much further with Valentine’s themed crafts, my daughter lost interest and I couldn’t come up with many good craft ideas. I think I shall purchase a children’s craft book to give me lots of inspiration and ideas.

My daughter however is interested in the Easter story. It is her favourite Bible story and she can’t wait until Easter! Whilst there are plenty of Nativity play sets available, there just aren’t Easter story play sets (I guess this is to do with the theme of death). My daughter suggested we make a tomb ourselves and my husband came up with the idea of making it out of Papier mache. So, that was today’s craft project – we have made up a tomb and stone for the entrance and they are sat drying waiting to be painted.

Walks –

I have still kept up with my daily walks, although some days the walks have been short due to the very cold weather. We have had walks in the snow and ice and also sunny walks. I took some lovely photos of the sun shining through the clouds onto the sea.

Hope you had a great week.

Katie

Sunday

On Sunday the sun was shining and it was a really beautiful morning. We had a family walk along the seafront which was lovely.

My husband made our Sunday lunch, it was a delicious meal of Toad in the Hole (sausages in Yorkshire pudding), roast potatoes and lots of veg. My husband also likes to cook so so spent time playing with the children whilst he prepared today’s lunch.

After lunch we had quite a restful afternoon of watching films, reading, sewing and playing.

Shopping List Game!

My current sewing project is a cross stitch towel kit. The kit was given to me a few years ago and actually belonged to my late Grandma. She had completed the cross stitch design on one of the hand towels but the other hadn’t been started. Now I am taking the time to focus on craft activities I decided I would make a start on this. The cross stitch kit is dated 1996 which is the year after I was born! I think at 25 years old it’s about time it was completed! The pattern is really pretty and my Grandma did a brilliant job. Hopefully I can do as good a job and in the near future will have two matching towels.

I also made time to do some baking with my daughter. She received a Gruffalo recipe book for Christmas so we decided we would make something out of there. We baked some Gingerbread mice. I have to say they look quite cute! I made some adjustments to the recipe by using almonds for ears instead of peanuts. These gave the mice nice big ears! They were very tasty too!

Hope you all had a good weekend,

Katie

This Week – Food, Photos and Thoughts

As with a lot of my posts, the common theme is food!! So I’ll start off with what we have been eating this week.

I roasted a large chicken on Sunday for lunch. There was plenty leftover to get another two meals out of it. So, on Monday I made a chicken and leek stew with dumplings. Tuesday I used the last of the chicken to make a risotto, I added spinach, peas and parsley to it. I had a tiger baguette in the freezer and used half of it to make a garlic bread. I mixed a little parsley, garlic puree and butter together and spread this in grooves I sliced into the baguette. This was then baked.

This week I also cooked sausages with veg, a simple jacket potato dinner and tonight I made a lentil lasagne. The lasagne was delicious, we were all quite hungry tonight so I didn’t get round to taking a photo of it! I just made up a veggie filling that consisted of red lentils, carrots, yellow pepper and tomatoes. I seasoned it with oregano and black pepper. I made my usual cheese sauce and layered up the lasagne in the dish with the lentil fling, pasta sheets and cheese sauce.

I also made a broccoli quiche to have for lunches as it’s nice to be able to have a bit of variety instead of sandwiches! I have managed to make a few pictures out of my children’s lunches for a bit of fun! Today I made butterflies!!

The sweet treats this week we’re chocolate chip muffins and a simple sponge cake. As a family, we all really enjoy home cooked foods and I enjoy being in the kitchen cooking and baking.

I have kept up my daily walks, yesterday was very rainy and I discovered that my boots are not waterproof!! Other than that it was an enjoyable refreshing walk in the rain. I am really happy to be getting outside every day for a walk.

The cross stitch that I started at the beginning of the week is now completed. I know it’s a Christmas cross stitch but I found it in my craft things and thought it would be a nice small piece to get me back into cross stitching. I really enjoyed it so will definitely be doing more cross-stitching in the future.

I have been trying to keep organised and have been ticking things off of my to do lists so have felt quite productive this week. The days are long and I know we are all trying to do the best we can to keep ourselves occupied and also stay safe.

I hope you have had a good week

Katie

This Year’s Christmas Decorations

This year there is quite a homemade theme for the Christmas decorations. There are lots of handmade crafts on display.

Last year I made a Nativity set from some air dry clay and then painted it with acrylic paints. I made them up myself and wanted them to have a fun and child friendly appealing look to them. I created Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, 3 wise men, 2 shepherds and a sheep. I have displayed these on some crocheted mats which I inherited – they were made by my Grandma.

The Christmas cards are displayed on the sideboard behind the Nativity and also on the bookcase. It is lovely being able to display cards from family and friends.

The Christmas tree, which I have previously written about is a real potted tree on a small table which has been decorated with handmade baubles and also a few special baubles that we have collected or been gifted.

I hope you enjoy looking through the photos of my modest Christmas decorations and handmade creations.

Handmade Chocolate Gifts

I enjoy making gifts for people and find that it is often easier to make something than to choose a gift to buy.

I decided to make a few decorated chocolate slabs and chocolate letters as Christmas gifts. Great for people who you don’t know what to buy for and those who don’t want extra items that they don’t know where to put or what to do with! I find food gifts to be ideal!

I have seen decorated chocolate slabs in shops and decided I could make some myself! I feel that even though I haven’t spent a lot of money on making these I have spent time and effort into creating them. Giving gifts shouldn’t be about how much money we spend but more about the fact that we have thought about that individual – a kind gesture to show we care.

I bought milk, white and dark chocolate and a variety of toppings to decorate. I have made some chocolate letters for some of the children in my family – the initial of their names.

Basically I melted chocolate and then spread it onto paper in the shape required (greaseproof paper is best but I didn’t have any so used wrapping paper)!. Then I decorated it with chocolate chips, dried fruits and marshmallows and then drizzled on chocolate.

I used hazelnuts and almonds also for the chocolate slabs.

Once these were set I put them onto a piece of cardboard and carefully wrapped with tissue paper and then with bubble wrap ready to be packaged and posted.

These chocolate gifts are also great to make with children. There are endless options of toppings and they make very pretty and tasty gifts!

Thanks for reading,

Katie

Crafts and Cake

Today I managed to make a few more decorations for the tree. I saw the idea in a magazine for wool wrapped Christmas shapes – I thought it was a great idea as all I needed was some yarn and some card! I drew my own shapes on card that was waiting to be recycled, I cut them out and then just wrapped the yarn around until I was happy with them. I strung on some loops and hung them on the tree!

I really enjoy making decorative crafts. Shop bought decorations can be expensive it’s great to know you can make some at home using things you already have. As you know from previous posts, my craft supply is limited and I am just trying to make what I can from it! I like being surrounded by handmade items and I really hope to do more arts and crafting in the new year.

This afternoon I made a bundt cake. I found a recipe for a mixed spice and honey cake and decided I would use my bundt tin to bake it in. I really like mixed spice especially at this time of year. The cake baked really well and I glazed it with cinnamon icing for extra flavour! I know it’s not a very exciting cake to look at and looks quite small too but it tastes delicious and I prefer quality over quantity!

Hope you’ve had a good Monday
Katie

This Week in Photos

Yesterday we bought our Christmas tree, a small potted tree to go on top of the table in the living room. We decorated it with multicoloured lights and all of the homemade tree hangings that we made. We will add more decorations later but so far are enjoying the handcrafted items.

We don’t have lots of Christmas decorations but are hoping to put a few more up over the next week, so hopefully there will be another blog post on this! Having a Christmas tree with lights makes the flat feel cosy and warm. Also the smell of tree is so festive!

Having the tree on a table is ideal as is it our if my 9 month old son’s reach! We can all enjoy the tree without it being pulled at or decorations taken off!

Elsewhere, this is what we have been eating this week…

The Christmas biscuits that we made had mixed spice in – the recipe made a lot of dough so I have that in the freezer for when we next want some biscuits.

We have enjoyed a variety of meals this week including a few that I didn’t get photographed. As usual we try to eat as much home made food as possible and try to eat a variety of different foods.

We took a short walk one evening to look at some Christmas lights which was lovely.

Looking at the lights with my son in the baby carrier

We have spent most of the week indoors playing – lots of role play and Playmobil!

Hope you have all had a lovely week

Katie

A Busy Monday

I have been coming up with a rough daily schedule and planning a few activities for my 3 year old. I find planning is key to provide variety in the day, giving us new things to do. The plan is to get craft supplies ready for the specific activity so it all ready to go!

Today I decided we would dye an old muslin cloth to become a superhero cape for my daughter. I was inspired by a science book my daughter has and that suggested using beetroot as a dye. I didn’t have any beetroot so had a quick search online and decided to use turmeric to make a natural dye. I tied some bobbles into the cloth to give a tie dye effect. I had no idea how well it would work but my daughter and I are quite pleased with the results and are just waiting for it to dry so it can be used as a cape!

We also did another quick Christmas craft using toilet roll tubes, crepe paper, twine and Christmas stickers. I got the supplies ready first so that it would be a quick focussed activity. This was an easy one for my daughter to do – she was able to paint glue all over the tube and roll it up in the crepe paper herself. She also positioned the stickers.

I have been keeping on top of housework better by setting time limits and deadlines in the day of when to get things done. For example I do jobs after getting ready until 9am and then this afternoon I set a half an hour timer after lunch and got as much done as I could during this time. Setting these timings help my daughter to understand when I am doing jobs so she knows that she is able to play independently and she knows I will be able to play afterwards.

I have also written my weekly meal plan and I am looking forward to cooking a Pork and Apple Casserole tonight.