Tag Archives: Green Mums

Cubby Kit Review

22 May

When I heard about the Cubby Kit I was SO excited! The idea of a box of craft goodies arriving at your door was pretty exciting, especially when it comes with ideas for things to make with them.  I was sent a Cubby Kit to review and the anticipation was almost too much! When it arrived the next day (talk about super speedy!) the children couldn’t wait to get started, just look at all the goodies inside!

The first thing we decided to make was the ‘constellation wall chart’. I think it was the thought of the glitter pens that did it for Lily! She really enjoyed making this and we talked a lot about space and planets whilst making this.

Lily loved the silver pen and the glitter pens that came with this activity!

Our finished wall chart!

We didn’t get to try another activity for a few weeks, life just gets in the way of crafting sometimes doesn’t it! Thomas decided he wanted to make the rocket ship and this is a perfect activity for a little boy. At 3 years old he needed quite a bit of help putting it together but he loved sticking on the decorations and has had such fun zooming around the house with this.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, we’re going to the moon!

The third and final activity in the box was a papier-mache craft – making planets.  The idea behind this is really good and I love the idea of the children making something that they can then keep and get use from. The planets would have looked great hanging in their bedrooms but really they were both too little to finish this craft.  They did about 5 minutes of sticking the paper onto the balloons and then got bored.  Anyway, I decided to finish the activity for them but instead of coming up with some planets we actually ended up with toadstools! Lily had seen a picture of these and decided she would love some for her fairy party so this was what we made.  This is the joy of the Cubby Kit though, you have all the craft supplies and instructions but you can really take the activity to wherever your imagination takes you.

Here is how our toadstools out.

Instructions:

Cover your balloons with papier-mache. We used about 3 layers and we used the wallpaper paste which came with our cubby kit.

When thoroughly dry, draw a line around your balloon to get the shape that you want for your toadstools. Cut along this line with a scalpel or a sharp knife.

Decorate your toadstools with red paint, again we used the paint that came with our cubby kit.

Stick some white circles onto your toadstools.

Get some thick card, roll it around and secure it in place with tape to make the stem for your toadstools. Cover these in white paper.

So what do we think of the Cubby Kits?

I love the idea behind these kits. As a busy mum who enjoys crafting, I don’t always have the time to source all the materials I need and to come up with ideas for activities. With the Cubby Kit, all this is prepared for you so all you need to do is enjoy making the activities.

Would we recommend these kits?

I would recommend trying at least one of these kits, I think they would make a lovely gift for a small child. At £19.99 they are not cheap and you could get a lot of crafting materials for that money BUT the kit definitely provides hours of entertainment and gives you one-on-one time with your children that is relatively stress free!

Bring the beach to your house – rainy day play

4 May

We have been so sick of the rain lately! It doesn’t usually stop us getting out and about but honestly, it’s been ‘tanking it down’ (I’ve been informed this is a northern expression and one I’m going to adopt!)

The children have been very disappointed that they can’t go to the playground or out on their scooters and Thomas has been asking to go to the beach almost every day for a week.  In the end I thought. “let’s bring the beach to our house”

We had a ‘beach picnic’ for snack, sporting all the latest beach wear….

No photos!

Then it was time to open our Ice Cream shop.  We used my homemade playdough for the ice cream and the children both loved using our ice cream scoop.  I added essential oils to the playdough so we had ‘Minty Mermaid’ and ‘Lavender Berry’ Ice cream. We used real money in our shop so that Lily could practice what she has been learning in numeracy. Thomas counted out the number of scoops and Lily helped to work out how much our ice creams would cost.

How many scoops mummy?

Ice cream Sundae – with ‘sprinkles’

We also used our play dough to make some fishy fossils.

Finally, we washed off the sand with a nice long soak in the bath rock pool.  Of course we had to wear our swimming costumes for this!

I’m going to need a big net mummy!

Please share your rainy day adventures that you have created at home.

Save £200 by using washable wet wipes

26 Apr

If you use disposable wet wipes, have you thought about changing to washable wet wipes?

They are a totally natural alternative to disposable wipes which contain a variety of chemicals and can cause bad reactions if you have a baby with a sensitive bottom. Using washable wipes can also save you around £200. They are far more practical than cotton wool on newborn babies. A big explosive newborn poo can sometimes take 10 cotton wool balls to get baby clean. A couple of washable wipes will do the job much more efficiently.

Using washable wipes is very easy. You can either purchase ready-made wipes or if you are feeling clever just make your own. Leave them soaking in a pot next to your changing table so that they are ready for each nappy change.

What to put in the water

You don’t need to put anything in the water but if you want to add something you could try a couple of drops of baby oil.  This will give your wipes a silkier texture and a little scent too.  You can also add a drop or two of essential oil to your water. Lavender and Chamomile are safe to use in this way.

You can also use washable wipes when you are out and about. Simply put a few wet ones into a waterproof bag or Tupperware pot and put them in your changing bag. If you are already using cloth nappies then you can just put them into you wet nappy bag when they are dirty.

What do I do with the dirty wipes?

Just put them into your nappy bucket with your nappies and wash when you are ready. It’s as simple as that!

We sell a Cheeky Wipes Kit which gives you everything you need to start using washable wipes. We loved using these on our children and the solutions that you get with the kit smell divine!

 

Back to school blues

15 Apr

As the Easter Holidays draw to a close, mums around the country breathe a sigh of relief as that first day back at school looms ever closer.  As much as I like to get back into a normal routine, part of me dreads the end of the holidays.  Yes, there’s no doubt it is chaos in my house at the moment.  I have hardly touched the housework in two weeks and my Green Mums work has been very neglected BUT we have had so much fun!

We haven’t been out and about every day.  I’m a firm believer that children should have time to invent their own play and my daughter is definitely a child that needs time for this.  She loves to draw whilst listening to audio books and to make up games with her little brother so there has been a fair bit of that during the holidays.

Here are a few of my favourite moments from Easter. I haven’t recorded any photos of me scoffing chocolate but I guess that would come into this category too!

Cotehele House in Cornwall

We have had National Trust membership since before we had children. We think it is great value for money and they put on some lovely activities for children during the holidays.  Of all the properties that we have visited, all over the country, Cotehele has got to be our favourite.  It has a fantastic orchard which is a great space to run around looking for wildlife. The gardens are gorgeous and very varied. With a formal terraced garden, croquet lawn and a sloping garden that meanders its way downhill there is something for everyone. You can also walk through the woods to a working mill and on certain days the children can try their hand at making bread.  During the holidays they always put in a lot of effort into children’s activities.  On the day that we were there they had a family workshop making miniature gardens.  Both Lily and Thomas loved this and got so engrossed with creating their little patch of Eden.

Two very happy children with their miniature gardens!

Enjoying the spring flowers at Cotehele in Cornwall

We went to Dorset for a few days with our parents. What a beautiful place (not quite as beautiful as Cornwall but then I’m going to say that, being a cornish lass!).  One of my favourite spots would have to be Lulworth Cove. It is such a dramatic place and yet so peaceful (despite all the crowds).  It has a surreal feel about it and it’s not like anywhere else I have ever visited.

Lulworth Cove

Another of our favourite spots in Dorset was Abbotsbury. This is a beautiful little village but it’s main appeal are the three tourist attractions located just on the outskirts. We visited two of these, The Subtropical Gardens and the Children’s Farm. There is also a Swannery but we didn’t get time to visit this one.  The Subtropical Gardens are 20 acres of  hidden paradise containing many rare and exotic plants.  Just beautiful, even in spring.  I would love to go back in the summer too.  They had an Easter Egg Hunt on when we were there which was a great way to keep those little toddler legs moving around the garden!

The Abbotsbury Children’s Farm was a big hit with the children. It is advertised as being for under 11’s and I would say they have pitched this right.  It is a small compact little farm and perfect for younger children.  Lily fell in love with a baby goat and wanted to bring him home. She still talks about him a week later…. They have two lovely play areas outside and an indoor play area for those rainy days.  Thomas loved driving the toy tractors and we all had a good bounce around on the space-hoppers.  There were even adult sized ones, so no excuse not to join in! The cafe on site serves local produce and was very family friendly and tasty too! We would definitely go here again if we return to Dorset.

A special moment for Thomas. His first time on a pony!

It’s not just the days out that I will remember though.  I want to remember the little things like lying in our fantastic den that we made whilst reading ‘ The Folk of the Faraway Tree’ and spending time in the garden looking for tadpoles and frogs followed by a picnic lunch on the lawn. We’ve enjoyed the lazy lie-ins and not having to rush off for the school-run. We’ve had time to paint, bake and make lots of mess and I wish it didn’t have to end. Bring on the summer holidays!

What have been your favourite moments of the holidays?

Bambino Mio – Miosolo cloth nappy review

12 Apr


We went into our testing of the MioSolo slightly sceptical having tried and known lots of others who had previously tried Bambino Mio and been less than impressed. When getting into conversations with others about cloth I’ve often heard ‘Oh we tried the Bambino Mios because they were the most popular but really didn’t like them and gave up, so  I have to admit to not being hugely hopeful and positive about trying their newest offering.
Then we tried it.
The MioSolo is a change for Bambino Mio from their usual two-part nappies and is a birth to potty all in one with an attached tuck-in insert that goes into a back pocket and an extra optional booster that goes into the same pocket (think Tots Bots Easyfit if you’re confused).
The MioSolo has become one of our most reached for nappies. The fit is lovely, it looks comfy and soft but snug enough at the same time to ensure no leakage. I had a play with the poppers to adjust size and was pleasantly surprised to see how small the nappy can be adjusted  without looking like it would be bulky on a small baby. The drying time is not the quickest of our nappies but being microfibre you’re still not looking at a huge amount of time and it will easily dry on an airer in a warm room overnight.
I was also surprised by the absorbency of the MioSolo when using the included optional booster and we happily used it as an ‘out and about’ nappy without leaks and my little boy still remaining comfy and dry.If you need extra absorbency there is plenty of room within the pocket to add a bamboo booster but we never needed one.
The only fault we found with the MioSolo was that it started to look slightly tatty after a few washes. It’s easy to see how if you had a full set of these from birth to potty that they wouldn’t end up looking particularly nice. We noticed slight fading and fraying of velcro after around 5 washes. However this doesn’t affect the function of the nappy at all and wouldn’t be too much of a problem at all unless you’re fussy (like me). Overall, we love the MioSolo!

Many thanks to Jen Furmage, Cloth Nappy Advisor in Plymouth for sending us this review

Butterfly Biscuits. Sweet Treats for a Fairy Birthday Party

11 Apr

These biscuits are so easy to make and are great for children to help with. They love rolling out the dough and decorating them.  We made these for Lily’s fairy birthday party which is in a couple of weeks.  We left some without icing and popped them in the freezer so we can decorate them the day before the party.

Here is the recipe if you want to give them a try.  You can use any cookie cutters to make whatever shapes you like.  The fun is definitely in the decorating though, we had pink icing EVERYWHERE!

6 oz butter

3  1/2 oz caster sugar

One egg yolk

9  1/2 oz plain flour

Method:

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Beat in the egg yolk.  Sift in the flour and bring together the dough.

Wrap dough in cling film and put in the fridge for 10 mins before rolling out and cutting.

Bake in the oven at 190 degrees for 10 minutes.

Say Poo to Poverty with our Real Nappy Week event!

4 Apr

Real Nappy Week 2012 is from 16th – 20th April.  We’ve got lots of nappy events scheduled for the Plymouth area but we are also planning something which anyone can take part in.

We are holding an event called ‘Real Nappies are great, pass it on and make a change!’ You can view our event page on Facebook here.  Basically, we are asking lovers of real nappies to have a look through their nappy stash and see if they have any nappies they no longer want.  If you find you have some you no longer need, why not pass one on to a friend and see if you can convert them to cloth?

If you don’t know someone who can use them then we know of a fantastic charity who can! Operation Sunshine South West are based very near to us in Tavistock and they send practical aid to people in East Africa who are living in desperate poverty. They also supervise the distribution of all donated items so they KNOW that their work makes a difference.

One of the items they are always desperate for is cloth nappies.  They work with orphanages, hospitals and refugee camps and cloth nappies are always in short supply.  At the moment they are fashioning nappies out of bits of cut up towelling and they have told us they would be very grateful for ANY cloth nappies.  This includes pre-folds, terry squares, pocket nappies, two-part nappies and wraps – basically, whatever you can spare.

We are asking people to bring any unwanted nappies along to our Plymouth events during Real Nappy Week but if you are not local you can still help out.  We will be arranging a delivery to Operation Sunshine at the end of April so up until the end of the month you can send these nappies directly to us and we’ll do the rest. You can find our address here. We understand that the container will be leaving for Africa in May. We’ll keep you up to date with how your nappies have helped, so look out for more blogs later in the year.

You can find out more about Operation Sunshine here

Please say Poo to Poverty and help make children’s lives better in Africa.

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