Hobbycraft Half Terms!

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February half term is fast approaching and so has the snow. It is bitterly cold outside and most of us once the novelty of the white, fluffy stuff has subsided will want to hibernate inside wherever possible. Half term and hibernation… hmm that could go either way, especially if you aren’t prepared, which I have had my fair share of being less then wanting in the imagination front. That won’t be happening again!

In the run up to half terms or holidays I start to peruse craft shops online (we live in the middle of nowhere Sigh). I suppose actually this is probably more safe purse wise then if I were to actually enter a craft establishment. This can be beautifully illustrated in a recent event of taking part in an evenings lampshade making course with some other ladies. Once completing the evening some were buying some extra kits to take home. After saying I would absolutely not be buying any thing else, I ended up coming home with two additional kits. I get awful craft envy…

Anyway, I digress. We have put together some Hobbycraft items that we have our eyes on for the February half term and we thought that some may catch the eyes of some of you lovely readers. There is a real variety of items from really cool STEM activity packs, to crafting packs to easy books that your Little Feet can take away to have some ‘quiet time’. Win!

Weird Science Sensory Slime Kit, RRP £5

Galt Rainbow Lab, RRP £12

Make it real Terrarium Jewellery, RRP£6

Junior Paint by numbers mermaid, rrp£5

Kids easel and paint bundle, rrp £25

Love Colour-in canvas, rrp £4.50

make it real woven wall hanging, rrp £15

Draw 50 Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals, rrp £5.99

Slime Making Bundle, rrp £13

Crayola Unicreatures Colour Wonder, rrp £7

The Usborne Book of Drawing Doodling and Colouring animals, Flowers, Patterns, and other things, rrp £9.99

Vertical Funky Studio, rrp £7.50

3D Wooden Unicorn Head Puzzle, rrp £4.50

My Living World Bug Safari Kit, rrp £10

Create Your Own Crystals Science Set, rrp £15

Colour In Cardboard Rocket Playhouse 88cm, rrp £17

My Living World Worm Kit, rrp £15

My Living World Pocket Microscope Kit, rrp £12

Giant Box of Craft 1000 Pieces. rrp £5

Technokit Stunt Buggy, rrp £5

Disclaimer: This post is affiliate linked, this in no way means if you click through and buy any items attached that you pay more. It simply means that I get a little commission which helps me continue to run this blog!

Code goes live on 7th Feb

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The Rainbow Tree is One!

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The Rainbow Tree is 1 years old today! Today this time last year, I took the leap and started writing down the arts and crafts that I was doing with Patronus A. I was pregnant with Patronus B and had almost finished writing my first book, 'Potty About Pots; Arts and Crafts for Home and School.' It is my debut book and is released THIS MONTH! 30th March 2018. Eck!

The blog ran away with itself and the activities just keep coming as I entertain my tribe of little feet. Below is a little summary of just some of the stuff that has happened in the last year.

A little summary of some of our favourites! 

A little summary of some of our favourites! 

As I put together a gallery of just a sprinkling of activities we have done over the past 365 days, I can't believe how many things we managed to achieve! I hope you enjoy looking at them. Why not make a cuppa when you have a spare moment and have an explore of the website?

Some of our favourites from our Toddler section are shown below.

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Some of our favourites from our Primary section can be seen below.

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To celebrate this baby milestone, we created a Spring coloured rainbow cake, because it's Spring and we like cake. Obviously.

At the prospect of being allowed to eat cake on a school night Patronus A was thrilled to get stuck in, even after a long day at nursery. This is quite unusual, normally she comes in and goes to play quietly, or ends up on the sofa whining for TV. But cake brings out the best in me so... naturally it does for my offspring. I considered buying a large 1 balloon like so many Instagramers do but for anyone that knows me, food is a huge part of my life. Food is the source of most of my childhood memories and adult memories. Whereas smells or sights trigger some peoples memories, food is littered throughout my memory, being the cornerstone of most of my most meaningful memories. So cake it was! 

This recipe is a Gluten Free cake taken from the fab great blog, 'Flippin' Delicious'. Her tagline is, 'gluten-free can be that good.' Link below for the recipe. Patronus B is gluten and dairy intolerant so I like wherever possible, to be able to include her in the food or make an alternative. I decided this time round to make a gluten free cake for all of us. The little cake, (picture lower right in the above gallery of pictures), is solely gluten and dairy free, the other big cake is gluten free but with a Betty Crocker Vanilla Buttercream. 

It is a fantastic recipe and you can't tell it isn't gluten free, something that it a huge feat. for gluten free home baking! We can definitely recommend it! 

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So if you have followed me on this journey from the beginning then thank you! To those who have joined along the way, thank you! To those who may have recently joined us or who have just stumbled across us, come and walk with us through this funny thing we call life-with-little-feet. It is tiring and hardworking, but rewarding and full of laughter (and tears!). Doing arts and crafts with my little feet gives me so much pleasure, my only hope is that it will give you and your own little cubs pleasure too. 

Here is to more years to come... hopefully!

Heart Day

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It's hard to believe but it is almost February! How did this happen?!

February brings thoughts of pinks, reds and purples, of flowers, cards and chocolates. Let your little people get involved with Valentine's Day or as we call it in our house, Heart Day. Over the next couple of weeks we will be sharing some activities that have been Heart Day inspired.

I am a strong advocate for using this day as one not simply for lovey dovey couples cooing at each other, buying each other expensive presents and sharing a dessert (who in their right mind shares a dessert or any food for that matter, anyway...). The only people I will share my food with, if I have to, and ONLY if they ask, are my children. Ladies and Gents, let me make this quite clear, that is ONLY because I actually grew them inside me. Daddy Patronus and fur-ball know better then to swipe or beg something off my plate and if their judgement happens to fall short, lets just say they quickly wished it hadn't. Anyway, I digress... 

Heart Day. 

Yes, it has become super commercialised, superficial, blah, blah, blah. We know. Everyone knows. Some people love it, some people accept it, ignore it, deal with it and there are some who really loathe it. I'm mostly ambivalent.

If I am brutally honest, I used to dread the day at school. My school was one that thought it would be a good idea to encourage people to buy carnations for people. You'd buy as many as you wanted, write a note and they would be delivered to those people. I think the money may have gone to charity which off course is a fab idea. And actually thinking about it, it must have been hell of an operation because there were hundreds of students. However, it became a day to get anxious about. How many would you get, would you get any, would they only be from friends, or might there be a mysterious one. It drove people to make pacts with friends, 'I'll send you one, if you send me one.' Then naturally after break when everyone had received them, the dreaded question. 'How many did you get?' UGH. I mean seriously. It is no wonder why people hate the day. You guys, it doesn't have to be like that! 

The History

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Valentine's day actually originates from the Roman Empire. During the time of Emperor Claudius II there was a priest by the name of Valentine. Claudius believed that men were too attached to their wives and families to willingly join the Roman Army. So he banned marriage. Obviously. That's the logical course of action *eye roll*. 

Valentine disagreed with this and began to marry people in private. Predictably, he was discovered and thrown into prison and be put to death. The sentence was carried out on 14 February 270 AD. 

 

The Legend

Legend has it that while in prison he fell in love with his jailers daughter. Before his execution he left a letter to his love, signed, 'from your Valentine'. 

This legend is likely to have become mixed and blended with a pagan Roman festival, celebrated mid February called, 'Lupercalia'. It a welcoming of Springtime. Boys would pick a girls name out of a box and girls a boy and they would be partners for the rest of the festival. Some of them even married afterwards. 

What the point I am making here? It is that it is a celebration of LOVE. It has been marketed as a day for romantic love, but it doesn't need to be. It can be a celebration of love of a parent, sibling, friend, cousin, aunt, grandparent. Hell, it could be your dog, or your love for painting, walking in the hills, eating cake or drinking champagne. It doesn't matter what it is at the end of the day. It is just a day to take a moment and think about the people you love in your life and or, the things you love doing in your life. The weekly droll can be long and monotonous. We shed light on irritations, despair at our failings, shrink at comparisons and our plagued with what ifs. What if, for one day we just appreciate LOVE. In all it's forms. How could anyone loathe that? Surely, that sort day is one to really celebrate, especially with your little people on this earth.

 
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Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 


Martin Luther King

 

Hate has no place here. It's Heart Day. 

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So, join us over the course of the next two weeks while we explore some Heart Day arts and crafts. Some are gift inspired, some will be edible, some to decorate your house and some just for fun.