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!

Books and the Jelly Bean

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Jelly Beans. It turns out jelly beans and books go together quite well, no matter what age! World Book Day 2018 is coming up SUPER quickly. It is on 1 March every year and schools and nurseries around the world will be dressing up in their favourite book characters. We had loads of fun last year dressing up Patronus A! You can see pictures of her from last year at the bottom. 

This year we are championing Storytelling with props. If you want to read more about that then I have previously written a blog post about it, link below. 

Reading books with your children with the additional use of props can further help spark imagination and play long after the book has finished being read. It can lead to further discussion, dressing up, creating, eating and general playing. As i was going through our books I realised we had a couple of books that have or are about Jelly Beans in them. When was the last time you ate a Jelly Bean? It has been years, so that's when I decided our storytelling prop would be an eating one! Patronus A and B have never had them before so it was really fun. 

The two books we used are: 

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Jelly beans feature in both these books. The New Small Person by Lauren Child was given to us after Patronus B was born. Patronus A was struggling somewhat, tantrums went nuclear and more often then not she became Dementor A. This book really helped us. It is about a boy being the centre of attention until a new person arrives. This new boy is annoying, until one day he realises that the new boy is actually fun, he even lets him share his jelly beans. So well written and the illustrations are awesome. 

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The next book we used was The Magnificant Jelly bean Tree, by Maura Finn, illustrated by Aura Parker. This is about a boy who explains his Jelly Bean grew into a tree, a tree so magnificent that it produced hundreds of jelly beans. They are juicy and not hard like the ones you buy in the shops, the glow like lanterns in the dark and he stays in his tree. He soon realises that it's pretty lonely without anyone to share it with so invites his family along. Again, the illustrations are so fun. 

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I hadn't realised when I bought them that these particular Jelly Beans have 35 flavours in them. After Patronus A had eaten a few she came running to me saying that she didn't like them. Funnily enough I had just eaten a Liquorice one and it was so unexpected I had to laugh. I'll bet all my Jelly Beans she must have eaten a coffee, cinnamon or liquorice one. As soon as I crunched down on that liquorice one my mind took me straight to Harry Potter. Can anyone guess where I'm going with this? 

Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans. 

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If you haven't read or watched Harry Potter,   ( shame on you) they were sweets that a wizard named Bertie Botts accidentally made.

Bertie Botts pictured to the right. 

Albert Dumbledore (headmaster of Hogwarts, again, shame on you if you don't know who that is) famously said that he had eaten a vomit flavoured bean in his youth and had put him off them. 

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I guess my point to the above paragraph is that, Storytelling with props is not just for kids! That string of consciousness that I had while eating Jelly Beans has made me want to pick all the Harry Potter books and read them again! Older children can play games with the jelly beans guessing which is which flavour. 

 

As promised last years celebration of World Book Day. Patronus A went as Princess Daisy from Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights. An EXCELLENT read. It is all about girl power. We have noticed that the children's book market have more and more books about Princesses who are not just damsels in distress. We love these books at our house. If you are interested in some GIRL POWER books here are a few:

  • The Worst Princess, Anna Kemp
  • Zog, Julia Donaldson
  • Zog and the Flying Doctors, Julia Donaldson
  • The Princess and the Giant, Caryl Hart
  • The Princess and the Peas, Caryl Hart
  • The Princess and the Christmas Rescue, Caryl Hart
  • Princess Scallywag and the Brave, Brave Knight, Mark Sperring 

Crafty Bargains for Half term

Half term is almost upon us. Can you believe it? Anyone else agree that January has flown by in a blink of an eye? It'll be Easter before we know it! So looking forward to the shots of yellow daffodils everywhere. 

Anyway, February half term can be wet and a bit miserable.  This means that unless you are going away, then having some ideas of how to entertain the kids indoors can be useful. Having them prepared and up your sleeves ready to stave off cries and echoes of the, 'I'm bored' phrase. With that in mind I have trolled the internet and have done some research on the best Arts & Crafts that might inspire little feet to get involved. What with Valentine's Day round the corner there are an abundance of hearty crafts which I have included. Don't panic though, there is something for everyone and every taste. 

So, without further a do, scroll down and have a look.

Just click each photo to follow through to the relevant website to purchase.  

Enjoy and send me pictures of all your craftiness!  

 

Colour In Cardboard Rocket Playhouse, Hobbycraft £17

Out Of The BoxJumbo Craft Box, The Entertainer, sale price £6

3D Wooden Unicorn Head Puzzle, Hobbycraft, £6.50

Pom Pom Heart Wreath Kit 4 Pack, Hobbycraft, £12 

Kids Brushes And Ready Mix Paint Bundle, Hobbycraft, £5

The Works, Colour Your Own Everyday Bag, £1

Heart Craft Punch 0.6 inches, Hobbycraft, £2

Heart Wooden Cross Stitch keyring, Baker Ross, £3 .75 for a pack of 5

Heart Hedgehog Decoration Kits, Baker Ross, £3.75 for a pack of 5

Heart Weaving Kits, Baker Ross, £3.75 for a pack of 6

Love Heart Tree kits, Baker Ross, £3.75 for a pack of 5

Heart Porcelain Mugs, Baker Ross, £5.75 for a pack of 4

Tesco Go Create, Make Your Own Bear, £6

Wooden Desk Tidy, The Works, £1

Fairy Door, The Works £2 for 1 or £26 for 15 (Art party anyone?!)

Medium Wooden Birdhouse, The Works, £2

Make Your Own Mesmazing Wind Chime, The Works, £3

Make Your Own Magical Unicorn Wind Chime, The Works, £3

12 Pack of Wooden Hearts, The Works, £1

10 Pack of Wooden Heart Pegs, The Works, £1

Make Your Own Slime Kit, The Works, £5