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Category: Blog

10 Fidget Toys Suitable for School
10 Fidget Toys Suitable for School

When I went to school, fidgeting was frowned upon and punished. However, over the past 30+ years, attitudes have changed and it is now understood that some children need to fidget to help them sit still and learn. I don’t know the psychology behind it but I know that at this time of year, fidget toys sell fast on my website as parents prepare to send their children back to school.

From what I can see, the fidget toys that sell tend to be:

  • small enough to fit into a pencil case
  • static toys that will stay in the child’s hands (ie not bouncy balls or flying gliders or similar toys)
  • toys that don’t make noise to distract other children
  • sensory in nature, particularly touch sensations.

Not every child needs to bring fidget toys to school and for some, bringing them would be an added distraction to learning, so before considering buying some of these sensory toys to send into school, maybe check with your child’s teacher or someone in the profession.

Here’s are my top 10 fidget toys for school.

  1. Stretchy Men– 50c.fidget toys sensory toys

These little yellow rubber guys have dangly arms and legs that can be pulled and stretched.

2. Finger Spy – €1.10fidget toys sensory toys

Place one of these on top of your forefinger and watch the eyes wobble.

3. Finger Monsters – €1.50fidget toys sensory toys

Again, these fit nicely on fingers and then your child can pull on the arms, fingers and snout

4. Bendy Monsters – €2.50fidget toys sensory toys

These little toys have wiry limbs that hold the shape they have been bent into. They have fun faces to encourage imagination.

5. Bendy Robots – €2.50fidget toys sensory toys

These are the same as the bendy monsters only they look like little robots

6. Sticky Slug – €2.50fidget toys sensory toys

These slugs can be pulled and squished. They stick to surfaces and once they have lost their stick, they just need to be washed to work again.

7. Wobbly Wooden Fairies – €4.99fidget toys sensory toys

These lovely wooden toys have a button underneath to press. The top part (Fairy) is held together with elastic so when the button is pressed, the elastic tightens and the fairy moves.

8. Wooden Flexi Robots – €4.99fidget toys sensory toys

These wooden robot’s limbs are held together with elastic, so when you bend them, the wooden pieces lock and they hold their shape.

9. Magnet Set – €7.50fidget toys sensory toys

Your child can pick up paper clips and other metal objects in their pencil case while listening at the same time.

10. Putty Peeps – €7+fidget toys sensory toys

Choose from different colours and effects (change colour putty and magnetic putty). These little tins are perfect to pop into your child’s pencil case. Each tin has a hand full of putty and two eyes so that they can mould it into shapes or creatures.

I hope that school starts well for all children next week. If you have a child that needs fidget toys to get along in school, I’d love to hear what other toys have worked for them, as I feel my range is quite small but I’m not sure what else to add and I’d love some parent’s and teacher’s opinions.

If you haven’t already stocked up on some fun stationery for your child, check out this blog post.

Thanks for reading and supporting my small, Irish business,

xx Suzie

 

Top 10 Arts and Craft Kits for 6-8 Year Olds
Top 10 Arts and Craft Kits for 6-8 Year Olds

I love how creative this age group are and I love that when they reach this age, they need less adult guidance to make masterpieces that they are proud of! Arts and Craft activities for this age are very popular on my website but there’s my top ten!

  1. Melissa and Doug – Design Your Own Bracelets – €6.99Arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds

This set is probably more suited to children aged seven and under.  The pack includes 4 double-sided glitter bracelets with velcro closures and 101 stickers to decorate them with. It’s simple, mess-free and really pretty.

2.  Modeling Foam Dinosaurs – €10.75Arts and crafts for 6-8 year olds

With this kit, you can make your own dinosaurs by modeling the foam clay around the body shapes and waiting for it to dry.

3. Fischer Tips – Unicorn – €14.99Art and Craft Kits for 6-8 year olds

Fischer Tips are dyed protein starch shapes. Simply cut them to size and dampen them and they stick to each other. This huge drum of Tips has over 600 Tips and clear instructions on how to make a unicorn from them. After you have made the unicorn and rainbow, there will be lots of leftovers for other creative projects.

4. Deluxe Scratch Art – €17.99arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds

Scratch Art is the simple project of scratching black (or white paper) to reveal a different colour underneath.  This set comes with 15 scratch art boards, a stencil sheet with over 30 shapes, 2 styluses, frames, and instructions.

5. Paint your own Russian Dolls – €11.50Arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds

This set of wooden Russian Dolls comes with a paintbrush and paints so that your child can paint them as they wish.  This craft probably suits children aged 7+ or adult help may be needed to draw finer points likes faces on the dolls.

6. Paint your own Wooden Boxes – €10 Arts and Craft Kits for 6-8 year olds

Choose between a Heart-Shaped Jewellery Box or a Pirate’s Treasure Chest, these kits from Melissa and Doug Toys come with a paintbrush, paints, and stickers to decorate the finished product with.

7. Craft Caddy – €14.99Art and Craft Kits for 6-8 year olds

This Craft Caddy from Galt has everything a boy or girl would love to make their own crafts with – pompoms, googly eyes, sequins, shredded paper, pipe cleaners, foam shapes, blank cards, zigzag scissors, glue, glitter glue, and an ideas sheet.

8. Step by Step Drawing Kits – €13.99waiting room toys

Choose between a pink box, a blue box or a box that focuses on learning how to draw animals. These kits have a whiteboard, a marker, and 24 cards, each showing steps to complete a different picture. They are very clever and before you know it, your child will be able to draw items you never dreamt they would be drawing.

9. Shrinkles – €6.50arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds

These boxes a full of fun colouring pictures but what is different about them is that when you pop them in the oven for about a minute, the coloured pictures shrink into smaller and tougher plastic. Choose between Unicorns or Farm Friends. Each box also has a background to colour and stands for the completed characters.  Or, I also stock a slim but larger pack of Stegosaurus Shrinkles that make keyrings. It costs €7.20. All three sets come with colouring pencils.arts and craft kits for 6-8 year olds

10. Make your own Jungle Wind Up Toys – €17.99Art and Craft Kits for 6-8 year olds

Using air-drying modeling clay it’s now possible to make you very own wind up jungle characters that can race each other along the included race track.

Well, there you have it. My top 10 Arts and Craft Kits for Children aged 6-8 years old. I didn’t include any of the sewing kits I stock, as I blogged about them recently. If you missed that blog, you can see them here. Or, if you missed my blog with Arts and Craft Kits for 3-5 Year Olds, you might enjoy reading it here.

If none of these are what you are looking for, you will find my full range of arts and crafts here and my full range of toys for 6-8-year-olds here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,

xx Suzie

Fun Quirky Stationery for Going Back to School
Fun Quirky Stationery for Going Back to School

I can’t believe that we are already in August! The summer holidays are really flying by and my children are constantly asking me when they can buy their stationery for the next school year! Personally, I hate thinking of it because it makes me feel like I’m wishing away the holidays but I don’t think that’s the case for them. I think they just love stationery.

For us, stationery shopping is a bit easier than for most people, since I own a shop that has a nice selection of school stationery. Here are some of our favourites.

  1. Mini Grafic Colouring Pencils – €6.50school stationery

I am tired of buying cheaper colouring pencils and find that the nibs just keep on breaking. This box of 12 colouring pencils from Djeco, won’t disappoint you or your children.

2.  Djeco Box of 100 Stickers –  currently reduced to €4.50school stationery school stationery

Choose between the teal box or the coral box, these stickers are really pretty. Perfect for decorating and personalising homework journals, textbooks, and copybooks!

3. Unicorn and Pterodactyl Pencils – €3.99 each

Fiesta Toys - Pterodactyl Pencil

Fiesta Toys - Unicorn Pencil

Having a quirky new pencil for the school year is a must for every pencil case and these wooden topped pencils will go down a treat.

4. Glitter Gel Pens – €5.75school stationery

Younger children probably won’t be allowed these in school but older children will love them for writing or colouring with.

5. Magic Markers – €6.50school stationery

Your kid will be able to wow all their friends with this set of magic markers. Colour using the marker and then colour over using the white marker to change the original colour to a different one.

6. Big Box of Colours – €39.99school stationery

Your child may not be able to bring such a huge box of colours into school but having this set at home will make homework a little sweeter!

7. Googly Eye Pens – €2school stationery

Have fun writing this these GoGoPo Googly Eye Pens. They are blue biros with fun jiggly eyes.

8. Light Up Fluffy Pen – €3.99Light Up Pen

Not only do these cool pens have a purple fluffy/feathering end but when you use them to write, a little light on the tip (underneath the fluff) lights up.

9. ScissorsscissorsCraft kits for 3-5 year olds

Choose between the Safety Scissors (€2.50) for younger children or paper scissors (€3.50) for older children. These are bound to get used lots in the coming school year.

10. Chunky Crayons – €6.99school stationery

These chunky crayons are perfect for pre-school and infant classes. What makes them extra handy, apart from their size which is perfect for small hands, is that you get 16 colours but they only take up the same space as 8, as they are double-ended crayons.

11. UV Spy Pen – €3.50school stationery

I usually try and keep my blog posts down to 10 items but I just couldn’t leave out this really cool UV Light Spy Pen. When you use the pen, you can’t see anything, then use the light that’s built into the lid and the secret message appears. Perfect for sending secret messages to your friends in school!

Well, that’s my favourites. I hope you all have a lovely August and you make the most of the last month of school holidays.

xx Suzie

10 Fun Gifts for 11 and 12 Year Olds
10 Fun Gifts for 11 and 12 Year Olds

As you are probably aware, I did a whole series of gift idea blogs for certain ages earlier this year. I stopped at age 10 but have since had a request to do one for 11 and 12 year olds. So, here are some toys I’d choose to give to eleven or twelve year olds. As always, I’ve chosen toys ranging in price from €8.65 to €21.99 and I’ve just chosen ten. If you can’t find someone perfect from my suggestions, I’m sure you might find it from my full range of toys for this age group. 

  1. Origami Wild Animals (8.65)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

Learn the art of folding paper in a way that they look like wild animals. This kit comes with visual instructions on how to make 5 different wild animals, along with 55 sheets of double-sided, patterned origami paper and stickers to complete the animals.

2.  The Story Telling Game (€14.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

Use your imagination to tell the wildest story you can, using the cards you have been dealt but watch the clock and your opponents!

  1. The Science of Codes and Riddles (€10.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

This science kit is really well priced for what you get. It has a good mixture of crafts and science to learn how to solve codes and riddles.

  1. Chess in a Tin (€13.95)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

This little tin has a fold-out wooden chessboard and all the pieces needed. The perfect size for bringing on holidays or storing in a small bedroom.

  1. Galileo Thermometer (€14.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

Another great science kit which allows you to make your own Galileo Thermometer and understand the science behind its workings.

  1. Don’t Say It Game (€15.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

Taboo is still a little difficult for this age group. This is an age-appropriate version where you have to guess what the person is describing but they are limited as they can’t say certain words.

  1. Knitting Art (€17.50)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

If the child hasn’t already learned how to knit, now is the perfect time to learn and to take pride in their creations. This kit comes with two sets of knitting needles so two children can learn together.

  1. Space, Stars and Slimy Aliens (€17.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

Learn all about the universe in a fun and gross way with this science kit.

  1. Skribble Head (€19.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

The challenge with this game is to be able to draw a picture on the whiteboard attached to your forehead in a way that your team can guess what it is. Easier said than done and great fun to play.

  1. Bananagrams (€21.99)Fun gifts for 11 and 12 year olds

This game is similar to Scrabble only everyone is making their own crossword. It’s very fast-moving as every time someone shouts ‘Banana’ you need to take an extra letter from the middle pile.

 

I know people often find it overwhelming to buy gifts for older children and often resort to giving money instead. However, there are lots of fun toys out there which kids this age will really enjoy playing with.

 

I hope these suggestions have helped you. If not, don’t forget to check out my full range of toys for 11 and 12 year olds.

Xx Suzie

Game Review : Bingo
Game Review : Bingo

Game Review: Bingo

Last month we went on holidays and one of the evenings we attended a Bingo night. To say that the children enjoyed it would be an understatement! They loved searching their cards for the numbers that were drawn and the suspense that each one brought, not to mention the competitive edge. When we got home, I decided to look out for a similar Bingo game that we can play at home and I sourced this one!

bingo

It comes in four pieces in the box but is easy enough to assemble despite there being no written descriptions. The box has a description on it of how to assemble so make sure you don’t dump the box or rip it open.  Children will need help assembling this game. Once assembled it is sturdy. I don’t think it is made to be dismantled and assembled every time it is being used which means that you can’t store it in its box. My daughter keeps it on her shelf and I quite like that she can see it, as it means she will be reminded to play it regularly!

bingo

It comes with 90 balls, each with a number printed on it. I like that they are bright orange, so if they fall on the ground, they are easily identified and not dumped! These are easy to slot into the large, clear ball. Once they are all inside, you turn the handle and one ball is released at a time. It slides down the shoot and then the number is called out and the ball is placed in its place on the board.

bingo

Each player has a card with 15 numbers. When a number is called,  if it is on their card, they cover the number with a blue foam counter. The game comes with loads of cards and counters. If you are playing this with a group of kids (or adults), you can give a prize for the first person to cover all the numbers in one row, two rows and then the whole card.

Although it’s very simple, it can take some time for a player to win. This is the number of balls that needed to come out before we had a winner.

This really is a game that the whole family can enjoy or which can be played with a larger group. Perfect for a youth club or classroom.

This Bingo Game costs only €14.99 and I’m happy to recommend it.

xx Suzie

How to Choose the Right Toys for your Waiting Room, Office, Shop or Cafe
How to Choose the Right Toys for your Waiting Room, Office, Shop or Cafe

When I was a child, I remember going to the bank regularly with my mum. She would queue and I would play with the wooden dollhouse or watch the fish in the fish tank. Now, if I bring my kids, they can do neither! Why have a lot of businesses stopped providing toys in waiting rooms? It makes the experience so much easier for parents and pleasant for kids. My experience is that it becomes more expensive for the business, as bored kids can be destructive. Every time, I visit the bank, my kids fill out lodgement forms when my back is turned.

Thankfully, there are some businesses that still provide toys for kids. My doctor’s waiting room has a lovely selection of toys and books to keep bored children entertained and the little fabric shop down the road also has a box of toys for kids to play with, giving parents the extra few minutes they need to choose what they want in peace. Surely it’s win-win for everyone.

waiting room toys

If you are a business owner and children regularly come into your premises, then can I encourage you to have a small basket of toys. Here’s what you should consider when choosing what toys to have.

  1. Choose durable toys! Parents will usually be busy and children will be less supervised than at home, so choose toys that will take a bit of rough play. Personally, I’d go for a wooden toy or two. They are definitely more durable than a plastic alternative. This little fire engine costs only €17waiting room toys
  2. Choose toys that can be cleaned quickly and easily. Ideally, you want to be giving these toys a wipe down every evening, so you don’t want toys that need to go into a washing machine or toys that can’t be wiped clean, like card games or marbles. Something like this magnetic puzzle just needs a wipe front and back and it’s clean. It costs €12.99 waiting room toys
  3. Choose Toys that aren’t destructive. Perhaps this is the reason a lot of businesses stopped having toys on their premises. Personally, I wouldn’t encourage balls or play weapons as it only encourages active play. You ideally want the child to stay in one place playing with the toys. I have found that all ages love playing with spinning tops and you have to be in one spot, near a flat surface to play which means the kids won’t be running around. These ones cost €12.99waiting room toys
  4. Choose Toys without Batteries. Toys that need batteries don’t encourage imaginative play and once the batteries have run out they often have little or no play value in them. Quite often they are noisy too and kids will forget to turn them off when they leave your shop or business. These Gift in a Tin Toys take up hardly any room but kids will love taking out the animals and setting up a farm  or zoo  They cost €13.99waiting room toys
  5. Choose Toys that can be used over and over again. It’s great if you go to a coffee shop or restaurant and your kids are handed a colouring book and crayons/colouring pencils. However, it’s very disappointing for your child if they open the colouring book and discover that the children before them have scribbled on every page and/or all the crayons are broken and/or there is no sharpener for the colouring pencils. It maybe works for younger children but I’d recommend these Step-by-Step drawing boards for older children. It comes with a wipe-clean board so it can be used over and over again and each of the cards can be wiped too. I stock a pink box, a blue box  and an orange box. They cost €13.99waiting room toys
  6. Choose Toys that are suitable for most age groups. Generally, it’s younger kids (under 5) that look to be entertained. Older kids often know how to stay in one place and ‘behave’! Still, if you can find some toys that keep all age groups happy, it’s a winner. Playing with blocks is one of those toys, in my opinion. Duplo Blocks or these wooden blocks would make great entertainment for most age groups. They cost €30.99 for 100 blocks.waiting room toys
  7. Finally, Choose Inexpensive Toys. Toys can easily go missing and you don’t want to be in a position of having to restock your basket every month. All the toys above cost less than €31 each and the blocks (which are the most expensive) can still bring entertainment even if some do go missing. Even pocket money toys like these little robots (€5) and fairies (also €5) will keep kids busy.waiting room toys

 

Just think, you could have a basket with all these toys in it for €115! It’s not much to pay to keep your youngest customers happy and your older customers relaxed!

Enjoy,

Xx Suzie

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!
How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

Children these days (including my own) have a lot of toys and not all of us live in massive houses. I love having an ‘organised’ house where I don’t have to see everything but when someone asks me to locate something, I can put my hand on it without too much searching. And, this includes my daughters’ toys. This is a learning journey for me so I thought I’d share what I’m learning.

Here’s what I’d recommend:

  1. Large storage boxes

Have boxes for specific items so it’s easy to find them, so, for example, all the toy cars go into one box, all the dolls into another, musical instruments into another, handbags into another and so on. If these are different colours it’s even easier when it comes to putting things away. If all your boxes are the same colour, label them with pictures of what should be inside – this way, both you and your children will be able to find what they are looking for and be able to put them away in the correct box. I have found that the Ikea Trofast units and the Ikea Kallax units to be brilliant. These come in lots of different heights and widths. Initially, we had them so that our children could use the top as a work station for colouring and creating, but over time, we discovered that they weren’t using them for this and instead toy clutter was gathering on top, so we stacked them, which created more floor space. Our girls are a little older now and they can reach up to get most of the top boxes. I’d also recommend having one box for each of your children where they can keep their ‘special’ toys. Toys that they aren’t happy to share yet with each other or treasures they are collecting.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

 

  1. A Rail

My husband is very handy with his hands and he made a rail in the toy room for us. It has been invaluable during the age 2-4 period when our girls wanted to dress up all the time. We had collected quite a few dress up outfits and when we kept them in a storage box, I would find the whole thing would be empty on the floor every day. When they could see the outfit they wanted hanging up, they were able to be more selective without creating extra work.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

  1. Spaces for Large Toys

It’s very hard to get the balance right in a toy room unless you have a massive room (ours is in our box room). You need space for your kids to play in but you also need space for the toys and there are some toys that demand a large amount of room like prams, doll houses, road rugs, and workbenches. If you have a dollhouse for peg dolls, attach it to a wall at your child’s height level. Then it has a permanent place in your room and it’s not always falling over or getting damaged from being moved around. We have a large storage box in one corner of our toy room which holds the folded down buggies/prams, large dolls, cots, baby baths etc. My girls know to go there when they want to play babies and I know where to put things away when they are done. There is no point having them looking pretty in the playroom if they only get played with once a week. They take up a lot of room if they are displayed nicely and usually it’s just your children who will see them.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

  1. Open Shelves

I love that in big storage boxes, you can hide away a lot of toys and not worry about what they look like inside the boxes. However, there are some items that I won’t put in boxes. Books get dog-eared and forgotten about and puzzle boxes open if not placed flat – the pieces going everywhere. So books and puzzles get placed on shelves. Generally, I put puzzles and games (that have a lot of pieces/cards) on high up shelves so my daughters have to ask for them. This way, they only get one at a time and it makes for easier tidying up.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

  1. Clear Zip-lock Bags

I don’t like using plastic but I find that good quality zip-lock bags can be re-used over and over. There are some items that would just get lost in a storage box or there’s not enough to fill a whole storage box. I have one storage box for miscellanious toys but I like to keep them somewhat organised too. I have found clear zip-lock bags to be the answer. Ikea also stocks these in lots of different sizes. We keep things like finger puppets or small bouncy balls in bags in this box.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

  1. Some space to play

I have found that having an organised toy room means there is more floor space for my girls to actually play in the toy room and not just store their toys in it. When the toys are all over the floor, it rarely occurs to them to clean it up to make space for the next game. Instead, they will bring more toys out and start playing with them on the landing or in the kitchen. That’s why I take 5 minutes at the end of every day to put all the toys that have been left out back in their places. If you do a little every day, it rarely becomes a big job.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

Outside of having a place for everything, there are two other tips I want to give…

  • Spring Clean Regularly.

I’ve written a blog on this before here.  Generally, a large influx of toys will arrive in your house every Christmas and for each child’s birthday. Between these dates, there’s usually a small trickle of toys being added into the room. If you don’t keep an eye on things, you won’t have space for everything, therefore, I’d recommend doing a toy spring clean the same amount of times that you have a toy influx. So for example, I should do it 3 times a year to compensate for 2 birthdays and one Christmas. There are only so many toys your kids can actually play with, toys break or kids outgrow them. Set aside a couple of hours and the job will be done.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

  • Toy Rotation.

I’ve also talked about this before in a blog. There are some toys that maybe were given to your child but your child never took any interest in it. You don’t want to throw it out in case they grow into them. Or there are other toys taking up room that your child hasn’t played with recently but they still love. If you have an attic or space under a bed, fill a box with these toys and put them away for 3 months. Then take them out and swap them with other toys. You’ll find your kid has a new interest in the toys that were put away.

How to Keep your Toy Room Tidy!

Keeping a tidy house is hard work and even harder when you have little people whose main aim in life appears to be to create mess! I hope this helps.

Xx Suzie

Let’s Get Crafty – 10 Craft Kits for 3-5 Year Olds
Let’s Get Crafty – 10 Craft Kits for 3-5 Year Olds

I find that over the summer, I have more time to spend with my children doing things we like. Often this is outside but on rainy or cold days, we play games or make things together. Both my children love arts and crafts but usually they need help to get going on them, so I sit down and we work together for a few minutes before I leave them to complete their craft.

I know this to be true for other Irish families, as arts and craft kits sell really well over the summer months on my website. Here are my top ten craft kits for children aged 3-5 years.

  1. Collages for 3-5 Year Olds – €19.95Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

This gorgeous box from Djeco has everything your child needs to complete four different animal collage pictures.

2. Stamp Sets – €8Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Often toddlers are given stamps to play with but it’s ideal if you can hold out until your child is a little older. Then they will really appreciate the pictures they can make from stamps. I stock three different Melissa and Doug Stamp Sets, which come with 8 stamps and a dual colour ink pad – the Butterfly and Hearts Set, the Baby Farm Animals Set and the Zoo Animals Set.

3. Djeco Mosaics – €9.99Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Choose between Dinosaurs or Elephant and Snail Mosaics. These kits have two mosaic boards each and plenty of raised foam stickers that little fingers can manage. On each board there is a picture with small squares marked out with numbers. The idea is to stick the colour coded stickers in the correct places on each board.

4. Paper Weaving and Stickers Set – €8.25Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Complete these 6 bunnies by weaving paper through them and decorating them with stickers. Not only will your child have fun and satisfaction completing this craft, but it’s also great for their fine motor skills.

5. Stencils €7.99Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Children this age are starting to learn pencil control but it’s still hard for them to manage to draw characters. Buying them some stencils will teach them how to draw around the edge of a stencil to have a shape to make a picture out of. I stock Ballerina ones, Dinosaur ones, and Horse ones.

6. Djeco Crayons – €6.99Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

There’s a good possibility your child can’t be trusted with markers yet, and they seem to constantly break the nibs of colouring pencils. These chunky crayons from Djeco are sturdy and have a different colour on each end. You only have to carry 8 crayons and you have 16 colours.

7. Masks – €2.99Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

We went on holidays last month with my nephew and niece who both fit into this age range. I brought a set of Dinosaur Masks and Princess Masks and they loved colouring them on the plane and in restaurants.

8. Safety Scissors – €2.50Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Every house with small children should have a set of these. It gives your child independence with crafts without you being afraid that they might cut themselves or their hair!

9. Stickers – €3.49Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

Available in Princess, Dinosaurs, Animals, Horse, and Vehicles these sets contain 160 fun stickers for your child to craft with.

10. Colouring Velvet Pictures – €6.50Craft kits for 3-5 year olds

It’s hard for children this age to colour within the lines. These colouring velvet pictures from Djeco enable your child to do this, as the borders are raised velvet.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of art and craft materials for this age group. If you want to see my full range, click here. I plan on writing follow up blogs with craft kits for older children, so if you have older children that love crafting, keep an eye out for that one!

xx Suzie

 

5 Fun Sewing Projects for Children
5 Fun Sewing Projects for Children

Yippee, the school holidays have finally arrived. My kids finished up on Wednesday and we’ve had a great start to the holidays. I usually buy in a few bits at the beginning of the school holidays and hide them away for rainy days (let’s hope we don’t get too many of them this summer!) I have found in the past that sewing projects go down really well in our house – whether we use a kit or make our own felt designs. They take time and concentration to do and usually the result brings plenty of pride and delight. If you are looking for some fun sewing kits for your children, check out these five…

  1. Travel Bear – €13.95

sewing projects for children

This bear is part of the Gift in a Tin range and it comes in a lovely tin, which the bear can then be kept in or brought on holidays in. The bear is part sewn, so all that is needed is to fill him with the stuffing and sew him closed. He comes with a birth cert and some fun accessories. Everything needed is in the tin (stuffing, accessories, plastic needle, thread). This is a simple sewing kit and is recommended for children aged 6+. When my youngest was six, she made this teddy. Here’s our blog which photos of what was involved.

2.  Millie Mouse – €13.95

sewing projects for children

Like the Travel Bear, Millie Mouse is a gorgeous first sewing project for children aged 6+. Her body is part sewn with an opening at the back for the child to stuff her and sew her up using the plastic needle, thick thread and pre-punched holes.

3. Sew a Puppy – €10

sewing projects for children

Some sewing kits appeal to girls more than boys but boys love sewing too. This kit would suit either a boy or a girl as they sew together all the pieces of felt to make their very own puppy. Like the other kits, the pieces are pre-punched for ease but there is a lot more sewing involved with this kit. It is also recommended for children aged 6+.

4. Make a Sock Owl – €9.50

sewing projects for children

This kit is part of Gift in a Tin’s Mini-Tin range so the tin is smaller than the other tins. Since this project involves more sewing than their other sewing kits, it’s recommended for children aged 8+.

5. Petal the Unicorn – €13.95

sewing projects for children

Unicorns are hugely popular at the moment and I’m sure if you bought this sewing kit, it would go down so well. She is part sewn, so all that is needed is for this unicorn to be stuffed and sewn closed. Recommended for children aged 6+

I hope this has given you a taste of what sewing projects are out there for children. They make great birthday presents and are fun to do with your child. They are perfect for beginners and are great for developing fine motor skills and following instructions.

Enjoy the school holidays,

xx Suzie

10 Affordable Outdoor Toys for Older Children
10 Affordable Outdoor Toys for Older Children

It can be so hard to separate older children from computer games and the tv screen and with Summer approaching, maybe it’s time to invest in a few outdoor toys that will tempt them outdoors! Last week I wrote a blog on ‘Affordable Outdoor Toys for Children 8 and Under‘ so today I want to focus on toys that suit children over the age of eight. Here are ten that I’m happy to recommend and which won’t burst your bank!

  1. Juggling Balls – €4.50Outdoor toys for older children

Juggling isn’t the easiest of skills to learn but our children have lots of time with no school and this could be a good challenge.

2. Build your own Birdhouse – €15.99Outdoor Toys for Older Children

This woodwork project for children will give them a sense of pride once they have built it and painted it (paints included). It’s a great way to spark an interest in birds.

3.  Flying Ring – €1.99

Flying Rings frisbee

Cheap and cheerful, these frisbees are great fun.

4.  Make your own Butterfly Nectar Feeder – €13.95Outdoor Toys for Older Children

If feeding birds isn’t your child’s thing, then maybe feeding butterflies and bees is? This Gift in a Tin has everything needed to build and paint your own Nectar Feeder.

5. Compass – €2.50Outdoor Toys for Older Children

Teach your child how to navigate his/her way through forests or the countryside with a simple but effective compass.

6. Adventurer’s Headlight – €7.99Outdoor toys for older children

For fun in the evenings, this Adventurer’s Headlight is perfect for camping trips or cycling home in the dark. If camping and outdoor adventures are your child’s thing, I also stock really cool camping cutlery, which costs €8.99.Outdoor toys for older children

7. Ant World – €17.99outdoor toys for older children

Learn all about the wonderful world of ants and even make a habitat to view them in, with Nick Baker’s Ant World Kit.

8. Flower Press – €7.49outdoor toys for older children

Allow your child to pick some flowers and press them with this retro Flower Press.

9. Make your own Insect Home – €13.95

Build this little insect hut and watch and wait. Before you know it, it will house ladybirds, solitary bees and other bugs!

10. Kites – €7 

These kites are great as they have no poles so they pack away small and they are perfect for a windy day.

As kids get older, their interests get more refined. I know some children just need a football and others need nothing, just friends to chat with. But for those that need something else, I hope this blog has helped spark some ideas and I hope you and your older children get to have lots of fun outdoors this summer.

xx Suzie