happy halloween
Made it - party

Halloween – tulle pom poms

pompoms

Note – this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this or any of the links in this post, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use all the recommendations that I make for my own projects, which is why I’m happily an affiliate. Thank you for your support. TMIM xx

Quick and easy tulle pom poms.

Are you looking for a cool, different idea for decorating at your Halloween party? These tulle pom poms are so quick and easy to make and can be used all over the house. All your friends will wish they had the idea first!

You could make small ones and string them together for a Halloween garland or you could make large ones and string them up by themselves. In the picture above, you can see ‘Moose B’ who lives above our fireplace modelling his new ear-rings! He is wearing a medium orange and a large red pompom. I’m not sure that he is very impressed!

You will need:

To make these pom poms you will need the following:

  • tulle
  • a book
  • scissors
  • matching wool


I buy my tulle from Vlovelife, on Amazon, on 6 inch by 100 yards rolls. This is really good value compared to some other places where I have bought tulle previously. It does take a few weeks to be delivered, but at £4.99 a roll, I am prepared to wait. I just make sure that I order in plenty of time. Click the picture if you would like to get some.

Instructions:

Choose how big you would like your pom pom to be. Select a book with the diameter that you want for your pom pom. The bigger the book, the larger the finished pom pom will be.

Cut a length of tulle that you are going to use to tie up the pom pom at the end.

Wrap your tulle around the book – for a small book between 20 and 25 times is ideal. For the medium orange pom pom I wrapped 25 times and for the large red pom pom, I wrapped 30 times. I think that you could even wrap 40 to 50 times for a large pompom and then it would be fuller.

Slide the tulle off of the book. Lay the tulle that you are going to tie up the pom pom with on the table. Lay the tulle across and tie a knot at the centre, so that the tulle does not unravel.

At this point you can either leave the tied tulle to use as a hanger or you can cut the ends in line with the rest of the tulle and tie some matching or contrasting wool around the middle of the pom pom.

Cut the folded ends of the tulle and then fluff up. You have a perfect pompom. I used orange and red tulle for a Halloween feel. You could also use black and purple tulle if you have them.

If you would like to see the video that Kate helped me to make, here it is. Can you spot Kate’s hand in the video?

More pom pom ideas.

I made 4 small orange pom poms by wrapping tulle around my little book that I write patterns in 20 times. Then I used orange wool to make them into a garland. I think that this would look great strung up at the fireplace for a party or just on the wall.

If you would like to purchase a tulle garland, these are for sale in various colours on my ETSY shop. They are made to order. Please click the link below to visit.

babyhatbabylogocrochet

 

I hope that you try out these pom pom ideas. If you do, then leave a comment or contact me through email or my social media channels.

Enjoy.

The Made It Mum xx

 

 

 

 

 

spider - roald dahl day
Made it - crochet

Crochet spider’s web

Crochet Spider’s Web

Note – This post includes affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of the links in this post, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use all of the recommendations I make myself, which is why I’m happily an affiliate. Thank you for your support.

This crochet spider’s web is a quick and easy make and is suitable for the beginner. If you can make chains and double crochet (US terms) then you can make this web.

Halloween wreath

crochet halloween wreath

I first made a spider’s web a few months ago. I was in a craft shop and found a polystyrene wreath and decided I wanted to crochet something.

After my Zookeeper’s blanket project, I had a lot of chunky wool left over. I often order wool from Loveknitting.com. It always comes beautifully packaged in gold tulle bags, which I re-use for other projects, I get so excited when I see the packages have arrived!

How did it go?

This is what I ended up with – as you can see, there is a small spider’s web behind the ghost and pumpkin.

My thought was that you could actually make this web as big as you wanted – you could make a huge one and drape it over a door or down the stairs.

How to make the Spider’s web.

Use the chains to stick or sew the cobweb where you would like to display it.

How big could it be?

You can keep going with the spider’s web until you get bored or run out of wool – whichever happens first! Each row that you add on, you need to add three to the first chain number. For example,  if you did another row, you would chain 27 to start and then 24 in each section. You would finish the round by slipstitching to the 3rd chain of the 27. The next row would be 30, then 27 in each section and slipstitch in the 3rd chain of the 30 to finish. I am sure that you get the idea.

Happy Halloween.

If you make a spider’s web, I would love to see it. You could also use thinner wool in a grey or cream and that would look quite creepy too.

If you make this, please leave a comment, email me or contact me through my social media channels.

Happy Halloween

The Made It Mum. xx

 

places to visit pick a pumpkin
Made it - kids

Spooktacular places to visit with kids.

Halloween places to visit with kids

Halloween is nearly here, and is one of our favourite times of the year. As we are both teachers, we are lucky that we are all on holiday at the same time. We always look for great places to visit in October half term – have you visited any of these places? We always have great fun when we go out for the day, sometimes we stay over and even one night away from home feels like a holiday to us.

Visit with kids – Halloween Days at York Maize Maze

For the last three or four years we have visited the maze. It is open in the Summer with an amazing themed maize maze. It then reopens just for October half term with a Halloween theme.

The day time activities are great fun for all the family – you will need your wellies on. There is still a section of the maze kept for a haunted maze treasure hunt as well as a pumpkin carving competition. The children can have a pumpkin and take it home – we carve ours at home so that we can take our time. There is the tractor trailer ride with crows spraying water – my children have always loved this.

Take time to visit the Halloween themed shop and play on the park and slides. We usually stay for 3 or 4 hours. You can take your own picnic but you can also eat great burgers and hot food.

What else can you do there?

One of the parts of the day that we really enjoy is the spooky sort of pantomine that they do. The cast are great fun and there is always a huge inflatable corn involved!

For those with older children, the maze runs a live action horror event for ‘teenagers and adults that should know better’ called Hallowscream. This is not something that we have been to – but if you like to be scared, it might be something you would enjoy!

I know that we will visit the maze at Halloween again this year. It is always a great time and a really fun place to visit with kids.

If  you would like more information, visit the York Maze website by clicking the link below.

http://www.yorkmazehalloween.co.uk/

Visit with kids – Chessington World of Adventures

We have visited Chessington a few times, and as it is a three or four hour drive we have always stayed over. There are two hotels at Chessington – The Safari and the Azteca hotels, and having just checked out their website, you can also go glamping too. That would not be for me – my idea of camping is looking at the campsite from my hotel room!

The rides at Chessington are great for all the family, there are height restrictions on some rides, but your younger children can ride more here than at some other theme parks, because of this there are not so many big thrill rides.

There is definitely enough to do for two days. If you stay over, the park opens early and then you can usually get on your favourite rides before the gates open for day visitors. For my kids, it is the Vampire ride that they always go for. We really like the Wild Woods Area.

If you don’t like too many rides, there are lots of other great activities. We enjoy the zoo and the Sea Life centre. Capybaras are one of my very favourite animals – they have a gorgeous group of them at Chessington.

Halloween at Chessington.

This year at Chessington, for Halloween, they are promoting ‘Howl’o’ween’ on their website. They have different activities based on the age and scare level that you wish. Their 4 bat-rated attraction is ‘Creepy Caves unearthed’ or for those who scare easily and prefer something a little sweeter, there is the Trick or Treat Wood.

These are new attractions, which we have not visited – hmmm…. what could we do this half term??!! Check out their website for more details.

https://www.chessington.com/halloween/

Warner Brothers Studio Tours: The Making of Harry Potter

We love all things Harry Potter! The whole family have read the books and watched all the films. We have visited Warner Bros Studio Tours twice, it a great place to visit as it is so different from anywhere else.

It is about a three hour drive from home. Last time we visited, we stayed over in Watford, a blast from the past of my University days. On the way down we visited Whipsnade Zoo and the day after, we went into London and visited the Natural History Museum. We like to cram a lot into our visits.

This place is amazing. If you are even a bit of a fan of the Harry Potter books and films, you will LOVE IT! The last time we visited they had opened the Forbidden Forest which I thought was very cool and atmospheric. John is doing his best scared face in the pictures!

I really enjoy Diagon Alley and all of the special effects and Art Work from the films. The shop is amazing and you could buy everything for your first term at Hogwarts. It is very pricey, you may need to hold you breath when you pay.

We like to buy the sweets and imagine that we are on the Hogwarts Express. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans are always fun and the huge Chocolate Frogs are a great sweet treat.

For Halloween this year, they have a Dark Arts Special Feature from 28th September to 10th November. If you fancy your chances against a Death Eater – this could be the place to visit!

https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/dark-arts

Alton Towers – Scarefest!

My kids and Phil love thrill rides and so we visit Alton Towers a lot, especially as it is only about an hour away from home. Our favourite time to visit is for Scarefest at October half term. The pictures above are from last year when we stayed over in a Splish Splash room.

We loved the theme of the room and John and Kate enjoyed the yellow submarine bunk beds and of course the massive yellow duck! The huge bed you can see in the shot is themed as a bath, it was great fun, but not the most comfortable bed that I have slept in! The bath is massive and if you stay in this room make sure to try it out.

Theme parks at night.

The exciting part of visiting at Scarefest, is being in the park at night. It is a different experience to ride rollercoasters in the dark. On the way down to Smiler and Oblivion, you walk through the Freak Show, complete with smoke effects and live action Freak Show actors. They really are quite freaky and they come and talk and perform in front of you!

Special Halloween attractions.

There are scare mazes to visit with different scare ratings and a new one for this season. We have not visited these – Kate and I don’t really like being scared. I think that Phil, John and Eleanor would enjoy it more.

For smaller children there are cute characters – we always find it amusing that most of the characters have spooky names but there is one that is just called Phil!

Accommodation.

The evening entertainment in the Alton Towers hotel is great. We have stayed in this hotel, Splash Landings and also in a Woodland Lodge (Hobbit House) in the Enchanted Village.

They have a spooky themed cabaret with great singers and musicians. It is great to relax after your first long day in the park and before day two – you will walk miles! The restaurant is very good. It was interesting at breakfast the next morning how many adults were eating from the children’s breakfast buffet of pancakes and tater tots! Yes, including us. 🙂

If you visit for Scarefest I know that you will have a great time. We like to have fun wherever we go – we can be daft even just getting in the lift – where they have spooky music. People do look at us a bit strangely when we are doing scared faces as the doors open!

https://www.altontowers.com/activities/events/scarefest/

For more details on Scarefest, visit the Alton Towers website.

Places to visit….

I hope that this post has given you some great ideas of fun places to visit with your kids this half term. Currently, I am writing an ebook of places to visit with kids in the UK. It will have to have a special Halloween section!

places to visit with kids

If you visit any of these places, please let me know. You can leave a comment, email me or contact me through my social media channels. Happy Halloween.

The Made It Mum xx

 

picture books
Made it - kids

Great books to read with your kids – Picture Books

Looking for great picture books to read to your children?

This post contains Affiliate links to Amazon. I have included links to purchase these books if you wish, simply click on the picture.

We have read to our children every day since they were born. I still read with John, but not so much with the girls as they are 14 and 15 now. We do still discuss books though and everyone had great ideas when I said what today’s blogpost was about.

They had so many ideas, that I decided I would have to split this post into age groups. For today, we will start with picture books. It is so important to read and discuss books with children from an early age. As we say in my class, reading is our Super Power. It increases vocabulary and allows us to experience things through the eyes of other people.

Great picture books for babies.

When Eleanor was a very small baby, the standing joke was that she literally loved to eat books. She really did. My first choice is one of our very favourite books and was very tasty according to baby Eleanor. This is a book that I buy for people when they are expecting a baby.

Hippos go Berserk – by Sandra Boynton.

This book is great on so many levels. It rhymes, which makes it flow when you are reading it aloud, it has counting, which we love, (Phil is a Maths teacher) and the illustrations are fantastic – so cute. I won’t spoil it, but the middle page is my favourite.

Chocolate Moose for Greedy Goose. – By Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt

 Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt have written some great books. This is one of our favourites. Again, this has a very strong rhyme scheme. Your children will learn what each of the different animal characters say easily. It is a great book to share. I think my favourite line is – ‘Macaroni,’ says Shetland Pony. I don’t know why, but ‘we always sing that line. A great read.

Ness the Nurse – By Nick Sharratt

 Another Nick Sharratt book, we love his illustrations. Baby Eleanor loved this tasty book too.

‘Ness the Nurse has a nice kind face, she’s got ten plasters in her case……’ and yes, counting again. Counting down from ten to one this time. When we were chatting about this one as a family, I think that Phil could more or less recite the whole book. A real family favourite.

Picture books for up to 5 years old.

I say up to 5 years old, but I still read these books at school. All children love picture books. When we have Buddy Reading once a week, the older children prepare a picture book and questions for their Buddy.

You choose by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt.

 Yes, I know, another one illustrated by Nick Sharratt. This is a fantastic book because it starts lots of discussions with your little ones. It has pages with lots of choices of modes of transport, beds, shoes…. and you and your child get to choose the ones that you would like and say why. My children used to love the beds page and the family page. They would often choose pirates to have in their family. Oo-ar! It’s a lot of fun and more interactive for your child than some books.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs- By Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.

 When I was finding the link for this great book, I found out that there are lots of new books in the series and had to resist ordering them all… ha, ha. There are great characters in this story. I always read the teacher with a Scottish accent. She must be the most unobservant teacher ever ….. she doesn’t seem to notice that several of her class have disappeared on an adventure. My other favourite character is the Pirate Tyrannosaurus Rex – to me he should sound like he has a heavy cold and belongs on Eastenders!!!

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks: The really frightful night by Kristina Stephenson

We love books with flaps. What I really love about the Sir Charlie Stinky Socks books is that things are not always as they seem. The characters who should be the ‘baddies’ are not always the ‘baddies’. Sir Charlie Stinky Socks often sorts out the problems by being kind and everything works out in the end. We all like a happy ending at bedtime.

Winnie and Wilbur at the Seaside.

 What could be more normal than a witch spending a hot Summer’s day at the seaside? Again, Winnie is always Scottish when I read this book. A lot of my characters are Scottish, that, Welsh or Liverpudlian. My best accents!!  We love the part of the story where Winnie’s broomstick is washed out to sea and how much Wilbur hates the water. This is a cracking read.

Hubert Horatio by Lauren Child

We are big Lauren Child fans and have many books written by her, from Charlie and Lola books to Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort books. We love her illustrations. This is one of our favourites. I also love ‘That Pesky Rat’. In this book, Hubert Horatio, who is a child genius and his friend, who is also a child genius, have to save the family fortune that his parents are so good at spending. Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent never gives up and his family are all happy in the end.

Picture books as gifts.

I always buy picture books for friends who are expecting babies – usually Hippos go Beserk. Nothing is more special than the joy of sharing a book with your child. I always love to read things that make my children laugh. The sound of little children laughing is priceless.

I hope that these few books have given you some food for thought and ideas for gifts. Any of these would be perfect Christmas or birthday gifts.  I could have kept going and going. I am a pushover for buying books, and spend happy hours in book shops and browsing online. Our bookshelves are at bursting point, 2 and 3 books deep, but to me, books are like friends. I couldn’t possibly get rid of them.

What are your favourite picture books? There were lots that I didn’t fit in like ‘Wild About Books’, ‘On a tall, tall cliff’ and ‘The HIghway Rat’. Let me know what you like to read with your children or grand-children.

See you soon

The Made It Mum. xx

made it halloween
Made it - party

Halloween Makes

What can you put in party bags for a Halloween party?

Obviously, sweets are great for Halloween party bags, but it would be great to have something else that children can take way from your party, and perhaps something that they can keep. Check out these ideas for Halloween Makes.

Halloween Makes – Fluffy Slime.

My kids and I made Fluffy Unicorn slime a few weeks ago. You could use the same recipe and just change up the colours for Halloween. Why not try orange, blood red, green or purple – they are all great Halloweeny (yes, I am sure that is a word!) colours. Here is the video that we made with the method.

Halloween Makes – Felt Pencil Toppers.

ghostI tried to make some pencil toppers for this post and failed dismally! Haha. Here is the card ghost that I made looking completely shocked at just how awful he looks impaled on a pencil! So, instead,  I found this great video on Youtube with 4 different pencil toppers. Well done, Miss Tricks.

 

Halloween Makes – Lollipop spiders.

spiders made of pipe cleaners

Kate and I made these lollipop spiders for a craft fair last November. We found the great eyeball lollipops at B and M Bargains.

To make them:

  • Take 4 black pipe cleaners and lay them side by side.
  • Lay your eyeball lollipop at the centre and fold the pipe cleaners around it to secure it.
  • Spread out the four legs at each side and bend them so that your spider can stand up.

These little fellas really take on a character all of their own once you stand them up. They went down very well at the craft fair. If you do not have eyeball lollipops, you could use any lollipops and stick googly eyes on them instead.

Halloween Makes – Pumpkin Easy Peelers

halloween easy peelers

These were quick and fun to make. Your children would have great fun designing their own. All you need is some small Easy Peelers or satsumas and a Sharpie. You could make loads of different designs. The great thing about these is, of course, that they are a sneaky way of getting children to eat fruit. Mwa, ha, ha, ha!

Halloween Makes – Sweet gloves

severed hand sweetsAgain, these were from a budget shop. I was going to make them and then thought these were perfect. Kate enjoyed making them and they were very quick to do. These also sold very well at the craft fair that we went to. You could make your own using latex gloves and tying at the top with orange or purple ribbon. If you bought some plastic Halloween rings, you could put one on the ring finger.

Halloween Makes – Crochet Pumpkin

If you have more time, and you’d like to make something cute, why not check out the blog post to make my crochet pumpkin. crochet pumpkin

You can also find the PDF pattern version as a paid download on my Babyhatbaby Shop on Etsy.

babyhatbabylogocrochet

Halloween Makes – Jars and goblets of sweets.

   sweet glasses   sweet goblets

These jars and goblets were only £1 from B and M bargains. John and I went to look last night and they have already got some of these in, along with spooky bags of sweets. They are great fun and we are still using them from last year.

If you missed my two previous Halloween party posts, then you can check them out by clicking on these pictures. I hope that you have a very Happy Halloween and that I have given you some useful ideas.

Let me know if you have a Halloween Party – what costume did you wear? What did you eat? Did you make party bags?

See you soon.

The Made It Mum xx

 

cute bat and spiders
Made it - party

Halloween Party Food

‘Spooktacular’ ideas for Halloween party food.

This post contains Affiliate Links to Amazon.

In my last post I shared some Halloween printable invitations to get us all in the mood for Halloween, along with some party ideas. Today, I hope to give you some great ideas for fun Halloween party food.

Halloween Party Food – Spooky Cupcakes

Before I go any further, let me tell you that I have never been a brilliant baker, just enough to keep the kids happy. My favourite cookery book to use with the kids has always been Annabel Karmel’s – Children’s First Cookbook. It is just at my level!! You can tell by the picture which shows our copy of the book, that it is a bit battered. It has been very well-used and well-loved.

If you are looking for a great easy cookbook then I would thoroughly recommend this one. People have been fooled into thinking I can bake when I produce cupcakes or massive Jammy Dodgers out of this book. Haha – my secret is out…..click the image below if you would like to purchase a copy.

The recipe that I have used today is the Easy Peasy Cupcakes on p26 and 27.  You will need:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence ( I use extract)
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 125g (4oz) soft margarine
  • 125g (4oz) self-raising flour

How to make them…. is the really easy bit.

  •  Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Centigrade (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Put ALL of the ingredients in a bowl and mix until it is smooth.
  • Line the muffin or cupcake tin with cases.
  • Split the mixture evenly between the cases – until they are all about half full.
  • Cook the cakes for 18-20 minutes. I put them on for 10 minutes, turn them and then give them another 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Decorate and enjoy.

How easy is that? Literally, easy peasy. Check out the picture gallery below.

Whilst the cupcakes are cooking and cooling, make the buttercream. I did follow the recipe on page 28 for buttercream, but I substituted one tbsp of water for 1 tsp of vanilla and 2tsp of water.

You will need:

  • 250g (8oz) icing sugar
  • 125g ( 4oz) butter softened. I use slightly salted butter as I prefer it. I also put it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp water
  • orange food colouring gel

How to make the buttercream…….

  • Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. I usually get covered in it at this point.
  • Soften the butter in the microwave.
  • Put the icing sugar and butter together in a bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract and water
  • Mix together until smooth – do not over mix.
  • Then add food colouring gradually and mix. Keep adding small amounts until you get the desired colour.
  • Decorate your cupcakes when they are cooled.
  • Finally, add cool cake toppers or sprinkles.

The only problem that I have is keeping the children and Phil away from them long enough to take the pictures! 🙂

Halloween party food – ‘Severed-head Steve’

This is a quick and easy make, but it looks great. My children have adored this for many years. When John was 4 he had a Monster themed party. This was the first time that I had created Steve. I also made personal party bags for all his friends – I got paper bags and asked John, Kate and Eleanor to draw monsters on them, which they loved. As a little extra, I sewed little felt monsters for all of John’s friends to go in the bags.

Steve is so easy that I will just put the picture gallery with captions below:

I made Severed-head Steve, as my children have always called him, before breakfast this morning and they were all excited to see him and eat him! This is a great way to get children to eat fruit at a party. You could fill him with any fruit that you like. We have used strawberries, blueberries and kiwi in the past, which we liked because it was like snot! Avoid apples unless you are serving him immediately, as they go brown.

Halloween party food – Chocolate Fingers – literally

These chocolate fingers are super easy. Kate bought some Halloween silicone moulds last year. You could use any kind of chocolate for the fingers. If you used green Candy Melts they would look like witch’s fingers. I only had white chocolate. My other thought was that you could use food dye with a little brush to paint the finger nails.

Halloween party food – Ice cube brains

The other mould that Kate bought was a brain ice cube tray. I filled it with water and gave it a couple of hours to freeze, as they were very large for ice-cubes. When I took it out of the freezer,  it was quite tricky to get them out of the mould. I tried using a spoon, but it broke bits off of the ice cube. Instead, I used my muscles (phew) and did manage it in the end.

Halloween party food – sorted!

I am sure that you can think of lots of other great makes, but hopefully this post has given you some inspiration. My children are ecstatic, as they get to eat all of these now and then we’ll make them again at Halloween!

Hopefully, the photo galleries for each make have been useful. Let me know what you think. Did you have a go at making any of these Halloween Party Foods?

So, we have got the invitations and theme sorted and now we have the food. Next time I will give you ideas for party bags and more Halloween makes.

You’d be ‘batty’ to miss it. See you on Sunday.

I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment, send me an email or contact me on my social media channels.

The Made It Mum xx

ghosts
Made it - kids

Halloween printables

Having a Halloween party? Download these free Halloween Printables?

As the days get more Autumnal, my thoughts turn to all the great things we have  to look forward to. As a family, this is our favourite time of the year. We love Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. These are all times for family fun and festivities, for keeping warm and sharing good times with friends. Here are some ideas and FREE Halloween printables for a great Halloween party. I’ll help you to have a SPOOKTACULAR time. 🙂

Where do you start when planning a party?

Think of the theme for your party first and then the rest of it should fall into place. Check out these FREE Halloween printable invitations for inspiration.

halloween invitation batty  lose your head invitation  halloween bones invitation

haunted house invitation

Halloween printable themes.

As you can see, I have a very ‘corny’ sense of humour. You could use one of the themes from the Halloween printables for your party, or you could make up your own. You could have a ghost theme perhaps and make more ‘spooktacular’ jokes. Perhaps, you could have a vampire theme and talk about people dropping in for a ‘bite’ or you could be werewolves and have a ‘howling’ good time. I think that shows how truly terrible my sense of humour is!!

Halloween decorations

large spiderSo, once you have sent out your invitations, you will need to start thinking about decorations. Last year, we were really impressed by the ranges in the budget shops near us. Poundland and B and M Bargains had large ranges at great prices.

We bought some great bits from the supermarkets too. I think that John bought this long-legged spider for £5 and it created a big impact. Here are some more of the decorations that we made and used last year.

spiders made of pipe cleaners

severed hand sweets

 

These pipe-cleaner spiders were really effective. When we used the eye-ball lollies, they really took on a character of their own. I made some with two lollies, but I preferred the one-eyed spiders.

 

These ‘handy’ party bags were a great find – I was going to make these with latex gloves. The ones I found even had finger nails. Kate enjoyed filling them. I like that the lollipops look like finger bones.

 

sweet glassesThese drinking jars only cost £1 and were themed for Halloween. We bought Halloween-themed sweets to go inside them. My children love these jars. They are great for having by the bedside, rather than having a cup or glass as they are less likely to be spilled. There is the added bonus of course, that I filled them with sweets. What a great gift at the end of a Halloween party.

Halloween Pinterest board.

I am very much a visual learner and work well when I have a picture to go from. Take a look at my Halloween Pinterest board. You’ll find lots of inspiration from great pinners.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/TheMadeItMum/halloween/

Halloween party food

In my next blog post we will think about food for the party. I will make some super easy cupcakes and decorate them with orange buttercream. Everyone loves a cupcake, and honestly, if I can make them – anyone can make them, I am not the Queen of Cooking! ;-). I will show you how to make my famous ‘Severed-head Steve’ as my children call my Halloween Watermelon – I first made him for John’s fourth birthday.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Get clicking on the FREE Halloween printables and come back for my Halloween Food blog on Wednesday.

The Made it Mum xx

 

 

peach - roald dahl day
Made it - classroom

Roald Dahl Day

When is Roald Dahl day?

earthworm

Roald Dahl Day takes place every year on September 13th. (Roald Dahl’s birthday) and this year is very special as it would have been Dahl’s 101st birthday. All over the world, schools and other groups, celebrate this great event.

Each year a different Dahl book is chosen. The book chosen for this year’s  Roald Dahl Day is James and the Giant Peach.  This is a wonderful story, which really catches the imagination of the children.

After James’ parents are sadly killed by a rhino which has escaped from London Zoo, he is forced to live with his awful Aunts – Spiker and Sponge. They are very cruel to him and he has a sad life until he meets an old man who gives him a bag of magic green pellets. James trips and the green pellets are absorbed by the ground.

Something wonderful happens and a peach on the peach tree grows and grows and grows. One night, James ventures inside the peach and meets a host of wonderful mini-beasts who have also grown. They set off on a great adventure.

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James and the Giant Peach ideas

The most important thing about Roald Dahl day is to have FUN and  to engage children with great literature and help them to see the wonder of books. Roald Dahl was such an amazing writer and his books speak to children.

In my class I work with the chosen book for the first two weeks of the Autumn term. I have planned a set of reading and writing tasks for the children to ensure that we are familiar with the book. We will think about the characters of Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker and dream up our own horrible new Aunt.

In another session, we will make up magic potions, and write diary entries as James and his Aunts. There are lots of great opportunities for drama from the book, we will write and perform our own play scripts based on our reading. There are great factual writing activities that you could undertake too – mini beast fact files or top trumps cards would be great fun.

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 How can you celebrate Roald Dahl Day?

inflatable suit violet beauregardeAt our school we always have a Roald Dahl dress up day. This is a picture of me last year dressed as Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. On the same day, John dressed in an orange inflatable suit as The Giant Peach – so I think that my costume is all sorted for this year!

I will post a picture on my social media channels when I am wearing it. 😉

There is a Roald Dahl charity, for children with rare illnesses, to provide nurses to support them. If your school wishes to support this charity, then you could make dressing up a sponsored event. Here is a link to the information video from the Roald Dahl website:

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Costumes for Roald Dahl Day.

You will find ideas for great costumes. It is important to remember though, that for some children, dressing up is very stressful. I always send out suggestions for costumes that are cheap and easy to sort.

For boys who don’t like to dress up, they can come as Charlie Bucket, George, James or Danny Champion of the World – they just need wellies. Girls can dress as Matilda, the girl from the Magic Finger or Sophie from the BFG easily or again any of the characters above.

For more ideas you can look at the Roald Dahl website. Here you can download a party pack with invitations and fun ideas for the day, including crafts to make.

https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl-day

What can parents do to support Roald Dahl Day?

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On the weekend 8-9 September, parents could take their children to visit the Natural History Museum, in London,  which is having a great James and the Giant Peach weekend in collaboration with the Roald Dahl website. Information is available on Roald Dahl.com.

I am sure that children will be very engaged in the activities and they will have lots of opportunities to learn about mini-beasts. If you have a mini-beasts topic, then this would link superbly with the book. Roald Dahl day is a great springboard for lots of great creative ideas.

grasshopper Puffin Virtually Live for Roald Dahl Day.

Every year on Roald Dahl day there is a Puffin Virtually Live show. This is a show which is broadcast from 2-2.30 on the Puffin Virtually Live website, which has great authors and illustrators talking about their craft. The programmes are fun and interactive.

In previous years we have taken part in a draw-along with Quentin Blake and a sing-along with the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End. We send in comments on Twitter and have a great time. These are usually accompanied by a work book for the session.

What activities are there for Roald Dahl Day?

The site runs other shows during the year. You need to register your school to watch live on the day. This year you can  find out how awesome authors like Adrian Edmondson were inspired by Roald Dahl’s writing and prepare to be astonished by treasures from the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.  You mustn’t forget your pencils and paper for the Dahlicious draw-along! To register visit the Puffin Virtually live website by clicking the link below:

https://puffinvirtuallylive.co.uk/

Where can I find other ideas for Roald Dahl Day?

There are lots of great resources online. Roald Dahl is such a well-loved writer. I have pulled together some great pins and put them together on a James and the Giant Peach board on my Pinterest page. These are great if, like me, you are more of a visual person.

Check out the board :

https://pin.it/ju25nkv7nscvuo

What did you do for Roald Dahl Day?

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I would love to know if you use any of these ideas. What did you do in your class, or with your children? What did you dress as? Leave me a comment or drop me an email at themadeitmum@gmail.com.

Have a fantastic day.

The Made It Mum xx

If you enjoyed this blog post, you might like to see my Summer Reading Challenge with a free download:

summer reading challenge

Free Unicorn Printables blog cvoer
Made it - kids

Free Unicorn Printables

Are you having a Unicorn Themed Party?

Unicorns are all the rage. Children and adults love them. If you are having a children’s party, then you may be looking for some great ideas and FREE Unicorn printables to use. Look no further…

In previous blog posts my kids and I have made various Unicorn-related items which would be perfect for a Unicorn themed party. If you have not seen them already, take a look now:

Uni-corn is a tasty treat for your guests, they can even make it themselves. What is important to remember is that this is what you would feed your pet unicorn. If it is good enough for unicorns, then it is good enough for me. 😉   Uni-corn

Unicorn bark would be great for putting in gift bags.  How delicious does this look? It tastes as good as it looks! This would have to be made before the party, so that it had time to set. It is a quick and easy recipe and was great fun to make with my children. They didn’t mind eating it either!

bark

Fluffy Unicorn Slime  will make you the coolest parent in the world. Yes, it’s true. Children are really into Unicorns and they love slime. If you put these two together, then you have hit the jackpot. This will have to be made before your party and you will need some small airtight pots to send it home in. Do not allow your guests to eat their slime!

Fluffy unicorn slime 

Free Unicorn Printables.

Now you have some ideas for the sorts of treats and toys that you could make for your party, there are a few other things that you will need. This is where my Free Unicorn Printables will help. Click each of the pictures to link to a downloadable PDF file, which you can then print at home.

Free Unicorn Printable Invitations. These invitations are A5, with 2 fitting on an A4 sheet of paper. On print properties I print borderless so that the whole invitation prints. You will then need to cut them in half. You will need to fill in the details for your party.

shy unicorn party invitation     unicorn party invitation

 bright unicorn invitation  blue unicorn party

 

Posters

When we were making Unicorn items before, I gave away a great free Unicorn printable poster. Click the picture to download the PDF. Again, these would be good in party bags.

be a unicorn in a field of horses

Free Unicorn Printable Thank you notes

After a party it is great to send Thank you notes. With these Free Unicorn Printable Thank you notes, you can match with the invitations above. Each PDF has one Thank you note on it. These would look great printed on good quality card. You will need to cut them out and fold them before writing your message inside.

thank you card sparkle unicorn   thank you card bright unicorn

         thank you card blue unicorn   thank you card stars unicorn         

There are lots of great products that you can make. For more ideas you can take a look at my Pinterest Page as I have a great Unicorn board. Click on the link on the right side of the page. Alternatively, watch the videos on my Youtube channel that go with these makes.

I hope that these Free Unicorn Printables are useful and would love to hear about your Unicorn party. Who was the party for? Which of the printables did you use? Did you make any of the food?

Have fun and come back soon.

The Made It Mum xx