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Easy crochet Easter basket

Easy crochet Easter basket

Easter is almost upon us and that means that for the past few weeks I have been working hard to make little Easter baskets for my class. I had a lot to make – 35. Thank goodness that they only take 15-20 minutes to make!

Free Easter basket crochet pattern.

I would like to share the pattern for these sweet Easter baskets with you and hope that you enjoy making and giving them. When they were finished, I filled them with little chocolate eggs and chicks for my class.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I USE U.S. TERMINOLOGY.

List of equipment:

You will need:

  • 1 ball of DK wool
  • A 3.5mm (D) hook
  • Scissors
  • A needle for weaving in and attaching the handle

Instructions for Easter basket.

  1. Start with a magic ring.
  2. Make 12 double crochet into the magic ring. Join with a slip stitch to the first stitch. (12)
  3. Chain 2. Now make a double crochet into the same stitch as the chain 2. Continue round making 2 double crochet in each double crochet from the previous round. Join with a slip stitch to the top of the chain 2.(24)
  4. For rounds 3-5 Chain 2 and make 1 double crochet in each stitch from the previous round. Join with a slip stitch at the top of the chain 2 from the start of the round.(24)
  5. At the end of round 5, after the slip stitch to join the round, chain 25. Take care not to twist the chain. Skip the first stitch in the chain and make a half double crochet in each of the remaining chains. When you get back to the start of the chain, make a slipstitch to join in the double crochet at the end of round 5. This makes the handle of the basket.
  6. Fasten off and weave in the tail from making the handle.
  7. Turn the basket inside out and thread the tail from the start of the basket on your needle.
  8. Weave up to the top of the basket and sew the handle to this side of the basket.
  9. Fill your basket with sweet Easter treats.

Image gallery for Easter basket pattern.

Why you should make these baskets.

I made 35 Easter baskets and my children really loved them. They especially enjoyed the chocolate! I hope that you enjoy this pattern. You can make these really quickly, they don’t take much yarn, so if you are having children to visit, then these would be a great Easter treat.

easter baskets

Happy Easter – I would love to see your finished baskets on my social media channels. If you wanted a bigger basket, you could use a No 5 hook and chunky wool and just follow the same pattern.

The Made It Mum. xx

Made it - crochet

Christmas – crochet baubles.

 

Christmas crochet ideas.

If you are looking for a quick make for Christmas, then these little crochet baubles are great fun. This is a very simple pattern and would be suitable for a beginner. They would be a cute little gift and are quick to make up. You could make some for your Secret Santa recipient.

Please note that I use US terminology in my patterns.

 

You can make these from any yarn depending on what you would like to use them for. I have made today’s in DK and they are sweet little coasters to use at Christmas.

What you will need:

  • yarn (I used double knit) one colour and grey
  • 5mm hook
  • scissors
  • needle for weaving in ends

Christmas bauble instructions:

Please note: I use US terminology in my patterns.

What can you use the Christmas baubles for?

I have used the baubles as little coasters. I have made some out of DK yarn and some out of chunky yarn – I still used my number 5 hook – it is my favourite. You could make a set in lots of different colours as coasters, or you could make them and string them along a ribbon or make a long chain stitch and use them as Christmas bunting.

Do you want some baubles, but don’t crochet?

I have made some sets of coasters and have them for sale in my Babyhatbaby Shop. If you would like to look at them, please click on the link below:

babyhatbabylogocrochet

For my shop I have made them in chunky wool, but I am happy to take custom orders. If you would like them in double knit or would like more of them, please let me know.

What if I want larger baubles?

You could make larger baubles by carrying on in the same way. The third round worked in multiples of 3. The fourth round would be multiples of 4 so you would do 2 double crochet and then double crochet 2 in the next stitch. The fifth round would be multiples of 5, so dc 3 and the 2dc in the next. And so on… you could make matching coasters and place mats for your Christmas dinner table. If the coasters were for glasses, I would use DK rather than chunky yarn.

I really hope that you find this pattern useful and give it a go. Let me know how you get on by leaving a comment or messaging me on my social media channels.

Happy crocheting

The Made It Mum xx

elf on the shelf 14
Made it - kids

Elf on the shelf.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this link or any other on this blog, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support. TMIM XX

What is the Elf on the Shelf?

Elf on the Shelf is an American tradition which is becoming more and more popular in the UK. We have had our Elf for about 8 years. The Elf is a North Pole Scout Elf who ‘arrives’ at our house on the first of December. He has come to keep an eye on the children’s behaviour in the run up to Christmas. Every night he goes back to the North Pole to report on the children and each morning when the children wake up he is in a different place. Our kids are getting older, but each year they tell us that they are NOT too old  for the Elf. His last day with us is Christmas Eve.

If you would like to buy an Elf, you can get male and female Elves with different eye and skin colours. They come with a book which explains their job. One of the most important things is that you give your Elf a name. Our Elf is called Fizbee Tinkletoes.

Ideas for the Elf on the shelf…

For the first week or so it is not too hard to think up ideas of amusing places to have the Elf, but as the days and then the years go by you have to be more creative. If you are just starting out with your Elf or would simply like some inspiration, I have gathered a set of pictures over the years of the sorts of things that Fizbee gets up to….

What does Fizbee get up to?

Elf on the Shelf rules…

You may have noticed that Fizbee is always downstairs in our house. Our kids did not like the idea of waking up to find him in their rooms – a little bit scary, so we agreed that he would not go into bedrooms. You will have to decide on the rules for your Elf to suit your family.

I hope that these pictures have given you some helpful ideas for your Elf, whether it is your first year or you’ve had your Elf for years.

Let me know what your Elf gets up to. Leave a comment or message me on my social media.

Happy Elf on the Shelfing.

The Made It Mum. xx

 

 

 

Made it - kids, Made it - party

Christmas Cookies

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support. TMIM xx

Are you looking for a great recipe for Christmas Cookies?

We are nearly in November and so my thoughts are turning to Christmas. I love the Winter and all of the celebrations – great family times. This week I have baked cookies with the kids and used Christmas cookie cutters. We have used a great cookie recipe from Annabel Karmel’s, Children’s first cook book (page 30). If you made my Halloween cupcakes, you will know that this book is my secret weapon! It makes me look like I can actually bake.

Christmas Cookies – Ingredients:

For the basic cookie dough you will need:

  • 300g/10oz of plain flour, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 250g/8oz soft butter, diced
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I don’t put this extra salt in – I use slightly salted butter instead)

christmas cookies ingredients

Christmas Cookies – Method:

Christmas Cookies – Making the cookies.

Christmas Cookies – decoration:

The world is your oyster when it comes to decorating these cookies. You could cut out fondant and stick it onto the cookies and add lots of sparkle. Maybe you could make icing by mixing together icing sugar and water, adding food colouring to make any shade that you like. We like to keep it simple. When we decorate cookies I just get out the writing icing and the kids just go for it. You will see what I mean when I put our Christmas cake recipe on the blog in a few weeks.

What is most important is that you have a fun time with your kids. You can be safe in the knowledge that this is an idiot-proof recipe. As I sit typing in the dining room, I can hear the kids making happy yum noises as they scoff cookies in the kitchen!

Christmas Cookies for Christmas Eve:

Ready for Santa and Rudolph.xx

We always leave cookies or mince pies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph and a little single malt to keep Santa warm on a cold night.

I love this cute Christmas tray.

 

 

 

I hope that you give these cookies a go – you won’t regret it. They are yum. Let me know if you do either by leaving a comment or contacting me through my social media channels.

Happy Baking

The Made It Mum xx

 

 

 

 

winters tale
Made it - kids

Special books to share with your children.

Please note: this post contains affiliate links to books on Amazon. If you click on one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support. TMIM XX

Are you looking for a special book to buy for your children?

You all know how important reading is to me, both personally and professionally. Reading is our SUPERPOWER. In previous posts I have suggested picture books and books to read with children of different ages.

In today’s post I would like to share some of the special books that we have enjoyed over the years with our own children.

Robert Sabuda books.

About ten years ago we took our children to Manchester to the Lowry. Our children are artistic and loved the gallery. There was a special exhibition of pop-up books. The children took part in activities making their own pop-up structures. This was the first time that we had seen Robert Sabuda’s amazing books. Over the years we have purchased Sabuda books for our own children and as gifts for friends – they are magical.

Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum and Robert Sabuda.

This was the first Sabuda book that we bought – it is really magical. I love the Emerald City with the little green spectacles to wear and the balloon which twirls beautifully on the page. Robert Sabuda is a genius of pop-up.

Sharks and other Sea Monsters by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart.

When John was very small he loved everything to do with the ocean and for a long time he wanted to be a Marine Biologist. The fish were his friends. Nowadays, he is thinking he would still like to work with animals, perhaps as a zoo vet. Sounds like a great plan. This book was bought for John – he was 3 when we ordered this book. It has the most amazing pop-ups of sea creatures. As you can see in the picture below, the detail is amazing.

pop up shark

Winter’s tale by Robert Sabuda

This book is a beautiful pop-up with Winter scenes. All of the animals are white and snowy. It made a wonderful Christmas book for our children. There is even a little light in the cottage. It is so beautiful. I have taken this book into school over the years and the children in my class have always loved it.

Alice in Wonderland – a pop-up adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s tale by Robert Sabuda.

I bought this book for my friend Nat, who loves all things Alice in Wonderland, as a wedding gift. She was thrilled with it. The most amazing pop-up is the one where Alice is falling down the rabbit hole. Robert Sabuda is a fabulous paper-engineer. I would recommend Sabuda books as gifts, they are so unusual – your family are sure to love them.

Polar – a photicular book by Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann

polar book

We first saw these Photicular books last year when we went to Whipsnade Zoo. They are amazing and I have don’t really understand how they work. It must just be magic. The waddling penguins are amazing. I bought this one because we were working on Polar regions at school. My class loved the chance to have a look at the book. As you turn the pages it looks like the photos are moving – very Harry Potter! There are other books available in the series depending on the interest of your child.

Atlas of Adventures by Lucy Letherland

atlas

We have always liked to use our imagination and this book really help to ignite discussion. In Atlas of Adventures, there are fantastic maps and illustrations. We have discussed that we would like to go and see the Northern Lights and stay in a glass igloo or visit different continents. You and your children could let your imaginations run wild on the maps in this extra large book.

Animalium (Welcome to the Museum) by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott.

I have used this book at school and at home. It is made from the different branches of the tree of life. It has been a great support in class as there are amazing pictures of all kinds of life. My own children have always enjoyed this book too. It is like a virtual museum. We love this book.

The Icky, Sticky Snot and Blood book by Steve Alton, Nick Sharratt and Jo Moore.

icky sticky snot and blood book

Kate has always loved this book as it is totally yucky! When she was younger, she thought that she might like to be a surgeon. She has always enjoyed watching medical programmes. We have always loved the art of Nick Sharratt and this makes this book great fun. There is a huge pop-up nose with bogies, lungs and  looks inside the body. Again, I have used this book in school and it shares great information in a fun way. All children love gross facts and pictures!

I could not find the link to the same edition that I bought on Amazon. There are other editions available.

Egyptology: Search for the tomb of Osiris (ology series)

egyptology

Eleanor loved these -ology books when she was younger. We also have Wizardology and Pirateology. They have lots of facts and maps. There are letters and sketches which make you feel like there is a mystery to be solved. You are like Indiana Jones. Eleanor has always had a passion for History. She read all of the Horrible Histories books and can tell you amazing facts.

I remember one wet August at Caernarfon Castle in Wales, Eleanor was about 9. We were in the shop along with a troop of Scouts. The Scoutmaster asked if anyone knew the order of the Kings and Queens of England- if they did they could have a pound. Eleanor sang him the Kings and Queens song from Horrible Histories and earned herself a pound! This precious-looking book will be a big hit with your History-loving child.

I hope that you find something in today’s blogpost that will excite your children or grandchildren. Sharing books is one of the most important things that we can do to help our children. What are your favourite special books? Do you have a favourite author to read with children?

Let me know what you have read. Leave a comment or message me on my social media channels.

Happy reading

The Made It Mum xx

Finished adult hat
Made it - crochet

Crochet adult hat

Are you looking for an easy crochet hat       pattern?

When I first started crocheting, about a year ago now, the first thing I wanted to do was make some hats for my lovely family. The first one was really rough but they got better as I went. In the end, we all had a nice, cosy hat with a cute pom pom on top. I was really proud, as it is hard when you first start a new craft.

This is the pattern that I ended up with. As usual, I have tried to keep things as simple as possible and only use one stitch throughout. Remember that I use US terminology for crocheting.

Crochet a great Christmas gift.

The hat that I have crocheted this week is part of a set for Christmas for Grandma, Phil’s mum. I have used the same wool as I used last week for the infinity scarf and a black pom pom to finish it off.

The next project I have got is to make my mum, Nana, a scarf out of some gorgeous but tricky Chinchilla wool ( no chinchillas were harmed during the production of the scarf). I will put a pic on my social media when I finish that one. It is a bit like trying to crochet with snakes! As soon as I saw it in the shop I had to buy it and I didn’t have a clue what I was going to make with it. Soooooooo sooooooooft!

chinchilla

For the adult crochet hat you will need:

  • About 100g chunky wool.
  • No 6 hook
  • Needle for weaving in ends
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

US terminology

  • slipknot
  • chain
  • half double crochet
  • back loops only

Instructions

What is nice about this hat is that we are not working in the round, we are just working rows.

This is a bit of a suck it and see pattern. You need to make a chain that will be long enough to cover from the centre of the head to just below the eyes of the person that you are making it for. I made this hat for Grandma and she has a lot of hair and quite a big head (all that brain) so I made a chain of 31.

Chain 31

Chain 31

Next, half double crochet in the second chain from the hook and all the way along to the end of the chain. Chain 2 and turn.

HDC all along

HDC all way along

This row is a little more tricky for a beginner. We are going to crochet into the back loops only from now on. This gives our hat a cool, ridged effect. Normally when we crochet we go under both loops in the stitch. This time we will go between the loops and out the back of the stitch before we yarn over and bring our yarn through. I hope that the pictures make it easier to understand. Half double crochet all the way along, back loops only and then chain 2 and turn.

HDC back loops only

HDC back loops only

Now that you have done that row the rest is just the same. You half double crochet all the way along in the back loops only and at the end of the row you chain 2 and turn.

HDC all along back loops only until it fits head.

HDC back loops only until it fits head

How do I know when the hat is big enough?

Keep going in the same way until the hat is wide enough to fit round your head or the head of the person that you are making it for. I wrapped this hat round Phil’s head to see if I thought it would fit his Mum. In the end I did 35 rows and it was a little bit big for me. I think for my head 30 or 32 would have been better.

Finishing off the crochet hat

Now you will have a long strip of crochet that we need to make into a hat. Finish off the stitch and leave a long tail for sewing up. Fold the hat in half, matching up the two ends. Using a whip stitch or over stitch, whatever you like really, sew the two ends together. This is the side seam of the hat.

Match up the ends.

Match up the ends of the hat.

Finished side seam

Finished side seam.

Now you will have what looks like a tube. Take more wool and choose the end that you would like to be the top of your hat. I chose the end that was a little bit wonky! Using your needle, weave in and out close to the top edge. Draw the hat together as you stitch, so that by the time you get back to the start you will have closed most of the hole.

The final touches.

If there is still as small hole, sew across the hole and draw together. Continue to do this until there is no hole. Weave in all the ends and cut off as close you can to the hat.

Turn the hat the right way round. All the work that have done will be on the inside of the hat. It is all finished. You can add a pompom if you like to finish off. I bought these pom poms online. Another option would be to make a pompom out of the wool that you have left so that it matches.

Infinity scarf pattern.

If you liked this pattern, take a look at my infinity scarf pattern. They would make a great gift for Christmas or a winter birthday. To see the pattern, click the picture below.

I hope that you enjoyed this pattern. Let me know what you think. Did you make a hat or scarf? What colours did you use and who did you make it for. Leave a comment or contact me through my social media channels.

 

Happy crocheting

The Made It Mum xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

books to read with children
Made it - kids

Great books to read with kids – 9-11 years

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this or any other links in this post, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use the links that I recommend, which is why I am happily an affiliate. Thank you for your support. TMIM xx

Looking for great books to read with your kids?

Between the ages of 9 and 11, you really want to encourage your child to read independently. They could now be reading to you at bedtime. It is so important to still listen to your child reading. They should now be fluent with the mechanics of reading words. This is the next step – listen to your child read and ask them questions about why characters act in different ways and what they think will happen.

Fizzlebert Stump books by A F Harrold.

These are very different books.  We loved the first one – Fizzlebert Stump – the boy who ran away from the circus and joined the library. The books are based on the adventures of Fizzlebert, who lives in the circus with his parents. He gets into some real scrapes. We have also read Fizzlebert Stump: the boy who did PE in his pants. These books are funny and exciting and I know that your children will love them. If you read this book and enjoy it, there are more books in the series.

Ruby Redfort by Lauren Child.

Eleanor loved the Ruby Redfort books when she was 9 or 10. She moved onto these after the Clarice Bean books by Lauren Child. As a family, we have always loved anything Lauren Child – Charlie and Lola, That Pesky Rat, Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent.

Ruby is a child detective and super intelligent girl, and really empowers the reader to think that they can be anything they want to be. She outwits adults with her friends and solves dastardly plots and plans.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

This is another series which Eleanor really enjoyed. She liked reading about the teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis. In the first book he holds a leprechaun to ransom for fairy gold. These books are full of twists and amazing action – lots of fight scenes. It is great when your child gets into a series of books, they are excited when they finish one and eager to start the next one.

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

This is one of my favourite books and one that I use when teaching about World War 2. This is a book about a group of children trying to escape from Poland, travelling through Europe in dangerous times. The children in the book grow as a group and are strong enough to make this amazing journey. I consider this book a classic.

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams

I couldn’t make a list of books for children without adding one by David Walliams. My own children and the children in my class enjoy the comedy of David Walliams. Billionaire Boy is about a boy called Joe who is rich beyond his wildest dreams. What he wants more than anything though, is a friend. If your child enjoys Roald Dahl books they will love David Walliams.

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson.

I have read Eva Ibbotson books to my own children and to my class over my years of teaching. Journey to the River Sea is an exciting story about a young girl called Maia, who is sent to live with family in Manaus on the Amazon. She meets a mysterious boy in the rainforest and the adventures begin. Eva Ibbotson writes in a magical way. You can visualise the jungle from her vivid descriptions. Other great titles by Eva Ibbotson include The Dragonfly Pool and The Star of Kazan.

Tin by  Padraig Kenny

This is an unusual book telling the story of a world where there are ‘real’ people and mechanicals used as servants. In this story Christopher a real boy discovers a secret after an accident and goes on an adventure with his friends to find out the truth about his life. This could be read by a confident reader of 9 or 10, but some of the ideas within the book are complex and may prompt questions about life! I always read books before my children at the age of 9-11 so that I knew what they were going to experience.

Street Child by Berlie Doherty

When I teach about Victorians, I use this book in class. This beautifully written book tells the story of Jim Jarvis. In Victorian Britain, Jim is left all alone when his mother dies and has to try and survive difficult times. This story is based on the boy who inspired Dr Barnardo to found his children’s homes. The book is full of adventure and will keep your children gripped as you read it.

Stormbreaker  (Alex Rider) by Anthony Horowitz.

This is a series of books that John really enjoyed reading in Year 5 and 6 (aged 10 and 11). I would suggest that you read these books with your child. Alex Rider, a 14 year old boy,  is forced to join MI6. He sets off to solve a crime and is soon in terrible danger. These are real page-turners, full of excitement and adventure. Some of the scenes are quite violent – John really enjoyed this. We read the books before he did so that we knew what he was reading and could discuss them.

I could go on and on. My children loved the Harry Potter books, Holes by Louis Sachar and anything by Michael Morpurgo – especially the Butterfly Lion and Kensuke’s Kingdom.

What are your favourite books to read with children aged 9-11?

Let me know what you like to read? Have you found a series of great books? If you read any of the books that I have suggested, please let me know. Message me on my social media channels, leave a comment or email me.

Happy reading

The Made It Mum xx

Made it - crochet

Crochet infinity scarf

Please note – this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through this or any of the links on my blog, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use all of the recommendations that I make myself, which is why I am happily an affiliate. Thank you for your support. TMIM XX

Quick and easy infinity scarf crochet pattern.

The weather is definitely turning cooler as we move through October. I must admit that this is my favourite time of year. I love the Autumn, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas and so do my family. When I first started crocheting last November I spent some weeks making us all hats with pom poms.

My current project is an easy infinity scarf and matching hat as a gift for Grandma. I have made the scarf this week and will make the matching hat next week. I used yarn in her favourite colours – purple, green and blue. Hopefully, it will match well with lots of her outfits. I chose to make an infinity scarf as they are a little bit different and, of course, they are very snuggly and cosy as we move into Winter.

What you will need?

marble chunky

I ordered two 200g balls of this multi-coloured yarn by James C Brett from Loveknitting.com. I ordered colour MC3 which is the purple, blue, green yarn. If you would like to take a look at the range, click the picture above. There are 45 shades, so I am sure that you will find something to your taste.

For the scarf I used almost a whole ball of wool. I will start with the new ball of wool for the hat next week. As this is quite a chunky wool, I  have used a 6mm hook. You will also need a needle for weaving in the ends and a small pair of scissors.

How to make the infinity scarf.

This pattern uses US terminology.

I have, as always, tried to keep this pattern really simple. When I first started crocheting I found it quite hard to find super easy patterns to practise. This pattern only has 2 rows. Super easy.

  1. Chain 30.
  2. Make a double crochet in the second chain from the hook, chain 1 and then skip the next chain. Repeat this to the end of the row (dc, chain 1 and skip next chain.) End with a double crochet in the last chain. Chain 3 and turn.
  3. Double crochet in the space made between the two double crochet in the previous row, chain 1. Continue this until the end of the row (dc in space, chain 1). At the end of the row, chain 3 and turn.
  4. Repeat step 3 until you have the desired length. I crocheted 100 rows to make a lovely long scarf.

See the pictures below to help:

How to finish off the scarf.

If you want to make a regular scarf, then you just need to weave in the ends of yarn that you have and trim as close to the scarf as possible. If you want to make the infinity scarf, you sew the two ends together. See the pictures below:

If you do not crochet and would like a scarf, please message me on social media or on my Babyhatbaby shop and I would be glad to take custom orders.

babyhatbabylogocrochet

Let me know if you make the scarf. What colour yarn did you use? Who did you make it for? Yourself or is it a gift? Leave a comment or message me on my social media channels. Keep your eyes peeled for the matching yarn hat pattern.

Happy crocheting

The Made It Mum xx

fantasy book
Made it - kids

Great books to read with your kids – 5-9 years.

Please note – this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use all of the recommendations I make myself, which is why I am happily an affiliate. Thank you for your support.

Great books to read at bedtime.

We read to our children every night from them being tiny babies. I still read with John, and all of our children enjoy reading. This selection of books is for children aged 5-9. They can either be read to your child at bed time, or if your child is a confident reader, then then can read them to you. It is always a joy to share a good book. 🙂

These books are some of our children’s favourites that we have shared over the years.

The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy.

We have read these books with all of our children. John and I enjoyed each of these stories about Mildred Hubble’s exploits at Miss Cackle’s Academy for witches. It doesn’t matter how hard Mildred tries to do the right thing, she always ends up in a pickle. These books are great for young children to read themselves. We liked reading books that came in series when our children were younger, as you will see from some of our other choices. If you have not read any of the Worst Witch books with your child before, I am sure that you will find them delightful.

Danger is Everywhere – David O’Doherty and Chris Judge

If you are looking for some fun reading at bedtime, then this is the book for you. Not only have I read this to my own children, but I read this and the sequels to my class. All the children that I have read this to have loved it. My class really enjoy the silliness. The book is ‘written’ by Docter (yes, DoctER Noel Zone – the world’s first Dangerologist) who tells you how to avoid danger in situations that you never knew were risky. Watch out for the page 9 scorpion!

How to train your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

We love the antics of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the third and his friends. This is another of our favourite series of stories, featuring the young Vikings and their dragons. Eleanor and John really enjoyed these books, we read them  several times. They were quite amused when we watched the film and realised that is was nothing like the books. We always say that the books are better. These have been family favourites for some years in our house. We also listened to an audio version of the book in the car,  narrated by David Tennant which was excellent.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Grace Lin

This is a book full of magic and wonder. Read the tale of Minli and her friend Dragon as they try to change Minli’s fortune. They journey to visit the Old Man of the Moon in this story which reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. The book is set in China and is interwoven with beautiful art work and Chinese stories and myths. I am working on this book with my class at the moment and they are loving it. I read this and the follow up books, When the Sea turned to Silver and Starry River of the Sky to my children. They were magical bed time stories.

Podkin One Ear – Kieran Larwood

These are more recent reads. In fact the third book in this series only came out in September. We like fantasy stories and these books are about a world where rabbits live and walk on two legs. They live happily in tribes until the arrival of the Gorm – a dangerous tribes of rabbits who have merged with metal. You and your children will be drawn into the world of magic and friendship of Podkin and his family and friends as told by a wandering Bard. I know that you’ll love these as much as we did.

The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club

We read this book when I was teaching John about the Arctic and  Antarctic in class. It is a great fantasy book. What would you find if you went on a Polar exploration? You will learn never to trust a frost fairy and of course – keep an eye out for carnivorous cabbages. This book chronicles the adventure of Stella Starflake Pearl and her friends. The art work in this book is stunning. We loved it so much that I have the next book on pre-order. We can’t wait for it to come out in November.

I could have kept going and going. Other favourites of ours have been the Daisy Books by Kes Gray, The Horrid Henry Books by Francesca Simon, Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren, The Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine and of course, anything by Roald Dahl.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of reading the same books. I hope that this post has given you some inspiration for new books to read with your children. These would make great birthday and Christmas gifts for children and grandchildren. Let me know if you read any of these books. Did you and your child enjoy them? What books would you recommend?

Happy reading,

The Made It Mum xx

 

 

cute baby
Made it - crochet

Easy Baby Blanket

What? You need an easy baby blanket pattern?

What a cute baby. It seems like such a long time since my kids were this size and at the same time it seems about 2 minutes ago. Even so, I still love to make snuggly baby blankets. This is my latest design. I tried to make it as simple as possible, so that a beginner could give it a good go. It would make a great gift for a baby shower, for a birthday or Christmas.

I decided to make it wide so that there was plenty of blanket to wrap round little legs this winter, but not too long so that it would not drag on the floor. We all know the misery of pushing a buggy and then driving over the blanket that has got caught under the wheels.

What you need:

I was going to make this with three colours of yarn,  but instead I found some great blue multi-coloured wool at Hobbycraft. I used 3 full balls and a couple of part balls that I already had. Altogether it was probably 4-5  100g balls of chunky wool. I made a lovely hat for a friend’s baby last year out of this yarn. You could make the blanket and then make one of my easy baby hats to match. New Mums would be delighted with them. I made this blanket using my favourite G (5mm) hook.

blue multi yarn

Instructions:

NOTE – This blanket is made using US terminology.

  • Chain 80
  • Row 1 – Make 2 half double crochet in the 4th chain from the hook. Skip a chain, then 2 half double crochet in the next chain. Repeat this to the end, finishing a half double crochet. Chain 2 and turn.
  • Row 2 – Make 2 half double crochet in the space between the half double crochet from the previous round. Continue all the way along. Chain 2 and turn.
  • Row 3-50 – Repeat row 2.

Ta da! A lovely cosy blanket for your baby’s pram or buggy.

How could you adapt this pattern?

You don’t get much easier than a two row pattern! You can make this blanket in any colour or mix of colours that you like.  If you wanted it to be bigger you could do 70 or 80 rows. As an extra, you may want to edge the blanket in white yarn.

This pattern is very straight forward. I have made the blanket in the evenings this week by doing a couple of hours each night. Then I finished it off yesterday morning.

If you would like a blanket and do not crochet, this blue multi blanket is available to buy at my Etsy shop for £40 plus P+P. Click the link below to  visit my shop.

babyhatbabylogocrochet

Let me know if you enjoyed the pattern and if you gave it a go. I would love to see your blankets on my social media channels or email me a pic. Happy crocheting.

The Made It Mum xx