Category Archives: Cooking With Children

40 Ideas, Tips and Tricks for a Great Summer Holiday

40 Ideas, Tips and Tricks for a Great

The summer holidays are just around the corner and like many of us you are faced with trying to keep your child entertained for 6 whole weeks. While older children can often entertain themselves the younger ones are not always that easy to please.

We have some great ideas, tips and tricks to get you through the holidays with a smile of your face.

Keeping Them Entertained

Have a plan of action for each week. Possible days out, play dates, activities etc  Mum in The Madhouse has some great free printable planners on the blog. Perfect for working parents that need to plan childcare through the holidays as well.


Don’t make plans. Make a daily decision on what you are going to do. Wing it and see where you end up.

The worst sentence ever muttered by a child is “I’m bored”, it can drive you insane. Be prepared and get a bored jar ready before the holidays start. All you need to do is fill a jar or box with activities for them to do like read a book, crafts, watch a film, go for a walk, tidy your room, make a den etc When they tell you they are bored get them to choose an activity to do.

Get them to make a summer bucket list and list all the things they would like to do in the summer holidays and then choose one each day.

Start a summer scrap/happy book.  Have your child write, draw, glue on pictures of their summer adventures. A great rainy day activity.

Go on a park crawl. Make a list of all the parks in your area and visit them all. You could either do it in one day or spread it across the 6 weeks.

Go on lots and lots of picnics.

Have a sports day. Invite their friends over and have a sports day in the garden.

Arrange some playdates.  Take turns with friends to host a play date, the kids can play and you can site, drink coffee and have adult conversation.

Set up different play stations in your garden. You could have sand & water, a shop, kitchen, balls & hula hoops, trikes & scooters, crafts, reading corner etc that way they can flit between each station and not get bored.

Bake cakes! Who doesn’t like cakes? If baking isn’t your thing but plain fairy cakes or biscuits and let your children decorate them.

Make your own ice lollies. Make them in the morning and they should be ready by lunch time. Experiment with frozen smoothies or fresh juice lollies.

These Strawberry and Banana Smoothie lollies by A Mummy Too look great.


Psst mums here are ones just for you, Cucumber Gin & Tonic Popsicles by Port and Fin.


All the crafts. If in doubt get the craft box out and let them get messy. Perfect for those too hot to play in the garden days.  You could set a theme for the summer and make items for an art show at the end of the holidays.

Build a den. In the garden, in the woods or in your living room.

Invent your own games.

Put on a show. Invite family and friends over for a show, get the children to sing, dance, tell jokes or do magic tricks.

Go to the seaside, eat doughnuts, build sandcastles and play to 2p machines.


Go to the Zoo.

Go swimming.

Go to a theme park.

Visit a museum.

Go on a train ride. Choose a destination and have an adventure.

Go the cinema.

Have a home cinema afternoon. Make popcorn, snuggle up and chill out.
Go to the theatre. Check out your local theatre for children shows.

Top Tips and Money Saving Ideas

Have a garden box/trug/bag ready to go.  Fill it with wipes, sun lotion, towel, hats, tablecloth etc and have it by the back door. All you need to do it grab drinks and snacks to throw in and off you go into the garden. It saves you running around looking for everything you need and you can just get outside and have fun. It’s especially good if you have very young children that you don’t want to leave on their own while you keep going back indoors for things.

Have a car bag ready to go. Similar to above we have a bag in the back of the car with wipes, nappies, sun lotions, sun hats, a towel, first aid kit and bucket and spades. It means we only have to grab a few things before go out for the day.
Make sun care a part of your daily routine. We out on sun lotion every morning before we get dressed so we are protected before we leave the house.

When going on a picnic, pack everyone their own pack lunch rather than one big bag of food. That way you will have leftovers which go floppy by the time you get home.

Take your own food on days out. It can cost quite a bit to eat out at theme parks etc

Take your own drink when you go out. Costs of drinks can add up.

If you are out and fancy an ice-cream, visit the local supermarket and buy a multi pack it will be much cheaper.
Check for any offers and voucher codes before you go out for family meals.  Try sites like my voucher codes, voucher codes and Money Saving Expert.

Book online and in advance at theme parks, zoos farms etc they often have a good online discount.

Use your supermarket points. Tesco and Nectar points can often be used for money off tickets.

Find free events. There are loads out there you just have to look for them. Many museums have free entry as well. Have a little search and see what you can find.

Take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library.  It’s free, fun and gives you a regular day out during the holidays.

Sign up for the 10 minute Shake Up from Change For Life. It’s full of activities, stickers and a free wrist timer.


Watch films for free by setting up a trial with Netfilx, NowTV or Amazon Prime just remember to set a reminder to cancel if you don’t want to carry on.

Ditch the car and stay local for the summer. You’ll get fit and save money on petrol.

What are your top tips for a great summer?

Follow Wendy’s board Summer 2015 on Pinterest.

St David’s Day Crafts & Recipes

7Crafts & RecipesForSt David's Day

Its St David’s Day this Sunday and we have found some great crafts and recipes to help you celebrate.

These Daffodil Pin-wheels from Nuturestore are simple to make and look lovely.

Such a pretty daffodil craft :: make a flower pinwheel

We love this little Welsh Lady from Activity Village

Welsh lady craft - cup and ball Welsh lady in traditional dress

These Paper Leeks from Filth Wizardry look brilliant

Make a Dragon Shield with DLTK Holidays

knights shield paper mache

These Welsh Cakes from BBC Good Food look amazing.

Welsh cakes have this brilliant recipe for Bara Birth.

Bara Brith

This Welsh Dragon from Domestic Goddesque looks like a lot of fun to make.

fire breathing Welsh Dragon


Visit our Pinterest Board for more inspiration.

Follow Wendy’s board St David’s Day on Pinterest.

Our Top 5 Autumn Recipes

Our Top

Autumn is officially here, which means it’s time to dust off those boots and dig out those warmer recipes.

Over the years we have shared many autumn recipes with you and here are some of our favourites:

Our Turkey, Bacon and Thyme Hotpot is a great autumn recipe which is not only totally yummy but low in fat as well!


Give our Slow Cooked Bolognaise a try. Perfect for those days when you are really busy just pop it all in the slowcooker.

2012-10-08 18.21.43

You will love My Minestrone Soup Recipe. It’s great for lunch and dinner and freezes really well.


Make our Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake with your leftover roast chicken.


Get the children involved and make these scrummy Pork Meatballs.


What are your favourite autumn recipes?

Thrifty Festival: Getting Ready For Autumn

Thrifty Festival

The Thrifty Festival had a nice summer holiday and now its back ready to help you be a little bit more thrifty.

Autumn is on its way so we thought we would kick off with a Autumn themed festival.

As the weather gets cooler and wetter it gets harder to keep the children entertained. Anna at In The Playroom as the perfect thrifty activity for you. Check out her post with 11 Recycled Junk Modelling Crafts.

11 recycled / upcycled crafts for kids. I love Junkmodelling - what cool ideas, and a great way to reuse old materials!

Everyone likes flowers and these are perfect to brighten up a room when its a bit grey outside. They also make great gifts and if you choose right and arrange them yourself they won’t cost the earth. Ellie at Family Style has this great little tutorial on how to make a Beautiful Boutique Florist Style Flowers on a Budget

As the weather gets colder you may find yourself using the car more and that means more fuel. A Thrifty Mum has 10 top tips on saving money on fuel.

Liz over at Me and My Shadow took part in Zero Waste week and her goal was to minimize lunch box packaging. She did a great job and her post is packed for of tips on how to minimize packaging and save money!

The Diary of a Frugal Family have the ultimate list of  70 Frugal and Fun Autumn Activities to do with the kids.

70 frugal and fun things to do with your family.

Looking for ways to use up those leftovers? Try our Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake. 

Love Your Leftovers Recipe

Half term will be upon us soon we have some great ideas for having a great autumn half term on a budget. 

Lastly we have some great ways to save money this autumn

 Ways to Save Money This Autumn

Now its your turn. Share your Thrifty posts with us to read and share.

There is also a Pinterest Group board if you would like to be added please let us know and of course feel free to grab a badge.

Witches Finger Biscuits

Witches Fingers Biscuits

On Wednesday we shared our printable spooky garland for your Halloween party and today we have some great biscuits for you to make

These are really easy to make and look great.

You start with a basic biscuit recipe feel free to use your own but this is mine:

You will need:

  • 110g Butter

  • 110g Caster Sugar

  • 1 Beaten Egg

  • Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

  • 220g of Plain Flour

  • 50g Chocolate Chips

  • Strawberry jam to fill the finger nails

To make:

  • Beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy

  • Beat in the egg and vanilla

  • Add the chocolate chips and flour and combine to make dough

  • Wrap in cling film and chill for 30mins

  • Once its chilled pre heat your oven to 180oc/160 fan

  • Shape pieces of dough into long finger and make a little dip at one end

  • Place a blob of jam in each dip

  • Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown


Come back next week for some more spooky ideas!

Tasty Tuesdays on

20 Things to Do This Summer Holidays

20 Things To Do This Summer (1)

The summer holidays are upon us and it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with then children.  Don’t worry we have some brilliant ideas for you to do this summer holidays.

Days Out

If you want to get out and about this summer there are plenty of events going on throughout the country.

Mini-beastastic: 24th July

Old Winchester Hill National Nature Reserve, Hayden Lane, near Warnford, Hampshire, SO32 3LF

Can you jump like a grasshopper, run like a beetle, flutter like a butterfly, dance like a bee, hunt like a dragonfly? Come for our mini-beastastic activity session, play some marvellous mini-beast games, uncover some mini-beast mysteries – about dancing bees & farming ants!

Open Air Performance of Jungle Book: 6th August

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Join Mowgli on his wonderful adventures with the loveable and wise Baloo the Bear, the powerful panther Bagheera, not to mention mischievous monkeys and the terrifying tiger Shere Khan! A guaranteed summer hit for all the family.

Hungry Bug Play Day and Picnic: 6th August

Weoley Castle

As part of National Play Day we are hosting a hungry bug play day!  Have a go at our butterfly hunt, make yourself a caterpillar hat, and enjoy our bug-themed play area.  Why not bring along a picnic to enjoy in the castle grounds – because all us bugs get hungry after a good play!

Strawberry Fields Festival:   8th-10th August

Cattows Farm, Heather, Leicestershire LE67 2RF

WOW! 2014 – and now entering our FIFTH year, Strawberry Fields Festival is widely regarded as one of the fastest growing and most exciting independent festivals in the UK.

Little Monsters Bash: 9th August

Stanmer Park, Brighton

LMB logo landscape

Little Monsters Bash is a fun festival for mini festival goers aged between 0-10 years old and their families. The event is being held at the glorious grounds of Stanmer Park in Brighton, East Sussex on Saturday 9th August 2014. Enjoy the main stage hosting a variety of celebrity live acts and shows or visit one of our many specific Monster zones which have their own entertainment schedule and activities which are free for visitors to participate in. Families who attend get to enjoy a fantastic fun day out, where children get to enjoy interactive learning and play as well as having fun!

Hobbit Adventure:  12th August

Brockholes, Samlesbury, Preston

This Hobbit themed adventure is guaranteed to excite and entertain the whole family whether they are seven or 77!

Summer Exhibition Family Workshop:  13th August

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD

A visit to the Summer Exhibition is the perfect way to introduce your children to art, bringing together some of the most exciting work being created right now. From sculptures and paintings to drawings, prints and photography – prepare to be inspired! Book now to take part in a fun interactive tour of the galleries, led by our engaging artist-educators, followed by an art making session inspired by the works on display in the Summer Exhibition.

Blenheim Palace Sportive and Family Cycle Day: 17th August

Blenheim Castle

Blenheim Palace Sportive and Family Cycle Day

Enjoy this once a year exclusive family opportunity to cycle around the picturesque Parkland of Blenheim Palace, a World Heritage site. Bring your bicycles (and helmets) and cycle around the spectacular Lake and over the Grand Bridge, take in the scenery and fresh air, stop for a picnic and make it a day to remember.

New Forest Fairy Festival :  16th-17th August

Burley Park, Burley, Hampshire

Come and join us for a friendly uplifting fun weekend. Enjoy the magik in the enchanting home of the New Forest Fairies.

Live acoustic music, Folk bands, Morris dancers, story telling, belling dancing, Platform Mediumship, lots of activities and workshops will heighten our senses with love and joy. Let your spirit run wild and free!

Dress in your finest fairy and elf costumes and be sprinkled with Magik Fairy Dust!

Children’s Week:   18th – 23rd August

Paignton Green

Five day fun for all the family returns to Paignton Green

There’ll be fun and entertainment for all the family as Torbay Children’s Week returns to Paignton Green.

23rd August – Family Fun Day from 11am. Fireworks display at 9pm!

Closer to Home

If you want to stay closer to home then make the most of your local facilities.

Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s summer reading challenge is Mythical Maze .

The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all FREE.

National Trusts 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 ¾

Why not set your family a challenge to do at least one of the 50 things this summer. Many of them can be done in your garden or Local Park. You can register online and track your progress

Go Swimming

There is no better way to cool down then taking a swim.  Check your local authority site to see if they have any free swimming offers on this summer.

Go Camping In Your Back Yard

Pitch your tent in your garden and have camping adventure. Sing songs, tell stories and toast marshmallows on a fire (or BBQ).

Go On a Picnic

Pack a picnic and spend the day at your Local Park or forest. If you don’t fancy going too far then have it in your garden or even on your living room floor if the weather is wet.

At Home

Let’s face it you don’t want to be out all the time. We all love a lazy day at home especially when the weather is looking grim.

Get Baking

There is nothing better than baking (and eating) cakes. Try out fairy cake recipe or for something more savoury give our cheese scones a go.

Get Crafty

Get the glue and paint out and let your little ones get creative. Make your own play dough or make a flower bookmark.

Family Film Time

Pop some popcorn, snuggle on the sofa at watch a film. Bored of the films you have? Why not have a film swap with friends! You can hire films from your local library.

Sign up for a free month’s trial with one of the film streaming companies and watch as many films as you like.

NOWTV – Free one month for Sky Movies get all the live movies plus movies on demand

Netflix – Free one month trail

Amazon Prime Instant Video  – Free one month trail

Fun & Games

Get the board games out and have fun. If the weather is nice play them in the garden. Charity shops are a good place to pick up cheap games or have a games swap with friends.

Give our animal pairs game a go. Just print, cut out and play.

Free Printable Game-

Whatever you do this Summer have an amazing time!

10 last MinuteFather’s Day Craft and Gift Ideas

Fathers Day

Still need a gift for Dad for Father’s Day? This is the perfect opportunity to get the kids to make one!

We have found a great selection of Father’s Day Crafts and gift ideas for your little’s ones to make. Who doesn’t like a homemade present?

We love, love, love these personalised mugs from Mum In The Madhouse.

Why not give this Bonebraid Keychain Craft from Free Kids Crafts ago.

Image of Bonebraid Keychain Craft

This Football Pitch Mouse Mat is perfect for your footie fans dad and just in time for the World Cup.

Football pitch mouse mat craft

Try these Chocolate Spoons from Tesco Living they look really yummy.

This is such a cute idea from All Kids Network. Make a Father’s Day coupon box. 

fathers day giftThis Car Shirt from The Blue Basket is amazing. You can print off the map from blog so its really simple to make.

Fancy a bit of baking? Try these Father’s Day Tie Cookies from No Time for Flashcards

This Father’s Day desk golf set from Domestic Goddesque is a little bit awesome.

Father's Day Desk Golf Craft

Don’t have time to get crafty? Try this free Me and My Dad printable from Love and Marriage.

Me and My Dad - Father's Day Printable

Finally we have our Cereal Box Photo Frames.

Cereal Box Photo Frames

Cooking with Children: Cheesy Chicken Nuggets

Cheesy Chicken Nuggets KOSSThis is a quick easy mid week meal to make. It’s even easier if you get your children to do the dirty work!


Approx 300g chicken breast cut into chunks 

250g Panko Breadcrumbs 

25g grated Parmesan cheese 

1-2 eggs 

We set up a little production line with out baking tray at the end.

Preheat oven to 200/180 fan

Crack an egg in to a bowl or shallow dish. We use the plastic takeaway tubs. Add the grated cheese and whisk.

The a second dish put the breadcrumbs

Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the breadcrumbs. You may need to squish the breadcrumbs on a little and then place of baking sheet.

Repeat until you have coated all the chicken. You may find you need more breadcrumbs or have to crack a second egg. I find it varies each day.

Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked.

We serve with chips and baked beans.

Cheesy Chicken Nuggets

You can use the same mixture of strips of fish for homemade fish fingers.  We sometimes add dried herbs to the breadcrumbs for a different taste.


Easter Crafts and Activities

Easter Crafts & Activities

The Easter Holidays are upon us and we know it can be a long two weeks if the kids are kept entertained.

To make your life a little easier we have searched the internet form some great Easter Crafts and Activities for for you and your kids to do.

Try these Easter Nests they are easy to make and taste delicious.

We also have these two great Easter Colouring sheets for you to print off.

Easter Egg Colouring Sheets

Snaffles and his mummy have been making Easter Bunting. It looks likes a lot of fun.

Domestic Goddesque has two great activities for you to try. We are loving these Printed Spring Chick Cards.

TP print Easter Chick card with washi tape

These Bunny Cupcakes look amazing.

Bunny cupcakes

The Mum In the Madhouse has been making these super cute Felted Wool Easter Chicks.

This Bunny Matching Game from Activity Village looks like fun.

Bunny matching game

Why not make a Bunny Headband? Kids Parties have a free printout

Bunny Craft, Craft Ideas for Easter, bunny crafts, Easter bunny craft, Easter bunny crafts, Easter

 Now its your turn to share your Easter Crafts and Activities. Just your link below