Mummy's Munchkins

Family Life Our Way

Mum’s Confessions : “How Do You Do It All?”

Continue Reading

Kids Arts and Crafts: Blow Paint Volcano

Continue Reading

Kids Valentines Day Craft Activities

Continue Reading

Valentines Lunch – A Kids Special

Continue Reading
Mindset, Mental Health and Wellbeing | Parenting

Mum’s Confessions : “How Do You Do It All?”

By on February 19, 2018

How do you do it all...all of the time?

This is a question I am asked a lot. And I mean a lot. I often hear "I don't know how you manage it" and "how do you it? I struggle with one". I normally answer with "I just do" or "I don't have a choice, I just have to"Β and I am flattered people think I do such a good job of bringing up four children while running a home and working as well. However, there are often times when I feel like a cheat and a fraud because often I do NOT do it all, all of the time. This is Mum's Confessions...

Mum's Confessions

Washing up - There are many a day that pass where the dirty dishes are sat piling up. Quite often the washing up from tea time is still on the side when I go up to bed and the breakfast bits are still there after work when I'm cooking dinner.

Laundry - This is bane of my life. I thought it was a nightmare when I was a stay at home mum. Ha! I knew nothing. Now I am back at work there is never any time to get six people's dirty laundry cleaned and dried. I find myself trying to cram 4 washes into one day and end up with a huge pile of wet washing with nowhere to dry it. It then starts to stink and has to be washed again anyway!

Homework - For as much as I try to instil into my kids that this should be done as soon as they get it. 1) because what you have just learnt is fresh in your mind and 2) its done and out the way so you can enjoy the rest of the weekend...I find us sifting through school bags on a Sunday afternoon and all getting together in a panic to complete said homework as a team effort in a bid to create something that is worthy of showing a teacher!

Reading - We all know the more we read with our kids the better but the pressure that is on us mums & dads to not only find a spare 20 mins per child, per day (which is over an hour for us) but to remember to fill in the 'reading passport' so your children can get a certificate is almost unbearable. There's times I feel like a terrible Mum that appears not to care about my children's reading ability but actually most of the time, I just don't know my arse from my elbow because I'm so bloody busy.

Birthday Parties - If we have missed one we have missed truck loads. Not because we don't want to go or because my littlun doesn't like your littlun, just that its the 16th thing written on the calendar for that day alone and I've over looked it.

Bath time - I have a perfect little bedtime routine for this...I'm lying. I don't. Bath time can create a number of issues...for the younger ones it can often mean 1001 toys & 3 hours in the bath or a screaming fit and a flooded bathroom. And for the older ones its either too much of a hardship or they spend an hour in the shower refusing to get out...or both, which when you are on a water meter you could really do without! Oh, and no, they don't have a bath everyday - I could not go through the trauma daily!!

So you see, I don't do it ALL, ALL of the time and that is perfectly ok. I can almost guarantee that I am not the only one with a list of Mum's Confessions. The message here is not to compare yourself to others. Granted, that is so much easier said than done and it absolutely goes for me too, but what you see in front of you is quite often just the tip of the iceberg with no knowing of what is going on behind the scenes.

***

Do you have any mum confessions? Go ahead, comment below or feel free to share over at Mummy's Munchkins Facebook page I'd love to hear from you.

Continue Reading

Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Learning Through Play

Kids Arts and Crafts: Blow Paint Volcano

By on February 14, 2018

"Mummy can we make something from my book?" Master A came to me with his Usborne Activities Dinosaur Things to Make and Do book desperate to make a volcano painting; he is dinosaur mad. He loves them and he loves making a mess so the two combined is just perfect! As it is half term and its raining (surprise surprise)Β we have plenty of time to spend indoors having fun. So we turned to page 12 in his book and a dinosaur volcano painting is exactly what we made, as well as a valentines related kitchen activity but I'll tell you about that in a different post.

Volcano Painting

Here are the step by step instructions and a video for how to create the volcano painting.

What you need

  • orange paint (if you don't have any you can improvise like we did - we planned to mix red and yellow, before we learned we didn't have any yellow paint either! So instead we mixed red and gold and tiny bit of white to get the orange colour for our lava).
  • black crayon or in our case a sharpie
  • paintbrush
  • straw

 

How-To

  • Mix your paints if you don't have any orange
  • Draw two thick lines for the sides of the volcano
  • Scribble between the two lines at the top to create the crater
  • Blob your orange paint at the top of the crater
  • Use the straw to blow the 'lava' up from the volcano like it has exploded
  • Run some orange paint down the sides of the volcano
  • Then we painted a Dinosaur sponge green and dabbed it on at the bottom of the volcano

 

Video

Learning Opportunities

As a registered childminder and a teaching assistant I often look for areas of learning in the activities I do with my littluns and this painting exercise was no different. This task is inclusive but by no means limited to the following learning areas I have identified.

Physical Development: Hand-eye coordination, control and movement is developed with an activity such as painting.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Having confidence in their ability, as well as understanding and delivering appropriate behaviour for the task, i.e. for this task - not jumping around throwing paint every where.

Literacy: Reading and following instructions

Expressive arts: Exploring and playing with a range of materials. Learning and mixing colours.

So as you can see a simple task such as painting a volcano is not only fun but provides great learning opportunities too!

Go on, give this one a go. Its great fun and took all of 10 minutes with limited mess! I would LOVE to see your paintings over on my Facebook page πŸ™‚

Continue Reading

Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Seasonal

Kids Valentines Day Craft Activities

By on February 11, 2018

With Valentines day just around the corner, the kids and I have come up with a few craft ideas to make at home. Now we love to get outside but with it being so cold these are great seasonal indoor tasks to keep you and your little ones busy while still enjoying quality family time.

At the end I have added a special surprise idea that the children know nothing about and won't do until valentines day itself, so shhh.

Without further ado here are the activities:

Tried and Tested Crafts

Heart Collage Card

Heart Shaped Bookmarks

Love Heart Paper Chain Wreath

The above crafts are activities we have already tried and tested and loved making but there is much more fun to be had. Below are some fun ideas I intend to carry out with the children over the following week.

Why not join us in the fun and share pictures of your finished crafts over at our Mummy's Munchkins Facebook page

More Ideas

Valentines Hama Beads Bunting

This is a craft we have started but are yet to finish. First of all, if you are the crafty type and you haven't heard of or used Hama Beads yet then where have you been all these years?! I had heard of Hama Beads but never used them until this Christmas when my girls' were bought some as a Christmas gift. They are so much fun and you can create pretty much anything you like with them but for the purpose of Valentines day we have started to make bunting. You create a heart shape, leaving a small hole to thread through some string once you are finished; place some greaseproof paper on the top then gently iron so the pieces stick together; then string them together and hang.

  • Fingerprint heart Cards
  • Heart shaped biscuits
  • Heart shaped mosaic sun-catchers
  • Cupids Arrow -

(Using sticks from the garden and felt pieces, cut into the shape of an arrow-head and the feathers on the end, and fasten on with PVA - see Pinterest for more detailed how to guides)

 

Valentines Lunch - A Kids Special

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Family Fun | Seasonal

Valentines Lunch – A Kids Special

By on February 10, 2018

This year I have decided to do something that little bit extra special for my kids for Valentines Day: A Kids Valentines Lunch.

Despite the fact they thoroughly enjoy making cards, they are of an age where they are either too young or too cool to be giving or receiving cards from anyone.

So to make the day, which falls during half term this year, a bit more special I have decided to make them a valentines lunch.

I will be setting the scene by laying the table with a red cloth, setting their up places with charger plates and popping an artificial red rose in a glass in the middle of the table.

On the table they will each find a menu that I have created, with 2 choices on it (I am yet to decide these) and they will be able to order their meal from me.

After this I will cook and serve their meals followed by a dessert of their choice.

The aim of this is to make them feel special, wanted and appreciated. My children often hear me telling them I love them but this is a chance to really show them, in a fun and creative way.

A lot of us are busy with this or that, so why not use this opportunity to make some memories by serving up a special Valentines lunch for your children?

Continue Reading

Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Rainy Day Activities | Seasonal

Love heart paper chain wreath

By on January 25, 2018

Wreaths aren't just for Christmas...

I started this activity with the intention of making a paper chain, after seeing it on Pinterest but the finished product turned into a wreath and we love it. This is a fun, simple and effective craft that is suitable for ages 6 + (with a bit of help from a grown up with the stapler) ad a perfect rainy day activity.

Like most of the home crafts we do at home this was done on a budget. In fact there was no expense at all as I only used materials that were available to me at home already.

Β So what do you need?

  • Card
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Yep that really is all you'll need!

As shown in the pictures below I used fancy patterned card - this was a pack of various different designs that I have had in the cupboard for years. Yep years. I just haven't come up with anything to use it for.

You can get packs of card like this from most craft stores. I imagine I got this from Hobbycraft.

How to make the wreath:

Step 1) Choose your card and cut it into strips like so...

Step 2) Staple two ends together and gently bend the edges over, without folding the card, to make a love heart shape. Hold in place and put two more strips of card either side of the point and carefully staple together. As shown in the pictures below...

Step 3) Keep repeating this until you are happy with the length of the chain. Once happy, you can gently bend the chain round into a wreath shape and staple the point of the last heart into the dip of the first.

And there has is. A love heart paper chain wreath...

This is a really effective craft and you can have lots of fun with colours. We chose the stereotypical valentines colour of pink to represent love (awww)! Master E, who is almost 10, enjoyed participating in this and that is saying something! He is normally way too cool to join in with such activities!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did πŸ™‚ x

 

Continue Reading

Family Fun | Rainy Day Activities

25 Rainy day Activities

By on January 23, 2018

The last few days here in the UK have been gloomy, grey and rainy. And what does a rainy day normally mean?

Bored, miserable and moody children!

Bored, miserable and moody children that WE, have to entertain! Failing to do so will result in tears, tantrums, screaming fits and sibling rivalry at its best.

But a rainy day really can be just as fun as a sunny one. You don't have to be cooped up indoors all day with phones, iPads and the Xbox but instead use the rainy day as an opportunity for an awesome family fun day full of quality time spent together.

With there being no sign of the weather improving here anytime soon, I have put together a quick list of rainy day activities and have divided it into Outdoor Activities and Indoor Activities.

Outdoor Activities

1) Watch the rain

This can be really therapeutic. Stand together under a shelter, collect your thoughts then discuss what you can see, how you feel, what you can hear and how the air smells.

2) Channel the water flow

This can be great fun. Using loose bricks, stones, old bits of guttering or whatever else you have around you that you can easily get your hands on, channel the water and see if you can make it collect somewhere.

3) Catch the rain on your tongue

4) Make a waterproof den using natural materials (no tarpaulin or plastic sheets)

5) Puddle Jumping

6) Watch water streams run down the road and see where they collect.

7) Make paper boats and sail them in a puddle

8) Rain art

Put a few drops of food colouring on a paper plate, then some raindrops and swirl it. See what patterns you can make.

9) Make rain music

Spend a few minutes just listening to the sounds of the weather. Set out various objects, such as metal, plastic and glass containers, to see how water droplets sound when they hit different surfaces.

10) Make nature boats

Sticks, small pieces of wood, leaves, bark and larger petals all make great boats. Which items make the fastest boats? Which sail the furthest?

11) Animal hunt

Become detectives and see what animals or minibeasts you can find outside while its raining.

Indoor Activities

1) Cards

2) Board games

Favourites in our house are Cluedo, Junior Cluedo, Junior Monopoly and Beat the Parents but we have played many more.

3) Den building

Good old fashion den building! Find the clothes pegs, gather the blankets together and challenge yourselves to make the biggest indoor den you have made to date.

4) Cup phones

Using 2 paper cups and a length of string you can make cup phones. Make a tiny hole in the ends of both cups, thread the string through both holes and tie a knot to stop it pulling back through.

Then there you have it - cup phones.

Can you hear each other through them? My children had loads of fun with these as did I as a child.

5) Baking and / or cooking

6) Home Cinema

Take a family movie day or night to the next level...why not cook some hot dogs, get some fizzy pop, pick and mix sweets and of course, don't forget the popcorn.

7) Trip to the library / story time

Take yourselves off to your local library or get all cosy at home to enjoy a good book.

8) Treasure Hunt

Place some items around the house, write some clues then send the children off to find the treasure.

9) Make cards / write letter to someone special

10) Write an Article for a newspaper or magazine

11) Indoor picnic

12) Have a disco

13) Make a collage (depict the weather outside then make another a collage contrasting it)

14) Make Paper planes

15) Hama Beads

If you haven't tried these yet you're missing out!

The possibilities are endless...you can make coasters, garlands, fridge magnets and so much more in just about any shape or design you can think of!

Whatever the weather, remember just. have. fun!

Continue Reading

Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Seasonal

Heart Shaped Bookmark

By on January 21, 2018

We love books here at Mummy's Munchkins HQ, especially children's literature. So keeping in line with our valentines theme, our next craft is a heart shaped bookmark.

This is incredibly simple to do yet very effective.

How to make the heart shaped bookmark

  1. First you need two different coloured pieces of card. We chose red and pink.
  2. Then you need to cut out 2 heart shapes - 1 out of each piece of card and one larger than the other.
  3. Put some glue on the top third of the smaller heart and stick it in the centre of the larger heart. A standard glue stick should do the trick.
  4. Once dry, your book mark is ready to use...

Variations...

  • Use scraps of stiff material you have lying around.
  • Make a rectangular bookmark using the same principle as the heart shape.
  • For the Easter period you could choose to make an egg shape.
  • For the Christmas period you may choose to make a Christmas tree or holly leaf shape.

Whatever you decide to do and however you decide to do it the main thing is to enjoy the family time together. I would love to see pictures of your bookmarks so feel free to share over on our Mummy's Munchkins Facebook page.

We had a brilliant few hours doing this at home and I know you will too.

Continue Reading

Creativity & Crafts | Family Fun | Seasonal

Heart Collage Card

By on January 20, 2018

The children and I have decided to make our own heart collage cards for Valentines Day and wanted to share our ideas with you lovely lot.

Only three of my littluns joined in with this activity because my oldest son is far too cool to make a valentines card! Miss O is very arty so chose to make a pattern with tissue paper balls. Master A is a 'Cars' lover and used an old magazine he had to cut out pictures of the right colour and Miss P loves 'Peppa Pig', so did the same with one of her old magazines.

Here is how we made them along with some pictures of the finished heart collages.

To make these you will need:

  • Coloured Card - We chose A5 but you can use any size you like
  • Old magazines
  • Tissue paper - Red, Pink and White
  • PVA Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black Sharpie (optional)

Method:

Preparations

  • Rip up tissue paper into small strips and the screw up into little balls
  • Cut out any small pink, red or white pictures from your chosen magazine.

The task

1) Fold the card in half

2) Draw a heart shape in pencil on the front

3) Once happy with the size, shape and placement of the heart draw over it with the sharpie

4) Spread a thin layer of PVA glue onto the card within the heart shape

5) Stick on tissue paper (pack tightly together to avoid gaps) or use your pieces from your magazines

6) Leave to dry

And there has it your finished Heart Collage Cards.

We loved making these cards and will completed them by adding a little message inside for our Valentine. If you have a go at making these we would love to have your thought so please feel free to comment here on the post as well as share your pictures of your creations on our Facebook page.

Continue Reading