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Christmas Advent Books

advent books

Have you heard of Christmas Advent Books? If you have children then I think this is a must leading up to Christmas. The idea is simple. Wrap up 24 Christmas books and unwrap one each night before bed leading up to Christmas Eve. You can wrap your advent books randomly or you can plan which one you have each night. If you want to do it randomly then you don’t even need to add numbers. We put our tree up at the beginning of advent or the beginning of December. Then after I’ve wrapped the advent books I place them under the tree. Here are some of our favourite advent books, in no particular order.

Favourite Christmas Advent Books

The Snow Day by Richard Curtis

A snowy day, a deserted school and the teacher you least want to see. Welcome to Snow Day, the most magical day of the year . . .

When Danny goes to school one quiet, snowy morning, the last thing he expects to find is a deserted school and his least favourite teacher. But that’s exactly what he does find. And what starts as the worst day imaginable, ends as the most life-affirming and magical day of the year.

An incredibly moving story about finding friendship in the most unexpected of places.

Rudy’s Windy Christmas by Helen Baugh

While Santa and Mrs. Claus eat their dinner, Santa sneakily feeds his sprouts to one of the reindeer rather than eat them himself. The result is, uh, smelly, to say the least. Now, Rudy can’t seem to stop releasing windy pops from his backside as he and the other reindeer help Santa deliver presents on Christmas Eve. The rest of the reindeer are downwind from Rudy and they are not handling the sprouty wiffs so well. They laugh so heartily at Rudy’s rear-end trumpet that they simply cannot fly the sleigh as usual. It’s up to Rudy’s super-turbo gas to get them back home.

Papov’s Special Day by Mig Holder

Originally written by French author Reuben Saillens and later retold by Leo Tolstoy, this endearing story has now acquired the status of a folk-tale. The heart-warming story of Papa Panov’s generosity reflects the true spirit of Christmas. It is Christmas Day, and Papa Panov, the lonely old shoemaker, is expecting a special visitor. Things do not turn out at all as he thought, but by the end of the day the sparkle is back behind his little spectacles. A beautiful gift edition of a much-loved classic.

The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis

The Empty Stocking – a brilliantly funny Christmas story by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb.
In this fantastically funny and heartwarming story by Richard Curtis it’s Christmas Eve and there’s one very important question on everyone’s mind – have YOU been good this year? For twins Sam and Charlie this is a big worry. Charlie has been especially naughty and everyone is sure that she won’t get any presents AT ALL. But when Santa makes a mistake, it’s up to Charlie to put things right…

Letters from Father Christmas by J R R Tolkien

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R.Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room; and how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and ‘authenticity’ of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.

The Nutcracker by Emma Helbrough

This sumptuous picture book is based on the beloved classic and retold for younger children to provide an ideal introduction to the story. This gorgeous book with its vibrant illustrations is sure to enthrall very young children as well as those just beginning to read. It is a delightful present for any child lucky enough to go to the ballet at Christmas, and wonderful compensation for those who aren’t.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean-spirited old man who hates everything – even Christmas! But when three spirits visit him one Christmas Eve, Scrooge is taken on a journey into the past, present and future that will change him forever. Specially rewritten as part of the Usborne Young Reading Programme for readers growing in confidence.

The Christmas Cobwebs by Lesley Sims

This is an enchanting retelling of a traditional German tale, written for children just learning to read. It’s Christmas Eve and all is ready for Christmas – until seven spiders cover the tree in cobwebs. Will Christmas Day be ruined – or can Father Christmas save the Day?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

With a heart two sizes too small, the Grinch is the meanest creature you’ll ever meet. He hates Christmas and the whole festive season. But when he hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he’s in for a big surprise!

With hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this classic seasonal story has become a favourite for good reason and teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas.

Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore

It’s Christmas Eve, and the entire house is sleeping-all except one little boy, woken by the jingle of bells and the clatter of reindeer hooves on the roof. As he tiptoes downstairs, who will he find?

Katie’s London Christmas by James Mayhew

When Katie and Jack are woken up late on Christmas Eve by a loud sneeze, little do they realise that they are about to embark on the most amazing evening! Soon they are flying high across London, over snow-dusted landmarks, through the star-scattered sky with the one and only Father Christmas, in his sleigh, with his magical reindeer! But can they help Father Christmas to deliver all his presents and be back in time for Christmas morning?

Norman the Slug who Saved Christmas by Sue Hendra

When a sack of presents lands – THWACK – right by Norman’s stocking he is overcome with excitement. He really must have been a very good slug this year. But after a frenzy of unwrapping he spots a label – and realises that none of the presents were meant for him, but had in fact fallen off Father Christmas’s sleigh. Norman knows he has to get the presents to the family they’re meant for – but how can he manage it on time? Can one little slug save Christmas?

Sproutzilla by Tom Jamieson

Jack loves everything about Christmas. Except for one thing: he does not like Brussels sprouts. When Jack’s parents bring home the largest sprout he has ever seen, things are about to get out of control. Sproutzilla is the meanest, greenest Christmas ruining vegetable ever and now he’s heading straight towards Santa! It’s up to Jack to save Christmas, and there’s only one way to do it . . . He’ll have to eat the sprouts!

Farmyard Tales Lift the Flap Christmas by Heather Amery

A picture book with over 30 flaps to lift, in which the Boot family prepare for Christmas, and Poppy and Sam wonder whether Santa will bring them what they asked for. An interactive reading experience for young children, who will love to lift the robust flaps to find out what Christmas surprises are hiding underneath.

Usborne Lift the Flap Nativity by Felicity Brooks

This illustrated volume provides a sensitive telling of the nativity story which aims to evoke a sense of wonder and mystery in very young children. The detail of this flap book incorporates details such as mice hiding in the corner of baby Jesus’ manger.

Puzzle Christmas by Susannah Leigh

This book provides a fun, seasonal adventure across Christmas Land with puzzles for young children to answer on every double page. Brightly coloured, detailed illustrations in cartoon style along with plenty of maps and guides help children experience the absorbing adventure. It is perfect for keeping young minds active over the holiday season. Answers and hints are on the last two pages of the book.

The Very First Christmas by Louis Stowell

An enchanting picture book retelling of the original Christmas story for very young children. Beautifully illustrated by Elena Temporin, this is a wonderful gift for young children.

The Usborne Book of Christmas Poems edited by Sam Taplin

This is a sparkling collection of festive poems for children that form the perfect companion for Christmas. The magic of Christmas fills the pages, with a delightful mixture of well-loved classic verse and lively contemporary poetry. All lavishly illustrated by Anna Luraschi. This title includes poems by William Wordsworth, Christina Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Charles Causley, Gerald Manley Hopkins, Benjamin Zephaniah and John Hegley. It is a lovely read-aloud book to share with younger children too.

Let it Glow: A Winter’s Walk by Owen Gildersleeve

Celebrate the holiday season with this book featuring real lights that glow with every turn of the page.

Set in a winter wonderland, follow one child on his journey home through a snowy landscape. Diecuts reveal lights throughout, becoming lit-up shop windows, carol singers’ candles, stars in the sky and finally a star on the tree. Told in verse, this gift book will bring the magic of Christmas into everyone’s home.

Aliens Love Panta Claus by Claire Freedman

Everyone’s favourite aliens are full of the festive spirit and so they are giving away their beloved underpants – shock, horror! Join them as they help out in Santa’s busyworkshop, put neon pants on Rudolph and tie knickers up in the place of stockings. But remember to hold on to your pants – this special pants giveaway is for one day only. Ho-ho-ho! Merry Christmas!

Father Christmas Needs a Wee by Nicholas Allan

At each different house that he visits Father Christmas drinks and eats all the goodies left out for him. Before long he really, really, really needs a wee. So much so that he even forgets to leave the presents behind. But he dashes back, delivers all the pressies and flies home at high speed to avoid an embarassing accident . . . There’s just one tiny problem . . . He’s lost his house key!

Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr

The house is full of strange bustling noises and peculiar smells. Everyone is busy hanging holly and blowing up balloons, and where is that tree going?

Disconcerted by all the unusual activities, Mog escapes to the roof, and there she stays…until, unexpectedly, she returns with a bump!

“Happy Christmas, Mog!”

Paddington and the Christmas Surprise by Michael Bond

When the Browns take Paddington to the Christmas grotto at the local department store, their journey through the Winter Wonderland is full of unexpected surprises. But the best surprise is a present from Santa. After all, who else would find the perfect present for a bear like Paddington?

Join Paddington on his festive adventure as he discovers why Santa Claus makes everyone’s Christmas so special.

Your favourite advent books?

What are your favourite advent books? If your advent books aren’t on the list above then I’d love to add them. Please comment on the post and I can add them in.

A cheeky tip is to check out The Book People, who often have bundles of 10 or so Christmas books for £10ish.

If you like doing advent books then you might also like our Traditional Advent Calendars

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Multi-tasking – is it really that great a skill?

multi-tasking

Apparently as a woman I’m very good at multi-tasking. Why is then that I’m not that proud of my ability?

Multi-tasking, an ability or a necessity?

I just ask because I’ve noticed that if I’m sitting at the kitchen table trying to write a blog post surrounded by 4 children all demanding food, drink or answers to really important questions like ‘why do you have to whack fish when you catch them?’ simultaneouly that I am expected to just juggle it all. At the very worst I’m supposed to drop the blog post and deal with the rest. Only once everything else is satisfied do I feel allowed to return to the blog. And of course everything else is never satisfied.

So much research tells us that multi-tasking isn’t actually a good thing. It is far more productive to focus on one task at a time. Multi tasking slows down our overall output. Yet women seem to have no choice but to get on with it. We’re told women can multi-task, men can’t but I think the truth might be that women don’t have the luxury of not multi-tasking.

Why are there different rules for him and her?

However, when he is writing a blog post, or typing a comment in to Facebook and someone else dares to talk to him, usually me, they get at best a grit of the teeth and at worst told to leave him alone he’s trying to work.

If we are both in the kitchen and a child wants something they will immediately ask ‘mum’. A friend of mine told me recently about when she was out at work all day and her husband had the children. She returned home to find him playing computer games while the two young children sat playing quietly…until they saw her. Then it was ‘mummy, I need a drink’, ‘mummy, what’s for tea?’. How do men get away with it?

Do women expect to multi-task while men have a right to focus?

Are we women at fault for just coping with it all so well? Should we shout ‘leave me alone’ more often? Or does that go against our instincts especially when it’s children that are demanding our attention?

Even as I write this I can hear huffing an puffing from him further along the kitchen table as he juggles holding a sleeping (not demanding!) baby while trying to edit an email. The only reason I’ve surrendered the body is that my back is too sore to hold the bundle any longer. Normally that would be me typing away one-handed with a softly snoring darling snuggled into my shoulder. You should see how good I’ve got at typing with me left-hand only.

Perhaps women are their own worst enemy. Or perhaps our children in particular are just too precious to us to demand the extravagance of single-tasking as it would inevitably mean turning their demands and needs away.

What does this mean for women, especially mothers, who work from home?

I don’t have the answers to this question? I want the answers! My own experience is that I constantly feel like I’m juggling everything and everyone. The task is never finished. Consequently I’m often tired, irritable and downright miserable. Of course I love my children etc etc and sure I wouldn’t have it any other way. No wait – actually I might. If I could just tweak things a little to allow time to breathe for myself now and then, perhaps I wouldn’t feel quite so washed out.

How do women, mothers in particular, cope with working from home? According to a previous blog post I wrote apparently I do, and of course yes I still agree with everything I wrote but sometimes it just feels too hard. If you are one who manages it, please let me know how you do it as I don’t think I do and I could do with some advice.

Of course since starting this post the adorable sleeping bundle woke up, demanded mummy and has returned to me. Oh well, back to the one handed, cack handed typing it is…

 

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Why committing a crime is appealing

Motherhood like prison

Do you find motherhood like prison but fear it would be wrong to admit it? Well you’re not alone – me too! In fact I’ve recently discovered that I would have significantly more liberties if I committed a crime.

5 ways I find motherhood like prison. Or put another way – 5 things I could do if I was locked up.

1 Bed

I’m guessing that when it’s lights out in prison then that’s it lights out. It’s not ‘please can I have another story, even though you’ve just read me the same story every night for two weeks and you don’t even need to look at the words any more’. Or ‘I need a drink of water, mummy.’ It’s not ‘I need the toilet, mummy.’ It’s not ‘I can’t find my stuffed toy that I haven’t looked at for months but I really need right now or I’ll never be able to get to sleep.’

It’s just ‘lights out’, sleep. Bliss.

2 Newspaper

From the little research I’ve done in to prison life (oh yes, you thought I was kidding, no I’ve looked this up just to see how well off I’d be), all inmates can have a newspaper in their cell. A newspaper? Can you even remember the last time you read a newspaper? Sometimes I grab the local free newspaper, just to see what child friendly screenings might be coming up at the local cinema, or what ‘family’ events might be on. ‘Family’ of course meaning ‘for children’ with nothing particularly that adults want to do. Well there is – there’s a bouncy castle but when do they allow the parents on these days?

Every day I could read a newspaper, uninterrupted!

3 Sweets

Apparently all inmates are allowed spending money, it varies on the crime committed but as I’m not planning anything too major I reckon I’d have quite a big allowance. I could spend all that on sweets. There would be no need to hide them, or share them. I wouldn’t have to eat them on the sly while only eating fruit in front of anyone else.

Pure sugar, all for me.

4 Music

Prisoners are allowed a device to listen to music on and presumably this means their own choice of music too. I wouldn’t have to listen to the Singing Kettle’s version of 1 potato, 2 potato on endless repeat. I wouldn’t even have to make up a zillion verses to it in the car because I wouldn’t be in the car, I’d be in prison, in my own room, listening to my music.

Just T-Rex and me.

5 Toilet

Now here’s the biggy. I would actually get to go to the toilet ALONE!

So is motherhood like prison? Nah, not really. Prison has many more liberties.

Have I forgotten anything?

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When you get a proper job

What do you want to do when you grow up and get a proper job
So, over the last couple of days I’ve been doing something a little different and to be honest a bit out of my comfort zone – but that’s how we grow right?? I’ve come the closest in a long time to having a proper job.

What do I do?

I’ve been at my children’s school for their ‘career – workplace’ week along with other parents and local businesses. We’ve been talking about our jobs and why we do what we do.
I was really impressed with the questions asked, especially by the older children. I also felt kind of humbled by their understanding of why I do what I do.
When the letter came home the previous week asking parents if they were willing and available to come in for a sort of ‘careers fair’ I half jokingly put my name down for ‘Direct Sales’. To be honest I didn’t think anyone would want me as I don’t work full time and for so many it’s not a ‘proper job’. Would teachers really want me to tell children that I don’t work much because I’m a full time mother and the business I have just fills the gaps?
So I ticked both days meaning I was available for either and expecting to hear nothing.
Well that’ll teach me! They asked me to come in both days and I was the only person who did do both days!

What do you want to do when you grow up and get a proper job?

I know when I was young parenthood wasn’t a viable career option. Looking back on my education I feel a bit lied to. I grew up feeling empowered and encouraged to change the world. No one explained that if I had children I couldn’t actually have it all. On the contrary I had to make choice.
So I told the children that I used to have another job but gave it up when my children were born. Then I wanted a business that would allow me complete flexibility of time and allow me to earn some money even if not a full time income as it’s not a full time job.
I thought they’d all be more interested to ask what my ‘proper job’ had been before my children were born. Yet not one child asked me that question. Instead they all seemed to get it. Perhaps because our children value the time we spend at home with them, even when we don’t or when we don’t realise how much they appreciate us just ‘being there’.

What did they get out of it?

I don’t know the answer to that. Most of them seemed to want to join the police (he did have much more interesting gadgets and equipment compared to my bookmarks and birthday cards!). Though their eyes did all light up when I explained that my job involves eating a lot of cake.
But I was reminded how clever and astute our children are. When I was 6 it was a visit from a missionary couple that sparked something in me to work overseas. That never left me and was the basis for my previous ‘proper job’. It’s still something I’d like to go back to. But for now my children appreciate me just being there for them. Even if they and I don’t always realise it. So I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, blogging about and selling cards and eating cake.
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Make your Dream come True

Make your dream come true day

Have you ever had a dream come true? I have but more on that later. What do you need to do to make your dream come true?

What do people dream about?

I don’t mean those horrible dreams about your teeth falling out (I’ve had so many of those!) I mean what are people’s ambitions?

If you Google something like ‘how many people want to work for themselves’ you’ll get a range of articles suggesting anything from 45 to 72% of people would rather be self-employed. Those who do want to work for a company want that company to be ethical and responsible. But how many people have managed to do either of those things?

According to Investors in People 60% of workers are not happy in their jobs. That’s a lot of unhappy people and as we all know – a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

What Choice do I have?

Seems there are a few options available to you.

1 – Do Nothing and put up with it.

After all 60% of people are in the same boat why should you be different. Maybe the planets will align better next month and things will improve.

2 – Change your company from the inside.

I’m sure it has been done but not that often. However, if you can then go for it. Not only will you improve your life but the circumstances of your fellow employees too.

3 – Change job.

Start looking around now. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side but you have to open the gate to find out.

4 – Start your own business.

I tried no.1 for a few months and decided life was too short. I found I couldn’t do no.2. The ‘machine’ was too big and powerful and I was too insignificant to have a voice. I tried no.3 and would still go for that option but when I had children I had to give up work and no.4 is working for me just now.

Make Your Dream Come True

I think to do this you need to ask yourself some questions.

  • What do you enjoy most?
  • What sort of work/life balance do you need?
  • How much money do you need (and then how much do you want)?

(As my father-in-law says ‘Money can’t buy happiness…but it helps.’)

Phoenix Trading Christmas wrapping
Wrapping demonstrations are one way I weave my longing to be creative into my work!

When I had children I needed something flexible that I could do in the ‘gaps’ of life. Something with no targets, no expectations or pressure from anyone else. I enjoy selling things and I love mentoring people. I’m a bit crafty though not very good at it but I enjoy making things on my own and with my children. I thrive on making others smile.

So for me, starting my own business selling beautiful, exclusively designed greeting cards and stationery ticked my boxes. No targets or pressure, my business my way. I get to buy and sell which I’ve been doing all my life (family business I was born into). My team are also self-employed and doing the same business but their way and I get to support them and see them grow. I do gift wrapping demonstrations and make decorations out of wrapping paper and paper chains. I get to send lots of cards and make people smile.

What will you do?

Has your dream already come true or do you still need to make some changes?

I guess I’ve had more than one dream come true. When I was 2 my mum and I were staying at a friend’s house for Christmas. I was sleeping on the floor beside mum’s bed and I distinctly remember dreaming that my dad was coming to see us on the train. The next morning I woke up and there he was asleep beside mum in the bed next to me having come on the train overnight. I guess I was probably told he was coming but I didn’t remember being told, just the dream and waking up thinking ‘wow, my dream came true!’. My other dream – to spend as much time as possible with my children, while they are young, now.

Sometimes our dreams seem impossible but in the words of Benjamin Disraeli, “Through perseverance, many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.”

Make your dream come true disraeli

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Christmas Cake Boxes

Christmas Cake boxes

I’ve been busy making Christmas cakes. As some of them are for others, like teacher thank you presents, they need to go in nice Christmas Cake Boxes.

Here are my favourite Christmas cake boxes that I use for small gifts.

I find all of these just perfect for small gifts, not just at Christmas but obviously at Christmas they get used more.

Firstly there are the Cube boxes

Christmas cake boxes

If you need something to put a small cake in then these are great. Approximately 10cm cubed they will hold a small cake or a large decorated muffin.

I made these Christmas cakes in a large muffin tin (it has 6 holes in the tin not 12 so you can imagine the kind of size). My mum tells me she used to make Christmas cakes with her school pupils in baked bean tins, so I think these boxes would work for those too.

By the way – do you like my snowman decoration on the cake?

Secondly there are the mini boxes

These smaller boxes will hold a standard cupcake or muffin. They will also hold sweets, chocolates, homemade biscuits etc.

Christmas Cake BoxesChristmas cake boxes

oooh – or a surprise!

The base of these is about 6cm square and there are 5 in a pack.

I’ve also used these mini boxes for ‘party bags’ at my children’s birthday parties. I discovered pretty early on that when children get party bags all they were really interested in was the sweets! So not wanting to give out a huge bag of sweets I tried these on our guests. They went down a treat as they looked so different it was more like giving out a present to unwrap and I think the children liked that more.

So if you’re in need of Christmas Cake Boxes for those small homemade gifts then look no further.

PS I’d love to know what you put in yours. Do comment and share with us, or post a picture on my Facebook page.

 

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Nativity Crafts

I am always being asked for Nativity crafts for Sunday Schools, preschools and in the home so I’ve put together a list of some ideas.

Nativity Crafts for all ages

1 Make your own Nativity Scene

Younger children can have fun cutting out and colouring in their own Nativity Scene.

Or why not draw some Nativity characters together, cut out and stick some lollipop sticks to make some puppets. This lollipop craft slolly stick craft kitet has lots of other ideas too. Then you can act out and talk about the Nativity story.

Alternatively use oven drying clay to make a lasting Nativity set. I found a great clip on Youtube to give you a start.

2 Jigsaw

Do a Nativity related jigsaw. This one is good value with 4 x 500 jigsaws in it. Four jigsaws titled, Window Shopping, Letter to Santa, The Nativity Play and The Queen’s Speech provide an opportunity to talk about lots of aspects of Christmas. Jigsaws are great for developing little minds and doing them together is a great social opportunity too. Plus it will give you some downtime in the run up to Christmas.

3 Nativity picture

Nativity crafts picture Phoenix TradingMake your own framed nativity scene. Cut out old Christmas cards, or draw your own background and characters and turn it in to a framed Nativity scene. Use a deep box frame to build a 3d picture of the Christmas story and then give as a gift.

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How to fix Jigsaw Puzzles

Pirate Jigsaw puzzles



I have grown up doing jigsaw puzzles, my family love them and every now and then along comes one that is just too good to break up!

Fixing your jigsaw puzzles so you can hang them on the wall is really quite simple.

jigsaw puzzlesYou will need:

  1. Fixative/Glue
  2. Old Newspaper (optional)
  3. Wall hangings

 

You don’t have to use newspaper but it can make jigsaw puzzles a bit more stable if you build it on a good hard flat surface. Once you’ve built your jigsaw slide it on to some old newspaper.

Then depending on what fixative you use you either simply spray the jigsaw fixative on the front of your jigsaw, following the directions on the can, or apply glue as per the directions. Leave to harden and there you have it. Yep it’s as simple as that.

From personal experience the fixative lasts for years. So even if you don’t hang the puzzle immediately you can store it by laying it flat until later. Under a bed is an ideal location!

You’ll need to choose how to hang your jigsaw. You could either glue some strapping to the back then attach some string or hooks, or slide poster holders along the top (and bottom to add weight) and thread string through these. Or frame your jigsaw.

Happy Puzzling!

Some of the most eye catching jigsaw puzzles I’ve seen are children’s ones that were originally posters. Like the one shown above, an illustration by Amanda Loverseed. Now as a jigsaw you can have the pleasure of the puzzle and the satisfaction of displaying your finished handiwork.

My favourite jigsaw puzzles have to be wooden ones. I remember getting them as a child, they seemd to be more common then, and more recently from Wentworth with their famous whimsies. If you like these too then you can get 10% off your first order with Wentworth wooden Puzzles.



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Merry Christmas Bunting Elf on the Shelf Antics

Merry Christmas Bunting Phoenix Trading cards Elf on the Shelf

My Elf on the shelf has been busy.

“Merry Christmas bunting” from Phoenix Trading.

Merry Christmas bunting decoration Phoenix Trading cards

This Christmas bunting makes an impressive addition to your Christmas decorations. With 20 pieces and 4 m ribbon you can decide where to put the stockings, Santa and snowman. You can choose whether to hang in a single line, or split as shown above.

Elf on the shelf has been making up some new arrangements

If you’re stuck for Elf on the Shelf ideas than you these anagrams will help you to fill a few days of mischief. You can find many more anagrams of Merry Christmas online, a simple search will bring up a range of pages with ideas. These were my elf on the shelf’s favourite ones.Merry Christmas bunting decoration Phoenix Trading cards

And if you like my elf you can find more like him at Daisyfelts. I think he’s rather cheeky but friendly looking.

Can you think of any more?

10 Ideas for a Christmas Eve Box

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7 Activities to keep Children Entertained at your Wedding.

Happy Families

Yes, you know the panic – little Johnny is coming and he’ll never sit still for 5 seconds, nevermind the speeches! Well don’t worry here are some great ideas to keep children entertained and happy and their parents over the moon that you’ve taken time to think of them.

It doesn’t matter what the parents might bring to keep their own children occupied, kids will always be more interested in something ‘new’.

1 Colour in Tablecloth

Colour in tableclothYou can’t go wrong with a colour-in tablecloth. Even better if the children are sitting amongst all the adults, this will keep all ages entertained with the adults having a great excuse to doodle, colour and create.

2 Paper dolls

Remember these? Paper dollsThese paper dolls are great fun.

3 Games to keep children entertained

Happy Families

For smaller children how about some happy families (the ultimate wedding game surely?!).

4  Colour in finger puppets.

Have some fun both colouring and creating your very own puppet show with these simple farmyard finger puppets.Colour in finger puppets

5  Sticker Sets

Repealable sticker sets are great too, with either a Fashion Boutique or Funny Faces option.

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6 Colouring

colour in party tablecloth

Other colour in activities include the colour in party poster. Perfect for older children. Or the colour in around town.

Finally – No. 7 – an Activity Bag to keep children entertained all day

why not combine some of the above in an activity bag for each child. Maybe, finger puppets, and Happy Families for the younger child and party poster, and Happy Families for the older child.

Having children at your wedding need not be a headache. With these ideas they will remember the occasion for years to come, enjoy every minute without disrupting the event and happy children means happy parents and happy guests…plus, trust me, the adults will love colouring in too!!!

Other things you might like:
Spy party ideas games and food
Wedding superstitions