Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tissue Paper Pom Pom Tutorial

Apologies for the long absence! I finally had my knee operation a few weeks ago and couldn't do very much work with the laptop in the first week or so after. It's healing well, although I keep trying to do too much and then it gets really sore again!!
Anyway, I got around to making some pom poms for the decoration at Padawan #1's party in just over a week and as they look lovely and are pretty easy to make I thought I would make a tutorial for you all.

Firstly, you will need about 8 pieces of tissue paper for a larger pom pom and 5 or 6 for smaller ones. You can make your pom poms all one colour or mix up the colours in differents ways if you like.
Now you need to concertina fold your tissue paper - as though you are making one of those paper fans I'm sure most of us made when we were younger! I found for the smaller sized pom poms, 1 inch strips worked well.
Once you have finished folding the paper, tie a piece of cotton or thread round the middle. You don't need to squeeze the paper together at all but make sure the knot is secure.
Now shape each end of the paper with scissors. I made my pom poms curved but you could do pointed edges for a spikier look!
Once both ends are shaped, open out the fan. Now you need to gently tease out each layer of paper. I did the top one on each side first to stop the paper slipping through the thread.

Tease out each layer on both sides and then ruffle to ensure an even look ball. I found that it was best to work as close down to the thread on the top and bottom layers as you can. Be gentle though as the paper can tear easily.
I hope you enjoy making these and have fun experimenting with colour combinations and styles.

All the best for now
Suz and the Party Padawans

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bored Jar Activities We've Been Doing!

Hello, I hope you're all well.
We have been enjoying doing some of the activities from our bored jar over the past few weeks!
Here are a few of the things we have done with some links to tutorials!

Well, first I must apologise that is the only photo I have of the finished rock candy - they got eaten rather quickly!!
I honestly didn't think they would turn out so well. My advice to to make sure the sugar has cooled down quite a lot before putting the sticks in - I had to redo ours as the sugar on the sticks had just dissolved.
You really should try these! The kids will love seeing how the crystals form and can have fun mixing colours and flavours.

Photo Alphabet Scavenger Hunt

Padawan #2 and I went on a walk around our village to do our photo scavenger hunt. Before we left, we both made a list of things the other person had to find. As you'll see we had to be a little creative with some of the letters!! 
We made a little video using Windows Movie Maker too which could be an additional activity for older children.

String Maze

This is a really good activity to help children with problem solving and cooperation! My two had a few disagreements and difficulties at first but after a little guidance and advice they got on with it and were both really proud of the end result. 

Build A Blanket Fort!

Who remembers making these as a kid? I used to use my mum's clothes dryer and an old blanket!! I have to say, my kids took it to another level!! They even had camping rolls down on the floor in case they decided to sleep in the fort (they actually didn't but spent most of a day in there!!).

The padawans also made meringues and doughnuts but I'll do another post shortly with recipes for those! 
I hope we've managed to inspire you to try out some of these fun ideas over the various holidays, long weekends and just normal weekends!! 

Take care
Suz and The Party Padawans xx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer Time Fun Freebie!

Hello there!
I'm feeling very summery today as the sun is actually shining!! Reason to celebrate here in Scotland!
So to help in the celebrations of the glorious sunshine and to keep you all going while I'm busy being run ragged by the Party Padawans I have made you all a little set of free printables.

I'll try to get some photos of them in action this week (fingers crossed the sun sticks around) as I don't have any small bottles of juice in at the moment! I'd put one on a bottle of Bacardi Breezer but I can't drink just now so there's not much point!! Oh well, hopefully I'll be off painkillers soon! :-)
Feel free to share any photos of your picnics, parties and lunches using them!

Take care
Suz and the Party Padawans xx

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Padawan #2 wanted to set up his own ice cream shop yesterday! It's still up now!!

I secretly phoned my dad this morning to ask if he would like to come over and be a customer! It made padawan's day!! I think my dad was pretty chuffed too as he loves his ice cream!!
 Imaginative play at it's best!! What did you get up this week?
Take care
Suz & the Party Padawans xx

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Pom Pom Shooters - Bored Jar Activity #1

Padawan #2 and I tried some activities from our bored jar today! The first one we pulled was tag which wasn't going to work as I can hardly walk let alone run! So we put that back in for when padawan #1 gets backs from holidaying with her friend!
The next one we pulled was "Make a marshmallow shooter". This caused the little one some confusion but he enjoyed trying to guess what it was as I got out the necessary supplies - which are:
paper cups
masking tape
pom poms or marshmallows
Our first attempt didn't work as we were using cheap plastic cups which are far too flimsy. We've moved onto some better quality paper cups but still fell foul! So I thought up a way to solve this problem which hopefully will help you if you get the same problem!
Get 2 paper cups and cut the bottom off 1 about 1cm down. Cut the second cup about 2cm down.
Now put the taller cup over the top of the shorter one. Use a pair of scissors to cut flaps in the taller cup down to where it meets the shorter one.
Once you've done this all the way round, fold each flap inside the cups.
Now tape the flaps down using small pieces of masking tape.
Make sure you push them down firmly so no sticky bits are exposed.
Now cut the rounded end off a balloon - about 1cm should do it. Tie the tail end (the bit you blow into to blow it up). Stretch the balloon over the end of the cup.
We put ours over the bottom but you could put them over the top if it will stretch (probably depends on the size of the balloon).
Now secure the balloon with tape around the outside.
Add in some pom poms or marshmallows and fire away!!
Honestly, these are so much fun!! The two of us giggled for ages as we fired them across the bed, hitting the light and the window a few times!
We hope you enjoy making these as much as we did!
I'll be back soon with a tutorial on making a CD hovercraft!
Padawan #2 has also set up his own blog and Facebook book with stories he is writing about his best pal Niguel, an adorably cute crocheted dinosaur. He would be absolutely over the moon if you popped along to have a look at both his blog The Niguel Chronicles and his Facebook page Niguel Inc.
Take Care
Until next time
Suz and the Party Padawans xx

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Farm and Tractor Party Round Up

Do you have a little one who is obsessed with tractors? My nephew is and he knows all the names of the different kinds too!
Today I have brought together a collection of some of my favourite tractor and farm themed parties I found on the internet.
First up from Kara's Party Ideas is this Down on the farm party.
I love the use of egg boxes to hold cupcakes and create a Farmers Market treat table. This party also uses lots of straw which is obviously just perfect for a farm party.
Again from Kara's Party Ideas is this farm yard party using lots of animals! I love this cake and have seen quite a few similar ones around (including one my sister-in-law made with piggies!).
I also love the use of the red gingham and I think it immediately makes you think farm.
Here's another party uses the red gingham from Birds Party.

I also love the barn boxes and milk cartons with cow print! How adorable! I also love the rosette table decoration and picket fence in this picture.
 Speaking of picket fences - they look so sweet!
You could make some fencing from lollipop sticks or card quite easily or if your little one has a farm set you could use some of that.
You could also use their tractor toys and other farm toys in the decoration if they'll let you! If they're a bit protective of their favourite toys then maybe get some new ones for them (second hand from charity shops?) and use them as decoration for the party first. Here are a few ideas...

John Deere is probably one of the more well known tractor "brands". In my village we have a John Deere shop with loads of tractors out front - my nephew loves to go past when he visits!! So if you have a tractor loving littly then I'm sure they'll love a John Deere themed party with lots of green and yellow.
And how about having a go at making your own tractor using large cardboard boxes?! Would be great for photos of the kids at the party too.
Well, that's it for this weeks round up. If you would like some party inspiration you can have a look at my Farm and Tractor Party Pinterest board.
Till next time, take care
Suz and the Party Padawans x

Monday, 23 June 2014

Keep the kids busy this summer with an "I'm Bored Jar"

I have been getting a little addicted to Pinterest lately! Anyone else have this problem?!
Anyway, one of my latest things I've been using it for is to find things for the kids to do over the summer. I think anyone with kids has heard "Mum, I'm bored" way too many times and if you work from home I'm sure it's worse as you're always there with them.
So after more than a week of researching ideas I have come up with my own set of ideas to put in our "I'm Bored Jar" and you can download a PDF I put together too.
My Bored Jar is geared to older kids as my youngest are 11 and 12 and it's also the kind of things I think my kids will like and I would like to try out with them. There are a couple of blank pages for you to add your own ideas and page of links to specific activities, posts with lists of activities and my Pinterest board with lots of pins to inspire you.
I haven't included too many chores in my jar as I think this would put my kids off (and they have chores they are expected to do anyway). I'm also going to draw up some rules with them for using the jar - for example: if they don't like the 1st activity they pick they can choose 1 more but then they have to do one of the two or find something else to do. If they can't do what they pick straight away because the weather isn't suitable or we don't have the things they need for it then that one gets put aside for another day when we can do it and they a free pick. You can decide on rules if you want to or just use the jar as something to inspired the kids to find things to do.
I'd love to hear your ideas for great boredom buster activities for kids so feel free to share any thoughts and suggestions in the comments.
Over the holidays I will post about the things the kids and I have done with little tutorials for some of the activities.
Take care
Suz and the Party Padawans