The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities

February Feels: this month in photos…

Celebrating Lunar New Year festivities

Chinatown, Soho

Chinese New Year (also known as the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival ‘Tet’ to Vietnamese) was a joyous celebration in London for the first time post-covid. The lion dance was back for a short appearance on 01 February which Little Miss had the honour of watching. I have never taken the kids to watch the CNY celebrations at Soho before – simply because it was always too busy – but this year, it was slightly less of a crowd but still busy enough to showcase its bustling atmosphere.

The Wandering Mother Blog | February Feels
Little Miss in front of the beautiful cherry blossom display in Soho, London
Continue reading “February Feels: this month in photos…”
The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities

How to celebrate Chinese New Year in lockdown + lantern craft activity

Chinese New Year & Lunar New Year
(Friday 12th February 2021)

Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year, Spring Festival or Tết (Vietnamese). It is greatly celebrated worldwide by those of Chinese and Asian heritage. It’s like the equivalent to celebrating January 1st but following the lunar (moon) calendar… yes, that’s a real thing! Traditionally, the festivities go on for 16 days from new year’s eve up until the start of the lantern festival. For 2021, this would be from Feb 11-26.

Tết is a very joyous time of year and usually Asian families really go to town with the decorations. My dad tells me that in Vietnam tet festivities actually lasts between 2 weeks and we have many traditional customs that are carried out during the days and the eve of the lunar new year. This includes our ancestral venerations (prayers for dead loved ones) – kind of like Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead), and the burning of paper money, clothes, bags, shoes and hats for the ancestors, family banquets are prepared with special food, traditionally eaten only at the new year. And the handing of the infamous red envelope that every child looks forward to most of all… because it’s real money inside those red pouches handed from parents and older relatives to the younger ones.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Lunar New Year - Vietnamese Tet
Ancestral Veneration / Photo by Pop Zebra via Unsplash

On Chinese New Year’s eve, this is when the spring cleaning starts. It’s forbidden to clean or sweep your house as well as showering, cutting with scissors, and swearing on Chinese New Year because it’s said to be bad luck! Some of these ‘rules’ are not followed as strictly in today’s society but don’t be surprised if our older relatives still believe this.

Chinese New Year in London

Unfortunately for 2021, Chinese New Year in London is cancelled. They are not going to be hosting any live events in accordance to government guidelines but not all is lost because there will be the organisers, London Chinatown Chinese Association (a non-profit organisation run by volunteers) will be putting on a show online via Youtube to uphold the festivities. Feel free to tune in on February 14th to watch past and new performances.

“To celebrate the Year of the Golden Ox, which has traditionally taken place over the middle weekend of the two-week celebrations. On Sunday the 14th of February, the LCCA will present an online review of Chinese New Year and its past, alongside new Chinese artists for us all to enjoy.”

LCCA, 2020
The Greenwich Mummy | Events: Chinese New Year
London Chinatown Parade & Celebrations / Photo: Google

How to celebrate Chinese New Year in lockdown

Chinese New Year is easy to celebrate at home as a lot of the traditions involve being around family. Obviously with the pandemic, it means you can only celebrate it with your immediate household however here are ways you can still enjoy the festivities, whether you are Chinese or not. As it’ll be half-term you could teach the kids briefly about the festivities; why it’s celebrated, what it’s about and how you can celebrate it at home.

Wear RED

In previous years, it’s been hit and miss for me to wear red on the day but I try my best and this year I will definitely make the effort. Ideally, it’s traditionally supposed be your ‘Sunday’s best’ kind of clothes but nowadays anything clean and decent will do (so nothing old, torn or stained). We are currently living 99% of our lives in PJs and loungewear so my outfit will probably be a pretty top and leggings.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel
Mother and daughter in red traditional wear / Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Watch the festivities online

As I mentioned above, the London Chinatown Chinese Association will be screening performances online via Youtube so check that out. If you’re joining from across the pond, there’s so many online events hosted from the US such as the 2021 Virtual Lunar New Year Festival by the Chinese Community Center which is a free event but make sure you’ve registered for it on Eventbrite.

Here are some dates to add to your diary, all events below are free:

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Get Drawing: Chinese Dragons Workshop

Join artist Pui Lee in this mindful art session where children and adults are guided through this dragon drawing activity. Materials needed are listed in the link below. No drawing experience needed.

13


Chinese New Year Celebration

Cardiff Hubs and Libraries are hosting a day full of activities and fun from learning how to speak basic Chinese in their taster session, to learning traditional Chinese painting in the afternoon.

16


Chinese New Year music and song

In this 60 minute Zoom session Wigan and Leigh College Confucius Classroom will share with everyone traditional music and songs associated with Chinese New Year celebrations.

18


Chinese Zodiac
Animals Origami Workshop

Learn more about the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and their traits with Yuen Humble. Learn how to make 4 easy paper origami animals, following origami techniques – ox, snake, monkey and tiger. Suitable for children.

Eat LUCKY foods

Asian culture is very superstitious, we have numbers we consider auspicious and food we consider good luck! Here are the 7 most common lucky foods to eat at Chinese new year:

  • spring rolls – wealth
  • dumplings – health
  • fish – prosperity
  • round fruits ie. oranges, tangerines, pomelos – fullness and wealth
  • noodles – longevity
  • sweet rice balls – family togetherness
  • glutinous rice cakes – higher income/position

Vietnamese banh chung (bánh chưng)

In Vietnamese culture, we don’t have ‘good luck’ foods but we do have certain dishes we make for tet. As the lunar new year symbolises the start of spring, we usually feast on steamed fish (seabass), spring rolls, candied dried fruits, round fruits ie. pomelos, oranges, tangerines, and boiled chicken with a lemon salt and chilli dip. Our main speciality has to be bánh chưng, also known as autumnal cake. Although it’s not a cake per se; it’s a savoury, square parcel made of glutinous rice with the inside filled with pork, fat and yellow mung beans. It’s wrapped in banana leaves which colours the outside rice green and gives it a distinctive flavour. I love them, they’re usually made by families to give to each other as gifts. You’ll only find these made and eaten at new year, it’s a special cake. 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | How to celebrate Lunar New Year
Vietnamese Banh Chung / Photo by VietnamDiscovery.com

Hand out red envelopes

This is THE BEST bit! Well, for the children anyway… these little red envelopes contain money for children, usually for the children of relatives and friends but nowadays you can gift to anyone you like. Traditionally it’s seen as bad luck to gift coins unless it’s the special Chinese round coins, notes are preferred. Try not to give crimpled or ripped notes – lucky for us, our notes are made of plastic so they won’t rip or crimple so easily.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Chinese New Year Craft Activities
Good luck money envelopes / Photo by Yuwei Shaw Oh via Unsplash

The amount you put in is up to you but usually for young children between £5-10 is enough and older children aged 10-16 then £10-20 is a decent amount. Children older than this can receive £20+ but it’s up to you as the whole point of giving the red envelopes is for young children and to wish them a wealthy future. By 16 years, you’re legal to work so some families may not see it as necessary to gift their children once they’re at this age.

If you’re not able to get any lucky red envelopes, you could alternatively place the money inside plain red card envelopes. They don’t need to be any larger than a card size (roughly A5 – A6).

Craft Activity: Chinese paper lanterns

Making Chinese lanterns can be a fun and easy craft activity for the kids to do. If the simple ones are too easy for your kids, there’s more challenging ones that you can try out. I’ve linked up a few Youtube videos of my favourite paper lantern crafts. I think that watching how to make them is easier than reading but I’ve added a couple links if you to read.

We’ll be making some so I’ll upload these photos once we’ve given them a go – we’ll be sticking to the easy-medium ones! 🙂 PS. if you do have a load of red envelopes spare at home, you can try making this amazing hanging red envelope lantern.

Difficulty: 1/5

How to make a Chinese paper lantern
by Kidspot

Difficulty: 2/5

Paper lantern for Chinese new year activity
by Mrs. Sara Tiemogo

Difficulty: 3/5

How to make Chinese lanterns – easy DIY
by Craft Factory

Difficulty: 5/5

How to make 24-unit
Ornamental Ball
by ireneblchua

If you’re not keen on crafts, you could always purchase a crafts box or some paper lanterns that you can decorate instead.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Halloween FAmily Things to Do

For Kids: Craft Activity Packs List

The online world is brimming full of wonderful things to discover. More so now than ever as we are all still quarantined and in lockdown.

BoJo has said today that the UK will be easing restrictions and going forward, it looks like schools may reopen in phase two which is due to start around June 1st. I’m not sure how I feel about this but we’ll have to just play it by ear and see how it goes. As for work, I work in a spa which is classed as hospitality so I’m guessing I’ll still be furloughed until they execute phase three.

Free printable and downloadable crafty activities

I’ve compiled a list of fun and free downloadable and printable activity packs, posters and projects for you to try out. I’ll also include a list of resource links where you can access even more crafty activities. I’ll continue to add to the list when I find more so it’s a little more comprehensive.

You can bookmark this page so you can return back to it at any time for more crafts.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Family Things to Do this Halloween Half Term
The kids love a crafty session!

Free Activity Packs for kids & families

1. VE Day Activity Pack – word search, drawing challenge, home scavenger hunt and more.

https://rbli.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/VE-Day-Kids-2020.pdf

2. Paw Print Family “Too Cool for School – at Home” Challenge Pack – for all ages from 3 to 18+ years. Challenges include DIY, family time, kitchen/food, indoors, outdoors and much more.

https://pawprintfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Too-Cool-For-School-At-Home-Badge-Activity-Pack.pdf

3. Affordable Art Fair Activity Packs – includes creative mindful colouring and craft activities.

https://affordableartfair.com/inspiration/arty-kids-activity-packs/

4. Activity Village Printables – a complete list of downloadable and printable activity sheets from crafts to poems to flash cards. There’s so much on here, you’d not need to look elsewhere.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/printables

5. Penguin Activity Pack – includes colouring activities, crafts and creating stories. The pack is divided into ages and aimed for kids from 0 to 12 years.

https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/children/2018/download-a-printable-puffin-activity-pack/

6. Bloomsbury Activities Page – a page full of colouring, craft activities, posters and even teaching notes for teachers and parents. Activities are divided into ages from 0 to 11 years.

https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/superpage/activity-packs/

7. Lonely Planet Activity Sheets – get kids excited about the world around them and choose from creative or educational activities.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/kids/activities

8. ToucanBox Slime Activity Poster – learn how to make kid-friendly slime using home ingredients. Printable and suitable for all ages.

https://assets.toucanbox.com/pdfs/slime-ooblek//slime-ooblek.pdf

9. NOW Gallery SE10 Creative Activities – from creating cat masks and crocodiles to colouring in and memory test games, this art gallery has a range of quirky and colourful projects to get the children’s creative juices flowing.

https://nowgallery.co.uk/home-activities/

10. The Big Feastival Play Pack – a page full of colouring activities, spot the difference, crosswords and more.

https://thebigfeastival.com/kids-play-pack

11. Discover Children’s Story Centre Egg Box Caterpillar craft activity – create a cute and colourful caterpillar inspired by the children’s book, The Hungry Caterpillar.

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3510616088967755&id=268810566481673&set=pcb.3510618592300838&source=48&refid=13&tn=%2B%3E

12. BookTrust Craft Activities – Pages full of activities that you can print out and enjoy. Includes colouring in, masks, picture frames, cut-outs and more.

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/activities/#!?q=&sortOption=MostRecent&pageNo=1

13. BookTrust Explorer Activities – print-out colouring activities and fun facts on bugs, mammals, dinosaurs and plants.

https://www.booktrust.org.uk/globalassets/resources/hometime/explorer-colouring-sheets.pdf

14. Hotel Chocolat – downloadable activity packs all about chocolate history, design your own slab and fun recipe ideas.

https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/easter-kids-activity-pack.html

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More coming soon…

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Sunday fun with NahdzAdventures Play Dough Kit

Sunday’s weather was such a drab compared to the beautiful sun we had on Saturday! I know, I know… it’s the middle of October so I shouldn’t really complain about the rain because we did have the longest heatwave since forever and last month was pretty mild to say the least. I don’t know… maybe it’s because I had my holiday in Ibiza at the end of September so I’m still in that summer-mindset. 🙂

Anyway, we tried something different last weekend. Usually I would just sit in front of the TV with the kids on a lazy Sunday afternoon but I remembered I purchased a play dough kit from sensory play supermum and blogger, Nahdia from NahdzAdventures and thought “today would be the perfect day to play with the kit”… and so we did!

On Sundays, Nahdia updates her instagram account, @nahdz_adventures with fantastic photos, IG stories of her and her gorgeous boys going all out on the sensory play for ‘Sensory Sundays’.

sensory playdough
Showing off our wonderful play dough kit on instagram / @mannyngo_yogi

The kit I chose was a butterfly themed one and set me back just £10.00 – it comes complete with two generous-sized natural, child-friendly homemade play dough (yass!), a handful of cut pipe-cleaners, lots of coloured lolly sticks, flower sequins and tiny buttons – all neatly packed in a cute white storage box which is my fave. We had one green play dough and one brown one which I turned into blue with some leftover food colouring in the cupboard as little man wanted blue. As I bought the kit a while ago, there was some crunchy salt residue around the dough but no problem at all. I just rolled it in my hands with the food colouring, added a little oil and voila – it was good as new again! Now I bought this kit in summer so it’s lasted pretty well. The play dough had not gone off, it still smelt fresh and new.

Note to self… NahdzAdventures makes seriously GOOD homemade play dough.

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The kids are playing nicely and are loving the kit!

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Everything that comes in the kit is completely reusable

To my astonishment, the kids actually sat down and played really well with each other. Okay, they didn’t want to share each other’s dough but were nice enough to sit down for at least 30mins sharing the lollysticks, buttons and sequins and actually having fun with crafts. With Ams, she does love all the arts and crafts more than Little man but he had a good go with it.

After 40mins had passed, things started to get messy… we ended up getting glitter involved which went EVERYWHERE, I had an attempt at making my own playdough as Ams wanted a blue one of her own (that got destroyed beyond saving afterwards), and the whole kit was on the floor. Usually I would’ve had a fit at that point but something inside me that changed my mindset – I was cool as a cucumber. I think it was a realisation that this was the one craft activity that I didn’t mind being messy – I was happy to clean it up as the kids had so much fun with it and seeing their smiley faces light up… just that thought alone was enough to get me by.

… also, the whole kit is reusable so why on earth wouldn’t I want to pick it all up and pack it away for another day?!

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Ams making her own butterfly.. not sure which body part the sticks are but the pipe-cleaners I think are the antennae lol

Both of them had a little bit of help in the end to create their final masterpiece; Little man wanted to make a butterfly so I helped him section the wings and he did the rest. Ams wanted to make a panda so I created the body outline and she was adamant she wanted to do the rest. 🙂

As this went down so well, I’ll try another crafty Sunday with them and we’ll see if we can get the same response. If not then maybe we’ll save it for another rainy day… I’m sure they’ll be eager to crack open the play dough box again VERY SOON.

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The end result: a butterfly and a panda

Play dough recipes are widely available online so you can easily make your own. Or if you’re like me and can never really get it right and don’t know how/have the time to piece all the little crafty bits together, the play dough kit is really nice to have… they also make good gifts. 🙂

PS. if you’re London-based, Nahdia holds sensory play workshops monthly on a Saturday … look out for them on Eventbrite or Hoop – we’ve been a few times and they are super fun! (Check out our photos from previous workshops below)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family Lifestyle Blogger

 

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The Wandering Mother Blog | Family & Lifestyle: Christmas

How to involve children in Christmas Day preparations

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and this is even more true when you have children around to share in the magic of it all. The wonder in your children’s eyes at everything from the decorations that are put up at home to the amazing lights that adorn the streets in town is bound to put a smile on your face. Trying to figure out how to involve them in the preparations during the festive period, however, may do the exact opposite. Here are a few top tips on how to involve them from how to get rid of paint smell quickly after a messy afternoon of fun, to quiet ideas to keep them out of trouble while you’re busy stuffing the turkey in the kitchen.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

Get them to decorate for you
One of the best parts of Christmas is getting to pop up a Christmas tree and some decorations around your home. Regardless of whether you like a small basic tree with a few baubles or you like to light up the whole house in a really dramatic fashion, getting your children to do part, most or all of the decorating will give you a chance to put your feet up for at least a moment or two.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

Get your craft on
If you are not already a fan of Pinterest, now is a time to get involved in it. There are so many crafty ideas available online that will both involve your children in fun activities for Christmas and keep them out of your hair for a while; from creating lolly pop stick Christmas trees to painting toilet roll cardboard white and creating a snowman from it. You need not worry about how to get rid of paint smell once the crafting is finished, because after all it is Christmas time so lighting a Christmassy cinnamon candle is perfectly acceptable!

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Christmas prep with the kids

Get your bake on
Whether you fix up a batch of homemade mince pies and a yummy Christmas pudding, or even a simple selection of cupcakes which you cheat and pop Christmas themed cupcake toppers onto; there are so many ways that children can be involved in baking for Christmas. Rolling out pastry for gingerbread men and egg washing the tops of mince pies will not only involve your children, but also make them feel as if they have really helped you out and they will be so proud of what they have helped create.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores

Give them easy chores to do
You will be inundated with things to do at Christmas, from wrapping the gifts for your family to ensuring that the turkey is stuffed and basted to perfection. Asking your children to help out doing simple things such as dusting the surfaces around your home, cleaning up after themselves and putting their own washing away will make your life so much easier.

So, whether you were unsure of how to get rid of paint smell after festive arts & crafts, or simply needed a few ideas to involve your children in all of the prep for the upcoming festivities; these tips should help you on your way to having a very merry Christmas!

A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira from Cleanipedia

Self Reflection And Expression Through Drawing

I’ve been self-reflecting a lot more these past few months however I haven’t been able to express it on here like before. LO has been very demanding these past couple of months. I am not sure if it’s because he’s now moved to the toddler room at nursery or because he is approaching that scary “Terrible Twos” stage.

I’ve also decided to get a bit creative again – I let LO do some drawings then I went over them with my own little doodle designs. Here’s a pic of what I did:

Our doodles

LO’s doodles are in pencil and mine are in pen. I just let my hand and mind flow, there was no “set” idea and this is what I came up with… quite beautiful I thought. When I look at it really abstractly, I feel like I can see a 3/4 profile portraiture. Can you see what I see too? Or do you see something else?

I plan to do a little more reflecting on myself this week too so I will only be posting up the “usuals” which are the blog challenges and my own weekly posts such as the #HTOTW (hashtag of the week) ones. I’ve been thinking about life; work, family, love and friendship a lot more recently than ever before. Maybe it’s due to the stress levels rising… i’m constantly tired and just wish my birthday was coming round quicker. 🙂

For LO’s birthday we have booked Legoland!! We’re going next week – we are all excited but especially me as I’ve wanted to go for so long and now I can finally get the chance to go! I will definitely be taking loads of photos and will post some up on here the week after. Well, I am getting a bit tired now. It’s 10:44pm so I think it’s time to go and rest. LO is also still awake so I need to put the little monster to bed. Good night everyone!

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

Homemade Paint For Babies And Toddlers

This is something that I learnt from LO’s nursery. It’s also a very cheap way of providing your little ones with cheap and convenient paints that can be easily discarded, not harmful to the kids if they accidentally eat it, and relatively easy to clean.

The paint mixture is simply made up of cornflour, water and food colouring – simply household things that you may already have in your kitchens. I don’t have any specific measurements but I use a ratio of 1:1 parts cornflour to water for a more watery consistency or 2:1 parts cornflour to water to create a thicker consistency more similar to paint. I usually only add a drop of colouring so the colours aren’t too strong in case they cause stains.

The Greenwich Mummy | Homemade Paints For Babies And Toddlers

LO had a brilliant time painting with his homemade paint 🙂 I had only pink food colouring in the cupboard so that’s what we used. As it went down a treat, I am going to pop our and get some more food colouring so he’s got a few more colours to play with. LO always puts things in his mouth without a doubt so knowing that if he decided to have a taste/drink of the homemade paint I don’t have to worry too much.

If you’re planning to give it a try, I highly recommend it as it’s much cheaper and easier to manage that buying those child-friendly poster paints which can become costly so it’s just better to make your own homemade paint for your babies and/or toddlers.

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject

The #ArtyProject: Update 2

I cannot believe that it has been two weeks already since my last #ArtyProject post!

It’s crazy how quickly time flies. Anyways, let’s get cracking on our second update – yay! 🙂 So I started off my creating another collage and then followed up with a mind map. The collage looks at the application of makeup – as we use makeup as a way of ‘beautifying’ ourselves I thought this was a cool little collage to do for fun and to help me come up with some more ideas.

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

I soon remembered back to my A-Level Art project that I picked vanity as a subject and did a lot of work with photos of myself in portrait form and combining it with magazine cuttings to create a mixed media collage. I looked on my beloved Pinterest and went searching for similar work. I typed in Art Beauty Collages or something along those lines and found so many pieces that fit in perfectly with what I am doing but these artists’ work are most similar to what I’m doing; Gabi Trinkaus and photographers Metra Bruno and Laurence Jeanson

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

I have written that this my mixed media piece is an interpretation of Trinkaus’ work however when I did this collage, I hadn’t yet found that image so it’s very strange that both pieces look so similar! I was actually trying to re-create that self-portrait collage that I did in collage using the same technique. I then started looking at natural faces vs plastic faces – loads of people have surgical procedures on their face to make them look more ‘beautiful’. The two photographers, Bruno and Jeanson explored how people would look like with plastic surgery using tape and magazine cutouts like myself. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

My response to this was by doing a sketch of my face – this time from observation by looking in the mirror instead of using a photograph. I played around with various magazine cuttings and snipped out facial features that I saw as ‘beautiful’ such as narrow noses, bigger and wider eyes, and fuller lips. Apart from the full lips, this is what most Asian women would deem as being beautiful – especially the wider eyes and narrow nose. I’m quite fortunate to have a small nose but deeply remember my mother criticising my Asian friend’s nose as it was “too low and ugly”. Not cool. However, most Asian cultures are brainwashed into believing that if you want to be beautiful, you need to look like the westerners.

There’s a piece by Esther Honig that shows how an untouched photograph of a young girl would look like when it is retouched by different countries to depict that country’s view on beauty. I’ve extracted a few of the photos and put them side-by-side below so you can see exactly what each country has done to the photo and you can really see a significant difference between all of them. Indonesia was the only “Asian” country they had on there but as you can see, the perception of Asian beauty is exactly what I had thought; lighter skin and brighter wider eyes.

The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

All the stuff I found out was very interesting as I didn’t know other countries tweaked their images to portray their vision of beauty like the Asians do. I now want to move away from just makeup and explore aesthetics and cosmetic surgery a bit more.

Most Asian women that I know (i.e. my mother and her friends) have ALL been under the knife for something. Whether it’s for a boob job, nose job or facial reconstruction – they’ve done it. All to be more youthful, more beautiful. What does this say to their daughters or grand-daughters? I don’t really know. I personally have thought about work done but I am unsure whether I would actually go ahead with it (this is hypothetically speaking as I can’t afford it anyway). Although, botox is only a few hundred pounds per area and lip filler is about £300 so I could get those dreamy fuller lips and wrinkle-free if I saved up. I found another Pinterest image that I thought would be great for the next step in my project which I will look into more and explore Bruno and Jeanson’s work a little more. The Greenwich Mummy | The #ArtyProject Update 2

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project update and don’t forget to look out for it in about two weeks time. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out all of the other girls who are also taking part in this project and see what they’re getting up to…

ZOE | VICKY | MARYAM | ANNABEL | DANIELLE
MILLI | SARAH | ULI | CLARA | EMMA | JHO | CIARA

Thanks for reading!Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Toucan Box Reviews

For Kids: ToucanBox craft activity box review

I love trying out new subscription boxes whether it’s food, beauty and skincare, or in this case arts & crafts. I introduce to you… ToucanBox. It’s a fortnightly or monthly subscription service that sends out craft activities for you to do with your children. Upon sign-up the company gathers all the important info i.e. your name, address, how many children you want to subscribe, and the age of the child so they know what tasks are do-able for their age. You can also add information such as the types of things your children likes i.e. cars, toys, science, messy play, colours, etc.

For our first Toucan box, we signed up for the petite box which costs just £3.95 plus P+P.
The box is a fortnightly subscription with one activity per box.

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For our box, we got a pirate activity. We needed to make a parrot and treasure map which was actually a lot of fun! The box included all the essentials we needed for the activity. We got a glue stick, paint brush, tea bag, paper, cut-out parrot, lolly stick, feathers, crayons, stickers, and instructions on how to make it as well as other promo stuff like cards to give others a complimentary box.

As LO won’t really know how to use the treasure map I decided we could still give it a go but not put too much pressure on how readable the map would be so I let him stain the paper (which I ended up doing by myself as LO got more excited over the stickers) and then he stuck the stickers on the paper once it dried and I drew the lines for him to make it a treasure map. We had some fun acting-out afterwards by using the map to pretend we were looking for hidden treasure eggs (Easter eggs we had left around the house). 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Reviews

IMG_1971

LO coloured in the parrot with the crayons and some felt tip pens that we had lying around as he couldn’t really use the crayons properly. He used the glue stick all by himself and stuck the feathers brilliantly with a bit of direction from mummy. 🙂 I helped him stick the eye in place because it would’ve been a little too tricky for him at 20 months old. I don’t think he’s mastered using his hands for crafts just yet.

LO and I really enjoyed our ToucanBox – it was a lot of fun and the activity was very simple and LO could easily enjoy doing to task without having his mummy constantly bothering him to do it. The only thing he really needed help with was the treasure map because he got bored of staining the paper really quickly I ended up doing it for him.

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Summary
Overall, The Toucan craft box is really interesting and I can see it being a fantastic choice for children over 3 years old (the recommended age groups for the boxes are 3-6 years and 5-8 years). It would make a great activity option for rainy days or something to take with you on holiday. I would also recommend giving it a go even if your children are under 3 as they can still have fun with the boxes, they just won’t be able to get use it to its full potential. Although, saying that, we only ordered the ‘petite box’. There is a ‘super box’ which costs more (around £20) but it comes with a reading book and is a monthly subscription so it’s actually a better option in terms of price and value-for-money. Like all other subscription services, it’s free to cancel and you can do it at any time so there’s no need to worry about hidden charges, etc.

Have you tried ToucanBox petite or super box before?

Things To Do This Easter Around London

There’s quite a bit going on this Easter from next week until early April for the kids. Here’s my short list of places that I think would be a cool place to go over the next two weeks. There is fun for children no matter what age they are and the places below are for the whole family to enjoy. Let’s just hope that the weather will be kind to us that week! 🙂

Things To Do This Easter Around LondonNational Maritime, Greenwich

The Maritime museum is always full of wonderful things to do but over Easter they have gone one over by holding Easter egg hunts, special workshops for the kids, arts and crafts activities, and much more. Then afterwards when the whole family is tired, take a short trip into famous Greenwich market to purchase brilliant street food and hand-made gifts.

Click here for the full list of events at the National Maritime

Things To Do This Easter Around LondonDiscover Childrens Centre, Stratford

The Discover centre has a massive indoor and outdoor play area for children from 0-11 years old so it’s the ideal place for families and friends with children of different ages. Indoors, the big play room as an area for fancy dress as well as space to just run around and be free. The outdoor area as an amazing large space for running around as well as equipment like the swings, slides, monkey bars, etc. The Discover Children’s Centre can also be hired for birthday parties and special events.

Click here for more on the Discover Childrens Centre

Things To Do This Easter Around LondonScience Museum, South Kensington

The Science museum is a sure way to introduce your little ones to science in a fun and playful way. The gallery offers two play areas; The Garden which is aimed at children aged 3-6 and the Pattern Pod which is aimed at children aged 5-8. The Garden is offers interactive play so if your children are under 5, this room is probably the better option out of the two to experience.

Click here to see more about the Science Museum

Things To Do This Easter Around LondonTumbling Bay Playground, QE Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Park offers a brilliant outdoor playground for older children to have fun and and be interested in nature. Discover life in the rock pools, have fun in the sandpit, and when the kids are low on energy treat them to a delicious meal at the local restaurant.

Click here for more details on the Tumbling Bay Playground

Charlton’s Easter Egg Hunt & Fair

Charlton’s Easter Egg Hunt & Fair
Click here to #helplanghorne find the Big Red Bus Club

Fun and games for Easter start on Saturday morning in Charlton (SE7) as Langhorne, the Charlton Easter bunny, is lost and needs your help find his way to the Big Red Bus Club on Saturday 28th March.

He is a big white bunny so you shouldn’t be able to miss him, he’s got a basket full of eggs! If you do see him, make sure you direct him to the Big Red Bus Club on Cemetery Lane and be sure to follow him as the club’s Easter fair has loads of games, activities, crafts, and yummy cakes lined up for the little ones to enjoy.

To prepare the public for the fun day out, why not join in by doing the following:

1) Tweeting #helplanghorne with your message

2) Email the following link: http://www.thebigredbusclub.com/helplanghorne to your friends and family

3) Share this page on Facebook or twitter

4) Come along on the day and bring everyone you know!

About The Big Red Bus Club
The Big Red Bus Club is run during term-time only by a group of dedicated volunteers. The club runs stay & play classes for under 5s every weekday from 12:30pm to 3pm for those who want somewhere to meet up with other mums and let their children play for free. The venue is also available for hire for birthday parties and events and all of the hiring costs goes to the club to keep it open and free to the public. For venue hire, please take a look at the site and contact the head volunteer, Tara.

http://www.thebigredbusclub.com