Table Hammocks – Simple Fun for Kids

Table Hammocks 4

After having the kids home sick all week I was desperate for something to keep them quiet but happy and came up with this! A new take on the usual sheet over the table tent – we created table hammocks! And it was so easy and they had hours of entertainment – simply using a queen sized sheet tied over the top of the table 🙂 (Turns out this is not an original idea – but it was to me ha ha – the joys of Google prove me wrong but happy to share my version :-))

(Please ensure that you take all practical steps to ensure safety for your little ones and do so at your own risk with constant supervision,  consider the child’s age, strength of your table, child’s understanding and size of your child before you set this up please- I cannot accept responsibility for you trying this at home)

What you need:

Queen sized sheet
Strong Sturdy Dining Table (a Must!)

How:

Simply take two opposite corners (on the diagonal) of the large sheet bring them up from underneath the table tie them on top of the table. We tied it width ways across our table (which is approx. 1.2m wide) You may want to try a few times to get the sheet the right height – high enough so they are off the ground – not too high so they are kissing the table! 😉 You will need to tie a tight strong double knot.

Table Hammocks 2

Once you have the sheet tied to a suitable height, take your little one under the table and teach them how to hop in – bottoms first in the very centre of the hanging sheet – then gently lay back and lift their feet, after a few tries they will be away! Once they are in they can pull the sides of the sheet out a little to make a wider hammock if needed so their shoulders are supported – the other corners of the sheet make a comfy cover if they want to snuggle down in there and pull them over like a blanket.

When they are ready to get out – teach them to gently roll out and come out of the table on their hands and knees to ensure they do not bang their heads.

Table Hammocks 1

This is one of those activities that is so simple and easy BUT you need to use common sense. My table is very very strong solid wood – I know it would not collapse under their weight and I did not allow them to swing when they are in there so they did not bang their heads etc and also taught them the safe way to get in and out. I double knotted the sheets and checked it from time to time to make sure the knot was still strong.

So my 3 loved it – we started with only one hammock and quickly needed to accommodate all of them under there – they took in a wee table with some fruit on it, books, teddies and dollys, even the ipad was played on under there. It made a special place just for them – somewhere quiet they could be and create their own special world. We covered the whole table with a large sheet so it was cosy and snug in a little world made for 3.

And it saved my sanity on a sick day!

Table Hammocks 3

Feel free to ask any questions if you are not sure how to set it up = but try it a few times first and see how it goes – remember the opposite corners on a diagonal on the sheet.

Thanks for stopping by to check out this quick easy idea for kids – I have more under the Fun Kids Activities tab and lots and lots of yummy recipes too.

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Lolly Cake

Lolly Cake 3

Lolly Cake is a bit of a kiwi tradition, available in most cafes and very popular with the kids. I am not sure if there is an equivalent around the world so let me know in the comments below if you have something similar where you are from and how you make it 🙂

There are only a few ingredients and the lolly’s are called Fruit Puffs, you can get them at some supermarkets but they are also available at Bin Inn.

Ingredients

250 g malt biscuits (one packet)
120 g butter
200 g sweetened condensed milk
180 g of Fruit Puffs (you can easily substitute for other soft sweets)
100 g desiccated coconut

Lolly Cake 1

Method

Melt the butter in either the microwave or stove top and add condensed milk, mix together well.

Crush the biscuits in a food processor – they do not need to be a fine crumb – a few bigger bits adds to the texture and pour into a large bowl.

Cut the fruit puffs in half or quarters if you wanted smaller bits.

Lolly cake 2

Pour the butter mixture into the biscuits and mix well, add the fruit puffs and stir well.

Pour the mixture into a dish or onto the bench and using your hands mould it into a log like shape – you need to man handle it all pretty firmly as the fruit puffs tend to want to escape! (Alternatively you can press it into a slice pan and sprinkle with coconut, or even roll them into balls)

Once you have a log shape, roll in the coconut and using your hands cover the entire log with a light dusting of coconut.

Lolly Cake 4

Set back into a slice pan and refrigerate until set. Slice into 1.5cm pieces and you can either store in the fridge or in an airtight container. It will last up to 3 days at least.

Lolly Cake 7

I hope you enjoy this quick easy recipe that is a hit with kids and adults alike.

Feel free to have a good look around the blog for more recipes & fun kids activities and you can follow me by registering your email above, or check me out on Facebook & Twitter to get my latest recipes as I post them.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Coconut Ice Easter Eggs

Coconit Ice Easter Eggs 9

When I was thinking of what Easter Treat I could make this week I remembered making these when I was in school many years ago and thought I had to give them a go and I am really pleased with how they turned out!

I used an uncooked coconut ice recipe so it as really easy for the kids to make as well and easy to work with as it is cold.

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 8

So here are my spin on a Coconut Ice Easter Egg, complete with a yellow yolk and chocolate coating.

Please note – I halved this recipe today – it made 10 eggs reasonable sized eggs, if you are making this whole amount you will need to use a larger tray to place eggs on.  You could easily make them smaller too so the recipe will go further 🙂

Ingredients

3 1/2 Cups Icing Sugar
3 Cups Desiccated Coconut
1 tin Condensed Milk (400g)
1 tsp vanilla essence
Yellow food colouring
Chocolate for Coating – Milk or Dark & White for the fancy schmancy decoration
(Optional – white chocolate powdered colours)

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 1

Method

Combine the icing sugar, coconut, condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl and blend well. Once it begins to come together use your hands to kneed it until completely combined.

Take 1/4 of the mixture and pop this into a separate bowl and add a few drops of yellow food colouring. I also mixed this with my hands but be prepared for your skin to go a little yellow too! 🙂

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 2

Take a teaspoon sized piece of yellow coconut ice and roll it into a ball, repeat with remaining mixture.

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 3

Take a large tablespoon sized piece of the white coconut ice and pat it flat in your hand and pop the yellow ball inside. Gently mould the white around the yellow and once all covered in gently roll it in your hands until you get a round ball – then gently squeeze the ball to make it more egg shaped.

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 5

Pop the completed eggs on some greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes until set.

Melt 200g of Milk or Dark Chocolate (I used Whittakers Creamy Milk – yum!) in the microwave in 20 second bursts until the chocolate has completely melted.

Drop the egg into the chocolate mixture and using a spoon turn the egg to completely cover with chocolate. Using the spoon carefully lift the mixture and hold it over the melted chocolate until most of the drips come off then lay it on the greaseproof paper. It does not look flash but that is why I am Just a Mum and not a professional chocolatier! 😉

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 6

Pop the chocolate covered eggs back in the fridge. They look great just as they are and would make any person old or young happy just like that. But if you want to make them look a little more festive, melt 50-100g of white chocolate in the microwave in 20 second bursts until completely melted.

Using a teaspoon take a scoop of the chocolate and hold it about 30 cm above the eggs and begin to quickly flick the spoon back and forth – with a bit of luck, it will leave strings of chocolate across the eggs! If not it will leave large blobs of chocolate and a bit of swearing but that is fine too as really we are not planning on winning awards with our Easter Eggs!

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 7

Chill the Eggs until you are ready to serve – the chocolate will not keep for long outside the fridge so store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you need them. How cool do they look!

Coconut Ice Easter Egg 10

I have in my stores the proper white chocolate powdered colouring, I highly recommend it as it was quite reasonably priced (bought from Trade Me) and has lasted for ages as you use so little. You cannot colour white chocolate with regular liquid food colouring as it will spoil the chocolate.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Coconut Ice Easter Eggs – I would love to hear from anyone who has made these before and if these are how they remember doing them.

Coconit Ice Easter Eggs 9

Feel free to have a good look around the blog for more recipes & fun kids activities and you can follow me by registering your email above, or check me out on Facebook & Twitter to get my latest recipes as I post them.

Coconut Ice Easter Eggs 8

Happy Easter! 😀

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Easter Nests

Easter Nests 6

This is such a simple recipe and a super easy Easter Treat! Only a few ingredients and the result is a lovely rich dark chocolate nest complete with mini Easter Eggs. This would be a great recipe to make up with school children at Easter time too 🙂

I have used cornflakes today but shredded wheat is also a popular option however it is not easy to come by in New Zealand. Simply use the same quantities if you replace it – break it up into little pieces so it resembles twigs in a nest a little more than cornflakes do!

Makes 10 Nests

Easter Nests 7

Ingredients

110g dark chocolate
2 TBSP Golden Syrup
50g butter
80g cornflakes
30 mini Easter eggs

Easter Nests 3

Method

Prepare a muffin tray with cupcake cases – I used some large old ones I had as you will not need them to display the nests.

Add the dark chocolate, golden syrup and butter to a saucepan and melt over a low heat until completely combined and chocolate melted.

Easter Baskets 1

Add the cornflakes to the chocolate mixture and gently combine – it can take a minute or so to completely cover the cornflakes in chocolate.

Add a large tablespoon full of cornflakes to the cupcake case, create a nest shape as best you can by gently pressing down the centre of the mixture with the back of a teaspoon.

Easter Nests 2
If you would like the eggs to stick to the nest then put them in now – alternatively leave it until they are set.

Refrigerate the nests until completely cooled, approx. 1 hour, carefully peel cupcake cases from the nests, add 3 eggs per nest and serve! Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Easter Nests 4

Thank you for stopping by to check out this cute Easter Recipe – have a wander around the blog while you are here – lots of Sweet Treats to tempt the baker in you.

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Happy Easter 🙂

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Salt Dough Volcano – Sciencey Fun

salt dough volcano 7My son’s homework assignment this week was to do a volcano experiment so while a friend was here we decided to give it a go. The boys wanted to use salt dough instead of playdough and if we had thought of it a few days ago we could have baked it or let it airdry. It takes several days to airdry or alternatively you bake the dough at a low temperature in the oven for several hours until fully dry and hard.

The fun with not letting it dry was they could then decorate it – with some stones, grass and ‘trees’ so it looked like a real mountain.

Ingredients for Salt Dough

1 Cup Salt
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Water

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, when it starts to just combine tip it onto the bench and knead it well until it begins to blend together and resemble a soft pliable dough.

Salt Dough Volcano 1

Using a plastic mat or tray we used a small amount of the dough to hold a plastic cup in place then we moulded the dough around the outside of the cup to look volcano like!

Salt Doug Volcano 2

The boys then raided the garden for the decorations.

Salt Dough Volcano 3

Then it was time to take it outside and get ready for the lava!

Lava Ingredients

Baking Soda
White or Malt Vinegar
Red Food Colouring

Add two Tablespoons of baking soda to the cup, then after combining white vinegar with red food colouring gently pour the vinegar into the cup – stop once the lava begins to flow out the top – and sit back and watch – it happens pretty quickly!

Salt dough volcano 6

 

salt dough volcano 7

Of course the boys wanted to do it again and again so we ended up using malt vinegar and this made quite a different slower reaction with the baking soda. We simply added a teaspoon or so more baking soda each time and again gently pour in the vinegar.

salt dough volcano 9

So much fun, yes its messy and the dough is ruined but the fun they had was worth it!

I recommend if you have the time making the salt dough a few days out and mould around an old cup that is suitable for baking. Then you can paint the volcano appropriate colours and if you have some use lacquer to seal the volcano so you can use it again and again.

A week or so ago we did this but without the salt dough volcano and it was just as much fun! All you need is a suitable container for the ‘volcano’ and a lid or tray to catch the lava. Easy!

volcano 1

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Have Fun! 🙂

Chocolate Weetbix Slice

Weetbix Slice 9

This is such a quick easy recipe – and a great one for the kids to make on their own as they get older. Perfect for lunch boxes or to fill up the baking tins.

Ingredients

180g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup dessicated coconut
3 weetbix, crushed
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
(Optional, you can add raisins, chocolate chips or nuts to this for added flavour & texture)

Weetbix slice 1

Method

Preheat oven to 180C (355F)

Melt the butter and add the vanilla.

Weetbix Slice 2

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients

Weetbix Slice 3

Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients

Weetbix Slice 4

Combine well and press into a lined slice tray

Weetbix Slice 6Weetbix Slice 7

Cook for 15-20 minutes until it begins to firm up.

Cool and ice with basic chocolate icing and sprinkle with coconut or chocolate sprinkles to finish. Cut the slice into portions and store in an airtight container.

Weetbix Slice 8

Thank you for taking the time to check out this recipe. To keep up to date with all my recipes & fun kids activities you can register your email above left, or find me on Facebook or Twitter.

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Have a wonderful day 🙂

St Patrick’s Day – Honey Rice Bubble Crunch

St Patrick's Day Honey 2

To be sure, To be sure, St Patrick’s Day is not far away! So we are turning things green in the name of celebration in our house!

This recipe is super quick and easy to whip up using my Honey Rice Bubble Slice Recipe, check it out Here

You can either use it as a slice or use cupcake cases for something fun for a party.

Ingredients

125g Butter diced
125g Sugar
2 Heaped TBSP Honey – I use clover honey
4 cups Rice Bubbles
Green Food Colouring

Honey Rice Bubble Crunch 5

Method

In a large sauce pan gently heat the butter, sugar and honey over a low heat.

Honey Rice Bubble Crunch 6

Be sure to scrape the sides occasionally so the sugar does not burn. Stir constantly to ensure it does not stick at the bottom until it begins to boil then with occasional stirring allow to boil for approx. 4 minutes. You will notice the colour and smell begins to change and the consistency becomes slightly sticky. Add your green food colouring at this stage – a few drops goes a long way.

St Patrick's Day Honey 1

Remove from the heat and add the Rice Bubbles and mix well. Pour mixture into a lined 20 x 20 slice pan and set aside or pop in fridge to cool.

Once almost cooled remove from pan and slice into desired size pieces. Alternatively use cupcake cases and spoon the mixture into them and set aside to cool – if you use a second spoon to scrape off the mixture you will save burnt fingers!

St Patrick's Day Honey 3

I hope you enjoy this fun easy recipe that has been modified for St Patrick’s Day. You can find me on Facebook to keep up to date with my yummy recipes and lots of fun activities for kids.

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Have a super day! 😀