Introducing Children to Nature with Fun and Games

There are many ways to introduce toddlers and young children to nature. No matter where you live there will always be something to see. So here are my top tips on how you can start showing off the nature where you live, to your children. It’s never too early to start learning!

And I am sure that David Attenborough would agree with me when I say that “You’re never too young or too old to learn about the world around you”.

By making things fun children are more likely to learn and remember the information you are portraying. You can still stay safe at home but enjoy nature around where you live by keeping to social distancing guidelines.

Here are my Top 5 things to do at Home but Outside! Be it in your Garden or if you don’t have one you could just go on a Walk around your village or town or park. It may be lockdown but that doesn’t stop you walking socially distanced from other families.

Children are more likely to learn and listen if you turn things into fun and a game. So why not make your own games up, or take a look at my ideas below.

1. Bird Spotting
2. Bug Finding
3. Pick a Creature – Try To Find It
4. What Is That I See? What Is Around My Home
5. Eye Spy Lockdown Edition

1. Bird Spotting is easy enough to do, take a notepad and pen with you and write everyone’s names at the top. Make columns down the page and write down every different sort of bird that you spot. The person who spots the most species of birds is the winner!

2. Bug Finding is great fun in a small space, depending on how old your children are you could just spot basic bugs and say things like “Beetle” or “Spider” or you can go into what type of bug you are looking at such as “Stag Beetle” etc. You could even ask little ones to draw what they saw on the walk from their memory when you get back home.

3. Pick a Creature is a great game to play with children who already know what certain animals are. Take a walk and get everyone to pick something, one person might count Crows, the other Cats, another Pigeons, but whatever it is they have to keep score of their creature until you get home.

4. What is that I see? Use your knowledge of things around where you live and discuss things with your children like the seasons, if there are evergreen trees, what colour the flowers are you can find, any buildings and their purpose etc.

5. Eye Spy Lockdown Edition is literally eye spy but your children are only allowed to pick one type of thing during your walk. You could say just birds, or just objects, whatever is best for your children’s age.

Books I Recommend

I recently invested in several books for my son who is two and a half. He is interested in matching things up lately so I thought books with pictures of things to spot when we go out for a walk are ideal. I also have a number of nature books I have collected over my lifetime, anything with large pictures and easy to see nature depicting scenes are engaging for most children.

“Usborne Minis” are Great little books ideal to carry with you on a walk, and they have a range so you could pick which is most relevant to you and where you live, for example Birds, Trees or Bugs. There are always National Trust books and also RSPB for birds. Another great book I own is the DK Pocket Nature Wildlife of Britain book, it’s a few years old now but has excellent photography and information about British wildlife.

Of course you can always use a search engine on your phone to find out what you’ve seen, but the joy of these sorts of books is being able to mark things off when you have spotted them. The Usborne Mini book set have stickers for you to place on a grid inside the book in order to tick them off. This is great because you also have to identify the sticker as well as the creature or tree for example. Simple but it’s still learning at its best.

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope I have inspired you to get out and about in your area with your children (or just your other half). I have many more lockdown friendly ideas coming up over the next few weeks, so please check back another time if you enjoyed this post.

Have a lovely week!

✩ Sabrina ✩

A Week of Positive Things – Sabrina’s Tips for having a more Positive 7 Days at Home

A Week of Positive Things

Sabrina’s Top Tips for having a more Positive 7 Days

Everyone seems to be feeling a bit low lately, it’s bound to be the Winter Blues mixed in with everything to do with the Pandemic. There are so many people who have found themselves working from home again, and many young people who are studying at home again too. With all this time stuck at home there are lots of anxious feelings and negativity, so I’m here with some suggestions to try and put a positive spin back into your home environment!

So here is my solution to tackle the blues, try to take half an hour out of your day as a family unit, every afternoon for the next week, after work is over and after the schooling is done for the day. Pick one of these ideas of mine to do together, a different one every day in any order you like.

I guarantee they will have you feeling more positive by the end of day 7! You can do them in any order you like! Or do one of them twice if it’s a hit! If you play along please comment on this post or on my socials at the end of the week and tell me which activity your family preferred and whether these activities did in fact work for you and increase your family’s positive attitudes.

  1. Go for a Walk (Weather Dependent) and play a game as you go! Ideal for parents with younger children who are still enthralled by the nature of “eye spy”. But the fresh air and endorphins combined should make all of you feel better too. Older children may want to go for a jog or a bike ride if that’s more your thing, so long as it’s half an hour outdoors with your family, all together.

  2. Watch a Funny TV Show or Cartoon. Laugher really can help you to feel better, even for a brief moment, so why not stick on a tv show or a favourite cartoon that never failed to make you laugh and giggle together. Tom and Jerry is a good one!

  3. Bake or Make Something Delicious! I have a ton of recipes on my blog and some don’t even take that long to do. So why not make some chocolate crispy cakes or even some rocky road, something simple and even something that doesn’t require baking to save you time! Then you’ll have a tasty treat for a few afternoons to come! See what you’ve got in the cupboard! Here is my baking section HERE.

  4. Get Creative. You can do one of two things with this creative activity depending upon the age of the people in your household. Either, do a rotating draw-off where by you each start with a piece of A4 paper and one coloured pen (all varying colours) and you keep rotating the papers every minute, do this until 4 minutes is up. Everyone should’ve drawn on each of the pieces of paper. No talking! See what you’ve come up with! Share them with me on social media! #SabrinasCreativeCrafts
    OR
    You can play the Sentences Game. The idea is to make up a creative story, it should be funny, and you once again rotate the papers. This time you want long strips and not A4. Cut a vertical A4 in half twice or get your strips. Once the first minute is up and the first sentence has been written, you all fold over the section and pass it on. When the time is up you each open up the papers to find a story.

    For example;
    There once was a man who couldn’t find his shoes.
    I think I want some KFC he thought.
    He headed off in the direction of the sunset.
    In the end his dog ran away and joined the circus.

    If you have teenagers then you could play the game another way, this is called CONSEQUENCES, you start by writing on each of the papers the following things, add extra if you have a large family so that everyone will get a go at each section when the papers are passed on. They usually go like this…
    ___
    Met
    ___
    At
    ___
    They said ___
    What happened next was ___ OR The Consequence was ___

    Then unroll it after everyone has had their turn and the sections are completed, then take turns in reading them out. See my photo below this list for an idea of what it would look like when you finished! Warning my examples may cause laughter!

  5. Photos! Another fun thing that would brighten your spirits is to look back at any photo albums that you have or digital slideshows. You could even play a game while you look through them. Every time that your mum is seen with sunglasses on she gets a point, each time someone hasn’t got their hat on when they should you lose a point! First person to spot the water in the photos gets a point. Etc etc! Make up some rules before you start and say that the first person to 10 points gets out of doing the washing up tonight! Or the winner chooses what’s for dinner the next night! Involve one another in every day things.

  6. Write a List of Goals and Aspirations for 2021 – but only write the do-able ones! For example, I want to bake a cake for mums birthday. OR I would like to walk a mile on the next weekend that is dry and sunny. When you achieve something, even if it’s a little thing, you feel so much better about having accomplished it. Setting some realistic goals now for the year might seem silly when we don’t know what’s around the corner, however even if the goals are just for the people in your bubble, it’s still doable. Put them up on your fridge or board and tick yours off when you have completed it.

  7. Make a Meal Together. No matter how old you all are there is something fun about making dinner together. May I suggest something that everyone can get stuck into such as Fajitas, Curry, Sausages and Mash or Lasagne (dietary requirements permitting). I have tons of recipes on my blog if you need inspiring! But making and preparing food together before you eat it can be a real bonding experience, and it can also be important for teaching younger children where foods come from or that by mixing this with that you achieve this outcome. Food is something that has been so important during the first lockdowns so I thought I would continue on with that and try and get you back into your kitchen to make something you love together. Check out my Recipes HERE.
Why Not Try And Make My Delicious Cookies? Click the link in section 3 for the recipe!
The Consequences Game – Imaginative Fun for the older children in your family.

I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog post and that you would like to participate in my week of positivity. If you do participate in any of them or attempt to get those in your bubble to do so, then please let me know how you got on! I can’t wait to see if you make anything as well 🙂 tag me online! And thanks for joining me!

✩ Sabrina ✩

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HALLOWEEN 2020 – How to Make Memories for a First Halloween and create Fun for a Halloween at home during this difficult year

Halloween is one of those holidays where people either love it or loathe it. Whether or not you like Fancy Dress and Decorating your Home, it’s an important right of passage for your little ones to experience the fun of a Halloween.

If it’s their first Halloween then I have lots of ideas that you could achieve easily at home and make some nice memories and keepsakes to show the child when they are older.

With the pandemic still affecting us all, there are many children who would love to be trick or treating and having fun and games with their friends. It’s highly likely not to happen this Halloween 2020, however that doesn’t mean you cannot do things at home.

WHAT IS IN THIS BLOG POST… HALLOWEEN 2020

  • Fancy Dress Photo Shoot Fun – My Tips and Tricks
  • Hand and Feet Print Halloween Decorations – Fun Family Keepsakes
  • Halloween Games with Treats to be Found (at home) – My Lockdown Halloween Trick or Treat Ideas
  • Baking with Halloween Shapes – Fun Baking Tips for the Family to do together
  • What Else Can You Do With Halloween Baking Cutters as Stencils!

Fancy Dress Photoshoot at Home

One way in which I always like to remember a holiday event or day is to do a photo shoot. For the last two years I have dressed my son up and surrounded him with a variety of Halloween related items. I got some good photographs doing this at home that I can treasure. If you set it up correctly you won’t need to pay anyone to take photographs for you.

You Will Need

A decent camera or a phone with a decent camera
A camera which has a timer if you want to do a family portrait
Natural light coming through a door or window is best for colours
Fancy Dress items and any props that you would like to include

  • My Photography Tips
  • Natural Light is important to get clear and sharp imagery.
  • Use fairy lights to add depth to your image (supervised around the child/ren of course).
  • Props are important and make sure you arrange them so they can be seen, if you’re going for a theme try and stick to it.
  • If you want things to be inside the frame then choose your layout carefully and keep looking through the camera lens as a guide.
  • A sofa or chair is ideal to sit a baby on or you could even use a ball pit or a rocker with a sheet over it to block out any unwanted branding or colours.
  • Set up your photo shoot before you get a baby ready otherwise they may get fed up rather quickly if you ignore them to move things around.
  • If you can get a large pumpkin or a cushion you can sit babies inside or on top, just make sure to always have their necks supported!

If you can’t pull off a Photoshoot then why not use some Free Filters on some Photo Apps. Some of them are highly detailed. We did one to show you just how cool! And if you have older children they might be more interested in that too!

4 WAYS TO USE HALLOWEEN BAKING CUTTERS AS STENCILS

I’m not very good at drawing so using these cutters as outlines was a great idea for me! If you can draw well you won’t need to do this! Ha! Ha!


Halloween Decorations

Halloween Posters

Halloween Colouring In


Halloween Baking

I drew around the shapes and outlined them in pen, then let my child colour it in.

Halloween Decorations

Making Halloween Decorations is easier than you think! So long as you have got some card and some paint. There are tons of ways you can make nice posters or decorations. Here is how I have made mine…

Pumpkins – Apples Halved and Dipped in Paint.
Spider – Hand Prints leaving off the thumb so fingers make 8 legs.
BOO – B and two hands for the O’s.
Ghost – Foot Print (upside down)

I’m planning to cut out the Pumpkins once they are fully dry and hang them up against my window.

You can make a Halloween poster for your window or you can cut the items out and hang them up with string.

Trick or Treat at home won’t be the same, but it can still be fun!
Check out my ideas below!

1. Make Every Room A Different Theme with a Different Sweet to Find. You can tailor them to meet the needs of your family, no choke-able sweets for little ones etc. If you don’t do Sweets you could use Numbered Fruit like Apples which result in a Toy prize if they find them all.

2. Make It A Halloween Treasure Hunt with the Treasure being Sweets! Write little clues on paper for the kids to follow. Create traps and fun obstacles for them to overcome, riddles and rhyming works well too!
“Where you Sleep, Often Deep, Beneath the Covers is what you Seek!” things like that, E.G Under their bed covers is a Sweet or another Clue.

3. Use A Dice And Clues to Make a Halloween Game of your Own! Using how many rooms you have and how many children, you can send each child off to a room where they have to either complete a task or seek and find the next clue, which once put together with their siblings answers, will reveal their bounty of Treats! E.G Two Siblings, they each find a clue on paper, one reads KITC and the other HEN and when put together they go to the KITCHEN for the next clue etc.

HALLOWEEN BAKING

I have done some step by step baking videos on my Halloween cookie baking and these are available to watch on my Facebook page, I will drop you the link here Severn Wishes on Facebook.

Find my Cookie Recipe Here too!

Before Baking
After Baking

You can use my Cookie Recipe or a Shortbread Recipe to make these awesome Halloween shaped treats!

I bought the set of cookie cutters off Amazon, if you would like the link to those then here that is… Amazon

I always do a Seasonal Bowl on my Dining Table. It is all Autumnal now!


Thank you so much for checking out this blog post today!

Please tag me over on Facebook on my page if you try and of my Halloween things! Baking, Craft or Decorations!

If you like my trick or treat at home ideas, let me know if you use them over the weekend too!

Have a great week at home everyone! Stay safe!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Fun Crafts With Children This Christmas

Hello everyone, today I’ve gone all arts and crafts on you! Most children break up from school today and I’m sure a lot of you are trying to come up with ways you can entertain everyone without it being Christmas movie after Christmas movie. Hands up if I’m right!

So what about some crafting! You can choose whichever one of these that you already have the necessary items for!
Pick one or do them all over the festive season! They make great tree decorations or cards, and perfect gifts for family members too!

Top Tip: Pop your little ones name and the year in the corner of the decoration if you’re keeping it, make one every year and compare the sizes!

It’s amazing what you can make out of a few bits of card, a pack of mixed pens and some washable paints! Why not give one of these awesome craft ideas a go with your little ones this Festive Season!

I always love the idea of doing cards! You can combine any of the below ideas and then simply cut out your finished design and stick it on to a piece of card.

Reindeer Foot Print
Penguin Foot Print
Snowman Foot Print
Christmas Tree Foot Print


Reindeer Hand Print
Robin Hand Print

What Will You Need:

A Sensible but Fun Adult 😉 with Baby Wipes at the ready!
Coloured Paper and Card
Pack of Mixed Coloured Pens, Glitter Pens are also cool too
Double Sided Tape or Pritt Stick or Glue

Washable Paints in mixed colours – I like the Crayola ones
A few different sized paint brushes or a sponge for skin application.

Scissors (one reason you need an adult)
Stickers if you want to add those or some googly eyes for your print animals

You may need a ruler, a hole punch and string or ribbon if you plan on making anything into a hanging decoration.

Use Washable Paints and some Card to make your very own Tree Decorations or Christmas Cards. It’s easy to do Hand Print Robins, Wreath or Reindeer! Or Footprint Trees, Snowmen, or Penguins!

How To Make It…

Paint your child’s Hand or Foot and carefully press it down on to your chosen card or paper.
Let it dry overnight somewhere warm.
Flatten the design for the next few hours once it’s dry.

Next you need to decide which Christmas theme to go for!
Paint, Draw or Stick on your favourite bits to make your design real!
Get an adult to do any cutting parts that are needed to make it into a decoration or card.

Toilet Roll Snowflakes are great to do too!
You need two toilet rolls per snowflake, glue, scissors, paint and glitter!
Tip One: Paint the Toilet Roll and Glitter it up first and then let it dry before cutting, at least overnight!
Tip Two: Cut all the pieces the same width and arrange it before gluing!
Tip Three: Tie some Ribbon or String to the top and hang in your home!

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed this Arts and Crafts post. Hopefully I will to see you here again soon. Have a great Festive Season!

✩ Sabrina ✩

Reindeer Child Foot Print

Reviewing the Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Silly Sounds Light-up Piano

As part of being an Argos Tester I often get sent items for reviewing purposes. This recent campaign has been surrounding Fisher-Price toys and items relevant to development and learning. It has been a great opportunity for me to introduce my son to various new things and to build that level of curiosity within play time and learning.

An Eye Catching Colourful Design on this Fun Toy

Today I’m bringing a new Argos Tester Review to my blog with the help of another fabulous Fisher-Price toy. This is the Laugh and Learn Silly Sounds Light-up Piano, and it is classed as a teaching toy.

This mini piano is great for any child who has shown an interest in liking music and sounds. It’s especially brilliant because of how easy it is to use, any infant will love to press the buttons and make the sounds and songs appear.

Learning and Fun with the Light-Up Piano

Who doesn’t like a mixture of learning and fun?

The Piano has 4 Settings with fun and learning incorporating sounds and words. Numbers, Colours, Shapes and Sound including songs that encourage children to listen and learn. Each key when pressed will be spoken by the Fisher-Price voice in either the Number, Colour or Shape. For example, “8!” “Teal” & “Diamond!” And it also sounds a little jingle afterwards representing the shape.

The 8 main keys are smooth to the touch and are brightly coloured. Each of them have a colour, a shape and a number. They are the perfect octave! Although I almost wish the black keys were also press-able so it was like a real piano.

There are also 2 fun modes of Duck and Cow which have various sounds from both of the animals which is so funny that even 30 somethings laughed when it was pressed in our house! The novelty aspect of these modes makes it quite unique.

The flashing light on the top part of the toy is a great way to get little ones attention to the beats of the songs and along with the sounds it encourages movement. The light colour also corresponds to whichever key has just been pressed too.
The green handle on the top right of the you piano is excellent for ease of carrying and moving the item around the home.

This Fisher-Price toy is excellent for allowing children to explore all sorts of sounds, while encouraging their learning of shapes and numbers too. As well as recognising a range of colours and animal sounds. The great thing about toys like this is that a child will be counting and not even realise because they’re just playing, but it’s a wonderful way to introduce both musical aspects of playtime and also early academics with each mode available.

Product Information

Ages 6 months to 36 months.
Dimensions 19cm Width 25cm Length 5cm Depth

Retailing for around £20.00 this toy has been made to an excellent standard and comes ready to use. When the batteries do run out all that you’ll require is a small screwdriver and 3 new AA batteries to replace them with.

Argos Website Link

Overall Scores

Manufacturing Quality 5/5
Overall Design 5/5
Toy Features 5/5
Entertainment Value 5/5
Development Value 5/5

Perfect for little fingers…

Argos Tester Review

This toy is excellent for allowing children to explore sounds while encouraging their learning of shapes, colours & numbers too. As well as recognising a range of animal noises. The great thing about this is that a child will be learning & not even realise because they’re just playing with the instrument. It’s a wonderful way to introduce musical aspects to playtime & also incorporate the essential early academics with each of the learning modes available. Just wish the black keys worked too!

“8 keys to count with me” sings the piano…

Thank you for reading this review today, for more of my opinions on some of the latest children’s toys then please click the appropriate categories on my main page.

See you on Severn Wishes again soon I hope!

✩ Sabrina ✩