DIY High Contrast Cards for Babies

I wanted to add some high contrast black and white images to Benjamin’s movement area to help develop his eyesight. There are some great sets online that you can download and print for free but I packed my printer away when I went onto maternity leave along with all my school stuff. I was about to buy some, when I decided that I could save my dwindling maternity pay and get Sophie to help me to make some instead. We already had everything we needed: white card, black paint, brushes, stampers and rollers.  Continue reading “DIY High Contrast Cards for Babies”

Movement Area

Since having children, I have discovered the Montessori approach and love reading blogs about how people incorporate it at home. I have started to introduce some of the principals at home but I don’t follow it strictly. We have recently set up a Montessori inspired self service snack station in the kitchen and a tooth brushing station in our bathroom – I will blog about these when I get chance!

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Introducing Benjamin…

Benjamin was born on Friday 14th July at 3.19am. I had a few complications towards the end of my pregnancy, including high blood pressure, low platelets and low iron. I plan to write up my birth story at some point but basically, at 38 weeks, the consultant diagnosed me with pre-eclampsia and decided to deliver him via C-section. I couldn’t have an epidural due to my platelet levels, so I was given a general anaesthetic.

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Big Sister Gift

Sophie seems to be really excited about becoming a big sister and has bought her baby brother a present. She wanted to buy him a Sophie the giraffe teether just like the one she has so we took her to the shop to buy it and choose a gift bag for it. It is all wrapped and ready for her to bring to the hospital when she comes to meet him.

I really wanted to put together a gift from the baby for Sophie and have it waiting at the hospital for her to open. I decided to write a blog post to share what we have got for her.

1. Books

We have been given lots of books about new babies which we have been reading together. Sophie loves them and remembers so many of the details. Her favourites ones are probably ‘Topsy and Tim and the New Baby’ and ‘There’s a House Inside my Mummy‘.

I wanted to get her a couple of special ones to read once the baby arrives. I found these two books about becoming a big sister.


‘I’m a Big Sister’ by Joanne Cole tells the story through the eyes of a new big sister and seems to reinforce lots of the conversations I have had with Sophie about what it is like to have a baby in the house.


The other book is also called ‘I am a Big Sister’ but focuses on ways the sister can help with the new baby. Sophie has chosen a bath sponge and helped to pick a thermometer as she is really excited about helping to bath the baby. So I thought this book would be a good way for her to understand how she can be involved and help.


2. Scrapbook

I wanted to create a really special book all about when Sophie was a baby. I printed out photos from when she was born and in hospital and wrote some captions to go with them. Hopefully this will help her to understand what will happen from me staying in hospital to the baby having a name band and an umbilical clip on. It tells the story from us being pregnant to bringing her home from the hospital. I made sure to include lots of photos of things that she used as a baby that the new baby will use.

I have actually already given the scrapbook to Sophie and she loves it. We had lots of discussion about the photos. As soon as we finished reading it, she looked through it again. I am planning on leaving this book with her when I go into the hospital so my mother in law and mum can read it with her to help her to understand what is happening.


3. Camera

I had an old point and shoot camera that I never use as I have my DSLR and my phone. So I decided to teach Sophie how to use it so that she can take photos of the baby when he arrives. I can’t believe how quickly she picked it up! She knows how to turn it on and off, how to take photos and how to play them back and scroll through them! I am going to put this camera in her gift bag for her to capture her own memories of the baby. I have left some pages blank in her scrapbook and I plan on printing out some of her photos and putting them into it.


4. Nappy Bag

I am terrified of dolls but I had to overcome my fear when Sophie was given one for Christmas and loved it! Now I am quite glad that she has a doll because she has been pretending it is her baby and looking after it.

I decided to make a nappy bag for her to use and fill it with bits and bobs for her baby. I used some scrap material that I already had and followed a pattern I found online but I just made it a little bigger and added some pockets on the outside for her mobile phone and a drink for the baby.


I bought a charm that says ‘Big Sis’ from Etsy to make a bracelet but ended up being too small so I sewed it onto the nappy bag instead.


I also made some nappies and some wipes to go inside the nappy bag. I used velcro to fasten them as I thought it would be easier for Sophie to close than poppers.




I looked at buying some new doll’s clothes but they are so expensive! I have never made clothes before and didn’t have time to attempt to make any so I decided to buy some real baby clothes. I ordered some premature sized babygrows from Asda in the smallest size they make and they fit really well. A pack of three were £7 which is a lot cheaper than the official Baby Annabel range.


5. Big Sister Bracelet

I wanted to make something that Sophie could keep so I decided to make her a big sister bracelet. I ordered a charm from Etsy which ended up being too small then I found this one on Amazon for £1.75 plus P&P. I had lots of foldover elastic in my craft box so I used this to make the bracelet. It is soft and stretchy so it will be easy for her to take on and off herself.


I am going to wrap it all up and have it waiting at the hospital for her when she arrived to meet her baby brother. I hope she likes it all!

Have you given a gift to your children when a new sibling arrived? What did you include?


Like it? Pin it!

Big Sister Gift Pinterest


Disney Store 30th Anniversary

I was recently invited to participate in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Disney Store. I was challenged to recreate a famous movie scene using a prop from the Disney Store. The Disney movies and trips to the Disney Store played a big part in my childhood so I definitely wanted to join in.

My favourite movies included the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King. I tried to sway Sophie towards these movies but Craig introduced her to one of his childhood favourites, the Aristocats. Given that Sophie has loved cats for as long as I can remember, it was no surprise that it became her favourite movie! So when we accepted the challenge I requested to recreate a scene from the Aristocats.

Sophie copies Marie in the scene below every time she watches the movie so I knew this would have to be the one to recreate.


Here is my Aristocat, fluffing her cheeks ready to sing!

And here she is when she was younger actually singing some of her favourite Aristocat songs. (Click the image below to hear her!)

Put the sound on if you want to hear Sophie singing the Aristocats songs 😂🐱🎤 #aristocats

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She may only be 2 and a half years old but the Aristocats have already played a massive part in her life! The movie has become our go to movie on days when she feels poorly.

It never fails to bring a smile to her face and she can’t resist mouthing the words as she watches. Which reminds me of being a child and signing along with Ariel and Sebastian from the Little Mermaid.

We have smiles thanks to the aristocats! I love how she mouths the words too.

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Sophie loves cats and all she wanted for her second birthday was a ‘real cat’. She didn’t get a real cat, but we did get her a little Marie from the Disney Store which she was delighted with.

On the morning of her party she watched the Aristocats while cuddling her Marie toy with the biggest smile on her face! Disney magic!

We chose cats as the theme for her second birthday and we had the Aristocat kittens sitting on top of her birthday cake wearing party hats.

IMG_7119From hearing the opening credits of a Disney movie to walking into the Disney Store, where the movies came to life, Disney always felt magical to me as a child. I love that I get to live that again through my daughter. I love sharing the classic movies with her and also discovering the newer ones. Happy 30th Birthday to the Disney Store! 

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Do you have a favourite Disney movie? Why not have a go at recreating a famous scene and then share it on social media using #DisneyStore30 and #DisneyStoryUK.


Disclosure: The Disney Store sent us a Marie toy to use as a prop for this post. 

Easter Chick Cards

I spotted some yellow feathers in Hobbycraft for £1, while I was buying the foam eggs for our easel activity, and thought that they would be perfect for Easter cards.  I already had yellow paint, googly eyes and orange foam so I thought that Sophie could make some chicks. I bought a set of Kraft paper cards and envelopes which were only £1.50. Because we already had some supplies, I only spent £2.50 which seems like a bargain for ten cards and gave us something to do over the Easter holidays.

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DIY Magnetic Water Wall

The weekend we built a water table for Sophie’s gazebo. The gazebo already had a water wall which we made by attaching pipes and bottles to some trellis using cable ties. However, I wanted to make make it more interactive by creating something she could position herself so I decided to make a magnetic water wall. Continue reading “DIY Magnetic Water Wall”

DIY Outdoor Easel

The sun has started to shine and I have started on my to-do list for the garden (much to my husband’s dismay!) I’ve wanted to build an acrylic easel for ages so I searched on Pinterest for some inspiration. I came across a blog called ‘Tried and True’ which had a tutorial with FREE PLANS! So I printed them off and convinced my husband to take me to Homebase for supplies. While we were there, we also picked up some extra wood to make a water tray and a catapult! Although everyone (including my husband) thinks that building a catapult for a garden full of stones, with a greenhouse and a house with sky lights is a disaster waiting to happen… so maybe that project won’t actually happen!

Continue reading “DIY Outdoor Easel”