Dinosaur Week: Day 7 – Pick your Poison: Dinosaur Swamp Slushy (and a review of Kali Stileman)

The final post of my Dinosaur Week!

I’ve made it!

(pours a large G&T at 8am)

It’s been absolutely ROARSOME!

Thanks so much to the lovely folks at Stickerscape, WOW Toys and Kali Stileman for joining forces with me to make it happen.

If you’ve missed any of my posts over the last week, you can find them all here:

Day 1 – Stickerscape/Kali Stileman Wall sticker review

Day 2: Dinosaur Footprint Fossil Shortbreads

Day 3: Edible Dinosaur Eggs

Day 4: A Day out at the Natural History Museum

Day 5: Fizzing Dinosaur Egg-scavation activity

Day 6: Dinosaur Lunchbox Ideas

Day 7: Dinosaur Swamp Slushy (this one!!)

This final post is a drink recipe fit for any Dinosaur themed party, or just to cool down on a hot day.

It’s a Dinosaur Swamp Slushy that’s super easy to make and will have the kids chomping like a T-Rex to get at it!

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Ingredients

(makes a small bowl full, enough for 4 children)

1 pint of crushed ice

200ml grenadine syrup

300ml water

A small amount of Green food colouring

A small bowl

Some straws

Dinosaur toys to decorate

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 Method

1 – Place the ice, grenadine syrup, water and food colouring in a blender capable of whizzing ice.

2 – Blend and pulse for 1 minute until the ice has been crushed down to a slush.

3 – Pour into a bowl, add straws and place toy dinosaurs around the swampy watering hole!

Slurp away!

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 My boys loved sucking up this Dinosaur swamp slushy!

Do share any photos with me over on Facebook or Instagram if you have a go at it!


Who is Kali Stileman?

(and a card review)

Kali Stileman is a married mum who just so happens to be a bit talented when it comes to art and drawing/painting.

Her creations are colourful, fun and eye catching. I love the Dinosaur wall stickers she designed, that we were sent to review via Stickerscape, and she also has a lovely range of height chart wall stickers

She creates beautiful cards, gift wrap, cushions, wall stickers, gift tags and name labels (these are available via Stickerscape) which are available via her website.

Her right hand gal is Lucy. She is lovely to liaise with and she works in the office doing all the admin for Kali, which allows Kali to be more creative! They are quite the team and their website is easy to use and just as colourful as their products.

I got sent some beautiful cards from them the other day in a range of different designs (see the above photo) and they are absolutely gorgeous.

I love the fact the paper the cards are printed on is textured and the colours Kali uses are so vivid, they really catch your eye.

One of the cards I was sent has a speech bubble on the front so you can write your own message on it, or if you order direct from Kali’s website, they can print the message onto the card for you. A fab way to personalise something and very handy if you keep a stock of them at home ready for all the kids parties your little ones get invited to, you can just write the age on the front yourself.

They’re of a fabulous quality but priced at approx. £2.50, so they’re still very reasonable and worth the few extra pennies for that special little one’s birthday or occasion.

Kali has also thought about more unusual occasions such as baby showers and has cards for occasions such as these too.

You can find Kali’s lovely products on her website and over on Stickerscape’s as well.


If you’re interested in any of Kali’s Wall sticker range at Stickerscape, I am very excited to be able to give Life is Knutts readers 20% off their order (thanks to Stickerscape!) if you enter the code DINOKALI at the checkout until 10th October 2016.

Disclosure: I was sent some cards, wall stickers and name labels by Kali Stileman and Stickerscape for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, words, photos and opinions are my own.



Dinosaur Week: Day 6 – Dinosaur Lunchbox Ideas

Fussy eaters.

I have 2 in my house in the form of my eldest two boys and it drives me, if I am honest, completely up the wall.

Dinner is often a bit of a battle ground, it’s getting easier, but it still isn’t the most fun filled time of the day for us (hmmmm, dinner time seems to correlate to the time of day I most fancy a G&T, who knew?!)

Because of this, the boys have been packed lunches at school for the past year. They did school dinners for a year before that in a bid to see if it would help, but it didn’t and their eating habits didn’t improve and they were just wasting food which is a bug-bear of mine, so I changed them off them and now I make their lunches.

Truth be told, I’m not really one for ‘Pinterest Lunches’ as I like to call them. You know the ones, the photos of a vegetable animal, painfully crafted using 7 different vegetables and some cocktail sticks, the elaborate sandwiches which, once bashed around on the way to school, will look like a car crash scene rather than the intricate and elaborate lion you had made before they left for the school run this morning. Who has time for that anyway?! I was thankful for a luncheon meat sarnie at my Nan’s as a kid (goodness, the thought of eating that now makes me want to vom. Sorry Nan…)

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Photo from blog.jiji.ng

For day 6 of my Dinosaur week, in association with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman, I have come up with an easily achievable version of a themed lunch. A dinosaur lunch!

Here is what I did…

Sandwiches: I used a dinosaur sandwich cutter (I got mine from Ocado.com but these are readily available everywhere – or you could use a cookie cutter and get the same result) to cut out the sandwiches into dinosaurs. These just have ham inside but you can pop whatever your child fancies inside them.

Cheese: I peeled a Dairylea Strip-cheese to make it look like a tree the Dinosaur Sandwich could eat.

Grapes: These grapes can become Dinosaur Eggs (or poop if you have typical poo obsessed kids like mine!) ALWAYS cut your grapes in half for children to prevent choking.  I have only just stopped doing this for my 8 year old but still do for my 6 and 2 year olds.

Cocoa Pops: Chocolate isn’t allowed in our kids lunchboxes at school but cereal is so a few cocoa pops are classed as being fine. I used these to make dirt/stones in a pot to rest the dinosaur footprint biscuit on.

 Dinosaur Footprint Shortbread: I made these with the kids the other day. They’re super simple and you can find the recipe here.

(I didn’t have any left for the photos sadly, but my edible dinosaur eggs would also work really well in a lunchbox. You can find the recipe for those here)

Drink: Water is the only drink allowed at school during the day, but at lunchtime the children are allowed milk, juice or a smoothie. I made some fruit squash and added a tiny bit of green food colouring to the squash to make it green. It’s not really dino related but it looked more interesting and prehistoric!

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I took this opportunity to label the packed lunch box and drinks bottle ready for the start of the school year.

I was sent some amazing name labels by Stickerscape and some of them even had the brilliant Dinosaur designs on our wall stickers by Kali Stileman on them. They’re colourful, durable and just what I needed to help get organised for the back to school chaos that’s looming around the corner! Importantly, they’re also very clear to read and instantly recognisable which is very important when you have a child in charge of looking after their possessions!

If you go to the Stickerscape website, you can view their extensive range of stick on and iron on name labels. They have a huge amount of different designs to suit every age and interest, and with prompt delivery, you’ll have no trouble getting all those items, ‘school ready’.


 Because my middle one is such a fussy eater, and he is only 6, reward charts do still work with him.

When WOW Toys very kindly sent me a, very fancy, reward chart to review, I instantly thought of my 6 year old and his eating habits. We used the snazzy reward chart to get him try a few different foods and do you know what, I worked!

The reward chart is a chart and rewards all in one box. It’s a fab idea!

You move the magnetic star up the chart as they complete a task and when they get to a reward window (on numbers 1, 5 and 10) they get a toy which, in the end, makes up a set! It’s a really fantastic idea and one my 6 year old really loved. It took us less than 10 days to get the chart done and in the process he tried new foods which I could never have imagined him trying a few days ago. It was amazing to be quite honest. Once complete, he ended up with a little dinosaur toy set composed of a cave man, a dinosaur and a carriage for the caveman to sit in. The toys are colourful, durable and I can see them lasting the test of time, even with my heavy handed toddler about!

We loved the fact the star was magnetic and we didn’t have to remember putting sticker on a chart or anything. My 6 year old loved moving the star up when he had tried something new.

The age range on the box said 1-5, but there wasn’t a chance my 2 year old would’ve understood the fact he couldn’t have all the toys out of it in one go (#tantrumcentral) which is why I chose to use it for my 6 year old. I think the chart is great for kids from ages 3-7 personally but they toys inside it would be suitable from 1 year upwards because of their chunky and durable nature.

You can buy the WOW toys reward chart here. They also have a racing car one and a fairy one available.


 Until 10th October 2016, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman Wall Stickers at Stickerscape if you use the code DINOKALI.

Disclosure: I was sent some name labels, wall stickers and a WOW Toys reward chart for the purpose of this review. All words, thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.



Dinosaur Week: Day 5 – Crafty Little Thing: Fizzing Dinosaur Egg-scavation!

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As I said at the start of my Dino week, which I am doing in collaboration with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman, my kids are obsessed with all things Dino.

The release of Jurassic World was a huge igniter for my eldest who must’ve watched said film about 40 times by now.

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When I was thinking of Dinosaur related crafts to do, I thought about a super craft for bath fizzes I saw over on one of my favourite blogs, Craft Invaders.

I thought to myself, maybe I could do a take on this but instead of for use in the bath, the kids could make their fizzes into Dinosaur eggs and then EGG-scavate the dinosaurs inside (see what I did there? Sorry…) using some Vinegar and digging tools.

These would be a fab craft idea for schools, pre-schools, childminders, kids bored during the school holidays or even as a birthday party activity!

So, here is what we came up with!

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It was a most EGG-scellent adventure!

(Sorry, I will stop with the egg jokes now).


Ingredients/Tools

(makes 2 bath fizzes)

50g Bicarbonate of Soda

Some green food colouring, gel colouring is best.

Water – approximately 60ml but you may need more or less depending on how much colouring you put in/how wet/dry the mixture is.

2 small toy dinosaurs to hide inside the eggs

250ml White vinegar

A pair of rubber gloves

A plate or chopping board covered in cling film

A couple of old medicine syringes, like what you get in Nurofen or Calpol.

A couple of old Ice cream/plastic tubs

Some digging tools such as blunt dinner knives, or a knife from pumpkin carving set, this worked really well for us!

(If you’re making more eggs, just double/triple the ingredients and you’ll also need more toy dino’s to hide too)


Method

1 – Place the Bicarbonate of Soda and green food colouring in a glass bowl and mix.

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2 – Add some water, a little at a time and mix until the mixture begins coming together.

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(DON’T ADD TOO MUCH WATER or the mixture will become too wet and won’t stick together. You want it wet enough to come together, but not so wet it won’t form a ball)

3 – Once the mixture begins sticking together, it is ready to begin shaping it around your toy dinosaur.

4 – Put your rubber gloves on.

5 – Place some of the mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten it a bit.

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6 – Place the toy dinosaur in the middle of the flattened mixture.

7 – Take some more mixture and begin covering the toy dinosaur with it. Squish and squeeze the mixture around the dinosaur to cover it and make an egg shape.

8 – Place on a plate, or on a board covered in some cling film (to stop it getting dyed green) and repeat the process for your next egg.

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9 – Once the eggs are complete, leave in a cool, dry place to completely dry out. This drying out process will take a few hours, and a minimum of 12, so it’s best to make them and leave them overnight. Once dried, transfer to an old ice cream tub for storage. They should keep for a long while in here.

10 – Once your eggs have dried out and you’re ready to use them, place one egg per child in a plastic container, an old ice cream container is perfect and find a suitable area (like the garden!) to hatch your eggs.

11 – Give each child an old nurofen/calpol syringe and let them suck up some of the white wine vinegar into it.

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12 – Then, squirt the vinegar onto the dinosaur eggs and watch them fizz away! The more vinegar you use, the quicker the dinosaur will be revealed. Encourage your child to use their digging tools as well as squirting vinegar.

13 – Once the toy dinosaur has been revealed, dispose of the remaining egg mixture and clean the dinosaur up ready for them to play with.

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Happy Egg-scavations Dino hunters!

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Until 10th Ocober 2-16, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman’s wonderful wall stickers at Stickerscape by entering the code DINOKALI.


 Disclosure: I was sent some Wall Stickers to review by Stickerscape. All words, thoughts, ideas, opinions and photos are my own.



Dinosaur Week: Day 4 – Knutty Explorers: A Day out to the Natural History Museum

“Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching”.

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Day 4 of my Dinosaur week, in association with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman, see’s me tell you a bit about our day out to the Natural History Museum in London.

A wonderfully educational, fun, interactive and FREE place to visit with all the family.


I love the Natural History Museum.

The kids and my husband love it there too, so it is pretty much one of the perfect days out for us as a family.

I could spend all day just looking at the architecture of the place, let alone the exhibits. The mind boggles at how they built such a majestic building so many years ago. Cathedral like, imposing, majestic. Every corner you turn there is another ornate carving, another curiosity to catch the eye. I wonder as I touch one of the terracotta carvings, how many other people before me have studied it, have noticed it’s quiet beauty, hidden away?

The Natural History Museum has Dinosaurs galore, fabulous exhibits about how our planet came to be as well as how it works, creatures past and present that grace our land, seas and skies, and so much more. There really is something new to learn around every corner, even for mummy and daddy!


 Getting there…

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We are lucky in the respect that we live a 10 minute walk from our local train station. We walked to our local station with the kids, who were super excited to be going on a train (and me truth be told, I am still very much a tourist when it comes to London which can drive my London savvy husband a bit bonkers when I want to stop and take a photo every few hundred yards). We went to the ticket booth rather than using one of the machines and my husband asked for the cheapest way for us to get to Travelcards for the day because we would need to use the underground. It’s always good to test the ticket office and see what they can do/what deals they have on, you might just get it a bit cheaper! She told us it was best to get 2 adult travel cards and then 2 child return tickets from where we live to Waterloo, because children travel free under the age of 11 on the underground.

Once at London Waterloo, we then had to get the underground from there to South Kensington which is the closest station to the museum (the Science Museum is also just next door and the Victoria and Albert museum is also around there too so you really can have a full day out just in that small patch of London).

The journey was fine (it was a Sunday morning to be fair) and we got a seat on the train and the underground just fine – not like a weekday morning commute thankfully!

Once we emerged from the underground station, we could then see the museum sprawling out in front of us in all it’s glory.

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 Entry…

We queued for about 15 minutes at the front of the museum in order to get in, this was at about 10:30 am. Sadly, due to the world we now live in and possible terror threats, all bags have to be checked before you enter the museum so make sure you have your bag open and ready as you get close to the entrance which does delay your entry somewhat but, needs must. Just be prepared for a bit of a queue and take some drink and snacks from home to have whilst you wait.

 Entry to the Museum is free, but we did buy a special kids activity book for them to do on the way round for £5 because the proceeds go to help keep the museum free and to also pay the people that work there. The activity book was really informative, had a map in the back which the boys used to plan our route around the museum and it had lots of questions to answer to get their brain boxes working (and mine to be fair!). There are various donation boxes about the place for you to pop a few pounds in if you wish.

The whole place is wheelchair and pushchair friendly so if you have little ones, lifts are available but at busy periods, you will have to queue.

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 What did we do there?

First up, no prizes for guessing, was the Dinosaur exhibit.

We came to the museum last year but it has changed since then and the overhead walkway they used to have is no longer open. I’m not sure why that is, but we couldn’t go up there.

The first thing the exhibit takes you to now is the robotic T-Rex. This has also changed slightly from previous visits in that it didn’t seem quite as dark and noisy as it was. That said, there were still some petrified children clinging for dear life to their parents legs in there so it’s possibly a good thing that they’ve toned it down from that respect. The boys love this part of the museum and watched it for a good 5 minutes before moving on and making space for someone else to stand and watch.

You can see robotic exhibits, fossils, evidence of a real life Dinosaur hunt by studying fossilised dinosaur footprints as well as much more. You could spend a good couple of hours in this one section but, because it’s the main feature of the place, it will be busy. We had to wait for a while in order to see/read some of the exhibits but the boys were thankfully feeling patient and dutifully waited their turn. There is a lot to see and take in whilst you’re waiting and we did some of our activity book then too.


After the excitement of the dinosaurs, we went to look at the Earth Zone.

To get to the earth zone, you can go on an escalator which literally takes you through the centre of the earth. This was one of the highlights along with the dinosaurs for the boys.

Once up there you can learn all about the power of the earth, how it was formed, the rocks, elements and minerals that we can find on our planet and many other mind boggling things. This is one of my favourite bits of the museum. I find it all fascinating and the boys loved pushing the buttons on different exhibits whilst learning a bit about the place we call home.


 As the museum was now getting quite busy, it was just after midday, we decided not to go in the animals section but instead we went up to see the original cabinets on the top floor which are home to an enormous rock collection. It may sound a bit boring but this is one of my favourite parts of the museum. It’s normally quite quiet up there for starters and I love rocks. There, I said it. I have a massive collection of the things in a huge vase at home which I’ve collected from various holidays. The sheer range of different rocks we can find on our planet is astounding and you’ll be able to see many percious stones up there, as well as more ‘normal’ common ones. There is also an enormous meteorite up there which is magical to see and touch. To think this lump of iron flew from outer space, onto our planet is completely brilliant. It makes you stop and think for sure…


 We didn’t eat or drink at the museum but there are many places to choose from if you wish to do so.

Instead, we chose to finish our visit to that end of London with a walk through Hyde Park, out onto Oxford Street and then onto Soho/Covent Garden for a look around. We also looked for some of the BFG Dream Jars (these are on until 31st August 2016) but only managed to find one…

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We stopped off at Byron Burger (16-18 Beak St, London W1F 9RD) for some lunch with the kids and we would thoroughly recommend it. Great food, activity sheets for the kids, milkshakes as big as your head and  hard shakes for the grown ups if you fancy one! We can give the Honeycomb/Chocolate hard shake with Rum a thumbs up!


 We loved our day out in London.

Tired feet, aching legs and a head full of new memories as a souvenir.

Perfect.


 Until 10th October 2016, you can get 20% off all Kali Stileman Wall stickers at Stickerscape by using the code DINOKALI.

They have a wonderful range of wall stickers suitable for girls, boys and for around the home so do give them a visit online!


Disclosure: I was sent a set of Dinosaur wall stickers to review by Stickerscape. All views, thoughts, opinions, photos and words are my own.



Dinosaur Week! Day 3 – Crafty Little Thing: Edible Dinosaur Eggs!

“Eat your Greens!”

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…that’s what my Nan always used to say. And my mum. But did I listen as a kid?

Nope. But I think I might have found something green that the kids will like to eat…and for once it isn’t a load of green m&m’s! Win!

I was a real fuss-pot eater as a child and now I am a mum, I can’t help but feel karma has back back around to bite me on the posterior.

My boys, all 3 of them, are quite fussy. The eldest is coming out the other side of it now, thankfully, and the middle one is still fussy but ate dried, edible worms the other night at dinner so I can only assume he is beginning to see the light too! (Yes really, he did. You can read more about that here).

As part of my Dinosaur Week (in association with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman), I am going to show you all how to make eggs (a brilliant, nutritionally packed food) more ‘kid friendly’. To us adults, they probably look pretty gross but, trust me on this one, to a fussy 6 year old, the thought of eating these was so cool he tried them for the first time without a quibble.

Success!

So, here is my edible craft activity for Dinosaur Eggs! Perfect for picnics, school crafts, lunchboxes and birthday parties!

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You will need…

As many eggs as you wish to cook

(I only did 2 because only my two older ones would eat these)

A saucepan

Some water

Some Green food colouring

(I used Gel colouring as the colour is more vivid but liquid colouring would also work)


How to do it…

1 – Place your eggs in a saucepan.

 2 – Fill the pan with water until the water is 1 cm above the top of the eggs.

3 – Place on the hob and bring the water to the boil.

4 – Once boiling, turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 7 minutes. This will give you a hard boiled egg.

5 – Once cooked, remove from the hob and run the eggs immediately under cold water to stop them cooking any further.

6 – Once cooled, gently crack the shell on the eggs BUT DO NOT BREAK THE SHELL OR PEEL IT OFF!! You just want to cause cracks on the eggs surface. Squeezing the cracked egg gently in your hand will help loosen the cracks a bit more.

7 – Now place your eggs back in the saucepan and fill with cold water, up to 1 cm above the eggs again.

8 – Add your green food colouring to the water and gently stir until all the water is green.

9 – Leave the eggs to sit in the green water for 6 minutes.

10 – Remove from the water and peel the shell off the egg.

11 – Gently dab dry the eggs with some kitchen towel and place in a container ready to eat!

And there you have it!

Edible Dinosaur Eggs, fit for any packed lunch or birthday party!


if you have a go at these Dino eggs, do let me know over on my Facebook page or by tagging me on Instagram, @lifeisknutts

Now, off you go! Get cracking!

 

You can get 20% off all Kali Stileman wall stickers at Stickerscape until 10th October 2016 by entering the discount code DINOKALI at the checkout.


Disclosure; This post is part of my Dinosaur Week with Stickerscape and Kali Stileman. I was sent some Wall Stickers to review. All words, thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own.