The Best Alternative Easter Gifts

You may be shuddering at the thought of how much Chocolate your little ones, your grandchildren, your god children or your friends children are going to be gifted this Easter. So I looked around the web to bring you some of the best non chocolate Easter gifts.

Lollipop Note Card

easter lollipop note

  • This note card by Little Tweet Stationery is a fabulous token gift which can be personalised with any wording you like. Aside from it being cute and personalised, I love this as it’s a non chocolate treat perfect for little peeps who are dairy intolerant.

Paint Your Own Easter Eggs

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  • I think this paint your own Easter decorations kit by The Contemporary Home is fantastic. Children can design them, paint them, hide them, find them and then display them or even gift them. I like busy kids, can you tell?!

 

Personalised Vinyled Egg Cups

egg cups

  • I’ve picked these fully functional egg cups from Molliebobbins as these super funky designs can be pesonalised with any name, something you didn’t get when I was a kid and the name Lezah was never an option. Also you could pop a chucky egg in and send the Kinder egg to me!

Bunny Ears

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  • I can imagine these very cute bunny ears from Little Lapins becoming a popular choice in the dressing up box all year round.

Easter Bunny Garlandbunny garland

  • Probably not the first thing you think of to give as a gift but I’m a sucker for a pom pom garland. I’m sure decorating with this garland by Oh Sew Evie would add to the excitement of Easter and would look amazing in your child’s room throughout  Spring.

Easter Egg Hunt Bag

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  • If you are planning an egg hunt around the garden you might need to kit out your little people with a basket or bag, I thought these personalised bunny bags from Claire Close Studio were ideal and may stop squabbles over who’s whose. Or not!

Easter Colouring Set

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  • This Easter colouring set from Colour Me Fun is sure to keep the little ones busy and the cute little bag could also be used on an Easter egg hunt (gosh I’m talking about chocolate already!) Just a little heads up this amazing set and our Dotty Dough Easter set is up for grabs over on our Facebook page. << Get over there!

 

Thank you for reading I hope this post was just a little bit helpful and inspiring.

Have a cracking Easter!

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World Book Day invitation to play dough

In celebration of World Book Day I set up an invitation to play themed on a fantastic book we love very much – Aliens love underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.

 

 

The invitation to play was based around play dough (of course!) and loose parts play. Included was plenty of Dotty Dough, beads, buttons, dough people pieces and pipe cleaners.

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Here’s what we got up too…

Yes I was responsible for the frilly pants! This friendly pants loving alien is just the cutest.

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PANTSTASTIC! Thanks for reading.

Please check out my post from last World Book Day – The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Simple Valentines Card

I really love this simple Valentines card idea, which is quick and easy to make with your little ones. It’s always nice to include your little ones’ hand prints in crafty projects as you get a little record with a time stamp of just how small they were.

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Taking this one simple idea I’m going to show you two ways to make a keepsake Valentine card, which is perfect for Daddy!

What you need to make the simple cut out card.

  • Two pairs of hands! (including your own)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Coloured paper, we think red looks best.
  • Scissors
  • White A4 card
  • Glue

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Method: Place little hands in a heart shape on the paper and  draw around. Cut out and glue onto the card. Add a special message and don’t forget to include the date!

Painted hand prints card

The same method applies for making this card, although we struggled to get the painty hand prints lined up on the folded card (Mr big hands!)

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I hope you have fun trying out these quick and easy card ideas. Let me know how you get on. Follow me on Pinterest for more crafty ideas.

 

Christmas Biscuit Tree Decorations

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We made some cute and very tasty tree decorations using our Christmas dough cutters.

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Here’s the recipe we used.christmas-biscuits

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line a baking tray with grease proof
paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale, light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract, a little at a time, until well combined.

4. Stir in the flour until the mixture comes together as a dough. Refrigerate if necessary.

5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of
1cm/½in.

6. Using your Christmas biscuit cutters, cut biscuits out of the dough and
place onto the baking tray. To make into Christmas tree decorations,
carefully make a hole in the top of the biscuit using a straw.

 

7. Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
Set aside to harden for 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

8. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and stir in
enough water to create a smooth mixture. Stir in the food colouring.

9. Carefully spread the icing onto the biscuits using a knife and decorate
with your chosen decoration. Set aside until the icing hardens.

10. Enjoy!

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Autumn is here 

Today I’m feeling the Autumn vibe, I’m loving all the new hues, seeds and berries that are appearing. This has got me thinking about new arts, crafts and activities.

We had a little adventure around the garden and put this together with some specially coloured Dotty Dough. 

Autumnal playdough shades
 
Making impressions

Leaf impression
More impressions

Part of the joy of this activity is gathering the natural materials. Acorns, chestnuts & pinecones would be great too. If you give this a go, send me a tweet I’d love to see what you come up with. 

Our Summer bucket list

I often ask my children what they would like to do in the school holidays and we put together a little list.

PicMonkey Collage

This Summer is probably going to be the most activity packed yet! The boys are growing up fast 6 and 4 years, with them both being at school full time in September I feel we need to make the most of our time.

  1. Go Camping – We did this last Summer so they are super keen. We just camped out in a friends field. It was midge ridden but perfect.
  2. Ride our bikes – We are lucky to live near an old railway line running from Whitby to Scarborough, we may get as far as Robin Hoods Bay.
  3. Paddling pool – That was today and yesterday! I just got dried out!
  4. Have a beach day – I’m looking for ideas on beach activities if you have any.
  5. Hunt Pokemon – My suggestion! This should take us on a few walks in our local area.
  6. Visit the library – My 6 year old knows all about the library after a visit at school. He’s keen to visit and choose some books for his reading challenge.
  7. Summer reading challenge – see above.
  8. Whitby Regatta – We are looking forward to the fairground rides and the epic fireworks. Shame the Red Arrows won’t be on this year.
  9. Swimming pool – Hoping there’s some fun sessions at our local pool.
  10. Ride pony/motorbike – My youngest loves looking after and riding his pony ‘Billy’. My big boy loves anything with two wheels but I’m glad they are developing their own interests and personalities.

Looks like we are going to be very busy! I’m sad they didn’t mention playing with play dough, drawing or baking but I’ll make sure we get around to those things too.

It will still be business as usual at The Dotty Dough Factory with the Not On The High Street sale ending soon and new products in the pipeline. I’m going to be writing a must do list of business related tasks that I must do and anything I can get done will be a bonus.

I would love to hear from you and what you are getting up to this Summer. How do you balance work and play?

Lezah x

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play Dough

Because we all love that amazing book; The Very Hungry Caterpillar – In celebration of World book day today I thought I would re-blog this post from a while back (from my old website) Hopefully it will inspire you and your little ones to play too.

I’m sure you all know the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, it’s been a long time favourite of ours. So let us begin. In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf…..

 … pop out of the egg came a little caterpillar, he was VERY hungry.

My Little one really enjoyed making the fruit and we got to practice counting too. We had to substitute lemons for oranges and bananas for plums much to little helpers amusement. He used his little play dough tool to pop in the nibble holes counting as we went.

He was still hungry…

Yep we made all this too!

One piece of Chocolate cake, one ice cream cone, one pickle, one piece of Swiss cheese, one slice of salami , one lolly pop, one piece of cherry pie, one sausage, one cup cake and one slice of watermelon. That night he had stomach ache.

The next day he ate though one nice green leaf. ‘But why mummy?’ ‘Because caterpillars eat leaves’ I replied, ‘oh’. I thought this was quite amusing because he never questioned eating the cake, ice cream, sausage etc! Then we made a great BIG caterpillar.

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And a cocoon. I’m sure we all remember the end when he becomes a beautiful butterfly, we enjoyed rolling little balls and squishing them into a pattern, adding sparkly sequins would work really well too.

 

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I hope you enjoyed us bringing this story to life. If you are thinking about making your own story time play dough please feel free to share in our Facebook group The Dotty Dough Club House.

Lezah x

Play Dough Maths

Hello and thank you for joining me for my first post of 2016 and first post in almost 6 months (it’s been a hectic!)

We got busy with our number cutters and I want to share how we made learning fun.

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Number cutters are available in my Etsy shop 
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Getting busy! 

I cut out lots of numbers and made up sums for Mr5 sticking to addition this time. With the same coloured dough little guy rolled out the correct number of balls, counting as he went. This made coming up with the answer easy and lots of fun. Photo 12-10-2015 13 37 58

Hope we have inspired you, thanks for reading. Lezah x

I made cake!

And not just any old cake.

August 2015 marks three years since The Dotty Dough Factory began so in celebration I thought cake was apt (any excuse for cake, yeah?) I also made a cheeky purchase of some rainbow pompom bunting – it’s fab.  Above is how I imagined the cake should look, if  The Dotty Dough Factory made cakes it would look like this, maybe a pop of colour  was needed too, hmm.

   

After lots of research, thought and new 6″ cake tin this is how it turned out. I’m pretty pleased with it too. I’m not saying I invented this method of baking spotty cakes and I’m sure you have all seen them before on Pinterest and Facebook.  I took a few pics along the way to prove I made it all myself so I may as well show you how it’s done.

First the spots which are made in a cake pop mould, like so. I chose Orange, Lime, Turquoise and Purple for mine.

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Now to mix the cake as usual adding the cooked cake pops to the mixture in the cake tin. (The damp towel is get a flat sponge not too browned on the sides)

Photo 23-08-2015 13 46 11First sponge done, phew!

Photo 23-08-2015 13 51 27Here is how it turned out with jam, butter cream, icing and smarties added.

Photo 23-08-2015 15 41 34Happy Birthday Dotty Dough Factory!! Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll try and help!


What we get up to

Hope you are all having a fun-filled holiday. Yesterday was the first rainy day in a while – Boo. So we had a play dough day – Yay! {Please note play dough isn’t just for rainy days 😉 }

I thought I would share what we (when I say we I mean Mr 5) get up to with our Dotty Dough and I’m also interested to know what your little ones get up to with theirs.

This is lime green dough with very pretty gold glitter (don’t know if it shows on the pic) I made this dough back in March and it’s still good. I usually say dough will last 6 months plus depending on what happens to it. This is approximately 10oz of dough if you were wondering.

First we roll it flat, yes VERY flat!

Dotty DoughThe next step almost always involves something with wheels.

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Like so. This time it was a field, we also build race tracks and construction sites. This was monster truck racing also created by Mr 5.

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So is it just my boys that do this? I’m interested to know what your children love to do with their play dough, please pop me a comment below.