All posts by Lisa Bradburn

About Lisa Bradburn

What to buy for kids sells a range of good quality, fun gifts for girls and boys age 1 to 12. We'd love to help you with that difficult to find present for kids.

Enjoy time with your kids making your own jewellery

Kids love to be creative and love showing their individual, unique style. Making their own jewellery is a way to indulge both of those passions. From simple pasta necklaces, bead or charm bracelets to intricate friendship bracelets and more sophisticated string jewellery, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes and talents. The best thing about jewellery making is that there are no rules, you can use practically any material, and make any style you like. And it’s an activity you can enjoy with your child as you create designs and make creations together.

Continue reading Enjoy time with your kids making your own jewellery

farmhouse shape sorter

Helping Kids Recognise and Understand Shapes

How to Have Fun Helping Kids to Recognise and Understand Shapes

A key building block of a pre-school child’s development is the recognition and understanding of the world around them. Although they may not be able to name them, kids learn from an early age that there are shapes everywhere. As they develop, they start to see patterns in the shapes and are eager to explore and learn more.

We at what2buy4kids are passionate about toys that encourage learning and development from an early age, and we are delighted to have found Bigjigs’ wide range of shape toys.
Educational toys like shape toys encourage kids (and their parents) to make learning through play fun and bring abstract concepts to life. Touching, feeling, and eventually sorting shapes helps babies to learn and explore. We can encourage the recognition of shapes by pointing out the shapes around us, repeating the names of the shapes and playing games to reinforce the understanding of how those shapes work.

Petilou Sensory Shapes

We can reinforce learning through toys, and this is where Bigjigs comes in. When starting off with shape recognition and hands on learning through fun, start with standard blocks of all shapes and sizes. Bigjigs First Drum of Bricks is a perfect set to start with and babies can use them at first to touch, feel, and yes, taste. Then they’ll move on to stacking, sorting and building structures out of the blocks.

wooden blocks

When your baby has grasped the concept of different shapes and how they fit together, it’s time to move on to a toy that encourages more hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. You can’t go wrong with a shape sorter, and Bigjigs has loads on offer! They’re classic toddler toys and it’s easy to see why. We love the wooden ones because they’ll last forever and the adorable and varied designs are sure to delight.  Kids learning to use a shape sorter will feel a sense of satisfaction and understanding that will give them their first taste of problem-solving and pride at a job well done.

farmhouse shape sorter

There are so many styles and themes when it comes to shape sorters, and we are sure that you’ll be able to find one that will appeal to any child. Is your child into anything with wheels, anything that stacks or animals?  From peg puzzles to animal sorters, they have so many games and toys to choose from. The Farm House Sorter is one of my favourites. This toy not only encourages the hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills we focused on earlier, but it can be a tool for making stories and playing imaginative games. This is a toy that will grow with your child, it can create a pretend world full of exciting possibilities.

Blue Wooden Shape Sorter

On the subject of toys that grow with your child, there are lots of shape games for older children. For more advanced concepts in space recognition and to encourage a higher ability of dexterity and concentration, check out Pin-a-Shape boards where wooden shapes can be pinned to a board to create a display of their own creation. Or consider a Mosaic Tray where a flat tray can be transformed into a display of many pieces fitting together and creating an appealing pattern. These toys can be played with over and over and the creations will be different every time.

zoom zoom mosaic

When you start exploring, you’ll see that there is a whole world of fun toys to teach kids about shapes. Blocks, shape sorters and shape boards are literally building the foundation for learning through fun, one block (or shape!) at a time!

Lisa is the managing director of what2buy4kids. Lisa’s wish is to make your job of finding a gift for the children in your life easier, or help you to take some of the time and frustration out of the search for that special gift for kids.

Mother’s Day Blossom Tree Wall Hanging Picture

Blossom Tree Wall Hanging Picture For Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up, and this year, it’s quite early in March, so it’ll be upon us before we know it.

I always love to create something special and unique for the kids to do for their Mummies, and this year is no exception.

Since January, many of my art & craft activities have focus on different painting techniques, not just using a traditional paint brush, so I decided to create my Mother’s day picture following the same idea.

Here goes!!!

You’ll need:

  • Paint – blue, white, green red
  • White Card
  • Scissors
  • PVA Glue
  • Brown paper
  • Hole puncher
  • Wool
  • Sponge
  • Silver letter stickers

How to make Your Mother’s Day Blossom Tree Wall Hanging Picture

We mixed white paint with blue paint ( top tip – start with white paint,and add a pea size amount of blue, so the sky isn’t too dark), and then painted the sky using a sponge ( much better technique than a paint brush, and it doesn’t matter if the kids don’t cover the whole paper – then it looks like clouds in the sky)

Next we mixed white paint with green paint, and sponged the grass.

Whilst this was drying, we cut out the shape of the tree in brown paper ( very young children may need help here)

Then we stuck the tree onto the picture using PVA glue.

Next we mixed white paint with a pea sized amount of red paint, and using our finger, we finger painted the blossom onto the tree.

Once dry, we added the words ” I Love You Mummy” using silver letter stickers (a silver pen could be used as an alternative), but your kids could personalise their own message instead.

Finally we hole punched the top of the card and weaved wool through to complete our beautiful wall hanging picture!

I’m sure there are lots more fab Mother’s Day art & craft ideas, so please share them with us in the comments box below.

Thanks,

Lisa x

Big Red Bus Reward Chart From Tots Up Review!

Big Red Bus Reward Chart From Tots Up Review!

Half term is here (or nearly here) and I’m sure you have lots of fun and exciting things planned for the week ahead. The cold, wet and wintry weather means that outdoor activities are a no go and that we, therefore, need to have a week of indoor activities planned. Monday will be baking, Tuesday will be crafting, Wednesday will be movie day, Thursday will be a day at soft play and I’m not sure about Friday yet!!! My biggest fear with all this time indoors is that the kids have lots and lots of extra energy and this can lead to unwanted behaviour!! However, last week I was sent the Big Red Bus Reward Chart from Tots Up and I can feel that it will be incredibly handy over the next few weeks!

As many of you know growing up for children isn’t easy – there’s lots of hiccups and bumps along the way. I’m a strong believer in rewarding good behaviour, so I’m always on the look out for reward charts and reward boxes for kids. After stocking the Fairy & Pirate Reward Boxes from The Reward Box Company for many years, I was really interested in reviewing the Big Red Bus Reward Chart from Tots Up.

The idea behind the Big Red Bus Reward Chart is to encourage good behaviour with lots of praise and to fill the 3D magnetic bus full of friends! The chart is aimed at children aged two and a half to six years old which makes it perfect for when children start the terrible twos!!! The bus is the perfect parenting tool for tackling tantrums, bedtime routines and fussy eating. And of course, I can guarantee that there will be more than just three occasions where this reward chart will come in handy!!!!

I love the bright colours and smily faces of this unique reward chart and I love that this item has been manufactured in the UK! An extra special feature is that the 3D bus works alongside a fantastic app which is designed to be fun and exciting as well as encouraging good behaviour! The IOS app means that this reward system can be used at home or whilst out and about which is just incredible!

How it works and what’s inside….

The reward chart comes beautifully presented in a vibrant sturdy box making it very robust and appealing to little ones! Inside the box there is one big red bus, one bus stop, one piece of road, 10 passengers, a set of alphabet stickers and an instruction booklet.

Using the adhesive letter stickers, we personalised our big red bus before slotting it into the road piece to make the reward chart 3D. We also slotted the Bus stop into the green base and placed the passengers on the bus stop (they stuck perfectly due to the magnets inside and didn’t fall off)- now we’re ready to go! The passengers start off at the bus stop and each time your child behaves well or achieves a pre-agreed target they can place a passenger of their choice on the bus. Again, as the stickers are magnet, putting the passengers on the bus is really easy and they don’t fall off, causing frustration!!! Once all 10 passengers are on the bus you can reward your child with a pre-decided reward such as a trip to the sweet shop or park, a new toy or even a fun day out!

I’d highly recommend that your reward chart is visible to gain maximum affect and that you are clear with your children about what they must do to gain a passenger. Here’s just a few examples of how you can use the reward chart (potty training, playing nicely, giving up a dummy, brushing their teeth – the list is endless).

Also don’t forget to download the IOS app for just 99p so you can carry on encouraging good behaviour whilst out and about!

This amazing product was developed by Mum of 2, Sally Marks and the TOTSUP Red Bus has been tested by parents, Early Years Educators, an Educational Psychologist and lots of little ones. After having such fantastic results, I am also delighted to announce that in the next few months I will be adding both the red & pink magnetic reward buses to our collection of kids’ gifts! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled and grab one when they come into stock!

Lisa is the managing director of what2buy4kids. Lisa’s wish is to make your job of finding a gift for the children in your life easier, or help you to take some of the time and frustration out of the search for that special gift for kids.

 

St. David’s Day Daffodil Art

St. David’s Day Daffodil Art

Spring is in the air – the sun is shining, and the garden is beginning to wake up. When I see the daffodil bulbs coming up, it reminds me that Spring is well and truely on the horizon. Not only do the bright yellow daffodils remind me of Spring, but also of St. David’s Day.

As you probably know St. David’s Day is on the 1st March, and in our household, we always celebrate it with vases full of daffodils and homemade pictures of daffodils and cards too.

We love art and craft activities in our house, the messier the better, so this year the kids were keen to create daffodils using their hands and fingers. Just follow the instructions below:

You’ll need:

  • Yellow Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Old kitchen roll tube
  • Orange tissue or crepe paper
  • Green paint
  • 3 x Green Pipe Cleaners
  • White Card
  • Scissors
  • PVA Glue

 

How to make our daffodil picture:

  1. We painted our hands using the paintbrush and yellow paint (this is a much better technique than dipping your hand in paint, and far less messy!)
  2. Stamp your hand down in the middle of the white card to create the yellow petals.
  3. Wash your hands
  4. Using scissors cut the kitchen roll tube (approx an 8th – adult might need to help here)
  5. Using the orange tissue paper/crepe weave in and outaround the kitchen roll tube to create the trumpet ( crepe paper won’t tear as easily)
  6. Stick the trumpet using PVA glue in the middle of the handprint.
  7. Fill the trumpet with scrunched up orange tissue paper/crepe paper
  8. Use 3 green pipe cleaners  to create the stem of the daffodil.
  9. Finally using the green paint finger print the leaves (we did 4 leaves but you can do more or less)

And there you have it our Beautiful Daffodil Picture!

As you know we love flower arts & crafts in our family, so if you have any other brilliant ideas please leave them in the comments below so we can go ahead and try them out!

Sweet, Healthy & Savoury Pancake Recipes!

Sweet, Healthy & Savoury Pancake Recipes!

Pancake day is looming and after many years of frustration when buying a pre-packed pancake mix, resulting in a gooey mess, I decided that I would make pancakes from scratch this year! Very daunting for me, but I thought I’d give it a go! The kids always get so excited about pancakes but end up, very disappointed when our pancakes never seem to work. Therefore I was desperate to find a recipe that worked and also tasted AMAZING!

I couldn’t contain my excitement when I did –  And here it is!!!

Ingredients :

100g plain flour

2 large eggs

300ml milk

1tbsp of vegetable oil plus a little extra for when you start frying!

 

Toppings:

  • Chocolate Spread
  • Mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, rapsberries & strawberries)
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sugar
  • Maple Syrup
  • Bacon

Method: 

  1. Put the flour, eggs, milk, 1 tbsp oil into a bowl or jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. (I always use an electric whisk to get the mixture super smooth)
  2. Set aside for 30 mins or start cooking straight away.
  3. Using your frying pan turn the hob to a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oil.
  4. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side or until golden.

Don’t forget to let the kids toss the pancakes, as this is the real fun part, but make sure this is supervised by an adult!

Finally add whatever toppings you’d like! The list above contains a few suggestions and whilst I thought I would never like maple syrup & bacon I’d highly recommend trying it! It tastes delicious!

I hope you have fun making your pancakes and let me know what other toppings we should try?