Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Rainy Day Fort

A rainy day fort

A quick little post for a quick and easy activity.... the rainy day fort. My kids love making an umbrella fort when it is raining. They grab every umbrella we own and construct a fort that they can sit under in the rain. It does work best for that lovely light summer rain. They do get wet while they are trying to construct the fort and fill in any of the gaps. If the rain is heavier I throw a tarp over the whole thing which keeps it nice and dry. Enjoy the rain!!!!

A rainy day fort


We love forts of all shapes and sizes. For more fort inspiration check out my Forts, hidey holes and garden nooks Pinterest board.

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS, google+ or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

2 Easter Hat Ideas

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

Cakey needs an Easter hat for her school Easter hat parade. Boo wants one because Cakey wants one. I tried really hard to make a hat from paper card but it was beyond me.... instead I bought a super cheap hat and we stuck stuff to it..... much, much easier. The idea was inspired by the gorgeous Easter hat created by Heather Designs.

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

Now to get all that lovely Easter stuff on the hat I used cotton and thread and my hot glue gun. I began by sewing the artificial flowers on where Cakey wanted them. I had planned to sew on everything but that was way too slow. Bring on the hot glue gun.... now here's the thing... I know that crafty people own hot glue guns because they are awesome BUT every single person who has to make stuff for kids should own one. You can get them in the supermarket! Seriously, they glue stuff on really well, really fast. You will burn your fingers but that is a small price to pay in my opinion.

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

Cakey showed me exactly where she wanted her little chicks, pink bunnies and glittery eggs and I stuck them on the hat for her. She is very happy with the hat and I only burned myself once!

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

Now Boo's hat is technically a paper crown. I wanted something easy that she could help make herself.  The base of the crown was created from a piece of A3 yellow paper card – it was cut in two pieces, which we stapled together to make one long flat crown.

This crown was inspired by this delightful version from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots. We made the crown very tall so there was plenty of surface to cover with foam easter egg stickers which I found in a local store. You don't need stickers though – you could easily cut out coloured paper easter eggs and glue them on.

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

We added some paper eggs on pipecleaners – they look very cute bobbing away on Boo's head! To make these I stapled the end of a pipecleaner to paper card cut in the shape of an Easter egg. I also stuck a foam egg sticker on top of each paper egg which covered up one side of the staple.

We then stapled the pipecleaners to the yellow paper card base of the crown in two places – you need two anchor points otherwise the pipecleaners do not stand up very well.

Easter hat and Easter crown ideas

We stuck down a pink edging around the top of the crown – mainly to hide all the staples! I then wrapped the crown around Boo's head and stapled the two ends together to fit.

Some more Easter ideas:
I love those little yellow Easter chicks and you can see what we have done with them in the past here and here and here. We also had a lot of fun making glitter eggs.
I think this little pink felt bunny by Michael Ann is gorgeous if you can sew and I love these leaf print eggs. These treats by Living Locurto look delicious. And, I have created some Easter printables for the kids to give to friends, they are available on Childhood 101.

Cheers, Ali

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS, google+ or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Winter Olympics Playdough Fun


The kids and I have been watching the Winter Olympics. And now..... we have been re-enacting skiing and snowboarding with playdough for the last few days. This has been so popular we ended up making two batches of playdough – one of the batches was a special super-white playdough.


Super-White Winter Wonderland Playdough Recipe


  • 2 cups of corn flour
  • Half cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Silver glitter (optional)
  • Mix together, tip out onto a floured surface and knead until you get a smooth consistency. Add more water if it is too dry. Add more flour if it is too wet.


Boo made some silvery, winter wonderland rocks to go with her winter wonderland scene. To make these – squeeze a dollop of white pva glue on the top of some garden stones. Cover with silver glitter and let them dry. Pretty simple and very sparkly!!!


Paddle pop sticks played a huge role in our winter wonderland play. They were skis, snowboards, poles and the walls and roof of Cakey's snow cave. We also used them to hold up flags, bells and our mini bunting. I made some mini paper bunting by cutting out triangles from folded paper and gluing each triangle on a string. We attached the string to paddle pop sticks and stuck them up in the playdough.


The kids played all sorts of games with these little Winter Olympic scenes... Cakey enjoyed the sensory play aspect and Boo enjoyed letting her imagination do all the work in pretend play.

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS, google+ or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and InstagramCheers Ali

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Zero to Two: the Book of Play

Zero to Two: the Book of Play

When I had my first baby I had no idea what to do. I had spent so long thinking about just getting to the birth I had forgotten about the 'actually having a baby in the house 24/7' thing. It was a shock, particularly as I do not come from a big extended family and had not spent much time with babies at all. Once my bub started being awake during increasing portions of the day I wondered what I was supposed to do with her. I turned to books, blogs and the internet and slowly collected a few ideas and activities that meant that my little one and I started to fill our day with little bits of fun.

And now there is no need to scour the internet because you can get a bucket-load of fun activities for babies and toddlers all in one ebook...  Zero to Two: the Book of Play. I am very proud to have contributed an activity to this book – a DIY post box that I made for my super-cute 15 month old nephew.

Zero to Two showcases 25 different activities for babies and toddlers from kid bloggers across the world. These activities are easy to do at home. PLUS the book also includes more than 50 links to additional activities. There are also two free printables – fun stroller cards and lovely finger puppets.


This ebook is available to download right NOW right here at the special price of $6.99 (USD). This launch price is only being offered for one week (until Sunday February the 16th). It will then revert to the full price of $8.99 USD. Purchase this ebook now for immediate download of a pdf file which you can view on your screen or print out in full. Payment is via paypal.

Get a sneak peek of the ebook here.....


Soooo, get your copy now and take advantage of the introductory price and start playing.
Cheers Ali

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS, google+ or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.

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