Wonder Kids Blog

Wayne Wonder Based in Gloucestershire in the U.K is one of the country's leading children's entertainers and winner of multiple awards across his field.

As a magician and children's entertainer I am constantly on the look out for new ideas, different takes on old ideas and practically anything I can add into my repertoire.  As a by product of this I come across or invent lots of ideas that for one reason or another I can't fit into my shows.  That doesn't mean that they are no good in fact many of them work great for ideas to try at home.  I only realised this after having my daughter and seeing how much she enjoyed them.  That's why I have created this resource, for families to visit take away what they want and try these things at home.  You have everything at your fingertips for great, easy and inexpensive ideas for your little ones at home.  Going out to new experiences and spending time together as a family is important if not crucial to a child's development but that doesn't mean you have to go out and spend lots of money every time, you can create amazing memories just by investing a little bit of time at home with these great ideas.

Here's my Facebook page  - https://www.facebook.com/WayneWonderEntertainment  

Space - Out of this World Crafts

Space crafts and activities from Wonder Kids

Hello and welcome back for another great blog post following our theme of space.  This week I am going to share loads of great activities and crafts, kicking off with these great colouring pages, it's been a while since I included any colouring pages so if you like these and would like more just use the search bar above.  If this is your first time visiting our site then please make sure you go to the bottom of this blog post to see our other space related articles or try out the search bar above to search for anything you are interested in we have loads of content waiting for you.

Alka Seltzer Rockets

I included the full details of how to do this on a previous post all about Big Hero 6 which was a film that never broke into the mainstream but we loved it.  Check out the video were we did it in our back garden, then just click the link to find out how to do them and have fun.

Erupting Moon Rocks

This uses our moon dough recipe that you can find here.  Make the moon dough as we have done previously adding water to make sure they are really moist.  Using a squeeze bottle is a good way of keeping control over how much water you are adding.  Be careful, if you add too much the dough will just dissolve (the baking soda will dissolve). Now to turn them into moon rocks, you need to leave them to one side to dry out.  Indoors they will take a long time so you will need to leave them overnight to make sure they have dried out.  If you are doing this on a nice hot sunny day (lucky you in the UK) than a few hours outside in the sun should do the trick.  Once they are solid, you cadd some vinegar into the squeezy bottles, when the kids squeeze some vinegar on the rocks there should be a reaction with the bicarbonate of soda.  Im not sure wether every type of vinegar will work oil the same way, we used white wine vinegar (thats all I had in the cupboard) but that worked, Im pretty sure that cider vinegar and white distilled vinegar will work too.  Not sure about malt vinegar, give it a go and let me know on Facebook.

Erupting Moon Rocks Wonder kids
Space jewellery from Wonder Kids

Space Jewellery

This is lots of fun and super easy to do, we can't wait to give this a try over the summer. Here's what you'll need, I have put all the Amazon links below too so you can save some time.

  • Sculpey Clay in assorted colors (Red, Yellow, Gold, White, Black, Purple, Blue, Green)
  • Skewer
  • Baking Pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cord
  • Optional: Extra Star Beads

To make these spacey clay necklaces, you need to first make your Sculpey clay pliable and soft. When you first pull it out of the package it’s slightly hard and rectangular. Just roll the clay around in your hands for it to become pliable and soft. This may be difficult for very small children so you may have to help.  Whenever you look at photos of the various planets in our solar system or of the galaxy, you’ll probably notice all the beautiful, swirling colors. To recreate this effect, roll various colors of clay together to create your beads.

Once you get the colors and effect that you want, roll the clay into balls and push a skewer through them. Cover a baking dish with aluminum foil. Then, bake the beads according to the directions on the package. When you pull your beads out, they’ll be hot. But they’ll soon cool down and you’ll end up with clay beads that are really quite solid. String your planet beads according to the order of the planets around the sun and your galaxy-inspired beads into whatever fun design you’d like. You can also mix in other beads too. Adding the star beads makes for a nice extra touch,  Tie the two ends of cord together and boom you're done.

That's it for this week but we will be back next week for our last Space adventure where I show you some really cool ideas for a space theme birthday party.  If you think about, look back at all the Space posts and related posts below and you are already well on your way to create an amazing Space party so I am looking forward to sharing with you the party ideas I have to add to what we have done so far. See you soon.

Make it Simple - Moon Dough

Moon Dough from Wonder Kids.png

Check out our other Make It Simple recipe for Play Dough below, this is super easy and will keep kids busy for hours. 

Ingredients

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Glitter ( Black and Silver)
  • Black Food Colouring

Now this isn't an exact science so just try adding two cups of baking soda into a bucket or tray and add a 1/4 cup of water to it, combine with your hands.  If you want more dough add another 2 cups of baking soda followed by 1/4 cup water, this ratio should be about right.

Once you have the quantity you want add a small drop of food colouring and combine, add some glitter and combine. Continue to add small amounts of each until you reach a colour and coinsistency that you are happy with.

Make it Simple - Play Dough

DIY Playdough from Wonder kids

This is super easy to make, you'll never need to buy the store stuff again.  This is a cooked version, there are uncooked versions floating around the net which are great if you want small kids to make it themselves but I think this version is superior with a far better texture and it lasts longer too.

I have also included an amazing shopping list at the bottom of the post which may help and save you time, also I have linked some of our articles that use Play Dough at the bottom too.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  • Food colouring for any colour you want 
  • You can also add herbs & spices for different aromas, try adding cocoa, cinnamon or ginger. Just make sure the kids don't eat it, I don't think it would harm them but just to be safe.

Method

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.  

When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, as shown below, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

If the dough is still sticky just cook it longer until it is more of a play dough consistency.

Turn the dough out onto a clean counter or silicone mat, and knead vigorously until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into balls for coloring.Make a divot in the center of the ball, and drop some food coloring1 in. Fold the dough over, working the food color through the body of the playdough, trying to keep the raw dye away from your hands and the counter. You could use gloves, a big ziplock bag, or plastic wrap at this stage to keep your hands clean- only the concentrated dye will color your skin, so as soon as it's worked in bare hands are fine.Work the dye through, adding more as necessary to achieve your chosen color.

When you're done, store your playdough in an air-tight container.
- If it begins to dry out, you can knead a bit of water in again to soften the dough back to useability. Once it's dried past a certain point, however, you'll just have to start over; thankfully it's not terribly difficult.
- If it gets soggy, you can re-heat it to drive off the extra water the dough absorbed overnight.  This is usually the result of high humidity, but is fixable!

You can also bake it in the oven to make hard dough figures and ornaments, then paint or otherwise decorate the surface.  

Space - Astronaut Food

Astronaut food from Wonder Kids

It's our second week of Space fun, you'll find some great Astronaut games at the bottom of this article.  This week we are going to look at some great space themed snacks and astronaut food.  Astronaut's need to be super fit and healthy to go into space so we are going to start with these super tasty Astro Croquettes, these are vegan and they can be frozen to save time, make a bunch over the weekend and you have a super easy addition for weekday dinners. Part cook the croquettes that you would like to freeze, allow to cool and freeze on a baking tree, transfer once frozen to food bags for better storage.  Just heat them up and they are ready to go.

Astro Croquettes from Wonder Kids.jpg

Astro Croquettes

Ingredients

  • 300 g mashed potato
  • 100 g cooked peas
  • large bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
  • 5 tbsp chickpea flour (gram flour)
  • 100 g breadcrumbs or Sweet Chilli Dried Peas blitzed into crumbs
  • plain flour for dusting
  • sunflower oil for frying

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the potato, peas, basil, pine nuts, vegan parmesan/nutritional yeast and garlic.

  2. Tip the chickpea (gram) flour into a shallow bowl and mix to a paste with 5 tbsp water - the mixture should be the consistency of beaten egg, so if it is too thick add a little more water, and if it is too thin, a little more flour.

  3. Tip the breadcrumbs or crushed dried peas into another shallow bowl.

  4. Flour a clean work surface, then take a quarter of the mashed potato mixture and roll it into a long sausage shape. Cut the 'sausage' into four equal lengths, then repeat with the remaining potato mixture.

  5. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan or saucepan - it should be about half a centimetre deep. Take each croquette, dip it first in gram flour mixture, then into breadcrumbs (it is easiest to do this with two forks), rolling it around until fully coated. Place into the oil and repeat until you have 4 or 5 frying at once (don't overload the pan), turning occasionally until they are golden brown all over.

  6. Remove from the pan and place on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil, and repeat until all the croquettes are cooked. They can be eaten straight away, or refrigerated and reheated in the oven when needed.

For that extra special touch use these dried peas for the breadcrumbs, loads of different flavours available and they're vegan too.

These are super tasty, a must try but how about something much easier, I have included before Rocket Sandwiches as part of a kids bento lunch, so how about some star sandwiches for their bento lunch too, all you need are some star cookie cutters.

Without a doubt I find that kids love most fruit, so how about these super cool Alien fruit cups.  Fill with pretty much any fruit you like, two marshmallows for eyes and just draw a face on the cup. try mixing up the fruit, use different coloured grapes, raspberries with blackberries. Share your creations on my FB page.

Galaxy Bark from Wonder kids

Galaxy Bark

This is a very naughty treat, but I think it's needed every now and again.  You won't believe just how super easy this is to make. Lets go.  I have included at the end of this recipe an Amazon shopping list of almost everything you will need to save you time.

Ingredients

  • 10oz Black, purple or dark cocoa Candy melts
  • 1 cup Purple Candy melts
  • 1 cup Blue Candy Melts
  • Wilton Glitter Stars
  • Wilton Pearl Dust

Method

Melt the candy melts in individual bowls, one at a time the microwave in 30 second increments, be careful not to over cook them, you want them just melted. Line a baking tray with parchment paper (greaseproof paper) and pour the black/purple or dark cocoa candy melt over the tray.  The pic looks more purple but when it hardens it turned more black.

Black Candy melt Wonder Kids

Drizzle blue and purple candy melt over the darker colour, then using a butter knife you need to swirl and swish these colours around to look like galaxy's.

Sprinkle over the glitter stars and stick it in the fridge for 15-20minutes to harden.  The stars and pearl dust are edible so they are not just there to look great.  Once it is solid, remove from the fridge and add the final touch of the pearl duct brushed over.  make sure the paint Bruch is really clean.

Galaxy Bark Wonder kids
Galaxy Bark Wonder Kids

Thats it for another week, but before you go anywhere you may be interest in some of our related blog posts below.  Make sure you come back next Tuesday for some great Space themed crafts that the kids are going to love.

Space - Astronaut Training

Space fun from Wonder Kids

Wow it's been quite a break from writing and to be honest I am glad to be back.  It just feels normal and right for me to be back in the office (not on the coffee table), back in front of the computer and back to creating and curating ideas to share.  I will now be back every month to deliver loads more great ideas.

This month we are going to explore Space and our first exploration will be looking at some great space themed games.

Moon Rocks from Wonder Kids

Moon Rock Hunt

It doesn't get much simpler than this, ball up some small pieces of foil and hide them around the garden/house and let the kids search for them.  Just make sure you make enough for two or three per child.

Shuttle Repairs from Wonder Kids

Shuttle Repairs

A very clever idea to keep them busy for a while, place some nuts and bolts in the bottom of a bucket filled half way with water.  The kids need to screw them together whilst wearing big gloves.  Real astronauts train underwater for that weightless affect.  Time them, the first to complete it wins.

Asteroids

This is a brilliant take on the traditional Tag/it game.  I think it really levels the playing field so if you have kids that are really athletic and agile mixed with kids that just aren't than this game is perfect.

What you need - Two sponges per kid, I have found some cheap ones on Amazon below, Music

How to play - Each child gets two sponges to put on their head and balance, they need to spread out and move around to avoid getting tagged.  You need to sign between 1-3 kids to be "it" this depends on how many kids you have playing.  I think on person "it" per ten kids playing.

The music starts and the players move around to avoid getting tagged.  The first time a player is tagged they have to lose one of their sponges and leave it on the floor.  The second time they get tagged, they drop their last sponge and then they must EXPLODE! this just means that they jump a star jump and then land into a squatting position where they must stay until the other players pass them a sponge from the floor.  This game just goes on forever and is lots of fun.

Thats it for this week, but next week I will back with some great recipes for fun Space themed food. See you soon.