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  

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.  

Lego Fun - Lego Ninjago

Lego Ninjago Fun from Wonder Kids

Hello and welcome back to Wonder Kids, this week we are looking into Ninjago, with the film that has just recently came out, check out the trailer below.  We are going to look into some great Ninjago, decorations, food, crafts, fancy dress and more. So take your time and take a look through all of this Ninja fun.

Lets kick off with these super cool Ninjago Lanterns. All you need are some cheap Chinese lanterns which I have linked below to save you some time, and these super cool Ninjago eyes which you can print on standard paper or sticker paper.  if you print them on standard paper you can attach them using sellotape or double sided sticky tape. these can also be stuck on to red, green, blue and black balloons to make ninja balloons. 

Lego Ninjago Lantern from wonder kids
Lego Ninjago Lantern from wonder kids
LEGO Ninjago party from wonder kids

Ninja Eyes

Just tap the button below for the free eyes print out

I also wanted to share with you these great Ninjago costumes I found whilst researching, I think they are great and will really take a Ninjago party to the next level. As with any costume accessories help to make it so I have also found some cheap ninja swords too. Ok lets get on with some more cool fun things, first up I have made these great lego ninja go party invites for you to download for free.  We have a huge growing collection of invites all on one web page, take a look with the button below.

Ninjago Party Invite from Wonder Kids

Ninjago Party Invite

Now we are going to need some great Ninjago themed food, these can be used to enjoy with the movie or use them for a birthday party, I have also included below some birthday cake inspiration for you to show professional bakers or have a go at one yourself.  Share your pictures on our Facebook page, we love to see what you are up to.

These first two ideas are super easy, just buy some fortune cookies, dip them Ito some red candy melts and boom they are done.  Next are the Spinjitzu Sticks, these are pretzel sticks again dipped in coloured candy melts and then covered with different toppings, you ca use sprinkles, coconut, chocolate chips or anything else you can find. I love this cake sushi below, it looks really impressive and again is sooo simple, this just uses different types of cake, so use a Swiss roll and slice to make it look like sushi, the same with a chocolate log.  Rice Krispie treats with a sweet fish on top,  I think they are called Swiss fish? but not too sure, they are available in the Uk through specialist suppliers. Genius! Then I have put together a gallery of cake inspiration for you to.

Ninjago Cake Sushi from Wonder Kids
Origami Ninja Stars from Wonder Kids

Origami Ninja Stars

I think these are super cool, and depending on the age of the kids they could have ago at making these themselves.  I think kids under 8yrs will really struggle with these.  First off I found you need to start with two pieces of A4 and you need to measure 10cm tout off.  These makes the A4 more of a square shape which should make all the folds work better. Just follow the pictures, take your time and once you have made one you will be well away. 

This is the end of our fun this week but fear not we still have one more week of fun with Lego yet.  Next week I will show you some brilliant Lego themed games that you can modify and use with all three lego themes we have covered so far.  

Lego Fun - Lego Friends

Lego Friends Party from Wonder Kids

Welcome to our second week of great Lego fun.  This week we are going to explore Lego Friends, I think this range of Lego has been a brilliant success, my daughter loves it. they were included in my top toys for Christmas post with the set below. Lets kick this week off with some great lego Friends snacks. After these three snacks I have compiled some great birthday cake pictures for your inspiration, then we move onto some really good bits. before we go any further make sure you check out last weeks post all about Lego Movie fun, there are some ideas that you can use with any Lego theme.

Jelly Bricks from Wonder Kids

Jelly Bricks

These are so simple once you have the right equipment.  You'll need the silicone brick moulds like the ones below. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE THIS WITH ACTUAL LEGO BRICKS.  I have seen loads of advice telling people to pour jelly into actual bricks, that would just be a disaster.  The other top tip is when you are mixing the jelly with hot water, make sure you don't whisk it too hard, you don't want loads of bubbles in the mixture because they stay in the finished jelly bricks and they just don't look great.

Wonder Kids Lego Sandwich

Lego Sandwiches

You can make these with pretty much any filling you like, all you need is a small circle cutter, cut the circles out of an extra piece of bread and you'll need to attach them onto the sandwich.  Cut the sandwich into small brick shapes, then you can use butter, peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise or any other sticky edible substance add two small circles onto every brick sandwich.

 

 

Brick Rice Krispy Treats 

One more super simple idea, cut rice Krispy treats into brick shapes and then use smarties to add the circles on top. You can use a little bit of icing or even melted marsh mallow to stick the smarties on.

Wonder Kids Rice Krispy Treat Lego

Here is a gallery of great Lego friends cakes, take a look and get inspired. After this we have some great simple lego builds for you and then some free printables. Stay with us we are going to finish on something awesome.

I also love these ideas for a cutlery holder and napkin holder. You can also find a snack holder here.  You can make anything out of lego that will fit in with any of our lego fun.

Ok enough with the inspiration lest get on with some fun and free printables, first here is a word search  and bingo game you can print out for some Lego Friends fun and then I have created some lego friends invites for you to use for free to.

Lego Friends Invite Wonder Kids

Friends Invite

 

Click button below to print these great party invites, two per page of A4

To finish everything off this week, check out these super cool lego finger rings, there is a little prep work before the kids can get stuck in and finish them off, but I think it's simple enough that the pay off will be worth it. First you'll need some supplies

  • Blank rings (linked below)
  • Permanent Glue (linked below)
  • 2 x 2 lego plate (linked below)
  • assortment of additional lego attachments 

Before you let the kids at these, you'll need to use the glue to attache a 2x 2 plate onto each ring, make sure it fixes securely and is well cured before the kids can touch it.  Now using additional lego the kids can build their own ring designs and keep them, they look great and the kids will love designing a ring they can change a tweak at any time. You can add characters, special bricks, you really are only limited by your imagination. Show us what you make on our Facebook page. We'll be back next week when we take a look into Lego Ninjago! 

Lego Rings from Wonder Kids

Lego Fun - Lego Movie

Lego Movie fun from Wonder Kids

Hello it's the most magical time of year and just in case you are reading this in December than I have included below a link to some great Christmas Ideas from Wonder Kids.  Every week this month we are going to look at a different theme of Lego. This week is Lego Movie, I really enjoyed the movie, in fact it was one of the first things I ever wrote about on this blog.  I won't link to it because it's just embarrassing now looking back at it but if you really want to see it just search for Lego Movie in the search bar above. Anyway I am waiting nervously for the next Lego movie, the sequel, can it be as good as the first, can it be better? Im not sure. Before we get going I have also compiled this years list of the top most wanted toys and of course it has some lego sets in it for the lego fans, lego makes it on to my top rated lists every year, such an amazing toy in my opinion.

I included Lego boost on the top Christmas toys list and I think it was the most expensive addition I have ever included.  I only included it because we saw it demo'd at the Convent Garden Apple Store and it was brilliant.  So the kids can build any of 5 different model options, we made it like the Johnny 5 robot from the classic Short Circuit film as you can see on the box.  then using your iPad you can program the robot to move in all sorts of directions and to do great things like dance and spin too.  This is a great fun way of getting kids programming and understanding how programming works, it is pricey but coding, programming and web development will be crucial in our kids future.

8 Lego Movie Masks

I included some of these back in 2014 when I first covered Lego Movie but now they are back with some additional characters, just print them off and mount them on some good card like a cereal box.  Wrap some elastic around your head and boom you have some great Lego movie Masks.

Lego Movie Bingo

Stick the film on, grab your drinks and snacks, make sure everyone has one of these bingo cards and a marker pen.  Just mark off every character you spot, be careful though some of them are tricky! The first person to find all of their characters wins.

Ok so we are having fun now, but how about a Lego Movie Party? Of course you can use these items already but lets check out some inspiration, keep reading for FREE Lego Party Invites then at the end of this blog we are going to include a brilliant Lego activity that the kids will love.

I hopes that these pics give you some inspiration, I would love to see what you come up with or if you try any of the ideas here.  You can post pics on our Facebook Page. Below I have designed some free Lego Movie Party invites for personal use only.

Wonder Kids Lego Zip Line

Lego Zip Line

Lego Zip Line Wonder Kids

This is a great activity that you can just do over Christmas, maybe the kids got a new lego set from Santa? or its great for a party too.  All you need are some simple lego bricks and some cord.  I recommend Parachute cord because it's nice a smooth and obviously very strong but string will work too.  The only downside with string is that it will get worn and break. First build the stand for the man, to do this start with a based put the man on it then get the kids to build bricks around him. Note the gap above his head, we use a curved brick like in the picture but I think it should work with a square gap too. Now all you need to do is connect the cord to something solid like a door handle and then raise the cord to something higher.  The higher the cord is raised the fast the lego man is going to go.  Try maybe making quite a long one by tying one end to the front door handle and the other end up stairs? You need an nice straight line with lots of tension.  If the cord is loose and sags in the middle the lego man may get stuck.

This also teaches kids loads about gravity, tension, forces etc, try to explain whats happening to the lego man, if he falls too fast ask them why they think it happened.  I like the idea of including secret compartments in the box the lego man is travelling in that could house a secret message or some other lego bits that he could transport. Ok thats it for this week, but make sure you come back next week for loads of great fun with Lego Friends and then after that we are going to explore Lego Ninjago and then finish the month off with a Lego surprise. See you soon.

Moana - Crafts and Games

Moana Wonder Kids Fun

Hello everybody, it's been a bonkers few weeks here at Wonder Kids, July was my busiest ever for my Wayne Wonder Magic Shows with over 40 bookings in a month! This included a show for my old primary school.  I hadn't stepped foot in the place for about 20 years Then with the schools breaking up I've been distracted with having both my wife (who's a teacher) and daughter at home.  Im back today though with a bumper blog post featuring four great Moana fun ideas plus we recently had a trip to Warwick Castle here in the UK so I will write a quick review on that too.

Egg Carton Turtle Wonder Kids

Lets kick this post off with these super cute and easy egg carton turtles. You'll need

  • Egg boxes cut into individual shells
  • green cardboard
  • google eyes
  • pom noms (ideally green)
  • green paint
  • PVA Glue

First paint the egg shells and allow to dry, then cut out flippers from the green cardboard. To do this we found it better to cut out large circles and then cut the flipper shape into the large circles leaving a central base to glue onto the egg shells.

Glue the pom pom heads onto the egg shells and the google eyed onto the pom pom heads, leave to dry and you have adorable little turtles to play with.


Pass the Water Wonder Kids

Love the idea of this game, super fun in the summer heat, line the kids up, now there are two ways of playing this game.  If you have lots of kids you can get two teams to line up.  Fill the first persons cup up in each team with water, they then need to pass the water to the next person, over their heads.  The team with the most water in the cup at the end of the line wins.  The way I prefer to play this is with one line of people and a bucket at either end of the line.  The bucket at the front of the line is filled about half way up. The idea is that the water needs to be transferred from one bucket to the other. The first person fills their cup up and then needs to pass the water down the line as before. The last person then dumps the water in the bucket.  This version uses a lot more water and everybody gets much wetter so its great for the Summer. I think this version is much more fun.


Maui Fish Hook Wonder Kids

Maui Fish Hook

Here is what you need:

Cardboard

Paper towel roll

Newspaper

PVA glue

Acrylic paint

Brown yarn

Brown marker

Directions:

Prepare your area. Lay down some newspaper because this will get a little messy.

Draw a picture of the fish hook onto a piece of cardboard. We made ours about 20″ long.  The handle of the hook should be as long as a paper towel roll. Cut the hook shape out. We used a razor blade to cut ours out. We found it easier than using scissors. Slide the paper towel roll over the handle.

Cover the the hook in paper mache. To prepare the paper mache, tear up newspaper into little strips. Mix white glue with water to form the paste. We did about 3/4 glue to a 1/4 water. Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste and wrap them around the hook and smooth them out. Wrap the hook to add just a little bit of depth and to smooth out the area at the top of the paper towel roll. Let the paper mache dry.

Cover the the hook in paper mache. To prepare the paper mache, tear up newspaper into little strips. Mix white glue with water to form the paste. We did about 3/4 glue to a 1/4 water. Dip the strips of newspaper into the paste and wrap them around the hook and smooth them out. Wrap the hook to add just a little bit of depth and to smooth out the area at the top of the paper towel roll. Let the paper mache dry. Paint the hook with acrylic paint. We used a light tan color and did three coats. Set the hook aside to dry. Use a marker to draw tribal like designs on your hook.

To finish this off just wrap the bottom up with brown yarn and enjoy.


Giant Ker Plunk Wonder Kids

Giant KerPlunk

This idea is just too cool not to share. It's so simple too, in the picture they made a basic table themselves but you could just use an Ikea lack table like the one I linked to below.  You don't need to have a hole in the table (although I admit it is better with a hole). Some chicken wire and sticks.  For the sticks you can use wooden dowels, sticks from the garden centre or depending on the size of your game you may be able to use chopsticks.  The chicken wire can be tied together at the rear of the game, put all the wooden dowels into the chicken wire lay this on the table and fill with the balls. Thats it for our Moana fun, check out our other ideas below and come back soon for some brand new themes.