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  

Dublin to Cork 2018

Ireland Holiday Planning for families

It's been a fantastic month but also a very busy month, I touch on this a little in my last post The Complete Guide to Fathers Day 2018.  We have not long go back to a visit to Ireland where I was doing some shows but I also took my family with me and I think in total we had about 48hrs in Ireland to have fun. So I thought it would be great to mention a few things that we got to do and some things that you really shouldn't miss.  

Now before we kick off we can't do this without that little Wonder kids touch so I will also include a couple of great activities to get you in the Irish mood.  I have also included all the related posts at the bottom of this article.

We'll kick this off in Dublin, which is a brilliant city with so much you can do this is by far not a complete list of activities.  We started our trip at Butlers Chocolate and a tour of the famous Irish chocolate factory.  This was a big hit with our daughter.  They have two time slots for the tour, due to ferry travel times we had to take the afternoon tour which I'll be honest for me was a little disappointing.  The factory was cleaning down and packing away for the day which meant we didn't get to see any chocolates being made.  We did get lots of tasty samples and we saw some trays of ready made chocolates.  The biggest highlight of this tour is having a go at decorating your chocolates.  I have included some pics of our attempts below. Can you guess which one is mine?

Next on our list was Grafton Street, this was only because our daughter had heard it on an Ed Sheeran song.  It's like the main high street in Dublin with street performers up and down the street.  Some great shops and places to eat here, at the top of the street is St Stephens Green Shopping Centre which was great and some good entertainment too.  However just off of Grafton Street is Wicklow Street were you can find Murphy's Ice Cream.  Their ice cream is all handmade in Dingle and is delicious.  I highly recommend the Brown Bread Flavour and the Sea Salt flavour, in fact just try all of them.

We have one more daytime activity that we were able to try and then we'll move onto nightlife in Dublin.  We just about had time to visit Dublin Zoo. You know if you've been to one zoo you've been to them all.  They have the same animals that most big zoo's have access too but it's always interesting and Dublin Zoo is a very nice zoo.  We managed to get to see some talks and feeding sessions too.  It's a lovely option to have available to keep the kids happy.  Now what was really surprising about the zoo is that it's located in Phoenix Park.  I had heard of this park before we left, apparently there are wild deer that you can see.  Now this park is beautiful and it has hundreds of free parking spaces available too.  This is incredible for a massive park in a city, you can park your car for FREE! (wake up London) We didn't really have time to explore Phoenix Park and it's something we would go back to when we return.

Wonder Kids Dublin to Cork

Nightlife time, now Dublin is legendary for it's nightlife and I think if you are jut a group of adults than you are spoilt for choice for places to go.  However we are looking at a family break in Dublin.  What can you do with the kids in Dublin in the evening? I would love to hear from anyone that has any great ideas as we would love to go back at some point. Here is what we did, we visited Temple Bar which is just great and very lively, we popped into the actual Temple Bar, really just so my daughter could experience the live music.  We stayed for one set of music with a great Irish band playing. There are no shortage of places to visit around here and loads of live music too.  It's not all that child friendly which is why we left after one set and boy does it get busy.  We were packed in like sardines and you can't really move at all.  I have a feeling that it's like this most nights.  

Wonder kids Dublin to Cork

The night in Dublin we enjoyed the most was when we booked to go and see the Celtic Nights show in the Arlington Hotel. This show is a three course traditional Irish meal whilst you watch live music and Irish dancers.  It runs 7 days a week and we loved it.  My daughter is 8yrs old, she loved the food and the dancers.  She wasn't too keen on the music but she has time to come round to it.  I don't want to spoil the show but the food was great and the show is very energetic (wait for the brooms to come out) and I thought the whole thing was brilliant and good value for money.  Below is a quick list of things to do and check out in Dublin, we are going to have some Irish fun next and then move onto Cork and what we found there.

Top Tips in Dublin

  • Butlers Chocolate Factory Tour

  • Baggot Court Town House Hotel

  • Murphy's Ice Cream

  • Dublin Zoo

  • Botanical Gardens

  • Phoenix Park

  • Temple Bar

  • Celtic Nights Show Arlington Hotel


St Patricks Joke Teller

Do you remember these from primary school, normally to tell the future, who you would marry or what job you would have etc.  This one tells St Patricks day jokes. just click on the pic for the free download. Cut it out, fold it up and play.


Wonder Kids Wear it Green Game

Wear it Green Game

This is a super fun and fast game.  You will need loads of green clothes, it doesn't matter what, it could be gloves socks, t-shirts, dresses.  Anything and everything green you have.  You can always raid charity shops for green clothes on the cheap too.  Set up two piles or two wash bins filled with the same number of green clothing.  I think 5-7 items in each bin is perfect.  Now if you have two players they need to run up to the bins and put on one item of clothing and then race back to the beginning.  The first person to go back and fourth and wear all items from the bin is the winner.  

Variations

Instead of just running they could hop on one leg or leap like a frog, belly crawl, forward roll etc.  

Relay race - set up two teams of three or more people and play the game as above, when the first player returns they tag the next player to hop or leap up to the bin and put on a piece of clothing.  Now for this you want at least two items of clothing per player.  

How about using this music whilst everyone is racing?


Irish Soda Bread

Wonder Kids Soda Bread

The kids kitchen brings you another great recipe idea here, make sure you check out the Kids Kitchen recipes for some great affordable fun in the kitchen, click on the pic opposite.

Any bread is great to make with kids so why not get in the kitchen and make this super tasty soda bread which to me is more of a cake consistancy rather than a normal bread texture.

Here is what you will need to make this tasty bread - 

Kids Kitchen Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar + 1/2 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup of butter milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter for brushing on top
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
 
Wonder Kids Soda Bread

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease baking sheet.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and softened butter. Mix in the buttermilk and egg until dough starts to form, then fold in raisins. If dough is still crumbly, add a splash of buttermilk until it comes together.

  3. Knead dough on a floured surface. Form into a round loaf.

  4. Brush the top of the loaf with 1/4 cup of melted butter then sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon of sugar on top.

  5. Cut an X into the top of the loaf using a sharp knife.

  6. Bake for 1 hour. Test to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick into the center and checking to see that it comes out clean. If the loaf is too thick, the center might take longer to bake. Simply place some foil over the top of the loaf and continue baking until done.

Kids Kitchen Soda Bread

Wonder kids Dublin to Cork

Visiting Cork

We only spent a few hours in Cork really, we stayed in the Clayton Hotel which is a lovely 4 star hotel geared towards the corporate market.  We got a special offer to stay here and then upon arrival our room got upgraded to a suite. Nothing like the luck of the Irish.  It was a beautiful room to stay in.  We went and had a good walk around the centre of cork and we visited the famous English Market, this is a lovely market, we did spend a few euro's and there are plenty of places to eat here too.  I think really if you are staying nearby self catering or you are staying with friends then. this would be a great place to shop for some really good Irish ingredients to cook with.  The real reason for us visiting Cork was that it is near to Blarney Castle.

Blarney castle

Blarney Castle was superb and I would really recommend a visit there, you can go and kiss the Blarney Stone and walk around the grounds.  The grounds are amazing with waterfalls, fairy gardens, a witch, neolithic stone circles, great views and even a poison garden!  Something we didn't realise was how many other attractions are near Blarney Castle.  I would recommend staying somewhere really close to Blarney Castle and visiting some of the other attractions near by.  We saw some great restaurants, another chocolate factory and loads more right on the doorstep to the Blarney Castle. Here are some pics of us around the grounds of Blarney Castle.

Thanks for reading, please do share this post with your friend son social media too.  I have included below some related posts that you may also be interest in.  You can you the search bar at the top of the page to find out loads more great fun for kids in the Wonder Kids blog.

Right Royal Recreation

Right Royal Recreation from Wonder Kids

Im back! Not for long though I'm afraid, im still working on the studio space, I can't wait to share with everyone what I have created.  With the whole country getting excited about the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry (Henry) to Meghan Markle I thought I would come up with a bunch of great ideas for fun at home whilst you have the wedding on the TV or fun you can do before you pop out to one of the many public events going on around the country.  I havent really been following the TV coverage so far ( I don't watch TV) but I bet the coverage is going crazy in the U.S with an American joining the Royal Line.  I have included the current (Correct as of May 2018) Royal Line of Succession below.  I'll be honest it confuses me a little? I think Meghan will now be seventh in line to the throne? which will change if they have any children. Please do correct me in the comments if I have it wrong.

Royal Succession Line Wonder Kids

With all this Royal fun it reminded me of the time that Danny Dyer was on the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? and found out that he is a direct descendant of Kind Edward III, take a look at that clip and then we'll get cracking on with loads of fun activities, keep the kids busy with these great colouring pages during the more boring bits of the TV coverage.

If these only just wet your appetite than maybe trying one of the commercial colouring books available from Amazon? I have linked to one of the ones I like but there are many more at Amazon.com. Lets have a right Royal laugh with the next activity, Royal family masks, have a laugh and assign everyone in the family a different mask. Just click on the mask to print it out, cut it out and either add a stick (skewer) at the chin or elastic attached to the ears.

Royal Paper Chain from Wonder Kids

Now to really get into the celebration mode how about using some red white a blue balloons and pin them up around the house, combined with these great paper chains, super easy to make, all you need is some A4 paper in red white and blue.  You should be able to find coloured A4 paper in your local craft shop, I like hobby craft myself. Cut the paper into strips.  Make a loop with the first strip and either glue, sellotape or staple the loop together.  Take the next strand thread it through the first loop.  Close the second strip into a loop and secure with glue, sellotape or a staple.  Continue this for however long you want your chain to be.  You can also find loads of great decorations and party ware online too like this set from Amazon.

It's time to get crafty, make these super cool crafts with our little Kings, Queens, Princes and Princess's. Here's what you'll need

Crown from Wonder kids
  • Yellow or gold construction paper
  • Split Pin
  • Scissors
  • Glues
  • Scotch tape
  • Red crepe paper (optional)
  • Things to decorate your crown with: sequins, rhinestones, plastic gems, glitter glue, puffy paint, tinsel paper, etc.
  1. Cut out a 1½ to 2-inch wide strip of yellow or gold construction paper long enough to go around your head. This piece will be the crown's base so the construction paper should be thick/heavy weight for a sturdy crown.
  2. Glue the ends of the strip together to form a circle. 
  3. Cut out a pair of 1½-inch wide by 10-inch long strips of black or brown construction paper (or a color that best blends with your hair color). 
  4. Glue the first strip across the middle section of the base, spanning the circle's diameter. This strip will define the crown's fit on your head and should follow your head's contour. Try on the crown and adjust the strip's position while the glue hasn't quite set yet.
  5. Position the second strip perpendicular to, and at roughly the same height as the first. Glue the ends in place.
  6. Reinforce each strip's connection to the base with tape. These two strips should be well-anchored since they form the supports or frame for your crown.

Cut out six identical strips of yellow or gold construction paper. Each strip should be 1½ inches wide and 8 inches long.

Curve out the strips on one end and punch a hole near the tip.

Punch a hole at the center of the supports.

Glue the strips from inside the base at the 12 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 6 o'clock, 8 o'clock, and 10 o'clock positions. Try to glue the strips at the same height along the base.

Cut out a couple of "half-petal" or "hill" shapes from red crepe paper. Glue the base of these crepe paper shapes along the upper edge of the crown's base

Glue the tips of the crepe paper onto the center of the crown supports.

Create a cross-shaped crown topper by cutting out a pair of identical crosses from yellow or gold construction paper. Include a tab or rectangular extention at the base of each cross. Crease along the bottom tab. Glue the crosses together except the bottom tabs. The crosses should be aligned at the edges. Fold out the bottom tabs.

Punch a hole at the center of one bottom tab and insert a round paper fastener.

Insert the ends of the paper fastener through the hole on one of the crown's six strips.

Simlarly insert the ends of the paper fastener through the hole on each of the remaining strips so that the tips of all six get tucked neatly under the cross.

Anchor the cross onto the crown by inserting the ends of the paper fastener through the center holes on the supports, easily puncturing the crepe paper cover. Split the ends of the fastener from the inside of the crown. For safety, cover the ends of the paper fastener with tape or with a small piece of paper.

Decorate your crown with sequins, rhinestones, plastic gems, gem-style stickers, beads, glitter glue, puffy paint, bits of tinsel paper, and other notions.  Once it's all dried you have an amazing crown to wear with pride.  Not happy with a crown? then how about this cool jesters hat instead.

jester Hat from Wonder Kids

This is super simple, you will need;

  • Yellow/gold card
  • purple card
  • green card
  • scissors
  • sellotape
  • glue

Cut out the templates included below, the headband may need to be adjusted in size to fit the wearer.

Cut out the spikes in alternative colours using the template provided. Normally around 6-8 spikes are needed but this varies depending on the size of the head band. secure the triangles to the inside of the hat using glue or sellotape.

Finally add any decorations that you want, use glue to add the circles, hexagons and stars in the template.


Right Royal Cress Heads Wonder kids

Royal Cress Heads

You will need:
an egg box
2 eggs
colouring pens and paper to decorate
cress seeds
cotton wool

How to make Royal Cress Heads

Carefully crack the tops of your eggs and remove the egg from the shell, wash and dry the egg shell.Fill with a small amount of cotton wool and sprinkle in some cress seeds.Draw faces onto your egg shells and make small paper crowns.Water every day and within 5 days you should have sprouting royalty!


Howe about some super tasty British food? Don't worry the Kids Kitchen is open and has you covered.  Our modern take on the British Traditional Fish and Chips should please everyone. Just click on the picture for the full recipe, a modern shallow fried fish with sweet potato chips. Thats it for now, I will be back as soon as I can.  We are aiming for a summer launch for the Studio Space and then we will continue to tweak and improve it as we go.  Once the Studio Space is open the content should come thick and fast. I can't wait!

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.