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.

Moana - Healthy Snacks

Moana fun from Wonder Kids

This time we are going to explore some very tasty treats that would fit perfectly with a Moana theme, also a great way of getting the kids into the kitchen, they can help put the kebabs together and with chopping up some of the veg too.

Moana Chicken Kebabs

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup canned pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced (4 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

For the skewers

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
  • 1 3/4 lb boneless , skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 cups (heaping) fresh cubed pineapple (about 3/4 of 3 lb pineapple)
  • 1 1/2 large green peppers , diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large red onion , diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir in 3/4 tsp pepper and season with salt if desired. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup of the marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (meanwhile soak 10 wooden skewer sticks in water for 1 hour).

  2. Preheat a grill over medium heat to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple and toss. Season red onion and bell pepper with salt and pepper, then thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all of the chicken has been used. Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup of remaining marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining 1/4 cup of marinade on opposite side and allow to grill about 4 minutes longer.

Moana Pork taco's Wonder Kids

Moana Taco's (pork)

These are super tasty and cooked in a slow cooker so you can get on with other jobs.

Ingredients

2 lbs pork loin
Teriyaki Sauce (you can use bottled or make your own)

Toppings:

Corriander, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Jalapeno, sliced
Pineapple, chopped
Taco shells
Teriyaki Sauce

1.  Place pork loin in slow cooker and add teriyaki sauce (enough to cover pork loin- you can cube up the loin if you wish).

2.  Cook on low for 6 hours. 

3.  Shred pork and place into taco shells.  Drizzle a little more teriyaki sauce, top with cilantro, jalapenos, red onions and pineapple and enjoy!
 

Moana Pork taco's Wonder Kids
Show Stopping Water melon

Show Stopping Water melon Sea Turtle

Wow, this will make jaws drop, it's time consuming but not too hard to make.  Take a water melon and using a melon baller scoop out some balls and keep refrigerated.  Discard the remaining flesh.  carve the pattern on the back of the water melon and attache the flippers and head with cocktail sticks.  Now you will need to add the other melon's so again with the melon baller, get some Cantaloupe and Honey Dew melons.  Add those balls with the water melon's balls inside the sea turtle and finish off with some chopped strawberries.  Again the kids can get involved and help make the balls, attache the flippers etc and this will get them excited about trying different fruit's too. Before we go I have one more quick idea, that is fun and healthy and again the kids will love playing with the food.  This makes fruit so much more appealing to kids.  Banana palm trees! Come back next Tuesday for some great Moana Crafts you can get busy with.

Wonder Kids Fun with fruit

Zootopia - Carrots and Carrots

Zootopia Carrot ideas from Wonder Kids

It's here already, February seems to have flown by for me and this is the last of our Zootopia ideas but I have a great craft and a great sweet treat for you too.  The school half term has just finished, make sure you sign up to our FREE email's just to the right of the page and join the thousands of parents that love our ideas.  I send you some really great ideas every school holiday that are easy and inexpensive to try at home.

Carrot Pen Craft Wonder Kids

Carrot Pen Craft

This came about after our foray into the glitter pencils from the Trolls film, I love these super simple ideas that the kids will love to play with for hours.  they will be writing, drawing and talking into it just like Officer Judy does.

Supplies:

  • pen
  • printer paper
  • orange duct tape
  • green duct tape
  • craft knife
  • cutting mat
  • scissors
  • tape
  1. Cut paper lengthwise, into triangular pieces. The widest end should be shorter than the length of the pen that you are covering.
  2. Tape a triangle of paper onto the pen and wrap it tightly around, working your way towards the end of the pen. Tape the end in place.
  3. Tape another triangle of paper onto the pen, a little further up. Wrap it tightly around the pen, securing the end when finished. This should be building up a carrot shape around the pen. Continue attaching paper triangles until you have the desired shape.

4. Cut narrow strips of the orange duct tape.

5. Begin wrapping it tightly onto the pen starting at the bottom (near the writing end). Don't worry if you can't cover all of the paper because of the angle the tape wraps around the pen

6. Continue wrapping the pen in strips of duct tape until all of the paper is covered and you are happy with the coverage of the pen.

7. Cut a square of duct tape and use it to cover the end of the pen.

8. Cut two pieces of green duct tape. Fold them in half lengthwise, sticky sides together. Cut into 3 strips, leaving them all attached at one end.

9. Attach the carrot leaves to the end of the pen using a piece of orange duct tape. Then wrap narrow pieces of orange duct tape tightly around the base of the leaves to give it more of a carrot appearance.


Carrot Treats Wonder Kids

Carrot Treats

Ok these are a little bit of a cheat, but the kids will love them and they are easy to make.  It's a great fun way to get the kids in the kitchen too.  If you want more great ideas for kids the you should check out our Kids Kitchen.

Here is what you'll need - 

  • 4 Rice Krispie Treats
  • 6 oz Orange Candy Melts

Method

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Cut each treat in half lengthwise, then cut each of them in half diagonally.
  3. Take each piece and insert a toothpick in the flat end and place on prepared sheet.
  4. Place in freezer for to minutes.
  5. Melt orange candy by microwaving for 30 seconds, stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
  6. Pick up each by toothpick and either dip or spoon melted candy over each “carrot” to cover completely.
  7. Return to sheet.
  8. Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  9. Now I have found versions of this that add "edible easter grass" into the hole where the toothpick was but I haven't been able to find such a thing in the UK.  So if you can find some sort of chewy green candy.  Maybe Starburst flattened out with a roller pin and then cut into thin strips. Or you can just use some green card to add the green bits (make sure the kids know not to eat them). Personally I think the carrots are just fine without the greenery added at all.
  10. Take each carrot and carefully remove toothpick. Use the toothpick to enlarge the hole big enough to insert the grass.
Easter Carrots Wonder Kids

Thats it for this week and for our Zootopia ideas.  Before you leave check out the party cups opposite.  I found them in my research for this month and I love them.  They would make for some great pictures at a party, you could even make masks with them too.  Next week we will have a brand new theme to explore so make sure you come back next Tuesday.  If you want to find out what were are doing before everyone else does then make sure you sign up to the e-mail newsletter found at the top right of the page.