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  

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!

Knights & Knaves - Catapult (Bonus)

Knights from Wonder Kids Catapult

I have a couple of bonus ideas for our Knights and Knaves theme.  Have you tried using the search bar at the top of the page to find hundreds of cool ideas to keep the kids amused and creative. This week it's all about this super cool and simple Catapult. Try the buttons below for all of our fun from the whole of September!

Catapult from Wonder Kids

Catapult

Pile 6 craft sticks on top of each other & secure at each end with an elastic band. Put the last 2 sticks together & tie an elastic band round one end. Place the pile of sticks between the other 2 sticks, about 2 inches in from the tied end & use 2 bands to secure in the middle. Use the last band to tie the spoon (I’ve used a measuring spoon as it has a nice deep bowl) to the other end of the top stick. Place a ball on the spoon (polystyrene ones work well for this game).

Another great idea takes us back a few years with one of my first ever You Tube videos, teaching how to make a balloon sword. They are really easy and the kids will love them.

Wonder Kids Tug of War

I think one more game will be just the job here.  How about an epic Tug of War! I love the idea below, standing on milk crates and pulling, the first one to fall off loses.  Very simple, everyone will want a go.  Make sure you look back at all of our Knights & Knaves fun but before you go how about trying out something different form the selection below?

Knights & Knaves - Party Time

Knights Party from Wonder Kids

We're back with another great exploration of this month's theme.  This week I have been looking into running a complete Knights Party.  Lets kick off with some great party invitations, these are free to download and use as you need them.

Make sure you check out all of our other Knights posts too.

Just click on the invites to save and print them

Just click on the invites to save and print them

Murphy coat of arms Wonder Kids

To complement these invites we will soon be launching complete range of party supplies available to purchase as a digital download.  For just £7.99 you can get an instant download including drinks bottles labels, banner, poster, table tents and the free invites are include all in one package. Check back here soon for the full details and link.

As the kids arrive, keep them busy creating their own coat of arms, you can learn about coats of arms at Warwick Castle, our full review from our time there can be found here.  My family coat of arms is opposite. With one of the most popular surnames in the western world my family history goes pretty much back to the start of civilisation itself. Find your history here. Just click on the pictures below for the free print outs. A shield print out for the kids to design their own and a sheet of inspiration for what to add on the shield.  You can even cut these elements out and stick them on, it's up to you.

Combine these ideas above with the food here, party games here and maybe a cake from below and you are all sorted to put on an amazing kids birthday party.

Knights & Knaves - Food 'n' Fun

Knights & Knaves from Wonder Kids

I hoped you all enjoyed last weeks post about Warwick Castle, if you missed it then you can still find it here.  This week I have a jam packed blog post with some great ideas.  Lets not mess around and kick off with this great Jousting craft and game.

Lances from Wonder Kids

Jousting

  • Pipe Insulator/pool noodle
  • Card
  • Coloured tape (electrical tape works)

I love the simplicity of these.  Just some foam insulator that you can find at any B&Q.  You could also use a pool noodle if you have one.  Take the card and draw a large semi circle, you can use a cooking bowl to trace around. Cut this out and wrap it around one end of the foam pipe.  Tape it together. Now you can decorate the rest of the pipe with the coloured tape.

Not good enough? How about creating a mini Jousting obstacle course using some polystyrene rings from hobby craft, and a hobby horse made out of a pool noodle.

Paper Cup Dragon

Not only is this a super simple and fun craft to make with the kids but you can also turn it into a gam of tag quite easily, read on.

Supplies needed

  • Paper Cups (ideally green or red)
  • Orange & Yellow Crepe paper, cut into small strips
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Googley Eyes
  • Elastic strap (optional)

Start with the green paper cup and carefully remove the bottom of the cup with the scissors. Decide where you would like the eyes to be and carefully cut a small semi circle into the cup.  This creates a small tab that you can poke out slightly.  See picture for more detail.

Glue strips of the crepe paper inside the cup so that they poke out of the hole at the bottom of the cup.  Affix the google eyes to the small semi circle tabs and you are done.

Now if you would like to turn this into a game, you'll need to make two small pin holes near the top of the cup.  Thread the elastic through these holes so that you can wear it like a mask.  Remember a Childs head is much smaller than yours and you want to have to stretch the elastic around their head so that it holds tight.  You won't need much elastic.

Now you have a dragon mask, have the kids grab their Jousting pipes and play tag, the firs person to tag the dragon with their pipe then becomes the dragon and the game continues until everyone has had a turn.

We are not done yet! How about some proper British food to go with all this quintessential Brittishness?

Wonder Kids Fish & Chips

Fun Fish & Chips

This is a bit of an updated version, rather than the true stodgy traditional version.  Lets start with the fish.  

Ingredients:

400 gms firm white fish fillets (haddock or lemon sole are my preferred ones)
breadcrumbs

Lemon zest
3 eggs
2 tbs plain flour
salt & pepper
oil for shallow frying

Method

Cut your fish in to thin, long strips, like goujons but thinner – around 10cm/4in long pieces and 2cm/1in wide.  This kind of size makes them really easy to pick up and eat with fingers.  A great tip for cutting fish so that it doesn’t break is don’t cut it horizontally, but cut it lengthwise.  Put your flour on a plate, beat the eggs and place in a very shallow bowl and place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.  Season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper and lemon zest to your taste and then start breading – coat fish strips with flour, then dip in egg making sure they’re completely coated,  next dip in breadcrumbs, again making sure the fish is well covered.  Repeat till you’ve coated all the fish strips.

Pour oil in to a large frying pan (the oil should come up to about 1.5cms) and heat.  When it’s quite hot place your breaded fish strips in the oil and shallow fry till golden brown.  Drain on some kitchen towel and your mini breaded fish is ready.  As mentioned, these can be made a few hours in advance and heated in the oven just before serving.

For the chips I prefer sweet potato fries, not only do they taste great but the splash of colour helps make this dish more fun for kids too.

Sweet potato Fries from Wonder Kids

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 tsp Paprika

Method:

  • Preheat oven
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a shallow dish, combine oil & spices.
  • If leaving the skin on, scrub your sweet potatoes really well. If not, peel your potatoes.
  • Cut sweet potatoes into ¼" fries.
  • Toss fries in olive oil to coat.
  • Spread fries out on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, turning occasionally or until fries are browned.

Thats it for this week, next week we have loads more Knights & Knaves fun for birthday parties, see you then.

Top Christmas Toy's 2017 for the U.K

Top Toys for Christmas 2017

Last year this was an incredibly popular idea to list the toys that I am hearing the most about, not only from the kids in my family but also from the kids I work with every week. Now I didn't want to just do another top 15 list like last year.  No! I thought how can I take this further so this year I am going to include a seperate list for family board games that I think will be great for Christmas. 

But first, I have created some free downloads for you to use at home. Below you will find two Christmas wish list templates.  Just click on them to print them, now you could just use these to make it a bit more special for the kids or you could write a nice wish list and actually send it to Father Christmas! You can send it to Royal Mail just for the cost of a stamp, send your letter or wish list to - 

Santa/Father Christmas,
Santa's Grotto,
Reindeerland,
XM4 5HQ

Alternatively I have found this company that offers a paid service to make what look like some great Christmas letters.  I have never used them so I do not know how good they are but I may try them this year.

Visit Elfi Santa Here

Top 14 Toys for Christmas 2017

Ok lets do this, you can find last years list here.  This year there are some old favourites as well as some new toys on the list.

  • The Rocket Wireless Singing Machine is an all in one music experience that enables you to sing on the go.

  • The new completely wireless singing mic can amplify your voice and play your music through the built in speaker.

  • Adjust the volume and echo to layer on top of your favourite songs. Via Bluetooth music can be connected from your computer or handheld device and play through the speaker at the bottom of the Rocket.

  • Includes Light up base, headphone jack and works as a standalone speaker.

  • Styles may vary. Requires 3 x AAA batteries. For ages 14 plus years.

  • Cat Boy figure & Cat Boy car included.
  • Full of interactive features!
  • 3 levels of play.
  • Features lights and sounds!
  • Go down the super Gekko slide and train on the Cat ball rings!
  • Includes three mini-doll figures: Olivia, Stephanie and Liam, plus Sheen and Sapphire the dolphin figures
  • Features a 3-level catamaran, personal water scooter and a banana boat
  • Catamaran features a sun deck with 2 sun loungers and a pool, bridge with steering controls and a seating area, slide into and spiral stairs up from the water, opening garage for the personal water scooter and living quarters with a kitchen, bedrooms and lounge with sofa and transparent-brick floor
  • 1:24 scale radio control Lightning McQueen, forward-straight, backward right and left movement
  • 2 channel 2.4 GHz radio control with full movement, turbo feature
  • Great quality and reliability
  • Comes with everything kids need to create and control their own DroidTM - right down to the battery - plus stickers and extra accessories
  • No grown-ups necessary: Kids can put together easily with step-by-step, in-app instructions, then challenge themselves to level-up their inventor skills by creating new custom Droids
  • This Poppy feature doll delivers the ultimate music and light Trolls experience
  • Poppy is all about Hug Time, and this Poppy doll comes with a wearable Hug Time bracelet for the girl
  • When activated, both bracelets and her hair light up to the beat of music
  • Super-soft plush Despicable Me 3 Jail Time Tom
  • Features voice or sound effects
  • Soft & cuddly plush
  • Have soft plastic goggles
  • Develops speech and language skills
  • Encourages imaginative play
  • Encourages practice of alphabet and number recognition
  • Wipe-clean for repeated use
  • Award-winning imaginative play set
  • Includes over 840 LEGO pieces, plus a LEGO move hub, interactive motor and a colour and distance sensor.

  • Rotate Vernie's head to activate its shoulder-mounted spring-loaded shooter

  • Learn how to play a song and rock out with the Guitar4000

  • Build the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4) and try out the different tool and customisation attachments to prepare the vehicle for an array of exciting activities

  • Move Hub features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity, two encoded motors, activation button, internal tilt sensor and a light

  • Transformers: The Last Knight AutoRoute Squeaks RC
  • Comes with remote control and movie-inspired blaster accessory
  • Interactive features include lights, sounds, and phrases
  • Dance and blaster modes, both with lights and sounds
  • Figure does not convert
  • There are over 70 adorable Hatchimals Colleggtibles to collect in Season One, including common, ultra-rare and limited edition Hatchimals to discover.
  • Hold the egg in your hands, rub the heart and when it changes from purple to pink, you know it's ready to hatch! Gently press to crack the egg and discover the Hatchimal Colleggtible inside.
  • Live video streaming
  • Height Lock , easy take off and Aut Hoover
  • Official partner of DR1 racing
  • Beginner and advanced mode Indoor and Outdoor game
  • Air Hog FPV RACE is for ages 10+
  • Game stands over 3 feet tall
  • Step right up -- players test their strength
  • Hit the plate hard enough to "pie" your friends
  • Works like a carnival strength tester game
  • Laugh-out-loud fun
  • 8 minifigures: Nya, Lloyd, Jay, Master Wu, Pythor, General Kozu, a Stone Army Swordsman and General Cryptor
  • The Samurai X Cave features an opening skull entrance
  • Inventor launchpad with 3 modules to assemble a jet
  • Laser prison with an opening ‘door’ of translucent laser-beam elements
£49.94
  • Build your own blaster with the motorized Nerf Modulus ECS-10 blaster
  • Flexible blaster has more than 30 combinations
  • Features targeting scope, drop grip and dual-rail barrel
  • Blaster can launch the included darts at targets up to 90 ft away
  • Blaster's banana clip holds up to 10 darts
  • The Sea Patroller uses drop-down wheels to transform from ship to land vehicle, to take pups on new and exciting missions!
  • Lift Ryder out of sticky situations with the moveable crane and attachable cage. Once on board, send him down the ramp on to land with his Rescue ATV.

Well there it is, My predictions for the kids tops toys this year, let me know what you think about the list in the comments below.  New this year, I thought I would compile a list of really different and imaginative games for the family to play together, some of these are for younger kids and some for older kids, again let me know what think of this selection.  I would love to know if you decide to get one of these games, please do let me know how you got on with it.

Lets talk Toys R Us quickly, they have brought back their very popular payment scheme.  It's based on the American layaway scheme I believe.  The idea is you create a shopping list from Toys R Us and then reserve all the items you want.  You can now make regular payments on the run up to Christmas and once you have paid in full you just collect your order.  I thought this was worth sharing because it is far better than buy now pay later schemes offered by many stores.  So if you are able to take advantage of this, its much better than going through credit checks (that could affect your credit rating) and paying interest on toys so they cost more than they should!

Find out more about the Toys R Us payment scheme here

  • Hilarious drawing game that challenged your vision and leaves you googling for more.
  • Put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses.
  • Start to draw while your team guesses.
  • A fun game that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete
  • since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone.
  • 40 cases to solve
  • Ages: 9+
  • Players: 2 - 6
  • Lasts 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Includes 7 sequential games that build on their level of difficulty
  • Cooperative and easy to learn
  • Rich content and game play
Cranium
£24.99
  • Exciting and funny
  • Relies on the chance element as well as skill
  • Played by two or more teams of one or more players
  • Great for teens and adults
  •  
  • A game of Speed, Observation and Reflexes
  • Race to find the one matching image between one card and another
  • Images may be different sizes and placed on any part of the card, making them difficult to spot
  • Every card is unique and has only one picture in common with every other card in the deck
  • All exciting family board game
  • Perform noises, actions and gestures for other players to guess!
  • Magic decoder reveals hidden forfeits
  • Suitable for ages 5+ and 2 or more players
  • Tell your own fantastic tales of brave heroes and daring adventure
  • New art work and revised rules
  • Playing time: 20-40 mins
  • Ages 8 +
  • 2-6 players