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  

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?

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.

Moana - Birthday Party Ideas

Moana fun from Wonder Kids

The time has come folks for us to start a brand new theme, My Disney review is finished and boy it was a mammoth job reviewing Disneyland Paris, you can read it here.  I am really trying to take my time going through Disney Princess's, well technically lets get it straight Moana is NOT a princess she is the daughter of a chief! I try to only cover one per year because they're an easy option to pick and I think they will be somewhat timeless so no need to burn through them too quickly.

I really enjoyed Moana though, the story is archetypal Disney, the music is brilliant and I think they did a great job representing Polynesian cultures, not perfect, Ive heard some people are not happy about the portrayal, but I think Disney did a brilliant job, much better than say in Pocahontas and Aladdin.

This week is going to be all about a Moana birthday party, giving you some ideas on what you can do and some free print outs to use too.  I have planned four Moana posts and all of the ideas could be used at a Moana birthday party, but today we will be looking specifically at birthday parties. Lets start with some cup cake toppers, a Moana birthday banner and of course party invites.  All are free to download and print as needed.

So thats a great start to a Moana party but how about some colouring pages, these are great to have printed out and ready for the kids to colour in as they arrive at the party.  Just click on the pictures to print them out.

Lets look at some decoration inspiration next.  I love the grass skirt for tables, one or two of these will really transform an area.  I also like these floral numbers and letters, You can buy paper mache letters and numbers from hobby craft, you can slo find fake flowers from their or online may be cheaper.  Then just glue the flowers all over the letter make sure you pick bright colourful flowers for a tropical feel.

Were are going to finish off this week with some cake inspiration, Some simple, some are super complex. Let us know which one is your favourite on our Facebook page. Thats it for this week but make sure you come back next Tuesday for more great Moana fun.

Disneyland Paris 25th Anniversary - Studio's Park

Disneyland Paris Studios review

Welcome to the fifth and final part of our Disneyland review, we all had an amazing time there and we are planning to go back in a few years. Im hoping that by then they will have built a Star Wars land and we are thinking of trying to book a date closer to Halloween so we get to see more villains. This time we are going to talk about the Studio's Park which was my favourite part of our trip, the rides were better, it has the great Ratatouille restaurant and the Ratatouille ride plus loads more! Before we crack on mack sure you have read the previous parts of this review below.

Ok where to start? lets start at the beginning, we spent out first evening at Disney in the Studio's Park because we had booked our first meal at Bistrot Chez Remy.  We stayed quite close to the restaurant, which has a large real water fountain outside, in fact Disney have made this area feel very Parisian, it does feel like you are in a little bit of Paris with some lovely music playing too.  Right next door to the restaurant is the ratatouille ride, although it was too busy for us to ride on our first day we did get on it another day and it's a great ride, very cleverly put together.  You ride around in cars and the idea is that you become a rat in Remy's kitchen/restaurant, it's all done very well however there is one point where a Champagne bottle had its corked popped directly at you and I feel that this should have had a splash of water hit you in the face but nothing happened and I think that was a missed opportunity to really bring the ride to life.

Adjacent to this Remy area is the Toy Story Playland, which felt much more dedicated to younger children and it has some brilliant photo opportunity points.  In this area you will find:-

  • RC Racer
  • Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin
  • Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

We didn't get to go on the RC racer but it looked like a great ride, we did try the other two though which are very gentle rides perfect for small children, watch the video below for more details on these.

So that was my first experience in the Studio's park but whats it like to spend almost an entire day in the park? I'll assume that you will be coming from the Disney Village so you will need to just bare to the left slightly to find the Studios Park (it's not like it's hard to find, it's huge!) When you enter the park you're in a courtyard like area called the Front Lot.  This is where you will find all the customer services like the Studio's Services that I mentioned before for disabilities.  There is also a meet and greet here every day, during our stay it was Goofy everyday. You then need to walk into Studio 1 to enter the Studio's park, you will be greeted with an arcade of restaurants, all loosely based on films, there are loads of different types of food here, some fast food some restaurants but we didn't get a chance to try any of these.At the end of this arcade you walk out of the building into the studio park with a huge statue of Walt and Mickey.  You'll be able to see the Studio Tram Tour directly in front of you.

This ride is a very gentle ride with a video playing walking you through some real sets that were used in films so it's great for some pictures, you will see more in the video above.  There is a highlight on this ride, you get to see some special FX on a set and it's really good but the rest of this ride is just meh.

You'll also see The Art of Disney Animation which again has a lot of meh about it until at the end of this tour guide, museum experience you get to learn how to draw a Disney character.  I learned to draw Winnie the Pooh, now I can not draw to save may life in fact a few years back my daughter asked me to draw her a princess which she could then colour in.  This was a normal request for her because my wife is a very good artist and would draw many pictures for her.  So I put a lot of effort into this princess for her with a big gown and long her etc.  I was quite proud of it but as soon as I showed it to my daughter she cried, not of laughter but genuine disappointment of just how bad it was.  So coming with no drawing skills what so ever and being able to create the Winnie the Pooh below was amazing to me.

Opposite the Animation museum is the Animagique Theatre where different shows take place, these shows are free to attend and I highly recommend you catch the Mickey and the Magician show which I reviewed here. Next to this are two rides, Flying carpets over Agrabah and Crush's Coaster. We got on the Flying Carpet ride very quickly with little to no queue, this is a basic fairground ride similar to the Dumbo ride in the main park but again Disney do the theming very well, with the voice of the Geenie talking to you the whole time. Crush's Coaster is a very deceptive ride, it's all under cover apart from one small exposed piece of track.  From the outside this looks like quite gentle roller coaster maybe good for kids? but look more carefully at the big blue building, specifically how high the building is.  This shows just how high up you are going to go on the ride.  I went on this with my 7yr old who is just as much a thrill seeker as I am so we had no problem with this ride.  We went on with my sister and my mum who both prefer much slower rides so it was a bit of a shock for them just how fast this coaster goes.  It doesn't go upside down but it is all quite dark and it is a fast coaster.  I would rate it as an intermediate coaster, not for very small children but also not a real intense coaster either.

Round the other side of the park is the Back Lot where the more intense rides are kept and the Stunt Show is housed here too. You will pass the Tower of Terror which you can hear all day long the screams of the people riding it, we didn't get a chance to ride this but basically it looks like a much more extreme version of the Parachute Drop.  Near the Tower of Terror you will find a stage, which looks like a temporary set up but I'm not sure.  This is where you find the Star Wars characters doing a meet and greet, the first order march with Captain Phasma and they do some sort of show on stage too but again we missed this.  I did catch some of the Storm Troopers and The First Order March  which you can see in the video above.  The first ride you come to here is Armageddon which is less a ride and more an experience from the film. That is if you can remember the film that was first released almost 20 years ago.  We did go on this and I really wasn't impressed, I think this ride is outdated and can now be replaced. Don't waste your time going on this.  Opposite this ride is the Blockbuster Cafe which is split into two halves, one half is dedicated to Iron Man and the other half Pirates of the Caribbean.  

A little walk down from here and you may well spot a very special bin, you can see this bin in action in the video above.  There are also some nice photo opportunities here with a very welcome umbrella that rains on you, especially welcome in 34℃ heat. You have the Rock 'n' Roller Aerosmith coaster here, this was easily one of my favourite rides and it is an extreme coaster.  All indoors and again I think maybe it's a little dated.  Maybe it should be a Foo Fighters ride these days? Lots of great music on this ride and music themed posters as you queue.  We used the fast track system which I explained here.  This system does not get used enough.  You get to walk past a music studio and Aerosmith appear in some video's too.  The ride is brilliant though, only myself and my 7yr old went on this one but we loved it. Just outside this ride is another meet & greet area which was Spiderman during our stay.  He's kind of tucked away again it's almost like it's a secret that he is there. The final attraction here was the Stunt Show, this is a very popular show and it takes place in a very large arena.  Im not much of a motor head, So I appreciated the clever tricks like remote controlled cars but speeding along and doing wheelies just isn't my thing.  I could tell though thats lots of people were loving it.  Unlike other stunt shows I have seen there isn't really a story to this one.  It actually reminded me of Top Gear but for stunts (not that I watch Top Gear) The presenters go into quite some detail to explain how popular stunts are done in action films, they are then recreated.  I prefer a story line, have a great story line with stunts included and I think this show would be better.  Even after all of this I would still see it again because of the ending, I'm not going to tell you what it is, watch the video above and I have kept just the smallest teaser for you, no spoilers here!

We have come to the end of this massive review from our time at Disneyland Paris.  We all loved it, I think I preferred the Studios park because it was a little quieter and the rides a little more extreme combined with some great activities like the animator and brilliant shows like Mickey and the Magician.  Please do take the time to have a look around this site, and just get in touch through social media if you have any questions or think I missed anything. Make sure you like our Facebook page opposite too.  Right we are off to get back on track with more arts and crafts starting with a Moana themed month!

Tinkerbell and Fairies Re-Mixed - Fairy Food

fairy Party Food from Wonder Kids

This is our second addition to the Fairies re-mix, every few months I take one of our older blog posts and look at how we can improve and add to the content we already have.  Fairies is one of those topics that never goes out of favour much like Pirates there are peaks and valleys in their popularity but there is always love for Fairies.  I think in hindsight I really didn't explore enough with Fairies back in 2015 so here we are two years later adding some great new ideas just for you.

This edition we are going to look at having fun with Fairy food, I have tried to keep a balance between treats and healthy snacks but I will say this now some of these treats should be consumed sparingly.


Fairy Fizz from Wonder Kids

Fairy Fizz

The first couple of ideas are super simple, so there are no excuses for not giving these a go.  This simple but delicious drink.  Mix equal amounts of pink lemonade and 7up, serve over ice.  This is great summer drink.

Magic Fruit Wands

Use a cookie cutter to cut star shapes out of water melon slices.  This is where the kids can help, with a skewer thread on grapes and a strawberry for each wand, top it off with the watermelon star. Delicious and fun.

Sweet Toadstool's

Similare to the fruit wands this is super simple. Use large Marshmallow's threaded onto a cake pop stick and topped with a strawberry for a really cute fairy toadstool that tastes great.


OK are you ready to get a little more complicated? The ideas above are great simple ideas that kids and fairy fans will love, but we can take this to the next level.

Fairy Wand Cookies from Wonder Kids

Fairy Wand Cookies

You'll Need

  • Cookies made using your favourite recipe or you can our one
  • Before baking cut the cookie's into star shapes using a star cookie cutter.
  • Royal Icing, you can't go wrong with Mary Berry's recipe here.
  • Gel food coloring in two colors
  • Long lollipop sticks
  • Rainbow dust
  • Icing bags or bottles
  • Toothpicks

Start by turning your cookie recipe into star-shaped cookie pops. Bake as needed and allow to cool.  Use gel food coloring to dye your royal icing two colors of your choice. I used light purple and light pink. Water down your icing to a 10 to 12-count consistency and then load each color into a separate piping bag or bottle. Pipe a border around the edge of a star cookie. Immediately fill the entire cookie surface with icing in the same color as the border.

While the icing is still wet, add dots in a different color around the outer edge. Run a toothpick, scribe through the dots in one continual motion around the entire edge of the cookie. While the icing is still wet, sprinkle the surface with rainbow dust. To ensure that I don’t overdo it, I like to dip a food safe paint brush into the disco dust, hold it above my cookie, and tap it with my finger. This method gives my cookies a light dusting of disco dust with plenty of noticeable sparkle.


Fairy Freakshake from Wonder Kids

Fairy Freakshake

Yes you read that title correctly, I had never heard of a freakshake before doing the research for this but they are a "thing", google them and you will find some incredible creations.  This is what I meant about enjoying them sparingly.

Ingredients 

  • 2 pints of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 and half cups of candy floss plus more for garnish
  • half a cup of cold milk, more may need to be added
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • melted white chocolate
  • sprinkles

How to Make

To rim the glass with sprinkles, first dip the glass into melted white chocolate and then roll into sprinkles.  Place the glasses in the freezer for the rim to set.

In a blender combine the milk, candy floss, vanilla extract and ice cream. Blend until smooth and serve immediately topped with candy floss garnish.

Thats almost it for this update but check out more great updates by using the button below or you can use the search bar at the top of the page to find some other great ideas.  I have also included some of our other recent posts below too. Before we leave I have created a gallery of some really inspiring fairy themed cakes to get you thinking.