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 - 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.

Knights and Knaves - Warwick Castle

Knights and Knaves from Wonder Kids

Hello and welcome to a brand new month, I hope that you had a good summer break.  We took a couple of weeks off from the blog over the summer but that doesn't mean that we were just sat around twiddling our thumbs, far from it! We had lots of mini breaks all over the UK some of which I will be writing about (like today) and we have been busy setting up future surprises for our lovely readers. 

This month we have a brand new theme of Knights and Knaves.  The UK has an amazing history, history that not only changed and defined our own great nation but then those same ideas spread to many other nations around the world too.  As it's the start of a new school term, make sure you get ahead of the game and sign up to our newsletter.  It's free and we never sell or share your details, all we do is send you an email every school holiday with some brilliant ideas to keep the kids busy during the school holidays.

Warwick Castle

One of our little mini breaks saw us visit Warwickshire, the birthplace of William Shakespear and the impressive Warwick Castle.  I will cover a very brief history of this fortification below but for now just rest assured this castle is reaped in history and has played a central role in the history of the U.K.

After visiting the castle we exited through the gift shop and decided on buying the Ostrich quill you can see below complete with an ink pot (They were on a special offer).  But now I needed to make this simple pen and ink set lots more fun.  So I set about getting my daughter excited about creating a story featuring the castle, knights , prince's and a princess. I created the story map opposite to help create a well rounded story, this is a free printable, just click on the picture to print it out. Now we needed some paper to write the story on and I thought it should fit in with the quill and ink that we bought so I showed her how to make old parchment paper, turns out she had already done it in school but we both enjoyed it and it turned out really well. (Continued below)

Ostrich Feather Quill

Warwick Castle has been part of UK history for the past 1000 years (yes thats not a typo, thousand) It all started with Alfred the Great’s daughter Ethelfleda when she put a fort on the site in 914AD. It was one of ten in the kingdom of Mercia aimed at fending off the Vikings. However, most of the remains on what’s called Ethelfleda’s Mound, south-west of today’s castle, date from the later Norman period. Today The more traditional-looking castle that developed into what we we see, was built by William the Conqueror in 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, to keep control of the Midlands as he advanced northwards. The castle’s defences were increased in the 1640s to prepare for the English Civil War, when Royalist forces laid siege to the castle. Warwick Castle withstood the attack and was later used to hold Parliamentarian prisoners. Warwick Castle has some links to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. When the conspirators heard their plot had failed, they fled and stole cavalry horses from the stables at the castle to help in their escape.

All in all we had an absolute blast at the castle, make sure you wear comfortable shoes there is a lot of walking.  An absolute must see at the moment is the War of the Roses show, not sure how long this show will last.  You can take picnics with you and eat them in the courtyard of the castle however we opted to buy food on the day which was pricey and the food was meh, satisfactory. We also had a try at archery which was an additional £5.00 and another highlight was the princess in the tower show.  This is a very short 15 min show about a princess who has lost her prince.  I thought the princess did a grand job with very few children, all of whom were shy and it's not like she has the time to warm them up into a more responsive audience.  The bird show and peacock garden were also great attractions.

Parchment Paper

How I made my parchment paper, I'm sure there are many more complicated techniques on the web to make parchment paper, but for our use case, this super simple technique is perfect.

Make Parchment Paper with Wonder Kids

What you need:

  • A4 paper (I think white card may be better)
  • Coffee Granules
  • Baking Tray x 2
  • Water
  • Brush
  • Oven

How to:

Pre heat oven, Lay a sheet of paper in a baking tray (we did this in the garden) I mixed a small amount of water with coffee granules until I had a nice dark colour.  Pour a little of this over the paper and move the baking tray to make sure the paper is covered.  We then sprinkled extra granules over the paper which created some nice darker spots and used a brush to get a more worn effect.

I transferred this first sheet to another baking tray and placed it in the warm oven.  I turned the oven off at this point and just closed the door.  All you want to achieve here is to dry the paper, you do not want to cook the paper.  We found that the paper went quite hard and curled in places but we liked that. I continued this process using extra baking trays and placing them in the oven.  We even tried to hang one sheet up on the washing line to dry which worked but the coffee stain wasn't as dark as the oven baked versions and the paper tore a little because of the wind.

Thats it for this week, next week I will be sharing some amazing games for you to try.  I would love to see any stories that your little ones come up with so please do take a pic and share them on my social media.

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.