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.

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

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.

Wayne Wonder's Kids Club

image.jpg
Support the Kids Club

Hello and Welcome to my Kids Club,  I started it in 2014 when my daughter was 4yrs old, I came to the realisation that I needed more easy, fun, creative and educational things to do at home.  I don't mind her using tech every now and again but I'm not one for her to be constantly on her iPad or glued to the TV.  I would much rather see her playing a game, getting outside or building something.

I live in the U.K where the weather is mostly grey and miserable, so being stuck indoors you either get creative or you spend a small fortune at indoor play centres.  I know which one I would rather choose.

So how does this Kids Club work?

It's all FREE! Yes straight from the start of this idea I knew I didn't want to charge for this, it does take a lot of my time up but my daughter loves it and I now get great feedback from other parents, restaurants, teachers and even other entertainers use some of the game ideas in their parties.  So I feel like this Kids Club is doing a really good thing.

Every Month I pick a theme to explore, now if you have any ideas for themes that I haven't done yet then just post them in the comments section below or get in touch through social media, I would love to hear from you.  Every week I post a new game/craft/idea sticking to the month's theme.

Make sure you explore the Kids Club, There are a few ways to do this

  1. Use the search bar at the top of the page to search for anything you like, this is great for searching themes like Christmas, Halloween etc
  2. To the right, at the top of the page there is a drop down menu organised by the different topics that I have covered so far.  In the past this dropdown menu was organised by month so you may see that on my older posts
  3. keep scrolling down and you'll find a grid of some of my most recent posts, thats a great place to start. 

To get you started I have included below some of my favourite topics that I have covered remember there is so much more to explore and if you share a picture on my Facebook page of your family enjoying one of the activities then I'll send you a goodie bag full of Wayne Wonder Prizes. 

It took me about a year to get around to doing a Ninja Turtle blog post but I'm a huge Ninja Turtle fan, have been since I was a kid.  there is photographic evidence of this in the post, just click the picture opposite to find out how to:

  • Make your own fun, safe nun-chucks
  • Pizza box present and a ton of other activities.
  • Pizza fridge magnet
  • TMNT Colouring pages
  • Ninja mask
 

The biggest animated film of all time and I have a bunch of great fun ideas you can do with it.  My families favourite was the Frozen Treasure Hunt, I even appeared on a YouTube channel because of that game.  Just click on the picture opposite for all the Frozen fun. In this Frozen blog post we did - 

  • Frozen Tag game
  • Making Snowflakes
  • Frozen maze
  • Frozen Treasure Hunt
  • Build a snowman
 

Here's the You Tube channel I appeared on with my Frozen Treasure Hunt game.

 

I could go on all day about my favourite bits of this blog but Im going to leave it with three.  The series of Harry Potter blog posts were great, so many great games, crafts and activities plus you get to see loads of pictures from the Harry Potter studio tour and a full review of the tour itself.  In this series you'll find

  • How to make your own wand
  • Learn magic Tricks
  • Loads of Harry Potter Games
  • Harry Potter Cakes
  • Harry Potter Party Decorations

That's it, just a quick overview of how the Kids Club works and to get you started exploring this blog.  I also offer a direct to your inbox service during the school holidays.  Again it's all free so sign up below with your e-mail address, I don't sell or share e-mail address's onto any third parties.  I will then send you a great idea for every week of the summer holiday's. Remember I only pick ideas that are easy, fun, creative and inexpensive to try at home.

Author

Wayne Wonder is one of the UK's leading family entertainers, a multi award winning magician and balloon artist, he's also a published poet and father of one.  As well as a few TV credits to his name Wayne has performed in three different countries.  Wayne Wonder's Kids Club was only launched in 2014 and since then has changed dramatically.  If you have found this blog helpful/interesting then please do let us know in the comments below.  Please do share these posts on your favourite social media too.

Harry Potter - Wizard Games

This is the final Harry Potter post in this series.  I have kept the best pics from our studio tour until last! In this weeks Kids Club I have got some great Wizard games.  These are great for sleepover's, birthday's or even Halloween parties.  Back at the Harry Potter Studio Tour we have moved onto what I think had the biggest improvements since our first visit.  The outdoor lot!  You enter this area through a new Café which is now all completely indoors.  This is very good in Britain as it tends to be chilly for most of the year.  On our previous visit there was what I would describe as a very good temporary marquee that you could eat under with some stalls selling butterbeer in cheap plastic cups.  This has now changed. The new Café is plenty big enough with a really good menu of food and now a dedicated station for butterbeer and butter beer ice cream, which we tried and the ice cream is amazing. The outdoor lot is soo much fun, it has the night bus, harry potters house, the hogwarts bridge, the flying car and a couple of other pieces.  Also around this area is the new Hogwarts Express Train! You get to go on the actually train from the films that takes the children to Hogwarts. They also have a platform 9 3/4 which is the same as the one at Kings Cross station.  Im going to leave the review there but trust me when I say this, there is so much more on this tour.  I have left out loads of stuff and not because it's boring but because I want there to be surprises for you and I don't want to type pages and pages of reviews.  Take a look at the pictures below and we'll get on with some Wizard games.

Transfiguration Class

Play charades using only things and animals.  (The kids should be able to act like the “thing.”)  Tell the kids they are supposed to transform themselves into the “thing” you assign them.  Before they transform, they should wave their wand and say, “Fera Verto.”  (Actually, that’s a spell to turn an animal into a water goblet, but it’s close enough!)  You can play this for as little or as long as you like. You can even choose creatures from Harry Potter for the kids to act out or anything/animal from the real world.  I prefer to use a mix and just through the odd Harry Potter reference in there as a surprise.

Harry Potter Would You Rather?

I see this game as a great game for in the car, maybe on the way to the studio tour.  First you'll need to print out the nine sheets I have included below.  After you've printed out the questions onto your paper, you may want to consider laminating the cards. If you are laminating the cards, do that before cutting them. If you don't want to laminate them, you can go ahead and cut the page into three columns. If you want to make a book out of your cards, be sure to cut right along the right hand side of the line and leave the left side with the extra border. This will give you space to make a binding or punch holes.

Would You Rather 1

Would You Rather 2

Would You Rather 3

Would You Rather 4

Would You Rather 5

Would You Rather 6

Would You Rather 7 

Would You Rather 8

Would You Rather 9

If you choose to, you can punch holes your cards or have them bound together to make a little booklet, you can do this yourself with anything... binder rings, wire, etc. Or, have it bound at your local print shop. You could also easily choose to leave the cards loose and keep them in a bag. It can be as simple as that! Whatever you decide to do, we're sure you're in for hours of whimsical fun.

Charms Class

This game is a simple as they come, but it's a classic and will be a sure fire hit.  Using their wand (Check out my DIY Wand post here) they need to keep the balloon up in the air and not let it hit the floor.  Come on we have all played this, in some form and you know how much fun it is.  Make sure you have some music playing, if I was to do this I would make the music get faster and as the music is faster they have to hit the balloon faster.  Thus making the game gradually harder.  You could also get them to say Wingardium Leviosa as they do this.

Thank you for taking the time to take a look at my blog and please do take a look at some of my older posts below or just use the search bar if you would like maybe some ninja turtles or something princess for your little ones to see what I have on here for you. Next week we have a brand new theme to kick off April and it's going to get emotional.  In the meantime please do take a second to support my blog and give any spare change you can afford.  You can also get some cool free gifts by hitting that give button below.

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