Archive | October, 2012
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31 Oct

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30 Oct

Mum's the Word

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24 Oct

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22 Oct

Hama Beads – Horse Mobile Kit

22 Oct

I’m always on the lookout for new crafts to try with my son and recently I have seen a lot of positive comments about Hama beads. They look similar to a kit I had tried many years ago, which used some funky melty beads to make a picture. I don’t know what went wrong, but the beads wouldn’t stay on the board and the ironing, well, the less said about that the better. After my failed attempts, I was reluctant to try anything like it again. However, with so many people saying good things about Hama beads, I had to give them a go and so we got a lovely set sent out to us.

After a quick explanation of what to do, son was keen to get started. I started him off with a couple of beads and was pleased to find that they sat nicely on the board provided. Clearly, the kit I had tried before was not genuine Hama beads, as the quality of this kit was fantastic. Son had no trouble at all adding the beads to the board, even though he is only three and this kit is aimed at ages five and over.

It did take him a long time to complete, but that’s a good thing! I think it really pushed him to concentrate, which is not something he is good at for long periods of time, so he would leave it for a while to play with something else but always came back to it of his own accord.

Next came the tricky bit. Ironing! Now, er, I don’t actually have an iron so we had to borrow Granny’s. Of course, there was much tutting and head shaking from her, but it was worth it to see the finished project. The ironing turned out to be very simple. You just cover the beads with the special paper included in the kit and iron gently. The heat starts to melt the top surface of the beads and they fuse together.

I had to make sure that the beads had melted enough, so that they were all connected. There were a couple of places where the gaps between the beads were slightly larger, and extra care needed to be taken to make sure the tail was securely attached, but I just put the paper back on and ironed a little more if needed. The beads were quite hot when I finished ironing, so were left to cool for a few minutes before handling.

We haven’t finished making the kit up yet. We have completed three horses and an apple, but not had chance to fix them all together into a mobile. I’ll post a photo when it’s all finished, I think it’s going to look great.

I have been really impressed with this kit and only wish we had tried Hama beads sooner. It has provided lots of learning opportunities for my son including sorting colours, counting and following a pattern. There were quite a lot of beads left over so he has been threading, making bracelets, a necklace for granny and he will be using the square board to make something of his own design. I don’t know what that will be yet, he tells me it’s a secret.

The horse mobile kit is currently priced at £6.95 which I think is really good value for money considering how long my son has been playing with it and there are still plenty of beads left. I will definitely be buying more Hama beads, perhaps just some separate beads and boards so I can try out some of these brilliant ideas on Pinterest.

 

All opinions are honest and our own. We were sent the Hama beads kit free of charge for this review.

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10 Oct

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Green Tomatoes

10 Oct

I received an email the other day asking if I’d given up on my Day Zero project. The short answer to that is, “no!”

It’s true that I could be doing better at it and I may have lost some of the enthusiasm I had when I first started the project, but I have completed some more tasks and a few others are ticking along nicely. I have had to give up on a couple of tasks due to them being unachievable either financially or practically, and a couple have had to be modified, but overall I’m pretty pleased with how the challenge is progressing. I am now just over a week into the final year of this project so I’ll have to make time to have a look at what needs doing and make some plans.

But first, an update.

I’m very proud to say I’ve ticked off two huge tasks this last couple of weeks. The rocking horse (#26) is finished (more about that later though), and I have paid off one of my credit cards (#97)! I did not then use that card to buy a rather lovely Mia Tui bag. *cough*

I have also finished task number 45 – grow and eat three different vegetables or fruit.

The carrots were tiny (but deliciously sweet), and we only got a handful of strawberries and tomatoes. I blame the weather. We cut the remaining tomato plants down yesterday as it’s just too cold for them now. There were easily a hundred tiny tomatoes that just didn’t grow in time, and I picked a bowl full of green ones.

It would be a shame to waste them, but I have no idea at all what to do with them. Will they turn red if I leave them on the window sill? Can I cook them up as they are? I’d really appreciate any suggestions you have.