Make Your Own Pizza Night!

Make your own pizza night - 2 ingredient pizza dough recipe

I use this simple dough mixture a lot.  I’ve made scrolls for the lunch box & flat bread for soup, and I also use this recipe for pizza bases sometimes. Personally, I prefer the regular pizza base recipe, however this is so quick and easy and the husband and the kids love it so I often whip this up for a quick & fun dinner night.

The children love picking their own toppings to build their pizza and it’s a lovely family activity to do. 

Ingredients

2 Cups SR Flour (300 grams)

1 Cup Greek Yoghurt (280 grams)

Dough Method – Regular

1. Place yoghurt & 1 cup of SR flour into a large mixing bowl. 

2. Mix with a spoon until just combined.

3. Add the rest of the flour, a little bit at a time, and use your hands to work through until you have formed a dough ball.

4. Knead for about 5 minutes on a floured board or bench.

5. Cut dough in half, and then each half in three pieces. This makes 6 mini pizza bases (approximately  the size of a bread & butter plate).

6. Roll out each piece to about half a centremetre thickness each.

7. Top with favourite toppings and baking in a pre-heated 190°C oven for about 15 minutes, until toppings are golden.  I use a flat baking tray lined with paper to cook the individual pizzas.

Dough Method – Thermomix

1.  Weigh out all ingredients into bowl.

2. Slowly turn to speed 6 for 10 seconds until dough is formed.

3. Lock lid and set timer to 1.5 minutes, kneed option.

4. Remove dough from the Thermomix bowl and place on to a floured board or Thermomix mat.

5. Kneed into a ball. Add a little extra flour when kneading if needed.

6. Cut dough in half, and then each half in three pieces. This makes 6 mini pizza bases (approximately  the size of a bread & butter plate).

7. Roll out each piece to about half a centremetre thickness each.

8. Top with favourite toppings and baking in a pre-heated 190°C oven for about 15 minutes, until toppings are golden.  I use a flat baking tray lined with paper to cook the individual pizzas.

Tip:

  • Use a little olive oil on the base of the baking paper for added golden flavour to the base of the pizza.
  • For a cheesy crust, sprinkle cheese along the outside of the dough circle and fold the edge over the cheese to incase it (you can see what this looks like here)

2 ingredient Pizza Dough Recipe

Toppings

I lay out various ingredients in small ceramic bowls so it’s easy for the kids to decide on their toppings.  This is what I had on hand but we enjoy a lot of different toppings.

Make your own pizza night - 2 ingredient pizza dough recipe

Some of our Favourite Pizza Topping Ingredients

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salami
  • Bacon
  • Ham pieces
  • Grated cheese
  • Cherry Tomato
  • Pumpkin
  • Fetta Cheese
  • Brie cheese
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Butter & Garlic
  • Pineapple pieces
  • Baby spinach
  • Mushroom
  • Onion
  • Herbs (rosemary is delicious with pumpkin and fetta)
  • Corn kernels 
  • Halloumi
  • Capsicum  
  • Olive Oil

This is my son’s pizza. I had to laugh because he just put on heaps of meat and then “Spinach to make it a bit healthy”. No cheese — nothing but meat and spinach.

Make your own pizza night

My eldest daughter, however, likes the lot.

Make your own pizza night

More

2 Ingredient Scrolls

2 Ingredient Flat Bread

4 Ingredient Coconut Bread

3 Ingredient Corn & Cheese Muffins

4 Ingredient Cupcakes

Taking Kids to Crowded Places

 EKKA 2011

The husband and I took the kids to the EKKA (aka The Brisbane Show) for the first time last weekend.  One of the reasons why we haven’t ventured out to the show with our children before is, well…because taking four children to a heavily crowded event is a nightmare challenging.

Now the kids are more independent, we decided to attend the annual show this year. I have so many fond childhood memories of the EKKA and was excited to share this experience with my kids.

Below are some of the ways I prepare for a long, busy, crowded day out.

1. Pack

I always take food supplies wherever I go because buying food for our family costs a fortune! We did buy treats while we at the EKKA (because the food is part of the experience!) but the majority of supplies I bring with me. This is what is typically on my list:

  • Cut sandwich
  • Apple
  • 2 x packets rice crackers
  • Water bottles for each person
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wipes
  • Change of underwear (for the little one)
  • Hats
  • Sunscreen

I keep everything in a backpack because it’s easy to carry around. It’s also a good idea to take strollers to use a pack-horse, even if the kids are older. In a few years, when we don’t have strollers anymore, I will probably get everyone to take their own backpack to carry supplies.

{first taste of fairy floss — ever!}

fairy floss at the ekka

2. Safety

Safety weighs heavily on my mind when taking children to crowded places. Below are steps I take to ensure my children’s safety.

i) Write my mobile number in pen somewhere hidden on my child’s body, under a sleeve or jumper if possible. You can buy id wrist bracelets for this purpose also.

taking children to crowded places

ii) In the (unlikely) case one of my children does get lost, I’ve instructed them to stay still, and I will come and find them.  The worst thing they can do is walk around trying to find me.

iii) Talk to my children about staying close at all times and remind them that Mum and Dad are there to give them a fun day, and we can do more things as a family if they follow the simple rules.

iv) Dress my younger children in bright clothes. When we were at the EKKA, it was easy for me to spot the bright red hat on my son so I could make sure he was with me all the time.

taking kids to crowded places -- wear bright clothes tip

3. Plan

While we didn’t have a fixed plan for the day, it did help to have a general guide in what to do, and where to go. To help plan out the day, we checked the relevant website, picked up a map to take with us, and many large events have their own iPhone app too which is helpful. Things I particularly look out for are toilets and eating areas.

I also have a flexible guide in my head about what we plan to buy for the kids so I’m not influenced to get everything we see. The children were allowed to choose 2 showbags (which we decided before we went to the show).

4. Enjoy!

The only thing left to do was to enjoy the day! And we did! Sure, it was a big day, but it went surprisingly smoothly.

Do you have any more tips for taking kids to crowded places?

Other Posts

Kids Safety Using Knives

100 School Holiday Activity Ideas

100 school holiday ideas
School holiday are here! And I like it. Mind you, there is always an adjustment period at my place, when the children are settling into a new routine and getting used to being around each other more.  Three days it usually takes for us all to adjust.

This school holidays, I’m looking forward to lazy mornings, no school lunches and the flexibility to do things with the children when I want.  The trick to fun school holidays is to keep the kids busy with enough down-time so Mum isn’t worn out.

To help you get the most out of this school hoidays, I’ve put together this MASSIVE list of 100 school holiday ideas. I’ve broken the list down into categories to help you find ideas that will suit you and your kids.  If you want to plan the weeks out, The Organised Housewife has a free School Holiday Planner Printable . Have fun!

100 School Holiday Activity Ideas

  • Home: Inside
  • At Home: Outside
  • At Home: Arty and Crafty
  • Out and About
  • Adventurous
  • At Night
  • When It’s Raining
  • Quiet Time

At Home: Inside

1. Make an ant farm.

2. Bake cupcakes.

3. Make a cubby house under the table.

4. Invite friends over to play.

5. Make homemade pizza.

6. Dance to music.

7. Have a theme day. This may be butterflies, pirates, princesses, fairies, dinosaurs or a particular colour.

8. Make an inside obstacle course with cushions, pillows, boxes, chairs and blankets.

9. Ice biscuits.

10. Play dress ups and do a play.

11. Make a themed play space: in a large rectangle bucket or tray create your own play scene. For example: use a smaller container (like an empty margarine container) filled with water, and in the rectangle bucket place rocks, small twigs, bark or sticks from trees for an outdoor scene.  I love this one from Picklebums.

12. Go on a colour hunt in your house. Collect objects of a certain colour and take a picture of your finds to make a collage. Also an idea by Picklebums.

13. Buy a note book and get the child/ren to write a school holiday diary (or draw pictures every day for young children).

14. Reorganise the children’s room (with their help).

15. Make fruit Kebabs.

16. Write a letter to someone.

At Home: Outside

17. Hang a sheet from a tree to make an outside cubby house.

18. Fly (cut to length) crepe streamers in the wind.

19. Eat outside.

20. Do general gardening or plant a vegetable or herb garden.

21. Make an outside obstacle course. Click here for ideas.

22. Play Backyard games.

23. Blow bubbles. Frills in the Hills has a great recipe for homemade bubble mixture.

24. Do an outside treasure hunt.

25. Create an outdoor play garden. Create a small space of dirt and fill with pots, small rake, bucket, spoons, utensils and solid plastic toys like animal figurines. I like this one from The Imagination Tree.

26. Make a flower head wreath.

At Home: Arty and Crafty

27. Make fairy wings.

28. Make a Zorro mask out of a strip of black material with two eye cut outs.

29. Create a family artwork on a large canvas.

30. Make recycled paper.

31. Collect flowers and press them inside book between baking paper.

32. Colour-in. You can print a variety of colouring in sheets online.

33. Face painting.

34. Make Photo Paper Dolls.

35. Make a robot out of cardboard boxes.

36. Make a treasure map out of brown paper.

37. Make a musical tree. See here for details.

38. Be crafty at home: knit, paper craft, play dough, cooking or painting.

39. Make up a travel drawing box.

40. Paint toe nails. (Boys like this too!)

41. Make boats out of milk bottle lids, a straw (for the mast), paper (for the sail) and blue-tack to stick the sail on to the boat.

42. Make a leaf collage picture.

43. Glue cut out pictures from a magazine or junk mail to a piece of paper.

44. Make a photo book: take photos of your favourite things and collate them into a book.

45. Make sock puppets by gluing wool on the top of an old sock and using a permanent marker to draw eyes, nose and a mouth.

46. Do a self-portrait. Stick a large piece of butchers to the wall (or lay on the floor) and trace around your body.

47. Make a long paper-clip chain.

Out and About

48. Visit a museum

49. Go Geocaching.

50. Go window shopping and have a special morning tea.

51. Go see a movie.

52. Eat a big ice-cream.

53. Visit a library.

54. Fly a kite.

55. Have a picnic outside.

56. Visit a park or playground.

57. Look out for butterflies and birds for a day.

58. Go fruit picking.

59. Plan a day trip:

  • animal farm
  •  new town
  • historical village
  • market
  • environmental centre
  • hiking
  • bush walking
  • drive up a mountain
  • visit the beach
  • the country
  • theme park

60. Visit someone lonely.

61. Collect shells on the beach.

62. Go ten tin bowling.

63. Visit a planetarium.

64. Feed ducks at a pond.

65. Go fishing.

66. Look for organised school holiday opportunities at art schools, museums, shopping centres, national parks, libraries and councils.

67. Go swimming. (If Winter, look for a heated pool).

68. Visit and share something of your own childhood with your child/ren. This may be a home you lived in as a child, where you honeymooned or favourite place.

69. Look for free activities at a shopping centre.

70. Go for a walk.

71. Visit Dad or Mum at work.

Adventurous

72. Go Bike-riding

73. Catch a train.

74. Go Ice-skating or roller-skating.

75. Catch a bus.

76. Go on a bush walk or hike.

77. Go on a nature hunt.

78. Make a cubbyhouse from items from a second hand shop.

79. Catch a ferry.

80. Allow your kids to learn a new skill. Look for workshops in horse-riding, pottery, art, rock climbing and drama.

81. Have a quest. This may be photographing butterflies for a day, hunting for cool letterboxes, looking for street signs for the names of the people in your family or tasting 3 different types of cookies and cream ice-cream.

At Night

82. Look at the stars.

83. Walk on the beach at dusk

84. Go on a nature walk down your street with a torch.

85. Have a movie night. You can make your own popcorn cups by making a cone shape with a piece of paper and taping it together.

86. Toast marshmallows in the oven before threading them on to sticks (parent would do this).

87. Eat at a family restaurant.

When It’s Raining (also see At Home: Inside)

88. Go to an indoor play centre.

89. Play with umbrellas in the rain.

90. Collect rain in a bucket.

91. Play inside games like hide and seek or duck, duck goose.

92. Photograph the raindrops on the window and include them in a photo book.

93. Go for a drive in the car.

94. Visit a friend’s house (or invite a friend over to play at your place).

Quiet Time

95. Play board/card games like Monopoly, Dictionary, Pictionary, Snap, Taboo, Hungry Hippo, Scategories, The Old Maid.

96. Watch a DVD at home.

97. Stay in your PJs all day.

98. Make a “city” with cars, toys and boxes for buildings.

99. Lie on the grass and watch the clouds.

100. Have “rest” time where everyone plays quiet games like reading or puzzles on their own bed.

If you have more ideas to add, leave them in the comments below.

Family Holiday Links

Planning a Family Holiday

Entertaining Kids When Travelling

Printable Holiday Packing Lists

The Car Box List

15 Adventurous Things To Do With Kids

I’m a sucker for adventure. I love the thrill of visiting new places and the excitment of doing new things. Adventure doesn’t have to stop once you have a family. Quite the opposite in fact. Children tend to embrace adventure with open arms.  As a family, we find many ways to be adventurous and I’m sharing some ideas below.

15 adventurous things to do with kids

1. Drive down a new street or take a different road home

If there is spare time on the way home from somewhere, the kids and I will often explore a new street.  We’ve made many discoveries by doing this.

adventurous things to do with kids -- drive down a different road to a new place

2. Go Geocaching

Geocaching combines the excitement of finding a new place and the thrill of hunting treasure.  It brings together the perfect mix of technology and nature. It  can be done any day, anytime and anywhere in the world. This adventure costs next to nothing and can take anywhere from 30 minutes or an entire day – you choose.  It really is The Best Family Adventure. If you have a GPS, iPhone or GPS enabled smart phone, you MUST try it. Find more here: Geochaching — The Best Family Adventure.

adventurous things to do with kids: geocaching

3. Go outside when it’s night with a torch and explore

We recently went on a glow worm hunt which was a lot of fun, but even going outside your own home with a torch is  exciting.

adventurous things to do with kids: night hunt for glow worms

4. Find a hilly road to drive on

Okay, so this picture was taken on the steepest street in the world: Baldwin Street, Dunedin in New Zealand. But there are a lot of hilly roads to drive on everywhere, and kids think it’s awesome.

adventurous things to do with kids -- drive on a hilly road

5. Visit a farm and pick your own fruit or vegetables

This fun activity is also educational, where children can learn where food comes from.  If you’re visiting Queensland, the Strawberry Fields on the Sunshine Coast provide a fantastic family fun day.

adventurous things to do with kids: picking strawberries

6. Look at the stars or watch a sunset

It’s a simple thing to do. Going outside to look at the stars, or watching a sunset is a magical experience.

adventurous things to do with kids: watch a sunset

7. Have a sleep out in the family room

This doesn’t have to be for the entire night. Sometimes when we have the cousins over, they sleep in the lounge until later, when the parents carry the children to bed.

adventurous things to do with kids: sleep out in the family room

8. Find a new park out of town

Find a park you haven’t visited before.  It might even become a family favourite.

adventurous things to do with kids: find a new park

9. Go hiking or bush walking

Even when our children were young, Blu and I went hiking and bush walking with them.  If you invest in a good child backpack, it’s possible to do many bush walks with children.

adventurous things to do with kids: hiking and bush walking

10. Visit an airport

This is a favourite activity Dad likes to do with our kids. He simply drives out to our local airport, and from the car, the children watch the planes take off and land.

adventurous things to do with kids visit an airport 3

11. Catch or watch a train

Trains are a source of fascination for our children. We watch trains, ride on them, and even went on a steam train adventure.

adventurous things to do with kids: ride on a train

12. Eat an early dinner outside

While I’m not necessarily recommending children should eat lying down (HA!) eating outside is a fun treat. My kids watched the clouds while eating chicken burgers. As a family, we’ve also eaten a picnic dinner at a park and done plenty of finger food nights.

adventurous things to do with kids: eat dinner outside together

13. Theme Day

Pick a theme and fill a day with as many themed things as you can.  For example, you may like to find all your toy dinosaurs, visit a museum, read a dinosaur book and even make dinosaur cupcakes.

adventurous things to do with kids: theme hunt

14. Have a Family Quest

This can be anything like collecting shells, taking a picture at every “big” landmarks you come across (like the Big Pineapple or the Big Banana), or finding street names for every one in your family.

adventurous things to do with kids: family quest

15. Family Holidays

Nothing says adventure like a family holiday. We plan one at least every year.

adventurous things to do with kids: family holidays

What adventurous things do you like to do with kids?

More Family Fun Ideas

Finger Food Night

Talk a Walk Down Memory Lane

Op Shop Cubby

Be A Fun Mum Cards

Family Fun: Taking a Walk Down Memory Lane

Family Fun: Revist Childhood Memories

I felt a buzz as I looked around the familiar setting. Memories flooded back as I remembered myself as a carefree child running around in the cool mountain air making stick cubby houses and drinking hot Milo. Fast forward 20 years and here I was, not a child anymore, but a parent, bringing my my own children to Tamborine Mountain for the annual Easter Convention. It was the first time our family was able to attend the convention for the entire weekend and I was reminded of the importance of family tradition and sharing my history with the children.

I believe dedicated family time and sharing your own history with your kids is important. Here are five reasons why.

1. The Glue: Holding Memories Together

My strongest childhood memories surround family holidays: the annual beach holiday, Easter, Christmas and speical food. I remember other wonderful things about my childhood too, but these memories are a little blurred. As I look back over my life, I can see that dedicated family time is like a glue, holding memories together and forming a picture of an overwhelmingly happy childhood. It’s  comforting to know, that even though I know my parents had struggles like any family, that’s not what I remember. I trust the same for my children too: That they will remember their childhood fondly.

2. Connection: Family Traditions & Heritage

My sister (who was also camping with her kids) suggested we take the children on a night time bush-walk to see the glow worms, like our parents had done with us. It was magical. The glow worms were there at Curtis Falls, just as I remembered. It was hard to capture the beauty of the glow worms so you’ll just have to go and look at them yourself.

{WARNING: if you don’t want to see my husband and I kiss, don’t watch the movie}

                                

3. Fun: Family Outing Ideas

One afternoon, we drove up to Binna Burra, in the Gold Coast Hinterland,  to show the kids where my husband and I honeymooned over 11 years ago.  We told them the stories of our time there.

Like when Daddy abseiled down the cliff first to unhook the rope from the tree and how Mummy’s long hair got caught in the ropes. Of  courses Daddy saved her! {oh the romance}

We told them of the 22 km hike we walked. Even thought we were tired, we couldn’t stop because every time we did, leeches crept out to suck our blood. {oh the drama}

And when we flew through the trees on the longest flying fox in the Southern Hemisphere. {oh the adventure} 

It was special planning a family outing around memories from my past.

4. Holding: Family Sticking Power

When I hit the teenager years, I still wanted to hang with my family. Because we were a happening family. We did stuff — you know? So perhaps doing things as a family has a strong holding power as children grow. My family life was anything but boring!

5. Remembering: Not Losing Touch

It was good for me to remember. To remember what it felt like to be a child. To remember that I was once a honeymooner. To remember the glow of a bonfire and trying to get the perfect toasted marshmallow. To remember my faith and renew what I believe and why.

I’ve come down from the mountain with a renewed vigor and passion to share my life with my children.

To participate in my children’s lives rather than be a distant overseer.  Because I remember.

To be more patient when my kids are engrossed in a elaborate game. Because I remember.

To facilitate more creative play. Because I remember.

To make the effort to do that Easter egg hunt. Because I remember.

To live out my faith, and use words only when necessary. Because I remember.

To always plan an annual family holiday. Because I remember.

When you’re planning your next family day out of holiday, consider revisiting somewhere that holds personal significance to share with your child/ren.

Have you taken your kids down memory lane? Where to?

Sharing YOU with your kids

Keeping your dreams alive

Other Family Holiday Posts

Entertaining the Kids When Travelling

Planning a Family Holiday

Family Holidays

Op Shop Cubby

My Guide to Happy Holidays

Planning a Family Holiday plus Giveaway

Planning a Family Holiday by Laine Yates

planning a family holiday

I have to admit: I’m a research nerd. So, planning a family holiday is right up my alley.  Often, friends ask me if I’ve researched a certain topic before they do anything because chances are, I’ve already explored it to the nth degree! I’ve have planned many trips with our boys and here are a few things we take into account when planning a family holiday:

What kind of holiday is your family after?

Keep in mind your children’s ages and what suits your family dynamics.

Adventure holidays would be more suited to families with older kids. Here are some example activities: bike riding, hiking, rafting and water skiing.

Beach holidays suit most families who are after a “chill out” holiday. However, remember to explore the types of beaches at your destination. Surf beaches are fun for older kids, whereas bay beaches are best for younger children.  If you’d like to have a few days away from the beach, look for things to do around the surrounding area.  Here are some examples of places to look for: zoos, aquariums, markets and wineries.

Theme park holidays are fun and bring out your inner child.  I remember going to Disneyland Paris when our son was 18 months old; I was more excited than he was!  If you have young children, some theme parks have areas specifically for young ones with lower height restrictions (like Wiggles World). To find out if the park has these dedicated areas, look at the map of the theme park, which can be found on the respective websites.

Farm stays are great for children. They will enjoy learning about the different animals and what they eat; doing farm chores; and the many hands on activities this sort of holiday provides.

Ask for ideas

* Friends and family with kids of similar ages is a great place to start. They will be able to give you ideas on destinations they’ve been to, places to stay, restaurants to eat at and places to visit.

* Travel agents are also a good point of reference. They travel regularly to keep up to date with accommodation and holiday destinations so can offer informative advice.

* Travel forums have also been a great help to us when planning our family holidays. We recently used Trip Advisor  to research our holiday to Thailand. You can find honest reviews on accommodation, things to do, places to visit, and even restaurant reviews. Forums are a great tool to use to narrow down your search of places to visit and stay.

Budget

This will be a major factor in determining your family holiday.

* If you’re flexible in regards to travel dates and where you would like to holiday, last minute deals for flights and accommodation can be a good option. We’ve had a few bargain holidays due to being flexible.

* Travel outside of peak seasons.

* Flights on weekdays and evenings tend to be slightly cheaper.

* Package holidays may also be a good option as how much you will be spending on flights, accommodation and food is explained on the outset. Check that your family will be happy to dine at the restaurant(s) and accommodation you’re staying at. Sample menus may be available too, which would give you an indication of what is available. Trip Advisor is a good place to check too!

I hope these travel tips will help in planning your next family holiday. 

 guide to planning a family holiday

 Giveaway

Laine from Ickle Kids would like to give one Be A Fun Mum reader a Monkey Bingo travel game.

Monkey_Bingo Travel Games

To enter:

* Leave a comment below and tell me: What useful resources or tools do you use to plan your family holiday?

* The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.

* Valid from Mnonday 29 November to Monday 6 December 2010.

* I will draw the winners by random number at 7pm on the closing date.

* The winners will be notified via email and a post update link on the Be A Fun Mum Facebook Page.

* Shop for Christmas presents. Receive  10% off store-wide from Ickle Kids.   To claim the discount enter this code at the checkout: BFM10. Offer valid until Monday 6 December 2010.   If you spend over $60 you will receive a FREE stocking filler.

Gifts under $20

Thank you for entering.  The winner has been selected randomly and a email notification has been sent.

Other Family Holiday Posts

Entertaining the Kids When Travelling

Family Holidays

Op Shop Cubby

My Guide to Happy Holidays

External Links

Ickle Kids

Byo Kids

Trip Advisor

Entertaining Kids When Travelling plus Special Offer

Summer holidays are right around the corner so I’ve asked Laine, Mum of 2, experienced traveller and founder of Ickle Kids, to share her tips for travelling with kids. Laine’s didn’t stop travelling when she became a mother, instead she found ways to continue to travel with her family.  That’s what Ickle Kids is all about.  It was borne out the desire to keep her young children entertained when her family were out and about.  Call it a one-stop-travel-toy shop.  Meet the family.

When I was 21, I was lucky enough to travel to the United States with my older sister. After hopping from city to city, I caught something I knew I was never going to get rid of: the travel bug. After years of care free travel, first as a singleton, then married without kids, my husband and I had our delicious boys. We were faced with “do we travel with our kids?” or “wait for our retirement to travel?”  It was a no-brainer — especially since my hubby is British and his family are all in England — so we travel extensively with our boys.   

Here are my top travel tips based on my own experiences of travelling with kids throughout each milestone:

Infants

Bath Toys:It’s good to take bath toys with you to your destination to help with routine whilst you’re away. Have you thought about using bath toys as travel toys? For example: bath books and bath squirts are great to play with in the car and the bath.

Travel Tip: Tie ribbons to rattles, toys and books and attach to the car or aeroplane seat. This way, if the child drops the item, you can easily find it via the ribbon instead of hurting your back looking for it underneath car or plane seats.

Toddlers

Puppets: Toddlers love puppets! And they can be used in a variety of ways. Here are a few ideas:

* Tell stories.

* Role play.

* Puppets can ask the toddler questions. For example:

        – Where are they going?

        – What will you do when they get there?

        – What do they see out the window?

Balloons: Our family always carry Balloons around with us… everywhere! Balloons are easy and light to pack and are always entertaining. They are perfect to play in a park to break up a long car trip or to bring a little fun during an airport during a stopover.

Travel Tip: If a toddler is frustrated or tired with travelling, puppets are a great distraction tool.  The sillier the voice, the better the response!

Pre-Schoolers

Kids Activity Packs: You can surprise your pre-schoolers with their own customised activity pack. On top of your usual items of crayons and colouring books, try finding some unique travel toys that will engage them for a longer period of time. Travel friendly toys like Hide and Seek Pirates, Sticker Play Scenes and Pull the String are great to add to travel packs.

Travel Tip: Keep a bag of travel toys hidden to use as a “back up”. Gift wrapping these travel toys are perfect for distracting them, rewarding good behaviour or to mark the half-way point of the trip.

School Aged Kids

Media: As a parent, I know hand held games and portable DVD players can be useful when travelling with kids. However, I do believe kids need a break from this. School aged kids, given a choice, may prefer to spend most, if not all their time on these items.  Why not save gadgets for a period of “quiet time” during the trip?

Journals: Writing a journal is a great way to get kids involved in family trips. Collect tickets, maps, postcards and brochures from places on the trip and encourage them write about their experiences.

Travel Tip: Buy a nice journal for your school-aged child. This also makes a great “show and tell” piece for school.

Travelling with our kids during each milestone has been both fantastic and challenging.  We are thrilled our kids have caught the “travel bug” too!

What are your top tips to entertain your kids whilst travelling?

Special Offer

To help you get ready for Christmas and the holiday season, Laine is offering Be A Fun Mum readers 10% off storewide.  As a bonus, if you spend over $60 you will receive a FREE stocking filler.

To claim the discount enter this code at the checkout: BFM10

Offer valid until Friday 26th November.

My Picks

We are going on holidays after Christmas so I’m getting the activity packs ready now.  I’ve put together some of my favourite products from Ickle Kids. Just click on the picture to take a closer look.

          

   

Left to right:

Spot It Travel Game $7.99 ** Pull the Sring Game $29.99 ** Wooden Toys From $1.99

Camelot Junior Game $37.99 ** Fire Engine Sticker Play Scene $8.99  ** Road Block Game $32.99

Be A Fun Mum Links

Family Holidays

Op Shop Cubby

My Guide to Happy Holidays

External Links

Byo Kids

Writing with Kids: Interview with Australian Author Sue Walker

What Other Fun Mums Are Doing

Welcome to a new section here at Be A Fun Mum where I’ll be showcasing the fun things YOU are doing with your kids.  If you would like to be featured in the next one, read the submissions guidelines. 

1. We Did a Post IDEA!

FunMum Erin read this post: Pink Lemonade and Pink Pasta Please, and made some pasta for her girls

“Thanks so much Kelly, they did this for over two hours.”

2. Christmas Craft

FunMum Isabeau made a Christmas Hand and Foot Reindeer.

Instructions:

1. Trace hands on a piece of paper and cut out

2. Trace one foot on a piece of paper and cut out

3. Stick hands and foot down on paper (as above picture)

4. Draw eyes

5. Add a pom pom red nose

3. DIY Product

Fun Mum Christina and her family redecorated an old table.  It looks fantastic!

“Our table was in desperated need of a make over. So, we sanded and painted it with blackboard paint and then painted a road and a couple vehicles on it. The boys LOVE it and best of all it was a joint effort. I love that we make this together.”

4. Summer Fun

FunMum Caz shares about the fun you can have with water beads on her blog A Little Learning for Two.

I loved the look of this so much I purchased some beads myself here: Aqua Beads

5. All Year Fun

FunMum Nicole buys a zoo membership for her family.

“We usually end up going once every two or three weeks. We only go for an hour or so and look at one area.  There’s no pressure to see everything all in one day – better suited to my almost 2 year old’s attention span.”

Be A Fun Mum Links

Submissions page

A Fairy’s Home or a Pirate’s Trap

Snowman Without the Snow

Paper Dolls

3D City Skyline

The Best Dad For Me

Balloon Fight Fun

Nature Hunt

Op Shop Cubby

A Pile of Straws

We Play: Blu Tack

Inhibiting Play

Make Scramble Eggs Tonight, Have Fun Tomorrow

Paper Dolls

What fun can be had with a bit of paper cut out into the shape of a doll!

1.  Decorate with pencils and play “Mums and Dads” like this pair.

2.  Make a family line for the wall like my older daughter did.

See what your child can do with paper dolls.

Note: For best results, print out on thick gsm paper or glue paper on cardboard.

Paper Dolls Free Printout (click for PDF file)

External Links

I’m joining in with Childhood101 We Play. If you want some inspiration for play activities, Childhood101 is the place to be.

Be A Fun Mum Links

3D City Skyline

The Best Dad For Me

Balloon Fight Fun

Nature Hunt

Op Shop Cubby

A Pile of Straws

We Play: Blu Tack

Inhibiting Play

Make Scramble Eggs Tonight, Have Fun Tomorrow

Balloon Fight Fun

Simple-Cheap-Easy Activity

1. Materials: newspaper, masking tape and a balloon.

2. Roll a section of newspaper

3. Tape roll together along entire roll

All that is left to do is blow the balloon up and let the fight games begin.  I must warn you, this is a fun but LOUD activity. Disclaimer: Enjoy in small doses.

Loud Fun Game ideas: 

 Hit the balloon – Roll a pair of socks and play golf or baseball – Sword fight (obvious rules apply) – Balloon soccer – Snowball fight using rolled pairs of socks with teams on either side of a bed – Light Saber – French Cricket  – Perfect for Party Games

Join in the Childhood101 We Play too.

Other Be A Fun Mum Links

Nature Hunt

Op Shop Cubby

A Pile of Straws

We Play: Blu Tack

Inhibiting Play

Make Scramble Eggs Tonight, Have Fun Tomorrow

Vintage Butterfly String

I kept the leftover paper used in the Vintage Secret Treasure Box and Vintage Paper Hanging Lantern to make a Vintage Butterfly String for my daughter to run around with in the fallen leaves. It’s a simple joy.

What you need:

Vintage Paper (from a vintage book) ** Ribbon/Wool/String

1. Fold paper back and forth to make a fan / 2. Fold in half / 3. Repeat four or five times and tie each butterfly on a length of string

 Vintage Secret Treasure Box

Vintage Paper Hanging Lantern

Theme It: Vintage

Family Holiday Packing

The importance of family holidays

I fondly remember my childhood family holidays.  Recently, my Dad asked me, “Do you remember us taking you to ________?”

I couldn’t remember, and I could tell my Dad was a little disappointed.  Then I said, “Dad, it doesn’t matter that I can’t remember every single place we visited, what matters is you and Mum created memories of an overwhelmingly happy childhood.”

Holidays are about creating memories of an overwhelmingly happy childhood.

That’s what it’s about: memories and that sense of belonging.  Now I’m the parent and am in the midst of the memory making stage of parenting. We make it a priority to take a family holiday every year (and take mini long weekend holidays whenever we can).

Holiday Bag

On our official annual family holiday, I pack a special bag of goodies for each of my children. This doesn’t have to be expensive.  Typically I include these things:

* Colouring/activity book

* Small toy

* Lollies (a rare thing in our family)

* New Book

* Green Shopping Bag

Family Treat

I like to take a family-fun treat too, like a board game. I love how the The Book Chook puts it: “I can’t resist activities that give kids opportunities for learning and socializing, wrapped up in a package of fun.”

Other ideas: skipping rope, a variety of balls (for ball games), Frisbee, kite, 

The Holiday Box

I also have a dedicated holiday box, similar to our camping box.  The idea of the box is it’s already packed and ready to take with you on holidays.  From matches to paper towel and BBQ utensils to paper plates, it’s all there.

This are some of the things I keep in the box:

  • Aluminium foil
  • Glad bags
  • Bin liners
  • Pegs
  • Washing powder
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Medication (panadol/nurofen)
  • Tea towels
  • Hand towel
  • Bath mat
  • Disinfectant
  • Matches
  • BBQ Utensils
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towel
  • Kitchen cloths
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Washer
  • Baby wipes
  • Plastic plates/cups/cutlery (for picnics)
  • Colouring pencils
  • Batteries
  • White vinegar
  • Take-away container

Notes: When you come home from holidays, I replenish the box so it’s ready for next time.

Printable Packing Lists

Below are links to the printable packing lists I use (incase they are of use to anyone). These can be great for older kids too, so they can pack and tick the items off the list themselves.

The Holiday Box Packing List

Basic Food Packing List

Summer Packing List

Winter Packing List

The Car Box List

You can find a post about the car box here: The Car Box.

Pin it

You can rePin this post here.

More Holiday Posts

Budget Family Holiday Tips

Packing camping gear

Packing camping food

Memory Making

Travel Dice

Entertaining Kids on Long Car Trips

Aussie Road Trip

Finger Food Night

I decided to do a finger food night instead of a sit-down dinner.  It was a wonderful family time experience.  The excitement was audible; my 4 year old said it just right, “WE’RE HAVING A TEA PARTY!” 

Ingredients

Anything you like. This was my list:

* Spring rolls

* Carrot sticks

* Sliced Cucumber

* Chips

* Chicken strips

* Spinach and Fetta Triangles 

Benefits

* NO WASHING UP! (Um… that would have to be my favourite)

* Sitting on the ground outside meant no sweeping.  (Am I sounding lazy?)

* It was an intimate experience as there was no barriers (eg. table) between us all.  Sitting in a circle meant everyone could see each other.

* It is FUN!  A little out of the ordinary.

* There’s something about sharing food that’s special.

* Eating in this way was a precursor to unorganised family fun after dinner.

I will definitely be doing family finger food night again. A positive experience all round.

Note: As I have young children, I did not make a fuss about double dipping.  Dinner was designed to be an informal experience; although, I did mention to the children that it was okay because we’re family but double dipping is not polite in public.