Thursday, 17 July 2014

Printable Placemats For Kids To Color

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I really love the coloring and puzzle pages which many family friendly restaurants provide. They are a great way to keep children occupied while they are waiting for their food, especially if they are preschooler age. I've always thought they would be great to have at home on special occasions or when we have extra children round.

If you want to rack up the dinner time entertainment factor at home you can buy tablecloths which kids can draw on, which I have considered purchasing for when we have younger visitors. But then I decided that I would take the cheap and easy option and simply create my own printable placemats!

You can provide pencils or crayons so the children at the table can color them in. It will keep them happy and quiet, and you will have a no fuss placemat which can simply be recycled once dinner is over.

Alternatively, if they are particularly proud of their efforts, you can laminate the finished picture. This means that the placemat can be used over and over again.

Click on the link above to download the printable PDF. It can be opened with any free program such as Adobe Reader (or you can print it directly from the link above).

Meal times have never been so much fun. Enjoy. :-)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

How To Make Loom Bands Without A Loom

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How To Make Loom Bands Without A Loom

I pondered over whether to share a tutorial on how to make loom bands with a hook, as it isn't my usual sort of post. But then I figured there are a lot of other parents out there who are look for cheap and easys way to keep their kids amused over the summer.

Unless you are a hermit, you will almost certainly be aware that loom bands are a big craze (both with boys and girls). It involves weaving tiny rubber bands into a friendship bracelet using a plastic loom. Frankly, I didn't want to spend £15 on a kit when a basic pack of bands and 's' hooks can be purchased for less than £2. But if you follow this tutorial you wont need to. :-)

How To Make Loom Bands With A Hook

There is more than one way to create loom bands without a loom, and a lot of kids like to make loom bands with their fingers. I prefer this method though as it is less ouchy, and a lot less fiddly. Most packs of bands come with a plastic hook included, but a small crochet hook works brilliantly.

FYI, this tutorial is for a double banded loom bracelet, which is more durable and looks better than using single bands. But if you are just starting out, I recommend using single bands to practice. Just substitute two bands for one at the relevant parts of the tutorial.

Step one. Although there is no reason why you can't start off with two bands when you are creating your bracelet, I just use one. Squeeze the sides of the band together...

... then push it into one side of the 's' clips. If your bands didn't come with the clips, you can create your own clasp using something like thread or narrow ribbon (but the plastic clips are super cheap anyway so in my opinion it is far easier to use the real deal).

Step two. Thread both sides of the band over your hook, as shown in the picture, so that the clip is hanging down in the middle.

Step three. Thread two bands onto the end of your hook.

Step four. Push the loops of the first band over the two new bands...

... so that it is now hanging over the bands instead of the hook. This is easier to do if you insert a thumb or a finger into the two new bands to keep them taut.

Step five. Lift the end of the two new bands up so that both sides are hanging over the hook, with your first band dangling in the middle.

Step six. Insert two more bands onto the hook...

...and repeat the process... so.

Step seven. Repeat the steps until you have 20+ links in your loom bracelet.

Step eight. To finish off, I add a single band onto the hook and weave it onto the bracelet (as per steps four and five)...

...Then, as in step one, I push both ends of the band through the 's' clip to secure it.

The loom band is ready to wear! You can vary the pattern and design by using different combinations of colours or number of bands for each link.

I hope you find this tutorial useful. Since you can pick up hundreds of bands very cheaply, it is such a good way to keep the kids happy for a few hours!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Best Ampersand Fonts

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The other day I was throwing together a PDF (for personal use), and found that the pretty font I picked out didn't have an ampersand. Actually, it turns out that quite a few fonts in my collection don't! So I went on a bit of a mission to find the best ampersand fonts...

Chopin Script | Birds of Paradise | Adam Gorry | Pharmount
Caviar Dreams | Jellyka Saint-Andrew's Queen | Channel | Chalk Line
Karine Aime Les Chocolats | Maratre | Anjelika RoseHousegrind
Signarita Zhai | Orange Juice | Fontdinerdotcom Sparkly | Magic Fleurons
Little BirdBillion Stars | Max Initiale | Mojito In June

They are all free for personal use (and some can be used for commercial purposes too). Hope you like them as much as I do. :-)