Fun Activities for Kids – Birthday Craft Activities

Planning your child’s birthday party doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some great ideas for their party.  It’s amazing how much fun one can have with just a few simple ingredients.

Fun Activities for Kids - Birthday Craft Activities

Spider Snacks
Age suitability: 2+

You will need (per spider): two cheese biscuits, a spoonful of cream cheese, 8 Twiglets or chipsticks, two sultanas

A fun way to eat a birthday tea – your kids can prepare their own! Take two round cheese biscuits and, using a dollop of cream cheese, sandwich them together, leaving a 1cm gap. Use the Twiglets (or chipsticks) to represent legs by sticking them into the cheese. Sultanas should be added for eyes, after which you can all gobble up your spiders together.

Fairy Cake Mountain
Age suitability: 2+

You will need: plain ready-cooked fairy cakes (the higher the number, the taller your mountain!), a selection of edible cake-decorations (icing, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, chopped strawberries etc)

If you provide your child with a certain amount of freedom here, it can be tremendously enjoyable to build one of these. Give them free rein to decorate about 20 plain cakes with coloured icing, sprinkles and chopped strawberries. Pile them high on a plate; stick the candle on the mountain’s peak.

Secret Rice Jar
Age suitability: 4+

You will need: a jam jar, rice, a cardboard tube and a birthday treat (chocolate or sweets work well)

If your child enjoys playing tricks on adults, they will enjoy making a Secret Rice Jar. Find a jam jar with lid and pour in a thin layer of rice. Take a cardboard tube, place it inside the jar on top of the rice, then cut it down in size so that the top is level with the rim of the jar. Holding the tube steady and central, carefully pour in more rice around the outside of the tube. When you look through the glass from any angle, you shouldn’t be able to see the tube. Now for the secret treat. Place something delicious inside the tube, such as chocolate coins or cubes of fudge, then screw on the lid and attach a note along the lines of “Dear Uncle, I thought you would like a nice jar of rice”. Wrap up the jar and keep the joke hush-hush until his birthday!.

Pancakes!
Age suitability: 3+ (with adult guidance)

You will need: (For the pancakes) 2 eggs, 200g plain flour, 600ml milk, orange segments, a lemon, (For the decorations) cress seed, cotton wool

When making your pancake batter, break the eggs in half carefully and save the eggshells after giving them a quick rinse. The above ingredients make around 10 pancakes. Beat together the flour and eggs, then slowly blend in the milk. If you like like to squeeze orange juice as well as lemon on to pancakes, it will give you lots of orange-peel quarters to cut into fantastic teeth shapes and slip inside your lips. Award the last pancake to the most grotesque smile. Finally, everyone must have a go at flipping a pancake. Let it cook well on one side, shake the pan to loosen it, then give it a whirl.

When finished, fill the eggshell halves with damp cotton wool and sprinkle with cress seed that you cleverly remembered to buy beforehand. Paint faces on to the shells and stand in egg cups on a windowsill, checking occasionally that the cotton wool doesn’t dry out. In a few days, your eggheads will be sprouting green hair. Very popular with those under six.

Floury Faces
Age suitability: 6+

You will need: plain flour, a bowl and spoon per person, a chocolate button

Older family members will love playing Floury Faces. Pile a mound of flour on a plate and hide a button inside. Be sure to cover your tracks, so it’s impossible to know where the button is. In turn, each person holds a spoon and scoops out a small amount of the flour mound into a bowl. When a player uncovers the button, they must stick their face into the flour and pull it out using only their mouth. Don’t breathe in whatever you do, as flour up the nose is tickly. Keep re-heaping the flour and hiding the button until everyone has been floured.

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse

Things To Do With Kids – Kids Games When You Are Out And About

Keeping kids entertained while you go out for a walk or on a long car journey can be a challenge, especially if they are little. Here are some great games you can play to make the trip more fun for everyone.

Things To  Do With Kids

Walkin’ the Planks
You will need: An open space with plenty of twigs and branches to hand
Find a patch of ground where there’s plenty of dead wood lying around and play Walkin’ the Planks. Rearrange logs and branches so they link up to form a circle. Be sure to leave a few gaps here and there to jump over. Take turns to walk your wobbly course, balancing as you go. Don’t let your feet touch the floor more than three times per circuit. You go first to test its stability; if it’s very tricky, your children may enjoy looking for a long, sturdy stick with which to steady themselves.

What’s Your Story, Corey?
This is a silly game to liven up an otherwise dull walk around the shops or home from school. As you approach someone coming the other way, have a quick glance at their face. Think up an appropriate first name and concoct a tiny piece of their life. When you’re definitely sure they’re at least ten paces past you and won’t be able to hear you, start up a sentence with their imaginary name, for example: “Norman’s just been to see his granny,” or, “Jo’s got a new car.” Particularly good people to peek at are cyclists, young couples and teenagers, shop assistants and dog walkers – guess the pet’s name, too. Be careful that your children are aware this is a game – this one could backfire horribly!

Granny Went To Market
This is another time-filler for walks or car journeys. Start by saying, “Granny went to market and bought a…” Then choose any item – let’s say a melon. Your child then repeats this and adds another item to the list, maybe a Russian doll. You now repeat these two items and add another, saying, “Granny went to market and bought a melon, a Russian doll and a mobile phone.” Aim for a list of 20 items.

I Spy Alphabet
‘I Spy’ is one of those games that children love to play on a long journey, but which can quickly become over-played and stale! This simple variation might make it a bit more interesting for all involved. He spies something beginning with A, then you spy something beginning with B etc, moving through the alphabet to Z

Blackberry Sludge
You will need: containers to collect the fruit in, a saucepan, sugar, an apron and a sieve
Another way to brighten up a stroll is to spend part of it collecting the best of the season’s fruit growing in the hedgerow. This will depend on where the reader is located – the following idea is based on picking blackberries (raspberries will do also). Collect a tubful, eating one or two ripe ones as you go. It may be an idea to take along a plastic bottle of water to use to rinse the berries before eating! When you get home, give them a good wash, tip into a saucepan with a little sugar and simmer gently for a few minutes. Cover any precious clothes with an apron and burn off more of your child’s energy pushing the blackberries through a sieve. You’ll be left with a delicious, thick syrup that looks rather like congealed blood and tastes fantastic poured over ice-cream.

The Non-Walk
A helpful tip for enticing your children outside for a walk… Firstly, under no circumstances mention the words, “Go for a walk.” Instead, take a little time beforehand to go on a solitary reconnaissance mission to find a few items en route that will hit their interest buttons. All you need to then do is simply ask who fancies seeing a decomposing rabbit, a fox-hole, etc. Fingers crossed, they’ll jump at the chance. Second, select a tree on the walk with a perfect-sized hole in its bark where wrapped sweets can regularly be stashed and discovered. Walks just got a whole lot more interesting!

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe shows you fun things to do with kids whether it’s rain, hail or shine. Your next adventure is only a click away at www.kidsuniverse.com.au. And don’t forget to download your FREE copy of “Fun Activities for Kids – Free Ways to Keep Kids Happy”

101 Things To Do In Sydney With Kids

Sydney has so much to offer families with children of all ages.  Here is a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.  Print out the following list and tick all the places you have been to and add those you haven’t yet visited to your list of things to do during the next school holidays. The following spots have been selected because of the family friendly features, facilities and amenities that they provide.

101 Things To Do in Sydney With Kids

Sydney’s Best Beaches

1. Clontarf Beach – Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf
2. Shelly Beach – Bower Street, Manly
3. Little Manly Beach – Stuart Street, Manly
4. Manly Cove – West Esplanade, Manly
5. Balmoral Beach – The Esplanade, Balmoral
6. Chinamans Beach – Parriwi Road, The Spit
7. Maroubra Beach – Marine Parade, Maroubra
8. Palm Beach – Ocean Road, Palm Beach
9. Parsley Bay – Parsley Road, Vaucluse
10. Dee Why Beach – The Strand, Dee Why
11. Collaroy Beach – Pittwater Road, Collaroy
12. Bronte Beach – Bronte Road, Bronte
13. Shark Beach – Greycliff Avenue, Vaucluse
14. Tamarama Beach – Pacific Avenue, Tamarama
15. Bondi Beach – Campbell Parade, Bondi
16. Coogee Beach – Arden Street, Coogee
17. Manly Beach – North Steyne, Manly
18. Freshwater Beach – Kooloora Avenue, Harbord
19. Clareville Beach – Delecta Avenue, Clareville
20. Clovelly Beach – Eastbourne Avenue, Clovelly
21. Greenwich Baths – Albert Street, Greenwich
22. Shelly Beach – Ewos Parade, Cronulla

Sydney’s Best Parks & Playgrounds
23. Cook Park – The Grand Parade, Brighton Le Sands
24. Manly Lagoon Reserve – Pittwater Road, North Manly
25. Little Manly Point Park – Stuart Street, Manly
26. Carss Bush Park – Carwar Avenue, Blakehurst
27. Bronte Park – Bronte Road, Bronte
28. North Harbour Reserve – North Harbour Street, Balgowlah
29. Centennial Park – Lang Road, Centennial Park
30. Bicentennial Park – Australia Avenue, Homebush
31. Winnererremy Bay- Mona Street, Mona Vale
32. Darling Quarter Playground – 1-25 Harbour Street, Darling Harbour
33. Lyne Park – New South Head Road, Rose Bay
34. Manly Warringah War Memorial Park (Manly Dam) – Allambie Road, Manly Vale
35. Nielsen Park – Greycliffe Avenue, Vaucluse
36. Robertson Park – Military Road, Watsons Bay
37. Rushcutters Bay Park – New South Head Road, Rushcutters Bay
38. The Basin – Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
39. Banjo Paterson Park – Punt Road, Gladesville
40. Leichhardt Park – Glover Street, Lilyfield
41. Buffalo Creek Reserve – Pittwater Road, Hunters Hill
42. Royal Botanic Gardens – Mrs Macquarie Road, Sydney
43. Parsley Bay Reserve – Parsley Road, Vaucluse
44. Prince Alfred Park –  Chalmers Street, Surry Hills

Sydney’s Best Skate Parks
45. Monster Skate Park – Grand Parade, Sydney Olympic Park
46. Avalon Skate Park – Barrenjoey Road, Avalon
47. Manly Skate Park – Pittwater Road, North Manly
48. Kitchener Park – Pittwater Road, Mona Vale
49. Frenchs Forest Vert Ramp – Warringah Road, Frenchs Forest
50. Forestville Skate Park – Warringah Road, Forestville
51. Chatswood Skate Park – Orchard Road, Chatswood
52. Lane Cove Skate Park – Lloyd Rees Drive, Lane Cove West
53. Maroubra Beach Skate Park – Marine Parade, Maroubra
54. Balmoral Skate Park – Coronation Avenue, Balmoral
55. Helensburgh Skate Park – Park Avenue, Helensburgh
56. Bondi Skate Park – Campbell Parade, Bondi
57. Bundeena Skate Park – Bundeena Drive, Bundeena

Sydney’s Best Museums
58. Powerhouse Museum – 500 Harris Street, Ultimo
59. Australian Museum – 6 College  Street, Sydney
60. Australian National Maritime Museum – 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour
61. The Rocks Discovery Museum – Kendall Lane, The Rocks
62. Hyde Park Barracks – Macquarie Street, Sydney
63. Cockatoo Island – Cockatoo Island, Sydney
64. Justice and Police Museum – Corner Phillip and Albert Streets, Circular Quay
65. Nutcote May Gibbs Museum – 5 Wallaringa Avenue, Neutral Bay
66. Museum of Fire – 1 Museum Drive, Penrith

Sydney’s Best Animal Encounters
67. Taronga Zoo – Bradleys Head Road, Mosman
68. Whale Watching Sydney – Harbour Master, Circular Quay
69. Koala Park Sanctuary – Castle Hill Road, West Pennant Hills
70. Calmsley Hill City Farm – Darling Street, Abbotsbury
71. Sydney Aquarium – Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour
72. Sydney Wildlife Park – Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour
73. Featherdale Wildlife Park – 217 Kildare Road, Doonside
74. Symbio Wildlife Park. Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Helensburgh

Sydney’s Best Child Friendly Cafes
75. The Deck – 1064 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
76. The Sandbar Café – Shelly Beach, Manly
77. Flying Fox – 2 Mona Street, Mona Vale
78. Newport Arms – 2 Kalinya Street, Newport
79. Little Manly Beach Kiosk – Stuart Street Manly
80. Lilies on The Park – Australia Avenue, Homebush
81. Armory Wharf Café – Jamieson Street, Newington
82. Aqua Bar & Grill – Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour
83. Hard Rock Café – Level 2 Harbourside Centre, Darling Harbour
84. Pancakes  On The Rocks – 4 Hickson Road, The Rocks
85. Dragonfly Café – Cnr Lane Cove Road & Fontenoy Road, North Ryde
86. Centennial Parklands Kiosk – Grand Drive, Centennial Park
87. Watsons Bay Tea Gardens – 8 Marine Parade, Watsons Bay

Sydney’s Best Attractions
88. Sydney Luna Park – 1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
89. Imax Theatre – 31 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour
90. Sydney Tower – Cnr Pitt and Market Streets, Sydney
91. Moore Park Entertainment Quarter – 122 Lang Road, Moore Park
92. Eden Gardens – Cnr Lane Cove Road & Fontenoy Road, North Ryde
93. Manly Water Works – Cnr West Esplanade & Commonwealth Parade, Manly
94. Splashers Water Playground – Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush
95. Sydney Observatory – Watson Road, The Rocks
96. Chinese Garden of Friendship – Darling Harbour
97. Q Station – 1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
98. Madame Tussauds – Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour

Sydney’s Best Ice Skating Rinks
99. Macquarie Ice Rink – Cnr Herring & Waterloo Road, Macquarie Park
100. Canberbury Olympic Ice Rink – Phillips Avenue, Canberbury
101. Sydney Ice Arena – 11 Solent Circuit, Baulkham Hills

How many of these attractions have you visited already?  Post your answers below.

Ivana Katz of Kids Universe says she is old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again, as she rides camels, swims with dolphins and often embarrasses her son. If you want to join her on adventures and find things to do with kids, visit www.KidsUniverse.com.au  join her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KidsUniverse