Friday, 18 November 2016

Free Childrens Christmas Activities

Finding things to keep the children entertained on the run up to Christmas can be difficult. Finding simple fun and engaging crafts can be hard too, these activities are free to download and save to print out - you only need your printer, paper, scissors and some coloured pens and you have hours of fun ahead.

These  15 free downloadable activities are here for you to print out as many times as you need on the run up to Christmas,there are colouring pages, wordsearches, make and do and all sorts of other fun activities.

There is something for everyone here and you are sure to find things to entertain the little ones - you can print out one each day and add to an advent calendar or print them all out together and make a free activity book for your child - whatever works best for you

Please share and enjoy!

Right Click on the image and select Save As to save the file to your computer and then print out as many times as you require.

1 ) Write a Letter to Santa with this free pretty letter template, or you can use this to make a shopping list to ensure you don't forget the Christmas stuffing :)

free childrens letter to santa pretty paper

2) Christmas Eye Spy - print out and use as a fun game - who can point to the robin first? How many stockings are there? What is the penguin eating? The questions are endless, you can also cut out the individual pictures and use them to decorate Christmas cards.
free childrens christmas activity print out
3) Colour in Page - Santa. Print out Father Christmas and colour him in - can you give him a new outfit? What colour do you think his hat could be?
free download childrens activity

4) Christmas Wordsearch - This free childrens activity wordsearch is a great way to encourage letter recognition, you can also colour in the pictures too.
5)Match the stocking - A classic fun childrens activity - colour in the stockings and find the matching pair - print this out for free as many times as you would like - how many different stocking designs can you think of?
6) Learn the letter S - Use this free to download and print out letter writing practice
free children print letter writing s activity
7) Bouncy Snowman - this friendly snowman is such a fun activity for children, simply download and print out this sheet and cut out your snowmans face, arms and circle body, fold down the big circle along the center line, then cut along the dots, be sure not to cut the whole way through the circle. Then unfold and glue the face and arms in position - you then have your very own bouncy snowman!
ree craft snowman christmas children download print
8)Make a Gift box - this free print out will help you make your own personal Christmas gifts for your friends and family - design your gift box, colour in and then cut out the template, fold along the lines and glue at the tabs - leaving one side open - you can then place a small gift or sweets into the box and glue shut.
free childrens gift box to print and make
9)Make your own photo frame - this free to print photo frame is a lovely way for children to make there own gift - simply cut out the frame, cut out the centre and stick on your own photo then attach the frame and photo to a piece of card and you have a lovely personal gift.
free to use photo gift
10) Fun Christmas Maze - this maze is lots of fun for children - help Santa find Rudolphs way through the maze - this is a classic childrens activity and they will love sorting through this tangled maze.
childrens activity print out download maze game
11) Cut out and decorate your own Christmas Tree - use this downloadable sheet to make your own Christmas Tree, simply cut out the individual elements and then let your children stick them to the tree!
free make your own christmas paper tree
12)Colour in Rudolph - print out rudolph as many times as you would like - cut him out for christmas cards and tags, colour him in fun colours and patterns
13) Colour and trace this Christmas tree to complete the drawing.
design and make your own christmas tree
14) Chistmas Gift tags - print out these fun free gift tags - there are some which you can colour and personalise - use them for your friends and family ad make your gifts special.
free print out christmas gift tags
15)Decorate your own stocking - print out this stocking to let your imagination go as you deisgn your best seasonal stocking!

free paper stocking to print and make

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Shoe Swop - Brantanos and Clothes Aid

I was recently contacted by Brantanos to help raise awareness of their latest charity initiative, and asked to share this information with my readers, do take a minute to read and if you have any shoes you no longer need and want to find a new home for them, then this is a great way to declutter before Christmas!

old shoes need to be rehomed

Shoe retailer Brantano, located at The Pipeworks, Swadlincote, will be pulling its socks up and donating shoes to charity throughout November as it launches its latest campaign.

With an estimated 20,000 tonnes of wearable footwear discarded in the UK each year*, Brantano is calling on Derbyshire people to hand in their old shoes, no matter how loved they once were, if they’re no longer worn regularly and they will in turn be donated to Clothes Aid.

The Shoe Swap campaign launched this week, and all donated footwear will be sold in European markets through the Clothes Aid, with proceeds going towards a number of UK charities.

Karen Staton, Retail Operations director of Brantano said: “We know many people cling on to shoes which no longer see the light of day, but we’re calling on everyone to hand these in to us for this great initiative and raise money for charity in the meantime. So free some space on the shoe rack because those who donate their old shoes can even save themselves money on a new pair with us.”

Michael Lomotey, Business Manager at Clothes Aid said: “Unwanted shoes take up space in cupboards and hallways up and down the country, and we’re asking people to ‘step up’ and donate them.”
People may have fallen out of love with some of their shoes, but through Clothes Aid, they can become treasured once again by somebody else and this will help us raise vital funds for UK charities.”

Anyone who donates shoes to their local Brantano store will receive £10 off a £20 in-store purchase.

Brantano’s Swadlincote store offers a free fitting service, with staff trained by top brands such as Clarks, Start Rite and Hush Puppies. With late opening hours at conveniently located stores, a hassle free expert fitting service and a wide range of shoes to suit all budgets, Brantano aims to make shoe shopping as easy and convenient as possible.

For more information, visit

To find out more about Clothes Aid visit

This post was brought to you by Brantanos

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Scotland Yard - Board Game review

We were recently sent Scotland yard from Ravensburger to review.

board game, ravensburger, mr x, mister x, scotland yard, as seen on TV

We all love a good family board game and were excited to see what Scotland Yard was like, what age children was it suited for? And how do you play it?

My children had seen adverts for it on the TV and were kean to give it a good testing.

When we opened the box we were greeted with lots of pieces which needed popping out and within minutes we were set up and ready to play.

whats inside the box, scotland yard, ravensburger,

There are two instructions books included given detailed instructions of how to set up and how to play. - one booklet is  for a simpler game and one full version. There is plenty of scope to alter the game to suit your players level of understanding.

scotland yard instruction book, board game,

To begin with I read through the rules of the simple version as we all sat around ready to play.

The game says for ages 8 and above, so me, my eldest who is coming up to 15, my 13 year old daughter and my 9 year old son all got ready to play.

We played a quick round with the simple rules, and very quickly got used to the concept of the game.

My eldest son rarely gets involved with family games anymore so I was very pleasantly surprised to see him interested in the game.

The basic concept is to designate one person to be Mr X and the other players are the detectives/police.

Mr X moves around the board - under cover (no piece on the board) so no one knows exactly where he is, the other players have playing pieces on show and have to plan together where they will move to home in on Mr X.

board game map london, scotland yard, detective game

Players have to follow the illustrated map board, which is a real map of London, with it's  colour coded transports routes marked.

The simple version of the game has Mr X visible for most part, only disappearing at set intervals, this game is great for younger players, or to get you used to the game initially, but we found it a little too simple so quickly switched to the full version.

During play Mr X wears a paper hat to shield his line of vision, and writes his location on the paper pad - which is included (although you will need to supply your own pen or pencil) Each time Mr X travels he shows if he traveled by car, foot or train via placing a set coloured playing piece over the top of the written location.

playing as mr x, mister x, board game

This is the only clue to help the other players solve the puzzle of his location. If you are on a station which is completely yellow, then you can not travel via train or bus. If you are wishing to travel via Train you must already be on a Red station.

Detectives have a set number of transport passes each, and once they have used all their train tickets, for example, they must use another mode of transport.

To win the game Mr X has to stay hidden and uncaught, a round takes around an hour, or less if you catch Mr X quickly!

mister x, mr x, detectives, playing scotland yard

The game isn't like any I have played before and really does get you thinking and is more interactive than a standard board game which seemed to really engage the older children.  It provokes team work and discussions between  the 'detectives'  which was really nice to see.

We played many games as each of us wanted to be Mr X, and have since played several times, every time a family member or friend comes over we have a game, we have only played with children aged 8 or over but with the simple adaptions I am sure slightly younger children would be able to grasp the idea, especially with help.

We  also reviewed Labyrinth from Ravensburger several years ago, both games are great quality, fun, interactive puzzle games and great additions to your family game cupboard and even after 3 years we still  regularly play Labyrinth and it  much enjoyed by everyone and I know that Scotland Yard will be as well used  and as long lasting.

scotland yard from ravensburger box

If you are looking for a great fun strategy thinking board game to get the older children involved this Christmas then you may well find Scotland Yard is just perfect -  Priced around £15 you can find Scotland yard for sale in most good toy stores including Toys R us, Asda and Amazon.

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