Its Puzzle Time!

Throughout my childhood I cannot recollect memories of completing many puzzles although I would love for them to be part of my Sons’ upbringing.
Luckily for me my Sons have indeed already taken to puzzle building like ducks to water. Bizarrely enough it was my little one at the tender age of 2 years that became the puzzle whizz of the family. I was stunned and amazed at the concentration, speed and accuracy of his work, it was and still is incredible and extremely fascinating to watch (even more so if he doesn’t know you are there). My eldest boy is really good at puzzles too although I have noticed he prefers to observe and assist from the sideline. It is ever so cute to watch my boys figuring them out together! Love em!




the boys figuring out their new Cars puzzle…together 🙂

Puzzles are a great concentration task for kids and an awesome way to build children’s problem solving skills and determination. If parents, siblings, all the family or friends can successfully use puzzles to play together then this is a great way for them to learn about sharing and to gain patience as well as building on important social and communication skills.



puzzles around the house

The charity shops are packed with puzzles for about ÂŁ1 each and a lot of them are new where it appears they are not in trend anymore, seemingly puzzles aren’t as hip or cool as the PS125 or Daddy’s tablet.

We have loads of puzzles, so many in fact that I need to go find some reclaimable wood and put up son shelves just so they have a home, totally running out of puzzle space!

this is one of many places we keep puzzles, a few puzzles are around the house and a lot of books are in piles below hence the slumping collection on the shelves. The boys love books and puzzles, they are in nearly every room!


In my eyes, my children (age 3 & 4) are too young and impressionable to be playing computer games or getting neck ache over a tablet. When they do watch a film a few days out of the week they get addicted to the motion picture, asking for it again and they were bought a mini pad but they soon became obsessive, didn’t listen to Mum about posture, went slightly numb and started giving me attitude about putting it down. Urm no thank you! It did get taken away and has been forgotten about. I noticed with puzzles and other games such as Moondough or imaginative scenery play they are ‘awake’ and are learning so much more by expanding their minds, not forgetting to mention how freely their necks can move!

Once your child has taken to puzzles they are a great way for the child to entertain themselves whilst you are busy, washing up, cooking or sorting the clothes etc. Kids can also do a puzzle anywhere with enough surface area! My boys and I love puzzles and we hope you do too, if not then hopefully you will try them out with your little ones today. You may just be amazed 🙂

Cooking with Children

Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!

Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.

It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!

My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!

This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.

I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.

It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!

I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂

Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.

I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂

Organic Raw Chocolate Natural Homeschooling Cooking Lesson

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Monday morning’s class this week began in the most magical of ways. The Sun was booming in through the kitchen, the whole family was happy and the love was strong.
After a most healthy breakfast my children and I set about our homeschool for the day. The topic for the morning was cooking and as my children are young toddlers this was going to be our first real encounter with using the oven and quite a daunting one at that!
Nevertheless we began. Making raw Cacao Chocolate was to be the first set of culinary skills my children would acquire. Great start right!
As i had never done this before either it was a new, paleo technique i was to master also! How, simple, quick and easy it was, not forgetting to mention how deliciously potent the aromas are.
The kids got stuck right in and loved stirring the butter until it melted, this was a little lesson in patience and how to stir at the same time. As soon as it started to melt my eldest knew ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate’ was coming testing the virtue of patience further! Further through the process they both loved being in control of the spoon, minding not to touch the hot bowl and pan.
Their favourite part of making the mix was tasting it from the spoon and bowl and covering their hands and faces in it. It was a extreme chocolately mess and we all loved it! It was definitely a hit in this kitchen and one to be practiced  much more often as the list of ingredients that can be added is almost infinite. Such fun! We loved health-packed superfoods!

Nowadays when we think of Cacao, where the reality of our western culture has been so far obscured, its all too easy to fall under the influence of chocolate being full of sugar and not very good for our health but this is far from the raw truth and actually only has any connection to the readily available, heat treated, sugar laced / artificially enhanced types!
Natural Organic Raw Cacao Chocolate is nutritionally beneficial to our health and deeply satisfying  for our system holistically in so many ways, all you need to do is ingest a small amount to truly feel the full effects of its divine power.

Benefits of Raw Cacao Chocolate:
+ High Magnesium (happiness & stamina booster)
+ High Sulphur (known for healthy nail and hair growth whilst being cleansing to the liver and pancreas)
+ High in antioxidants (disease prevention)
+ Diminishes appetite (perfect for snacking / sees you through hunger gaps)
+ Tantalizes taste buds (joy for the mouth!)
+ Combines with every other food you can think of

As well as being totally amazing for your mind and body Cacao Chocolate is an awesome party piece and a brilliant talking point. Since learning just how easy it is to make I vow now to spread the word to all I know, gifting my dearest friends and family with starter kits to create their own so the love can truly be felt and cast far and wide.
We bought a beautifully made, simple, basic, standard, organic Chocolate making kit and added a few of our own ingredients from the cupboard to give added yum.IMG3100A

Requirements:

Heatproof Bowl
Saucepan
Spoon / Spatula
Oven top
Moulds
Cocoa Powder 100g
CocoaButter 100g
3g Vanilla Powder
100ml Agave Syrup

Optional / additional:

1tsp Acai Berry Powder
1tsp Blueberry Powder
2tsp Hemp Flour

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Method:

  • First put about 1/3 saucepan of water on to heat, no need fr it to boil. Place in your glass / heatproof inside the pan to flaoat and there you have created your own bain marie if you don’t already have one.
  • Next add all the Cacao Butter and gently stir until just melted.
  • Then add all the vanilla powder and keep stirring until totally blended. You may add the additional ingredients if desired, mixing until blended.
  • After this add all of the Cacao Powder and mix until smooth.
  • Last ingredient to be added is the Agave Syrup, using the full bottle mic for around 101 stirs hen you shall see it totally blended.
  • Pour out the molten chocolate into your desired molds and allow to set in the fridge for around 15-30 minutes depending on fridge temp and depth of molds. I recommend using a high quality rubber mold as it will be easier to pop out and wont leave as much of the chocolate behind.
  • Enjoy! (Compulsory)
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Once you try this method and understand how simple and beautiful it is crafting your on chocolate snacks you will never look at chocolate the same again!

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By creating your own blocks, bars or slabs you can be truly as diverse as you feel in that moment using whichever additional ingredients that you like. Using superfood berries really makes these chocolate bars very, very healthy for you! Really. Body and mind, a whole feeling of well-being is achieved from just a small amount. Now i know how, there is no stopping me making homemade chocolates for our family every time they are craved!

I hope yours turns out as amazing as ours 🙂