Not heard of chalk pens? Well chalk pens like Chalkola Markers are based on using water based chalk, this means it uses chalk, but acts similar to a normal marker pen. According to the packaging they can used on “non porous surfaces”, such as glass, whiteboards, mirrors, plastics, chalkboards, ceramics – I guess they could be used on any flat surface as long as you test it somewhere subtle first.
Using the chalk pens themselves are a great craft activity that offer an obvious difference to anything pen and paper based, and as such hold an instant interest for keen little ones that may have a short attention span.
So what can you do with these things? Here are some activity ideas we’ve tried with Chalk Pens.
This was a great 20 minute activity on our kitchen table, where we let the little one loose on a drinks glass. The end result is just to the side here, and prompted a cry from the little one of “This is art!“. The picture of santa above was also a result of the kitchen table session… (Santa has since been released for good behavior)
We’ve brought a cheap mirror from the local recycling centre, hung it in the hallway, and drew a rainbow on it.
The idea is that, when the little one makes good choices, she moves up the rainbow. For bad choices, she moves down. Based on an idea from preschool, this seems an effective way to help encourage good behaviour, as little one is keen to get to the sunshine.
Notes For The Family
Need to leave a message for someone? Write it on the mirror!
Want to tell someone you love them? Write it on the bathroom mirror!
Now this was cool. We spent some time drawing Christmassy stuff on our patio doors.
As a result, I now have a snowman looking at me from our window – and also looking out at our garden.
Here’s the snowman being… “built”.
A Note About Mess…
Don’t worry if you make a mistake or are ready to get rid of the chalk creation, all if takes is a wet wipe or two to clean the Chalkola Markers off. (Remember to test each new surface before letting the creative juices flow, we’ve only tested them on glass so far. If used on porous surfaces, it may be difficult to remove).
Futher information about Chalkola Markers can be found at www.chalkola.com
Chalkola Markers are a fun crafty accessory, that both little ones and grown ups can enjoy using. If you’re interested in them, you can pick up pack of normal 6mm pens from Amazon on this link, or the “Earthly Colours” pack on this link. Make sure you use the voucher code 20OFFSTR and get 20% off!
Dads Sofa has been compensated for the above review, which while nice – had no impact on the above comments. My opinions are mine! All mine! Affiliate links are found above.
With Christmas now well and truly here, people local to Exeter / Devon will find there are plenty of activities and events happening. As we’ve just had a “pre-Christmas” holiday, here’s a round up of the Christmas Activities we found in the Exeter area.
Devon does farm shops well. Darts Farm near Exeter is an example of a fantastic farm shop. Except it doesn’t just have a vast varity of fruit, veg, and meat. It also has a huge selection of ciders and beers (including gluten free!), all sorts of foodies treats, its own toy shop, and many other gifts.
On the lead up to Christmas it also a place to get your real Christmas tree, and… you may also bump into Father Christmas himself!
Details about when Father Christmas is at Darts Farm (and he’s around alot), can be found at the Darts Farm website.
Because which small kid doesn’t love Christmas lights? If you’re going to look at the Christmas lights in Exeter, make sure you check out, both the lights in the High Street, and Princesshay.
Do you like fresh locally sourced food?
Do you like sampling food and local cider?
Do you like supporting independent businesses? (The answer is yes to this, even if you’ve not answered positively to the above)
If your answers are yes, then look out for Exeter Street Markets. You’ll know them when you see them. (Or check out the website to find out where and when they are!)
Now this is cool. The Exeter Snow Globe is a giant snow globe found around the back of Debenhams in Princesshay. You and friends / family climb into it, and find yourselves transported to the most wintery scene you’ll probably find in Devon. It comes complete with fake snow that you can throw at each other.
Great fun for throwing snow at Daddy!
I cannot write a round up of Christmas activities and events in Exeter, without mentioning the Christmas Markets in the Exeter Cathedral Green. This years markets are in a different layout this year, (due to the Exeter fire at the end of October), but its still ram packed with Christmas presents, good food, Gluhwein, and possibly the best cider in the world. (Ok it possibly isn’t, but the guy manning the Northcotts stall was a bit of a legend, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt).
Check it out, then have a nose down Gandy Street for other shopping choices. (And more great chocolate!)
Exeter is also filled with many random Christmas markets, Christmas fares, and a fair few hours that are lit up like Blackpool.
Where would you suggest?
Welcome to Christmas 2016. Well, we’re almost there anyway. Either way it feels like Christmas is in full swing with people filling the streets and Christmas markets, all spending money on the perfect Christmas presents, or on other Christmas things. (Mulled Wine anyone?) Christmas is an expensive time, and unless you’re a politician, banker, or former UKIP leader*, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are also trying to find ways to save money.
I thought I would share some ways we’ve thought of saving money at Christmas.
- Recycle Centre Shops. Do you have a recycling centre near by? It might be worth checking if they have a shop attached to it, where they sell off items that people have dropped in for really cheap. Like 20p for a dvd cheap. Some of the items there may be questionable in quality or stock, but if you treat them as places that might have something decent, you may find a treasure – and find a cheap Christmas present! (In fact it was on one visit that I was inspired to write this)
- Reuse old cards. Have you cards on hand from last year, or know anyone who might have? Get arty and repurpose some old cards!
- Check out Freecycle… there might be someone there giving away a Christmas jumper? If so jump on it like you’ve got the plague, and you’re trying to infect someone.
- Are you on O2? Check out the priority app for cheap / free stuff!
- Limit gifts! Got a partner? Decide on a limit of how much money you’re going to spend on each other, at worse you might find this challenges your imagination a little bit!
- Plan for next year. Is your Christmas tree on its way out? Take advantage of the sales, just be warned if you buy something broken – I doubt you’d get away with taking it back 11 months afterwards. (But don’t quote me on this)
Are there any you would add?
*Other massively way paid jobs are available.
I’m sure you’ve noticed, but we’re slowly moving into Christmas. That time of year when we all run around finding presents for each other. Some people are easy to buy for… if you dont have kids, buying Christmas presents for kids can be difficult. Are you looking for Christmas present ideas for kids? If you are, this is the list for you! Be warned, the parents involved might hate you if you get any of these…
(As a side note… If any of the “uncles” happen to read this blog post – DONT THINK OF IT!!!)
Here is the Dads Sofa list of Christmas present ideas for kids – when you hate parents….
You can play catch!
For the ultimate noise and destruction check out the Screaming Monkey from Amazon!
A Singing Peppa Pig.
Question. Which parent doesn’t want an oversized singing peppa pig toy in their house?
Answer. NONE. And they dont want you to find it here either.
Work THAT ENERGY OUT!
Know a kid with lots of energy?
Does that kid have untapped musical talent?
Help the kids parents unleash that talent by getting this from Amazon…
Encourage The Dalek
Are you shopping for a little dalek?
The Dad a fan of Doctor Who?
Happy with forcing kids to confront nightmares?
Get them something for their bedroom….
Because who doesn’t like a giant teddy that the parents don’t have room for?
I’m sure there are many worse ideas out there. Have you got any?
Warning. If you buy a kid any of the above, and NOT check with the parent first. You deserve to be woken up with the said toy for the next month. (Uncles – this also means you!)
This post contains affiliate links.