Days out · Nannying

Haysden Country Park 

My 3 year old charge and I took a stroll in Haysden Country Park in Tonbridge. It was lovely. We first stopped off to feed the ducks and geese. Even a dog came along to steal the bread that was supposed to be for the birds!

We took a walk around the lake and stopped off at the various wooden animals around the lake. We found a dragonfly, a frog and a snake.

There is even a new play area which we popped in before our way home. It’s a lovely place to visit. I used to come here as a child, there are seperate walks and bike routes you can venture down. It’s nice taking my nanny children places my parents took me to as a child 🙂

Baking · Nannying · Recipes

Gingerbread men

Yesterday I made some gingerbread cookies with my nanny boys. We used the cookie cutters we bought from John Lewis a few days ago, the snowman and the christmas tree one. But we also used the usual gingerbread man cutter, a star and of course a train cutter (train lovers my nanny children).

I have never made gingerbread before, I never thought it could be so easy.

This is a great educational christmas activity, so I highly recommend.

You need:

  • 350g plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 125g butter
  • 175g light soft brown sugar
  • 1 free range egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • writing icing to decorate
  • decorations to decorate (we just used chocolate balls)

Method:

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

20161208_13220520161208_13372820161208_134223.jpg20161208_134439

Lightly beat the egg and golden syrup together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

(We didn’t use a food processor. We started off with a whisk, then decided to switch to kneading with our hands instead! Still did the job fine)

20161208_135030

20161208_135121.jpg

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them. For decorations, use a skewer to make a small hole in the top of each biscuit.

20161208_14361920161208_144256

20161208_144343

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. When cooled decorate with the writing icing and cake decorations.

20161209_175839

 

Activities · Craft Activities · Nannying

Christmas is coming

Today the 5 year old was off school sick so I made sure we had plenty of Christmas activities set up. We watched the Christmas film ‘The Snowman’, we did some deco-art and we made some salt dough Christmas tree decorations and snowmen.

 20161207_165222

We bought some Christmas cookie cutter in John Lewis to make a snowmen, Christmas trees and some holly.

http://www.johnlewis.com/creative-party-tree-cookie-cutter-green/p2667567

http://www.johnlewis.com/creative-party-snowman-cookie-cutter-white/p2667570

http://www.johnlewis.com/creative-party-holly-leaf-cookie-cutter-green/p2667568

To make the salt dough is really easy. You only need one cup of flour, one cup of salt and a little bit of water. You mix them all together and knead into a dough. Then just roll of dough out and you can cut out shapes. After we cut out our shapes we just got a pencil and made a hole so we can thread in some string to hang them on the Christmas tree.

With our snowmen we just rolled out three balls, one bigger than the other and stacked them like you would with a normal snowman.

We popped our shapes and the snowmen in the oven at 200c for 20-40 minutes. The shapes were ready before the snowmen as they are smaller.

Once cooled we painted and decorated our creation

20161207_165203