Vote for Us to Win in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019!

thank you

We’re thrilled that Team ARTventurers has been nominated again in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019…..however to win we need your votes!

We’d be over the moon if you would take a moment to vote for us – it would make all of the hard work and paint, glue and glitter in our hair worthwhile! We’re nominated in 3 different categories for ARTventurers and then some of our branches and franchisees are also nominated as well – you can only cast your votes once but you can vote in all of the different categories as you go through the page!

(you have to click on Expand All to see all of the different categories)

Thank you so much for all of your support and votes!

Team ARTventurers xxx

Our categories are : 

Most Loved Academic or Creative Activity (10-29 Leaders)  – ARTventurers

Most Loved Baby Activity (10-29 Leaders) – ARTventurers

Most Loved Party Activity (10-39 Leaders) – ARTventurers

Vote for ARTventurers HERE

Zog is a huge hit in our house!

Zog is a huge hit in our house!

Zog classes in Newcastle

Now we have had this Julia Donaldson book in our house for a while now (as we are all big Julia Donaldson fans) and it is one of those books that comes out for a couple of nights then gets lost again for a few months. Never the Number 1 choice but always lurking there in the background……that is…. until this Christmas!  The BBC adaptation of Zog has rocketed the book into our nightly story and it has been on our TV pretty much every day since Christmas Day.  What’s not to love about it……dragons, princesses, doctors, knights, plasters and golden stars!

Did you see it?

Here is a link to the Trailer and I’m sure it is still available on I-Player too. Our girls have loved pretending to be dragons, playing princess doctors & dishing out stars for prizes. This is Faith’s book cover design from school last week!

Faiths Zog artwork

They told me I HAD to do a Zog inspired art class for babies and children during the February Half term holidays! You may have read another blog of mine on how I come up with ideas for classes, well I can watch a film or read a book and instantly start thinking of activities. It seems my girls can too as we sat and planned what activities I could do in a Zog themed party or Zog themed class.  They were desperate to make sure they could come along to a class to tell everyone their ideas.

Zog with his hand up

I also spotted that the Gala Theatre in Durham are doing a production of Zog in March. I have an amazing competition running over on my Facebook Page to win tickets to the show. Make sure you enter to be in with a chance to win 2 tickets.

 

Zog inspired ARTventurers Class

So the idea was born and I am running 3 Zog themed art classes during February Half term. They all sold out within 48hrs of going live to book so it seems there are lots of Zog fans throughout Gateshead and Newcastle too.

 Zog inspired art classes for babies and children

Zog themed Children’s Party

Now if your little one loves Zog, here is an idea….how about a Zog themed arty party to celebrate their birthday with their pals? If you are looking for a fun, unique and stress free party for your child, pop me an email to see how we can create a fabulous Zog themed birthday party or pop over to my website to find out more about our party packages.

childrens birthday party ideas in Newcastle Gateshead

I can’t wait to run these sessions as I am a converted Zog fan now too! Keep your eyes peeled for our Zog arts and crafts over on our social media channels. Or pop me a message here if you would like to know more about our award winning creative play classes for little ones emily@Artventurers.co.uk.

Emily x

 

My Top Tips for a Stress Free Kids Birthday Party

Planning a kids birthday party can often feel daunting but it really doesn’t have to be a scary thought. Having seen tons of children’s birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle, here are my top tips for organising a stress free, fun filled kids party!

Have a chat with your little one to see what they would like –

  • Indoor – soft play, role play, magician, messy play party, craft party for full class
  • Outdoor – Farm visit, picnic, craft party in the garden/park
  • Active – Trampoline park, disco or football
  • Party at home – Build a Bear party, arts & crafts party, jewellery making party

If you are looking for first birthday party ideas, ARTventurers can create a fab Baby ARTy party so you will have plenty of messy memories to look back on in the years to come! Here are some of the childrens party packages we offer.

unicorn children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle

Book a party venue –

If you don’t want a children’s birthday party in your house, you will need to find a local community centre or church hall that is suitable for your activity and numbers. Newcastle & Gateshead have tons of fab venues to hire for kids parties.  They will vary in price but often the one closest to you and your guests is the best option as it can be tricky transporting your prize birthday cake too far! Your entertainer will be able to help with suggestions on halls to hire. With plenty of party experiences, I can recommend fab venues that are perfect for arty parties throughout the North East.

Remember to ask your entertainer how long you will need the room for. The party might be 2 hrs long, but your entertainer will need time to set up the fabulous fun – it takes me 45 mins to be ready for your guests to arrive plus you will need some time to tidy away and get all the presents into the car! That extra bit of time will make for a stress free party!

If you want to keep the party small and have it at home, no problem ….. ARTventurers have tons of creative party options that aren’t messy. Just pop me a message.

Children’s Party Theme Ideas

Have a chat with your little one to see if they would like a theme for their birthday party? Whether they are into superheroes, mermaids or Harry Potter, having a theme is a great way to tie the party together. From the cake to the plates, to the balloons and party bags, there is no doubt that having a theme makes it much easier for you!

If it is a superhero party, Paw Patrol themed party, LOL Doll, Harry Potter, Moana birthday party or a Jungle theme…..it is handy to let the entertainer know. If you are having an ARTventurers party, we can theme the arty fun to anything your little one loves so just let us know. An art party can be a great activity for all ages and both boys & girls, and themeing it can make it even more special.

Star wars children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle minions children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle superhero children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle

Party Invitations 

About a month before the party is the time to get the invites out in the post. If you are having a ARTventurers party, you will get your invites as part of our party package. If you need to find other invites places like The Range or Asda do fab selections. Once you have the invites, make sure you have the following on them –

  • Whose party it is. Your phone number.
  • The date, start and finish times of the party.
  • Venue info
  • An RSVP date so you know how many guests are coming. If you are having an ARTventurers party, you will need to let us know the final numbers about 10 days before hand.
  • Extra details such as messy clothes for the arty party or allergies for the food.

It is useful to keep a list of the invited guests so you can tick them off as they reply.

 

Children’s Birthday Cake

children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle

It is often useful to decide early on where you are going to get the all important cake from. There are normally three options

  • Homemade cake (go you!)
  • Supermarket
  • A local cake maker

They will vary massively in price and your theme. If you decide to go down the local cake maker route, it is best to get it organised asap as they are often booked up in advance. Your entertainer will often be able to recommend someone, friends and families often have someone they use or your local social media sites will have plenty of recommendations for you.

 

Party Decorations

You may want to decorate the room/venue to match your theme. Or have a big balloon with the age of your little one (a fab way of remembering their age when you look back on photos). You can use themed or coloured tableware too, there are tons of options available to tie everything together. It works really well to pop a themed table cloth on the table with the cake.

 

Kids Party Food

My top tip for children’s party food would be to keep it simple! Over the years, I have seen amazing party spreads more or less ignored by the children (then eaten by the adults!). Keep it simple for them and for yourselves. Cardboard lunch boxes are brilliant as you can fill them before the party and they are much easier to transport than plates of food. My top tips for kids party food is –

  • A simple ham / cheese / jam / chocolate spread sandwich (remember any allergies)
  • Packet of kids crisps
  • Box of raisins
  • A mini sausage roll wrapped in cling film
  • Chocolate mini roll or a freddo
  • Little bottle of water / juice so no pouring out drinks
  • A napkin in the lunch box so no need for plates

For older children, hot dogs are also super popular and really easy to prepare with a slow cooker or using the facilities in your venue.

Having some cans of pop handy for the parents is always popular. I’m never a great fan of teas and coffees at parties as there is always the risk of burns so I would stick to cold drinks. As the entertainer parties, it is always lovely to be offered a cold drink. It can be hard work entertaining your cherubs, so a drink is always very much appreciated.

 

Party Favours/Bags

children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle

Now personally I am not a massive fan of party favours as I’ve seen far too much plastic go in the bin over the years. If you are having an ARTventurers party, themed party bags are part of the package so one less thing to think about (and the children take all their amazing creations home too so they certainly aren’t thinking about a plastic toy.)

My suggestions for party favours would be –

  • A pack of bubbles
  • A book (you can get cheap books from Boyes / Poundland / The Book People)
  • A sticker book
  • Something for a charity like a Red Nose or Pudsey Ears so you know your money is helping someone else too.
  • I’ve even seen hula hoops given out as a party favour and they went down a storm!

It is always lovely to see the birthday boy or girl saying goodbye to their friends at the end of their party and saying thank you for coming too. It is such a lovely way to end a fun birthday party.

Useful things to remember on the day of the party

  • Key for the venue
  • Cake
  • Candles
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Sellotape or blue tac
  • Scissors
  • Big knife for cutting the cake
  • Extra napkins for the cake
  • Money for the room hire/entertainer
  • Camera for the all important photos
  • Bin Bag

Hopefully these top tips for a stress free birthday party will be helpful but remember your party entertainer has tons of experience so don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. They will be the expert on the day so should take charge to ease any stress! If you want to know how I can help with a children’s birthday party in Gateshead and Newcastle, pop me a message to 07768373006 or emily@artventurers.co.uk

Most of all, your children’s birthday party should be fun for your little one and you too. Delegate jobs to friends & family so you can be there in the party and not stuck cutting cake. Enjoy the day!

Emily xx

children's birthday parties in Gateshead and Newcastle

Snow Day Activities for your little ones

If like me you have a SNOW DAY and the little ones are desperate for something to do…..open your kitchen cupboards and whip up some messy play fun!

Open ended messy and creative play activities can keep children entertained for AGES! Plus all the time they’re playing they’re learning, developing skills, working on language and communication, problem solving…so it’s educational too!

If you’re mess-adverse then there are some “less messy” options in the list below, but it’s also really quite easy to keep mess contained! Try using a long low storage box to keep the play materials contained (like an under bed storage box), pop an old sheet or plastic cloth on the floor and strip the kids down to vests and nappy/pants so they can get well and truly stuck in!

1. Rice Play

This is definitely low mess and so much fun! Coloured with food colouring or just plain, add spoons, pots, pans, colanders….it’s sensory, GREAT for scooping and pouring and measuring and it’s magic stuff that somehow can soothe the most fractious toddler!!

2. Edible Paints

We love using edible paints in our Baby ARTventurers classes…….SO easy to make! You can try finger painting with things like yoghurt or whip (with some food colour added?), mix up a super simple edible paint with flour and warm water and a bit of colouring OR try one of the cornflour paint recipes like this lovely one from The Imagination Tree!

Set out some large sheets of paper or on the high chair tray and let your little artist get making marks and creating masterpieces!           edible paint

 

3. Jelly on a Plate!

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble……hide some toys in jelly and let them dig them out! OR use jelly granules with a small amount of water to create a paste – you’ve got jelly paint!!

jelly messy play

 

4. Oats or cereal Play

For those who are mess averse – a box or tray of oats or dry cereal can provide a fab dry play material! Add trucks and diggers and it can become a building site……pour water in too and start mixing up some concrete!

messy play with oats

 

5. Gloop!

Is it a solid, is it a liquid??….it’s rare to find a child (or adult!) who isn’t fascinated by gloop! Mix it up with cornflour and water – super simple and FABULOUS for rolling snow balls then letting them melt!

playing with gloop

 

6. Cloud dough

Super soft, mouldable just like sand (but not as gritty!) and SO easy to make…..just grab some flour and add some veg oil……mix with your fingers to achieve a crumbly mouldable texture….now PLAY! We do it on a super sized scale but just a tupperware tub works perfectly.

cloud dough recipe

 

7. Sewing

Amazing for developing those fine motor skills, sewing is a super quite time activity, low mess but really easy to set up and great for lots of ages. For toddlers & older children, grab some card or paper, (maybe cut into a snowflake shape to theme it for the snow day), hole punch holes around the shape. I tie wool or string to the end of a pipe cleaner which acts as the needle. For our younger little ones, grab a colander and pipe cleaners and let your little one pull and push them into the holes. Endless fun!

 

8. Spaghetti/pasta play

Brilliant for developing those fine and gross motor skills and pincer grips, playing with spaghetti is always a big hit and it’s so easy to do! Cook until just cooked, drain and stir in some food colour if you want to brighten it up a little…..how much fun?!

messy play with spaghetti

 

9. Flour

Never underestimate the play properties of plain old flour! It’s a snowy scene, it’s an indoor snow storm! It’s great for piling up and knocking down! You can make marks, draw patterns, write your initial….get set GO!

messy play with flour

 

10. Super snow

Ok, so for this one you’re going to be raiding the bathroom cabinet as well as the kitchen cupboard! Cornflour AND shaving foam – mix together and crumble with your hands to create some super snow! This isn’t one for babies who are just going to pile it straight into their mouths but older kids can have hours of fun mixing and playing with this one!

sensory snow play

If you’re trying some messy play at home then we’d LOVE to see the photos – post them our social media with #artventurersfun so we can see what your own ARTventurers have been up to!

Top Tips for Painting at home with your little one

Top Tips for Painting at home with your little one

Introducing your little artist to paint at home the ARTventurers way!

There are 5 tips and a bit of inspiration from the ARTventurers team. Tips that you can use at home to get creative with paint with your little ones! There are loads of benefits to letting children be creative with art from a young age, and these tips will help them do so!

This feels great on my skin

As most parents will know, the thought of letting your little one loose in your home with paint fills you with horror! All those lovely white walls and carpets covered in paint? No thank you! However, allowing babies and toddlers to get messy can be SO important for them and their development, whilst giving you a great opportunity to bond! So, fear not, here are some top tips from us at ARTventurers when using paint at home with your little ones…

Think BIG!

Do you remember those old rolls of lining paper or leftover sheets of wallpaper that are stuck in the garage or loft gathering dust? Bring them out! These types of materials are ideal for covering your floor with and letting your little ones loose on. They’re easy to bin afterwards or even stick up on the wall to display the masterpieces and are a lot more fun to work with than small A4 sheets!

Loads of space to explore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure the paint is non-toxic and suitable for use!

Obviously, your child’s safety comes before keeping your house clean and tidy! So before you all get messy at home, ensure you know the paint being used is safe for use with small children. You can even try and mix it up using edible paint made from cornflour. We all know how much young ones want to put everything in their mouth! There are plenty of recipes online about how to make edible paint, so be sure to check them out.

I’m exploring with all my senses!

Be prepared for the inevitable mess!

Cover your surfaces and floors with something easy to wipe down or bin, like an old shower curtain or plastic tablecloth! This protects your lovely house from getting covered in paint, but also allows young children the freedom to move about and be really creative with their whole body instead of sitting at a table. Stripping your little one down to a nappy also means less washing too as you can just plonk them straight in the bath! A cheap shower curtain or plastic table cloth can go straight in the washing machine afterwards too.

I can move the paint with all of my body

Join in and get MESSY too!

Babies and toddlers learn from watching other people, so if they see you getting involved and covered in paint too, they will be curious and copy you! Who knows, you may enjoy it too?

Look, I get to paint my mum too!

DITCH the paint brushes!

Unless your child is anxious about getting paint on their hands, leave the paint brushes in the box and use your body parts to create art instead! This allows them the freedom to investigate and explore the lovely colours and textures of paint, without having to pick up a brush!

I even used my face to paint!

If the thought of letting your little one loose at home with paint still frightens you, let an ARTventurers Session take the stress and worries away for you! Be sure to come along! See you soon! Emily x

Elf on the shelf ideas for you

If you’re doing Elf on the Shelf this year then you NEED our ARTventurers Elf planning calendar in your life in December! Loads of cheap and easy ideas for your elf.

As features on Netmums and Huff Post UK, this is the must have countdown for the mischievous house visitor from the North Pole. Feel free to save/share/download to join the elf fun!

Elf on the Shelf calendar
Elf on the Shelf ideas

#elfontheshelf #artventurersfun