All posts in Makes Mums Smile

Makes Mums Smile: Funky Elephant

owlpaint photoOpening the pack photoMiss 7 had been sent a Funky Elephant box –  a box full of children’s activities for 3 to 7 year olds and there were squeals of delight when she saw what her activities were.

The bits and pieces for this month’s art activity were wrapped in gorgeous orange paper which I must admit looked so lovely I was reluctant to let my daughter at it!

Inside she found 2 instruction cards, along with everything she would need to build her masterpiece – paint, glue, a very handy messy mat, jar, stickers, paper bag, glitter and other exciting bits and pieces.

After much deliberation she decided to make the owl first (which was proudly presented to her teacher the next day). I sat back and watched the whole thing happen & only had to step in when there was a wee accident with the glitter (I’m still vacuuming the silver sparkles out of the carpet!). Next up was a treasure box – painted and decorated to her own high standards, and finally a nature jar complete with lady birds on the top.

When I asked my daughter for her verdict I got the big thumbs up – she loved each of the activities, and was occupied for a good couple of hours. I was very happy not to have to rush out and grab the “extras” that so often are not included (glue, felts etc) and am now lucky enough to have my very own treasure box on my dressing table.

Some info about the Funky Trunk:

What is it?

The Funky Elephant trunk is a box full of children’s activities tailor-made for 3 to 7 year olds. This trunk is sent to your home based on the subscription you choose. Therefore, if you choose a 6 month subscription, your child will receive a Funky Elephant trunk every month, for six months in total.

What’s in the trunk?

A burst of excitement just waiting to get out! Most kids tear away the wrapping to get a quick peek. Each month there is a different theme and the trunk comes with fun and interesting projects, along with materials, detailed instructions and motivational ideas. It provides the perfect stimulant for a young mind to learn, explore and grow. Another hidden benefit is that it gives us parents a little breathing space!

Makes Mums Smile: Happy Hump Day

Hump Day

Makes Mums Smile: How do internet ads work?

It’s pretty easy these days to spot, and ignore, a targeted Internet ad. I know that iPhone 5 case is only being offered up to me because I did a search for it yesterday.  I’m not that silly!

Even still, online advertising is a wildly complex system that even an adult user struggles to process… so what about the millions of kids who plug in to the Internet every day? Most of the MoT team are also teachers and think this vimeo is a great way to tell the eight-year-old–who may only be online for the games–how to resist the temptation of that pop-up ad announcing his mega-millions win.

Makes mums smile: Tickleme

Tickle is the new favourite app in the MOT office to help us escape awkward situations. Using our phone’s accelerometer, Tickle can sense awkward gestures, and in turn, generate a phantom phone call to allow you to gracefully excuse yourself from whatever awkward situation you’re in.

We are yet to try it out – but will hopefully use it to get us out of an awkward situation!


News flash – apparently it is April 1st – this is a joke!  Noooooooo

Makes Mums Smile: Hair Raising Billboard

This is One Hair-Raising Billboard.


Swedish pharmacy Apotek Hjärtat teamed up with an innovative advertising agency to make this quintessential hair product commercial in Stockholm’s subway.
I can see it being a real hit in Britomart!

Makes Mums Smile: Freeze the toys

Freeze the toys How’s this for a cool idea?  Thanks to A Cup of Jo for the idea.

1. One evening, freeze a few cm of water in a bowl/cup/take-out container in the freezer.
2. The next morning, add a few toys, plus another few cm or two of water over them, and let that freeze.
3. That evening, just melt the edges a bit (run under warm water from the sink) and they will slide right out of the bowl. Give them to your child in the bath one at a time (draawwwiiiinnnnggg it out!).

Makes Mums Smile: Life at the school bus stop

Waiting for the school bus This last week I have been navigating the logistics of the school bus service, and finding out what we can and can’t do in our small town. Apparently the rule in New Zealand is that if you live 3.2km or further away from your closest State school (not necessarily the one your child attends) then you are entitled to use the free school bus service.

We’ve figured out what we are able to use, and now have it all sorted. Today is my daughter’s first day coming home on the school bus, and we have spent the morning going over which bus she takes, when she gets off, who will help her if she has any questions.  Finger’s crossed it all goes according to plan.

While “researching” I found this series of photos from Life magazine – life at the school bus stop in 1971. How times have changed.


Makes Mums Smile: World’s Smallest Postal Service

Kids are often obsessed with miniature things – maybe it is because it brings the world down to their size?  Maybe it is because little things are often pretty finicky to make and when done well they are easy to fall in love with. For me it was classic kids stories like The Rats of Nimh, the Borrowers and Alice in Wonderland that introduced me to the charm of tiny things.  For others I know it was Sylvanian Families, Polly Pockets and more recently the New World Little Shop Collectables.

In my opinion though nothing beats The World’s Smallest Postal Sevice by Leafcutter Designs.

The World’s Smallest Postal Service was started as a quirky social art project in 2008. Lea (the artist) strapped a tiny wooden desk to her back and bicycled to a nearby bakery where she set up her miniature post office for the first time. Since then, this service has expanded online to offer tiny custom letters and cards, as well as packages with whimsical objects and sweet messages.

What is cooler is that possibly the most wonderful of store, Chronicle Books, has now released a Make your Own version.

The kit comes with the following:

  •  0.2mm fine-tipped micron writing pen
  • 40 mini writing sheets
  • 40 mini envelopes
  • 60 envelope seals
  • 4 mini gift boxes
  • 4 sheets Kraft wrapping paper
  • 4 sheets miniature “newspaper” packing paper
  • 44 inches twine
  • 40 postage stamps
  • 32 special delivery stickers

Already I’m picturing miniature correspondences all over the house – love this.

Makes Mums Smile: Hide & Seek

Hide and Seek The children on this list are true hide-and-seek champions. They are quick as the wind and as silent as shadows, capable of hiding in plain sight. Or at least that’s what they seem to think.

If you ever played hide-and-seek in your early childhood, you were probably no better than these hide-and-seek masters. Until around 7 years of age, most children aren’t able to visualise what their “seekers” can see… therefore, when they close or block their eyes, not only can they not see anything, but they think that nobody else can see anything either.

We think these kids are pretty cute – have your kids every played hide and seek with you? Send us your photos!



Makes Mums Smile: Movie quotes

Famous-Movie-Quotes-InfographicHa ha, we were doing a lot of laughing when we found this today.

100 famous movie quotes as charts…my favourite is the Dirty Dancing one – nobody puts baby in a corner. Nobody.

Makes Mums Smile: 100 years of fashion

When you’ve got a spare 5 mins, sneak a peek at this clip that shows the change in fashion from 1911 through to 2011. What’s your favourite?


Makes Mums Smile: The universe salutes you

The Universe Salutes you

Think we all need this on a Wednesday.

Makes Mums Smile: Life of an ice-cream.

Life from the perspective of the ice cream…


Makes Mums Smile: Life to her Years

Life to her years We’ve blogged before about the “50 rules for dads and their daughters” before, but love this image so much we just had to show you what other advice  Michael has to offer.

A Dad’s tips for adding life to a daughter’s years. Gorgeous.


Makes Mums Smile: Baby & me

This is a commercial for Evian water -  go figure?!