Category Archives: Mother Funster

Put the fun back into being a mum – there’s got to be some perks to this job

Easter Fun at The Film House



You don’t have to be a film buff (but it helps!) to have a brilliant time at The Film House Leeds this Easter.  Part of the Leeds Young Film Festival, Leeds Town Hall has opened its doors to become a fantastic cinematic multimedia experience! There’s something for all ages; meet The Gruffalo, build with Minecraft, sing along and dance with Elsa from Disney’s Frozen.

There will also be iconic cars on display, from the Batmobile to the DeLorean in Back to the Future. There’s even a Parents’ crèche!

Batmobile (Tim Burton's Batman, 1989)

My two are looking forward to Flickbook Animation with David Bunting and the Giant Living Comic Book where the Minions from Despicable Me take over. Personally, I can’t wait to go on the Clock Tower Time Travel tour. Storyteller Matthew Bellwood takes you back in time to meet the man started it all by making the world’s first ever film…right here in Leeds.  Amazing to think that Hollywood owes it all to Louis le Prince and his film of traffic crossing over Leeds Bridge in 1888.

The Time Travel Tour leads you up The Film House’s Clock Tower, to the clock face itself, with magnificent views of Leeds. Tickets are just £4.50 per person (advance booking is required.)

For a jam-packed programme of exciting events, go to:

More about The Film House:

The Film House welcomes you to enjoy an exciting new experience this Easter as Leeds Town Hall is transformed into the UK’s largest family film attraction. Come and discover where all your favourite film characters live, including The Gruffalo and Elsa from Frozen and many more! There will be real film cars on display, including The DeLorean from Back to the Future.

Enter the the mysterious forest below The Film House for an Easter Egg hunt or climb the clocktower for a journey back in time through film history. Tickets are available from the incredible all-inclusive price of just £6.50 per person and Family Passes for up to four are available from £25.*

*Passes do not include activities in the Clocktower or Crypt, which must be booked separately.






Wind in the Willows at York Theatre Royal


wind in willows pic










Running out of ideas where to take the children this summer? Wind in the Willows at York Theatre Royal is a delight for the whole family. This interactive theatre production was great fun! During the interval, the characters played a cricket match with the entire audience as fielders.

I was fascinated by the Edwardian era costumes, designed by Lydia Denno, with little touches like Toad’s extra-wide shoes and Otter’s flat wide tailcoat. The beautiful, decrepit set design helped to give an atmosphere of calm and elegance of another era long gone.

There were some solemn moments when Badger talked about the animals reclaiming the land. But the kids loved the funny slapstick moments best, mostly involving  Toad as a washerwoman.

Wind in the Willows is on at York Theatre Royal until Saturday 30th August

Box Office 01904623568




How to keep the kids entertained this summer


It’s that time again when mums everywhere start having to think about the summer holidays.

How on earth can we stop kids (and us) from climbing the walls for six weeks?

I have a couple of ideas I’d like to share. Last year, we made a jar filled with ideas of things to do.

If you’re stuck for ideas, this list by Be A Fun is great:


Holiday Activities Ideas Jar

Holiday Activities Ideas Jar

This year our list has been updated: Go Geocaching, make a loom bands/friendship bracelet gift card for friends, make giant bubbles (I’ll share our secret recipe soon) and Comping, our favourite activity of all.

Comping – entering competitions, can keep kids occupied for hours. There are hundreds of toys and great prizes to be had out there. Some good best online sites are and I have a subscription to the magazine and website which has paid for itself many times over.

C-lucky Chicks Crafty Comping Club

C-lucky Chicks Crafty Comping Club


I now run a creative comping club for kids. My daughter called it C-lucky Chicks Crafty Comping Club (and I am Crafty Cow, a bit like Brown Owl.) We stick, paint, collage, sculpt and make wonderful crafty things to enter those comps that require a little more efffort (effort with an extra ‘f’…see what I did there?) Projects include inventing a new sweet to tour the Haribo Factory, have your own message on Love Hearts, create a dragon to win tons of stationery, design a treehouse or theme park to win family holidays and days out.  It’s really exciting stuff! The next club meets at Otley Courthouse on 28th June.

Keeping the kids active when there’s no school P.E. also makes sense. They’ll sleep much better, even though the nights will be lighter for longer. Making obstacle courses from a couple of paddling pools and other junk is very popular in our garden. And never, ever underestimate the hypnotic power of balloons. Even drawing on them with pens holds some weird fascination for my kids, then they chase them round for ages. On rainy days, we play cushion world – all the cushions come off the sofa and make a giant mountain in the middle of the room. The kids jump all over them; I get to vacuum where the cushions were (lucky me.)

On this blog I have been reporting on alternative forms of exercise, from Heavy Metal Bellydancing to Roller Derby. But I still have to say that my favourite exercise is dancing round the kitchen with the kids. The look on their faces is a joy. And I have to make the most of that while it lasts, because surly adolescence will come in a blink of the eye. And then? Well…..


Loom bands advanced/latest Creative Comping Club


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur CREATIVE COMPING CLUB for kids C-LUCKY CHICKS  helps find hundreds of competitions and exciting prizes for kids!

Every day, loads of creative competitions are being run online and in magazines, with hundreds of great prizes for kids. Comps include creating a dragon to win tons of stationery, designing a tree house to win a family holiday, colour in a scene to win hundreds of pounds worth of Airfix models, invent new sweets to visit the Love Hearts or Haribo factory, and many more!

Free badge for every new member!

C-LUCKY CHICKS will be meeting up at these Art Stars sessions from 10am to 12pm at Otley Courthouse for more arty crafty fun…









Saturday 13th SEPTEMBER:

From head to toe: More than just loom bands! Using a variety of materials we’ll be making hair accessories, boys’ wristbands and watches to funky fabric ‘Shoelery’ (that’s shoe jewellery) for boys and girls. Try new Loom Bands techniques and upcycle your clothes with fabric paints, glitter and sequins – you name it; we’ll stick it! Plus we’ll be making our own beads from clay and various paper techniques.



Magic Reindeer Food: we will be making fab reindeer with real twig antlers containing magic reindeer food. Sprinkle this on the lawn on Christmas Eve. It contains real fairy dust to guide Santa’s sleigh to your house, and will help the reindeer fly extra fast around the world!!







Saturdays 13th Sept and 13th December 2014 10-12pm

Children 5-12 years old; carers with under 8 years to stay on premises.

Booking recommended although tickets may be available on the day.

WHERE? Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley LS21 3AN

CONTACT Tel 01943 467466


Otley Courthouse whats on

Booking info: Tickets are available online until around 48 hours before an event. If you would like to book tickets closer to the event than that – or if you would like any more information – please call the Courthouse Box Office on 01943 467466.

Opening hours are 10am-4pm Monday-Saturday.


All About Me


All About Me

All About Me – I’m talking about the new Eureka exhibition. (Phew. In this self-obsessed, blog-tastic climate did you think I’d be talking all about me? Yeah, probably.)

Several months ago I was on the focus group for All About Me, an exhibition about the human body at Eureka Children’s Museum in Halifax.

Wherever you are in the country, Eureka is well worth a visit, as the museum is completely geared up for children of all ages. And even though I had some insight into the planning of All About Me, I was still blown away by the creativity of the innovative exhibits.

I’m going to let the pictures tell the story, but even then they won’t do the place justice. If you haven’t been before, just go, take your little ones. They will love you for it.

For more info on events and directions, visit

For more pics of the new exhibition, see my pinterest site:

Creative Comping Kids (keeps ’em busy)



Pinterest Catwomanga: Fun Crafts to Try

It’s half term, and that means the house gets extra messy. All the crafty, creative stuff comes out of cupboards, gets strewn all over the kitchen table and starts sprawling up the stairs, swirling round me, like a living beast made out of tissue paper, pipecleaners and (arghhh! ) glitter.  The only way to survive is don’t sweat it. It’s only for a week.

As I write, I have two children drawing designs on white t-shirts using Pentel Arts Fabric Fun pastels. Pentel have a complete range, but I chose pastels as I thought there would be less mess to clean up.  You can iron on the design to make it permanent. I’ll have a lot of ironing to do later. Lovely.

Earlier today, I introduced them to the art of Quilling, where we made some cards, and the gorgeous art of decopatching, a funky form of decoupage.

For more creative projects for your kids to get up to this holiday, take a look at the CBBC website, or for more unique projects sorted by age and gender , your first port of call should be the site here 

Why not enter their works of art into competitions? For some great competitions to inspire your little Botticellis and Gauguins, go to the Prizefinder site here

For a brilliant UK site for children’s crafts, take a look here.

Have fun, and hope you win something too!

Pancake Party


We’re planning a Pancake Party next Tuesday, and in doing some research for inspiration, I found some amazing pancakes; some were downright bizarre. I put together a board of incredible pancake art on Pinterest here.

If you’re looking for gluten-free alternatives, take a look at the No Naughties website for superb gluten-free pancake canapes, based on a Finnish recipe here. They’re oven-baked, so there’s no slaving over a hot stove getting covered in grease and pancake mix.

If you really are pushed for time, you could always buy some supermarket pancakes and have fun mixing and matching these toppings:


Chocolate spread


Toffee spread

Lemon curd


Fresh fruit – raspberries, bananas, blueberries

Sprinkles – hundreds and thousands, or chocolate flake sprinkles

For those who prefer savoury toppings, you could make “pancake pizza” with a choice of cheese, ham, mushroom, peppers, and warm them up in the oven.

I’ve just asked the kids to write a list of potential guests to invite.

At the last count there were 27 children.

Wish me luck…..