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Lego, Lego, Lego!

pile of coloured lego bricks

The greatest LEGO kits and structures…

We have a growing list of all the best, official LEGO creations!

We help you to make the best choice. What Children Really Want checks which lego creations are a hit with children (and adults).

We have listed our best discoveries of lego kits and structures below…

Something for everyone, all age groups. Click on the links, view the products right away to see if it’s suitable. We also have videos available on most kits and structures so you can view what to expect first! Then, if you love what you see, you’ll be able to hop over to the official Lego website and make your final purchase.

SUPER MARIO LEGO KIT – ADVENTURES WITH MARIO STARTER COURSE

Watch the video to see Super Mario in action. Hear him speak and see him collect coins! LEGO – SUPER MARIO – Adventures with Mario Starter Course.

  • What is the age group? – Ages 6+
  • How many lego pieces does the Adventures with Super Mario Kit have? – 231 pieces

CREATOR EXPERT – ICONIC 1962 VOLKSWAGON T1 CAMPER VAN

Watch the video to see an amazing time-lapse of this beautiful LEGO camper van being constructed – can you do it too!? NOSTALGIC 1962 LEGO VOLKSWAGON T1 CAMPER VAN

  • What is the age group? – Ages 16+
  • How many lego pieces does the Iconic Volkswagon T1 camper have? 1334 pieces

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Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

easy pineapple upside-down cake

A quick and simple recipe for a favourite old time classic…

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is a very quick and easy to follow recipe for a very yummy and moist pineapple upside-down cake!

This is from a classic recipe from my old school home economics book. Near the end of this post you can find the recipe to print!

The first time I ever made pineapple upside-down cake was during my cookery lesson back in High School when I was 12 or 13 years old. I don’t know why, but I still have the original H.E book from back then, and for many years I was just using it to make my favourite banana cake. It never occurred to me to turn more pages and try other top recipes from my school days.

I was reminded of this classic cake just a few weeks ago by a lovely Armenian lady. She asked me to bake it with her two little boys, as it was a cake her mum used to make back in Armenia! I was very surprised that she knew about pineapple upside-down cake. I was under the impression that it was a typical English cake from the 80’s that only us school kids were told to bake in cookery class.

Seems like Pineapple Upside-Down Cake could well be a favourite cake in many a country!? …

Please leave a comment and let me know where you know this scrummy cake from! It would be very interesting to know.

Out of curiosity, I looked at a few other pineapple upside-down cake recipes online, but was put off by the ‘complexity’ – many recipes talked about using buttermilk (hard for me to get as I live in Spain and I’ve never seen it here) and using other ingredients that left me thinking ‘maybe I’ll just stick to making banana cake’. But then I grabbed my childhood recipe book and jumped to the index. I was so happy to discover this long forgotten, simple and effective pineapple upside-down cake recipe. It’s really no fuss and is quick to make. There is even a simple recipe on how to make an accompanying ‘pineapple and lemon sauce’ – YUM!

Make sure you give it a try – your whole family will be delighted, and also left with wonderful memories of a very yummy, retro style ‘Pineapple Upside-Down Cake’.

(I made a second pineapple cake a few weeks later for a friend’s birthday – you can see the photo at the end of this blog post)

So, here goes…

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Easy to make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

How to make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

A simple recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients:

Serves about 5 people. 2 people if you are greedy like me! (My sister and I demolished this cake in a few minutes)

  • 1 small can of pineapple rings (you will need 4 rings. KEEP the pineapple juice!)
  • 4 glace cherries
  • About 2 full tablespoons of golden syrup (Lyle’s Golden Syrup is perfect for this! More info on this syrup after the recipe!)
  • 100g / 4 oz self-raising flour. Use a packet of baking powder if you only can get plain flour. You can also mix the flour with wholemeal flour if you like.
  • 100g / 4 oz soft margarine or butter.
  • 100g / 4 oz caster sugar. You can also use brown sugar if you prefer.
  • 2 eggs.

*Optional – a dash of mixed baking spice. A handful of sultanas.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake ingredients
Ingredients for pineapple upside-down cake

Method:

  • First start by turning on the oven. 180ºC, or gas mark 4. Place the shelf in the middle of the oven.
  • Grease a medium sized cake tin or cake vessel. If you use a large cake tin then you will need to double all the ingredients.
A greased cake tin for pineapple upside-down cake
My greased pyrex vessel
  • Spoon in the 2 spoons of golden syrup to cover the bottom of the baking vessel (I used a pyrex dish). Drain the pineapple rings and place them on the syrup. Put a glazed cherry in the middle of each ring.
Pineapple upside-down cake - golden syrup and pineapples
Pineapple rings, golden syrup and glace cherries
  • Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add in the margarine/butter, sugar, and eggs. (Now is the time to add in the mixed spice and sultanas if you want them in your cake). Beat well until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Pineapple upside-down cake mix with mixed spice and sultanas
  • Spread this mix carefully into your baking vessel, making sure to cover all of the pineapple rings.
Pineapple upside-down cake mix
Pineapple upside-down cake mix
  • Bake for about 45 minutes until the cake is firm. Use a skewer to test if it is fully baked in the middle.
  • If you see your cake is still raw in the middle, turn the heat down, place foil and a sheet of newspaper underneath the baking vessel, then also place foil over the baking vessel – this will prevent your cake from burning on the top and bottom. Disclaimer – if you do this, then keep checking on your cake, do not leave it unattended.
  • When your cake is thoroughly baked, turn it out onto a plate. Serve with either custard – or pineapple and lemon sauce…

Pineapple and lemon sauce

Pineapple and lemon sauce

Ingredients:

  • Syrup from the pineapple juice.
  • A glass of cold water.
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of cornflour or arrowroot.
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of sugar.
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice.

Method:

Put the syrup from the tin of pineapples into a measuring jug. Add enough water to make 250ml / 1.5pt liquid. Put this into a small pan and add a rounded teaspoon of cornflour or arrowroot, a rounded teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

Bring all this to the boil, stirring all the time, until thick.

Leave to cool.

Enjoy your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

Simple quick and easy pineapple upside down cake
Pineapple upside-down cake with pineapple and lemon sauce

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Lyle’s Golden Syrup

Lyon's Golden Syrup for baking

A 454g tin of the classic Lyle’s Golden Syrup is the syrup that I use. (Also referred to as ‘Lion’s/Lyon’s Golden Syrup’) You may also use other golden syrups, such as the one by ‘Silver Spoon’.

Silver Spoon golden syrup

You may of course also know other brands of golden syrup to use. But my personal favourite is the Lyle’s Golden Syrup. You can purchase it in the beautiful classic 454g tin, or get it in the squeezy bottles. If you select his brand from the internet, be sure to check that it is actually the Golden Syrup, as Lyle and Tate now do many other sauces and syrups in squeezy bottles whose packaging looks very similar – such as the maple syrup, strawberry or chocolate syrups, and the treacle.

If you are a person that purchases on Amazon, you can use the official links according to your country below this Post.

A Taste of Home English Supermarket, Barcelona, Spain

If you are based in Barcelona like me – then you can pop down to the English supermarket in Barcelona’s city centre! –

Lyle’s Golden Syrup in ‘A Taste of Home’ Barcelona.

Lyle’s Golden Syrup on Amazon

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Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon USA

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Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon CA

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Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon UK

Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon AU

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Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon ES

Lyle’s Golden Syrup – Amazon DE

Pineapple Upside-down birthday cake
Pineapple Upside-down birthday cake!

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Storytelling courses – for outdoor learning

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Become a great outdoor children’s storyteller – We’d like to present you with a course that will greatly benefit your career!

There is almost no better place to do storytelling than out in nature.

Do you want to become a storyteller? These storytelling courses are for everyone…

  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!
  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides

Don’t worry if you do not have storytelling experience – it can be learned as long as you are willing go through the learning material and put it into enjoyable practice.

Being an outdoor storyteller has many benefits. Work when you want, and where you want.

Of course you may be naturally nervous when you first step out in front of your new audience. But practice will make you the master of this art of outdoor storytelling. You will be out in nature and feel more and more free and energised each time. Your students will have an unforgettable experience courtesy of you. Experience their faces light up as they listen to your every word, follow your every gesture and facial expression. You’ll grow in confidence. Get creative and expressive. You will be giving others joy and making wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. No matter where you are located, it’s time that you stepped through the door that leads to the magical kingdom of enchanting storytelling.

Magical fairytale Doorway

Chris Holland will be your teacher.

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Chris Holland is a professional outdoor educator who specialises in storytelling. Chris has an environmental science and forestry school educational background.

Now Chris Holland has put together a series of outdoor storytelling courses.

Each course is aimed at providing playful outdoor learning.

There are storyboards all prepared for you to use. Mid-term plans for teachers. Tip and tricks. Learning activities and games for all ages. All the learning material that you need is provided – Chris Holland has done all the thinking for you!

You just need to be enthusiastic and ready to get down to a bit of fun learning. All courses can be learned from the comfort of your own home.

The storytelling course consists of 12 beautiful folklore tales. They can be purchased separately or all together as a bundle. There are also other separate courses such as ‘The Storyteller’s Playbook’ and nature-led stories for families.

The storytelling course choice is yours!

Make a rewarding career move and become a storyteller out in nature!

Once you have quickly gained confidence through the experience of having told the stories several times, you will be fully in control of a very rewarding job out in the fresh air.

Where can you find work as an outdoor storyteller?

If you are not yet working in a teaching environment, then consider going freelance. Become a self-employed storyteller. Advertise your outdoor storytelling services to schools and centres.

Outdoor storytelling is a part of forest school education

It’s wonderful to see that forestry schools are becoming extremely popular. These forestry schools will be needing the appropriate storytellers – you can be that person! Your audience is waiting for you. Tell all the forestry schools what you have to offer them. Let them know that you have learned from Chris Holland’s courses, a highly experienced outdoor educator and storyteller with an accomplished reputation. This beautiful form of storytelling is a much appreciated part of forest school education.

Choose a nice location along with the necessary permission to use it – the forest/woods. A leafy park. A beautiful field. Hire a rustic wooden cabin/hut. If you are already a school teacher, you could create your own enchanted space on school premises.

Connect with nature. Your audience awaits you.

By Robert Jakes – sculptor www.robertjakes.co.uk

Go straight to the official storytelling courses on Chris Holland’s official website, or you can find out more in our Blog Post using the appropriate links below…

Chris Holland’s Storefront

Courses…

Courses for outdoor storytelling

If you would like to read more about the courses, and enquire about prices, please go to our Blog post that is about Chris Holland and the courses. We have outlined each course that he has to offer you on your way too becoming a terrific outdoor storyteller.

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Connecting with nature through storytelling

Chris Holland outdoor storytelling

Meet Chris Holland – Nature’s Storyteller

Chris Holland outdoor storyteller

Chris Holland is an outdoor storyteller and educator.

Chris has preformed as a outdoor storyteller at festivals and in many schools throughout the United Kingdom.

He is an internationally known storyteller, author and educator. Chris certainly knows his stuff – In 1993 he gained a degree in Environmental Science, and also became a forestry school leader.

His storytelling subjects are around tales and fables that promote sustainability and speak of creation myths and tales of wonder. Earthly music enhances each story, aimed at connecting the listener with nature.

If you are interested in becoming an experienced outdoor storyteller, Chris has spent many years forming the necessary resources for you!

Outdoor storytelling in nature
Outdoor storytelling

His material allows you to pass on holistic stories through play and observation. There are musical stories and many games that will connect all the listeners. Chris shares with you all that he has learnt. This first self-published book came out in 2009. It was called ‘I Love my World’. A fun, imaginative, hands-on guide to connecting with nature and full of practical ideas. This guide was used by both educators and parents in many countries.

Chris works on stories that allow the listeners to grow in courage, and form a deep connection with themselves and others. Many tales from around the world are told – Myths & fables from Europe, Africa, Australia. And from Native American history.

If you are an educator, or a parent wishing to dive into natural, outdoor storytelling, then these beautiful, one of a kind resources, kindly developed by Chris Holland are for you!

What some of the courses contain:

  • Storyboards.
  • Activities.
  • Mid-term plans.
  • Skill development
  • Tips’ n ticks’

Who are these outdoor storytelling courses directed at:

  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!
  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides

A great investment that can bring about a permanent change how every child views and treats the planet.

Courses start at as little as £10, but most courses are £30 – £40. And a special offer of £123 if you buy the lessons in a pack of 12. Some larger packs are £300. You get a savings discount on large packs (prices are in sterling)

Courses for outdoor storytelling

The Storyteller’s Playbook – for teachers and educators

“This course is inspirational” A video based, storytelling short course with lots of outdoor learning ideas.

This is what you get:

  • 10 minute story video of Chris telling an ancient Chinese fable
  • a hand drawn storyboard to help you remember the story at a glance
  • 30+ fun filled activities for learning, linked to the story in the video
  • 10 questions you must ask yourself to unleash your storytellers voice
  • telling tips and tricks explained
  • example MID TERM PLANS FOR TEACHERS! Save time planning with specially developed resources developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

I LOVE MY WORLD – over 8000 copies sold!

Paper-free version “This is a must for all” Michael Morpurgo – author and poet

Chris Holland wrote this book to help people who want to care for the Earth by helping them feel at home and part of the land, part of the dance of life.

It’s a playful guidebook on how to share our connection to nature through a wide range of activities and games, stories and practical skills.

This books is written for forest school leaders, teachers, scout leaders, parents and grandparents, outdoor educators, youth leaders and teens.

And it’s Chris Holland’s personal learning journey into the spirit of all things.

The Storytelling for outdoor learning Year Course

12 more stories to develop your storyteller’s voice. “This course is absolutely incredible.”

This year long video based training and self development course gives you the tools and the confidence to tell great stories that engage all your listeners & gives you activities and ideas to inspire creative learning, both indoors and out.

It’s a course that is drip fed, month by month with videos, storyboards, tips and tricks, audio  downloads, activity ideas, curriculum links and more!  Priced at less than £4 per week – it’s amazingly good value. 

Embedded within the stories are holistic principles of ecology, permaculture and wonder. These will develop a sense of curiosity, earth care and a loving respect for all beings.
Certificated Professional and Self Development for:

  • Forest school leaders
  • Classroom teachers
  • Scout leaders and woodcraft folk
  • Home educating parents and families
  • Education for Sustainability programmes and NGOs
  • Childcare providers
  • Outdoor learning instructors
  • Play-workers
  • Conservation Rangers
  • Wildlife guides
  • Parents
  • Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents – not strictly a profession, but a crucial mentoring role!

NEST – Nature-connection

Education & Storytelling for families.

This is what you get:

  • 12 earth care tales, drip fed, to watch, learn and share
  • Hand drawn storyboards to help you remember the stories at a glance
  • Mentoring tips for parents and children
  • 100s of fun filled activities for learning and play, linked to the story in the video
  • Questions to unleash your storytellers voice
  • Storytelling telling tips and tricks explained
  • Nature connection activities and storytelling games for all ages
  • Fun and silly stuff to do
  • Nature art activity suggestions
  • MID TERM PLANS linking every story to the UK’s National Curriculum, specially developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

The NEST playbook for families

A video based, nature-story led, playful learning course for families that’s “bursting with ideas”

This is what you get:

  • 10 minute story video of Chris telling an ancient Chinese fable
  • A hand drawn storyboard to help you remember the story at a glance
  • Mentoring tips for parents and children
  • 30+ fun filled activities for learning, linked to the story in the video
  • 10 questions you must ask yourself to unleash your storytellers voice
  • Storytelling telling tips and tricks explained
  • Nature connection activities and storytelling games for all ages
  • Example curriculum linked MID TERM PLANS specially developed by Rachel Higginson, Creative Educational Consultant.
  • mp3 download and more!

Natural Musicians set 1 – The game changing way to teach music, nature connection and create community.

A confidence building adventure in facilitating moments of natural connection and musical oneness.

This is PART ONE of a groundbreaking connective training journey that helps your musical self emerge, and transform into a more confident and skilled group facilitator, teacher, home educating parent or outdoor activity leader. 

As used by the British National Parks Education Rangers team!

NO instruments required!

These activities help develop

  1. Creativity
  2. Belonging
  3. Nowness
  4. Flow states
  5. Freedom of expression
  6. Connection to self, each other and nature
  7. Confidence
  8. Fine and gross motor skills.

The following storypacks 1 – 12 contain a video of Chris Holland telling the story, the storyboard, bundles of outdoor learning ideas and Mid Term Plans, professional tellers tips and tricks, questions to unleash your storytellers voice… and more.

Whole Learning story pack 1: How Dragonfly came to be

An enjoyable and engaging creation story with fun activities and lots of links to mini beasts and numeracy.

Whole Learning story pack 2 – How Robin got his red breast 

 A hearty tale about courage, doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and standing up for what you love.

Whole Learning story pack 3 – The Rainbow Makers 

An Achomawi myth about how Rainbows came to be, that links to teamwork, climate change and thinking as if all life matters.

Whole Learning story pack 4: The Wise Fool

A light hearted and witty wisdom tale from France about creative conflict resolution, marketplace and jesters of old.

Whole Learning story pack 5: Why frogs are timid.

A didgeridoo accompanied tale from Australia about the power of words, growth mindset and watching the weather.

Whole Learning story pack 6: Grandfather Rock and the Coming of Stories

A native folk tale from North American about how stories came to be, how rocks support life, and the power of bringing our voice to the world.

Whole Learning story pack 7: The World Fruit Tree

An engaging and musical story from the heart of the rainforest about how fruit came to grow all over the world.

Whole Learning story pack 8: Fox Brings Fire

A dramatic tale of empathy, survival, volcanoes and the secret of how Fire came to be hidden in the trees.

Whole Learning story pack 9: The Glass Cupboard 

A modern fairy tale about give and take, making best of an unfortunate event and the wisdom of a generous and humble King.

Whole Learning story pack 10: The Old Oak Tree and the Young Oak Tree

A British story about the seasons, dealing with change, coping with fears, the wisdom of elders and a song to unite it all.

Whole Learning story pack 11: Mikku and the Trees

A Latvian tale about loss, the generosity and harshness of nature, and the carelessness of adolescence.

Whole Learning story pack 12: The Curupira and the Greedy Hunter

An Amazonian folk tale about respect for traditions and the folly and selfishness of human greed.

Whole Learning story pack bundle

The Storyteller’s Playbook – for teachers and educators plus the 12 stories listed above

All the stories and mid term plans from the Storytelling for outdoor learning year course. This bundle contains 13 stories and the mid term plans.

Go to Chris Holland’s storefront to view ALL available resources to assist you in becoming an outdoor storyteller and educator

Chris Holland’s storefront

Chris Holland storefront resources
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Paper Easter egg decorations – an easy craft idea

Easy paper Easter egg craft

Not everyone has the time and patience to create an enjoyable activity for children. But we discovered this easy paper Easter egg craft and decided to give it a try!

It took me about 10mins to make each paper Easter egg decoration. It might take a child bit longer – or even faster depending on their experience with cutting shapes.

It’s great that you don’t need much material for this simple craft. And the result is very beautiful and so decorative.

Paper Easter Egg Craft
Decorative hanging easter eggs

What you will need…

Tools

  • Scissors. You can use straight edged scissors or/and patterned scissors.
  • A pencil.
  • A good quality glue stick.

Materials

  • A piece of card to cut out the egg template.
  • Coloured/patterned paper or thin card. (Or colour your own designs on paper).
  • String/yarn/ribbon.

What you need to do, in easy steps

  • Make a template by cutting out your egg shape from a piece of sturdy card.
  • Draw the egg shape onto 10 pieces of coloured card or decorated/patterned paper of your choice.
  • Cut out the shapes. You can use straight edge scissors, or use decorated edge scissors if you have them!
  • Fold all ten cut out shapes in half.
  • Take your glue stick. Take one cut-out egg shape and cover half of the surface with glue.
  • Stick the egg shape onto half of another paper egg shape, and so on – keep repeating this until you have stuck 9 shapes together!
  • Then you will need to cut a loop of string/yarn/ribbon – about 7cm long. Glue this piece into the top part of your paper egg.
  • Now you can glue on the 10th piece of egg shaped card.
  • Make sure all the pieces of card are stuck in place well.
  • Wait for the glue to dry completely. Then you will be ready to hang your beautiful hanging Easter egg decoration in any place that you like! WELL DONE.
Decorative hanging Easter Egg easy craft
Decorative hanging Easter Egg easy craft
Your finished Easter Egg Decoration

Find at lovely place to hang your homemade decorative Easter egg

Incase you had difficulty following the steps – here is a video that will help you!

We hope you enjoyed this craft idea!

How about buying long lasting wooden eggs for your child to play with!

You don’t have to wait until Easter to let your child enjoy eggs! You can buy good quality wooden ones that provide long lasting play. Let your child make you breakfast the fun way!

Wooden play eggs for kids
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Wooden play eggs on Amazon – USA

Wooden play eggs on Amazon – CA

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Wooden play eggs on Amazon – UK

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Wooden play eggs on Amazon – ES

Wooden play eggs on Amazon – AU

Wooden play eggs on Amazon – DE

New Classic Toys Wooden Eggs

More quality wooden

play food that kids love!

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