Volcanic Biscuits (from CBBC’s Junior Bake Off)

Hello everyone, sophofbread here. I’ve been really enjoying watching Junior Bake Off on BBC iPlayer recently. It’s the children’s version of The Great British Bake Off and I enjoy it more than the original! The recipes they choose look much tastier (and more fun to bake!) than the ones they make in GBBO that often take 6 hours and include ingredients you’ve never heard of. Sam and Mark are great presenters, Nadiya and Allegra are fantastic judges and the contestants are talented, calm and funny.

After watching one of the Junior Bake Off episodes I was feeling very hungry and dying to make something yummy. I decided on these Volcanic Biscuits. I love ginger beer and chocolate and these biscuits didn’t look too hard. I’m very happy with the result, they look and taste amazing and they were very fun to make. I do admire the people on Bake Off that do it with a time limit and get them all looking identical, mine were various sizes.

If I made these again (which I’m sure I will) I would cook them for slightly shorter because mine were a little overdone, I’d also weigh out all the ingredients before starting because I ended up rushing parts of the bake. The chocolate, texture of the biscuits and the chewy bits of crystallised ginger went so well together. Washed down with home-made Ginger Beer these are quite the treat. Find the recipe here… http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/thingstodo/jbo-volcanic-biscuits



Organising and presenting projects..

Sometimes we can all use a little inspiration, here are a few ideas on organising and presenting projects –

  • A-Zs – create an alphabetic reference diving deep into any particular topic. Or use individual letters to focus the mind and broaden the horizons. Plumblepie loves learning about letters at the moment and this provides a great focus for strewing. See some examples of what we got up to when we spent some time learning about the letter P.
  • Timelines – find out about the history of the universe, focus in on specific historical periods, the history of inventions or famous explorers, follow one individual’s timeline and find out what else was happening in the world at the same time.
  • 6 Questions – focus your research and discover what, where, when, who, why and how, have a look at an example here.
  • 5 senses – explore through the five senses, what could you look at, touch, listen to, smell and eat that would give you a real flavour of your topic!
  • Create a quiz – devise an interesting quiz for someone else and learn loads in the process.
  • Write a poem, or a book, or a blog-post – pick a medium to share the information you have discovered and whichever form you choose can lead your research in many different ways.
  • Use first person narratives – put yourself in the shoes of those you are researching and gain new insights as you tell the story from their perspective.
  • Produce a video, or a podcast – make these just for fun or share your creations with the world.
  • Design a poster or a leaflet – informative, entertaining, beautiful, to share or not to share, so many possibilities.
  • Create a mind map, or a flowchart, or some infographics – from the planning to the presentation stage there are so many design options to choose from.
  • Try lapbooks, scrapbooks and notebooking – so many ways to present information in visually appealing ways, lots of cutting and sticking and folding, what’s not to love?
  • Create a photographic display – choose a topic to investigate or design a random challenge to encourage exploration through the medium of photography.
  • Collages – could be a one page version of a scrapbook or lapbook, or an artistic way to display those photographs, or perhaps you fancy creating a vision or dream board.
  • Checklists – there are so many ’50 fun things..’ lists out there for inspiration, create your own ‘to-do’ lists with 10, 20, 50 or 100 cool things to try, collate 10 (or 100) facts about a subject you love, or have a look at these checklists for some more inspiration.

We use the word project very loosely, whatever we love can be a project and we love pursuing our passions. Any of these ideas could be used in a more structured or relaxed context. We would love to hear how you have used any of the items in this list, or hear more of your ideas on how to organise and present projects.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.



Slumps are healthy.

Slumps are healthy. Not the posture kind. If you’re anything like me you’ll have many interests and hobbies. A slump is when you don’t do that thing for a period of time, for example a reading slump would be when you haven’t finished or picked up a book in longer than you usually would. You can’t do everything all the time, there are only so many hours in the day.

I drummed for at least ten minutes (some days for hours) everyday 163 days in a row last year and that certainly made me a better drummer. But while I was doing that other interests I have had to take a back seat.

When I get really into a certain video game I might not read for ages but that doesn’t mean I’ll never read again! When I’m reading a lot I’m probably not writing a lot. All these things go in waves, sometimes I’ll be doing lots of things all at once and other times I’ll be doing one thing all the time.

I haven’t drummed in a while and I feel sad and slightly guilty about that but I shouldn’t and I remind myself not to. I haven’t had the time and when I have sat down to drum I’ve been thinking about other things I could be doing and haven’t been involved. Soon I’m sure I will drum a lot more and will most likely be happier and more enthusiastic for the break I’ve had. In the meantime I’m doing a lot of exercise, playing a lot of Pokémon Go, writing and reading more, sorting out plans for the future, studying, watching a lot of brilliant TV shows and hanging out with friends and family. The drums won’t go anyway and neither will the other interests that have taken a back seat while my love for Pokémon Go flourishes.

If you haven’t done something in a while and are feeling down about it think about all the things you’ve been doing in place of that. Slumps are healthy and you’ll most likely get out of it soon.

P is for Plumblepie and for pasta and pink and Picasso and park… (you get the idea!)

That lovely Plumblepie is now four years old and she loves learning about letters. Her love for the letter P is infectious so together we have been exploring all things P..

  • We have played lots.. (I should point out right here and now that we do believe this learning lark should all be fun and play and everything that follows is playing really!)
  • Plumblepie has been practising writing her own name (it’s not actually Plumblepie but does begin with P).
  • We have drawn the letter P many times and decorated it with foil and tissue paper and coloured paper and stickers and so many other things…
  • We made pink Ps and purple Ps.
  • We painted lots of pictures.
  • We photocopied many things.
  • We ate pasta and pineapple and pizza and plums.
  • We sorted pasta into shapes.
  • We made patterns with Lego and duplo and stickers and numicons and building blocks and pegs and so many other things..
  • We had a picnic in the park and played on the playground (there have been many parks, many playgrounds and many picnics!)
  • We have read many books (some featuring poetry and bears called Pooh and Paddington, a park keeper called Percy and a postman called Pat)
  • We played with lots of jigsaw puzzles (some featuring a pig called Peppa and that postman again)
  • We watched tv programmes with pigs and postmen and park keepers in!
  • We walked to the post office and posted some letters.
  • We made potions in the bath.
  • We played with play-dough.
  • We planted in the garden (well, sophofbread and artybaker did with Plumblepie’s help).
  • We made peg puppets and paper plate pigs.
  • We made a Peppa card for a cousin’s birthday.
  • We watched the CBeebies Prom.
  • We saw how pasta is made in ‘Do you know?’, (a fab new show on CBeebies)
  • We watched Stampy’s Wonder Quest series and found out lots about planets.
  • We listened to Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ (slightly stretching it here I know but this is all about having fun and widening our horizons, and Plum is one of our favourite things!)
  • We looked at pictures by Picasso.

Of course, we did lots of other things both starting with P and with all the other letters in the alphabet too. But I am really enjoying spending some special time on individual letters of the alphabet, it offers some boundaries to what could be endless internet searching for new fun activities and focuses the mind on what would be cool to strew next.

Make your own Lego advent calendars.


Lego is a big hit in this house and we have lots of it! We have bought Lego advent calendars before and am sure we will again, but last year Pteroturtle, Plumblepie and I decided to try something new. We made our own Lego advent calendar.



We had lots of fun making this and it made a cute decoration. Santa made his way along the path one day at a time and Plumblepie knew just where to put him so he would be ready for December the 1st…


We have to thank Sarah from frugalfunforboysandgirls for this idea. She has so many great posts that we go back to again and again, they are big Lego fans too. We also attempted her fab tree calendar but can’t find the photos just now.

Apologies for the poor quality of these pictures but as I could find these ones I thought I would share them with you. I just couldn’t resist posting that one with Plumblepie (she loves to suck that thumb!).

Wishing you all lots of fun and many happy times playing with Lego!