Half term is fast approaching so I thought I’d continue my series of things to do in the school holidays with a fun recycling halloween themed project and an event local to me in North London held at The 02 Finchley which is a visit from “Munch Truck”, accompanied by readings of the Munch Truck book that teaches children about the importance of recycling and is aimed at Key Stage 1 (KS1 – 5-7 year olds).

Halloween egg box spiders

Pip and I made these darling little spiders the other night out of nothing more than an old egg box. We’re making some decorations to accompany the pumpkin we plan to carve next week. Making things out of items usually destined for recycling is immensely satisfying, not least because it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake as there is always more where it came from to make more, or to refine the craft, and it is cheap.  It is then also very easy to continue the item’s journey to the recycling once you’ve bored of the craft, or the season has passed.

For these little guys you will need:

  • Egg box
  • Black paint
  • Pipe cleaners – after experimenting, we liked the furry ones better but the glittery ones work well too
  • Stick on googly eyes (or some white paint to draw your own)
  • Scissors (to cut out the bits of the egg box & cut the pipe cleaners in two
  • Some kind of poky thing to make a hole for the pipe cleaner legs. (I used an old sewing machine needle as that was what I had to hand)
  • Glue
  • Glitter if you’re anything like Pip and feel crafting isn’t crafting without glitter!



So straightforward and easy. Cut the cups out of the egg box (I used the 4 end ones, which leave a full front but more open back) and paint them black. Skewer a little hole in each side. Cut pipe cleaners in half, bend in half and push 2 into each side, twisting together on the inside and bending down to resemble legs. Glue on eyes and give facial details/glitter as required.

We have them lined up on a shelf but I am considering suspending them from threads on their heads in a window with some of that fake cobweb stuff!


Loo roll ghosts

halloween recycling craft | the little pip

We also had some fun creating some ghosts from loo roll and baking paper, again with eyes. Whilst these were a lot of fun to make and with some more time, glue and material, might have worked well, they don’t quite work so well as the spiders. But persevere anyway if it’s fun, it really doesn’t matter what they look like!

Munch the Truck Event

Munch the Truck is written by Veolia employees Patrick Guihen and Alessandro Kenningale and tells the tale of ‘Greentown Recycling Team’, Ricky and Rachel and their friendly recycling truck, Munch. The book aims to teach children about the importance of recycling, empower children’s natural curiosity about waste and champion the recycling team of tomorrow.

On October 27th 2016 at 11am and 1pm, the centre will host Munch and offer fun and educational story time sessions from the children’s storybook as well as offering free copies of Munch and the Funny Tummy for all little ones who attend.

Following the readings, children will also have the chance to see Munch in action and feed Munch his favourite recyclable materials.

The O2 Centre is a great place for a day out – I wrote about our trip to The 02 Centre at Greenwich in the summer. At Finchley there is a choice of 14 eateries that families can relax and re-fuel at and you can then watch one of the latest blockbusters at Vue Cinema. All whilst reassured that The 02 takes recycling very seriously.

Post commissioned by The 02 centre – all craft ideas my own.


My first halloween costume was all the way back in 1988. My school in California held an annual halloween parade and all of the children went dressed in fancy dress. The headteacher was Big Bird! I don’t think I’d heard of halloween as an ‘event’ until we lived in the US for a couple of years. Now, of course, halloween is a pretty standard and fun event on the event calendar, particularly if you have children.

Halloween can though be fraught with danger and it’s important to think about the safety of your children when picking their costumes and planning their activities . We’ve been working with Smiffys to help promote a fun but safe halloween and have lined up a nice giveaway for one of you to enjoy your own halloween costume or accessories – see below the infographic for the rafflecopter widget to enter.

Think safety first!

Founded in 1894 as a wigmaker for the NHS and courts, Smiffys diversified and moved into fancy dress in the 1980s. Over the last 35 years, this family business has grown into the UK’s leading fancy dress supplier. They take costume safety very seriously and advise checking the following when selecting your halloween costumes:

  • Packaging should contain the appropriate warnings, safety symbols and instructions
  • Costumes should be labelled with the CE mark and fire warnings
  • Check the CE marking hasn’t been faked. Check the correct logo has been used, particularly the middle line of the E as it should be shorter
  • The label or packaging should contain the manufacturer’s details. This includes name, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark

Halloween ideas:


When Pip was a toddler we went very simple – a pumpkin and then a spider, which I made from black children’s tights stuffed with loo rolls and jointed by putting black hair bands between the loo rolls, and then pinning to the underarms of a black tshirt. Surprisingly effective. I also really like the idea of a skeleton.

As she’s got older, she’s been more into choosing based on her favourite books or characters. Last year she was some kind of cat and also wore a Frozen outfit I made her to a party, but my all time favourite was her Thing Two outfit which we created out of some red pyjamas turned inside out and a blue wig. It is tempting to recreate this one with Little Baby as Thing One but Pip isn’t keen on blue hair again!

This year, she has even more set ideas and wants to be a witch (based on Room from the Broom but with a dash of Shezow and something else) and has also asked if I will dress up too if we do any trick or treating. We spent a long time poring over the Smiffys site choosing wigs and hats and capes on the basis that we enjoy doing a little of the creativity ourselves too. If on the other hand you prefer a fully fledged outfit, Smiffys have one to suit almost every possible taste and budget – and they are very kindly giving away one costume or parts to create a costume up to the value of £30 from the website. See the widget below to enter! I’ll be sharing the costumes we created nearer to Halloween!

Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your halloween costume plans?

Graphic produced by Smiffys – thank you to Smiffys for our halloween accessories.

Terms & Conditions: 1. To enter the Smiffys halloween costume giveaway you must share the giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter and leave a valid link here as your entry. There are additional options for more entries. 2. The prize is a halloween costume or accessories up to the value of £30 in your choice of style and size – subject to availability – and will be sent out directly by the agency. No cash or alternative prizes will be given 3. The prize draw will start on 14.10.16 and end at 11.59pm on 21.10.16 4. The winner will be picked from all valid entries 5. The winner will be notified directly via email. The winner must reply within two days of receiving the email or a new winner will be picked at random. 6. I reserve the right to change the entry dates at any time, for any reason.


Sometimes I can hardly believe that we’ve been living in London for 13 years and for almost 5 of them I have had children. Reading a post on a mums forum just yesterday reminded how much I take for granted that we as family spend a good amount of time out in London; that Pip is used to taking buses and tubes and trains, and that none of us have any particular fear of heading into town.

It does seem there is often a perception that London is not child friendly, but it really is. I’ve often been asked by friends from abroad for tips visiting London with their children, so I was delighted to work with ebookers to give my top tips for visiting London with children in their guide London like a local: insider tips.

London like a local | ebookers | The Little Pip | top tips

One day last summer I was with Pip and Little Baby and we’d just got off the river boat by the Tate. We didn’t have time to pop in as we’d spent all day on the river and exploring The 02 so we had a little picnic on Bankside and then dragged the buggy up the steps to cross over to meet M after work. As is often the way in London someone kindly stopped to give me a hand with the buggy and commented I was such a heroine for spending the day out and about with the kids on my own. It was meant (and taken) kindly but I couldn’t help reflect that there is not much point living in London if we don’t go out and do things!

You’ll have to click through for my top tips, but don’t underestimate the friendliness of other people when you’re out with kids. There will be grumpy people everywhere but not everywhere in central London is horribly crowded and full of mean people. It is easier to travel outside of rush hour, and some stations are *horribly* inaccessible (I recently took the buggy to Baker Street and there were a lot of steps, even for me!) but there are often people who will help, or slightly longer routes round. Buggies will go up and down escalators, there are accessible cafes and there are lots of brilliant museums, galleries, parks and squares which are perfect.

What have I missed – any tips to add?

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