Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Hand Trees

For our Christmas-related activity this week (see here for the Play Time challenge), we made a Christmas tree! First, we traced Eden and Ava's hands onto coloured paper...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PLAY TIME ~ NOV 28th - OCT 4th

This week, make something Christmas-related.

At some point this week, try a game, a craft or an activity with your little one whch you've never done before with a Christmas theme.
Please post your game in the comments attached to this post, so we can inspire other parents with our ideas!

Fingerpainting for Babies

Who says babies can't fingerpaint? A little ingenuity and a willingness to see your child (and floor, and any adjacent surfaces) covered in muck, and you'll have yourself a fun-filled half-hour or so with your little munchkin.
Although non-toxic poster paint/acrylic paint is, well, non-toxic, I still feel apprehensive about letting Ava anywhere near it. Especially whilst she's in the 'how-can-I-fit-everything-in-sight-into-my-mouth' phase. So I mixed a bit of plain flour with some water and food dye, and came up with my own version of fingerpaint which is safe for babies. It's not a substitute for actual fingerpaint though (ie: the stuff you would use for your toddler, or for use on paper), but it served my purposes just fine.
The paint:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Water Play - Baby Version

I wish I had thought of this earlier! On a warm day recently, I put a bit of water into a shallow container, popped baby Ava into her highchair and added some bits and pieces for her to play with: plastic toy food, a rubber sieve, measuring spoons, wooden spoon and a spatula. Then, I stood back and let the splashing begin! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PLAY TIME ~ NOV 21st - 27th

This week, play with OOBLECK.

Trust me ... you'll love it.
See here for the recipe.
Have fun!

Meat Tray Sewing

I had an absorbing task to do the other day (finishing a painting for a friend's little girl) and I needed to sew some detail onto it. Now, Eden likes to copy everything I do so normally I'd wait until she was asleep to do this. This time, however, I had a different approach: teaching Eden how to sew!
I grabbed a meat tray (side note: keep your meat trays, they're so handy and they make the best paint palettes) and punched a few holes through it with a skewer. Then I threaded a wool needle with some red yarn, tied it off, and handed it to my lil girl. Look at this:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Treasure Baskets Part 3.

Since my now seven-month old is teething and everything goes straight into her mouth, I thought a soft play basket was in order this time. 

Recipe - Oobleck

  • 2 cups cornflour
  • 1 cup water
  • Food colouring (optional)
  1. Add food colouring to water if desired.
  2. Mix cornflour in (sifting is unnecessary). You may need to add a little bit more if your mixture is too runny.
  3. Enjoy! You can just put it in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to re-use another time.


Strange name, strange substance. Oobleck defies Newton's third law of motion (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction): if you pour oobleck it behaves like a liquid, but if you hit it, it behaves like a solid. In other words, you could slowly immerse your hand in it (would be liquid), then try to pull your hand out again quickly and you'd have trouble (would be solid)!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

PLAY TIME ~ Nov. 14th -20th

This week, play with ICE.

At some point this week, try a game or activity with your little one that you've never played before, which involves ice. Putting ice in your child's drink doesn't count. Sorry.
For a baby, this may be putting crushed ice into a ziplock bag and letting them bash it with a plastic hammer (that's what we'll be doing!)
For a toddler, it may be ice-cube painting: simply add some food colouring to the water when you fill up the ice trays. When frozen, lay out some paper (maybe with a towel under it) and let your tot slide the coloured ice around on it. It will paint as it melts.
Please post your game in the comments attached to this post, so we can inspire other parents with our ideas!

Pouring Station

When my floors get dirty again, I'll give this another go. Unfortunately, Eden did not play at it for long, but I think it's because I offered it at the wrong point in the day - just before her nighttime routine. Not a good idea. Nevertheless, I think she'll enjoy it if I set it up earlier in the day.

Junk City

Hi all! It's that crazy time of year again, when it seems as though time is in short supply. I apologise for my neglect, I am doing my best to juggle all of my responsibilities but with many things demanding my attention the blog, sadly, has to be shelved sometimes.
On to more important stuff...PLAYTIME!
I was sooooo tired the other day and I was struggling to think of an activity for Eden which required minimal set-up but which would absorb her for a while (and give me a rest!). My solution was to set up a junk modelling city for and with her.
I made up some 'roads' on a rug using masking tape (easy peasy to remove), and we put boxes and containers all over the place to act as various buildings. Add some dolls and cars and voila! You have a city!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Water Play and Pouring

Water play is so therapeutic for littlies and I find it's a wonderful recourse for those days when E's frenetic energy is a little more exhausting than usual. I pulled out both of our old baby baths the other day and whacked an old towel on the floor. Add a bucket half-filled with water, a few cups, bowls, ladles and jugs and a dolly, and you have an absorbing activity to keep your tot busy for a while. Eden is at the pouring stage, so this is a great way for her to pass the time, and at the end of the hour+ that she spends at it, she's a much more chilled out little girl than she was beforehand.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shell Sorting

I bought these little drawers for an alphabet activity (which I've yet to set up - stay tuned though!), and in the interim they have served as the perfect foil for Eden's sorting exploits. I have a big container of beautiful shells which we both love to touch, look at and talk about, and which Eden loves to sort into these drawers.

Open-Ended Bag

In our home, the alter-ego of the humble shopping bag is the 'Open-Ended Bag' (when I talk about it), or the 'Surprise Bag' (when I talk to Eden about it). I put a stack of related things into the bag and leave it on our rug for her to find, and when she does I give her the space to explore the items and do what she wants with it; much like the heuristic play activities I set up for baby Ava.
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