Posted in Crafts

Taste safe yogurt paint

Painting had been proven to be extremely beneficial for kids. Painting is relaxing, encourages a child to express themselves creatively, and helps a child communicate their emotions through the use of colour. It is also great fun.
Painting also :
  • develops hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills
  • Aids in mobility skills as fingers grip the paint brush to moves it across the canvas.
  • develops creativity
  • assists in decision making and planning ahead
  • is therapeutic

Painting with Hamish

knowing these benefits I introduced Hamish to paints as early as 5 months old. I was however very concerned about using commercial paint as I wasn’t sure a handful of paint in a baby’s mouth was the best idea in the parenting books, so I used a paint-safe yogurt paint.

How to make yogurt paint

You will need:
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • Add a drop or 2 of food colouring.

Method

Mix a little food colouring to your yogurt and well together. Present to your child as a finger paint, sensory activity, or with brushes and rollers.

Posted in Crafts

Making a solar system

We’ve been learning about the Solar system this year and I have been meaning for Hamish and me to make a Solar system model in order for him to be able to visualize the planets and compare their sizes, amounts of moons, etc
I found this Creative Talent solar system kit at PNA last week and bought it.

Inside the kit

The kit comes with:
  • a really awesome solar system chart,
  • 9 polyester balls,
  • a sun,
  • ring for Saturn,
  • pipe cleaners,
  • wire,
  • modge podge
  • paints
  • Paint brush
  • And a large wooden tray.

How we built our solar system model

We started yesterday. Out came all the polystyrene balls and Hamish first played an interesting game of marbles with them before arranging them in size from smallest to biggest and eventually matching each one up to its assigned planet.
When he was ready to start painting we matched each one to our assigned planet and Hamish painted them to match ( give or take a little creative license)
We had mounted the smaller ones onto pipe cleaners in order to paint them without getting paint everywhere but soon discovered that this was just going to be one of those messy activities.
With enough paint to paint a beach ball on our hands, all the planets were finally painted and ready to dry.
We left them to dry and that was when I discovered this kit actually does not have any instructions on how to construct the solar system into a display.
So, as they say, a boer maak n plan.
We used the long piece of wire to string our planets along in order from the sun.
I think it came out really great.

How to teach your child to remember the planet names

Long before Pluto wasn’t a planet, a geography teacher I once had taught us this rhyme to remember the names of the planets, and I have taught Hamish.
My – Mercury
Very- Venus
Eager- Earth
Monkey- Mars
Jumped- Jupiter
Swiftly- Saturn
Under- Uranus 
Nine- Neptune
Planets- Pluto

Resources

Some helpful resources with great information for kids about the Solar system can be found at NASA solar system exploration
I think it came out amazing
Even if Hamish may have been a little more creative with the planet’s colouring.
Posted in recipes

Make your own rainbow spaghetti for sensory play

I always cook way too much spaghetti, and instead of throwing it away I keep it in a sealed container or Ziploc bag. I then use these leftovers for sensory play.

How to make your own Rainbow spagetti

You will need:
Cooked spagetti
Food colouring in assorted colours
Ziploc bags
Method:
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to some spaghetti in a Ziploc bag.
  • Mix the colouring in well by closing the bag and shaking it well
  • Leave the spaghetti out to dry
How to use your rainbow spagetti
Present the spagetti as a rainbow and let your child enjoy playing with it, squishing it between their fingers.
Older toddlers and children can be given plastic knives and scissors to cut up the spaghetti.
You could also add containers and a spoon. Fork and tongs to allow them to transfer the spaghetti from one container to another.
Posted in recipes

Butter biscuit recipe

Sharing one of my favourite biscuit recipes.

This is my go to for most holiday biscuits.

Recipe

Basic Butter Biscuits
(Recipe Credit unknown)
250g Butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup Maizena (corn flour)
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp baking powder
+-2 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar until creamy and white.
Add oil, vanilla essence, maizena and baking powder and mix well.
Add enough flour to make a soft dough.
Roll and cut with a cutter or pipe through a nozzle.
Bake at 180 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.
Decorate as desired

Posted in Crafts

Nature crafts- Leaf imprints

We try to spend 1000 hours outside each year (if not more) and many of our learning and craft activities are centered around nature as our inspiration.
A fun activity that we often do several times a year is leaf imprints, here is how to make your own Leaf Imprints
Materials
  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Leaves
Method
Step One
Start your activity by going on a leaf-collecting exploration. See if your child can identify the different shapes and sizes of the leaves you find.  When you are home, lay all of your leaves out.
Step Two
Place the leaves on a flat surface with the paper over them. Any crayon or pencil will do to create the imprint. If you hold the crayon or pencil on its side it gives a darker and more prominent print.
These make wonderful wrapping paper, cards and framed print gifts
Posted in Blog posts, recipes

Oat crunchies

When my older kids were younger I would often whip up a batch or two of oat cookies to use as breakfast bars on the busy week days. When you are feeding a large family you need to get creative to stretch your budget and resources. These make a delicious treat to add to a lunch box or as an afternoon treat.

To make your own you will need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Method

1. In a large bowl add flour, coconut, oats, salt , cinnamon powder and bicarbonate of soda . Whisk well.
2. In a saucepan add butter , sugar and honey. Then put the saucepan on medium heat on the stove.
Stir until the butter is melted.
3. Let the mixture cool off for 5 minutes then pour it in the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough is formed.
4. Line the baking tray and transfer the dough, firmly press it down .
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes.
Let it cool off . Then cut into squares .
Posted in recipes

Easy coleslaw salad

I often make this easy coleslaw salad for supper . It takes a few minutes and can be adjusted for larger or smaller quantities. The quantities below are for a family of 6.

To make you will need :

Ingredients

  • Quarter of a medium size cabbage
  • 3 x large carrots
  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  •  2 tablespoons of mustard
  • salt and pepper to season

Method

Slice your cabbage into thin strips
Grate the carrots
Mix the sliced cabbage and grated carrots into a bowl.
In a separate bowl mix the mustard and the mayonnaise with salt and pepper.
Mix the mustard sauce into the cabbage and carrot mixture and mix well.
Chill before serving
Posted in recipes

Cinnamon toffee Apple

I love a toffee apple treat and nothing says tasty more than a cinnamon toffee apple. This recipe is perfect for Winter afternoons, Halloween treats, or party favours.
To make your own you need:
Ingredients
  • 600g of caster sugar
  • 100ml of water
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 6  apples
  • Wooden Skewers and twine.
  • Baking tray and paper.
Method
  • Boil the water in a pan.
  • Slowly add the sugar whilst stirring the sugar with a wooden spoon until you have a thick liquid.
  • Add the golden syrup and lastly the cinnamon.
  • Wash your apples in hot water, remove the stalk and pierce them with the wooden skewers.
  • Tip the pan carefully and coat the apples in thick liquid toffee
  • Leave to set on the baking tray for 24 hours

 

Posted in recipes

3 Ingredient biscuit recipe to bake these holidays

We love baking together and these holidays we found a great 3 ingredients biscuit recipe to try. I thought I would share it with you.

3 ingredient biscuit recipe

Ingredients 
2 cups plain flour
1 cup butter (room temp)
1/2 cup icing sugar
Instructions
1. In a large bowl add butter and icing sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
2. Add flour and mix until a dough is formed.
3. Transfer the dough to your work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out.
4. Take a fork and make patterns on the dough or cut out the dough using a cookie cutter.
5. Chill the biscuit dough shapes in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Celsius for 15-18 minutes
Posted in craft reciepe

Yoghurt paint

When Hamish was a baby one of the things he loved was to finger paint. That sensory mush of paint between his fingers was simply the best.

However, as we know babies put everything in their mouths and I was super concerned about him eating paint…even if it said it was non-toxic, I really did not want him eating a glob of Dala crimson red paint.

I discovered a taste safe recipe online for yogurt paint and we used this often.

 

Making baby safe paint is super easy and you only need two ingredients, yogurt and food coloring. The colours always come out beautiful and vibrant and you have the peace of mind that even if your baby or toddler puts a handful in their mouths, it is safe to eat.

Ingredients 
  • plain, vanilla or greek yoghurt
  • food colouring
Method
You will need to have ready, a tub of plain,vanilla or greek yogurt, a spoon or two, some food colouring and some containers to mix your paint into.
Scoop out some yogurt into all the little containers you have set up.  A few spoonful into each will do.
Then squeeze a few drops of food coloring into each container.  If you add a lot, the colors will be really vibrant but they will likely leave a temporary stain on everything so just use a few drops before you mix it up with the spoon.
these paints are great on paper, used in a bathtub, onto the kitchen tiles or a sliding door for sensory play or with a paintbrush on a whiteboard.