Posted in Family Life, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

A spring scavanger hunt

September brings the first day of spring and although Cape Town was certainly not showing any signs of spring weather in early September, I compiled a spring scavanger hunt to keep Hamish busy.

The hunt is designed to use on a walk about your neighbourhood but you could also use this inside your garden.

Scavanger hunt.

Look at your garden/park or beach and draw or write a list of things for your child to find.

We started nature walks and hunts when Hamish was about a year old and would collect things onto his pram.

Give each child a copy of the hunt and a pencil to mark off what they find.

I’ve found that this activity works well for smaller children if you attach your print out to a clipboard. This makes it easier for them to carry around and ensures the wind does not blow it away.

You could also give younger children stickers to stick on to mark off what they find instead of a marker.

If you know that you will do the hunt on a regular basis, you can save paper by laminating the print out and use a white board marker to cross off as white board markers will just wipe off the laminating.

Things to find

I put together a list of 20 easy to find items in nature.

  • Bird
  • Thorn
  • Ant
  • Spiders web
  • Leaf
  • Pine cone
  • Flower
  • Log
  • Rock
  • Mushroom
  • Cloud
  • Dandelion
  • Grass
  • Bug
  • Stick
  • Mole hill
  • Earth worm
  • Tree
  • Sand
  • Caterpillar
  • Bark

Happy hunting ….

Posted in Crafts, Education, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

How to make a set of nature inspired number flash cards and counting poster for your homeschool classroom

Every springtime the Western Cape show cases the most gorgeous blanket of little wild flowers.

Every open field has huge spreads of whites or yellows or orange daisy and we are blessed to live very close to one of these areas.

Nature appreciation

Not only are these flowers beautiful they also hold an abundance of life in their little ecosystems.

Little ants that scurry about, earthworms underground, bees, dragonfly, bumblebee and beetles all gathering nectar….these can often be missed as we focus on the flowers.

But, I’ve always tried to teach my children the importance of nature, show her beauty and have them understand our role to protect and look after the world around us from ant to whale.

And so before we even started our activity, Hamish and I, first admired the flowers and sat along the side of the path watching the insect and bird life that danced amidst them.

Using nature to learn

Knowing how important it is for me that my children appreciate the natural world around them, I incorporate nature studies and the use of natural materials in our home classroom.

We count out sticks, print with leaves, have sensory play with mud and build with stones.

If we learnt flower parts we did so outside with real flowers. Shapes and patterns were identified in the garden and what better way to learn about the ocean than to be there?

A Pinterest idea comes to life

Somewhere along my late night Pinterest scrolling sessions, I saw a number freeze made by forming numbers with stones and leaves.

I knew I wanted to make this.

But, the stones and leaves looked dull against the grass background …what if we used flowers?

And so Hamish and I took a walk down the road and gathered several little white flowers to start our new project.

Counting flowers

As soon as we got home, I let Hamish cut the stems off the flowers and we started arranging flowers on the grass in the shape of numbers to photograph.

These number photographs have become the posters and flashcards we use in our classroom.

How to make a set of nature inspired flash cards and counting poster

To make your own you will need:

  • Wild flowers ( but you could do this with any natural item- shells, stones, sticks, leaves)
  • Scissors to cut the flowers
  • A container to gather the flowers in
  • A camera ( your cell phone camera will work just fine)
  • A grass background ( although you may want to use a wooden background, sandy beach, mud, ect)
  • Printer or printing facility
  • Laminator or laminating facility

To make:

  • First gather all your flowers. We used about 20 flowers and made two numbers at a time. Reusing the flowers for the other numbers so that we didnt have to cut that many flowers.
  • Next arrange the flowers into the number shapes.
  • Photograph each number.
  • Edit your photographs until you are happy.
  • Have each photo printed. I printed A4 to make the number freeze and printed 2 images on an A4 piece of card to cut into A5 sized flash cards.
  • Have your posters laminated and display.
  • Cut your flash cards in half and store neatly.

Posted in Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club

Rainbow kids Easter week activities

Shortly after lockdown started I rallied a few friends and started a group on facebook – Fun mamma Rainbow kids, with the idea of giving the kids a daily task to help keep them busy and a place for them to share their art works so they could connect with their friends.

This group is open to everyone.

For the Easter weekend these are the activities as Hamish and I interpreted them.

I hope they inspire a little Easter inspiration if you are looking for something to do today with the kids.

Monday – Chick prints

On Monday we were tasked with making a chick or bunny print.

For this activity I used vanilla essence as we had run out of yellow craft paint and a toilet tube.

Hamish stamped circles with the vanilla essence as the chicks bodies and then used his wax crayons to draw little eyes and beaks.

Tuesday – old school Easter games

Tuesday we went old school with 3 fun games I played as a child.

  • Egg and spoon race
  • Sack race
  • And bopping for apples

These were great fun and really kept Hamish busy.

Egg and spoon race

For egg and spoon races you need:

1 egg per child

1 spoon per child

The object of the game is to see who finishes the race first without breaking their egg.

Bopping for apples

Bopping for apples is an old favourite if ours and always guarantees tons of laughs.

You will need :

  • Basin
  • Water
  • Apples

Each child needs to see how many apples they can collect taking turns using their mouth, and no hands to catch them.

Sack races

For the sack races I used some old pillowcases and this really was his favorite activity.

You will need:

  • A pillow case per child

Have races with each child hopping in the pillowcase.

Wednesday – Draw an Easter bunny

Wednesday we were tasked with drawing an Easter bunny.

I gave Hamish a piece of paper and some markers. I took a piece of paper as well and drew a bunny on my paper, he copied on his. It came out beautifully.

Thursday – paint eggs

On Thursday we painted eggs. I decided to make our traditional marbled/ dinosaur eggs.

You will need:

  • Boiled eggs
  • Food colouring
  • Bowl

To make these you first boil your eggs.

Let them cool and then gently crack the shell, without letting the shell pieces come off.

Place the eggs into food colouring and cover completely.

Leave to cool and peel.

We eat these every Easter Friday for breakfast.

And our weekend challenge is to host an Easter egg hunt which we will do tomorrow.

What have you gotten up to this Easter weekend. I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Easter.

Posted in Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club

Day 8 Fun mamma Rainbow kids activity – scavenger hunt

Day 8 of the Fun mamma Rainbow kids activities was inspired by this stunning scavenger hunt on Simple acres blog.

Hamish and I had great fun searching for each item and this was an activity that kept him busy for at least 3 hours as we worked together to complete the challenges.

After he completed each one of the 8 activities, he marked them off with a marker on his sheet that I had printed off.

Scavenger hunt

1. Something that makes you happy.

I thought Hamish would answer dinosaurs or cars and was quite taken back when he said his robots.

He then went on search of some of his robots and came back with a transformer mask for himself.

This resulted in the cutest impromptu photo shoot.

2. Something to give someone else to make them smile

I have a box of snacks in my cupboard and Hamish went to get one to give to his dad to make him smile.

3. Something that you love to smell

Hamish immediately climbed onto the table and went to smell the flowers I bought yesterday.

4. Something that you like looking at

For this task Hamish asked me to get down a new favourite game and he took the mirror out and looked at himself.

As the game was down we interrupted our scavenger hunt to play a quick game first.

5. Something that is your favourite colour

Hamish chose green as his favourite colour.

This was also new to me as we often buy him blue or red items.

6. Something you are thankful for in nature

This was an easy one and Hamish ran straight outside to give the tree a hug.

7. Something that you can use to make a gift for someone

Hamish and big brother Ronan share a love of rocks and Hamish automatically went outside to choose a huge rock for Ronan as a doorstop.

I gave him some puffy alphabet stickers and he hot busy decorating the rock to gift to Ronan.

8. Something that is useful to you

I let Hamish dig in my Tupperware cupboard and he found these two novelty cups to fill with grapes as a snack for him and Ronan.

This was the most fun and I’ve since looked for several more scavanger hunts to keep Hamish busy throughout lockdown.

Have you tried a scavanger hunt with the kids yet?