Posted in Crafts, preschool

Roar-some dino puppets

Dinosaurs are always a hit with my junior paleontologist so when teaching new concepts or trying to get him to do an activity I feel he may find boring, I will often adapt it to a dinosaur theme to capture his interest and build a enthusiastic platform for learning.

Little learning

As we are currently learning to write, I’ve introduced many more fine motor activities to help exercise those little finger muscles.

I found this interesting image from Mindful Moments showing the difference between a toddler and a school aged child’s hand.

Image Source: facebook – Mindful Moments

As you can see, the reason why little hands are so clumsy and may find it hard/ tiresome to write, draw or cut is because those little bones need to grow.

This is why fine motor activities play such an important role in preschool lessons.

Roarsome dinosaurs

Opening and closing pegs is a great fine motor activity and can be used in a variety of different manners.

From letting toddlers just peg them onto containers to showing your preschooler how to hang washing with pegs.

There are also a wide variety of fun games using pegs to assist in counting, letter identification and other learning areas on Pintrest.

But how do you keep a very active child busy when they are bored with pegging?

You make dinosaurs of course!

And that is just what I did.

How to make a dinosaur puppet

I made 3 T-Rex whilst Hamish slept and he woke to a fun game trying to get the dinosaurs to open their mouths to Roar and eat me.

You can also have your child put on a small puppet play using these cute puppets.

To make your own you will need:

  • Coloured paper or card
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Pegs

Method:

  • Draw a dinosaur on card.
  • Cut your dinosaur ( or other animal shape) but cut the mouth section in two so that you have a top and a bottom section.
  • Tape or glue the dinosaurs head onto the top part of the peg where it opens to clip.
  • Tape or glue the bottom part of the jaw onto the bottom part of the peg where it clips.
  • Draw or add any detail

Craft hack – if you are not the best of artists cur an image from a magazine, trace from a colouring book or print one to cut out.

Posted in recipes

Cooking with Hamish- make your own pizza

Lock down level 5 meant that all of our fast food and takeaway delivery services, as well as the restaurants were closed.

For a family who eat takeaway at least every Friday, this was an adjustment.

So, what better way to celebrate the last day of lock down level 5, than with a make your own pizza supper.

Here’s a step to step guide on how to make your own.

You will need:

  • Bread dough ( premade)
  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic
  • Fresh herbs
  • Dried herbs
  • Vegetables of choice
  • Meat of choice
  • Pickles
  • Cheese

Method:

  • First flatten out your dough in a circular pizza shape. Roll it quite thin as it will rise. ( we buy our bread dough already made from a Checkers or Pick n Pay store)
  • Next choose your tomato base. Hamish chose tomato sauce.
  • Add any extra garlic into your sauce. ( optional)

  • Sprinkle your dried herbs generously.

  • Add any fresh herbs you may like. We added rosemary and chives. Another of our favourite is tyme.

  • Add any chopped up vegetables you like. I set out onion, mushroom, peppers and tomatoes. Hamish only wanted tomato.
  • Slice your pickles or olives and add to your pizza.
  • Next add your meats. We used sliced Vienna and bacon but any cold meats, chicken or sausages will do.

  • Lastly chop with as much cheese as you can place in your hands.
  • Pop your pizza into a preheated oven until golden and remove when done.

Bon appitite

Posted in recipes

Rich creamy Condensed Milk Fudge

Lock down has certainly brought out my creative cooking skills and I find myself often really craving the treats from my grandmother’s kitchen from when I was young.

One of my favourite treats was her caramel coloured creamy fudge.

Here is the recipe if you feel like treating the kids to some homemade sweetness this weekend.

You will need:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • Half cup milk
  • Half table spoon butter
  • 1 can of Condensed milk
  • Vanilla essence

Method

In a pot add sugar, and milk and butter , cook on low heat until sugar has dissolved.

Add Condensed milk, stiring continously bring to boil slowly.

You will see small bubbles forming on the sides, keep stirring continuously, until the condensed Milk starts to go a caramel colour.

Remove from heat and add 4 caps of vanilla essence. ( 1 – 2 tsp)

Pour into a flatish greased dish.

Allow to cool slightly, then making your cutting markings.

Allow to cool completely before removing blocks from your dish.

Store in air tight container.

The shelf life of any fudge in our home is about 2 hours. Do your kids enjoy fudge?

Posted in recipes

Cooking with McCain’s- Veggie wraps

This is one of my go to 15 minute recipes.

Great for suppers, lunches, picnics and to fill that lunch box.

You will need :

  • 1 pkt of McCain’s stirfry ( 250g makes 3 generous portions)
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs
  • Crushed garlic
  • Steak 250g – cut
  • Half an onion- cut
  • Mushroom packet soup
  • Milk
  • Cheese – half a cup

Method :

  • Fry your steak and onions in a little oil . I used olive oil but any oil will do.
  • Add your herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Put to one side once cooked.

  • Next in a little oil fry your McCain’s stirfry mix.

  • Lastly make up your sauce. Mix your soup powder with a little milk ( about half a cup) and let boil. Add half a cup of cheese to your sauce and let the cheese melt in.
  • Heat your wraps up.

To make up your wrap

  • First add a generous amount of sauce.
  • Place meat and vegetables into centre
  • Wrap your parcel and serve with a salad.

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 Crafts

Bubble painting

Bubble painting is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers to create art without a paint brush.

With very few supplies your kids can create some colorful masterpieces.

Bubble paint

We choose this option quite often as I like the pastel shades created by the bubbles.

You will need:

  • Small bowl for each colour
  • Straw for each colour
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Food colouring

Method

For each colour, Place a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bowl.

Add some food colouring and a little water.

💥Note you can substitute the food colouring for powdered craft paint for a more vibrant shade.

💥For a thicker paint and brighter look you can substitute the water for milk.

To paint

When using bubble paints it is important to remember that a toddler’s first instinct may be to suck not blow, especially as they inhale to blow out.

I start by covering the table with a dish towel to catch any mess.

Next I let Hamish just blow bubbles for a while.

Once he has mastered blowing and is producing large colorful bubbles, I will give him a piece of paper to place over the bubbles.

The bubbles press and pop against the paper, causing an interesting pattern to transfer onto the paper.

This looks wonderful done in a variety of colours.

Posted in Brands we love, recipes

Cooking with McCain’s- mini smiley meat pies

Today I was going live on Instagram to share this deliciously cute mini pie recipe that will entice even the fussiest eater but unfortunately I completely messed up and couldn’t find the live setting.So, I made a video tutorial on InstagramAs promised, here is the recipe should you wish to make it yourself.

You will need:

250 g mince meatOil to frySalt & pepper1 cup McCain’s mix vegGravy powder1 x roll puff pastry1 pkt McCain’s smiles

Method

Pre heat ovenFry your mince in a little oil, adding salt and pepper.Add your mix vegetables in a little water to your mince. Simmer until cooked.Add your gravy powder and simmer.Place to one sideRoll out your puff pastry, cut small circles using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass.Place into a muffin tray , one circle per space. This is the base of your pie.Spoon a little mince into each pie base.You can add cheese on top of substitute the meat for fish, chicken or cream spinach.Place 1 x smile on each pie.Bake in oven at 180°C until golden.Serve as a snack, in a lunch box or with a salad for supper.

Posted in Crafts

Fairies in a jar

I first shared this cute little craft way back in 2012 on my newly started Fun mamma SA Facebook page.

After our fun visit to The magic garden at Word of birds in Hout bay today, I thought I’d share it here on the blog as we made one after coming home.

Fairies in a jar!

This cute craft is very sweet at magic themed parties both as an activity or as a take home gift.

The children will love the way the fairies shine.

You will need:

  • 1 jar
  • 1 thin glow stick (cut off both ends and drip onto a disposable plate/tray etc)
  • Glitter

Method

  • Flick glow liquid into jar covering as much surface as possible in tiny dots.
  • Sprinkle glitter in
  • Close lid and shake
Image source unknown

Enjoy a little magic 💞

Posted in craft reciepe, preschool

Marshmallow play dough

This yummolicious play safe dough is easy to make and consists of items from your kitchen.

You will need:

  • 6 large or 12 medium marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of oil ( any kind is suitable)
  • Food colouring
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Microwave

Method:

Combine all the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl.

Heat on high until the marshmallow expands ( about 30 seconds)

Carefully remove from the bowl and slowly mix as much as you can with a spoon.

At first the mixture will be very sticky but as it cools you will need to knead it with your hands.

To make the dough less sticky add more cornstarch in small amounts, until you reach the desired playdough consistency. ( soft and pliable)

This becomes the softest, most squishy dough that will delight any child.

Posted in Crafts

A round up of bunny crafts

This is the Easter week, so what better than to try these 5 bunny crafts.

  • Draw a bunny
  • Construct a bunny from scrap
  • Feed the bunny game
  • Maths bunny activity
  • Cookie cutter bunny stencils

1. Draw a bunny

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Pencils, markers, crayons or other drawing supplies

Method

Give your child a large sheet of paper and let them draw an Easter bunny.

2. Construct a bunny from scrap

You will need:

  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Small empty boxes
  • toilet tubes
  • Material scraps
  • Pompoms
  • Craft sticks
  • Sequins, glitter, ect
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Method

Set out the scrap materials and let your child create their own bunnies.

There is no right or wrong to this activity. They should be fee to let it look how they interpret it.

3.Feed the bunny game

You will need:

  • A small box
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Craft sticks

Method

Cut 2 ears from paper, draw the inner ear with marker and glue onto the the back of the box.

Cut the ends off of a craft stick, use markers to draw eyes and glue onto the front of the box.

Cut a nose and whiskers from white paper and glue onto the box to complete the bunnies face.

Make a hole for the bunnies mouth.

Cut orange and green craft sticks, or use pom poms to represent carrots and lettuce.

Let your child feed the carrots and lettuce to the bunny.

This is a great quiet time activity for busy toddlers and preschoolers.

4. Maths bunny activity

You will need:

  • Bunny cookie cutter
  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft stick
  • Marker
  • Glue
  • Small box
  • Felt ( brown)

Method

Draw 10 little bunnies onto the white paper using the cookie cutter as a stencil.

Cut them out and use the marker to draw details.

Cut 5 craft sticks in half.

Glue one bunnies to a stick.

Cut your felt to fit your box, 3 times the length of the box.

Fold the felt, concertina style, to form mounds and to fit in the box.

Place the bunnies in between the mounds ( garden)

How to play

Let your child count each bunny.

You can number the bunnies and have them place them in numeric order.

They can post them in and out of the “garden”

Draw the facial features different colours, two of each colour, and match the colours together.

5. Cookie cutter bunny stencils

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • Easter / bunny cookie cutters

Method

Place the cookie cutters onto the paper and let your child draw inside or around them.

Hoppy Easter mammas.