Posted in craft reciepe, Crafts, Fine motor activities, preschool

Painting marshmallows with milk paint

Painting marshmallows is a fabulous activity to keep the kids busy.

You will need:

  • Marshmallows
  • Fork or kebab stick
  • Milk
  • Small containers to hold colouring
  • Paint brushes
  • Food colouring

Method:

Pour a little milk into a container and add a few drops of food colouring.

Do this for each colour you are going to use.

Attach a marshmallow onto a fork or kebab stick so your child can hold the marshmallow nicely while painting.

Let them use a paintbrush to decorate their marshmallows with the milk paint.

The white marshmallows are best to paint on as the colours are more vivid.

Instead of using a paint brush you could also let your child paint using ear buds.

Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

5 ways to teach your child using jellybeans

Each morning Hamish and I do an hours school work at the table where we concentrate on :

  • Colours
  • Shapes
  • Numbers and counting
  • Letters
  • Pre writing skills

I’m not a fan of worksheets at this age (3 years) so a lot of our work is play related.

Yesterday we were inspired by a packet of jelly beans in our morning lessons.

Here are 5 ways to teach your child using jelly beans

For each of these activities you will need:

  • White paper
  • Black marker
  • Jelly beans

1. Jelly bean Rainbow

There’s much talk about rainbows with #covid-19 and Hamish has become obsessed with them so this was a great way to have him sort the jelly beans into colours.

He had to, after sorting the colours make each colour by placing the right colour jelly bean onto the correct colour arch.

2. Jelly bean colour sort

For this I drew a coloured circle, gave him a few jelly beans and had him match them to the correct colour.

3.Count the jelly beans

I drew a jar with 10 jelly beans. Labled them 1 to 10 and had him count them out and place a jelly bean on each as a marker.

4. Counting jelly beans

We are doing number work and sums up to 5 this week so I stuck to only working up to number 5 but you can go as high as you like with this counting activity.

He had to place the correct amount of beans under each number.

5.J is for jellybeans

For this he first identified the letter J and then trace it with his finger.

Lastly he made a J with jelly beans ( We have already learnt all phonetic lower case sounds first and have now started to introduce upper case, so you may see a lot of upper case work on my page right now – please if introducing the alphabet to your child start with the phonetic sounds.)

These activities were a lot of fun and of course we both loved packing it all away.

Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, playdough, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Playdough activity – cutting with scissors

Your child should be ready to start learning to use scissors between the age of 2 and 3 years old.

But introducing scissor skills can be quite a difficult task for many toddlers and preschoolers to learn.

Why scissor skills are important

Learning to hold the scissors and cut correctly is a complex task that develops many areas of your child’s learning for example :

  • The continuous opening and closing as your child is cutting with scissors helps to strengthen the tiny muscles in their hand and palm.
  • Cutting enhances a child’s hand- eye coordination as they need to be able to see where they are cutting as they move their hand.
  • It encourages s child to use bilateral coordination. Thus means your child us able to use both sides of their body at the same time. An example is that they can cut with one hand whilst moving the paper with the other.
  • Learning to cut assists with developing early writing skills.

Cutting playdough

To encourage young children to develop their cutting skills you can have them cut playdough.

Playdough is a great medium as children are already familiar with it. It is soft, easy to make and you can control the size and shapes you want to cut.

It’s great for teaching snipping and easy to clean.

Also, playdough is not as restrictive as paper for left handed children.

Snipping

We started our activity by first rolling the dough into long sausages and then Hamish cut the dough in short snipping motions.

Some parents mark out the interval to snip at but I left him to snip freely.

Although the playdough is soft, it teaches the hand how much resistance is needed to open, close and cut the dough.

You could also try to freeze the dough. Whilst the dough won’t freeze completely ot will be cold and harder to cut, adding more depth to the sensory play.

What are some of your favourite playdough activities?

Posted in Brands we love, Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

10 ways to play with a name puzzle

One of the first words a preschooler often learns is his or her own name.

This is the reason why labeling items, using name puzzles and other name recognition activities are so important for your 3 to 5 year old.

Personalised name puzzle

Hamish recieved this beautiful name puzzle from Lily James clothing

The quality is stunning. The brightly painted pieces fit easily in and out the puzzle and the little handles are secure in each piece.

He was so excited to try it out, loving the dinosaur character next to his name.

10 creative ways to play with your name puzzle

1. Build the puzzle

Start by showing your child each letter. Unpack the letters from left to right above the puzzle and let your child place each piece back in the same order. By using a left to right motion you are preparing them for for reading.

2. Stencils

Use a piece of paper and some pencils, let your child hold down onto the peg and trace around the letter.

3. Playdough

Allow your child to print the letters into some playdough. It’s best to try the dough first, as some handmade brands seem to be too sticky so you may want to stay with a well known brand like playdoh in order not to get the puzzle pieces dirty.

4. Sensory play

Use a sensory tray with pasta, beans, waterbeads or coloured rice and hide the letters in. We used a soup mix of lentils.

Have your child remove each piece and place it in the correct space.

5. Letter suprises

Wrap the letters in foil or gift wrap and let your child unwrap each piece before placing them into the puzzle.

6. Letter hunt

Hide the letters to your childs name in a room, give them a piece of card with each letter written on and let them go find the letters before building the puzzle.

7. Blindfold

If your child already knows the letters to their name, blindfold them and give them each letter to feel and name.

8. Letter find

Let your child choose one letter at a time and find a matching letter in the home/ classrroom. Once they find the letter, they can place it in the puzzle and go to the next letter.

9. Gross motor game

For this lay out the letters to your child’s name. Start with the first letter and let them hop until the next letter, then as they collect te next letter they change the activity to crawlong, ect until they have collected each letter of their name.

10. Letter and spoon race

Place all the letters to your childs name in a bowl. Give them a spoon and have them transfer the letter on the spoon to the puzzle. Continue until it is built.

Most importantly have fun 💞

Posted in Brands we love, Crafts, Education, Fine motor activities, preschool

Klei klei rainbow rice … an explosion of happiness

Hamish was sent a colorful tub of Klei Klei sensory rice to try a few weeks ago.This rainbow bowl of Happiness invites you to play with it’s multitude of safely dyed, non toxic colours.We have used coloured rice quite a bit in our sensory play and he was very eager to open the container and start playing.

What is sensory play ?

Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s senses.The senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, sight.Coloured rice can be used in stimulating these various senses.For example:

  • For touch – the feel of rice on skin, hands, body and face.
  • For hearing- the sound of falling rice through a funnel or off a scoop.
  • For smell: by adding essential oils you can adjust the scent. Purple rice can be scented with lavender, brown with cinnamon, ect
  • For sight : various colours

It’s important for children to discover new sensations and learn how to regulate the sensory inputs.

What is sensory rice?

Sensory rice is simply rice that has been dyed with a food colouring or non toxic paint to use in a container or tray to aid with sensory play.

How to use sensory rice

You can use your sensory rice in:

  • A container
  • A tray
  • To scoop into baking trays
  • With small toys
  • With kitchen type toys for your child to “cook” with
  • With themes for example we used hallowen bugs in ours but you could use small items to reiterate a school theme
  • To hide letters and numbers or shapes for your child to find
  • As a writing tray for your child to draw shapes in
  • To glue onto art work for texture

The benefits of sensory rice

Rainbow rice is not just pretty but also has many benefits of play ….⭐Exploring and developing fine and gross motor skills
⭐Harnessing creative development through the sense of touch
⭐Free play means there are no boundaries and this fosters the imagination
⭐Developing communication and language skillsSensory play with an item like rice can also be a great alternative for children who do not like the texture of things like playdough or slime.For more information contact klei klei

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Family Time, Fine motor activities, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

Hamish was gifted this stunning Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

He absolutely loves it but it’s taken a few weeks for him to learn to throw the discs over this modern ring toss game, instead of just placing them onto the poles.

The cute hedgehog face base rotates at 2 different speeds, which challenges his attention every time and is awesome for building his hand eye co-ordination skills.

The 8 coloured rings, 2 of each colour pole, are made of lightweight plastic making it the best game for playing indoors as I know he can’t break anything.

Also great for little ones who have just started matching and grouping colours, as Hamish first used this to match the pole and discs according to their colours.

Now we play a variety of games, allowing him to learn to follow commands.

For example :

  • Throw the purple disc onto the red pole.
  • Throw 3 discs onto the blue pole.
  • Throw all the discs onto the yellow pole.
  • Throw the colour disc onto its matching pole.

You could make up any combination.

Of course he loves this version of play, as he gets to tell me what to do when I take my turn.

The poles are also removable, making it easy to store or to take with if travelling.

It plays 6 different melodies.The tunes are plesant and not overly loud, so if you had a baby sleeping your toddler could still enjoy this game without it waking baby.

This fun and funky musical game stimulates manual co-ordination and fine motor skills.

A welcome addition to any toddlers playroom.

For more information contact http://www.chicco.co.za

Posted in Brands we love, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Time, Fine motor activities

The LEGO® certified store opens in Canal walk

Yesterday we attended the opening day of the LEGO® certified store in Century City’s Canal walk shopping centre.

Unlike some fans, who had camped out in front of the store over night, we arrived at 10am and took our place in the queue.

We were handed brochures containing a LEGO® minifigure piece and encouraged to build ourselves at the minifigure building station, once inside the store, using this piece for R20.

The crowds were kept entertained by KFM radio, who were broadcasting from inside the store. We even spotted the KFM penguin mascot.

I was really concerned about standing in long queues with Hamish, who at 3 years old can bearly stand still long enough to get his shoes on, but with all the excitement of balloons and giveaways he was perfectly happy to wait his turn to enjoy this unique experience

LEGO® certified stores are renowned worldwide for their remarkable focus on customer service and this was certainly demonstrated yesterday as I observed moms with babies being taken through first to avoid niggles and as we were handed bottles of LEGO® branded water whilst we waited.

The queue moved quite quickly and we soon found ourselves waiting outside the doors for our turn to enter as Hamish admired the model of a Harley Davidson, made entirely from LEGO®

I had read that each LEGO® certified store offers a uniquely local experience and the essence of Cape Town is certainly represented by the giant Mother city mural, depicting Table mountain,on the wall ….

and the quaint model of Bo kaap that captured my attention with it’s familiar bright colours.

Inside the store was hectically busy and honestly we were not able to enjoy all the offerings of this fun filled store as the crowds were eager to explore.

The LEGO® certified stores offer a variety of fun LEGO® installations, extended and exclusive kits and unique experiences that are not avaliable through other toy distributors.

This particular store has :-

  • A Pick a Brick wall, where customers are given a choice of plastic cup size to fill with bricks of their choice from a wall of colorful options.

  • A mini figure building station where you can dream up your own creations fom a large variety of parts and options.
  • An augmented reality screen which showns you a 3D image of the box set you want to purchase helping you to visualize your buildig project.
  • And special building areas to keep little hands busy and encourage creativity.

Hamish and I had a quick walk around and have decided to explore and build his mini figures a little later,when the store is less crowded.

He did however enjoy learning some fun LEGO® facts ….

And discover how many LEGO® meters tall he is.

After we both made mental wish lists of all the kits we would love, we heade outside of the store to enjoy the entertainment area.

Here customers who had made purchases could enter a lucky draw and the children were treated to special activities for them.

The LEGO® bowling was Hamish’s favourite. ( How cute are those mini figure plushies?)

There was also a colouring station, LEGO® building station and a giant pit full of LEGO®

It was a great morning out and I see this store becoming a regular monthly visit for our LEGO® crazy little boy.

Posted in babies, Crafts, Family Life, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

School Holiday challenge Day 2 – Homemade bath paint recipes

Most children love messy play as it stimulates their senses and allows them the freedom to explore and play.

Today’s challenge is fabulous for bath time but you can also use any of the recipes to let your child paint on glass doors, windows, tiles or a large plastic tray.

It washes off easily with hot soapy water.

I’ve included 3 recipes to make bath paints. I use the first one as I find it has a better consistency and can be made a few hours before and stored in the fridge.

RECIPES

1.Shaving cream bath paint

To make the shaving cream bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints into ( cake baking tins work best, but you can use anything non breakable)

🎨 Shaving cream

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paints together spray a generous amount of shaving cream into each container, add one or two drops of food colouring and mix well.

Note: The food colouring does not stain your child or the bath because it’s used in such small drops.

2. Yoghurt bath paint

This is a great paint to use with little children whom you think may try eat the paint.

The consistancy is a lot more runny, you could add some corn flour to thicken it if you feel it is too runny.

To make the yoghurt bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints in. (I like to use a 6 pack yoghurt and use the little pots themselves as my paint pots.)

🎨 Yoghurt

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paint, divide your yoghurt into little containers and add one or two drops of food colouring to your yoghurt.

The colours will be more pastel looking.

3. Bath tub finger paint.

This is a nice alternative to the shaving cream paint but also more runny and better for sensitive skin, as you can use your favourite baby wash or shampoo.

To make the bath finger paint you will need:

🎨 a container to mix your paint

🎨 About 4 to 6 tablespoons of your favourite baby wash or shampoo for each colour.

🎨 food colouring

🎨 1 teaspoon of corn flour per colour

🎨 paintbrush

To make your paint into each container add 4 to 6 tablespoons of your baby wash or shampoo.

Add a drop of food colouring per container.

Mix into each colour, a teaspoon of corn flour.

Mixing colours

Here’s a handy chart to mix your colours.

Happy bubbles mammas ❤

Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fine motor activities- Save the dinosaur

Developing the strength in the little muscles in the hands and fingers is important for your child to learn to write, feed themselves and get dressed by buttoning, doing up zips, ect.

There are many fun activities to develop these skills. Save the dinosaur is one of them.  This game takes 5 minutes to set up and is fantastic for quiet time or traveling.




YOU WILL NEED :


🦕Toy dinosaur ( or other favourite animal)
🦕Elastic bands


How to play


Wrap the elastic bands around the toy and ask your child to remove them.

You can adjust the difficulty by adding more elastics or twisting them to make it harder to remove.


Note
Always supervise play with elastic bands.