Posted in babies, Brands we love, Family Life, Parenting

Meg faure and the Parent Sense App

I was excited to attend the online launch of Meg Faure’s brand new parenting platform – Parent Sense.

About Parent sense

Parent sense is mobile App that takes the guess work out of parenting your new baby.

I wish this had been around when my own 7 children were babies.


This ingenious App, follows Meg Faure’s practical parenting advise and delivers intuitive, age related content with personalised routines for your baby each day.

The app automatically adjusts to the time baby wakes and takes into account that all babies are different.

Parent sense assists moms to :

*know their babies ideal daily routine

*keep track of milestones

*keep track of your baby’s sleep routine

* keep track of baby’s feeding times

And offers trusted stimulation ideas and nutritional recipes.

With this great app parents will have comfort, control and peace of mind whilst raising their little ones. Taking the guesswork out of parenting.

Download the App on Google Play Store or the Apple Store

Image credit : Parent Sense

Posted in babies, Education, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, STEM, Toddlers

Fun maths games with Building Genius by Moluk

We are huge fans of the Moluk design brand and I can not recommend these open ended toys more.

Read my reviews on the awesome bilibo and oibo

So you can imagine our excitement when Straight_zigzag sent Hamish the latest product – Building Genius.

This soft, safe, silicone construction toy comprises of 3 of each of the brands popular products – Mox, Hix and Oibo.

Truly toys that grow with your child and can be used from baby stage.

With so many uses.

  • Your baby 0 -1 year can grasp and sense.
  • Toddlers 1-3 can stack and build.
  • Children 3 – 12 can imagine and invent.

We spent some time exploring the products and using them in lessons to:

  • count objects
  • sort colours and shapes
  • identify shapes
  • do maths sums
  • build

We also used them in play….

  • Hamish used them in free play with water to experiment with volume
  • we turned the hix into boats and see who could blow them across the bilibo fastest
  • he rolled the mox balls to the bilibo
  • practised throwing and catching with them
  • and he played with them using his imagination creating robots

The hix fold into 3 sizes and are great for fine motor development as your child manipulates the silicone into it’s different sizes.

The mox balls have groves that could look like eyes and slits which Hamish calls a mouth. You can post items inside for your child to get out or let them squeeze the sides to open the mouth.

The oibo are also flexible and the mox fit inside. Hamish loves to pop the balls in and manipulate the sides of the oibo to get them out.

How to use the Building genius in lessons

Nothing excites me more than a toy we can use in lessons, mostly because I know that I will immediately have Hamish’s full attention and that he will grasp the concept a lot faster because he is enthusiastic to play.

I jumped straight in by introducing the building genius to our next maths lessons.

We’ve been working on sizes and Hamish categorized the hix into:

– small, medium and large

-big, bigger, biggest

-small, smaller, smallest

Next we reinforced categorizing and sorting by placing the items on a piece of paper to match the colours.

Lastly we reinforced shape names and properties by looking at the hix, mox and obio and discussing what shape they were and how many sides each had. Then Hamish grouped each onto a piece of paper with its corresponding shape.

Using familiar objects and favourite toys in learning activities makes learning a concept much more enjoyable.

So, although Hamish loves to build and create his own items with this lovely set, he also loves to add them to his learning time.

I love the possibilities of play and learning that this set of toys offer and can’t wait to share the new and innovative ways we find to introduce them into our every day learning and play

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Bring Home The Fun With Hasbro – why we use this site

Hasbro has launched Bring Home The Fun, an inspiring, purpose-driven website designed to support families around the world as they spend extended time at home and indoors.

Visit BringHometheFun.com to explore family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, and ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains.

The site also features resources to help children and families cope with stress that might be heightened among kids at this time.

Featured content includes:

  • mindfulness videos
  • service projects
  • activity guides
  • other resources developed through our philanthropic partners to help develop empathy and kindness in children.

Fun to watch videos include:

  • Play doh
  • Peppa pig
  • Nerf
  • Pj masks
  • My little pony
  • Transformers
  • Power Rangers
  • Ricky zoom

Fun to do activities from your childs favourite toys like:

  • Play doh
  • Baby Alive
  • Power Rangers
  • My Little Pony
  • Beyblade
  • Transformers
  • Fur real
  • Pj Masks
  • Ricky zoom
  • Peppa pig

Tried and tested

Hamish has been kept busy during lockdown with many of the play doh activities.

Some of the ideas we tried were:

This fun rainbow caterpillar to match our rainbow of hope. Rolling doh balls is a good fine motor activity.

A fire man truck to support our essential services.

A lion.

An elephant

And a lady bird.

There are so many more activities to do, each one designed to keep the kids engaged and entertained.

This has become my go to site for inspiration to keep Hamish happy throughout the lockdown.

Not just for the play doh activities but also to :

  • Make PJ mask character masks for imaginary play
  • Colour in his favourite Transformer characters
  • Make musical shakers with Peppa pig
  • Make a set of Peppa pig puppets
  • Make power ranger posters from the colouring sheets
  • Go on a scavanger hunt with my little pony
  • Complete the fur real Cubby activity book
  • And do some dot to dot activities with Ricky Zoom

As a parent I especially like the parenting resources in the parent solutions.

These activities have been chosen to help parents and children become more mindful and take part in a variety of activities and projects that help to focus on placing emphasis on putting empathy into action.

Some of these activities and projects include:

  • Decorating lunch bags
  • Interviewing a senior
  • Family good scavanger hunt
  • Be a bee helper
  • Making homeless care kits
  • Being water smart
  • Creating a recycled bag
  • Upcycling plastic bottles
  • Bookworm bookmarks
  • ABC flash cards
  • Gratitude journal
  • Gratitude letter
  • Encouraging kindness in kids

With so many resources avaliable to parents, it’s nice to find a platform that encourages character building, emphasizes empathy and kindness, educates parents and offers entertainment and family bonding activities through our childrens favourite characters. Helping them to identify and connect the lessons through play.

Posted in babies, Family Life, Family Time, preschoolers, Toddlers

6 fun water activities to keep the kids cool

One of the easiest ways to keep my children occupied was to just add water.

Here are 6 fun water activities you can do with the kids during the coronavirus lockdown.

Water fun

  1. Fill a tub of water, have lots of plastic cups/bowls/spoons/funnels/ect
  2. Colour the water different colours (helps to show colour combinations)
  3. Add bubbles and Lego blocks to the water for some sensory construction time.
  4. Make paper boats to sail in your tub. I have a wonderful paper boat tutorial
  5. Have a foam fight. Make big buckets of bubbles and let them throw it at each other.
  6. Draw with the water onto the concrete/driveway. You could also paint concrete fences and stones with water.

Water safety

Always be vigilant when children play with water.

It is proven that a child can drown in a small bucket of water.

Never leave a child alone during water play.

Posted in babies, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Free the dinosaurs – a fine motor activity for toddlers

This activity is a great way for your toddler to develop both fine motor and hand / eye coordination.

You will need:

  • Whisk
  • Items to place inside

For this activity I used a metal whisk as Hamish can manipulate this but a silicone whisk is recommended for smaller children, as a younger child would be able to manipulate the silicone whisk more.

I also used plastic dinosaurs. This was a good challenge for Hamish as his fingers were able to bend and move the dinosaurs to slide out.

For younger children you could smaller, easier to pick up items. Always watch a small child with anything that could be a potential choking hazard.

You can also use :

  • Any small toys
  • Pom poms
  • Bottle lids
  • Cut straws
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cut pieces of foam
  • Magnetic letters, numbers or shapes
  • Soft sweets
  • Socks
  • Blocks
  • Lego

How to play

Insert the dinosaurs into the whisk and let your child manipulate the toy and whisk until they have removed each one.

Posted in babies, Education, Family Life, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

Yes, you can over stimulate your child

The teacher mom in me loves to keep Hamish busy and learning.

I love spending time with him, playing with playdough or painting. Building new models and playing with educational toys.

Often on my blog and Instagram this is what my readers see but the truth is I am very well aware of the fact that he can be over stimulated and because of this we also have a lot of our day that is not structured, full of free play or quiet rest times.

What is over stimulation?

Over stimulation is defined as when a child is swamped with too many experiences, sensations, activities and too much noise, leaving them unable to process it all.

This often results in a child who is cranky, unsettled, overly sensitive, crying or throwing a tantrum.

Signs of over stimulation

There are some tell tale signs to spot if your child is over stimulated.

Baby

  • Cranky or tired
  • Cries more
  • Turns their head away from you and seems upset
  • Moves in a jerking manner
  • Clenches their fists

Toddler/ preschooler

  • Tired, cranky or upset
  • Easily moved to tears ( emotional)
  • Unable to vocalize their distress
  • Tantrum
  • Tells you that they do not want to continue an activity
  • Refuses to co- operate

How to balance activities and quiet time

Your child’s brain develops faster and more rapidly in the first 5 years of their life than at any other time of growth.

And your child’s experiences:- the things they hear, see, touch, taste, smell and do, stimlate those growing brain cells making millions of connections.

This means that your child will need a stimulating environment with lots of different activities that offer a variety of ways to play and learn, as well as lots of opportunities to practice what they have learnt and ways to interpret the world around them through play.

But, this also does not mean as parents we need to keep our children busy with a new activity, toy, game or extra curricular event every minute of the day ….Children need time to process the information their brain is receiving.

They need quiet time to recharge and rest.It is also in these quiet times that your child will learn to entertain themselves, explore their environment in their own way and at their own pace and naturally start to self stimulate:- understanding when they need to rest in order to feel better.

How to help your child if they are over stimulated

Baby

  • If you see your baby is over stimulated, take them into a quiet space.
  • You can also try to wrap your baby or carry them in a sling, as this redcues physical stimulation.

Toddler / preschoolers

  • Often toddler overstimulation results in tantrums or an emotional outburst,staying calm will help your child settle down faster.
  • Reduce the noise and activity around you child
  • Help your child to verbally express how they are feeling
  • Some times a child will prefer to do a quiet activity, like reading alone but you could also lie down with a younger child and sing songs or tell them a story.
  • If your child refuses to do an activity or does not want to continue, stop.

Finding the right amount of stimulation

Each child is different so there is no right amount of stimulation. Different children cope with different amounts of excitement, noise, and activities. Some children cope in stimulating environments better than others.

In all situations the best remedy is to allow your child to be the guide and if they are over stimulated, remove them from an over stimulated enviromoment into a calmer, quieter one.

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

The Baby wombworld night light and sleep training clock

Hamish has recently transitioned into his own bed and we were faced with two problems …

1. To find a small light that he could operate if he needed to get up at night

2. To find a way to regulate his sleeping pattern and keep him in bed a little longer

The Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock

I was immediately drawn to the compact and stylish Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock.

This ingenious clock is inspired by nature to simulate natural sunrises and sunsets, allowing your child to wake up naturally, gently and more rested.

Using 6 soft hues of green, red, blue, pink, orange and indigo and a white light that vary in brightness on one of 10 levels.

How does it work

To simulate a sunrise the lights will start on level 1 brightness and gradually brighten to a level 10.

For the sunset, 30 minutes before sunset, the light automatically starts to dim from level 10 brightness down to level 1.

Our experience

We’ve been using the nightlight/ clock for a little over a week and I was eager to see if we could set a routine for Hamish with it.

He would wake anywhere from 5am to 7am depending on if he had slept during the day or if he had gone to bed at 8pm or just after.

Because we still wake him at night to go to the loo, he was also sometimes only half awake when he woke up in the morning and obviously then niggly and not as rested.

The first two days I wasn’t sure we were actually going to make much difference and Hamish continued to wake and come to me.

A week later, he now wakes with the alarm, preferring the natural sounds to the radio and his body has found a natural rhythm of waking at 6.30am each morning.

This gives me some time to wake before him.

He’s also more rested during the day and less inclined to be moody, and I’m still waking him once at night to go to the toilet.

Best of all I find by 7.30pm he’s well and truly done for the day and ready for bath, story and bedtime.

Extra features

The Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock is an alarm clock and light that will grow with Hamish.

The design is stylish and will compliment any room.

It has a digital time display, alarm function and snooze button.

Your child can choose to wake to the FM radio, which is great as they get older or any one of the 6 natural sounds.

The light plugs into any plug point, uses a DC 5v battery or USB and if there is a power outage you can use 2x AAA batteries to keep to your childs sleep routine.

Watch our review

https://www.facebook.com/491178387563206/posts/3162847120396306/

Where to buy your own Baby Wombworld night light and sleep training clock

The Baby Wombworld night light and sleep training clock is avaliable from http://www.babywombworld.co.za

Posted in babies, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Ocean small world play

Starting our morning with an Ocean inspired small world invitation to play.

To make your own you will need:

  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Play dough
  • Little fish and ocean creatures

How to play

I set out a bowl of water as an ocean, and we added salt as Hamish has now learnt the difference between salt water and fresh water and that certain animals need salt water to live in.

I gave him some ocean creatures, whales, dolphins, fish, octopus and seals and some divers.


We built a rocky area for the seals with his mishmash dough ( there’s always that tub of dough that got mixed)
Again he has learnt that some animals can only live in water but some need to come onto land as well. And then I stepped back to let him explore, imagine and play.


It’s important for me to not interfere too much with his play but to let him play freely.

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Posted in babies, Brands we love, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Parenting

Fun Mamma SA Product of the Week – Grow Baby birchwood teether

I’m a huge fan of Grow baby products and was delighted to find this little birchwood teether in a Huggies gift bag from the Mammamagic expo.

Who are Grow Baby ?

Grow baby are a proudly South African company that supply premium wooden toys and nursery decor.

Using only imported birchwood, you are guaranteed of a premium product that you can safely give to baby when purchasing from Grow baby.

All products are lovingly designed by an occupational therapist and a team of moms, ensuring that the toy you purchase is both functional, and can aid in babies growth and development.

Teethers

Made from 100% natural birchwood and finished with beeswax, these beautifully crafted, wooden teethers are designed to fit comfortably in a little hand and ease the ache in a teething babies mouth.

Introduced from about 3 months you can use these sturdy teethers to encourage baby to exploring the world by having them learn to grasp and chew.

These teethers are safe for baby as they have no choking hazards like cords or chains. They are also non toxic and anti-bacterial.

Sold in reusable bags in sets of 4 for R90* a set ,you can choose from any of the following themes:

🔹️My first friends

🔹️ My first words

🔹️Animal teether

Did you know that if you buy the teethers as a gift Grow Baby will gift wrap them if you have left a note on your order.

*price correct at time of publication

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

6 reasons I love this eco friendly giraffe play mat from Babyluv

We live in a really small space that is mostly tiles and I’ve been looking for a playmat to put down for Hamish to play on.

I specifically wanted one that was easy enough to move around to the area he wanted to play in and that I could take with us if we headed for a picnic or to the beach.

When I saw the Babyluv eco friendly animal play mats I knew I had found the mat I was looking for.

Why a giraffe ?

Looking at the cute designs of bunny, elephant and giraffe I chose the friendly lookng giraffe as he loves giraffes.

If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen the absolute delight on Hamish’s face when he recieved this package. He fell in love with the giraffe and insisted on putting the play mat on his bed to sleep on that night.

Why I love the eco friendly playmat

Firstly, the size…. it’s perfect for babies tummy time all the way up to preschool playtime, ensuring that you are investing in a product you can use for a while.

The mats come in two sizes and this is a large which measures 145cm x 195cm

Secondly, design …it’s just too cute. Hamish fell in love with the friendly giraffe and it will compliment most homes.

It’s the perfect play mat or carpet for bedrooms, playrooms, classrooms, travel, speech therapy, or rainy days at home.

Thirdly, its portable …this playmat folds up into a much smaller size and can be kept or transported in the little bag it comes with making it great for taking along to the beach, on a picnic, playdate or on holiday.

Fourthly, its non slip. ..Soft anti slip cloth underneath allows your kiddies to jump, roll and slide all over the mat without it moving.

Fifthly, its soft … it’s so soft that if you were out your little one , or bigger one could nap on it comfortably.

This breathable mat was made with comfort in mind.

And finally…. it’s easy to clean.

The mat is MACHINE WASHABLE and you can tumble dry (gentle/low) or drip dry.When cleaning use a mild detergent, no bleach. You can also use warm iron if needed to get any creases out afer washing.

This little mat is perfect for childhood adventures and I see many reading moments and puzzle play happening here for us as I love to play on the floor with Hamish.

For more information please contact http://www.babyluv.co.za

#sponsored