The blog

Sunday Shout Out #1 – Playful Little Learners

Welcome to my first Sunday Shout out Post! This week’s Shout out is for Amy at Playful Little Learners

You can read all about Amy Here What a women I tell you! She is a Australian Teacher who has taken time off to be with her 4 children, yes you heard right…4 children, hats off to her right there! She has accomplished so much and is passionate about teaching children. So about a month a go I came across playful little learners on Instagram. I was scrolling though my Instagram feed late one night in bed, I couldn’t sleep stupid pregnancy insomnia while my partner was fast asleep snoring next to me when I clicked on a link and it took me to the Playful Little Learners Instagram Page. It got my attention straight away as it was colourful and bright and right off the bat there were so many great ideas I could do with my own children! I was inspired and excited! But most of all, it is real. It is not always picture perfect, there is chaos and mess….a daily occurrence in my house. Any posts which inspire, excite and is relatable and real has my vote!! If you have seen My Instagram Feed, most of the time there is no filter, its not colourful or pretty or been designed in anyway, I’ve kept it REAL. Its just photos I have taken and put up there with or without a little story. I do love both the real and the picture perfect Instagram feeds, they all lead to some sort of inspiration! Amy has the most amazing set up in her house, that’s my goals for the future! I love her reasoning behind the activities she has chosen to do, So many sensory ideas and great set ups. The pictures and the fun that comes through is great to look at. She would be the perfect person to do a playdate with! Amy comes across as a friend you could sit and chat with over coffee, while the kids run riot. her personality shines through on her site and pages and she feels very relatable.

On playful little learners Instagram there are stories, videos, pictures which most of us are able to relate to. There are ideas which cater to both the older and younger children and play safe ideas. I am not the most creative person, so this helps trying to find activities which cater for my outgoing and very messy almost 4 year old, yet are also perfect for my 14month old too 🙂 one of my favourite ideas, which Is pure genius is this post for  Taste Safe Sand I gave this a try with my boys, they had the most fun!! I have wanted to do a sand tray for a while, but been put off as Elijah will just eat the sand….anything he see’s goes straight into his mouth, if only he was that keen when it came to his vegetables!! I have tried pasta, and wanted to make it colourful, but kept it plain just because of above mentioned problem.cof

 

 

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Taste Safe Sand play fun with Polenta.

Amy gives great ideas on what sort of items can be used to put all the play essentials in. I had been trying to think of a suitable container for ages, and could not find the right one when Amy suggested an under bed storage container from Kmart. I went the very next day and brought one. I have filled it with a few plastic bugs and animals which Timmy loves playing with and I have so many great ideas I want to do with this container, its the perfect play space and what I have used for the taste safe sand activity!

I love the Rainbow rice sensory idea. I had fun making the rainbow rice with Timmy and then letting the kids play with it. Elijah loves rice, but just wanted to eat it, and ended up with a blue mouth so I think I will leave this activity for when Elijah is asleep and let Timmy play with this one on his own.

 

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Rainbow rice play fun.

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cofOn her website, I love how all the activities are categorised, sensory ideas, small worlds set ups which I can not wait to try some of them out! creative literacy play ect… there are so many fun and learning activities on there the ideas are endless and I encourage any parent, carer, educator to get on to her website playfullittlelearners.com I guarantee there is something on there for everyone. Can you tell I just LOVE the site and pages? That’s why I just had to feature her in my Sunday Shout Out!

I had to send Amy who runs Playful little learners a message to let her know how much I loved her page and how she has inspired me with my own children. She was very sweet and appreciative, and that’s nice to know an opinion matters! I always love to tell people if I love their stuff. I think its important to give feedback, both positive and negative. I always encourage others to do the same to me, I love feedback.

If you have popped over to check out Playful Little Learners, let me know what you thought, have you used some of her ideas? Have you found inspiration? I would love to know, as I’m sure Amy would also love your feedback 🙂

Amy didn’t know I was going to do this post, I sent her a message to let her know though! She was very surprised and happy I was going to do it, which was lovely. I genuinely love her site and was inspired and felt it deserves a shout out! All thoughts and opinions are solely 100% my own.

If you or anyone you know needs a Sunday Shout out, send me a link to their page so I can check them out. It can be about anything, if its inspiring, heartfelt, genuine and honest then I’m more then happy to feature them! small or big, whatever niche, lets show some love!

Candice x

Arts & Crafts, The blog

Activities to keep the littlies occupied

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’m at home and the kids are bored, I’m bored and just cant think of anything to do. Though they have plenty of toys and games sometimes some thinking outside of the box is required to keep them and me occupied!

Lots of people find their inspiration on Pinterest, but I have very little experience in Pinterest, although I do mean to get on there and discover what all the fuss is about. I’m sure once I get the hang of it I wont look back. However, in the mean time I look for different Facebook pages, blog pages and twitter to find my inspiration. I get some really good ideas. To be honest, I really am hopeless at remembering where I saw the original posts, I really need to write them down when I see them! that way I can give full credit to the page I saw the original post on! I’m working on getting better at this! I promise.

Rice Discovery

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This is such a simple idea, yet Timmy loved it!

All you need is a spare egg carton, some small toys or rocks or other treasures and rice! place the toys in the egg carton then cover with rice. Timmy came up with the ides of guessing hat was under the rice before he would dig I out, that was his own idea, clever monkey! but yes, this game was a lot of fun for him he really enjoyed it! excuse his dressing gown, we had an at home day, mummy was wearing hers, so of course he had to do the same 🙂

Colourful hanging water bag

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This is another simple idea I found on another page, for the life of me I can not find where I found it! I have spent literally days trying to find where this one originated from!

All you need is strong sandwich bags zip lock, food colouring and glitter. You can get as creative as you like with this activity adding all sorts of items in the bag! I got Timmy to draw pictures on the bag in permanent marker, which he loved Timmy loved choosing the colours, writing on the bags and adding glitter to the water. Both the kids enjoyed this activity. We had these on the sliding glass door for over a week, they did not break, although I was worried as Timmy was occasionally very rough! but this is a great activity for all ages and got ALOT of use out of. After a week, we took them down as they kept falling down, we only had them stuck on the door with sticky tape!

Spaghetti Play

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This is such a great sensory activity. I kept the pasta plain as my 1 year old would only try to eat it and yes he did otherwise you could add different colours with food colouring or even some glitter to make it really interesting! Timmy LOVED LOVED this one. so much so the ending result was…………

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No I did not know he was going to do this, I went inside to get his brother some water and wash his hands, when I came out this is what had happened! A butt naked Timmy in a bowl of pasta. Each to their own I suppose! This picture will make a future appearance, say at his 16th, 18th or 21st….maybe all of them 🙂

Pasta and/ or rice in a bottle 

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This is yet again very simple using items you would most like have in your cupboard. Elijah really got a lot of use out of this one, Timmy liked choosing the pasta and rice to put it the bottle. just ensure the lid is well taped or glued up so it can not be opened.

Another basic shaker using a plastic bottle is water, food colouring and glitter and other crafty things you find. Timmy once again enjoyed doing this activity, choosing the colour and what would go in the bottle, Elijah plays a lot with this one! once again ensure the lid is firmly closed with tape or glue.

Cereal fun

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I went through our cupboards and found old cereal, coconut shavings, rice, seeds ect placed it all in a bowl and Timmy and Elijah had a ball playing with this. Elijah did try to eat it, so I kept close watch while they were playing. But its a great sensory messy activity.  Timmy loved getting his cars, making patterns and burring the items under the cereal. Afterwards, we threw the leftovers on our lawn for the birds! easy.

I would love to know what other ideas you have or use with your little ones to keep them occupied? Share your posts with me below!

Candice x

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The blog

Timmy’s First Easter Hat Parade

I am one of those parents that loves the idea of arts n crafts. I’m always adding to Timmy’s Arts n crafts box, toilet rolls, bits of paper and other odd bits i find. In my imagination, we sit down choose something to make and Timmy does it nicely, little mess and ill frame the wonderful art work he would create. Well, my imagination only lets me down, because I find sitting down with Timmy to do arts and crafts is painful. Its messy, frustrating as he doesn’t listen, grabs paper which ends up torn everywhere all over the floor and continues to glue everything he shouldn’t (like the table!!). The said art work that has been painful to watch him try and make is not even framable . At best it goes goes on the fridge, and at some point ends up disappearing.

So when I walked into drop him off  at school on Monday and was told there would be an Easter hat parade on Friday I was mixed with excitement – Yay! his first Easter hat parade, and that quickly followed by fear – I knew nothing about making a hat, I wish I was more crafty, but i’m just not – I asked the teachers for a bit of advice on how to make a hat. They suggested getting just a plastic or felt hat, and buying some stickers, or other bits and pieces to stick on! simple and easy. How hard could this be? I was filled with optimism and walked away thinking of wonderful things I would make for his hat!

Well in typical me fashion I leave the hat making until the very last minute. The day before the Easter hat parade, I run out to base warehouse at 4pm, right before they are about to shut. I have Timmy with me, who is running around the shops getting random items for his hat….an umbrella, a cup…, “but mummy, i neeeeeeed this for my hat!!” There is slim picking of plastic hats left, what is left is too big for his head, the felt hats were way too small… then I spot one hat left, its rubber, purple and it fits, well it’s a tiny bit too big, but we could get away with it!! I find some baby chicks, stickers, glue, glitter and some weird purple nesty string stuff and some cotton balls. we were good to go!!

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We get home, set it all up, i’m excited, Timmy’s excited, I start sticking cotton balls on, the baby chicks then dad jumps in so I can feed baby, thank you! I feed baby while they finish it off….glitter and all. were all very proud of the finished product and cant wait to take it to school the next day! So the next day I turn up to the parade, I walk into the room and there is glitter ALL OVER the carpet. It doesn’t take me long to realise Timmy’s hat is the only one with glitter on it…oh dear. Then the teacher asks me loudly from across the room, “mummy, when did we finish Timmy’s hat?” I turn red, i know where this is going…” last night, sorry!” “Yes, i figured, I have glitter all over me!” then another teacher pips in, “yes, i have it everywhere, look!”… so my proud hat moment has dissapeared as i realize our hat isn’t as great as I thought. Timmy’s turn to strut his stuff, as he is walking there is glitter glue dripping from his hat, and he has to hold it on his head as it is too big and heavy!! I’m now a very embarrassed mummy at our epic fail of a Easter hat! But despite all this, Timmy doesn’t seem to notice, and I return to being super proud of him as he walks down the isle. I sit there proud as punch, grinning from ear to ear, taking a thousand photos – then all of a sudden, the failed Easter hat attempt doesn’t matter anymore. Timmy loved his hat and really enjoyed the parade. I walked away a very proud mummy. I feel sorry for the teachers at the end…when all the parents start leaving, every single child, including my own starts crying for there parents!

So I have learned some very valuable lessons for next year. DON’T leave the hat making until the last minute, and DON’T use glitter or glitter glue!!! Also, I need a glue gun.

Have you had an Easter hat fail or a great success? I would love to hear about them and see some pictures, please do share them with me 🙂

xx Life In A Mum Shell xx