Posted in Parenting

The best present for a 5 year old! 

Creative presents are a great idea for kids. These types of presents promote creative thinking, an inquiring mind, fine motor skills, cooperation, and family time!

This year we wanted to get a present for Levi that he could use.  He is so creative and is always thinking of what he can make by recycling what we already have.  He loves to create weird and wacky pieces of art that always seem to have a function. 

As Levis birthday is in winter it was a good idea to get something he can do during the wetter months stuck inside.  

We decided to create Levi’s toolbox!  

A box with all sorts of things so Levi geared with his imagination could create whatever he wanted.  Especially as he wouldn’t have everyday access to tools like he did at kindy,since now he’s at school. 

We included:


A kids set of tools – a screwdriver, nails, a hammer, a saw, a ruler, tape measure, a hard hat, tool belt & gloves 

A glue gun – cold glue guns are great

Small wood pieces 

Craft items – glitter, paint, pipe cleaners, stickers, plastic eyes, paint brushes 

Ice block sticks 

A 60l bin to hold all his things 
Slap on a sign and your away!  

It’s a good idea to talk to your child about what they can do on their own and what tools and activities need adult supervision. 

Levi has already created a few master pieces and what’s a bonus is he creates these in the shed with his dad.  Great father son time in the man cave…while I put my feet up and have a cuppa (but in reality will probably be folding washing 😆)

Posted in Parenting

Keep calm you’re having another baby!

Yay!  Exciting!  Then…hang on its not going to be as straight forward this time as you are going to be keeping a toddler busy!!

When I was pregnant with my second child I started really thinking…how am I going to keep Levi (2.5yrs) busy while I’m feeding the baby? Or when I am trying to put the baby to bed?  Or when Im trying to have a shower?  What happens when we need some quiet time?  What can he do that is not watching the television?  (TV can be a total godsend too!)

I decided to research all sorts of activities that would keep Levi busy but would also benefit him in some way aswell.

Some of these activities help to improve your child fine motor skills, these skills are essential for children to do everyday tasks such as getting dressed, opening lunch boxes and holding a pencil.

Other activities use matching objects together, these are great skills that help develop their vocabulary, picture recognition which helps with reading in the future.  These activities also help with early numeracy skills as it is one to one correspondence.

You need:

Plastic animals, wooden pegs, paint samples (2 of each colour you want to use), pipe cleaners, balloons (not to be left in the box), play dough, colouring books, a plastic colander, and a box to place everything in!

 

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Colour match

Grab your colour samples and cut out strips to stick onto the pegs.  Your child can match the pegs to the correct colour on the colour swatch.  Skill : Fine motor & one to one matching

 

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Animal match

I found pictures of animals on the internet that corresponded to the plastic animals I had bought from the dollar store.   Ask your child to match the plastic animals with the pictures of the real animals.  Skill : Vocabulary, one to one matching & fine motor

 

Pipe cleaner spaghetti


Put a few pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander.  Ask your child to thread the pipe cleaners through the holes in the colander.  Skill : Fine motor

 

Add fun things like play dough, balloons to blow up , matchbox cars and colouring in books, pencils and anything else your toddler is particularly into that will keep them amused while you are busy with a new baby.

Points to think about:

  • Make sure there is nothing too small in the box that can be a choking hazard.
  • Keep the box in a special place that is not easily accessible for your toddler, the excitement in it is that they are not able to use it all the time and will keep them busy in important times.
  • Add to the box as you go, find something else that will interest them?  Add it!
  • Make the busy box relevant to your child’s age, if your child is older add items such as dot to dot, in home treasure hunt or a contraction exercise.
  • Why not look through my other pages for more ideas of what to do with your children to prepare for when you have a new baby in the house.
  • Why not make one for a friend?  I made one for a close friend of mine when she had her second too!
  • Always accept help when you have a baby…people love to help!

 

Posted in Parenting

Flubber spaghetti

As you know my boys just love playing with flubber!   Click here to find the recipe! 

The boys love to experiment with how the texture of flubber can change using different everyday objects found in our home.  


Today after baking the boys wanted to try using my baking cooling rack with the flubber.  The flubber stretched through the rack to make a type of flubber spaghetti!  The boys then ran for the scissors to cut it and place it back on the top of the rack to start again! 


Louis my two year old spend ages at this activity cutting the flubber and having so much fun!  This is also a great activity for practising using scissors without having bits of paper everywhere.  




So give it a go I would love to hear how you guys enjoyed it!! 

Posted in Parenting

A special lady

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We have the most amazing neighbours and are so grateful for this amazing community we live in!  Have you ever heard of a neighbour who helps with your children, helps with your washing, will look after your dog, who will teach you to sew and give you great advice?

Today marks the birthday of that very special lady, she is kind, self-less and creative.  She is another grandmother to our boys who she has a special bond with, she spends time with them, looks after them and helps their mum a lot!!!

Thank you Jacquie for all you do for us we could never repay all the things you do!  You are such a great support for me and I feel blessed everyday to have you next door!

Have an extra special day, we love you to the moon and back.

Posted in Parenting

Lessons from Levi

My son is five today and to sound like every other parent out there I am wondering where that time went!

Five is such a milestone, it’s the end of the preschool years where parents have the majority of input and gives way to children having input of others without parental involvement.

It’s a time when a child is becoming more independent and having learning experiences that they can come home and share with their parents.

I have definitely found this transition hard, and as a teacher I thought I would cope so much better with it!  Lazy mornings give way to structured on time drop offs and spontaneous adventures now have to be planned within the constraints of weekends.

But it’s Levi who is ready, it’s him who can’t wait to start and it’s him who will flourish and excel at school.  It has felt like forever that he has been waiting for school to start and I cannot wait to see him soak up everything that school has to offer him.

Today as I think about him starting this next chapter I cannot help but look back and think of all the things my firstborn has taught me throughout the last five years.

  1. Comparing to others is not effective.  When Levi was young he was soooo busy!  I used to stress he wasn’t one of those kids who sat at a cafe and played with the toys.  I would go home upset that he wasn’t conforming to what I believed he should have been doing.  I learnt to do things that catered for his energy instead of catering for myself, that way I could actually enjoy myself and stress less!  Each one of us is different like our kids that’s what makes us unique, why compare?
  2. Never underestimate the small things.  Kids do not care about the big gestures and expensive toys, the real memories are the experiences with the ones they love.  Some of Levis favourite things have been collecting pine cones, shellfish and sitting together chatting.
  3. Be honest.  Sometimes everything turns to crap and that’s ok nothing goes well all the time!  As long as you have a great support network that you can share your successes and failures with you can get through those tough times.  Honesty is refreshing and it’s something I value highly in my friends!  Laugh it off or take a picture to laugh at later 😂
  4. Slow down.  This is something I continue to battle with as life gets crazy sometimes.  Stop counting the minutes wasted and start counting the ones that matter.  I’m a sucker for doing ‘jobs’ while the kids play instead of stopping to play!  I get into a cycle of dishes and washing can’t wait but the kids can.  Washing will continue to mount up but you can’t get these years back…hire a cleaner 😂😂 (I wish). Try to stop and play, it’s good for you both.
  5. Dance.  My boys love a dance in the lounge together, we dance and laugh and act like fools.  The perfect thing to lift everyone’s mood!  A previous employer used to always say keep that 7 year old inside you alive and I couldn’t agree more, act silly, laugh, jump and dance!  Life can be way too serious these days!!


Levi you have made our lives so amazing, we love your caring nature, your sense of humour, your cheekiness, that you always pick flowers for me, that you love cuddles and your sense of adventure.

Thank you for being an amazing son and making me into the mum I am today…with a few grey hairs. 😂

So I tomorrow is the big day, wish us luck that we can all embrace this next exciting stage that is primary school!

I would love to hear from you so please do comment on the blog below!