Foamie Pictures

I bought a packet of foam dinosaur stickers the other day on a bit of a whim. The kids have been a bit sick of late and I've been on the look-out for quiet activities for the two kids to do together. Ones that require a bit of imagination and creativity but not so much input from me.

The stickers I chose were just the shape and outline of the dinosaurs, so when the kids were using them, they not only had to think about the background in the pictures they were making with the stickers, but also the what the faces of the dinosaurs would be like.

Em, who is seven, experimented with colour and stories and also thought a lot about the detail that would be on the dinosaurs if the stickers were real pictures.

Ed, who is "going to be five" (as you can see in the pics!), thought about whether his dinosaurs would be happy, sad, angry or excited. He spent a lot of time thinking about the story he was creating in his pictures.

They both had a great time with it, talking, creating and researching.

I couldn't resist these people shaped foam stickers when I spotted them a few days later. I also bought some fine-tipped permanent markers so that it was easier to include detail.

So the fun started all over again .....

Keeping it Simple

I read an article today (and the many comments afterwards) that reminded me of how simple a happy life can be. It’s so easy to try to complicate things with career aspirations, mortgages, a constant barrage of info from the media on how to look better, feel better, have more and do more …

When it comes to kids, they need very little to be happy

  • lots of sleep
  • good, nutritious food served at meals spent with loved ones
  • lots of love and hugs and kisses and smiles
  • someone who listens to them and values what they have to say and do
  • simple toys and materials that encourage creativity, exploration, investigation and imagination
  • a place to feel safe and secure
  • music, books, songs and silly games

I don’t think adults are too different.

It makes you wonder how things got so complicated ……………….

What simple things make you and your little one happy?

The Fairies are Back

Last year I wrote a very excited post about a beautiful fairy toadstool that had popped up on my front nature strip. It was a proper red and white toadstool, the 'Enid Blyton' kind that features regularly in stories about fairies and pixies and goblins. We were so excited and very tempted to play fairies under our toadstool until some of my northern hemisphere readers pointed out just how poisonous this type of fungi is.

I thought it was a lovely, magical one-off kind of thing because these toadstools don't pop up much in this part of the world. So you can imagine my astonishment when this year, 13 toadstools appeared on my lawn.

Yes, it seems the fairy enjoyed her stay so much last year, she told all her friends and now we have fairy village just outside our front gate. Ok, I realise the one that was out there last year probably spawned and that's why we have so many this year, but I like the idea of the one little fairy that was here last year telling all her friends about the wonderful time she had outside our house and the beautiful happy energy that radiated from us and so all her friends have come to experience it to. That's a much nicer story and I'm sticking to it!

Fun With A Lid

I just love listening to how the kids are playing and thinking of ways I can build on what they’re doing.

Ed loves to set up a little house for his teddy Yarji. Recently, he had put together the highchair, potty, microwave and stroller to play house when I suggested he use a little swing we have to give Yarji a back yard. He was keen to set this up and so I started to think about ways I could incorporate a slide.

I grabbed a lid I had to a large plastic container and propped it up against a dining room chair. This made a perfect slide for Yarj.

After Yarj had a few turns, Ed ran off to get some cars to drive down the slide too

Then Yarj’s turtle friend “came over” in his tissue-box car and had a go playing in Yarji’s backyard too.

Making ramps like this is a great way to keep kids interested and busy. It really works cognitive skills as kids experiment, anticipate and recall how each toy and item behaves as it travels down the ramp. It’s generally something they’re happy to use over and over and over again.

I'm playing along at the Childhood 101 "We Play"link up