Having been a doctor for the last 10 years, working every day with babies and children, I thought I was pretty well-placed to know everything-about-everything when Doof was born. However I soon learnt being a mum is very different to being a doctor...
I really hope I'm not alone here but D used to be addicted to those egg
opening videos on YouTube. Don't know what I mean? Search "kinder eggs"
on YouTube, show it to a nearby toddler and marvel at just how
fascinating they find it watching someone else open eggs to see what
toys are inside...
Anyway, D used to love them. He
still does but he doesn't watch them much anymore. They were definitely
my guilty must-go-to though when I was stuck breastfeeding Iz and wanted
a quick way to entertain D. He always used to ask me to make him a big
bucket of eggs but the cost (accompanied by the thought of sugar-driven
energy buzz that would follow) always acted as a pretty powerful
dissuader... But I thought it might be fun to come up with some sort of
surprise for him, so this is what I did:
it's a very cheap to make, completely reusable ball of fun! The whole
thing cost me less than £3 and it provides hours of entertainment.
What you need:
Selection of small toys
"Ball pool" balls
Toys I used - selection from previous Kinder eggs and anything small we had lying around!
How to make it:
Lay some cups on the floor and staple the sides together. Because the
cups are tapered (ie cup shaped!) a circle will automatically form. The
size/shape of your cups pretty much dictates the size of the final
Then add a second layer - again the cups should naturally taper
downwards at their bases due to their shape and so this layer will be
smaller and slightly more vertical
3. Continue building layers, stapling each cup in place, until your dome is complete!
Next gather your collection of toys and put one in each cup. Don't
worry if you don't think your toys are very exciting, or that they are
things your toddler plays with every day. I ran low of items and even
included some single Lego blocks which D still thought were the best
thing ever! I only included 3 new toys in the whole thing - all Lego
minifigures which D loves. You can also leave some cups empty so it's a
surprise if there is anything need the ball or not.
Put a ball in the mouth of each cup. If you don't have any balls you
could use silver foil to cover each hole (although that would be pretty
time consuming!) or a scrumpled up tissue. But we love our balls -
perfect for so many things (yoghurt painting and outside coloured water fun to name just two) and you can get 100 for about £3 in most big stores.
left the dome in the middle of the floor so D and Iz would see it when
they woke up the next morning. Initially curious and slightly unsure
whether they were allowed to touch it, once they realised they could and
it was just for them they were so excited.
It was easily big enough for them to play together whilst having their own little area to explore.
fine motor practice removing the balls (my big adult fingers actually
found it much harder than they did!) and using a pincer grip to remove
the toys. Then language skills trying to describe what they found in
each cup. Iz was so excited to play with all her "new" toys!
played with it about 45 minutes the first day (he only stopped because
it was nursery time) and in the evening he played with it as soon as he
got home. Once he'd taken all the toys out, he then sorted them and then
put them all back into the cups, replaced the balls and then started
all over again!
played with the dome every day for just over a week - until it
succumbed to the general forces of play and the cups started to break. I
suspect if I'd used plastic cups from somewhere other than Poundland it
would've lasted a lot longer though!!
I first saw a similar idea on Fun At Home With Kids (an awesome blog) and just knew we had to try it. It basically
combines my two most favourite things - bubbles and rainbows... And on
top of that the kids get clean. What's not to love?!
What you need:
Washing up liquid
Liquid watercolours (or food colouring but this might stain clothes so beware!)
An electric mixer (the faster the better!)
How to make it:
Mix 2 tablespoons of washing up liquid and about 50ml water in a bowl
(might need to alter water punt depending on hardness of water)
2. Add a few drops of liquid watercolour
3. Mix on highest speed with electric mixer for a few minutes until all the liquid has become foam
4. Scoop out into container
5. Repeat with different colours as desired
Almost looks good enough to eat!
She was so excited when she first saw it
probably took me about 20 minutes to make this and that's mainly
because we have a rubbish mixer that does not mix very fast!!
loved exploring the foam, clapping her hands in it, watching her
fingers disappear, mixing the colours up with a spoon and then giving
some of her animals a bath afterwards :)
also done a variation on it where I tilted the tray and left the
bubbles for an hour to settle. This results in much finer bubbles
(rather than foam) which I then scooped out and put in another tray. Iz
then did bubble prints using kitchen roll and enjoyed feeling the
me know if you try it - other variations you could try are just dark
blue/purple bubbles with glitter (outer space/galaxy sensory bin) or
green and blue bubbles with some plastic animals (Land and sea sensory
bin) - super simple but super fun!
pretty proud of myself that I'm managing to blog this one in the same
month as the holiday ;) - unlike my New Year's Eve post!
did a couple of crafty things for Valentine's Day. We were going to do a
few more but time ran away from us. The kids had lots of fun with these
loo roll craft :) (you can read about our loo roll fireworks here).
This time I folded them into heart shapes and secured the shape with a
bit of tape. I made 3 and put out 3 bowls of different coloured paint
and away the kids went...
kept saying "more more" and she was like a painting machine! D had a
lovely methodical approach whereas Iz (as usual!) embraced chaos :)
year I might cut heart-shapes out if these pictures to make collage
cards but for now I can't bear to cut into any of their artwork!!
did this one in her own while D was away having a boys weekend). It was
very simple but had a few different elements so she got to have fun
with a couple of different crafting mediums.
What you need:
Red or pink paint
Fake petals (we got a large tub from Poundland)
1. Cut a heart-shapes hole out of the plate
2. Paint the plate with coloured paint and leave to dry
3. Using glue, stick on some petals
4. Once it's dry use it to pose cutely behind :)
Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day with your kids?
New Year's Eve is now pretty much a distant memory but I wanted to
share how we celebrated it as they'd be pretty cool for any celebration -
I'm definitely going to adopt some for birthdays in the future!
Instead of a martini, have a sprinkle-tini! These look really cute and the kids loved having their own "special drink".
Propping up the bar...
you need is a glass (we used plastic cocktail ones from Poundland),
some honey and sprinkles. I wiped a bit of honey around the upper outer
rim of the glass and then rolled it in a plate of sprinkles. Leave it to
dry for an hour and then add the the drink of choice. Perfect!
I especially loved it when they cheers'd each other :) I initially saw the idea here - check out the link for other nice ideas for child-friendly NYE ideas.
This was so much fun and will definitely be repeated!!
All you need is:
large pieces of light material (I used tulle as I had some at home -
planning to make some skirts for Iz but not quite found the time yet!)
Confetti (I used pompoms and foam shapes)
Balloons (lots of!)
A balloon pump (optional but very handy if you have one)
Then it is as simple as:
- lie the 2 pieces of fabric on the floor and tape them together, just on one side, long edge to long edge
- make a long "tail" of masking tape at one end by looping the tape over itself
then tape the three sides of the "combined piece" to the ceiling,
leaving the fourth side open so you can fill the pouch with
- once it is filled tape up the 4th side so only the tail is left hNging down
- gather your children underneath and instruct a willing volunteer to pull on the tape tail...
Ready for action...
Tada! Homemade balloon drop!! SO much fun and just using things you have around the house :)
kids had loads of fun playing with the balloons and pompoms all
afternoon. And added bonus - all of it is reusable. Just peel off the
masking tape and your fabric is good as new :)
What's not to love about loo rolls? They are free, you always have a supply and they are an awesome painting tool!
For this super simple fireworks painting I just cut into the top of a couple and put one in different bowls of paint.
just went for a massive free-for-all whereas D really carefully did one
colour and then put another one inside, colour co-ordinating each one
so there were matching pairs.