Tuesday, 31 January 2012


 We have been enjoying some lovely Winter Art this week. 
On Monday we spent the day with "Heathers childminding" and she had organised some lovely activities for the children, set up a lovely Winter wall display and a box of "White things" to explore!

Decorated Mittens! Nothing like Mittens to keep those hands warm on these chilly days we are seeing of late!

These look lovely up at a window,with the light showing through!

Next we made Snowmen pictures! Lots of snowflakes for a snowy day..... which sadly we are not having in real life at the mo :-(  Cold enough though! COME ON SNOW!!!!!

We made snowglobe pictures too! They drew on the buttons and the face.

 We added some glitter and rubbed it around with our fingers! Once they were laminated they looked like they were behind glass!

Lots of white winter fun!

Thursday, 26 January 2012


I am not really a plastic, noisy toy lover, but this is a toy that I would recommend to everyone!
 It stands the test of time, does not have lots of bright flashy lights and noises so is not over stimulating!
There are many versions out there along the same theme, this one is pets!

It's a great toy for little fingers to explore. 
Encourages development of the fine motor skills that these little ones will need to self feed, thread beads, do puzzles and one day tie shoe laces and write!

By pushing, turning and sliding the different buttons, the toddler can make the corresponding hatch pop open and and animal will pop up too!

They seem to enjoying closing the lids just as much as making them pop open!

On this toy, 2 of the buttons require a bit more skill than the other 2. They need to be slid and turned. This tends to come later on in a child's development but does mean the toy lasts that bit longer! And in the mean time they do try really hard to make the buttons work. I tend to hold their little hands over the button to show them how to do it, but they don't always have the strength to actually manage it themselves. 

Ohhh but when they do! That 1st time!! 
The smile shows just how pleased they are with themselves!

This is one bit of plastic that will be staying in our toy box!


I thought I would share with you some of the play that happens with my little ones! 
It can be hard to think of things to do with very young children and I am always searching the net for new ideas. So here a few of the things that we do. 

Collect natural objects and place in a basket. Offer them to the toddlers to hold and explore or add a few other things to the play  and see where it goes.

Here we have some Branches that were cut from my parents Eucalyptus tree when they chopped it down last summer. My dad cut them and smoothed them off for us. The children just love the silvery colour and unusual shapes.

I added a couple of wood off cuts to make a road, a few cars and some lovely wooden animals. The Pine cones look like trees.
I sat on the floor driving the cars over the wooden roads and making car noises. 
Soon the little ones were with me, pushing cars along the roads and turning the wooden blocks over in their hands. 
I stood some of the blocks up on end and said they looked like trees. I balanced the Squirrel on the top of one and said that the squirrel was looking for nuts in the tree!

Little "R" found the fox and walked him along the long flat log. Babbling and chatting as she did so! She also tried to stand some of the blocks on end like she had seen me do.

We had lots of fun pushing the cars along the road and making car sounds!

Even little "L" who was a year old last month, started to make roads and push cars along them. She is still very much in the "exploring things with her mouth" stage so it was lovely to see her moving this forward and exploring the toys in a different way!


Today was really just a round up of the weeks play activities.  

Returning to toys and play that they had enjoyed and finishing off projects, like our Panda masks. We also spent more time on our Origami projects! The older ones are loving this.... so am I to be honest!

3 cute puppies!

We had a go at making some jumping frogs! These were a lot of fun and really jumped quite high!


The little ones enjoyed looking through our Library books. I chose dual language books, written in both English and Chinese!

Little "R" finishing off her Panda mask

We have had a really lovely week celebrating the Chinese new year.

I hope you have enjoyed our posts and maybe even picked up some ideas to enjoy for yourselves!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


Well what fun did we get up to today!
 Still enjoying Chinese New Year activities!

 We had to run some errands this morning and stopped at Hobby Craft while we were out. We found some yellow and red giant pom poms to add to our Chinese New Year sensory box!

We also found a great kit for Origami which I thought would be fun. Especially for the older boys. I made a turtle. "L" pulled his leg off though, and a bird which "R" is holding in this pic. 
It was lovely having "R" back with us after she has been off for so long with a nasty bug, poor love :-(

"E" was photographer today! Still not playing Chinese, but he did like our Panda bear painting, which you will see next!

"R" painting her Panda! These are actually card masks designed for Decoupage, but I thought we could adapt them for painted Panda masks! We did need to put a few coats of while paint on these.  They are very strong as well so should stand up to being played with a lot!

I felt "L" was too little to really benefit from making a mask, so I helped her with a Panda picture instead. I drew the outline and added black paint to the areas that are black and she spread it all about with her hands.

 When we first started painting she would get very upset at the feel of paint on her hands, but she really likes it now!

Little "R" did a Panda painting as well. She LOVES the feel of the paint and spent a lot of time just rubbing her hands together!

Some of us took the whole Panda thing a step too far and became Pandas!!!

The finished art work!

The masks before the Black was added!

"E" added black to his mask. We looked at Pandas on Google Images and talked about where we should add the black patches.

We hope you are enjoying all our activities and would love to hear about your activities, or links to your Chinese New Year posts if you want to leave them in the comments box below!


Today we took our Chinese New Year activity to the toddler group I run in the village! I think it went down very well! Everyone seemed to have fun!

We made Laminated red and green window pictures

You just need....

 some red and gold paper, stars, tinsel and the like.
A Dragon shape cut our of paper (our is more like a Lizzard)
Laminator pouches and a laminator

1) Lay our your Laminating pouch and make your picture. 

2) Carefully run it through the Laminator

3) let it cool for a minute and then hang in the window!

They had a lovely time and so did the Mummy's at the group! I think one Mummy had more fun than her children and may be investing in a Laminator for herself!

We would like to thanks Heather for bringing us all Fortune cookies as well! They were a Yummy addition to snack time and it was fun reading our fortunes!

More fun to be had tomorrow!!

Monday, 23 January 2012


I thought I would share some of our Chinese New Year activities with you all! 
I know I like to read blogs for inspiration, so would like to offer something back to all you lovely bloggers out there that help me more than you can imagine!

Some cooking!

"L" looking at a book about emotions, written in Chinese.
 "E" made it very clear he IS NOT playing Chinese today... he is playing Dr Who!
oh and reading about snakes!

I love this picture!
 We built houses for our Dragons!  Look at this castle, very grand for such important Dragons!

"I am not ... absolutely not.... playing Chinese...... oh whats this book?"

Our rice sensory tray. I wish I had more bits to add to it but I didn't plan it as well as I should. tut tut!
But we have some Chinese themed buttons, food, cups and chop sticks in there! 

Not playing Chinese at all...........

"E" built a nice Dragon house...... while not playing with Chinese things!!  He made this statement several times while playing with Chinese themed things.... lol, how he made me giggle!

But this is what he did spend a lot of today doing! "E" and I made this 2 weeks ago so he could play Dr Who! It is a scene from the episode "Hungry Earth"..... with some added extra baddies!

Panda stopped by for some dinner!

We made a Chinese inspired painting using paint and a straw to blow the paint in lines along the paper.

Then we added some pink blossom to the paper!

After the school run we enjoyed a Chinese New Year meal!

Noodles are so much fun!

Enjoying a stir fry!

We tried out some chop sticks! Lots of fun and giggling! Brendan is getting really good at using these!
Kenzie giving it a really good go!

Lychees and Ice cream for pudding!


We will be enjoying more Chinese related activities tomorrow! Be sure to pop back and join the fun!!


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