Saturday, 27 July 2013

10 activities to keep your toddler busy and you sane!

Being a stay-at-home mum is wonderful but it has its challenges.  Coming up with things for us to do every single day is something that I struggle with.  As Miss E gets older I can see she is wanting more attention and needing more things planned for her.

There are lots of posts like this out there, and I'm no expert, but I thought I would share some simple activities that I have found useful to help me get through the day and week without going too crazy!  If we do one or two of these a day I feel like we've had a good day!

Some of these are fun little activities to do at home and some are things you can do away from home, because let's face's nice to get out of the house every now and then!

Activity One

Play dough! I found this great play dough recipe on pinterest after a friend pointed me in the right direction.  I had never made play dough before, but this was so easy and is so soft that I don't think I will use any other recipe.  I don't have any good pictures to show you so I am just going to borrow one from the lady on pinterest and you can go straight there and get the recipe from her! :) (recipe here)

click here for her website

Activity two

Painting.  I have blogged about this before, but it is something that Miss E loves doing.  The recipe is super easy (click here for recipe) and perfect for when they "accidentally" get some in their mouth.  I find it's best to do this outside, but I know some people who set their toddler up in the high chair and cover the tray with newspaper and let them go nuts with it.  Whatever you can handle I say!

homemade finger paint

Activity three

Painting with water.  If you can't hand the messy paint then this one is PERFECT! We do this far more often than real painting and Miss E doesn't even seem to know the difference.

paint with water

Grab a brush and a bowl of water and let them get to work.  E likes to "paint" the outdoor table (this works well because the water shows up on the wooden furniture) but she has also "painted" the fence and the concrete before.

When she is finished she thinks it's fun to drink the rest of the water out of the bowl...

Activity four

Water based play.  This one is simple but be prepared for things to get a bit wet.

Fill a tub with some water and bubbles and throw in some toys and sponges and let them get wet! Some bottles or containers to pour water into are always extra fun so make sure you have some of those handy.

 water based play

As they get a bit older you can show them how to clean with the cloth.  Put a few cars in the water and do a "car wash".  They will LOVE it!

Activity five

Nature collage.  We really enjoyed this one and as she gets older I think she will enjoy it more.

nature collage

Take a walk around your home or at the park and collect "bits of nature" for your collage.  It's okay if they choose things that won't stick to the paper, you can talk to them about that as you do the collage.

We used PVA glue and regular computer paper.

Now the collage hangs nicely on the fridge and Miss E walks past every now and then and pulls somethings off!

Activity six

Gluing and shapes learning activity.  You could really do anything using the same concept but since Miss E is still quite young I thought I would just start with shapes.  But be adventurous! Plan something based around anything your toddler is in to. 

crepe paper learning

Just plain old crepe paper, glue and computer paper.  I drew a few shapes, scrunched up the crepe paper into balls and let E stick them on to the shape (which I had already put glue on).  She was a bit more interested in the glue than sticking things to it, but she got the idea eventually.
The older they get, the more helpful they will be too.  This one is great for fine motor skills.

Activity seven

Dancing!  Turn the music on and just dance! It's great when a toddler doesn't know that you are a lousy dancer! Have some fun together and enjoy being silly.

Activity eight

Visit the park.  Sometimes it's nice just to be outside.

We are lucky enough to have a park (not this one) within walking distance.  These days I let Miss E walk (rather than take the pram).  We spend just as much time getting there as we do playing at the park, but that's part of the fun.

It's also a great way to meet other people and for your toddler to play with other kids (if they don't get to do that very often).

Activity nine

Go to the library.  We don't do this as often as we should, but it is always fun when we go.  The library we go to has a little play area (which is what we usually do).  We often sit and read a few books on the nice comfy cushions, but it's probably about time that we actually borrowed some to bring home!

Activity ten

Go outside!  Sometimes the best activity can simply be spending some time together outside.  Go for a walk, weed the garden, play in the dirt, ride bikes...

Nothing gets rid of the crazies like some good old sunshine!

activities for toddlers

Thursday, 18 July 2013

"sew" much more

Sew many delights has turned into more about 'delights' and less about 'sew', so I thought I should catch up on the 'sew'.

I am surprised by how much I love sewing.  I really thought it would be a phase that came and went, but alas, it continues! Maybe it's just a long phase...

My mum gave me my sewing machine for my first Mother's day (thanks mum! Although, I'm pretty sure I should have got her a present, not the other way around...)

This is my little sewing nook.  Many a nap time has been spent here trying to come up with new ideas or to quickly finish something off.  In an ideal world one nap time should be all I need to sew something beautiful, right?!?  REALITY check!  Many frustrations have been had in front of these two machines.  My best/worst friend (the quick-unpick) is always right by my side.

I am developing an addiction fabric - hopefully it doesn't get out of control...too much :)

I inherited this pile from my Aunt this week.  I'm so excited! I LOVE looking at fabric and dreaming about all the things I wish I actually knew how to sew! ha ha!  Maybe one day.

Some days I don't feel like sewing at all, but most of the time I love to sit down and CREATE!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Food Friday

Things have been quite busy around here so I haven't had much time for blogging.  I managed to squeeze some baking in during the week though, so Food Friday has made it this week...

Spinach and Cheese Scones

250g Frozen spinach (thawed, chopped and drained)
2 1/2 cups SR flour (sifted)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
50g chopped butter
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
extra flour for kneading

Preheat oven 240 degrees celcius / 220 degrees celcius fan-forced.
Sift flour and caster sugar into a medium bowl.  Rub in the butter.  Stir in grated cheese and chopped spinnach (I always forget to chop it!).  Stir in milk and mix to a soft, sticky dough.  Turn dough onto floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.  Press dough into about 2cm thickness and cut round shapes (a glass works well if you don't have a cookie cutter)  Place the scones, just touching, in a pan lined with baking paper.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on size and your oven.  Serve warm.

This recipe says it serves 16 but I usually get about 10.  I cook them for about 16 minutes at 220 degrees celcius (fan-forced).

You can freeze these scones (uncooked) for up to one month.  Bake from frozen and add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time.  - I haven't tried this yet, but if you do and it works, let me know!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Wrapped around her finger!

It would seem our precious E has me wrapped around her finger.  Not even her little's her index finger (that one is a whole lot stronger).

I was putting her to bed the other night and as usual, sang her a song.  When I had finished she waved her index finger at me to indicate that she would like another song.  Oh, okay then, so I started to sing our "bedtime song" - go to sleep, go to sleep etc.  To my horror she screamed and waved that finger some more.  It seems she doesn't like the "bedtime song" anymore.  Perhaps she knows it signifies that it's time for sleep! 

So I picked a different song.  "The Wheels on the Bus" seemed to be a better choice.  As I finished the first verse, she waved some more for the next verse.  Hmmmm.

Five verses later...I put her in her cot.  Then in her little voice she whispered "pair" (meaning prayer).  So we said a prayer.  THEN, out came the finger again for another song! Really?? But how can I say no? That finger is strong (I am soft) and she knows EXACTLY what she is doing! Cheeky monkey!

Finally after 3 "pairs" and half a dozen songs I left the room.

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