Monday, October 31, 2011

Salt painting

A different sort of art today but something that was really effective and both kids loved it. It started with some paper and a kitchen accident but ended up being a great experience.

Amahli, in her usual gung ho attitude, was attempting to find morning tea, 5 minutes after breakfast. I asked her to wait but its kinda like asking a stampede to turn around. She's a man on mission.
So I'd said no, but she continued her task of getting it herself. In the process, she knocked the full salt shaker over and then watched in fascination at the waterfall she had created. Quickly realizing she would be in trouble, she began trying to collect it in a container. So craft today was going to include salt :)
I got out glue and card stock and sat them up at the table. I showed them how to make patterns with the glue and then we sprinkled salt over the wet glue.

I then got out some watercolour paint as I'd seen wet salt paintings that had then painted them for a cool effect. So very carefully, we touched the wet salt with bright colours.

The results were awesome, the colour bleeds and runs along the salt line. Jared was totally fascinated by this and the excitement on his face was priceless. We talked about colour mixing too as the blue and yellow and made green.
I loved that this was something that he was interested in, he seems to be getting more interested n craft as I try to find new things for him to do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

what should I buy?

I have a little friend who visits me with his gorgeous mum once a week. Shes a sanity saver for me, and so normally we just sit and chat away whilst the kids play. This week I thought I would do something a touch more productive with them around our chatting :)
Her little guy ( 2yr old) has one of the strangest obsessions Ive encountered. Hes totally obsessed with all things washing machine. He knows the name of EVERY SINGLE type of washing liquid and basically makes a beeline for my laundry most times he comes. He is always carrying around his own bottle of Cuddly. Im hoping to invite him over in a few years and he'll do mine laundry for me ;)
When they came over this week, I had planned an activity that was an easy but fun thing for little people to do. I cut up a magazine from the supermarket of all different types of food and things you find in a grocery shop. I had frozen food, fresh fruit and veggies, meats etc all sorted into different containers, as well as an " isle" of cleaning products. I printed them all off a trolley picture of their own and invited them to go shopping!!
They could pick what they wanted, and then glued them into the trolleys.
We talked about what they were all buying....
Jared bought fresh food and a coke for dad.

Amahli ( who obviously shops with her mother, who has to buy a whole meal most days because the food fairies steal whatever I buy from the freezer.. or maybe its because I shop with three kids I never buy what Im supposed to but always end up spend $200!!?? ) bought enough things to make a complete meal of sausages sambos ( or sausage in bread for those who have no idea. Its a very typical Australian BBQ thing to have)

And my little friend??
check out the trolley :)

I wish I could have filmed how excited he was over each product he could barely contain himself. Was very funny to watch and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Once he had completely used up all the laundry things in one trolley ( and a random pizza) I gave him some more plain paper and he glued more food items on them too.
This activity is great for encouraging conversation, talking about cold things and things you cook, healthy food and "sometimes" food and also is lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

credit card painting

Lately Ive noticed a slight but decent move on Jareds part.... hes starting to become more involved in crafty things. Especially if it looks interesting and he hasnt done it before, he seems much more keen.
So I have been racking my brains to try and find new ways to do the simple stuff.
Today we used credit cards to paint :)
( well theres no money in them so they might as well be used for something!!)
It didnt quite work to plan but he still really enjoyed it.
You need:
some old cards ( probably one per child)
some paint and some paper

Allow the child to squeeze a small blob of paint onto the paper. We tried a few different things from ordered lines, to trying to create rainbows, but it seems to work best in the blobs are in a line.

Then, holding the card on an angle, drag it through the paint blobs.
The aim is to blend the colours together which kind of worked.

The other aim was for him to enjoy a new paint experience which was successful :)
Anybody got any other non messy looking paint fun I can do??

Friday, October 21, 2011

jellyfish in a bottle

The last few nights I have been going to bed ridiculously late... I keep getting off the computer only to find yet another blog I havent seen or something I think my kids would like, or something else... crazy really!
But something I did find the other day was this blog Bhoom Play, and more particularly, this awesome little activity to create jellyfish in a bottle.
This morning, I showed Jared a cool thing they had done by making a jellyfish out of a plastic bag. we set to work... me snipping, tying, filling with water, retying, more snipping, slight cursing, more tweaking and then finally success!!, him encouraging, quick jump on the trampoline, back to encourage some more, a few snips, back outside for a hit with the ball, and then finally back to watch and beg for food... when I first saw this site I though it looked easy but I read under one of her photos " With some trials and errors" and realised that it was a bit tricky.. but like them, we got it finally!

And no one has let them go since :)
They are hard to take photos of but heres a few of our jellyfish in a bottle.

And a video:)

happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the invites

So after much talking and decision making between me and Jumeirah, we finally came up with a great idea for Amahlis birthday invite ( really it should never have been that hard to decide!) and so I sat down and began to cut it all out.
Jumeirah, in her usual way, gets on the computer and then yells " NO WAIT! I found something better!" and shows me a invite that totally suits my little gal down to the ground. Found on an image search in google, we found the cutest little ladybird cards, and before I could protest she had dragged Amahli in to show her. Of course she loved it immediately and so my wonderful idea was lost and I began creating ladybird cards :)
They are very cute and very easy to make, plus it saves you in having to by invites. And really, its waaaay more fun to do it yourself too ( YEAH! It totally is!!)

Luckily I have three Glee episodes to watch.. this is going to take awhile....

I also got to starting something else for this little beautys birthday and fell in love with an awesome new machine... the Scroll Saw. Fortunately my father in law had one and for the time being, I used that. ( oh I want one... yes yes I do).
I found a great idea on Made By Joel ( yup his whole site is fantastic) called a flower stacker and begun to make my own for her birthday... stay tuned, I'll show you how it goes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Smartie Maths

Ive been trying to find some more cool things for Jared to do.. something that is fun but also stretches that awesome brain of his. He tends to wander, the girls are totally content with a set of blocks or mobilo, Jared seems to need a bit more direction.
So I created this cool early maths page for him to do and he loved it. Of course Little Miss wanted one too but hers was more about just eating the Smarties rather than the maths behind it.

Basically, he had to start with counting how many he had, then sorting them into colours and working out how many was in each colour, then showing what colours he had by colouring a small section.
He actually got really into it, asking me to stop helping him so he could work it out.

Once he was done, he also thoroughly enjoyed eating them.
And again, asking me not to help him ;)
No blog tomorrow as I racing to sydney and back. Back on wednesday to show you what happened with Amahlis invites....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

shaving cream marbling

It hit me today that we are no longer in September.... strange I know, I but somehow October creapt up on me and it wasnt until I was pasting photos in a folder in the computer when Jumeirah says " Mum why are you putting them there? " To which I responded " Cos thats where they belong!". She quickly replied, " Oh. But its not September anymore." Bam. Oh. ok then!
So apparently its October and also, its now 3 weeks until that nutcracker of a cherub of mine turns 3. How did she do that???
And so today was a mad rush of working out whether to have a party, and then quick! we should invite some people.
So Jared, Amahli and I decided we would do some marbling to become butterflies for the front of the invite.

Both were really keen, even when I got the shaving cream and food colouring down!
( I think Ive posted this before but oh well, lucky you, you get to see it again!)
In a tray, squirt a fair amount of shaving cream, enough to cover the bottom. you will need to smooth it out with your hands so its an even layer.

Carefully, ( we used a medicine dropper) drop in either ink or food colouring in lots of spots over the shaving cream.
Using a skewer, carefully run the shewer through the coloured spots in large circles. I encouraged mine to do this slowly so it doesnt all become a big mess quickly. They did really well!

Once the patterns have been created, lay a piece of paper on the top and press down gently, you will see the pattern starting to show through the paper.
Lift off the paper, and using a ruler or carboard strip, gently scrape off the excess shaving cream.
You can then use your skewer again to make circles and patterns! You dont need new ink everytime, only once it starts to get really mixed up and loses the swirly patterns.
This is how it turned out! I love this art, its pretty, its easy and it smells great!

NOTE:This is where I should have taken the tray away instead of leaving it on the table. Mostly my kids are brilliant at not touching things cos they dont like it anyways but it obviously was appealing to Amahli. I watched as she pushed her hands through the swirly foam, excited at the fact that she did it on her own without me prompting her.... for exactly 4 seconds before she realised it was sticking in her and began to shake it off..... so now I smell nice and shaving creamy too ;)

Will turn it into butterflies tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

getting kids invovled in the boring and tedious

I came into the lounge room this morning to hear the delighted squeals of three children playing in "SNOW!"... on closer inspection I realised that the 9 loads of washing I had accumulated in there was now raining on my kids in a new spectacularly fun game :)

It was time. Laundry tackling time.

But this time I wanted to get my kids involved... one, because I HATE doing it with a passion, two, because I figured another life skill to master early wont hurt, and three, cos I knew it would be super fun!!! ( hahahaha yeah right its sorting washing!)

So I sat down and explained to them how it would work, sort of. We designated spots for each of us and I just started throwing clothes at them whilst yelling a family member name.....

Dont think Ive ever had so much fun sorting through copious amounts of clothes and they begged me for more at the end.
Might try and make it a saturday morning routine!!
Do you have ways to get through the chores you hate doing? Do you include your kids?? You should try it!!

this is the sock frenzy :)

Monday, October 10, 2011


End of school holidays :( back to reality today and boy did she hit me hard! Its ok though, Its only 12 weeks or something crazy till christmas when I get to have it my way for 6 WHOLE weeks!!!Bring it ON :)
Today was spent mostly cleaning around the two little cyclones ( Why does a mother clean up at all?? I mean really??) and trying to sort myself out a bit.
I did have another request for Sushi from the littlest whirlwind so I got it out and began. We did sushi last week in the holidays which went down quite well and they also really enjoyed making it. It didnt taste as good as "shop" sushi, but still, not bad for a first effort!
Amahli today, enjoyed helping me crate the carrots ( no photos, I need and value my fingers whilst my child tried to grate them. I had buckleys chance of holding a camera too!) whilst Jared monitored the rice cooking. Unfortunately I used the wrong rice and its a bit funny bit but no one really cared. we also included chicken shredded, ham and cheese.

I really wanted them to have things I knew they'd eat so it was a weird combination but it worked :)
Now, all goes well with Sushi until it comes time for me to roll it. Seriously, I cannot get this bit right! Might have to watch a few more You tube clips to get it right. But with some lovely encouragement from my gang, we had it working and cut up and looking vaguely like " real" sushi :)

Jared wasnt overly keen, but Amahli loved it. Especially when I let her dip in BBQ sauce ;)
Think Im going to stretch these little palettes a little further, it was really fun to talk about where sushi comes from, how its eaten... I just really more enjoyed listening to Amahli call it "shushi!"
Have been thinking about doing some other cultural food.. anyone got some simple ideas??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

water beads

Its been a massive week this week... things are changing. Im trying to work it out but you'll have to be patient if I disappear occasionally until my head stops spinning....
All over the blog world I kept seeing these "water beads" .. they were being used on light tables, in sensory buckets and to me they looked totally cool for a great tactile experience. I had bought some quite awhile ago now and they were really popular with my kids, so bought a few more packets on ebay ( cheap!) and set it up for my trio.
Only problem with them is, it takes ages for them to blow up full of water. So we emptied three packets into water and then spent the morning trashing the house ( well, not me exactly, its not my thing seeing as I am the one who has to then clean it up)
By the afternoon, these little orbs of beauty had swollen to a beautiful,round, squeezable ball and I added some sea animals to it and all three were totally hooked. Ahem, I should say all 4 of us. Its totally irristable to run your fingers through them.

The next day, ( they last for ages, and then slowly diminish in size) it was Jumeirahs idea to add a few more packets to them, to increase the amount to play in and to " make it really pretty!" and so we did. They arent expensive so it wasnt something I was worried about wasting.
She added pink, purple and light blue to our already green, clear and dark blue beads.
OH. MY. GOSH. Was she ever right. The colours were amazing. The feel of them was totally addictiave, I couldnt stop playing in them. And then I noticed my camera nearby and then couldnt stop clicking at how pretty they looked :)

About 400 photos later, I noticed my children had left me to play all myself ;)
So I got up and added some scoops and spoons from the kitchen and moved away and they quickly returned. Its totally therapeutic, running your hands through such a pretty sensory thing :) Think I'll have to get some more....

Later in the afternoon, I set up a little imaginative play thing I printed of the Made By Joel Blog ( if you havent seen it, GO. GO NOW. And then come back. Hes amazing)
Jumeirah played with this little paper play cat set for ages, using different voices and all sorts of things, totally engrossed in such a simple play scene.

When I had chucked her in the bath, I came out to find littlest Miss also having a lovely time. I managed to catch this video hiding half under the cupboards in the kitchen...

So cute and such an easy thing to print and play :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

quick break

Sorry guys I have a few days of full on loveliness ( but serious craziness!!) whilst the sun is shining.... Ill be back on thursday!